Title: Nicknames & Blankies
Characters: Hinamori, Hitsugaya, Matsumoto
Warning: groping, language, OOC?
Disclaimer: This as well as all subsequent chapters were written for pure entertainment. Bleach and its characters belong to their respective owners.
His teal eyes widen in complete utter astonishment. His lower lip trembled until, gradually, his entire body shook. Instantly, he recognized this mild violent state of emotion, and he clutched his fist in a pitiful attempt to control his manners.
"See I knew you'd like it Hitsugaya-kun!" Hinamori answered, mistaken the sheer look of horror in Hitsugaya's face to one of glowing bliss. She giggled, resuming her seat. "Remember Hitsugaya-kun when you'd—"
But Hitsugaya wasn't listening to Hinamori's stories. Somehow his brain froze into a complete halt, and all he could register was the drawn out blanket Hinamori held in front of him.
It was an adorable white blanket, soft and cuddly with cute blue penguins and swirling snowflakes. Though it was freshly washed and ironed, it showed signs of being slightly battered- the edges ripped as though it had been frequently chewed.
"—and then you cried and cried until Granny finally held you and rocked you to sleep." Hinamori finished. "Look you can still see you're name."
In the corner of the blanket, stitched in green thread and ever so eye-catching was the name 'Shirou-chan.'
"Hinamori put it away!" he blurt out. Immediately his mind moved into full gear, images of horrific scenarios flashing in his mind—of which strangely involved Ukitake-taichou cooing and brutally pinching his round cheeks.
"Oh what's the matter, Shirou-chan? Don't you like blankie anymore?" she asked, tilting her head in the side. His face reddened, burning hotter than a furnace.
"Don't call me that!" he spat out trying to yank away the blanket, put Hinamori giggled stretching the blanket in front of him. "Don't worry Hitsugaya-kun, I made special care to wash blankie."
He willed himself to breathe. "Please put it away Hinamori. I don't want anyone—"
And then at that precise moment at that exact instant of time, Matsumoto walked in, three hours late as usual. An excuse was about to roll off her tongue, when her eyes suddenly caught sight of the blanket. In one fluid motion, she yanked the blanket from Hinamori's hand, squealing how utterly cute it was, while pressing it against her cheek.
"What a cute blanket! Is this yours Hinamori?"
"Ah no!" the brown-eyed girl responded. "I was helping Granny spring cleaning when I found this!" Hitsugaya buried his face underneath his arms, willing to hide the glowing blush, against his desk.
He promptly slammed his head to the desk. So much for spending the first five years of his captaincy acting like an adult, blankie here was going to wipe it all in a second.
Suddenly he was jerked from his seat and shoved into something quite soft.
"Aww... taaaichou you must have been sooo cuute as a baby!" Matsumoto cooed, squeezing the air out of him in her famous bone-crushing hugs. "And did you drag blankie everywhere?"
"No!" he answered in out rage, roughly pushing Matsumoto away.
"Oh but Rangiku-san you should have seen Hitsugaya-kun as a baby! He was always crying and so fussy, but Granny had lots of patience. She made him that blanket after we realized that Hitsugaya-kun loved the snow. Ever since then he went everywhere with that blanket and he would even bite anyone that took it away from him."
"That's enough you two—" he responded threateningly.
But Hinamori seemed too absorbed with the memory and Matsumoto encouraging smile certainly didn't help. Hinamori giggled once again as an old memory resurfaced. "I remember this one time Hitsugaya-kun used his blanket to make a little sailboat—"
"Hinamori," Hitsugaya butted in. If that story every got out, he could just as well kiss his dignity good bye. "Don't you have some work?"
Her eyes lit in recognition. "That's right! I still have to finish my reports."
"No! Don't go Hinamori!" Matsumoto cried out, grabbing a hold of the girl's hand. She was dying to hear her adorable taichou's baby stories, but Hinamori took her responsibilities seriously and tardiness didn't do to well in her book.
