This isn't really a fanfic, but it is probably not something canon either. I intended to just talk briefly about the end of episode 156, but it quickly got transformed into a too long discussion about possible love interests for Gin-san...
Takes place at the end of episode 156. Spoilers for this episode as well as for some other episodes (particularly about the women in Gin-san's life).
< > = My thought bubble. There isn't one for Gin-san because I don't want to pretend that I can read his mind, even though this Gin-san is my version.
Gin-san: Who are they?
Me: They are characters used to stand in for you guys, probably because the producer/creator are too much of cowards to mess with you guys directly. It's a cheap attempt (literally. They avoid drawing those characters so budget must be cheap) to misdirect the viewers/readers. But hey, I still take Gintae from there anyway.
Gin-san: I see. Just don't agree with the last part. In what universe does that uncute flat-chested woman ever see me as anything other than a convenient punching bag?
Me: Love is blind, it seems.
Gin-san: Wh...what? I don't love her!
Me: Love is blind, it seems.
Gin-san: Cut that out already!! I'm the main character of a non-romance series. I can't have a love interest!
Me: That is a sad thing the higher-ups are doing to your character then, Gin-san.
Gin-san: Doesn't matter. It is naive to think life always goes the way I want.
Me: On a second thought, Otae isn't the only person you could be matched up with.
Gin-san: Oh, who else is there?
Me: Forget Yoshiwara already?
Gin-san: Hinowa-san? She's nice, but seems to me like she still has feelings for the king of darkness.
Me: Who is dead and no longer in the game. Come on, Gin-san. You've distracted me long enough. You haven't said anything about how you feel toward them, only that they are not interested in you.
Gin-san: It's too much work to woo women, you know. For me, it's better to be loved by a good woman who already loves me.
Me: No wonder you are destined to be alone.
Gin-san: I said it doesn't matter!
Gin-san: Ah, forget it. Maybe the higher-ups might re-think my position and give me a lover, after all.
Me: I think they already did?
Gin-san: They did? Who was that?
Me: You're distracting me again.
Gin-san: No way! I really have no idea. There aren't that many women around me as much as I like.
Me: Sometimes I wonder if you actually like women...
Gin-san: Of course I do!
Me: Yet you can't name one you like.
Gin-san: The weather girl. I get shy around her, remember?
Me: The weather girl doesn't count. You're idolising her in the same way Shinpachi idolising Otsuu-chan.
Gin-san: I hate to be compared to that four eyes, you know. But you're right. I even bought her (the weather girl's) figures.
Me: So, name the one person you like already. Someone you actually have conversation with would be nice.
Gin-san: Tell me first who the higher-ups sent to be my lover.
Me: ...Well, I can only go by hearsay.
Gin-san: What was that? You don't know who it was?
Me: I do, but it's kind of a spoiler.
Gin-san: Have I already met her?
Gin-san: If you don't count one-shot characters, there is that lieutenant of Tatsuma, but she's obviously for him. The Snack Smile girls? I only remember Otae's friend, Oryou something or other, and that one probably doesn't want to deal with me either. No, it's more like we have never talked at all. There is another friend of Otae who wanted us to bust up that shady religious organization...Hanako-chan, isn't it? But we hadn't really talked either and if she re-appeared later I don't even remember when. Ikumatsu-san? Looks like she has taken a fancy to Zura (although I shouldn't be surprised. Zura seems to have this tendency to woo other people's wives). The two Miko sisters who dumped Sadaharu on us Yorozuya? Well, I am not friends with them, and the feelings seem mutual. The sister of the guy who used me in the Benizakura arc is kind of one-shot, but I suppose we interacted enough for some feeling to develop on her part. The dango shop daughter? I appreciate it for not making me feel like a loser, but I like someone else.
Me: 'Someone else'? That is obviously a lie!
Gin-san: It is, but isn't that how a nice guy turns down a woman he is not interested in?
Me: I don't think so. And you are not nice. You would have said something like 'go and die a thousand times for daring to present your ugly face to me'.
Gin-san: Way too harsh. You're confusing me with another character, I'm sure.
Me: Whatever. Go back to listing more women. I know you aren't done yet.
Gin-san: Okay, okay. Where have I left off before you interrupted me? Oh, yeah, Tama. We have sort of been on a date, but the higher-ups wouldn't send a robot to be my lover. Kyuubei? She is still a guy in her way of thinking. Heck, it's clear she still wants Otae. The woman whose face we never see is for Hasegawa-san (how much more time these two stubborn wife and husband need to get back together?). Phew, I'm done.
Me: Well, there are a lot of people, but I guess almost half of them are attached to other people, and it isn't like all of the rest are attracted to you either. BTW, you aren't done yet. You forget Sa-chan and Otsuu-chan.
