Reviews for Hammered Down
k1mch1 chapter 4 . 1/5
I really like your story because your writing is skillful and it starts out with a lot of criticisms I had about Bleach and Soul Society. But I am genuinely (I truly mean genuinely) curious as to why you chose to describe Rukia as "the sword-wielding leprechaun?" I had to reread it a couple times to make sure I correctly saw it. I'm sorry for this very frivolous question, especially since you wrote this 7 years ago.
Damascus ari chapter 36 . 11/18/2016
This should be the actual Bleach story! Like, this is amazing! The pacing, the drama, the mystery, the deep, memorable characters (OMG Yumichika and Ichimaru) and the necessity of rereading multiple times to feel and understand the full impact of certain scenes.

As for negatives, only some minor things like Ichimaru Gin's name and surname being swapped every so often and I'm confused about that but it doesn't really matter.

So yeah. This is the essence of pure literary awesometasticness ;).
Wandering Wonder chapter 36 . 9/18/2016
Holy. Crap.

This was AMAZING.

I have no words.
Dismort chapter 36 . 9/16/2016
I've gotta say this has to be not only the best Bleach fanfiction I've ever read, but probably the best in general. It's certainly better than countless of actual novels I've read. Not to mention so VASTLY SUPERIOR to the actual manga!
Thank you for creating and writing this story. I'm very excited to read the sequel now, specially after checking your profile and confirming it's not an abandoned project. You are AWESOME!
Photohawk chapter 3 . 8/30/2016
First chapter: intriguing, amazing. Second chapter: almost made me cry, amazing. Third chapter: just started reading it and laughed like crazy when Isane talks with Kiyone about Rukia. Making your readers feel... well, emotions, the way you do, is completely amazing. I'm so glad I found this fic and I'm so glad it's so long. Thank you for writing it! Its giving me an amazing taste after the horrible Bleach ending...
wanderingmusician chapter 1 . 4/20/2016
wow holy shit this is not what I expected. THE INTRIGUE. THE DRAMA/.
Random Reader chapter 9 . 3/19/2016
The story itself is kinda confusing for me. I feel like there's too much going on and that its not moving at a nice pace.. a little too slow for me... but thats my opinion I still like the it though.. very detailed and promising.. Anway I can't really offer constructive criticism so I'm just gonna say this story for me
is like eventhough half of the things writtten was confusing the hell out of me I still can't stop reading this.
zombiegirl22 chapter 36 . 1/7/2016
Part 12 (final part)

I love your Ishida and his explanation of Rukia’s absence “Now that he's back in Japan, she's trying to convince him that your family is not a bunch of freeloaders and that there's no problem with her continuing to live with you.”

I also love how highly Ishida seems to speak of Rukia – “Rest assured, Yuzu-chan, she will return to you. Not even death could keep Rukia away."

“For your information, Orihime cried for four days straight when you tried to 'let her down easy'."

I have to wonder if Inoue was crying out “Kurosaki-kun” for four days straight. Sorry. That’s a bit unfair of me.

“Unwarranted hostility. Another bad sign. I should ask Rukia to stick her sword through you again and see if that doesn't purify your heart. Certainly worth the risk."

And Ishida refers to Rukia by her first name and without an honorific? Did the two become friends when I wasn’t looking? If they did, the IshiRuki shipper in me laments that I wasn’t able to see that.

Although, perhaps I am reading that, and the reason Ishida calls her that isn’t because the two were close, but more as an insult? Does Ishida know that Rukia bankrolled the man who experimented grandfather? That Rukia’s funding allowed for Mayuri to build the contraption he used on Ishida, and which caused Ishida much pain? Did Rukia ever find out what Mayuri did to Ishida?

“As he passed the man, there looked to be a brief exchange of some sorts between them, but it was too faint to hear. “

“There was nothing but anger to be found in his eyes as he regarded that vile beast.”

So is it wrong of me to assume that Ichigo’s anger, is because Rukia confided in Gin some of what he had done to her in the past? Or because he was afraid of the harm he could do to his sisters?

“You leave her alone, got that? I don't want you coming anywhere near Rukia!"
I love how protective Ichigo is of Rukia, regardless of him knowing that she defeated Gin.

“Not that. I'm talking about taking care of our lil' Kuchiki-chan."

The use of “our”, does that mean some part of Gin still thinks of Rukia as his? And I find it curious as how he calls Rukia “lil”, mostly because I remember Urahara using the “little” label on her as well.

“But she never did. Byakuya, Aizen, they all played a tune, and she danced it for 'em.”

The same could be said for Gin. I doubt that Aizen would have had such power over Rukia, had Gin not been in attendance with many of the meetings. He helped Aizen make Rukia dance to his tune.

“Upon finding that she had decided to give up without a fight, her unofficial watchdog was so pissed off he decided it was time for the girl to die.”

I find Gin confusing. One of the reasons she had decided to give up without a fight, was because of him, and the games he played with her. His actions towards her was what made Rukia think she couldn’t fight. He was pissed, but her actions were his doing. He claims she belonged to him, but Gin had abandoned her, leaving her to fend for herself, after she learned how to walk. He claims she belonged to him, but in my opinion, he relinquished that when he left her in that tree so many years before.

“She had put her life entirely in someone else's hands, and that offended his sensibilities.”

Gin shouldn’t feel offended, because she wouldn’t have “ her to put her life in someone else’s hand” had he kept her at his side.

“She ended it 'tween us, or didn't she already tell you that? …Rukia proved she's got what it takes to survive. I saved her three times like I said, but I also tried to kill her twice, and the second time she could've killed me but chose not to. That makes us even. I ain't got no designs on her now. She's your headache, not mine."

Did Gin really see Rukia as a headache? He says he has no designs on her, yet I wonder why Kon had been dreaming about Gin and Rukia. Did Kon here this conversation between Ichigo and Gin?
“So I backed a new pony. Just have to wait and see if my luck still holds."- I find it interesting how Gin didn’t mention that the new pony was Urahara. I assumed that Gin had been talking about Urahara, but then I wondered if it was possible that Gin was talking about someone else.

