A Bleach Fan-fiction
Summary: Gin and Rangiku turn back the hands of time to become the parents they should have been the first time around.
Characters: Ichimaru Gin, Matsumoto Rangiku, Hitsugaya Toushirou
Kuchiki Byakuya was one of the few people that she had really never gotten to know very well. Whereas others had occasionally gone out to drink, or just to relax, Kuchiki Byakuya had preferred to simply work and then go home. She doubted that even Rukia knew her brother very well.
It was one of the reasons why she felt distinctly uncomfortable leaving Toushirou in his care while she went to take care of business with Gin and Aizen. She and Gin had been visiting Byakuya (leave it to Gin to have friends in strange places) when a member of the Fifth Division came to tell them that Aizen needed their immediate assistance with some high ranking hollows. There had been no way she was carrying a baby onto the battlefield, and she didn't have time to run back and find someone to baby-sit Toushirou. Gin had suggested for Byakuya to watch the baby, and when Hisana had appeared, looking absolutely delighted with the idea, Byakuya had agreed.
That didn't mean that she wasn't worried, though. She had no doubt that Byakuya was quite a responsible person, and he would probably have made a good father had Hisana lived longer, but still, this was her baby they were talking about.
"Remember, he can crawl now, so you'll have to watch him," she said worriedly. "Oh, and take this bag. Everything you'll need is in here. If he starts making gurgling noises, it usually means he's hungry. Oh! And if he starts crying, you'll probably have to change--"
"Ran-chan! We have to go," Gin insisted, tugging at her. "Besides, say any more and you might scare them off."
"Don't worry, Ichimaru-fukutaichou," Hisana smiled, holding Toushirou carefully in her arms. "It'll take more than that to scare Byakuya and I off."
"You see? Let's go," Gin said, heading off towards Aizen's direction without waiting for her. She hovered near Toushirou for a moment before giving him a quick peck on the forehead. Duty called, and while she was a mother, she was also a Shinigami.
Shiba Kaien had simply dropped by the Kuchiki residence to pester the younger man into joining the Gotei Thirteen again when he saw Byakuya and Hisana playing with the now rather well known baby, Hitsugaya Toushirou. He had immediately made a beeline towards the couple, grinning as he saw the usual pretending-to-be stoic Byakuya, smiling a little as the baby tried to put anything he could grab into his mouth, while Hisana ran after him, trying to get him to stop.
"So, this is Shiro-chan, hm?" Kaien asked rhetorically. "How did you get Rangiku and Gin to let go of him?"
"Something came up, and they had no choice," Byakuya answered, reaching out to keep the baby from chewing the rather expensive cushion while Hisana was putting away anything she deemed hazardous.
"Ah, it'd have to be like that," Kaien chuckled, sitting down on the tatami and watching the baby try to climb up the alcove, Byakuya almost running there to keep him from knocking the entire shelf and all its contents over. "Sometimes, I wonder if Gin wasn't the one who gave birth. That man refuses to let anyone near the baby when Rangiku isn't there to stop him."
"He's just worried about his son," Hisana said kindly.
"I wouldn't be so sure of that," Byakuya snorted rather inelegantly. "I'm pretty sure he dropped by today just so he could use that baby to get one up on me." Kaien laughed raucously, while Hisana laughed more quietly.
"That's because he's proud of Toushirou, and he wants the whole world to see it," Hisana said, quickly shifting the low table away to keep it from hitting the baby's head.
"He's pretty energetic isn't he?" Kaien asked, as the baby crawled about some more, inspecting everything he could see. "Must be hell for Rangiku and Gin."
"I don't know if it is for them, but it certainly is for me," Byakuya muttered as he moved the table into the hallway while Hisana took away any breakables. The baby took the opportunity to escape from his captors and crawled towards the ledge, almost taking a nosedive into the garden. Kaien grabbed the baby before anything could happen.
"You better stop making things difficult for Uncle Byakuya, otherwise your daddy will come and blood will be spilled," Kaien joked, settling the baby into his lap. The baby looked up at him with large, blue-green eyes. The child made a babbling noise and tried to grab his nose.
"Whoa, easy on the goods there. I'll lose my credibility as Vice Captain if I lose my nose to you." Hm. The little tyke was kind of cute. Maybe he should ask Miyako if she wanted one.
The baby decided that he was too boring, and crawled out of his lap, kicking his real goods as he left. Byakuya burst out laughing as Kaien doubled over.
"We'll see how far your credibility can stand when I tell the others about this little incident," Byakuya laughed, his wife trying very hard not to show her amusement for Kaien's sake. Kaien was in no position to make a comment, being unable to move, even as the baby started petting his hair like some overgrown dog.
And that was the reason why the Great House of Shiba fell from the prestige of the noble houses.
