Title: Spend The Day
Author: Harmony (Silver Harmony)
Pairing/Characters: Kurosaki Ichigo & Hitsugaya Toshiro.
Word Count: Approximately 2,020.
Disclaimer: Not ours, otherwise this pairing would be canon.
Notes: Also posted at LiveJournal at the IchiHitsu Community. I have written other fics on this pairing; they are under this account, feel free to check them out!
Feedback: Very much appreciated, as I would like to write much better Bleach fics. Your concrits mean a lot to me, especially when it tells me what you think of the story and what I can do to improve. Please and thank you.
In celebration of my very first Bleach (and IchiHitsu) fic 'The First' getting 200 favorites, I've decided to upload this for you to read even though I wasn't intending to! I actually prefer my other IchiHitsu stories rather than this one, but because this was the last IchiHitsu fic I've written (and I'm not sure if I'll have the time to write more, even though I still love the pairing), I thought that sharing it here would be the right thing to do. Thanks so much for all your support thus far and I hope you enjoy!
Ichigo blinked at the piece of paper in his hands.
'What?' a voice casually sang beside him. 'Is there something wrong with it?'
The orange-haired substitute shinigami turned to the woman next to him, his expression twisted into something that resembled mild bewilderment. His eyebrows were furrowed, and his mouth curled in uncertainty. Matsumoto looked back at him interestedly; Ichigo couldn't help but feel that there was something about all this that she found amusing.
'Well, it's just …' he began tentatively, but he wasn't entirely sure how to finish the statement. 'It's just … I mean, are you sure that Toshiro sent this, Rangiku-san?'
'Of course he did,' Matsumoto huffed, her large bosom heaving. 'What makes you think he didn't?'
Ichigo had to struggle to think of what to say without blurting out anything that would come close to offending her. Despite her merry nature, everyone who knew her was aware that there was something about the vice-captain that could potentially be pretty intimidating if she was questioned. His hands began playing idly with the piece of paper. She didn't say anything; she simply looked at him, waiting a bit too patiently for his comfort.
The substitute shinigami was feeling quite uncomfortable underneath her curious gaze. He tried to force himself to think fast; but even when it felt like his brain whirred, he couldn't come up with anything to say to her. His fingers started unconsciously crinkling and creasing the paper. He glanced down at it distractedly, his eyes passing over the words again:
Hey, Kurosaki-kun ~
It's my birthday tomorrow! You're gonna come to Seireitei, aren't you? Why don't you come to my party? Matsumoto is so fabulous, organizing it all for me. :D She's bringing over her awesome rice cakes, too. It's gonna be pretty rowdy and fun.
Don't forget to bring me presents!
P.S. You know, Matsumoto did such a magnificent job planning the party (there's no one better than her to do it!) that you should bring her some presents too. ;D
Ichigo was at a loss for words. Everything about this invitation, from the cheerfully singsong tone to the swirly handwriting, sounded and looked a lot more like something Matsumoto would write, rather than Toshiro. He looked up from the paper; the vice-captain next to him was scrutinizing him closely, the corners of her mouth curved upwards only slightly. Her eyes were twinkling. He flushed, feeling a little exposed underneath her gaze.
'Um, nothing. Yeah … I guess I'll come.'
'Great,' the vice-captain said almost gleefully, her voice and face suddenly brighter. She stood up from her seated position on his bed, and started heading over towards the window. 'You didn't want to write him a reply, did you? He'd probably expect one.'
Ichigo shook his head. 'Nah, it'll be fine. You wouldn't mind just passing on the message for me, would you?'
Matsumoto flicked her hair back sensuously and winked at him as she proceeded to climb out his bedroom window.
'Not a problem.'
Toshiro blinked at the piece of paper in his hands.
'Matsumoto,' he said evenly. 'What is this?'
The vice-captain, seated casually on his desk with her legs dangling over the edge, only looked down merrily at her captain, her smile all too dazzling for his liking – there was something about it that made him uneasy; he knew her too well not to realize that she was up to something. She crossed one leg over the other, gazing at him smoothly.
'It's Ichigo's letter to you, saying that he can come to the party.'
'Then why, dare I ask, does it sound suspiciously like something you would write,' he pointed out patiently, 'and why is it written in your handwriting?'
She pouted at him. 'How do you know what my handwriting looks like? I haven't done paperwork for years.'
Toshiro wanted to massage his temples. He hadn't even wanted a party, and definitely hadn't wanted to deal with the headache of holding one; the only reason he'd let Matsumoto organize one for him was because she had been so insistent to have one. He knew the reason, though: any excuse for her to drink, he thought, frowning.
'You know, admitting to something like that isn't helping your case, Matsumoto.'
Matsumoto had just opened her mouth to protest when a knock sounded on the office door, making them both stop and look up. Kurosaki Ichigo was standing there, looking a little out of place with his furrowed eyebrows and uncertain expression, carrying two boxed presents in his hands. Toshiro frowned. If the substitute shinigami had come for the party, he was pretty damn early – hours early.
'Ichigo,' the vice-captain crooned, pleased. 'The party's not due to start for another few hours.'
'I thought I'd come early, anyway. Said hello to Renji and the others just before I came. I'm glad to hear they're coming to the party, too,' Ichigo answered, walking in. He handed the gifts over to her. 'The blue one's for Toshiro. And, uh, the red one's for you. Since, you know, you went to all that trouble to organize everything.'
It was hard to miss the bright gleam that suddenly twinkled in Matsumoto's eyes; Toshiro thought that he would probably have seen them even if he were in another dimension.
