A/N: This is based on an idea I drew from a few other fics, and this is just how things have played out thus far. The object of this fic is (obviously) Hitsugaya & Matsumoto. I have only decided two other pairings, thus far (Rukia & Ichigo and Shunsui & Nanao), and I am open to suggestions for others. Constructive Criticism is welcome, and I apologize for what is most likely OOC-ness. If it helps, Hitsugaya and I share roughly the same birthday, (I assume I am several years minus one day younger than he), and as we share the same sign – for anyone else who puts stock into astrology – and very close personality, I have incorporated the OOC reactions as much to myself as I can. Hopefully, I did not stray too far. If you would like to beta, please let me know! I will appreciate any help on characterization you will allow!
Disclaimer: Unfortunately for me, I do not own Bleach. If I did, these two would already be together. Let this serve as a disclaimer for this chapter and all following.
You Want What?!
It started out as just another normal day in the office for the young, white-haired taicho. Matsumoto showed up late, as usual. She tried to entertain him with her usually meaningless musings. She hugged him the unspoken minimum of four times before noon. Hitsugaya grumbled lightly. Matsumoto was correct in assuming he grumbled simply for appearances. So, yes, today was as normal as any day in the tenth division offices could get.
So why make a note about it? Because when Matsumoto returned from lunch, she changed both their lives completely.
It was only five months since the end of the war, and Matsumoto and Hitsugaya had recovered form their past loves. Old man Yamamoto retired after nearly dying in the war, so Ukitake Juushiro, taicho of the thirteenth division, assumed the appointment of Soutaichou. Many of the old rules had changed, and needed to be in order for Kurosaki Ichigo and Kuchiki Rukia to pursue their relationship. Currently Kurosaki was training under Ukitake to take the captain's exams. Everyone wanted him in a captain's position, and the position happened to still be open in the first division, as well as the lieutenants'.
Since some of the rules were changed, Ise Nanao finally accepted the advances of Kyoraku Shunsui. Captain-lieutenant relationships were no longer frowned upon. If Hitsugaya had known when this rule was made utterly and completely obsolete what Matsumoto got into her head, he'd had done everything in his power to prevent it.
Matsumoto came striding in the door as she always did, her expression looked much the same as normal. If Hitsugaya knew this would successfully end his so-called normal day he would have run out the door. If only he had been prepared for how harshly it would end.
She stepped to the front side of his desk and leant over. Propping her elbows on his desk so that her cleavage was amplified, something he noted silently to himself, she spoke the words that would undoubtedly change his life
"No, you can't have the afternoon off, get to work," he defended himself. She ignored him.
"Taicho, that's not what I want," she said, her normal timbre quivering slightly. Looking nervous – Hitsugaya could hardly believe it – she continued, "…Ne, Taicho. I was just thinking that we should have kids."
The look on Matsumoto's face shone with excitement, nervousness, and complete and utter gloom. Not paying much attention to her antics, Hitsugaya started to brush her off with a "Matsumoto, I said to get-" That was the exact moment he realized just what exactly she had suggested.
Matsumoto looked hurt. "I shouldn't have told you," she interrupted, "You didn't want to know. You shouldn't care anyway," she tried to brush it off, shaking ever so slightly from her nerves. "Nanao said I should just get over it and ask you, but you'll say no, and I don't blame you."
Now Hitsugaya felt obligated to answer her, regardless of what she'd said. Besides, he'd never hear the end of it for hurting her feelings. "Yes, Matsumoto, I do want to know. And I do care. You should know that by now. I just want to know why in all of Seireitei you've decided… this."
Matsumoto looked a tiny bit happier, and infinitely as many times more nervous. "I understand completely if you think I'm crazy and say no. Honest." She tried to look bravely at him and meet his eyes.
Hyourinmaru was laughing so loudly in his head that Hitsugaya wasn't sure he could hear Matsumoto anyway. The stupid ice dragon always knew when something big or bad happened with Matsumoto. "Matsumoto, just explain yourself already."
