A/N: Excuse the stupid title. Anyway, that said… this fic took me totally by surprise and is my first semi-successful try at humor, which I really suck with. It started as a sort of idea between Kuchiki (or anyone, really), Ichimaru and Matsumoto and passing something on from the past to the future, but after the first three scenes I sort of decided to continue…
I think it's kinda long-winded, and possibly OOC (honestly I have bad luck writing Bleach characters)… PLEASE PLEASE tell me if you see something wrong with it, I have a feeling the characterization is off and I can't fix it.
Ichimaru Gin had a secret sweet tooth. Well, it wasn't much of a secret, but he liked secrets and he liked sweets in equal measure, and if he didn't keep his sweets a secret they invariably ended up in Rangiku's lap, which while affording him a very nice view of her throat as she swallowed and distracting her from watching him ogle her breasts, was rather counterproductive.
Because of this, he had gone to the trouble of keeping the bag of candy he'd bought from a street vendor a complete and total secret by first trying to shove as much as possible in his mouth, and then hiding the rest down his shirt, which while not guaranteeing freedom from Rangiku's fingers at least shielded from her eyes.
He was about to find a nice tree in which to eat the rest of the bag when he realized his favorite one was already occupied. The peach blossoms had just started blowing off their branches, and the view was sufficiently poetic for Kuchiki Byakuya, 6th division vice-captain extraordinaire, to have crawled out of his office and into the sunlight to eat his elegant lunch with inherent grace and blah blah blah. Honestly Ichimaru wondered how he managed to always arrange himself like a scene from a picture scroll while maintaining such a sour face.
But enough was enough. The guy was under HIS tree and damned if Ichimaru was going to give it up. So instead of walking off, he jumped and landed on a branch directly above where Byakuya had settled, sitting cross-legged with his bag of candy. Kuchiki looked up, gave him a flat stare as if the tree was his, and then went back to eating. His bento was very pretty, but also very small. Ichimaru wondered if nobles had some sort of code that forbade them from eating more than their pet birds. He said as much.
"Please shut up, Ichimaru-fukutaichou." Kuchiki said and went back to eating.
Ah, well. The candy distracted him and for the next fifteen minutes he was busy trying to finish the bag. To be honest he had assumed that by now Rangiku would have found him, found the candy, and stolen a good half of it. He generally bought to compensate for the loss. That this hadn't happened yet probably had to do with Kuchiki sitting under his tree, scaring the girls away like an admittedly very well-mannered and pretty pit-bull.
Eventually, Ichimaru's bag had come down to half empty and his teeth were starting protest at all the sugar. Kuchiki had long ago finished his tiny, perfect lunch and was now sitting and reading calmly, apparently unconcerned with the intruder.
A few more moments of silence were about all he could bear. "Ne, Bya-kun, ain't ya got any more?" he called, smiling and waving when Kuchiki looked up to stare at him in confused irritation. Admittedly Ichimaru didn't know the man very well, Kuchiki had always been in the advanced class during their shared years in the academy and later they were put into different divisions, but Ichimaru had occasionally spoken to Kuchiki (and Aizen-taichou said he was a very nice boy, meaning he was boring), which made using first names totally ok. Saying such a long name like Byakuya was a pain anyway.
Kuchiki didn't seem to share the sentiment, though. "Go away." He said, flatly, and went back to reading.
"Aww, don't be mean… I just wanna know if ya ain't got more lunch. It looks small," Ichimaru said. Aizen-taichou may have thought Kuchiki was boring, but he was cute, too, and easy to tease. Ichimaru liked that. "Don'cha want more?" he asked for good measure, waving the bag of candy.
It was ok to wave it around, he decided. Rangiku's reiatsu was nowhere nearby, and Kuchiki probably had something in his code of honor against eating sweets.
"It is none of your business what I eat. Go away." Kuchiki answered, and started reading with a very determined, brave face that Ichimaru thought was just charming.
"Oi, oi, I'm just being niiiice…" he started, "I mean, it ain't good when you're hungry…Ain't any reason to be hungry if ya don't gotta be…" He waved the bag invitingly. This time he was sure of it, Kuchiki's eyes followed the motion before looking down at his book. There was no response, Ichimaru was officially being ignored.
He tried a few more times, but Kuchiki seemed determined to not listen. Ichimaru frowned, looking down at what could be so interesting in that book. Something about cherry blossoms in spring. Typical.
