Chapter 2: You Could not Help but Being Mushy-Mushy on a Little Girl
Every one in the workshop stood
still, looking at the little girl sobbing while burying her face in Gintoki’s
pants and yukata. Suddenly, after the sobbing had ceased, the small body
suddenly collapsed to the floor. Gintoki caught her falling body before
touching the ground by reflex and took the little girl into his arms.
“Oi, you alright?” asked Gintoki worriedly and his two members approached closer to take a better look.
The child was now sleeping soundly in Gintoki’s arms. Kagura’s eyes widened upon the little girl’s sleeping face and her face was showing ‘she’s so cute’ expression.
“Gin-san, do you know this girl?” asked Shinpachi looking slightly paled at Gintoki.
“Like hell I’d know! Old man, what the f*ck is going on!?” asked Gintoki angrily with whispered voice at Gengai.
“Well, if you ask me, I can only say that she is probably someone who got transferred from the future by this machine. She collapsed because travelling 8 years in time in that small body must have been very exhausting” said Gengai scratching his head.
“Wait, if we recall what she called you before, Gin-san….” Shinpachi sweat dropped on his face as he turned into Gin-san’s tensed face, “Could she be your…”
Before Shinpachi could finish his sentence, Gintoki interrupted, “Don’t… Say it.” Gintoki took another glance at the sleeping child in his arms, his head in turmoil.
“What is this? What’s happening again? I feel like having déjà vu. It’s probably something like the previous infant strive arc again. Only this time, the kid is a bit older and a girl. But what is this feeling I’m having right now? It’s different than when I faced that baby in the past. It feels like I have known this girl so long kind of feeling. Could it be that she really is my daughter? Sure her hairstyle is like me, rather, if I take another look she is a bit like a mini-me when I turned into a girl in gender-bend arc. Then, seriously? She is my daughter? No, I can’t be sure yet…”
“Gin-san? What do we do now?” asked Shinpachi worriedly.
Then Gintoki snapped back into his sense and said, “Obviously, just send her back. Old man, we saw your machine worked nice and well there. Now send this brat back. This girl might make people gossiping bad rumours about me.”
“I’d like to, but there are some problems. Firstly, thanks to one of your brats messing my machine before I finished tuning it completely, the machine is now totalled. Secondly, to make sure that nothing will go wrong when we send this kid back, I have to start working from the basics again. Lastly, the battery I used as power source since not strong enough to withstand the machine’s performance. So I have to figure out another power source. I can fix the machine, but it will take quite a while” Gengai replied with his thumb pointing at the machine on his side. “Anyway, I guess you have to figure out on your own about that kid, while I’m gonna do something about the time machine….”
“Don’t screw with me! I’m not a babysitter!” said Gintoki in panic.
Gintoki and Shinpachi’s heads turned around to the source of the voice. “We’ll look after her until you finish the machine!” said Kagura cheerfully.
“Kagura! Don’t be stupid! Do you even know how to look after a kid? Even us adults here don’t have a clue!” warned Gintoki towards the yato girl.
“Please, Gin-chan…. She just looked so adorable… Besides, we can’t just leave her alone like that, yes?” Kagura pleaded with her puppy-dog eyes.
Before Gintoki can reply, Shinpachi pat his shoulder said, “Sorry, Gin-san. Kagura has a point here. For now let’s take her with us and we will figure what to do next after the little girl wakes up.”
Gintoki clicked his tongue, being left without much choice, he decided to go along with the other members of Yorozuya after handing the little girl to Shinpachi.
After going back to Yorozuya office, Shinpachi laid the girl down on the living room’s couch and look for blanket to keep her warm, Kagura sat beside her using her own lap as a pillow, Sadaharu sat calmly behind the couch looking at the little girl’s sleeping face, and Gintoki sat on the other couch across the table facing Kagura and the little girl. After Shinpachi placed the blanket over the little girl, he noticed that her sandals in the entrance had a writing on it; the left one had a writing ‘Sakata’ and the right one had a writing ‘Kyouko’. If they were to put together it becomes ‘Sakata Kyouko’.
Shinpachi swallowed a big gulp as he approached his two Yorozuya comrades showing both of the sandals, “Gin-san, I think she really is who we thought all along…”
Both Gintoki and Kagura’s face darkened upon hearing the shocking truth about the girl. Suddenly, the sleeping child on Kagura’s laps flinched, showing the trio that she was about to wake up.
As the little girl opened her eyes slowly, she raised and sat on the couch as her one hand rubbed her eyes, and the other rest on her own lap. She looked around the room again and upon her: Kagura was sitting beside her, a giant white dog was behind her looking on her, Shinpachi and Gintoki sat on the couch across her, with awkward expressions were shown on their faces.
Kagura, having her ‘parental instinct’ took an initiative by kneel down from the couch until her eyes to start a conversation, but she herself was not sure of what to say. “Um…. Kyouko-chan?”
Kyouko blinked several times when she saw Kagura and Shinpachi, and then she said, “Kagura? Pachi?”
