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Hiraeth

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Also, I just want you guys to know the meaning behind the story’s title before you read, because it will help you understand what the story might actually be about in the long run.
(SLIGHT SPOILER WARNING)
Hiraeth: Hiraeth, is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed.
It can be pronounced like this: Hear-eth
This word was on a list of ‘beautiful words found on the internet’ post on tumblr and I just loved the post so much that I wanted to use one of its words in my fanfiction. Strangely enough the story prompt had fit so much with this word that it gave me goosebumps and I just had to use it as the title!
Once again, thank you guys for taking your time to read this,
xoxo sue_ki

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It was a normal day. I awoke from bed after hearing my older sister’s usual mistakes of breaking plates while trying to make me breakfast. I swear, I tell her everyday not to do anything and to just rest, but she just won’t listen. Sometimes I wonder who the elder sibling really is between the two of us.

“Sorry Sou-chan…” Mitsuba said, hovering around Sougo with a worried look plastered all over her face.

“I said its fine, nee-san.” Sougo replied, and got up to throw the broken pieces of porcelain into the trash can. “Just stay still and rest, that’s all you have to do.”

“But nee-chan doesn’t feel comfortable just sitting around, I don’t want you to be the only one carrying both our burdens Sou-chan... Ever since okaa-san and otou-san died...” She replied with her weak voice, and was about to continue until i stopped her.

Sougo turned to face his sister and placed his hands on her shoulders.

“You don’t need to worry nee-san. I don’t want your body to get weaker than it already is. And trust me, I’m not burdened at all.” Sougo replied, giving his sister a small smile that is rarely seen on his face.

“Really?” Mitsuba replied, a confused look on her face.

“Really.” He replied, and truth be told, he meant it.

Sure, they weren’t living a fancy life with extra money to splurge on things they wanted. Sure, they didn’t live in a regular house and could only afford a small apartment for just the two of them. But living the life of the riches isn’t on Okita Sougo’s wish list, and it never will be. Nee-san’s hospital bills though, are another story. What I have now, just being with my sister and having a job at Shinsengumi is enough. Ah, I forgot to mention about the Shinsengumi didn’t I?

*4 years ago*

“Sougo-kun!” A voice called out from behind him and Sougo could see a familiar silhouette running toward him from far away.

“Hey,” Sougo stopped in his tracks for his friend to catch up and felt his body relax, but almost immediately tensed up because of the sudden stares he felt and giggles he heard from around him.

“Still the handsome, charismatic upperclassman, aren’t ya?” Shinpachi teased, pushing his glasses up and trying to catch his breath.

“Shut up,” He replied and punched the guy in the arm.

“Ha ha, don’t be shy, it’s no secret that you’re the most popular guy in the school." And with that Sougo flung his arms around the lanky boy, grinding his fist upon his head to punish the friend.

The girls in the area all squealed cries of glee from the rare sight of Okita Sougo being playful with his best friend.

“I’m so jealous!”

“His best friend is so lucky!”

“Look at how close they are!-“

“Ahhh, shut up!” Sougo yelled, and the girls yelped and ran away blushing from his sudden temper.

“Seems like they still like you even if you yell at them, huh Senpai-kun?” Shinpachi laughed, putting a hand on Sougo’s Shoulder and Sougo sighs.

“I know, don’t laugh. It ain’t funny. So what’s up? You aren’t really the type of person to chase someone till you’re out of breath.”

“So about that, I was wondering if you would be interested in a night time part-time-job that I found out about from my older sister. I know it’s our last year of high school and we’re all busy, but I thought I should’ve told you about it anyway.”

“From Otae? Never knew she worried about another person other than you.” Sougo smirked and Shinpachi just slapped him in the back as revenge.

“So what’s the job like?” Sougo asked and Shinpachi proceeded to drag him by the arm.

“Where are we going?”

“To the Shinsengumi.” Shinpachi smiled and Sougo could only follow with a confused expression.

