Title: The passing
Pairing / Characters: Ukitake Jyuushirou, Kyouraku Shunsui, Unohana Retsu, Kotetsu Kiyone, Kotsubaki Sentarou
Word Count: 1, 485 words
Summary: Jyuushirou takes on a hollow
A/N: From what I can gather, nineties level kidou spells are among the most difficult spells to perform. I wasn't sure of what kind of spells there are so I made these two up…
FOR CERETIS PARIBUS… THANK YOU…
The night the hollows invaded, he was waiting for them.
A tall, silent figure in stark black and white, he seemed like a grim, dark angel, an image enhanced by the zanpakutou at his side. The expression on his face was one of bleak iciness, and the long white hair that flowed down his back further contributed to the image.
Ukitake Jyuushirou stood in the shadows, hand on his zanpakutou, watching silently as a jagged tear appeared in the grey, moonlit skies.
Only hours ago reports had filtered in of several hollow sightings across Sereitei, and each division's captains had been sent out to deal with them. Jyuushirou's squad had been ordered to West Rukongai, Urahara Kisuke's power base, and already the devastation in the area was more than he had foreseen. They had dealt with several demi hollows already, but Jyuushirou expected trouble.
His squad had fanned out behind them, but Jyuushirou paid them no mind. His mind and soul were already filled with the calm resolve of a warrior. As such, he didn't even flinch when a roar filled the air.
Unsheathing his zanpakutou, Jyuushirou braced his legs and held the slender blade out before him, tip pointed to the sky.
'Split up,' he ordered his squad members tersely. 'Purify the first two and leave the others to me.'
His squad obeyed immediately, and Jyuushirou stood his ground as the third of the hollows charged towards him.
It moved swiftly for something so big, but Jyuushirou was faster. Using shunpo, he shot upwards through the air until he was in line with the hollow's mask. Bringing his zanpakutou up, he slashed it diagonally through the mask, the cracking loud in the silence. Jyuushirou fell back, allowing himself to drop lightly on the ground as the hollow dematerialized.
Rising to his full height, the thirteenth division captain cocked his head to one side as the second hollow came towards him. A grin tilted Jyuushirou's lips.
This one was smarter – it held back, large yellow eyes fixed on the slender figure below it. Jyuushirou in turn, studied it, noting detachedly the claws, the long mandibles that clicked every time the creature drew breath, the faint green ooze that seeped from its skin. His grin widened. It was a challenge, but not by much.
Jyuushirou pulled his zanpakutou back, held low at his side, left hand poised over the hilt as he shouted the command to unlock it. Within a matter of seconds, he had both blades in his hands and reiatsu swirling around him.
The hollow roared, slamming a fist into the ground where Jyuushirou had been standing. Anticipating the attack, Jyuushirou dived to one side, eyes on the ground as the hollow lifted his fist. His eyes narrowed as the ground began to steam and hiss, the hard packed earth slowly dissolving.
'Poison?' Jyuushirou wondered aloud. 'Interesting…'
He lunged forwards, bringing up his blades as the hollow brought down its fist again. Jyuushirou simply slashed through the hollow's wrist, neatly moving out of range as the massive claw crashed to the ground.
The hollow screamed in rage, turning towards the white haired captain – who was no longer there.
Two swift flash steps, and Jyuushirou was standing atop the hollow's head, balanced between the horn-like protrusions on the mask. Leaping into the air, Jyuushirou twisted around, bringing his zanpakutou down as he did so, cracking the mask.
At that moment however, the hollow sensed his presence and shook his head irritably, sending Jyuushirou flying. He landed on his back, the wind temporarily knocked out of him, zanpakutou somewhere on the ground.
'Ukitake-taichou!' Kiyone screamed.
Panting, hoping his body wouldn't give up on him, Jyuushirou got to his feet gracefully, and released the constraints on his reiatsu. His squad members were horrified to see their unarmed captain and the hollow that towered over him – until Jyuushirou lifted his head.
Kiyone reared back, her eyes widening in fright at the sight of the expression on Jyuushirou's face. His eyes had darkened, pools of black in his pale face, which had gone completely blank. It was as if the captain she knew and loved was no longer there.
He lifted his right hand, pointing his finger at the hollow. When he spoke, his voice was expressionless.
