Death

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any of its wonderful characters.

Hitsugaya stared at the room with a mixture of disgust and fear.

Just now, he had arrived at where the reiastu he had felt had been strongest. And this was what had confronted his eyes. True, being a leader in the military meant he had had plenty of exposure to blood before, but never like this. This was the work of a monster, someone who purposely tortured people just to have the pleasure of hearing them desperately plead with them for mercy.

"Ah, seems like the hero has finally arrived." Hitsugaya whipped his head around toward the source of the voice, eyes narrowed, body tense.

Slowly, from the shadows, like a whisper, the young figure of a girl stepped out. Hitsugaya's eyes widened as soon as he identified her.

It was Sayuri.

Sakura gnawed her lips worriedly as she felt for her younger sister's reiastu. It was disappearing, fast and that worried her to no end. True, she had asked Byakuya to watch over her, but he was a noble and was thus very busy. Not only that, but he had only complied on basis that Hinamori was her younger sister. He would only intervene at the last moment, and that was not enough for Sakura.

Then, a new idea came to her mind. It was forbidden, but Sakura didn't particularly care. She had broken the rules before, what was wrong with doing it again?

A blinding light flooded and then, she was gone.

Hinamori opened her eyes. Blackness. That was all she saw. A swirling hole of blackness and despair. She had no idea where she was, just that she felt herself getting weaker and weaker by the second. Someone or something was draining her of her power.

"Seems like you're finally awake, Hinamori-kun," a voice from the dreaded black spoke. Eyes snapping wide with fear, Hinamori suddenly realized she was bound, gagged, and lying tied to a large stone table.

When she saw the source of the voice however, her eyes only grew larger.

It was Aizen Sousuke.

Before she could even scream, Hinamori alarmingly felt all his energy draining away from him instantly. Every bit of her… her mind was getting fuzzy, her eyes cloudy…. Was this the end for her?

Then, she felt it. Pain. Ripping, heartbreaking pains course its way through her body and veins. It was like somebody was stabbing her throat with an ice-cold knife. She couldn't speak, much less call for help. She was helpless.

"How does it feel, Hinamori-kun? To know you will die… and being able to do nothing about it? Hmm? Because that's what I felt at the hands of you damn royalty!" Aizen roared, his face twisting into a contorted expression of hate and venom.

Suddenly, despite all the pain and the numbness that was slowly overcoming her, Hinamori felt warmth on top of her. Her eyes widened as she realized what it was.

Her blood.

Hitsugaya parried furiously against the onslaught of blows from Sayuri. Damn! Who knew this girl was so strong? Her reiastu was almost non-existent, so small it was. But somehow, she was able to keep up with him and Hyourinmaru!

Sayuri smirked inwardly to herself while she kept up a façade of indifference. What an idiot the child was! For him to think that he could take on her, an Espada was crazy! He was so weak in comparison, it wasn't even funny! The smirk inside grew wider as she saw her sword pierce the young vampire's skin, blood ringing like music to her ears.

Hitsugaya grunted as pain coursed up his body from the site where the sword had pierced through his haori. Right now, he could comprehend nothing but that sickening P-word.

More shot through his body. God damn it to Hell, why was he so weak? Ignoring his body's protests and his lifeline dripped out of his body from his numerous, he charged again.

Hinamori could feel herself slipping away. After the initial shock of seeing her blood, she no longer felt anything. Was she dying?

Suddenly, she felt her mind becoming clearer, the fog dissipating. She vaguely could hear Aizen exclaim in shock but wasn't really sure of it.

Sakura shook her head, hair flowing elegantly as she gazed down at the still figure that was once the proud vampire captain. Really, Hitsugaya is a disappointment she mused as her gaze switched to the dead body of Sayuri. She was not even close to a challenge, and yet Hitsugaya could barely wound her. Sakura mentally stored in her to-do list to ask Byakuya to train Hitsugaya more.

"So he's making his move?" A new voice interrupted Sakura's thoughts, though she didn't let it show as she smiled once more, looking at Byakuya standing at the doorway where Hinamori had been kept captive. Currently, the said girl was cradled in Byakuya's arms, though the stoic man didn't look too happy about that. True, he was concealing it very well, but Sakura was a master a deciphering emotions. Afterall, who could be better than the greatest liar of them all?

"Sakura, you should take your little sister back to Hitsugaya-taichou's house. Hitsugaya-taichou too," Byakuya said as he looked at the captain's blood stained form.

Smiling, Sakura relieved Byakuya of his burden. Gently lifting her little sister onto her back like she had done when they were children and Hinamori had gotten a cut or something, she gently disappeared into the night sky back to Hitsugaya's mansion. Before she left though, she whirled around and quietly asked Byakuya to….

Red stained the expanse of land.