Rangiku had barely gotten home and into the kitchen to prepare for dinner when Gin waltzed in.
"Ran-chan," he said in a sing-song voice, "I think you better check on junior. This one's a doozy," he chortled. Rangiku looked vaguely annoyed at his amusement.
"You go this time," she said, turning the fire on. "Goodness knows you have to start some time."
"What?" Gin asked, flabbergasted. He inched his way into the living room, the baby sitting there, looking very uncomfortable.
"But, Ran-chan, it's so...big. And smelly," he whined, refusing to take one step closer to the demon child. He bet the kid had done it just to spite him.
"Don't make me come in there!" Rangiku yelled from the next room. He was very tempted to make her come in here, but then, he had never really thought that death suited all that well with him. Besides, it was just one, tiny, miniscule, insignificant little diaper, right? It was so tiny, it might as well not exist.
"Don't you dare ignore him, Gin!" she warned without even looking at him. He took a deep breath and held it. Every parent went through this, right?
But, argh... It was sick. He felt new respect blooming for Rangiku. Oh, yuck.
A few hours later, he was sitting in his study, trying to get the hearing back in his ears. Rangiku hadn't needed to shout that loudly in his ears. How was he supposed to know if he had been doing it wrong? It had been his first time, yeesh. If she didn't like the way he'd done it, she should have done it herself in the first place.
The door to the room slid open. He looked up, and saw no one. Then he looked down and saw the familiar white fuzz. Gin crossed his arms, and wanted to huff and turn away, but he was afraid of the baby hurting himself, so he settled for staring at him instead. The baby looked way too happy to see him, and proceeded to crawl over to him.
"Oi, oi. Watcha doin'?" Gin asked, watching the child progress slowly but surely towards him. Finally, the child grabbed his knee for support and looked up.
"Dada," the baby said, pointing up at him. He giggled as Gin's mouth dropped open.
The baby laughed again. He had to tell Rangiku. Their baby had just spoken his first word! He made to get up, but the baby crawled into his lap, and Gin froze in his movements. He didn't want to get up and accidentally knock the kid off, breaking his brains or anything. He settled back into his seat as the kid looked inquisitively over his table. A small, chubby hand pointed to his brush.
"That's a brush. It's a writing utensil," Gin said, feeling compelled to explain it. The kid looked up at him when he spoke, the white fuzz tickling his chest. The kid pointed to another object. "That's paperwork. It's Mommy's bane of existence." The kid laughed, as if he understood what Gin was saying. Gin got an idea.
"Hey, why don't you try to fill out this form for me?" he asked, pulling out a blank form and a brush, placing them in front of the kid. "You're supposed to be a genius, right?" The kid grabbed the brush and slammed it hard onto the paper. Oh, well. He had never liked that brush anyway. It had been a gift from Byakuya.
He moved the paper and the brush onto the floor next to him, lifting the baby out of his lap and placing him gently next to the paper.
"Now play here while 'dada' gets some work done," he said, turning back to his desk. The kid just crawled back into his lap, grinning at him. Gin grinned back, ruffling the fuzzball's hair a little. "Okay. But no disturbing me, got it?" The kid giggled, stuffing his hand into his mouth. Then they both turned back towards the sheets of boredom, and Gin started his work again.
When Rangiku finally entered the room, the kid had already fallen asleep.
"Hey, he drooled all over the form."
Gin looked up from the report he had been reading in his hands, and looked down at the table.
"Oh. Don't worry. That one's going to Kaname, anyway."
Rangiku's mouth twitched with amusement, even as she bent down to gently lift the baby from his lap.
"He said his first word today."
Rangiku cocked an eyebrow in surprise.
"What was it?"
" 'Dada,'" Gin said proudly.
"What? Why not 'Mama'?" Rangiku pretended to pout, but she couldn't quite keep the delighted, proud light from her eyes.
"He likes me better."
Rangiku rolled her eyes at him.
"And here I am, slaving away all the time, changing his diapers for him," she complained.
"He likes my method better."
Rangiku laughed quietly.
"Gin, your method would require us to run after the baby and clean up the mess whenever he decided to go."
"Ran-chan, you're a girl, so you wouldn't understand," Gin said, amusement crinkling his eyes. Rangiku just smiled, shaking her head slightly in exasperation.
"Well, I'll leave you to your lovely work now," she said a little deviously. She bent over and kissed him lightly, before shifting the baby in her arms and walking out of the room. Gin turned back to his desk, moving the sopping form onto the floor next to him. Maybe being blind rendered your sense of smell dull as well?
Author's note: Thanks to all the wonderful people who reviewed, and to those that even deemed this story worthy enough to be favorited! As always, comments, criticisms, and suggestions are very welcome.