Gin-san: You want only the women whom I actually have conversation with, don't you? The stalker just likes to talk to herself. And I think I talked more with the old man than with Otsuu.
Me: Then Matsu wouldn't fit that criteria at all, yet she is the first person on your list.
Gin-san: I went by the order of the episodes. And we talked, kind of, the second time we met. Oh, geez, when you pointed out the order of appearance like that, you're making me feel guilty for not including Catherine and Hamko before, but the chance of either one of them and me being together are a lot less than zero.
Me: I didn't expect you to bring those two up at all... Anyhow, I'm too lazy to check whether the order you listed is actually accurate. But either way, you are still leaving someone out.
Gin-san: Really? I'm sure that's it for recurring characters.
Me: That's probably true for you, sorry.
Gin-san: I've told you a lot more than you need to know. Now tell me who my lover is supposed to be already!
Me: For some reason, I think you're avoiding her on purpose.
Gin-san: Again with that? I said I don't know anything about this lover I am supposed to have.
Me: Yet you could name the person she's protecting...
Gin-san: 'The person she's protecting'? You can't mean Hinowa-san. My choice would number in the hundreds then.
Me: You are doing this on purpose, I'm sure. Have you even talked to the other Hyakka women? No, right? There is only Tsukuyo.
Gin-san: Wait? What? Track back. Time out. Lover? Me with that woman? Sure, she was kinda nice to help us save faces when we first met. But had I ever done anything for her? No, she protected herself.
Me: I'm sure you did save her from an attack or two. But I don't really understand why you seem to have a problem with her protecting herself. Isn't that what she is supposed to do as a leader of Hyakka?
Gin-san: Yes, but I think I'm a bit traditional in that regard. True, she has successfully been dealing with things before and will continue to do so. But when I am with her, she has no hope of making me voluntarily leave her to danger.
Me: That sure sounds like some kind of a sappy confession, Gin-san.
Gin-san: It isn't confessing when the other party isn't around.
Me: So what is it exactly?
Gin-san: Just something I would do for a friend.
Me: Surely not just any friend? It would be kind of creepy if you talk of a guy friend that way.
Gin-san: No, it wouldn't! Did you even listen to what I said, or were you going off on what you thought I said?
Me: It's the 'traditional' comment. Why would you need that if you are talking about another guy?
Gin-san: I'm not talking about another guy! I'm talking about one stubborn woman who thinks she can handle everything by herself.
Me: That's describing practically every woman in Gintama.
Gin-san: Surely not. They are all strong and a little crazy, but they are not that alike, surely.
Me: It's your problem if you don't want to accept reality.
Gin-san: What reality? Last time I checked, Gintama is a JUMP manga and anime.
Me: I don't know anymore! Just one last question. Which person would you choose?
Gin-san: For what? A friend? A lover?
Me: A lover!! That's what we have been talking about!
Gin-san: I would rather not choose one person over the others. It's too much work.
Me: I don't think so. You are only lazy when you can afford to be. Tell me the truth, Gin-san.
Gin-san: Can't help it then. The sappy truth is, I can't choose just one person because everyone is important to me.
Me: I know, but humor me for the purpose of this conversation. You don't have to go through with it.
Gin-san: In that case...I'll go with Tama.
Me: Why Tama?
Gin-san: That's already more than one question, but I'll answer anyway. Because the other women don't have to feel slighted in the way they would have if I had chosen a human since Tama is a robot. And I'm sure it would satisfy some fans that the pairing name could be called 'Gintama'.
Me: The first reason isn't funny. And the second reason sounds like it has been copied from an episode...yeah, the one you went on a date with Tama.
Gin-san: 'Not funny'? Haha. I don't care. And I don't remember copying anything. The series is already called 'Gintama'.
Me: < I have no words.> ...
Gin-san: Not that it's important, but who are you?
Me: < Just thought about it? Took you long enough.> Oh, just a fan.
Gin-san: A fan? Of me?
Me: Yeah. Happy?
Gin-san: No. You're three-dimensional. I'm two. We don't exist in the same reality.
Me: Don't focus too much on unnecessary details.
Gin-san: Normally I would have said the same thing.
Me: Well, you could still say that. Besides, you never care that you're a fictional character and breaks the fourth wall all the time.
Gin-san: Fine. I guess I should be happy. It is not like I have many fans in my own world.
Me: Really, Gin-san? Methinks if someone calls you "Gin-san", they are your fan.
Gin-san: What kind of a criteria is that? But, wait, that works for just about everyone except Otae.
Me: Isn't that right? And it works for Otae, too.
Gin-san: Again with that Gintae thing?
