A/N: This story takes place before the Soul Society Arc. Gin and Matsumoto are pretty much the only straight couple I appreciate in Bleach. So here is a story dedicated to them! Sorry if Gin is a little OOC...they're both silly and super fun to write, but one of them has to be serious some of the time, or none of my readers would take me seriously ;_;
Disclaimer: Characters are not mine, sadly.
Warning: Rating may be raised to M later on.
::Walk Two Moons::
Birds swooped past the windows of the Tenth Division office, landed on the outer railings of the walkway, and flicked their wings at each other in greeting. The sunlight gleamed on their bright feathers, catching the eyes of the rookies who were hurrying past on their various duties. A few stopped to gawk, or coo at the pretty birdies, but they were soon pushed unceremoniously onwards by their anxious classmates. The recent graduates of the Academy had just been assigned to their respective Divisions a few days earlier, and the apprehension on their faces was easy to read.
Matsumoto Rangiku looked on, sleepily propping her head up on one elbow at the open windowsill of the Tenth Division office. With her auburn hair tumbled around her, her light lavender eyes gazing distantly at the sky, and her full lips pursed in thought, she looked as if she was contemplating the deep mysteries of the universe. She was, in fact, wondering what she could do now that she had taken her afternoon nap. Sake? She rummaged distractedly under the couch she was perched on, before her searching fingertips bumped into glass. The bottle fell over before she could grasp it, and she didn't bother picking it up. She could tell by the hollow clink that had sounded that the bottle was empty. Matsumoto heaved a sigh and turned back to the window, pointedly ignoring the paperwork that sat heaped on her desk. What to do? She gazed out the window, then perked up as she saw a familiar face. Heaving herself half out of the window, she called, "Yuki-kun!"
The young man quickly changed directions and trotted towards her, a pleased blush forming across his cheeks. He was a fresh-faced, friendly youth, and one of the Tenth Division's new rookies. "Matsumoto-san," he said when he reached her, bowing deeply, and then blushed a fiery red as he found himself face-to-face with her impressive bosom. He quickly straightened, and stammered, "I-is there anything I can do for you?"
Oblivious to his embarrassment, she leaned in closer to him and whispered conspiratorially, "I need a favor, Yuki-kun." Yuki's friends, who had stopped walking when he had, watched him in goggle-eyed jealousy.
Yuki nearly swooned. "Anything you want, Matsumoto-san!"
She fixed him with her sultry lavender gaze. "I was just," she licked her lips, "doing…my, my paperwork, when…I realized that I had," her voice dropped to a whisper that he had to lean in to hear, "run out of sake." She twisted a strand of her hair around her slender fingers, and gave him another sidelong look. "If you could find a way to resolve my…problem, I would be most grateful."
The poor rookie was beet-red by the time she finished and looked quite besotted. "I will find you more sake right away, Matsumoto-san!" He declared proudly. "Just count on me!"
He then shunpo-ed away with great determination, as the rest of his fellows chased him, yelling, "What did she say? What did she say?"
Matsumoto watched them go, smiling to herself. What spirited young men, she thought absently. We'll make fine shinigami out of them yet.
Also, sake delivery in ten minutes.
"Now, now, Rangiku-chan, isn't it a bit early to be bullyin' rookies already?" A long shadow detached itself from the wall next to her window. Turning her head, she caught a glimpse of purple hair and a fox-like smirk, before he moved away into the shade.
"Come out where I can see you, Gin," she called, pouting a little as she craned her neck to look for him in the shadows.
He stepped into the sunlight, his tall, lithe form moving as gracefully as a feline. She thought she glimpsed the icy-blue of his eyes for a moment, watching her, but by the time her eyes had adjusted to the sun again his face was back in the familiar lines of his disarmingly cheerful smile. "How many rookies were assigned to your division?" She asked, leaning back to look up at him through the window, still perched on the couch.
He leaned against the railing. "We have nine rookies. A decent number, but each generation of graduates seem to be gettin' dumber, if I do say so myself."
"Oh, don't be so hard on them, Gin." Matsumoto protested. "They make up for it in energy. And they do try so hard. I find it rather cute."
His expression didn't change. "Tryin' to do something doesn't mean anythin' if the result is still a failure." He said mildly.
