Okay so who else saw what happened to Matsumoto and went "OMG what's Gin gonna do?". If you're like me and you did, here you go. One shot! Not too sappy. I also played a bit with the tenses.
As always I'm open to continuing.
Happy belated thanksgiving to all!!
The first thing that Gin saw when the flames encasing him cleared was Rangiku.
Rangiku with her strawberry blond hair covering her features and her slate grey eyes closed as her spectacular chest struggled in a battle for air.
He saw Rangiku dying.
Gin knew that he would see her. He knew she was a proud woman as well as a Vice Captain. There was no way she wouldn't be on the battlefield. In his mind he had always pictured her standing proud and tall, still wearing the necklace he had gotten her so long ago, her grey eyes promising all kinds of agony for him. He would grin and she would glare and they would probably meet at some point but be completely unable to kill each other. After all, how could they? Their relationship had always been sort of undefinable, sides and loyalties were not that much of a concern to him and he had always been a strange grey area to her.
But seeing her lying there, kido being the only thing that kept her from falling to the ground like some angel cast out of heaven, it made his insides twist. This was Ran. Beautiful, strong Rangiku Matsumoto who didn't care that her Captain was a fraction of her age. Who didn't care that he never showed his eyes or always grinned. Who wasn't scared of him or his Zanpakto or what he could do. He made no secret of the fact that he was a cold blooded killer and Rangiku just shrugged and said as long as he didn't kill her or her friends she didn't mind. Then her eyes would go serious and she would tell him that he better not get himself killed either because prodigy or no he was a Shinigami and he could still die.
On the rare occasions that he did get injured, she would always be by him when he woke up. First she would scream, call him an idiot, a fool, the most arrogant man she had ever met. Then she would demand to know what he was thinking going and getting himself cut, burned or otherwise injured. Her eyes would fill with sadness, or depending on the injury, tears and she would demand to know what he thought she'd do if he was no longer there. He'd always flash some kind of smile her way--usually from behind an oxygen mask--and tell her that she'd move on and find some other man to fascinate. She'd glare furiously but would stay by his side none the less.
But now he wasn't the one injured. No, he was the one standing there shell shocked as her blood spread wider and wider, staining the bright glow of the kido as his old Vice Captain and Tousen's battled the Fraccion. He wanted to shake her and demand to know what the hell she had been thinking going after three Fraccion on her own--Halibel's Fraccion. Even if she didn't know her ranking she had to know she was n the Top 3. Soul Society's intelligence couldn't be that bad. And having Hinamori as backup? The girl was alright but she had spent the past couple months locked in the 4th Division. She shouldn't even be on the battlefield much less the one watching Ran's back. Her precious 'boy genius' Captain was in his own battle, either he didn't know or he was hiding it very well since he continued to fight Halibel with skill that impressed even Gin.
But Ran was still unguarded. He was expected to fight, he knew that. Half the people gathered had their eyes on the three traitors of Soul Society. Aizen was the prime one but he knew that he was also up there. So was Tousen. What went wrong, he was sure everyone was wondering. Sometimes he wondered himself but he never wondered for long. He never really thought about it much. What was the point? All that mattered was the result. Or all that had mattered was the end result. Now all that mattered was the rise and fall of Ran's chest. All that mattered was the next moment she continued to exist, her heart to beat, her chest to rise, all that mattered was that no-one seemed to realize her next breath could be her last. His own chest feels like its been crushed, slowly.
His body moves instantly as he Shunpo's faster than he knew. Before Aizen can demand answers, before Tousen can spout more no-blood-bullshit. Before he can protest he moves. He's on the Kido beside her almost instantly. The smell of blood and flesh nearly topples him but he forces himself to get closer. Her blood begins to seep through the mockery-of-pure white of his robes. He doesn't care. There isn't any time to heal her here and he's got nowhere to go that he won't be gutted like an animal before he can do any good so he does the only thing his panic-ridden mind can come up with and Shunpo's back to the evil side.
Aizen Sosuke is many things, stupid isn't one of them and even he knows that if Ran dies now Gin's as good as useless. Rangiku Matsumoto--as well as dried persimmons--have always been kryptonite to Gin Ichimaru. If there is a moment that will be stricken from the record of the WInter War it will be the moment that Aizen Sosuke did nothing to stop his former Vice Captain from healing the woman he loved. Their relationship had always been something of a father-son one and its never more obvious than in that moment. The battle rages onwards as Gin cradles Matsumoto's body against his own, ignoring the hot, sticky blood that soaks his robes, the ragged gasps that tickle his hair and focusing only on the Kido that pours from his fingers.
Slowly organs reform, bones grow, muscles knit together and angry red skin is covered by the smooth pale skin that is the same as the rest of her. He's a good Shinigami, even if he's not much of a healer. He doesn't have a sash or anything to bind her skin with so he grabs the scarf around her and gently moves her into a sitting position, bracing her against his chest as his hands wind the fabric around her torso.
"Gin?" the breathy inquiry sends shivers down the back of his neck.
"Yeah, Ran," he replies, tucking the bandages against each other.
"Don't kill any of my friends," she whispers softly.
"I'll try," he says, though the words sound lame to both their ears.
What he doesn't expect is her head to turn and her lips to gently press to the skin of his neck, her lips murmuring something he can feel instead of hear.
They were both covered in her blood and she was still weak from healing. Rangiku knew that she's was not going to be much use in this battle. It hurt to admit that but the last thing she wanted was to distract someone and get them hurt or killed. Rangiku was someone who dealt with prodigies but she knew she wasn't one herself. She didn't care, not when she was in Gin's arms for the first time in forever. She had planned to go into the battle and find him and kick his ass. It was easy to plan things, making those plans reality was a whole other matter. But Gin had saved her and even if she didn't want to admit it her broken heart seemed to be singing.
Hinamori was on their side, Gin had saved her. It seemed dizzying but that could have been the blood loss. She remembered as a child telling Gin she didn't mind that he was a killer, as long as he didn't kill any of her friends. So far he hadn't. He had betrayed them, hurt them, done horrible things to them, sure. But he had never killed them and that had given her just the smallest bit of hope. Oh she still wanted to beat him senseless but she wanted to do it herself. She wanted to beat him and then she wanted him to grovel for her forgiveness but above all things she wanted him back. Back with Soul Society, back with her. So when he promised not to kill any of them she half-believed him.
But she knew that war was a fickle thing and that Soul Society would not go down without a fight. They were the good guys and the good guys won eventually. When he had been taken by the beam of light he had jokingly told her that he wished she held on for a bit longer. Her arms were weak but she still fisted them in the back of his robe, turning her head and gently kissing his neck as she whispered her request against the skin of his throat. She felt his head bob, the silver of his hair brushing her nose before she felt his hands move. There was a half-hearted burst of Kido on his part and a succumbing to unconsciousness on hers and the world went away.
Gin gently eased her down. His robes were still wet and red but suddenly they seemed cold instead of hot. He risked one last look over at her unconscious form before he placed a Kido around her and vanished with Shunpo. Shinso glinted as he joined the battle, Rangiku's words echoing in his ear.
Gin, try not to get yourself killed either