Chapter 15:

"Good morning!" Hitsugaya greeted with a smile. He was in a very good mood that morning. This had been going on for the past couple of days ever since he had fallen asleep on that bed of ice he created with his zanpakuto. After sleeping on that all night long to cool off he had woken up in a very good mood the following mornings.

Just as the sun was about to rise, Rangiku and Momo both took Hitsugaya back to his office and tucked him in on the couch so he'd wake up in a familiar location and never know a thing. He was never disturbed during that time and when he woke up an hour later he felt refreshed and pleasant. It was as if nothing had happened. He never knew that he had been asleep on the roof half the night or had nearly killed his lieutenant. It seemed that the ice had froze out his temper as well. Or maybe it was just that he had slept comfortably for the first time in a week without being overheated. Either way it was good news for Rangiku and anyone else who had to get within ten feet of him on a daily basis.

He stepped into his office and sat down at his desk walking passed Rangiku on his way in.

"Good morning, Captain."

To her great pleasure, he smiled back in greeting. "Morning."

"Sleep well?"

"Oh, very well, thanks." He grabbed the first piece of paperwork and got started. "I'm not sure why it is, but I've had a much easier time sleeping lately. Not that I'm complaining or anything. It's great!"

Rangiku smiled back.

Now that they knew what worked to calm him down, she and Momo have had a much easier time getting him back to bed safely so that they could catch up on some sleep as well. All they had to do was convince him to use his zanpakuto to make himself a thin bed of ice that they could place over his mattress for him to sleep on. Thanks to the heat, the sheet of ice was melted by morning and Hitsugaya was none the wiser. He was convinced that all the water soaking his bed was just sweat due to the heat.

Speaking of heat, the heat wave was finally coming to an end. The temperature had gone down a lot and it was much cooler that morning. It was still hot, but it wasn't nearly as bad as before. Too bad. There were still a lot of things that Rangiku wanted to do to Hitsugaya. Or have him do, at least… The fun was over. She knew that he'd probably only sleepwalk for another night and that would be it until the next heat wave. How disappointing… On the plus side, though, she'd catch up on some much needed beauty sleep. She found no pleasure in waking up with split ends and bags under her eyes.

"Got it! Yes! Finally!"

They looked out the door into the hall. Ikkaku leaned up against the doorframe wearing a huge smile.

"I did it!" he cheered. "I got it off!" He turned around to show them his clean, shiny bald head. "See? Completely doodle-free! I finally got it off my head."

Yumichika patted Ikkaku's bald head. "Yeah, but you nearly got your head stuck in the sink. Now that was funny."

"Oh, shut up."

"No, really. It took so much soap and you needed my help to make sure you got it all. And when you stuck your head under the spigot and almost got stuck… That was great. Funny stuff."

"I did not get stuck!"

"You almost did."

"Did not!"

They continued their argument down the hall and out of sight.

Hitsugaya just rolled his eyes and went back to work.

~*~*~

"Mngh… Mungh!"

Rangiku awoke feeling someone shaking her shoulder and grunting. She opened her eyes and squinted in the dark. The clouds outside her window parted allowing the moonlight to shine through and illuminate her captain standing above her.

"C- Captain? What are you doing in here? You should be in bed," she said, propping herself up on her elbow. That's when she got a good look at him. He was wearing shorts, but nothing else. All she could see was his bare chest and small abs in her field of vision from this angle. Just what was he doing? Was he still asleep?

He was. His eyes were foggy and he was drooling. Sleepwalking again.

"Yes, Captain?"

Hitsugaya just stared back through half lidded eyes. When she called his name, he responded by giving her a hug.

"C- Captain..?"

He hugged her tighter. "Rangiku…"

Strange. He usually only called her that if she was in real trouble or if he was being social somehow. And he certainly never hugged her! He must have been sleepwalking. He snuggled up to her and rested his head on her breasts.

"I'm lonely… It's so dark and quiet… Can I stay here with you?"

"Say what?"

He hugged her again and looked up at her with big pathetic eyes. "Please?"

She sighed in defeat. How could she say 'no' to that? How could anyone?! She pulled back the thin white sheet and scooted over. "Alright. Here."

He climbed in next to her and put his head down on the pillow. She patted his head.

"Do you like it when I pat your head?"

He yawned. "Kinda…" He snuggled into the pillow. "No one ever really did it… except for Momo. She always… did it…"

"Did you like it?"

"Hmm?"

"Did you like it when she patted your head?"

He shut his eyes, facing her. He tucked his arms up close to his chest. "… I… I guess so…"

She rubbed his back. "Truthfully?"

He nodded sleepily.

She thought. If this was going to be his last night sleepwalking until the next heat wave, she may as well get some answers while she had the chance. "Captain?"

"Hmm?"

"Do you like her?"

"Who?"

"Momo."

He nodded. "Uh-huh. We're friends. Best friends…"

"I mean like like her. Do you like her a lot?"

He yawned, drifting back off to sleep. "What do you mean?"

"Do you love her?" she asked. It was time for the truth from his lips and not from a notepad. "Do you have a crush on her?"

She watched him as his body relaxed fully and his face lost all the cresses and wrinkles from waking expressions. He was slipping away. His lips started to move again as he answered. "… I don't wanna marry her or anything like that… yet…"

'Yet'? That was promising. But it wasn't the answer she was looking for. She wanted a definite 'yes' or 'no'.

"But Captain… Do you have a crush on her?" She rubbed his back trying to get him to stay with her for just a little longer.

He smiled dreamily. "Mmm… That feels good…" he said through a sigh.

"Captain." She lowered herself until they were laying next to each other. "Please, Captain… Do you or don't you?"

His eyelids fluttered. "Mmm… Do I what..?"

"Do you have a crush on Momo or not?"

"… I don't know…" he mumbled softly, drifting off. "… Maybe…"

'Maybe'? 'Maybe' wasn't an answer. Was he really confused about his feelings? He was still young, but… Did he not know what true love felt like? Or was it that they were just really good friends who cared a lot for each other? Perhaps he just wasn't ready to make that kind of decision yet. Maybe he wasn't ready for that step.

She looked back down at him and heard him snore. He was gone. Sleep had taken him at last. She grinned and stroked his head, tangling her fingers up in his hair before going back to sleep with a white-haired teddy bear to snuggle with.

~*~*~

At last, the heat wave was over and done with. Hitsugaya had stopped sleepwalking and slept in his own bed without getting up. Now everything had returned to normal and the pranks had finally stopped. Everything was as it should be.

"Oh, my God! What the Hell is this?!" Gin screamed from the other side of the building. Someone had painted big, wide red eyes on his eyelids and bushy black eyebrows curving upward, making him look permanently surprised. And worst of all, it wasn't coming off!

Rangiku sipped her iced tea with a smug look on her face. What? Shouldn't she be allowed to take advantage of Hitsugaya's sleepwalking problem one last time to torment Gin a little? Besides, Hitsugaya wanted to color that night.

She swallowed and let out a satisfied sigh. She couldn't wait for the next heat wave.

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THE END!

How'd you like it? I hope it was good.

And by the way, I'm well aware of the fact that the captains all have their own space (building, bedroom, house, etc) but I decided to overlook that fact. I just thought it would be more fun this way. ^-^

Please review and thanks for reading! XD

I hope more Hitsugaya (or anyone, really) sleepwalking fanfics get out there so I'm not the only one. By all means, start typing.