Dicclaimer: All cannon characters, places and events belong to Tite Kubo, all theories pertaining to the following story, however, are free reign. I hope you enjoy my late-night attempt at getting back into the spirit of writing!
"Oi, Toushirou!" Ichigo called out, holding up a mini-cooler lunch box, "you busy?" The Shinigami-Daiko asked, peeking around the door to the Tenth's office.
Captain Hitsugaya Toushirou looked up at the Substitute soul reaper and gave the teen a glare. "What does it look like to you, Kurosaki?" On the desk were two piles of paperwork that stood taller than Toushirou's slumped posture… including his spiked hair. Ichigo winced sympathetically. He hadn't had that much paperwork at once, but it felt like it sometimes. Glancing over at Rangiku's desk proved that half of it was the missing adjuncts.
"Like you need a break." The boy said honestly, marching over and picking up the taller stack and plopping it back onto Rangiku's desk. "Where is she?" A snort was his only response.
"Whatever you're thinking, it won't work." Ichigo shrugged and picked up a personal item from Rangiku's desk, inspecting it.
"I may suck at tracking people, but I can still follow spirit ribbons." Ichigo muttered to himself, his eyes unfocused as he concentrated on the residual aura on the object. A moment later, Toushirou blinked as thousands of spirit ribbons became visible, one of which was connected with the object in Ichigo's hand. "I'll be right back." The boy muttered, still focused on the object in his hand. Absently, he left the mini-cooler on one of the side tables scattered around the room.
A good five minutes passed and no sign of the Strawberry returning any time soon. Snorting, Toushirou stood up to retrieve his purloined paperwork, walking next to the mini-cooler. Blinking, curiosity got the better of him and he opened the lid to peek inside. There were two containers and two blue rectangles that he had learned humans used to keep things cool for an extended amount of time, as well as two cans. Slamming the lid back down, he rolled his eyes, "Fool, whatever you're trying to do, it won't work." The boy muttered, reaching for the paperwork that would keep him up until way past his bedtime once again.
"Ooh, Ichigo-kun, you promise?" Rangiku's squeals from down the hall startled him enough to nearly drop the stack. The last thing he needed was to re-alphabetize the entire thing… again.
"Hai, hai, Rangiku-san, but only if you do your share of the paperwork." Ichigo said tiredly, internally praying that the arm Rangiku was yanking on in excitement wouldn't dislocate. Escorting her back to her (chronically un-used) desk, Ichigo handed her back the item he used to track her. "Now, behave." He pulled the stack from Toushirou's hands and once again plopped it down on her desk.
Giving her pile a mournful look, Rangiku gave Toushirou a jaunty wave, "Have fun Taicho-kun, ok?" She chirped, covering her Taicho's indignant squawk as Ichigo picked him up under one arm and the cooler in the other.
"Don't worry; I'll have him back in time for his bed time." Ichigo called back, closing the door with his foot.
"I demand you put me down this instant, Kurosaki!" Toushirou growled the best he could, facing backwards and hanging limply from Ichigo's arm.
"I don't think so." Ichigo nodded to some of the unseated subordinates of the Tenth. "I'm borrowing your Captain for the afternoon. Rangiku-fukutaicho is doing paperwork, so don't disturb her unless it's an emergency," he instructed, breezing past. All the minions could do was nodding weakly and bow at their Taicho as he passed by. Soon enough, they were atop Sokyoku hill, and Ichigo sat his kidnapee down.
Opening the cooler, Ichigo held one opaque out to Toushirou, along with a spoon, and sat on the cliff edge. Silently taking the container, the boy raised an eyebrow. "What's this, Kurosaki?"
Ichigo opened his and stuck the spoon in. "Ichigo. Yuzu made some sweet fruit ice the other day and she made some extra. A bird told me you liked watermelon, Toushirou."
"Hitsugaya-Taicho. What if I told you I didn't want any?" Toushirou sat down as well and pried off the lid of his container, spotting black flakes scattered in the mixture.
"Then you'd have to tell my sisters. You've met both of them before." Ichigo shrugged nonchalantly, taking a bite of his own.
