Disclaimer – I do not own Bleach. This is a sequel to "Fishing", but not the kind of sequel people are expecting. I had planned on having this written and posted on Fathers Day of this year, but I was having computer problems. Contains spoilers for the end of the Winter War.
A soft drizzle fell onto the white haired youths shoulders as his sandal clad feet fell in step on the wet streets. The day in truth was long and stressful for the small taicho as he headed back towards his division barracks. He tried his best not to think about all the loss and change that happened to occur due to Aizen betraying everyone.
Hinamori Momo no longer spoke to him, his action of stabbing her through the chest being the final straw to break the relationship they had with each other, despite the fact he hadn't meant to do harm her. Everyone assumed that Ichimaru Gin died during the battle, despite the fact no body was ever found, but then... Tosen's was no longer there. And then there was the substitute shinigami, who simply lost his powers.
His mind hated the idea and thought of change, simply because it had never been something he could deal well with. This meant that his mind had fallen into a depression. To fight off said feelings, he piled the work load onto himself, no longer complaining if Matsumoto pushed the work load off onto him. He thought she spent more time drinking since Ichimaru's death, but honestly couldn't prove it.
Toshiro moved to step around a corner, only to pause suddenly when he saw Rangiku walking along with Hisagi Shuhei of the ninth division. He stepped back at that point and listened in on their conversation. Matsumoto's voice came to him, with its distinct, bubbly feminine flair. "Shuhei, thank you for taking me out to dinner. It was a very nice date.
At that, the small taicho leaned up against the wall, his teal eyes going wide. He stared at his feet as Hyorinmaru spoke through the inner world. "You knew that eventually she would have to move on. The way that Ichimaru Gin left, she can possibly move on easily."
"Thank you for letting me escort you this far." The male fukutaicho stated. "I'll see you tomorrow?"
"It's definitely a date," Rangiku chirped, suddenly moving away and closing the doors to the tenth division behind her.
Two small ears picked up the sound of footsteps going through a puddle, heading in his direction. At that, Hitsugaya glanced up and watched as Hisagi walked right on past him, not even noticing that the small taicho was watching him, or the face that twisted upon the boy's composure. The man walked a few buildings away, and then the small taicho reacted.
He quickly moved, his feet hitting the pavement and quickly grabbed a hold of the fukutaicho's sleeve. At that, the male paused and turned around. At first, Shuhei had a smile on his face. "Rangiku-san..." However, his face faltered. "Hitsugaya Taicho?"
"Why are you dating my fukutaicho?" The young ones voice came out in an confidant mutter. "Why?"
"Hitsugaya Taicho..." Hisagi jerked his sleeve away from Toshiro's grasp. "Do you really think it is any business of yours what your subordinates do so long as it doesn't effect their work ethic?"
"I am not asking what you are doing! I know very well that the two of you are dating, though how long you've been dating for the two of you to be going on two consecutive dates?" There then came a deep breath. "What I don't understand is why the two of you are dating?"
"The date for tomorrow is simply to meet up at the fukutaicho meeting." At first Hisagi looked straight at the small taicho, his eyes narrowed from irritation. After a few seconds, he walked away from Toshiro and headed back towards his division.
The corner of the child's mouth suddenly twisted up, twitching slightly due to the fact that he was ignored. Shuhei stepped less then a dozen steps and he suddenly saw two determined teal eyes glaring at him. "You didn't answer my question. Why are the two of you dating?"
At that, Hisagi paused. "I told you, it isn't any of your business Hitsugaya Taicho."
However, the small taicho refused to move from in front of the older male. His face twisted up with a kind of pained look. "I don't understand why you two are dating."
This caused the male with the number tattoos on his cheek to pause yet again, remaining silent. "Are you curious as to why I am dating Rangiku? It has only been a few dates, so why is it that big of a deal?"
"I know what you see in her. I've seen you get those nosebleeds." Toshiro snapped out the words, frustration in his voice.
