A/N: I am a terrible person for writing this...so...very...bad...
A future!fic, again, though it's not really relevant. Just happens sometime after everything else has happened, and Hitsugaya is probably a little older, little taller, and let's just assume he's been through puberty because Rangiku would be a dirty, dirty woman if he hadn't. I didn't really take care with how people refered to each other, given names, surnames, suffixes, whatever. I didn't exactly spend a lot of time polishing this one, I just had to write it to get the images and snarkiness out of my head. And for this, I ask you to forgive me.
Hinamori, it appeared, had been a dancer in the living world. Actually, it wasn't all that hard to believe, Rangiku thought fondly, crossing her legs and swirling her sake absently. She had the build for it: small body, strong limbs, good sense of balance, and quick reflexes. And it definitely wasn't all that hard to believe when the petite Lieutenant was swirling her way across the field, moving gracefully among the crowds of souls who had come out tonight to celebrate the spring festival. If Hinamori didn't know any dance steps (as she had protested when Yachiru had first grabbed her and demanded that they go dancing with the "twirly whirly people"), then she was doing a remarkable job of faking it.
Rangiku's eyes slid to her left, and felt her face pull into a wide grin. Captain Hitsugaya sat next to her, sitting as formally as his division members sat when they appeared before him for the quarterly performance evaluations. A half-empty cup of sake teetered forgotten in his hand, and she didn't have to follow his gaze to know what had caught his wide, startled eyes. "Captain," she asked sweetly, reaching to tap him lightly on one shoulder. "Did you know Momo was a dancer?"
A beat, and then a terse, "No."
"She's very good," Hisagi commented from the other side of Hitsugaya. "Very graceful. But they're about to start one of the peasant dances, and those can get a little rowdy."
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, the music shifted into something much faster, much louder, and definitely much more…Rangiku's grin widened…erotic. A large band of Rokungai citizens had appeared, hauling a variety of drums and pipes, and the ground was starting to shake beneath them as one by one, the drums were set up and added to the medley. The crowd thinned as the elderly, the very young, and the weak of heart cleared out of the paths of the mostly young adult dancers. Rangiku saw Hinamori step towards the sidelines, hesitate, and with a peculiar determined expression, turn back towards the field. She spread her arms, and started to dance.
Captain Hitsugaya went rigid. Rangiku, peering at him carefully from under her long eyelashes, had to look close just to tell if he was even still breathing.
Oh, this was going to be easy.
"You know, I've always heard that dancers require a great deal of leg strength," Rangiku purred absently, catching Hisagi's eye behind her Captain's tense back. Her fellow Lieutenant smirked as he caught the slight teasing note in her tone, and glanced around at Hitsugaya's face before winking back to her.
"She appears to have very strong legs," he replied casually, playing along with her. "Considering how long and how hard she's been dancing."
"It's amazing, isn't it?" Rangiku agreed, leaning forward a bit so that they could converse around the silent Captain. If she listened carefully, she could just barely make out the slight increase in heart rate in her normally ice-calm superior. It was encouraging. "I mean, I never knew little Hinamori Momo could dance like that." She carried on mercilessly. "I always thought she was a bit too sweet and, well, prudish for it."
"It's a pretty pulsing beat," Hisagi remarked, also leaning forward and propping one arm up on the table. "And she's been so reserved lately – it's probably giving her a great sense of release," He quirked one eyebrow at his blonde cohort, and she had to pretend to brush hair from her eyes to hide the spasm of giggles that threatened to explode from her mouth. Hitsugaya wasn't looking at her, his eyes glued to the lithe figure that twisted and spun a few feet away, but a peal of laughter directly in his ear would probably clue him in to the subtle torture his subordinates were gleefully inflicting.
"And look how flexible." It was easy to sound admiring, Rangiku really was impressed as she watched her friend coil and uncoil, flowing smoothly from one position to the next. "I don't think too many people could bend that far back."
She stole another look at Hitsugaya's face, and hoped that he didn't break his jaw clenching his teeth that tightly. To be honest, she was fairly impressed with him, too, and how well he was managing to keep his appearance relatively neutral. On anyone else's face, that expression would have appeared unaffected. On his, it was glaringly obvious. She felt a little flash of sympathy, and wondered if maybe she should leave him be. After all, under the chill, she knew that he had long harbored a silent but painful love for his life-long friend. This might be just a tad too cruel.
Then again, Rangiku couldn't even remember anymore exactly how many opportunities Momo had provided him in the last few years alone, and he had been so wrapped up in keeping himself controlled that he had always seemed to miss every single one of them. Rangiku felt the rise of a familiar urge to shake the man. Looking at it that way, she reasoned to herself, this was practically a public service she was providing.
"She's been out there awhile," she said when she trusted her voice to be casual again. The tempo increased suddenly with a reverberating crash. Hinamori whirled faster to accommodate it, her hair ribbon coming undone with the force of the spin. Dark hair fanned out behind her, and over the throbbing of the drums, Rangiku thought she heard a very slight gasp from her left. "Never mind strength," Rangiku waved her sake at the field, raising her voice to be heard over the beat. "I never knew she had that kind of endurance."
Hisagi nodded. "From the looks of it, she could go all night." His lips twitched, but he mastered them admirably.
