A/N: Just a little idea I came up with for Christmas. I really hope you guys enjoy it and happy holidays!

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach!

Hitsugaya Toshiro stifled a yawn as he signed his name for what had to be the thousandth time on the thousandth sheet of paperwork before setting it in the finished stack and reaching for another. Sometimes it felt as though his duties as the Captain of Squad Ten would never end, especially considering the tiny amount of help he received from his lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto. Seeing how the holiday season had come upon them once again, Matsumoto was using it as an opportunity to drink even more and work even less, adding another irritation to her Captain's already floor length list.

A slight knock on his office door broke the dull silence that had settled over the room, jolting Hitsugaya from his thoughts and drawing his attention from his desktop for the first time in what felt like hours.

"Come in," he called, watching as the door slid open to reveal none other than Captain Shinsui Kyoraku of Squad Eight, a rather unusual visitor indeed. Toshiro was surprised, and a little weary, to see a strange looking top hat held tightly in one of the Captain's hands, though where the man had gotten his mitts on such a thing, Hitsugaya had no idea. Kyoraku ignored his fellow Captain's cautious gaze and instead padded happily over to the young man's desk, setting the hat down atop his stack of paperwork with a cheerful thunk.

"Happy Holidays Captain!" he said brightly, his regular smile even larger than usual, already adding to Toshiro's mounting headache. The boy merely grunted in response and turned back to his work, hoping that whatever the man had to say he would get on with. Kyoraku's grin didn't falter despite his fellow Captain's lack of excitement and instead plowed undaunted into his reason for coming.

"Ukitake and I have had an idea," he announced proudly.

"Is that so?" Hitsugaya asked, feigning interest. Kyoraku nodded and motioned to the top hat sitting on the desk.

"We thought that this year it might be a nice switch from our normal duties if all the members of the 13 court guard squads were to participate in a 'Secret Santa' activity of sorts," he said to him. Hitsugaya withheld the overwhelming desire to sigh exasperatedly and instead settled for massaging his throbbing temple with his index fingers.

"And has everyone agreed to this?" he asked, having a difficult time seeing Soi Fon or Kenpachi agreeing to such a childish idea. Kyoraku beamed.

"Some were more challenging than others but yes, in the end you are the last we've had to convince," he said to him. Hitsugaya frowned, staring at the hat as though it might attack at any moment.

"And what exactly does this entail?" he asked cautiously. Kyoraku shrugged.

"Not much. All you have to do is have a present or treat of sorts prepared for your Secret Santa by Christmas day and then give it to them in some sort of secretly creative way," he responded, the smile practically stretching off his face. Hitsugaya blinked before shaking his head and sagging back into his chair, finally admitting defeat.

"Fine," he mumbled, reluctantly reaching his hand out for the top hat while Kyoraku held it for him. There was only one scrap of paper left in the hat with one name scrawled messily across it, waiting to be read. As soon as Toshiro's eyes flicked across the sheet his heart dropped into his stomach and his headache suddenly grew ten times worse. Kyoraku beamed at him and Hitsugaya suddenly had the sneaking suspicion the older man knew exactly what name he had chosen.

"Thank you for participating Captain!" he said gleefully before taking the top hat and practically skipping from the office. Toshiro groaned and dropped his head onto his desk, allowing the tiny sheet of paper to slip from his hands and settle onto the floor. Of course, out of all the members of the Gotei 13, he just had to pick Hinamori Momo.

Hitsugaya was about ready to strangle his Lieutenant when she finally came prancing into his office several hours after she had been expected. He wasn't surprised to see her cheeks were flushed slightly red, most likely from sake use despite the early hour of the evening, and her hair wind tossed, a sure sign that she had been outside instead of working inside with him.

"Sorry I'm late Captain!" she said absently before sprawling across the couch in front of his desk, ignoring the rather large vein ticking in the young man's forehead.

"You're not sorry at all, Matsumoto," Hitsugaya hissed, clenching his hands into fists and nearly snapping his pen in half. The woman giggled before a hiccup escaped her lips and she covered her mouth with her hand, feigning shock.

"Now where did that come from?" she asked amusedly. The white haired captain bit back all of the things he would love dearly to unleash on his irresponsible lieutenant right then but unfortunately for him, he needed advice and he was determined to get it.