 

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Shinpachi had dragged me to a pretty unfamiliar part of the town. It’s rumored for having gangs and delinquents hanging around and I couldn’t imagine how Shinpachi could even find his way around such a dangerous place knowing how innocent he is. The streets were dark, street lamps tall and dominating the people who walked these streets. Newspapers scattered around and ramen stands were party filled. While the area did seem kind of dark, it had a sort of warm healing feeling to me, and I didn’t know why. The people I saw didn’t seem as dangerous as the rumors would describe them as, and thought that most of the people actually looked like those in their primes with some extra cash in their pockets. It was kind of embarrassing actually, because we were still in our school uniforms.

Suddenly, Shinpachi stopped and I ran into him, “What’s the hold up Shin?” I asked.

“We’re here, Sougo-kun. Welcome to the Shinsengumi.” Sougo said, and held out his hands to show to me the grandeur size of the bar.

 

It was huge. Didn’t look like a regular restaurant/bar at all. It's entrance was on the corner turn of the brick sidewalk, so the front looked bigger than it's sides. There were small steps to its fairly large doors, and the building looked like it came out of his favorite anime with strong cement pillars and arches at the top. The building seemed to be pretty European-like, with its windows carved with intricate sharp lines and fancy lights hanging above its doors to give it a kind of holy feel to it. Shinpachi opened the doors and we both walked inside. 

 

Bright light blinded me for a bit, the high contrast from the dark streets had made me not used to light for a while, and I shielded my eye with my arms.

“Welcome to the Shinsengumi!” Someone said, and I dared to open my eyes and move my arm down to see what the interior would be like.

 

The inside was bustling. round tables set around the bar center almost all filled with men in their 30s to 50s drinking beer and eating bread and pasta. Waiters and waitresses handling customers and dishes could be seen going all over the place. Chatter and laughter can be heard at every corner, where couches hugged the walls and pool tables making clanking noise from each hit the men make on the balls. The walls and floor were of dark wood that were waxed nicely, and paintings of sunsets on a cliff and samurai hung all around. The carpets of a burgundy color also rested nicely on the floors. A huge glass chandelier hovered in the middle of the building, and then wall lamps helped to give light to the dark sides too.

I was astonished, the small stage that a pianist and singer performed on were nicely lit too, and what a surprise that it was Otae there singing the tune for the drunken old men. Darting boards were set up too, and you could see the many holes on the board but the area on the wall near it too. But the most impressive thing that caught my eye was the bar, its long counter separating the bartender from his customers was tall, black, and glimmering from the golden lights hovering it and its glasses. A huge wall behind it with many bottles of hundreds of different kind of wine and alcohol. Tall black and red stools sat in front of the counter. There seemed to be a pretty flashy group that gathered around the bartender, and they laughed and drank with silly expressions on their faces.

 

“It’s amazing, isn’t it Sougo-kun?” Shinpachi said, and I could only nod and agree at his understatement as to how incredible this bar really was. The whole atmosphere and feel to it had tug on my heart strings. I felt like I was at home. But my home was back at the apartment with Mitsuba nee-san.

“Why if it isn’t Shinpachi-kun!” Someone screamed, and waved his hands high in the air. It was the bartender. He was tall and built, dark short spikey hair and a small goatee. He had an idiot face though, I could tell from his stupid expression he made while calling out to Shin.

“Kondou-san,” Shinpachi said, and walked on over to the bar. I followed shortly behind, and ignored the curious looks I got form the other customers. Damn it, Shinpachi should’ve let me change at least first.

 

As we got closer to the bar, I could make out the faces of each people near the bar. They all seemed pretty close to each other, one short lanky guy with dark medium hair had seemed to stick like glue to the bartender, while a man with messy black hair and a cigarette had his back against my way, but his face still turned to see. Kind of pissed me off. Anyway, some frizzy haired ginger also sat with them, his face was covered from his huge turtle neck and beside him was an average looking bald man too. They all seemed to be around their 20s to 40s especially from the fancy suits they wore. They definitely were not poor men.

“So who’s this good-looking young man Shinpachi-kun?” Kondou-san said, and I had stood awkwardly, still unsure of how to introduce myself as.

