Title: Hisana's Legacy
Disclaimer: I do not own any thing to do with Bleach. I only own my plot line. Everything else belongs to its creator.
Summary: What if Hisana had left something precious behind before she departed? Something no one else knew about. This precious thing could have been the life-changing element that Byakuya had been missing.
Byakuya was sitting at his desk filling out his paper work when a hell butterfly fluttered in to inform him of a taichou's meeting a few minutes prior. Slightly annoyed at the bad timing and lack of information regarding the meeting, he stood up and used his Shunpo to reach his destination. Once he got there, he strode into the room and took his place silently. Being one of the first to arrive, excluding Yamamoto, he watched everyone file in. It took a few minutes for all taichous to be present before Yamamoto began to speak.
"There are two issues that need to be addressed urgently. The more important of the two are the taichou positions that are vacant. The taichou-less Divisions are suffering greatly because of this. Fukutaichous can only do so much without having the skills and consequent leadership of their taichou," Yamamoto said. "This needs to be rectified as soon as possible. We need taichou candidates and we need to rank them as soon as possible."
There was silence in the room before Hitsugaya spoke up, "I recommend Renji Abarai. He is strong, has his Bankai, and has a lot of battle experience. I believe he would make an excellent taichou, even if he is a scattered individual."
There was a murmur before Shunsui Kyouraku and Jyuushirou Ukitake gave their personal recommendations. There was another moment of silence before Kenpachi Zaraki volunteered his recommendation before stating the reasons. Four of the needed six had given their recommendations.
"I believe with the right training, he would cope as a taichou. Abarai also can execute Shunpo adequately and has an extensive knowledge of Kidou. With these facts as well as the other recommendations, I give him my recommendation," Soi Fon said, falling silent once again.
The last recommendation came from Byakuya himself. "Renji has been my fukutaichou for a very long time. I believe he is ready. He has my recommendation."
All six recommendations had been issued, and all that was left was the three approvals. The approvals came from an unexpected Mayuri Kurotsuchi, Retsu Unohana and Yamamoto himself. Standing, Yamamoto said, "It has been decided. Renji Abarai, former Fukutaichou of the 6th Division, has been promoted to Taichou of the 3rd Division."
The meeting continued as such, promoting Nanao Ise as the 9th Division Taichou. She had wished to keep her Bankai a secret, but due to the such a dire situation, Shunsui revealed she had indeed reached Bankai status and had just about mastered it.
"The last Division without a taichou is the 5th Division," Retsu Unohana said softly, "All other potential taichous have been placed within a taichou-less Division. Who else is there?"
Once again, the room was silent. They noted the truth in the statement and all were stumped at what to do. One of them, however, remembered one person who has not been mentioned.
"Ichigo Kurosaki can perform Bankai. He has saved Soul Society on more than one occasion and is willing to put himself in danger for us," Soi Fon said quietly, but her words echoed off the walls.
The whole room erupted into an outraged babble of speech. Byakuya, however, stayed silent and contemplated what Soi Fon had said. Eventually, Yamamoto stood up and demanded silence. When they had all calmed down, he spoke.
"Soi Fon has a very valid point. There are other possibilities of Shinigami to be taichou, but for reasons kept to them they have not stepped forward. We cannot make them become one if the do not desire it. I know for a fact that Ikkaku Madarame can perform Bankai, but he has not stepped up as a candidate. Byakuya, Toushirou, step forward," he demanded. Both dutifully stepped forward and awaited further instructions. "After the ceremony your new mission is to go to the living, take with you one person of choice, bring back Ichigo and Isshin Kurosaki, and bring them before myself. Dismissed."
Everyone filed out quickly, save for Byakuya and Toushirou. Yamamoto motioned them forward and sat back down on his chair.
"I know that this will not be easy for either of you. But for the better of the Seireitei it must be done," Yamamoto said.
"I understand that, sir, but he hasn't departed the living yet nor has he gone through the Academy. I do not see how it can be done," Toushirou said.
"He can be taught Kidou, and as Byakuya taichou has experienced, he has experience with Shunpo. He was also taught Shunpo by Yoruichi Shihouin, the best user of Shunpo I have ever seen," Yamamoto said wisely.
Toushirou nodded in understanding before taking his leave. Byakuya still stood where he, knew there were many things he had to ask but knew he had limited time to do so.
"Sir, I formally request to have Rukia Kuchiki to be transferred from the 13th Division to the 6th Division as my fukutaichou. The basis for this request is that she has earned the position and her abilities have been commented on by numerous taichous in the Seireitei," he said in his usually distant voice.
