Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Bleach.
Been a while, but I finally got this chapter done.
Naruto stood by in horror as he was unable to move and was forced to watch the sight before him. In the cloak darkness, the hollow advanced and it one fell swoop took down Izuru and Momo with a slash of its claws. As he watched this, Naruto tried to scream out, but no sounds came from his mouth, and he was unable to move. Not content with what it had already done, it ran at Rukia and leaped at and sunk its claws into her flesh, and and she fell to the ground lifelessly.
The beast of a hollow then dodged Renji effortlessly as the red haired Soul Reaper attempted to avenge his friends, and it swung the massive sword that seemed to appear out of nowhere, defeating him with a single slash. It then ran for Ikkaku and took the dald man out before he could even react, and Yumichika fell shortly after.
I said stop!
One by one, the mighty beast took out Naruto's closest friends. The wimpy but kind Hanataro. The beautiful Rangiku. The young prodigy Toushiro. Even his father and Kakashi fell to this savage hollow's might.
The only two left that stood before the hollow was Sasuke and Sakura. Sasuke attempted to fight off the hollow, but he didn't last long. The hollow grabbed Sasuke by the throat before it rammed its large sword through his chest. It then turned its attention to Sakura, who was cut down as she stood motionlessly, and stared in horror.
A sudden flash of light illuminated the area, and Naruto was finally able to see what this hollow looked like. Its skin was all white, and it was the size of a human with nine tails, and a hole in the center of its chest. It had a line of red fur going up its arm, and had some on the tip of each tail. Going down from its head was a mane of long, spiky blonde hair, and its mask resembled a fox. And finally, in one of its claws it held what was unmistakably Moukomaru.
"And then I woke up with a cold sweat." Naruto told Sakura. His face was solemn, and she could tell just how uncomfortable the dream had made him feel.
"But it was just a dream, right? I mean, theres no way any of that could happen." Sakura said, trying to reassure the blonde. "I mean, you said Toushiroand your dad were killed in it, and they're both captains! Not to mention most of the others are Lieutenants. No offense, but theres no way you could kill all them."
"Maybe." Naruto said, but looked unconvinced. "But I've had that same dream every night for the past week."
"What?" Sakura stared at the blonde, making sure she had heard the last part correctly.
Naruto nodded to. "Its really starting to bother me. At first, I just thought it was some nightmare, and didn't really pay it any attention the first time. But like I just told you, I've had that same dream every night since then."
"Have you talked to anyone else about this?" Sakura asked with concern in her voice.
Naruto shook his head. "Not yet. You're the first. I'm thinking about telling my dad, though."
"You definitely should. Something about this situation just feels... unsettling."
After that point, they walked silently, not speaking a word as they contemplated the story Naruto had just told. After a few minutes, Naruto decided he hated the awkward silence he had created, and tried to think of something to talk about. "Oh yeah, haven't seen Rukia lately." he randomly said.
"Yeah. She still hasn't come back from her mission to the world of the living." Sakura said.
"Still? I thought she was supposed to have gotten back already. Wasn't the mission only supposed to last a month?"
"I guess it extended."
"Man, Rukia missed Renji's promotion." Naruto complained. "I mean, hes a lieutenant now!"
"Speaking of which, he BETTER appreciate the gift we got him!" Sakura exclaimed as she held up a small box. "These goggles were so expensive! If he breaks them, there will be hell to pay!" Earlier that day, the two had gone to pick up a gift for their friend, the new Lieutenant Renji.
"I'm sure he'll love it. Hes had his eye on them for a while." Naruto said.
As they continued down the street, they heard various Soul Reapers conversing about something that had recently happened. "Hey, whats going on?" Naruto asked the group.
"Oh, 3rd Seat Uzumaki, 3rd Seat Haruno." one of them greeted the two. "Did you hear? A Menos Grande recently appeared in the world of the living!"
"What? A Menos Grande?" Sakura questioned with surprise. "What happened?"
"No one knows the full details yet. But apparently, it was driven off by just a single Soul Reaper!"
"Really? Who was it?"
