Disclaimer – I don't own Bleach.
The night was October the thirty-first. A lot of time happened to have passed since the Winter War. Everyone was trying to piece together the sanity that they happened to have left. Slowly, everyone was healing or moving on, or so it seemed. Truth of the matter was, inside there were quite a few people hurting.
Hitsugaya Toshiro sat at the desk in his office, working through the paperwork as Matsumoto watched him. Sometimes he got onto her case about not doing her share, but typically this was when he felt overwhelmed by all of it. Today, it provided an excuse for him to escape having to deal with a day that made him feel childish to participate, despite the fact that many adult shingami participated.
However, he startled when he suddenly heard someone speak up. "Shiro-chan?"
Toshiro blinked a couple of times. He hadn't the heart to correct Hinamori ever since he had stabbed her with his own zampaktuo. Sure, he hadn't intended for that to happen, but forgiving himself despite the fact wasn't easy. They hadn't really talked for that matter. "Uh-huh..."
"Did you know that in Karakura Town, they actually go trick-or-treating like they do over in the United States?" Momo had a slight twinkle in her eye.
"So?" He set down the brush and re-stacked his papers. "What does this have to do with me?"
"I asked Yamamoto taicho if we could take a small group of shingami to the living world for this and dress up," Hinamori suddenly leaned forward, a large grin on her face.
"He said yes?" Toshiro's eyebrows suddenly raised up. He then reached his hand for the brush. "I still don't see what this has to do with me."
"You're in charge of the group!" the girl pattered out.
Hitsugaya's shoulders suddenly jerked suddenly, completely surprised by this. "What... why? Who all is going?"
"Me of course. Yachiru-chan, Yamada-san and Tsubokura-san," Hinamori stated, her eyes filled with excitement.
"Hold on... other then your self, everyone in that group happens to be a kid!" Toshiro protested, his eyes suddenly going wide.
"Umm... Taicho..." Matsumoto suddenly piped up.
"What..." came the irritable reply.
"I believe that Hanataro and Rin are the same age as you," the woman stated, only to see her small taicho's forehead twitch in irritation. She wasn't sure if he was angry, so she decided to change the subject. "Look... go have fun for once. It wouldn't hurt, would it. Plus, Yamamoto Taicho says it is ok."
"Did he Hinamori?" the small boy asked.
"Yeah... he did. He said you were best for leading the group," Momo smiled.
"I am not exactly comfortable with this," Toshiro stated firmly.
"Because you think it is childish to dress in a costume?" Hinamori stated, her voice suddenly becoming irritated. "You think you're so grown up."
At that, the small taicho flinched at the argument that seemed to make up most of the twos conversation with each other. "Actually... that isn't... well, I'm uncomfortable with dressing up as something, yes. But I'm uncomfortable with going to Karakura Town."
"Hinamori... taicho is still upset with the fact Kurosaki Ichigo can't see him unless he goes in a gigai," Matsumoto piped up.
"Something like that," Hitsugaya slightly bit his lip. "I don't want to see him and then have to say goodbye only a little bit later. I don't want to rub it in either, that he can't be... part of everything anymore."
"He won't know it's you, if you wear a mask!" Momo suddenly got a grin on her face. "If you go in a costume, you can check on how he's doing, right?" It grew bigger as she saw his eyes suddenly grow wide as she had hit a positive nerve of something he wanted.
"Plus, I'll do the paperwork. You just need to bring me back some candy Taicho. All your bag will do, right, if you don't want any," Matsumoto piped up. "Living world candy is good..."
It was a few hours later that Toshiro found himself dressed a Grim Reaper from Western mythology which kept his face and hair hidden. Momo and Yachiru dressed as fairy type creatures which meant that Yachiru's hair hopefully wasn't noticeable. Rin and Hanataro dressed as a horse with a bag on the front for candy.
Truthfully, it was ridiculous in his mind. However, Rin became rather excited that Toshiro was also going, something that the small taicho didn't at all understand. However, the boy had proceeded to talk a mile a minute about things he knew nothing about... Anime... candy. Politely, he didn't interrupt the other male shingami. Then again, neither did Hanataro.
When they arrived, a light drizzle was falling, leaving a sweet smell in his nose. He simply followed behind them, not caring if he got candy or not. Yet the bag quickly filled, not to mention he had a few of the people comment about the quiet kid at the back, much to his irritation. Kurosaki's house was simply on the route, and Toshiro told himself he was doing this, simply to find out how the substitute shingami was doing.
Actually, the ex-substitute shingami if one thought about it. However, it irritated him a bit that he never had gotten the chance to say good bye to the teenager, just like he never had to other people in his life. They walked along the path Hinamori had choosen, and he suddenly commented. "The next house is Kurosaki's."
"You'll be able to see how he's doing then," Hinamori smiled at him. They walked up the pathway and Yachiru hopped up and rang the doorbell.
"Trick-or-treat!" everyone except for Toshiro stated aloud. They held out their bags as the door opened and an adult opened the door wearing an ogre like mask. The man shoved handfuls of candy into each bag. Toshiro tilted his head at the familiarity of the voice.
"Is Kurosaki Ichigo here?" Hinamori suddenly piped up as the man pushed candy into her bag.
"Eh? You know my son?" the man stated, his movements stiff for some reason.