At that, anger spread across the male fukutaicho's face. "Are you asking what Rangiku sees in me?" At that the male snorted out of his nose. "Isn't that something that you need to ask her?" Shuhei watched for a small amount of time, not saying anything and then spoke up again. "Are you going to move out of my way?"
"You didn't explain why the two of you are dating." Hitsugaya stated, his frustration turning to anger.
Hisagi's face twisted up in anger. "What exactly are you trying to ask me? Are you honestly trying to ask me why Rangiku is dating me instead of you? Because I think, Hitsugaya Taicho, the answer to that one is overly obvious. You are a child."
"You... you're nothing like him." Toshiro's mouth formed a deep scowl.
"While you share certain similarities with Ichimaru Gin, be glad that you are far from a miniature version of him." The older male shook his head, only to have Toshiro scrunch up his face, showing an obvious hurt kind of anger on his face. The small taicho simply shoved by Shuhei roughly and stormed back to his division.
He slipped into his room and pulled off his soaking wet clothes and collapsed to the bed, gripping the sheets in frustration.
The next morning, he woke up with the depressed feelings reeling in his head. He got dressed and walked to his division office, unable to enjoy the sunlight as it came through the morning dawn. Toshiro's mind went to dealing with his hurt feelings the way he always did, by digging into the paper work.
However, when he sat down at his desk, he couldn't help but shake his head at the fact that he simply couldn't make himself pick up a brush and put it to the paper. He simply found himself staring at the piles on the desk. He then glanced up at the ceiling, a scowl upon his face. "Why is this frustrating me so much?"
At that, he let out a groan and let his head hit the desk, frustration abounding. Twisting his neck slightly, two teal eyes caught a glimpse of the calender and blinked a couple of times upon noticing that tomorrow would be Sunday. In fact, it would be that particular Sunday in June. Hitsugaya glanced away, not wishing to think of the implications involved.
He lay there for quite of few hours, when Rangiku came bustling into the room, her usual cheerful self. He heard her sit down at her desk, likely to do her nails. Toshiro choose though, not to say a word on the whole matter. He simply steamed over the fact that his mind was having problems comprehending the situation.
Finally, Rangiku spoke up. "Taicho... is something the matter? Are you feeling all right?"
"I'm feeling fine." The small child paused for a few minutes. "Matsumoto. Why are you and Hisagi dating?"
"What?" At that, the busty female startled. "You found out that we'd been on a few dates. It's only been three."
"I saw the two of you coming back last night." The small taicho suddenly sat up, choosing to lean on his elbow. "Why are you dating?"
"Because we're friends and we like each other." The female smiled at him, but then noticed the complete look of confusion on his face. "Taicho... that wasn't what you were trying to ask, was it?"
"No." At that, Toshiro glanced up at the ceiling. He then paused. "Are you... and Hisagi... going to get married?"
At that, Matsumoto blinked a couple of times. She let out a bubbly laugh. "Taicho, you were trying to ask why we were dating, as in where we were going to take our relationship?"
At that, he titled his white head of hair. His teal eyes looked at her. "Wasn't that obvious what I was trying to ask?"
"No Taicho. It wasn't at all obvious what you were trying to ask." Rangiku shook her head. "The question you were trying to as is 'what kind of relationship do Hisagi and I have.'."
At that, Toshiro found himself pausing for a bit. He then bit on his lip. "That's why he didn't understand and kept giving me weird answers."
At that, the female's voice suddenly stiffened. "Taicho, you talked to Hisagi last night?"
"Let me get this straight Matsumoto. I don't like you dating him." The boy glanced at the ceiling again.
"Was this before or after you talked to him last night?" The female sighed. "Though I honestly wasn't telling you because I wasn't sure how you would react to all of this."
"After." Toshiro leaned on his elbows, glaring at the far wall. "He isn't like... that person. That person, as crazy as he could be at times, he understood."
"Are you comparing Hisagi and Ichimaru?" Rangiku paused, folding her arms across her chest. "Don't you think that you'll get along better with Shuhei, all things considered?"
