what_we_dream: (Gintama Parachute)
[personal profile] what_we_dream
Title: Good Intentions May Pave the Way to Hell, but Stupidity Glues Them There
Series: Gintama
Pairing: Mild Gin/Zura
Rating: PG

Summary: The Yorozuya investigate a missing person's case in the Jyouishishi. It could be worse, right up until the point that it couldn't.

It’s no new revelation, but the universe really is unfair. Gintoki can cite a hundred instances of this without even thinking. But the one that comes to mind right now is that while cases that look like they’re going to be simple inevitably turn out to be a huge pain in the ass, so do cases that look from the start like they’re going to be a pain in the ass.

This is why, as he watches the old woman cry into her sleeve while begging them to find her son who ran away to join the Jyouishishi, Gintoki knows immediately that today’s basically a write-off.

“There, there, auntie,” consoles Kagura, in what she probably thinks is an empathetic manner but in fact is much closer to a coach giving a particularly violent half-time lecture. “Don’t worry about your stupid son. He’s probably just run off to work in a brothel – there’s good money in that. You’ll probably get a real good Christmas present! Besides, he’ll come home to see you when you’re on your deathbed, and realise he should have come home earlier but it will be too late, and he’ll cry like a little girl and –”

Shinpachi casually shoves her off the end of the couch, ignoring the cry of protest. “Please don’t listen to her,” he says. “Have you tried opening a missing person’s file with the police?”

The woman, a peasant from Naniwa judging by her accent and clothes, shakes her head. “Shinji always said he wanted to fight with the Jyouishishi. His father was killed by the Amanto in a street brawl last year, and since then… I tried and tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t listen. Finally, last month – he was just gone. How could I tell the police? The Shinsengumi kill mercilessly. I could never betray him to those murderers.”

Gintoki leans forward. “You sure you want us to find him? If you couldn’t stop him, what makes you think we can? We can’t drag him home and tie him up.”

“Of course we could,” says Kagura on the floor, sitting up abruptly. “You just say the word, auntie, and we’ll drag him home – if he stays in the brothels too long, he could catch tuberculosis! And then you would have to have your dramatic reunion scene on his deathbed instead of yours –”

“No one is dragging anyone anywhere,” interrupts Shinpachi, firmly. Kagura kicks him in the shin.

The mother shakes her head, staring at Gintoki. “I just want to know he’s safe. Even if he knows I’m waiting for him to come home – that’s enough.”

Gintoki sighs. “We’ll see what we can do. You have a photo?”

He gets up to see her out; Kagura and Shinpachi are too busy trying to strangle each other on the floor. It’s hard, being a responsible adult.


“I don’t see why me and Shinpachi have to go at all,” complains Kagura, as they trek across the city. “All you have to do is ask stupid Zura whether that kid’s there or not. I could be home watching They Came From Orion VIII. The commercial said it’s the most thrilling drama of the month.”

“…Today’s the first,” says Shinpachi.

“Don’t pretend to be a movie critic, Shinpachi, you got Flx!rt and Flx!st mixed up last week. The gods judge false movie critics!” she adds, in a terrible tone. “They’re forced to spend all eternity watching infomercials for diarrhoea medicine.”

“I don’t have to be a movie critic to know the date, I just have to be sentient.”

“Maa, maa.” Gintoki, sensing a conflict that could leave him having to fill out the invoice for this case, intervenes. “You still have to learn the most important part of teamwork, Kagura-chan.”

“Sharing the reward?” she asks.

“No, no , it’s sharing the credit,” says Shinpachi.

“Or sharing the food, that’s important too. Young, growing girls should get the largest portion.”

Gintoki shakes his head. “You still have much to learn, young disciples. When it comes to teamwork, by far the most important part is making sure you all share the pain.”


This week, the Jyouishishi are renting space in a local community centre. They meet Zura in the equipment room adjacent to the gym full of men practicing kendo on a floor marked for basketball and badminton that will most likely be used later tonight by old ladies doing yoga.

The equipment room smells of rubber and old sweat, the tall shelves lined with boxes of balls, rackets, and pinnies that were last washed sometime during the Bakumatsu judging by the stench.