"Sorry Rangiku-san. I'll tell you some other time." She released the hold of her hand and gathered the two bento boxes she and Hitsugaya-kun had been eating for lunch.
"Bye-bye, Hitsugaya-kun," Hinamori said, kissing him before waving good-by—Hitsugaya muttering a weak bye—and closing the door behind her, the two bento boxes clutched in her other hand.
The young captain turned around about to tell Matsumoto off for arriving late when his eyes narrowed in realization that Matsumoto still clutched the blanket—a slight pout on her face at having missed an opportunity of fun.
"Give it," he ordered, holding out his hand. But a mischievous grin broke through Matsumoto's face and she held the blanket away from him.
Again Hitsugaya tried, but each time his fukutaichou yanked the blanket away, causing him to hop up and down for dear blankie. Though it was amusing for her, Hitsugaya quickly lost his patience. "Matsumoto I'm serious! GIVE IT TO ME!"
"Why taichou? You weren't so thrilled when Hinamori—Hey!" Her face scowled as Hitsugaya gripped the blanket on the other end. Immediately, she heaved the blanket in her direction and her captain did likewise. Back and forth they went, stuck in their little game of tug-of-war. But then a slight ripping sound echoed in the air and Hitsgaya dropped the blanket as though it burst into flames.
Quickly Matsumoto examined the blanket, sighing in relief and reassuring him there was no significant damage.
"That's good—not that I care or anything," he answered indifferently. "Alright Matsumoto you've have your fun now give it back."
"But I thought you didn't care about poor old blankie," she responded taking extra care to say blankie.
"But I'm sure Hinamori would like it back," he retaliated. "I'm gonna give it back to her." Matsumoto didn't believe that horrible lie. At once she scrambled about the room; alarmed, Hitsugaya chased about her shouting to give it back and nearly tripping a handful of times. For a minute both commanding officers of the Tenth Division were in a fit of scurry and shoving as they fought for the blanket.
Matsumoto was adamant about keeping the blanket and Hitsugaya was just as adamant in getting it back. "I order you to give it back!" He yelled as he landed roughly on floor, nearly missing the corner of his desk.
"No!" Matsumoto laughed throwing a set of books and paperwork along his path, to deter him. But with a quick flash step, Hitsugaya was behind her, moments away from snatching the blanket until Matsumoto darted, disappearing into a flash step to her unused desk.
"It's not even yours!" Hitsugaya roared, tackling her to the ground in a hit of furry. Both rolled on the floor for a moment, throwing Matsumoto's unfinished paperwork in the air.
"Oww! Taichou that hurt!" Matsumoto groaned from the floor, clutching her head. She gasped then, realizing that her taichou was about to scramble out the door with the blanket in hand.
Matsumoto yanked his foot, and he fell down in a gruff. "What the hell Matsumoto?" he groaned at her added weight on top of him. "Get off me!"
With a grunt both of them rolled on the floor, biting and scratching one another until Hitsugaya's white haori got caught on the chair and Matsumoto leaped up victorious, laughing at her taichou's disheveled state.
"Poor taichou," she jeered, holding the blanket in front and heading for the front door.
"Matsumoto, if you take a foot outside this office you are so dead. I'm serious."
In a mad motion she ran towards the front door and tripped on the couch, crashing on the floor.
"Gimme it," Hitsugaya answered free from his white haori, simply wearing black robes.
Her gray eyes sprinted about, searching for an escape, refusing to accept how utterly trap she was. "C'mon taichou I was only going to take care of it," she said defensively. Hitsugaya snorted already imagining Matsumoto displaying the blanket to the girls of the Shinigami Women's Association and announcing a day dedicated to their captain's earlier years.
"Honestly I was! Hey have I every mentioned what a wonderful, smart, compassionate, tall captain you are?"
She blinked a few times before gasping out in surprise. "Oh my gosh taichou! I think you grew an inch! Seriously! Look over there when you were about to tackle me to the floor, you were almost as tall as the third shelf."
"That's not going to work Matsumoto."
