I hold her hand, so small, in mine.
As our fingers intertwine, as her thick hair tangles in the crook of my neck, as her tears fall silently, one hand gripping tightly my yukata…
her lips even now refusing to say my given name, too much even as she’s shaking…
Only now do I finally understand.
Her love is thicker than Kyoto smoke.
This girl is more a woman than I’d dreamed—that’s not to say I’d entertained the notion, yet
her eyes that night, they flickered in the fire light, casting longing shadows that I couldn’t overlook if I’d wanted, and I…
…I thought I might consider it real enough to try…
if she’d had those eyes for me.
Unchanging notions cast aside normality of life I’d thought to miss,
summed up in compulsion: one tick, sword swiped clean and sheathed.
She is sakura blossoms in snow, and I am a shadow on the mountain
of Shinsengumi glory. These things I do not take for granted.
My heart has never raced for anything but the kill, and yet
open spaces left abandoned feel a little less empty when I’m
I’ve been called a kid so many times,
and I feel it
when she looks at me.
A sacred thing I can’t help but admire,
she smiles with sparkling eyes
like a fever dream I had when I was small.
Bushing cheeks on maiko girls so soon
Tell me, Sano-san,
Am I too young for this?
I thought I’d hate to say it, but…
She is the means to an end
An omnipresent blinder, a puzzle in the eyes of flawless research
—An impression on bloodly Okita—
—An impertinence to Hijikata—
A dictation on MY heart
Words spoken with the sweetest hint of bitter goya
And the gall only a young, plucky girl in men’s clothing can deliver!
Who is she—SHE!—to make me—I, who have given up HUMANITY—feel so…
I feel like I’m sending my only son to fight a war,
Or my only daughter to her wedding.
Or maybe a butterfly into a spider’s web or a rabbit into a fox’s den, but you get the picture
And I know that Sano doesn’t look at her that way, but I’ve seen Heisuke’s eyes, that kid
In keeping with a theme, I’m not as oblivious as some might say,
But I’ll choose this labeled ignorance for a reason:
Give me fifteen minutes with a geisha and I’ll make it count,
But a lifetime well spent isn’t long enough to spend with her.
I’ll take this role with pride, old man jokes aside—
Chizuru is a treasure; only certain men—my pals—are good enough.