Finally, he signed and stood on his branch. Kuchiki seemed unphased when Ichimaru jumped down next to him and stood looking at him for a long time. It was the end of lunch, and he still had forms to doodle on and Aizen-taichou would probably be expecting him, anyway. Ichimaru signed, and leaned down to plop the bag of candy in Kuchiki's lap.
"Fine, Bya-kun, if you ain't gonna eat normal food, better eat this at least." he signed, walking away. It was for the best anyway, Aizen-taichou had a mean sweet-tooth and at the same time disapproved of it in others, which meant Ichimaru wasn't allowed to eat bags of candy in the office anymore. Besides, he was starting to feel sorta bad for Kuchiki-kun. He looked damn hungry for a guy with so much money.
Byakuya watched the fellow vice-captain walk off, heading for his division offices. Then he blinked at the half-filled bag of candy in his lap. He was about to put it down in the grass and leave it, but then he realized ants would crawl all over it and that would be a waste of food.
Experimentally, he looked around before putting a piece in his mouth.
It was very sweet, he decided.
It was the end of the first week of his recovery, and Kuchiki Byakuya was finally allowed to leave the hospital and return to work. Renji had been glad to see him (mostly, Byakuya suspected, because he wouldn't have to do twice the work anymore). They got along well enough now that Renji had grabbed two of the congratulatory "get well soon" presents Byakuya had received while in the hospital and subsequently dumped in a pile in the office. Specifically a bottle of only half-decent sake and a basket of fruit. Byakuya had added to those two things a book he owned an edition of (and thought Renji should learn to read) and a set of playing cards which he suspected were a joke from the eleventh division judging by the pictures on the cover.
That left the expensive sake from Kyouraku (Renji had declared it "the good stuff" and refused) which he assumed he was supposed to share; another basket of fruit (Renji had said he was going to get sick from too much fruit, so it would be passed on to Ukitake, who needed more vitamins in any case), some cookies which went to Rukia, and a bag of candy he had not found an owner for. Normally it would be Rukia, but besides the cookies Byakuya had already watched her eat endless amounts of sweets brought by Renji and himself (he'd felt guilty apologizing with sweets, but Renji assured him it was "the way t'go") and he really didn't relish her getting fat. Or worse, bad teeth. Renji already had sake and adding sugar to that was just a bad idea.
He had not yet figured out anyone he knew who liked sweets. Sad or not, out of the younger crowd he knew only Renji, Rukia, and Hitsugaya whom he remembered to hate sweet things.
He was making for his favorite peach tree to have lunch, having decided to simply ask Renji to pass the candy around to his hooligan friends, when he realized someone was already sitting underneath it.
Matsumoto Rangiku, 10th division vice-captain, was settled down and staring off into space as he walked by, deciding quickly not to stop. She seemed rather worn, small, almost, and Byakuya decided it best not to disturb her. Renji (who got it from some 11th division officer, who got it from guy-Byakuya-could-not-remember-the-name-of, who got it from 4th division vice-captain who got it from 8th division vice-captain and at this point Byakuya became confused) said she was sad because Ichimaru had turned out to be a traitor, and while Byakuya didn't understand how that was unexpected, he knew mourning when he saw it.
"Good morning Kuchiki-taichou." Matsumoto said, unexpectedly, as he was passing by and trying to appear inconspicuous. Byakuya signed inwardly, sad women annoyed him.
"Good morning." He said, standing awkwardly before her, wishing to leave but trying to appear polite. She seemed to blink at him for a long moment, and then made some inane comment on the weather which Byakuya took to be a goodbye. He said something similarly pointless and turned to go.
Then, on impulse, he turned back and kneeled to set the bag of candy in Matusmoto's lap, muttering a vague "It was a present," before departing, the beginnings of a blush on his face.
Rangiku stared at the candy, and then at Kuchiki-taichou's retreating back. Then at the candy again.
It was such a Gin thing to do, she signed.
How utterly miserable that she would think that first, and not how strange Kuchiki-taichou was acting. She would have to ask Isane about the painkillers they were using, maybe it was an overdose.
Still, such a Gin thing to do. Just surprising her like that all of a sudden, before leaving. He had hated sharing candy, but did it anyway, and usually in a bag which he'd already sampled from. She remembered, vividly, going through his robes on days when he would look particularly smug, knowing there would be a familiar lump in there somewhere.
But then Gin had always given things with a smile, if a wicked one, and he had never lost an opportunity to ogle her breasts. Kuchiki-taichou had simply looked away. Maybe that was the difference with married men, they gained some self-control. Or maybe Kuchiki-taichou just didn't like women (she would have to tease Renji into revealing that later).