Me: Nah, you don't have to believe in that pairing. But she is definitely your fan.
Gin-san: I don't know what she thinks, and think I'm better off not knowing.
Me: Eh? The userpic? Isn't that you?
Gin-san: Who could tell with the way you used Photoshop on it?! And even with little I could see, it just looks like someone in a white wig cosplaying someone else.
Me: You think so?
Gin-san: Don't 'you think so?' me! You know who that 'someone else' is. I just don't get why there is this type of picture around.
Me: Sorry, can't help you there. I don't remember where I found the original picture, only that I think it's related to the Benizakura movie, which I haven't seen yet.
Gin-san: You and me both. In fact, I haven't even heard that the movie is going to be released for real this time.
Me: Should I have kept it a secret then?
Gin-san: No. It is not a surprise, after all, that one of the best arcs in Gintama would eventually be released as a full-length movie.
Me: Haha. And you guys told me of Sunrise's tendency to make recap movies, with perhaps 1% new material.
Gin-san: Does it matter? You're going to watch the movie anyway.
Me: Yes, I am. That's what a fan does.
Gin-san: What you said about Tsukuyo supposedly being my lover. It is not hearsay, is it?
Me: < Those dead fish eyes of yours really miss nothing.> That's right. I've already seen those episodes. But how did you know?
Gin-san: You got some nerves to lie with a straight face to me then.
Me: < ...and you have been evading my questions, that should make us even.> I didn't want to influence future events, but looks like it's too late now.
Gin-san: I guess. Now you're putting me on guard regarding Tsukuyo. I'm sure to act unnatural around her.
Me: And who told you to repeatedly demand the answer to that question from me? And you still haven't answered my question!
Gin-san: Better. Next time say what you think and not some wimpy answer you think I want to hear.
Me: You don't miss anything, do you?
Gin-san: Usually only if those things are related to females. Anyway, it's the way you said that.
Me: The way I said what?
Gin-san: You called what I said a 'sappy confession' and seemed to hear something I haven't said. Sounds to me like you've already witnessed the real confession.
Me: I don't want to confirm or deny that, for the sake of people who haven't seen those episodes yet.
Gin-san: No one reading this conversation would be less informed than you. Perhaps except me.
Me: I have to try.
Gin-san: Don't bother. Even I know. Everyone is eager to put me together with Tsukuyo. It is as you say--I've been distracting you.
Me: You don't like that the fans are doing that?
Gin-san: Not exactly. They are free to think what they like. For example, I know a vast majority of people like me with the mayo king. Oh...you do, too?
Me: For a non-het pairing, yeah.
Gin-san: Do me a favor and don't ever post it if you write it.
Me: Hey, that contradicts what you just said!!
Gin-san: I said people are free to ship the pairing they like, not that they are free to shove their pairing in my face.
Me: It was actually the other way around for me. You were the one who made me like Ginhiji.
Gin-san: Surely you're mistaken.
Me: No. It was you who were holding DVD covers with you and Hijikata in bondage poses.
Gin-san: Oh...oh...that. That was just a joke. It was non-serious, not official. Ah, ah. That look totally says 'you're lying through your teeth'. If I admit to lying, will I get off lightly?
Me: Perhaps, if I'm feeling generous.
Gin-san: If she's feeling generous, she says? What else could I do? Sunrise made me do that. In any case, it is false advertising since Aniplex doesn't actually have those covers.
Me: I know they are fake covers. My point is the higher-ups seem to endorse the pairing.
Gin-san: It makes my skin crawl to think that I was in any way influencing people to actually support Ginhiji.
Me: Don't worry about it. Even without the fake dvd covers, I'm sure many fans will still ship you guys.
Gin-san: So you're saying those dvd covers came about because people have already paired me up with that guy?
Me: I don't know that. It could be a response to fan reactions, or a plan to convert the fans to Ginhiji.
Gin-san: Let's change the subject since it's making me feel sick.
Me: < You brought Ginhiji up yourself, but fine.> You should just avoid Gintama related discussions. That way, nothing would be able to bother you.
Gin-san: Good idea. So do you know how long Gintama' will run?
Me: How would I know?! It has like only what, six episodes so far?
Gin-san: You think I will end up with someone by then?
Me: Probably not. After all, you said you cannot choose just one person.
Gin-san: That's true. But a non-human like Tama would have worked.
Me: What kind of logic is that?
Gin-san: None, as it turns out, since Tama is also a person to me. But anyway, I guess for now I'm still with her, as long as the series name is still Gintama.
Me: I give up.
Yeah, I give up. Gin-san is probably plenty out of character already. If I continued this any further, it would most likely dissolve into some unrecognizable mess...