title: the Pursuit of Perfection
fandom: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto
characters/pairings: Akidzuki , Okita/Hijikata
rating: G/Teen
warnings: none
summary: Akidzuki can't control his feelings for the first time in his life.
notes: based on eps 9 and 10 of the anime. takes place while Akidzuki is training while Okita is with the Shinsengumi (i think).

It wasn't desire of the flesh, as Akidzuki had never in his life, despite his age, experienced that particular form of longing. There was a sense of pure longing and need as he watched his sensei's blade slice through the air. He honestly didn't understand why the rest were afraid to face him; his elegant blade was not strong or particularly athletic, but it was fast and it was beautifully accurate. Akidzuki sat patiently all through practice, aching to get up and clash his sword, even if it was just wood, against Okita-sensei's.

Practice time in the dojo meant watching Okita Souji in his simple and light clothing make fools of everyone else in the dojo, even men twice his size. He wasn't overly tall, and he was extremely slim, but beautifully toned. He was the perfect swordsman; his blade seemed to extend from his arm as if it had grown from it. The way he moved, the way he lunged and dodged, it all felt so natural, like watching a bird of prey.


At night, in the dorm, Akidzuki would think about Okita-sensei's blade, and his breath would catch. His heart would pound and his body would get hot. He didn't really understand the impulses that flashed through his brain. He just knew.

He didn't like it when Okita-sensei was too close to Kondo-sama. The two seemed... friendly. Akidzuki was fairly sure he could beat Kondo-sama in a fair fight, but Okita-sensei would still look up his commander. Kondo-sama was certainly an admirable person, but when Okita-sama put his hand on Kondo-sama's arm and grinned, it made Akidzuki's vision go red. He didn't understand it at all.

It was late at night when he saw it. He'd been unable to sleep, so he got up to do some katas in the yard. At the well, Hijikata-sama was standing, bare to the waist, dripping with water. He'd been washing himself, probably, but that wasn't what he was doing when Akidzuki came upon him. He'd never even seen Okita-sensei in Hijikata's presence before, but now, Okita-sensei's slim frame was engulfed in Hijikata's thick arms, his hair spilling back, unbound, wrapped around Hijikata's rough fingers. As they embraced, soft moans escaped the seal of their lips, too high in pitch to be Hijikata.

Akidzuki didn't understand. This sort of behavior. It had never occurred to him. However, Okita's elegant body was as impressive in this pose as he was in the dojo. And as Hijikata hurriedly pushed Okita-sensei's yukata off his shoulders, Akidzuki felt the blood rush and pound through his body. He turned and left before Hijikata stripped Okita-sensei entirely despite his unforeseen desire. If he was ever going to look at Okita-sensei in the eye again...

He still sat on edge as he watched practice, jumping up any time he got the chance to spar with Okita-sensei. Each and every time, Okita-sensei would push him back and throw him down. He still had no chance to fight at Okita-sensei's level.

And when their blades did crash into each other, he had flashes of Okita-sensei at the well with Hijikata, and his heart would tremble.

He traded Kondo-sama for Sakamoto-sama, failed him and became the Eternal Assassin. His obsession took over his soul, and he didn't have time for pesky memories.

Until he met Okita-sensei in the street.

Even slimmer than before, still as elegant and beautiful, and... dying. He'd heard something vaguely about Okita-sensei entering Matsumoto's hospital, but he hadn't thought about it much. It was the truth of their existence that everyone died. After seeing Sakamoto-sama's last breaths, he thought it might be better for Okita-sensei to die in peace.

Okita-sensei didn't see it that way.

He spoke almost entirely of Kondo-sama. He coughed and his whole body shook from the force of it, and when he wasn't coughing, his raspy breath sounded as loud as his coughs. When he swung his sword, the graceful arc seemed drunken, and weak, but he was still potent in many ways.

Akidzuki wasn't sure what he wanted from Okita-san. To be able to clash swords with him... it was incredible, just as he remembered, but Okita-san wasn't the same. It wasn't a victory or an accomplishment, but when Okita-san complimented him, smiling proudly like a father might, Akidzuki thought that maybe it was his happiest moment.

He held Okita-san as he died, his body too frail and too thin. He looked into Okita-san's eyes, and took his final words.

About Kondo-sama.

A message for Hijikata.

If he saw the man, he would deliver the message, because his sense of honor was too great to ignore it, but he wasn't going to seek out Hijikata. He had to find the Lord's Head, after all.

It was his fate, it seemed, to hold great men as they died, but at least as Sakamoto laid dying in his arms, he was looking at Akidzuki.