Rating/Genre: PG-13 / Humour
Warning: Character "death", ridiculous crack and uh, crap.
Characters: Shimura Shinpachi, Kagura, Sakata Gintoki, Sadaharu.
Summary: Fallen comrades shall always be remembered — especially when their smell still lingers in the backdrop.
A/N: Written in my attempt to break out of this mini writer's block. For the prompt "one character mourning another character's death." I tried.
He hears the voice, but sees nothing except the blurred smear of darkness. He groans, feeling a dull ache in a spot somewhere between his eyes.
—Shinpachi please, don't be—!
There, again. The voices are louder, shriller, more desperate now. Fighting to clear his mind through the haze of pain, he almost recognizes the voices now. At least, he thinks he does.
"Kagura-chan...?" His voice is raspy and hoarse. Rolling over to his side, he cracks one eye open, and then the other, blinking blearily. The air rises around him in swirls of hot ash. Casting his gaze around, he sees no one, only burning debris and clutter – an aftermath of a huge explosion.
Shinpachi wets his cracked lips tentatively, feeling an icy chill down his back as dread settled like pebbles within his gut. He shakes his head, trying to recall the events that had occurred earlier....
That's right, he thinks. The Yorozuya had been out on a collection job, only to realise their 'client' was a suicidal bomber with a suicidal mission to blast all the konbini stores in Edo.
If I'm not able to win that Ginta Man PVC Figure in the annual lucky draw after losing twenty-three times in a row, then neither shall any of you!
It was the last thing Shinpachi heard before there was a blinding flash and everyone was engulfed in a thick cloud of green smoke.
“I-It’s all my fault, Gin-chan.” Kagura sniffs, dabbing at her tear-streaked face with a spotted handkerchief. "Now Shinpachi... Shinpachi is—"
Ah, he recalls forlornly, the memories all returning now. So this is really it. I am but a ghost of a memory of my existence in this plane of life.
“—If only I-I had taken Sadaharu out for his morning walk, t-this might not have h-h-happened at all, yes?”
Hearing the shaky tremor of sadness in the girl's voice is enough to make Shinpachi blink back tears of his own. Kagura-chan, it’s all right. I know you’ve already done your best and—
Waaaait just a darn minute. What did Sadaharu’s walks had to do with his death?
He looks up, spying two familiar figures a few steps away, and hurries towards them, not wanting to miss the rest of the conversation.
“Don’t blame yourself, Kagura.” Gintoki says soberly, crouched over a fallen figure on the ground. “When a damned beast needs to go, it will go. And with our mongrel of a beast, no amount of Kegel exercises or yoga stretches would teach him how to hold it in like a man.”
Kagura blows her nose loudly into Gintoki’s sleeve, adding her own snot swirls to the patterned hem. “Sadaharu’s still a beast of a man, dogfart or not.”
What the hell are they talking about? Why are they both getting all gloomy about Sadaharu’s farts when he’s the one lying dead in the dirt right now?!
Shinpachi wants to reach out and grab them both by the shoulder, and shake some sense into them. But he remembers he’s a ghost now and intangible matter – his hand would slip right through them. So he stays put instead and listens.
"B-But Gin-chan, if I'd taken Sadaharu to go conduct poo-poo business properly, not of these things would have happened and Shinpachi would still—" Kagura pauses, unable to continue, and swishes her face away as if to hide the onslaught of more tears raging down her immaculate cheeks.
"Even if you do managed to carry out the poo-poo transaction according to the scheduled manner," Gintoki says, patting Kagura over the back. "You can't expect to be ready for unforeseen circumstances, such as a malfunction in the poo-poo excrement department."
What are you two going on about?? And what the hell are all these poo-poo transactions!?
The silver-haired samurai lets out a defeated sigh then, head hung low as if a heavy weight had settled over his shoulders. "The least we can do now is to see him off with a proper farewell."
He straightens up then, reaching for the spotted handkerchief Kagura had been bawling into. Drawing a deep, monstrous breath before clearing his throat, he hacks and coughs and promptly spits a hairball right into the handkerchief, before letting the piece of cloth fall to the ground, right over where Shinpachi's body should be lying in the dust—
The handkerchief flutters dramatically over what looked to be a pair of glasses floating in a mushy brownish-green sludge, which stank massively of Inugami crap.
Gintoki dips his head solemnly, and waves a salute over his fallen comrade. "You were a good sidekick, Pachi-boy. We'll never forget how well you played the tsukkom—"
Shinpachi bearswipes both Gintoki and Kagura face-first into the dirt.
"THOSE ARE GLASSES, GLASSES, YOU ASSHOLES! THE REAL SHINPACHI IS STANDING RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!" He roars into the passing breeze. A pair of doves keel over and fall off a branch. "And what was I supposed to be in this episode?!"
"Collateral damage from Sadaharu's Special Poo-Poo Move." Gintoki quips as he lifts his mud-caked head, blood streaming from his nose. "It sure did a number on Suicidal Bomber Dude."
"Too slow!" Kagura huffs, one eye swollen from the face-smash. "Shinpachi should have moved out of the way faster when Sadaharu had to go." She pokes at the glasses drowning in dog turd with a stick. "Now you'll have to bathe for two whole weeks to get rid of the smell."
"I'M TELLING YOU TWO, THOSE ARE MY GLASSES. THE REAL SHINPACHI IS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT HERE, YOU IDIOOOOOTS!!"
Not too far away from the screehing voices of his family, Sadaharu lies underneath a tree by the river. He stretches his limbs out, letting a loud phhbbbutttt! and blanketing the air with an odoriferous green gas.
He yawns sleepily — once, twice, and then promptly curls back to sleep.
In my defense, it looked better in my head. That's all I'm saying.