Chapter 9: Don't Expose Your Kids to Violence
actually not really fond of giving Yorozuya free meals. But upon seeing
Kyouko’s innocent face, not to mention Gintoki said that Katsura and Sakamoto
would be her customers for the night, the old lady could not refuse to feed her
so-called family. The dinner started with Kyouko sat with Shinpachi and Kagura
while Gintoki, Katsura and Sakamoto sat at the different table. As Tama and
Catherine accompanying the kids’ table with their dinner, Gintoki was seen
having a serious conversation with Katsura and Sakamoto.
“Gintoki, have you recently seen news about kidnaping?” asked the long-haired man.
“Well, I kind of heard of those things, but never really paid any attention to it… Don’t tell me that it has something to do with you”, replied Gintoki picking his nose.
“Well, it is partially my responsibility. Some of my men have gone rogue and decided to join some shady organisation, and those kidnappings are probably their doing. At first, I just wanted to inform you just in case, but seeing you with a little girl like that gave me more reason to warn you. Because from rumours I’ve heard, the motives of those kidnappings are human trafficking”, said Katsura taking a quick glance at Kyouko, who was enjoying her dinner.
“Well, as from me, I’m just relaying a message from Mutsu while Kaientai is visiting earth for another business. Hahahaha, hahahaha….” Said Sakamoto handing out a piece of paper to Gintoki. The man read the paper as soon as he folded it open.
“’Sup, Yorozuya. I had something about the incident we had with Chidori organisation before. When Kaientai was conducting a search for remnants, we didn’t find any remains or trace of the leader. Although you’re supposed to be fine as it is, I just thought that I got to tell you just in case. Who knows what’d he do if he were still alive somewhere in Edo. Stay frosty.
P.S. If you caught our commander spending money on cabaret girls again, make sure you literally destroy his balls this time.”
Gintoki folded the paper again, and he considered if the kidnappings, Katsura’s rogue members and the disappearance of Chidori leader were all related, since Chidori itself was originally a pirate organisation specialized in human trafficking.
“Then moving on….” Katsura said as he eased his body up.
“Why don’t you tell us more about that lil’ girl of yours? Seriously, who’s the lucky woman?” Sakamoto asked following Katsura as he rested his chin on his palm with his face grinning from ear to ear.
“And why did she call me names?” Katsura followed again.
“Well, it’s quite complicated…” said Gintoki pouring his sake into his cup. “She IS my kid, I have to admit… But she’s also not really my kid. Not this time, at least…” The man continued as he gulped down his drink. His two old friends only raised and furrowed their eyebrows in confusion.
“Well, anyway. What about the mother then? C’mon, you should introduce your woman to us! Hahahaha…” Sakamoto asked again, followed by his laughter.
“Sorry, not a chance. Besides, she’s out for work”, Gintoki replied with a wave of his hand.
“What kind of work does your wife do at this hour?” Katsura inquired as he also started to drink his liquor.
“I… won’t say she’s my wife. And she works at Yoshiwara” Gintoki replied as he began to eat his dinner.
Sakamoto’s sunglasses dropped down a bit revealing his widened eyes and Katsura’s eyes widened at Gintoki’s response. “Wow, Kintoki… You really scored big this time with some Yoshiwara chick, huh? Is she that hot?” said Sakamoto fixing his sunglasses’ position.
“Are you saying that you ended up impregnating a courtesan and having an illegitimate child with her? I never thought you could have done such a thing, Gintoki…” said Katsura shaking his head in disbelief.
“It’s nothing like that! That’s why I told you it’s complicated!” said Gintoki raising his hands in panic.
“Then what do you have to say about that child, then?” asked Katsura.
“Dammit, do I have to explain everything again? I’m getting tired from explaining this mess to one person to another. I bet even author of this damn fanfic also tired to elaborate the current situation to new characters…” thought Gintoki massaging the bridge of his nose.
In the end, rather than having another misunderstanding, Gintoki had to explain everything AGAIN, this time to his old friends about his situation. Long story short: after hearing Gintoki’s situation, Katsura and Sakamoto turned around to see Kyouko with dumbstruck faces.
“I guess that explains her calling me names…” Katsura said with a sigh.
“But she doesn’t seem to know me”, followed Sakamoto.
