Wish It Was You
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach and I don't claim, too. Though I would have loved a Kisuke for Christmas. That would have just been awesome. :3
Author Note Thing: This is a gift fic for Bluefox-chan for being such a sweetheart and writing me that Itachi/Naruto story! I suggest anyone reading this go check it out! It's called 'His Personal Dancer'. Well, if you want to read it, that is. It's completely up to you guys.
Alright, now for some things about this fic. For one, it's set in "Remnants", though it's a stand-alone one-shot more than anything. For those who don't know, Remnants of a Forgotten Dream is a co-written story, which I write with Sarge (FastForward). It's something of a Bleach/Naruto crossover, still in the process of being written. This might have a few hints of what's going to happen in the future with that story, but nothing concrete just yet. This is merely for Foxy's entertainment and I hope she enjoys it!
"Quickly, ryoka, neither I nor you have all day," coldly bit out Captain Hitsugaya as he ran, barely going at a pace Ichigo could keep up with, let alone continuously run at.
Scowling, a rather common expression by any means with this particular duo, Ichigo pushed himself a little further so he was side by side with the Captain. "Just why exactly are you helpin' me again?" he panted, struggling for breath. His chest felt tight, his body straining to keep up.
"Why, oh why, do you make me repeat myself?" inquired a disgruntled Hitsugaya who was tired of going so slow. Though he had to admit he was impressed the ryoka could keep up with even this speed. It reminded him, briefly, of someone else who was just as stubborn, who refused to be left behind no matter what the consequences would be. Shaking off old memories that would only distract him, he replied to the ryoka's previous question – not that he liked the fact he had to repeat himself, it just took his mind off the past momentarily. "Look, I'm merely showing you the way, baka. Do what you will with my so called help."
"Yeah, you said that before, shorty. But what I wanna know is … why? You've gotta have a reason for doin' what you're doin'. I mean, you're helpin' an intruder, for Christ's sake," Ichigo pointed out between harsh gulps of much needed air. They were still running, heading deeper into Seireitei, but Hitsugaya wasn't slowing down in the slightest.
Sniffing disdainfully, as if he couldn't be bothered to answer, Hitsugaya continued on in silence. But inside, he was full of mixed emotions. It was a battle of whether he should divulge the real reason he was helping or keep it to himself for as long as possible. He opted for the latter in the long run.
"Was my brother someone important to you?" whispered the ryoka, for once not making a biting remark. It caught Hitsugaya momentarily off guard and in his surprise he nodded, forgoing his own insecurities.
"You could … say that, I guess. We were friends before he …. Before he disappeared."
"… Do I remind you of him?" Ichigo wanted to know out, mainly out of curiosity. People often remarked how much they had in common despite their conflicting personalities.
Hitsugaya didn't reply, merely turning his head forward and keeping an eye on the horizon. "We'll be there soon. Get him out safely, okay?"
"Why don't you do it yourself?" demanded Ichigo. "What are you afraid of?"
"I'm not afraid of anything."
"That's a goddamn lie!"
Shrugging, Hitsugaya carelessly answered with, "It's true. I just don't want to get in trouble for his sake once again, is all. He's too much of a hassle. You can keep him for all I care."
"But you still care enough to help me help him, is that it?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?" And Hitsugaya actually had the nerve to smirk.
They arrived at the Tower some time later, Ichigo barely able to catch his breath and Hitsugaya unfazed by the run. "And this is where I leave you, I'm afraid. I have to report in for good measure; don't want anyone getting suspicious."
Ichigo waved him off, still struggling for breath. "G – Get going then, you idiot."
Hitsugaya bristled. "As I kindly once told your brother, that would be your forte, not mine. You're the idiot who was trying to hack down everything with Shinigami garb and a nasty attitude."
"Well, I can't help it when all you bastards act like you. All high and mighty and crap."
With an explosive sigh, he walked over to the ryoka, not in the least bit amused. Despite his moody act, he placed a hand on Ichigo's chest and released some of his reiatsu into the other's body, relaxing the muscles and allowing the brat to breathe that much easier. "There. Now will you stop calling me a bastard?" It's too painful, he thought, only one other person had the nerve to call me that. And I don't need any replacement. Especially this pathetic brat.
Smirking, Ichigo said casually, "I'll think about it." He paused, considering something. "And I guess, thanks. For everything. You're a nice guy. I – I don't get why my brother left you, left everyone here."
"Neither do I," replied Hitsugaya softly. "I only wish I knew."
"I'm sorry," Ichigo tried. "I know I'm not him. But I'll bet he's just as sorry."
Hitsugaya snorted. "If you know anything about him, you'll know he's never sorry. That baka."
As if he knew exactly what the captain was talking about, Ichigo's smirk softened into something bordering on a smile. "Yeah, I guess you're right. Then I suppose you'll just have to settle for accepting his decisions then, huh?"
Again, Hitsugaya snorted. "I'm tired of putting up with that imbecile. Like I said, you can keep him."
"You don't mean that. Do you?"
"I almost wish I did." Realizing with a start he still had his hand on the ryoka's chest, he hastily removed it as if burned and turned to leave. "I'm sorry as well."
"Why?" Ichigo was genuinely confused.
"Because I almost wished you were him." And then the captain was gone, Ichigo left behind with those confusing words, left to wonder what exactly Hitsugaya had meant by them. He was left to question what exactly Kurosaki Naruto was to Hitsugaya Toushiro. Most of all, he was left to consider if he even knew his brother half as well as he thought he did.