She signed again, and ate a piece of candy. It felt terrible, still, but the sugar helped. She ate a few more. And more. Finally, she stopped herself firmly, telling herself it wasn't any good to gorge and all those things about her teeth rotting were perfectly true.
To remove all temptation, she decided to give the bag away. To captain, maybe, because Hitsugaya really did look like someone who could use some sugar, and the candy did taste like watermelon, maybe he'd like that.
On her way back to her office, Rangiku realized it didn't feel that horrible anymore.
And all the funny stories about Kuchiki-taichou she could now trade for helped.
Hitsugaya Toushirou was not used to having a bag of candy plopped down on his desk.
Forms, swords, butterflies, even bloody robes and/or appendages, yes. Candy, no.
"What the hell?" he stated eloquently, staring up at Matsumoto, who seemed way too cheerful for someone who requested two hours off for lunch just to sulk them all away. In fact, he noticed, she seemed rather… glow-y.
"It's candy, sir." She answered smugly, gesturing at the bag. She seemed to be bursting to say something more, leaning forward an almost obscene degree. Luckily Hitsugaya had a chronic immunity to breasts developed through a long-standing partnership built on trust and mutual respect.
That and he hadn't hit puberty yet.
"What the hell?" He repeated, and pushed the candy away, trying to go back to work. Really, sometimes girls could be so damn weird.
"Come on, sir, have some…" Matsumoto started, pushing the bag back to obscure his papers, "Kuchiki-taichou gave it to me!" she said, as if it was just the best thing in the whole damn world that some guy was giving his vice-captain presents. Matsumoto and her stupid boyfriends.
And then Hitsugaya's brain caught up with his ears.
"Kuchiki-taichou?" he looked up in alarm, wondering if this was some weird joke of if the old man finally snapped or if Matsumoto had actually managed to somehow seduce the block of ice known as Kuchiki Byakuya.
"Yup. Have some!" she pushed the candy forward. Hitsugaya drew back quickly, wondering if Kuchiki wouldn't actually poison it for some strange reason.
"You didn't eat any, did you?" he asked, cautiously peering at the little round gum drops inside the bag.
"Well… a few…but the point is, the rest is for you, taichou!" Matsumoto pocked the bag invitingly towards him.
"I don't like sweets." Hitsugaya stated, deciding that Kuchiki-taichou liking his vice-captain was none of his business until she started coming to work late.
"Aw, come on, it's candy… everyone likes candy… take it. Please?"
Matsumoto huffed, settling herself on the corner of the desk, and Hitsugaya knew she wasn't coming off until she got her way. She had even started toying with the front of her robe.
"Please…taichou?" she was using the Eyes and the Voice, but luckily Hitsugaya was immune to all of that. After a few more moments of stubborn silence, however, he realized she wasn't going to cave this time, either. If there was one thing Matsumoto was good at it was getting her way. He signed in annoyance and picked up the bag to set it aside on his desk.
"Fine, damn it. I'll take the stupid candy." He mumbled, trying to get back to work. Matsumoto smiled and patted him on the head in an entirely none-vice-captain-ish manner. Hitsugaya huffed in annoyance. Whatever. He'd just give it to that crybaby Momo. Girls liked all that sweet stuff, right?
The fifth division office was looking like a burial chamber, complete with moping vice-captain sitting at her desk, writing half-heartedly between lonely signs. Hinamori Momo was just about done with her third form of the day. The second had caused a few problems because it required Aizen-taichou's signature and it even said so on the form, "Aizen Sousuke" and that had been the end of her for at least half an hour.
The desk she was working at was littered in used tissues, the wastepaper basket having been overwhelmed this morning. She had just been thinking about how clean it all used to be when taichou was around, and that she was really a slob at heart, when the door slammed open so violently that Hinamori jumped and spilled ink all over the one transfer request she'd gotten through today.
"Yo." Shirou-chan announced. He was holding a brown paper bag in front of him, careful not to touch it too much. Hinamori suspected it was dog poo. She tried frantically to blot out the ink stains on everything, but it wasn't working too well. Shirou-chan was just standing there, watching her with a weird expression. He was so annoying.
"Help me out!" she commanded, and after a few moments of confused blinking he huffed and grabbed the papers out of her hands and began to shuffle them importantly, getting more ink on everything and generally making a mess.
"Anyway," he started, putting the papers down on yet another ink spot she'd been trying to dry out, "anyway, this is for you." He held out the bag.