'So very happy to see that you took note of the postscript on the invitation! Thanks, Ichigo,' she grinned, welcoming the large boxes into her arms. She got onto her feet and began to make her way out of the office with a spring in her step, cradling the gifts like they were her children, winking at the two behind her; she looked like she was obviously trying not to take any notice of the way her captain was rolling his eyes. 'If you don't mind, Taicho, I'll hold on to these for a while. Just for safekeeping, you know.'
'Whatever,' Toshiro murmured. There was a part of him, though, that knew that he would probably never see the presents again.
'See you tonight, then, Taicho. Ichigo.'
Ichigo raised his hand and waved. 'See you later, Rangiku-san.'
The air stirred and settled as the vice-captain left. The room fell into a sudden silence. The white-haired captain remained seated perfectly still at his desk, frowning; the substitute shinigami was at the desk's side, looking at the empty doorway distantly, his fingers playing with the fabric of his obi. Toshiro was vaguely wondering why the other shinigami wasn't leaving – he wasn't really in the mood for idle chatter (ever); Ichigo, in turn, felt like he should break the silence, but couldn't think of anything to say.
Toshiro, then, caught Ichigo turning his head and looking over at his hands, in which he was still holding the supposed letter of reply that Matsumoto had brought over.
'Nothing,' the captain said, tossing the piece of paper aside. Ichigo couldn't have written it, anyway. 'So, you said you're coming to the party, are you?'
'Yeah. Thanks a lot for inviting me,' Ichigo replied, seeming a little bit uncertain. 'Rangiku-san came by yesterday to deliver your invitation.'
Toshiro shook his head, and proceeded to pick up his inkbrush, turning his eyes away from the intruder in his office. He sniffed superiorly. 'Don't be so flattered. She completely ignored my wishes to not plan anything and not only did she deliver the invitations, she'd basically organized the whole guest list and liquor and everything. I hadn't even wanted a party.'
The substitute shinigami watched as the captain dipped the inkbrush into an inkpot and began writing on some documents on his desk.
'I'm too busy,' Toshiro replied bluntly.
In a way, Ichigo felt sorry for him, hearing this. He wouldn't ever admit it to Toshiro, under the risk of getting his ass kicked and being frozen to death right where he stood, but it still wouldn't change how he felt about it. Ichigo knew that paperwork and duties to Seireitei in general were something that the icy captain had always been content to do; Toshiro was always working so hard that his job was his life. But despite this, the substitute shinigami still felt a little sympathetic towards him – it felt sad and strange to see someone choose to isolate himself over celebrating his own birthday with people who cared about him.
On impulse, he reached over and caught Toshiro's wrist, making the white-haired shinigami jerk up and look at him in alarm.
'What are you doing?' he demanded.
Ichigo slid the inkbrush out of the captain's hand, and reached over more and pulled Toshiro to his feet.
'You need a break,' he said pointedly, ignoring the other shinigami's protests. 'It's your birthday.'
Toshiro began seething. 'Kurosaki, you—'
'Listen,' Ichigo said bluntly, and didn't bat an eyelash when the captain looked at him with wide eyes, totally shocked and incredulous at his boldness. 'Whenever I come here, you're always working. I bet you work yourself like a machine every day, from morning to night. You never give yourself a proper break. It's no wonder that you're such a grouch all the time.'
He pulled on Toshiro's arm; the captain resisted, staying firmly in the spot where he was standing.
'Since I'm early, I'll spend the day with you,' Ichigo declared, completely unfazed. 'We'll go around Seireitei together, and actually relax.'
Toshiro looked at him pointedly. 'Giving me the supreme joy of being stuck with you the whole day?'
'I'll get you whatever you want if we pass by something you might want to buy in the markets,' the orange-haired shinigami continued, ignoring him. 'I don't usually do something like that, but I figure that since it's your birthday, why not? Then, we can go to the party together. And I can ask Rangiku-san to help you with the paperwork tomorrow. She does listen to me sometimes.'
The captain rolled his eyes. This was something that he'd never liked about the substitute shinigami; despite the fact that his annoying face was normally scowling, he was always so selfless towards other people, and was so sickeningly compassionate. Even now, Ichigo was scowling at him, looking fairly determined. It unsettled Toshiro that Ichigo was always trying to be so thoughtful towards him.
So the captain said nothing.
'Well, since you're not answering, I'm going to take that as a yes,' Ichigo raised an eyebrow, and pulled twice on Toshiro's sleeve. 'It's the first time you'll do anything with me, and it'll be just you and me. Come on.'
The substitute shinigami began to walk off without another word. Toshiro snorted. Well, he supposed, looking at the doorway, maybe he had been working hard all today – perhaps a short break would refresh his mind and allow him to better tackle the paperwork later. But, from the sounds of it, he was going to spend half of the day with the orange-haired shinigami like some kind of play-date (or, more horrifyingly, a date); his mouth curled into a frown. He wondered if this was something Matsumoto had planned all along. It was something he definitely would not ever thank her for.
His vice-captain was quite notorious for scheming, after all.
But he would berate her later. If his knowledge of Kurosaki Ichigo was any indication, it was obvious that Toshiro was going to have to first deal with a rather unique and different birthday this year. He sniffed and turned slowly on his heel, and began walking towards the exit of the office, into the direction in which the substitute shinigami had gone.
'Stupid bastard,' he uttered to himself.
He walked out the door, and was gone. As he left, a piece of paper fluttered at the corner of his desk, stirred by the air in the wake of his departure.
I would just LOVE to come to your party. ;) I can't wait to spend some more time with you. Rangiku-san's rice cakes sound positively delicious, just like all of her cooking's ever been. Count me in!
P.S. Don't you think Rangiku-san is such a beautiful and wonderful person, organizing all this? You should totally give her a pay rise.