"Momo's always been in good shape," a new voice piped up from Rangiku's right, and Renji sat forward in the chair that he'd been tilting all the way back. She hadn't known he was listening in. Rangiku exchanged a quick glance with Hisagi. "She's grown a bit since our Academy days, but she's got a dancer's body." Renji was a raunchy enough individual that he probably knew exactly what their remarks were implying, and he was just enough of a bastard to enjoy the fun, but he wasn't exactly the most…subtle of men. In all likelihood, Rangiku guessed, he was going to turn to her and wink. He was going to wink, and then blurt something like "Yeah, she's probably great in bed." Or "I bet that would be some good sex." And then it would be all over but the smiting.
Rangiku stared at Renji almost desperately, mentally willing him not to say something so blatantly dumb to her tense Captain.
This, she thought resignedly, can only end in tears.
"But I gotta admit," Renji turned to speak almost directly to Hitsugaya. Rangiku wondered vaguely if she could jump all the way to the nearest rooftop from her current sitting position, and if that would be far enough to clear the blast radius. "I never knew she had such a great sense of rhythm."
Hisagi choked on his sake, and Rangiku's eyes widened in surprise. Hitsugaya twitched slightly, but his face was still turned towards the field and he made no move indicative of sudden murderous rage. The blonde stared at Renji, who winked again, and then over at Hisagi, who shrugged "That's…true," Rangiku said at last.
Hisagi recovered first. "Look, she's got a partner now."
A man had managed to grab onto Hinamori's flying hands, and with a shy little smile that was oddly incongruous with the way her body had been moving, was still moving, she allowed him to pull her into a partner-style dance. Rangiku edged slightly away from Captain Hitsugaya. From the way his eyes gleamed, he was either resisting the urge to shun-po himself between them or attempting to swallow a large chunk of rancid lemon.
"He's not nearly as graceful," Hisagi remarked after a cautious moment. "But he's pretty strong, to sling her around like that. She's keeping up with him well enough."
"More like he's keeping up with her," Renji snorted, and then grinned wickedly. "She keeps going that fast and he's not going to last very long at all."
"She's going to finish him off in no time," Rangiku agreed, almost choking on the urge to scream with laughter. This time, Hitsugaya did growl, just a tiny bit, low enough that probably no one except Rangiku could hear. He probably didn't even hear it, as focused as he was on the dancers.
"Poor guy." Hisagi said mildly, probably referring to Hinamori's partner.
"Oh, I imagine he's enjoying it anyway," Rangiku replied airily. "Or at least, he ought to be. He should just relax and follow her lead."
"She's keeping admirably in synch with each stroke," Hisagi smiled. "Of the drum," he added, as if it were an afterthought.
Rangiku's sides were starting to hurt with suppressed laughter. She nodded sagely, as if they were merely discussing Hinamori's abilities from a professional standpoint. "You're right; every time the dance increases, she manages to increase her speed and yet still maintain the beat."
"I'm glad we had to opportunity to observe her," Hisagi remarked cheerfully. "It explains some of her prowess in the battle field."
Rangiku tried to figure out if the faint red tinge on Captain Hitsugaya's cheek was merely a reflection of the flickering festival lanterns or not. "Actually, all the flexibility and rhythm probably come in handy in all sorts of places," she paused for effect. "And situations."
It definitely was not lantern light, Rangiku decided with satisfaction. Her Captain was without doubt starting to turn a peculiar shade of red around the edges. A few more hits and he would probably jerk to his feet and stomp off to brood angrily at the sky, or maybe destroy a few practice dummies in the currently deserted training compounds "It's good to know that she can apply those skills to something other than mere battle," Hisagi agreed, exchanging a sly look with Rangiku. "It leaves one to wonder where else she could utilize them outside of battle."
He's going to snap, Rangiku thought gleefully, eyeing the young Captain's shoulders. It was lucky for them that Hitsugaya was still far too engrossed in watching the woman on the field to be listening properly to the conversation going on around him. Made bold by her success, Rangiku decided to step things up a little. "Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of benefits of having a dancer's body. You know," (don't laugh don't laugh don't laugh) "Off the battle field."
As if on cue, the music came to a pulsing crescendo, and with a final resounding boom! brought the gyrating dancers to a standstill. Hinamori's arms were spread wide, hair falling around her face and shoulders, eyes closed and head flung back as she panted up at the sky. The lanterns swung from the trees behind her, and their flickering light made her look for a moment hauntingly beautiful and unreal, as if she too were made of golden light. Hitsugaya's breath caught, and Rangiku didn't blame him. For once, looking at the almost frighteningly intense expression on his face, Matsumoto Rangiku couldn't find a single thing to say.
Renji leaned back in his chair again, scratching his chin thoughtfully as he regarded the field.
"Yeah," he said, nodding decisively. "I'd do her."
It turned out that Rangiku could, in fact, jump even farther than the rooftop, even starting from a sitting position.
But it wasn't quite far enough to clear the ice.
A/N: I actually started writing this story somewhere in the middle. I put some random silliness on a page, and before I knew it the whole dang thing had run off and become a story (sort of) and I had to go back and put a coherent beginning on it. So it's a bit disjointed. Put that down to the sake Rangiku has undoubtably been enjoying all night. I'm not sure if any of this was even funny, but it was so damn fun to write that I had to finish and post it. I will not be ashamed of it! I will go so far as to say that I am proud of this story! I will keep my head high! I will...be hiding under the bed, in case anyone needs me.