|After the End
Author: KnowledgeandImagination PM
Continued from Final Battles. Aizen has been defeated at last, but not everything is well. There are still many loose ends to tie up, many injuries to tend to, many things to straighten out, and lastly, many feelings to realize. hitsuhina and some others.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship - T. Hitsugaya & M. Hinamori - Chapters: 17 - Words: 115,752 - Reviews: 138 - Favs: 96 - Follows: 69 - Updated: 01-22-13 - Published: 08-02-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5270920
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hi! I feel stupid for being hyper, but hi. Anyhow, this is the direct continuation to Final Battles, so the first part is still on the battlefield. I hope that it's okay. I suggest you read the other story first, but you might be able to understand this just like this. Sorry for the delay in posting it, if you were waiting for it. I was hit by a procrastination bug.
As I had said previously, there will be some fail romance, and the pairings will be hitsuhina, ichiruki, byakuhisa (you will see), and possibly ginran. Can't think of any others at the moment, but I shall tell you if any come up. They'll probably be minor, anyhow. It will also have some explainations to things left over from the previous story.
I had a dilemma with the character categories. In the end, I decided Toushirou and Momo because they're my favourite characters and pairing, and this story probably has mostly them. This is a sort of experiment at writing all the things I never tried, such as romance and humor, so please be tolerant.
Without further ado, let's start of the story.
Everyone looked around, for a moment, a complete silence reigned over the entire company as they surveyed the destruction and the debris left over from the battle, the bodies of shinigami, the broken swords of arrancar, and their remains strewn across the fake Karakura town that had become their battlefield. Debris covered nearly every square meter of the area, nearly every building was wrecked in some way, the least serious a huge chunk missing from the roof, and the most…well, there was nothing left of it but a crater in the ground, dust, and small shards of concrete. No one said a word as they examined the surroundings, a strained silence, as if they couldn't believe what was happening. Then, as one, everyone seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. Happiness was not very apparent, for it was marred by the exhaustion from battle, and the pain from the losses. Everyone was much too tired to cheer, much too consumed by pain to smile, much too wounded to think much.
However, like every rule, there were exceptions. Hitsugaya Toushirou looked around him, Hyourinmaru still gripped tightly in his hand, and still in bankai form, though his arm hung loosely at his side. He looked at his body, a small frown on his face as he examined the way it floated effortlessly in the air, and it emanated pulsing, blue reiatsu. He alone was in deep thought.
The Royal Guard had vanished along with all the other worlds as Aizen was defeated. The world's barriers were never meant to be broken, and have repaired themselves, though they were shaken. Still, he wondered if what the Guard had witnessed would cause any problems for the rest of Soul Society.
His eyes flickered to the sky, clearing from the storm he'd induced. The sunlight struck his pale face and slightly glowing aqua eyes.
I'm glad I didn't arrive too late, he thought. If I hadn't won that battle when I did, if I hadn't accept my heritage when I did, many more would be dead now.
But the fight isn't over yet, Toushirou, for you at least.
I know that.
He remembered Hyourinmaru's warning. He knew the danger of entering that last battle in the state he'd been in. His body had already been at its limit when he pushed it overboard. And he knew how difficult it would be now to suppress the power of the Heavenly Guardian, and what would happen when he did.
Toushirou sighed as he looked up into the sky again. The sword in his hand glowed and returned to its sealed form. A sheet of water ran over the blade, solidifying into its deep blue sheath. Carefully, he began to draw in his enormous power and reiatsu.
The war is over at last, but no battle comes without hurt.
The ice covering his wounds shook as the last wisps of reiatsu was suppressed, or just barely. Toushirou frowned. It was much harder to keep it down then he'd anticipated. However, that was the least of his worries.
The ice shook again, more violently this time. With the energy holding them gone, they could not hold for much longer. Toushirou looked up at the sky again, frowning, resigned to the inevitable.
And suddenly, without warning, the ice covering his wounds cracked and shattered to a million shards, and along with it, the wounds that he'd kept just frozen under burst open again.
