Hiya people, it's me, stormwolf!

The idea for this story just popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone. i haven't given up my other fic, but since this was so distracting, i had no choice but to take a break and get it out of my brain and onto my computer.

Read, review, and enjoy ;)

0-0-0

I look out at the sunset, the vanishing sun staining the clouds purple, pink, orange, yellow, and red. Red like blood. Red like the eyes that I had only ever seen a glimpse of.

"Why did you go, Gin?" I whisper, so softly that my words are lost almost as soon as I say them. "Why did you have to leave me?"

I feel wetness on my cheeks, and when I touch them, I realize that I'm crying, tears streaming down my face and hitting the ground softly, shining like little stars. I turn away. I just can't bear to look at the sunset anymore. It reminds me of all those times we spent together, back when it was just the two of us against the world. When every day was a struggle to survive. We'd sit and watch the sunset together. I would always point out the small birds that were flying back to their own nests and he would smile, not the wide foxy grin, but the small twitch of lips that I knew was genuine.

"One day, Rangiku," he said every time. "One day, we'll fly away like those birds an' soar forever."

"Together?" I would ask. Even though I knew his answer, I wanted reassurance, a promise that he would never leave me.

"Always," he promised. "Afte' all, no bird wants ta fly 'lone, right?" And though there were times when I woke up alone, when he vanished without telling me he was going, I wasn't sad or lonely because I knew that he always would return by sunset.

But this time, I knew that he was gone for good. He had broken his promise and left me behind. Sitting alone on the grass staring blankly at the sky, I see a bird flying alone, its brightly colored wings catching the last rays of the dying sun. It's flying alone, I think sadly. Just like me. Gin was the person who had made my spirits climb and my heart soar whenever I was with him. Now, I feel heavy, as if my heart is weighing down the rest of my body.

"Matsumoto?" I hear. Looking behind me, I see my captain walking towards me, his white hair waving in the wind. I had been so lost in my thoughts that I hadn't sensed his approach.

"Captain?" I ask, wondering why he was here. "Look, if it's about the paperwork, I'll do it later, I promise—"

"Don't worry about it," he replies, cutting me off. "I didn't come here to nag at you about the paperwork."

"Then why did you come?" I ask, confused. He doesn't answer, instead sitting down beside me. We look at the sky together in silence, until the sun sinks below the horizon. Gin still weighs heavily on my mind, but now as I think about him, I can sense the familiar icy reiatsu of my captain surrounding me. His presence comforts me and makes my heart feel lighter, just a bit.

0-0-0

I come back the next day too. The flying birds make me think of Gin again, especially the one that was still flying alone. From the color of the clouds to the birds, why does everything always lead back to him? Was he really that big a part of my life?

"Why have you left me to fly alone?" I whisper. I can feel more tears slipping from my eyes. Then, out of nowhere, I feel strong arms clasped around my middle. My captain has snuck up on me without me noticing again. One small hand reaches up to wipe away my tears. I hear his voice in my ear, mixed with concern—and something else?

"Don't ever cry because of him," he whispers fiercely in my ear, somehow guessing my thoughts just like always. "You don't have to suffer this alone…Rangiku." I feel a shiver as he says this. Nobody but Gin usually calls me by my first name. This gesture of kindness and friendship from my normally cool and emotionless captain sent more tears cascading down my cheeks.

"Why, captain?" I ask, turning to face him. "Why do you keep coming here?" He looks at me with a piercing green gaze that seems to penetrate the protective shell that I had tried to put around myself.

"Rangiku," he says. "You're obviously in a great deal of pain." I try to protest, but he ignores me and continues.

"Ever since that bas-I mean, ever since Ichimaru left, I haven't once seen you smile." I blink, it was true. How can I find anything to smile about, when the man who had saved my life and gave me something to live for had vanished with only a single 'sorry' for a farewell? But to be honest, I am a little surprised that my captain had noticed. His duties had increased greatly since the betrayal. I don't think that he ever sleeps anymore.

"Of course I noticed," he said, reading my mind again. "How could I not? And what kind of captain and friend would I be to you if I didn't try to help?" I don't respond. What can I say?

"Rangiku," he says again. "Only you can decide when to stop grieving. But you should know that your friends are still here, waiting for you. They'll never leave you. And I'll never leave you."

"Promise?" I whisper.

"Always." he replies with a smile.

I turn back to the sunset, and see the lone bird. But this time is different. Another bird had flown up to join it, and together they wheel, dip, and rise beneath the rainbow clouds.

I close my eyes and relax in the strong yet gentle grip of my captain, letting the reassuring sound of his voice wash over me. Even though I had just been abandoned by somebody who had made the same promise to me, I found myself trusting my short young captain. I think about how he keeps showing up, when I need somebody to be there for me the most. Maybe I wasn't so alone after all. Something tells me that Hitsugaya Toshiro will always stay by my side, helping me to heal my broken heart so that I can fly again.

As the sun sets, I feel his strength flowing into me, and for the first time since Gin left, I smile.

0-0-0

kinda cheezy, i know, but i hope you like it :)

it's my first time writing from rangiku's p.o.v so i hope i got her character right...

i kinda like the idea though, and i'm thinking about a sequel, but i'm not sure...should i write one? please review and tell me what you think. there will also be a poll on my profile page, so vote and tell me what you think!

that's all for now-the new chapter of dragon's fire will be up soon :)

happy (late) new year!

-stormwolf527