Title: ever after
Genre: AU, Family fluff
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Sakata Gintoki/Tsukuyo, Dia and Block, with brief mentions of Kagura, Shinpachi, Katsura and Elizabeth
Warnings: None really, except for my attempts at something slightly introspective and humorous at the same time.
Summary: Love and happily ever afters had never been something she’d given much thought about, not when there were bigger things out there in the world.
A/N: A surprise birthday ficlet for my lovely madao bro,waketozee. Happy birthday, dear! ♥♥ This was a little rushed and cluttered, but I hope you like it still ^^;
There is a kind of contentment – fingers laced together under the sheets, the tickle of his curly hair against her skin, a tiny sigh of relief – that comes with acceptance. It’s the kind that begins, usually, as a shiver; a small tingle that stirs from within the folds of your heart, unravelling, stitch by stitch. A thread (among many) connecting two fingers, two hearts, two souls together, stretching and looping from one end of their lives to another.
Tsukuyo had always found the imagery cheap, almost silly even; a schoolgirl’s romanticized and embellished view of what must surely be with the coming-of-age, when one settles into the ebb and flow of everyday life, of domesticity. Love and happily ever afters had never been something she’d given much thought about, not when there were bigger things out there in the world, like errands and businesses to run for Hinowa, to make ends meet and patrol shifts to manage. Not when there were always sleazy, predatory men prowling in an alley or two, who needed introductions to the heel of her boot and the sharp, piercing end of her kunai, reminding them of their place and how it would do them well to learn some basic human decency and respect.
Not when so many things that have gone and passed,
–fire and ash rising above a burning city, Housen’s crumbling reign and his eventual defeat, Hinowa’s gift and sacrifice to save a falling world–
And yet, she thought as she pressed close to the comforting warmth next to her, here she was – content, that’s the word, isn’t it? – with the softness of pillows and blankets around her, the sunlight filtering in from between the curtains and chasing sleep away from her half-lidded eyes.
There was a soft thump against the bedroom door and the pit-a-patter of running feet against the tatami floor, the sounds pulling her away from her lazy morning reverie. She sighed in anticipation at what she already knew was to come: before long, the twins burst into the room, hopping into the bed, their faces all smiles and flushed with excitement.
“Wake up, you bums! It’s morning!” Dia and Block chirruped in unison, bouncing around energetically.
“Your children are awake,” Tsukuyo yawned sleepily as she nudged the snoring lump beside her with her shoulder. The lump twitched visibly and the snores grew louder – almost too loud, like one was feigning sleep, oblivious to the world –
And Block decided then that it was a good time to jump, landing neatly onto his father’s belly, driving the air out from his lungs. Gintoki’s snores were cut short; he coughed and spluttered, finally kicking the blanket off in a flurry of limbs, only to be tackled in the face by a giggling Dia.
“Before sunrise,” Gintoki gasped, prying the little girl’s fingers from his nose, “these monkeys are your kids.”
Tsukuyo huffed, jabbing her lazy excuse of a husband in the ribs with her elbow this time. “You told them that you’d to bring them to the festival this morning.”
Gintoki only let out a childish whine and then a groan, which invited more giggling from the twins and another around of face-tackling, much to his dismay.
“Yeah, you promised, Dad!” Block said, chewing at the hem of Gintoki’s pajamas . “You said you’d bring us to go see Uncle Pachi and Auntie Kagura and Auntie Zura!”
“Did I now?” Gintoki said, scratching his chin thoughtfully. “Daddy was probably pissdrunk, and you know you can’t trust what smelly old drunk men say.”
“You also said you were going to let us sit on Sadaharu and ride Elizabeth-san!” Dia added, twisting a lock of Gintoki’s silver hair around her finger.
“Okay, Daddy was definitely drunk when he said that. You can sit on Sadaharu provided the mutt doesn’t eat you, but there’s no way in hell that I’m letting either of you to ride that walking abomination of an erection; you might catch the same thing as Zura.”
“It’s not Erection, it’s Elizabeth!” the twins cried, before dissolving into peals of laughter.