“She doesn’t need to know someone who doesn’t get people’s names right”, Gintoki retorted while picking his nose again.
“C’mon! That’s cold, Kintoki! You should introduce your family to me, your old pal!” Sakamoto replied with a whine.
“Hmph, I bet you spent your time too much in the middle of space rather than earth that you don’t get to see my kid’s face”, Gintoki retorted.
As the three old jouishishi continued their bickering to each other, Kyouko was already standing near the table, tugging at Gintoki’s clothes. The other three looked at the silver haired girl as soon as they noticed her.
“Papa…” said Kyouko, her eyes were telling Gintoki that she wanted him to go back to accompany her sleeping. Gintoki only put a small smile as he patted Kyouko’s head.
“Sorry, Kyouko. You go on ahead. I’ll catch up.”
“It’s alright, Gintoki. We are done here, anyway”, said Katsura standing up together with Sakamoto.
The Yorozuya and the two former jouishishi were standing facing each other in front of Otose’s bar, the first sending off the latter. Gintoki told his kids to go into the house first as the two guests had few more things to say before leaving. The kids said their goodbye greetings before they went inside the house.
“We’ll go in first, then. Have a good night, you two. Katsura-san, Sakamoto-san.” Said Shinpachi followed by Kagura.
“Goodnight, Zura! Tatsuma!” said Kyouko waving her hand, following the two Yorozuya into the house.
“Goodnight to you too. And it’s not Zura, it’s Katsura!!” Katsura replied and corrected his name.
Sakamoto only laughed as usual, waving his hand towards the kids. As the kids passed through the door, the two guests averted their attention back to Gintoki. “Honestly, Gintoki… Considering the situation and how we have been knowing each other through these years, I never thought you’ll settle down with a family of your own.” Katsura began first.
“Well, lots of stuffs happened after that war”, Gintoki replied with his eyes closed and a reminiscing smile on his face.
“And I think you’ll need our service in the future. We Kaientai have started to sell wedding props, house furniture, even necessities for babies. And don’t worry about the stock. I’ll make sure we’ll keep it in a long run Hahaha, hahahaha...” Said Sakamoto handing Gintoki his Kaientai business card.
“Yeah, yeah, as soon as you can remember my name correctly, I’ll consider your offer”, said Gintoki reluctantly accepted Sakamoto’s card.
“We’ll take our leave, then. Take good care of your child”, said Katsura walking off, followed by Sakamoto.
Gintoki only stared his two old friends’ bodies were getting further as they walked, and after the two figures has vanished from sight, Gintoki went back to his house.
It had been over a week since Kyouko’s arrival at Yorozuya. Ever since then, Yorozuya had gotten more and more accustomed with the little girl around. Every morning had gotten easier for Shinpachi as Kyouko would help his job in waking Gintoki up, the man himself was also unconsciously acting up more maturely around Kyouko, giving Shinpachi easier times to finish his morning chores. Gengai also had informed them that the time machine had progressed slowly and surely, and it would be done in a week or two.
That day, Kagura and Sadaharu were in charge of looking after Kyouko as Gintoki and Shinpachi had to go to meet their client for that day. As they prepared themselves, they had Tsukuyo was coming over to see Kyouko again. Upon seeing the blonde woman came through the door, the little girl leaped into her embrace in excitement.
“Mama, good morning!”
“Morning, Kyouko-chan. Energetic as ever, eh?” said Tsukuyo patting Kyouko’s head, still hugging her.
“Well, I guess you can help Kagura to look after her today. You really get yourself into this, don’t you? HONEY…” said Gintoki teasing Tsukuyo.
“Shaddap, you. I came here to take Kyouko-chan looking for clothes, y’see. She’s been wearing the same clothes over these days”, Tsukuyo replied with slightly irritated tone.
“Eh… Just gave her your old ones”, Gintoki said in lazy manner.
“I’d like to, but my old clothes of her size had been burnt down during the first blaze of Yoshiwara”, said Tsukuyo blowing a smoke.
“I see… then take care of her while I’m gone, okay? Kyouko, Kagura, we’re leaving”, said Gintoki followed by Shinpachi, who sent them his goodbye as well.
“Papa…” said Kyouko approaching Gintoki pulling his yukata, motioning the silver haired man to lower his face close enough to her face.
