A HitsuHina-ish one-shot from the POV of Unohana... I think that's a first. My muse is weird. Well, I hope you enjoy, anyway. There are no spoilers whatsoever, so no worries about that.

Disclaimer: Blah blah, I do not own Bleach, blah.

----------

The Common Cold

----------

Unohana watched her patient coolly while the woman sniffled and twisted her fingers in her lap. Hitsugaya stood in the corner, arms crossed and expression grim.

"How do you feel, Hinamori-fukutaichou?" she asked.

Hinamori rubbed her nose before answering in a nasally voice. "My nose is stuffed up, my throat hurts, my stomach is a little upset—"

"She was throwing up this morning," Hitsugaya put in.

"I was getting to that," she snapped, glaring at him. But the effect was ruined by her red nose and dismal sniffles and the fit of coughs that soon overtook her. Hitsugaya's eyes widened and he started before taking notice of his surroundings and crossing his arms again unhappily.

Unohana handed Hinamori a handkerchief, Hitsugaya's actions not lost on her. "Well, then, I must give you an examination. In all likelihood, you have a common cold, Hinamori-fukutaichou, but one can never be too careful."

Unohana smiled comfortingly at Hinamori as she nodded absently and shot Hitsugaya a look.

"I am going to have to ask you to leave, Hitsugaya-taichou."

He raised a questioning brow without moving from his spot. Unohana smiled calmly at him, understanding the captain's desire to stay by Hinamori's side but knowing it would not be possible at this time.

"I am afraid that it is standard procedure, Hitsugaya-taichou."

He narrowed his eyes, not liking it at all but knowing he could not win. "I'll be outside."

He strode out of the room as Unohana bowed her head complacently, eyeing Hinamori before sliding the door behind him a little more viciously then he intended.

Hinamori coughed a few more times, looking at Unohana forlornly as she rubbed her nose.

"Do not worry, Hinamori-fukutaichou. It is simply a check up," Unohana said, placing her hands on the younger woman's chest. "Please take a deep breath."

Hinamori complied, staying silent throughout the examination except for a few shuddering breaths and solitary sniffles. Unohana put her hand to her forehead to feel for a fever and frowned slightly at the heat under her fingers.

"You have a slight fever, as well," Unohana said softly. "I can give you some medication for your upset stomach and runny nose, but I am afraid there is not much I can do for your fever."

Hinamori's brows furrowed and she slumped unhappily. "Toushirou and I—" she began, before she turned even redder and started coughing violently. The door slammed open, accompanied by the whoosh of a captain's cloak.

"Momo," Hitsugaya said, voice bordering on a yell. His eyes were wide, his hand gripping the door tightly.

Hinamori swallowed a cough. "I'm fine! I'm fine," she assured him, looking cross at the intrusion. Unohana watched him intently as he recovered himself, blinking and letting the door out of his death grip. He cleared his throat before glancing at Unohana and nodding his head in mild discomfiture.

"Alright," he said, almost seeming to choke on his words. "My apologies." He slid back out the door guiltily, shutting it gently behind him.

Unohana couldn't keep the amusement out of her eyes as she turned back to Hinamori. "I will return shortly, Hinamori-fukutaichou. I must fetch your medications."

She opened the door to find a fractious Hitsugaya standing in the hallway, one hand on the hilt of his zanpaktou and eyes darting around the room. He raised his head at Unohana's arrival, expression expectant.

"It is a common cold, Hitsugaya-taichou," Unohana said. "You may go see her now. I will return with her medications."

Hitsugaya was already in the room by the time Unohana finished her sentence. She shook her head, floating down the hallway to retrieve Hinamori's medicine. She hummed lightly to herself, looking forward to the potential scene she would encounter when she returned. Hitsugaya had never been able to hide his affection for Hinamori very well, for all his ability to hide most everything else. As for Hinamori, the woman simply needed to open her eyes.

Unohana made her way back to Hinamori's room, medicine in hand as she slid open the door and caught sight of the back of a tenth division captain's cloak before Hitsugaya stepped away from the bedside.

