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PAIRINGS: Matsu/Hitsu

SUMMARY: A drunken Matsumoto comforts a delirious, wounded Hitsugaya and unwittingly learns
something that will change their relationship forever.

WARNINGS: Sake. Lots and lots of sake. (Errm…at least, on Matsumoto’s part)

SPOILER: End of Soul Society Arc. Set after Aizen nearly kills Hinamori and Hitsugaya. Anou…
some facts most likely aren’t all that straight cuz I’ve yet to see the end myself, and if it’s
completely outta whack, then it diverges from the plot. There, I’ve covered my arse, now I don’t
wanna hear any complaints of “But that’s not how it happened!”

DISCLAIMER: Very simple; I do not own Bleach, and I’m making no money off of this.

NOTES: Lots of cute, cuddly fluff with a dash of humor and a tiny, tiny sprinkling of angst.

Our much-adored, cute, grumpy little Snowball (aka Hitsu-chan) is way OOC here, but I tried to
make it seem reasonable/ logical. If your best friend you’ve grown up with and known nearly all
your life, or afterlife, as the case may be, suddenly tried to come after you (yes, I know Hitsugaya
knows Hinamori’s not in her right mind, but it would still hurt emotionally! At least in this story it
does.) with a sword, and you were badly wounded and were delirious with fever, you’d probably
act different, too!

&&&&&&

SAKE LULLABY

By Neko Oni/blood_gem (LJ)

Matsumoto frowned at the little, empty sake jug. She’d long abandoned the even tinier cup; it was
much easier to drink straight from the bottle. She figured that out on her third jug and she
currently was finishing off her seventh. Sake was wonderful; it was strong and potent, helping her
forget the stress and all the crap causing stress. Except when the sake ran dry. Then it sucked.

She turned the jug upside down, shaking it; not a drop spilled out. She put it to her lips, sticking
her tongue in it. Nada. Scowling, she carelessly dropped the bottle, letting it fall on its side and
nicking her taichou’s desk.

Her taichou. Hitsugaya. He should’ve been here, at his desk busy with the usual enormous
amounts of paperwork. But his desk, like his office, was empty. No captain. No paperwork. Well,
technically, there were mountains of paperwork, but Matsumoto had misplaced them. And not on
purpose this time.

Hitsugaya lay badly wounded, unconscious, in fourth division’s barracks. He would fully recover;
that wasn’t the problem. The problem was..well, everything!

After the whole Aizen fiasco, when the rest of the shinigami were patching things up and moving
on, her world crumbled around her. She didn’t know where to start with all the messes in her life.
Okay, she knew where to start- the bottom of a sake bottle. Or two or three. Unfortunately, they
held no answers for her.

First off was Gin. The boy she’d grown up with, all the centuries she’d been friends with that man,
and he betrayed her. He hadn’t tried to kill her like Aizen did to Hinamori, but that only made it
more painful. He still cared for her, a close friend, yet he could walk away. When you don’t care
for someone, it’s easy to use them, abandon them. They mean nothing to you. But a friend you’ve
shared a better part of your life- and heart- with…how cold do you have to be to turn your back on
them?

Ichimaru was just the tip of the iceberg. The rest was her icy captain. Her poor taichou, whose
heart was more torn than his body. She didn’t know what was going on in her taichou’s pretty
little head. All she knew was he was hurting, and not in the physical sense. She knew he and
Hinamori had been grown up together, and were close as siblings. Best friends. Like her and Gin
had been. And Hinamori had torn that friendship apart, hurting Hitsugaya. For that, Matsumoto
wondered if she could ever forgive the girl.

Matsumoto glared at the several empty sake jugs scattered on the desk. It looked a lot bigger
without tons of papers on it. Then again, that could just be the alcohol talking. She hiccupped and
ran a hand through her hair. No, she wasn’t that drunk. She could hold her liquor well and had
built up a high tolerance. Very, very high. So she was only slightly buzzed, not gonna-be-hung-
over, thoroughly trashed thank you very much.