"Matsumoto," he began in a carefully controlled tone. The woman's giggles ceased and she propped herself up so she was staring at him over the back of the couch, one eyebrow arched in curiosity.

"Yes?" she inquired, obviously wondering why in the world she wasn't being royally chewed out. Hitsugaya bit his lip, fidgeting with his haori as he wondered how exactly to phrase this question.

"Wh-what do girls like?" he asked, hating the fact that he sounded so nervous. Matsumoto blinked, wondering if she had heard the boy correctly as this was a very un-Hitsugayaish thing to ask.

"What?" she asked, wanting to make sure she wasn't going crazy. If possible Toshiro's face got even redder, his fists clenching and unclenching at his sides.

"For this stupid Secret Santa thing! I-I got stuck with a girl and I don't know what they like!" he snapped, feeling very foolish indeed. Matsumoto hid a grin as she took in her Captain's flustered expression, unable to help thinking that he looked very cute indeed and not at all like his usual no nonsense self. Knowing she might never get an opportunity like this again she immediately jumped to her feet, a winning grin on her face as she said:

"Would you go shopping with me!?"

"WHAT!?" If Rangiku had thought her Captain's face red before, it was nothing compared to the magnificent fuchsia shade it had become. Truly the look contrasted his hair quite nicely she thought, wishing she had a camera so she could forever capture this moment and quite possibly share it with a few other members of the Gotai 13. Pouting she planted her hands onto curvy hips and fixed him with a stubborn gaze.

"I can tell you what girls like Captain but I think it would help you more to see for yourself. Besides, this way I'll be able to know for sure that you got her something good instead of something boring that you might find practical," she told him stubbornly.

"I have work to do, Matsumoto," Hitsugaya responded gruffly, his face feeling one hundred times hotter than it normally did.

"It'll still be there when we get back," she told him brightly. "I'll bet you've been cooped up in this office all day. Come on, it'll at least give you a break."

"I don't need-" he began but Matsumoto was having none of it.

"Oh hush," she said to him before grabbing his arm and promptly dragging the protesting young man towards the office door. "If you stop making such a big deal out of this we'll be done even faster." Realizing it wasn't going to do any good to argue with her, Hitsugaya gave up for the second time that day and reluctantly allowed himself to be pulled down the hallway and out of the Squad 10 barracks.

Despite his unwillingness to be anywhere but his office, Toshiro couldn't help but admit that it was rather pretty out. A light snow had fallen over Soul Society, giving Seireitei the appearance of a large Christmas town complete with frosted roofs and wintry air. The Shinigami themselves also seemed to be in cheerier moods as they walked from place to place, some donning warm scarves or mittens to protect themselves against the chill that Toshiro found rather relaxing. Rangiku passed them by without a second glance as she dragged her Captain though Seireitei's streets and out into the districts of Rukongai.

"Do you know where you're going?" Hitsugaya hissed, finally dislodging his arm from her vice grip after they'd been walking for awhile. Matsumoto ginned at him.

"Of course," she responded. "It's just a little farther ahead."

About three minutes later Toshiro found himself entering what appeared to be a street crammed full of tiny shops, warm lights twinkling from within, beckoning warmly to any cold passersby.

"So this girl…" Rangiku began, glancing down at him. "Do you know anything about her? Any likes or dislikes?" Hitsugaya hesitated.

"Y-yeah, I guess," he mumbled, a soft pink tinge coloring his cheeks that had nothing to do with the bitter cold of the outside air. Matsumoto sighed at his unhelpful response before grabbing his arm again and pulling him into the nearest shop.

"Well, let's start in here at least," she said to him, and with a sigh he followed her.

The two went from shop to shop, perusing the various items and trinkets that were on sale for any interested souls who might happen to pass by. Yet despite their best efforts Hitsugaya was still unable to find anything that he thought Hinamori might really, really love.

If Rangiku guessed who his Secret Santa was she gave no sign, though Hitsugaya was positive it must have been pretty obvious at this point.

"So, you must really care about what this person thinks," Rangiku said slyly, only confirming his suspicions.

"Why do you say that?" Hitsugaya asked wearily. Matsumoto shrugged knowingly.

"Well, if it had been just anyone you would have bought something in the first store we stopped in without a second thought. It's almost as though you're trying to find the perfect gift," she said with a smile. Toshiro shrugged but didn't respond, instead pushing in the door to the next shop and wishing the tiny bell that jangled overhead was loud enough to drown out his lieutenant.

