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SeidoTama: Chapter one. Kidnapping People Is Fine As Long as It's Not For Lust

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SeidouTama
A GinTama fanfiction
Chapter 1: Kidnapping People Is Fine if It’s Not for Lust
Authors note: I don’t own Gintama or anything affiliated with it. If you want to send me money, because I’m awesome go for it? Not sure if it’s illegal or not? But Eh. Have a good holiday season, fellow samurai?

Edo, Japan
Approximately 7 years later

The spring day was pleasant and dull. For once the Shinsengumi compound was quiet. The late afternoon streamed through the open sliding door. For once there was nothing happening in Edo. Most of the Shinsengumi members were on patrol around the city, or were visiting friends and relatives if it was their day off. Everyone was enjoying the early spring weather after having been cooped up in the in the bleary, snowy winter season.
One room in the compound was a bit different than the other others. The paper walls had been decorated with a yellow floral print, matching the bedspread on the Shikifuton. Piles and piles of books surrounded the room. Books of all sorts, some were expensive old copies that were incredibly rare, others manga, some historical, some books on herbs. There was everything from mystery novels to cookbooks. Some in cheap, plastic tubs that appeared that they would burst at any minute. In the corner, a tall teenage girl; she was tall with a rather sturdy build napped where she fell asleep reading a very thick novel. At her side was a messenger bag filled with more books that she had bought earlier that day.
Loud voices and several doors roused her awake “What the hell?” She growled angrily. She used a tan, work roughened hand to pull down her gray yukata that had risen up over her belly while as she dozed. Hiromasa grimaced. ‘What those morons were up now?’ It was her first day off in a while and she had asked for them to keep quiet so she could enjoy her books.
The room across from hers was a large, walk-in supply closet. There were several shelves filled with cleaning supplies, bleaches, brooms, mops, a couple extra chairs, etc. It was the only room in the Shinsengumi headquarters that did not have another exit.
Yamazaki placed a chair so Sougo could drop off the wiggling package, he was carrying over his shoulder, like a sack of potatoes. Striding over, their leader looked over their work, like an artist inspecting his most recent masterpiece. “Ah ha!” He uttered, his face brightening, as he pulled out a red Christmas bow and placed it on top of the package.
When vice-commander Hijikata heard of the other members’ idea, he scheduled himself a day off– not wanting to be involved with those idiots. So instead he was at the far end of town at his favorite Ramen stand, emptying an entire jar of mayonnaise onto the steaming pasta.
Muffled screams sounded from across the hall. “Shut up. You’re going to wake her and ruin the surprise.” Sougo poked the tied-up girl with the anpan sack over her head.
“Hiromasa is going to be so happy…” Kondou mused almost wiggling in excitement. “This is something she has needed for a long time. I knew our precious daughter was lacking something. Something important… Then we figured it out!”
The teenager was tired of the commotion and went to figure out what the heck was going on, hoping she could make them be quiet. She was expecting them to have bought a piñata, or found a new board game they wanted to play. She sighed as she remembered how badly it had turned out when someone found out about Twister and decided to have a game night one weekend. Yamazaki, ended up unable to untangle himself from Tadashi for a few days.
She certainly was not expecting to find Sougo standing next to a tied-up girl, with her head covered. And several samurai grinning sheepishly like they had been caught stealing a cookie from the cookie jar before supper.
Her tan skin paled, and an anime irritation mark popped up on her forehead. At incredible speed a heavy book was launched at the 1st division captain’s head. With efficient speed, he caught it. “Sougo! You disgusting freak!” She hurled several more books at him. “How many times have I told you not to do freaky sadism things to random skanks near my room! Worst brother ever!” Hiromasa turned her icy glare on Yamazaki, and Tadashi, who cowered a bit. “You too are just as bad. You gross freaks are here to watch it! Get a life.” And finally, she turned to the captain of the Shinsengumi. “You’ve done some pretty questionable things, Dad. But this is the worst.”
Before she could turn on her heels and stalk out of the room and into the kitchen for a snack, Kondou placed an arm on her shoulder. “Sweetheart, it’s not like that at all. My heart belongs to Otae.” Tears welled up in his eyes, as he dropped to his knees. “My own daughter! Thinks I would be as awful as to cheat on the woman I love.”
“It’s not cheating if you’re not in a relationship.” Sougo pointed out.