'Oh dark rulers, those who live in shadow and work with sunlight, ye who subdues thy enemy with the mere bending of thought, suppress forever those who would lift their hands against you. Way of dark binding- black silken ropes!'
Kiyone gasped as silky black ropes whirled out around the hollow, binding it tightly; despite the thinness of the ropes, they seemed to be stronger than the standard binding spell most shinigami knew.
Jyuushirou still wasn't done. 'Oh dark rulers, those who live in shadow and work with sunlight, ye who holds dark creation in your clawed hands, unleash the wrath and hatred of a thousand centuries upon those who hold you in scorn and turn their forms to ashes. Way of dark destruction- black ring of flames!'
Keeping his hand outstretched, he dragged it through the air to his right, palm outwards towards the hollow.
Kiyone covered her ears with her hands as ring upon ring of black flames consumed the hollow, and it screamed in pain. It was less than a minute or two perhaps, and the ring of flames tightened around the hollow before it exploded.
Sentarou ducked instinctively, but realized that it was unnecessary – there was nothing left to the hollow. His eyes flew to his captain, who hadn't moved save to lower his arm.
'A – amazing…' he whispered.
The reiatsu around him slowly faded away, and Jyuushirou blinked, almost bewildered as several shapes dropped out of the sky. Kiyone's hands tightened on her zanpakutou before she recognized the flowered haori and straw hat that made Kyouraku-taichou such a distinctive figure. She wasn't sure whether to be shocked or horrified as Shunsui grabbed Jyuushirou by the shoulders and began to shake him.
In a voice vibrating with anger he said 'Ukitake Jyuushirou, have you lost your mind? What the hell were you thinking, pulling a stunt on us like that? Don't you remember what happened the last time?'
Jyuushirou was slow to speak. 'He took me by surprise… I dropped my zanpakutou…'
Swearing, Shunsui pushed him onto the ground, yanking off his haori and draping it around Jyuushirou's shoulders. Even as he did so, Unohana was striding across the grass, and kneeling down at his side, examining him.
Kiyone and Sentarou exchanged glances. 'Er… Kyouraku-taichou?' Kiyone asked hesitantly. 'What just happened? Is Ukitake-taichou going to be all right?'
Shunsui glared at Jyuushirou again, seeing the blankness still in the dark eyes.
'He'll be fine, Kiyone-chan, as long as he doesn't push himself again.'
'What did he just do? I've never seen any kidou spells like that…'
'It's a nineties level spell,' an new voice said calmly. 'Very few captains have mastered nineties level kidou, and Jyuushirou is one of the few who has. However, it's taxing – extremely so.'
Yamamoto glanced at his former student. 'He was lucky this time, the last time he did that he was out of it for a week.'
Jyuushirou lifted a hand and rubbed his forehead. When he lowered it, Kiyone wasn't the only one who was relieved to see that his expression had returned to normal.
'Do you mind?' he asked a little indignantly. 'I knew what I was doing.'
Shunsui stared at him before spluttering 'if you could see how pale you are… what I thought when I felt that spell…damned fool…'
Jyuushirou laughed suddenly, a bright, cheerful sound in the dusk. 'Shun… he just knocked the wind out of me, that's all. Oh – and I think he tried to poison me, but I avoided that.'
Taking off the haori, Jyuushirou stood up smoothly, and glanced around for his zanpakutou. When he found it, he sheathed it and tilted his head up to the sky, breathing deeply.
'Mah, I think that's everything,' he said calmly. 'Kiyone – Sentarou – are there any injuries?'
'None, sir,' Kiyone answered smartly.
'Good. Head back, all of you.'
'Sir!' his squad saluted him and hastened back to their division.
Jyuushirou watched them go, before he turned back to his fellow captains. They were still standing there, bewildered, somewhat horrified expressions on their faces.
Jyuushirou frowned. 'What now?' he asked, not really expecting to get an answer, and therefore not at all surprised when he didn't.
Shunsui sighed deeply. 'Let's just go back, ok?'
'If you insist,' Jyuushirou said, sounding like he was trying not to laugh.
'Oh, we insist all right,' Yamamoto told him.
Jyuushirou glanced backward at the disgruntled expression on the ancient shinigami's face, and this time, he did laugh.
Yamamoto just glared at him. 'Show off.'
Shaking his head, Jyuushirou put his hand on Shunsui's shoulder and walked back towards Sereitei.