"Is Hitsugaya Taicho okay?" Isane wondered. Matsumoto thought for a while. Her captain had been in there for almost twenty minutes most likely throwing up madly into the sink or toilet bowl. After his first up chuck into the bucket, he raced to the toilet and made it in without tripping or stumbling over anything. Karin wanted to go check up on it him but Matsumoto convinced her that she should stay with her twin sister. While back at the table, Ichigo remained at his seat throwing up heaps of vomit into the bucket. After he was done, he passed out in his chair.
"I have no idea." Matsumoto pressed her ear to the door. The music that was playing in the background was not making it easy for her to hear her Captain throwing up. She was not sure if she should just enter and check up on him.
"He looked fine during the contest." Isane pointed out.
"True but this is my first time watching my Captain drink and throw up from too much alcohol. I'm still in shock, don't even talk about recovery." Matsumoto answered Isane, her ear still pressed to the door.
"Taicho? Are you alright?" Matsumoto knocked on the door. Suddenly the door swung opened and there stood her Captain with his arms folded against his chest and an eyebrow raised at her. He had shed his tailcoat and bow tie. All that was left was his vest over his shirt and his collar raised up.
At least he looks…solid still. I think? Matsumoto wondered. Her eyes travelled to his head and noticed that his hair was dampened and flat.
"Why is your hair wet?" She asked.
"Cause it's warm as hell." He answered smoothly and combed through his hair with his fingers. Matsumoto studied him for a while. He looked fine but for some reason, her instincts told her he was not himself.
"What shit music is this?" He suddenly asked.
"Um, I don't know." Matsumoto answered.
Hitsugaya frowned. Matsumoto turned to Isane and both exchanged questioning looks.
"Are…you alright?" Matsumoto turned back to her Captain.
"I'm fine Matsumoto. What makes you think I'm not?" Hitsugaya sighed.
"You just had around 12 glasses of wine and threw up. Plus, you're still standing and looking sober, and that kind of amazes me." Matsumoto titled her head to the side.
"I told you I have extremely high alcohol tolerance." Hitsugaya replied her.
"I know, but this is your first time doing heavy duty alcohol and"-
"You're starting to sound like a mother." Hitsugaya cut her off. Matsumoto stared at him in surprise. Normally she would have sat or bashed the person but the fact it was coming from her Captain was too much of a shock to her.
"What did you say?" Matsumoto asked again, hoping she heard wrong.
"Where's Karin?" Hitsugaya looked around, dismissing Matsumoto's question.
"She's…on the dance floor with her sister." Matsumoto answered.
"Cool." He said and walked off toward the dance floor.
"Did…he just say 'cool' ?" Isane asked.
Karin swayed a little to the music. The choice of music was not very satisfying and she was not enjoying it that much as before. Whoever took over, as the DJ, must not know what real party music is like. Heck, what do other shinigamis know about party music? It was at this time she wished she were back in the living world experiencing, dancing and listening to real good music.
"Man I wish the DJ would change tune." Yuzu complained.
"Yeah, who played the music before?" Karin asked.
Yuzu pointed out to a guy passed out at a table. "He but I don't think we can sober him up to take over."
"Damn. This sucks and it's only what? 1.30am?" Karin wondered.
"1.15 am." Yuzu corrected.
Suddenly, Karin felt an arm snake around her waist. Karin turned to see her date standing behind her.
"Hey you?" Karin wondered. She had expected him to return to the table after his visit to the toilet, not show up next to her.
"You done throwing up?" Karin studied his somewhat devious expression on his face. His hair was wet and his tailcoat and bow tie was missing. As much as she felt something was a little off, she could not deny how hot he looked right now, especially with that smirk on his face. He never looked like that before. Mischevious.
"It's no big deal. I'm totally fine." Hitsugaya answered.
"You sure? I think you should go and sit down." Karin suggested.
"First Matsumoto, now you. Seriously, I'm fine. I'm not going to sit down and waste the night. Yuzu-chan, mind if I borrow your sister?" Hitsugaya turned to Yuzu.
"Thanks, Come on," Hitsugaya grabbed Karin's wrist and yanked her with him away from the dance floor.
"Oi-I'm not some ragdoll!" Karin stumbled. She placed her other hand on his hand that gripped her wrist and tried to pull him back to a stop but her attempts were to no avail. She had no choice but to follow him through the crowd. Thankfully it was not too hard to walk through the crowd since everyone parted like Moses with the Red Sea the moment they saw it was Hitsugaya coming through.
"Taicho?" Matsumoto pushed through the crowd only to find Yuzu in the middle of the dance floor.
"You just missed him. He grabbed Karin and went there." Yuzu pointed to where Hitsugaya had gone.
"What is he up to?" Matsumoto sighed.
"Beats me." Yuzu too was curious as to what her sister's boyfriend was up to.
Karin stopped at the stairs behind Hitsugaya. In front were two large buffed eleventh squad members at the entrance of the DJ stand. They had their arms crossed, looking like bouncers at a club. However the moment they saw Hitsugaya, they rest their arms to the side and bowed.
"Hitsugaya Taicho!" They greeted.
"Excuse me." Hitsugaya ignored their greeting and stepped in between them, his grip still on Karin's wrist.
"B-But Hitsugaya Taicho," The eleventh squad member started but Hitsugaya ignored him and stepped onto the DJ booth.
"You, go take a break." Hitsugaya ordered the DJ.
The shinigami looked up at Hitsugaya and an instant fear took over at the first contact he made with Hitsugaya's eyes. Karin watched the DJ bow out and scramble out of the DJ Booth. Finally, Hitsugaya let go of Karin's wrist and headed over to the mixer. He opened up the laptop that lay closed on the side of the table and carefully placed it on the mixer. He opened up the music player and started to scroll through the music tracks.