"You're right taichou," Matsumoto answered flat on the floor, her blonde hair spilled out on the tatami mats. "Now that I think about it—you seem slightly shorter," she said stressing the taboo word. Then she gasped out loud. "I knew you shouldn't have drunk that cup of coffee! Oh no taichou you're shrinking!"
"What?" he asked mortified, about to run to his desk and pull out his measuring stick. His logic took a couple minutes to catch up with him. "People don't shrink Matsumoto!"
It didn't matter. Matsumoto had hastily shoved the blanket in her bosom, where he would never go searching for it.
Hitsugaya cursed himself for falling once again into one of Matsumoto's stupid ploys. She knew that he had a secret obsession with his height, and so she used this weakness as an advantage.
"If you don't mind taichou, I'd like to get up and start on my work." She smiled satisfactory, recognizing her triumphant.
His face darkened. Hitsugaya had been possessive over that blanket, ever since he was a baby. He had bitten strangers with his two front teeth when he was a baby until he learned that pulling hair and poking eyes was much more effective. Then when he was older he learned how to punch and kick, screaming ear-pitching cries that would make anyone in the vicinity utterly deaf.
So it came to no surprise when Hitsugaya reached underneath his vice-captain's uniform for his beloved blanket. However, it did come to a surprise when Yamamato-soutaichou walked in for a surprise visit.
"It has happened. It has finally happened! Our lovely Rangiku has managed to bewitch the cold hearted Tenth Division captain!"
Hitusgaya glared at his fellow colleague. He had emerged from the commander-general's office when Kyoraku-taichou from the Eighth Division just happened to be around.
The younger boy didn't believe the older man's alibi—'I was just turning in this week's paperwork when I heard a curious discussion.' After all everyone in Seririte knew that it was Ise-fukutaichou that took care of her division's paperwork. Kyoraku simply drank and flirted with women.
"Kyoraku-taichou don't you have something important to do?" Hitsugaya even hoped the Eighth Division captain would go off drinking with his pals, though he highly disapproved of it. Anything to get him far, far away.
"Ah! But this is important Hitsugaya-kun," he responded a smirk on his shaggy features.
"No, it isn't," he interrupted. He made a left, heading to Seirirte's Main Library, reasoning that the older captain would be scared away, but still the older man trailed behind, like some annoying quaking goose.
"Why of course it is! You have the most beautiful woman—"
"Seriously Kyoraku don't you have anything better to do?" Hitsugaya asked, his hand on the doorknob to the library. He yanked it open, half expecting Kyoraku to make some pitiful excuse and wander away, but to his surprise the older captain continued to follow.
Whatever he had to say was important enough to enter a library.
The library was enormous, filled to the brim with tall shelves that almost reached the ceilings. To the left were a number of desks, where one could study or perhaps work, while on the opposite sat a stern looking librarian stamping books. She looked up when the two captains entered the library, before turning back to her books.
Hitsugaya dashed into a random shelf, pretending to look at the titles, but to his avail Kyoraku caught up to him. He quickened his pace, moving deeper and deeper into the library, but the captain continued to follow vigilantly.
The older man chuckled. "Now Hitsugaya-kun, there's no need to be embarrassed. It's perfectly natural. You see when you reach a certain age—"
Forget it. What Kyoraku had to sav was anything but important, it was stupid complete stupidity! Hitsugaya groaned tired of hearing about puberty. The commander-general had given him the talk a few minutes ago, wasn't that painful enough? Now he had to hear it again from Kyoraku?
He picked up a random book—something about advanced healing kidou for intensive fire burns—hiding his face behind it. "I get it okay!" he hissed, hiding his flushed face."I don't need you to give me an explanation. Listen what happened was an accident—an accident! I didn't mean to grope Matsumoto."
"Hitsugaya-kun what's all this about?" a sweet voice whispered from behind. He could have hit himself on the forehead.
Hinamori held a bundle of notebooks and heavy books, looking very much like your typical academy student, except with a fukutaichou's badge strapped on her arm.