They combed the place through from top to bottom with no better luck than any of the others and by the time they left even Matsumoto seemed to be wilting a little. Toshiro was just about to give up and call it a day when a tiny stand sitting forlornly under a snowy evergreen caught his eye. Curious he headed over and paused to stare at the surprised merchants wares. It wasn't everyday after all that one of Soul Society's renowned Captains happened into Rukongai for a visit.

The cart was full of little trinkets, small pieces of jewelry, and tiny ornaments that shone prettily in the waning light of evening, catching the suns reflection in their glass depths and sending glowing patterns dancing across the snow. Despite himself he felt a small smile fold onto his lips as he reached for a necklace with a tiny golden chain attached to a glass peach that winked merrily at him from its place on the cart. Feeling the cool smoothness against his fingers he felt satisfied that he'd finally found something that Momo would like and that he would be glad to give her.

Once the necklace had been paid for Toshiro carefully picked it up and turned back to Matsumoto who had been waiting patiently outside of the last shop. Upon seeing the satisfied expression on his face a smile lit her lips and she fell into step beside him, stifling a yawn with a manicured hand.

"See, that wasn't too bad was it?" she asked him. Hitsugaya snorted before glancing down at the shimmering glass peach in his hand and hiding a smile, determined not to allow Matsumoto the satisfaction of knowing that no, it hadn't been so bad after all.

Christmas morning rolled around much quicker than Toshiro would have preferred and before long he found himself making his way down the hallway and towards his office where he had hidden the necklace in the top drawer of his desk. He had to fight a whole mess of nerves as the task of actually presenting Momo with her gift suddenly felt more daunting than fighting a whole horde of hollows. Shaking his head and attempting to get a grip on the butterflies flitting around in his stomach he opened his office door only to be greeted with a rather strange and unexpected sight.

His entire desktop was completely covered in sweets, so much to the point that even the intimidating stack of paperwork could not be seen under the mountain of goodies. Letting a sigh escape his lips Toshiro couldn't help but believe that this had to be the work of his Secret Santa, leading to the further conclusion that Juushiro Ukitake was most likely the culprit behind the tooth decaying masterpiece. His suspicions were confirmed as he made his way behind the desk, quickly finding a rather festive looking note reading:

'Happy Holidays signed, The Other Shiro.'

Hitsugaya rolled his eyes before grabbing the handle of his drawer and pulling it forward, sending some of the sweets cascading to the ground. He had just reached into the drawer and pulled the trinket out when the sound of pounding footsteps could suddenly be heard sprinting down the hallway. Two seconds later his door was thrown open to reveal a Shinigami messenger gasping for breath and Hitsugaya couldn't help the sinking feeling that told him this morning might be a lot worse than he had initially expected.

"Excuse the interruption sir but a large pack of huge hollows have been spotted prowling around district 64 of Rukongai. Squad 5 is there now and requesting back up!" he panted. Hitsugaya's heart quickened at the mention of Hinamori's squad and immediately his overprotective impulses began to take over.

"Understood," he responded before dashing out of his office and shoving the necklace into his pocket to be dealt with later.

Upon reaching the outer barracks he was glad to see Matsumoto already present and accounted for, currently in the process of organizing the rest of Squad 10 into formation as they awaited their Captain's arrival. The woman gave him a quick smile as soon as she saw him and without another word the two shunpoed off in the direction of area 64, the remainder of their squad behind them.

Hitsugaya had Hyorinmaru drawn as soon as their destination came into sight, the air immediately rent with the sound of furious hollows as they engaged the Shinigami in fierce battle. Leaving Matsumoto behind to deal with the lower seats, Toshiro raced to the frontlines of battle, searching the bloodstained ground for any sign of Hinamori. A bright flash of red caught his eye and he turned in time to see the girl let off a blast of powerful kido, disintegrating the hollow in front of her with a graceful ease. Satisfied that she was alright, he raised his sword into the air, already feeling power rush through his veins as he shouted:

"Reign upon the frosted heavens! Hyorinmaru!" The roar of his dragon shook the earth and drew the attention of many soul starved hollows who began to advance on him, only to be wiped out in the face of the snapping jaws of his ice type zanpakutou. There was a roar of approval from the remaining squad five members who promptly engaged the hollows with renewed vigor, comforted by the fact that reinforcements had finally arrived.

