A Bleach Fanfic
Summary: Rangiku Matsumoto returns after ten years to find things have changed.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, but the plot. The song lyrics belong to Sarah McLachlan.

Song by Sarah Mclachlan

Every time I look at you the world just melts away
All my troubles all my fears dissolve in your affections
You've seen me at my weakest but you take me as I am
And when I fall you offer me a softer place to land

You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You're the one true thing I know I can believe in
You're all the things that I desire, you save me, you complete me
You're the one true thing I know I can believe

I get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
No matter what I say or do 'cause you're to good to fight about it
Even when I have to push just to see how far you'll go
You won't stoop down to battle but you never turn to go

Your love is just the antidote when nothing else will cure me
There are times I can't decide when I can't tell up from down
You make me feel less crazy when otherwise I'd drown
But you pick me up and brush me off and tell me I'm OK
Sometimes that's just what we need to get us through the day


The winter took its toll on a lot of people. Even Rangiku Matsumoto. But more than the horrors of war, Gin's death hit her the hardest. She had known he would have to die. She had always known she'd have to face him. She knew it wouldn't be easy. But she hadn't counted for the gut wrenching aching pain as he breathed out her name with his last breath.

She'd done the right thing. She'd stuck by her purpose. Her promise. Her captain.

The shinugami understood, but the woman didn't. The young girl didn't. She didn't get how a childhood friend had to die. A man she had cared deeply for – was gone.

When she went to speak to her Captain, he had nodded. Only asking how much time she needed. But she'd had no answer or him. Something insider her had fallen apart and Rangiku felt she needed to find herself. Someone who wasn't someone's childhood friend. Someone's lieutenant. Someone's lover. A drinking buddy.

She wanted to find Rangiku.

She'd left with promises to return as soon as she found the real Rangiku. Not Gin's lover. Gin's friend. Toushiro's lieutenant. Captain Kyouraku's drinking buddy. One of the boys.

So far she hadn't found anything so she hadn't returned. And it had been ten years. Ten years of searching until the knock came on her door at 2 a.m. while she'd been trying to sleep unsuccessfully.

The knock was superfluous.

She'd felt the spiritual pressure before they'd approached her door.

Padding down to the living room, Haineko clutched in one hand Rangiku rose up on tiptoes to peek through her peephole. It was more to reaffirm what she already know would greet her on the other side.

Shunsui Kyouraku's grin exploded in a distorted glow of teeth.

With a sigh, Rangiku unbolted her door and swung it open with a weary smile. "So you boys always make house calls at wee hours of the morning?"

The pink clad Captain lifted his bare wrist with a mock gasp. "Wow! I didn't think to consult my ever present watch before coming to see an old friend."

The silver haired man beside him offered an apologetic chuckle. "Sorry Rangiku. We didn't think you'd mind."

This time she couldn't hold the genuine smile from spreading across her face. "Are you coming in or will Captain Kyouraku continue to make bad jokes in my doorway?" She swept her hand towards the interior of her little apartment.

The two men exchanged a guarded glance between them.

Rangiku smirked. "I have Sake."

Joushiro Ukitake broke into a wide grin, his eyes twinkling with mirth like she remembered. "How can we refuse such a generous offer?"

"Of course you can't," she snickered and let the two domineering figures through her front door.

To be Continued…