Spoilers: Up to and including Chapter 178
Pairing: Ichimaru Gin x Matsumoto Rangiku
Summary: Gin's thoughts during his little 'capture.'
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. If I did, Ichimaru would have MUCH more scenes and lines than that pitiful excuse of an entrance in chapter 213. Yes I'm pissed.

Holding On

Your hand is warm.

Really, I'm surprised. I didn't expect any such warmth for me, even from you.

Especially from you.

People are saying I betrayed them. I guess it's true, in a way. I didn't do anything to stop the man they now call evil. No, instead I have chosen to help him.

But did you know? I offered them my hand too. It was their choice to turn away from it, to push it away. I help those who ask for my help, those who take my hand.

Ah, but that thought brings back memories.

I hadn't expected anything, really, when I first found you and handed you food. But then you took the food offered. You agreed to stay with me when I asked. You were the first person to actually accept the help I had offered.

Your hand was warm then, too.

You stayed with me then, even though I left you without saying anything all those times. You held onto my clothes and cried when I returned. Yet not once did you ask. And never did I answer you... because in the end, I knew you would disapprove of what I did during my foraging - which consisted mainly of stealing and fighting.

I didn't want you to know that side of me. Because you were the first person to take my hand... and hold onto it.

Then I left you once again... this time to join the shinigami academy. We both knew I wasn't going to be going back this time, and yet I wasn't worried. I knew you would follow me there - be it that it may take you a while to get in, but I knew you wouldn't give up trying, and would one day soon succeed in doing so. You didn't let me down, and I saw you amongst the group of new students the year after.

But then something changed.

You were no longer dependant on me. You no longer looked to me for support. You changed, grew stronger. You began to stand on your own two feet... and I - I, who had been the rock you could lean on for so many years - was slowly being pushed out of the picture. And though you still held onto my hand, it was becoming obvious that you did not truly need me there. Every day I felt you drifting farther and farther from me... and I couldn't hold on, because I am a fool and I don't know how to.

And for the first time ever, I felt useless. Helpless.


I didn't like that, but for your sake I kept up a mask. I was afraid, yes, afraid, that you would completely let go of my hand once you knew of my stupidity.

Then along he came. The day of my graduation exams, he approached me. He asked me to show him my hands, and so I did. Then he offered me a position in his squadron. He asked me to lend him a hand.

So I did.

He asked me to become his vice-captain two year later.

So I did.

He asked me to help him create a new world the year after that.

So I did.

But of course, I felt no warmth in doing so. Not like when I first found you, fed you. Helped you. Felt your hand crawl into mine that first night we shared together in the rundown old shack that had once been home for only me. This was cold, hard, calculating manipulation on both our parts, and we both knew it.

Still, I felt needed once more.

The days droned on, and The Day drew near; the day he would betray everyone, the day when I would betray you, the day I would leave you. The day I would lose whatever hold of your hand I had left, forever.

But as always, I was a fool, and I wasn't able to hold on.

A beam of light engulfs me now. Your hand pulls away hurriedly from mine, and I mourn the loss the brief touch of warmth, the same warmth I have missed, no, craved for so long...

"Too bad..."

...Far, far too long.

"It would have been nice if my capture lasted a little longer..."

You look confused, but of course you don't ask.

You never asked. Not until it was too late.

"Farewell... Rangiku."

Let's try this one more time, Rangiku.

I won't ask you to understand me. I won't ask you to forgive me. If the image of me evokes nothing but fury and hatred from you, that's all right. So long as I know you feel something for me.

I feel my body being lifted. I'm leaving you, just like I have all those times long ago.


But I promise I'll come back one day. So... when I do...

When I do...


Don't let go of my hand.




Author's Note: Not the best, but I had to get this down before I lost my train of thoughts. Review!