"Growl Heineko!" Matsumoto made her presence known as the gray ash of her soul slayer ripped through its enemies, disintegrating multiple hollows with one blast. Despite this new wave of strength the hollows continued to advance, their glowing eyes fixed on the Shinigami in front of them.

Hitsugaya leaped into the air, raising his zanpakutou and allowing a gigantic ice dragon to materialize and fly forward at a rather large hollow that had targeted two Shinigami, already wounded in the fighting.

"Retreat to the back!" Hitsugaya ordered them upon regaining his footing. The two nodded, only too quick to obey.

"Shakkaho!" Toshiro felt a wave of heat shoot past his ear as Hinamori's red flame cannon flew by him, annihilating the hollow that had set it's eyes on the Captain of Squad Ten. He shot her a brief smile as she hurried over to him, a grin of her own spreading across her flushed cheeks.

"You made it!" she gasped.

"You expected otherwise, bed-wetter?" he responded, resorting to her old nickname. The girl's grin was immediately replaced with a frown and she opened her mouth to respond when all the sudden a flash out of the corner of his eye alerted Hitsugaya to the danger seconds before it hit. Grabbing Hinamori around the waist he leaped into the air, bringing his sword down and lopping off the arm of the hollow that had just attacked them. It roared and stumbled backwards, howling angrily at the abuse of its suddenly shorter appendage. Hitsugaya set Hinamori down, failing to notice the blush that had spread across her cheeks as he did so, and promptly raised his sword, finishing off the beast with a blast of well aimed ice.

"Thanks Shiro-chan," she said to him, her eyes sparkling in amusement. Toshiro scowled but figured a retort would have to be put off until after the remaining hollows were disposed of. Looking over the battlefield, something small shimmering weakly from the ground caught his eye and with a start he recognized the peach necklace he had purchased for Hinamori's Secret Santa gift. The present must have fallen unnoticed out of his pocket as he had dodged the hollow's earlier attack. All at once a shadow loomed over the small trinket, and a large scaled foot suddenly landed directly on the little peach. Hitsugaya swore, leaping down from the rooftop and slicing a tear in the hollow from its shoulder to its navel, immediately causing it to fall back and disintegrate before it hit the ground.

After quickly glancing around to make sure all the hollows in their area were disposed of he promptly scanned his eyes over the grass, trying to locate any sign of Hinamori's tiny gift. With a sinking heart he found it lying a foot away, the chain completely shattered and a large crack marring the peach's otherwise smooth surface. Bending down he picked it up, the chain falling to pieces but the peach itself still miraculously intact.

"Captain!" He straightened up at Matsumoto's call, glancing over to where she was standing. "All of the hollows have been disposed of. We should get the wounded to Squad Four as soon as possible!" He nodded, pocketing the broken gift for a second time that day and promptly ordering the remaining Shinigami back to Seireitei.

Hitsugaya sighed for what had to be the fortieth time that day and ran his hands through his hair in frustration. The evening was rapidly slipping away and he still had yet to give Hinamori anything for her Secret Santa gift. She must be wondering at this point weather anyone had even drawn her name and if they had, weather they'd actually bothered to give her anything. Since the peach had broken he had nothing else to get her and reports about that morning's battle had kept him cooped up in his office all day long, thus preventing him from purchasing a present of a different kind. Really he was a failure at this kind of thing and wondered why in the world he had ever agreed to it in the first place.

A soft knocking on the door jerked him from his reverie and he mumbled a brief 'Come in', completely startled to see Hinamori open the door and cautiously poke her head inside.

"Are you still working?" she asked carefully. He sighed, falling into his usual habit of massaging his temples and shook his head.

"Not really," he replied shortly. A grin lit the girls face and she immediately stepped into the room, hurrying over to his desk and tugging playfully at his arm.

"You have to come outside with me, it's snowing!" she gushed. Toshiro glanced up at her, wondering how she could be so excited about something as common as snow.

"It snowed already idiot, why are you so happy about it?" he asked grumpily. Momo however, was not disheartened.

"Because I was busy before so I couldn't go out. Please Shiro-chan, will you come with me?" she begged, making her eyes grow wide and watery and allowing her bottom lip to tremble in a way she knew he couldn't resist. Groaning the boy finally caved, allowing himself to be pulled from his office chair and out into the hallway for the second time that week.