“Ayasegawa Yumichika. Shinigami and Hero of the Autumn War, who single-handedly defeated a vasto lorde. Adopted post mortem into the House of Kuchiki. Last man to hold the title of Fifth seat in Division Eleven before the post was officially retired in his name. He gave his life in defense of those who were most precious to him. A beautiful person, on and off the field of battle, we celebrate all he had to teach us.'

Was Rukia the one who wrote that? Either way, the description fit Yumichika perfectly.

I do have to wonder what Aizen would have thought were he to know how Rukia had helped Yoshi. How Rukia had put into motion many of the things that he as Yoshi had discussed back in the first lecture he had given, that Rukia attended. From the tasty food they were provided (in comparison with the bun that was handed out in the lecture), to the change to modern clothes that was now worn, similar to the one that “Yoshi” wore in the first meeting. How she was able to comfort and unfortunate soul, like Aizen as Yoshi, had spoken about.

How even though things didn’t turn out the way Aizen originally planned, they did turn out like the way he had spoken when he was impersonating Yoshi. How Aizen’s words, though meaningless had touched, Rukia. Aizen, unknowingly, made things for the better.
“Another shell-shocked, timid spirit who had been forced to live in the hellish conditions of the Outer Rukongai, probably for many years by the look of him.”

How these words, especially the use of hellish conditions, reflect the first words that Rukia had spoke to Aizen “It was hell”.

I really do feel for Yoshi, and I am glad that Rukia was able to help him.

Again, I’m curious as to what Aizen would have thought had he ever know of this encounter taking place.

And here is my last review for this story. And as always when good stories end, I am quite sad that it has ended.

Looking at my word document, I am realizing that my review for chapter 36 was just as long as my review for chapter 35 (word states that the review for chapter 36 is 42 pages long, 15,427 words).

However I know that their were more parts for chapter 35, and I am suspecting it was because for chapter 35, I was so scared that my reviews would be cut off, therefore the parts were short. I sort of wished I had done the same for this chapter. That way the review count would have risen.

This story deserved a lot more reviews. And if no one was going to do it, the least I could do was take up the task myself.

“Hammered Down” has been such a blessing in my life, and did help me take my mind of things in my life. It also featured enormous and wonderfully written character development for my favorite character, giving her an awesome backstory, and giving her what she deserves, unlike Kubo. Tomas explained plot holes in her life. And I would be forever grateful to Tomas for writing this story. I

I can’t say thank you enough to such an amazing and talented author.
Thank you.
zombiegirl22 chapter 36 . 1/7/2016
Part 11
“We will attend to my sister," Byakuya stated, nodding in the direction of Ichigo, who was hovering worriedly beside him and craning his neck to get a glimpse of the slumbering Rukia.”

I’m glad that Byakuya included Ichigo in attending to his sister. Does that mean that Byakuya has accepted Ichigo as his future brother-in-law? Does that mean that Rukia told Byakuya that she was dating Ichigo?

I also love how worried Ichigo is for Rukia and how he kept trying to get a glimpse of her.

I am still so very curious as to what Matsumoto told Renji, Izuru and Hisagi.

“In her hands was a memory-eraser. "Nee-san, are you sure about this?"

Now why would Kiyone need a memory eraser, if “Cloud Over Moon” should have ensured Isane wouldn’t remember anything?

“She was a goddess once, a person of grace, wisdom and humanity.”

Isane speaking of Unohana, made me realize that Unohana only had one eye. And she was the one who started this rebellion, that started the war? “One-eyed God of War”. Now I am thinking that Ginrei was talking about Unohana. If that turns out to be true, then “heir of the One-Eyed God of War”, does that mean that Unohana and Ichigo are related? Or does that mean that Ichigo will finish Unohana’s original mission before she went loony, of trying to save as many people as he can and to make sure things become right in SS?

“There was no more room for hesitation, and so she lifted the memory charm to her sister's face and activated it in a small puff of smoke.”

Okay so Kiyone used the memory eraser rather than putting Isane under “Cloud over Moon”. I could have sworn that Isane has asked to be put under the spell again. I probably assumed that she would be put under “Cloud Over Moon”, when really she just asked for her memories to be erased. But do memory-eraser’s really work on Shinigami? Isn’t it possible for the memory charm of memory erasers to wear off, causing them to regain their memories again.
“Bending to take her into his arms, he rose and shot a dark look at Ichigo, who flinched and scowled in much the same way.

I am curious as to whether Ichigo shared with Rukia that Isane kissed her brother or if he kept it to himself?
“The nobleman then carried his dearest treasure from the Fourth squad offices.”

I do wonder if Noboru will take Rukia’s place as Byakuya’s dearest treasure when Byakuya learns he has a son.

“For the time being, they would need all their strength to help Rukia once she recovered. Kurosaki had offered to aid him in this, and he had accepted for her sake. That would be the most trying part, having to impart to his precious sister not only an edited version of what had transpired following her defeat of Ichimaru, but also that she had lost a person she obviously cared for deeply.

It is good to see Byakuya accepting Ichigo’s help for the sake of his sister. I guess Byakuya has grown quite a lot as well. I do hope we get a flashback of Byakuya and Ichigo helping recover, and see how they explained everything to her, including Yumichika’s death in “Lifted Up”

“The black cat walked through the Maggot's Nest with little Jinta in the lead. This prison's collection of inmates had been freed days past and transferred to a special center where they could be acclimated back to a normal existence as spirits. In some cases, more extreme measures would have to be taken.”

I do wonder if any of those freed inmates will be seen in “Lifted Up”, and I do wonder what those “extreme cases” were?

“ The recently-reinstated head of the Onmitsukidō knew full well that several of the people imprisoned in here truly were dangerous to others.”- I am curious to see if any of those dangerous plan on taking their revenge for being imprisoned.

“But she was also aware that there were far more humane and successful resolutions to their cases than locking them in a pit along with other deviants to never see the light of day again.”- Get enough people who have been imprisoned falsely together, and surely they started hashing up plans of their own.

