Many years had passed now, and time had swept away most of the debris from the Arrancar war. Much had been lost in the years of struggle as well as gained.

And the young limbs of Captain Hitsugaya had matured and ripened. Finally, he could boast a considerable height and strong, redoubtable shoulders. His facial features remained quite fresh, eyes turquoise and luminescent in moonlight. Truly, he was still a boy in many ways…had he walked the streets of Karakura town…many would have taken him for an 18 year old university student. Yet, his grave manner had changed very little. With the passage of time and the recovery of his greatest friend, Hitsugaya's serious, no nonsense demeanor only ossified.

Even in peace, he was wary of enemies…yet, this time it was not Aizen, not Ichimaru. It was the memory of the past that ate away at Hinamori.

Things had been awkward immediately following the affair. Yet, over time the two settled into a new dynamic of friendship. Apologies and tears were shed. Yet, Hitsugaya found himself in a state of fatherhood towards Hinamori…something he had always instinctively done, even in his nascent years.

Protection. Shielding from the painful past. It was all he could do for her. On top of all his duties as the tenth squad Captain, Toushiro became a maniac for sheltering and providing for his broken companion.

She had resigned her position as Vice-Captain…though she was still held in high honor within the 13 squads. She took the fifth seat in Hitsugaya's division and mainly fulfilled her duties as an advisor rather than warrior. She also began to find a passion for instruction. She even began training young, novice Shinigami in the arts of Kido which she had mastered at an early age. Year by year, the young students, the fresh, clean, peaceful air, and the friendship of many ensured that Hinamori Momo just might make it through the darkness of betrayal.

Winter climate had come to Soul Society. It was a rare occasion for snow to fall here in the spirit dimension. Yet, it had come.

Hinamori woke to see the first kiss of snow hit the wooden walkway through her open window. It was quite chill, but the brisk breeze felt refreshing against her flush face. For a moment, Aizen's face flashed before her cloudy eyes but that portrait extinguished into vapor quickly. One physical push of the girl's mental pressure, and the unpleasantness passed away. She found herself thinking of Toushiro eating watermelons on a hot day in the far distant past. Laughing to herself, she remembered how the juice would stick to his lips and chin, running down even into his tunic. He had been a messy eater before self-awareness and decorum took over his eating habits. She remembered one particular day:

"Shiro-chan…you've made a complete mess of your face." She grabbed a cloth laying next to her long legs and made a move to wipe the red liquid from his chin, but he quickly batted her hand away.

"Lay off, bed-wetter" he had mumbled, whipping the mess with his hand rather than the cloth. His obstinate, grumpy face had made her laugh then, as she did now, wrapped in her futon starring at the snow.

"Shiro-Chan, stop." She had pleaded with an almost motherly air…her hand made contact with his plump cheek and began to rub insistently. His scowl deepened and his skin flushed at the contact.

"Stop calling me Whitey." he had mumbled after she had finally pulled away to beam at his freshly cleaned features.

"No."

The snow had brought a sense of peace and laziness to Soul Society. Many stayed in bed, meetings were canceled, games and fun ensued. Matsumoto, Kira, Renji, and Rukia enjoyed a walk through the ice kissed gardens of the Kuchiki mansion. Laughing and telling jokes, remembering past events and adventures, the group settled inside Rukia's private quarters drinking warm tea as Matsumoto read from a magazine she had brought back with her from the real world.

After she had finished, she pulled out a bottle of sake.

Captain Hitsugaya knew his Vice-Captain must be somewhere drinking sake. The snow had provided the perfect excuse to blow off paper-work and play. Yet, he had come to the office to do what could be done on his own. Either because his daily life had revolved around the presence of ice and snow or he really was a stick in the frozen mud, Hitsugaya found no interest in the new sensation of torpid lassitude that had swept through the dwellings of the 13 squads.

"I knew you would be here, Shiro-chan" her voice intimated the sound of bells. It was saturated with pure amusement. He had not heard it so in a long while. Therefore, when he looked up to see Hinamori watching him read the latest technological report from squad 12, he did not scowl or attempt to correct her informal address. He merely placed the paper down on his desk and stood. He made his way over to her, so that he could see her more clearly: her mouth turned upward in a bemused grin, her hands folded in front of her chest.

