Gawd. I never realized how long it's been since I last posted a story here. To those who are still waiting for updates on my other stories, PLEASE don't sue me for suddenly reappearing! If given enough time, chance and supply of further plot ideas, I'd LOVE to continue working on them, but alas, my muse is dead. Try as I might, I can't seem to resurrect it permanently; it just comes and goes as it pleases. Stupid, rebellious muse...

Anyways, I wrote this fic for the HitsuHime FC fanfic-writing contest in Bleach Forums, and I thought you might want to read it. Hey, don't give me that look! This entry won first place, so it has to be worth reading somehow… right? XD This takes place somewhere after the Soul Society Arc and before Hueco Mundo, during Hitsugaya and Matsumoto's refuge in Orihime's apartment.

Standard disclaimers apply.

Paper Cut
By: Sechskies

Since he had been reading that thick novel he found from his roommate's shelf for quite a while now, it was bound to happen eventually.


Jerking his hand back away from the pages he'd been idly leafing through, Hitsugaya Toushiro let out a soft hiss of annoyance as the thin slice on his index finger began to throb sharply. Irritated that something so seemingly insubstantial could sting so much, he fought the childish urge to wave the wounded finger in the air in an attempt to quell the pain and instead opted to rummage through one of the desks near him for some tissues.

"Toushiro-kun?" Alerted to the trouble, Inoue Orihime hurried up from her seat on the couch, thrusting aside her half completed History homework. She was at his desk almost immediately. "What's the matter? Did you hurt yourself?"

"No, I'm fine," was his automatic answer. As the young, prodigious shinigami captain of the Gotei 13's 10th division, he had a reputation to maintain after all. "And it's Hitsugaya-taichou for—Hey!"

He was curtly cut off when the meddlesome girl grabbed his hand and began inspecting it. She couldn't help but wince in sympathy when she spotted the problem.

"Ouch, a paper cut,"

"It's not that bad..." Hitsugaya shrugged as she set his injured hand carefully back down.

"Even little cuts can cause problems, Toushiro-kun! What if it gets infected?!" she asked, panic lacing her usually cheery voice.

He noted her worried expression, and his steely green eyes softened. Opening his mouth to give her some assurance, he was – again – rudely interrupted when Orihime's overly whimsical fantasies kicked in.

"What if it gets all purple and green? Or maybe even blue with red and white polka-dots around it?? " She flapped her arms wildly in an attempt to make gestures. "What if you acquire cancer out of it? Or worse!" Here, she gasped dramatically. "Maybe your blood is actually the long lost Elixir of Life and rainbow monkey scientists may be banging on the door any minute now so they can examine you and conduct experiments—or maybe even dissect you!! Toushiro-kun!! We need to get you out of here right now! They're coming to get you!!" She had said all of this swiftly and breathlessly; it was a miracle that she still hadn't bitten off her tongue by now.

All the while, Hitsugaya merely stared at her speechless, mouth slightly ajar. He had always known that the girl was excessively quirky and imaginative, but he hadn't expected her delusional tendencies to be at this extent.

Seeing her brown orbs widen from another implausible theory she had devised somewhere in her mind, he sweat-dropped. Where the hell could she get the most ludicrous scenarios anyway?

"Calm down, Inoue. I'm sure it's nothing nearly that serious," he finally interrupted, only marginally successful in his attempt to hide the bemused smile that pulled at the corners of his lips as the girl managed to work herself into a tizzy. When he saw her reach for the flower pin on her head, he added, "And don't call your fairies. Like I said, this paper cut is only a minor injury; I can live with it,"

Orihime eyed him dubiously for a moment before she straightened herself up. "Then there's only one thing to we can do!" Fists clenching determinedly, she grinned happily. "Stay there for a while, okay, Toushiro-kun?"

She was gone before Hitsugaya even had the opportunity to voice any objections.

Tch. Why does she keep cutting me off like that?

Surely, Hitsugaya Toushiro did not become captain of Gotei 13's 10th division just to be treated like this!

And why the hell am I putting up with any of this insolence toward me anyway?

He looked at the retreating figure of the auburn-haired girl and sighed, suddenly feeling grateful that his lieutenant, Matsumoto Rangiku, was away. That woman had an uncanny ability of reading him like an opened book – no matter how hard he tried to hide his emotions – and he didn't want her witnessing this unforeseen moment. Otherwise, he could already see it: she would tease the heck out of him about this and he wouldn't hear the end of it. Ever.