Tadashi nodded, “Yeah. Stalking is pretty one-sided.”
Meanwhile, the tied- up girl started wiggling like crazy, to get the one with the female sounding voice’s attention. “Hrrp! Hrrrp!”
Kondou glared at his subordinates. “Otae will accept my love one day.” He stood up and gestured at the bondaged girl. “We brought you a present!” Hiromasa’s eyebrows shot straight up into her eyebrows. Before she could inquire what, he was going on about-- on que, Sougo ripped the bag off the girl’s head to reveal a very pretty girl, about Hiromasa’s age. But she had make up to make her look younger.
Hiromasa’s brown eyes darkened, as Kondou explained. “We finally found you a friend.”
‘Those morons went and kidnapped an Amanto. Uncle Matsudaira’s going to have a cow over this. An Amanto? Off all the people. I’m going to have an extra months’ supply of paper work dealing with this. I just know it.’ Hiromasa sighed internally.
Before Hiromasa could say anything, the other girl interjected immediately. “You wierdos kidnaped me! Oh, god! I’m going to be late for work!” Recognition, lit up her pine green eyes. “You were those men at my table the last few weeks.” Her tone, was higher pitched in panic, tilting her head at Kondou. “And you’re the hairy guy that’s obsessed my co-worker.” “Is this a weird stalker thing!” She shook her head back and forth repeatedly. “I am not going to be a sex slave!”
Kondou laughed, merrily, patting the startled courtesan, on the shoulder. “Don’t be silly. I only love Otae.” Everyone nodded. “You’re here to be Hiromasa’s new best friend.” Tadashi reassured her. “It’s wouldn’t be proper or acceptable to kidnap a woman you’re in love with for personal reasons.” The first division’s captain explained, since Kondou was too busy thinking about how beautiful his Otae was.
“So, it’s fine to kidnap one you’re not in love with for a friend?” The Courtesan inquired, towards her kidnappers, with one dark brow quirked.
Everyone aside from Hiromasa and herself nodded. Growing impatient, as his favorite drama was going to be on TV soon, Yamazaki got everyone focused again. “Well… You’re here to become friends—“
“No. Put her back. I don’t need any friends! I have my work and my books! And I’m certainly not some madou that needs you to kidnap people to be her friends!” Hiromasa snapped.
Kondou sighed, Hiromasa was usually a polite child. He supposed it must be since she’s became a teenager she just got grumpier. Female hormones he presumed, shuddering as he thought about the first time she had her monthly blood. Being all men, no one had thought to explain to her about puberty or other womanly things, although he thought Tadashi once tried to tell her that her parts might drop and her voice would get deeper. It was not uncommon to forget that their child/ sister/ niece was not actually a boy.
“I met her at Snack Smile. She was very kind and polite to me. She’s friend’s with Otae. I had to make sure she was okay so we followed her for several months.” Kondou related. Trying to put Hiromasa at ease. ’After all, it was not her fault that female hormones made her act crazy.’
“Wait! Were you the racoons in my trash cans?” Imako squeaked.
Yamazaki nodded, rubbing his head. “You had great aim with those cans.”
He thought back to those missions, where he had dressed as a racoon to go through her garbage and things to make sure she did not have any illegal going ons—that would not be a good trait for a friend of their Hiromasa.
The teenage samurai started to say something before her brother interrupted her.
“It’s time for Great Teacher Oni-san.” The men were shoved roughly into the hall. Normally they would have complained, but they did not want to miss the opening credits. Before sprinting after them, Sougo muttered “You two are going to stay in there until your friends.”
Kondou was not too far away when he turned and yelled at his daughter, “Enjoy your play date.” Before disappearing into the parlor, Sougo smirked sadistically at his younger sister. Hiromasa furiously threw one of the extra chairs at his impish face only to have her attack halted by the slamming of the door.
Sighing, the samurai defeatedly stalked over to the captive courtesan and untied her from the chair. “I’m so sorry about this. Can you tell me how you ended up getting involved with those buffoons?”
The green-eyed girl laughed, rubbing her sore wrists. It was a sarcastic, short laugh. “I should be asking you that. You seem to be the only sane one.”
Hiromasa very much agreed with her. “How did they bring you here anyway.”
The Amanto sighed before starting her story.