"I will take it into consideration, Byakuya. Before you leave, however, there is something that we need to discuss," Yamamoto said seriously.
Rukia and Renji were sparring together when they were interrupted by the commotion outside. Looking at each other, they sheathed their zanpakutou and rushed out the training room to see what was going on. Seeing Toushirou and Byakuya walking together caused a sense of unease to fall over them. They knew something was up because they knew how to read both Byakuya and Toushirou to an extent.
"Nii-sama, Hitsugaya taichou," Rukia greeted them both once they were close enough to hear.
"Kuchiki, Abarai, we have much to discuss," Toushirou merely said and walked in the direction of his office.
Rukia looked up at Byakuya, but he gave nothing away. Shrugging, Renji followed Toushirou. Rukia fell into step with Byakuya, feeling something was wrong with him. Knowing now was not the time to ask him, she kept silent and just followed him to Toushirou's office. When they arrived, Renji had sprawled himself over the couch within his office, acting like he didn't have a care in the world.
"Kuchiki taichou and myself have been given a mission. We are to go back to the living and retrieve Isshin and Ichigo Kurosaki and bring them back to Soul Society. We have chosen to bring you both along with us, as you know Ichigo the best," Toushirou said sternly.
"What? Why? Ichigo hasn't done anything lately! He has given up so much to help us and they want him back? He is innocent of whatever they're accusing him of!" Rukia exclaimed urgently, standing up suddenly.
"Rukia, enough," Byakuya said.
"He is being brought here to be considered for becoming a taichou," Byakuya explained.
Both Rukia's and Renji's jaw dropped in surprise. Byakuya was faintly amused by their reactions. After a few seconds, they both erupted into questions.
"Why? How? When? What?" they rapidly asked question after question until Toushirou told them to shut up.
"We leave in three days, after the Ceremony of Promotion," Byakuya said nonchalantly. "You shall be informed then."
He swept out the room; knowing Rukia would follow him and silently demand answers. Sure enough, he heard her swift foot steps catch up to him and fall in line with his. He made his was back to the estate and finally looked down at Rukia. She looked up at him and he was once again painfully reminded of the resemblance between Hisana and Rukia. He looked away quickly and sighed. Rukia, knowing what he was thinking, looked back down at the floor.
"I apologise," Rukia murmured softly.
Startled, but not showing it, he looked back at her, "What ever for?"
"For looking like Hisana-sama."
Byakuya looked straight ahead and refused to let her apology get to him. He led her into his study and closed the door after them. Watching her sit down on one of the many chairs within the room. He sat down behind his desk and continued on with his work, all too conscious of Rukia gazing at him periodically. Eventually, he knew she was ready to speak.
"Nii-sama, may I ask you something?" she asked softly.
"Why are Ichigo and his father coming here? They didn't do anything wrong did they?" Rukia asked.
"They are being retrieved for the reasons stated before," Byakuya said, eyes never leaving his paper work.
"But Ichigo hasn't been to the Academy, Nii-sama! How can he become a taichou if he has not gone through the training?" Rukia asked, surprised.
"Yamamoto soutaichou said he can be taught."
They were silent for a while longer, Byakuya doing the last of his paper work and Rukia staring out his window at the cherry blossoms. She looked so much like Hisana that it pained Byakuya to look at her for too long. Many thought the reason why he never looked at Rukia was because he considered himself above her in all things. That wasn't true, of course. He loved Rukia for being his sister. The truth was that she was almost identical to Hisana, and that was what his problem was. At times, he couldn't separate the two in his mind. She had been gone for over fifty years, but it felt like yesterday when her hand slipped out of his as she breathed her last breath.
"… sama? Byakuya nii-sama?"
He looked over at Rukia, wrenched out his thoughts. He resisted the urge to shake his head and waved a hand for her to continue.
"I was thinking, that, maybe I should be the one to tell Ichigo about what will happen. If it came from you, nii-sama, or even Hitsugaya taichou or Renji, he might not believe it," Rukia explained. "Also, I think it would be best if I go ahead and get him used to the idea and give him time to think about it some. Only if that is alright with you, nii-sama."
Byakuya considered this and, weighing out the pros and cons, gave his consent to allow her to talk to him first. The smile on her face made him happy, even if he didn't show it. Her smile was so unlike Hisana's, one of the things that separated them in his mind.
"Thank you, nii-sama," Rukia said, jumping up and bowing.
"You leave in one hour. Be ready," he merely said before turning back to his paper work.
Hearing Rukia's squeal of joy once she had left let him know that, somehow, he had made her happy.