Characters: Kinda sorta Hitsu/Matsu, onesided HitsuHina
Genre: Angst lite
Warnings: Not really... there's really vague mentions of sex, I guess, but not much.
Summary: Hitsugaya's first kiss isn't quite all it's cracked up to be.
A/N: I turned eighteen recently ( sort of ), and it's gotten me thinking about age, which is probably where this fic comes from.
There were a great many good things that Soul Society did for young, smart people who were talented enough and clever enough to make it through the Academy.
It absolved them of the hunger that had panged most of them for their entire lives, for one thing. And it gave them a job, and power, and the opportunity to become very well-regarded indeed. Of course, it gave them something else too, something that people in the real world had spent centuries searching for: it gave them time. Or rather, it did just the opposite. Here was the long sought-after Fountain of Youth, waiting patiently, like it always had, in the land of the dead.
It was early morning, just after the sun had risen, when rays of dazzling gold poured in through the window and painted vivid tiger stripes onto the far wall. It hurt Matsumoto’s eyes even to look at them, after having been filling out paperwork all night at Hitsugaya’s insistence, but even she still had to admit that it was already shaping up to be a beautiful day. Butterflies fluttered lazily above the small garden below the window, not Hell Butterflies ( thankfully; Matsumoto thought that having to deal with even one more urgent message to do such-and-such would send her over the deep end ), but the plain yellow sulphur butterflies that seemed to get everywhere this time of year.
“Matsumoto”, said Hitsugaya second time, now turning slightly to glare at her. Perhaps it was just because she had not slept for a full twenty-four hours, but she suddenly could not help but be annoyed that she was being bossed around by somebody who did not even come up to her chin. It just seemed wrong somehow. But still....
“I need to ask you a favor,” he said, beckoning her over. Was it more paperwork?, she wondered. Of course it was. Over the past few hours, she had begun to toy with the idea that he understood her hatred of the Soul Society bureaucracy completely, and was really only doing all of this to annoy her. That would be just like him too, grumpy little creature that he undoubtedly was.
Still, she walked to the other side of the room and crouched next to him. There was a slip of paper in one hand, and an odd, rather unreadable expression on his face. She peered curiously at the slip. It turned out to be a notice from Fourth, informing interested parties that Hinamori Momo had been determined to now be completely physically and mentally healthy. Matsumoto was glad to see that, at any rate. Hinamori was a sweet girl, if not the sort of person that she could ever see herself becoming close friends with, and she had long wondered if there was anything between her and Hitsugaya. At the very least, they had been friends for a long time, and... and come to think of it, he certainly did not look very happy for someone whose friend– or possibly “friend”– had just been certified sane.
“Look,” he started plaintively, refocusing her attention back onto his face. The look in his teal eyes was as intense as ever, but she now saw something that she had failed to notice the first time around: a few slivers of apprehension and strangely enough, intimidation.
“Don’t take this the wrong way.”
And then, to her everlasting surprise, he kissed her.
Being, as she was, both older and significantly drunker than him, she had kissed; made mad, passionate, barely remembered love to; and woken up with a hangover in the bedrooms of quite a few interesting men over the years. So it was also with a good deal of surprise that she now labeled her taichou as being the absolute worst kisser she had ever encountered. Well, asked the small part of her brain that was still rational even after missing so much sleep, what did you expect? You are kissing a twelve-year-old, after all.
And then, as strangely and abruptly as it had begun, it was over. He turned his face away from her and said very quietly and very primly, “I’m sorry. I’ve just always wondered what it’s like to kiss a woman.”
What about Hinamori-kun?, her mind queried. I can’t help but think that you like her anyway, and besides, who decides to kiss someone more than twice their age when the two of you aren’t so far apart?... Except...
At that age, a few years was far apart, wasn’t it? Some girls Hinamori’s age did things that would give their parents ( if anybody in Soul Society truly had parents ) heart attacks, and some boys Hitsugaya’s age still thought that girls had cooties.
“I have things that I need to attend to”, he announced, standing up suddenly and turning so quickly that she had no opportunity to see the expression on his face. What he had said was the truth, of course: these days, anyone in a position of power was busy all day and sometimes all night, and they both knew that. But it was a two-dimensional truth, or the truth made to be a lie, and they knew that too.
She sat still for a long while, thinking that what she felt was nothing more than mere bemusement, until a sound like several very small animals being stepped on clawed its way up her throat. In some small way, she was very thankful that Hitsugaya was no longer in the room to hear it.
There could be no doubt that this day, in this room, was a particularly beautiful moment in time. But that did not preclude it from being, in some way that she could not entirely describe, very, very sad as well.
Yes, there were a great many wonderful things that Soul Society did for kids with talent and little else...
But out of all of them, this had to be the worst.