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Love Under the Sakura Trees

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"EHH! Chizuru!" Heisuke ran towards the small figure bending over the roses in the garden, he could barely contain the excitement he had been holding in all day.

"Heisuke?" Chizuru managed to turn and face the brown haired warrior as he took his hands in hers. "Oh? What's wrong?" she noticed his cheeks looked flushed as though he ran all the way home and his hair was messier than usual.

Heisuke couldn't hold it in any longer and burst out "Come with me!" he gently tugged on the sleeves of his wife's kimono.

"But Heisuke, it's late and you have work tomorrow." the small woman frowned for a moment but couldn't help but smile at the way her husband had begun to pout. It was rare that they spend time together ever since the foreigners started coming and moving into Japan. Heisuke was one of the few chosen men that were set up as guards for the foreigners as they passed through the city and that meant he was always on call. Chizuru managed to keep herself entertained with her roses and always made her trips to the hill of the cherry blossom trees where the tombstones of her beloved friends lay under.

"Come on Chizuru! Don't ya wanna make me happy!?" Heisuke gave her a small peck on the lips. A sweet smile claimed his face when he noticed the rosy blush that claimed her cheeks. In truth he had never been so in love with a woman before that it made his heart hurt every morning when he left her for work or when he saw the sadness in her eyes when he told her he was going to be gone for over a week.

Chizuru cocked her head to the side and looked off into the distance, the sun had begun to set and the darkness of the sky reminded her of the battles she had witnessed long ago in a past life. "Well... if it'll make you happy." she smiled and tugged his sleeves.

Heisuke beamed as he had begun to lead her away from their home without another word.

"Where are we going?" she asked, trying to concentrate on not tripping over her clothes.

Heisuke only looked back at her and smiled "You'll see."

Chizuru wanted to protest but decided to keep her mouth shut when she noticed the excitement in her husband's eyes. "I only want him to be happy." that simple thought made her heart swell with joy.

Heisuke noticed Chizuru smiling and nudged her shoulder "What are you smiling at?"

"Oh!" her cheeks were a deep red when she noticed Heisuke staring at her. "Well.." she paused and looked ahead at where, she decided, was their destination. "Are we here to spend time with them?" Chizuru asked when she let go of his hand and walked a few steps ahead of him towards the cherry blossom trees and the tombstones.

Heisuke noticed her smile had gone soft and her eyes held the countless unshed tears she had been holding in for years. "I thought since they overlooked the city that they'd have a good view." he stopped beside her and stared down at the names of his comrades. His heart clenched in pain whenever he came to see the, even after all those years had passed it was still as painful as the day it happened. The emotions were as raw as the day he first felt them.

"A good view of what?" she asked softly when her small hand wiped away dirt from Hajime's name.

Heisuke looked up at the petals falling around them and looked down at the tombstone of the demon commander. "Hijikata-san loved to watch the cherry blossoms fall."

"And Saito-kun." Chizuru added. "Remember the time when we all went out to watch the blossoms bloom and you, Shinpachi-kun, and Harada-kun decided to have a sake drinking contest?" the mere thought of the trio drunk out of their minds made her giggle" Hijikata-san, Okita-kun, Saito-kun, Koudou-san, and Sannan-san had to even stop the three of you from trying to race up the trees." the thought of her deceased friends and the thought of never being able to have times as great as those with them or even seeing them again brought her into tears as she felt the desperate need to remember the faces of her beloved friends... no, her family.

Heisuke panicked once he saw tears running down his wife's soft cheeks. "Chizuru! What's wrong!?" he knelt down beside her his hand covered hers as his other removed the loose strands of hair from her face.

Chizuru couldn't reply in fear that a response would bring more tears in the process. She made an attempt to calm her breathing and only looked down at the ground beneath her. Long ago she made it her duty to not seem weak before the members of the Shinsengumi, especially Heisuke, but when they started to die... when they left with smiles on their faces and a warriors spirit towards the face of battle and never returned... this broke her soul into pieces. The wall she had put up had finally begun to crumble down and Heisuke was there to see her slowly crumble with it.

Heisuke frowned and brought her into his arms in an attempt to calm her tears "It's okay.." he whispered. He couldn't stand seeing her in pain, he knew she had always kept a strong front when with the Shinsengumi but he never knew how much she was hiding from them... from him. "No more tears.. please." he felt helpless and to think he brought her here to see the fireworks as a family... His eyes lit up in that instant."Ehh... Chizuru?" his voice was soft but playful. When she only shook her head he went on "What if we had a..." he paused and took in a deep breath "a family?"