"Shit, all shit." He said to himself while pulling at his collar and then sliding his hand around his neck.
"What are you doing?" Karin asked. "You're giving me unnecessary panic." Karin stepped to his side and looked over.
"Don't be stupid." He shushed Karin.
He bent down and looked around the floor. Soon he found a dangling cable at the side and took it up. He proceeded to press pause and the music in the hall stopped playing. Everyone came to a halt at the sudden absence of music.
"Hey why did it stop?"
"What's going on?"
Matsumoto turned her attention to the DJ booth and noticed that her Captain was at the audio mixer with Karin. Matsumoto felt her heart plummet straight to devastation. Someone murder me now…just because he said the music was shit he didn't have to stop it!
Isane noticed that Matsumoto took on a devastated expression. She followed her sight direction over to the booth where Hitsugaya Taicho and Karin were. Everyone had already turned to booth, not sure of whether to remain quiet or do something about the music or the captain.
Suddenly, the unexpected happened. Music started playing again but it sounded very different to the previous track. The bases of the speakers were pounding the walls and vocals were echoing through the hall. Lights were flashing all over again, colours dancing around the walls.
"What you got me doin baby
Meet me at the hotel room
(I will bring my girlfriends)
Meet me at the hotel room
(I will bring my girlfriends)
Meet me at the hotel room
(I will bring my girlfriends)
Meet me at the hotel room"
Matsumoto stood to the spot, feeling a little or very confused. Did her Captain just play this track? She looked to her Captain who looked very pleased with him. Everyone started to cheer and move again to the beat.
"Forget about your boyfriend
and meet me at the hotel room"
"Pitbull feat Nicole Scherzinger!" She cheered. She hung her arm around Hitsugaya shoulder and laughed. He leaned against the mixer and gave her a devious smile.
"I can't believe you know this song!" Karin grinned.
"You obviously haven't seen the songs on my iPod." He smirked. God he looks so damn hot now. Karin thought.
"You really had me going there. I thought you were going to stop everything." Karin crossed her arms.
"Then you still got a lot to learn about me." Hitsugaya reached for her waist and slowly brought his hands up the sides of her body. Karin felt her insides burn up and her cheeks flushed under his spell and charm. That move caught her off guard.
"What else is there that I don't know about you?" Karin smirked back although her insides were twisted and paralyzed from his touch.
"A lot." He leaned closer to her, his hands now on both sides of the mixer, pinning her to the contraption as he towered above her. Was he trying something on her?
"Oh really?" She teased and pushed him back a little but only to have Hitsugaya close the distance between them. They were now chest to chest, their faces inches from each other.
"Of course. You want to find out?" He whispered in her ear. Karin felt the hair on her arms stand at his breath that brushed her skin.
"Okay now I know my Captain is officially off his rockers." Matsumoto headed toward the DJ booth with Isane following her closely from behind.
"What are you going to do?" Isane asked, worried that Matsumoto might actually do something insane for once, liking stopping her Captain.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to stop him. Hell, I am high happy. This is like the first time he's ever done something like this." Matsumoto burst out laughing. She will never let her Captain live this down.
As they reached the DJ Booth, the most unthinkable vision unfolded before the two lieutenants eyes. There was Karin with her back pressed firmly against Hitsugaya's front. Hitsugaya had one arm around her waist and the other arm on her upper leg. He had his chin rested on her shoulder as Karin placed her hand on the side of his face while the other hand clasped his hand around her waist.
Both jaws hung open as the two lieutenants watched Hitsugaya and Karin danced together, body-to-body, arms all around each other. The two of them seemed to have their own little private space to dance since no one else could go up there or no one dared to.
Isane blinked several times but she knew she was not seeing things.
"We should go back." Isane shook Matsumoto's hand. However Matsumoto looked too shocked to move.
"Tell me that is my Captain actually dancing with Karin." Matsumoto brought her jaw back up.
"I thinking grinding is the right 'human' term." Isane felt heat rise up in her cheeks.
"Book me two seats at the shock recovery centre at the fourth squad day after tomorrow cause I'm not going to get over this so easily." Matsumoto whipped out her camera.
"Two seats?" Isane blinked.
"For me and my Captain, when he's sober." Matsumoto snapped a picture.
"Whoever took over really got this party started." Ikkaku tapped his foot as he leaned against the wall with a cocktail in his hand. After he had cleaned his shoe, he left Ichigo to Hinamori's care and hung out at the side of the hall.
"Thankfully. The party was about to die with the music they were playing earlier."
"Too bad Ichigo passed out." Yumichika turned to the table to see Ichigo knocked out.
"Who asked him to go up against Captain Hitsugaya? That moron should have known better." Ikkaku drank his cocktail.
"No one knew about Captain Hitsugaya." Yumichika turned to Ikkaku.
"I had a hunch." Ikkaku shrugged.
"I saw him purchase wine before. I deduced he drinks alone and he must have been doing so for a long time without anyone knowing." Ikkaku tucked one hand into his pants pocket.
As they chatted, they noticed Matsumoto and Isane squeezing out of the bouncing crowd.
"Had too much fun Matsumoto?" Ikkaku laughed.
Matsumoto smoothed her hair back a little and composed herself.
"Going to now that the music has improved." Matsumoto smiled widely.
"Yeah I agree. I was about to head out because the music sucked. Thank god it has changed." Ikkaku sipped his drink.
"Changed DJ?" Yumichika handed his drink over to Matsumoto. She took a sip of his cocktail and passed it back to him.
"Guess." She grinned.
"Matsumoto…" Isane whispered.
"They're not exactly being secretive about it." Matsumoto whined.
"Huh?" Ikkaku exchanged a confused expression with Yumichika. Isane shook her head and sighed. Matsumoto brought out her camera and passed it over to Ikkaku.
