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Title: The Christmas Song
Author: hajimenokizu

Kondou Isami ran out with a shovel towards the mini-van. The snow was heavy but the retired commander refused to let a –little- snow stop him tonight. Christmas was a special time for him, it was the day his platoon got shipped back home.

"Darling?" Tsune looked at her husband while holding Tamako-chan.

"Let's go!"

Hijikata got there and knew someone had started already. The alcohol was "flowing". Each one of them… Laughter came from the corner, and he found the trio… They always got into trouble, that he had to separate them on assignments. Separation was no longer necessary, but it was a pain to arrange the gathering. It would be unacceptable if the booze was gone before the others arrived. Annoyed, he marched towards them.

"Hijikata-san! Drink up! It's on us!"

His face turned red as beet, it was not from WAFF.

"Do you have designated drivers?"

Todou, Nagakura and Harada pointed to each other.

"What do you mean me?"

"I'm not!"

"Well… I drank already."

"I did too!"

Hijikata shook his head and removed himself from the three stooges before his head exploded. How will he take care of them?

Why did he always get dragged –there-? Back then, it was Harada who said his car was broken. Then, it was Kondou-san saying that his wife was angry at him and removed his driving privileges. Then, it was Shinpachi who said all his "friends" can't fit his coupe. It always puzzled him how a man like Shinpachi, a plain looking man without any hints of elegance could hitch ladies and be with them all at the same time. At least Harada only had one girlfriend, although Saitou still thought Harada was an idiot, unable to propose.

"I'm sorry for imposing, Saitou-san."

"As long as you can put up with the smoking."

"It's quite alright. I'm glad to be going with a friend."

Then he remembered that this is the first time Hide would come to their yearly reunion. That's why he couldn't say no. He stole a look at her, he was a man who could appreciate beauty but he was never interested in women for any romantic capacity. She was just a friend.


He blinked. He was caught staring! With a grunt, he floored the gas pedal.

So each member of the now disbanded Wolf Platoon was in the Officer's Mess… Drinking enough spiked eggnog to take an army out . The rest with liquor and eating too much cheese and pretzels.

"I must say Toshi, I'm impressed you got this place."

"Well Kondou-san, just because we're no longer in service…"

"Ah." Kondou's eyes scanned the room and he chuckled.

"Tch… Why are they here?" Toshi settled his chin on his knuckles.

"I sent them an invitation…"


"Calm down Toshi. I'm glad they came this year."

"Tch. Kondou don't you remember, they almost got us killed with that "plan" of theirs."

"Toshi… They are a part of our group. Their plan perhaps wasn't perfect but it was something they sincerely believed in."

"Kondou you are too kind." Hijikata drowned his whiskey.

"I can't believe it!" Harada bellowed.

"Yagi Hide!" Nagakura shouted.

Todou Heisuke almost dropped his drink. Harada and Nagakura was already half-way across the room. The large man motioned for Todou to follow but he couldn't move a muscle. Nagakura came to the rescue, stealing Todou's drink with one big gulp and then dragged Todou with him.

"Tch… I'll leave you here Yagi-san." Saitou turned but Hide clung to his arm. He looked back at her puzzled noting the discomfort on her face.

"Finally! Our best cook has arrived!" Harada hiccupped.

"Did you bring anything?" Shinpachi leaned forward and smiled, intoxicated.

"Shut up –morons-. It's her first time here and already you're up to your antics."

The two silently grinned, a bit embarrassed that Saitou was being his usual self. Sharp-tongued. Both swung Todou in front to cover their asses. When a mute meets another mute what do you get?

"Oh dear…" Tsune along with Tamako-chan got in front of the boys and dragged the unsuspecting Hide to her corner. Nagakura and Shinpachi returned to their corner by the lighted tree. Saitou stomped his way to the rhum and Todou was left alone.

"Oh those men…" Tsune chuckled. "They do this every year. Meet, greet, fight and then huddle to their corners."

"Is that so?" Hide looked down and started filling up the glasses. Drinking she winced, the punch of course packed quite a -punch-.

Tsune watched Hide look at each men in the room as if she was looking for someone.

Kondou stood up. It was time to break the ice.

"A toast..." He waited for everyone's attention. His eyes were clear, his voice was soft. So unlike the stern commander they knew in the midst of war, once again enthralling his men. "To good friends, those who are no longer with us… And us, who survived and kept their memories."

Moving towards Tsune, he gave her a peck on the cheek.

"And to you, who makes me want to live."

"I told Kondou once. You remember, Yamanami?…" Itou grinned and settled back his seat.

"I know…" Takeda chuckled, "But what you told him was so depressing."

Itou shot Takeda a look of feigned contempt and then languidly took his drink.

"A toast then…"

"To them…"

"And us Takeda-san."

"I'm glad you finally came. I'm sorry about Souji." Todou began softly.

Hide looked at her drink and then across the room towards Saitou and Hijikata.

"Souji gave me so many things, so many friends." She smiled. "Shall we dance?"

And they danced to the Christmas Song…

But not just them, Kondou and Tsune, Harada and Masa, Shinpachi and the girls, Takeda and Itou…

"So Saitou… I trust you can take them home?" Hijikata looked at the dance floor

"They won't fit my car."

"I'll take some of them…"

"But then I can't…"

"Drink? I saved some "clean" punch…"

"But sir…"

"No buts."

Notes: At first I was going to do a songfic on the Christmas Song… But well I needed to say a few things, so just read this with the Christmas Song in the background… LOL… I was listening to the Hottie and the Blowfish version. Yeah so kick me. J An AU-modern Shinsengumi take on XMAS… LOL… It's just a smorgasborg of NHK, RK, PMK and the like. Body is exactly 1000 words, without the Title and the notes. I own nothing of course, all copyright owned by their respective owners. Merry XMAS to everyone.

WAFF – warm and fuzzy feelings

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