Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. That honor goes to Tite Kubo.
Author's Note: Sentences 12 and 24 are connected, and sentences 18 and 34 are/could be considered connected.
The first time they actually fought, Matsumoto disappeared for the day and Hitsugaya agonized over how to make it up to her; when she came back to the office later, there was a bottle of sake on the table, and her captain had vanished.
Hitsugaya liked to think he wasn't the jealous type, but there was no denying the small ache in his chest every time Matsumoto disappeared with Gin Ichimaru.
For the longest time after Gin's betrayal, Matsumoto slept on the office couch when she should have been home, just to hear her captain's footsteps and feel the cold come whenever he returned.
He complains that she is lazy and air-headed and God knows what else, but she's always there fighting at his side when he needs her.
Matsumoto never minded how the girls on Earth cooed over Hitsugaya; she just kept her ear open for that one less than appropriate comment, just so she could correct it.
They both lost someone after the betrayal of Captain Aizen, and as a result their own bond grew stronger as they turned to each other for support.
There were times when Matsumoto would wake from a nap or return from drinking to find Hitsugaya hard at work, doing the paperwork meant for her, and felt a small tug of regret; and during those times, she honestly believed he deserved someone better than her.
The only time Matsumoto ever cried in front of her Captain was when she handed in her resignation; the tears came after he refused to sign it and instead pulled her into his arms, holding her as she wept.
"Yeah, Matsumoto's pretty bad sometimes… but I don't think I'd want her any other way, y'know?"
It was the longest running dare between them; Hitsugaya would get drunk if Matsumoto stayed sober.
They never knew it, but almost everyone in the Seireitei decided that they'd get together sooner or later; the bets just kept piling up.
The Hollow was controlling Matsumoto's movements like a puppet on a string, and Hitsugaya desperately prayed that she was to far under its control to realize that it was trying to make her kill her Captain.
He'll never tell her this, but he thinks she has a beautiful singing voice. Now if only she'd find better music.
This wasn't how it was supposed to be; as she watched she could see him trickling away right before her eyes, and there was nothing she could to save him.
"You can't just quit, this division would be nothing without you leading it!"
The one time Hitsugaya did get drunk he staggered back to the office and passed out on the couch; when he woke up the next morning, he discovered someone had laid a blanket over him, and Matsumoto was actually doing paperwork for once.
There are two types of reactions when people see them together; they either think he is her son, or they wonder how a shrimp like him hooked a babe like her.
There were two reasons Hitsugaya disliked Gin: one, he had that damn annoying smile, and two, the way he leered at Matsumoto when she wasn't looking made him a little to eager to summon Hyourinmaru.
He'd heard that Matsumoto had experience, of course (and never doubted it), but hearing how she kissed and actually feeling how she kissed were two totally different things.
He was always. So. Polite. And it drove her insane.
Matsumoto always remembers how, after one of her earliest missions with Hitsugaya, she awoke in the Fourth Company General Relief Station to find him slumped in his chair beside her bed, sound asleep.
"Oh, no, I totally hate you… really, what do you think I'm saying?"
Matsumoto usually preferred men with more… ahem… experience, but there was something cute about the way he was always so tentative when he kissed her.
Hitsugaya didn't know this, but Matsumoto was aware of everything the Hollow was making her do; and in her head she screamed, but she was trapped in the dark and there was nothing she could do.
There were two kinds of relationships between a Captain and his/her Assistant; familial, or romantic. Their relationship seemed to be leaning more toward romantic; to bad neither of them was willing to admit it.
For the first time in her life she had to make a choice that would change everything; to follow the man who was her oldest friend and first love, or to stay with the boy who had earned her respect.
His element was ice and her element was fire, and somehow just as fire and ice couldn't exist without each other, they couldn't exist without each other.
His breath is cool against her cheek; "Tag, you're it," he whispers, and then he's off in a flash, and she gapes for a moment before a big grin breaks out on her face and she races after him, because deep down they are both still children.
Matsumoto has always enjoyed showing off her battle scars, but her unchallenged favorite is long and jagged and slashes down her back; a wound from when she took a blow meant for Hitsugaya.
Hitsugaya rather liked this mind reading business. It gave him all kinds of information to blackmail Matsumoto with so she'd do paperwork.
She knew this was leading to a war, and she knew one day she would have to face Gin and possibly kill him; and somehow she was kind of okay with that, because she knew Hitsugaya would be there with her.
"Hey, Matsumoto… you're supposed to keep that red stuff on the inside, you know…"
Matsumoto will admit yes, Hitsugaya is a genius; but she wouldn't have anymore people running around like him, one is more than enough for her.
There were two reasons Hitsugaya hated Gin; one, he made Hinamori bleed (Hitsugaya would never forgive him for it), and two, he made Matsumoto cry after he left (Something else Hitsugaya would never forget or forgive).
Eventually the time came when Matsumoto wondered if she would ever achieve bankai, but Hitsugaya always believed she would someday.
"Eh, Matsumoto, there's some paperwork I need you… and she's gone again in record time… MATSUMOTO!!!"
"Aww, look at him Captain, he's so tiny… just a baby, I think, Orihime called him a kitten; can we keep him?"
Only once did Matsumoto get really sick as a result from drinking way to much; the whole day, Hitsugaya never left her bedside once.
The time Hitsugaya broke his leg on a mission was the best time of his life; he used the weeks of healing to make Matsumoto do as much paperwork as he wanted.
Because her… assets were always in his face, they had lost their charm; but Hitsugaya took one look at her legs (damn, they were long) in that school uniform and knew he was going straight to Hell.
Matsumoto never knew this, but Hitsugaya made a promise to her; he promised he'd never leave her the way Gin did.
Neither of them knew this, but their Zanpakutous had taken quite a liking to each other; they both figured it was only a matter of time before their wielders felt the same.
He's only called her Rangiku a few select times, usually whenever the weight of the world's really bearing down on his shoulders and he needs someone to help him support it; so when he says her name, she comes to him without question and helps him carry his burden.
There were times when Matsumoto got up early, just to watch the sun rise; Hitsugaya always stood from another roof and watched her, but he never joined her.
They wouldn't always understand each other, but they were okay with that, because they understood enough.
There was something about snow that always seemed to bring out the child in Hitsugaya; and as he tilted his head back to catch a snowflake on his tongue, Matsumoto smiled and lifted her eyes, mimicking his gesture.
He knows she is strong enough and smart enough to lead the division, if she really ever wanted to; but she seems content just the way things are, so he never asks her about it.
She knows she will never be Hinamori, and she accepts this; he knows this as well, and he loves her anyway.
Only Matsumoto knows that Hitsugaya is deathly afraid of storms; so whenever one rolls in, rain pounding and lightning flashing as thunder rumbles overhead, she pretends to be asleep when he sneaks into her room and curls up beside her for comfort.
"Hey, Captain…" she smiles tiredly, reaching up to touch his cheek. "Why are you crying? You didn't think I'd be killed that easily, did you?"
My first attempt at anything besides IchiRuki, so please forgive me for any OOCness...
I love HitsuMatsu. Don't know why. Hinamori can have Kira or something, in my opinion.
Read and review, please!