"Not if he doesn't understand!" Hitsugaya snapped out his words in frustration. "He doesn't understand anything Matsumoto."
"I see." The female remained silent for a few minutes. She then spoke up. "How about I help you with your paperwork?"
"Don't you have a lieutenants meeting?" Toshiro leaned back in his chair. "When is your lieutenants meeting?"
At that, Rangiku let out a yelp. "I completely forgot about that!" At that, she knocked her desk chair over and ran out of the room in a hurry.
Hitsugaya let out a deep sigh. He then opened the drawer of his desk and pulled out a picture. In it, he and Ichimaru were standing there, a huge fish between them. The small taicho was obviously soaked to the bone, with a scowl on his face. This caused Toshiro to let out another deep sigh. However, as he did this, he found his head jerking up as he heard Matsumoto come back.
"Taicho... I forgot my lieutenants badge." At that, the female paused. "Why do you have such a guilty look on your face?" She quickly moved over to his desk area and noticed his hand still reaching into the drawer on his desk. Carefully, her hands reached down and pulled the drawer open and noticed the picture he had been looking at. "Taicho... when is that day?"
"Tomorrow. Honestly, Matsumoto... don't worry about it." And with that, the drawer clicked shut.
The room that the fukutaicho were going to meet in was empty by the time the lieutenant of the ninth division arrived. Hisagi moved to sit down, still fuming about what had occurred the night before when he had encountered the small taicho of the tenth division. He was still steamed when Kira stepped in the room.
"Hisagi-san, I take it your date with Matsumoto-san didn't go well?" The male sighed.
"Oh, it went well. However, after I dropped her off, I had a run in with her small taicho." Shuhei shook his head. "I do not know what exactly is up with him, but I do know that he wasn't happy when he saw us. He acted like a complete brat about the whole thing."
"When one talks about acting like a complete brat, you are referring to Hitsugaya Taicho, right?" Renji stepped into the room. "Did he go and ruin the date the two of you went on last night?"
"Not so much the date, but my mood afterward." Shuhei shook his head and leaned on the table, his fingers running through his hair.
Izuru shook his head, his facial features not changing in emotion. "What exactly did he do?"
"What he did was get upset that we were dating." The man groaned out loud.
At that, the red haired fukutaicho let out a sigh. "Of course, he is a little brat of a genius who happens to think overly high of his skills. It wouldn't surprise me if he thought that he could actually date Rangiku."
"That is what I think was going on. He brought up Ichimaru Gin for some strange reason and the only reason I can think of is because he is thinking he can replace him."
Renji found himself chuckling. "Good lord, the small taicho really does have a crush on Matsumoto Rangiku!"
"Excuse me?" At that, the three males suddenly looked up in complete surprise, just in time to see Matsumoto looking at them, her hands on her hips. She then let out a deep sigh. "I am sorry that taicho gave you a hard time last night."
"You know Rangiku..." Abarai narrowed his eye at the female. "... you need to explain to that small taicho of yours that the two of you can't date and that there is a social stigma involved."
At that, the busty female blinked a couple of times, and then sat down. "Honestly, taicho doesn't see me in that kind of manner. He never has."
Renji then snorted out of his nose. "He possibly used to not see you in that fashion because he hadn't yet hit puberty. He's now right around that obnoxious age."
At that, Hisagi added in what he felt he needed to say. "Are you really sure that he doesn't have a crush on you? His behavior last night felt kind of possessive, not to mention protective. He kept asking me why the two of us were dating then flat out told me that I wasn't Ichimaru."
Rangiku smiled, a far away look on her face. "We talked about that this morning, but he didn't tell me that he had brought up Gin at all."
"He flat out told me that I wasn't Ichimaru and basically to back off." Shuhei let out a deep sigh and scratched his head.
At that, a light, feminine chuckle came. The three male stared at her, and finally she spoke up, still laughing as she did. "I'm sorry, but he really cracks me up some times."
