A/N This chapter has been slightly revised. It's just the prologue and is meant to give a bit of background to the characters. The plot begins next chapter.

"I never meant for this to happen…"

Gin looked up into the white-haired man's face, not understanding why there were tears dripping onto the ground beneath them. He didn't know this man, so what was going on?

"I swear, if I knew she would have done this, Gin, I –"

"How do ya know my name?" Five-year-old Gin asked with childish curiosity as he held Rangiku's hand tightly. "No one ever cares about who we are. We're just… there…"

"Gin…" The man's tears came harder at these words. He reached out, wanting to pull the two children into his arms, but he stopped when the two before him flinched and recoiled. "Gin, my beautiful Gin…"

"Yer scarin' Rangiku, Mister…" Gin tilted his head to the girl that was clinging to him tightly. "She doesn't like men."

Realisation dawned on the man's face at these words. He choked on a cry. "..Gin… I know you probably won't believe me, but… I'm your father…"

Gin awoke with a start, trying to get his dreams out of his mind. They weren't so much dreams as they were memories that played through his mind a lot during his unconscious moments, but they never failed to upset him.

The silver-haired male glanced over at his roommate, finding that Rangiku was still fast asleep. He glanced at the alarm clock, finding that it was barely five-thirty-seven in the morning.

"Migh' as well get up…" Gin muttered as he got to his feet, knowing that there was no point in trying to fall back asleep. He was an insomniac, and the little sleep he got was precious but once he had awoken, that was it.

Once he had changed out of his nightclothes and into something more comfortable for the day ahead of him, Gin left to head into the kitchen and make some toast. He wasn't much of an eater because of his first few years of life, but he knew that as long as he at least nibbled on something in the morning, his father's fears would subside.

Things were silent for a while until the first signs of life in the house apart from Gin sounded. A muffled laugh and two sets of footsteps towards the stairs told the Ichimaru that his father and god-father were awake. It was no surprise; those two were always up early unless sickness attacked the frail man.

Gin waited until the two had entered the kitchen with him before he spoke. "Good mornin', Dad. Good mornin', Shunsui."

"Good morning, Gin-kun." Both men smiled at the younger as they moved to prepare breakfast for the rest of the household. "Did you sleep well?"

Gin shook his head but didn't elaborate. There was no need; both males understood about the nightmares and insomnia.

"Go wake Tōshirō-kun and Rangiku-chan, Jū-chan." Shunsui nudged his lover. "Let me take care of things here."

Jūshirō nodded and did as told. Shunsui turned to Gin.

"Have you eaten?" Shunsui asked as he pulled a frying pan from the cupboard. Gin answered with a nod. "Got room for bacon and eggs?"

Gin groaned in discomfort. The thought of eating after having finished his toast made his stomach churn. He shook his head.

"Didn't think so." Shunsui's voice was softer than usual, indicating that the brunet was worried.

Neither of them spoke again until the rest of the family came downstairs and into the kitchen. It was no surprise that both Rangiku and Tōshirō hated having to get up with everyone else. They loved their sleep, but Shunsui and Jūshirō were firm believers that early mornings meant more time to spend with the family. Gin seemed to be the only one exempt from this rule, seeing as when he was still sleeping when everyone else was up, he was left alone.

Tōshirō sat down on Gin's left, slumping over the table as he waited for breakfast. Rangiku sat next to Tōshirō and pulled him into her overly-large breasts as she attempted to hug him. As usual, the white-haired boy scowled and tried to pull away.

"Mornin', Ran," Gin greeted his friend as he ruffled his brother's hair affectionately. He wasn't surprised when the busty female stood up and crushed him against her body next.

Jūshirō and Shunsui laughed wholeheartedly as they watched the scene before them. Their family was an odd one, none of them sharing the same last name or even similar personalities, but both adults loved the children all the more for it.

Tōshirō, who took his late mother's maiden name due to Jūshirō's wishes, was twelve and had already skipped a few grades, making him a sophomore. He was usually distant with his family, but had a remarkably close relationship with Rangiku, tolerating most everything she did.

While Gin still had his mother's maiden name as well due to the fact that his mother had ran off with him shortly after his birth, he preferred to forget about her and focus solely on the family he had now. He was quiet and didn't talk much, opening up only to Rangiku, but he did well in school despite the fact that he was rather anti-social. He loved his brother and did what he could with the younger, but he spent most of his time with Rangiku.

Rangiku was the most out-going of them all, even though she wasn't blood-related to any of them and had been adopted by Shunsui. Despite having a fear of strange men, she was always open to meeting new people and got along with most everyone she met. She had a curious way of always being able to cheer people up and her worst habit was giving out crushing hugs to everyone that usually wound up with someone's face pressed between her breasts. She wasn't above using her good looks to get what she wanted, but at the end of the day, she was just Rangiku Matsumoto.

Shunsui and Jūshirō were like yin and yang, never really complete without the other. They had grown up together, having known each other for almost their entire lives. While Shunsui was a huge flirt and used to sleep around with as many women as he could, Jūshirō had always been the shy one when it came to relationships. Shunsui was almost always found drinking his precious sake while the white-haired male rarely sipped at it. While the brunet was always dressing flamboyantly with his pink flowered kimono, Jūshirō usually made sure his clothes were plain and didn't stand out too much.

But, as odd a family as they were, they all loved each other and that was all that mattered.

"Do you want a cup of tea before you leave for school?" Jūshirō addressed the teenagers as he stood up to make himself a cup of tea.

"I'd love some sake." Shunsui sent his most charming smile at the younger male, only to receive a mock slap on the head.

"I will," Tōshirō answered as he nibbled at his bacon. Rangiku and Gin agreed.


It didn't take long before the three were standing outside their house, waiting for the bus. As usual, Gin and Rangiku sat together while Tōshirō moved to sit with his own best friend, Momo.

It was hard to ignore the idiots behind them making fun of them, but when Rangiku's warm hand grabbed his own, Gin found the strength to continue ignoring them. Having had a hard past, Gin found it hard to stay out of trouble. He was often in fights at school and hung around with a bad group.

"It's okay." Rangiku's soft voice was meant only for Gin to hear. "Just ignore them. It's alright."

"Hey, Ichimaru!" One of the boys behind them yanked at Gin's silver hair, not liking the lack of attention. "Ichimaru, I heard you were out fucking whores with Aizen and the gang of rejects!"

Gin's teeth were grinding together as he squeezed his best friend's hand. They certainly knew what to say to set them both off…

Gin opened his eyes, revealing a stunning blue as he turned to face the idiots behind him. He ignored Rangiku as he opened his mouth, ready to let them have it.

"We all know that by 'whore'," one of the other boys spoke, "you mean Rangiku Matsumoto."

That was it. Gin threw the first punch, shouting obscenities as he clambered over the bus seat to have better access to his objects of hatred. The way Rangiku sobbed softly in the background only fuelled his anger. He could hear Tōshirō shouting at him to stop, but none of that mattered. All that mattered was bashing these two into oblivion.