Crack The Shutters
Chapter 5.

Ever since the days he used to be raised by his Granny, Tōshirō was an early riser. Never once did he wake up before eight o' clock in the morning; it was natural for him to be up and walking as soon as the sun started to peer over the hills. Sighing happily, he opened his eyes and stared up at the ceiling for a moment, studying the cracks in the paint. Then it dawned on him he felt unusually warmer than normal, and when he remembered why, a small smile reached his lips.

Rolling over onto his side, he watched his Lieutenant sleep. Although this was probably a very odd thing to do, Tōshirō found himself smiling, finding her resting form quite, dare he say it, adorable. The light which darted in through the curtains shone across a part of her face, and he couldn't resist brushing the back of his hand there. He hated the heat, but he certainly didn't hate Rangiku's warmth, and would happily spend the rest of the day beside her.

However, work called. Soul Society called. And so did the hotel manager, who was very keen they leave before ten o' clock in the morning, so the room could be prepared for the next guest. Tōshirō knew Rangiku would not be very happy to be woken up at his hour, but he had no choice. First, he gently shook her shoulder, but she didn't stir. 'Matsumoto.' No response. Either she was a heavy sleeper, or she was merely pretending.

Fine. If it was going to be this way, it was going to be this way. Tōshirō raised himself onto his knees and shook her violently. This earned a groan of irritation, and, to his dismay, Rangiku simply rolled to face away from him.

'Matsumoto, if we don't get ready to leave, we'll have to pay extra.'




The Captain seethed. 'MATSUMOTO!'

His voice boomed, and he was certain the entire hotel had heard him. Finally, Rangiku stirred, moaning, 'Whuut?'

'We need to get up. Come on.'

'I dun wanna...'

'It's not whether you want to or not, Lieutenant.' Tōshirō rolled his eyes. 'Right, well, the longer you intend to stay in bed, the less time you have to get ready.' Hopping off the bed, he went over to his shirt which had been thrown onto the floor, thanks to their frantic activities last night. His ears burned, remembering. That had been quite a night.

Tōshirō's hair was untidy, whatever he did to it. The Captain could stand in front of the mirror and comb his hair for hours and it would still be messy. So he was ready to leave after five minutes. Not to his surprise, Rangiku hadn't moved an inch since she last showed any signs of life. Unbelievable. Was he honestly falling for this lazy idiot?

Folding his arms, he tried to contain his annoyance. 'You have ten minutes to get ready, otherwise I'm having breakfast without you.'

When he didn't have an answer, he realised she had fallen back to sleep again. Are you kidding me? Squinting his eyes, the Captain entered the bathroom, grabbed the empty bin and filled it with cold water. Once it was half full, he exited the bathroom, and sprayed the water across the bed, hitting Matsumoto completely.

A harsh, very loud scream echoed the entire building and Rangiku jumped to her feet, arms around herself, dripping wet and glaring at her Captain. 'What the heck is wrong with you?!'

Never had Tōshirō heard Rangiku scream. And, by God, it was hilarious. Laughing quietly to himself, he watched Matsumoto stomp past him and lock the bathroom door behind her. Clearly he wasn't going to be spoken to for a couple of hours, but that was fine. At least he got her out of bed. Turning to the damp sheets, he hoped the maids wouldn't mind the mess he'd made.

It was a necessary thing to do, though. Worth it, too. While Rangiku showered, Tōshirō tried his best to tidy up the room, before grabbing Matsumoto's flowers and placing them in his bag of clothes. By the time he was done, the shower stopped, and, after a while, his Lieutenant came in, hair wet, but dressed. She did not look happy.

Tōshirō decided it would be best he left her alone, save himself for getting killed.

'I'll meet you downstairs where breakfast is being served.'

Not a sound. Eyes narrowed, she watched her Captain leave the room, and once the door was closed she fell back onto the bed, huffing. Fucking asshole. That was not a nice way to be woken up.

A good hour passed before Rangiku showed her face. Tōshirō acknowledged her enter, feeling the same warmth as before when she reluctantly sat down opposite him. The female Shinigami had chosen coffee and toast, but she honestly didn't have an appetite after what he did. Deciding it would be best to cut the silence, Tōshirō spoke, 'How are you?'

