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y_c_reverse in yaoi_challenge

Pure Poetry (Peacemaker Kurogane, Okita/Hijikata)

Title: Pure Poetry
Fandom: Peacemaker Kurogane - Soujiro Okita/Toshizou Hijikata
Author: kirikiri aka misura
Recipient: jezebel_93 aka liriaen
Rating: PG
Warnings: manga-based, although I did sneak in a Hijikata-san also: written for a leftover-prompt, so not that long.
Summary: Hijikata could write poems about anything, Okita concluded.


Hijikata never asked Okita to read his poetry, but Okita knew that was just so that Hijikata could get angry with him if he did; it wasn't that Hijikata was sensitive about the poems he'd written (filled with cliches and places Okita knew Hijikata'd never been moved by, and most of all with what Okita called 'love' and what Hijikata had no name for) and that he disliked Okita's criticizing them (or, okay, making fun of them), no, it was that Okita read poems that were personal and private and kept secret even from Yamanami, who just might know as much about Hijikata as Okita did.

Secretly, Okita knew Hijikata did want him to read his poems, because Hijikata was as inept at hiding whatever poem he'd composed that day ('Lunch tasted good/but eating it/I wondered about dinner') as he was at writing poetry. Okita could have pointed out better hiding places to him, had Hijikata asked him - Okita might even have cleared out a few of his secret caches of candy if Hijikata'd asked him politely enough, and at the right moment. Hijikata didn't ask though, and Okita found the way he scowled in public and pouted in private too attractive by far to volunteer the information.

On top of which, Hijikata was often busy, and his poems kept Okita company when his body couldn't. (His mind, Okita wasn't sure about sometimes; it might be fully occupied with the Shinsengumi, but then, during a meeting, Hijikata'd look at him, and Okita'd know it wasn't the commander's proposal that Hijikata was thinking of. On the other hand, sometimes Hijikata'd wake up in the middle of the night, look at him, and mumble something about tax-revenues.) Hijikata was either very open in his poetry, or very fake - Okita couldn't quite figure out which, and that made things more fun, too.

For example, one morning Hijikata left very early, and it took Okita all of ten minutes to discover that day's poem, hidden under a stack of boring-looking papers. It said: 'Piglet squealing in the morning/ and there might/ be pork for dinner' and if Saizou hadn't happily squealed a 'good morning' at him when he read it, Okita'd have been a little worried and ready to challenge Hijikata to a duel, rules or no rules.

As it was, the poem left him thoughtful. Saizou did, on occasion, crawl into his bed - Saizou was his pet, after all, not just a piglet Okita kept around in case he grew hungry and needed some emergency-rations. Hijikata might be annoyed at that, Okita supposed. Hijikata got annoyed fairly easily, after all, and Saizou possessed barely enough of a sense of self-preservation to stick close to Okita and not wander off too far on his own.

"Ne, Hijikata-san, do you like piglets?" Okita asked that evening, when Hijikata was in as good a mood as he'd get today, which wasn't very good.

"What kind of question's /that/?" Hijikata snapped back, flushing slightly.

"I'm just curious," Okita said innocently.

"Well, /I'm/ tired," Hijikata grumbled, demonstratively turning away from him.

(Okita discovered Saizou locked up in a nearby shed, with a nervous Tetsu guarding him. He went back and drew a demon's face on Hijikata's face - feeling only a little guilty afterwards, because Hijikata hadn't woken up at all, so Okita supposed he really /had/ been tired.)

x

The morning after the Saizou-incident, Okita found Hijikata's daily contribution to the world of poetry on the floor of his room. It said: 'A pretty face/ but behind it/a petty mind' and it put Okita in a good mood for the rest of the day, because Hijikata only ever scowled at him when he'd already half-forgiven Okita, and this poem was, aside from several other things, a written scowl.

It didn't hurt that Hijikata'd used the word 'pretty' to describe him either; Okita could count the number of times Hijikata'd complimented him on his looks on one hand; Hijikata didn't mind telling him he was a good swordsman, or a good diplomat, or even, if Okita timed it right, a good lover, but Hijikata was downright frugal when it came to praising people's looks. In exchange for that 'pretty', Okita'd forget about that 'petty' for now; revenge was a dish best served cold, anyway, and it was less fun when Hijikata was too busy to stick around for Okita to properly see the impact of his actions.

Still, this open an offering of poetry called for a reaction. The poem hadn't been particularly good (Hijikata'd written worse, but a lot of people had written better ones) and Okita didn't really feel like commenting on its style or lack thereof anyway; some shots were just too easy. It might be amusing to see if he could get Hijikata to chase him around the compound (again) but Okita admitted to himself that he wasn't feeling very energetic, and there'd be little point if Hijikata'd actually catch him.

