Hitsugaya Toushirou had been rather surprised to learn that many seemed to commend him for being one of the few to suspect any of the traitors. He honestly couldn't see why, and it bothered him that he got so much credit that he felt he didn't deserve. After all, the conversation that had led him to be suspicious of the Third Division taichou had been staged with the goal of putting those exact doubts into his mind. And that wasn't the end of it either. There had been other signs. Quite a few, actually, now that he thought about it.
In fact, he sincerely doubted even the most naïve and gullible member of the entire Gotei Thirteen would have been hard pressed to distrust the man after the nightmare he had experienced only days prior to the ryoka's arrival….
Hitsugaya rubbed his sore head, reaching under the small, make-shift desk for whatever it was that had decided to fall out of the sky on top of him. It was a paperweight, and a rather large one at that. He frowned.
"Sorry, Hitsugaya-kun. It jus' slipped right outta my hand."
The Tenth Division taichou removed his gaze from the paperweight to see none other than Ichimaru Gin, holding his hand out to him. Despite a few nagging suspicions that it was very unlikely for a paperweight to fly across a room on accident, he returned it to him. The older man nodded with that same, cocky smirk he always wore before turning back to the shelves at the other end of the archive room. Hitsugaya had come here to finish off the last of the week's reports in hope of some peace and quiet, but it was quickly becoming apparent to him that he was not going to get either.
With a sigh, he let it go and went back to the reports. Before he finished skimming the same page, however, he was knocked right out of his chair. His hand dove for his head before he even tried to get back up, mind reeling at the chances of being hit in the same exact spot twice in the course of two minutes. Slowly but surely he lifted himself up, righting the chair. He removed his hand from his head and was surprised to find blood dripping down his fingers. What the hell had he been hit with anyway?
"Yare, yare. Sorry again, Hitsugaya-kun. I dun know what's wrong with me today. I din' mean it. Honest. Ah, yo're bleedin'."
Ichimaru bent down and picked up a dictionary from the floor by Hitsugaya's feet, waving it apologetically. Hitsugaya blinked up at the fox-faced man, his expression somewhere between disbelief and awe. He wasn't going to try and say that monster of text had just "slipped right outta his hand" too, was he?
"We should pro'ly get ya ta the Fourth, jus' in case, ne?"
Hitsugaya didn't really want to go anywhere with Ichimaru at the moment, but he had to admit he probably should get it checked out, if only to make sure it was taken care of properly. It was bleeding quite a bit for such a small opening. Another sigh, and he grudgingly nodded.
The two slowly made their way toward the Fourth Division compound, keeping to themselves for the most part. It was about half way there that Hitsugaya suddenly found himself tripping over who knew what and falling flat on his face. Ichimaru offered to help him up, but he refused, pulling himself shakily back to his feet as he fingered his tender nose. Whatever it was he had tripped over had felt disturbingly like a foot.
He kept his distance the rest of the way, feeling more than a little relieved when they stepped inside. Unfortunately, Ichimaru seemed determined to see this all the way through, and he followed the younger taichou into the building. One Yamada Hanatarou seemed to be in charge of the greeting today, and Hitsugaya had to suppress yet another sigh. He stepped up to the front desk, twitching his nose slightly and hoping it wasn't broken. It sure as hell hurt like it was.
"Ah! Hitsugaya-taichou! What are you doing here?" the humble seventh seat questioned in concern.
"Just … a little accident, is all," Hitsugaya replied, letting his hand travel back to the sore spot on his head and shooting Ichimaru a purposeful glare as he did so. "It's nothing serious."
"Oh, okay! Follow me," Yamada led them to a free room, obviously relieved. Once they had entered, however, he suddenly became rather frantic. "Ah! I-I forgot the charts! I-I'll be right back! I'm sorry!" And with an exaggerated bow, he nearly flew back out of the room.
Silence reigned for several blissful seconds before Ichimaru seemed to get bored and began rummaging through the different drawers. Hitsugaya frowned. "Are you even permitted to do that?" he asked, his tone particularly sour at this point. "It's the property of the Fourth Division."
"Nah, there's no harm done. I know what I'm doin'," came the nonchalant reply just in time for a very sharp projectile to embed itself in the wall not inches from Hitsugaya's ear.
He whipped his head to the side, identifying the projectile as a surgical scalpel, then whipped his head right back to face Ichimaru. The taller shinigami was still rummaging through the drawers as if he hadn't realized he'd nearly speared his fellow taichou's brain. This time he was able to watch the process take place as Ichimaru Gin analyzed a very nasty looking Liston knife and then, when he grew tired of it, tossed it backward at breakneck speeds. Literally. Even watching it happen, he had not been prepared for how fast the knife was soaring toward him, and he was barely able to save to his neck. Instead, the knife flew right into his shoulder, its tip embedding itself within the wall.
He would have hollered had he not been dumbfounded by Ichimaru's next move. The man picked up three more surgical blades, this time lancets, and finally turned around. He cocked his head as if in confusion at why Hitsugaya was now gripping his shoulder instead of his head, but his smile told a different story. Hitsugaya could only stare as the taller taichou fingered the double-edged blades and took a step forward.
"I jus' got a grand idea, Hitsugaya-kun. Let's play darts while we wait," Ichimaru Gin smirked, taking one of the lancets in his free hand and aiming it.
Eyes widening in comprehension, Hitsugaya hastily yanked the Liston knife free of the wall, nearly biting his lip in half at the pain that shot through his shoulder. Unfortunately, he was not hasty enough. A shock of pain in his other arm announced that the lancet had hit its mark, pinning him back to the wall by his opposite side now.
That crazy man was serious! He was seriously trying to kill him! The next one was aimed for his ribs and met its mark just as easily as the last. Hitsugaya could taste the liquid copper in his mouth spill over, coughing up blood at the shock of it all.
"Outer bull, twenty five points," Ichimaru's voice chimed once again. "An' now, bull's eye."
Hitsugaya gasped. No way. He wouldn't. Yes, he would. The smaller shinigami's eyes locked onto the last lancet as Ichimaru aimed it at his heart. "Why the hell are you doing this?!" he managed to splutter just before the lancet was sent flying. He shut his eyes tight, waiting for the inevitable.
But it never happened.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Hitsugaya opened his eyes. Ichimaru's nose was only inches from him own. "Aw, ya didn' really think I'd go an' do that, now did ya? I was even nice enough ta take ya ta the Fourth." Hitsugaya could see the last blade out of the corner of his eye, buried in the wall several inches away from his aching side. "I jus' wanted to have some fun, ya know? 'Cause ya never know when somethin' might happen."
Hitsugaya Toushirou was utterly and completely speechless.
"Aw, well. It was fun while it lasted, ne? I'll miss ya, Hitsugaya-kun."
He felt the first lancet pop out of the wall as his legs gave way beneath him and he slid to the floor, but he paid it no mind, dumbly watching the Third Division taichou walk out the door. And it was in such a state that Yamada Hanatarou found him when he returned with his precious charts.
"H-H-Hitsugaya-taichou! What happened?!"
Still staring wide-eyed at the now vacant doorway, Hitsugaya could only whisper, "Just … a little accident."