Gintoki bounces a tennis ball thoughtfully off the floor as they speak with the rebel leader. Shinpachi beside him listens attentively; Kagura starts drawing a highly detailed violent encounter between a dinosaur and a giant squid on a chalk board.

“Name’s Inoue Shinji. Ran away last month to join your depressed morons.” Thump thump thump. Gintoki pulls out the photograph, an old creased black and white with snowy flecks at the corner where the picture’s been scratched away, and hands it over.

“I do not recognize him,” says Zura, looking at it. “We had an intake session two weeks ago. He may have failed, and been too embarrassed to return home.”

“Zura, half the guys in there –” he bounces the ball off the door leading into the gym, clump – “don’t even know what year it is. How could you fail? Spell Jyoui wrong?”

Zura hands the photo back, folds his hands into his sleeves, and stares disapprovingly at Gintoki. “It’s not Zura, it’s Katsura. And many of those who seek to join us do so not from any desire to follow our moral code, but to infiltrate and destroy us, or to exploit our training and strength.”

“Yeah, I bet they’re lining up in the streets to learn how to be antisocial failures.” He bounces the ball off Zura’s face, or tries to. Zura ducks, it hits the wire cage imprisoning a herd of dodge balls and ricochets to smack into the side of Shinpachi’s head.

“It’s baffling to me that you manage to survive with your utter lack of honour,” says Zura. The tennis ball, continuing on its bizarre trajectory, knocks over a precariously balanced high-jump pole and rolls to a stop between them.

“It’s baffling to me that you manage to survive with your utter lack of common sense,” returns Gintoki.

Zura takes a step forwards. “It’s baffling to me that you manage to survive with –” he puts his foot down on the ball and goes over backwards, arms waving like windmill blades. The ball rolls out of the chaos unscathed.

“The ability not to fall over?” finishes Gintoki, picking up the ball as Zura pulls himself to his feet and combs his hair out of his eyes.

“An utter lack of duty, I was going to say.

“Right. Well, I think I’ve done my duty for today – I’ve maxed out on self-inflicted pain. Thanks for nothing, Zura. Watch out for that medicine ball on your way out, it looks like it could get pretty vicious if cornered.”

“Giving up so easily?” asks Zura, contemptuously. “I hope your fees reflect your laziness.”

“You just said you didn’t know the kid! Oi, is your brain going soft?”

Zura picks an invisible thread from his haori. “I don’t know him, but I don’t run the intake sessions. You should speak to Nishida and Kunizaki. They will be upstairs, sorting the mail.”

“Looking for free pizza coupons?” asks Gintoki.

“Yes. Also fire bombs,” answers Zura, with complete seriousness. Gintoki throws the tennis ball at his face again.


Talking to Zura is always exhausting. Consequently, Gintoki sits back on the piano bench and lets the other two run the interview with Zura’s stupid troops upstairs in the music room that is temporarily serving as the terrorists’ mail room. The two Jyouishishi troops are an odd pair; Nishida is small and shy, with a long scar from cheekbone to jawbone on the right side of his face that he shifts to conceal, while Kunizaki is strongly-built with good looks and clear confidence in them.

“His mother is convinced he came to join the Jyouishishi, probably in the last recruitment session,” finishes Shinpachi, holding up the photograph by one corner. The two men look at it, Nishida giving it a quick glance before flinching away, Kunizaki staring at it carefully before shaking his head.

“Nope. Sorry. Inoue Shinji? Don’t remember anyone with that name. He could’ve missed the last session. If he shows up at the next one, we’ll let you know. Or he could’ve fallen in with some other group. There are still some imposters out there. The boss comes down on them pretty hard if he finds out about it, but there’s always some idiots who try to recruit for their causes using our name.”

“Are there any in Naniwa?” asks Shinpachi, tucking away the photo. Nishida has returned to the piles of mail, shuffling quickly through them with a dry papery sound. Kunizaki shrugs.

“Probably. We don’t keep tabs on ‘em. Like I said, if we find out about them, we stop it, but we can’t keep a constant watch. They’re like weeds – no matter how many you pull up, there’s always more. We’re spread thin enough as it is, trying to keep afloat with the Shinsengumi breathing down our necks.”

Shinpachi nods. “I see. Thanks for talking to us. If you hear anything about him, please let us know.” He bows politely.