***
It was a typical Friday when she was scheduled to work. The late afternoon sun hung low in the sky. Cat calls from drunken gentlemen, clinks of glasses and bottles, the aroma of fried rice, sake and sweat and hazy perfumes hung in the air– the familiar sights and smells of the Kabuki District. Imako smiled as she locked the door to her apartment behind her.
People of all classes mingled in the streets, enjoying the fares. Even If it was considered the seedy side of town, the girl never had any problem with it. Everyone looks out for each other because they would expect the same in return.
As she started walking, she saw a saxophone player set up. He was short for a boy and looked to be around her age. He had a black bowl cut and a shiny gold saxophone. He played wonderful smooth jazz. She wished she could stay and listen to him, but she had to get to work. She made her way through the small crowd that had already gathered. Unbeknownst to Imako, the musician smiled deviously as he saw her make her way down the street where the others would be waiting.
She was pleased that she lived so close the Snack Smile, the Kaberet club where she worked as a Lolita themed hostess, or she would have been late or in the very least would not have a lot of time to get her costume ready.
Imako thought about her first few days here, as she walked to work. Until about six months ago she had resided in Miyama, a small farming village north of Edo, with her parents and younger siblings. As a thirteenth birthday present her family had gotten together and had gotten her a train tickets to Edo so she could set out to find her fortune and a good husband—Her mother made sure to add that part.
A first, she was scared never having been to a city in a very long time or lived alone. After a while she was happy with the move. ‘I enjoy being a strong, independent woman.’ Almost immediately the Hallowork Job agency found her a spot at a hostess bar called Snack Smile. She was worried at first because she had heard rumors of places where women stripped naked or pleasured men for their job. She knew she needed work, but she did know want to fling away her innocence or dignity to work as a harlot—especially in some of the less classy joints like No Underwear Shabu Shabu Heaven. She shuddered at the thought. Thankfully, even though it was a hostess job, you only slept with the customers if you wanted—the ladies received more money that way but she was not interested in that. She just had to entertain the gentlemen (and occasional ladies) by pouring drinks and telling stories. It was the equivalency of a regular host club except one came to see pretty girls and not handsome men.
As soon as the owner of Snack Smile, Shimatesai Shigeo, wanted her as a Lolita as soon as he saw her, mumbling about how much money she was going to make him. After all she was so young looking, but still of legal age to work there, and she had the perfect cutesy looks, an adorably awkward personality and she was at least part Amanto so that adds and exotic nature to her.
As the young woman set off towards work, she thought she kept hearing footsteps behind her. She did not pay much mind to it, after all they could be headed to Snack Smile as well. It was a popular destination on the weekends. ‘I wonder if they’ll be my customers,’ she speculated, absently whistling as she scurried along the cobbled streets. Out of nowhere, a black SUV pulls up beside her. Again, she thought nothing of it, this happened a lot. It was usually just someone wanting directions.
Turning to face the driver with a grin, that quickly faded when she saw that he had his face covered by a hood, she chided him. “Hey! You know it’s illegal to drive with your face covered! That’s dangerous!”
The hooded man hollered back, “I can see just fine! I have 20/20 eye sight.”
It was an expensive car she noted. The seats looked to be real leather. ‘Must be some rich punk on holiday with his fraternity brothers,’ she mused, as she noticed several other people were in the car all of them wearing hoods. One of the men in the passenger side was dancing about in his seat. Loud music came from his head phones. Imako thought she could hear the vocaloid Miku’s, new song “The World is Mine” “Look,” she pointed her index finger at him. “It doesn’t matter how great your vision is if your eyes are being blocked by a hood.”
An anime irritation mark popped up on the drivers covered forehead. A few moments passed as he thought about it. “Eh. Your probably right. Thanks, miss.” He was removing his hood when the passenger sitting next to him slapped his hand and hissed something into his ear that the courtesan could not understand.
The gentleman in the passenger seat let out a low whistle. Then in that moment there was a flash of light behind Imako distracting her for a moment when a couple of the hooded figures in the SUV jumped out and grabbed the girl. Before she had the time to process what was happening, she had her hands tied in front of her and she let out a hoarse scream. It was no use, everyone else was a few blocks away, or already inside the many businesses on the street, and there was that loud saxophone concert going on.
