Disclaimer – I don't own Bleach.

Small Family Christmas

As Hinamori as Hitsugaya walked to their home in the Rukongai, soft snow fell, yet the white flakes were far from even beginning to blanket the ground, and so far melted before they could hit the ground. Today was one of the few days that Hinamori didn't have to pester her childhood friend and foster brother into coming with her to visit their grandmother.

While Toshiro hated visiting the old woman on his birthday, which had been four days prior, he loved, despite not liking to show it, visiting her on Christmas, and sometimes would even smile in the long run. One of the reasons was, that Momo figured out Toshiro loved spoiling the old lady. This had for the longest time, confused her, as the small boy had, in her original belief, not cared that he had left her alone.

She had thought that the very first day he had shown up at the academy simply from the way he acted. But with the fact that she had finally matured mentally, and lost some of her naivety, he had opened up to her… well, somewhat. Momo had come to learn about him having to join the academy, so he wouldn't kill her granny. She learned about Sojiro's death, the truth behind it, and why until now he couldn't tell her or anyone.

Hinamori though had also learned how much he all ways worried about her because of her naivety and ignorance, how she never could quite figure out how world really worked. He was glad that she had grown in the right way. Though truth be said, there was still growth for both of them needed.

They arrived at their grandmother's house and Momo peeked in, while Toshiro carried the small pile of presents in his arm Momo set the bag containing their uniforms on the floor, in case they were needed.

"Ahh… Momo-chan! Is your little brother with you? He tends to be shy when he comes," their grandmother smiled, her face wrinkling.

"Here I am!" Toshiro stepped from outside a huge smile on his face. This caused Hinamori to smile at him, as this was the Hitsugaya Toshiro she had grown up with and prefered being around.

"Oh, come on grandma. You should see Hitsugaya-kun around his division. There is no shyness about him," Momo smiled, going and sitting in front of her grandmother.

This caused a smile to come suddenly to the old woman's face, as the white haired boy placed the paper parcels into a corner. "My little Momo. My have you grown! Not physically of course, but into a young lady, your father would have to tell all the boys they aren't good enough for you… and I would have to tell him off!"

"Granny…" Hinamori gave a weak smile. "I don't see why anyone would want me for their wife."

"No… isn't it my job to chase off the prospective suitors?" a small voice piped up. "I know someone who has had a crush on you for some time, but I won't say, as eventually he'll have the courage too, so I hope. Oh, and I've had to tell off some complete strangers too… Lieutenant Abarai gets word that they are up to something and helps me."

"Please don't lie to me just because you want to make me fill better," the older grandchild gave him a weak smile.

"I don't think he's lying," their grandmother stated, getting up and heading over to a small trunk that she kept her keepsakes in. "Let's see… I think it is high time I give you these things of your mothers."

"You're lucky, Hinamori," the small taicho stated, glancing outside, where snow was starting to show in patches. "Even though it was for a brief moment, you got to know them."

"Shiro-chan… my memories of them are fuzzy, sometimes I can't even remember their faces."

"At least you have memories of them…" the small boy muttered, still entranced by the snow falling outside.

"Here…" came the cheerful reply. Their grandmother set the small bundle down. "It isn't much, but I feel it is important for you to have these."

Hinamori untied the knot, and opened it to reveal a comb, two pictures and an old shawl for the winter. Toshiro's eyes fell on the comb. "Ne… wouldn't that look pretty in your hair on your wedding day."

"About that Toshiro-kun," his grandmother stated, bringing up a topic that she knew that he wouldn't wish to hear. "You do realize that your two's uncles have a say in the matter too."

"They never come around, and if they had their way, I would have no say whatsoever," the boy grumbled, returning to what he had been doing before.

"Well, they are way older than you, aren't they?" Hinamori mumbled. Picking up the comb, her eyes grew wide, not to mention, a twinkle of delight appeared in them. "This is a picture of my mother and me! Perchance is the baby she holding Shiro-chan?"