"Dog poo?" she asked without thinking, moving to frantically try and save her hard-earned completed forms. If she had to redo them now she knew it would take the rest of the afternoon.
"What—? No! It's candy, stupid." Shirou-chan held out the bag again, nose wrinkled as if it were poisonous.
Hinamori took a moment to compute that last part. "Candy?" she asked, confused. Shirou-chan had never given her candy before, it was always more like he didn't want his share… and maybe he was trying to be nice because of Aizen-taichou? It made her feel ashamed that even Shirou-chan thought she really needed to be cuddled some more.
"For you." He finished, shoving the bag at her and letting it go until she had to either catch it or lose it. Hinamori clutched at it in confusion, looking down to see that indeed, it wasn't dog poo.
Shirou-chan must have noticed the way she was looking at him, because he huffed and blushed a little and crossed his arms, looking all cute and defensive. "Matsumoto gave it to me." He explained, as if that made any sense.
"Huh?" Hinamori asked, absently examining the candy. It was kinda… cute, she decided, for Shirou-chan to give that to her. Yes, definitely cute.
"Her 'boyfriend' gave it to her, and she didn't want any more." Toushirou explained. He said it all as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Hinamori thought she heard him mutter something like stupid Kuchiki, but that was just too strange for her this early in the day.
"Thank… thank you, Shirou-chan!" she said instead, giving Toushirou a quick hug. It really was awfully nice, coming from him. Shirou-chan was usually such a grump. Maybe he was growing up.
Predictably, he struggled away and flushed, shouting something about stupid Momo not doing weird stuff like that and to be respectful cuz he was a captain now, damn it. Then he stormed off in a huff. Hinamori didn't mind, holding her present close to her chest. She stood like that for a while, looking at Shirou-chan's retreating back through the doorway, the lovely day it turned out to be outside. Then she opened the bag and tried a gum drop. Mmm, watermelon.
She ate a few more and decided it was definitely time for lunch, and maybe Kira-kun would think so too? She had a suspicion that Kira-kun had not come out of his division offices for a while now, and she herself had been staying in too much to really check. Well, no more of that. Hinamori popped one last gum drop in her mouth and looked around for her lunch. She even went through Aizen-taichou's desk looking for it, discovering her old hair-clip in the process. And she'd thought she'd lost it, honestly…
Finally, the lunch box was located and she set out for the third division, deciding to buy something for Kira (who forgot to make his lunch even when he wasn't distressed) on the way.
Kira Izuru was in a bind.
On the one hand, it was Wednesday and on Wednesday he cleaned the bloodstains off the floor because Tuesday was the 3rd division's turn to stay in and do paperwork and Ichimaru-taichou usually made a mess when he was bored.
On the other hand, this week the floor was inexplicably clean of blood, other bodily fluids, robes and discarded forms. In fact the division office was looking unusually tidy.
He had a strange suspicion that he should be relieved, but in reality it made him want to burst into very un-vice-captain-like tears, except Ichimaru-taichou wasn't there to tease him about it so it all seemed rather pointless. Many things were turning out to be pointless these days.
Kira signed and decided to wash the floor anyway, opening to the windows to let some light in. He had to lean over the captain's desk to do it, upsetting the forms he had carefully set aside as being for Ichimaru-taichou.
In all honesty, he wasn't entirely sure what he was supposed to do with them. They needed Ichimaru-Taichou's signature, but he wasn't here and Kira didn't want to just sign for someone else. No one had said anything about a new captain or being promoted or what to do, and Kira had simply gone back to the pattern of leaving anything he couldn't do himself on his captain's desk.
It was getting awfully crowded, these days.
Kira suspected, privately, that he was supposed to go and ask some other division's captain to sign for him, or at least find out whether he was allowed to do all of captain's duties for lack of an alternative, but over the past week Kira had developed a strange abhorrence of leaving the office too much in one day. Something about all the strange, sympathetic looks he kept getting and all the "how are you holding up"s just made him want to crawl back into the third division office and sit at his desk, pretending Ichimaru-taichou had just skipped out to a particularly long lunch break.
The end result of all this was that the division was now effectively run by his third-seat, who trained the troops and ran errands and reminded Kira that he had a vice-captain's supplementary meeting every now and then. Kira sat around in the office and filled in all the forms, leaving them to accumulate, unsigned. This system worked so efficiently Kira hadn't left the office in two days and was in fact considering moving his meager belongings onto the couch.
