Requested by 3R15UKOUM31- thank you

Ichimaru x Matsumoto

AU- reincarnation. I don't know if Gin or Rangiku will die… but it is AU for a reason, ne?


There was much debate about what happened when a person died in the Soul Society. It was not a thing as regular as death in the human world was, but it did happen, when a person was injured too deep for even the skilful hands of the Fourth Division to heal.

In the war-torn battlefield of the fake Karakura, Rangiku Matsumoto, Lieutenant of the Tenth Division of the Gotei 13, tasted blood in the back of her throat. She tried to swallow, but it was too thick, and it dribbled out of her mouth which she suddenly had no control over. There was steel in her flesh, having ripped its way upwards through from below her navel to where the hardness of her ribcage had finally stopped it. The point of it stuck out through her back, nearly slicing all the way through her spine with the momentum.

Gin watched with barely a flicker as she slipped from Shinso to the ground, broken and limp. A moment passed, and he ignored the reiatsu burning in the air behind him. Seconds later, a thousand shards of ice ripped through him, throwing him into freefall too.

He did not even try to defend himself; the surprise and pain in Rangiku's eyes had frozen him.

He landed near enough to her, and reached out across the rubble, but the blackness stole over him before he could touch her hand, rapidly cooling.

Years passed in darkness, and they soon forgot the Winter War, and their friends, and the taste of battle. Soon enough, they forgot each other, and their most treasured moments… eventually, they even forgot who they were. Then there was damp warmth, and the tinges of red in the blackness, and they felt their cells grow and build until they had tiny fingers and tiny toes (although they had not realised that their bodies had gone), and after a while they were ripped from their warmth, and born again, into the new world.

More years passed them both by, growing up in entirely new worlds in entirely new lives. There was no hardship in their new lives, no violence or pain other than the normal traumas of a secure childhood and adolescence. Rangiku- although this was no longer her name- was a happy and adventurous child; Gin was bright and vivacious.

But still, there were times when the mother of the-girl-that-was-once-Rangiku noticed her far-off stare as if she was looking for something on the horizon, and times when the-boy-that-was-once-Gin felt like there was something missing, like he had lost something that had once been precious to him.

He couldn't remember what that was, but he found it again, in the end.

Twenty-four years after a baby with wisps of silver hair was born into the world, and twenty-one years after a girl who had a small beauty spot underneath her mouth followed, they both found themselves in a small coffee shop in a city where the boy- a man now- had just got a job, and where the woman was visiting friends.

He glanced up from his paper, and caught her eye from the next table. He felt a jolt, as if volts of electricity had just shot down his spine.

He spoke before he could stop himself.

"I'm sorry, but do I know you?"

The girl was still looking at him, her eyes wide and slightly frowning.

"Who are you?"

Her question had a meaning to it, the same meaning that he was grasping for. There was something recognisable in their eyes, in the way he tilted his head and the way that she bit her lower lip. The man stared right back at her, from across the wastelands of time.

"Who? I don't think I know. But… but I'm sure that I've met you somewhere, before."

She found herself standing, moving to pull out the chair at his table, and sitting opposite him. He reached over to touch the face of the woman that he had loved, in another life, and she felt her heart skip a beat. It was him that asked the question this time, voice quiet.

"Who are you?"

She covered his hand in hers, and smiled with a coyness that he almost remembered- the memory was just out of his reach, just past where he could take hold of- like grasping for mist.

"Would you like to find out?"

The brightness of his grin was enough of an answer.

Last time I saw you we had just split in two; you were looking at me, and I was looking at you
You had a way so familiar, but I could not recognize because you had blood on your face, and I had blood in my eyes
But I could swear by your expression that the pain down in your soul as the same as the pain down in mine
That's the pain, cuts a straight line down through the heart- we call it love
It was the sad story of how we became lonely two-legged creatures- it's the story of the origin of love"

- Hedwig and the Angry Itch

Oh my. The end…

Please, I'd love to hear from all of you that have followed this through to the end. And, if you click onto my profile, you'll be able to see a nice new fic of mine that is called 'Version 2.0'- the next instalment.

Thank you, to you all, a thousand times over.