“You got it.” Kunizaki gives them all a nod. Nishida doesn’t look up from the mail, shoulders rounded and fingers nearly blurring as they flip past envelopes. Gintoki stands, and follows Shinpachi and Kagura out.

“Well, that was a dead end. What now, Gin-san? I really thought we’d find him here.” Shinpachi leads them down the stairs and out of the building. At the first alleyway they pass, Gintoki stops and ducks in. A moment later, Shinpachi and Kagura backtrack and follow him in, blinking in the sudden darkness.

“There was a bathroom inside, Gin-chan. You shouldn’t piss out here, it’s unsanitary. What if an alley cat came by and tried to eat your –”

“I’m not pissing.”

“You shouldn’t take a dump, either. What if an alley dog came by and tried to eat your –”

“I’m not going to the bathroom, oi. Shut up and wait.”

“What are we waiting for? Gin-chan, are you turning into a pervert? Are you becoming a stalker? Fight it, Gin-chan! Shinpachi, we have to get Gin-chan into counselling right away, there’s still time –”

Gintoki brings his elbow down on her head. “Shut up, no one is turning into a stalker. There are too many of them in this world anyway, it would probably implode with the birth of another one.”

“Why are we in the alley?” asks Shinpachi. The question is wasted; Gintoki has seen what he’s waiting for. He steps out of the shadows, and watches with an expressionless face as Nishida gives a small yelp and tumbles backwards onto his ass. He’s up again in an instant, darting into the alley only to run straight into Kagura from the sound of it.


There’s a thump, which Gintoki knows without looking will be the sound of the man hitting the ground in an unconscious heap. He also knows without looking who’s going to have to carry him back to the Yorozuya.


“Where am I?” is, unoriginally, the first thing Nishida says when he wakes up on the couch.

“The Fortress of Despair!” answers Kagura immediately, from the opposite couch.

“My apartment,” says Gintoki, beside her. She punches him in the arm. “Also known as the Fortress of Despair,” he adds blandly.

On Gintoki’s other side, Shinpachi smiles and pushes a cup of steaming tea across the table. “This is the Yorozuya office. You had a bit of an accident outside the community centre.”

“More than a bit,” says the accident. “You should’a seen the way you hit the ground, WHAM –”

“ANYWAY, maybe you could tell us why you came out looking for us,” interrupts Shinpachi hurriedly. Nishida sits up, groaning and putting a hand over his black eye. He glances at the tea, but doesn’t take it.

“I wasn’t coming out to look for you, I – I was thinking. Thinking about…”

“Yoshiwara?” asks Kagura.

“Mail bombs?” asks Shinpachi.

“Coming to look for us?” asks Gintoki, without working hard to make it a question. For better or worse, the psyche of rebels is well known to him. And Nishida reeks of guilt, just like he did in the mail room.

Nishida startles, but nods, still staring at the table. “What you said, about that boy…”

“Inoue Shinji,” supplies Shinpachi, pulling out the picture and putting it down on the table. Nishida’s eyes flick to it, and then away again.

“Yes, him. He – he did come to the recruitment session two weeks ago.”

Shinpachi picks the photo back up, looking at it thoughtfully. “So he did fail.”

Nishida nods. “He – he did. A few always do.”

“What was wrong with him? Did he fart during the interview? Or drop his sword on his foot? Or maybe he secretly turned out to be an Amanto in disguise?” asks Kagura.

“You met his mother this morning,” hisses Shinpachi at her; she ignores him.

“So, what was it?” asks Gintoki, crossing his arms.

Nishida shakes his head miserably. “There was nothing wrong with him. Nothing. Kunizaki chose him to fail, because… because some always have to fail.”

Shinpachi nods thoughtfully. “You have to make sure you keep up your reputation. If you take everyone in, it looks like you have no standards.”

“No. That’s not it at all. Some have to fail… some have to fail… Kunizaki says we have to fail some, because…” he trails off, shrinking into a smaller and smaller ball, trembling.

“Spit it out,” orders Gintoki, putting some steel into his voice. Nishida flinches, but stops shivering.

“They ensure our safety. If the Shinsengumi catch a certain number of people associated with the Jyouishishi, they stop looking as hard.”