Kira dreaded the day the third division had a class A or above hollow assigned to them, and he as the vice-captain would have to go and deal with it on his own. He couldn't imagine what he'd do with an S-class assignment without Ichimaru-taichou around. He had been assuring himself he could always run up to the sixth division offices and borrow Renji for backup, what with Kuchiki-taichou still in the hospital as far as he knew.
He was sweeping the tatami mats when someone knocked on the office door. Kira assumed it was Haru to report on the division again and called him to enter, but instead of his third seat Hinamori Momo burst in and, after an awkward moment in which Kira got rid of his broom and righted his uniform, announced they were going to lunch together. Kira blinked. He had thought, apparently mistakenly, that Hinamori had stayed in her office and cried for the past week. It had made him feel rather proud because he wasn't crying, at least, and he went out occasionally.
"Um… lunch?" He repeated, when it became apparent Hinamori wasn't going to go away. "I don't think I have mine here…" he started, it being true besides being a good excuse.
Hinamori didn't seem to mind. "That's ok. I bought bento at the general quarters." She held up said bento box, along with her own box and a brown bag Kira didn't recognize. Maybe it was Renji's lunch and the other vice captain was coming too.
"Come on, Kira-kun, let's go out and eat. It's not healthy to stay inside too long." She said, pushing forward the food invitingly, "There's candy…" Hinamori smiled, almost normally. Kira's spirits dropped as he realized he was the only one moping around after all. Before he could really protest, she turned around and walked outside again, turning to wait for him on the porch. Kira shrugged, resigned to his fate, and followed. He supposed he shouldn't act so childish, since even Hinamori was apparently back to normal.
As they were walking to a favorite park near the western wall, Kira ventured to ask what Hinamori did with all the forms she couldn't sign, thinking, practically, that he might as well see if he was the only clueless one, too. Hinamori seemed delighted in the break from silence and the rest of the afternoon was spent explaining how Ukitake-taichou would help Kira get a permit to sign for his captain. Apparently Hisagi had explained it to her. He himself got it from Renji, who had been instructed by Kuchiki-Taichou during his sick leave after he'd been chased out of the 4th division one too many times for disturbing the patient. Kuchiki-taichou had signed for both Renji and Hisagi, but Hinamori had been too shy to approach him.
Kira was thinking vaguely that one of these days he would have to go on to the 13th division offices and ask Ukitake-taichou for help with the same, but Hinamori suggested they get the permit on their way past the main office. It turned out that due to the emergency state they only needed any captain's signature, and Kira decided to stop by the 11th division on his way back. Zaraki-taichou was widely known to sign anything given to him if you pointed to the place and said it was urgent.
They ended up eating lunch under a peach tree, and Hinamori nearly laughed when Kira explained about how crowded his office had gotten. He found it strangely encouraging, to have someone laugh at his stupid timidity instead of saying it was understandable and acceptable and perfectly alright given the circumstances. After a while, Hinamori opened the bag and offered him some candy, saying something strange about Matsumoto and her boyfriend and Hitsugaya-taichou being cute. Kira ate some sweets, looked at a sky that was surprisingly not as over-cast as he felt it should be, and decided that he was an idiot after all, and he needed to get back to work.
He thought it was very encouraging, that things were going so well. Hinamori, when questioned, wasn't worried about getting S class hollows. Ukitake-taichou had told her the assignments were being re-routed from the three captain-less divisions. Kira suggested that they could take A class assignments together, and Hinamori agreed. They signed in relief and complained together about Hisagi-sempai and Renji, both of whom thought it was so damn easy to take care of A-class hollows.
In the end Kira decided that he was really overdue to get rid of all the unsigned forms and start training his own division and supervising missions again. He felt more enthusiastic after one afternoon with Hinamori than he had from all the dozens of sympathetic people he'd encountered. It only increased when Hinamori handed him the bag of candy, stating that she eaten too much of it anyway and sugar would make Kira-kun feel better.
Kira, for lack of alternatives, thanked her and took the bag, heading towards the 11th division to weasel a signature from Zaraki-taichou. On the way he passed the sixth division offices and found Renji peeling an orange on the office porch.
With thoughts of how unhealthy too much candy was to the teeth, Kira walked up to him and smiled awkwardly before handing the bag over. Renji looked up, peered into the offered bag suspiciously, and when Kira explained he had gotten it from Hinamori who got it from Matsumoto who got it from her boyfriend, shrugged, asked about the boyfriend (Kira was rather curious himself). He offered his orange in exchange, muttering something half-hearted about how Kira was finally creeping out of the damn office again and that he looked like crap.
