A/N: Hello everyone! This is my first HitsuMatsu fic, so go easy on me.
Narrative: First person alternating between Matsumoto and Hitsugaya
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach
When the Hell butterfly brings the message I couldn't pretend that I wasn't expecting the summons. Every seated officer is being summoned and after the incident where Hanatarou Yamada was taken as a hostage when Ichigo and the others first came to Soul Society, every precaution was being taken. Even my captain was being questioned and everyone knows what a goody two shoes Captain Hitsugaya is!
"When is the date of your summons, Matsumoto?" Captain Hitsugaya calmly asks me. I am sitting on the sofa in his office watching him complete his paperwork. He does not look up from the infinite amount of paperwork that he is doing when he asks the question. I'm beginning to think that either the paper multiplies by touch or that he is willingly requesting paperwork from other divisions. It is not possible to have all that paperwork. I don't even think that Soul Society has enough trees to generate that!
"This afternoon, Captain." I answer. He looks up from the stack of paperwork (it's so high that I can only see the top of his white hair and his turquoise eyes.)
"So soon? I wonder why they have summoned you so soon?"
I can see the cogs in his brain working. Say what you want, but I know that he loves mysteries and figuring things out. Despite the chaos that developed with the Aizen situation, I know that my captain loved every moment of figuring out the mystery behind Aizen. Okay, maybe not love, but I know that he was quite pleased to figure out Aizen's motives. He's like the Ms. Marple of Soul Society. Hee. Alright, he'd kill me if he knew I compared him to an old British widow. Alright, so he's more like Poirot or even more likely, one of the Hardy Boys. Wow. I spent way too much time in the Living World with Orihime.
"Hmm." He continues after he realizes that I'm not interested in his suppositions on the conspiracy theory that is Central 46. Ever since the Aizen incident he has never trusted Central 46's decisions. "Well, I suppose that you should stay calm. You have nothing to be worried about."
He goes back to writing, but I can tell that he's patiently waiting for a reply after he posed his carefully crafted question that was hidden in his words – have I had any contact with Gin Ichimaru?
"No." I answer coolly. "I have nothing to worry about, Captain." I add with a little more cheer to my voice.
He looks up at me to gauge my response and I flash a brilliant smile at him. We hold each other's stares for a moment, but he breaks first and lowers his eyes onto his paperwork.
"Well you better get a move on. You wouldn't want to anger those that head the inquisition."
"No problem. I can't wait to go because it sure beats sitting here and filing paper!" I shout back to him as I leave his office.
"You weren't doing any paperwork in the first place!" He screams at me and I know that it must irritate him to no end to hear my laughter cackling down the hall.
I enter into the chambers of the new Central 46 and a heavy feeling descends on me. I smooth the non-existent wrinkles on my Shihakusho, plaster a smile onto my face and walk in with my head held high.
"Lieutenant Matsumoto Rangiku of the Tenth Division. Is that your name?" A disembodied voice calls out to me, harsh and unwelcoming. I hate that about Central 46. Forty-six people staring down at you from a raised platform with their faces blocked by veils. The room is dark and drafty with echoes that bounce off the walls that I suppose serves to heighten your sense of isolation and resignation.
"Yes, that is my name."
The questions are easy enough at first. What are the duties that you most frequently carry out as Lieutenant of the Tenth Division? What role did you play in the Winter War three months ago? When was the last time that you spoke to or saw the previous incumbent of the Third Division, Captain Gin Ichimaru? But then…
"How do you explain the traces of Captain Ichimaru's reiatsu in your room?"
These people have been in my room? When I don't answer immediately I can feel their triumphant stares boring into me, though I cannot see their faces.
"Captain Ichimaru has been spotted in various places by various people in the Seretei over the last two months. I suppose that my room is just another one of the sightings."
Nothing. No response from them and the heaviness that I was feeling in my stomach is slowly rising to my chest.
"And how do you explain the eyewitness reports that Captain Ichimaru has been seen in your company?"
"Well that could have been at any time. I've known Captain Ichimaru for years. I'm sure that someone must have seen me drop off a document for him to sign at some point in time that he was a Captain." I smile at them, though mentally I am throwing up in their faces.
"Where were you on the night of Thursday last between the hours of nine and midnight?"
"I was on duty and spent the night at the Tenth Division barracks."
"Then how come Captain Hitsugaya reported that you never showed up for duty?"
Damn it! I never did ask Captain how his interrogation went.
"He must have forgotten to write down the time that I signed in." By this time the mental image of me throwing up on their faces is threatening to become a reality.
"What is the colour of Captain Hitsugaya's eyes?"
"Turquoise." I answer immediately and wonder where exactly are they heading with this question.
"How long have you known Captain Hitsugaya?"
I pause. Should I count the first time that I met him in the Rukongai or should I count from the first time that I joined his squad?
"Almost a centu–"
"What is the name of his shikai?"
"What is the shikai release command for your zanpakuto?"
"What is the name of your zanpakuto?"
"What is the colour of Captain Ichimaru's eyes?"