"H...huh?" she wiped away the tears that were running down her cheeks and looked up at her husband in confusion.

Heisuke was glad that his wife had stopped crying but he had actually been thinking about this for the past few years since they came to live in the country. "Well... you know..." he scratched his head and laughed, trying to say what he meant without messing it up. "A family, Chizuru. You, me, and well.. small us."

Chizuru looked at him in confusion. "Small us?" she repeated. This wasn't making any sense to her at all and it was making her much more upset.

Heisuke noticed her confused expression and held up his hands in alarm. "Babies!" he finally managed to say the word. In all his life he wasn't one to admit something like that to anyone but he thought it was something Chizuru would also want and all he wanted was for her to be happy.

Chizuru looked at him in shock. "A baby?" they had only been married for a few years but she never thought Heisuke would want children. "B...b...but.." she couldn't find the words to say anything.

Before he could explain himself Heisuke heard the distant sound of fireworks and quickly stood. "Come here, Chizuru." he held out his hand and she took it. He loved the way her soft hand felt in his.

"You brought me here for this?" she smiled at the beautiful colors. Different patterns claimed the starry skies and illuminated the hill upon which they stood. "Is this why you were all excited, Heisuke?"

"Well yeah! We haven't been able to spend time together so I thought this was a good idea." he smiled at her.

She giggled "First you bring me here for this and you tell me you want a baby. What else?" After all they had been through, they deserved to be happy. Chizuru was willing to do anything for her husband and she was more than sure that he would do the same for her.

"Let's start." Heisuke gave her a smirk.

Chizuru looked at him in confusion "Wha..." her eyes widened when she finally understood what he meant. "HEISUKE!" she looked at the tombstones and then back at him. " We can't do that!"

Heisuke burst out into laughter. He fell to the ground and held himself, the laughter bringing him pain. "Ah.. Chi...Chizu...Chizuru!" he tried to say her name through the fits.

Chizuru blushed a deep tomato red and knelt to the ground, pushing Heisuke as she did. "Meanie!"

"Ahh I love you." he had managed to stop laughing and softly said it with a smile. "I love you more than anything." his eyes caught hers as she looked down at him. His hand raised up to touch her blushing cheeks. "No matter what happens..." he paused and held her hand with his free one. "No matter what happens, I want you to be happy. Don't you ever forget that. If we are to be separated, don't you ever forget that my heart belongs to you and only you...In this life and any others." Heisuke knew that his time as a fury cut his life short and even now the blood lust comes but with drinking the water from the Yukimura household it made everything better. He wanted to give Chizuru a peaceful life where they could live together until the end.

Chizuru looked down at the man she loved and took in everything he had just told her. "I feel the same way." she bent down and placed a soft kiss on his lips.

"Now how about we go home and start on that family of ours." Heisuke stood and brought up Chizuru with him.

She laughed and placed a tender kiss on his cheek. "A baby.." she couldn't help but smile at the thought of a little boy with his father's looks and skills running around their home. "I hope he isn't as inpatient as you are." she joked.

"EHHH!" Heisuke placed his hands on his hips. "I have plenty of patience!"

Chizuru giggled as she closed the gap between them. Her arms went all around him in a tight embrace, her head rested on his chest as she looked up at the sky. The fireworks were nearing an end but to her the night was only beginning. "I love you so much Heisuke." her voice was soft compared to the loud bang of the fireworks.

Heisuke returned the embrace, placing a tender kiss on her head. This made his wife look up at him. Looking at her brought back memories to when he first let eyes on her. Those same love filled eyes he was staring at were once filed with fear and terror... All he could do then was watch and protect her from afar but now he could do that and much more. "I love you Chizuru... more than anyone I have ever loved before. I don't ever want to lose you."

Chizuru smiled, placing her lips on his. "I know." She knew that Heisuke was still a fury and the fact that he had used his power countless of times before in battle had shortened his life but the water her family produced and the fresh country air around them would give them plenty of years together. Whether the time they spent together was short or even if they both died of old age, Chizuru knew the time they spent together would be precious and she knew that as long as she had him nothing else would ever matter.