Kira smiled and mentioned how Renji was going to look like crap when his captain got back and caught him lazing about on the porch again and went on his way, deciding that really sympathy was only given when it looked like you needed it.
Renji shoved some gumdrops in his mouth and chewed, watching his division's first squad train in Kidou. They all sucked at it, but then the sixth division wasn't known for Kidou anyway. Just in case Kuchiki-taichou really did come back (he'd gone off for lunch three hours ago and Renji suspected had either burst some stitches on the way or been mauled by sympathetic well-wishers again) he took some forms outside with him to look like he was working hard.
What did Kuchiki-taichou expect, anyway? Renji had had to do both their work for a week, and that was after Kuchiki-taichou himself had beaten him half to death and sent him to the hospital for two days. He had managed to persuade Kotetsu to release him early, thinking Kuchiki-taichou would already be well and waiting in his office. Instead he got saddled with both of their workload while the captain lazed about in the hospital, not even allowed to do his own damn paperwork on Unohana-taichou's orders.
Damn Kuchiki-taichou. How the hell did he manage to always stick Renji with all the work? And now he'd ditched for a huge-ass lunch break, too. It was starting to look like more of a dinner break, considering it was nearly five o'clock now.
Renji chewed some more candy, but he honestly didn't want any. Rukia had been eating a lot of it, too, and she was always trying to foist some off on him so it wouldn't look like Kuchiki-taichou's awkward apologies were going un-eaten. Renji had thought that suggesting to his captain to swamp Rukia with sweets to apologize would be funny, but instead it ended with Rukia permanently sugar high and Renji with aching teeth. He was even starting to feel marginally bad, Kuchiki-taichou was really wasting a ton of money on candy Rukia didn't even want, and he looked damn hopeful about it too.
Now Kira was giving him some, too. Honestly though Renji felt bad about not taking them, Kira really did look like crap and he didn't want the other captain hiding in his office again. Besides, he had wanted to find out who Matsumoto's new boyfriend was.
Not that Kira had known anyway. Renji would have to ask one of the guys on their next night out together. Or maybe ask Kotetsu next time he had to refill the office first aid kit (and with the way both he and Kuchiki-taichou needed to regularly change their bandages that would be all too soon).
It was only an hour later that Kuchiki-taichou finally made his appearance. Renji had to laugh at the look of harried weariness on the captain's face, probably having something to do with the armful of presents he was currently carrying. So he was mobbed by well-wishers after all. Not that it was much of an excuse, but Kuchiki did hand everything over to Renji without a word, and there was enough food and sake in the packages Renji found himself the new owner of to last for quite a few nights out with Ikkaku and the guys. He almost felt like forgiving his captain for ditching him on his first day back.
Renji settled down on the couch to look through all the gifts he'd unexpectedly gotten. Sake, fruit-basket, cards, cookies, what looked like a love letter (Renji put that aside for later entertainment), a hand-knitted scarf (he had to laugh at the look on Kuchiki-taichou's face when he held that one up), and a bag of home-made chocolates that Renji decided were going to Yachiro. Ikkaku had been extra annoying lately and he deserved the hell-brat on a sugar high.
"Oi, Kuchiki-taichou, here." Renji offered, dumping the various fruit-baskets that he knew he couldn't eat on his captain's desk. To this he added the bag of candy he felt too sick to finish by now. Kuchiki-taichou blinked at it all with the look for someone who'd seen too much food in one day. He poked the bag of candy experimentally.
"Kira gave it to me. Apparently Matsumoto's new boyfriend gave it to her and she passed it around." Renji explained.
It was only when he was done with dividing his spoils that he realized Kuchiki-taichou was not making any snide comments about, well, anything. Granted, his captain didn't complain half as much as he used to, seeming somewhat mollified even when he'd been in the hospital (and, Renji suspected, feeling rather bad about nearly killing him and all), but Renji figured he'd at least get something about how little work he'd done today.
When he looked up, Kuchiki-taichou's face had gone even paler than before. For a moment Renji seriously worried if he hadn't burst his stitches and rose to help.
"Matsumoto's boyfriend?" The captain finally managed. Renji blinked and nodded, confusion settling in when Kuchiki-taichou slumped back into his desk and sat there for a long time.
"Why Taichou, jealous?" Renji finally grinned, putting away the love letter for now. It seemed the afternoon's entertainment was going to be live theatre.