Erm... don't kill me, ok?

I'm really sorry I didn't update earlier, especially since I told people I would. My comp's still having virus problems... and I'm completely out of Bleach. Haven't watched/read any for a long time. BUT the published manga here in France is finally reaching the arrancar season... and if I get some additional storing space for m birthday (on the 8th) I might be able to get the manga I've missed up to now... which could possibly get me into Bleach again.

Once again, the reviews are love, and they DO motivate me. In fact they're the only thing that pushes me to update this. So thank you so much to all those who reviews and/or pmed me. Feel free to do it again, you'll earn much love from me.

Right... Now on to the story...

This is a very interesting chapter sniggers Can you see the relationship starting to change? And matsumoto has wandering eyes XD

Aaaaand the plot thickens! dances haen't you all been waiting for it?

DISCLAIMER! I don't own Bleach. I own Suzuki. Enough said.

Rangiku arrived in HQ one evening three days later, shook off the snow that had got caught in her hair, and took off her scarf.

"Taicho, I'm home!"

She let a huge pile of paper fall loudly on his desk. She had just spent two hours outside in the snow getting reports from their officers, and had been especially annoyed when she had had to run for one hour after one of them that had gone missing. In the end, she hadn't found him and had decided to come home instead and let him go and explain himself to Hitsugaya when he came back. Well, now I've done the hard work, so he can do the damn paperwork, she thought happily. There's no way he can refuse that

"Taicho! I said I'm home! I got the reports you asked for!"

No answer.

He's ignoring me again, she thought, annoyed. She went to his room and opened the door, expecting him to be reading one of his damn strategy books.

"Taicho? I said I'm…"

She stopped dead. Just coming out from his bathroom, hair still wet and dressed only in a towel that was strapped around his waist, was Toshiro, looking as surprised as she was.

"I… I'm sorry, Taicho, I didn't mean to…"

He regained his composure and sighed.

"Matsumoto, what do you want?"

"It's nothing, it's just that I just arrived from getting those reports, and I…I though you hadn't heard me, and…"

Damnit, why can't I speak properly? thought Rangiku, mad at herself. He's the one who should be embarrassed, not me! She tried to calm down and regain composure, but somehow she couldn't… Despite trying to look him in the face, her eyes kept being drawn to his chest.

He's changed…

He was still as short, but under the delicate lines of childhood, the stronger lines of manhood were just starting to appear. His shoulders had slightly squared and his collarbones were no only just showing. Rangiku blushed slightly. On a more mature man, that last detail would have made her blood run faster. Her eyes followed his hand as he brought it up to run it through his wet hair.


"I…I'm sorry, Taicho, it's nothing urgent, I'll wait outside, take all your time, I'll work in the meanwhile, see you in a minute."

She turned and left the room while he sighed and started to dry his hair with a second towel.

Why am I reacting like this? It's stupid, it already happened once, and besides, I see him every day, I saw he had grown before…

You can't see anything under that uniform, said a second part of her. He could have turned into a man completely or have had dreadful scars, you wouldn't have noticed… Unless he caught up to you in size, anyway.

She shook her head. I should have noticed… I kept thinking that I was helping him, and that I was one of the only people to understand him even a bit… And I didn't notice… what a poor friend I am. He's turning into a young man, and if this hadn't happened, I might have been still treating him like a kid when he would have been fully grown… She closed her eyes, and saw him again, standing with his hips sideways and running his hand through his hair, his usual weary look on his face. Rangiku, you are a blind idiot.

"So, what did you want to show me?"

She turned, startled. Why didn't I hear him come out? I'm a vice-captain, since when don't I have enough zanshin for this? Trying to hide her embarrassment, she smiled.

"Well, I got the reports you had asked for… The one from the seventh seat is missing, though, I hunted through the entire division for him, but I didn't find him."

Toshiro sighed.

"I'll have him come here and explain… Anything else?"

"No, no. Can I have the rest of the afternoon free?" I need to clear my head.

"All right… I'll have a look at those reports and send for you if I need anything."

"Thank you, Taicho."

And without looking at him, she picked up her coat and scarf and went out.


Toshiro came home from training a few days leter to find Suzuki waiting in front of the HQ door.

"Oi, Suzuki!"

The youngster turned and bowed.

"Good morning, Taicho!"

"Yeah, good morning. Why didn't you enter?"