Matsumoto propped her chin up on the windowsill again and mock-glared at him. "I think you'll find, as with most women, it's the thought that counts." She informed him pompously. "Persistence or whole-hearted pursuit of an admirable goal is always viewed favorably by women."
"Whole-hearted pursuit of an admirable goal, indeed," Gin said dryly as Yuki came dashing back, puffing in exertion and sake bottles in hand. He smiled at her, and left, waving a hand in farewell.
Matsumoto watched him go a little morosely, oblivious to Yuki's enthusiastic chattering as he handed her his prize. Maybe it was her fault, but Gin had seemed distant as of late. Not just distant, but… troubled? He wore that bland, smiling mask all the time now, even in front of her, and sometimes, when his eyes were open, she caught a glimpse of a secret desperation that chilled her to the bone. Other times, he would sit with her for hours and not say a word. Apart from occasionally polite exchanges, they had barely had a decent talk in months. How had they drifted so far apart, when they had been so close in the past? She knew almost nothing about him anymore, and this made her sad. She vowed to try harder. She and Gin would become close again, and she would find out what was eating him.
Matsumoto strolled along the outdoor walkway, muttering to herself. So what if she had spilled a little sake over the paperwork? There was no need for Taichou to throw such a fit. It was only a little bit of sake. And how was she to know that wet paper ripped so easily? As it was, she was staying out of the office for a while. To let him calm down, of course. Not because she was avoiding her paperwork. Or because she was looking for something better to do. No, definitely not.
She brightened a little when she spotted her purple-haired friend walking towards her. "Good morning, Rangiku-chan." He called cheerfully, falling in step beside her. "What did you do to Hitsugaya? When I ran into him earlier he looked fit to burst."
"I did nothing," she complained, slumping a little. "But now taichou is making me pick up extra copies of all paperwork from the past two days, even the ones that weren't damaged. He's so unfair! He said that he didn't want to take any chances."
"How dreadfully mean," agreed Gin, with his easy smile. "I'll walk with you for part of the way. I have some errands to run."
As they walked down towards the other side of the building, Matsumoto, remembering her thoughts from the previous day, snuck a sidelong look at Gin. She wondered if she should make small talk first, then decided against it. With her childhood friend, the direct approach always worked best. If Gin noticed that she was building herself up for a serious question, she'd never get a straight reply from him. "Has something in particular been bothering you?" She asked him abruptly. "Stress from being a captain, insomnia, impotence, anything like that?"
If Gin's eyes had been open, he would've blinked. "May I ask why you are so certain there is something troubling me?"
Matsumoto frowned distractedly, thinking. "It's not just that you've been quiet. You've been absent a lot. And when I do see you…even when you're here, you're not here. Something's wrong, Gin." Gin stopped walking abruptly, and she stopped too, surprised.
Gin didn't say anything for a long while. "Oh come on, you can tell me, Gin!" She said finally, exasperated at his silence. "I've known you forever."
He started walking again. "It's nothing."
Matsumoto's eyes widened in sudden realization. "You're in debt!" She cried, poking her finger into his chest. Seeing no change in his expression, she tried again. "You've gotten someone pregnant?"
Gin grimaced a little at her. "No."
"Come on, you can tell me, Maru-chan," she said, ignoring the way Gin twitched at the old nickname. "Is it a girl? Are you heartbroken?"
Suddenly he whirled on her, and she stopped, frozen in the icy glare of his eyes. "I said it's nothing!" He said, a little sharply. He turned away, and would've walked past her, but she put a hand on his sleeve. He looked into her serious lavender eyes, and softened a little. "It's not a game, Matsumoto."
"And I'm not joking." She said simply. "You can always come to me for anything, Gin." It went beyond pride, beyond simple friendship. The most important thing she could do for him now was show him that she cared, or she would lose him.
Gin looked down at her, really looked at her, ice-blue staring into warm violet. For a second, neither of them moved. Then abruptly Gin shook her hand off his arm, the same indifferent smile back on his face. "Really, Matsumoto, you –"
Matsumoto could almost see him retreating back into himself. "Gin, don't –"
They were both interrupted by a deafening explosion that rocked the walkway they were standing on. Matsumoto coughed as dust rained down on her head, but her hand was on her zanpakuto, and she could see Gin doing the same.
