Apology

A/N: It's one of those strange stories again that don't make much sense.

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach

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"I apologize."

Ukitake Jyuushirou stood behind Hitsugaya Toushirou in the fourth division garden, awaiting his response.

Hitsugaya was still very embarrassed about the incident but managed an unwavering response. "There is nothing to apologize for, Captain Ukitake."

He tilted his head, acknowledging his response, "You're too kind with your words."

The younger captain rose from his position on the bench and turned around, "You didn't know and I should have been more careful."

"Still, I wish to make up for this error."

He shrugged loosely and uncharacteristically voiced out in a pinched tone, "Mistakes are easy to make." His cheeks seemed to be dusted by a light pink but it could have very well been just a trick of light.

"…And you don't want me to…say…torment you anymore?" Ukitake let out a bubble of laughter when he saw Hitsugaya tense and motioned his hands in a placating manner. "I was joking."

Hitsugaya breathed a sigh, but didn't know whether to feel threatened or not. What if the elder Captain can read his thoughts and knew of this harboured dislike…?

"But really, Hitsugaya, I want you to accept my apology."

A single eyebrow rose and he replied in a clipped voice, "I already did." He did not like the way this conversation was going.

"No, no! I meant the apology gift basket." He brandished out a wicker basket piled with wrapped goods and nearly stunned him with a bright smile.

He eyed the gift and thought bitterly to himself, "If Ukitake knew of my harboured dislike for sweets, he must be tormenting me on purpose."

But nonetheless, he had manners and kept the comments to himself. Instead, he sidled his gaze uncertainly onto the nice wrapping paper and accepted the basket with a thank you.

"If you'll excuse me, Hitsugaya. I don't want to inconvenience you with my presence when you still need rest."

The smaller captain nodded in farewell, believing that the worse was over.

Ukitake smiled pleasantly, walking towards the exit of the garden, but paused suddenly at the entrance. "Oh, and Hitsugaya."

"Yes?" Please don't say it. Please don't say it. Please don't say it…

"You don't have to worry. There's no chocolate in that basket-" Upon hearing the bane of his existence, Hitsugaya inwardly groaned. "-and I really do hope that you would tell me next time if you're allergic to something. I could have killed you." The older man frowned at that thought. "And well…"

Hitsugaya gazed at him expectantly, his face not conveying signs of embarrassment.

"Well, I was just wondering…What did you do with all the chocolate candies I gave to you previously…?"

He schooled his expression and blatantly lied, "Matsumoto usually ate the chocolates." The wielder of the ice sword had actually practiced this lie several times on his hospital bed after his secret was aired out like dirty laundry; not only that, but he had Matsumoto's agreement on this…statement.

Ukitake chuckled, "Of course. Sweets should never be wasted. Well then, I really should be off." He waved and disappeared.

Rigid posture gone, he slumped onto the bench and sighed, blushing, "Everyone knows. Everyone has to know."

"And who wouldn't? It must be the talk of Seireitei if their youngest captain suddenly collapsed because of an allergic reaction to chocolate."

Wallowing in self-pity, he could practically imagine it now.

"Someone would ask: 'Are you sure?' and the gossiper would reply, 'Yea, not because of a terrible ambush by hollows but chocolate'. And then, they would have a hearty laugh over it on my expense." He swallowed his groan and resisted the temptation to bury his fingers around the roots of his hair.

If Matsumoto was beside him right now, she would most likely laugh away these paranoid thoughts or actually make it her mission to silence the whole of Tenth Division and Seireitei if she could. She was very supportive ever since he landed himself in the hospital, after all. Maybe he could extract another favour from her…

Clearly he was still ill, if thoughts like these keep springing into his mind. He never knew allergies could induce such reactions to his thought patterns. Gentle Unohana had to give him a lengthy lecture upon this, telling him that shinigami had strange reactions to allergens.

"Though, I should've expected this. I knew I was allergic...I knew it! And I still had some...I thought it would only make me dizzy, like last time but instead..."

After consuming the chocolate, he was briefly afflicted by a fainting spell and then hallucinations coupled by uncharacteristic thoughts and actions; it was for the best if he forgot what he did during his allergen induced hallucinations and focus on damage control. Yes. Damage control.

He swore quietly as his face twisted into an unpleasant frown when he thought back to the root of his problems, "Of all the things to be allergic to, why chocolate?!"

"Especially when your collegues tend to only give chocolates away during any sort of celebration."

No. He was not being bitter or childish. He was not! Damned sweet temptations.

Hitsugaya finally allowed himself to tug at his hair and bow his head. "Stupid chocolate...Stupid side-effects..."

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Yes, she knew of his love-hate relationship with sweets; it was quite hard not to notice, being his second-in-command.

When Matsumoto finally found him kneeling in front of the bench, she was worried, that was, until he heard him utter strings of curses. She couldn't help the impish smile that quickly surfaced, and even contemplated forcing sake into her own captain's system. At least that way, he can drown his sorrows away and she could join him; after all, it would be no fun to drink alone.

Her eyes met the red-rimmed glare from her captain and suddenly, she decided against it. No matter how you look at it, kicking a puppy while it's still down was cruel.

She touched his shoulder gently, silently asking him to get up, and they slowly went back to his room.

...After all, there will be other opportunities. One day, she might just accidentally slip the sweet poison in his tea and then they can have a sake party!

Of course, only when he's well again. A vice-captain always watched out for their captain.

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End

No. I'm not going to tell what he did when he hallucinated. -cackle-

Spyrit

A/N: And if you were wondering…

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Extra bit of randomness:

Hitsugaya sat down on the soft bed after extracting the promise that he would be let out of the Fourth Divison building.

Really, he didn't understand why the whole Fourth Division, except Unohana, treated him as if he would break upon contact. They kept insisting upon bed rest.

He shook his head and finally took the packages out of the wicker basket that Ukitake gave him yesterday. Despite his reluctance, his conscience nudged him to at least open the gifts before unceremoniously rid them. Besides, he had a mild curiosity to sate, wondering what lay beneath the neat blue and silver wrappings since previous sweets were never wrapped with such elegance.

He removed the paper around the gift carefully and was pleasantly surprised. In his hands was a tin of dried tea leaves. Not sweets and definitely not chocolates, but tea leaves.

"Ukitake knows." Hitsugaya grinned wryly before the grin morphed into a worried line. "Maybe he can read minds."

He panicked then frowned and paused.

"That's ridiculous." He shook his head. "Maybe I really do need extra bed rest…The chocolate is addling my brain...again."