"Hn." Toushirou nodded, giving in and taking a bite, while avoiding the black pieces. "What are the black things? They're not seeds." He observed mildly, poking one sitting atop the pale red/pink mixture.
"Chocolate chips." Ichigo shook his head, holding up a spoonful of his for Toushirou to see. "Yuzu put round black sprinkles in mine." Indeed, his brighter red concoction was studded with the black nonpareils. The duo lapsed into a comfortable silence after that, enjoying the peace that tended to surround the hill most of the time.
"You know," Ichigo started, studying the remains of his dissert, trying to sort out the black dots with his spoon, "Dad and I got to talk a lot while I was… out." He grimaced at his choice of words. "And I ended up hearing a lot of stories about his lieutenant while he was captain. Mostly about how he was a kid that was trying to grow up too fast, even with the responsibilities that he had." Ichigo chuckled at the memory, "And Karin would make the comment that someone had to be an adult, since goat-beard obviously wasn't. Either way, Dad made the point that while his fukutaicho was an adult here," Ichigo tapped his head, "That he was still a kid here." He rested his hand over Toushirou's heart with an honest smile. "And that shouldn't change, no matter how old we get. There are times to be serious, and there are times to just sit back and enjoy being a kid." Dumping his empty dish into the mini-cooler, Ichigo grabbed the two cans of milk tea and sat one next to Toushirou, opening his own. "Dad is an idiot, but he does have his moments, doesn't he?"
"And your point in all this is…?" Toushirou silently accepted the offered drink, despite the dry tone of his voice. "I see no reason for you to be telling me stories of your father."
Ichigo shrugged. "Would you prefer 'Nii-chan' or 'ototo-chan'?"
"What the hell are you talking about Kurosaki!" Toushirou sputtered, turning completely to face Ichigo.
Shrugging again, Ichigo leaned back on his hands and for the first time, Toushirou noticed that his monstrosity of a weapon was nowhere to be seen. "I don't know what the hell the old man's family name was when he was captain, but Isshin-Taicho asked me to ask his former lieutenant to come to dinner some time." Quickly draining the last of his can, Ichigo tossed that in with the dissert container and closed the lid. "Come by on Thursday. Dad closes the clinic early that day for family time." Toushirou shook his head. 'Family day Thursday' was something the former Taicho had implemented in the Tenth as well… and it mostly consisted of more random attacks from the Taicho than the rest of the week. Some things never changed.
Standing up, Ichigo brushed the dirt from his hakama and picked up the mini-cooler. "Matte!" Toushirou held up his mostly-finished watermelon-ice. "Don't you want to take this?"
Ichigo shook his head, "I have to get back home and do my homework. You take your time and bring back the container when you come to dinner. If you want to thank Yuzu, bring some sweets. She likes to try new things." Toushirou nodded, looking down at the pitiful amount he had left.
"Ah…" Toushirou unintentially caught Ichigo's attention once more, this time right when he had taken his first step into midair, "… What flavor did you have?"
Ichigo gave an ironic smirk. "Strawberry. Don't tell anyone that I actually like that flavor. Yuzu always makes that one, but this time I asked her to make watermelon-flavored ice as well. The rest of it will be waiting for when you come. Ja ne." Ichigo gave a mock salute and jumped away, not giving Toushirou the time to say no. Sighing, the boy crossed his legs and put the last bite into his mouth. He really would have to give Yuzu something for the watermelon-flavored treat.
Eh, not bad, if I do say so myself. Just a little drabble to get myself into the spirit of actually posting things again. I actually have a few stories in the works, whether they'll actually be posted or not… I haven't a clue until I actually do. I'm really liking the 'Isshin was the Juutaicho before Toushirou' theory almost as much as the 'Toushirou is Rangiku and Gin's lovechild' one. I hope I didn't confuse anyone too badly. My personal theory was that Kurosaki was Ichigo's mother's maiden name and Isshin adopted it when they got married. That's why the family name sparks no recognition.
Dark Inu Fan