So… this all came out in about an hour after watching the latest Bleach episode (man, do I LOVE Hichigo…he is so undeniably bad ass) and I was pondering the re-appearance of Gin (who is also ridiculously bad ass) and his past… there is just so much left open about a lot of the shinigami's pasts, and Gin and Rangiku's are probably the most interesting… he is so complex! I don't really think he is ALL evil… but just marginally. He actually shows emotion, even if it is only to Rangiku… Anyways, I know this is kinda jumpy, but I really just wanted to write something where the two of them can have a moment, they are by far my favorite pairing (or hinted at pairing…) in the entire series.

Enjoy, and please review!


"Ya coulda' kept holdin' on a little longer…Sorry, Rangiku…"

Matsumoto Rangiku tensed as she sat at her desk amidst piles of paperwork, her workspace lit only by a small lamp in front of her. The rest of the large 10th Division office was dark, save for moonlight coming through the slit created by the window behind her taicho's desk. She put her pen down, her eyes tired, a small frown on her usually smiling lips, and put her head in her hands, her golden hair falling around her face in a protective curtain.

No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't forget his last words to her. The sound of disappointment in his voice. The look of regret on his face. She was sure he'd been serious, and it was often so hard to tell with him… She prided herself on the fact that she'd known him since they were young and was, more often than not, one of the few who could see through his squinted eyes and easy, fox-like smile.

"Gin…" she whispered heavily, raising her head to look at the moon, its own silvery appearance reminding her painfully of his, "why…?"

It was a simple question, and it frustrated her to no end that she would never know the answer to it.

Slowly, she raised her head and took a calming breath, closing her eyes as she exhaled, determined not to lose the her own haunting memories, not tonight. She was stronger than this. She had known loss her whole life, there was no reason she shouldn't be able to cope now. She had a nagging, gut feeling that he would be back. He always came back.

When it was just the two of them, he'd disappear for days on end, leaving her alone in the small hut they shared. But he'd always return, with his carefree but always calculated grin and apologize for making her worry. A small, sad smile found its way across her face.

She missed him, more than she would ever admit to anyone but herself.

With a resigned sigh, Rangiku picked up her pen and began to mechanically make marks on the documents spread out before her, working more to keep her mind distracted than to please her often disgruntled taicho. It was a strategy that worked quite well until she opened one of her desk drawers with the intent of finding a fastener for her finished report.

A hastily crumpled note was lying innocently next to the box fasteners and Rangiku was sure it had moved there on its own accord only to taunt her.

She could see his familiar scrawl, the long, elegant hand seeming to seep right through the page, making it impossible for her to ignore it. She knew what it said without reading the age-old words. But she took it out anyways.

Slowly, hesitantly, knowing full well the memories the small note would unleash, as well as the joy, remorse, torment, and longing that would soon follow, Rangiku unfurled the note and lay it on top of her finished report, smoothing the edges with trembling fingers.

'Wait for me here, Rangiku, I have something for you.'

There was no signature, but she didn't need it then, and she certainly didn't need it now. She knew all too well whom it was from. She closed her eyes as she sat back in her chair and let the memory to wash over her.

….

The note was old. It had spent 80 years in her drawer since the afternoon she'd first read it. It was a few days after she'd been promoted to fukutaicho of the 10th division when she found it sitting on her desk, folded into a neat, white square, with only her name on the front. She opened it slowly, smiling widely as she read the simple sentence within, and then tossed it haphazardly into her desk when her taicho questioned her giddiness.

Gin hadn't been in Seritei when she'd been appointed, and she had been more than a little disappointed that he hadn't been at her ceremony. She had happily attended his when he had been promoted to the same position in Aizen-taichou's squad, but she dismissed his absence easily. She knew he and the rest of the 5th division had been deployed the day before her promotion had been announced to dispose of a group of rather unruly hollows. Rangiku counted that as an acceptable excuse.

She waited happily for him; at that point in time (mere days after her promotion) she was content to do the paper work her taicho thrust upon her. The monotony of it was thoroughly dominated by her feelings of accomplishment. Her enthusiasm, however, made the paperwork disappear quickly. She placed the last, finished stack on her captain's desk before sighing, running a hand through her long, golden hair.

The moon was beginning to rise, but Gin still hadn't come.

She didn't once let the thought of him not coming cross her mind, but instead she figured he probably had reports to file on the mission and would come as soon as he had the chance. With a yawn, Rangiku made her way to the couch that would become more of her bed than the futon in her own quarters in years to come, and lay down, meaning to simply rest her eyes.

Of course, she fell asleep. She had been on her feet since her promotion ceremony and the excitement had finally stopped fueling her, giving way to exhaustion.

She wasn't awake when he finally came in, he was silent, as he often was, and he didn't feel the need to wake her. He knew she was exhausted. Instead, he drew up a chair next to the green sofa and sat, setting his arm gently on the armrest and carefully twining his fingers in her hair. Slowly, gently, he wound the strand around his fingers, then unwound it again in a single, fluid motion.

The subtle sensation of someone playing with her hair slowly woke Rangiku, and she spoke softly. "Gin?"

"Aa," was the equally soft reply, and she smiled, opening her eyes, raising her head from the cushion as he let her hair slip out of his grasp. "Evenin'," he said in his usual drawl as she sat up. He smiled at her, but not his usual grin. She knew this smile was genuine. "Sorry I missed yer promotion," he continued, drawing his eyebrows together over his ever-squinting eyes, "but ya know how these taicho are."

