A/N: Well, this is one of my most popular stories, so I decided to make it a two-shot. And yes, I know it's nowhere near Christmas, but deal with it. :D Oh, and there were some minor changes made to the first part of Midnight, but it's nothing really important. So, I apologize for it being so short and any silly repeating stuff is because of FF's editor thingy. -stabs it-


Hitsugaya Toushirou hated Christmas with a burning passion unexpected of the icy taichou. Only a select few knew why—two, really; he'd never felt the need to tell anyone else. It was, however, a well known fact that he was rather antisocial. And so it was that he found himself in the Tenth Division's courtyard, lying in the plush grass that had been very carefully kept green through the cold weeks. Flowers of all shapes and sizes and colors adorned the garden, but they were muted and grey in the moonlight. The stars, those ever-burning lights, stared down from above as if watching over the nighttime activities.

Not once had Hitsugaya attended the annual Christmas party. He just couldn't stand it, all of those people smiling and laughing, enjoying themselves while he felt the ache more clearly than ever, slowly tearing him apart. It made him sick. It was like he had a hole in his chest that could never heal. It was like missing half of his very soul.

The captain turned on his side, staring off at the quiet fountain that bubbled merrily in the center of the courtyard. She had loved the water, he remembered. They could spend hours swimming in the lake on her good days, and when it froze over in winter they would skate all day, coming in to cuddle up under a warm blanket by the fire.

Most distinctly, he remembered all of the Christmas Eve nights before that fateful last one. He remembered his sister's slow breathing and her warmth as they slept together in his bed. He remembered watching her sleep and never wanting it to end, so afraid that she wouldn't wake up again but trying hard not to think of it. He remembered helping her out of bed in the mornings and that beautiful sparkle in her eyes when she saw the presents and candies under their tree, as few as there were. He remembered the look in those eyes when he had tried to carry her away from the demon destroying their only home…

Soft footsteps on the grass behind him and the familiar reiatsu of his fukutaichou. She sat near him, gently lifting his head into her lap, stroking his hair. For once he didn't feel like complaining. Not a word was exchanged; none were needed.

Matsumoto tapped his shoulder and he looked up. She held a piece of origami paper out to him, folded in half. He looked at her again, and she nodded. So, with a deep breath of the crisp winter air, Hitsugaya took it from her, folded it once, and handed it back. The red-head smiled and made another fold. They continued this way until at last Hitsugaya held in his hands the one-thousandth paper crane. He just sat, and stared at it and he couldn't help but smile. Just a bit. He wondered if his sister would be happy, if she would smile like she used to when they were little, that smile that could light up the darkest of days. He closed his eyes and made a wish.

"Merry Christmas, taichou."

"Merry Christmas, Matsumoto."