"To us it seems like he was thinking of himself as a replacement for my former taicho." Kira shook his head.
At that, Rangiku waved a hand. "Not at all! Taicho was... how to best put this. I am not sure how best to put things, but the reason taicho brought up Gin wasn't because he thought he could be a replacement. It has to do with the fact that when taicho asked Gin's questions, somehow he was always able to figure out what taicho was saying, no matter how backwards the question was and he tended to answer the questions. Then again, taicho never did ask about the two of our relationship before."
It took a bit of time for Hisagi to digest what she was saying. "I am not sure if I got this right, but I am getting the idea that he was trying to ask me a different question. Still, Matsumoto... I don't think that kind of questions is any of his business. I mean, a taicho should pry into these kinds of matters unless it begins to effect the way the division runs."
"The best way to put it is, he wasn't asking you as a taicho, but because he was confused at what he was seeing and couldn't figure it out. I also think that he would have changed how he was asking the question if it weren't for the fact that he wasn't comfortable with the one way he knew of rephrasing it." Rangiku smiled at Hisagi. "He was trying to ask what kind of relationship we had."
"I would have felt comfortable with that line of questioning and would have told him that we were just going on a few dates, nothing really special." The male scratched his ear, frustrated with the whole situation.
Rangiku however leaned forward and whispered into his ear. "The way that taicho would have rephrased it would have been to ask us if we were getting married."
At that, Shuhei found himself startling and his jaw dropping, quickly pulling away from her. "Seriously... that would have been weird if he had asked me that way."
"Which is why he kept asking you the same way. I bet that he kept asking the exact same question, right?" Matsumoto smiled, then let out a deep sigh. "Can I have a favor from you? Would you go on a date with taicho?"
At this, Renji suddenly fell to the floor laughing while Kira suddenly turned pale. Shuhei scratched his head at this. "Rangiku. I'm not..."
"I mean a play date." The female sighed, then touched her chin. "But that isn't really what it is either. I just want you to spend some time with taicho. It has to be this Sunday too, not any other day. It is something that is very, very important."
"He won't like me doing this." The male sighed, folding his arms across his chest.
"Please? Tomorrow? It is really important," Rangiku stated, putting on her charm suddenly.
Hisagi blinked a couple of times, his chest flushing up as he looked at her chest. "I guess I could do something."
"You have it bad." Renji stated, shaking his head at the older shinigami, while Kira paled yet again.
Sunday morning came and the sunlight shown in on the small taicho as his head hurt slightly. He brushed a hand over his forehead and then turned his head towards the open doorway, left open because he felt his room getting a little warmer then he liked having. Sitting up, he held his hand against his forehead, letting out a deep sigh. "At least this year I don't have to be dragged into that whole mess."
At that, he got up and changed out of his night clothes and into his uniform. While what he said out loud was indicating that he didn't care that the annual event wasn't going to happen, in truth he found himself growing even more depressed at the idea of it not happening. It had happened for many years in a row.
His footsteps came lightly on the floor of the division walkways as he approached the offices. As he got closer, he paused upon seeing Hisagi standing there, leaning against the door frame. The small taicho blinked a couple off times. "You aren't here to talk to me about what happened when you brought Matsumoto from that date the two of you were on."
"I'm here for something else." Shuhei stated firmly.
At that, the small boy muttered out a few more words. "I don't like the fact that the two of you are dating. If you are here to flirt with her, you need to head back to your own division as we have too much work to do."
Hisagi suddenly felt his eye twitch. "I am not here for that reason."
At that, the small taicho gave him a rather surprised look, then shrugged his shoulders and walked into the division, only to stop short and have Shuhei crash in behind him. The bright teal eyes were looking over at his fukutaicho's desk, where she was busy working on the paperwork already. At that, the small taicho walked over to her desk. "Matsumoto... what are you doing?"
"Paperwork. Isn't it obvious." Rangiku stated, not looking him in the eye.