"Here you are, Hinamori-fukutaichou." Unohana handed her the two bottles. "You must take this one in the mornings and this one twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed." She smiled encouragingly, putting her hands in her sleeves as Hinamori nodded at her.

"Thank you, Unohana-taichou," Hitsugaya said, earning a nod of agreement from Hinamori.

"Yes, thank you."

"You are very welcome. If your cold does not abate with a couple of days, please return here so that I may see you again, Hinamori-fukutaichou."

"Yes, Unohana-taichou." She slipped off the bed, offered her a shy smile, and promptly sneezed. Hitsugaya balled his fists at his sides, lips thin and strained look on his face before he himself burst into a fit of coughing.

Unohana raised her eyebrows at him quizzically. "You have a cold as well, Hitsugaya-taichou?"

"No," he answered tersely. "I'm fine." His nose made a liar out of him, twitching a few times and ordering Hitsugaya to wipe it with his sleeve. He sniffed irritably before turning on his heel towards the door.

"I am afraid, Hitsugaya-taichou, that the fourth division has the ability to order examinations even from captains," she informed him, composed smile on her face.

Hitsugaya stopped in his tracks, whipping around and clenching his fists. "But I feel fine, Unohana-taichou, I assure you. Come on, Hinamori, we should get going."

Unohana waited patiently for the moment of truth. She was not a pushy or hasty woman in the least; she could afford to wait this one out.

Hinamori shot her a look, smiling softly as she passed. "Maybe you should get a check up, To—Hitsugaya-kun."

"I'm fine."

"I don't think so."

"I'm i fine /i ." A violent burst of coughs.

"I didn't think so."

Hitsugaya narrowed his eyes, crossing his arms and not daring to look at either woman. "Fine." He sounded very much like the child he used to be when he first became a captain and Unohana struggled to hide her amused smile.

She moved over to him and placed a hand on his forehead, glad that he showed no signs of a fever. Yet.

"Two high ranking members of the Gotei 13 coming down with colds at the same time, how unusual," she commented, moving her hands to his collarbone. "Breathe deeply, please."

He sucked in a breath, frowning. "Must be an outbreak."

"But only the two of you have shown symptoms," she added, catching sight of Hinamori wringing her hands out of the corner of her eye. "It is a simple cold, nothing that you will not recover from in a couple days."

Hitsugaya snorted softly. "Well, then, we should go."

"How strange that both of you have come down with it at the same time," Unohana said thoughtfully, clasping her hands in front of her. "Especially since a cold may only be transferred through close contact."

Hitsugaya's eyes gleamed while Hinamori bowed her head, paling visibly.

"Are you alright, Hinamori-fukutaichou?" she asked.

"Yes, fine," she squeaked.

Unohana smiled knowingly as the two shuffled out of the room rather like guilty children.

"Make sure to get plenty of bed rest," she called after them.

Hitsugaya stopped in the doorway in surprise, Hinamori standing just behind him.

"Bed rest?" he asked in disbelief. "I have paperwork."

"Yes, Hitsugaya-taichou, bed rest. It is the best remedy for a cold." She smiled at the two of them. "But there is nothing amiss with resting with someone else in the same bed, especially if they are afflicted as well."

Two sets of wide eyes stared back at her unblinkingly before they scuffled out the door hurriedly, murmured excuses trailing behind them.

Before the door could close behind them, however, Hinamori came dashing back in the room, standing on tip toes to whisper in Unohana's ear.

"Kissing is alright, isn't it?" she hissed.

"Yes, of course it is," she replied, giving her a reassuring smile. Hinamori nodded quickly before racing back out the door, the rest of her face almost as red as her nose.

Unohana followed more sedately behind her, watching pleasantly as Hitsugaya and Hinamori disappeared together down the hallway.

"Isane?"

"Yes, Unohana-taichou?"

"Collect the pool for me, please. It appears as though I have won."

----------

END