I cannot believe that I allowed myself to be trapped so easily. No one is supposed to know the colour of Gin's eyes except Gin. Yet, I just rattled off the answer off of my tongue as if it is some everyday known fact like the name of my zanpakuto or the colour of Captain Hitsugaya's eyes. Crap. Gin and I had maintained a carefully and skilfully clandestine affair for years and with one slip of the tongue I have suggested that I may know him as more than just Captain Ichimaru of the Third Division.
"Let's go back to the night that you were allegedly on duty."
"It's not alleged –"
And on and on it went. Where were you? Who saw you? What did you do? On the alleged…that's the way they started and ended their sentences. I was feeling furious! I was furious with myself for letting that little bit about Gin slip. They didn't mention anything about Gin again, but I was on my guard. The stress of waiting for them to spring a question about Gin and trying to think up answers to explain the inconsistencies in my replies were giving me a migraine. For six hours straight it went on like that. And pretty soon mentally throwing up turned into actually throwing up. I feel dizzy, not better to have the heavy feeling pouring out of me. When I am finished, vomit lying at my sore feet that I've been standing on for the last six hours; it is then that they strike.
"Lieutenant Matsumoto, your medical reports say that you are in prime physical condition, but your service will soon be halted because of your pregnancy. Who is the father?"
There it was. I wasn't expecting that. They reviewed my medical reports? Aren't those things private? Didn't the Healers in the Fourth have to take some oath of confidence or something?
"Since the start of the sightings, reports have shown that Captain Ichimaru's reiatsu has been lingering in your room. His fingerprints have been found all over your room. Explain yourself!"
The voices ring out harsh and reverberate in my brain. My ears are ringing and soon the images of the white veils obscuring their faces blur into rings of white. I can feel myself falling, but all I can think is that I hope that I don't fall head first into the vomit.
I awake some time later. I have no idea of the time. All I do know is that I am lying on my side and that I am back in the Tenth Division. Though I cannot sense his reiatsu I can tell by the familiar scent that I am in Captain Hitsugaya's room, lying on his bed. Wow. His room is so much bigger than mine. But I really shouldn't be surprised about that. I have known for some time now that Captains have everything bigger and better. The bed is soft and the sheets and pillows envelop me. I do not want to get up. I want to continue lying here in my oblivious white sheet heaven.
"Oh Goodness!" I exclaim as I turn and bolt upright knocking Captain Hitsugaya in his forehead.
"Matsumoto!" He growls at me while rubbing his forehead.
"Captain! You mustn't scare me like that. It's your fault you know. You really shouldn't be hovering over me like that."
"I wasn't hovering over you."
I look at him. He's right. He's standing to the side.
"Who gets up startled and head butts someone to the side of them?" He grumbles as he rubs his aching forehead.
"Hmm, Captain I bet you prefer when I knock you in your head with my breasts, huh?" I smile at him cheekily. He glares.
"The thanks I get." He mumbles in a sotto voice as he shakes his head in disbelief.
"Thanks? I should be grateful that you didn't let me fall asleep on my stomach like last time." I mutter. Seriously, I could have suffocated!
"It wasn't my fault that you got drunk and passed out! Actually, enough of this! The real issue here is that Matsumoto, you are in a lot of trouble."
My only response to his statement is to look straight ahead. The bed is facing the open shogi doors that lead onto the back garden. It is very beautiful despite it being dark. Little fireflies flit about illuminating here and there the beautiful yellows, reds and lilacs of the garden.
"Why didn't you tell me that you were pregnant, Matsumoto?"
His voice is soft and caring, but I still do not answer.
"Damn it Matsumoto! Answer me!" He screams, but when I flinch he makes a visible effort to calm himself. In a much softer voice, but still with a hard edge he says,
"Matsumoto, you need to let me know what is going on. They think that you are in collusion with Ichimaru. They will not have a repeat of the Aizen situation so they will not tolerate any sedition. Do you want your baby to die? Because that is what will happen to you. They will strap you up atop Sokyoku hill and execute you. You and your baby will die. I know that you don't support abortion, but is that what you want?"
"Of course not, Captain! How can you say that?" I reply heatedly. I'm not one to cry, but the tears were building up behind my lids and they finally broke like a busted dam. I was not crying at my Captain's harsh words alone. Though they did paint a grim and horrible picture, my tears were for how pathetic I truly was. I am stuck in the past. I was willing to overlook a book of horrors and tragedy in order to get my happiness. But am I truly happy? Well, these aren't tears of joy. Fortunately or unfortunately, Captain was never one for tears and the only thing tears did for him was to lubricate his eyes and protect them from foreign matter and infection. They did not pull on his heartstrings. He continued on in his usual logical and sensible manner.
"Central 46 now has the authority to detain a suspect that is thought to be lying for an indefinite period and under the revival of the _ law, they can use torture to compel you to confess."
He pauses with the intention that his words would hang in the air, but they are so heavy and stifling I can almost hear the heavy thud they make as they hit the floor; kind of where my jaw is at the moment.
"Torture?" I silently repeat.