Her screams were muffled by a sack that smelled strongly of sugar and baked red beans. She could feel herself being lifted into the car. She feared her heart would beat out of her chest! After being stuffed between three people in the back seat, she thought it would be better to get injured by jumping out of a moving vehicle then to being murdered or raped!” she tried to crawl to the door. ‘I bet that’s why they wore hood! They were some freaky cult thing.’ Annoyed at her wiggling, and because her bound legs kept kicking at him. The hooded man pressed a thin cloth against her bag that smelled sickly sweet. ‘I’ve changed my mind… I am not an independent woman. I want go home’ Then everything faded into darkness.
***
The teenage Samurai groaned when the other girl shared her story. “I’m so sorry,” she bowed, her face bright red. Of all the irresponsible things they have done— kidnapping and drugging a civilian must be one of the worst.
“It’s not your fault” She stood, straightening her plum colored kimono. “You’re not a hooligan that finds it acceptable to attack random women on the street.” Imako bowed in return. “Now I must return to work. Do you have a phone I need to contact my boss and explain my absence…”?
Hiromasa wrinkled her nose at the mention of the other girl’s job. She had never understood how women can stand to degrade themselves by acting as sluts. “Yeah. There’s one in my room you can use.” Her voiced colored with disgust.
Noticing the samurai’s tone, Imako quirked an eyebrow; however, she did not say anything. She was not sure what it was about. ‘Is there something on my face?’ Out loud she said, “Well, thank you.”
Hiromasa tried to pull open the door, unfortunately for the girls. The supply room was one of the few western style rooms in the compound so instead of a traditional paper sliding door it had a wooden door with a lock. “What the Hell!” She muttered trying to force the door open. She spent several minutes pulling and yanking before throwing her shoulder against it in frustration.
Slowly she turned to face Imako. “We’re locked in.
“Let me try,” Imako mumbled, gesturing for the her to move aside, her long sleeves rippling with the movement.
‘Wonder what type of Amanto she is. Maybe she had measurable strength like those of the Yato clan.’ Hiromasa moved towards the back wall. ‘She can’t be a Yato though, her skin is tawny… not an almost translucent white.’ The samurai rebraided her long, brunette hair.
Imako yanked and pulled, jiggling the bronze handle. Nothing happened. “Bloody Hell,” she mumbled angrily.
‘Well she clearly isn’t one with any significant strength.’ Hiromasa figured. “Oi! Let us out!” Hiromasa bellowed through the door, coming to stand beside Imako. The two knocked furiously for what seemed like hours.
Down the hall from the supply closet was a parlor which was more of a mix between a recreation room and lounge for the samurai to enjoy in their leisure time. It was donated from the Inu embassy after they arrested the bandit that kept breaking in and stealing their biscuits. There was a large shrine/ bird house television in the center of the back wall. Several couches, and bean bag chairs were scattered around the room. Near the door there was a large wooden cabinet where they kept the supplies for game night.
Several of the samurai were resting their chests on pillows and bean bag chairs in front of the television. Their eyes were glued to the screen. There were several groans from when the images changed from the male teacher passionately kissing his female student to an advertisement for toilet paper.
“I’ll see if Yoshihiro has started dinner yet.” Kondou mumbled, standing up as he heard his stomach grumbling. The other men nodded, glumly. Kondou headed to the hallway where he heard the indignant shouting of the girls.
“Let us out!”
“This isn’t okay.”
“I know you can hear me!”
Kondou frowned. ‘They shouldn’t be screaming. They should be giggling, and chatting about boys and new fashions.’ He leaned against the wall across from the supply closet. Stroking his goatee, he pondered how best to handle the situation. An anime light bulb appeared above him. “I’ve got it!” he struck a victory pose. “I’ll let you out as soon as your best friends!” He grinned at his own brilliance.
“What? No! Just let us out!” Hiromasa growled, ready to scratch his eyes out. “If you don’t….” She paused thinking for a moment. “I’ll see to it that you commit seppuku!”
The reaction from the commander of the Shinsengumi was not one they were hoping for. “You’ve been listening to Hijikata too much.” He chuckled. “This is like when the first time you were sent home from girl’s school because you tried to for your classmate to commit Seppuku because she pulled on your braids.” He went on reminiscing for a little while longer, but the girls had stopped listening.
