A/N: This chapter's a little shorter than some of the others but better a little something than nothing right? This one is more of an in between events chapter, like laying the groundwork. You'll get what I mean. Enjoy!


Chapter 10: Light In The Dark

It was ironic that they would hold him here until they decided his punishment, the Special Detention Unit. He didn't bother formulating a plan to escape. First of all, it would require too much energy. Second, there was no way out. After all, he would know. He used to be the commanding officer.

Special Detention was different from the main Detention Unit areas. It was those who had joined a division of the Gotei 13 and subsequently, through their thoughts or actions, had become a threat to their fellow shinigami or a hindrance to the running of the division.

He would have preferred to have been housed in the level above, where he would at least have the freedom to walk3 about and stretch his legs. Instead, he was locked up in a prison cell, the only one in solitary confinement. He guessed it was because he used to be in charge.

Oh yes, the fact that he was a Captain probably had something to do with that as well.

Honestly, he wasn't that worried, not yet anyway, at what would befall him. It was in his nature to look at the positive. Rather than fret about his impending doom, he took the opportunity to relax and free his mind. When he was really bored, he'd count the number of times he heard water droplets fall onto the ground. He was thankful for the sound really. Without it, the world he was in would seem too quiet.

No emotions ran through him, except guilt. His arrest wouls have caused much worry to the two people most important to him.

Hiyori, now in charge of the Twelfth Division, would be barking orders at subordinates, hiding behind her hard exterior to mask her worry. Despite all her rebellion and rude remarks to him, she was as loyal as Lieutenants came.

As for Yoruichi, he didn't let himself think about her too much. Had the situation been any less serious, she would probably just wave it off as a simple misunderstanding and say that since it was him, there wouldn't be any sense in worrying. He could handle himself.

How he wished that were so.

He knew, knew that she would march up to the authorities and demand what was going on. She would feign indifference as she was informed, the only evidence of her worry being the slight furrow of her brow, almost undetectable. He never meant to make her worr-

A ray of sunshine entered his world.

Squinting, he shielded his eyes to the light, giving himself time to adjust. He'd been in here for a few days now. He heard footsteps, light as a feather. Curious, he tried to sense his visitor's reaitsu, only remembering after a few seconds that they had sealed it when they threw him in here.

His visitor's shadow could be seen, silhouette framing the arch at the bottom of the stairs. The person walked to him, each step echoing like a jackhammer in the silence, stopping in front of the bars of his cell.

He looked up, but saw nothing but a shadow, the person's back preventing the light from reaching his or her face. The person then spoke to him and with those two words, he knew who it was.

------

'Hello Kisuke.'

Yoruichi stood in front of the prison cell, the bars the only thing keeping her apart from Kisuke. With a sigh, she plopped herself next t him.

'Oy oy, Kisuke. You've got yourself in a real bind this time.'

'Unfortunately, Yoruichi-san, I have to agree.'

He said it as if it were a simply a fact, just like how one would describe the days weather. This meant he hadn't lost the will to fight. Not yet. He would need it. Yoruichi closed her eyes. She felt his and cover hers.

Typical. He was the one giving her comfort when it should have been the other way around. With yet another sigh, she made her decision. There was no point in sugarcoating the truth.

'They're going to execute you. Central 46 think you're guilty of conducting Hollowification experiments on Shinigami. They think that little red ball of yours is the key to the process.'

His hand tightened around hers.

'Ah the old fools think they can convict anyone they like. Shame really, that democracy has gone down the Hollow's stomach,' Kisuke said, with obvious forced lightness.

Yoruichi knew he was not afraid to die. He was worried what his cease of existence would do to her. And for that, she knew he would fight for his freedom and his life.

Before she could say anything else, three knocks were heard. It was time for her to go. Strong-willed as she was, Yoruichi was no fool to anger the Central 46 by lingering here too long. Having further offences wouldn't help Kisuke.

She stood up, Kisuke rising with her, still holding her hand. She didn't want to leave. This could be the last time that it would be just the two of them. Throwing all caution to the wind and forgetting entirely that they might be watched, she slid her arms through the bars and hugged Kisuke.

He hugged her back, holding her close to him just the way she liked it, his arms encircling her to make her feel safe, as they always did.

'My, my Yoruichi-san,' Kisuke started, a hint of his jovial self back in his tone.

'Oh shut up.'

Kisuke loosened his grip on her and kissed her forehead gently.

'Go.'

Before she could hesitate again, Yoruichi left, footsteps once again echoing in the corridor. At the base of the steps, she halted and looked back.

There he stood, restrained by the bars and gripping them so tightly she could see his knuckles turning white.

She fished through her robes and found what she was looking for. With a swift, well-aimed toss, she threw the object to Kisuke who caught it easily.

It was his hat.

She saw Kisuke look at her and gave him a smile. It was her rougish smile, but a sad one. 'That damned hat's been with you since the beginning. It should be with you if this is the end. You've kept it all these years so don't you lose it now.'

With that, she left.

Darkness surrounded Kisuke again as he waited for his eyes to adjust. He fingered the hat, the green and white striped hat that held so many memories. He tossed the hat a bit, entertaining himself, grateful for the subtle crinkling of the hat to provide something different to his world of black and silence.

After a while, he put the hat back on his head and sat down. And unknown to the world, in a solitary cell deep underground and in the most dire situation he ever found himself in, Urahara Kisuke smiled.


A/N: Why is Kisuke smiling? Has he gone stark raving mad in his predicament? How is he going to escape from his seemingly inevitable execution? Could there be a way to cheat death? Amazing as he is, even Kisuke can't resurrect himself. Find out in the next chapter! Happy Easter everyone!