[personal profile] clearandstrong
Aftermath
Author: [livejournal.com profile] davyn
Story: Aftermath
Prompt: Unfanta Picture
Characters: Hitsugaya Toushirou and Hinamori Momo
Genre:Angst
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any of its characters!
Warnings: Spoilers past the anime episode 60.
Rating: Fit for All ages
Author Notes: This story was done in response in response to this picture.

This is how I think they got into that position.



Hinamori walked through the doors to Soul Society that had been opened for them all just moments before. The sound of tiny hell's wings and the soft cries of the wounded were burning themselves into the back of her mind. As it was there was no risk in letting large groups through the gates. Not any more. She stumbled at the end and was grateful for the hand that caught the back of her robes halting her downward progress towards the ground. She looked up at the face, she didn’t recognize him but that was all right. He wasn't from the fifth, but that didn't matter any more either. It was over. Whatever that meant.

She hobbled out of the way of the incoming fourth division members, so many were being carried out on stretchers. There was something so pathetic and so... well enduring about the fourth division right now. One would come through the gate, carefully settle their burden into new hands and then flit back into the space they had just came from. She just hoped that some remembered how hard they worked to save them tomorrow. Especially since so few of the injured would actually make it to morning. The important thing was that they had won. No amount of blood and bleeding or dying could change that.

She glanced around for a familiar head of white hair and almost panicked, just a tiny bit, when she couldn't find it. Nothing. Where was he?

She pushed down her panic and kept moving. He might not have come through yet, there were still several waves that were scheduled to head back to Soul Society after there’s. They had opened such a huge portal the first time that there was no one with the strength to repeat the maneuver now when they needed to come home. A lot of hurried planning had gone into this and it showed. At least they could open portals home. She had no desire to be stuck in Hueco Mundo for a few days. The place had been tainted enough before Aizen had gone there.

She turned away from the precision that would take her to the fourth division. Matsumoto had come through an hour earlier and she was willing to bet that he had gone with her. The injured vice-captain had been bleeding heavily; which meant that there was little chance he had remained behind. He would have gone with his vice-captain, made sure she made it where she was supposed to. She ignored whatever other emotions threatened to filter through with that knowledge. All the captains had stayed close to their vice-captains at the end and there had been times she almost half-expected to turn and find a smiling man beside her. As it was the smirking, cold man who had finally been brought down had been.... so different from what she remembered that she almost couldn't label them the same man.

But that was for later, she had all the time she needed to analyze her own self-worth and she would. Just later.

Her unsteady footsteps took her along the outer rim of the city. She knew enough shortcuts and careful navigation to get her where she wanted to go and to do so in a hurry. He wouldn't be in the fourth division; he would see Matsumoto there and then he would leave. She didn't know if he was hiding from them all. She wasn’t even sure if he would want her to find him. She trudged on anyway.

She wasn't surprised to find him in his office. She had expected to find him at his desk, settled in neatly with the endless piles of paperwork stacked in front of him. She paused in the door-way and examined him, not sure if he yet sensed her presence having left the door wide open. Instead of setting at his chair or even on the edge of the couch that he occasionally claimed as his own he was against the wall in the furthest corner. His captain’s cloak was in shreds, held together by random threads that clung to his shoulders in patches. His left had been wrapped neatly in bandages and she wondered what had injured him even as she noticed the way his right hand was cradling his head. His left hung limply at his side. His sandals were at the door which meant he had enough presence of mind to heed the laws of decorum. She hesitated a moment before stumbling forward once more. She almost dropped Tobiume when she kicked off her shoes. She was halfway across the floor when his eyes rose in confusion.

She ended up tripping halfway there anyway and slid forward to stop in front of him. She stood hastily; chewing on her lip as she watched him, his eyes were listless, exhausted, and dark circles that had been forming for weeks looked almost like bruises under the skin of his eyes. He was exhausted, wounded, and physically spent.

She gave no thought to dropping to her knees, her legs bumping his aside as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, her head burrowing into his neck. He tensed for the briefest of moments, though whether it was from shock or confusion she didn’t know. She sucked in a shaky breath when his right hand shifted upwards to grasp the back of her robe. Her arms tightened around his shoulder as he lowered his head to rest his brow on her shoulder.

“It’s over,” she whispered softly. His fingers buried deeper into her robes, his one handed grip almost painful, and then a fine tremor slid through him, and his breathing became erratic. It was only when she felt hot tears slid down a tear in her robe to finally come to a halt when the water hit the cloth that covered her arm that she realized he was crying.

Her own tears pooled in her eyes but she shoved them back for the moment, shifting forward to hold him closer as another shudder slid through him.

“Its over,” she repeated, her voice cracking even as she ignored the tears that slid down her face unbidden at her words.

This time it was his hand that tightened as he made a noise and raised his other arm, reaching up to wrap her close. “We won,” she murmured. She didn’t know who she was telling, him or her. She relaxed against him just a bit when he patted her back. It was comforting, his strange awkward attempt to comfort her. Reminded her that some things didn’t change over night like others.

She couldn’t stop the little gaps that broke through her control, didn’t try to stop them as fresh tears poured down both their faces, neither able to battle back the tide of emotion as they clung to each other in the dark of his office.

They had won.

They were alive.

It was enough.
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clearandstrong

December 2010

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