“He’s a friend of mine from school, his name is Okita Sougo.” Shinpachi pulled me closer and patted my back to bow to them. And so I did.

“Nice to meet you, my name is Okita Sougo. I heard from Shin that Otae said I could get a night shift part-time job here.” I said and bowed down to the bartender.

“Ahh, that’s right. The sweet Otae is so kind that she is willing to get us a handsome worker like you!” Koundou-san said, and he blushed with a stupid smile on his face, scratching the back of his head and gazing toward her way on the stage.

I leaned into Shin’s ear to whisper, “Is he stupid in love with your devil sister or what?”

Shinpachi also leaned in and spoke behind my ear with his hand, “Yeah he is, but my sister plays hard to get, especially because he’s a stupid gorilla.” He replied, and I could only snort at his witty response.

 

"Kondou." A voice spoke up, and it was from the guy smoking that i saw earlier.

"Isn't this pretty boy a bit too young and weak to work for a place like ours?" He continued, and i swear i was about to punch his own pretty face in real hard. 

"What'd you say?" I spoke out and walked closer to the man sitting on the stool, until Shin stopped me and pulled on my arm.

"What're you doing Shin?" I said, and he shook his head.

"I wouldn't if i were you Sougo-kun. They have weapons on them."

I turned my head back to the men standing before me, and took a better look at them. They were armed just like Shin said. Hell they had a fucking Katana on their sides and guns on the counter too. What the hell is this place?!?!

"Now now, Kondou-san doesn't like it when people fight inside Hijikata-san. It messes up the wood and tables!" The lanky guy said, and tried to calm the asshole down as he was about to spit his cig out earlier when i provoked him.

"That's right Toshi, the boy is as capable as Yamazaki-kun, i'm sure of it." And he smiled his stupid smile again for the nth time. 

"Just what kind of place is this that the regulars wield a FUCKING KATANA?!" i yelled, and a petite hand had placed itself onto my shoulder.

"My my, Sou-kun it's been long. I see you came for the job here right?" Otae had finished her performance and came to greet me, and i could only be speechless as to how calm everyone is.

"Nee-san, Sougo-kun is a little surprised with how things are, but i do believe he'll enjoy working here." Shinpachi said, and i was too speechless to even add to his statement once again.

"The Shinsengumi is pretty weird Sougo, but it's a great gathering for many close friends and groups. We often have parties on Friday nights and it gets even busier than it is now!" 

"That's not what i'm worried about right now Otae-" I spoke outloud, but regretted it immediately as she had pinched my ears tightly and growled to me.

"O-T-A-E?" She yelled and had glared at me with all her might, "I TOLD YOU TO CALL ME TAE-SAN DIDN'T I?!" She screamed and for the nth time i sweated and could not take how ridiculous my current situation was.

 

"Now now everyone!" Kondou-san spoke. "I believe this situation calls for a celebration for the new member of our bar, Okita Sougo!" He proclaimed, and everyone had screamed with agreement and got busy to make more food and fun for the rest of the night.

Shinpachi was trying to pry his sister off me as she held onto my poor ear tight, and the bustling bar and it's workers were moving like bees. All leaving me, the main protagonist, alone with no explanation and care to feed my curiosity and stupefiedness.

In the corner of my eye however, i saw a bright orange-pink color move fast out the doors. I wasn't able to make out what it was, but thought that maybe it was a short girl with vermilion hair. I stared at the exit and could only feel like i had missed something very important. 

And i did. Although, i wasn't able to figure that out until many years later.

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Hey, guys! You made it alive to the end of the first chapter. I don't know about you but i'm loving how it's going. If you're wondering, i kind of based the bar off of this one: 

http://iamthebestman.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Revolution-Newcastle.jpg

and also kind of mooched off the idea from the K anime Homra's bar. hehe.

Anyway, as i've said i'm really hapy with how this is going. Just want to also let you guys know i'm busy with University so i will probably take a long time to update and finish this story. So please please like and share so it'll give me more motivation to write!!

Please & Thank you - 

               sue_ki