Disclaimer: I don't own it, if I did……..who knows

Warnings: MxF, little bit of swearing, mention of sex,

Pairing: Ichimaru x Matsumoto

Every Decision

The sound of pen on paper woke me up once again. It was such a small sound, yet in this dark, quiet office, it is almost deafening to me. Cracking my eyes open, I looked up to the desk to see my taicho still working on that damn paperwork. I think he started it around one this afternoon and it's well after midnight now. He works too hard.

I studied his face as he finished another paper and placed it into the outbox. Most likely it's about nothing important, maybe what's in stock or what's allowed in the 10th division cafeteria for the next month, nothing that can not wait till tomorrow. Or rather, this afternoon.

His eyes narrowed slightly at the next piece of paperwork. It was most likely a discipline report about me. Yes, I know what they say about me. The drunken lieutenant who can't even do simple paperwork to help out her captain, who never takes her jobs seriously. I've heard it all before. But I give my taicho something else, or at least I try to. I try to give him back some of the childhood he had lost by becoming a shinigami at such a young age. I give him an outlet for his anger. Someone he can use as a scapegoat. I just don't always do a good job at it. I had to stop the laugh that tried to escape my throat. Who was I fooling? Every decision I have made for him, because of him, was never the right one.

Sometimes I wonder if I should tell him. Would he hate me? Would he hate himself? Yes, most likely.

I remember my childhood, the starvation, the hopelessness of knowing there was no one to watch out for me, no one who really cared. Then I met him, Gin. And even though he left me so many times throughout my young life, he still came back. He still cared. It was when he returned from the Shinigami academy that things really started to change.

Sex was something new and different to the both of us. We ended up stumbling along like the teenagers we were, and went too far. We were lucky it wasn't until after he graduated from the academy that I found out I was pregnant.

"We're goin ta starts a family, Ran."

Right after he kissed me, those were the first words he said to me when I told him. We were going to be a family, all three of us. It was something that I always wanted, someone to care about. Those nine months were some of the happiest times in my life and some of the worst. Gin came back often after that. The money he earned from being placed as an officer right out of the Shinigami academy would be able to make sure our child would not go hungry. That he or she would be happy. I knew this child would need that food because even with the child still within me, I could still feel his power.

Yet something was off, even though Gin still smiled and laughed when he came home to visit, there was something underneath it. Something dark. Something akin to fear even.

Gin hired a healer to help me through the birth. She was a kind old woman from Junrinan; district one, who saw her fair share of births and death before she retired from the 4th division. At the time, I didn't understand why Gin wanted a doctor who was retired. After all we could afford a real doctor or even an officer from the fourth if we had moved into Soul Society. But Gin wanted us to stay where we were; it was our home he said. He said we were safer here then in Soul Society.

The birth itself was hard, to say the least. And after ten hours of labor, we welcomed our son into the world. I remember thinking how beautiful he looked when the old woman handed him to me. With his bluish green eyes and white hair, he had his father color, but he had my wide eyes.

"What should we name him, Gin?"

He cradled our child close to him and looked out the window. Winter had just come and already, there was light snow on the ground.

"Toshiro, Ichimaru Toshiro. What d'ya think?"

I just smiled back at him.

Two months later, Gin left and never came back. Even now, after all these years, I don't want to think about what was said on both sides or how he walked out into the night without looking back at us even once. All I had left of my broken family was my son. And on that night I swore that I would always try to protect him.

"This isn' wha' I want, Ran."

Winter faded into spring and spring into summer, and yet I never heard from Gin again. He had cut us off, pretended that we never happened, never existed, that our son was never born. Moving on was hard, but I was able to support myself and my son through odd jobs that came my way. And even though we didn't have much, we were still a family, my son and I.

But fate seemed to hate me. Because even that small bit of happiness I had while living with my son in Rukongai did not last.

The roar was deafening and the dust too thick to see through, yet in my dreams I still heard the call.

"Know my name, child…"

I woke up with the roar still sounding in my head, and the dust finally settling down around us. Toshiro woke up beside me in a coughing fit. That's when I knew that I could no longer stay with my son. I could barely feed him as it was, and now I was making him sick as well. If I stayed with him like this, I'd end up killing him with this power within me.

For weeks, I thought about what I could do, what I had to do to make sure my son had a good life, that I couldn't hurt him anymore. I had to learn to how to control that voice, that power, but that meant becoming a shingami.

I searched out the old woman who helped me long ago. I knew she lived in Junrinan, one of the safest places in Rukongai. He would be happy there. Placing him into that woman's arms and walking away was the hardest thing I have ever done. Even watching Gin betray us and leave the second time was not half as painful. But I had a responsibility to this child, to make sure that he was happy, safe and would grow up without having to live on bitter memories. And yes, I knew that made me a hypocrite for condemning Gin for leaving me, but I didn't care. He left first.

Years passed, I went through the shinigami academy and became a member of The Gotei 13. I would have liked to say that I thought about my son everyday, that I checked up on him to make sure that the old woman was taking care of him. But I didn't. I don't think I could have gone through with becoming a shinigami if I looked back, even once. What right did I have to take him from his new family or to be apart of it?

Fate seemed to hate me, have I told you? That day in the market started out as nothing special. I had followed Renji and Ikakku out to Rukongai for some new drinking hole that they couldn't stop talking about… Then, I saw it. That flash of white hair. I had not thought about my son in months but seeing that flash of white made me miss him more than anything. I had thought that maybe fate was being kind to me for once; I had to see if it was him. My search led me to a small boy at one of the stands, and in that second I knew it was him.

I saw a merchant place his money on the counter, I couldn't stop myself. I didn't give him up for a better life to have people hurt him like that. It wasn't until the fight we got into over me standing up for him, that I knew fate really did hate me. There was no way to mistake the spiritual power coming from him; no way he could stay with his family now with that much uncontrolled power.

For the first time that night, in almost thirty years, I went back to that house and watched him struggle with his dreams and the old woman freeze from that cold spiritual power next to him. I knew there was no other choice.

Once he entered the Shinigami academy, I lost sight of him once more. It's not like I didn't try to stay informed in how he was doing this time, but my own position within the Gotei 13 was changing as well. And by the time I reached a fukutaicho rank, he was just about to graduate from the academy as the youngest taicho ever in Soul Society; the baby genius.

Being a member of the Gotei 13 can be a very dangerous job, especially in the higher ranks. I had seen about 12 different taicho positions become open and then subsequently filled in once more within my thirty years of being a shinigami. Now there was no doubt as to where they would place my Toshiro. The tenth Division had been missing a taicho for a few years now and it was easy to see why, the tenth division fukutaicho was an old shinigami, never been able to rise to a taicho level and was bitter for it. It was rumored he was responsible for the death of the last taicho. That was not someone I wanted watching my son's back.

It only took me a week to get him into forced retirement and myself into the position of tenth division fukutaicho. After all, no one wanted a member of the Gotei 13 who was found paired up with an underage whore.

The look on my taicho's face when he walked into his office for the first time, and saw me was priceless.

There have been many times since that day that I wanted to tell him the truth about his parents, but the fear has always stopped me. What would he say if he found out that I was his mother? That I left him with someone I barely knew so that I could become a shinigami? Maybe that's why he hated shinigami so much when he was younger, maybe deep down he knew both of his parents abandoned him for that power. Yet, even as I lay here and think about telling him and facing the outcome, there is one thing I would not be able to tell him. One question I can not, will not, answer. Not without him hating me for it, not now, not after what happened. How could I answer the question that I know will follow my confession? How do I tell him that his father is Gin?


Author note: Thank you for reading. Hope you liked it.

- not really sure