As soon as they stepped outside the two were met with a blast of chilly air from the frigid evening and Momo instantly wrapped her arms around herself to fend off the cold. Toshiro swallowed awkwardly, feeling as though he should do something to try and warm her up but wasn't exactly sure how to go about doing it. So instead he shoved his hands into the folds of his shihakusho, hoping Hinamori wasn't expecting him to do anything otherwise.

The streets were practically deserted, most of the Shinigami taking shelter in their squad barracks while the other souls took refuge in warm houses. The two walked side by side, the only sound the soft crunching of their feet against the newly fallen snow and the light whistle of the wind through the barren tree branches stretching above their heads.

"So was Captain Ukitake your Secret Santa?" Hinamori asked after awhile, a small smile on her face. Toshiro snorted, nodding his head.

"How'd you know?" he asked, a tiny smirk on his face. Momo giggled.

"Lucky guess," she responded. Another silence followed this exchange as the two made their way forward through the snow filled evening, finally coming to a halt as the road ended at Seireitei's large outer gate.

"I don't think I got picked this year," Momo said quietly, turning her back to him and staring up at the looming gate in front of them. "For Secret Santa I mean." Toshiro winced, fingering the broken peach in his pocket.

"Maybe something came up," he said quietly. Hinamori shrugged, turning to him with a sad smile.

"Maybe," she laughed. "I bet Captain Zaraki or someone got my name." Toshiro hesitated before deciding to take the plunge.

"Actually, not quite," he said quietly. Momo frowned.

"What do you mean?" she asked. Toshiro sighed, pulling the broken peach out of his pocket and holding it out to her.

"I pulled your name out of the hat this year," he began, watching as Momo's eyes widened, staring at the pendant in confusion.

"What do you mean?" she inquired after a moment. The boy dropped his gaze to the side, staring out at the falling snow with weary eyes.

"I got you this necklace because I thought that maybe you might like it but… I was going to give it to you this morning but then there was the hollow raid and it fell out of my pocket and broke. I didn't want to give you a broken gift but there wasn't time to get something else," he mumbled, his face growing redder and redder with every passing second. Momo stared at him a moment before a large smile broke out across her face and she reached out towards him, taking his hand in hers warmly.

"Its so pretty," she whispered, slowly lifting it from his palm and raising it up so the moon's pearly light was reflected back across her face.

"It's broken," he responded dully. She shook her head, closing her fingers around it again and holding it close to her heart.

"It doesn't matter. Thank you so much, Shiro-chan," she told him. Toshiro's face darkened to a brilliant shade of magenta and he dropped his gaze to the ground, suddenly finding his shoes very interesting.

"You're welcome," he muttered. The words had barely left his mouth when Momo's arms were around him in a completely unexpected embrace, her head buried deep in his chest, her cheeks a bright crimson red.

"Wh-what are you…?" he trailed off, raising his arms awkwardly, not entirely sure what to do with them.

"Merry Christmas," she whispered happily. He hesitated a moment before finally allowing himself to relax into her hug, ever so carefully wrapping his arms around her as well.

"You too, bed-wetter," he muttered. Almost immediately she pulled away a bit, staring up at him with a frown on her face, her arms still wrapped around his middle.

"I told you not to call me that," she protested, her lips folded into an adorable pout. Toshiro shrugged, a sly smile spreading over his mouth as he brushed a few stray snowflakes from her hair.

"Shut up," he muttered before closing the distance between them and gently pressing his lips against hers. Momo stiffened in surprise before melting into the kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck and lacing her fingers through his hair, every bit as passionate as he. The two stayed that way for awhile, immune to the cold and any passersby that happened to glance their way. After what felt like forever the two pulled apart, their faces rivaling ripe cherries. Slowly Momo's lips curled into a smile and she rested her head against his chest again, closing her eyes in contentment.

"This was the best Christmas present ever," she whispered, allowing his warmth to seep into her and keep the cold at bay. Toshiro smiled, knowing that no response was necessary. Maybe, the boy thought as he wrapped his arms around her again, this whole Secret Santa thing wasn't so bad after all…

The end! Alright I hope you all enjoyed! I wrote this entire thing with a sticky R key so hopefully there weren't too many typos or anything. Thank you all so much for reading and I hope you had an awesome holiday season! Any reviews w/ thoughts or opinions would be much appreciated! Much love!

~Phoenix