Rangiku refused to look at him and grumpily munched on her toast.

'You look like you're sucking on a lemon,' Hitsugaya commented, sipping on his coffee.

She stopped mid-chew and swerved her gaze to him. 'I hope you drown drinking that.'

Tōshirō almost choked. 'Wow, that hurt my feelings. You understand that if I didn't do what I did, you would have never got up.'

Maybe, but Rangiku wasn't going to admit that. Instead she grabbed her plate of toast and coffee, before sitting at a table a couple of metres away. Slumping his shoulders, Tōshirō watched his lonely Lieutenant from afar. For a second, she checked to see if he was watching her, and as soon as her eyes fell on that smirk of his, she wanted to go over there and punch him.

It was funny that, even when she was moody, Rangiku still managed to make him happy. Tōshirō never once struggled to not laugh, like he was doing now. When he had eaten his breakfast, the Captain stood from his seat and went over to where Rangiku was. 'Although it's a little late, good morning, Matsumoto.'

'You call this a "good" morning?'

Ah, she's talking to me. 'Yes, of course.' Why wouldn't he? Waking up to her was wonderful, and he hoped such an experience would be repeated. 'Are you ready to go back?'

Dropping the toast onto her plate, Rangiku leaned back in her seat. 'No.'

'Why not?'

That was obvious, though, and Tōshirō felt mutual. In The World of the Living, they didn't have anyone breathing down their necks and gossiping. Nobody knew them, and they were free to be themselves. At first, Hitsugaya felt restricted with his emotions, but this amazing woman had allowed him to embrace them–– to a degree, at least.

Surely there would be another time when they could do this, just them, with no mission on their hands.

The rays of sunshine through the windows flattered Rangiku. The brightness highlighted her hair, and skin, and he was utterly captivated. For a very long time, he always thought Matsumoto had a nice appearance, but he never truly appreciated her features like today.

'You're beautiful.' The words slipped out, and he almost slapped himself for speaking so out of character, but Tōshirō remained stoic, eyes set on her.

Rangiku was more surprised than he was with that flattering outburst. Blushing heavily, she scoffed and shook her head. Then a tiny smile reached her lips and she kicked him under the table. Tōshirō jumped, offended she would respond that way, but he soon noticed the amusement in her eyes.

It looked as if his charms were working, after all.

Out of their Gigai, and back in Soul Society, both Shinigami headed for the office. Or, more accurately, Tōshirō forced Rangiku to follow him to the office so they could get started on work. They had spent the whole time off yesterday, which was very bad, as far as Tōshirō was concerned. All Rangiku wanted to do, however, was head back to either of their apartments and just snuggle together. She didn't really like it when Tōshirō was in his working mood.

The watermelon was still waiting for them.

A strange feeling fluttered inside the Captain when he picked the fruit up. To think, less than twenty-four hours ago, he and Matsumoto only acknowledged each other as colleagues. Friends, at most. It was amazing what could happen in such a short amount of time. He had begun to know Rangiku better, understand her past, and even relate to it.

Neither couldn't stand around and think back to what happened, though. Tōshirō was eager to prepare his reports and get them filed as soon as possible. He was also eager for Rangiku to share the same enthusiasm, but she was much too distracted. 'You know, maybe I should put these flowers in a vase and have them on your desk. So you'll be reminded every day that you can be nice.'

'Matsumoto,' Tōshirō raised his head from the paperwork. 'We need to get this done. If you just sit yourself down over there––' He gestured towards her desk, '––And just get on with it, you'll be amazed how time flies.'

Rangiku looked at him and pouted. This was exactly what she was dreading: this wonderful man to be controlled by work again. Although she knew what they were doing was for the greater good, she couldn't help but already miss Tōshirō from when they were in The World of the Living. She recounted back to when he kissed her, when he said that kiss didn't matter, and then last night, the way he held her and everything. It drove her mad.

No one should be that confusing! Rangiku liked straightforward answers. She didn't like hopping over obstacles while clinging onto whatever thread of hope she had to maintain a relationship with this man. Tōshirō was a puzzle, and it infuriated her, but allured her all the same. Watching her Captain work, she wondered if they would soon mould back into being nothing but colleagues again. She could try and hug him, maybe kiss him, but the likeliness of him responding was––

'Standing there won't get the job done.'