Still, the office was quiet. Too quiet. And big. Buzzed, sober, or sloshed, she didn’t want to be in
here anymore. Especially if more paperwork going to be delivered. Normally, she hated paperwork
and would do nearly anything to avoid it, but her captain usually groused and nagged and harped
until she half heartedly pecked at it to get him off her back. But now…she’d tried. Honestly. But
she couldn’t focus on anything other than her poor taichou.

He needed her. So she’d go to him. Nodding to herself, Matsumoto stood up, swaying slightly, and
made her way to fourth division. She hiccupped, bumped into the wall next to the door, and
fumbled sliding it open. Yes, she didn’t want to be here. She wanted to see her cute little taichou.
So, she would. As soon as she either remembered or found where fourth division was.

&&&&&&

Hitsugaya lay still under the blankets. His usually spiky hair was damp and limp from sweat, which
beaded on his clammy, pale flesh. His soft skin nearly matched the sheets in whiteness. His dark
lashes clenched tightly, hiding turquoise orbs. His face was scrunched up, lips pursed together.
Every so often, his head would shake, he’d groan, and his tense body would twitch. He’d been like
that for days, trapped in a world of feverish nightmares.

He hadn’t yet woken up; no change. Matsumoto frowned as she settled herself by his bed. He
moaned, head jerking to the side. Her worry deepened. She laid a cool hand on his forehead,
wiping back sweaty locks. It might have been her imagination, but the busty fukutaichou could’ve
sworn his eyebrows unfurrowed slightly at her tender touch. She dared not hope.

He moaned, head lolling to the side. Her hand trailed down his soft cheek. His lips loosened. She
paused, staring down at her hand on his face. Could it really be? She ran her thumb just under his
lower lip. His lips eased into a thin line instead of a twisted scowl. She stroked his cheek and
forehead, soothing away the tenseness until his sweet face was only slightly pained.

Matsumoto pulled her hand away to push her own hair out of her face. Immediately, Hitsugaya’s
cheek twitched, frown returning. Matsumoto smiled. “Toushiro-taichou.” His muscles relaxed under
her touch. She stroked his face and neck for a while, soothing the injured young captain,
hiccupping occasionally. Hitsugaya stopped twitching; he looked like he was finally getting the
actual rest his wounded body so desperately needed.

She smiled softly. This wasn’t a big improvement, no miracle. He was still unconscious and
delirious. But he was resting peacefully, looking so fragile and child-like. Under her touch. That
made her happy as she ran her fingers through his damp hair.
Her face scrunched though when her muscles started to cramp. She shifted, but each new position
was comfortable for a short amount of time. With a hiccup, she looked about the small room. It
was dim and plain, creating a dower atmosphere. She turned cornflower blue eyes back to her
tiny taichou. He resembled a little ghost more than the fiery boy she knew.

He was too pale, the room too dreary. And too close to Hinamori’s. Matsumoto had accidentally
wandered into the other girl’s room when she was looking for Hitsugaya’s and couldn’t remember
which one his was, even though she’d been to see him every day. But the memory lapse had
nothing to do with all the sake she’d drunk. Really.

Matsumoto’s scowl was interrupted by a hiccup. Hitsugaya needed sunlight and fresh air. So, she
pulled the blankets back. She never realized how thin he was under his captain’s uniform. His
muscles were lean and toned on his small frame. He wore a thin white yukata, which was loosely
tied about his slender form. His chest and shoulder were heavily bandaged, injured appendage not
in the yukata sleeve.

She placed one arm under the back of his neck, supporting his head, the other under his knees,
and scooped him up. He wasn’t very heavy; she carried him easily. He moaned at the movement
as his body was shifted, face contorted in pain. Standing upright, she cradled him to her, his head
resting on one gigantic breast. His cool cheek pressed against the warm, soft mound and he
calmed as her arms pressed him close.

Matsumoto carried her taichou outside. The sun warmed them, the sky was blue, and a gentle
breeze carried the scent of fresh grass and flowers. She sat down under the leafy boughs of a
huge, ancient tree. Hitsugaya loved this tree- he always climbed to the tippy top branches when
he was troubled or contemplative. She settled her unconscious captain in her lap, her bountiful
bosom serving as his pillow. She couldn’t say she minded.

During the long walk, the chibi taichou began to fidget in her arms, inner turmoil returning. Now
seated, Matsumoto stroked his adorable face again, but his tenseness returned. She bounced him
as one would a small child. He trembled, body twitching against her.

