I wanted to put my references here, starting with the song of the same name called Stay with Me - Miki Matsubara, based on this translation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fs1A94BWPw
Hydrate yourselves and have a good read ~
"Starting today, I will be waiting for you to knock on my door at midnight. "
December, winter time. It was normal for it to snow at this time of year, but not as much as it did that night. Hinowa had prepared a Christmas dinner for everyone to celebrate together, calling all her acquaintances (including Yorozuya) where they gathered in a bar on the second floor of an establishment along with the other courtesans. Everyone was having a good time, especially Kagura, who was eating wildly while Shinpachi tried to stop her from eating before the others, Hinowa was dispersed while chatting with the other courtesans, and Seita was joking around with her schoolmates who were present at the event.
Tsukuyo was missing one person in particular, someone who could talk, and that fellow was Gintoki. She asked one of the guests for information about where he was, but no one had seen him since he arrived. She took a plate with some snacks and went out to look for him in other rooms on the floor until she found him on a secluded balcony.
"I came here to smoke and found an antisocial." - The woman with her Kiseru sneered at him.
"I feel comfortable in places that aren't crowded." - As he turned to her, he held a glass of sake next to a bottle. It was one of the few times she saw him wearing his yukata properly and with the plain red scarf.
"I figured." - She smiled. - "I brought something for you." - He placed the plate under the balcony railing. The view was beautiful, no wonder he gazed at the city from up there as he drank.
"Thank you." - He poured himself a drink. "Why don't you eat some?"
"I'm not hungry."
"Oh, stop it, here take it." - He took one of the snacks and offered it to her by putting it in her hands. It took her a while to process, but then she accepted it.
"...Are you really going to stay out here?"
"I believe so."
"Then I will be your companion for the hour."
"I would be flattered." - He smiled as he turned the sake bottle in his glass. They began to talk about various things: from weird and funny jobs to personal things about the past. Small gusts of wind whipped across their faces in union with the temperature that seemed to decrease by the minute. Gintoki could tell that Tsukuyo was getting cold, even if she tried to disguise it. - "Put this on." - He handed her his scarf, wrapping it around her neck.
"But won't you get cold?"
"Don't worry, sake warms me up." - He laughed.
"Then thank you." - She blew on her hands to warm them. Smoke could be seen coming out of his mouth due to the low temperature.
It was a few minutes before the fireworks started, but that was enough for the people to start gathering on the balcony to join them in watching, the balcony was big enough to support all the people present at that moment. When the clock struck midnight, a beautiful shower of fireworks began, along with the phrase 'Merry Christmas' coming from every single person there.
Conversation comes and goes until it was time to leave. Gintoki left his scarf with her and returned to his house around two in the morning carrying Kagura on his back, for she had fallen asleep on the floor after eating too much. Shinpachi also went his way and returned to his home.
As soon as he arrived, Gintoki opened the closet and carefully put her down so as not to wake her, throwing the blanket under her and leaning against the door. 'What an empty feeling.' - It was one of the rare times he came home without being completely drunk or tired of doing nothing. He drank some strawberry milk before going to take a shower to relax, he was very bored. Tsukuyo was no different from him. The kunoichi took off her accessories and put her scarf away in her closet to hand it in later, also going to take a shower to go to sleep. It was almost 5 in the morning so it didn't take long to fall asleep, since she was tired.
The post-Christmas week was a busy one, it was a time when many people visited Yoshiwara because of the bars with courtesans and with that the crimes also increased, so much so that she was only able to go back on the morning of the 31st. She left the house before Hinowa caught her in the act and mocked her for keeping the scarf of the natural permanent (she was sure Hinowa was so distracted during Christmas Eve that she hadn't noticed it on her neck, but just in case, she didn't hesitate), hiding it in a bag. She passed through the center of the surface, where a few stores were open, in search of something to give Hinowa for her birthday at the beginning of the year, but without success. Later she arrived at the Yorozuya, greeted by a strong smell of well-seasoned, mouth-watering chicken. She rang the doorbell and was answered by a Chinese girl.
"Tsukii!" - She was smiling.
"Hi Kagura-chan, is Gintoki in?"
"I'm here, come in!" - Gintoki shouted from the kitchen door mixing a cake batter. They both entered and went straight into the kitchen. - 'What a nice aroma.' - She mentally judged.
"Tsuki, you have to try Gin-chan’s food!"
"Is that so? I didn't know you cooked."
"It's just that I don't cook often and when I do prepare something it's usually basic stuff." - He greased the pan and then immediately put the cake batter in to bake. - "Would you like to try the chicken?"
"I'd love to." - He cut a few pieces and put them on two plates serving them.
"Careful it's hot, it just came out of the oven. " - It wasn't just aroma that was good. The chicken itself was well stuffed, done at just the right temperature that when you put it in your mouth, it was noticeable that it wasn't just any chicken. The taste of the seasoning dominated and the amount of salt was exactly right, there was no burnt residue or dry feeling. It was something that few could achieve, even if you are a professional. With each bite, the chicken melted in his mouth, making him want more and more, and it was only a matter of time before he realized that he had eaten it all in a few bites.
"That's very good."
"I said Tsuki, Gin-chan cooks well!"
"I am really surprised at your skills in the kitchen." - He scowled, as it was the first time, he had received a compliment from an outsider.
"O-Thank you. If you want, you can have some more." - He began to prepare the cake topping, cutting a few pieces of strawberry.
"Thank you, but I will decline for the time being." - She smiled. - "By the way, where are you guys going to spend New Year's Eve?"
