This is my very first fanfiction, inspired by a pairing that I love, Hitsugaya Toshiro & Hinamori Momo.

This is set after the events of the Soul Society arc. All comments and feedback are much appreciated!

When you cried,

I'd wipe away all of your tears.

When you'd scream,

I'd fight away all of your fears.

I've held your hand through all of these years,

And you still have all of me.

The Storm

Momo had always hated nights like this. The storm outside was relentless, rain pounding against the window, the wind howling. Lightning flashed with frightening frequency, always followed by booming thunder. Once there was a time when she could find comfort from such storms, a safe haven from the world and its uncertainty. But not tonight, not this storm…not anymore.

She stared out the window into the chaos of the night, eyes focused on nothing, the blanket around her shoulders doing little to keep out the chill. The storm raging inside her heart was no less brutal, and tonight there was no hiding from either of them. She wanted to escape from this nightmare, but she could not forget. There were times when she wished she had died rather than face this pain. Better she had died than people she cared about being hurt.

Blindly, she had let herself be used. Foolishly she had believed…such horrible things. And ultimately, she'd turned on the one she cared about most.

His face flashed through her mind, bewildered by her words, confusion and hurt in his eyes as she held her sword to his throat, ready to kill him for what she mistakenly believed he'd done. Her oldest, dearest friend, who had only ever tried protect her. He had almost died because of her.


The guilt was drowning her, horrible memories on constant replay in her mind; her Captain's kind face, his gentle eyes, her name on his lips; her joy at seeing him alive, being held in his arms as she cried with relief. He whispered it was all alright…and then came pain, all consuming, the shock of seeing his sword through her chest, blood staining her hakama. She looked into his face. He was smiling still, but the warmth in his eyes was gone. Then there was only darkness.

A sudden flash of lightning nearly made her jump out of her skin. She gasped aloud into the empty darkness of her room, but the sound was swallowed by a deafening crack of thunder. She pulled the blanket tighter around her thin shoulders and, because she was alone, she let herself cry.

She didn't deserve this second chance at life, and she didn't know what to do with it anyway. Everything she thought she knew was a lie. They were all so understanding since she'd woken up. Why didn't they hate her? She couldn't stand to see the pity in everyone's eyes. She knew they all secretly worried she was crazy, unstable. She wished she had never woken up.

The darkness she fell into was followed by nightmares, ghastly visions she couldn't escape. The sound of screaming. A familiar voice, full of rage, calling her name in fear. The sounds of battle, of wicked laughter. And all the while she saw his face… smiling as the blood trickled down her chest. Aizen-taichou. He had betrayed her, used her in the worst possible way. She had wanted to die, to sink into the darkness…anything to escape the horror of that day. Why hadn't she simply faded into that welcoming nothingness?

A voice calling to her, pleading. A warm hand holding hers. A soft, tender voice asking her to hold on…to come back. His voice…her Shiro-chan.

No. Not her Shiro-chan. Not anymore.

She lost the right to call him that when she turned on him. All the memories they shared, all the times he had been there for her. She had denied it all, thrown it away when she turned her weapon on him. She would never forgive herself for betraying him.

The storm continued to rage, and she wanted so badly to hide from it like she used to do when she was young and afraid, wanted to run to that familiar place where she knows she would be safe.

She could never go back there now. Nothing would ever be the same again.

When she woke up he was holding her hand, his face over hers as he brushed the hair from her brow. The look in his eyes, so relieved, she had almost thought she saw… Momo would never forget that look, the way he'd whispered her name, welcoming her back. His face…so much older than before.

She would find out later that it had been years since that day. She was lost in the darkness so long that the world had no choice but to move on without her. But he had never given up, never lost hope for her. Why? After what she had done, what she had accused him of…

She didn't deserve his friendship, she knew that. She didn't want him to waste any more of his time on her. So she had pushed him away, told Captain Unohana that she no longer wanted him to visit her. She had cried as he called to her from the other side of the locked door, pleading with her in that stubborn, abrasive way to just talk to him.

When she was released from the 4th Division's care she'd contemplated leaving Soul Society altogether, to escape the memories lurking around every corner. In the end it was Tobiume who convinced her to stay and remain a Shinigami. But right now she still didn't know if she was up to that task.

Eventually he left her alone, stopped trying to talk to her, stopped asking for an explanation she couldn't give. It hurt her deeply to force him out of her life after all the years they spent as constant companions. But it was better than seeing that hurt look in his eyes.

