Things Take Time

By: iamletired

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or its characters, blah blah blah, etc.

Rated: T for some language and…stuff?


People thought Rangiku Matsumoto said the craziest, most outlandish things when she was drunk. In actuality, however, she was always well aware of what she was saying, if not quite in control of how eloquently it was delivered. She was, after all, a fukutaichou, and more significantly, a female fukutaichou. Not that most Shinigami officers were particularly chauvnistic, but the fact remained that the Gotei 13 still ran on a very traditional male-dominated hierarchy; there were two female taichous (one of whom almost never entered combat) and the number of female seated officers remained in the single digits: herself, Kuchiki Rukia, Hinamori Momo (and now Hinamori couldn't really be counted), Ise Nanao, the Kotetsu sisters, and Kurotsuchi Nemu. Oh, there were a few more in the fourth division but like their captain, their true purpose was to stand by the sidelines during battle and clean up afterwards.

In any case, Matsumoto was no fool. Drunken ramblings from a male Shinigami would be written off as simply that: intoxication and impaired judgment. If she, on the other hand, said something that really crossed the line, how words would fly. There would be gossip and murmuring about the wild female lieutenant who couldn't hold her liquor like the men and babbled these strange things that only women would say and why was she drinking with them in the first place and maybe it was improper and maybe she shouldn't be here at all…granted, one such incidence probably wasn't a big deal, but one never knew.

And so Matsumoto never drank to the point where she didn't realize what she was saying. Enough for her head to spin a little and even hurt in the morning when she woke up, but always waking up knowing she hadn't let anything possibly destructive slip, like how she thought maybe one taichou was a real jackass to his subordinates, or how maybe she knew certain officers had slipped away from their posts for some early drinking and gambling.

Or who she thought would be a good fuck. This question, perhaps not entirely unsurprisingly, came up quite often when she joined Ikkaku, Yumichika, Renji, Kira, Shuuhei, and perhaps a few others for a good solid rounds of sake. Again, it was one thing for a bunch of rowdy men to all agree that Soifon-taichou was pretty hot in her Special Forces uniform, but another entirely for her alone to declare that Kuchiki-taichou looked like sex on two shunpo-ing legs. And so after the men had all finished arguing about whether or not Nemu was a 9 or 10 (the 9 supporters thought her breasts ought to be bigger and in their inebriated state pondered about asking Kurotsuchi-taichou to fix), and one of them (usually it was Ikkaku the improper bastard) would turn to her and ask slyly, "What about you, Rangiku-fukutaichou? Who gets you a little hot when they pass you by?", she'd laugh drunkenly and tease her way out of it. And if they still persisted, she wasn't above smushing their faces into her breasts until they passed out.

Sometimes she wished, though, that she did have someone she could share these more tawdry thoughts with, another person to giggle and gossip with. Another female Shinigami would have been ideal, but Momo would have blushed her face off (and would only talk about Aizen-taichou), Rukia and Nemu probably wouldn't have understood, Nanao would have straightened her glasses and said stiffly that such talk was inappropriate, and really, she didn't know the other female Shinigami that well. Renji, Kira, and the others were her closest friends.

In the end, for these sort of personal revelations, Matsumoto simply resorted to musing quietly to herself. And most of the times, this was quite sufficient. One day, however, one such thought occurred to Matsumoto that made her almost wish for a confidante as she uttered the words, half in amazement and half just to hear them aloud. "Well, I think I'm in love with Hitsugaya-taichou."