"Would you like some tea?" he offered in a soft voice. Perhaps the cold air was having an effect on him or perhaps it was just relief that things were beginning to thaw and come alive again between them. She declined the tea, but sat on the sofa and patted the spot beside her.

"You work too often. How about for today, you and I just relax?"

He sat down slowly, watching her. Something was different…or maybe something was just right for once.

"If it is what you wish." He said, knowing that whatever was on her mind would soon come out.

After a few minutes of starring at one another, Hinamori reached inside her robes and pulled out a white cloth. Slowly, she turned to Hitsugaya and placed her covered hand on his chin and soothingly whipped at the crease made by his little used laugh lines.

Panicked, Hitsugaya asked hesitantly "Did I have something on my face?" His hand searched his own visage for any kind of blemish or stray object. Yet, Momo began to giggle.

"No, Toushiro…it has just been a long time since I have done that…" and suddenly the bright voice deepened and he knew that her mind had wandered into some past memory. Lucid and intense that moment recalled in the warmth of her own bed entered the young Captain's heart. He knew what she was thinking of.

"I secretly adored it when you made such a fuss over me." he managed to choke out, grinning slightly and turning to fully face her. "It brought me so much joy: to know that you were watching over me."

She smiled. "I fear that things are very different now. I am a burden rather than a foundation of strength. I am weak now."

Not entirely certain where and when this new audacious desire sprouted, Toushiro took her hand in his and squeezed.

"Things are no different. I am still in desperate need of you. That will never change."

And then, the crescent current of their need for each other swelled and became whole. It was no longer about comradeship or even about familial devotion. Hinamori finally began to understand the force behind all of Hitsugaya's actions from the moment she had left for Shinigami training up to the second he had reached for her hand. He had followed her and even surpassed her in order to protect her very life. His greatest fear was a world without her presence, her laughter, and even her bothersome tendency to call him "Whitey."

She knew that in the end, she would be totally consumed by his need. Yet, it would be the only way to pull herself up out of the darkness. By relying and needing the boy…no man…before her, she could find completeness. She loved him for knowing her so well. She loved him for his eyes boring into her as they did now…for their heart knowledge.

Placing her hand on his heart, she felt the light thumping of his spiritual energy against her fingers. It was intrepid, a resolute force that pumped into her very soul.

Toushiro looked down to see her small, pale hand upon his breast. The soft pressure against his heart was soothing as well as intoxicating. A rush of blood to his head created a sudden urgency to hold the girl…but his limbs wouldn't move. He suddenly felt terrified. Looking up into her violet expression, he wanted to speak more comforting words to her. He wanted to continue explaining how much he had come to love her.The chance never came because her lips were pressing into the crook of his neck…kissing his skin hungrily…and her hands had moved around his waist and began stroking the soft fabric covering his back.

He did not quite recall how they came to be in his private quarters. All he could recount was the soft touch of her lips on his skin and the quiet breathing that filled his ears as he let his hands tug at her hair and trace the line of her shoulders. Somehow, his body had carried her here and gently laid her down on his large, downy futon. Toushiro could not be sure of what his heart was whispering to him in this heated moment. Truthfully his ears only adhered to the instincts of his body as it began to relish in her touch, lean into her embrace, and allow her mouth to cover his in an invading yet fully welcomed kiss.

She could not get enough of his taste and scent. For the first time in their long, exhausting relationship, she had never been allowed such access and highly doubted if any other would experience such passion and heat from the Captain of the 10th Protection Squad. It had felt like floating through time and space as he lifted her from the couch and into his private bedroom. Despite her innocent appearance and slightly naïve outlook on life, Hinamori Momo was determinedly aware of what was happening to both her body and mind. The sudden heat in her face as well as urgent expression on her brow could not be mistaken for merely desire…it was more than that for her.

As soon as her back touched the soft fabric, she had forcefully pulled Hitsugaya to her in a bruising kiss. If he was surprised, she could not tell…for the energy in her own heart was so overwhelming, she only could press up against him and yank at his hair as his tongue began to invade the cavern of her mouth. The energy between them was so forceful, their teeth even began to clash, dull clanking in the thick silence around them. She lifted her eye lids to look up at her Captain and new-found lover. Bright, green-blue pools starred back at her in an intense dead lock of utter shock. Yet, neither pulled away…but continued to kiss. This is what all the years had lead up to, and they both wanted it.