Momo had watched him from afar since then, silently amazed by the man he'd become. It was bittersweet. She had always been so proud of him, and now he had truly become what he was always meant to be. He was so different; tall, strong, fully grown into his potential. Yet he was still the same somehow. Still so serious, with a mind ahead of his years. He had never really been young, even when his body had still been that of a child's. And now…No, she wouldn't let herself think of that. He had always been so overprotective of her. And it had almost gotten him killed.

Aizen had betrayed them all. Betrayed her more than anyone, maybe. He'd played on her childish feelings. She had adored him. Idolized. Admired. Loved…


It was all a lie. She never loved him. Never admired him. Because she had never even known him. It was all a manipulation. Nothing she ever felt for him was real. Not like…

As the realization hit her, her eyes welled with tears. The blanket dropped to the floor as her hand covered her open mouth. All these years…she had never allowed herself to reflect and acknowledge it, ignoring her feelings, burying them in her subconscious. Aizen had been the distraction that made her forget the truth she has somehow always known. She was truly a fool.

Momo didn't bother to put on her sandals before she ran out the door into the storm.

The storm outside was relentless, hammering the windows and the roof with no sign of stopping. Toshiro thought it a good thing as he sat in his quarters, staring at nothing. The foul weather suited his mood. He was more irritable than usual lately, but he knew there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. Not when…

He'd tried overloading himself with work, to distract from the unwanted thoughts that snuck up on him. He had even tried drinking, though he hated it, because he'd seen how it sometimes helped Matsumoto forget Ichimaru's betrayal. But it hadn't worked. Nothing did, and nothing would.

He wondered indifferently if he might actually be having an effect on the torrent outside. Even before he'd awakened Hyourinmaru, he could sense and sometimes manipulate the weather, particularly when he was upset.

This was probably one of those times.

A heavy sigh escaped him and he ran his fingers through his spiky silver hair. His face was strained and there were dark circles under his eyes. He knew this because his lieutenant told him so. Personally he didn't care. He never slept well anymore; his mind was too full of unpleasant things. Sometimes he felt as though he hadn't truly slept in years.

Toshiro looked to the window as lightning flashed, illuminating the blackness. His garden was flooding. A loud boom of thunder followed.

Momo was always afraid during these kinds of storms. Was she afraid now? He remembered when they were children she would come running into his room, climb into his bed and curl up next to him, seeking refuge from the night. He had always wanted to protect her, to save her from everyone, from everything. But he had failed her.

He stood suddenly and paced the room, his anger building. He had always watched over her, even from the smallest things. Unnecessary, he knew, but he couldn't help it; she was the only thing in the world that truly mattered to him. He would sell his soul to keep her safe, die to protect her. He almost had.

And yet…when the worst possible thing happened to her, he was unable to do anything. And he'd been too weak to avenge her.

He still had nightmares about that day when he saw her lying there, bleeding out upon the cold floor, the look of shock frozen on her face. Dying. Aizen's sword covered in her blood. He'd been filled with more rage and pain that he'd ever known was possible. But in the end he had been weak, ineffective.

He stopped pacing and slammed his fist into the wall, leaving a gaping hole to mark his frustration. His eyes were bright with anger and regret.

Aizen. No matter what it takes, no matter what he had to do…Aizen would die for this.

He leaned his head against the wall next to the hole he made, feeling as though he were tearing apart at the seams.

When he woke up in the hospital and heard Momo was still alive, he had never been so relieved. She was alright, she would come back to him. But she wasn't, and she didn't. She remained trapped in a prison of her own making, Unohana told him as he watched her sleeping. She had lost the will to live. Her face was so pale, her body so weak and frail he thought his heart would break just looking at her. He sat by her side, day after day, speaking his most private thoughts, holding her hand, willing her to live, to come back to him. But days had turned into months, months into years. He continued to sit by her side whenever he could, and when he couldn't she was never far from his mind.

It was during this time that he realized he loved her. He had always been jealous of her adoration of Aizen. He had wanted to be better than that man, to make her look at him that way. But almost losing her had made him realize how truly precious she truly was to him. He needed her. He didn't want to exist without her.


He remembered the day she woke up like it was yesterday. He'd been noticing how shrunken and pale she had become; a shadow of her former vibrant self. He had no idea what to do to bring her back to him. It was only a matter of time, they said, before her body stopped fighting. Before she wasted away and was lost to him forever. He had never felt so helpless.

Then she had opened her eyes.