There’s a momentary silence as they fit the facts together, puzzle-like. And then,

“You bastard, you’re throwing your innocent recruits to the Shinsengumi to protect yourselves?” demands Gintoki.

“I-i-it’s not so bad for them – they have no real affiliation with us – it’s only – only a few weeks of jail. Maybe a few months. It’s safe for them, and safe f-for us, and –”

“That’s cold,” says Kagura. “That’s really, really cold-hearted. You’re like a little frozen worm, pretending he’s happy that he lives in a sewer.”

“I can’t believe Katsura-san allows this,” adds Shinpachi in a quiet, shocked tone.

On the other couch, Nishida makes a small sound like a mouse being crushed underfoot. Gintoki stands up, rounds the table, and grabs him by the collar to haul him to his feet as his rage boils up quick as water poured into a kiln to scorch him.

“He doesn’t know. Zura would die before he allowed that. And if he knew it was happening under his nose... You snot-faced little bastard, what do you think he would do then? If he found out his own troops were selling innocent kids to the Shinsengumi to take the fall for him?” He shakes the little coward, whose eyes roll back in terror.

Gintoki doesn’t have to ask to know, of course. He knows exactly how Zura, whose code isn’t just a way of life but the whole of his life, will react to knowing the comrades he has trained and trusted for years are betraying his highest beliefs for his benefit. Just as he would, if someone killed Shinpachi or Kagura to help him out.

There’s an ugly, metallic taste in his mouth, like gunpowder on his tongue. “Well?” he snarls.

“He won’t find out – Kunizaki and me’re the only ones who know! It was all his idea, and he’d kill anyone who told – he’ll kill me for telling you if he finds out. He will! But I couldn’t keep – it’s not right – I’m sorry, please! Please!”

Gintoki drops him; his legs collapse under him and he hits the table hard. No one helps him up.

“How does he rat them out?” asks Gintoki flatly, swinging his bokutou around casually to rest up against Nishida’s neck. He stares down without lowering his head: cold, composed fury.

“He – he tells the ones who he fails to stay behind for some advice, and I call in an anonymous tip.”

“And when’s the next recruitment session?”

Nishida whispers something inaudible.

The bokutou presses closer to his neck “Eh?”

“Tonight! There’s one tonight at eight!”

Gintoki removes the bokutou. “Then you’re going to go to it. Just as usual. You aren’t going to tell anyone about us, or that you were here. You aren’t going to say a word to Kunizaki. And maybe, just maybe, I won’t tell him myself. Got it?”

Nishida whimpers on the table; Gintoki takes it for a yes. “Then get out.”


“We should go tell Katsura-san,” says Shinpachi, as they retrace their steps to the community centre, this time in the dark. “He’ll have to get rid of those two. And change how they run things, too, maybe.”

“They should have a tournament-style recruiting drive. Except since it’s stupid Zura, they should probably take everyone who gets knocked out first. We can take the good ones – they can sleep on the balcony, there’s plenty of room out there!”

“No one’s telling Zura anything,” says Gintoki blandly, staring straight ahead. “The Shinsengumi can clean this mess up; that’s what they wear black for.”

“But Gin-san,” begins Shinpachi. And then, catching his eye, shuts up. Kagura, still happily planning out the First Annual Recruit Morons For Them And Heroes For Us Tournament, doesn’t notice.


The recruitment session is held in a multipurpose room of the community centre; the rest of the building is filled with regular citizens doing regular recreational-type things – the Jyouishishi have all gone home, or out to the bar to compose angsty haikus, or whatever it is they do with their off-hours time. Gintoki, Shinpachi and Kagura sit in the adjacent kitchen with the door cracked open, playing Go Fish and trying not to listen to the recruitment process lest they lose brain cells.

Eventually, the process winds up and most of the men troop out. Gintoki rises on silent feet and crosses to the hall door to watch the group disappear. Nishida drifts after them, lifting a phone to his ear. Gintoki closes the hall door, and nods to Shinpachi at the other, who closes it gently and flicks out the light.

They wait there in the dark for a good ten minutes. Gintoki uses the time to catalogue all the ways he could be putting this time to better use: sleeping, eating, reading JUMP, watching re-runs, beating up Zura, having a parfait, doing the laundry, beating up Zura’s stupid duck, and so on. He turns the deck of cards over and over in his hands, until the corners begin to feel soft and greasy.