When Gintoki’s face was close enough, Kyouko landed a peck on Gintoki’s cheek. “Take care~” Kyouko said with a smile.
Gintoki only smiled reluctantly before he stood up and he turned his gaze to Tsukuyo, who was looking back at him with confusion. “What?” asked Tsukuyo raising her eyebrows.
Kyouko, who was looking at Tsukuyo as well, suddenly asked her in innocent tone, “Mama… you don’t go chuu-chuu papa today?”
Tsukuyo’s eyes widened in surprise upon hearing her daughter. “I gotta do that too?” was what Tsukuyo thought as she saw Gintoki was smirking playfully at her. She hesitated at first then she quickly landed a peck on Gintoki’s other cheek.
“What? Only on the cheek?” asked Gintoki with a small pout, only to receive kunai on his forehead.
“Don’t push yer luck. Just go and take care”, Tsukuyo replied as she averted her flustered face sideways.
Shinpachi only shook his head in amusement upon seeing the lovey-dovey scene before he followed Gintoki who had stepped outside the house with his head bleeding.
The three girls who were left in the house headed towards the living room to prepare themselves for shopping. Meanwhile, Kagura grinned at Tsukuyo, “Tsukki, you looked so cute when you kissed Gin-chan back there, yes!” Kagura teased and a kunai went pass her head by a hair’s breadth, hitting a wall behind her.
“Ya didn’t see that, okay?” said Tsukuyo threateningly with her face still blushing, Kagura only paled as she nodded frantically at the woman’s warning.
The three girls grabbed what they needed and together with Sadaharu, they stepped outside as well heading towards the shopping district.
While Gintoki and Shinpachi were riding the white scooter to their destination, Gintoki spoke up. “Actually, Patsuan… When I received the call about the job this morning, the client kind of said that she only needs you. I only here to send you off there since the distance is a bit far, not to mention the client might be waiting for us now”, said Gintoki with his deadpanned face.
“Eh? What do you mean, Gin-san? Only needs me? And ‘she’? Who is our client?” asked Shinpachi in confusion.
“I forgot to ask. But she said she knows us, especially you. And somehow her voice was very familiar…” replied Gintoki while picking his nose.
“Anyway, isn’t it good for you to have a woman asking you a favour? Who knows you might score something with her. You won’t be a plain cherry boy who’s rank always number 8th anymore…” said Gintoki smiling while showing his picky finger, indicating something.
“What do you mean by that? The way you said just now was kind of lewd. I know I’m not a good-looking myself but the last part just now was just rude”, replied the glasses man retorting Gintoki’s comment.
Back to the girl’s side, Tsukuyo, Kagura, Kyouko and Sadaharu were walking together towards the shopping area in Kabuki district. Kagura was eating her usual sukonbu with Sadaharu following behind her. And beside Kagura, there was Kyouko holding Tsukuyo’s hand. Sometimes, Kagura would offer Kyouko some of her snack, which the little girl gladly accepted despite how sour the taste was and while the scene itself was quite unusual, knowing how much Kagura likes sukonbu.
“Hee… So you get pissed off when I only took one piece of your crap but you would gladly offer that to someone else? You made me jealous, China…” A deadpan voice was heard.
Kagura turned her attention along with the others to the source of the familiar voice that belonged to The Shinsengumi first division captain, Okita Sougo. “Shut up, you damn sadist! Kyouko-chan is a good girl so she is an exception, yes!” yelled the red vermillion haired girl towards the sandy brown haired man.
“Sougo~” said Kyouko waving her hand cheerfully.
“Good day, Okita-san” greeted Tsukuyo with a small smile.
“’Sup, sorry again about the other day”, Sougo greeted back as he was walking towards them.
“What the hell are you doing here?” asked Kagura with a glare.
“Chill down, China. I’m just on my usual patrol here. Though just now I got a call from Hijibaka-san to look for Kondou-san. It seems like he was out stalking someone again. Did you see him around here?” replied Sougo with his usual voice, glaring back at Kagura.
“Um… Maybe that’s what you’ve been lookin’ for?” said Tsukuyo pointing at the crowd.
On the direction where Tsukuyo pointed at, a woman with a brown hair tied in pony tailed was senselessly beating up a tanned-skin man with brown hair and a goatee wearing a Shinsengumi uniform. There was also another woman with black hair and eyepatch on her left eye wearing men’s outfit, simply stood there while watching the violence in front of her.
