Title: Ten Minutes After Midnight
Summary: She had always wondered where Hitsugaya disappeared to after midnight.
Characters: Hitsugaya Toshiro and Hinamori Momo, Matsumoto Rangiku.
Pairing(s): HitsuHina
Rating: T
Genre: Angst/Romance
Disclaimer-- Don't own Bleach. No profit of money was gained in the making of this story, and none is gained post-uploading.


I'll be back.

That was what Tenth Division captain Hitsugaya Toshiro would tell his vice-captain Matsumoto Rangiku everyday. She never knew where he was going, but always dismissed him without a thought. It was his own business.

At first, she would pester him on making him tell her where he was going, but he always ignored her and brushed past without a word. Now, all she would do was nod in acceptance, and watch her captain brisk away into the hallways.

It wasn't what he was hiding that worried Matsumoto; it was the expression that he always held that worried her the most.

Everytime he left, Matsumoto could always see his icy exterior crack a bit walking out the door. His face would be covered in worry and guilt, worrying Matsumoto in return.

He had been doing this for about a year now.

"I'll be back." He said told Matsumoto today, sighing from the day's paperwork-- it had been a lot-- and standing up. "Matsumoto, watch everything while I'm gone."

She nodded, as she usually did, and he left, Matsumoto seeing his fa├žade break down for the umpteenth time. She frowned a bit, finally curious to where he was heading off to.

Motioning for one of the trustworthy shinigami in their division, she gave him his duties. "Watch the place for me. I'll be back." The shinigami nodded, complying to his duty.

"Hai, Matsumoto-fukutaichou."

She stood up from her desk, and after grabbing her light pink stole and wrapping it around her shoulders, she set off to follow her captain.

---

Hitsugaya glanced around his surroundings, checking if there were any other shinigami around; there usually weren't any. Today was not an exception-- there was none in sight.

Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door quietly, hoping to not disturb anyone who was sleeping; usually, people are sleeping by midnight. He knocked again.

"Hello?" He whispered, quietly tapping on the door.

The door was answered, the woman's voice kind and welcoming. "Hitsugaya-taichou, would you like to come inside?" She creaked the door wide enough for him to enter.

"Thank you, Unohana-taichou." He nodded in appreciation, quietly slipping inside the 4th Division. Unohana only smiled.

They both silently stepped into the room, their footsteps silently tapping on the floor, barely making a sound. Unohana motioned for him to follow her; he complied with ease.

Walking a few corridors down, both of them stopped at a door at the very right corner. Unohana opened the door for him, reminding Hitsugaya to be silent-- it wasn't really that hard for him.

Hitsugaya spoke. "I'm fine now." He said to the elderly woman, walking up to a nearby seat and planting himself on it. Unohana bowed to him, leaving him in the frighteningly stilled hospital room.

He took a deep breath, the cold air filling his lungs.

"Hi again." He spoke quietly, clasping his hands together, and bending down low enough so his forehead could meet. "It's me, it's Shirou-chan." He spoke to the figure in front of him, laying in her own stillness.

The girl laid quietly, not making one noise. Hitsugaya kept on going, laying back on the chair seated next to her bedside.

"I hope you're doing okay," He told her. "We're all doing fine. The Tenth Division has been taking care of the Fifth, so you don't have to worry about paperwork. Matsumoto is voluntarily doing it for you." He joked, although he already knew that she wouldn't be able to laugh with him.

Although she didn't reply, Hitsugaya kept on.

"We haven't found out Aizen's true plan yet..." He trailed off. "... but I'm sure we will soon. He's hurt you, Hinamori. I can't let that go." He mumbled, staring at the adolescent-like woman in front of him.

-

At this time, Matsumoto had caught up to her captain's trail, and was secretly watching the scene befold in front of her grey eyes.

-

"I... I can't believe I was too weak to protect you..." His voice cracked up as he kept going. "Hinamori... I couldn't save you..."

Aizen had been the cause of this all. He had never expected the one Hinamori had admired with everything she had... he never imagined Aizen betraying everyone that looked up to him, especially when Hinamori was the one who admired him at most. Admiration leads you astray from the truth, Aizen had told him that fateful day.

Hitsugaya didn't want to admit it, but, it was the truth. She had fallen into the man's hold, and he couldn't, nor didn't, do anything about it. "I should've suspected it..." His eyes shifted away from the blank wall, back to her again.

Reaching out for her hand, Hitsugaya gripped it tightly, surprising his own vice-captain with emotions she never knew he had.

"Please... Please... Hinamori..." He choked, trying to keep his emotions in. "If you can... can you... can you please wake up?" He asked, placing her cold palm onto his own warm cheek. "It's hard... knowing that... that... you might not get to live another day..."

Hinamori didn't stir, her bedridden body not making even one tiny movement whatseover.

"I don't want you to die... Hinamori..." He put his head down. "... I... I really... I really love you..."

-

Matsumoto's eyes softened. She was almost to the verge of tears as Hitsugaya spoke to Hinamori with all of his heart. It could almost break your heart.

He was the legendary, powerful, stoic, ice prince of the Soul Society, and it took just this moment for her to realize...

... her captain had feelings too. Ignoring his status, he really was only an adolescent. He was an adolescent mourning over the loss of the one he loved.

She watched him with sorrowful eyes as he collected himself again, wiping off the tears that almost beaded around his eyes. Matsumoto's figure soon disappeared into the night, rushing to her division before her captain did.

Matsumoto decided, I'll have to give him a break. He must be so tired, visiting her at a time like this, it's past midnight. She returned to her desk, and began her paperwork, this time without anyone having to scold her.

-

Hitsugaya grasped Hinamori's hand tigher, looking at her face once more. She had a peaceful face-- it made his sapphire eyes light up. If she would be happy, he proposed, I'll be happy too.

"I'll come back tomorrow." He gave a tiny, cordial smile to her, a light kiss planted on her cheek. Letting go of her hand, he brought his own to her pale face. "Hinamori... just... please don't die." He whispered one last time, leaving the Fourth division to return to his own. He thanked Unohana-taichou for allowing him in, and disappeared, the moonlight surrounding him.

-

"Hinamori," Unohana quietly walked up to Hinamori's hospital bed, her warm smile melting off the icy aura surrounding the place. "He's finally starting to call out to you, ne? I'm glad."

Hinamori's light pink lips formed into a small smile.

She was glad too.

-

-

-

Owari.


-cough- I think this was supposed to be like that. Is it angsty-ish? No? Oh well. I wrote this yesterday in about... an hour, and uploaded this today. And I'm not good at angst, I can think of good ideas, but it's hard to write them without adding funny to it.

I'll work on something after this, since there's nothing else to do. Maybe The Dating Game? Do you want me to? I dunno. Or some new one shot.

It won't be HitsuHina, I don't think. Unless some super wave of inspiration passes over me.

-Tsukia, twelve minutes ago.