This story is a little something for my first reviewer, More2life, who likes GinxRangiku as much as I do. Thanks for your review and encouragement. :) It's a loose sequel to my other fic: A Confused Flower.
And some AN before I get into the story. This is the first time I'm writing in English from the beginning rather than writing it Japanese and then translating it to English, though I have to admit that I did a lot of translating in my head while writing this. xD Japanese just flows so much better for me when writing manga fanfics. :p
Anyways, I think I did a decent job of keeping Gin in character for this chapter, but with him having a soft spot for Rangiku, I imagine that with her, he's a bit different. If you think I wrote him too OCC, feel free to let me know.
Also as I implied in the summary, I'm planning making this one more of a series. I have some other (vague) GinxRangiku scenarios that I want to write though I'm not quite sure how this story will progress at this point. And a bit of a warning: I'll definitely try to keep Gin from being too OCC, but as the story develops, I have a feeling Gin won't be the Gin we were all used to seeing. Partly because there's something special between Gin and Rangiku and partly because I believe in character development.
So now, without further ado, some GinxRangiku. Hope you like it.
Rangiku was slowly making her way back to her rooms in the 10th Division barracks. She was so tired of putting on a happy front for everyone. Some days were better than others, but some days were so hard since losing Gin. She knew her captain saw through her facade, but he never commented. Though today had been especially bad, and Captain Histugaya had taken one look at her and sent her home. Home to her empty rooms. What was she going to do? She didn't want to be alone, but Captain hadn't listened to her protests.
With a heavy heart, Rangiku opened the door to her rooms and stepped inside, only to come up short. There was a pair of sandals by the door that didn't belong to her. She looked at them in bewilderment when a shadow fell across her face and she looked up.
"Welcome home, Rangiku." The silver-haired Shinigami said simply.
"Gi...Gin...?" She asked unable to believe her eyes. "Wh...What? But how? I thought..." you died. The last words dying on her lips before they could be spoken.
"I came to see you." He said simply.
Rangiku reached out tentatively not able to believe her eyes. He must be an aparition. She must be hallucinating. No wonder Captain had sent her home...
Her hand touched his chest and she could feel his warmth and the steady beat of his heart. That was all the confirmation she needed and she flew into his arms, letting his warmth soothe her.
Gin's arms wrapped around her tightly, just holding her to him, letting her absorb his strength.
They stood like that for what seemed like hours, but in reality could only be a few minutes before Gin gently set her away from him.
Rangiku tried to cling to him, afraid he would just disappear again. "No, not yet. Don't leave me yet. Just let me stay like this for a little while longer."
"I'm not leaving." Gin assured her. "But you need to eat. You've lost weight."
"I... I haven't been able to eat lately." Rangiku admitted.
Gin started pulling her to the kitchen. "You need to eat."
Rangiku pulled on his hand to stop him. "I don't have anything in the kitchen. I haven't gone shopping lately."
Gin shook his head at her. "That's no good."
"I..." Rangiku hesitated. She could go shopping, but what if Gin was gone when she got back? And he couldn't go with her. He was supposed to be dead. What if someone saw him? How was she going to explain it? She didn't even know what was going on and how he could be here.
"We'll go to Rukongai together. At this hour, no should be around the barracks, so we can slip out the back way." Gin said sensing her dilenma.
Once outside, Rangiku bought 2 bento boxes and some dango, while Gin stayed a bit away, his face and hair hidden, but where Rangiku could still see him. Then they took their food and went to an empty field. One they had discovered while they were still living in Rukongai together, before they had become Shinigamis.
They ate their bentos and dango slowly sitting side-by-side, enjoying the warm sun and the fresh breeze carrying the scents of flowers.
There were so many things Rangiku wanted to say to Gin. So many questions she wanted to ask, but she couldn't find the words, so they ate in silence, just basking in each other's company.
After they were done eating, and the remnants of their food had been put away, Rangiku sat between Gin's legs, leaning her back against him with his arms loosely wrapped around her.
She couldn't find the words to voice her questions, or maybe it was that she was too afraid to voice them, so she started reminiscing with him about their past.
She talked for hours, sitting in the comfort of Gin's arms. She talked about how they had met, and lived together in Rukongai. How he had given her a birthday. How they had become Shinigamis. All the little and big things that had happened to them. Finally coming up to Aizen's betrayal where her words faltered.
"I'm sorry. I should have believed in you. I should have known that you wouldn't betray us, betray me." Rangiku whispered softly.
"Don't apologize. If you had believed in me, Aizen would have gotten rid of me then and there. I'm sorry I had to fool you."
"I... I always questioned whether you really had betrayed us and I went back and forth, but then I thought I never really knew you, so I couldn't judge whether you would or not. But I was wrong. I did know. I just... didn't want to hope."
Gin smiled. Not the usual cruel, cold smile he showed everyone. This one was softer, more gentle. Meant only for the one woman that was all he had ever cared about.
By now, Rangiku was fighting to push away the sleepiness. She hadn't been sleeping well either, and being with Gin was so comforting.
"Sleep. You need rest, too." Gin's fingertips softly traced the dark circles under her eyes.