"It's nothing Hinamori," he reddened again hiding his face behind the book. There was some gross looking picture about fire burns and quick incantations to lessen the pain.
"I'm sorry you had to hear it this way Hinamori-kun," Kyoraku piped in. "But Yami-ji had just given a rather stern lecture about sexual harassment to Hitsugaya-kun. It appears that—"
"Would you shut up!" Hitsugaya yelled his voice echoing in the empty library and causing two heavy looking books to clash rather loudly against the floor. Silently he cursed, realizing that hiding in the library was not a good idea. "Look Matsumoto and I were just messing around—"
Her face transformed into mortification. "Not like that!" he reddened, throwing aside the book he had been hiding behind.
Kyoraku chuckled but then stifled a cough when Hitsugaya shot a nasty look at him. He busied himself with the task of picking up Hitsugaya's discarded book of kudo spells for intensive fire burns, and pretending to read over it.
"Matsumoto was being stupid and she was holding b-b-b…." his sentence trailed off, as he realized that Kyoraku stood reading a book—no less. Besides the bizarre conditions, Hitsugaya knew that the Eight Division captain was very much attentive.
And if he knew about his secret blankie, the drunkard would babble it to all of Soul Society in one of his drinking sprees.
"—something important," he decided to conclude. "She hid it so I got it back."
Hinamori didn't understand what this important thing was. In her mind's eye nothing could be rational enough to stick your hand in a woman's blouse.
"That's no way for someone to behave towards a young lady!" Hinamori said, hastily stomping away. Now that Hitsugaya thought about it, it was pretty shameful on his part.
"That was improper of you Hitsugaya-kun!" she shot back, dumping her books on a desk and sitting down on the chair. Hinamori was the type of person that really cared about other people. Though she was small, she could stand up to anyone if there was some form of wrong doing, especially towards one of her friends.
"I know." She turned her shoulder against him, opening a massive book, pretending to ignore him. "See she took…" he paused and glanced about him. They were in a secluded section of the library and Kyoraku continued to stand by the bookshelves, reading over that kidou book.
He figured it would be safe to say. "Matsumoto took Blankie."
"What?" she perked up at the name of his baby blanket. He made a face, as though he had suddenly spoken into a microphone. Hinamori giggled.
"Oh Hitsugaya-kun I knew you still liked blankie!"
"Shh…" he glanced behind his shoulder as though assassins were lurking nearby. "I was only trying to get it back, you understand, right Hinamori?"
Again she giggled. It certain looked as though her anger towards him dissipated because of that bright smile on her face. Immediately she began recalling another story—how she once used blankie for a picnic blanket and Hitsugaya came storming in, kicking all her dolls and breaking her teacups, yelling that she couldn't use blankie like this!
"And then you wouldn't even apologize, even when Granny told you to."
He pressed his fingers to his temples, rubbing them to relieve the stress. Why did Hinamori do stuff like this?
Sure they were raised together and were practically brother and sister, but why did she insist on embarrassing him? Couldn't she understand that as a captain he had a certain reputation to keep? People were supposed to take him serious not treat him like some little kid!
Then again these things just bypassed Hinamori.
For instance on the very first day of the academy, Hinamori had accidentally called him Shirou-chan in front of his class. The students were all in their Fifth Year, much older and taller than he was, and in the beginning they had been particularly rude toward him—more so because they couldn't believe that a kid like him could be in their class.
Thanks to Hinamori and her stupid nickname, the entire class had been partially confirmed that he was still a kid. Even worse was when Hinamori shuffled his hair, handed him his lunch box, saying that he had forgotten it.
Many of them rolled about in laughter until his spiritual energy dropped to significant levels and the entire classroom became a freezer.
"It wasn't until… eck! Aizen-taichou!"
She seized her blabbering and shot up straight from her seat. Aizen, captain of the Fifth Division, held a handful of books and documents, his mind seemed to be elsewhere at the moment until he saw his fukutaichou. He smiled pleasantly as Hinamori politely bowed her head and to Hitsugaya, who continued sitting causally.
