Disclaimer – I don't own Bleach. This relates to both Admiration, chapter eleven, and 'Sweet, Sweet Child'.

Cold Hands

Gin had a problem of being restless, and living with nightmares of the things that he had done, the things that he feared that Aizen might do. Yet he couldn't do anything to follow that man, because he wasn't powerful enough to stop the man, thus he had to follow, to make sure that he didn't die, or those whom he knew also died. Thus, he ended up wandering around the place, until he came to the tenth division, where Rangiku was.

He carefully stepped over to her room, and slid the door open, and he heard her suddenly sit up. She stared out at the silhouette in her doorway, then motioned for him to come over with her. "You can't sleep again, Gin? Why don't you come in here?"

Carefully, he slipped into the room, and pulled the top of her futon away so that he could go under with her. "Gomenasai… for bothering you like this… Ran-chan."

"Hey… Gin… remember that time that we… had a little bit of fun…" she hinted, trying to get him to remember some of the times when their relationship had expanded beyond just friendship.

"Ehh… and I remember that ended sadly…" Gin stated, half lying to Ran. "Plus, I would rather just be near you…"

"I know…" the woman sighed, her tone somewhat disappointed, as if she felt something was missing. "Get some sleep… all right?"

And with that, he closed his eyes, letting the warmth of her body that accumulated under the covers to comfort him and lull him to sleep. The dreams started off nicely, and he wasn't surprised that he was having them, considering the latest addition to the tenth division, and the connections that he and Ran had with the small boy.

He saw that Ran and Toshiro were sitting on the roof of the division, watching the sky. He was enjoying what he was seeing, but then… he suddenly saw a blade slash across either one of them, and he found himself in a dark hall, and instead of seeing the boy and Rangiku, he saw Aizen, reaching a hand for his throat, to kill him, and Gin's gut instinct kicked in.

Groggily, he began to wake up, as his body flipped someone over his shoulder, and his boney hand pressed against a throat, but found the skin to be soft, almost like a baby or a small child's. This caused his eyes to open. He found himself propped up on one arm and the other pressing down, squeezing so that the person couldn't breath.

However, he quickly realized the widened teal eyes that happened to have a little bit of the light shining on them, and Gin loosened his grip as his eyes grew wider, actually opening up. He swallowed hard, realizing what he had almost done, what he had almost thrown away after so many years. His heart ached, and he could only spit out the name of the child. "Shiro-chan?!"

He then heard Rangiku stir, and he had a choking filling that Ran wouldn't at all be happy about the fact that he had hurt the child. He himself wasn't happy that he had just done what he had. "Gin… what's going on?"

Gin could see the small boy's eyes turn a little pink, partially from the fact that he had been gotten the better of, also because of the name used, and the fact that he had happened onto a scene that he figured to be one of those things that he wasn't supposed to know about, but found out by word of mouth as the older students gossiped about things. "It's Hitsugaya."

"Toshiro?" Rangiku sat up, completely worried that the little boy had somehow wandered into her room this late at night, not to mention what his young mind might be thinking about the whole situation.

"We were trying to sleep," Gin sighed as the boy rolled over, realizing that he must have done something to that arm and hurt him more than he had first thought. The guilt of course grew, but he had to be carefully what he worded and said to the young one.

"Rangiku… what is Captain Ichimaru doing in your room?" the question was of course a logical one, as far as Gin could see, and he hoped that Ran wouldn't decided to take the time and turn it into something that it really wasn't. The last thing he needed was the boy getting the wrong idea, but then again, Toshiro wouldn't be there if Ran and Gin hadn't goofed off along those lines.

"What I would like to know is what you are doing in my room?" Rangiku grabbed his ear, and she frowned about the whole situation. She was not at all happy that the boy might have come in because of some perverted reason. She was that way with most males, even with Gin at times. And the child… he didn't yet know to be very careful… because even the words of a non-pervert could be taken the wrong way.

"The door was ajar, so I… Hitsugaya…" the boy was starting to stutter and become upset.

Gin had an idea that he had been the one to leave the door open, and that the boy had in truth been concerned that a peeking tom had wandered in, even though both males probably knew that Ran could take care of herself. He covered the child's mouth before he could say anything stupid. "He was worried Ran-chan."

"Toshiro… do you have a habit of saying your name whenever you feel forced or uncomfortable with expressing your feelings?" Ran's statement suddenly made Gin flinch, as he had the bad habit of twisting things, and creating riddles when he was upset, or trying to avoid people.

"Hit…" When the small shingami almost fell into his habit, Gin had to laugh at this. "I don't usually express my feelings. There is no reason to. Doing it that way feels… less personal."

Ran's motherly instinct, to Gin's humor at the irony, kicked in. "Say, I was worried about Ran-chan."

And of course, the small boy reacted the way that Gin expected him too. "I was worried about third seat Matsumoto because the door was ajar."

Rangiku was rather disappointed, but knew that it was some sort of progress. "Well, at least that's a little more impersonal.

"So … can I go now?" Gin over heard the discomfort in the boys face, and knew that the boy had the idea that Ran and the silver haired taicho had been doing something… that was rather embarrassing for most people to deal with. Of course, there might be a way that Gin could cover for the child, and he could also have the chance for the small boy to spend a little bit of time with him and Ran.

The small boy flinched as Gin wrapped his arms around him, almost as if her were a teddy bear. What other reason could the boy be doing up that late at night, except for the fact that he too had some sort of nightmare to deal with. "Children should be in bed this late at night. Children shouldn't be out wandering about."

While Toshiro was slightly uncomfortable, Gin could sense that Ran was delighted to have the young one spend the night. Of course, as he fell asleep, as Ran talked to Toshiro, he knew that the boy and Ran would have some sort of issues with what had happened to the night before.