Author's note – It has been two years since I've updated this one. Looking back, it has quite a few similarities to Not Mine Valentine, the third series I am writing for a challenge. They're different as well. You know what one mistake I keep making in my fanfics? I keep forgetting that there is no heat in this particular dessert as it is always night. The climate is still arid and that can still effect someone who is prone to heat sickness.

~Icy Feeling~

Two pale teal eyes looked at the crackling fire, the owners eyes drifting lazily about. Four strangers that he didn't have to become close to were around him, meaning he had nothing holding him back from leaving once this was over. His mind contemplated slipping away before those from Soul Society showed up simply because he knew there were those who wouldn't want to see him.

Glancing down at his lap he watched the small green haired child as she drooled on his hand. He frowned before wiping his hand on her clothing. Despite the fact the child was rather gross he found the hand suddenly reaching out to ruffle the girls hair. His zampaktuo spoke up in the back of his head. "You miss Shiro-chan, admit it."

"It doesn't matter if I miss the two of them. They're both better off without me." The man reached one hand down and used a rock to draw in the sand. He found himself flinching when he suddenly felt familiar spiritual pressure from a group that had obviously been attacked. He found himself suddenly looking up and his pale teal eyes opening up. "The old man sent him to come and bring me back."

"Are you all right?" Ashido watched as Gin suddenly stood up and picked up the child and deposited it onto the man's lap. "Do you need to go and do something? I felt the spiritual pressure, so I am guessing the group that was supposed to retrieve us happens to be in trouble. I can help you."

"I need to go myself." The silver haired man could hear the tone in his own voice. "Someone needs to keep these three safe while they sleep."

The man ran his hand through the child Arrancar's hair. "One of the people in the group wouldn't happen to be someone that you care about? They wouldn't happen to be one of those two that you want to see but don't know how they will react."

"It looks like the old man is forcing my hand in the matter. I need to find him as soon as possible." Gin then left the rocky spot and headed out to find the small taicho. He stepped carefully and hid his spiritual pressure as he went. "Come on Shiro-chan. Where are you?"

"Be glad his spiritual pressure isn't going off again. It likely means that he hasn't been attacked again."

The man sighed before moving forward, only to pause as a familiar rieatsu was felt coming from a slightly different direction. He quickly turned direction and stepped quickly until he came to the area it had come from. His eyes snapped open and his blood boiled as he saw the boy standing in front of Hanataro holding his blade up in defense. The boy's right arm was a bloody mess and a slash was across his chest.

The scorpion type hollow raised its tail to strike the boy and Gin found himself hurrying forward and getting inbetween the hollow and the two boy's. His blade hit the tail and deflected it. He could hear the small boy behind him speaking up. "Ichimaru..." Gin turned his head to look the boy in the eye. "Look out!"

The man felt the tail suddenly piece his shoulder and he narrowed his eyes. "I should have dealt with this guy first. Shiro-chan doesn't seem bothered to see me despite the fact he should." Turning, he lifted his blade and shot the Hollow through the mask. "Die."

"Speaking of dying, you could have shot that Hollow from the distance but purposefully placed yourself in a position where you and get yourself killed."

Gin took a deep breath before turning yet again to look at the boy. He found himself frowning at an injury on the boy's left leg. Toshiro's legs were trembling and finally they just gave out. The silver haired man put his blade back and went to grab the boy and lifted him up. "Put me down!"

"As if you can walk with that injury. We need to get someplace safe." The man began to walk back to the rocky area at a pace that the small shinigami on foot could follow.


Hanataro followed behind Toshiro but frowned when he realized that the small taicho changed direction slightly. "Is something the matter?"

The white haired boy lifted a finger to his mouth indicating that the other boy should be quiet. He kept moving, but suddenly tensed and moved to one side of the other boy. He could feel the deep slash across his chest from the tail and took a deep breath. "Hanataro, keep myself between you and that Hollow."

The boy didn't say anything, but knew that the situation was dire. Toshiro had already been forced to take a step backwards only to find himself having his arm slashed as he attempted to bring his blade around. The tail also went down and got his left leg as well. "Damn it..."

The Hollow raised its tail up to make another downward stroke, but it ended up not coming. The boy blinked a couple of times at the shadow in front of him, licking his lips due to the arid climate he was having to deal with. The man then turned his head to look at the boy. "Ichimaru..." "Why is he here? He could have shot that Hollow from a distance." Toshiro then watched as the Hollow was going to strike again. "Look out!"

The man had been preparing to turn back but paused as Toshiro said the words and the boy felt his eye widening as Gin's blood splashed over his face. The scenario seemed all to familiar. The next thing he knew the Hollow was dead and Gin was turning to examine the injuries he had received. Toshiro suddenly felt the adrenaline leave his body and his legs giving out as he fell towards his left side.

Despite the fact his shoulder had a hole in it, the man lifted Toshiro up. The boy attempted to struggle. "Put me down."

"As if you can walk with that injury. We need to get someplace safe." Gin began to walk back.

Hanataro spoke up while Toshiro continued to glare. "I'm sorry."

The silver man spoke, that grin plastered on his face. "Don't be. It's not your fault." The man looked down at Toshiro. "It isn't your fault either."

Gin arrived at the rocky outcrop and set the boy down carefully. He found himself taking a deep breath as Hanataro went to work and couldn't help but notice that a certain other was watching him while the three hollow slept. He choose to ignore it and knelt by the boy, his mind racing as he looked at the pale face. Toshiro continued to glare at him, furious very much like Rangiku would be if the situation was out of her hands.