"Ah hello Hitsugaya-kun, Hinamori-kun."
"Good afternoon Aizen-taichou!" Hinamori blurt out, flushing slightly at her overly loud voice. "You've been coming so frequently to the library, Aizen-taichou, are you planning on writing another book?"
"Oh no," he answered setting the books aside. "It's only for light reading."
They talked for a few moments on the books he had chosen—Hinamori taking every word as though it were water. Hitsugaya was just about to excuse himself when Aizen turned to look at him.
"How have you been Hitsugaya-kun? It's been so long since I last saw you."
"It's Hitsugaya-taichou," he corrected. Aizen smiled apologetically. "And I've been fine thank you."
"Is that so? A couple rumors have been going around that the commander-general had a long talk with you—something about your vice-captain?"
"What?" he exclaimed completely forgetting his manners. Rumors were already spreading because of that unfortunate incident with Matsumoto?
Hitsugaya cleared his throat, forcing himself into an indifferent state. "I can assure you Aizen those rumors are totally bogus."
"That's what I thought too, but Ichimaru-taichou confirmed it himself."
'Bastard,' he thought imagining the stupid grin on his face. Didn't he have anything better to do than listen on other people's private conversations and snoop around the place? Damnit he hated that man and he was pretty sure he hated him as well, otherwise he wouldn't be making his life even more difficult.
"Oh but Hitsugaya-kun told me all about it. You see Rangiku-san took Hitsugaya-kun's favorite blanket," Hinamori answered still oblivious that mentioning your baby blanket was a big no-no.
"This is over a baby blanket?" Aizen asked slightly amused.
"Of course not," Hitsugaya answered defensively.
"That's what Hitsugaya-kun told me anyway," Hinamori explained. "I went to Roukongai this weekend and I found Hituagay-kun's old blanket that our grandmother knit for him when he was a baby…"
Hitsugaya flushed. See, why did Hinamori continuously embarrass him? Especially around other captains? He was supposed to be an adult, he was supposed to be her superior but she continuously insisted on treating him as her baby brother. The anger was suddenly too much.
"No one wants to hear about your stupid stories Bedwetter Momo!"
He realized the huge mistake as soon as he blurted that out. The last two words lingered in the air, magnifying itself in intensity and strength.
Hinamori turned three different shades of red.
Having grown up with Hinamori, Hitsugaya was surprised that she acted so timidly. Normally she would stand on the tip of her toes, puff out her chest and yell out indignantly at him. But this time Hinamori shrunk in her chair, a completely look of mortification on her face.
He realized with a sort of guilt that Aizen still stood there, a somewhat bewildered look on his face.
"Aizen-taichou that's n-n-not true! I was never a bedwetter!" Hinamori burst out her cheeks burning red. For so long Hinamori had tried to gain Aizen's attention and all that hard work suddenly went down the toilet now that word of her nocturnal enuresis got out.
Aizen chuckled, trying to play it off with ignorance but Hinamori continued to fret. He picked up his books, mentioning something about reports before bidding them good bye, still feigning ignorance. She rounded on him her round face, flush with fury. "Hitsugaya-kun how could you!"
"Now Aizen-taichou thinks I'm a bedwetter!"
"Well it's true isn't it?"
She flushed again, not consoled by his comment.
"No it isn't!" she said indignantly, picking up her books. "It's all because of you and your horrible prank!"
"Hinamori—" he began trying to calm her down but she continued to fret, clearly upset. "...I'm never going to talk to you again!" she said childishly, slamming her books and stomping away.
Hitsugaya blinked at her retreating form. Hinamori wasn't ever going to talk to him?
He leaned back in his chair. Well that went well, now she wouldn't be off babbling her embarrassing stories.
"Excuse me Hitsugaya-kun but I just happened to hear about some inappropriate behavior."
He whirred his head to see a very scary Ise Nanao and a cowardly Kyoraku-taichou behind her.
'Damn she really is scary!' Hitsugaya thought, understanding why both Kyoraku and Matsumoto feared this petite woman so much.