Gintoki was glad that Kagura decided to spend the night at Shinpachi’s place, when he noticed who was leaning on his wall. Gintoki pinched himself to the arm, thinking that he was dreaming the person in the blood drenched purple kimono.
But even then the person did not disappear, and the haze of the alcohol was lifted from Gintoki’s head, as he moved insistently, checking for the breathing. It was there, but it was quicker than normal. What was even more worrying was that Takasugi was not reacting to his presence at all and was burning.
One positive thing in all of that was that at least most of the blood appeared to be from somebody else. Only now did he noticed the blooded sword that was located on the other side.
Gintoki carried his to his room, and put him into his own futon. One trip in the kitchen, and he came back with two buckets with water and towels. The first towel was wet and put on the Takasugi’s forehead, to lower his temperature.
Then he started to clean the blood from Takasugi. He started with the face, gentle wipes removing the blood. He removed the bandages, the look of his crushed eye reminding Gintoki about that day. He quickly moved on. There is no way to change the past.
He than removed the purple kimono, removing the blood from his torso, his hand tracing the scars that he did not know, and the ones that he did.
After finishing, he looked around for any fresh clothes, but there was nothing appropriate. On the end he dressed him in one of his spare kimonos.
He changed the towel on the forehead, cleaning the things that he did not need anymore. As he put everything away, he grabbed the edge of the sink. What was he even doing?
He then went and cleaned the sword as well. There would be questions if somebody came and saw it. Especially the Shinsengumi.
He then returned to his room, sitting next to Takasugi, changing the towel again. He looked at his face, relived that his breathing seems to slow down a little. He then signed and leaned back to the wall. Before he realized, he was already sleeping.
As soon as Takasugi woke up, he realized that he was in the unknown place. He pretended to be still sleeping, but it did not look like there was anybody close by. Not only that, for some reason there was a familiar smell around him.
He opened his eyes, scanning the place. He noticed Gintoki leaning on the wall, sleeping. Takasugi blinked. What happened? He then stood up, noticing that he was dressed in what appeared to be Gintoki’s kimono.
He noticed that he was a little unsettled on his feet, but he still walked to the wall, kneeling in front of Gintoki and smacking him on the head.
Gintoki turned his head. “Kagura. Gin has a hangover, so be nice.”
“Do you get waken by princess Kagura these days, Gintoki?” Takasugi asked. But as soon as he did the dizziness started. He gripped his nose.
“Takasugi?” Gintoki asked. “So yesterday was not a dream.”
Takasugi looked at him, and noticed that Gintoki’s hand was positioned like he wanted to steady him, but he did not. Even after all this time…
“So what happened yesterday?” Takasugi asked, returning to the more pressing matters. He did not seems to remember much after the meeting with the another freedom fraction.
“That is my question.” Gintoki said, some anger in his voice. But the anger was not pointed at Takasugi. “I found you here all blooded and unresponsive.”
“Ah.” Takasugi said, checking the state of his body. There did not seems to be anything unusual with it. He grinned. “Suits them right.”
Gintoki looked at him, then stood up, as he scratched his head. “Your sword and kimono are there,” he pointed at the corner. “Make sure you return the kimono.”
Gintoki was about the leave the room, when Takasugi said. “And Gintoki.” Takasugi waited for Gintoki to stop and start listening. “Thank you.”
Takasugi looked after him, until he heard the heaving from what he assumed was the bathroom. He looked at his kimono. It would attract too much attention. There was way too much blood on it. He put the bandage up and he left the house.
About four days latter, all three, Gintoki, Kagura and Shinpachi were lazing around the house, when the door ringed for delivery. Shinpachi signed and he brought it inside, seeing it was for Gintoki.
When he opened it, there was Gintoki’s kimono with a variety of premium chocolate there. There was also an unsigned note, with words: ‘Don’t think that changes anything.’
No matter how much Kagura and Shinpachi were pestering him, he did not tell them who the sender was.