A/N: Though I can't say I'm incredibly happy with the end, I will say that the HitsuMatsu story is my favorite thing to have written. Ever. 8-)
But, I bring you the epilogue! Please read and review!
"That was certainly… sweet," Ukitake began. "Even if it was a bit… unethical."
Shunsui nodded in agreement. "A job most excellently done. And all while sober. Juu-kun, our little protégé here has grown up… and… taken… ad-ad-advantage… of all the… g-g-gifts… we set… before him!" Shunsui sobbed on Nanao's shoulder, soaking her clothing (thankfully black) with his tears. As Shunsui spoke, Ukitake began sobbing, too, clutching onto Soifon for dear life.
"He's right!" Ukitake wailed. Soifon patted him awkwardly. If her crying was unusual, his was just flat out too weird to name. "It's like my own little boy's all grown up now… and… and he's… married!"
Soifon and Nanao stepped into a corner of the room with their respective crybabies, trying to console the men.
"Ah… Kira-kun!" Hinamori called, looking for said person still sitting with the cooing group of shinigami. He looked immediately to her, eyes brightening. "I want to get married, too! Just like that!"
Kira fainted, and Hinamori took him to the fourth to find someone to help.
"Che. Least ya'll got inta some real trouble, had some real fun," commented Zaraki.
"It is such a very romantic story, Ken dear," Unohana cooed, making Zaraki blush with the fierce look in her eyes.
"Oh no ya don't. I a'ready married ya once, I ain't doin' it again," Zaraki stumbled through his words, quivering under his wife's stare.
"Just a second honeymoon, Ken dear," Unohana pleaded.
Zaraki sighed. "A'right, fine." In these battles, he knew it was better to give up while still ahead. There were many worse fates than death.
The rest of the Gotei 13 had never seen Unohana smile so brightly.
"This brings me to my final question. What do you all intend to do with your respective situations?" Yamamoto thundered again. He was trying to keep his voice down, really.
"Sir, if I may?" Unohana spoke up again. Yamamoto nodded, granting her permission. "Our three new mothers-to-be will be placed on mandatory leave of physical duties after you have each reached your second trimester." Rangiku grimaced. No physical work meant she'd be doing the paperwork. "I cannot allow damage to an unborn innocent like that. Furthermore, though you each have agreed to take responsibility and raise your respective children, the member of my squad has been dealt with accordingly for handing out faulty pills. Also, the twelfth division has been reprimanded properly for creating defective material."
Rangiku had her hand firmly gripping the hilt of Haineko. "That means that you should not take matters into your own hands, Rangiku-san," Unohana smiled sympathetically to the younger woman.
"Furthermore, Hanataro is our obstetrics specialist, but Isane and I will be assisting, as, if the three children are due on the same day, I can't have the father of one not assisting his wife."
"And what of the living situations?" Komamura inquired, his curiosity boiling over.
"Erm, well, sir, Hanataro and I have discussed things with Nii-sama, and until further notice we will be residing in the Kuchiki mansion. There's the perfect room just down the hall from mine for a nursery," Rukia explained. Hanataro nodded nervously beside her. Byakuya actually cracked the smallest hint of a smile. Renji noticed and ran quickly to the other side of the room, cowering behind Hisagi. "When we have established ourselves properly, we may look further into a home of our own."
"I would like to act as obstetrician to my wife, Unohana taicho," Hanataro bowed, not needing the formal announcement, but trying to impress his new brother-in-law.
"But of course, Kuchiki-kun." Byakuya grimaced. Yachiru laughed and kissed him, telling him she thought it would be a good idea for him to take her name just the same. Unohana stood alert, waiting for when that sank in and Byakuya fainted. He held his ground until the meeting was over, but not a moment longer.
"You could always just hyphenate." Someone suggested. No one recognized if it was Ukitake or Shunsui.
"And for you?" Ukitake finally recovered enough to return to the group, and looked pointedly to Ichigo and Nel.
"He's moving in with me, and Dad promised to help us redecorate," Nel chimed, looking quite proud. Her new father-in-law was overjoyed with the news that his son decided to marry, though disappointed that he wasn't invited to the wedding. As Karin said, Isshin was just happy because it meant if Ichigo was getting laid, he'd eventually have grandkids. Well, he had one on the way.
"Erm, yeah. I figured we probably wouldn't be as well off in the living world. So…" Ichigo trailed off, unsure how to proceed or if the need existed.
"I see," Yamamoto spoke again. This turned out to be quite the meeting, indeed. "I will petition for a building and expansion permit, then. And I assume you will be doing the same, Hitsugaya taicho, fukutaicho?"
"Actually, sir," Rangiku smiled, "since our rooms are next door to one another, we were wondering if we could knock down a few walls, and just expand the tenth division taicho quarters."
Yamamoto nodded sagely. "I see no problem with that. I will have to petition for a building permit, though."