"Thats the thing. We don't know who it was, but it wasn't any of the seated officers of any division."
Sakura looked more than a bit surprised. Sure, taking down a Menos Grande was easy for anyone of lieutenant-level and above. Heck, even some of the 3rd Seats like her, Naruto, and Ikkaku could defeat one, but for a single unknown Soul Reaper to drive one off, and not be a seated officer, she couldn't help but be a bit impressed.
"Ah, so what? Even I can beat Gillian. Who cares if some no name Soul Reaper can scare one off." Naruto said, obviously not as impressed as Sakura was. "C'mon Sakura, lets get going."
"No way!" Renji said as he marvelled at the goggles that Naruto and Sakura had gotten for him. "Its the pair I've wanting forever! You guys are great!" Celebrating his promotion, he was going out partying with his friends. Along with Naruto and Sakura, Ikkaku, Yumichika, Izuru, Momo, Shuhei, and Rangiku were also there.
"Ah, it was no big deal." Narutosaid with one of his usual grins. "Ikkaku here told me you always stare at them whenever you're near the shop." he said as he pulled Ikkaku over.
"Yeah right it was 'no big deal.' Those things took up nearly all of the kan I had saved up! And I only payed for half!" Sakura complained. "I swear Renji, if you break those, I'm going to-"
"P-please calm down Sakura!" Momo said to her.
"Anyway, congratulations." Shuhei said, quickly trying to get the subject off of the price of goggles.
"Yeah, thanks." Renji said as he slipped his gift onto his forehead. "So, how do they look?"
"Pretty cool." Rangiku said. "But when can we head over to the bar?" she whined.
"Right after we pick up Sasuke. He said he would actually come for once." Naruto said. "That guy is always so busy to hang out."
"Oh, but hes no fun at all." Rangiku whined.
There was a large, fat man with a large purple collar on his uniform holding a bag of rice crackers. "S'up Omaeda." Naruto said.
"What do you commoners want?" the man asked rudely. He personally couldn't stand Naruto, who didn't show him much respect. Or any at all.
"Just looking for Sasuke." Renji said.
"Hmph. Hes in the back sparring with the captain." he said rudely.
"Thanks." Naruto said. He started walking into the taining room, his arms behind his head.
"I think he still hates Sasuke." Renji commented.
"Still? Its been a few years, and he still hasn't gotten over it?" Naruto asks.
"Well, would you have gotten over something like that? And don't say you would have, because you know damn well that you'd be lying." Saskura says, and Naruto laughs neverously, knowing shes completely correct.
Sasuke stood across from a another person. It was a young looking woman with short dark hair that was also tied into two long braids that each had a golden ring on the end. She was the captain of the 2nd Division, Soi Fon, though she was currently not wearing her haori. They both stood still for a few minutes, when Sasuke suddenly flash steps so that he is just behind her, aiming a kick at her head. She raises her arm to block it, simultaneously aiming a punch at his midsection. Her movements are fast, Sasuke only being able to see them thanks to his sharingan. He manages to catch her punch, and pushes off of her with his free hand to get some distance between the two.
They stared at eachother again, then Sasuke ducks as Soi Fon is suddenly upon him, sending a sweeping kick aimed at his upper body. The attack is avoided, and he aims a kick of his own up at her face. His attack is thwarted when she deflects his kick with another one of her own, and then landed on her hand and kicked him in the chest. The attck connects, but he also catched her foot, twisting it so that her body follows suit, and he releases her so that he can strike her during the split second that her guard is down. His unch connects, but she retaliates with three more to his stomach. They then back off once, both breathing heavily. They're sparrin session had already been going on for over an hour, as they often did.
"You've gotten much better since you first entered the division." Soi Fon says as they both bow to one another.
"Soon, you may have to stop holding back against me." Sasuke returned.
"We'll see about that." Soi Fon retorted. "By the way, that annoying friend of yours is here."
"Yo! Sasuke! We're here to get you for the big night!" Naruto said as he burst through the door of the room.
"Right." Sasuke said, grabbing his Zanpakuto from where he had left it, propped up agaist the wall. "I'll be taking the night off like I asked, Captain Soi Fon."