She grew worried. Maybe this had been a bad idea- what if she’d accidentally torn open his
wounds? She cringed at the thought. Hitsugaya moaned, one small hand fisting in the black cloth
of her uniform top, jerking on it. “Shiro-chan.” The words tumbled from her lips without thought.
She often called him that, mostly to rile him, and he’d yell at her, ‘It’s Hitsugaya-taichou!’.

But today, he didn’t. Instead, he flinched, trying to curl up on himself. “Hinamori…” He mumbled,
and Matsumoto’s heart clenched. He was delirious with fever and thought she was his long time
friend and betrayer. “It hurts…” His voice was slurred, thick with unshed tears. “

She leaned down close. “What does?” She asked softly.

Hitsugaya shook his head, eyes tightly closed, still lost in his dream world. “No…I trusted you…
even told you….”

She shook him a little. Had Hinamori said something to hurt her Toushiro? She’d kill the girl! “Told
me what?”

He whimpered at her fierce whisper, trying to push away, but he was too weak.

“Shh. Shh. I’m sorry, Shiro-chan.” She cooed, running fingers though his sweat dampened, soft,
thick hair.
“Abou…about …Matsumoto….” This time, her heart really did skip a beat. What about her? She
unconsciously clutched her feverish taichou tighter.

“What about Matsumoto?”

He moaned, head lolling to the other side, away from her body heat. “No, Hinamori….can’t trust
you….” All his words were slurred and hard to hear; she had to lean down close, ear to his soft lips
to catch the sloppily formed, whispered words.

“Shiro-chan. I promise, I won’t tell Matsumoto.” She cooed, rubbing his back and turning his head
so it was snuggled back against her breast. She HAD to know.

“…I…love her…” It came out as a barely whispered sigh, his head falling forward, face tilted down,
hidden from her blue gaze. Her heart bubbled and she had to repress a squeal of joy. With one
slender finger under his chin, she tilted his head up, gazing down at his child-like face that was
full of pain and sadness. She silently vowed to never let him hurt again.

Her head lowered, long hair swaying in the breeze as she kissed him, warm lips pressed gently to
his soft ones. He stiffened, then relaxed under the steady, gentle pressure. Once the tenseness
left his thin frame, she relented and pulled back, smiling down at him. “She loves you, too, Shiro-
chan.”

Dark lashes fluttered, cracking apart to reveal teal slits. “Rangi….” His voice was strained, weak,
but the word was well formed and clear. He was awake, at least partly. His eyes couldn’t open all
the way, but they were clear with recognition. His lips started to form a small smile when he
suddenly collapsed against her, unable to finish even saying her name. She cuddled him to her,
mindful of his wounds and beaming like the Sahara sun.

Toushiro was so cute snuggled against her. The yukata had ridden up, showing off his lower legs
and slender, bare feet. His legs spilled sideways off her lap and into the sun warmed grass.
Muttering something she didn’t hear, he contentedly nuzzled against her breast.. “Shiro-chan.”

His face scrunched up. She kissed his forehead and he relaxed. She stroked his cheeks and began
to hum. If her taichou was fully awake, he’d be flipping at her for treating him like a child. But she
couldn’t help herself. He was adorable, damn it. And he loved her, which shot the cute scale
through the roof. This was a once in a millennium chance to cuddle while she could get away with
it.

Matsumoto sang softly, rocking him and enjoying the feel of his small, warm body against hers.

“You are my taichou


My chibi taichou
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You’ll never know dear,
How much I love you
So please don’t take my taichou
Awaaaayyyyy”

One advantage to being unconscious and suffering from delusional fevers was that Hitsugaya
couldn’t hear Matsumoto’s horrendous singing. She was tone deaf, and the addition of alcohol only
made her worse, that is, if she could get any worse. She was off key, off pitch, and her voice
warbled all over the place. Her pitch rose up and down- she couldn’t even keep the tune straight!