With furtive ease, Hitsugaya found himself pulling at Hinamori's sash, attempting to discard the fabric covering her urbane body. It nearly terrified him that his own flesh seemed so knowledgeable about what to do with his hands and mouth…but, instead of fighting this indulgent monster within him, he gave in to it completely. Hinamori was kissing him so forcefully that his lips began to feel numb and parts of his tongue stung from the contact of sharp, bellicose teeth biting away at anything within reach. She was almost animalistic and totally different than whatever he could have imagined. Before he could undo the knot around her waist, he felt the world shift as his back hit the futon and suddenly the lithe body underneath had moved to straddle his waist above.

She let down her hair from the usual bun. It had grown to cover her shoulders over the years that had passed. Toushiro let a rarely seen grin cover his features as he reached up and ran his brown fingers through the cool and light tresses of paradise. That's what this moment of falling snow and hungry breathing felt like. This paradise flourished within Hinamori's eyes, lips, and desperate expression of need.

"You must know I have always loved you, Shiro-chan" she whispered, leaning into his caress as his fingers moved from her hair to cup her chin and pull her anxious head down to his lips. This time, her hands made quick work of removing bits and pieces of his clothing. Successfully dislodging him from all fabric above the waste, she left the warm embrace of his mouth to plant a plethora of kisses up and down his torso and shoulders. His body was well sculpted and driving Hinamori's senses wild with an insatiable appetite. Toushiro himself let his hands roam her back and arms as her mouth explored his chest. His eyes rolled back into his head at this new and prodigious sensation of his Momo's mouth covering his body in such a reverent and hungry manner. He let out a sigh, relaxing into the idea of her body becoming one with his.

Looking up at him, Momo was shocked to see how peaceful and content he seemed. His hands continued to massage her back as she let out her own small moan and bit into the sensitive skin between his ribs. Feeling daring and excited, she traced the line of his body from navel to neck with her tongue and suddenly her body became aware of his excitement pressing into her bottom from where she sat on his waste. It hit her full force: they were about to make love and her eyes began to water at the enormity of it all. His heavy breathing was like a sweet euphony that she never thought she would hear while on this spiritual sphere. It was all so much to feel in one moment. Lifting her head to look down at his half lidded eyes, she repeated it again:

"I love you."

"You are absolutely everything to me." he croaked through impassioned lips. Flipping them over, he began to resume his work on her sash as her fingers danced with his thick, diaphanous locks. Once the belt was removed, she felt the fabric around her body loosen and his hands part the opening of her tunic until her chest was exposed. Barely given a moment to think about her nakedness, Hinamori lost herself at the sensation of his wet mouth around one of her flushed and throbbing breast. Instinctively she arched her back in a desperate attempt to become one with his mouth as it took its time teasing her flesh. Hitsugaya's legs pressed Hinamori's body into the futon as his tongue danced gracefully up and down her body.

A quiet whistle of the wind gamboling outside the room seemed to waken Hinamori's hands as it searched for a way to tease and tickle at Toushiro as his mouth did her chest. Finding the hem of his pants, she tugged and pulled inciting a hiss from his trembling lips. His mouth returned to her neck and nipped at the skin there. From the new angle, Hinamori was able to completely discard the Captain of all remaining clothing, using both her hands and feet. She raised her body in order to pull her own clothing off and once again used the leverage to flip them back over until she was hovering over him. Toushiro grinned, amused at the power struggle between them. However the goofy expression vanished to be replaced with wide-eyed shock. His head flew back to hit the futon with a muffled "pop" and his jaw locked in a quick attempt to contain a scream. Hinamori had just taken him (all of him) into her mouth.