Threats clearly were not working. The Amanto tried a different tactic. “Hey, man. Your daughter or whatever she is. Seems cool and all that—But I need to go to work. I won’t tell anyone. Just let me out.” Imako pleaded. “If you do, I’ll give you Tae’s home number…?’ She hated to betray her coworker like that, but Tae can just change her phone number.
In the time, it took for him to consider it, the girls’ chests filled with hope. ‘There’s no way he would say no to that.’ Hiromasa smirked, knowing how obsessed he was with the rowdy, Kabaret girl.
In the hallway Kondou was spinning around with the joy of the idea of having the brunette hostess’s phone number. He would tell her romantic poetry and she would immediately come running into his arms. Kondou grinned. “No.”
“What!” Imako threw herself on the floor with an Oomph! “Why Not?”
On the other end of the hall, Kondou crossed his muscular arms. “It’s simple. When you’re a parent you’ll understand.” He sighed. “Hiromasa is my daughter. Therefore, no matter how much I desire Otae’s number. Hiromasa must come first. She needs a friend.” With that last speech, he left, with tears in his eyes at what he lost, but honor held his head high. He had done his job as a man and a father.
Sitting up, Imako wondered over to several of the books that lay on the ground. One was a manga. Bleach by Tite Kubo. The cover had an anime character with bright radioactive cheese colored hair. He wore black robes and held a giant sword It was a special edition that held the entire first 53 volumes.
“Oh wow!” She squealed. Hiromasa slinked over to see what she was going on about. “I picked that up at the book store a couple days ago.”
The Amanto girl’s eyes sparkled. “I read Bleach in Shonin Jump all the time!”
Pulling down another chair and sitting it across from the other so they could sit together, Imako pointed to the character with black hair and green eyes. “Ulquiorra is one of my favorite characters.”
Hiromasa used the tip of her index finger to adjust her metal, rimmed glasses. “I actually prefer Stark, but yes. Ulquiorra is a cool character.” The two dwelled deeper into the conversation. Their voices higher, in excitement.
‘She’s not so bad for a courtesan…’ Hiromasa noted. At the same time Imako decided that she could get along with this girl. ‘It’s too bad she appears not to like me.’
***
Out of nowhere, Yamazaki slid his head in the doggy door to the supply closet. Hiromasa, startled at his sudden appearance. “When did we get a doggy door?”
“Since you missed supper I brought you snacks.” Yamazaki stated, slipping his head back out only to push a covered tray in.
Standing, Hiromasa shouted out after him. “What? When did we get a doggy door…. Also, why do we have a doggy door. This is a supply closet! Dogs can’t live here! Hey, wait! Let us out!”
But it was too late, Yamazaki knew not to be around an upset Hiromasa– last time she made the entire third division cry. They would not come out of the barracks for the weekend, they just sobbed in the dark.
She sighed. “Well, we’re going to be here for a while.”
“I recognize that man! He was the saxophone player!” It dawned on Imako that he could have been purposely sent there to distract the crowds while the government officials kidnapped her! His hair was in bob then now he has longish hair. Now he has a wig. Hiromasa nodded, after Imako explained her theory. The samurai told her about how Yamazaki is actually a spy for them and often gets roles like that in missions.
There was silence for a few more moments, until an anime lightbulb appeared above Imako’s wild, curly hair. “We have a means of escape.” She said, flashing her a wide grin. Hiromasa noticed that the left side of her top teeth were crooked. The female Samurai set the tray on her chair and watched see what the other girl would do.
Imako positioned herself on her hands and knees in front of the doggy door. “I’m gonna to get us out of here.” Thrusting herself into the door, Imako let out a low breath. She felt a rush of excitement, ‘Freedom!’ She tried crawling forward again. She tried this for a few seconds before she realized that she wasn’t going anywhere. An Anime sweat drop fell on her forehead, and
“Um, Hiromasa…” She murmured.
Hiromasa crossed her arms. “Yes? Why aren’t you in the hallway, yet?”
“Um…I’m stuck.” A cotton candy blush crept on Imako’s cheeks. An annoyed sigh escaped from behind her.
“Give me a moment.” Hiromasa twisted her lips uncomfortably. “Don’t take it the wrong way…. But, I’m going to need to put my hands on your bum?” The samurai did not enjoy physical touch, but this was necessary for her freedom. Steeling herself, Hiromasa placed her hands on Imako’s hips and pushed as she could. But it was; no use the other girl’s boobs were the problem. They were too big. She had to have at least double DDs. “Couldn’t you wear a binder or something.” She muttered.