Hitsugaya watched as she took a deep breath and leaned over his desk, exposing a bit more of her already overexposed breasts. She steeled herself for this. You can do it, you can do it! She chanted to herself as her zanpakuto did the same. It seemed that the ash cat, Haieneko, was quite excited by this idea. Okay, here goes everything. My credibility with Taicho, my job, my social life, my friends, and any allusion that I am actually still sane. This is your fault, cat.
Matsumoto squeezed her eyes, hoping that it would somehow make the situation better. It didn't help. Hitsugaya just stared at her, silently telling her to go on with whatever scheme she had cooked up this time. Finally, with one last gulp of air, she said everything so quickly Hitsugaya didn't understand more than five words.
"Taicho, I-was-thinking-that-I-want-a-baby-because-Zaraki-essentially-has-one-and-even-Kurosaki-and-Kuchiki-Rukia-have-practically-adopted-Nel-and-I-want-to-have-kids-and-I-think-I-want-to-have-children-with-you." Matsumoto gushed then spent a few seconds gathering her breath.
"Matsumoto, I don't think I understood a word you just said. Can you repeat that a little slower?" Hitsugaya asked, scowling as usual. At least one thing should be normal.
Embarrassed, her cheeks and face a bright pink, which Hitsugaya thought was quite uncharacteristic for her, Matsumoto tried again, forcing herself to breathe and talk slower. "I was just thinking that I want to have kids. I mean, I see Zaraki taicho with Yachiru, and then there's Kurosaki and Kuchiki, and they've practically adopted little Nel. And I guess I just want kids of my own. But there's only one person I could think of having kids with. I never even thought about having children with Gin. Somehow I always knew I didn't want him to help raise any child of mine."
Hitsugaya just stared at her, his mouth open and eyes wide as saucers. Finally, what she repeated sunk in, "It's not up to me if you have kids. Why were you so worried about telling me this?"
She shook her head, looking downcast, "You're right. Forget I said anything. Silly me!" she tried to chime in her usual, cheerful timbre, but her voice was filled with misery.
Not entirely sure he wanted to know, but certain she wanted him to know and he couldn't bear to break her heart, he stated, "You never said who you would want to have children with."
Matsumoto stood and turned away from him, unable to meet his gaze anymore. So softly he had to strain to hear it, she whispered, "I wouldn't want to have children… with anyone but you." A few silent tears slid down her cheeks.
A few moments passed in uneasy silence before anyone spoke again. "Matsumoto, quit joking and get back to work. I have to take these reports to the thirteenth division, I'll be back in a bit," Hitsugaya lied. He didn't actually have reports but he certainly thought a trip to the thirteenth was in order. Feeling like a heartless ass, he stood stiffly and walked through the door.
Matsumoto sniffled, "Of course, Taicho" as he walked from the door before she sat at her desk, crying silently, trying and failing miserably to focus on the paperwork in front of her for any distraction it might offer.
Hitsugaya shunpoed so quickly to Ukitake's office that Kotetsu and Sentarou barely had time to open the door for him and ask how they could help. He asked to speak with Ukitake, and they showed him in.
"Ah, Hitsugaya taicho. How can I help you today?" Ukitake greeted, taking note of the haphazard appearance of the younger white-headed captain.
"I need you to-" Hitsugaya started but stopped abruptly. What did he want Ukitake to do? He didn't have a clue about anything himself, how could he ask someone to do something for him? "I… don't know. I honestly just don't know. I'm not even sure I believe what just happened. And if she wouldn't have been crying I wouldn't think for a second she was serious…" he trailed off, not sure what to say next.
Ukitake could tell Hitsugaya might regret leaving whatever had just transpired. From the sound of it, only one person could be the focus of this issue. "Hitsugaya-kun, please, sit down."
Hitsugaya did as he was told, saying, "Does she even know what she's asking?! I'm too young for this!"
Ukitake was taken aback by Hitsugaya calling himself young. Hearing this, he decided to dismiss his third seats form the office to be able to devote his attention to the younger captain. "Just what are you too young for?" he asked, curiosity boiling over.