The other shinigami turned toward the sound, and cried of horror escaped their throats. The shards of ice rained down, along with crimson droplets of blood. The young captain's eyes widened as his wounds all opened again, and pain hit him at full force. It was worse than before, both his wounds and pain much worse than the first time. As the blood rained down like crimson rain, along with ice shards, Toushirou's eyes closed, and his body, unable to withstand the pain any longer, pitched backwards, no longer able to remain airborne, and plunged to the ground below.
The shinigami saw what was happening as if slow motion, for a moment too stunned to move. Then, shouts of "Toushirou!" or "Hitsugaya-taichou" erupted from all sides as all scrambled to take action.
Ichigo, who was closest, shunpoed forward though his body screamed in pain, intent on catching the boy. However, though he moved as fast as he would, his hand snatched at thin air, having missed by a second. "Damn!" he cursed.
Momo screamed Toushirou's name at the top of her lungs. She would have gone after him as well, if her legs weren't shattered and she couldn't even stand, let alone run. Matsumoto as well screamed her captain's name, but could hardly move. Gin made what looked like a movement to go forward, but wouldn't leave Matsumoto behind either.
Byakuya saw the falling figure from a distance away. Without hesitation, he began to shunpo toward Toushirou, for once glad of the endless games of tag he'd been forced into playing with Yoruichi. Though his body was beaten and exhausted as well, though he still bled heavily from his wounds, and the poison in his system had not yet abated, he didn't let any of that stop him. He was a master of shunpo as well, and intent of saving the boy who had saved them all.
However, it seemed that even Byakuya, second to only Yoruichi, would not be fast enough. The young boy, now completely unconscious and still bleeding freely, plunged ever more quickly toward earth, the forces of gravity making him fall faster with every meter. Byakuya knew that he wouldn't make it, but he harshly pushed the thoughts from his mind. The ground came faster and faster, while the shinigami seemed to rush toward him in slow motion.
Just as Toushirou's head was a mere two feet from the ground, it suddenly hit a white-sleeved arm that slipped under it just in time. A strand of long white hair fell gently onto Toushirou's pale face.
Everyone stopped moving and stared in surprise. Ukitake Jushirou was half kneeling, his shihakushou and haori tattered and bloody, his white hair settling about his shoulders from the wind of his shunpo. In his arms he held Toushirou, having just caught him in time. He was breathing heavily, sweat sliding down his face. It was obvious that his lungs were hindering him again.
"Ukitake," Byakuya's voice cut into the silence softly as he suddenly appeared in from of the fellow captain. He was breathing heavily, scarf settling down from his own shunpo, breathing heavily as well and ignoring the exhaustion in his limbs and pain in his wounds. "Let me handle it. You should not overexert yourself."
Ukitake smiled weakly, fighting back a cough that pushed against his lips. It wouldn't do well for him to cough more blood over the boy in his arms. He knew that this was Byakuya's way of gratitude, and though he was grateful for his concern, he was also mystified as to why the stoic Sixth division captain would even bother to try and save Toushirou. He had never seen them have any contact. "Don't worry. I can handle it," Ukitake assured Byakuya as he stood up, ignoring his body's protests and trying to be as gentle with the boy in his arms as possible. "You're in worse condition than me anyhow."
He turned to the other shinigami. "Hurry! He needs immediate medical attention. Prepare a senkaimon! We need to get to the fourth, where there are better medical supplies!" Ukitake didn't bother keeping the note of urgency and impatience out of his voice.
"On it," Urahara Kisuke said before anyone would act. In a matter of seconds, the senkaimon was opening, and Ukitake rushing through it, followed by Unohana, who spared a glance at Byakuya, saying, "Kuchiki-taichou, please come as well. Your wounds are also very serious."
Byakuya paused, eyes flickering to Rukia, who seemed to be all right, before rushing through the senkaimon as well.
Unohana addressed Isane. "Isane, examine everyone here, and send the worst to fourth division. Seventh seat Yamada, gather a first batch of the wounded and some help to take them to Soul Society. After, gather some relief squads and come back here to help." With that, Unohana also dashed through the senkaimon.
