04 January 2012 @ 09:56 pm
Every act of love is separateness. [Gintama]  
GINTAMA and all characters/ideas/concepts/places therein are not mine, although the writing certainly is.



Title: Every act of love is separateness.
Characters/Pairing(s): Sakamoto and Takasugi
Rating: G
Summary: This is what comrades do, on those things you call 'last nights'.
Warnings? N/A
Notes: Dedicated to Ri. Belated Happy Birthday, partner. ♥



Every act of love is separateness.


“C’mon, Tacchan! Hurry, hurry~”

“Let go of me. I can walk.”

Takasugi Shinsuke is two steps away from digging his fist in Sakamoto Tatsuma’s gut – it’s easy to tell, from the way he’s bristled up like a cat with all its fur standing up on end, from how he sounds, just once, not like the leader of the Kihetai and more like the teenager he actually is. Sakamoto laughs heartily, and makes sure to steer well out of Takasugi’s range without removing the arm he has firmly draped over Takasugi’s shoulders. There’s an advantage to being him huge, or maybe to Takasugi being small. He’s not sure. Maybe it’s a mix of both.

“We shouldn’t even be doing this, you know. We should be back at the fort. Our comrades need us awake and alert.”

“Eh, one little drink won’t hurt~”

“It’s never just ‘one little drink’ with you.”

“Ahahaha! It’ll be just be one and it’ll be little! Little like you, I promise!”

That, of course, earns Sakamoto one incredibly bruised foot, as the Takasugi retaliates by planting his heel down and bringing the full weight of his body down on it, in a split second. They travel the rest of the way with Sakamoto laughing weakly and limping, and Takasugi with his nose turned up in the air, willfully oblivious to the pain he’s in.

“Welcome – ah, Sakamoto-san!”

“Hello~! One bottle of your finest, please!”

“Oi.” Takasugi has, by then, squirmed out of Sakamoto’s grip to glare at him properly. “You said one drink!”

“This is one drink, ahaha! A very small one!”

The fist-to-gut, once grossly delayed, meets its target. Sakamoto spends time before the arrival of the sake hunched over the counter, his trademark (annoying) laughter nothing but a pathetic wheeze. Takasugi ignores him, of course, in favor of his lighting up and smoking from his pipe.

“I’m not going to pour any for you,” he says, when the bottle and the cups finally come. “Sit up straight and do it yourself.”

“Ahaha, Tacchan~ so harsh!”

“Call me that again and I’ll cut you.”

Takasugi, Sakamoto notices, is setting the bottle and cup easily within his reach, even as he’s looking down at him as though there’s some disgusting fungus in his hair. He considers calling Takasugi out on this, but eventually decides that he’s had enough abuse for the moment. He’ll need some wine in him before he can take more.

He laughs, tries to straight up, winces, tries again and succeeds. Takasugi takes another drag from his pipe, raps the ash out into the brazier they’ve set beside him, and pours a cup for himself.



“You’re planning on leaving, aren’t you?”

The question comes out of the blue, after what Sakamoto had sworn was the rambling and smoke and fire that followed after drinking down to the very bottom of a bottle of sake. It catches him off-guard, then, and he’s only more surprised to discover that there’s an odd sort of clarity swimming somewhere in the sake-induced haze of Takasugi’s eyes. It’s as surprising as the fact that the question was not slurred; there was no room for him to pretend that his companion had said another thing entirely.

“You’re going to leave. That’s why we’re out here.”

“Don’t be silly, Tacchan. We always go drinking, don’t we?”

“When we drink, you get drunk. Now you’re only drinking when I pour you one.”

Sakamoto’s gaze drops to the cup he’s balancing on his fingers; the moon’s reflection swims in it, round and clear. Mere minutes ago, Takasugi was close to nodding off right at the counter. Now he’s sitting straight, watching him.

“We need you, Tatsuma. Zura, Gintoki and I… we can’t do this on our own.”

“But you’re not alone. The others are still around.”

“And we’ll have to bury them too, at this rate.”

“What makes you so sure that my being around won’t keep that from happening?”

Takasugi’s lips purse, pressing together into a thin, tight line. Sakamoto downs the contents of his cup. It tastes sweet, all of a sudden, hot and sickeningly sweet.

“I can’t do it anymore, Shinsuke. I’m tired. You’ll get tired as well.”

“Maybe so, but that won’t be enough to make me want to run away.”

Sakamoto doesn’t answer. Takasugi reaches for the bottle and fills both of their cups. He’s still got it together, in spite of the fact that he’s somewhere in the middle of Very Plastered at the moment.

“It’s a good thing I’ll forget about most of this tomorrow,” Takasugi declares. “I’d rather remember having a drink with a friend than having a drink with a coward.”

They don’t talk for a bit. When they do it is back to odd rambling, making Sakamoto wonder if he had imagined the whole thing.



It’s the darkest hour of the morning by the time Sakamoto comes back to the fort with Takasugi draped on his back and almost drooling on his shoulder in his sleep. On his way to Takasugi’s rooms, he passes Sakata Gintoki in the courtyard, burying another one of their comrades with a broken sword and his own two hands. On the way to the gate, he passes Katsura Kotaro on his knees in the yard, trying, in vain, to get all the blood of friends and foes alike out of his hair, off of his clothes. He went unnoticed on both occasions. They’ll never realize he had ever been there in the first place.

He feels a pang later, an odd sort of ache in his chest when he’s in his kasa a fresh change of clothes, halfway down the road away from the fort.

Takasugi’s right, in a way. This is him opting out. This is him running.

He’s spoken to Gintoki already, though, and he knows that there is no other way but this.
It takes a bit more effort than it should, to turn, set one foot in front of the other and take himself away from this place. Nevertheless, by sunrise Sakamoto’s halfway to the city. By lunch he’s on a boat, sailing far, far away from everything.
 
 
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