"Imbecile!" The shriek split the air in half, and Gin and Matsumoto glanced at each other, startled. It was Kurotsuchi-taichou's voice. "Imbecile!" His voice was muffled by the thick door that separated his office from the outside walkway. "I ask for some competent, intelligent assistants, and what I get are two brainless apes! Stupid, and clumsy to boot! DON'T TOUCH THAT!"
Without warning, the wall that the two shinigami were standing next to exploded outwards, showering them with rubble. Matsumoto barely had time to register the explosion before she was yanked into Gin's arms, pressed up against his hard chest as he turned himself so he could shield her from the worst of the damage.
Choking on the dust, her eyes watering, she grasped his arms for support and turned to stare at the gaping hole into Kurotsuchi-taichou's laboratory. Through the haze, she could see a terrified rookie cowering under one of the tables, and another one groaning on the floor, presumably blasted there by the force of the explosion. The mad scientist himself was nowhere in sight.
Nemu, however, was draped on the wreckage of the wall, half inside the office, half outside. Her head drooped at an odd angle onto the walkway, her arms flung carelessly around her, and her eyes were closed. "Nemu-chan!" Matsumoto disentangled herself from Gin's arms and ran to her, dropping to her knees by her side. "Are you badly hurt?" She gently eased the girl's head onto her lap and slid her fingers under her chin to feel for a pulse.
"I'm sure she's jus' malfunctioned, is all," Gin informed her hoarsely, coughing as he surveyed the ruin of Mayuri's laboratory.
"You could show a little compassion." Matsumoto returned, a little petulantly, as she leaned over to pull Nemu onto the walkway so she could lie more comfortably. "I'm always telling you –"
"Rangiku!" Gin's voice was sharp with fear, and she looked up just in time to be enveloped by a bitter-smelling, yellowish fog. Too late, she tried to hold her breath, only to choke on the dense fog. It kind of tastes like raisins, she thought in alarm, and then heard footsteps approaching her through the haze.
"No, Gin! Stay away!" She cried, cursing herself for dragging him into this. "Stay where you are!" It was hard to breathe through the fog, and she could feel blackness eating at the edges of her vision. A strong hand clamped down on her arm, tried to drag her away, but she could feel her limbs turning rubbery and a kind of listlessness overtaking her that had nothing to do with her lack of oxygen. The fog! Who knew what kind of chemicals and poisons she was inhaling? With her last bit of strength, she tried to shove Gin away to safety, but he didn't loosen his grip and after a few moments, she felt him slumping down beside her.
The feeling of his warm hand in hers was the last thing she remembered before slipping into unconsciousness.
Matsumoto came to, slowly. Her eyes felt so dry she had trouble opening them, but the smooth wood beneath her head and scent of dust in the air told her that she was still lying on the walkway. How much time had passed?
Her body felt curiously light, and out of habit, her hands immediately went to her chest to make sure nothing had fallen out during the commotion. Only…there was nothing there. She sat up so fast her head started spinning, groping at the empty space in front of her chest with increasing alarm.
Her boobs were gone.
Her long, anguished shriek echoed throughout Soul Society and brought every able-bodied shinigami within a five-mile radius running to see who was being murdered.
Gin woke with a sharp pain in his head and a heavy weight on his chest. Groaning, he tried to push the weight off of him so he could sit up, only to end up with a handful of cleavage. What? He groped at his chest in astonishment. He had breasts! Heavy breasts!
And his penis was gone. HE COULD FEEL IT.
He sat up, opening his eyes in bewilderment, and found himself staring into an impressive cleavage. His cleavage, to be exact. He scratched his head. What was going on?
Then he noticed the necklace that hung from his neck, disappearing between his massive boobs. He'd know that necklace anywhere. With a sinking feeling, he raised his head and found himself looking into a pair of familiar icy-blue eyes that looked just as horrified as he felt.
Somehow, he and Rangiku had switched bodies.
Given that this takes place before Ichigo comes to Soul Society, I think many of you might be able to guess exactly what is troubling Gin.
Please let me know what you think! :)