Momo stared, tears shining in her eyes, both from relief and grief as she watched her childhood friend being carried away. Her eyes focused on his face, pale as snow, a pained expression upon it, his hair stained red with blood. She barely heard Unohana's voice. As Ukitake, now followed by Byakuya and Unohana rushed out of sight, their was only one thought in her mind. "Shirou-chan…"
There was silence as they watched the captains go. Then, Hanatarou, who'd kept out of the way during the battle, hiding far away under a concrete slab because he wouldn't be help fighting, came dashing out. He and Isane began rushing among the wounded, with Orihime and a few of the less wounded rushing to help seconds later. Everyone was generally a little dejected after watching that scene.
Ukitake ignored the burning pain in his chest and his wounds as he ran. Whatever pain he was in, he knew that Toushirou was in so much worse. He cringed every time his eyes fell upon the young captain, the horrible gashes and cuts, his wounds hardly visible beneath the dried blood and mangled robes. Toushirou's breath came in shallow gasps, fighting to stay alive.
Once again, he thought to himself, I was unable to fully help someone I cared about. Kaien…Rukia…If I had been closer to him earlier, would I have been able to help him more? Why is it that all the good and talented people get hurt…?
"You care greatly for him," came Byakuya's voice as he suddenly appeared at his side, running just as fast. It was a statement. Byakuya looked at him, panting as he ran.
Ukitake looked sad. "You know, ever since I first saw him, I felt a strange protectiveness over him. He feels almost like a son I never had, and not just because of our similarity in names or hair color. I did truly care about him for what he is, though I don't think he knows it. Older Shirou-chan should watch out for the younger one!" he said, laughing weakly.
The corners of Byakuya's mouth twitched. "That is like you." He looked away; a hard expression on his face, not unlike the one he'd worn when he first laid eyes on the injured Toushirou. Ukitake gave him a curious look. "Byakuya…?"
"He is a friend to me," Byakuya said simply. "After Aizen betrayed us," Byakuya suddenly said, "I was confined to the fourth division due to my injuries. It was not…pleasant. Once, tired of the endless boredom, I slipped out of my room, though it wasn't the best of ideas." Byakuya flashed a look at Unohana, who just smiled benignly. "I had too much on my mind, especially my guilt of Rukia's execution, and the raw pain brought back from remembering Hisana…" he trailed off, a faraway look in his eyes. They were in the tenth division barracks now, the senkaimon having appeared in the twelfth. A few unseated officers, looking a little battered from the recent hollow attacks, looked up in alarm, especially at seeing the state that their captain was in. Byakuya ignored them and continued. "I wandered into the gardens, trying to clear my mind, when I first saw him. It seemed he shared my opinion of being trapped in fourth division." Byakuya's expression softened slightly. Ukitake smiled and Unohana laughed lightly. They knew all too well the captain's aversion to fourth division stays.
"He also seemed to understand the problems I had, though I said nothing. Nothing needed to be said-it was well known. But, he surprised. We'd never talked before, yet he seemed to understand…" he trailed off. "After that, there have been times when we exchanged words, yet somehow, we seem to have formed a bond. We both were tricked by Aizen, and nearly lost someone important to us. Somehow, just knowing that the other felt similar, it helped us form a bond."
Byakuya said nothing more, his lips tightening into a line, either from pain, or from feeling that he'd said too much, Ukitake didn't know, but he smiled anyways.
The group continued. In the distance, they could hear the first of the shinigami returning from battle. Some were yelling orders for moving the injured, but the captains took no noticed. The few battered shinigami they passed along the way stared in surprise at seeing Ukitake carrying a battered Toushirou, followed closely by Unohana, all in beat up and heavily wounded states, yet focused on only one thing-to save the life of Hitsugaya Toushirou.
Momo was still staring, even after the captains had disappeared. Her fear and grief were clear in her large brown eyes. "Shirou-chan…Shirou-chan…"she murmured continuously. She'd been shocked when she had seen him, awakened, dumbfounded by his strength and power. There had been many thoughts coursing through her mind, but the last thing she had thought of was that he might still be in danger of death. Yet now…
"How many times do I have to lose you like this?" she demanded in a soft voice, as if her words would reach Toushirou, or that the white-haired boy would somehow be capable of responding…
"Taichou will be alright," came a sudden voice.