"You've worked hard enough lately to have earned the night off, Lieutenant." Soi Fon says as she puts on her captain's haori, and ties her yellow sash around her waist. "Just dump all of your paperwork on Omaeda's desk. He can take care of it." she said as she walked out of the room.
It was later in the night, and the group had all gathered in the chosen bar. Naruto, Rangiku, Izuru, and Shuhei were already drunk, with the other members of the group sitting at a separate table. "So Renji, you're a lieutenant now." Momo said. "Now all four of us have become one." she said, reffering to her, Renji, Izuru, and Sasuke, the four of them having been a fairly close group back at the academy.
"Yeah, and you're in the 6th Division, right under Captain Kuchiki." Ikkaku said. "Maybe now you're a step closer to your goal of surpassing him."
"You've got your work cut out for you there." Sasuke said. "I regularly spar with my captain, and I can tell you that theres a good reason that people are made captains. She gets stronger just as much as I do. Just when you think that you've closed the gap between your strength and their's, you could find that its only grown larger."
"Ah, don't listen to him." Naruto said as he leaned over from the other side, pushing Sasuke's head down. "You can kick his ass, and all the other captains too! Except for my dad. He could beat everyone!" he slurred as he threw his hands into the air before going back to his seat and drinking some more.
"Naruto!" Sakura yelled, standing up. "I think you've had enough!" she said as she stomped over to the other side.
"No I haven't!" Naruto whined, accidentally knocking a bottle of sake into Sakura's face. The blonde gulped, knowing his pink haired friend was not going to be please. Things quickly went downhill for him, as he ran from Sakura, who chased after him thoughout the bar. Most of the others laughed at the sight, though Momo tried her best to calm Sakura down. The chase continued until Naruto saw someone in his path. When he saw who he was, he stumbled as he stepped back, and even Sakura ceased the chase. It was a man with long black hair, with white ornaments in the front and on the side. He wore a Soul Reaper's shihakusho with an additional white scarf, and a white sleeveless haori. This man was Byakuya Kuchiki, the captain of the 6th Division.
"C-captain Kuchiki." Renji let out in surprise at seeing the man here.
"Renji." Byakuya said. "We have a mission."
"A mission? One that requires a captain and lieutenant?"
"We are to go to the world of the living" Byakuya said. "And retrieve Rukia Kuchiki for exacution."
"What?" Naruto questioned in shock as he sat on the floor, though the man did respond as he walked out of the bar. Shortly after, Renji wordlessly left as well.
It was the next day, and Naruto burst into the prison where Rukia was currently being held. "Rukia! What the hell happened?" he demanded as he entered the room. He saw her sitting in a nearly empty cell, the only thing in it other than her was the chair she was sitting in.
"Oh, hello Naruto." she said half-heartedly.
"What happened? What did you do? Why are you going to be executed?" he demanded in a rapid-fire sucsession.
Before she could respond, another Soul Reaper entered into the room. "Um, excuse me 3rd Seat Uzumaki, but you need to leave. The prisoner is not permitted to have any visitors at this time." he said.
Naruto considered refusing to leave, but decided against causing a rukus and reluctantly agreed to leave for now. "Whatever. Rukia, I'll be back once they let me." he said as he exitted the roo, then exitted the building entirely. Sakura was waiting for him outside.
"So how'd it go?" she inquired.
"Shes not allowed any vistors right now." Naruto said. "But when I saw her, she looked like she was in pain. Not any physical pain, but pain nonetheless." Seeing her like that, he couldn't help but remember that night...
It was pouring as Naruto ran through the Seireitei to his destination. Bursting through the doors, he looked around and saw Rukia, Captain Ukitake, and a few others. "Tell me its not true!" he yelled out. "Tell me its a lie! Kaien can't be dead!"
Rukia averted her gaze, and Captain Ukitake looked downcast. "I'm afraid that its true, Naruto. Kaien is dead." Captain Ukitake said.