“Kisuke gave a chuckle. "Maybe it's just me, then. Waking up in here, I of course recognized my old stomping grounds. And it dawned upon me that there was a certain humorous irony to be found in my situation. I was back in Soul Society, just like I wanted. Except what I wanted doesn't seem quite so good anymore. Exactly like Aizen."

The great Urahara Kisuke admitting that he and Aizen had something in common? I am shocked. Of course it shouldn’t shock me, since I thought the two were quite similar.

Well, at least he knows what Rukia must have been feeling when she was locked away.

“We both know you're a very bright, talented man. You're also ferociously angry. You've been holding back on it, denying it for so long in order to achieve your objectives. And now that it seems like there isn't a need to restrain yourself anymore you're not bothering to try."

I have a feeling that Yoruichi’s words here, confirmed Ichigo’s words on how Urahara had planned all this.

"I lost my temper for a moment," he said, calmly and clearly. "I'm not perfect, Yoruichi. Am I not allowed to make any mistakes or I wind up in here?"

He reminds me of Mayuri here. And I don’t know why.

"Everyone who did you wrong has paid for it, and now all that hatred has no one to direct against. Hate doesn't go away just because the target's gone, however. It seeps through to color our interactions with those who never meant us any harm. “

This part also makes me think of Mayuri. Would Rukia have also been filled with that hate, if it hadn’t been for Sode No Shirayuki to have gotten her to forgive Gin? Perhaps Rukia can give Urahara lessons in letting the hate go.

"Everyone who was imprisoned in the Maggot's Nest was innocent of any actual wrongdoing. It's the reason you and I hated it so much.”

So by Yoruichi’s statement, both she and Urahara knew that the Maggot’s nest was wrong? But even though they knew it was wrong they didn’t do anything to fix the system.

“Still Kisuke wouldn't look at her. "So you intend to leave me here until I've learned that lesson?"

You know as critical as I am with Urahara, my heart does go out to him. He wouldn’t be like this had events not make him distrustful of those around him. He is one of my favorite characters in this story, very complex and well written. He isn’t perfect, he makes mistakes, but that is why I love him so much.

And I am glad that Yoruichi isn’t letting him suffer his punishment alone.

With how tense things were between Urahara and Rukia in this chapter, I do wonder how the two settled things between each other. I mean I know that Rukia named one of her rabbits Kisuke, and he did leave his shop to her, so I am very curious to how the two fixed things?
zombiegirl22 chapter 36 . 1/7/2016
Part 10

“Kisuke had never looked more furious than he did right now. "You ignorant little…! Do you think you can just waltz into our world whenever you please, strut around and tell us what to do? You're playing with our lives! WHERE DID YOU PUT THAT DAMN SWORD?”

“waltz into our world”. Did Urahara forget that Ichigo was already part of their world, what with being the son of Isshin, a Shinigami? Did Urahara forget that he was the one who made sure that Ichigo stayed a part of their world by making him a Vaizard and allowing him to get Shinigami/Hollow powers, after Byakuya had taken Ichigo’s powers away? Urahara acts as though he had nothing to do with Ichigo “strutting around and telling them what to do” when Urahara’s actions was what led them their?

As if Urahara hadn’t played with Ichigo’s and Rukia’s lives.

Still one of my favorite parts of this chapter- and what made me like Ichigo even more- “Have you looked up your ass, Urahara?" Ah, there's the man I love.”

“We did not take Minazuki to threaten or intimidate any of you," she asserted in the hopes of lessening the dire mood that was increasing with every passing moment.”

If they honestly thought that Rukia and Ichigo were really the type to do that, then the four captains don’t know the two as well as they thought.

"But I spoke to Tsukabishi-taichou, and he admitted there was little more that could be done to suppress it." Tessai bowed his head forward and shook it from side to side, as if lamenting any part he might have played in leading up to this matter.

I don’t know why, but I don’t buy Tessai’s show of lamenting his part. I don’t know why, but I feel that this was all an act. As though he purposely admitted this to Rukia, because he expected her and Ichigo to do something like this. I know I am being paranoid, but there wasn’t enough about Tessai in this story to make me suspect that he wasn’t just as crafty and manipulative as Urahara, Unohana, or Aizen. Or maybe Tessai hoped that Rukia and Ichigo would take action, because perhaps he himself didn’t trust others in SS, maybe he didn’t even trust Urahara?

“Only one person knows its location now, a man who can be trusted implicitly."- Another of my favorite parts, because it shows how even though Ichigo has a hollow, Rukia still trusts him 100%.

‘A very disturbing smile twisted his face. "Even if you are, can you guarantee you will always be that way? There's a side of you some of us have seen that isn't quite so virtuous. What if he decides to take control of you again? Things could get rather more complicated should the world's most dangerous weapon wind up in the hands of your Hollow."

I don’t know why, but his disturbing smile reminds me of Gin. And it is interesting, how he seems to think that Ichigo’s hollow would have been a problem, yet Urahara trusted Gin, who was a hollow.

It is also interesting how Urahara and Yoruichi don’t trust Ichigo and question his hollow’s influence, yet they seemed perfectly fine when they sent him off to SS, without even given him any training to control his hollow.
“I got enough of you guys and your 'benign spells' hidden inside me, thank you very much," Ichigo returned in a very suspicious tone, causing Tessai to frown.”

And again this makes me wonder if Aizen and Unohana weren’t the only ones who cast “cloud over moon” on someone.
And I am so glad that Ichigo told them-“Have a little faith in me, Tessai-san. After all, you helped make me this way, right?" Tsukabishi appeared troubled by this admission and lapsed into silence.”- because it’s the truth. They played with Ichigo’s life, they granted him the power, without doing anything to explain to him about what he would be going through, nor did they train him after they turned him into a Vaizard. The least they could do is trust their “creation”

Still one of my favorite parts- “That's nonsense!" Urahara practically barked. "Bonnie and Clyde here have already shown how little they think of us, asking one to watch over the other is like giving prisoners the keys to their cells and asking them not to leave!"- because technically the same could be said about Yoruichi and Urahara. They two showed how little they thought of Ichigo, Rukia, and Byakuya by not telling them the truth behind their plan.

