Escaping Cherry Blossom 3

Escaping Cherry Blossom 3

A Story by Althelia Marie Caine

Just like all mornings, the group of Shinsengumi sat around in a circle in the dining hall enjoying that mornings breakfast. The only odd thing about this morning was that the group was unusually silent. Normally there would be lively chatter about missions or Shinpachi going out of his way to swipe Heisuke’s food. However, this morning was utterly silent, save for the quiet sounds of chopsticks and the soft chewing sounds from around the room. It was uncomfortable for all of them.

                “Are… alright this morning, Chizuru?” Heisuke spoke up first to break the awkward silence. Chizuru looked up from where she had been staring at her bowl of rice. She gave an uneasy smile trying to alleviate any concern the younger man had.

                “I’m fine now. It was just a nightmare after all.” She said in a fake cheerful voice. Heisuke and Shinpachi shared a doubtful glance.

                “Are you sure? You were pretty…riled up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you that freaked out before. It must have been something really bad to make you react like that.” Shinpachi said.

                “Shinpachi is right, Chizuru. It’s unusual.” Sanosuke added, placing a brotherly hand on Chizuru’s tiny shoulder. Chizuru knew that everyone was worried about her but she just didn’t have the confidence to tell them that she had dreamt that it was the vice-commander in her dream that had scared her so badly. And she certainly didn’t want him knowing it. It would just make being around him even weirder than it already was.  And she honestly didn’t want that. She cared for the man deeply and anything she said about that dream would only serve to harder his resolve to keep him at a distance from her. She already kept him at enough of a distance as it was.

                “Chizuru…..” The man she was currently thinking about spoke up softly. “If you don’t want to speak about it you don’t have to. But keep in mind that we do worry about you.” He told her and the rest of the group nodded along with what he had said. She knew he was right.

                “I know. And I appreciate it. However…please just let me keep this to myself. It…would keep my mind at peace not to burden you with this.” She replied to him. Hijikata shrugged and nodded. Everyone took the hint and dropped the subject.

                “Chizuru, I think it might be a good idea to go on patrol with Saitou this afternoon. It’ll keep your mind off of things.” Kondou finally said after remaining silent throughout the previous conversation.

                “I agree with the Commander. It’ll probably be good for you to get out and around the city.” Souji said. “We can stop and grab some of that dango you like so much.”

                “Oh yeah! And you may possibly run into Sen-chan! I’m sure that would help you a lot too!” Sanosuke said with a grin.  Chizuru gave a small smile at her friends’ ways of trying to cheer her up. She didn’t know what she would do without them. She glanced over at Hijikata to see what he thought about the idea and he didn’t show any sign of having heard the idea but as soon as everyone was engaged in other conversation she notice him glance over at her and gave her a warm encouraging smile that she knew said that she should go with Souji. Her eyes lit slightly and she looked down silently agreeing.



                Chizuru walked slightly behind Souji as their group walked the streets of Kyoto leisurely. It was a fairly uneventful patrol as no one seemed to be causing mischief. Souji fell into step with Chizuru and motioned towards a tea shop up ahead of them.

                “Wanna stop by for some tea and dango, Chizuru?” He asked. Chizuru glanced up at him and then at the tea shop before finally noticing that she was indeed hungry. Although they had had a big breakfast earlier, all of that walking had worked her appetite back up again.  She nodded silently and Souji smirked before turning towards the men. “Chizuru is hungry so we are gonna stop at the tea shop. You can do whatever you like for the next half hour. Just don’t make trouble.” He said and the rest of the squad nodded and went their separate ways with orders to meet back in this spot in  a half an hour.

                Souji and Chizuru made their way to the tea shop where ironically they spotted a familiar figure seated among the other patrons. As if feeling their presence the brunette turned from where she was sitting and met Chizuru’s eyes and a huge smile broke out on her face as she stood up to hurriedly rush to greet them.

                “Okita-san! Chizuru-chan! What a surprise running into the two of you!” The female gushed. Chizuru smiled happily at her friend.

                “Sen-chan! I didn’t think I’d actually run into you today. I came out hoping to but didn’t expect it.” She said hugging her friend. Sen smiled and led them back to where she had been sitting.

                “I guess I had a feeling that I might run into you today.” Sen said as they sat down and the owner of the shop came to take their orders before quickly retreating.

                “I wasn’t planning on coming out today but everyone insisted that I needed to get out and clear my thoughts.” Chizuru said. Sen glanced at Souji’s semi worried face and then back to Chizuru.

                “Did something happen?” She asked. Chizuru looked away and Souji put a hand on her shoulder to calm her.

                “You came out here in hopes of speaking to her, Chizuru. You might as well tell her if you won’t tell the others. It’s not like she’s gonna run and tattle on you to Hijikata.” Souji told her. “I can always go wait outside until you’re finished.” Chizuru fidgeted a bit before answering.

                “You can…stay, Okita-san. As long as you don’t tell the others…” She muttered. Souji ruffled her hair playfully.

                “Not a word. And if I do say anything…well then I guess you can kill me. Or well you can try anyway.” He joked. Chizuru smiled slightly at his failed joking attempt and turned to Sen who had been watching them carefully. She proceeded to tell them of her dream from the previous night and they both listened until then end before Sen sighed and looked at her friend with sad eyes.

                “And you haven’t told him about this? Nor the others?” Sen asked taking a sip of the tea that had been brought in the middle of the story.

                “No…only you and Okita-san know.” She answered meakly. Souji leaned his chin on his palm and stared at her with calculating eyes.

                “Well I can see why you wouldn’t wanna tell Hijikata. But the others would understand.” He said. Chizuru looked at him in alarm.

                “Please don’t tell the others! I don’t want to make trouble for them just because of a bad dream.” She exclaimed quickly. Sen gave her a pitying look.

                “Chizuru-chan…you can’t keep this from him forever you know. He’s obviously worried about you.” She told her friend. Souji looked between the two and smirked.

                “You talk as if she’s keeping a secret from her lover, Sen-chan.” Souji commented. Sen turned knowledgeable eyes to Souji and smiled.

                “She might as well be.” 

© 2013 Althelia Marie Caine

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Added on October 29, 2013
Last Updated on October 29, 2013


Althelia Marie Caine
Althelia Marie Caine

Bend, OR

My name is Layla. I have of love of writing and literature but to be perfectly honest? I'm not very good with words and I have a hard time putting them together to form poetry or a story. And I'm okay.. more..