A/N: this is written for a writing challenge takasugi/dystopian and honestly i think gintama is his dystopian. i like how it turns out so there. VERY short drabble

Takasugi is asleep.

There is a scratching at the back of his mind, a hand knocking on his door of unconsciousness and consciousness (because he can't tell the difference between the two), whispering a wake up call.

(Wake up, your fight isn't over yet, everything is still wrong…)

He ignores them like an unwanted guest.

There is always that part of his brain – that constant, nagging part. The part that commands him to duck a bullet, the part that twists his nerves and bend his muscles, the part that tells him he isn't awake. The part that lets him know he is dreaming.

(Yet still he dreams.)

Sceneries dance behind his eyelid(s), like a replacement for his missing eye. Green field. Children laughter. A burning temple. A bloody sword.

He remembers the time – once upon a time – he used to wake up and drenched in cold swear after a nightmare, seeking for his comfort.

His hands, once warm and alive, brushing strands of hair away from his temple and he would sleep then, dreamless.

He wishes him to come. He wishes him to visit his nights. He wishes him to appear, once, just once, in dreams, or even nightmares. He always thinks he would come, a distorted image of him, maybe forgiving, maybe cursing, maybe headless. He pictures him stabbing a rotten finger to his chest, a victim accusing with spat out sonnet: why have you forsaken me?, just to berate himself. But he never comes. Not even once.

He wants him to. He wants it so, so fucking bad, he would kill.

Takasugi would. He can, he has, he will.

Because he will do whatever, he will give whatever it takes – a heart or two, gallons of gold and/or blood and/or bloodied gold, a fallen empire, a princess' broken heart, a whole goddamn country, a head or two – to see him, once, just once.

Even if what he gets is a warped, poor imitation of what once had been and what could have been.

Dreams are cruel, awful thing. They say he should fear nightmare, that he should cower away from the demons they serve; the imaginary and the non-fiction, the burnt out images of every single wicked deeds he has ever done and will ever do. But oh, they don't understand, do they?

They never do.

He would beg. He would beg with the heads of his ex-comrades tied to his ankles like hunting goods in exchange for his head, he would plead to the gods and the goddesses, he would behead the kings and queens and he would nail their corpses on crosses for the world to weep and mourn. He would topple centuries-worth dynasties, he would bend the entire galaxy to ruins and paint the stars with blood.

(He can, he has, he will.)

They do not understand.

They do not understand how badly he wants, how badly he needs. There is a god damned beast inside of him, a screaming, howling monster – and if Gintoki thinks that he is a demon, then what is Takasugi?

If he can't make the world understand then he will burn it down.

May hell have mercy on him.

(Because the heavens never did. This world never did.)

(He would rather go to hell, anyway.)

Takasugi is asleep.

And he begs for dreams – flashes of the past, a burning temple and a bloody sword, him stabbing Takasugi with a rotten finger, a victim accusing with spat out sonnet why have you forsaken me?, and him, softer, more real and more dead: let me go, Shinsuke, let me go…

Takasugi begs for once, just this once, let him dream.

Because he can't picture a worse fate. He can't have a worse fate, even if he is to be reborn as a fucking cicada in the next life.

He knows he can handle hell.