A/N: Hi! Welcome to my 5th Bleach fanfic. The pairing this time Rangiku Matsumoto X Momo Hinamori. Yes, I know they are both females. This is a yuri fic. If you do not approve of this sort of thing, or for some other reason do not wish to read about it, I'd suggest turning around and finding something else to read. This story will contain sexual material in a later chapter. The story takes place after the arrancar arc (after Rangiku has returned to Soul Society from the human world). Please enjoy.
Disclaimer: Damn you Brawl! Damn you! Your awesomeness is too distracting... Oh... I don't own Bleach.
A pleasant warmth filled the air as the sun's rays reflected brightly off of the beautiful Seireitei walls. A woman walked through the open streets of the shinigami city, lost in her own thoughts. Being someone typically relaxed and unmotivated, this woman in such deep concentration was a rarity. Her heart ached. It had been some time now, but the wounds still hurt. She needed to get stronger. Her eyes took an occasional glance at the boy walking at her side. If only she possessed the strength he commanded, then maybe she could quell the pains in her heart.
The two of them, the woman and the young boy, walked toward their destination swiftly, silently. The two had only just recently returned to this city, returned to the world known as the Soul Society. They had been out on a mission to the living world. On this mission Rangiku had come to realize how weak she really was, how much stronger she needed to get.
They hadn't been back more that a few days, yet already the boy, Captain of the 10th division of the Gotei 13, Toshiro Hitsugaya, had been called for by the Head-Captain. As his lieutenant, the woman, Rangiku Matsumoto, had decided to accompany him as this was customary. She wondered if it was already time for a new mission for her squad. Even if it seemed unfair to be given more work so readily, she didn't mind the idea, no she welcomed it. Usually a slacker, today Rangiku felt eager to try and do more, to try and do anything. She wanted something to take her mind off the pain.
Usually Rangiku would pass the time as she walked along side her captain by pestering him in some fashion. She would crack a bad joke about his minuscule height, tease him with her glorious figure and large, lush breasts, make an offhanded comment about his grumpy attitude, or engage is some other sort of light-hearted banter with the young man. Today she wasn't in the mood. The fight with the arrancar was still fresh in her mind. She knew now how pitiful her strength truly was, how much further she needed to push herself, but there was more to it than that. She had seen the cruelty, the evil, the madness of their enemy, the arrancar. An intense pang resonated in her heart and a cold shiver rushed down her spine when she remembered the fact that he was among them now.
When next Rangiku looked up from her thoughts she found that her and her Captain were already in front of the facility in which the shinigami captains would meet with one another. Still without a word the two proceeded inside. The vast room, to Rangiku's surprise, was almost completely devoid of life. Apparently this mission was for Squad 10 alone. No other captains were present in the hall, only Hitsugaya and the man he had come to see, Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryusai, Head-Captain of the Gotei 13.
"Ah, Captain Hitsugaya. You have arrived. Good. Come closer." The elderly captain of the 1st Division said in his supremely commanding fashion. At his side his lieutenant, Chojiro Sasakibe, stood stoically with an even expression.
Hitsugaya and Rangiku both nodded at the old man's words. They both approached quickly until they were right before the powerful captain. In a steady voice Hitsugaya spoke, "Yes, General Yamamoto. You say you have more work for my squad?"
"That is so. There are two jobs that I have come to the decision to place into the hands of Squad 10. As you and your Lieutenant have only recently returned from assignment, you should be relieved to know that neither of these tasks should impede your rest and recovery." Yamamoto explained, the rasp of aging ever present in his booming voice.
"I appreciate your consideration, General Yamamoto..." Hitsugaya said in the gracious tone that was customary when addressing someone so powerful.