"It's empty... I didn't want to stay alone in your office, it isn't right..."

"Matsumoto isn't in?"

He sighed, wondering where she had gone again, and opened the door.

"Come in... what brings you here anyway? Don't tell me your squad leader wants you out from his squad already."

Suzuki beamed.

"No, no! He said I was doing great. And I've done my first real fights... It was scary, but I managed it anyway."
Toshiro felt like chuckling, but kept control of his facade and just gave him a side smile.

"You still haven't told me why you're here..."

"Oh, that's right... Wait a second, Taicho, I've got it there... "he rampaged through a small bag he was carrying with him, and took out five pages of paper. "Kyoka-sama hadn't finished the report he gave Matsumoto-fukutaicho, so he asked for a volunteer to bring the end to you."

Toshiro raised an eyebrow.

"And you voluntered straight away?"

"Of course! Most of the squad was busy anyway, so he was happy to send me."

Sighing, Toshiro took the report and started to read it.

"So, I take it you enjoy life in 10th division?" he asked absentmindedly, his eyes scanning the document.

Suzuki was about to answer when the door to Matsumoto's room opened and she entered the office, looking throughoutly refreshed.

"Where've you been?" asked Toshiro in an expressionless voice as he kept reading.

"I took a bath to wash my hair, it was sweaty after training."

"And you left the office open and empty?"

"Well, I knew you were due back any moment."

Toshiro rolled his eyes, but gave up the argument, not wanting to start yet another half-hour long discussion. Instead, he returned to his document, but had only read half a page when he nearly jumped, feeling her hand on his left shoulder.

"Now I'm ready, do you need me for anything, Taicho?" asked Matsumoto, one hand on his shoulder, the other on his desk, and leaning towards him.
Toshiro resolutely ignored the scent of lavender bath oil that was coming from her hair.

"Well, actually, I need that missing report... I can't wait for him to come or send it, since I have to confront it to another one... could you just go see if he's back?"

"I... I'll go!" exclaimed Suzuki.

Toshiro turned back to look at him. He looked flustered, and was staring at Matsumoto. After wondering for a second what was wrong with him, Toshiro laughed inwardly as he realised that from the way she was leaning forward, Suzuki must have had a pretty good view of Matusmoto's cleavage.

Poor guy, thought Toshiro, amused. He's nearly as young as me, a view like that must be quite a shock... I can't really blame him, either.
If by the time I started to notice I hadn't been working with her long enough to be immune to that particular part of her body, I'd probably be staring at it rather often too.

The way Suzuki was trying to be noticed amused him. This guy is too nice, I wonder how he even got through the academy. His squad leader's report had told him that he was very hard-working, and that despite his overall eagerness, he fought with grim determination. We might still manage to make something out of him... If he stops staring at my vice-captain, he added with an inside smirk.

"That's nice of you, Suzuki, but your squad leader will probably want to see you back. Besides, she needs to do a bit of work done before the day is over, and she's good at getting information out of people." He turned to Matsumoto. "So, get me that report and come back as fast as you can, I got other stuff for you to do."

She smiled.

"As you wish, Taicho." And she stood back up and moved away, leaving her hand to trail on his shoulder until it reached his neck, then letting it fall naturally as she went to get her coat.

Toshiro fought hard not to let his eyes widen in surprise. He remained frozen for a few seconds, purposedly not looking at her, and relaxed only when he heard the door close. He then turned his thoughts and look back to Suzuki, and was surprised to see him glaring at the door. It was the first time he saw him looking angry.

I guess he'd have wanted her to stay...


The youngster realised he was looking away and brought his eyes back to his captain. The angry look had totally disappeared.

"Yes, Taicho?"

"Well, I'm happy to have seen you, but I think you should go back, don't you think?"

"Oh." He seemed a little downcast. "Oh, yeah. of course." He put on a smile. "Good day to you, Taicho!"

He stood up, bowed, and left without saying another word.

"Good day too..." said Toshiro to the empty room.

He shrugged and went back to the papers that had been lying on his desk and that he had not yet had time to get a good look at. Sighing at the quantity there was, he stood up to make himself a cup of tea, and had just sat back down when the sound of an explosion made him jump.

Yeah, clifhanger. I'm evil.

Please review, it might manage to make me move my a... and get into Bleach again so I can get the feeling of the characters again and write more.