Gintoki could have gone on, coming up with five or more reasons why staying in bed was always preferable to rubbing sweaty shoulders with a hundred-odd strangers, but as dull as that dead-eyed cavalier gaze he was so fond of wearing, his wits were still sharp – at least, enough to pick up on his wife’s murderous intent on introducing the pointier end of her kunai to his rear. Plus, Dia and Block were already fixing him with their best forlorn expression, their eyes pleading.
He sighed, stretching his arms out over him, before he leaned over his side and brushed a quick kiss to his wife’s cheek, much to her surprise. Then, with a sleepy wink and a toothy grin, he rolled over and tackled the giggling twins, carrying each child like a kitten under his arms, lifting them out of bed and moving towards the bathroom.
“All right kiddos, if you want Daddy to bring you out, then you know what we have to do; time to get squeaky clean in the bath.”
“Noooo,” Block squealed in mock horror, squirming about like trapped jellyfish in Gintoki’s hold. “Not the bath!”
“Isn’t Mummy coming along with us?” Dia asked, tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear as she gazed up at her father with bright eyes.
“Nah, Mummy’s a vampire and needs to rest from the sun due her nightly rounds in the city.”
“Why does she need rest? Ah, I know! Were you two playing Twister again last night?! That’s what Auntie Kagura said you two do whenever there are those bumping noises in the night.”
“Auntie Kagura is all screwy in the head, don’t listen to her,” Gintoki replied, without missing a beat. “Twister is child’s play; Mummy and Daddy were wrestling like adults.”
Curled up in bed under the blankets, Tsukuyo could only sigh, a tinge of rose rising to her cheeks as she shook her head, the corners of her lips quirked into the tiniest of smiles.
“Gintoki, wait,” she called abruptly, rolling out of bed and following after them. She lifted a chuckling Block to her shoulders, and raised her eyes to meet her husband’s curious gaze.
(That day after the Fall, when they stood by the shore looking up at the remnants of the old world, they spoke no words, shed no tears; their grief, personal and shared, was still too fresh, too raw. But they were alive; they walked free once more under sun and sky again)
“I’ll go with you,” Tsukuyo said simply, reaching for Gintoki’s free hand.
“All right,” Gintoki smiled, his eyes bright with quiet affection as he gazed back at his family. “Looks like everyone’s in for the Yorozuya festival then. Now kids, what does the Yorozuya remind you of?”
Dia and Block grinned widely, raising both hands upwards. “The best!”
Love and happily ever afters had never been something she’d given much thought about; who could ever say what tomorrow brings, after all.
I’ll go with you, side by side, to whatever that comes our way.
For now, this was enough and Tsukuyo was content.
- This AU is loosely based and set in a Final Fantasy-ish-like world (FFXIII to be exact. Someday I will write a proper FFXIII fic; today is not that day, sobs)
- Backstory for this AU: Housen was a God (the Fal’Cie of Endless Night), who ruled the floating world of Edo with an iron fist, discarding human lives to his whim and fancy. Long story short, Tsukuyo and Gintoki (together with the help of Shinpachi, Kagura, Hasegawa, Hinowa and Seita) fought against him for their freedom. During the final battle, Hinowa finally understood her prophetic dreams from the Goddess and sacrificed herself by turning into a crystal pillar to save the people of Edo from crashing down into the Wildlands below. No longer ruled by tyrant Gods, the survivors began their new lives in the Wildlands, naming the first new settlement by the sea New Edo.
- The fic is set after those events, where Tsukuyo and Gintoki found themselves gravitating towards each other and uh, realised their feelings for each other?? (I swear I had grand ideas about how everyone bonded during their team-up and fight for freedom against Housen…)
- This was an also excuse to write family fluff, and Dia and Block, haha. I love imagining Gintoki being as potty-mouthed as he usually is, even as a father. Tsukki probably doesn’t mind as much, because hey, the kids are probably gonna pick it up from someone else anyway, right? Besides, it’s in the nature of children to be rebellious as they age; they’ll grow to be well-spoken individuals, yup!
- Also also, Gintoki and Tsukuyo did not ‘officially’ tie the knot in this AU (even though they do still refer to each other as husband and wife); they decided they wanted to be and stay with each other, had some kids and… that’s that. They don’t feel that being married changes anything; they’re already a family, and have realised and accepted that fact a long time ago.
- I hope you enjoyed reading this :’)