Momo looked up, for she was still lying on the ground due to her legs having been shattered. She saw a strawberry blond woman, limping and leaning heavily on Ichimaru Gin. Her face was pale and contorted in pain, but she smiled. "I believe it. You must believe in him, Hinamori-chan. He will return to us, to you, no question about that, so don't cry. You don't want to make him angry when he wakes up, ne?"
Momo knew that Matsumoto was trying hard to believe her own words as much as she was trying to make Momo believe them. She smiled, "Yes, Rangiku-san." Then she looked up at Gin, a stab of apprehension shot through her as she remembered the last time that they had met. Was he really on their side again? She couldn't help notice the gentle but firm way he wrapped his arms around Matsumoto, and how the woman clutched him a little firmer than necessary for just using as support. Gin grinned his usual grin at her, though somehow, it was softer. "Ne, Hinamori-chan. Ya really don' trust me, ne? I don' blame ya, it's only natural, and smart. It's da makin's of a good shinigami. You don' have to worry about me. I won' hurt ya, or anyone. But whether ya trust me is your choice."
Momo really didn't know what to say. She somehow felt that she trusted him, after all, Matsumoto did. But at the same time, she couldn't help but be apprehensive. She remembered the last time she'd trusted like that, and well…Aizen had been the result. But somehow, after watching Gin protect Matsumoto and defy Aizen like that, and fight with them, she found it in her heart to give him a chance.
"I believe you…I think," she said slowly. Gin grinned at her. He set Matsumoto down beside her, and they waited for someone to come and help move the two lieutenants. "Ne, Mini-taichou looked so cute in Ukitake's arms. Ya could call it father and son. Though, I hope he doesn't hear me say that, or he'll be after my neck." He said suddenly, trying to take their mind of their pain.
"You should hope. Taichou can be a real terror when he's angry," Matsumoto joked weakly back.
They watched as the people began to organize themselves, trying to get things back in order.
Kyouraku was dusting himself off. He took off his battered and sliced hat and sighed wistfully. "Ma, I'm exhausted. And my hat's ruined. What I really need is a nice cup of sake…"
He felt something whack him. He winced and turned to see Nanao standing over him, her eyes narrowed in anger, but he could see a twinkle of happiness and relief in her eyes. "No, what you need is sleep. No sake. The last thing you need is a hangover."
He smiled at her, wiping a trickle of blood from his forehead, and whined, "Oh, my sweet Nanao-chan! You're so cruel, but that's what makes you so alluring!"
A little ways off, where things were a little less violent, Orihime was kneeling over Uryu. "Ishida-kun! Are you all right?" she asked frantically, worry evident in her eyes. She was healing him with her shield, all the while holding his hand in hers.
"Of-course, don't worry about me," Uryu replied softly, looking at her, his eyes soft behind the pain of his wounds. His father stood a little ways off, looking down at his son with an expressionless face. Then he walked forward to stand beside him. "Well done, I suppose. You have proven yourself to be a true Quincy."
He walked away without another word, but as the two watched him go, Uryu knew that there was much more to his words than he let on.
Komamura staggered to his feet, having been knocked down by the force of the last attack. "Komamura-taichou!" Hisagi said, limping up to him just as a group of fourth division shinigami dashed out of the senkaimon to aid with helping the wounded. He tried to help Komamura, but Komamura waved a hand to stop him. "No, it's all right, I can fend for myself.
Komamura turned his eyes to a pile of rubble, out of which a dark skinned hand protruded pathetically. Hisagi turned to look at it also, his eyes hardening. Tousen, Komamura thought, you were really blind this time. I hope that when you are reborn, you may be blessed with a set of flawless eyes, eyes that will never be so blind again.
The two Kurotsuchi's were off to the side. Kurotsuchi Mayuri was grumbling to himself how he had lost any arrancar or hollows that he could have used for an experiment. Nemu stood dutifully beside him, silent as usual.