“(sigh)…. He’s at it again… Good grief…” Sougo groaned and he walked towards the scene.
Sougo then arrived at the beaten-up body of the Shinsengumi commander Kondou Isao, who was lying on the ground. The captain supported his commander’s body by his shoulder and he turned towards the brunette girl.
“I should be arresting you for violence in normal circumstances, but this time the gorilla here is also our responsibility, so I’ll pretend nothing happened here”, said Sougo with his usual deadpanned voice.
“You’d better not letting that beast roaming around again, you hear me?” said Otae angrily with her frightening smile.
The other girls also followed him from behind to greet the two girls at the scene. “Tae~! Kyuu~!” Kyouko shouted while waving her hands as she ran towards them.
“Oh my, Kyouko-chan, it’s good to see you again!” Otae greeted back with her cheerful smile as soon as she received the little girl’s hug.
“Kyouko-chan, how have you been?” greeted Kyuubei patting Kyouko’s head.
“Anego! Kyuu-chan!” said Kagura with Sadaharu barking, following Kyouko.
As Otae and Kyuubei exchanged their greetings to Kagura and Sadaharu, they saw Tsukuyo who greeted them with a nod and a smile.
“Oh, Tsukuyo-san too. What are you doing here?” asked Otae in polite tone.
“Tae, Kyuu, it’s mama~” said Kyouko innocently.
Otae and Kyuubei had their eyes widened as they look up on Tsukuyo, who was blushing from awkwardness all over again from Kyouko’s words.
“Well, if we take another look, Kyouko-chan’s eyes are looked like Tsukuyo-san…” Kyubei said as she looked around between Kyouko and Tsukuyo.
“My, my… Which means Tsukuyo-san and Gin-san are going to be together. I don’t want to be rude, but… I can’t help but to be surprised to see you end up with a looser like him, Tsukuyo-san”, said Otae touching her cheek.
“Yeah, I honestly still wonder ‘bout that…” Tsukuyo replied in understanding manner. “But lookslike I’ve already liked him since long ago” continued Tsukuyo with a smile, blowing a smoke.
“Anyway, what brings you girls here? Me and Kyuu-chan were just taking our usual going out until this gorilla assaulted us out of nowhere”, said Otae pointing at unconscious Kondou, who was being supported by Sougo.
“We are looking new clothes for Kyouko-chan, yes.” Replied Kagura holding Kyouko’s shoulders.
“Then should we go together? We can also help choosing clothes for her. Right, Kyuu-chan?” said Otae looking to Kyuubei.
“Hmn. I’m fine with what Otae-chan wants” said Kyuubei nodding.
“Then let’s go help the little missy here, Otae-san!” suddenly, Kondou woke up and tried to persuade Otae again, only to receive another blow on his jewels.
“Silence, gorilla! You’re going to scare her!” Otae shouted furiously.
Then Kyouko stepped forward to tug on Otae’s kimono. “Tae… Stop bullying gori…”
Otae and other girls blinked at the little girl, who only had sincerity in her eyes. “You are such a good girl, Kyouko-chan. But the gorilla is going to be just fine. Okita-san, shouldn’t you take him away now?” said Otae gesturing at Sougo.
“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s go, gori- I mean Kondou-san. I don’t want to hear Hijikata-san’s nagging again” said Sougo bowing slightly at the females and took his leave, dragging Kondou who was writhing in pain behind him.
As the two Shinsengumi officers took their leave, the girls started to head towards the shopping area.
On the boys’ side, Gintoki and Shinpachi had arrived at a public park in the middle of the town. As Shinpachi got down from the scooter, the teen scanned the area, looking for the client.
“Gin-san, what was the job again?” asked Shinpachi looking back to his boss.
“It seems she just want your company”, said Gintoki looking around while still picking his nose.
The two of them caught a glimpse of a brown haired young woman with glasses, wearing a casual normal kimono, was standing near a statue in the middle of the park. As they went closer to get a better view, Shinpachi’s eyes widened at the familiar face in front of him.
“You… You are…” Shinpachi gapped at the girl, his face showing a slight disbelief.
“Ah… So it’s her…” thought Gintoki with his poker-face.
“It has been a while, Shinpachi-kun”, said the girl bowing politely at the Yorozuya.