Finishing in a loud flourish that ended with a hiccup, Matsumoto squeezed Hitsugaya to her. She
rubbed her nose against his, giggling when his face scrunched up adorably. Her joy fled when a
shadow loomed over her. She hadn’t sensed any approaching reiatsu, which meant it had to be a
captain, for that person to have disguised their reiatsu so well that she couldn’t detect it. She
looked up with a huge, cheesy grin. “Unohana-taichou!”

“You reek of sake. As bad as Kyouraku-taichou. You’re drunk, and you decided all on your own to
take my patient out for some fresh air without consulting me.” Her voice was level, calm as she
stared down at the fukutaichou and the peacefully slumbering boy captain. That was the first time
since he’d been rushed in in critical condition that she’d seen him so content. Maybe…maybe it
hadn’t been that bad of an idea. Maybe. Just maybe.

Matsumoto tensed, but no punishment came thundering down on her inebriated head. Peering up
warily, she found the fourth division captain smiling serenely. “I guess I can let it slip. Just this
once. Oh, and I found this in my search for my missing patient.”

She stepped aside, revealing a seated member of tenth division. His arms were full of papers
upon papers and a pen and ink pot perched precariously at the tippy top. “Matsumoto-
fukutaichou! I came to bring you some papers-but you weren’t in the office- and I found these in
the garbage-“ His rambling died at her death glare. Was she going to kill him? Or the papers?

Behind Unohana’s graceful, languid smile lurked just a trace of something sinister. “Have fun,
Matsumoto-san.”

Matsumoto scowled as the tenth division shinigami piled the massive paperwork around her and
the unconscious taichou. Crap. She REALLY could use some more sake now. Hitsugaya nuzzled
against his plump, fleshy pillow. She sighed and looked down at him. “I don’t suppose you’re
gonna wake up and do paperwork, are you?” Her answer was a knee pressing none too gently on
her bladder as Hitsugaya curled up further in her lap.

&&&&&&

Time passed. Hitsugaya healed and resumed his duties while his fukutaichou resumed her spot on
the couch.

The short taichou looked up from his work at his desk, scowling at his sleeping vice captain. He
was amazed she hadn’t bungled the paperwork, causing all sorts of calamities in her wake as she
took on his duties as well as her own while he was incapacitated. He snorted- Matsumoto, do
work? Yeah, and hollows were allergic to humans.

But she had given him the greatest shock of his short afterlife- she had done work. Matsumoto
Rangiku, laziest shinigami in the entire history of Seireitei, well, except for Kyouraku-taichou-
actually did paperwork. He would have expected her to merely shove them all into the garbage.

Feeling an icy gaze, Matsumoto cracked open one blue eye and smiled blearily. He glared. She
winked and reached for a small bottle of sake.

“Matsumoto!”

“Yes, Toushiro-taichou?”

Teal eyes narrowed. “It’s Hitsugaya-taichou! And there’s NO drinking on duty!”

She smiled and took a long, long gulp. “Tell that to Kyouraku-taichou.”

“MATSUMOTO!” He yelled when she rolled over on the couch, going back to sleep. Still smiling to
herself, she began to hum, still managing to spectacularly butcher the song’s rhythm.

Scowling darkly, the tenth division captain went back to work, absentmindedly listening to that
tune, which was somehow strangely familiar. “I’ve heard that before…” He muttered. She grinned
and kept humming horribly.

OWARI.

ARGHH!!! I forgot to add a note! Okay, about the little ditty Matsumoto sang to him...it was taken
from the song "my sunshine" err...at least, I think that's what it's called. You know, "you are my
sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy...." etc, etc, etc. Except I replaced "sunshine"
with "taichou" cuz I thought it'd be soo cute/ funny to have Matsumoto sing that to him...Yes, I
know taichou means captain, but in alot of fics I've read, the way Matsumoto says it, she makes it
still sound like an endearment and I couldn't resist.

Ooh...crap...I also forgot to double check the spelling on Kyouraku Shunsui's name...but it's too
late, I've already posted it...so, yeah, it is probably misspelled...

Oh, just sit back, laugh and enjoy the fic and don't skewer me on a stick! >.< I have no beta, and
I'm horrible at double checking, cuz I always end up forgetting what I'm supposed to go back and
check until it's too late. -.- So just enjoy it- or don't- then go off on your merry or not so merry
way and leave me at least somewhat intact!

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