Orihime was back by the time he returned from La La Land, and he watched as the cheery teenager opened her school bag and proceeded to dump its entire contents before him. Heedless of the way her pencils, pens, notebooks and a small box of napkins – in which Hitsugaya couldn't help but blush and cough lightly; he had seen a commercial about that thing for feminine genital sanitation on TV once – scattered to the four winds, she rummaged around the resulting pile.

It wasn't as if he could tell Orihime that shinigamis didn't get infected, and that he was using his gigai so it didn't really matter. Well, he could, actually, but he also knew better than to think that she'd simply let the issue drop; she was a fussy one, after all. Thus, resigned, Hitsugaya shifted in his seat, settling himself in more comfortably for the inevitable wait. Keeping his finger elevated to stem the bleeding, the boy leaned on the palm of his opposite hand, his elbow planted on the wood table. His eyes, however, betrayed his amusement as he followed his roommate's flurry of movements curiously.

"Aha! Here it is!" Orihime held up a small white kit, presenting her find with a victorious flourish. "Tada!"

Upon spotting the emblazoned Red Cross, Hitsugaya's eyebrow quirked in question. "A First Aid Kit?"

"Yep," Orihime answered proudly.

She probably made good use of it too. Clumsy girl.

She scooted over to his side and expertly flipped open the lid. Glancing briefly at the supplies she had available, she quickly took out the few things she needed.

"Now," Orihime extended her hand expectantly towards Hitsugaya. "Show me your finger please,"

Giving a tolerant sigh, he placed his hand in hers.

Orihime smiled at the pouty look on Hitsugaya's face. Was he even aware of how cute he looked with that expression? She decided to dismiss the thought as soon as it entered her mind. If she continued thinking about it, it would only result to more daydreams, and she would forget about treating Hitsugaya's little paper cut, and he would eventually die from loss of blood because she was too busy forming more fantasies in her head about the young captain wearing a bunny suit with the same pouty look and—


"…Yes, Toushiro-kun?"

Hitsugaya, who had long resigned himself to her impertinent way of addressing him, sighed for the nth time. "Quit daydreaming and fix my wound already, will you?"

She let out a nervous laugh and shook her head to rid herself from her fantasies. Once focused, she started her task. Armed with a cotton ball, Orihime dabbed at the thin stream of blood trailing away from the cut. Once certain that the afflicted area was cleaned to her satisfaction, she changed weapons.

"This is going to sting just a bit, Toushiro-kun," she told him knowingly. Her auburn eyes showed full concentration and determination as she held a small bottle in her hands and began adjusting the nozzle for use.

"Pardon?" Hitsugaya blinked, suddenly feeling the tiniest inkling of trepidation as he watched the girl take aim with the miniaturized spray bottle.

"I'm just going to use a little disinfectant," was the all the warning he received before she opened fire.

"INOUE!!" Green eyes widening in surprise, the young captain yelped despite himself. His first instinct was to yank back his affronted appendage. To his dismay, however, Orihime had been prepared for any such attempts to escape, and had kept a surprisingly strong grip on his hand throughout the entire process. He gave her an accusing look. "I though you were fixing my finger,"

Humming cheerfully to herself, Orihime pointedly ignored his complaint. She set the spray bottle down and blew softly on the cut, soothing the irritation brought on by the disinfectant. She then quickly followed through by wrapping the awaited band aid snugly into place.

And finally, making use of a tried and true method of modern medicine, the girl finished up with one last touch.

"Wh-what are you doing?" Hitsugaya asked her tentatively, his voice sounding more like a squeak.

Bringing his finger to her lips, Orihime planted a gentle kiss over the spot. "There you go!" she proclaimed brightly, relinquishing his hand. "All better now!" Feeling rather accomplished, Orihime flashed a one last grin on Hitsugaya's direction, before gathering her things together, and getting up to go put the kit back in her school bag.

The newly cured shinigami captain remained frozen in place. Wide green eyes trailed from his bandaged finger to stare incredulously after the girl who bounced away. He stayed like that for a minute, and then, the hints of a smile played about the corners of his mouth.

Watching as Orihime promptly slipped on one of the many pens and pencils she had left lying about on the floor, the smile curled into a full fledged smirk.

And, slyly, he wondered if she just might allow him to return the favor.


Okay, now there you have it. Reviews, comments, criticisms and the likes are welcome, so feel free to press the little purple button below.

And no, don't get me wrong, fellow IchiHime FC members. Ichigo x Orihime still takes the top spot in my Bleach fangirlisms. :D