Author: Twilight Antediluvian PM
A to-be-series of short one-shots inspired by songs NOT song-fics . The best you'll get from me until real life stops interfering. Not necessarily interrelated in any way.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,360 - Favs: 2 - Updated: 01-20-10 - Published: 12-04-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5557079
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Two Beds and a Coffee Machine
The drive to go on, the power to be steadfast for those that need you, the loneliness within a heart that lives not for itself, but for the good of the people, the constant beatings taken… and the heart that cannot understand how such a life is liveable, how such towering issues can be overcome, or what measures are necessary to keep going.
This is a sidetrack for storyline (6) – (unfinished)
Main characters: Yamamoto Genryuusai Shigekuni, Kurosaki Karin
Genre: Friendship, History
"So… how old're you exactly?" she asked casually.
The sou-taichou looked at her with his usual unreadable expression and said nothing.
"I mean, I've heard rumours that Ukitake-taichou and Shunsui-taichou are hundreds of years old. Logically, you'd be older. You can't blame me for being curious."
It wasn't said as an excuse, or as some sort of explanation. It was just a statement, and she knew she was walking the edge; it didn't matter, she felt fairly good today. When she was still weak from losing everything, she had lashed out without thinking, so now she knew from experience that he wouldn't burn her to a crisp. For some reason. Even the taichou seemed afraid of him sometimes… Karin just found the old coot with his immense power and stuffy personality rather comforting in her time of need.
"Well? You're old enough to have been around for the bloody Edo era, aren't you?" Then… "Doesn't it hurt when people die around you and you have to live on?" Where had that come from? She didn't want to ask that, it was a stupid question. For once, when she didn't want an answer, he actually gave her one. Bastard.
"Soul Society was still in its infancy, when I first met the unruly men you know as taichou of eighth and thirteenth divisions."
Wow. This was rare. He had told her of history and the eternal war between Shinigami and Hollows over the souls of humanity, but he had never-ever brought his personal memories to the board. She settled against a wall, so tense it felt like she'd burst.
"Heuco Mundo still held some promise, but bandits and chaos ruled in all three worlds.
I founded this Academy many hundreds of years ago. Those two were barely older than Hitsugaya-taichou, then."
Those two. Ukitake-taichou and Kyoraku-taichou, the unlikely pair.
"Akiyo. I haven't thought of that woman for a very, very long time. She would say it is no use to dwell on the past."
He glanced at me. It was just for a moment, just enough to count as some sort of warning. I wasn't allowed to interrupt; and asking who 'that woman' was, was quite out of the question.
"At first I was unsettled, like any young fool who cannot see past the next day. Then, there was a war. There is always another war."
The way he said it, reflected in the tone of his voice… said that he had seen so many wars as to make them no more a special event than another morning meal. His voice was always cold and to the point, even now.
"The young ones react as if Aizen did an unprecedented thing; Hitsugaya-taichou, Soifon-taichou, Komamura-taichou… their youthful zeal is effective, but it is dangerous. Zaraki-taichou may be a thoughtless man, but he is not a fool who was surprised at the treachery. He has seen it before, as had Unohana-taichou, Ukitake-taichou and Kyoraku-taichou. The latter two have seen enough to know that our greatest enemy is our heart."
That… seemed cliché and should've sounded sappy, but coming from him it sounded kind of reasonable.
"They have seen through three outright rebellions and countless turncoats. It is not as new as the youngsters make it seem. It is common for shinigami to go mad as the years pass. The former Kuchiki-taichou was one of those few who defeated their demons, but the Kuchikis have ever been a resilient family. Two thousand years ago his father, Kuchiki Byakuya's great grandfather, assisted the founding of the Academy.
It is slow death to dwell on the past. It cannot be reclaimed, and any lesson you might learn from it is long gone when you remember to look for it, if you do not clear your mind."
Even though Ichi-nii had never said anything about it, I had heard vague rumours of the Winter War, Aizen's rebellion… that almost scared me. The taichou were pretty strong, after all, and three defecting at the same time… it made sense that you'd go kind of kooky in the head if you had to live through that happening repeatedly.
"Three rebellions…?" I managed to ask as quietly as I could. No interest in his moral lectures about discipline, right now. Or ever.
"Three large-scale rebellions. A hundred minor schisms within our ranks.
The first was the Sakura rebellion. Soul Society was not what it is now. The Academy was a fledgeling concept and there was opposition. Their three captain-level leaders against myself and Kuchiki Yuisake. The forces were fairly evenly matched. Kuchiki took two with him to his end. Our forces were depleted and our victory was followed by the First War between Shinigami and Hollows, leaving even deeper scars in the balance.
Some three hundred years later a teacher at the Academy attempted to return to the World of the Living. He sacrificed dozens of Shinigami and gained followers throughout the ranks before he could be stopped. His work left a rift between Soul Society and the World of the Living that took years to shut. The scar it left is the tunnel behind the Senkaimon.
The last one, four hundred and fifty years ago, was the Shinju rebellion. Only one taichou defected, but his actions killed three other taichou, four fukutaichou and countless seated and unranked Shinigami. It also pulled three fukutaichou and nearly two full divisions into Heuco Mundo, to be devoured in a Hollow ambush waiting for them. It took two hundred years before the squads fully recovered after that. Perhaps it was inspirational to Aizen."
Karin shivered, even though it wasn't cold. So many people. So much death.
"How do you stand watching them die? How can you send them out, if they don't come back?"
The moment the words left her lips, she wanted to take them back. Stupid, stupid questions. She felt too vulnerable already, so why had she asked questions like that?
"Because it is our way. It is the duty of every Shinigami."
"To kill your own people?"
"You are too young. We do not merely live in this world. Some things must be done."
"What if something happens to you? There has to be someone other than you who can do those things."
"There is not."
"Shit. And here I thought I had issues."