"Right here." - He replied as he watched Kagura humming as she ate the piece of chicken.
"Just the two of you?"
"Yes, Shinpachi said he would be stopping by with his sister and the cabaret girls." - The Chinese girl uttered.
"You guys can go to Yoshiwara."
"We already spent Christmas there, we don't want to give Hinowa any more trouble." - The samurai contradicted.
"Tsuki, why don't you come by with us?"
"I can't, the staff is waiting for me."
"Please..." - The Chinese girl stared at her with a cute face trying to convince her. - "Gin-chan can't spend another New Year's Eve single!"
"What the hell are you saying?!" - I said angrily.
"I think I can cogitate on the possibility."
" Stop the fucking drama! Go over there and get the phone to warn Hinowa. " - Gintoki grumbled.
"You want my presence that badly?" - She laughed.
"Of course. Take the opportunity that no other person will have."
"That way I won't be able to refuse." - She got up and went to the phone. In a quick conversation, she already made it clear that she would be spending New Year's Eve away from home without saying where, however Hinowa realized that she was in a familiar place and didn't try to convince her, just told her to be safe, leaving her embarrassed to the point of slamming the phone in her face. 'Humph.' - He sighed. She walked towards the kitchen, attracted by the smell of the cake baking.
"Here, taste." - She was caught off guard with a spoon in front of her mouth. It was a mixture he had made to be used as the filling for the cake. She tasted it without hesitation, her eyes sparkling showing how good it was. "I think it got a little too sweet-"
"I liked it."
"I'm glad then!"
"Do you have something I can help you with? I would love to take lessons from the chef! " - She ironized.
"You can be my official food taster. "
"It would be an honor." - They both flirted unconsciously. Although his eyes were considered 'dead fish', she could see something vivid in his gaze, while her bright violet eyes in conjunction with her slight smile had lured him into wanting to observe more.... Closer. It was a matter of a second before they both regained consciousness.
"Well, for now you only have the cake to finish baking." - The samurai said fumblingly.
"What are you going to do for now?"
"A good question. "
"By the way Gintoki, thank you for that! I was already forgetting. " - She handed the bag with the scarf to him.
"Oh, I had forgotten." - He laughed. - "Want to take a walk later?" - She blushed.
"H-hum, I accept."
The trio gathered in the living room, chatting about random things and watching generic movies on TV until the cake was finished baking. It didn't take long for it to finish; the smell of homemade cake filled the house with the green tea he had prepared a few minutes before. Tsukuyo, who was not such a fan of sweets, ended up falling in love with the taste, so much so that she repeated it more than twice before she was full.
Without further ado they went for a walk in the center of Kabukicho. Kagura was carrying her umbrella, fully willing to look at the stores to the point of running ahead, and the two of them? They chatted as they walked slowly along, a conversation that only ended when Tsukuyo stopped the moment she saw a kanzashi in the window of a jewelry store.
"Is there a problem?" - Gintoki questioned her.
"Did you like this kanzashi?"
"No... I mean yes, but not for me."
"So, for whom?"
"For Hinowa... I wanted to buy her a present, but I have no idea what to give her as a birthday present."
"Look, I don't understand much of the details, but I think she would like it! "
"Do you think so?"
"Take a good look... The stones are the color of her eyes, and that shade of salmon pink is a bit reminiscent of her skin without makeup..." - He put his hand under his chin.
"Yeah, you're right."
"How about a third opinion?" - he smiled.
"I'd love to."
"Hey Kagura, come here!" - He Shouted. "What do you think of this kanzashi for Hinowa?"
"Ooh! It's just like her! " - The Chinese girl exclaimed.
"You, see? "
"Yes, I am." - Tsukuyo laughed. - "Then I will take it." - She walked in quickly before the store closed and bought the accessory in a green-colored suede box set. Looking at it with other eyes, it was much prettier: on the handle it had golden designs with blue on a salmon background, on the details on the top, there were leaf-like designs in a bluish green color and petals resembling butterflies also in salmon with white, and finally there were two golden chains holding a pearl 'tear'.
Before returning home, they went to a park so that Kagura could play with the other children while the two had some ice cream together. Afterwards they went to Otose's bar to wish them an 'early happy new year' and have a few drinks, before finally heading home. As simple as the outing was, Tsukuyo had a great time with them, and if she could, she would give anything to have this day go into a time loop to stay with them.
That night the fireworks show began. They gathered on the balcony of their apartment so that they could watch it together like at Christmas. Gintoki was distracted when he felt something warm and soft gently touch the tip of his little finger. He pretended not to notice, smiling discreetly, and took her hand, making her blush.
"Aah so beautiful~" - Kagura smiled. - "Happy new year!" - She looked back and came across the scene of the two of them holding hands watching the fireworks. She thought that was too cute and special to be recorded in her memory.
"Happy new year." - The pair said together and then looked at each other with a slight laugh.
Hey reader, thanks for stopping by!
I wanted to put down my affection and gratitude for reading to the end, I'd love to hear a little bit about your opinion too!
I know it's strange, but here in São Paulo (or at least in my neighborhood) some stores are open on New Year's Eve, but close earlier than usual (for example the markets close at 6pm) and I wanted to include this in the fanfic, don't judge me.
I'm planning to make this fanfic longer, so feel free to deposit ideas and if something is vague or open, ask me and I'll be explaining and/or fixing it. Oh, and finally, maybe the rating can be changed as the story goes on, I still can't agree with myself about that. That is all! Until the next chapter o//
Merci pour la lecture!
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