Her beautiful brown eyes had looked up at him and he wanted to tell her everything right then and there, wanted to hold her in his arms and tell her how much he had missed her, how much he needed her, that he would never let her go again. But he knew that would be too much for her to take. The trauma of that day would have to be dealt with; she still didn't know the details, the extent of Aizen's betrayal, what had happened afterward. She would have to adjust to living again, to all the years she had missed, would need to grieve for the friends that had been lost in the war against the Arrancar. He had waited this long for her; he could wait a while longer. It was enough that she was going to be okay.

And then Momo had shattered his world the day Unohana said she didn't want to see him, he was not allowed in. He had knocked and knocked, called out for her to talk to him. He received no answer. Unohana said she was dealing with her grief in the only way she knew how, that she had her own feelings of guilt to overcome, and that he must allow her to come around on her own. Logically he understood, but he was still hurt, and angry. He sat by her side for years, would have done anything if only she would wake up, if only she would be alright. And she didn't want to see him. Didn't want him in her life.

It was enough that she was alive, he told himself for the thousandth time. He only wanted her to be happy again, wanted to see her smile. Even if it wasn't for him.


Toshiro raised his head from the wall with a jerk. Several minutes had passed while he'd been lost in thought, but now something else caught his attention.

A noise at his door. Someone was outside.

He wondered vaguely if it was Matsumoto stumbling drunkenly to the wrong building again, when he heard his door slide open. He turned around sharply, and his breath caught in his throat.

Momo was standing in his doorway, soaked to the skin and barefoot, wearing nothing but a light sleeping robe, oblivious to the rain pouring down on her head.

They hadn't spoken since the day she refused to let him into her hospital room. Now she was here, like this, and he was completely speechless. Wasn't she afraid of the storm? She made no move to come in, becoming more drenched every second. Toshiro was utterly baffled by her sudden appearance. She hadn't come near him in months. He couldn't make himself move or speak. He just stood there with his mouth open, staring back at her.

Momo began to walk toward him, slowly, as if in a trance. Her expression was indescribably, a mixture of curiosity, sadness, and something completely new.

Toshiro was staring at her as if she were a ghost. Her avoidance of him had been so complete that he was completely shocked to see her. She had been so wrong. She had ignored the truth in her heart for so long; it was time to let it lead her where it may.

She moved steadily toward him, stopped only inches away. She hadn't realized how much he'd grown; he was nearly a head taller than her. She found small amusement in that. She looked up into his striking blue-green eyes, so full of questions. Was it too late?

His breath came shallow as he fought to control himself. From doing what, exactly, he didn't know. He gazed into her eyes and thought maybe it was because of that look she was giving him, those large dark pools so full of an emotion he couldn't name. Or maybe it was because her thin silk yukata was soaked through and molded to her body, leaving very little to the imagination. Her face and neck were wet from the rain, and tiny droplets glistened on her skin. Her hair was loose and curling, plastered to her head in places from running through the downpour. It was longer than he remembered, cascading over her shoulders and down her back.

She had never looked more beautiful. His eyes searched her face for answers.

The words just wouldn't form as she stood before him, absorbing the heat from his body. He was tense, not knowing what to expect from her, but he wasn't moving away. She wanted to tell him how she felt, why she braved the storm to come here, but right now she just couldn't think of anything but how close he was to her. Slowly her hands rose to his shoulders, and she carefully parted the lapels of his shirt, revealing his chest. She tried not to think about how firm and warm he was, concentrating on the large, even scar running from the top of his shoulder down the length of his pectoral. She gently touched the scar tissue on his collarbone, and with feather-light fingers she traced the line the sword had made, faintly pink against his pale skin.

He almost died from this. For her.

His muscle rippled slightly as her cold fingertips trailed down his chest, and all he could do was stare at her as she gently caressed his skin. Suddenly she raised her head and looked into his eyes.

Her eyes welled with tears, and she whispered, "Why?"

He didn't follow. "Why…what?"

"You could have died!" she cried, looking again at his scar, much larger than her own.

He frowned at her, because she should have known better. "I couldn't just stand by after what that bastard did to you! I had to protect you."

"You could have been killed! I couldn't live with myself if that happened!"

"It was my choice. I'd do it again," he said quietly.

"But why? Why for me? I don't deserve—" She began to sob, her body shaking.

It was too much for him to bear, seeing her punish herself with undeserved guilt. Frustrated and sad, it all burst out of him at once and he shouted, "Damn it, Momo! Because I love you!"

She stopped crying and looked up at him in shock, wide eyes searching his.

Barely above a whisper, he admitted his most closely guarded secret. "Because I've always loved you."

