Matsumoto leaned over a rock wall, string out to sea at the dazzling sunset displaying its sorbet colors across the sea's horizon. It was her birthday and she was waiting for someone. She didn't know who, but this person had left a note on her bed asking to meet at this location, just outside of Rukongai.

"I always did hate sunsets. They represent the end of a good day," she sighed sadly.

"That's true. Ya never know if the sun's gonna rise the next morning."

Matsumoto jumped in surprise and spun around, quickly readjusting herself in her shikakushou.

"You nearly scared me out of my shihak-"

She stopped short, amazed by who was standing before her.


"It's good to see ya, Rangiku."

Gin smiled sincerely and delicately took her slight wrist in his hand.

"If you'll follow me, please. I don't have much time to spend standing around."

Still in a state of shock, Matsumoto followed Gin into the pasture that lied barricaded behind a grove of trees growing uphill from the rock wall. Taking a seat beneath a particularly drooping Weeping Willow, Gin pulled out two bento boxes from behind the trunk. She took the box from him, but kept her eyes fixed on his fox-like face.

"H-how are you here? Why?" She choked out.

"How I'm here shouldn't matter. 'Why' you ask? It's because today is your birthday."

Gin temptingly shook a bottle of sake in front of her, but she ignored the offering of alcohol.

"But what about Hueco Mundo and Aizen?"

"Lord Aizen doesn't care what I do. He knows I remain loyal to his plans no matter what."

Matsumoto opened her bento and sloppily picked an onigiri out, munching on a corner.

"I know it's not typical birthday food, but I honestly didn't know what to make," Gin said with a shrug. A moment of silence fell between them before Matsumoto spoke up.

"Gin, why did you leave me?"

Gin turned his head away, averting his gaze to the trees across from them, the sunlight fading between their branches as the sun dipped farther beneath the horizon.

"I-I can't explain it. I just had to leave. I've always needed to move, to test my loyalties."

"You couldn't bring me along? You left me alone, confused and answerless."

"No," he answered, his expression turning painful. "You're innocent and far too beautiful for a place like Hueco Mundo. I didn't want to ruin you."

He palmed Matsumoto's cheek, gently pulling her close and kissing her. She was scared. Gin had never expressed his emotions this clearly before.

Gin pulled away, but kept Matsumoto in his arms, pressing her to his chest.

"Gin…" she whispered breathlessly.

The sky was unsettlingly dark now as the two sat quietly under the whispering trees. A breeze rustled the leaves above as Matsumoto slipped into sleep, snuggling into Gin's warmth. Gin smiled and ruffled her soft, blonde hair.

"I love you, Rangiku."

"Gin, I-" she mumbled in her sleep.

Gin looked down at her and sighed.

"It has to end this quickly?"

The sun was shining through the bamboo doors when Matsumoto awoke on her bed. Groggily opening her eyes, she saw a cupcake standing on her bedside dresser with a single burned out candle in the center.

Swinging her legs over the side of her bed, she sat up and grabbed the frosted treat. It was useless to make a wish on a burned out candle.

"Stupid Gin."

This is my first GinXMatsu story. I hope it came out well. I felt Gin is a bit OOC when I wrote this, but after reading the latest chapters I'm feeling otherwise. Oh well, enjoy and review!