"Since we won't need the extra kitchen, we were thinking that we'd like to have it added to the office, as well," Hitsugaya interjected. "Seeing as the office is adjacent to the living quarters."
Again, Yamamoto nodded sagely, agreeing.
For the next just over seven and a half months, the tenth division was such a relaxed and easygoing division that it put the eighth to shame. During Rangiku's maternity leave, things were a bit less relaxed, but when she returned, all smiles and laughter, the division returned to its new norm. As long as the taicho was getting laid, it was a great place to be.
The fourth division had never had so much to be proud and excited about. Two of their members were going to be parents, and everyone wanted to help in some way or another. Even the eleventh division began to treat them with some measure of respect. That may have been due in part to Unohana's threats to Zaraki, declaring that she'd drop the hyphenation and divorce him. As with the tenth division, if Zaraki was getting laid, the eleventh was a great place to be. They even managed to take in a few women, aside from Yachiru, when they relaxed.
Hanataro was the most envied man in the fourth, sixth, and thirteenth divisions. Not only did he prove to everyone that he was capable of finding a wife, but he had taken the most desired female member among the three divisions.
Hitsugaya and Ichigo were equally envied, and the most envied men in the entirety of Soul Society, and once had to battle a horde of jealous men just to make it back into Seireitei. Neither left into the streets of Rukongai again without his respective wife by his side.
The sixth division, with the announcement of Byakuya's nephew-to-be, became a much more relaxed place to be. It never even stepped onto the same scale as the eighth, much less the tenth, but Byakuya suddenly became a much happier person. He was easy to talk with, and his subordinates no longer feared his punishments. Of course, everyone wondered when he and Yachiru would tie the knot and try for a family of their own. No one realized it was simply waiting on Byakuya to gather the courage to ask Zaraki for Yachiru's hand.
Ichigo took up permanent residency in Seireitei with Nel. With their building permit they added two bedrooms and a bath, as well as a small expansion to their kitchen and dining areas. Isshin returned to Seireitei part-time and assumed joint-taicho duties of the third division with Ichigo until Yamamoto's retirement, when Ukitake would take over the position of soutaicho and the void left would need to be filled. There was no prouder grandpa ever seen in Soul Society. The third division assumed a lax atmosphere as well, and rivaled the eighth. Still no one could out-relax the tenth. Not that Shunsui didn't try. It seemed the 'getting laid' thing only really worked for males. It didn't change Nanao's demeanor much.
Karin and Yuzu finally petitioned, via Ichigo and Nel, the Central 46 to be allowed residency in Seireitei, by whatever means necessary. They did this simply to lower the cost of their monthly phone bill. Luckily, neither had significant others when the transition happened. Ikkaku and Hisagi were immediately taken to Karin and Yuzu, respectively. It was one hell of a battle for both of them, having to take Ichigo and Isshin on simultaneously, and alone, but they were two battles Soul Society would forever speak of. They were nearly as much anticipated as the battle that never happened between Zaraki and Byakuya.
When Byakuya finally decided to ask Zaraki, the man threw a party. It was the biggest letdown anyone could ever recall.
Many of the new recruits from the academy wanted to be a part of the tenth division after seeing such an adorable little boy leading it and walking around with a beautiful woman, clearly well along in her pregnancy. When it became the woman walking alongside the young boy, the boy with a baby girl in his arms, cooing over how precious she was, the number of women in the division increased four times. Rangiku was unhappy with this, as it offered more competition. Not that anyone stood a real chance, but she had to beat them away with their stupid excuses for needing to see the taicho urgently.
This worked, though not nearly as drastically, for the fourth and third divisions as well. Of course, they all knew things would relax with the tenth division's increase when Hitsugaya Ai was old enough to date. That date had yet to come. Central 46 conducted research on all potential suitors, trying to decide how many shinigami they would have to replace. May as well start gathering resources while they could.
Yumichika, Hinamori, Isane, Kiyone, Unohana, Yachiru, the remaining members of the SWA, including Soifon, Isshin, Ikkaku and Karin, Yuzu and Hisagi, and Renji offered to baby-sit at any time. It was Hitsugaya, who after two months of no sex, demanded Rangiku find someone to care for Ai for the afternoon. At least this time it seemed her pills were going to work. If anyone were to have more children, it would definitely be the precocious Hitsugaya.
The next May, two boys and one little girl came into the world. Each birth was three days apart.
It was obvious, after only a year, that young Hitsugaya Ai would be like her mother in every respect, the looks being only the beginning. Even as a tot, being the eldest of the three, she knew how to break hearts and heal them just as well as Rangiku.
The betting pool was whether she would end up with the Kurosaki boy, Kenji, or the Kuchiki boy, Tarou. Which would woo her first? Or, if she would end up unable to choose, with two husbands. No one speculated any objection. Well, except for from her father.