Ignoring her Captain's remark, she grabbed a sheet of paperwork and proceeded for the window, briefly reading the top line. She was already bored. Tōshirō raised his head, silent while he watched his Lieutenant stare idly outside. A sigh escaped his lips and he stood from his seat, before walking behind her. At first, he was about to demand she sit down, but, instead, his arms wrapped around her waist and he rested his chin atop of her head.

'You're a distraction.'

'I'm only standing here.'


Despite his chilly body, Matsumoto placed her hands at his arms and rested herself against his chest. She could get used to his cold self, if he would allow her to, of course. Tōshirō watched outside for a moment, closed his eyes, then opened them again, speaking.

'What's wrong?'

'I just want to be with you.'

His eyes widened. 'You–– what, sorry?'

Rangiku didn't know what was so hard to understand. 'I want to be with you, Captain.'

There was a pause, and then Tōshirō cleared his throat. 'Look at me.' Heart racing a little faster, she obeyed his wishes. Hitsugaya's hands remained at her waist, and he looked down at her, one eyebrow raised, as if studying her. 'You want to be with me? As in, like a couple sort of thing or––'

'I don't know what else my words implied, but yes, that's right.'

At first, he wanted to ask "why?". He wasn't exactly the bubbly type. In fact, many people just viewed him as some grumpy one-dimensional character, who had nothing better to do than strop around. There was also his temper, and his very detached manner. Rangiku, a bright, spirited and not to mention gorgeous lady, wanted to be with him?

Tōshirō swallowed.

'I–– I don't know what to say––' Rangiku placed a finger to his lips.

'Maybe you shouldn't say anything. I quite like it when you're like that,' she said, taking ahold of the scruff of his collar, and pulling his face closer to hers. Just by doing this, Tōshirō was already left breathless and his hands trembled while he placed them at her shoulders to refrain her.

'This will be tricky. I just don't want to end up upsetting you. You know I'm quite cold in nature.'

'If you were so cold, Captain, you wouldn't acknowledge the fact you are. Oh, and the whole "Captain" thing? That's going to have to change if we're going to be together.'

Tōshirō frowned. 'Why?'

'Well, I don't exactly want to be moaning your name when we get frisky under the covers: "Ohh, Captain, a little harder"––' Rangiku laughed when Tōshirō broke their embrace and backed away, a tinge of red crawling across his cheeks. 'A cold-mannered man wouldn't have felt embarrassed by me saying that either.'

'I think anyone would feel embarrassed to hear that.'

'You look so young, but you act like an old prude with a beard down to his knees.'

Muttering obscenities to himself, Tōshirō grabbed a folder of paperwork and shoved them to her. 'Get to work. Otherwise, I swear––'

'You'll swear what? Honestly, after what's happened between us, your threats no longer frighten me.'

'You don't know what I can do.'

'That's right. I don't.' Grinning crookedly, she took hold of his chin. Tōshirō inhaled sharply. 'You're just going to have to show me, aren't you?'

'Will you stop saying such obscene things, Matsumoto.'

Rangiku was very amused, but she decided to give her Captain a break. Clearly this conversation had him riled up, and he wasn't exactly the type to banter back. She couldn't help but love his awkward traits, and how bashful he could become just by saying such a simple thing. 'Of course, Captain. I know that you hate anything unrelated to work or you inside the office.'

Was that an attempt to mock him? Tōshirō glared at her, and then realised she was bloody well challenging him. Naturally, the man loved challenges, and whenever one was thrown at him, he had to take it on. If Rangiku was trying to make him wobble at the knees, then two could play at that game. His hands were still shaking, but this time it was mostly out of excitement.

God, how could she have such an effect on him? She wasn't even trying.

'Maybe if I did this you'd shut that foghorn of yours.'

'Foghorn?!' Oh, that was just not acceptable. Wheeling around, she wanted to slap him. 'How dare––' She gasped in surprise when Tōshirō slammed his mouth against hers, their noses bumping together. His behaviour was very similar to last night, rough and ungraceful. And she liked that. She liked that dominating and fierce approach of his.