"What's this for?" Ikkaku took the camera.
"Picture time?" Yumichika looked happy.
"Later. Press that button and look at the images I just took." Matsumoto pointed at a button on the back of the camera. She was about to give two hardcore members the heart attack of their lives.
Ikkaku pressed on the button and the screen next to it lit up. In the next second, Yumichika whipped his head away from his comrades and spat out his drink.
"Whose that?" Ikkaku tilted the camera.
"What? Who has full blown white hair other than Ukitake Taicho?" Yumichika exclaimed.
"Hitsugaya Taicho?" Ikkaku answered. All three shinigamis gave him a well-isn't-that-him look. Ikkaku looked at all three and then returned his attention to the camera.
"Naw….that can't be." Ikkaku laughed.
"Hell yeah it is!" Matsumoto stated.
"And whose that suppose to be? Karin?" Ikkaku let Yumichika take the camera.
"Who else?" Matsumoto crossed her arm.
"Man will Ichigo be flaming pissed if he sees this." Yumichika zoomed in on the picture. He pressed on the next button and looked through several snapshots. For the first time he had an image of the frozen Captain actually getting on hot with a girl, namely Ichigo's baby sister.
"Beautiful is not the word. Sexy is a better description for these two." Yumichika smiled.
"I know! I never knew my Captain had it in him to actually loose control like that!" Matsumoto clasped her hands together.
"I think I am starting to rub off him!" She smiled.
"That's scary." Ikkaku commented. Matsumoto turned back to the man and raised an eyebrow at him.
"You still don't believe that's him?" Matsumoto asked.
"You only took pictures of the back! You can't even see the face!" Ikkaku rubbed his forehead.
"Fine then, follow me." Matsumoto leaned forward and grabbed Ikkaku's arm. She yanked him across and pulled him towards the booth.
"This I got to see." Yumichika laughed.
Karin gasped for air as she pulled apart from her entanglement with Hitsugaya. She placed her hand over her chest and turned her head away from him, inhaling deeply. One thing had led to another and soon from the floor, they were against the wall feeling one another up, teasing each other with no lip contact. Then mysteriously, she found herself sitting on the couch with him pressing against her, their tongues busy.
"Wow." Karin coughed. The taste and smell of alcohol still strongly lingered within the walls of Hitsugaya's mouth and she could taste them.
"I think you're drunk." Karin deduced as she smoothed her hair back after getting it completely messed up by Hitsugaya.
"What makes you say that?" Hitsugaya lifted an eyebrow at her.
"I mean you're not entirely you." Karin turned back.
"I am me, just a little loose than usual." Hitsugaya smirked.
"Loose? More like fallen off the cliff." Karin gave a haughty laugh before getting suddenly cut off with Hitsugaya tongue in her mouth and his body on top of her.
She could feel her brain fizzle again and her senses going off once more. She wrapped one arm around his neck and pulled him further on top of her.
"Oh god you taste so good…" Hitsugaya groaned before moving his lips down to her neck. That sensation that he just inflicted on her with those words drove Karin madder and she kissed him back with enough force to make him gasp a little.
Or maybe it's the alcohol you taste in your mouth. Karin thought in the midst of her craziness before she decided they should stop. She placed both hands between them and pushed Hitsugaya away firmly but gently.
"I…I think we should stop before we get too carried away." Karin laughed nervously.
Half drunk but still able to process some little things around him, Hitsugaya remained silent for a moment before moving off her.
"I'm…oh man…I'm so sorry Karin…I didn't mean to come on so aggressive." Hitsugaya bowed his head and pressed him forehead into his palm. "I need a drink."
"Oh I think you had enough drinks. That's partly the reason why you're…so forth coming, not sure what's the right word to describe you right now." Karin comforted Hitsugaya knowing he must feel pretty awful.
"But I really want another drink." Hitsugaya whined.
"No, you had one too many." Karin snorted.
"Yeah you're right…just one?" Hitsugaya looked back up at her, his eyes looking starry eyed.
"I really think you shouldn't." Karin patted his shoulder. "I'll go grab you some water."
Just as she was thinking to make her trip quick in case he passed out on the floor, Karin saw Matsumoto heading towards her with Ikkaku and Yumichika behind her.
"Rangiku-san!" Karin called out for as Matsumoto stepped onto the booth with the two warriors behind her.
"Hey, do you mind looking after Tou-Hitsugaya Taicho for awhile. I'm going to grab him a glass of water." Karin jabbed her thumb over her shoulder. All three looked over to see Hitsugaya on the couch with his head in his hands.
"I'll go with you. Two of you take care of my Captain while me and Karin grab some water." Matsumoto ordered. The kind of tone that she used immediately gave the two warriors second thoughts on rebutting.
"Hai." They muttered, not knowing what they were really in for.
"Oh my god you had your first make out, with my Captain!" Matsumoto laughed while Karin blushed.
Figuring that Ikkaku and Yumichika could handle Hitsugaya, the two girls had stepped out of the hall for a moment to grab some fresh air before returning back to grab a glass of water.
"Yeah…thank god Ichi-nii didn't catch him in the morning." Karin sipped her mocktail. "If he did, I don't think either of them would be able to make it tonight."
"Finally, my Captain is getting some sticks removed from his ass." Matsumoto sighed as she sipped her mocktail, tired of alcoholic drinks. They had decided to lay off the happy drinks and stick to staying sober for the sake of their Captain. Somebody had to take care of him after the fun had ended.
For a while, the two girls remained silent. Seated on a stone bench, the two had their heads lifted to the sky, quietly admiring the stars that shimmered with the celebration below. Slow and quiet, the wind slowly swirled around them, bringing them fresh air while playing with their locks of hair that dangled out of their styled pattern.