When the Shinsengumi come, it’s not with lights flashing and sirens wailing. Kagura, at the window, simply whispers, “They’re here.”

And a moment later, the door to the multipurpose room opens.

Gintoki doesn’t bother to catch Kunizaki. He simply sticks a leg out, and lets the bastard trip over it and fly head-first into the kitchen counter. There’s a heavy thud, the sound of Kagura dropping to sit on him like a bright red boulder.

“Whoops,” says Gintoki, with false brightness. “Didn’t know anyone would be running through here like a rat deserting his ship.”

“You bastards, what’re you doing here?” grows Kunizaki, somewhat indistinctly.

Gintoki bridges the cards, a cutting, brittle sound in the darkness. “Just playing some cards. How about you?”

“Nothing. Now get off me, I have somewhere to be –”

“Really? Because we don’t. And we get bored – three’s not enough for any decent games, you know.” He splits the deck in half and knocks the two halves together.

“Are you crazy? Let me go!”

“Maa, I can’t do that. Kagura-chan wants to play poker.”

“That’s right. For real stakes. What’cha got, mister? If you can’t pay up, I’ll break your arms.” There’s a whisper of cloth, and Kunizaki groans.

“The hell is wrong with you? Get off me – the Shinsengumi are coming! If they catch you, they’ll arrest you!” There’s a thump as he tries, and fails, to roll free of Kagura. Gintoki looks down at him, smiling widely.

“Ah, but we’re not members of the Jyouishishi. We’re just looking for a poor lost boy who disappeared a long way from home. We’ve got a business license and everything.”

“You son of a bitch, you think they care about that? They’ll arrest all of us –”

“Funny, you know, you being here with a bunch of raw would-be recruits just as the Shinsengumi happen to pull up outside.” Gintoki shuffles the cards again. It almost covers up the whisper of a door drifting open.

“You goddamn white-haired –”

Of course,” says Gintoki, in a harder tone, “if you wanted to tell us what’s going on, we would let you go.”

“You what?”

“The truth, and Kagura lets you go.”

There’s a pause. From the other room comes the sound of thumping and muffled voices.

“You want the truth?” hisses Kunizaki in a tone somewhere between impatience and desperation, “Fine. We give up a couple of useless would-be recruits to protect ourselves – to protect Katsura-san. It hardly costs them – just a couple of weeks in the slammer. The Shinsengumi think they’re really cracking down on us, and we get some room to breathe. It’s not a lot to pay. They chase us like wolves otherwise. Katsura-san, he’s not so good at passing unnoticed. So we give up something worthless to protect the most important asset we have. Now let me go before I pound you into gravel.”

There’s a light tap as Kagura leaps up. The lights turn on to reveal Hijikata Toushirou in the doorway.

“Well,” he says, flickering overhead lamps reflecting off his drawn sword. “What an interesting story.”

Behind him, five Shinsengumi officers have three young men surrounded. They’re all staring at Kunizaki.

The low, furious growl in Kunizaki’s throat tells Gintoki to duck. Just as it tells him to raise his knee and slam it right into Kunizaki’s gut. The man goes down groaning. Kagura gives him a kick that makes even Gintoki wince.

“You’re a thousand years too early to pound me into gravel, you worm!”

Hijikata glances at the three of them, raises an eyebrow. It’s the kind of look most people direct at their garbage pails after they’ve been knocked over by street punks. “What’re you doing here?”

“Looking for a missing person. But now I think I know where he is. You want to take us downtown?”

“Like I need that kind of grief. Just get the fuck out of here.” He sheathes his sword and pulls out a cigarette to light. At his feet, Kunizaki whimpers and rolls, hands pressed tightly to his groin. Gintoki shrugs, and heads for the door to the hall. It’s ajar.

Out in the hall, most of the doors to the various other rooms are open and dark. The one directly across from the multipurpose room is closed, although the whiteboard mounted on it to show the occupant is blank.

“You two go on ahead,” he says, stopping.

Shinpachi turns around. “Gin-san?”

“It’s fine. Just remembered some tennis lessons I have to take.”


