Disclaimer – I don't own Bleach. This relates to chapters two and four of Admiration, and the one-shot fanfic called, 'Sweet, Sweet Child'.
Admiring a Child
The relationship between the third seat of the tenth division, and the former lieutenant of the fifth and now captain of the third was a complicated one to say the least. To say that they were classmates was just a simple way of putting things, as in truth they had both known each other from the time before either of them had entered the academy. People always wondered how she could stay in such good terms with him, why she had never broken off the relationship with him.
Truth of the matter was, there was one time when their relationship had been much deeper, and almost had… a somewhat special meaning. It wasn't as if that meaning wasn't still there, but it had become distant. This was mostly because he knew that he had to hide things from Rangiku, simply because the truth would not just hurt her, it might in fact get her killed, and those that might be too her to completely understand the whole movement of what a certain person was doing.
He sat up on the roof, thinking very carefully, of what Rangiku had come and revealed to him and her taicho recently. Of course, her words really carried no real heavy meaning for her of Isshin-san taicho, but to Gin, they couldn't help but weight heavily on his mind, as it only brought back memories of what he had done, so many years ago. In addition, these weren't memories of turning shingami into… monsters. It instead related directly to him and Rangiku.
When Rangiku came, speaking about something that was adorable, he, just like her taicho, thought nothing of the whole matter, as she was always speaking about something that she had found and admired along those lines. That was one of the things that he admired about her, her bravado, and her fullness of life. This was something that a good deal of other men missed, but at least Isshin and Lieutenant Atsuo also saw it in her.
He remembered though, his Adam's apple almost catching in his throat when she described the thing that she had found, as white, small and 'having' green eyes. He was surprised with as close as Rangiku was to him, hugging him the way that she was, that she hadn't noticed him be tense about the information that she had given him. To avoid any assumption that anything was up, he had joked about her finding a kitten.
He had relaxed a bit as Isshin fell into the joke, and commented about the fact that a kitten would be a good mouser. However, he couldn't help but tense up when Matsumoto flat out said it wasn't a kitten, but was like one. One might have assumed that it had come from Isshin's comment about Rangiku getting a boyfriend, which in itself was bothersome to Gin, considering what they had in truth gone through.
Nevertheless, it was also because it was getting closer to her revealing what he hoped that she wouldn't reveal. Moreover, in truth, she did reveal the whole matter at hand. She made a comment about her not being a pedophile, then made the comment that the child that she had found, greatly reminded her of Gin, though she couldn't place it.
This caused his head to spin, because he had a good idea what child she was talking about, and wondered how his luck had come to be that way. The way that it was that, everything that he had tried to hold together would come crashing down on him, and make it so that Aizen could ruin his and other lives even more then he had.
He also felt anger when he overheard what had happened to the boy, and felt he could only blame himself, for leaving the child in the vicinity of a place that they would have known his face from childhood, and have known that child was his flesh and blood. It was likely that the animosity hadn't come from the child's looks, but the fact that Gin had always been of a different sort then everyone else.
No one had really liked him before the incident happened, simply because of his very smart mouth, and the fact that he had been different, even thought different than those around him. He had a problem with the fact that no one really wanted to listen, and he had an extremely backwards form of logic. Either the child had developed this and, or… he had the stigmatism placed upon him.
Some of what she had said, brought to his mind a gleeful humor, as a father who knew about a child's embarrassing moments. However, when she had come out and stated that she had made the attempt to get the child into the academy at an early age, Gin couldn't help but feel his stomach doing flips, and wonder somewhat about her sanity.
The ache got a little worse, when she told about the fact that the boy had almost killed his grandmother, Gin's biological mother. Though Ran didn't know that, nor could she know of what had transpired oh so long ago back at that village. He couldn't help but think of how much the child was indeed like him, and he couldn't help but agree with her, even though he wished there was another way around the whole matter.
He had spoke with Ran after Isshin had left, to insure that the child had made it to the academy safely, but there wasn't much, more of questions about the child, and what he was like. She couldn't have possibly known there was any alternative motive for his questions. Nevertheless, she was delighted that she had taken interest in what had properly been termed, her kitten.
He had though, even though he had wanted to see the boy, to swear of going and seeing him. He would avoid him as much as possible. Even though he had, when the babe was younger, seen him as a toddler, he hadn't seen the child grow up. There was the fear that, on top of Aizen finding out, that his son had turned out exactly like the father, and nothing like the mother… even though, there was a chance it had in truth been a completely different child.
However, this was changed, due to the fact that Isshin had suddenly shown up on the roof, and sat down next to him. "I need a favor of you Gin."
"What of it?" the man smirkingly asked.
"Remember how Rangiku found that child in the Rukongai, well, life for him at the academy isn't exactly going how we planned it…"
"Meaning…" Gin's interest was caught in this regard.
"Meaning, well…" Isshin let out a sigh, and explained to Gin how the child was doing too well in the first year classes, and could possibly get through the academy in a year. "Let's just say, I set a bad impression on him…"
"What about Rangiku?" Gin suddenly asked.