"Toshiro…" She needed to show him how much those words meant to her, how much he meant to her. Her hands were still against his chest, and she slowly slid her palm up over his scarred shoulder, the other hand moving further inside his shirt. She could feel his heart pounding as she leaned in closer until their bodies were touching. His breath was hot on her neck as she lowered her forehead to his chest. It felt so good to be close to him like this.

He closed his eyes and a ragged sigh escaped his lips as she began to kiss his bare chest, slow and feather light as her mouth moved along the line of his scar. Her breath on his skin was like fire, and he reached up to cradle her head, his fingers twisting into her damp hair. He wrapped his free arm around her waist and held her tighter as her lips moved over his sensitive scar tissue, sending a shiver through his body. She moved from his scar line to his collarbone and her head rested on his shoulder, her face buried in his neck. He cupped her face in his hand, thumb caressing her cheek as he raised her face to his. So beautiful.

Momo lost herself in his eyes. Normally so cold and icy, closing off his thoughts from the world, they were now warm, darkened by something so primal and male it made her melt inside. Her head swam with the intoxicating feeling she was getting from his nearness and his hands on her body. She tilted her face up to his as he leaned in.

It seemed as if time stopped as he kissed her, soft and tender as he tested the waters. His lips parted slightly as he caught his breath, then moved in for more. Momo returned his kiss eagerly. They quickly grew more confident, more demanding as desire and longing were unleashed. His hand slid up her back until both hands held her face, his fingers entwining in her hair once more as his tongue entered her mouth, at first lightly, teasing, then more deeply. A tiny sound escaped her, senses reeling. She pressed her body against his. His hands wound tighter in her hair and she was amazed by the sensation it brought, and a shiver ran down her spine as she clung desperately to him.

Momo was vaguely aware they were moving, one of his arms wrapped around her waist to guide her. She held tightly to him, tried to stay as close as possible as she followed his backward steps. In her struggle to remain kissing him as they moved, she accidentally tripped him and they fell over backwards onto the bed. Toshiro's quick reflexes saved them from crashing too hard, and he laughed under his breath as he gently set her down on the bed, half sitting. She smiled apologetically, and he smiled back as he leaned over her.

She sat up further, grasping for the front of his robes. A soft chuckle escaped him as his white captain's haori was ripped off and thrown across the room, followed quickly by both of his shirts. Her hands caressed his bare chest, fingernails grazing lightly as she ran her palms down his torso, sending shivers through his body. They stopped just above his belt, fingers slipping just underneath his waistline. He drew in a sharp, hissing breath as her nails grazed the very sensitive skin below his navel. With purely instinctual desire she ran her hands over his naked chest, his firm muscles rippling under her touch. He was gorgeous, from his shining white hair and dazzling aqua eyes to his strong, lean muscles. Looking at him like this made her want to do things to him…things she had never imagined before. She blushed at her own naughty thoughts focused on untying his belt.

His hand reached to cover hers, stopping her progress. She looked up, wondering why he stopped her. There was an unspoken question in his eyes: are you sure? She loved him even more for that. She had never been surer of anything in her life, and she smiled reassuringly, a hint of mischief glinting in her eyes. He moved his hand away, to the small of her back, kissing her neck as he let her remove his hakama.

Toshiro took charge from there, kissed her hungrily and laid her back gently on the bed. There was nothing between them but her thin silk robe now; still damp and clinging to her curves in all the right places, driving him wild. The hem of her robe slipped to the side as she lay down, her bent knee exposing her thigh. He leaned over and kissed the top of her knee, his hand sliding down the outside of her thigh as his mouth trailed down the inside. Her breath came in short little gasps as he placed hot, wet kisses and playful nips down the length of her thigh. His hand slid further up under her robe to her hip.

Momo felt his breath moving ever closer to that heated place and she quivered, anxious yet hopeful that he would continue his exploration. Her eyes flew open as she felt him retreat, and she saw a devilish smirk play at the corners of his mouth. So he wanted to tease, did he? She wanted to make him pay for that, make him see what it meant to be teased, but her brain was so clouded with passion she couldn't move, could only lie there and let him do sweet, torturous things to her.

The front of her robe had come loose, exposing the inner curve of her breast, making him want to rip it off and devour every bit of her. Instead he placed an unsteady hand at her collarbone, and gently trailed his fingers down the center of her chest, moving to her abdomen, pausing as his fingers ghosted over the small scar there, just below her ribcage. It was so small, less than two inches long, yet it had done so much damage. He knew there was a matching scar just slightly higher on her back where the sword had gone through. He leaned over and tenderly kissed her scar, as she had done his, nuzzling her skin as he did.