Still looking bewildered, with large eyes and an open mouth, Hitsugaya finally brought himself to speak rationally, "She said she wants kids. And yeah, I was kind of jealous at first. But, then she said she wanted children with me… and… and… we're not even dating… " he finished lamely. Ukitake looked a bit shocked but asked to have the story told from the beginning.
When asked, Hitsugaya recounted the events to Ukitake. Ukitake chuckled lightly to himself.
"I had a strange feeling she would say something like that. After what Shunsui has told me about the conversations he's overheard between her and Nanao, it's not too surprising. Although it is shocking that she would approach such a subject in this way," Ukitake tried to comfort the younger captain. "Although I am afraid I cannot tell you what to do with this. My advice is to take a walk and think it through, then go and explain your reasons for your answer."
Hitsugaya nodded his head, accepting the man's advice. "Thank you, Ukitake." Hitsugaya sat for another few minutes, thinking about the situation. He nodded again then stood, heading for the door. "Thank you again. If you will excuse me, I need to clear my head."
Ukitake gave a small wave, adding just before Hitsugaya stepped out, "You might want to think about starting with dating and marriage, you know. Quite a large leap to go straight into the business of family."
Matsumoto still sat in the office, finally able to work on the paperwork. She knew that Nanao's plan wasn't going to work. Yes, she did want kids. But couldn't she have started with just asking him to dinner? This was all Nanao's fault. And Haieneko didn't help much either.
That didn't matter anyway. He probably thought she was too old. And by all rights, she supposed she could say she was too old for him. That would be fair. He would probably prefer someone younger, anyhow. Maybe like Nemu or even one of the Kotetsu sisters. Maybe Kuchiki Rukia knew someone she could introduce him to. Or even Hinamori, though he swore up and down he wasn't interested in the least with Hinamori. This did make her happier.
Besides, why would she even think that he could ever want to be a father at such a young age? And there was the height issue, though he may never admit it. It didn't concern her in the least that he was short. She wouldn't change that for the world. But she had seen him with little Nel, when she offered to sit for Kurosaki and Kuchiki. She knew that any children she ever carried and gave birth to, she wanted him to be their father. If she thought anyone else good enough, she would have remedied the situation long ago.
But she knew that she had never wanted anything or anyone this strongly before. Not even Gin was good enough.
Hitsugaya strolled through the streets of Seireitei, wondering on Matsumoto's proposition. She really was insane, wasn't she? Not that he didn't want children, he just didn't know if he wanted them now. Now definitely seemed too soon.
He did need to explain to her, and tell her he wasn't angry. He was just shocked beyond all belief and reason. Instead of proposing that they go to dinner a few times, make things official, even eventually get married, she as good as said she wanted to skip all that and get right to baby-making. Literally. And the thought of that was terrifying. Not that, like every healthy young male past the age of puberty, he hadn't tried to imagine that.
Try as he may, Hitsugaya could not picture himself being happy with anyone but her, especially in that area of his life. He'd known her long enough and loved her, whatever kind of love it was, long enough that he had already figured that even if she achieved bankai it really would shatter him if she left their cozy little office. She brought out the worst in him, annoying as she often was. But as with anyone you truly loved, he wouldn't even pretend to himself he wanted to trade that. Besides, she also brought out the best in him.
Matsumoto never promised to be a diligent worker, she only promised to be unwaveringly loyal. And she had proven herself there time and time again. He could only hope she felt he treated her the same.
But, children, and a family, with Matsumoto… He wondered if they would look more like him or her. He hoped they would have her personality, at least. And her hair. Beautiful red in the sun, striking blonde out of it. She always seemed to radiate joy and happiness. He almost envied her.
Letting his mind wander, Hitsugaya imagined a small child, looking much like Nel, but with Matsumoto's eyes and hair. He felt himself smile. Maybe that wasn't such a terrible idea after all…
Pulling himself from his reverie, he decided to return to his office. He had paperwork to finish. Besides, he needed to speak to Matsumoto.