"Oh, it is obvious. You never do paperwork, so why are you doing paperwork now?" Toshiro folded his arms and tried fostering an irritated look on his face.
"This fishing poles are by the door frame. The two of you should have seen them by the door." The female stated, continuing with the work. "Don't worry about the paperwork today, because I'll get it done."
"Matsumoto..." The small taicho's voice was strained and a small hint that it was drying out.
"Please taicho. I'm not blind you know." The female's words caused Hisagi to flinch, remembering his taicho. "Enjoy yourself."
At that, the small taicho glared at her, then marched to the door and grabbed one of the poles along with the box of tackle. Hisagi followed close behind, watching the small taicho move. Toshiro however turned towards him. "You are doing this for her, aren't you?"
"Matsumoto did ask me to spend the day with you." Shuhei frowned, getting the idea that the small taicho wasn't pleased with the situation. "If you want to do something else or don't want to do this, then..."
At that, Hitsugaya interrupted him. "Did she explain to you about today?"
"No, she didn't explain." Hisagi stated, simply following the small taicho to the fishing spot. They set up and Hisagi found himself pulling up a few fish while the small taicho's line remained lose. It started getting close to noon, when he noticed a sharp tug on the small taicho's line and he saw the small taicho start to lurch forward.
Instinctively, he grabbed onto the small taicho and helped him to begin to pull the fish in. How the small taicho did it, he didn't know, but the fish on this line was in fact very large. Eventually though, both of them found themselves falling backwards onto the ground, a rather large fish flopping on the ground. The fukutaicho of the ninth division felt the side of his mouth twist up. "I think we have more then enough fish..."
At that, he and the small taicho made it so that they could carry all of the fish back to the tenth division. Masumoto came out and met them and noticed the frown on her small taicho's face, taking a picture with a camera. "I did all the paperwork. Did you catch a big fish again taicho?"
"What do you think?" The small taicho snapped out his words, causing Hisagi to wonder why the trip had been made at all.
"Why don't the two of you go and prepare the fish for the barbeque then?" Matsumoto stated, smiling as the two headed into the kitchen. Hisagi went to work, lifting the biggest fish up and gutting it while the small taicho stood nearby and frowned.
"Can I help?" The small taicho stated, squirming as Hisagi's hand was stuck in the fish.
The male turned towards the small taicho, frowning as he did so. "I'm kind of used to doing things on my own when I cook. However, you can start gutting the smaller fish."
Scowling, Toshiro went to work on the smaller fish. His headache had slowly been growing since that morning and he didn't like the fact that the weather was warmer then he liked. He actually wish he had taken a dip into the water as it would have cooled him off. Suddenly though, he felt dizzy and he let go of the knife as he toppled backwards.
At that, Hisagi stopped what he was doing and dropped the knife. He bent down, shaking the small taicho's shoulder. His quickly then went and washed his hands and then touched the small taicho's forehead and realized that it was quite warm.
Toshiro's entire body ached as he woke back up, the bright light shining into the room. The smell of cooking fish came waffling into the room. He turned onto his side in time to see Ukitake Taicho step into the room. The small boy sat up, only to have the old man push him back down. "Normally I'm the one everyone is worrying about. Is that why you didn't ask me if I would go with you?"
Hitsugaya remained still for a few minutes, then spoke up. "It wasn't as if today was that important, so you needn't worry about it."
Ukitake sat down on the edge of the bed, placing a hand on the small taicho's face to feel his forehead. "Do you really want me to believe that the one day that you've repeated year after year ever since you graduated from the academy, isn't important?"
"Hisagi isn't my father. I don't want another father figure that I know is just going to disappear on me, no matter how really good they are at being a father figure. Eventually, even you are going to no longer be there. I figure this whole stupid thing can just end." The small taicho glanced to the side. A clinking sound was heard outside the doorway.
"Are you sure that is the real reason you are upset?" The taicho of the thirteenth division ruffled the child's hair, watching him carefully.