Eventually his hands continued their journey, fingers twisting in the folds of her sash. It was loose, barely holding her damp, flimsy garment in place. His fingers trembled slightly in anticipation of what he was about to uncover as he pulled the bow apart, exposing her navel. His hand moved to the back of her neck and he lifted her up again, brought her to her knees. Foreheads touching, their breath mingling, he slid the robe from her shoulders and it dropped weightlessly from her body. He began to explore the newly uncovered skin, caressing her back, hands moved around her hips and up her ribcage.

His hands, rough and calloused from years of sword fighting, felt incredible against her naked skin. She sighed in pleasure as his hands moved over her breasts, that roughness brushing the sensitive, hardened peaks. She leaned her head back as he nuzzled her neck, and he grasped her tighter as she moved in, breasts pressing against his chest. She grabbed his hair and pulled his head up slightly so she could nibble his earlobe, then moved along his jaw until she reached his mouth and pressed her lips to his in another all-consuming kiss. His hands stopped in their exploration briefly as he was overwhelmed by sensation, her kiss so sweet it was made his head spin.

Momo moved closer, closing that last tiny gap between their bodies. She felt his arousal brushing against her thigh, and didn't think she could take much more. Her need finally overcame her and she pressed against his shoulders, forcing him into a sitting position as she wrapped her thighs around his hips. She felt him against her center, the tip of him touching her heated skin. His arms wrapped around her in a desperate embrace as she slowly lowered her hips and allowed him to enter her.

Toshiro fought for control as she enveloped him completely. He was shaking, every muscle tense, drowning in his need for her. So many years of hidden feelings, pent up desires. Sensations so strong washed over him in waves he thought for a second he might die of happiness. She felt incredible against him, around him; it was all he could do to maintain himself.

Momo was awash in her own pleasure, feeling it flood her veins. The feel of him filling her was so intense, she thought she might explode from desire. His arms wrapped around her in a vice grip and he held his breath, his head pressed into her shoulder. She thought he was trying not to hurt her by moving too suddenly, and it was partly true, but she realized he was also fighting a losing battle. She moved slightly to settle against him and he hissed softly as his hands grasped her hips, holding her still. She relaxed against him, her arms winding around his neck as she gave him full control. Slowly and carefully they began to move, his hands at her hips rocking her, and she picked up his rhythm and ground against him with the guidance of his hands. She leaned into him, her head thrown back as his hands cupped her breasts, his mouth finding her nipple. He teased her with the tip of his tongue, slowly circling the tiny peak, finally taking her into his mouth and sucking gently, his teeth lightly grazing as his tongue darted across the sensitive tip. She cried out and rocked her hips harder against him, every nerve in her body on fire.

Finally his control broke and he gripped her hips, lowering her back onto the bed, moving deeper inside of her as he settled on top. They made love in earnest now, mutual need breaking the last of their restraint. They clung desperately to each other, lost in their need. She wrapped her legs around him, tiny moans escaping her lips as he panted against her throat. She raked his back with her nails and cried out as heat exploded within her, smiling as he groaned and thrust harder, their movements becoming rougher, deeper, more intense, his taut back muscles convulsing as the dam broke and a tidal wave of pleasure and release washed over both of them.

The next thing she knew he was caressing her face, planting soft kisses on her brow, her eyelids, her cheeks, whispering incoherent words that she understood nonetheless. They lay together as he gently played with her hair, still damp and fragrant from the rain.

The experience they had just shared, and the memory of her sorrow before coming here, combined with the way he was looking at her now, like she was the most precious thing in the world…it was all too much for Momo to take. She closed her eyes to hide her tears from him, knowing it was futile since he was intently watching her every move. She fought them off; afraid he would think they were tears of regret. She opened her eyes and met his gaze, whispered, "I love you, Toshiro."

He smiled, and his voice was raw with emotion. "I love you, Momo." He kissed the tears from her cheeks, shifted and pulled her close against him, wrapping his arms around her as she rested her head on his chest. Her fingers traced little patterns on his skin and he ran his up and down her back.

Momo closed her eyes and listened to the sound of his heart beating, steady and strong, just like he was. She had never felt safer or more loved than she did at this moment, with his arms around her, his breath against her brow. They were unaware of time passing as they lay there holding one another, enjoying the reality of being together.

The storm outside was finally rolling into the distance. Tonight, for the first time in a long while, they would both sleep peacefully.

The End