“No. I can’t it wouldn’t sell as well.” Imako groaned. “Never mind. Just get me back in.”
Grabbing onto her legs, Hiromasa roughly pulled her backwards through the door—painfully smashing Imako’s boobs in the process. Wincing in sympathy, at the pained gasp from the girl. Hiromasa also had an unfortunately large chest. ‘Unlike her, I have the common sense to bind it.’
When the Amanto girl was back in the room, she just lay there for a few moments. “Well, it was worth a shot.” She replied cheerfully.
Hiromasa grinned back at her. ‘Okay she might be a spaz. But she’s pretty okay. Actually, better than most of the people around here.’ She pulled off the cover of the tray that still steamed. “We might as well eat something. We’re going to be here for a while.” Inside were two cups of green tea, a small jar of honey, and a plate of cheese and bacon onigiri.
As they ate, they chatted some more about books, and stated discussing some of the events around town like the upcoming Sakura festival. “So how did you end up in this mess anyway? I didn’t think the Shinsengumi had any female members?” Imako asked, genuinely curious.
Hiromasa told about her how her mother had left for another country and leaving her behind as she wandered around the strange city before another girl told her that the police could help her.
Imako leaned in closer, “Wait, were you the girl that was lost? I was the one that told you about the Shinsengumi.”
Hiromasa smiled, “Well thank you again.” She remembered yeah, that girl looks a lot like the lady here now. “What a strange coincidence? After all these years.”
“I know, right?”
The conversation once again turned to books, then eventually the upcoming Sakura festival.
Finally, due to the nice evening, and exhausted by the events of the day, they fell asleep.
***
The girls were startled awake by sudden victory calls. “We did! We made Hiromasa friend!” Hiromasa glared balefully at her father. She rubbed the back of her neck trying to get rid of the stiff feeling. She was cold, as they had found a few blankets in one of the cabinets but Imako had stolen all of them in her sleep.
Rising from the nest she created, Imako blinked the sunlight from the open door as she yawned. Kondou moved to stand behind her placing a large hand on her shoulder. “Well, I see you two have come to get along quite well. It was nice seeing you, Shirohana.”
“Uh huh.” Imako rose to her feet. “So why didn’t you just ask me to meet her? I would have on one of my nights off…”
Kondou’s face went blank. “Wait?” He scratched his beard. “I never thought of that?” He turned to the first division’s captain who had come to stand in the doorway. “Sougo, did you think of that?”
Sougo shrugged, placing his arms in the black sleeves of his uniform jacket. “Meh. It was more entertaining this way.”
Rubbing her temples, Hiromasa scowled at her family. “Are we done with this now? There is a sale at Books Kinokuniya.” She turned to Imako, “I’ll see you at the festival next weekend.” Imako agreed as she sauntered out of the supply closet.
“Here, let me give you a ride home.” Kondou graciously offered, “Unless you would like to join us for breakfast first?” He would not want Hiromasa’s new best friend to think she lived with unruly animals. It was basic manners to offer someone breakfast when they stay the night.
The Amanto pursed her lips, shaking her head back and forth trying to understand these people. “Sure. I could stand to break my fast.” She shrugged. Kondou lead the group to a large section of the compound. There were already several men seated chowing down on large bowls of eggs, rice, and bacon. Some were joking and elbowing each other. It had a nice friendly atmosphere. Hiromasa disappeared to room behind the counter to go fetch bowls of oatmeal for Imako and herself. She told her new friend to go pick a seat.
Imako spotted one of the Shinsengumi members she had seen around town. He had black hair with a green tint and was smoking a cigarette while he read some sort of novel. ‘Hijikata, that is his name, right?’ Imako wondered waving at him but he did not seem to notice. ‘He’s so cute!’ Her blush faded when a missile flew past her shoulder, just grazing her hair. It flew into the wall in front of her where the demon vice-commander was sitting. Smoke and debris scattered. Imako jumped back, looking around. Behind her the first division’s captain was holding a smoking bazooka.