"And if her association with Aizen is what's troubling you, remember that you and I already agreed once before to overlook that. 'No more following others' bad examples', remember?"
"Don't throw all that back at me, Yoruchi!” – Did that mean that Urahara had defended Rukia before, and is now finding his words thrown back at him? Or is it something else I missed? Was it when the three had asked about what to do about Rukia after they found out that she was one of Aizen’s pawns and the three had agreed to let her live? Is that what Urahara’s and Yoruichi’s words alluding to?

“We didn't work so hard and risk so much to have a teenager start shoving his ideals down our throats!”

“Kisuke turned back to him with an eerie smile. "You've never seen what my ban-kai can do, boy. Trust me, you wouldn't like it.”

He again reminds me of Gin in this part, and it makes me very curious about Urahara’s Bankai.

“I don't want to have to resort to force in this matter," his hand dropped down to rest on the handle of his prominently displayed soul cutter, "but if you continue to behave badly I'll just have to give you another little demonstration of what I can do."

And for some reason Urahara’s words remind me of Yamamoto, and the way Yamamoto used force to keep Unohana in line.

“Looking in that direction, Rukia was shocked to see the solid wall flaking away before her eyes. More of that seemingly flat surface collapsed into small chunks, and from out of it there stepped a fully-formed figure that she recognized immediately.”

Like father, like daughter. I couldn’t help but smile at Nemu’s actions. And I love how she refers quite openly to Isane as her sister.
“My captain appeared quite irrational over the theft of Minazuki.”- Does her statement of finding Urahara irrational mean that she agrees with Ichigo’s and Rukia’s actions of hiding Minazuki?

Is she like her father, and Rukia, both having reasons to be distrustful of SS rules, and leaders, and therefore she understands why Rukia and Ichigo acted the way they did?

“I acted to ensure no harm would come to him."- I know that Yoruichi and company think that Nemu acted in Urahara’s benefit (‘no harm would come to him’), but why do I suspect that Nemu is keeping Urahara alive because she knows that Mayuri wants to take the 12th captain position “officially”? Mayuri wants to fight and kill Urahara, so Nemu is keeping Urahara safe, so that Mayuri has a chance to fight him?

“Mayuri-sama did explicitly state that if I ever came into the possession of Kisuke Urahara, I must be prepared to defend the integrity of Mayuri-sama's research. So he included a chemical in my bloodstream that was uniquely designed to subdue Urahara-taichou should he ever prove… difficult."

I wonder if Mayuri left any instructions for Nemu concerning Rukia? Like making sure she stayed alive, just so Rukia could keep bankrolling the 12th division, and so the 12th division could keep carrying out his research?

“She wasn't certain, but Rukia could have sworn she detected a faint smile on her brother's face as he rose up. If so, Byakuya hid it soon afterwards.

I do wonder about what caused Byakuya’s slight smile? Was it the fact that someone one-upped Urahara? Was it because Urahara, someone who seems to be three steps ahead of everyone else, didn’t see this (Mayuri giving Nemu a failsafe to take him down)?

“His longtime associate lifted her unconscious colleague over one shoulder, much in the manner she had done with Ichigo months past.”

The use of the word associate rather than friend when describing Yoruichi, makes me paranoid. I would have suspected for Tessai and Yoruichi to be quite close, but perhaps that isn’t the case.
zombiegirl22 chapter 36 . 1/7/2016
Part 9

You know I can’t help but feel irritated at the four captains, as they look at Rukia

-“Thus it was that a few minutes later, she found herself sitting in her nightclothes facing four very unfriendly-looking captains.

-“Byakuya appeared as grave as if he were challenging an army of vasto lorde, while Yoruichi had adopted an unreadable expression. Tessai Tsukabishi was gazing at her sadly, as though asking how she could do such a thing. Kisuke Urahara looked distinctly intimidating now that he wore the robes of the Twelfth division captain.”

These four individuals all lied (either directly or lying by omission) to Rukia. Their actions put her in danger. Can they really blame her for being distrustful of them?

Urahara made her a target (by putting the Hogyoku in her) and used her as bait (for the sake of making Ichigo a Vaizard), Tessai and Yoruichi by going along with Urahara’s plans. Byakuya for keeping her background a secret from her, from not being the big brother he was supposed, for nearly allowing her to die.

These four captains acted for their own benefit and not for Rukia’s. Again, can they really blame her for not trusting them completely, especially Urahara who was shown on the same level of mastermind as Aizen?

“Or maybe it was the way he pressed his lips together so tightly, like he might explode otherwise.” I don’t recall Urahara ever being that angry in this story, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that he could be driven to being this angry. And I am glad that Rukia was able to do it.

I also love how Rukia greeted them calmly. All that Kuchiki training payed off. And showed that their anger or whatever they are feeling aren’t enough to break her calm, like it would have months before. I love how much Rukia has grown.

“Don't act cute," Kisuke snapped. Nothing humorous about him now.”

This is funny because Urahara has always been mysterious, has always kept things from other people. How I am sure he enjoyed being the smartest man in the room, a man who knew everything. And I love that Rukia, one person he manipulated for his own benefit, was able to one up in something. She was someone he didn’t take into consideration. Probably didn’t view her as nothing more than a pawn. He probably underestimated her, and now Rukia has shown why no one should underestimate her. And has shown that regardless of what others think, she will do what she thinks is right, and will take action to make sure no others will come to harm.

“She directed a regal look at him. "I cannot say at this time." "This is serious, Rukia-chan," Yoruichi groaned and rubbed the bridge of her nose. "You took advantage of your status as a Kuchiki. The guards didn't try to stop you from going in, and according to them you didn't leave with anything. But the weapon is still gone. So what did you do with it?"

I think what irritates me about them is the fact that they think Rukia is playing with them, and not taking things seriously (like Yoruichi seems to imply), when she actually is. These four captains have shown that they have been fooled before, they allowed things to become what they were, and have already proven to be fallible, they, in the past, hadn’t been trying to make things better. So, again I don’t see how they can’t see how Rukia felt like her actions were necessary.

And I don’t see how Yoruichi can be blamed for taking advantage of her status as a Kuchiki, when I am sure that Yoruichi, and Byakuya both took advantage of their statuses as well to benefit themselves.