The suddenness of it was overpowering. His small, timid, and devoted Momo had suddenly transformed into a winsome, sedulous seductress. The moment her moist and obsequious mouth had covered the most sensitive part of his body, a flash of redorangepurple light had assaulted his sight and all he could do was grab on to her head to encourage her on. He had never felt pleasure like this. His heart, not even in the heat of battle, had never known such a quick and chaotic pace as her tongue tickled at his tip. Unable to contain himself, he half whispered/half whimpered her name and bucked his hips up as she continued to suck at his throbbing penis.

Simultaneously, Hinamori felt a lightening bolt of excitement and anticipation from what she was doing to this beautiful being underneath her. Her face was bright red with slight embarrassment, shock, and happiness at the courage she had mustered when she had taken Toushiro into her mouth. Surprisingly, she enjoyed feeling of this soft yet strong muscle within her, and sucking tirelessly, she could hardly believe the sounds coming from his mouth. In all her years of knowing Hitsugaya Toushiro, never had he made such sensual, helpless sounds. With such encouragement, she brought her hand up to stroke his abdomen and even the hard squares of his chest. His hands left her head to grab at her arms, and his thumbs stroked at her heavily.

"This…Thi…Hina…Mori"

Giving up on speaking, he yanked at her arms, suddenly removing her from him. His strong forearms hastily brought her face to his and attacked her lips ferociously. His hands clamped onto the flesh of her hips creating a friction that both tortured and released Toushiro from the burning within his very core. Adjusting to the sudden change, Hinamori brought her hands on either side of his head, exalting in the feel of his hands on her body. She pressed her center against him, feeling the hardness antagonizing close to the burning nucleus of her need. Pleasantly frustrated, she let out a throaty gasp when once again she found herself beneath his agile body completely covered in his musky scent. She was suddenly aware of his hands on her breast and his body rubbing against her center.

"Hinamori" he croaked…

"I'm ready, Shiro-chan."

Arching into him with all her might, she pressed her wet center into his thigh. At the feeling of such divine contact he bit at her right breast and brought his left hand down to explore the valley pushing into his leg. The minute his finger made contact, Hinamori let out a full fledged scream. Slightly jolted by the loud screech in his ear, Hitsugaya removed his hand.

"Sorry." He murmured into her collarbone, suddenly feeling very foolish. However, it all changed once again when Hinamori clutched at his hand and returned it to her flushed, slick center and practically begged,

"No…I want you to keep going."

Realizing the true motive behind the outburst, Hitsugaya couldn't help but feel a sudden masculine pride. Returning to his earlier practice, he whole-heartedly devoted his hand and mouth to bringing Hinamori to the brink of release.

As he lapped at her body, different images of their past years together went flooding through his mind. Half aware of her thrashing form and half lost in his own day dreams of past smiles, past angry expressions, past endearments, and even past betrayals, Toushiro found himself praying to any higher power that this seraphic creature before him would come to know that his love for her would be constant and unyielding. As he made this love to her, his soul was committing to something so bottomlessly deep that it could possibly break him to lose it. Shaking with passion and anxiety, Toushiro crawled back up Hinamori's body and waited for her to regain her composure. He had to tell her this before he entered her for the first time.

"Hinamori" he whispered, willing her eyes to open.

It took a few moments for her to realize that he had called out to her. He kissed her forehead lightly and brought his fingers to caress her lips expectantly. "Hinamori" he said again. Slowly her eyes opened and she looked up into his sweat kissed face. His eyes were overly bright and his long hair stuck to his face. He suddenly looked like the child she had known, even now in this very adult moment. Her heart seemed to burst with a sudden love she barely could understand.

"I know, Toushiro. You don't have to say anymore. I know completely." Her arms came to encircle his neck and she pulled him into her embrace. For several minutes they ceased all movement. Breathing heavily, they settled into a position of a loving hug, squeezing away all anxiety and confronting the future with open hearts.

It was time to do what they had come in here to do.

As if on queue, Toushiro entered her swiftly. In one moment the redorangepurple light returned and blocked out any coherent thought or mental process his brain attempted. He felt fire in his groin as her wet, thick, tightness enveloped and embraced him. He heard, as if through a filter, her scream out his name, bucking up to meet his thrust. He brought his head down to rest in the valley between her two breasts, his hands grabbing onto her hips to pull her lower half off the futon and closer to his body. The subtle change in angle enhanced the anvil-sized intensity of such liquid pleasure. He pulled out and pushed back in as swiftly as he could manage, panting heavily with desire. Momo encouraged him by moving her hips to meet his and even swiveling her body in such a way that it made Toushiro cry out and nearly collapse. However, he regained his composure and continued their rhythm, with every other thrust speeding the process forward. Needing more friction between them, Hinamori pushed him slightly…

"Let me on top." she managed to squeak as one particular thrust nearly undid her resolve.

