Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
"For the last time Matsumoto, I was not crying."
Walking behind him, she simpered, "Of course not."
Hitsugaya Toushirou frowned, knowing she's stubbornly unconvinced. "I did not."
"I don't know Captain. It might have been dark in the theatre but I think it's quite hard to argue against two eyewitnesses."
Staggering in surprise beside her, Inoue Orihime exclaimed, "But Rangiku-chan, I-!"
"Hush Orihime," stage whispered Matsumoto Rangiku. "I know you saw."
"I don't know…Toushirou-kun looks like he doesn't want to talk about it."
The young captain winced at the name and the blunt statement.
"Well, I think he should talk about it," Matsumoto stated semi-seriously. "I know you haven't been around shinigami for a long time yet, but I'll have you know that shinigami can become mute after prolonged grieving!"
Inwardly, Hitsugaya groaned, wondering if Inoue would fall for Matsumoto's lie. Last time he checked, he was definitely not grieving. "…And since when did shinigami become mute with grief?!"
"In my captain's case, he's experiencing bouts of crying, showing us his inner turmoil. It's like a cry for help!"
Unfortunately, Orihime did fall for her lie and gasped, "But…Rangiku-chan, that's terrible!"
"Aie," nodded the blonde. "We already have several cases of near muteness. Take for example, our esteemed sixth division Captain or second division Captain. They're way too quiet; it's not natural."
"But they still speak…" pointed out the younger woman.
"Yes they do because of Intervention!"
"Oh of course," clapped Orihime excitedly.
"Oh of course," thought Hitsugaya dryly.
"I'll have you know, from what Nanao-chan told me, that the thirteenth division could have been without a captain if not for her own captain stepping in for an Intervention."
"Gleaned it from Vice Captain Ise? Typical…Must be referring to the Kaien business…"
Orihime, bubbly as ever, asked sweetly, "So are you suggesting that we be the Intervention for Toushirou-kun?"
Hitsugaya decided then that those words were evil beyond the most malicious hollow he ever encountered. "What has Matsumoto roped the girl into?!"
Enthusiastically, the aforementioned Vice Captain nodded, "Yes, I think we will do a fine job, and maybe we should start soon too. Listen to how silent he is!"
"Listen to how silent he is?" He felt a sudden urge to smack his head, repeatedly if it would help, against the nearest pole. Hopefully, that would knock him unconscious long enough so that he wouldn't have to deal with this absurdity any longer.
Neither woman took notice to Hitsugaya's tense body language. Instead, Orihime conceded in awe, "You're right Rangiku-chan! What should we do?"
A sparkling smile appeared on Matsumoto's face and she spoke firmly on the solution, "A hug, Orihime. A hug."
He didn't stop the immediate protest that escaped his lips. "No."
"But Captain!" Matsumoto puckered her lips into a pout, well aware that her captain can't see the expression. "By pouring all of our love into the hug, we can heal your shinigami angst!"
He immediately promised himself again (the fourteenth time today, actually) that he will never, ever, be companion to his vice captain after she watched a romantic 'chick-flick'. Stubbornly, he refused, "No, Matsumoto. I do not need, nor want, a hug."
Before Matsumoto could start whining, Orihime intervened, "Well…If he doesn't want a hug, Rangiku-chan, and we force him one, wouldn't that make him…sadder? And if he's sadder, then his grief-sickness could become worse!" She bit her lower lip. "Maybe we should try something else."
"It might be the grief talking though," argued the older woman. "His angst-ridden mind might be manipulating him to think that he doesn't need a hug, when he actually really does need one."
Orihime shook her head stubbornly. "No hugs."
"No." Orihime voiced worriedly, "We can't jeopardize his state of health. If he doesn't want a hug, then he won't get one."
"Oh Orihime, alright," conceded Matsumoto. She was actually quite disappointed since she was going to use this material later to tease him about it. "What do you suggest then?"
Hitsugaya did not realize he held his breath in until he released it. Maybe Orihime would think of something less…punishing.
"Whenever I'm sad, I find that something sweet really helps, like ice cream," beamed the girl.
"I can deal with ice cre-"
She continued, interrupting his train of thoughts, "Of course, we'll need to add red bean paste and powdered sugar too. The ice cream will taste much better with it."
He cringed at the prospect of eating an overly sugary confection in the near future. Despite his pride, he suddenly wished for the hug instead. At least those were actually quick and relatively painless; of course his pride begged to differ since there was always the minor risk of suffocation. However, overly sweet treats gave him terrible stomach turns that do not settle with tea and lasts for days on end. He learned his lesson last time when Orihime pushed a piece of dessert unwillingly into his hands. She got him when she mentioned it was watermelon flavoured sweet cakes.
"Women are always tricky like that." He shook his head, straightened his posture, and waited for his vice captain's response. He hoped she would disagree.
He didn't have to wait long. Her jubilant voice carried around the radius they walked in, turning a few heads. "That's a brilliant idea!"
"You really think so?"
"Mmhmm!" She smiled brightly, "It might actually be better than the hug idea."
"We should go to the supermarket then and pick up what we need!"
Hitsugaya sighed. He was not quite ready yet to submit to his fate but he was equally unwilling to be brash about Orihime's tastes in food. He stopped in mid-stride and crossed his arms, stating neutrally, "I'm not going."
"Ehh? But why Toushirou-kun?"
Matsumoto grinned, "I think he needs encouragement!"
"You will not-" started Hitsugaya.
She grabbed a resisting arm and started dragging him in the direction of the market. "Come on, Orihime. Let's go!"
"Matsumoto!" Hitsugaya glared. "Release my arm at once!" The blonde had a very strong grip on his wrist. His fingers were actually starting to turn blue from the lack of circulation.
The people passing by on the same street stared at the resisting young boy being dragged off by an older, more mature, woman. They all came to a terrible, but of course wrong, conclusion.
Orihime smiled and ran after the pair. "Coming!"
End?...Or is there more?
OOC? Probably just a bit…But then again, Bleach can prove to be quite cracky when it wants to be.