Shinsuke had run after Shouyou. Kotarou was shaking his head, as he started to clean the papers that students left behind. He wanted everything to be prepared for the afternoon classes. He then looked outside.
Gintoki was already sitting on the porch, and he was eating the rice balls that Kotarou had prepared beforehand. He was leaning on the wall, looking outside.
Kotarou had sat next to him, taking one of the rice balls for himself. He started eating it.
They were sitting like that in silence, when Kotarou finally said: "I love you."
Only then did he realized what he just said, and he turned to Gintoki, whole red on his face. He really hoped that Gintoki was sleeping, like he sometimes did during lunch. But Gintoki was still eating and there did not seems to be any immediate reaction on his part.
Gintoki swallowed. "I love you too." he said, as he licked his fingers to get also the rice that stuck to it. "I think of you, Takasugi and Shouyou like family."
Kotarou deflated. He expected the refusal, but it seems like that Gintoki would never even considered him in a way like that. But Kotarou still tired to smile. "That is right."
There must have been something in his voice, as Gintoki actually looked at him. There was a questioning look on his face.
But Kotarou only shrugged, and took another bit from his rice ball. There was nothing wrong with him.
Gintoki seems to give up on finding the answer, as he took another rice ball, looking at the nearby tree. He was a hard person to read.
Shinsuke joined them, and he at on the other side of Gintoki. He looked at both of them, as he took a rice ball. "Did something happen?"
"Nothing." said Kotarou, as he turned around, not wanting them to see his face. He was not confident that he was able to control it right now.
He could feel something lean on his shoulder. He looked at it, nothing the silver perm.
"I am sleepy." was the only explanation that Gintoki had given to him, and then he closed his eyes.
Kotarou did not understand, why Gintoki decided about that, but he could feel a small smile forming on his lips.
He looked at Shinsuke, who stubbornly looked at the garden, ignoring what has happening.