Hiromasa did not even bother to stick her head out of the kitchen, at all the chaos going on in the dinning room. She was so used to Sougo’s attempts to murder Hijikata. She just kept heating the boiling water in the kettle to pour over the instant packets of oatmeal that were already placed in her favorite porcelain bowls. They were yellow with tiny badgers painted on them, a birthday gift from Kondou a couple years ago. She had been surprised at receiving such a thoughtful gift from her father. It was not often that he showed how much he cared about her without being a blithering idiot. It was not an expensive gift—she had received jade rings, silk kimonos, and shoes imported from several planets over. Those had been for festivals and celebrations honoring the Shinsengumi. They were pretty and all but they were not really her. This was one of the few times he had shown that he paid attention to her.
The other samurai had very similar reactions. They just continued their conversations around the room. Hijikata stood up, coughing smoke. “What the hell!” He pointed angrily at his subordinate. “Are you trying to kill me, Sougo?” He snarled stalking towards him only to be stopped by Kondou.
“Guys, calm down. This is the first-time Hiromasa’s had a friend over.” He whispered loudly to Sougo and Hijikata. Sougo nodded innocently as he went to go fetch some fried eggs.
“Whatever.” Hijikata mumbled retiring to the bath to get cleaned up. Hiromasa held a tray as she swept Imako away from the craziness and out into the Zen garden where they sat on benches. Imako did not ask about the bazooka incident. She was not sure she wanted to know. They chatted and gossiped for a little bit until Kondou took Imako home in one of the police cruisers.
***
The apartment building was above a small shop that sold books, adult novelty items, and kimonos. There were only three apartments above the shop. The biggest one was lived in by the owners of the shop. The one across the hall from it was rented by Imako Shirohana, and the one next to hers was empty. Shirohana Imako’s apartment was small but cozy. It was a one bed/one bath flat with a small living room, and with a half kitchen to the side. The was an entryway, by the love seat that lead to her bedroom. The other door next to the stove lead to the bathroom. Half of the apartments in the area didn’t have their own bathrooms—well they had a toilet and a sink, but nothing for bathing as it was customary to go to a public bathhouse if one did not live in a compound with a private bathing springs. At least until the Amanto landed, now it’s just traditional for most of the houses in the area.
“Whelp. I’m ready for a nap.” Imako mumbled as she opened her apartment door to find dozens of roses, and gift baskets and cards littering her small living room. She picked up one of the cards on the coffee table. “What the Hell?” the card had a cartoon of a sick person in a hospital bed. Inside it read:
Dear Shirohana,
I’m sorry to hear about your sudden sickness. Kondou Isao of the Shinsengumi explained to me that you had contracted measles and you needed a few days of rest. It’s wonderful that you have such good friends. Don’t worry about your next few shifts. I’ll have someone else cover it. Get better soon! Your co-workers and I will miss you.
Sincerely,
Shimatesai Shigeo
There were also cards and baskets from Otae, her land ladies, several of her other friends, and half of the kabuki district. All of them showing sympathy for her sickness. ‘How am I going to explain this?’ Imako stood still for a moment. “ARGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” She screamed into the air. Rubbing her temples, she moved past her get well gifts and found her bedroom. It was the sze of a closet but she liked it. She lay down on her bedroll and covered up to forget the day.

-End of chapter-

 

 

Authors note:
Great Teacher Ona-san is a parody of an actual Japanese drama called Great Teacher Onizuki.
I looked all over for the owner of Snack Smile’s name. I couldn’t find it. So, I made one up, if any of you know it? Please let me, know and I’ll change it. I chose Shigeo because it means Luxuriant man (Because he owns a club where beautiful women entertain men. That seems like a luxurious thing to me.) And I choose his last name, Shimatesai because it means lower style. And I suppose a kabuki club isn’t always classy. I was trying to be humorous
Books Kinokuniya is an actual book store in Japan.
Oh, Um, Imako’s last name Shirohanna means something along the lines of white flower. Flower because Yazziyoudaydreamer choose the name Hana. And White because in Asian culture White usually means evil or bad—at least in theatre and her biological family isn’t pleasant to say the least—though still not as bad as Hiromasa’s.
Half of the places mentioned in this were places in Gintama. And Yoshihiro is the name of a Japanese celebrity chef.

 

Oh and in case it was confusing or anything-- Hiromasa is fourteen, she is slightly older than Imako who is thirteen-- which is the legal age of consent in Japan.