Never letting go of her hips, Toushiro allowed another roll over. This time, sighing contentedly as he sunk deep within her. He willed his eyes to remain open in order to watch her body move against him. Her eyes were tightly shut, her mouth half opened in an unvoiced gasp. As her speed quickened and his body began to convulse, she threw back her head and began to chant his name against the viscous air.

"Shiro, Shiro, Toushiro…Shiro" Each time the pitch of her voice raised until she was practically screeching.

He answered her, somewhat breathily, his hands reaching up to cup her breasts as he lifted his hips to meet her. Hinamori became aware that his release was close; his voice so strangled with passion it seemed that he was about to burst into tears. She brought her hands to cover his at her breast, squeezing as hard as she could with both fingers and wet folds. It proved to be too much for him, and he gave one last powerful thrust into her and froze in what seemed like mid-air. At the same moment, he managed to open his eyes, and the azure glow that came from them brought Hinamori over the edge in an explosion of intense feeling. The tension in her stomach seemed to spread in a tingling heat of pleasure from her head to her toes as she felt Toushiro's seed shooting into her. And suddenly she seemed to lose consciousness in the confusion of climax.

She was suddenly aware of lips brushing skillfully across her fingers. Laying on her side, she opened her eyes to see her hand being kissed by Toushiro's sweaty, yet glowing face. Stretching her fingers out to touch his lips, she leaned her head in to kiss his nose. A light giggle and they were back to a moment of sanity. Their heart's racing match began to slow and the room came into clear focus.

"Glad that you decided to relax for a change." She whispered, breaking the silence. He smiled lazily, his eyes fluttering from both comfort and fatigue.

"Only you can relax me like this." He mumbled, feeling sleep creeping into his mind.

She began to trace circles on his eye lids and cheek bones, suddenly realizing how exhausted he must be.

"Sleep now, Toushiro. I will watch over you this time."

His hand came to rest around her waist and he mumbled something indistinct. Within minutes his breathing slowed, and it was clear he had finally given into sleep. For an hour, Hinamori watched his peaceful face until she too fell into slumber. Deep within in heart, she prayed that it would snow more often.

"I lef eet in vy room, guys." Matsumoto slurred the words lazily as she lead a very tipsy Rukia and a flat out drunk Renji and Kira back to the 10th Squad Office. To be honest, in her drunken stupor, she had forgotten what exactly she was showing her friends…But now, half way there, she didn't feel much like turning back. She actually thought it would be amusing to crash on the sofa in the office and annoy her cute, yet easily angered Captain. Stumbling inside, she led her giggling companions through the hall and into the dimly lit office. To her surprise, it was empty.

"Hey, Matsumoto, I've got to piss really bad." Renji yelled loudly…however, Rukia slapped him harshly on the arm, silencing her intoxicated companions with a serious expression.

"What is that moaning?" she asked in an attempted whisper…it came out quite noisily.

The four drunken Shinigami's stilled as the cries of a very familiar voice filled the room. A faint, muffled thumping could also be heard through the walls.

"No, fucking, way." Renji cried.

Sobering up instantly, Matsumoto couldn't help but let out a slight shriek of both surprise and amusement.

"Captain?" she whispered glaring unabashedly at the door which led to her captain's private quarters. Kira moved to put his ear against the wall, utter amazement spreading throughout his face.

"SHIRO, TOUSHIRO" Momo's voice cried in the last moments of her release.

"They…they are having…" Kira began…

"OUT EVERYONE!" Matsumoto suddenly snapped to life, pushing her shocked peers from the office. The fear of her Captain suddenly discovering their current location and state of blind wonder bringing ice cold fear into her heart.

However…

Boy, would she have fun tomorrow morning…her Captain had finally become a man and learned to relax.