A/N: Wow. A Gin/Ran dashed with Hitsu/Matsu and a teeny bit of Hitsu/Hina? Dang - I got myself into big headaches depicting grief and mourning.

Anyways, set after the series and let's say a still-fictional final battle with Aizen and the bad guys.

Hope you like.


.THE BOY.
.and.
.THE WOMAN.


"Come and go..."

It escaped her mouth sounding as if it was a mantra. Wasted, captured, she breathed the words out silently, not caring if her companion listened or not.

They were the only ones in the cold, dark room. It was past midnight, too chilly - the breeze could almost freeze them and the distance between, but they remained still.

A boy. With snow white hair and cool teal eyes that cast themselves to the abandoned sake bottles, tea cups, documents, papers and pens that lay in the table in front of them.

A woman with bright, luminous orange locks that fell to her face as her teary orbs looked downcast. Said eyes had been as bright as her hair, but tonight in the light of the moon her companion had seen its dull shine.

But it at least was shining.

No eyes could not shine when they were threatened by tears.

The boy cast the woman a glance.

The woman, who was supposed to be strong - huddled to herself like a child.

The boy, who was supposed to lean into her for protection - sitting upright and stern.

The boy and the woman indeed.

"He always does that.."

Her lyrics continued, and her voice had a tremble beneath the whisper.

She laughed a bit.

Her companion's gaze turned bitter.

"The first time we met... He just came up to me - just... saved me. Without proper reason." she said. Her hair obscured the boy's view of her face. But the boy knew that she was crying.

It did not seem proper to speak - but the boy has had enough. She needed to let everything out. He couldn't let her do this - couldn't let her hesitate on telling him everything that she wants-.. needs to share. "And then...?"

His voice was strained. And he saw a glimpse of her smile.

"And then he took me with him. And we were together. He was the only one with me." she whispered, holding back a strong tremble on her words. "One day he left."

"Where did he go?"

"That's the problem.. Up 'till now I do not know. He... always left. I always asked... he didn't answer. Always. He kept me in the dark. I feel cheated... Because he goes without telling me when, to where, and.. why."

They sat on opposite ends of the couch. And when he looked at her after that - she had raised her head and had locked her tear-streaked gaze towards the ceiling.

"But you know what's good about that? He always comes back... to me."

She remembers - he said "Dun' bother askin', Ran-chan.. I'll come back to ye anyways...".

"It was more than enough for me. Because he's the only one I have. But inside, I feel lonely because somehow, that means that he didn't trust me as much as I trust him. And what's funnier is that I do not reprimand him for making me wait cluelessly for days, sometimes weeks... months..."

She brought up a hand to wipe a falling tear.

"As long as he comes back... It was okay for me. I.. he... He always tells me he'll be back for me. To me. He assured me that. He even gave me a choice - that it's either I wait, or do something more useful that waiting... do something else.

So when he kept me waiting for six fucking months... I decided to do something else - I left the house and went to Seireitei. And while I was there, I met him. He was so happy to see me again - and at the same time he was disappointed. He told me that I... should not be doing such a dangerous job. That he never wanted to see me hurt. Of course I assured him it was okay.

Maybe he trusted me enough. Knew me too well to know that he can come back to me after he graduated. He did come back to me, and I was so happy to have him back..."

The boy knew the rest. But nevertheless he waited for her to go on. He was the listener. She was the storyteller.

A crying, torn storyteller.

"And then he left me again. This time he said 'sorry' before he did. And I knew what was going on. And I knew when he was leaving. He was leaving at that exact moment, and he left me a smile and told me he's sorry. What the fuck was that for? The sorry, and that shitty, freaking smile...!"

And this time she actually laughed, actually brought her hands to her face, actually huddled closer to herself.

"Maybe he was taunting me. He was saying sorry while smiling because he knew that I knew that.. that moment.. was the only time I knew WHERE he was going and I knew WHEN he will do so and that I was that fuckin' close to stopping him and scolding him and I simply... can't."

The boy's face hardened. He did not see that happen.

But it should hurt when you know that the only time you realize something fully, you can't do something about it.

"And then when we met next... He... He was too happy to see me, too happy to see me SAFE after everything. Too... happy - that he lets me betray him, smiles again, says sorry, kisses me and lets himself die. On my freakin' bloody arms. On my freakin' bloody sword."

She shook terribly.

"And I couldn't do anything about it. All the time - the whole time we spent together, all I could do was wait for him and welcome him and never ever question him. I am such an idiot. Always am an idiot."

She remembered. It was so clear and it will be forever embedded in her memory - the instance he tells her he loves her and he is sorry and he pleads her to deliver the last blow, because he wants her to do it - as a last wish.

She granted him his wish. Even though he couldn't grant all of hers..

The boy and the woman sat still in the dark room.

The weak, hurt, broken woman.

The strong, compassionate, unshaking boy.

The boy who did not know what to say-

"I'm sorry if I'm crying on you, taichou..." she laughed darkly at herself, body drooping on the arm of her side of the couch. The boy gazes at her once more, swallows and sighs, slacks his body to lean against the couch.

"It's okay."

That was all he can say. He did not know any more phrases compatible with the situation. The boy simply sat, staring at the woman who was staring at the table across them.

"If it really is, then tell me your story too, Toushirou."

Under the shine of the moon, he saw her tear-streaked orbs shine with a glimmer of gratefulness.

And then another fact slaps him straight to the face.

"Because we both are mourning. Aren't we?"

And beneath the cool teal of his eyes, the woman saw the boy - weak, like her, and hurt and broken... like her.

"Rangiku, I can't."

And the woman saw an odd show of a boy faking courage and indifference. The woman saw through that odd show, and had reached out and faced the boy.

The boy who was trying to be strong for both of them.

The boy who avoided the woman's gaze as much as possible. The gaze that showed the sympathy of the woman.

The woman who for once was lonely and torn.

"I miss Momo-chan, too. Maybe as much as I miss... Gin."

Hearing the names delivered an internal blow to the boy.

The boy who for once looked down and sighed.

"Crying and mourning are for the weak."

"If," the woman added, smiling slightly. "They do it infront of many people."

"I'll cry when I'm alone-"

"And that makes you a hypocrite." she cut his statement off. The boy shot her a half-hearted cold look, but she pat him on the head and continued. "Crying alone proves that you have no one to listen to you and no one you can lean on."

The boy did not move, attempting to fake strength. More strength.

More strength that seemed to vanish and just... vanish at every coming second as he starts to let down his guard and lean against the woman.

The woman who put her arms around him and pulled him into an embrace, tears now flowing freely...

Freely. Two sets of eyes water and in an instant dread and sadness fills the room, combatting the cold night wind... two sets of tears that brought in the loneliness but at the same time gave both the boy and the woman the warmth they needed.

The woman who had found someone to listen to her sad, sad story.

The boy who had found someone to simply comfort him without asking for any explanation.

Because the boy and woman still had each other in the aftermath.


.FIN.


A/N: This is simply so sad. T_T I killed off Gin and Hinamori. Because Ran needs reason to be sad and Hitsu needs Hinamori out of his life (or was it ME who wanted Hinamori out of the picture?) Sorry, HitsuHina fans. I just don't have enough sympathy for... Hinamori.

I am a total sucker for HitsuMatsu. But at the same time, GinRan is too beautiful to not be fascinated at. (sighs)

Anyways, I will be gone until... (gasp) April 15?! Yes. I'll be taking a vacation to my grandparent's house and there will be no computer in there. ^^;; So, until then, see you all!

Thanks for reading! ^_^ Review?