MISC: Written for CalReflector at LJ with the prompt of Hitsugaya giving a speech at his wedding to Matsumoto. Beta'd by Lilmisfits8811.


What do you say in a speech?! He'd never really made any speeches. His words had been written down but in a fluster, he'd lost the paper.

He, Hitsugaya Toushirou, was completely unprepared and more than a little panicked.

She looked amazing in her gold kimono, with her orange hair curled and pinned up with ornaments. The butterfly comb he'd bought her in the very beginning took a pride of place in her locks.

They'd married a bit hastily, but then he never was one for time-wasting and half-assed commitment. This was the natural evolution of their relationship and they were both happy.

Now if I can just say something like that in my speech, I'll be okay.

"Ahh, Hitsugaya-kun!" Ukitake nudged him with his elbow and Toushirou decided that he wanted to kill whoever was responsible for the seating arrangements. "I must give you – "

"Please, no candy on my wedding day," Toushirou groaned.

" – my best wishes," Ukitake ended, amused.

"Oi, Captain Hitsugaya!" Renji appeared at the table, already looking a little drunk and with an annoyed-looking Rukia not far behind him. "Kira said to tell ya 'it's time'."

GULP.

Ukitake grinned and slapped Toushirou jovially on the back, almost sending him face-first into the buffet. "Break a leg!"

"I wish," Toushirou muttered. He got to his feet, feeling much shorter than normal. Everyone was still talking about the wedding ceremony itself – too distracted with each other to notice him rising. Maybe he could mumble his way through a speech and no one would notice, leaving him to escape unscathed!

No. Kira was already getting everyone's attention and even Toushirou's new wife managed to lift her head up from the gaggle of women around her and the keg of sake to look his way.

Toushirou cleared his throat. He just had to roll with the punches. This would be easy – simple.

"I'm not really sure why I married my Vice Captain."

Everyone looked at each other, surprised. Yachiru started giggling and Kenpachi hid his grin behind his ochoko.

Uh-oh, not a good start.

"She's lazy and drunk all of the time," Toushirou continued, wishing the ground would swallow him up. The truth wasn't very pretty at a wedding reception and he figured improvisation wasn't one of his genius traits. "And when I first met her she started screeching out of nowhere and knocked me out with her chest."

Rangiku turned red and have the room tried to smother guffaws.

"It's because of her that I'm a shinigami – "

"And she's probably responsible for ya hair colour!" Ikkaku called, and everyone laughed.

" – and it's because of her that I'm stuck late in the office on Fridays, doing the paperwork she didn't do and cleaning up her vomit after binge-drinking."

Dear lord, what was he saying? Toushirou felt close to petrified under everyone's gaze and he just couldn't stop himself. Just tell anecdotes, just tell anecdotes...

"I had to get her out of jail once, because she streaked through Seireitei naked." Oh shit, oh shit.

Rangiku's jaw flapped; her silver eyes wide. Her face was so crimson that she was beginning to look like a Christmas bauble.

"Hisagi, I know it was you who was responsible for that so get out from under that table." Toushirou eyed his own table longingly. "She wasn't even dressed when I bailed her out."

Someone wolf-whistled.

"So...it's been hard work. And exhausting. And...naked." He flushed. "And sometimes I've wanted nothing more than hara-kiri. But...I married her...?" He trailed off dumbly. He saw Hinamori hanging her head and sighing.

Everyone continued to stare at him.

"And I don't regret it," he mumbled. "Because everyone needs an equal, even if the equal is a lazy drunk."

Laughter. Ukitake, finally taking pity, led the crowd into applause. Toushirou was both relieved and a little disturbed to see the broad grin on Rangiku's face.

But he was sure she understood what he'd been getting at.

"Well then!" Yamamoto stood and raised his ochoko. "To the bride and groom. It's going to be...interesting."

Toushirou gladly gulped down his sake.

That had been the understatement of the century.