Guilt

A/N:A bit pointless but I felt like writing something short. This was spontaneous…took about 25 minutes to write up.

Note: Occurs during the Arrancar-Karakura arc.

Disclaimer:I do not own Bleach.

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"Matsumoto."

The vice captain 'hmm-ed' and had the gall to not look up from her magazine.

Hitsugaya scowled, eyes watering uncomfortably, and shifted his stance. "I would really-" He winced here. "-appreciate your attention."

"I'm listening."

He sat down across Inoue's table and fidgeted nervously. "I-" He frowned, feeling absolutely ridiculous, but knew that as her captain, he was still obligated to such…demeaning moments.

"Yes?"

"I apologize for yelling the other day." He muffled a sneeze, eyes springing a few tears.

Without missing a beat, she asked, "And?"

Hitsugaya glowered at the magazine that acted as the dividing barrier between his vice captain and himself. After wiping away the residual moisture on his cheeks, he continued through gritted teeth "And I may have overreacted to the…nickname."

"And?"

He suppressed the urge to strangle the woman and be done with. "And-" Oh he was going to regret this decision. "-you can keep it. For now."

The vice captain squealed in excitement, dropping the magazine onto the table. "You really mean it, Captain?"

He glared, "Yes. I mean it." He sneezed again.

Matsumoto's grin widened to a point that he didn't deem normal. "OH you're the best captain ever, sir!" She reached up to pet the white kitten latched onto her right shoulder. "Isn't that right, Shirou-chan?"

The kitty mewled, emerald eyes glancing shyly at Hitsugaya.

He, in turn, twisted his head and frowned, "As long as you keep it away from me." He sneezed again, this time a bit more violently.

"Oh don't worry, sir." Matsumoto reassured, "I'll make sure Shirou-chan won't bother you!"

"Good." Hitsugaya immediately took a few steps back to create some distance from his health risk as he rubbed his irritated left eye.

"And Captain?"

"What?" he snapped, eyes red and watery.

Matsumoto smiled softly, "Thank you."

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End

Spyrit