"Yes. Now let me explain. As you are well aware, the lieutenant of the 5th division, Lieutenant Hinamori had injuries of both the physical and emotional sort suffered upon her in the wake of her Captain's betrayal. Word has come to me from Captain Unohana of the fourth squad that Lt. Hinamori's wounds have completely healed, yet it is plain to see that the distress caused to her heart has not. In a dark time such as this, when hollows are appearing in the world of the living at rates never seen before, when more shinigami are suffering injuries in battle than ever before, the care of a single heartbroken girl is an unnecessary tax on the healers of the 4th Division. That is why I have come to the decision that the care of Lt. Hinamori be transferred from the fourth division to the tenth." Yamamoto gave the mission in a very stern, serious fashion.
Hitsugaya smiled widely at the news of the new mission. It was odd to see such a smile on the usually taciturn boy's face, but it was no surprise to Rangiku. She knew well her young captain's infatuation with the girl in question, Momo Hinamori. Hitsugaya spoke with a hint of excitement, "I gladly except this mission, General. I pledge that I will never allow Mo--, Lt. Hinamori, from my sight. I'll make sure that she recovers promptly."
"No!" Yamamoto said staunchly, simply, in a loud fashion.
"What? Is it not my job to keep an eye on her?" Hitsugaya questioned in reply, taken aback.
"Captain Hitsugaya, I understand well the strength of the bond you share with Lieutenant Hinamori. That is the reason why I know that in placing her in the hands of your division you will see to it she is well cared for. However, this task is not something that requires the attention of one of the Captains of the Gotei 13. This is especially so considering I have another assignment specifically for you." Yamamoto explained his objection; his words resonated with force. It made Rangiku shiver a bit.
"Very well, what is this task I am required for." Hitsugaya said, his smile having dissipated in favor of his usual scowl.
"You are the only Captain level shinigami who has done battle with the enemies known as arrancar. As this is so, I believe it would be wise for you to share your wisdom of these new enemies with the other Captains, Lieutenants, and various officers. Someone who has experienced battle with these foes first hand could better prepare us for the war to come." The Head-Captain conveyed to Hitsugaya his personal mission.
"I understand. I will do my best to prepare us all." The young Captain said, still obviously disappointed but attempting to sound courteous.
"Yes. Now then. If you understand, you may be dismissed. Someone from the Fourth squad should already be on path to your division with the Lieutenant." Yamamoto said with a slight nod and an even slighter smile.
"Yes, General Yamamoto." Hitsugaya affirmed his understanding of the orders. He then turned to leave the room. Rangiku followed behind him.
This time there was no lasting silence between the Captain and Lieutenant. Almost as soon as they had returned to the Seireitei streets Rangiku obliged herself to speak.
"So Captain, must make you kinda angry, huh?" Rangiku said almost teasingly. Even if Rangiku wasn't in the best of moods, enough time had passed that she could still be her cheery self, especially when it came to activities as fun as pestering her uptight Captain.
"Tch, I just don't see why the Head-Captain would make this decision, why he would put Momo in my hands but insist that I'm unable to watch over myself." Hitsugaya said in a growl, a scowl etched in his face.
"Oh I don't know, Captain, makes perfect sense to me. Divisions one, two, four, and twelve all have special duties that they have to constantly attend to. And of course Divisions nine, five… and three… all have holes in their leadership and are in a sort of scramble at the moment. Division thirteen always is in a scramble for solid leadership. Really, out of you Zaraki, Kuchiki and Kyoraku I think the Head-Captain made the obvious choice. I don't think he's trying to mock you, he just knows he can trust you with Momo. It just happens that he has work that only you can do." Rangiku spoke in a relaxed way, feeling her words to be precise and logical.
"You seem to be forgetting the existence of Division 7, Matsumoto…" Hitsugaya said with a faint shake of his head.
"Oh… you're right! Well yeah, Captain Komamura's dependable… but with you and Momo's history together I'm sure our squad still seemed best for the job." Rangiku tried to cover her mistake with a forced laugh. She really must be out of it if she was forgetting whole divisions now.
"Maybe, but it still makes for a less than ideal situation…" Hitsugaya gave a deep sigh.
"Yeah, with how hopelessly over-protective you are of that girl, the thought of just handing her over to one of your bumbling idiot subordinates must be hard for you, huh?" Rangiku said in obvious mockery.