"She's female… he'll relate more to a male… plus, remember, he collided … with her…" Isshin sighed. "And… there is the fact that you graduated in a year."
"All right… I'll go…" Gin got up to leave.
"Wait… you don't know the kids name," Isshin suddenly stated, causing the silver haired taicho to freeze where he was. He hoped that Isshin wouldn't say a certain name, because that name, that last name that he had left a long time ago, would be proof enough that the child was who he thought it was. "His name is Hitsugaya Toshiro…"
Gin then shunpooed away, irritated a bit at the fact that things were coming together in ways that he didn't want to. His zampaktuo spoke up though. "You can't deny, you want to see what he's turned out like, whether he is more like you or Rangiku."
"My luck is he'll be just like me…" the man muttered, as he hurried along. His first stop was at the first year classes, glancing in to find which particular class the small boy was in. He quickly found out that the child wasn't in class, as he had annoyed the teachers that much, and was that far ahead, and so Gin would be able to find him in the library.
Gin went to that place, which brought back a little bit of nostalgia, but also memories that were not ones he wanted to remember. He went over to the librarian, and asked where the boy was, and he carefully moved, following his usual way of doing things, as he was a people watcher, and he moved to a place where he could observe the boy, staring out the window.
The silver haired taicho had to admit that what he saw was pleasing, as he could see from where he was, warmth in the child's eyes as he started out there, and a small smile. His current aura reminded him of Ran-chan, even though in truth he looked most like Gin. The one small thing that he had of her looks, was that odd wave to his hair.
As Gin watched, a young lady approached the small boy, and spoke to him about something or another. This was when they started speaking. Suddenly, a few around them, who were studying were shushing her as she became loud. "Hitsugaya Toshiro! What did you do to get kicked out? Bad mouth the teacher? Start a fight?"
Gin couldn't help but chuckle at this, as the child came too, another trait that could be related back to Ran-chan, and not the silver haired taicho. He had a look on his face that didn't quite get what she was trying to say. "No… Hinamori… why do you think I did something wrong to get kicked out?"
"Because what else could have happened?" the girl folded her arms. Gin felt that this might very well be a good time to interrupt, and to let them know what the intentions were, for the small child. Whether he would go along with it, Gin didn't know, but he would at least attempt to speak with the child. The urge to get to know a little bit about his son through his movements and words wasn't something he could easily resist.
"Ahh… hello… the first year teachers told me that I could find Hitsugaya Toshiro here… I was told that he would stand out relatively well from his fellow students." Gin watched to his glee as the small child flinched, but felt a little bit guilty for teasing the child, for even though Shiro-chan wasn't a stranger to the man, the man was most defiantly a stranger to the boy.
"Ichimaru Gin… I mean Ichimaru Taicho... why are you here?" It was then that Gin recognized the girl as one of the children that Aizen wanted to use, one of the ones that he had helped rescue from the fifth division taicho's little experiment. How those two knew each other, he wasn't quite sure, but he hoped to pick up something from the way that they spoke with each other.
"I was asked by Isshin-san to come and speak with Shiro-chan here," the man stated plainly. The similarity in personality in the boy to Rangiku suddenly left, and he had coldness about him as he glared at the taicho. Yes, he also had a lack… it wasn't a lack of respect, but more of a lack of fear to those higher in power then him. That was something from Rangiku, Gin might guess, as he feared Aizen a good deal.
"Whatever for? And it's Hitsugaya… not Shiro-chan," the small boy growled. Gin inwardly and outwardly smirked at the fact that the boy was also as stubborn as his mother. It was humorous to see the irritated look on the boys face.
"Toshiro! Be polite!"
At this, Ichimaru knew that the girl was like an older sister to the small child, and might prove to be over protective of Toshiro, and might actually make it harder for Gin to convince the boy to get through the academy in a year. "Can I speak to him privately."
Hinamori had a rather hurt look on her face. It was almost as if her over protectiveness was trying to get in the way, but then again, he tended to present himself as… a kind of aura that no one wanted to be around. She bid them goodbye, and headed off. But then, looking at the small boy, Gin couldn't help but wonder if he sensed something.
Of course, Toshiro had an irritated look on his face, and had Rangiku's stubbornness. Gin decided that he really couldn't resist teasing the child, perhaps getting a little out on the relationship between him and that girl. He finally spoke up when he knew that she was gone and wouldn't interfere. "That girlfriend of yours over there was standing for quite some time."
"Hinamori isn't my girlfriend," the boy frowned. Gin was of course glad to find a typical response from a child this age about what he had commented on.
"Ahh… you're thinking the boyfriend girlfriend kind," Gin couldn't help but laugh at his son's naivety and ignorance about the whole matter. Ran would have loved to have teased him about this, if she had known that he was her little one. "There are also friends who are girls and friend who are boys. Wait though… from what I've come to understand, she's also like your sister?"
Gin watched as the boy rolled his eyes at him, and knew that the boy didn't put up with childish things. This was odd to him, as both he and Rangiku could be quite childish when they wanted to be. "What exactly are you here for? Obviously not to talk about my social life, especially since I have none?"
