Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, but I wish I did.



"In places no one will find

All your feelings so deep inside

It was there that I realized

That forever was in your eyes

The moment I saw you cry."

-Mandy Moore, "Cry"


The steady patter of rain against the roof made Matsumoto look up, brushing a loose strand of hair out of her eyes.

She was actually doing paperwork—for once—because Hitsugaya had failed to return from his training session, and her shoulders and back ached from hours of being hunched over, writing. She sighed and leaned back, rolling her shoulders to soothe the pain, closing her eyes.

She'd only done paperwork this time because she could tell the stress was building up on her Captain. The way he came into the office—his lips tight, his eyes dark and unreadable—was enough to make her scoop up a handful of sheets, just to get a tired murmur of thanks.

… Where the heck was he, anyway?

Matsumoto frowned, standing and glancing out the window. The rain was really coming down hard, like a dark gray curtain, but there was still no sign of her Captain. He'd disappeared about three hours ago and she'd plopped down at his desk and started working, just because she figured he'd need something to cheer him up. She knew he was stubborn, but still…

Even for him, training in the rain is a bit much…

Feeling worry beginning to claw at her insides, Matsumoto came to the only logical conclusion that she could. She straightened the papers as best she could, made small movements to clean the office, scribbled down a note for anyone who happened to wander in while she was out, and tugged her scarf on.

Without hesitation, she stepped out into the rain.


The rain fell like small cold needles, driving into her skin and chilling her to the bone, but Matsumoto ignored her discomfort and kept walking, focusing on her feet as she walked to the training area for the Tenth Company.

He'd better appreciate this…

She trembled a little as wind swept by and chilled her further; she scowled and kept walking, her worry for her Captain outweighing her own discomfort.

The training area wasn't much further, anyway.

Wiping raindrops out of her eyes, she turned a corner; and froze.

Hitsugaya—Captain Hitsugaya, her Captain Hitsugaya—was on his knees in the center of the training area, his eyes focused blankly on the ground as the rain pounded mercilessly down upon him. Hyourinmaru lay beside him, the blade revealed and the rain pattering softly against the blade. His hands were fisted at his sides, his small body shaking.

He was crying.

Some part of Matsumoto would later wonder how she knew he was crying, as rain was falling and every inch of him was soaked, including his face; but she knew and it was enough.

Every muscle, every instinct, told her to retreat; but she refused to move; instead of going back she went forward, to where her Captain was hunched. The rain had long since pounded down his jacket so it clung to his skin, his hair so it was wet and limp. He looked drowned, as though someone had dragged him underwater and held him there until the fight drained out of him.

Even though the heavy pounding of the rain blocked out the sound of her footsteps, she imagined Hitsugaya could still sense her spirit energy; but still he didn't move, didn't even try to look at her.


As she came closer she realized he was shaking, small tremors that were barely noticeable from a distance as tears streamed down his face to mingle with the rain. Matsumoto paused over him for a moment, biting her lip.

What she did next would probably earn her so much paperwork that she wouldn't even hope to finish before sunrise, but it was well worth the risk. Getting down on her knees, she leaned over and wrapped her arms tightly around the white-haired boy, hugging him tightly so his head was tucked beneath her chin.

For a moment she wondered if this had been a very bad idea, but then Hitsugaya exhaled shakily and his arms came around her neck, his face turning into her throat.

"Easy," she murmured softly, just into his ear. "Easy." She ran her hand soothingly down his back, and she felt his tremors slow. "It's okay, Captain."

A muffled sob escaped him, the sound alone being enough to break her heart neatly in two. "Matsumoto…"

She said nothing, just tilted her head slightly and closed her eyes with a soft murmur of comfort. Hitsugaya leaned into her; for him she was solid, she was real, and she was there, and that was what he needed now more than ever.

The rain continued falling.

The End


Why do I always write angst with these two...?

Um... yeah. Random idea that wouldn't leave me alone, please don't ask...

Read and review, please!