"What do you mean Hinamori… I died and came to soul society…" the boy muttered. Two teal eyes showed that he was a taken aback, not to mention a little bit of fear showed through.

"Shame!" their grandmother's tone became reprimanding. "I haven't a clue where you got that idea from, as I raised you from the day you were born!"

"You mean then, that my birthday, is my real birthday?" The small boy's tone changed a bit, and Hinamori suddenly felt his chin on her shoulder, making her realize she hadn't noticed how tall he had gotten. "Granny… is that really me?"

"Of course!" their grandmother smiled at him, full of pride. "You were Momo-chan's mother's favorite among her siblings children! It wasn't much long after this though, that she passed away… her husband too…"

Hinamori felt him tense from behind her, as his fingers suddenly bit into her arm. She gave him a small smile. "Looks like there is another person who cared about you!"

However, he pulled away, and went to go sit facing the door, a half smile on his face. "I guess that is a good thing."

"Your father cared enough to give you to me," the old woman stated. "He also might still be alive… I hope he…"

Hinamori watched as her long time friend and young cousin's head popped up, the words their grandma had said catching his attention. Hinamori though became worried and interrupted the old woman. "Grandma! Please don't get his hopes up!"

The lieutenant of the fifth division suddenly froze as she lifted the first picture of the second, her eyes suddenly going wide as something caught her attention. She felt Toshiro again move behind her to look again. "Ne… what's the matter, bed wetter Momo?"

"Hitsugaya Toshiro!" his grandmother reprimanded.

"Shiro-chan… don't look… it's just an old family…"

"I can see it is a photo with all the aunts and uncles, when every single last one that hate…me… were… young…" Two teal eyes blinked a few times in shock. "Is that Ichimaru Gin?"

"I take it you both have met him? When this picture was taken… his name was Hitsugaya Gin. The older siblings scrimped and saved to have this picture taken, and I gave it to Hinamori's mother when she moved into her own home."

"Hinamori… may I see that picture?"

"No…" Momo had a few tears, knowing why he wanted to see it.


"I said no!" Her eyes went to the ground.

"Both of you, please stop acting like little children… let him see it," their granny sighed.

Reluctantly, Momo handed the small taicho the picture. He glanced through, counting the ones that he had already met. "If my father was one of the uncles that I knew, they would have told me, right?"

"Don't be silly… your father was the youngest… and I'll admit most different," their grandmother sighed.

"Then Gin is my father?" Toshiro raised his eyebrows, and handed the picture back to Momo, his face a tad pale.

"Yes…" their grandmother carefully read their faces. "Is something the matter?"

Hinamori opened her mouth to say something, but Hitsugaya quickly covered it. "Nothing…"

"If it is something that is going to eat at you, it would be good to eventually tell," their grandmother. "Plus… I have known his quirk for some time now… so nothing would surprise me."

"Ne… granny… would you like to open the presents that we brought you?" The small taicho asked, chocking out his words.

Their grandmother was about to say that the children didn't have to bring the gifts, when Hinamori mouthed the word please. When he went to go and get the parcels from the corner, she softly whispered. "Shiro-chan has had a rough two months or so… this might cheer him up, as the current news has rather sent him back into having to deal with certain issues."

"I'll wait to speak more about that subject until he is ready to bring it up himself," their grandmother smiled, knowing her children all too well.

Author's note -
Challenge – I wrote this for my challenge forum, and I am hoping that a few other people will take up some of the challenges… fingers crossed. The challenge is to write a fanfic about Toshiro, his grandmother, and Christmas… more details in forum! :)
Momo and Toshiro Related – There is neither proof in canon that they are, or that they are not. This came to my attention, when someone asked me, what will some of the Toshiro/Momo fans do if it were to come out at the end that they were related. I won't mention her name, because she is a fan and writer for that pairing, and I don't wish for some of the rabid fans to flame her.