"Please shut up, Matsumoto." Hitsugaya gave a hard glare at his Lieutenant.
"I'm just saying… it's a real dilemma…. Which of us incompetent officers do you think you could trust with such a weak and defenseless Lieutenant rank shinigami?" The female shinigami remained her ever playful self. Her captain continued to leer.
"I'm honestly not sure I can trust any of them with her." Hitsugaya said firmly, trying his hardest to ignore the other's incisive sarcasm.
"That's not good. Captains should be able to trust their own officers." Rangiku said with a short laugh. She then smiled as she added a question, "So whatcha gonna do, Captain?"
"It's a difficult decision, but I suppose I just give the job to the officer I trust most." Hitsugaya gave yet another sigh.
"Oh, and which of us is that?" The Lieutenant asked with a smirk.
"My closest confidant. My second." The white-haired shinigami said in a muted tone, averting his gaze from Rangiku's already forming wicked grin.
"Oh wow! So that means I get the job. Good, I like cake assignments." Rangiku said with a degree of excitement. She felt her Captain was really making a big deal out of nothing. Her and Momo were friends. Watching over Momo really wasn't such a big deal.
"I feel you are qualified for this task Lieutenant Matsumoto. Not only do I have a moderate degree of faith in you, but I believe that you may be able to actually help Momo through her pain." Hitsugaya still seemed slightly uncomfortable at expressing his views directly to the teasing woman.
"Oh, so I'm expected to be her nurse and counselor now as well as her babysitter?" The strawberry-blonde gave a soft laugh at the prospect.
"During our previous assignment, I noticed how your bond with that human girl, Inoue, helped to improve the emotional state of that girl. I'm hoping you could help Momo as well." The young Captain explained, sounding as if he was literally forcing the words out.
"Well, I can try Captain. Can't really make any guarantees though." Matsumoto was actually a little touched by the apparent trust her Captain was placing in her.
"Please, Matsumoto, don't let me trusting you turn out to be a mistake." Hitsugaya said in a stern way, slightly under his breath. The two had soon reached the building that housed the Tenth Squad. Entering they found themselves almost immediately confronted by some familiar faces: the seventh seat of the relief squad, Hanataro Yamada, and the women who had been the topic of their previous conversation, Fifth Division's lieutenant Momo Hinamori.
The medic approached them readily, walking over to the two Tenth division officers and bringing them out of earshot form the girl who had been his charge; he spoke in a hasty, oddly nervous voice, "Good. You've arrived, Captain Hitsugaya. Allow me to inform you of Lieutenant Hinamori's current condition, sir."
"Please." Hitsugaya replied impatiently.
"Most of the time the Lieutenant appears in completely regular health. Her physical injuries have disappeared entirely…. All that's left is the emotional scars. She may seem normal most of the time but… if you don't watch what you say… certain words… phrases… even gestures could cause Lieutenant Hinamori to exhibit a sort of mental breakdown. It's best if you handle her with utmost care. But I'm guessing that will be no problem for someone like you, Captain Hitsugaya." Hanataro explained in an uneven tone, his voice generally held a sort of grim melancholy to it.
"Oh so the Fourth Division wasn't informed? I have another duty to which I must attend. Lieutenant Hinamori's care will be handled by my Lieutenant, not me." Hitsugaya said, still a little angry that it was the case.
Hanataro seemed taken aback by this announcement his eyes went wide as he turned to the female shinigami. His eyes moved from her casual facial expression to her wavy locks of strawberry-blonde hair, then down to the front of her shihakusho which was parted to reveal as much cleavage as possible. In an uneasy stutter the young member of the relief squad said, "Ah… Are you sure… s-she's really the best choice for a… delicate assignment like this?"
Rangiku gave a laugh. Even if she was being doubted she found it a humorous reaction. She prized herself on her relaxed, free-spirited persona.
"I have faith in Lieutenant Matsumoto." Hitsugaya replied, appearing slightly unsure.