Zaraki was stretching, and though he was bleeding slightly, he complained loudly, 'Man, that was it? I didn't even get close to having fun!"
Yachiru popped up on his shoulder. "But you had a little bit of fun, that's what counts, right Ken-chan?" she asked in her childlike voice. Zaraki grinned at her and said, "Yeah, I suppose. Who knows, maybe I'll challenge the shrimp when he's up and ready. That'll be fun…"
Yoruichi walked up her unconscious protégé, who was surrounded by fourth division members who were trying to stem the blood coming from her head from when she hit her head of a concrete slab from the force of the last attack. "Soi Fon?" she asked as she saw her stir.
The girl groaned and opened her eyes groggily. "Yoruichi-sama…"she murmured softly in a weary voice. "I think…that I've finally mastered the technique…shunko…"
Yoruichi smiled her cat-like smile. "Good job. Rest now," she added as she saw her fight to remain conscious still. "We can talk later.
As Soi Fon was carried away by a few shinigami, Yoruichi saw Urahara approach Yamamoto in the distance. A little ways away, Shinji, followed closely by Hiyori, who was grimacing at the closeness of shinigami as usual, also began to approach Yamamoto.
"Thank you, Urahara, for the senkaimon. I think, once we clear the area, that we can move Karakura Town back." Yamamoto said wearily.
"Sure thing," Urahara said, smiling his usual grin.
"I'd also like to apologize for the injustice dealt to you 110 years ago. If you wish, you, and the others can return to Soul Society," Yamamoto continued, as Shinji and Hiyori arrived in front of him.
Urahara shook his head. "Na, I've been away from Soul society for far too long. There's not really a place for me there any more. I think I'll remain in the human world, and help aid those shinigami that come here. I've gotten used to life there, and I don't really want to give it up. But I won't say no to visiting every now and then."
"Of course," Yamamoto nodded. After Urahara left, he turned to Shinji. "Hirako?"
Before Shinji could answer, Hiyori popped up behind him and yelled, "HEY! Don't I count?!"
Shinji ignored her and said, "Nah, we're remaining in the human world. WE were just coming back here to fight Aizen. We don't blame you anymore, but we have absolutely no intention of going back to Soul Society. We've set roots in the human world, and aren't ready to give them up."
Yamamoto nodded solemnly. "May we have peace between us then. We are indebted to you for your help."
"Hmp, I don't care about that. We came here to fight Aizen on our own. But we won't bother you if you don't bother us."
"Shinji!" came a shout. The vizard turned to see Ichigo dashing toward them. "Yo, Ichigo, good to see you."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Thanks for…you know…"
"No problem. We're going now, see ya! Thank the kid captain. I've never met him, but I wished I did. He's even more talented than Gin, and that's saying something." and with that, he dragged a still pissed off Hiyori away to where the rest of the vizards had gathered. Ichigo looked there. As he did, he noticed some of them exchanging words with some of the shinigami. Kensei was exchanging a few words with Hisagi, and Ichigo saw Hisagi bow to him respectfully as he left. A little ways away, he saw Lisa go up to Kyouraku and Nanao. Yamamoto noticed as well. Though he was too far away to hear it, he somehow knew that they were exchanging words of a captain and lieutenant. Nanao said something, and Lisa replied back, both were smiling. Then Lisa said something that made Nanao go scarlet and Kyouraku roar with laughter, which also made Nanao whack him unceremoniously. Lisa chuckled and with a final word, bowed to Kyouraku, waved to Nanao, and departed.
Ichigo turned to face the newcomer. It was Ulquiorra, looking disheveled and but still emotionless. Nel was smiling at Ichigo from behind him. "Hi Ichigo!"
"It was an interesting experience. Fighting together."
"That's an understanding. Way understatement." Ichigo muttered darkly, and snorted.
The corners of Ulquiorra's mouth twitched slightly.
"I was fun though!" Nel piped up.
"Yeah, yeah. So what are you going to do?"