Thinking about the fact that Gin indeed want to hear about the child's social life, no matter how drab it was, caused his grin to widen, though he knew that the child couldn't be told this. "You got kicked out of class, didn't you?"
Toshiro suddenly squirmed, shrinking back and frowning at the man. "What of it exactly," the boy frowned.
A smile came on his face. "When I was going through the academy I got kicked out for a similar reason… however… the thing is this… unlike you who are rather over board in ones answers when one got bored, I was libel to punch someone who commented on… certain things."
He watched for the boy's reaction, yet again wondering how his son would react. However, the boy became even more suspicious. "What exactly does this have to do with me?"
Gin thought about how much this had to and didn't have to do with the small boy, yet he had the feeling that the boy wouldn't care to hear the lifetime story of someone who was a stranger to him. And then there was the fact that, even if Toshiro knew the truth, he might not want to know anything about Gin. Still, the man couldn't help but continue smiling… that was his personality. "I graduated within a year… how would you like to graduate in that amount of time?"
"Why… Hinamori is supposed to graduate this year," The small boy frowned at him, and Gin found yet another piece of Rangiku within the boy, but he also knew that the boy needed to be pushed forward, or else he would suffer through in some ways, not getting his due respect, his abilities being neglected.
"Ahh… Momo-chan, I guess that you wouldn't want to graduate before your sis. However… that probably is not the best thing for you… I mean, you are already bored with the lessons being provided by the teachers. You need to grow. I know that feeling. I also know the feeling of…" Gin suddenly found his attempt to convince the boy suddenly interrupted, and knew it might turn out hard.
"Stop…you and I have nothing in common. I can tell from your demeanor. I don't think you really want anything to do with me. Why?" the small boy stated, his eyes narrowed. Of course, there was a lot that Gin had and wanted for a long time to have a lot to do with the child, but all of that had to take a back step to everything else. Just so, that Aizen couldn't get his hands on the child.
So, he laughed, lying as he did so… well, not really lying, but not telling the truth either. "Isshin-san asked."
"You don't seem the type to fall for that guys whims," this was a comment on the fact that the boy knew that Gin was extremely intelligent. The whole fact was, the boy was a bit off… Gin rather liked the whims of the tenth division taicho, as there was the fact was one of the reasons, he just so happened to like the taicho, ever since he was young. He tapped his fingers on the table.
"You're right. Isshin-san isn't someone that I would listen too. But you are wrong about us not having anything in common. We have Ran-chan in common."
"Yes… and not from the simple fact that you both know her, and she cares about them," his zampaktuo laughed.
"Ran-chan?" the small boy was suddenly confused. Gin then remembered that Rangiku's handwriting was horrible, and there was the fact that she had likely forgotten to tell him her name, which might have been good, because if the boy had told his grandmother about the woman, she might have put two and two together.
"Ahh.. I forgot. Matsumoto Rangiku forgot to tell you her name when the two of you met. That is what… or I should say, who we have in common," Gin couldn't help but hope that this tactic might actually work.
"So… her name is Matsumoto-san… I overheard that she's in the tenth division…" the small boy stated.
Gin almost smiled at the idea of the boy possibly joining Ran's division when he graduated. That in itself would be a treat in itself. "That's true… while Isshin-san asked the favor, Ran-chan has... let's say she's taken an interest in you, perhaps because she found you like she did."
"I am not a stray cat," the boy wasn't happy about it, yet Gin could help but enjoy the similar connotations, as he had called the boy Ran's kitten.
"No… he defiantly is not a stray… but he is a kind of cat… I mean, his mother was a real beauty… though you liked her for her sweetness…
"No… but Ran-chan… she really didn't like how you were treated. She is the type person who looks out for others whether they need it or not really. It is just the way she is. Anyways… she would want what is best for you, and since she is important to me, I am going to push with the head for you to be placed on the best course of learning for you."
"I don't need… no. Would you please tell Matsumoto-san and Isshin-san thank you for me…" Toshiro wasn't sure or which way to go, but if Gin had a word with the head master, he was sure that the seed was planted so that Toshiro would willingly take a one year.
"Sure… oh… and she would probably appreciate it if you would at times call her Rangiku-san." Gin also thought of the fact that if Ran-chan knew that Toshiro was her child, she would want the boy to call her mother, though she might not push the issue, and let him warm up to her.
"Granny taught me it is rude to be informal with people," the boy responded, to which the silver haired taicho could only laugh. He knew all too well how the woman was, and that the woman would allow exceptions. The boy must see things as rather black and white at times, no grey area. Then again… was that how Gin saw things. He planned to go ahead and tease the boy a bit.
"So that is why you do that. Well… just to let you know… you're already calling Isshin-san by his first name." Gin couldn't help but have an inward chuckle as the boy blinked a couple of times, then began to choke out his shock. The boy, if only Ran knew… but then, she couldn't…
Author's note – When I wrote 'Sweet, Sweet Child', one of the reviewers commented on what it would be like when Gin met his son Toshiro again. And yes, this fanfic is written with the theory idea that Gin and Ran are Toshiro's biological parents. Therefore, I took a scene from my Admiration fanfic, and showed Gin's point of view in here.