Okita honestly didn't know what would happen then - Hijikata had a temper, but also enough self-control to always be aware of his position, so most likely, it'd just be awkward and drawing too much attention to the two of them, neither of which prospects appealed to Okita very much.

What Okita wanted - no, what Okita /needed/ was something sweet. Hijikata'd give him some money, if Okita asked him nicely, and maybe Hijikata'd even let him take Tetsu with him.

x

'Sweet the taste of your lips/ how long since/ you bought your own candy?' Hijikata asked him the day after that, and Okita wondered if he ought to feel flattered at being the subject of two of Hijikata's poems, or insulted that they were both such bad ones. Not to mention that they'd hardly make sense to anyone else - most of Hijikata's poems didn't make a lot of sense, of course, but at least they did so in a familiar, normal kind of way.

'Rain on a summernight/ ticking on the roof/ but still it's summer', Hijikata had rhymed clumsily, months ago, and Okita'd snickered, before he recalled a night even longer ago, when he'd lied awake and tried to listen to the sound of Hijikata's breathing, instead only hearing the rain.

Okita thought about the question Hijikata'd asked him for a few moments, deciding in the end that it hardly mattered. Hijikata could spare the money - Hijikata rarely bought anything for himself, and Okita had offered him some candy several times, without Hijikata ever accepting it, claiming he didn't like the taste of sugar. Okita wasn't sure if that was true, and if he should take today's poem as an admonition and Hijikata demanding he'd wash his mouth after eating sweets and before letting Hijikata kiss him.

If it was, Hijikata was out of luck. Okita never complained about Hijikata's hands being calloused or stained with ink (on the rare occasions that Hijikata'd spend his evening taking care of paperwork, which were becoming less rare recently) after all, and 'sweet' might not be the compliment 'pretty' had been (not when it came from Hijikata at any rate) but Okita still chose to interpret it positively. If Hijikata had a complaint about Okita's lips, he could simply tell Okita so.

Nobody was /forcing/ Hijikata to kiss Okita, after all - it was entirely Hijikata's own choice, just like it was Okita's choice to allow him to do so.

"Will you write another poem for me tomorrow, Hijikata-san?" asked Okita. It was late, and Hijikata was probably tired (his hands were calloused and stained with ink). Okita couldn't see Hijikata very well, but he could feel the way Hijikata's body was still tense and alert.

Hijikata grunted and mumbled something Okita couldn't quite catch.

(The next day's poem called him heartless, forever demanding more of his poor, exhausted lover and compared him to the brightest star of the firmanent. Okita recalled a winter-night spent star-gazing and keeping each other warm, and decided he was flattered enough not to take offense.)

Comments

(Anonymous)

::squee:: Oh love, for now I can only leave a drive-by comment because I'm at work (argh) but let me just say: ♥!

(Anonymous)

And yes, that was jezebel_93, out of her mind from the squee. :)

(Anonymous)

Okay, I'm back, now with added bonus brain! But I sneaked a peek while at work, and I blurted out loud and squeed. The haikus are... simply wonderful. Perfect! And the way you picture Okita's impishness (and the will to fight it out - rules or no rules!) is pure delight. So is Toshi's growling, towering, fuming, pouting and- oh ♥!

I love how the haikus become a secret code, like messages in a bottle between two men. :D

The poems and their hiding places and Saizou and the sweets and the mood changes; summer rains and winter nights - there's so much true poetry underneath, it's truly lovely!

I feel blessed, receiving two fics from you. And thank you so much for tackling PMK - that merits super-extra hugs. ~jezebel_93
Bwee! *beams and blushes* I'm super-happy to hear you liked this - I had a ball writing the 'haikus' and the rest of this fic, but I did feel a tad nervous because I only had the manga to base this on, and I think the anime covers a lot more ground - not to mention it having left in the honorifics and such. (The manga did have the 'Okita finds Hijikata's book of poems'-story though, so I had some hopes of being able to produce some Hijikata-style poetry.)

I knew I wanted to try and tackle at least one of your two left-over PMK-prompts, and since my muses were in the mood for silliness, rather than grief and Angst, they picked the Hijikata/Okita one. (I have to confess that it was also partially my own preference for writing Hijikata over writing Tetsu - Tetsu just seemed a little 'taken' already.)

Thank you so so much for leaving me such wonderful comments - they completely made my day.

November 2010

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