Kagura and Shinpachi was taken by surprise that the little girl who they met for the first time was suddenly calling their names.
Then Kyouko turned around to see Sadaharu and squealed in joy, “Sadaharu~!” as she jumped to hug the giant dog.
Sadaharu just barked cheerfully and playfully licked her tiny face, as Kyouko responded with laughter. Gintoki, although acting indifferent, he was also quite surprised to see his so-called daughter familiarity with his two Yorozuya friends. “What the hell? She knows you two?” said Gintoki as he was staring at Kyouko playing with Sadaharu.
“Well, considering she is your daughter, I think it will only makes sense that she knows us too…” explained Shinpachi while fixing his glasses.
After playing with Sadaharu, Kyouko ran into her ‘papa’ and leaped to his laps, causing Gintoki to get another surprise. “Oi, oi…” Gintoki look down on Kyouko who was staring right into his eyes.
Kyouko took another look on Kagura and Shinpachi and she suddenly said with slight worry on her voice, “Papa…. Kagura and Shinpachi shrunk….”
“Eh?” said Shinpachi and Kagura in their heads.
“Ah….. I see now”, thought Gintoki in his head as he was looking at both Shinpachi and Kagura. “Don’t mind them, they will back to normal before you know it”, said Gintoki patting her head. Suddenly Gintoki thought, “Why am I suddenly nice with her? This is somehow more awkward than me being awkward myself around her. A girl suddenly appeared claiming to be my daughter while I’m still single, and I’m now acting like her father?”
Then a gurgling sound was heard all over the room and it came from little girl’s stomach. Kagura and Shinpachi could not help but smiling after they found out that little Kyouko was hungry, then Kagura said, “Kyouko-chan, you must be starving, let’s get something to eat, yes? If you want something, we can try asking granny for food.”
“Um!” replied Kyouko nodding cheerfully. Then Kyouko, accompanied by Kagura, Shinpachi and Sadaharu were heading to the door followed by Gintoki behind them.
“Well, whatever…” thought Gintoki sighing while he also put on a faint smile with the kids in front of them.
In Otose’s snack shop, Yorozuya members and Kyouko were having lunch on Otose’s treat, since the old woman could not refuse to feed a hungry little girl. Otose was talking with Gintoki while Kyouko was eating and having fun with Kagura, Shinpachi, Sadaharu, Tama and Catherine.
“Well, what’s going on now? There is another kid who looks like you hanging around with you again”, asked Otose while smoking.
Gintoki only replied with “It’s complicated” kind of answer, when suddenly a coughing sound was heard at the table where the others were and Shinpachi ran towards Gintoki and Otose said in panic.
“We need water! Kyouko just choked on her food!”
Before Shinpachi could have grabbed the glass of water Otose had prepared, suddenly Gintoki snatch the glass away and ran towards Kyouko. He sipped the drink into the little girl’s mouth gently while rubbing her back,
“Take it easy, ok?” said Gintoki with serious, yet concerned face.“You okay?”
Kyouko took a deep breath and smile in relief, “Un. Thank you, papa!”
“Papa?” thought Tama and Catherine upon hearing the words that Kyouko just said to Gintoki.
As Gintoki left to give Kyouko more time to finish her lunch, he arrived at the bar facing Otose once again. Otose’s eyebrows bent and she flipped her arms asking him, “Ok, now who is the woman you’ve tricked?”
“What the hell are you saying now, old hag?” Gintoki retorted Otose’s question.
“Well, I see that not only the kid resembles you, the way you acted just now is more like an act of a father.”
“Beats me, she just popped out of nowhere and suddenly calls me ‘papa’”, said Gintoki waving his hand.
“Come on, why don’t you tell me what actually happened? Otherwise this is just gonna be a bad rumour around the town.”
Gintoki was hesitating at first, but after thinking for a while, he decided to tell Otose what had happened so far.
“I see what’s going on. I guess all you can do now is coping with her until everything is over. You are her father after all…”
Gintoki sighed and denied, “I told you it’s not confirmed yet.”
Otose replied, “Well, how would you explain her looks, and more importantly, her name? And the expression you had on your face when she choked, I just know and also surprised that you actually have a fatherly side on you. But still, who might be…”
Before Otose finished, Kyouko was tugging on Gintoki’s white yukata. Her round amethyst eyes on Gintoki’s red dead fish-eyes and she asked the man, “Papa, where’s mama?”
Gintoki flinched at her question. “Yeah, another thing. Let’s say that I’m the father, then who’s the mother? Means in the future, I’m gonna marry someone, right? Wait…..”
“That’s it!” Gintoki rose up from his seat. The others’ eyes widened. “I know who the mother is!” squealed Gintoki as he ran outside followed by Kyouko being carried by Kagura, Shinpachi and Sadaharu.
Otose just shook her head and sighing seeing her freeloader went out. “I hope he is not thinking something or someone ridiculous…” said Otose in her mind.