"You know, I think I am starting to get over Gin." Matsumoto sighed. Karin shifted her attention to Matsumoto.
"I mean, I still love him and that will never change. But…I think it is about time to give my heart a break. I think he would want that too." Matsumoto placed her glass down on the ground and returned her vision to the sky above. Alcohol doing the talking again, she should just shut up.
"What do you mean by that?" Karin inquired.
Instead of replying Karin, Matsumoto found herself drifting back to her slow dance with the Sixth squad Captain. Why did all the men she had special places in her heart were men of little words? Renji, Hisagi, Ikkaku, they were different. They were her brothers, her friends, her buddies. But Gin, Hitsugaya and now Kuchiki Byakuya, they all had a very special place in her.
Gin, he would always be the person who saved her, the person who gave her a birthday. It was unfortunate that they would not have progressed further than where they were then. Maybe it was fate. Just maybe.
Hitsugaya…he was and would always be the Captain of her life. He was always there, willingly placing pillars in the places that needed support in her life. She never had to ask, and he never needed to ask. He just did because behind that cold and frigid mask and temper, he had a heart like no other. Matsumoto knew her loyalty and love toward him would never waver.
Last but not least, Kuchiki Byakuya…She hardly knew him and she hardly previously had any relationship foundation with him other than him being a Captain. But, tonight, something formed because something happened the other day. And when they danced tonight, she found something had blossomed between them. They found an understanding, a common ground, a place that status and position had not mattered.
"Matsumoto-san?" Karin snapped her fingers in front of Matsumoto.
"Hmm? Sorry, got lost in here." Matsumoto chuckled as she pressed her finger lightly against the side of her head.
"Shall we head in and get that glass of water?" Matsumoto got up and stretched a little.
"Sure." Karin got up. As they walked back, Karin could not help but wonder if Matsumoto was thinking of her dance partner. Maybe she was.
As Matsumoto and Karin neared the booth, Ikkaku out of no where fell in front of them at the top of the steps with an empty glass in hand. The both of them stopped as Ikkaku rolled over, his face contorted in laughter and…
"Are you drunk?" Matsumoto questioned, shocked.
"Hitsu *hic* Hitsugaya Taicho made me do it!" Ikkaku rolled back, struggling to get back on his feet. The two ladies turned to the couch to see Hitsugaya slumped over the couch hand rest, laughing hard. Armageddon has arrived… Karin thought in her head as Matsumoto immediately rushed over and pulled her Captain onto his feet. Just as she pulled him, Hitsugaya swung the other way and was about to land face first until Karin stepped in front of him. With prepared force and hard-core training, Karin held her weight against Hitsugaya as she wrapped his arms around his waist.
"Are you drinking again?" Karin exclaimed. The alcohol smell had tripled on Hitsugaya. "We were just gone for 15 minutes! What the hell did you drink?" Karin exclaimed again. Her eyes immediately darted to the table to see three bottles of drinks cleaned out to the last drop. She focused on the label on the writing.
"Pussyfoot… one bottle per person?" Karin exclaimed. Overkill.
"Where's Yumichika?" Matsumoto noticed he was missing and looked around.
"We," Hitsugaya started laughing. Ikkaku, on his feet, fell back on the floor and started laughing, hugging himself.
"We got him…to" Ikkaku laughed, "We got him to wear a lampshade and go on the dance floor!"
Hitsugaya pushed himself off Karin and stumbled back. "It was Ikkaku's idea. That bastard!" Hitsugaya fell back onto the couch, his face flushed red and tears coming out of the corner of his eyes from laughing too hard. Karin just stared at her date, not sure whether to laugh with him or be serious.
"Oh my god…" Matsumoto found Yumichika doing a stupid dance on the dance floor…with a lampshade on his head.
"Let's dancccee, Karin!" Hitsugaya got onto his feet and grabbed Karin's hand. However he missed and walked on, believing he had her hand in his grasp. A drunken man could not know the difference. Karin was about to tell him she was still back where she stood when she realized he was too drunk to not walk towards a blank wall.
"Toushirou! Watch where you-"
"Taicho!" Matsumoto rushed over to Hitsugaya who was on the floor with a red patch on his forehead.
"That was the wall." Karin bend over Hitsugaya, a lop-sided smile burst onto her lips.
"Who put that wall there?" Hitsugaya groaned.
"I think it is about time we should all go home." Matsumoto chuckled while shaking her head.
"The person who put that wall there…ssshould be fired." Hitsugaya swung his hand in the air before dropping it at his side.
"Look! I'm going to pull water out of the bottle!" Ikkaku caught Matsumoto and Karin's attention but pouring out water from the glass onto the floor.
"They're so gone." Karin sighed as Ikkaku fell backward onto the couch and passed out.
"That's genius!" Hitsugaya exclaimed. "How did he do that?"
A yetching sound of vomit erupted from behind a door.
"Taicho? You alright?" Matsumoto knocked on her bathroom door. She had just finished setting up the couch for her Captain to sleep on. In her hands was her extra bathrobe for Hitsugaya to change into. She knocked on the door once more and the sound of vomit answered her again.
It had been pretty easy to carry her Captain back to her barrack, especially after he had sobered a little the moment they got away from the music. He basically hung over her back while she prayed hard he would only puke the moment the toilet bowl was in front of him. While that prayer was heard, somewhere along the way back, she had lost earring, which saddened her a little as it was one of her favourite.
"Oh god…" She heard her Captain groan. She inhaled deeply and poked her head into her bathroom. There he was, arms around the toilet bowl and his legs sprawled on the floor. His hair had gone limp and his eyes were drooping and bloodshot red.
"I…hate thiss…" He slurred a little. His head remained planted on the toilet seat.
Matsumoto pursed her lips together not knowing if it was the right time to laugh. He looked completely wasted on her bathroom floor. It was such a priceless sight that she was debating madly over whether she should take a picture of it.
