Hitsugaya Toshiro sat at his desk, having finally been released from the forth division. His mood was in fact rather dower. He leaned back and glanced at the ceiling, letting out a deep sigh. "I just wish..." There was a pause as he blinked a couple of times. "What do I wish?"
He suddenly found himself jumping out of his skin when Rangiku set something down on his desk. Glancing up, he saw the camera there. "You finished your project about what people like about themselves?"
"Sort of..." Rangiku gave him a large smile. "Why don't you look at the tape, taicho?"
"Let me guess, you for once are worried that there is something on this tape that would bring a bad reputation to our division?"
"No... the project... changed." Matsumoto stated firmly. "Watch the tape."
The small taicho switched it on and eventually some words played through. "Let's see... I am very pretty, but on top of being pretty..."
The small taicho paused the tape, glowering at Rangiku. "Do you have to be such a narcissist?"
"Keep watching the video taicho." Rangiku sighed. She listened as he watched the tape, and then her voice could be heard over the tape. "Change of plan... instead of what do you like about yourself, I am going to ask people what they like about taicho, then show it too him..."
At that, two teal eyes suddenly went wide and Toshiro clicked the camera off. "Rangiku... I don't think I want to finish this..."
"Taicho... please. I put a lot of hard work into this and..." The busty shinigami suddenly found herself interrupted.
"Couldn't you put some of that into your actual work?" Hitsugaya's eyes narrowed.
"I wasn't the only person who put some work into it." Rangiku sighed. "I'm going to step out of the room, to let you watch the tape." She turned to head towards the door.
"Matsumoto, wait..." Toshiro glanced at the ground. "Where on this is where... where you are?"
Rangiku blinked a couple of times. "I'm actually the last person on the tape taicho. Please watch all of it."
As soon as she stepped out of the room he proceeded to fast forward the tape, not watching any of it. Then, getting to the end, he rewound it to the beginning of where Matsumoto started speaking again. He then listened carefully, until the very end. "It hurts, seeing you hate yourself. That's why I made this video."
At that, the boy set the camera down and leaned his forehead up against his head. After a few minutes, he went back and rewound the tape to watch all of it. His face contorted between various emotions, however whenever he wished to stop, his mind drifted back to why Rangiku made the video. Finally he simply went to the end and kept replaying Rangiku's last words, pausing to think.
After some time, Rangiku stepped back into the room. "Taicho... you're still watching the tape?"
"A lot of people did put a lot of work into this..." The boy stated, his face rather glum.
"While it will be awhile until I like myself, Rangiku..." Toshiro paused for a few minutes. "I think your words were some of the most effective. Granny, Kurosaki, Kusaka and quite a few others. To many to name. A few were... good for laughs is the best way to put it."
"You do understand that I love you very much taicho."
Two teal eyes suddenly darted up and then the small hands set the camera down. The white haired child stood up and then walked over the woman and then wrapped his arms around her neck, hugging her. "For the things you care a lot about, you put a lot of effort into."
Author's note – The first chapter of Liking Oneself II should also be up soon.