"Well if you say so... Lieutenant Matsumoto, please be careful... please understand that saying the wrong things could further jeopardize Lieutenant Hinamori's emotional health." Hanataro turned to address Rangiku; he appeared to now hold some concerns about Hinamori's safety.
"Cool. I understand. I'll take good care of Momo." Rangiku spoke in an informal fashion, sounding almost carefree.
"Well a-alright. We leave her in your hands then..." The awkward relief squad officer said unsteadily. Soon he had departed. Rangiku and her captain turned to walk toward the familiar girl in the corner of the room. Momo Hinamori greeted them with a smile.
"Hello Rangiku and Toshiro. How have you been?" Momo said in a light-hearted hum.
"Well, Momo. But please, you know I prefer to be referred to by my title." Hitsugaya responded in a tired voice; this was probably the least combative Rangiku had ever seen him about this point.
"Well alright, Captain Hitsugaya, but what about my title? You just called me 'Momo'." The young girl continued the light banter; Rangiku found it hard to believe this girl was so emotionally distressed.
"I apologize, Lieutenant Hinamori." Hitsugaya said simply, with a a faint smile.
"That's better." Momo chimed innocently. A question then escaped her lips, "So what's happening? Am I going to be staying with you now, To-... Captain?"
"Regrettably as a Captain I have other duties to which I must attend. I have arranged so that you will be in the care of my most trusted subordinate officer." Hitsugaya said sounding highly displeased with the situation.
"And that would be me." Rangiku said with a warm smile as she neared the younger female.
"Really? So I get to stay with Rangiku then... That should be fun." The member of the Fifth squad didn't seem at all displeased.
"Alright. In that case. I suppose I'll leave you two alone and attend to my duties." Hitsugaya said solemnly as he turned and prepared to leave the two lieutenants behind.
Momo and Rangiku offered simultaneous parting words of "See ya, Captain."and "Bye, Toshiro."
"It's Captain Hitsugaya." The white haired captain called back as he exited the squad 10 complex. Momo gave a cute mischievous laugh as if she had caught on to the fun of Rangiku's favorite game.
"Now you're doing it on purpose aren't you? You enjoy annoying Captain Grumpy-Pants." Rangiku said in a light yet pointed fashion.
"Oh no, I don't do it to annoy him. I just think the way Little Shiro reacts, the way he always has to correct me is so cute." Momo admitted shyly, either way it was pretty much the same thing; Momo like Rangiku herself seemed obliged to use the short Captain as some sort of amusing plaything.
Rangiku gave a laugh. Things soon went silent. She felt obliged to look the supposedly broken girl over for the first time that day. Momo Hinamori appeared in perfect health. She was laughing and smiling and seemed her normal self. Rangiku was happy to see this as she had always liked Momo's normal self. The Fifth Division's Lieutenant had always been a very sweet, kind, polite, charming, and all around lovable girl and despite the apparent affliction gripping her heart none of this had changed.
Momo Hinamori was in many ways more the model woman than Rangiku was. Sure Rangiku had a more exotic... intense sort of beauty about her, but Momo possessed a very simple, wholesome type of beauty; simple but far from boring or ordinary. This coupled with her bright personality made it no surprise to Rangiku that this other lieutenant would have admirers in near equal abundance to herself.
"So, how are you feeling, Momo?" Rangiku asked to part the silent air. She was curious to hear an assessment of Momo's condition straight form the source.
"Good. Right now I'm fine. But sometimes... I'm not so good. Sometimes I start to remember things and sometimes my body starts shaking and my heart starts beating fast and I get really scared and really sad and feel like screaming out..." Momo's condition seemed to crumble rapidly as she spoke, her eyes glossing over as she spoke in accelerating rates.
Rangiku was scared. She didn't want to fail in the first few minutes of her new mission, but more importantly she didn't want to see Momo get like this. She moved forward a brought the smaller girl into a warm embrace. In a soothing, maternal coo she said, "It'll be okay, Momo. It'll be okay."