"I think we will return to Hueco Mundo…for now, though the idea of being a hollow doesn't really appeal to me…" he gave s sharp look at Yamamoto. Ichigo looked at him too, having forgotten that he was there. Yamamoto was frowning, his hands tense on his staff, which was concealing his zanpakutou again. Then he spoke, and his words surprised them all. "Return to Hueco Mundo then. However, I would like to make a suggestion. If you wish, you may wish to come to Soul Society, if you are willing to be a part of the Gotei 13. We need some strong fighters after this fiasco. Or, we can exorcise you, and allow you to forget everything and live your life as a soul, and be reborn into the Human world later, to start over. I do not particularly wish to be against you. If you decline these offers, then as long as you don't cause trouble, we won't do anything."
The two ex-espada looked at each other. They found this extremely surprising. "I would like some time to consider your offer," Ulquiorra said slowly. "It is a big decision you are making us make." Nel nodded. Yamamoto nodded. "Please contact us when you have made your decision."
The two ex-espada ripped open a Garganta, and departed, Nel waving happily at Ichigo.
Ichigo sighed. He was weary and tired, and didn't want to deal with anything else. However, fate was cruel, for at that moment, Yamamoto fixed him with a stare, or rather, looked at a point over his shoulder. "So, you were still alive then?"
Ichigo looked wearily over his shoulder, wondering if he would be able to escape this meeting. But as soon as he saw the man standing behind him, he knew that he couldn't get out of it. Instead, he frowned and yelled, "What the hell, old man! Why the heck didn't you tell me that you're a freakin' shinigami!"
Isshin grinned. "Why didn't you tell me?" he teased, infuriating Ichigo further. Then, "In answer to both your questions, I lost my powers about twenty years ago. Even if I wanted to be a shinigami again, I couldn't. Still, nice to see you all again. And I do congratulate my successor, not that he can hear me."
Ichigo was still glaring at his father, a thousand questions and demands that needed answers from his father flitting through his mind, but Yamamoto spoke before he could speak. "It seems that you have set roots in the human world as well. You are Kurosaki Isshin now, I imagine."
Isshin nodded. "And I have a family to go to now too. My children are my pride and joy!" he said, crying fake tears and hugging Ichigo, who, especially in his tired and wounded state, did not appreciated. With a yell, he pushed his father off and yelled at him while whacking him. Yamamoto cleared his throat, wondering if everyone related to Isshin was this childish. "Well then, I suppose that you wish to remain in the human world too."
"Yeah, but won't say no to visiting." Yamamoto nodded his consent (he seems to be agreeing to a lot of things, doesn't he?) Isshin grinned and turned to Ichigo. "Ichigo, my son, I shall explain everything later, but right now, I have to be heading back to my lovely daughters, who are no doubt waiting my return, though I think Karin still wants to hit me. You do what you want to, now. Cya!"
And before another word could be said, He turned and shunpoed away, catching up to Ryuken, who was standing away from everyone and slapping him on the back, making Ryuken glare at him. Yamamoto sighed and said, "Well, Kurosaki Ichigo, I suppose we are indebted to you as well. At the moment, I can only offer that you may remain the substitute shinigami, but I will allow you to come to Soul Society whenever you wish. I hope that will suffice. Perhaps one day, we can have something more"
Ichigo nodded numbly in shock at his offer. Yamamoto gave him one nod and walked off, Sasakibe immediately dashing to his side, to discuss with Urahara about the movement of Karakura town.
Ichigo collapsed upon the rooftop, which they had been standing on. He let out a laugh against the pain of his wounds. "It's over at last! Finally!" He winced as his wounds from Aizen, and himself, throbbed painfully. He'd nearly died back there, and if it weren't for Toushirou, he would be dead. He felt a pang as he remembered the state that Toushirou was in now because he'd come. But then his thoughts wandered to someone else. Someone who had been the one person in his mind as he had been about to die. A certain petite, raven-haired shinigami.
Ichigo felt a rush of happiness and felt himself smile, despite his body's pain. He'd thought that he'd never hear her voice again. Hearing it now, calling his name, was like music to his ears. He forced himself to sit up, taking in her image, bloodied and slightly tattered robes and black her rippling in the breeze of her run. He'd never been more overjoyed to see her.