“Don’t stay out too late, Gin-chan! Muggers prey on the young and beautiful! Let go Shinpachi, I’m trying to warn Gin-chan. If someone mugs him, it will be all your fault and you’ll spend the rest of your life praying for forgiveness, until you reek of incense and no one will …” the sound of her voice dies off as they round the corner. Gintoki steps across the hall and opens the closed door.

The room inside is dark, but the blinds are open and soft moonlight is streaming through in thick bars. It reveals only an empty wooden floor, blue-hued where the light brushes it.

“Don’t dwell on it,” says Gintoki, closing the door behind him and leaning up against the wall. “It wasn’t your fault.”

“Wasn’t it?” asks Zura voice, from the darkness. There’s no other sound, not a rustle of cloth or the whisper of his breathing. Just emptiness. “One of my men, recruiting for my cause, harming others in my name?”

“There are selfish, lazy bastards in any crowd who would rather be thoughtlessly cruel than inventively kind.”

“And as leader, it is my duty to ensure they are quashed, or ejected. I didn’t even notice.” His tone drips with self-loathing. Gintoki closes his eyes, rests his head back against the wall. He wanted to avoid this. He wanted to avoid it so fucking much. He hopes Hijikata puts that bastard in with the men he betrayed, hopes he puts him in with them and throws away the key.

“Zura –”

“His actions betray everything we stand for. Everything. And he was not ashamed, he was proud. How can I have failed so abysmally?”

“He wasn’t proud of his actions, you moron. He was desperate to protect you. That kind of devotion –”

“Is dangerous. Is blinding. We are not a crowd of worshippers, not a popularity cult. We are fighting for a cause, not a man.”

“Just like you did, for Shouyou-sensei?” Gintoki throws the words down, hard and sharp as caltrops to trip Zura up. “Don’t be obtuse. Men may fight for causes. It doesn’t mean they can’t also fight for their leaders – their comrades. How do you distinguish which one it is they’re acting for at any given minute?”

“I distinguish it when they say they are betraying innocent men to their enemies to shield their leaders!” snarls Zura, appearing suddenly out of the darkness right in front of Gintoki. He’s still only an outline, slivers of blue-black hair and slices of moon-white cloth. Gintoki doesn’t move an inch.

“Then tell them to hate you. Tell them your life doesn’t matter any more than theirs, that you’re replaceable and they shouldn’t care what happens to you. Tell them that, and see how long it is before they fall apart. Or do you think they’ll follow a leader who insists on standing two steps behind them?”

He doesn’t see the blow coming; it connects hard with his jaw and slams his head back into the wall. His return blow knocks Zura spinning sideways into the moonlight. His eyes are flinty, dark hair falling over his face and shoulders in thin strands, skin white with rage. He’s breathing hard now, and his breath is catching in his throat.

Gintoki slowly relaxes, forces himself to untense. He can read Zura like lightning, doesn’t need to count the seconds to know how close the storm is. It’s right overhead, static raising the hairs on his skin. He deliberately calms himself, slumping back against the wall and draining the confrontation screeching against Zura’s nerves like fingernails down a chalkboard. After a few seconds, Zura lets out an audible breath and the anger falls away. Gintoki closes his eyes, and rubs at his jaw.

“That really hurt you know, you bastard,” he says.

“You deserved it.”

“How did I deserve it? Gin-san came all the way out here, after completing his job, to clean up your stupid mess out of the kindness of his heart.”

“Men have to clean up their own messes.”

“Oho, listen to that pride. Since when are you a man? Have you ever looked in a mirror? I bet stores give you the key to the women’s washroom.”

“Stupid perm-heads shouldn’t talk; I bet they give you the key to the outhouse.” There’s a soft shuffling sound as he steps over and slides down to sit at Gintoki’s side with his back against the wall and his head resting against Gintoki’s thigh. They stay there in silence, watching the moonlight move over the floor.

“Somehow, I thought if we weren’t on the battlefield, if we weren’t surrounded by death, I could be their leader. Just their leader, not their idol,” he says, softly, after what seems like hours.

Gintoki, standing beside him, shifts his weight to lean on one leg. “For most of them, you are. For the rest… you just have to be stronger. That’s the cost of leading men who care for you. Either you let them care, or you never let them know you need it. How much trust do you have to give?”