Momo seemed to calm down at once. When Rangiku pulled away to examine the girl she was smiling again, appearing more resigned. Momo supposed that was really a stupid question, asking the one with the affliction directly about the said affliction. Was there anyway that was not going to trigger painful memories at least indirectly? Still it had proved a valuable reference. Now Rangiku knew for sure, that despite appearance, Momo was still far from her usual self. She was still fragile and broken, she still needed someone to attend to her. It was oddly satisfying to Rangiku to think that that was her job now.
"Thank you. Thank you Rangiku." Momo aid in a sedate voice, slowly the color began to return to her.
"It's no problem, Momo. It's my job to be here for you." Rangiku said warmly, offering a firm smile.
"And I'm glad it is. I'm glad it's you, Rangiku." Momo said softly.
"Really? You mean you actually wouldn't have rather had your Little Shiro be the one to comfort you?" Rangiku wondered aloud, finding it surprising.
"Toshiro, he's a great friend... but I don't think he would embrace me when it got scary like you did just now..." Momo admitted she was quivering a bit. Rangiku took her hand in her own and steadied it and relief appeared on the young girl's face.
"Yeah, you're probably right about that." Rangiku said with slight laugh as she held tightly to Momo's hand; Momo smiled.
"I was actually kind of scared when I heard I was being moved to Division 10... because I know Toshiro would never want to sleep with me..." Momo said in an even tone, not loosing her smile.
Rangiku was taken aback by the words, she readily formed a muddled reply, "M-Momo! I can't believe you'd... that doesn't even make... I'm actually pretty sure that's exactly where he wants everything to lead eventually..."
"What! Oh! He he... no.. that's now what I met... Rangiku." Momo's entire face was red as she seemed to realize what Rangiku had taken as the meaning of her words. Quickly she explained herself more thoroughly, "It's just that I don't sleep alone anymore. A lot of the time the scary stuff comes back to me in dreams. Captain Unohana or Lieutenant Kotetsu, or one of the other girls in division 4 would always sleep beside me just in case it happened."
"Oh, I see." Rangiku gave a hard laugh at her misunderstanding. She then said with a generous smile, "I'd be more than happy to share my bed with you, Momo, it it's what you want."
"Thank you, Rangiku. I'd like that." The younger girl replied happily.
"You don't have any problems with the fact that I like to sleep without any clothes on, do you?" The blonde then asked in a straight-forward fashion.
"What! I-I..." Momo was the one taken aback this time, her eyes trailed down Rangiku's body before Momo averted them, perhaps feeling inadequate. She said very shyly, "Ummm... okay, I guess... that's fine..."
"You know I'm only kidding, Momo." Rangiku gave a cute mischievous laugh at the girl's reaction.
"Rangiku!" Momo scolded with a sort of glare.
Rangiku just continued to laugh and soon Momo was laughing along side her. Rangiku was surprised how much more at ease this encounter with Momo had made her. Only a couple hours ago her own heart had been gripped by pain, now she was perfectly content. She knew she was not completely over everything, that her heart was not completely mended, that the wounds hadn't completely closed, but the wounds to this girl's heart were much more severe. She supposed maybe that was why comforting Momo came so naturally to her: the fact that she could sympathize with the girl's pain. Rangiku knew that if she was a little weaker, if she was a little more naive and helpless, a little less carefree and spirited that she could have just possibly been the one in Momo's position.
A/N: There's your first chapter. I'm don't really want to talk about the delay. I pretty much decided to take a week off last week. This week I knew I had to get back on track though, and luckily I was finally able to step away from my Wii long enough to write something. Anyways, this fic looks to be really cute. I know, just like my Rangiku X Orihime fic it's another Rangiku comfort fic. Though I tried to make it different this time by taking it from Rangiku's perspective this time. I also thought it 'd be fun if Rangiku had some issues she needed to get over as well. Gives them something to bond over. Anyways, I can already tell this one's going to be good. Oh and as my poll is about my other fic I'm going to wait to close it until I post the next chapter of that. Anyways, tell me what you think so far.