Several nearby shinigami winced as they heard the loud and unmistakable sound of a fist connecting to someone's face. As for Ichigo, he suddenly found himself pushed backwards, dazed and bewildered He was having trouble comprehending what had just happened, but the fact that his cheek was throbbing proved that Rukia had just punched him with as much force as she could muster.
"Hey! What the hell was that for!" he screamed in rage at Rukia as soon as he had recovered himself, and confirmed to himself that Rukia had indeed punched him. He was glaring at her, his face inches from her, a livid bruise forming under his right eye. "What's the big idea, punching an injured man in the face like that?"
"You stupid idiot!" Rukia screamed back at him, grabbing the collar of his shihakushou and jerking him unceremoniously closer, her face and voice as furious as Ichigo's was "You stupid, dim-witted, brainless…ugh, I can't find a word to describe you! What in the world possessed you to go at Aizen recklessly like that? You could have been killed! For a second, I was sure you would be! I yelled at you not to go, but would you listen? If it weren't for Hitsugaya-taichou, you would be dead by now!"
Ichigo spluttered and glared at her, aware that many shinigami had paused in their actions and was staring dumbstruck at them. "Well, I'm not! Isn't that enough? I even helped deliver the final blow, and finished Aizen off. You still won't let me off?"
"OF COURSE NOT!!!" Rukia screamed at the top of her lungs, causing several to jump and yelp in surprise, clamping their hands over their ears, though the few unlucky ones who had their hands full could only wince painfully as her scream pounded against their eardrums. Everyone was all trying to figure out for the life of them how such a small girl could release such a loud scream. "I will NEVER forgive you, Kurosaki Ichigo! Never!"
Ichigo could only stare at her, his face in absolute shock and grimacing in pain at her voice (he was the closest to her, after all, so he had it the worst). But Rukia didn't stop there. "How could you do that to me? Don't you know…"
Her voice suddenly trailed off, and she bowed her head, her body suddenly trembling. "Rukia…"Ichigo whispered, more confused now than ever. He was shocked even further when she raised her head again, tears glistening in her large, violet-blue eyes.
"Don't you know how scared I was?" she asked, her voice softer, trembling slightly. She blinked, as if trying to keep her tears back.
"Rukia…" Ichigo said again. Tentatively, he reached out and wrapped his arms around the girl's shoulders as she loosened her hold on his collar and, giving up trying to hold back her tears, broke down in his arms. Ichigo held her as she cried softly. "I thought I was going to lose you. Please, don't ever do that to me again."
Ichigo's eyes softened. The fact that Rukia couldn't hold back her tears showed him just truly how worried she had been. Rukia was strong, and to have her break down like that, he knew that she must have been really upset. He held her closer. "I'll do my best, I promise."
The shinigami stared in stunned silence, mouth hanging open, at the two. No one, in their wildest dreams, had ever expected anything like this to happen, it was sure to be gossip for weeks and weeks to come.
Urahara looked into the sun, waiting for the rest of the shinigami to clear the area. He was in deep thought. Finally, the situation that I helped create is resolved.
He looked around him. But the price was paid heavily. They have lost many, and many parts of Seireitei must have been destroyed when Aizen used the Hougyoku like that. It will take a while to rebuild everything.
But for now, let's just all breathe a sigh of relief.
Yeesh, that was so depressing and horrible. And boring. It will get better! (I hope) Only has to get a little…worse first. (Why do I feel like I've said this before?)
I had totally made up the relationship between some of the people. They are all my favourite characters, and it's so much easier to have them in the story more if they have all these none-existent bonds, though personally, I wished that they did exist. Sorry if they were OOC. Also, on Isshin. I think he would have been the tenth division captain, since he quite around twenty years ago, and Toushirou hasn't been captain there that long, so it makes sense. I have also been reading Yemi Hikari's "Admiration" and other stories connected to it, so the idea kinda stuck. One more thing. What would you like Ulquiorra and Nel to do? Please review and tell me what you think, and what you thought so far!
Thanks for reading!