And unlike certain people who can’t be bothered to explain things to her (until they had no other choice), Rukia was truthful.

“I have my doubts about the intentions of certain people."

Was Rukia only speaking of Urahara and the Vaizard or did she also mean Tessai and Yoruichi? Or were the others she still hadn’t trusted, but we don’t know about?

“Just have to keep people guessing about your allegiances, don't you, Rukia-sama?" Kisuke drawled, attempting to appear relaxed and failing at it.

As if Urahara is one to talk, especially since he made an allegiances with one of her enemies. Especially since he allowed Rukia to go back to SS, back to Aizen, when he could have let her stay with him, under his protection, in the human world, but instead sent her back to SS, sent her back to Aizen, sent her back knowing that she was under “Cloud Over Moon.”, because he had to make sure that Aizen’s plan would work out, since he put the Hogyoku in Rukia. Because he wanted to beat Aizen at his own gain. Especially since she already proved her allegiance, attacking Unohana, so she wouldn’t be a blemish in the Kuchiki name, when she was willing to sacrifice herself, to make sure that Unohana stayed in Nirvana, ensuring that the gate would close, which benefited Urahara.
"You're lucky no one told Soifon about this. She would have been after your head for sure this time." "Are you threatening me in my own home, sir?" she asked archly. The scientist crossed his arms. "What if I am?"

I really loved this part, because it is such a contrast to how the two chatted back when they first met. A

-“Your little sister seems to think she can do whatever she pleases!" his counterpart from the Twelfth shot back. "Tell me, is she wearing the pants in this household, or are you?"

“NO, I AM NOT WALKING ON EGGSHELLS AROUND THIS!" he shouted, rounding on his ally angrily. "That little girl goes off half-cocked, meddling with things more dangerous than anything we know, and you expect me to just smile and go, 'Pish-posh'? Simply because she's noble? That's not an excuse to do as you please anymore!"

Urahara needs to stop thinking of Rukia as little, her actions in the war proved that she isn’t the little weak, naïve girl he first met. I wonder if what makes Urahara mad, is that he can’t manipulate Rukia anymore. That she won’t allow herself to be manipulated anymore.

Or is it that Urahara realizes that Rukia didn’t buy his little explanation back in chapter 35? That her realizes that Rukia doesn’t trust him? Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially since she told him chapter before, that she trusted Mayuri more than she trusted Urahara. Back in that chapter, had he expected her words to be false, only to come to realize that she wasn’t being truthful about it? Well, that’s to be expected when he underestimates Rukia.

And I don’t really think that Rukia expected for Urahara to excuse her actions because she’s noble. I do think that she believed he would have sympathized with her not wanting to be anyone’s pawn anymore, just like he didn’t like being under SS, Central 46’s and Aizen’s thumb.

"Neither is being a captain," Rukia said quietly. His eyes narrowed viciously. "Oh, my dear, my dear, you really are asking to be slapped, aren't you?"

I know that Urahara was probably think that her response was a slight to him, but I think she said that because she remembered all the horrible things that were done to her, but everyone looked away because they were done by a captain.

And though I usually hate characters who threaten Rukia, like Urahara did, I don’t hate him. Especially when he proceeded those words with “oh my dear, my dear.” There was patronization in his tone, and I can see him taking Rukia over his knee. The whole disciplining her lest he “spare the rod and spoil the child”. But of course that is probably just my UraRuki shipping goggles, making me think that.

I love that Ichigo told Urahara to just try it. Though I’m surprised that Byakuya didn’t come to Rukia’s defense, after Urahara threatened to slap her, which makes me think that Byakuya agreed with Urahara.
zombiegirl22 chapter 36 . 1/7/2016
Part 8
“She came to me after your mother's death, when I learned that one of our own captains was collaborating with the Hollows, and bound me with her power. Aizen Sōsuke is a traitor to Soul Society.”

So how was it that Ginrei came to know that Aizen was a traitor? I know that Byakuya’s mother learned of Aizen’s betrayal, but I had always assumed that she died before she got to tell anyone. Which means that Ginrei had been investigating on his own.

“I fear that both of them have been engaged in some fiendish plot for many centuries now without our knowledge.”

I have to wonder if Ginrei knew that his actions back in the Manor wars was why Aizen did what he did.

Not to mention Ginrei’s inaction when Unohana had been abused for centuries by Yamamoto. Can he blame them for their ‘fiendish plot’ when he allowed injustices to happen.

“Aizen Sōsuke is far more than what he seems. I believe him to be a surviving member of the Takuiyoku clan, whose destruction I myself countenanced in the name of the King. Worse even than this, he bears the vengeance and power of every soul who was slaughtered in the name of justice on that day.”

Well I don’t have to wonder anymore, since Ginrei did seem piece things together.

However, none of his words to Byakuya shows any regret on Ginrei’s part for his role- “worse even than this”. Too bad one of them survived, huh Ginrei? Had it been the Kuchiki who had been slaughter and not the Takuiyoku, had Byakuya been the only one surviving, would Ginrei not have wanted his grandson to take vengeance for what had happened?

“He has gathered demons from our world and beyond to help him achieve his vision of overthrowing the King of Soul Society. “

And there wouldn’t be demons to help Aizen, had the Shinigami done their part in making sure every soul was purified. I mean can hollows and the like be blamed for being who they are, when the inaction of Shinigami was what created them in the first place?
“I have seen your chosen wife, or someone who looks enough like her to be a sister, acting under his direction to achieve the most chilling ends.”

Did that mean that Ginrei saw Rukia taking down Yamamoto? I don’t understand how Ginrei would think that that was “the most chilling ends”. I mean, in my opinion, I see that as a good thing and not something bad. She took down Yamamoto, but she didn’t kill him. I mean sure Sosuke would have had access to Nirvana, and life as they knew it would have been quite different, but that doesn’t mean things would have been bad. Aizen, for all his megalomania, would have still have been a better choice. In my opinion any way.

“Heaven shall feel the force of their wrath, and unless I am mistaken, a new dark emperor will be crowned in the aftermath”.