"I know him... um... from school," the girl stated, as Toshiro reluctantly walked up.
Suddenly, the man dumped the whole bowl into the small taicho's bag, causing the boy to let out a yelp of shock. The man then spoke up. "He's taking his two sisters trick-or-treating."
"Thanks," the female muttered as Toshiro felt his shoulders suddenly droop. They walked down the path as a few others walked down it.
Hitsugaya felt his shoulders hang low. After a bit though, he glanced across the side of the road in time to see a familiar figure with two girls around his age walking down the side of the street. He paused for a few seconds, then hurried to catch up with Hinamori. She glanced at him, he cheerfulness gone. "I'm sorry, Shiro-chan."
"What for?" he reached a hand under his cloak to scratch his head as the other three went slightly ahead.
"I wanted to do this to cheer you up. You didn't like not dressing up and you didn't get to see Kurosaki and how he's doing," Hinamori stated.
"I saw him... he seems fine," Toshiro stated, not wanting to push the issue. The footsteps I heard "I didn't realize that he had two sisters. I'm surprised that Karin has a twin."
"So, it is you Toshiro," came the voice from behind, causing the small taicho to spin around.
He let out a surprised sound. "Kurosaki-san... I apologize for using your first name the way I did."
"We're friends," the small girl stated firmly.
"We should probably take a look at what we got. The park is near by, so we can sit," Hinamori stated. There was a slight confusion in her face.
"I really need to follow them..." the boy sighed.
"Are they also shingami," Karin piped up.
"Yeah... some of the younger ones... well... Hanataro is probably older then me, but Hinamori I know for a fact is," Toshiro stated, surprised that the girl followed him. He sat down on the swing set, letting the candy bag he had drop to the ground.
"Aren't you going to sort your candy?" the young female asked, watching the others begin to sort.
"I don't see the point of it," Toshiro flipped the mask up. "How did you know from that distance?"
"You have an icy feel about you," Karin swung on the set, kicking her legs out.
"Great..." Hitsugaya glanced away, his cheeks flustering in irritation.
"I like that feeling you have about you," Karin's words caused him to flinch.
"Your father is weird. He decided to dump the entire bowl into my bag. I don't need that much candy," Toshiro muttered.
"Toshiro... you don't want to know how weird it is," the girl sighed. However, her attention was draw away by the fact that she heard a loud yell for her.
"I think your brother is worried," Hitsugaya closed his eyes.
"Don't you want to talk to him?" the girl let out a sigh.
"I would like to talk to him, but I have nothing to say. Not right now." He then turned to her. "Have you not noticed?"
"Noticed what?" Karin's voice indicated that she knew exactly what he was talking about.
"That he can't see spirits anymore. If I were not in a gigai, he wouldn't be able to see me," Toshiro pushed one of his feet forward.
"You still have one friend who can see you Toshiro. I'll see you later... though I don't know when that will ever be. Good luck," the girl stated, getting up and walking away.
"Arigotto..." came the muttered reply, not to mention a small smile on his face. After she left, Hinamori walked up, a smile on her face. "Are you finished?"
"Yes..." Hinamori suddenly bent down so that she could look the small boy in the face. "About your friend..."
"What?" Toshiro narrowed his eyes, feeling his cheeks suddenly burn.
"I knew it!" Momo's smile spread.
"Knew what?" the boy simply gave her an exasperated look.
"Nothing," Hinamori simply smiled at him, her mouth acting like she was trying to hold back a laugh.
"Let's head back then," Toshiro grumbled.
Arriving at the tenth division, Matsumoto glanced up to see her small taicho step in, his costume hung over his shoulder. Hinamori happened to be with him, a huge smile on her face. She glanced back though, pouting a bit. "Did we have to avoid anyone seeing us Shiro-chan?"
"Shut up," the boy muttered. "I told you, I am uncomfortable with this in the first place. You're lucky I did in fact go."
"How did it go?" Rangiku stated, only to have the bag of candy dropped onto her desk. She then watched as the boy walked over to his own desk and hung the cloth over the back of his chair, popping the mask into a drawer. "You're missing the scythe."
"Yachiru liked it," Toshiro stated firmly. "So I let her have it."
"I see..." Matsumoto stated firmly.
"Guess what!" Momo spoke up, going and leaning onto Rangiku's desk.
"You finally got to see the substitute... I mean Ichigo?" Matsumoto stated.
"I didn't see him, but I saw his little sister," Hinamori let out a laugh. "But that wasn't what I wanted you to guess."
"Then what is it?" the woman asked.
"Shiro-chan has his first crush on Karin-chan!" Hinamori stated, which caused a gagging sound to come from the small taicho at the desk. "It is so kawaii!"
"Stupid Bedwetter Momo!" Toshiro snapped out, his voice straining.
"Taicho!" However, Matsumoto couldn't help but laugh at his response.
Author's note -
Contests – The Halloween contest I am hosting has been extended to the seventh of November due to having only one entry. Open to multiple entries and not just the Bleach fandom. See forum. I also have three other contests going on.
NaNoWriMo – Updates this month... well, I am going to be participating in the National Novel Writing Month. It's a lot of fun... 50,000 word novel in one month. O.o So, updates might be not as consistent, and that is why.