Rangiku shook her head. "I forgive you," she said, smiling, "I know you wouldn't skip out on me like that."

"Ya sure?" he asked teasingly, laughing as she punched his arm, hard. "I'll make up fer it," he promised laughingly, rubbing the spot where she'd hit him.

"Oh?" she drawled, raising a single eyebrow above a crystal-blue eye, "how?"

"I brought ya somethin' pretty," he replied, smirking. Rangiku blushed. He knew her weakness for pretty things; he was always quick to tease her about it when they were younger. She had never turned down any of the pretty things Gin had given her on her birthday or any other rare occasions, but she wondered if he knew that she was just as content with his company.

"Close yer eyes," he ordered, waggling a finger at her, "an' no peekin'."

Rangiku did as she was told and shut her eyes tight, listening as hard as she could for some sound or hint as to what Gin was doing. Gin being Gin, however, made no sound. It wasn't until she felt the cold of metal on her neck and her hair being moved did she realize what was going on.

"Can I open my eyes yet?" she asked, burning to see the necklace Gin had succeeded in securing around her neck.

"Nope," he said, and she knew he was smiling again. "Gimme yer hand, Rangiku."

She did, blushing as he took it firmly within his own and pulled her up. Her other hand made it's way to the chain around her neck that hung low into her bosom, but she was unable to determine how it looked simply from touching it.

Gin guided her through the office, but she wasn't able to figure out where they were going, as she'd only been a part of it for a few days. She didn't wonder how Gin knew his way about. Sometimes, it seemed to her, he just knew things.

They stopped walking soon after they'd started and Gin moved her so she stood in front of him. "Ya can open yer eyes now," he said.

She found herself in front of a large mirror, one she knew was in the entry way to the office. Her eyes quickly found their way to the gift Gin has bestowed upon her. It was a thin, silver chain, the end of which fell into her ample cleavage. Resting just below her collarbone was a silver circle the chain was threaded through. It was simple, but indeed, pretty.

"Gin…" she said slowly, the blush on her cheeks deepening, "it's beautiful."

"It is," he replied, and his tone made her eyes leave her own reflection and find his in the large mirror. She was surprised to find his eyes were open, his blood red orbs watching her intently, swimming with emotion.

Before she could respond, Gin wrapped his arms around her neck and buried his nose into her hair. She couldn't move. Her senses were over whelmed. His smell, his touch, the feeling of his chest pressed so firmly against her back, the warmth of his breath on the back of her neck…

"Ya know what I learned when I was gone, Rangiku?" he spoke after what seemed like an eternity. Again, he didn't wait for her to respond. "I learned that leavin' ya without actually knowin' if I was goin' ta be back was one of the hardest things I've ever had ta do...and that I missed ya ten times more than I ever thought I would."

He said it simply, almost nonchalantly, but as soon as he finished speaking, he had raised his head and locked eyes with her in the mirror. The unspoken words hung between them.

'I realized I love you, Rangiku.'

She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out as her emotions overflowed within her. Part of her couldn't believe he was saying things like this to her, but the other part of her realized that he'd been showing them all along. Since the day he'd found her face down in the dirt, Gin had protected her, cared for her, loved her. It didn't take her long realize that she loved him too.

She smiled slowly and wrapped her arms around his, her fingers intertwining with his thin, callused ones. "I'll always wait for you to come back to me, you always do," she said softly, smiling a bit wider.

'I love you too, Gin.'

He smiled at her, the gesture even reaching his usually cold, emotionless eyes.

"Good," he said simply, resting his chin on the top of her head. "I'd be awful disappointed if ya didn't."

She turned slowly in his embrace, looking up into the crimson eyes that belonged to a man that was such a mystery but who stood so clearly before her, watching her intently. She rested one arm against his chest and raised the other, tracing his jaw-line with her fingertips. "Thank you for the necklace, Gin," she whispered, aware that his arms had moved from her neck to her waist, drawing her closer to him until she could feel his breath against her own lips.

He smiled down at her. "Ya know ya don't have ta thank me, Rangiku," he said, resting his forehead against hers. "Ya know yer enough fer me."

And with that, Gin captured her lips in a kiss mixed with longing, ferocity, passion, but most of all, love and the unspoken words and promises that came with it.

Rangiku's hands found their way to the chain at her neck and she held it tightly. "Gin…" she whispered, her eyes straying to the same mirror that still hung in the entryway.

She reached for the note, but this time instead of crushing it in her palm, she folded it neatly into the same little square she'd originally found it in. Carefully, she placed it back into her desk drawer and grabbed the fastener she had intended to get from the start. She took deep breaths, in and out, as she bound the papers together, bits and pieces of that night flitting across her mind. His touch, his taste, his voice…

As she placed the reports on Hitsugaya's desk, she sighed sadly, a hand again straying to the chain around her neck. "You know," she spoke to no one as she stared out the window above her taicho's desk, "when you're gone, I miss you too…"


I redid a few parts since I first put it up, so hopefully it flows better… I won't be continuing this story, but I'd like to do a Gin x Ran fic from their days at the Academy…

Please review! I know people are reading this, but it's so frustrating to not know if they like it or not!

-Elle