Naruto dropped to his knees, then punched the ground. "DAMMIT! I never should have left the division! I should have stayed! Maybe then... Maybe then he'd still be here! I could have done something to save him!" he yelled out in frustration. Tears began to well up in his eyes, and he rubbed them.
"Its not your fault Naruto. Even if you were there, I doubt there would have been anything you could have done." Ukitake said as he put his hand on the blonde's should. "I was there too, and this tragedy still took place."
"How did it happen?" Naruto asked, and he noticed Rukia walk out of the room.
Rukia stood outside, letting the rain continue to furth soak her. It was her fault. She had killed Kaien. She should have fought the hollow, and have been the one who it possessed. Then Kaien...
"Rukia!" Naruto called out to her, snapping her out of her daze, though she didn't turn to face him.
"Captain Ukitake told, right?" Rukia asked. "I'm the one who killed him. Its my fault that hes dead."
"Don't say that." he said as he walked over to her. "Its not your fault." Despite the boy's words, she was unconvinced, and was overcome by her guilt. "Listen Rukia, don't blame yourself. I know me saying that isn't gonna convince you not to, but it really isn't your fault."
"I want to save her." Naruto said as he stopped walking.
Sakura then stopped walking, and turned around to look at him. She then sighed before saying "I had a feeling that you were gonna say that."
"I'm serious though." Naruto said, his expression dead serious. "You should know me well enough by now that I won't ever turn my back on a friend."
"Yeah, I know, you big idiot. You're too stupid to stop wanting to save a friend, even when they're trying to kill you." she said affectionately. "Don't worry, I'll help you out. She is my friend, too. But you should realize that you can't just rush in there and break her out of there. You'll have to deal with people like the captains and lieutenants trying to stop you. They're all much stronger than you."
"Yeah..." Naruto said, clenching his fists.
"That means if we want to break her out and actually survive, we're gonna have to plan this out." Sakura said. "And by we, I mean leave the planning to me, since I'm afraid of getting killed by your plan."
"Right." Naruto said as he laughed weakly. He then turned around and looked back towards the building that Rukia was in. 'Don't worry Rukia, we'll save you...'
Omaeda looked at the short, compared to him, young man before him. Personally, he wasn't too impressed with him. He couldn't understand why his captain had called him here just to meet him.
"Omaeda, meet Sasuke Uchiha. Hes recently joined the 2nd Division at my request." Soi Fon said.
"Yeah?" he said as he sized the guy up. He didn't seem like much in the lieutenant's opinion.
"He has an outstanding record of combat in his previous Divisions, the 5th, and 6th, and has demonstrated to me that he is indeed skilled. He was also a shinobi before he came to the Soul Society, and has more than adequate experience in the required fields to be more than qualified as a Seated Officer in this Division."
"Yeah?" Oh great, just what he needed, some new big shot. Looking down at the guy, his smug(In Omaeda's opinion. Its just Sasuke's usual stoic look) face was just pissing him off. The guy probably thought he was some hot shot, and thought he was special just cause the captain personally recruited him.
"And he is now replacing you a the lieutenant of the 2nd Division."
"Right." Omaeda absent-mindedly said. He couldn't wait to show the guy who was boss and knock him down a few pegs. Omaeda pictured his Gegetsuburi shattering the guys zanpakuto, then him standing triumphantly over Sasuke's unconscious body.
"WHAT?" he bellowed, finally realizing what she had just said.
"If you disagree, you can fight him right now for the position." Soi Fon said as she walked away. She already knew the outcome.
"Oh, don't worry captain, I will I'll show you I'm better than this guy!" Omaeda declared as he drew his sword.
The fight didn't last long. Omaeda spent the rest of the day unconscious in the hospital.
Well there is the eighth chapter. So what did you think? As you've surely noticed, the ranks that Sakura and Sasuke currently hold belong to people from the series. Well, the actual 3rd seat of the 4th Division is pretty inconsequential, and I'm sure most of you don't even remember him most of the time. And as for who Sasuke has replaced, its just Omaeda, so no one cares. Anyway, Ichigo and co will be in the next chapter, whenever thats done. Please review.