"Today was horrible. I didn't fall into the water. Gin wasn't there catching minnows like he always did, nor was he trying to stick my hand into the big fish. It isn't as if Father's Day has any meaning for Hisagi at this point." The small taicho stated, staring at his feet, being forced down again.
At that point, a knock came on the door frame. "I brought some fish broth to hopefully bring down you fever, Hitsugaya Taicho."
At that, the fukutaicho of the ninth division moved in and he set the trey down, which included a bowl of cold water. Toshiro remained silent, then turned away. "How much did you hear?"
"Enough to think that we need to talk. I don't like people holding grudges against me for silly reasons." Shuhei stated, dipping the cloth into the water.
"I don't hate you." The small taicho muttered, as Ukitake watched, interest and curiosity causing the oldest males white eyebrows to raise up. "I just don't want you dating Matsumoto."
"Yes. I've gotten that much from the way you've acted around me. You're also right that Father's Day doesn't mean squat to me. I'm honestly not ready for the idea of being a father. That said, you are probably thinking in that head of yours, eventually Matsumoto and I are going to get the point of marrying. When that happens, you think that we'll start a family and you won't be included. I'm not stupid Hitsugaya Taicho."
There was a period of silence, where the small taicho simply swallowed hard. Hisagi decided to continue. "I may not know Matsumoto well, but I get the feeling that you come as part of the package with her. It's something I'm going to have to get used to, if I want to have a more serious relationship with her. That said, I now understand why you keep telling me like I'm Gin. It isn't because your trying to replace him like Renji was saying."
"If that isn't it, then what is the problem?" The small taicho refused to look either male in the eye.
Shuhei let out a deep sigh. "Ichimaru may have been... the way he was, but it really won't ever change the fact that he was an influence on both you and Rangiku. Nothing is going to change the fact that you are used to them being a couple, albeit unstated.
At that, Hisgai plopped the food trey onto the small taicho's lap and Toshiro carefully lifted the spoon to his lip. Ukitake took the time to speak up. "I doubt that Shuhei will tell anyone about this."
The small taicho swallowed the broth. "What I don't get is why I got sick this time. I didn't get drenched and soaking wet at all."
However, Ukitake's eyes darted around. "That uniform in the corner. It looks like you were wearing it the other night when the storm was coming down and you never took the time to put it into your pile of dirty clothes. You didn't take the chance to dry off, did you."
There was no answer, as the small taicho continued to drink the broth. Loud footsteps could be heard though outside the room, starling him. A small figure hurtled through the door and suddenly hugged him tightly. "Shiro-chan!"
"Stupid Bed Wetter Momo!" The small taicho pulled away, his eyes catching sight of Renji and Izuru in the door way.
"Sheesh. How come you got sick like this?" Renji muttered, his arms folded across his chest.
"What are you doing here?" The small taicho flustered up, trying to disentangle himself from Hinamori's grip and not have the broth spill all over him.
"Rangiku asked Shuhei to spend the day with you, and we were wondering how that turned out." Kira stated.
"I don't get why she would ask something stupid like that." The red haired male stated.
Shuhei though stood up and grabbed Hinamori and Kira by the backs of their uniforms. "Hitsugaya Taicho needs to rest up if he's going to be able to eat the fish he caught today, so if you three don't mind, we're leaving now."
The three followed, each acting like they really didn't want to. Ukitake turned towards Toshiro, smiling. "I think that when the time comes, Hisagi will make a great father. If he gets together with Matsumoto, he'll be willing to accept you easily."
"I'm kind of afraid of that." The small taicho stated, startling the older taicho. "I don't want him to become one more person I might lose."
"You know that eventually my sickness is going to get the better of me, right?" Ukitake smiled at the young one, watching two sad eyes look straight at him. "Not everyone lives forever. It may be hard for you to understand, something you don't want to accept. Still, it is part of life." He watched as the small taicho's head darted back down and he simply smiled at the face.