Hitsugaya inhaled deeply and then struggled to get on his feet. As soon as he stood up, the whole world spun before him. He stumbled forward only to be caught by Matsumoto before he kissed the floor with his face.
"Whoa…come on, let me help you." Matsumoto chuckled. This time it was her responsibility to take care of her Taicho, even though he always claimed he never needed her help.
"I'm fine. I can do this on my own." Hitsugaya groaned. His head pounded like mad.
"Don't be stubborn. You can't even stand on your own two feet." Matsumoto smiled. She closed the lid of her toilet bowl and flushed the contents down. Steadily, she settled him on the lid.
"Let's get you out of your clothes and into the shower." Matsumoto mothered.
"I'm not going to let you see me naked!" Hitsugaya exclaimed before burying his face into his hands.
"Fuck my head…" He groaned again.
"I'm not going to let you sleep on my couch with alcohol stench on you. And I'm not going to see you naked. I'll just put you in my bathtub with your underwear on. You take it out yourself while you're in there and I'm out here. Besides, this isn't the first time I've taken care of drunk people." Matsumoto unbuttoned Hitsugaya's shirt.
"I wish I didn't take up that stupid challenge…" Hitsugaya grumbled.
"That's what you get for being so haughty about it." Matsumoto pulled the shirt off Hitsugaya's arm and threw it one side.
"Kurosaki needed to be told where he stands." Hitsugaya swatted Matsumoto's hand away.
"Or were you trying to impress Karin?" Matsumoto grinned.
"Rubbish." Hitsugaya retorted. "Now mind if I change out of pants without you in here?"
Matsumoto lifted an eyebrow at her Captain. "Can you even do it?"
"I'm fine. Please, I don't need you to mother me." Hitsugaya sulked drunkenly.
Matsumoto felt a little at lost for words as he tried to stand up on his own. He had just referred to her as a mother. Why had it have such a funny effect on her? Was it…a female thing? Was she really treating him like how a mother would look after her young?
Maybe it's the alcohol talking. Matsumoto wondered.
"I can handle myself." Hitsugaya shooed her out of the bathroom. As the door closed, Matsumoto found herself lost in a thoughtless moment.
Suddenly she heard a tumble. Panicked, she opened the door to find Hitsugaya head first in the bathtub and his pants unzipped. She rushed over to the bathtub and pulled her Captain up.
"Taicho!" Matsumoto wrapped her arms around his chest and let him rest against her body.
"Ow…" Hitsugaya groaned. Suddenly, he pulled himself out of her arms and leaned over the bathtub. A stream of vomit spewed out. Matsumoto responded with a firm repetitive pat on his back.
This is going to be a long night…
It was already four am in the morning and Matsumoto had finally stepped out of her bathroom in her silvery light blue night kimono. Her semi-wet long hair was wrapped in a small towel while thin golden locks of her hair slipped out from under the towel. She walked down the short corridor and turned around the corner to see her Captain's leg hanging over the couch. His hair fell over his face and the thin blanket she covered him with was on the floor. She sighed and quietly headed over to the couch where he lay dressed in her night kimono. She picked up the blanket and flapped it. She looked over at her Captain and hung the blanket over her shoulder. She bent down and combed his hair back. As she tucked his slightly long hair behind his ears, she found herself gazing at his sleeping face.
His usual scowl had disappeared on his face and was replaced by the serenity of sleep. It was a little shocking to her because she had seen her captain sleep before in the office and he always had a slight frown on his face. This time though, it was replaced by serenity.
He looks so peaceful…Matsumoto smiled a little as she gently stroked his hair. In her eyes, he would always be the small Captain she recruited a long time ago.
How time flies…Matsumoto thought as she caressed her thumb on the back of Hitsugaya's head. I wished you stayed small. Matsumoto smiled. Now he had a girlfriend.
She stood up and lifted her Captain's leg back onto the couch. She carefully placed the blanket on Hitsugaya and tucked him in properly. Before she headed to bed, Matsumoto bent down and placed a sweet kiss on Hitsugaya's cheek. Maybe it was the alcohol in her system but at that moment, she wished in some twisted universe, he'd be the son she hoped for in future.
"Goodnight, Taicho." Matsumoto smiled tenderly before she headed to switch on the wall. She flipped the switch and darkness overtook in an instant.
In a dimly lit room, Byakuya sat at his bedside with a book in his hands. The servants had all gone to bed and he was the only one awake within the mansion. Rukia had remained with Isane as Rukia was taking care of Isane at the fourth squad division. She assured him that she would be fine with Isane thus he left her to sleep there over night. However he insisted she returned back early in the morning.
Byakuya flipped a page and familiarized himself with his late wife's writings. It had been her diary that she wrote for him in the last few months before her passing. He always read each entry every night before he went to bed. Before he knew it, he found himself reading the last page where the last words were all she wrote before she left him for good.
…don't linger on me. Move on for me. I love you, Kuchiki Byakuya.
"Hisana…" He sighed. He missed her greatly whenever he read her diary. Sometimes he wished the universe would return her to him so he could genuinely be happy. However the emotions he usually felt was mixed with a fluttering sensation. He opened his closed fist to reveal a sparkling earring twinkling in his palm. He had found it near the hall and he knew whom it belonged to. Images of her face and smile glanced through his mind. The beauty of her golden hair glowed in his memory while the softness of her touch tingled his skin. She had the most beautiful icy blue eyes he had ever seen, dancing like water swirling in a pond.
He held it up in front of him, watching it sway a little from side to side. Icy blue teardrops dangling from the hook reminded him of the tears she cried when he found her at the garden. When he finally could see her smile, it felt like the sun had returned in her and her face glistened like the sunrays on the water surface.