“Right now?” asks Zura, ironically.

“Then your only choice is to be perfect. Which is easier?”

“Perfection in their eyes is not the same as absolute perfection. To them… perhaps I will have to be perfect. For a while. While I ensure our ideology is all it should be, at least.”

Gintoki shakes his head. “Only your stupid troops would fall for it anyway.”

Zura gets to his feet, stands elbow-to-elbow with Gintoki, so that he can feel Zura’s comfortable warmth through his sleeve and at his hip. “Then I won’t try with you.” There isn’t any relief in his tone, but there’s a lack of haughtiness that means the same thing, so Gintoki holds his silence. “Maybe imperfection is something to aspire to.”

“Don’t worry, Zura. You’re there already.”

Zura elbows him in the side. “It’s not Zura, it’s perfection.”

“Just keep telling yourself that."

“…I meant Katsura.”


Date: 2011-11-08 07:00 am (UTC)
ext_175369: (if ever a bunny looked at the moon)
From: [identity profile] nijibug.livejournal.com
;^; that was really great

(your gintoki/katsura interactions are flawless, needless to say, but I also looove the way you write the yorozuya ♥ ♥)

Date: 2011-11-14 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] what-we-dream.livejournal.com
Ahaha, I always feel like it just ends up as random violence. WHEN IN DOUBT, HAVE KAGURA PUNCH SOMEONE. Thanks. :D

Date: 2011-11-08 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apathy-irath.livejournal.com
I really like the way you write GinZura (as well as the Yorozuya- their interactions seem spot-on), so this was a great read. |D It's something I can see happening in-series, too, which is always nice. That said, I feel pretty bad for Zura here. ;

Thanks for sharing. |D

Date: 2011-11-14 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] what-we-dream.livejournal.com
Thank you. I definitely wish we could see more of the Jyoui in the series - although then we would probably end up with palm burns on our foreheads.

Date: 2011-11-08 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] galeaya.livejournal.com
love the way you write GinZura. <3

Date: 2011-11-14 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] what-we-dream.livejournal.com
XDD Thanks! Hope to be active in the Ginzura advent thing this year, at least.

Date: 2011-11-08 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raineyz.livejournal.com
I can never get enough of your GinZura fic ;w;

Date: 2011-11-14 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] what-we-dream.livejournal.com
:DDD Thanks! Hopefully I will not be lazy and actually do something for the Ginzura advent thingy this year.

Date: 2011-11-08 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] denshi-no-ultra.livejournal.com
Great story! I think your characterisation was perfect. Poor dear Katsura-san tries so hard, he would probably fall apart if it were not for Gintoki being so down-to-earth and pragmatical.

And the whole idea of the fic was great too - it's easy to forget the Joi are not just a bunch of practical jokers who write nasty things about the Shinsengumi on walls of back alleys, there is actually a darker side to their activities, too...

I really liked how the story ended on a hopeful note despite the angsty themes, it is very much in the spirit of Gintama!

Thank you for writing, I really enjoyed this fic!

Date: 2011-11-14 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] what-we-dream.livejournal.com
Now I kind of want to write a break down of the Jyoui activities.

7:30pm: Stop at conbini
8:00pm: TP Shinsengumi offices
8:02pm: Get blown into river by RPG

...But that kind of misses your point entirely. :D Thanks!

Date: 2011-11-08 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darlingfox.livejournal.com
That really was great! It felt like Gintama with both with the craziness and the seriousness.

The characters sounded like themselves, too. I especially liked your Kagura, I could almost see her sitting on that guy. :D

Date: 2011-11-14 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] what-we-dream.livejournal.com
Thanks :D I cannot imagine how much caffeine Soraichi-sensei must consume to produce their off-the-wall-ness on a regular basis. I have to save up for weeks.

Date: 2011-11-09 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] novelvision.livejournal.com
This was wonderful through and through. I love that the Joi underneath Katsura's command are portrayed as more than the seemingly mindless followers they appear to be in canon, I always enjoy how you write about the Yorozuya's interactions and your Gin/Zura interactions are just perfect. Awesome work!

Date: 2011-11-14 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] what-we-dream.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'm never sure whether we should wish for more Jyoui screentime, or to save our few remaining braincells.


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