"Hold me, then. And promise me you'll be here when I wake up."
"I'm always with you now, Ragiku. When I died and my spirit particles were disinigrating, you touched me and absorbed some of them into you before I disappeared."
Rangiku tried to think about what he said, but sleep was tugging her down, and she couldn't fight it anymore.
Rangiku woke up with a start. "Gin? Where are you?" She asked trying to look around.
It was dark, and... she was lying in a futon? And there was no sign of Gin. As her eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, she realized she was in her room in the 10th Division Barracks. What? But how? She was with Gin in the Rukongai when she fell asleep. And where was Gin? Had he brought her back to her rooms only to leave her again while she slept?
As her thoughts whirled, the events of the prior day started coming back to her. She had woken up in the morning feeling terrible and running a fever. Normally she would have used any excuse to get out of work, but she hadn't wanted to be alone with her thoughts so she had dragged her heavy body out of her futon, gotten dressed and gone to work.
Upon reaching the 10th Division Office, she had mumbled something about being sorry she was late, and gone to take her seat, but Captain had taken one look at her and sent her home. She'd tried to protest that she was fine, but he wouldn't hear of it. So she had slowly dragged herself back to her rooms, where she had been too tired to do anything more than toss off the outer robe and hakama of her shihakushou, fall into her futon and pass out.
With a heavy heart, Rangiku realized that it had all been just a dream. Tears started falling down her cheeks, leaving silver trails in their wake. Rangiku looked around her room through vision blurred by tears. Everything in her room was as she had left it when she got home, and... Wait, not everything. Her shihakushou was neatly folded next to her futon and there was a glass of water and some medicine sitting on a tray next to it. As her tears dried, Rangiku puzzled over that, and try as she might she couldn't remember folding her robe. Nor could she remember anything about the medicine or water. And she knew she didn't have any medicine here. She never kept any around. So how had it gotten there?
It must have been Captain. She thought. He must have come by to check up on her and drop off some medicine, only to find her sleeping so he'd left them there. Though why had he bothered to fold her clothes? Then she thought about her neat-freak of a captain. Maybe he couldn't stand her clothes strewn about and had folded them. That would make sense.
I'll have to thank him tomorrow. She thought, taking the medicine and falling back into the futon.
"Morning, Captain. And thank you." Rangiku said to Hitsugaya upon entering the division office.
Hitsugaya gave her a funny look. "For what?"
"For yesterday. The medicine and coming by to check on me."
He gave her an even more funny look. "Are you still sick? I didn't stop by yesterday."
"But... when I woke up in the middle of the night, there was water and medicine next to my futon. It wasn't you?"
"Must have been Hinamori, then. She asked about you yesterday when she was here dropping off papers."
"Aah, I see." That made more sense. "I'll have to thank her later than."
Later that day, Rangiku was taking a walk when she ran into Hinamori.
"Are doing better? I was going to stop by to see how you were doing, but I got so caught up in paperwork I didn't realize until it was so late."
"You didn't stop by?"
"No, I wanted to, but..." Hinamori looked a little perplexed.
"But Captain said..." Rangiku shook her head. "Nevermind. Thanks for asking about me."
"Are you feeling alright now?" Hinamori asked looking concerned. "Maybe you should go home and rest some more."
"No, no, I'm fine." Rangiku told her with a forced smile. "I better get back before Captain gets mad at me for taking too long. I'll see you later."
If it wasn't Captain and it wasn't Hinamori, who could it have been? Rangiku mused to herself. Or was Captain embarrassed to admit he'd been by so he'd just put it on Hinamori? Yes, that must be it. That was the only explanation that made any sense. No one else would have come by her rooms.
Rangiku was passing a pair of 4th Division shinigami on her way back to the division office when she couldn't help but overhear a conversation that peaked her interest.
"I heard you got scolded by Iemura Third Seat today for losing some cold medicine."
"Yeah, I was doing inventory of the medicine room yesterday and I could have sworn everything was where it was, but I guess I must have dropped it somewhere or something." Hanataro said a little glumly.
"That's too bad. Cheer up though. We all make mistakes. I'm sure Iemura Third Seat will get over it soon." The other shinigami, one Rangiku couldn't remember the name of, replied.
"Yeah, I guess." Hanataro replied still a little glum.
"Sorry, I couldn't help but overhear. You said some cold medicine was missing? Which kind?" Rangiku asked the duo.
"The special powdered one that works really well. We only have a small stock of it. Why?"
"Oh, nothing. I was just curious. Thanks and sorry to stop you." Rangiku said waving over her shoulder as she left the 2 perplexed 4th Division shinigami behind.
Rangiku's thoughts were whirling again as questions tumbled around in her head. That was the medicine that had been left for her yesterday. But why would her captain steal it? Or could the missing medicine just be a coincidence? But then there was supposed to be only be a small stock of it. How likely was it that it was just a coincidence?
Rangiku abruptly stopped walking as a new thought popped into her head. Could it have been Gin?
What if... What if not everything of yesterday had just been a dream? What if Gin had just used her dream to communicate with her? Rangiku placed a trembling hand over her heart. What if... What if... What if Gin really was there with her?