Warning: Some spoilers

Tarnished (Silver)

I am a Shinigami.

A death god, one who deals in death. I send the souls of ordinary ghosts, the lost Pluses, to Soul Society. I purify the souls of evil spirits, the voracious Hollows, and send them to the afterlife; depending on their deeds, that could be either Soul Society or Hell. I help to govern the flow of spirits between the human world and Soul Society.

I'm a purely spiritual being, my body composed of nothing more than reishi. I can't be seen by normal entities, only those that are spiritually aware.

My sword, my zanpakuto, is a representation of my spiritual power and ability. More accurately, it is a living part of my soul, a piece of myself poured into power and might. My Shinso, the Divine Spear. It's a weapon worthy of myself. The far reaching blade of justice. The hand that strikes quickly and without fail.

I'm a captain in the Gotei 13, the captain of the 3rd division to be precise. Or to be even more honest, I was. I doubt they have replaced me in such a short time, but I doubt even more that they still accept me, not after what I have done.

Foxface. That's what they called me, mostly because of my eyes. Even my name describes my features. I'm Gin of the silver hair.

Many of my fellow Shinigami didn't trust me, suspicious because of my nature. It seems that sarcasm is not a polite form of communication. Yet, they never suspected Aizen. Not once. He was the good boy, the honest and kind captain.

Even after centuries, they still haven't learned that a shining outside can contain a rotten core.

And then, there was little Izuru, my lieutenant, and I can honestly say that the man – child – was devoted to me. Both he and Rangiku, and I held their loyalty in the palm of my hand. I absorbed their hero worship like someone who truly deserved it. I needed it like a man dying of thirst needs water. It was nice being appreciated, having someone care about me for once, not just what I could do for them.

Still, perhaps neither one of them really knew me in the end. I'm not even sure I know myself all that well. Maybe they fell for the illusion like everyone else and simply reacted to it differently.

Kira was so enamored, so possessed, by my presence that there were times he scared even me. His loyalty had no boundaries, and if I was to ever return to the Soul Society today, I am certain he would follow me anywhere, even into Hell itself. He stood against his closest friend to defend me, but what does one do with such devotion, such faithfulness?

And Rangiku, I saved her when she was just a child. We've been friends since that very moment, and though she's loyal like Kira, I'm not in the least bit frightened by her admiration. It is one born of respect and the closeness of sociable companions, not that that makes the least bit of sense. I even gave her a birth date since she didn't have one of her own. It's a strange thing, to give someone that. It's like, in some strange way, I created her… that I made her real.

I couldn't hurt her, despite my plans, despite what both Aizen and I had worked out. When Rangiku captured me before our escape, when she held me close, it wasn't until then that I truly realized what was between us. Something I haven't ever expected or understood. I can't and won't put it into words, for there are none quite appropriate. In that moment, I almost didn't want to leave. I apologized to her, but the words were not enough to make up for what I had done and will do in the future.

And yet, despite all this, despite being one who governs death with skills to rival any within Soul Society, there is one thing and one thing only that I fear. That idiot, that war raving fool Kenpachi was the first to figure it out. He knows that above all things I fear my own death, my own mortality.

And it is because of this that I have been deemed a traitor, that I fled to Hueco Mundo. I abandoned Soul Society. I abandoned my home. I abandoned those who have given me their loyalty.

I followed Aizen because I believed that through him I would gain even more power, a greater immortality. The oldest of the Shinigami have lived for more than two thousand years, but even so, they are still mortal. They can still die.

Still, I wonder why I fear death. Does anyone truly know what's beyond? For the humans who die in the human world, they do not even know for certain what is beyond than their deaths. Do they have the same fears, the same apprehension? How can one walk bravely into a future that is unknown?

So in fearing death, I run from it, determined to live to my fullest, determined to extend my life beyond all worldly means, beyond all heavenly means.

They say that I will be reborn to Earth when I die. As a human. I will remember nothing of my earlier lives, of this life. In a way, I will be a completely different person. Everything that made me who I am will simply disappear.

And maybe that is what I truly fear. I am terrified that I will be lost. That everything I've strived so hard to become, to accomplish, all my power and strength, will flit away. Like the Hell Moths, it will slip from my grasp and be gone forever.

Such simple, fragile things, those butterflies. Yet, what they carry can often be the difference between life and death, existence and… renewal.

I am Ichimaru Gin, former 3rd division Captain. I'm powerful, a Shinigami of captain level. I have lived for years, so many years that perhaps I have lost count. And I want to live for many more.

My name, will it die when I die? Will all that I have accomplished be scattered to the winds? My power, will it disperse into another unworthy being?

I don't want to disappear. I don't want to lose myself. I can't.

Deep inside, I fear that the most. Perhaps it's not the actual death itself, but what lies behind it.

Nonexistence. The loss of myself.

To be reborn as a human is a reversal of all that I have become.

Does that mean that my life was worthless, that all I have done is meaningless?

In the end, the cycle only begins again, and I will have lost everything I worked a lifetime to achieve.

I can't believe that. I won't.

So I will do whatever it takes, no matter the means. Who I betray. What I give up. What I must suffer so that I will remain here in this world, in this life, as I am.

I will not fade away. I refuse to be just a memory. I won't give in to my fate. I will make my own destiny.

I am a Shinigami.

One who deals in death.

And every day, I fear to die.

But now, I may have found a way to live forever.

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My first Bleach fan fiction. It would be nice to get some feedback. Thanks!