It puzzled him though. Why was he thinking of her so much? She had no purpose for him nor did she carry any meaning to him…or did she? Was he falling for her? It could not be, Byakuya shook his head. He had no more time for developing feelings as such, especially with a fellow subordinate. Sure she would not face judgmental problems with his noble house and his parents' old saying but had he what it took to give what a relationship needed?
Byakuya wiped his face with his hand. The alcohol was pissing him off.
Thinking it was best to leave his thoughts as that, Byakuya laid the earring on his bedside table and slipped his legs under his blanket. Tomorrow morning, he would take a trip down to her barrack and return it to her, despite the slight reluctant feeling of returning it to its rightful owner. As he settled down in bed, he stared at the ceiling, wondering if she had any thoughts on him.
Hitsugaya furrowed his eyebrows as a terrible headache overcame him. It was so disastrously painful that he brought his hands to his head and groaned followed by a curse.
"Ffffuuck…." Hitsugaya swore as he squeezed his eyes shut. It felt like a thousand hammers were hammering his very skull, trying to pry their way into his brain. Then a soft tap on his shoulder got him to open his eyelids a little to see his lieutenant kneeled down in front of him. In her hands were a glass of water and pills.
"Good afternoon," Matsumoto greeted. She was wearing her night kimono with her hair bun up. She placed the cup of water on the coffee table and help Hitsugaya to sit up. He groaned as he pushed the heel of his palm against his forehead. To what point was he at that got him this hung up overnight?
"First time hangovers are always nasty." Matsumoto took a seat next to Hitsugaya and passed him the glass of water she poured for him. Hitsugaya shook his head a little but decided that was the worst thing to do because it felt like his brains were swirling and knocking against his skull.
"Tell me about it…" Hitsugaya took the pills from Matsumoto's hand and gulped it down with water.
"What time is it?" Hitsugaya laid back, his face still scrunched up in pain.
"It's twelve-thirty in the afternoon. I made you some warm porridge to help with the hangover." Matsumoto patted Hitsugaya's back as he passed her back the glass of water.
"I feel like I fought four wars in one night. Is this how one feels when they're drunk? Like they've been through hell four times over?" Hitsugaya turned to Matsumoto only to notice the dark rings around her eyes. It was only then he realized he was in her home, wearing her bathrobe and sleeping on her couch. It only added up to the fact that she took care of him when he could not even make out what an apple was.
"What time did you sleep?" Hitsugaya asked.
"Four in the morning." Matsumoto yawned.
"What time did you get up?" He asked.
"Around ten. Why are you asking?" Matsumoto laid back and stretched her limbs.
"Shouldn't you be getting more sleep? You took care of me the entire night." Hitsugaya rubbed the back of his neck but his annoyed and cold expression remained on his face. It really looked like she had done her job. She had laid the couch for him, changed him out of his clothes and into her robe, and gotten up early to make him breakfast. And I'm her Captain…Hitsugaya thought guiltily.
As if she read his mind, Matsumoto got up and headed over to the kitchen.
"Don't be so hard on yourself, Taicho. It is not like everyday you get drunk. It was a good experience, and if I should say so myself, most probably my last." Matsumoto giggled. She knew that even though he had his guard up, deep down he felt terrible for having to clean up whatever mess he must have had left behind for her to clean up.
"I hope I didn't soil anything in your house." Hitsugaya bowed his head.
"You didn't, thankfully." Matsumoto got up and adjusted her kimono. She headed into the kitchen and started to prepare some porridge for her Captain and herself.
"Did I say anything?" Hitsugaya wondered.
"Anything?" Matsumoto leaned back to see her Captain.
"Like anything stupid?" Hitsugaya frowned a little. He hoped to the skies he had not said anything stupid or inappropriate.
"Nope. You were too drunk to say anything." Matsumoto smiled to herself and placed the bowl of porridge on a tray.
"Here, drink some of this to get the buzz out of your ear," Hinamori knelt down next to Ichigo who had woken up on her couch about half an hour ago. His face was contorted with pain and desire to kill something in order to end his suffering, in an incredibly humorous way. Hinamori shook her head as Ichigo sipped the green tea she had freshly made just for him.
"Man, this hangover is really killing me." Ichigo groaned.
Hinamori giggled and headed back into the kitchen. Ichigo slowly maneuvered himself to sit upright and lean his head back. It was not a surprise he ended up in his lieutenant's home. He had a vague memory of being brought back to her place before passing out on her furniture.
"I hope I wasn't much of a bother." Ichigo apologized as Hinamori came back out with a bowl of soup on a tray.
"Don't say that, it's my job to make sure you're okay." Hinamori sat on the couch next to Ichigo and stirred the soup she made.
"Some red date soup to help your body after all that consumption of alcohol last night." Hinamori scooped some soup into the soupspoon and lightly blew at it.
"You got any pills?" Ichigo asked.
"Here." Hinamori lowered the spoon onto the plate and picked up two pills from a small saucer. She placed it in Ichigo's hand and handed him a glass of water.
"Thanks." Ichigo popped the pills into his mouth and gulped down some water.
"How did everyone get home?" Ichigo sighed and passed the glass of water back to Hinamori.
"Karin, Yuzu and your father went back to Karin's barrack where they spent the night. Matsumoto escorted her Captain back to her place to look after him. Yachiru took Ikkaku and Yumichika back but I'm not sure if they did make it back. That's all I know." Hinamori raised the soupspoon up toward Ichigo's lips. Obediently, Ichigo opened his mouth and drank the soup.
"Good soup." Ichigo managed to say despite his pounding head.
"Thank you." Hinamori blushed.
"So who actually won?" Ichigo asked.
"Must you ask?" Hinamori giggled. She hoped Ichigo would have forgotten about his little contest with Hitsugaya.
