337c) Lion Charm
Main Characters: Gin, Toshiro
Special Notes: Relates to the shorts where Toshiro gets the lion phone strap from Karin and the one where Toshiro finds out the truth from Gin.
The sunlight filtered into the tenth division. As the sunlight came in, the small taicho held up his soul phone, to look at the lion shaped phone strap that dangled down. He tapped the soft plushy with a small finger and watched it as it moved. His teal eyes took in the movement of the object he had almost for two years now.
"The relationships I have with people is constantly changing. Hinamori isn't talking to me anymore and likely doesn't think of me as family. I just found out that Gin and Rangiku are my actual parents, and that Granny is my biological grandparent. At least with Karin we're just friends and it will stay that way."
A smile spread across his face and he poked the lion again, causing it to swing back and forth. The item satiated his boredom, as Matsumoto had for once come in earlier and had taken care of most of the paperwork. He wondered when Gin would actually tell Rangiku about the truth. The child taicho let out a deep sigh.
"Good afternoon Shiro-chan." The voice from the doorway caused the small taicho to startle, and the boy turned his head towards the silver haired man who spoke.
An exasperated sound came from Toshiro's mouth. "If you haven't spoken to Matsumoto about that particular thing, I don't wish to talk to you."
"I thought she would have talked to you by now, as I talked to her last night." Ichimaru walked over from the doorway, eying the phone strap.
Toshiro didn't notice, but instead glanced over at Rangiku's desk, where a bunch of the papers were finished. "She's avoiding me then. That explains why her paper work is already done."
"Sorry about that." Gin's hand suddenly reached to grab the soul phone from the boy's hand. "Did you get this strap from Ran-chan?"
"Matsumoto... I mean oka-san?" The small boy reached his hand up to grab the phone back, his face twisted up in frustration. "Why would you think that?"
"Your name contains the kana for words pertaining to lion." The man suddenly held the phone and strap up out of Toshiro's reach.
Despite this, the small taicho tried standing on the tip of his toes to reach it. "Surely you and Rangiku aren't the only person who would have realized that?"
"Ukitake then?" Gin eyed the child warily.
Hitsugaya blinked a couple of times. "Don't you think he would have given me a piece of candy in the shape of a lion?"
"That is more like him." A silver eyebrow raised up suddenly. "If it wasn't him, then... Hinamori? You aren't on speaking terms with her though since the event with Aizen. So it must be..." At that, Ichimaru's mood suddenly darkened. The side of his hand suddenly came down on the top of the small taicho's head, hard.
Toshiro stumbled backward into his chair, clutching his hands to his forehead. A few tears welled in his eyes. "What was that for!"
A cough was heard from the doorway and both turned to see Rangiku watching the two of them. "Yes, I wonder what that was for Gin?"
At that, the child taicho glanced at the ground, forgetting completely about his hurt forehead. His mouth twisted up into a pout. "I thought you were avoiding me, Mat... I'm not sure what I'm supposed to call you anymore."
"Anything you feel comfortable with, taicho. I'll call you by whatever you feel comfortable with." Matsumoto walked over to the desk to stand behind the boy, placing her hands on his shoulder. "I honestly wasn't avoiding you because I was mad at you, or because I hate you. But... I'm honestly still not ready to talk about this."
"Why'd you come then?" The boy glanced at the window again, placing his hands on the desk.
Rangiku let out a deep sigh. "I felt the two of your reiatsu and became a bit concerned. I know full well how you oto-san can be."
At that, Ichimaru flinched as the woman suddenly glared at him. "I was... I just..."
"Took something precious to him?" The female sighed, then walked over to the man and snatched back the soul phone. She then handed it back to her small taicho.
Gin's mouth twitched as he watched Toshiro's next actions, wrapping his hands carefully around both the phone and the strap. "Exactly who gave it to him though, Rangiku? The only person I can think of is a girlfriend."
At that, two bright teal eyes suddenly glared at him, as if the small being they belonged to wanted to kill him. The busty woman though burst out laughing. "As much as I would like to see Karin-chan and taicho date, they aren't."
"It isn't funny Mat... oka.. Ran..." Hitsugaya stumbled at the last part, then took a deep breath. "It just isn't funny. And despite the fact you and practically everyone else who knows about our friendship thinks I have a crush on her, I don't."
Rangiku wiped away a tear, then turned to the silver haired man, a serious look in her face. "Gin, let me make one thing clear. Don't go do something that jeopardizes their friendship. I think you know just as much as I do how hard it is for him to make friends, right?"
Ichimaru simply blinked a couple of times. "So... he's come to the point that he is liking girls, but not realizing it?"
"You got to see him through his baby years, the fact that you missed out on this is only fare," the woman retorted.
At that, Toshiro's cheeks puffed out. "Would the two of you just shut up about this!"
Author's note – There is a false rumor going around some of the Hitsuhina fans that their pairing has been proven canon. The display and the pink line are in fact real. However, the idea that the pink line represents a romantic interest every single time it is used is up for debate. Also up for debate I whether or not Tite Kubo helped with the chart at all.