I thought that the “dark emperor” Ginrei was alluding to was Aizen, but for some reason I feel as though Ginrei is talking about someone else.

“But my generation will not be the one that ends this long-running conflict, nor even yours, I regret to say.”

So does that mean - Byakuya, Yoruichi, Isane, Soi Fon, Ukitake, the Vaizard, Isshin, Urahara, Matsumoto, Gin, are included in that?

How are generations measured in SS?

“In my mind's-eye I watch as a man with hair like orange flame, the heir to the one-eyed God of War, does battle with madness incarnate in the form of a ravening Wolf, to avenge his kin and all the multitudes who died in that beast's jaws.”

I know that Ginrei is talking about Ichigo. But I wonder who the one-eyed God of War is? I am trying to think of individuals in SS who only have one eye, but no one is coming to mind.

“To avenge his kin and all the multitudes who died in that beast’s jaw”- I remember thinking that this mean that Ichigo was a Shiba, since the Shiba had given up limbs to imprison Stark, but then Tomas stated that Tomas wouldn’t be following Kubo’s examples of having Ichigo be a Shiba.

So does that mean that Tomas, will explore Isshin’s family and background in “Lifted Up”? If so, I can’t wait until I see what Tomas is creating in regards to that. I am sure it would be a lot more interesting.

I won’t speculate again about the rest of Ginrei’s prophecy or try to guess who he is talking about, because I have already done so before (even though I don’t remember what I had said. I have a crappy memory).

“You are your father's son, Byakuya. He had a great heart that saw past his elders' folly, and I know you are the same.”

I wish I would have been able to see more of Sojun, and I wished he would have lived. He seems like one of the few nobles who actually cared about justice and the common folk, and doing what is right.

“I offer my blessing to you and all others whom you choose to shelter in our family. Let your eye see clearly their value, and do not let fear deceive you.”

It’s funny how Ginrei offered a blessing to those Byakuya chose to “shelter” in their family, especially since Senbonzakura told Byakuya to never bring Rukia because her life would have been in danger.

So do Ginrei’s words mean that Byakuya is adopting more strays? I know that Toshiro was one that Byakuya is sheltering, are there more?
zombiegirl22 chapter 36 . 1/7/2016
Part 7
I am will get over the way Yumichika talks to Bykuya in the letter, I can hear the mockery and sarcasm in the tone-“Your humble servant Yumichika Ayasegawa requests an audience. Granted? How very gracious!”

“There are a lot of things I could say to you, but if you are hearing this, it means I'll never get the chance. And such matters are best done in person, perhaps with swords crossed and blood flowing.”

I would have loved to have seen the conversation, all the things Yumichika would have said to would also have been amazing to see the two fight.

One of my favorite parts – “You've come a long way in how you treat Rukia. Relatively speaking. That is the only reason you remain alive today.”

There aren’t a lot of people who would threaten Byakuya or talk to him in this manner. Not alive any way. And sure Yumichika isn’t alive anymore. But something tells me if he was still alive, he would have still spoken to Byakuya in that manner.

“In spite of that, you're a hopeless clod when it comes to knowing her. I have had to assume the role of wonderful and kind older brother that you forsook for whatever stupid reason your shriveled heart concocted.”
This was another of my favorite parts. That Yumichika isn’t afraid to tell Byakuya that his reasons for keeping a distance with Rukia was stupid, even if they were reasons from the heart. His grief and his heart, and his promise to Hisana, were stupid because in the end they caused Rukia pain, loneliness, low self esteem, etc.

“That is what you were actually paying me to do, so you know; not teach her how to fight, but to do what you could not be bothered to understand was a necessary brotherly duty. And that is to not only love your little sister, but to show it.”

Another of my favorite parts, because Yumichika’s statement showed Byakuya that Byakuya wasn’t as clever as he though himself to be. Byakuya thought he could hide the real reason (he couldn’t be a proper brother to Rukia) behind the reason of Rukia needing fight training. And Byakuya no doubt believed to have Yumichika under his thumb, by paying him, yet Yumichika wasn’t really under Byakuya’s thumb.

“If I am not there to do it, henceforth I expect you to take over the role of kind Aniki now that I am gone.”

Remember in one of my reviews from yesterday (or was it today) where I said that I had a horrible feeling that it would be revealed that Yumichika and Rukia were actually siblings, seeing Yumichika mention the role of Aniki is making me fearful again.

“ And your first task is very simple: Rukia would like a pet. Since I have no trouble imagining you messing up even such a simple task by buying her a goldfish or possibly even a bonsai tree, I will spell it out for you.”

You know, I kind of wish Yumichika hadn’t given Byakuya a hint, because I would have loved to have seen Byakuya giving Rukia a fish, maybe even Koi, since her Ukitake has a Koi pond. It would have been funny to see and even if they weren’t the pet that Rukia would have wanted, I’m sure the scene would have been quite humorous to read, and Rukia would have appreciated any gift from her Nii-sama, because his heart would have been in the right place.

But Yumichika telling Byakuya-“ Rabbits. Cute and fluffy rabbits. White ones, preferably.”- was for Rukia’s benefit, not Byakuya’s. He had asked her chapters ago what she would buy and she said that she had always wanted a pet. (And I loved how Yumichika had told asked her if he didn’t count). And like hell Yumichika would allow Byakuya to screw up, especially if Yumichika wasn’t there to fix it.

And speaking of pets I am remembering another of my favorite Rukia stories “Home” by Afrai, and how in one of the stories Child!Rukia is talking to Miyako, and Rukia tells Miyako that Byakuya promised her a dog if she were ever to win against him Shogi, and how that she could be proper friends with the dog, because she couldn’t when she was homeless because one can’t be proper friends with someone they might have to eat. And then Miyako asking Rukia was sort of dog and Rukia had responded “one like Kaien”. I don’t know why but Yumichika’s words reminded me of that story.

“Should you feel the need to buy her a whole warren to make up for neglecting that fabulous girl so odiously, obey that instinct.” And I am very glad that Byakuya followed Yumichika’s advice.

“I am leaving her well-being in your hands. If you fail in this matter, I'll come back from the dead and butcher you.”