"It was a draw. Both of you threw up right after Karin finished both your drinks." Hinamori scooped up soup.
"Karin?" Ichigo asked. He had no recollection on how the contest ended, not even the slightest and vague memory whatsoever. That was being completely wasted and it was his first time.
"Yup. She stopped the contest and spared you both." Hinamori stated. "You and Hitsugaya-kun should thank her."
"Hnn." Ichigo thought a little bitterly that he had not won.
"Come on, drink up a little more." Hinamori blew at the soup before raising it to Ichigo's lips.
Gladly taking the soup, Ichigo swallowed the liquid and indulged in its exotic taste. It was something much more comforting, especially after the overkill of alcohol in his system.
"I took the liberty of retrieving some clothes from your barrack right after you slept. They're in the toilet behind the door in case you want to change into them." Hinamori informed. She had a spare key given to her by Ichigo so her entering his barrack was not a difficult task.
"You did? What time?"
"Around 4am. You came around when I got you back here and you were all over the place. I had to make sure you didn't fall off the couch right after I settled you down." Hinamori answered. She scooped up more soup and just as she was about to raise it up, she caught Ichigo's guilty look.
"No, no, really it's not a big deal!" Hinamori assured. "This isn't the first time I've slept at that time when taking care of drunk people."
"But you had to go all the way to my house at such an early hour." Ichigo sighed.
"Not a big deal, Taicho. Now drink." Hinamori ordered with a smile.
It was quiet in Seireitei. Not a shinigami on duty was around, most probably still in bed resting or sleeping off their drunken state. Byakuya walked in silence along the paths in his uniform, indulging in the peace and sleepiness of the place. He had been up since ten am and could not anymore reason to sleep in. He was not tired and his legs were just itching for a walk. As he turned a corner, Byakuya raised his closed hand and opened his palm. There glimmering in his palm was the earring he found. It was apparent where he needed to go. Besides, the owner deserved to have her earring back. It belonged to her.
He had dreamt of her that night and it was largely still a surprise to Byakuya since he hardly dreamt. He saw her dressed in a cherry blossom kimono with her hair pulled into a ponytail with sakura flowers adorned onto her golden bundle. She was barefoot and was seated at the pond, a book in her hand. Her back was leaning against a tree, her eyes being comforted by the words in the book. He watched her from a distance, studying her face, her eyes, her lips, then down to the way she sat, sophisticated and elegant, yet casual and relaxed.
Then he noticed that one ear had the earring he held in his hand and the other without.
Byakuya took a path down. It was just a dream; he made no move in it, neither did she. All she did was just sat under the tree and looked pretty reading her book. He would not deny she was very pretty, but he wondered if he was denying other things.
He stopped for a bit. Should he just head to her office and leave it on her table? Would it be better that way? Just as he contemplated on doing so, he realized he was being silly. He danced with her, he found her earring, the polite thing to do was return it to her knowing she has it in her hands. Anyone could just take it from her desk if he left it there.
After a good fifteen-minute walk on the Tenth Squad campus ground, Byakuya could finally see Matsumoto's barrack coming up on the path on a low hill.
As he approached her house, his grip on her earring tightened. A part of him was happy to let the earring go, the other part wanted to keep it. He got onto the platform and lightly knocked on her door. Her reiatsu was active so that meant she was awake but there was also another reiatsu active. Immediately he knew it belonged to Hitsugaya. He figured the young captain spent the night at his lieutenant's place since he had too much to drink at the contest. Just as he thought of leaving the earring on the platform banister, the door opened. There he came face to face with a sober and irritable Hitsugaya.
"Morning, Kuchiki Taicho." Hitsugaya managed to say with a straight face despite the hammering pain on his head.
"Good Morning, Hitsugaya Taicho." Byakuya replied. The young captain looked a mess in his hangover state.
"What brings you here?" Hitsugaya asked before pressing his fingers to his temple, trying to suppress the annoyance of his hangover.
"I found your lieutenant's earring on the way out of the hall last night. I figured she would want it back." Byakuya opened his palm to show Hitsugaya.
Hitsugaya studied the earring. It belonged to Matsumoto. She must have dropped it while carrying him back to her place. But the thing that felt a little odd was that Kuchiki Byakuya took the liberty of returning it to her, personally, at her home. He would have expected the man to send someone from his manor or his squad to do the delivery or the least, leave it on her desk.
"I'll get her." Hitsugaya decided to not ask any questions and headed into the kitchen.
"Taicho, who's at the door?" Matsumoto's voice rang from the kitchen.
"Kuchiki Taicho." Hitsugaya exclaimed.
He noticed Matsumoto froze for a moment, a wonder and shock in her eyes. He took the bowl and towel from her hands and started drying it.
"Go on. I'll clean up here."
"I won't be long."
Matsumoto pop her head out and saw Kuchiki Taicho standing on her platform with his back against the door. She wiped her hands on the kimono and stepped out of her house.
"Good Morning, Kuchiki Taicho." Matsumoto greeted and bowed. Byakuya turned around and for a moment, he lost his breath. She wore a light blue kimono and her hair was loosely pulled into a ponytail. Her hair was looked lively and fresh compared to when she had it done up last night and when the wind blew lightly; Byakuya could smell her bath shower gel lifted off her skin. Sakura and Evening Primrose.
"I found your earring." Byakuya lifted her earring up in front of her. He watched her eyes widen in surprise before she lifted her two hands up and cupped it together. He lowered the earring in her hands and watched her fingers closed around it.
"Thank you so much, Kuchiki Taicho! But, how did you know it was mine?" Matsumoto inquired.
"I just noticed. You're welcome and good day." Byakuya turned around and walked off her platform.
Hitsugaya leaned against the counter with his arms crossed. It was not long before Matsumoto returned to the kitchen with a smile on her face.