Yet she knew what made his body shiver. A moan escaped her lips, and she felt his breath tremble in response. Arms around the back of his neck, she practically pounced onto him, which in turn caused Tōshirō to hit the desk. However, he wasn't about to surrender. Claiming both of her arms, he placed them at her sides again, and broke their kiss for a moment.

'You need to control yourself, Matsumoto. We are in a working environment.'

'If you keep interrupting me every time we do this, I will kill someone.'

Their lips met again, and, despite his words, Tōshirō's arms possessively came about her waist, pressing themselves together. It was uncertain how long they were like this for, until someone knocked on the door and came in.

At once both of them broke apart.

Renji stared at the two for a good moment, before slowly holding up a file of documents. 'Uhh.. these are for you, Captain Hitsugaya.'

Tōshirō was relieved Renji didn't see anything. Clearing his throat, he came over and took the folder from him. 'Thank you. How have things been on your end?'

'Fine,' Renji swerved his gaze to Rangiku. For some odd reason, she was at her desk and working. Had he missed something? Unbeknownst to the two, Renji had caught them in the middle of their little make out session, and, goodness, he wasn't sure whether to be surprised or not surprised.

Realising the redheaded Shinigami was still standing in the doorway, Tōshirō raised his head to look at him. 'Can I help you still?'

'No, no.' Oh, he couldn't resist. 'I was just thinking that maybe you two should do what you were doing in front of a crowd. The TV is broken here, after all. We need a source of entertainment.' Tōshirō's face soon became the same colour as a tomato, and it was a miracle steam didn't burst out of his ears. 'Well, I'll leave you to it.' Renji caught Matsumoto's gaze, catching the little smile.

As soon as the door closed, Tōshirō was so shocked by what had just happened, he turned around and collided straight into his desk. This resulted in his watermelon rolling off the side and splattering across the floor.

Seething, he heard Rangiku's laughter from her desk.

'Shut up, Matsumoto.'

There would be complications for their newfound relationship, but Hitsugaya had a feeling they might be let off easily. No doubt that Renji had already skipped away to tell others about what he had just witnessed, so it wouldn't be long until people started talking. And even though Tōshirō was a little obsessive about his reputation, he realised he honestly didn't care what others thought. He hadn't actually felt happier.

In the long-term sense, of course. Because, right now, all he could do was glare at his squished watermelon.

'You're cleaning this up.'

That stopped her laughing completely.

Later that day, when their work was finished, and the office was painted in darkness, Rangiku tapped her Captain's shoulder. The man had almost fallen asleep at his desk, but upon raising his gaze to look at her, it was as if the world had shook around them. Wide awake, he stood to his feet, wondering if something was wrong. Then he let his eyes fall to the watermelon in her hands, and a silly smile stretched across his face. Damn Rangiku; damn Rangiku and her abilities to please him.

'I think it's time we head home,' he whispered, kissing her cheek.

'Cos the daylight seems to want you
Just as much as I want you


author's note: Oh wow, I actually finished a story. I honestly had no idea how to end this, so I hope ya'll like. There probably won't be a sequel, but I don't know yet. I did have another HitsuMatsu story in mind where Ran is pretty miserable about Gin's death, and Tōshirō is eager to help her. Which means LOTS of angst and romance and fluffs and tears. This would be set quite a few years after the manga, though, so he'll appear older, like in this fiction.

I'll put up a poll, so you can decide whether you'd like a sequel or a new story altogether. These two are heaps of fun to write about, and I love them loads.

1) I don't own Bleach and never shall. Tite Kubo is the master.
2) You. Thank you all for reading my story, despite me being a newby to this fandom. I really hope you liked this, and that the ending was all right. Please do tell me your thoughts; I'd love to know what you think, most certainly.
3) Lyrics and title of the story originally came from Snow Patrol's "Crack The Shutters".
4) My kittehs always deserve an acknowledgement. Although, they're grown cats now, but so adorable.

Without a doubt, I will be publishing the odd HitsuMatsu oneshot as well, so look out for those.

Thank you loads and loads, and see you next time!