I know I have said this before, but Yumichika never struck me as someone to make idle threats. So a part of me is hoping that Yumichika did find a way to come back from the dead.

“And should you find yourself filled with murderous rage the first time she introduces you to her boyfriend, know that Big Brother Yumichika is proud of you.”

‘Big Brother Yumichika’- this struck me as interesting because I don’t know how old Yumichika is. For all I know he could indeed be older that Byakuya.

But then ‘Big Brother’ makes me think of the government and how they are always watching, and I know that Tomas and Yumichika aren’t careless with their words, so I wonder if ‘Big Brother’ means that Yumichika, wherever he is still watching over Rukia. And I am getting my hopes up about Yumichika still being around.

“Except that I was always better-looking than you.”-

Another of my favorite parts. I freaking love Yumichika and his wit.

And I gotta love Byakuya’s shock and how offended he is- “ The flippancy, the sheer brazen audacity of it left him wondering if the whole world had not taken leave of its senses while he wasn't looking.”

And I love his conversation with his zanpakuto-

‘Did you think she was going to refuse all social contact like you did? That is something we were trying to avoid, if you will recall.’
‘The mere idea of it is an affront to my pride.’

I wonder if Byakuya realized that he is acting towards Ichigo, the same way the Kuchiki nobles would have acted (or were acting) towards Hisana and Rukia. How it was an affront to their pride when he married a commoner, and then adopted that commoner’s sister.

And I’m surprised that he doesn’t realize that Rukia just did what he did. After Yoruichi left, he eventually did accept social contact when he first met Hisana. Hisana was able to heal that wound. I’m surprised he doesn’t realize that Ichigo is Rukia’s Hisana.
zombiegirl22 chapter 36 . 1/7/2016
Part 6

“Whatever ya think is best, cowboy.”

Is there a significance as to why Gin called Yumichika a cowboy? Is it because Yumichika was being noble, just like some cowboys in cinema? Or was it because of something else.

“You and the captains just got back from Hueco Mundo. I saw Ichigo's face. He knows now. Rukia told him. It's real.”

So now I realize when Yumichika wrote this message to Renji. It had been the same day he had died, just a few minutes before he met up with Ichigo and offered him the Onigiri.
Which breaks my heart, because it was as if Yumichika knew he would be dying that day.

And it makes me wonder if Yumichika in his own way died of a broken heart. I’m wondering if the reason he rejected Inoue’s healing is because Rukia’s love for Ichigo was real, and realizing that she wouldn’t ever be in love with him, he had no more reason to keep on living.

I mean I am probably wrong in that speculation. Mostly because I know that Yumichika would have done anything to stay by Rukia’s side, even if his place was being her dear friend and confidant. Just because Rukia was in love with Ichigo, Yumichika would have stilled stayed by her side.

Plus, the rule of the 11th division of never surrendering.

“Either we accept the fact that she's made her decision and go on with our lives, or stand up and face the music, come what may. I'm dead, now, so I have no intention of telling you what I would have done if I had survived.”
I’m a little confused, because the statement above, makes it seem like Yumichika would have accepted Rukia’s decision and gone on with his life. However, the secrecy of not telling Renji what he would have done makes me think other wise.”

“Just understand that if you don't do the same, you will forever be a sorry excuse for a coward, and you deserve to suffer for it. I'm suffering now as I write this”

And then his statement about Renji not doing the same, makes him a coward, makes me think that Yumichika would have fought for Rukia had he survived.

However, the following statements made me realize that I was wrong- “I am going to have a talk with Kurosaki, and get a few things off my chest.”

Yumichika would have indeed kept quiet. His talk with Ichigo made that clear. Yumichika made sure that Ichigo knew not to take Rukia’s confession lightly. He made sure Ichigo knew the significance of that confession, and made sure that Ichigo got it through his thick skull, that Rukia’s love was a genuine thing. Something that not many people get to experience. By doing that he made sure that Ichigo wouldn’t screw up his blossoming relationship with Rukia. Which again proves how pure Yumichika’s love for Rukia was.

“Don't you dare tell Rukia or anyone else about my feelings for her, understand? This secret I leave in your care.”

I have to wonder whether or not Renji kept the secret a secret. I mean, he does tend to say things when he is drunk. So I am curious if he let slip to someone like Neliel or someone else about Yumichika’s feelings for Rukia.

“He had been in love with her. That's why Yumichika was always hanging around Rukia. Why didn't I see it before? You thought he was gay, that's why.”

And I will forever be grateful that Tomas didn’t write Yumichika as gay, like others always do. In most of the bleach fanfiction I come across, authors always right him as the stereotypical gay. As if just because he cares about his appearance is enough of a personality trait to call him gay. They make it seem as though being gay is his only defining trait.

There is only one fic (which is my favorites) that wrote him as straight. And that was “The First Guardian”. It was a passing mention of “Renji kissing a flamboyant but heterosexual fifth office of the 11th division” (not sure if I paraphrased that part of the story correctly).

“Hey!" The lieutenant jumped up, stuffing the pages into his sash.”- why do I have the feeling that Renji should have burned those pages but didn’t? If he didn’t put them in a good hiding spot, someone could have found them.

“"No. For some reason being in that room reminded me that Ichigo is shacking up with Rukia. I'm a little upset by that, so I want some male companionship right now."

Was there a possibility that Yumichika left his own message to Neliel. Maybe not a message from
Yumichika, but one from Gin to Neliel, that Yumichika left in his room for Neliel to find. A favor perhaps to Gin, since Gin was close to Neliel.

If there was a message to Neliel from Gin, that Gin had given to Yumichika to keep in the room, then Gin would have had to explain to Neliel his reasons for Gin and Yumichika being allies, which could have led to Gin mentioning Rukia in his letter to Neliel. Which could have been the reason that “being in that room reminded me of Ichigo shacking up with Rukia.”

So I’m curious did Renji and Neliel do the do? It’s funny how he has the same taste in women as Gin (with the exception of Rukia).

So was Neliel in love with Ichigo? Or was it just infatuation? I mean she hadn’t known him for more than a day, and some of that time, she was in child form.