"Found your earring huh?" He snorted. She dangled it in front of her face and closed it back up in her hand.
"I'm surprised he knows it belongs to me."
"Well, he is the Sixth squad Captain, sharpness is not just about his blade." Hitsugaya shrugged and pushed off the counter. He grabbed his glass of water on the counter and left the kitchen.
Matsumoto shrugged and sighed. He was right. Kuchiki Taicho was known for his sharp senses; he was just being a gentleman.
But, as she opened her palm again, anything could happen.
"What the hell?"
Matsumoto jumped at her Captain's exclamation and quickly exited her kitchen.
There was Hitsugaya with his jaw hanging down, face blasted with shock, eyes wide as ever. In his hands was her digital camera that she left on her table at the door.
"Tell me that is not me doing that with Karin!" Hitsugaya turned the camera round to let Matsumoto see the picture.
"It was your doppleganger?" Matsumoto joked.
"Was she drunk? Please tell me she was drunk like me!" Hitsugaya pressed the next button, his ego slapped left and right with every picture. He had no recollection of anything right after he finished puking into the toilet back at the party. Everything was just blank. Yet in front of him, on the bloody contraption were pictures of him and Karin grinding one another, his hands all over her.
"She was sober as ever." Matsumoto laughed. "You got Yumichika to wear a lampshade on his head and dance with everyone on the dance floor."
"Oh god…" Hitsugaya grumbled. It was not like him to be that way, he would never do that but it seemed he would if he were not sober.
"Don't worry, these pictures will never see daylight." Matsumoto came over and patted her Captain's back.
"Who else saw?" Hitsugaya looked up at her with hard eyes.
"Only me." Matsumoto raised her hand up like a scout.
"You swear." Hitsugaya questioned.
"On my Prada shoes."
Karin grinned to herself as she walked down the corridor. She had just sent her family off at the gate and now was heading back to the office to meet a certain someone. Her head buzzed a little yesterday when she woke up but it was nothing she could not handle. She was sure that Hitsugaya must have suffered much worse. Dressed in her uniform, Karin pushed up her sleeve as the cool wind blew against her.
The test. Karin thought as she stepped into the office. Just as she expected, there was Hitsugaya sitting at his desk clearing his drawers. He lifted his head up and locked eyes with her.
"Hey." Karin smiled.
"Hi." He quickly returned to his work, mentally panicking. What was he to say to her? Sorry for grinding you while I was drunk? Sorry for touching you all over? But what the heck, what else did I do? Matsumoto doesn't know but she would know. Should I ask?
"You drawer is empty." Karin leaned over Hitsugaya's desk. Realizing he had cleared out everything, Hitsugaya sighed and closed his drawer. Her elbows were planted on his desk, her face rested on her palms.
"You're a really good dancer." Karin smirked.
Hitsugaya cleared his throat, his cheeks flushed. "I…I'm sorry….for anything inappropriate I did to you. I swear I didn't mean anything rude. I honestly don't remember anything from last night after the contest."
"I understand. You were really drunk. I'm not mad at all if you're worried." Karin smiled. Before Hitsugaya could say anything, Karin got round his desk and pushed herself onto his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his.
His mind fizzled as her lips made contact with his. He wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her close as they shared a few kisses. What propelled him to do that was a mystery to him. Her body so close to him, his lips on his and his arms around her waist, he was so tempted to keep her the way she was right now the entire day. It felt nice.
When she parted, he leaned forward for another kiss. However she shook her head slightly and smiled.
"You had a lot of me that night." Karin pressed the tip of her nose to his.
"Wait, what did I do?" Hitsugaya pulled back, his arms still around her waist.
"I'll let you imagine. Dancing first. Floor, to the wall, to the couch, hot vibes everywhere." Karin said and then patiently waited for his response. Slowly she saw his eyes move from confused to discovery to horrified shock.
"We…wait please just tell me what we did because I can't comprehend my actions." Hitsugaya shook his head, thoughts racing through his head uncontrollably.
"We didn't do the deed if that's what you're thinking." Karin laughed. It took a few seconds before some relief washed over his face.
"We did make out but since you were under alcohol, you were a little more…forward with your actions." Karin stated proudly.
"As in?" Hitsugaya tried to understand.
"You're quite an animal." Karin purred.
"Agh…sorry again." Hitsugaya apologized.
"Just treat me to lunch and all is forgiven." Karin planted a quick kiss on his lips.
Byakuya entered his office. It was a lazy return to work since the party. Every since he dropped off the earring, all he could think about was how the tenth squad lieutenant looked in what she wore that afternoon. She looked strangely stunning in her night kimono that it got him dazzling at her for a split moment.
He took a seat on his office chair and noticed there was a note on his table. He picked up the folded piece of paper and on the front said "Addressed to Kuchiki Taicho".
He unfolded it carefully and after reading the contents, he folded it back and placed it in the inner pocket of his haori.
Thank you. - M.R
"Afternoon Taicho." Renji walked in and bowed.
"Afternoon." Byakuya pulled out his papers from his drawers.
One thing was for certain; he was not the only one who enjoyed his dance that night.
I thought ending it on Matsumoto's note was a sweet touch. It holds a little suspense to what could be possible between my next favourite couple. :}
M.R is Matsumoto Rangiku but I am sure you all know that. This is the final chapter to 'Someone for me'. Please pardon by grammatical errors or spelling errors as I am rushed for work since I got time on my hands before Uni starts. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. It really took me a long time to do, I apologize. I am so sorry for keeping everyone waiting.
Well, this is going to be my biggest memory...32 chapters including Prologue. Thanks everyone for giving me the motivation to finish this. I am so grateful for all your support.
Please review so I can know what you think of it. Thank you! *Sniff* Feels a little sad that this story has come to an end. Holds so much memories. :'}