"Yes. But as you are pregnant they might go easy on you. That is, until you make the baby of course. If they discover that the baby is Ichimaru's then they will follow orders to execute both you and your child."
Instinctively I rest my hands across my stomach.
"What do I do, Captain?" The tears are no longer spilling down my face but they are filling up in my eyes, blurring my vision.
"All the Captains have been cleared of any suspicion of aiding and abetting Ichimaru. We are irreproachable."
"That's very good." For you, I complete in my mind.
He smirks as if he was privy to my thoughts. I hope not!
"Sometimes you are so slow, Matsumoto."
"Huh?" I support his point with my intelligent and witty reply.
But he does not get a chance to elaborate for at that moment the other shogi door on the west wall is thrown open and in marches in Second Division Captain, Soi Fon.
"What is the meaning of this?" Captain Hitsugaya shouts.
"I am here to arrest Tenth Division Lieutenant, Matsumoto Rangiku, on the grounds of high treason against the Soul Society."
"You cannot convict her of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court! And there has been neither. As a matter of fact, there hasn't even been a trial!"
"Then she will be compelled to confess her crimes while in the Detention Unit."
'Compelled to confess?' I already know exactly what that meant. Torture. Only Captain Soi Fon could be seen in the room, but I know that her supporting officers of the Omnisukido are lurking in the shadows, ready to come to her aid at any time. And that time would be soon judging by the way Captain Hitsugaya's and Captain Soi Fon's reiatsu are bristling the atmosphere around us.
"Step aside, Soi Fon." Captain said. With that tone of voice I would have been running for the hills before he even finished his sentence. But Captain Soi Fon is not me. She stands her ground.
"I will not support treason." She replies; her face set like storm clouds.
It is so quick that I almost do not see him move, but Captain Hitsugaya rushes forward with his zanpakuto and the clang of blades echoes throughout the room as Captain Soi Fon blocks with hers. I haven't eaten anything since this morning and what little I ate is probably still lying on the floor of the Underground Chambers of Central 46, but I will protect my Captain. In an instant I am off of the bed and battling the masked officers of the Omnisukido.
With all of these people in here it feels like we're fighting in a matchbox. The sneaky bastards slink in and out of the shadows and I find it difficult to focus on any one. One would kick me in the back and as soon as I turn around, he would vanish into the shadows and another would punch me in the side.
"Matsumoto, do not fight back. Retreat!" Captain shouts at me.
"I will not leave you, Captain."
"Fool! You are preg–" But he didn't finish his sentence for Captain Soi Fon kicked him square in the mouth and he skated back a couple of feet to the far end of the wall.
Things were getting out of hand and before I knew it I heard,
"Sit upon the frozen heavens, Hyorinmaru."
Only a millisecond behind him Captain Soi Fon and I both release our shikai. The room is filled with the thick, black ash of Haineko and the freezing breath of Hyorinmaru. The spiritual pressure is so thick that it cannot be contained and soon the four walls of Captain Hitsugaya's room explode sending wooden splinters and shrapnel everywhere.
As if sensing that their Captain is in danger or more likely, they heard the commotion, other members of the Tenth Division rush forward to enter the fray to battle the members of the Omnisukido leaving Captain and I to fight off Captain Soi Fon.
It's a battle that's not getting anywhere fast. Captain Soi Fon is a close range fighter, while Captain Hitsugaya and I are both long-range fighters. However, what Captain Soi Fon lacks she makes up in speed. We can shunpo, but she is on a whole other level. I suppose that she didn't leave the tutelage of Yoruichi-san with nothing to show. Already Captain has a butterfly image Hōmonka on his neck from where Suzembachi pierced him while Captain Soi Fon's left arm is frozen. And all I can think is that Captain Hitsugaya doesn't look so bad with the death mark. Maybe after this I can convince him to get a tattoo.
But my thoughts on that matter are pushed aside when Captain Soi Fon hits me in the chest. The impact of the lash knocks me over backward and she lunges forward to deliver the killing blow when I command Haineko to crush her and a thick cloud of ash encircles her. In an instant Captain Hitsugaya lunges forward to attack her back, but she activates her Shunko. The force of all that condensed reiatsu alone pushes him backward and Haineko explodes and disintegrates against the force. But Captain Hitsugaya holds his balance by hanging onto one of her long swinging plaits causing her to lose her balance. In an effort to right herself up she oversteps it and only succeeds in falling forward where Suzembachi is falling straight towards my heart. The force of her Shunko together with her massive reiatsu has me pinned to the ground. There is no way that I'd be able to dodge in time. This is it. So I escape execution only to die by poisoning at the hands of Captain Soi Fon. I just can't catch a break.
But the blow never reaches me. As a matter of fact instead of my laboured last breath, the only noise we hear is,
"Bakudo No. 63 – way of binding light."
Subdued and bound with Kido, we all look up to see Captains Kuchiki, Unohana, Ukitake, Zaraki and Kyoraku together with Lieutenants Hisagi and Kira.
A/N: So what'd you think of it? Review.