“Quite unexpectedly, Abarai had found a person who might have something helpful to suggest in regards to the decision he was required to make soon.”

And when he says that she would be helpful regarding a decision he had to make, did he mean that she would help him get over Rukia, by giving him advice on how to get over people. However, by her statement of being upset, she hasn’t gotten over Ichigo, so I don’t see how much help she could be with that.

Or was he implying that she would help him in regards to a decision, by him turning his attention to her and the two entering a relationship?

I mean the two would be working together, so it wouldn’t be smart to include romance in that because of the possibility of them breaking up which would make it difficult/uncomfortable for the two to work together.

But Renji’s isn’t the smartest person, so I can see him making that mistake.
zombiegirl22 chapter 36 . 1/7/2016
Part 5- I had planned on finishing up the reviews for chapter 36 yesterday, but I had to babysit after work, and therefore could only finish reading the rest of the chapter, after my niece and nephews fell asleep. Which was why I was only able to post two reviews yesterday. I had been planning on posting my other reviews when I got home, but when I got home, the internet was down. And there for couldn't do it. But now the internet is back up, and I can finish reading and reviewing.

“Rukia Kuchiki was sentenced to death. He wasn't permitted to visit her.” Was it Gin who prohibited him from visiting her? Was this because Yumichika would have broken her out, therefore ruining Aizen’s and Gin’s plans?

“Gin assured him that she would be safe, but even if that did prove true,”- I don’t know why, but the wording makes me think that Yumichika didn’t trust Gin’s word and had various plans to ensure that Rukia wouldn’t die.

“Yumichika had already resolved to kill Captain Kuchiki for allowing such a travesty to proceed. He changed his mind only upon learning that Byakuya had risked his life to save Rukia, and then admitted the real reason for adopting her.”

I do wonder what the reasons Yumichika had thought about Byakuya adopting her before he found out the truth.

“Unfortunately, hot on the heels of this newfound improvement to his beloved's future, Yumichika received a profound punch to the balls in the form of Kurosaki Ichigo.”

This line had both a smile on my face because of the humor in it, and had me sad as well, because of the signigicance of Yumichika realizing that someone else had won Rukia’s heart.

“He saw how much she had changed in just a few short months. More than he had accomplished in decades of trying. Only one thing could explain it. Rukia was in love with the human boy.”

And this made me even sadder for Yumichika. because of how Yumichika must have felt at realizing that after all he had done for Rukia, it still fell short in terms of winning Rukia’s heart. That even though he had done so much and improved her life so much, it wasn’t enough.

“When he realized this, the deadly duelist considered blowing his cover and just killing the brat in front of everybody. Let them see the true form of his zanpakutō, who cares?”

This was an absolute favorite part, because he was willing to risk seeing the true form of his zanpakuto, when keeping his Zanpakuto’s true form was a top priority.

It speaks about his feelings for Rukia, because there it was only for her sake that he was willing to reveal that, such as when he helped restore her zanpakuto.

“More than that, Yumichika swore that if it didn't turn out to be a momentary infatuation, if Rukia decided for herself that this love was real and worthwhile, then he would do everything in his power up to and including death to see that Kurosaki survived the war that was about to come.”

Another of my favorite parts, because this once again shows me how pure and unselfish his love for Rukia was, that as long as she was happy, it was worth, even to the point of ensuring his rival’s survival.

“On the day Rukia bloodied his lip and he gave her back her soul power, Ayasegawa felt his heart being wrung dry by how close they really were. But not close enough. He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek then, the only direct evidence of his affection for her he had ever permitted.”

This was one of my favorite parts. Because it confirmed the closeness that laid between Rukia and Yumichika, and confirmed that there was a huge possibility of Rukia returning Yumichika’s feelings, had Ichigo not stepped in between.

And I am probably watching too much of my mom’s novelas, but a horrible thought just struck me. Was there a possibility that Yumichika and Rukia were secretly related, and they didn’t know it?

I mean, I know that is a ridiculous thought, but I can’t count how many times in Mexican soap operas, how some character fell in love with another, and felt this closeness to the other person, only for it to be revealed that they were siblings. Again, I know it is ridiculous for me to even think of the possibility of Yumichika and Rukia being siblings, because there was no way that Yumichika was Hisana’s and Rukia’s brother. But if Tomas could please put my heart and mind to ease and confirm that the two are siblings, that would be amazing.

“Afterwards he left her to recover, and went to have a chat with Ichimaru.”

You know I really wish I could have seen him talking to her after the whole ordeal. Before he left her to recover. I mean we saw the two together during the Sake Bath, and then again when she went go punch him. But it would have been interesting to see their interaction immediately following her almost dying.

Also it makes me curious where he had his chat with Ichimaru. I was thinking that it had to have been during Yumichika’s time in the human realm after Yammy’s and Ulquiorra’s attack, since Gin couldn’t go to SS. And I don’t see Yumichika going to Hueco Mundo for a chat with Gin, when anyone could have been spying on them.

Especially since he said “afterward he left her to recover” which makes it seem as though the chat took place immediately after she was almost killed by Gin on Sogyoku Hill.

Unless, he was talking about letting her recover after Grimmjow put his fist through her stomach. Which then makes me curious about Yumichika’s thoughts and his behaviors towards Rukia almost dying at the hands of the Sexta. I bet Grimmjow was on Yumichika’s list.

And I find it curious how Yumichika confided to Gin that Rukia loved Ichigo. I wouldn’t have ever thought that Yumichika would have thought that that(Rukia’s love for Ichigo) would have been a valid reason Gin would accept for not letting Ichigo die. I wouldn’t think that Yumichika thought that Gin would have cared about something like that. Unless of course Yumichika was suspicious and had figured out that Gin “cared” for Rukia.
Gin, being Gin, I could have seen him not caring to ensure Ichigo’s survival. Yumichika was more of an ally than Gin, and even though Yumichika didn’t want Ichigo dead, I could easily picture Gin doing something “nice” for Yumichika and allowing Ichigo to die, clearing up the way for Yumichika, and Yumichika could have comforted Rukia.
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