Disclaimer- I do not own Bleach.
Warning- Spoilers up to the beginning of the Arrancar arc. This fic does not follow story line and a few major characters will die. If at any time you decide that you don't like the direction that the story is going in then STOP READING!
Enemy in Soul Society
Chapter One- The Attack
It was a calm, sunny day in Soul Society and the calm meant that there was little for the Thirteen Court Guard Squads that guarded the Seireitei, to do. The only known threat was currently in the living world and many Shinigami had been dispatched there to take care of the problem however that left little for those left behind to do.
Tenth Squad Captain Toushirou Hitsugaya felt the stress of the crisis in the living world and was concerned about his subordinates who had been sent there, however in an attempt to take his mind off those matters for a while he decided to go for a short walk.
And for some reason he couldn't fathom, his walk led him outside the protective walls of the Seireitei, to the place where he had once lived, before he became a Shinigami. Hitsugaya was nearing the house when he noticed a small figure walking toward the place from the opposite direction. The young captain watched in surprise as his childhood friend Momo Hinamori, approached. Hitsugaya wondered briefly whether he should turn around and go back to the Seireitei. Things had been awkward between him and Hinamori ever since the incident with that traitorous bastard Fifth Squad Captain Sousuke Aizen.
However before Hitsugaya had a chance to make a decision one way or the other he felt an unusual feeling, a feeling that he associated with someone trying to hide their reiatsu. Hitsugaya glanced around warily. He and Hinamori were not alone and he had a strange feeling that whoever was with them was not friendly. Gazing around Hitsugaya attempted to locate their unknown and unwanted visitor but was unable to find them. Whoever it was, was either weak, or more likely concealing their reiatsu.
Hinamori had stopped walking when she noticed Hitsugaya but she didn't seem to realize that the two of them were being watched. She stared at the young white-haired captain, who was still gazing around.
"Hinamori," Hitsugaya called out, not looking at her. "You need to get away from here."
Hinamori hesitated, wondering why Hitsugaya didn't want her to be around. It was possible that he was angry over what had happened between them because of Aizen. She wouldn't blame him if he was, after all she had tried to kill him.
Growling slightly under his breath, Hitsugaya continued to gaze around in search of the unknown presence that he felt. It was apparent to him that Hinamori wasn't going to leave and at the moment he didn't have time to go and knock some sense into her. He really needed to know where their unwanted guest was hiding.
Then it happened. Hitsugaya heard something whizzing through the trees and from the reiatsu that he felt radiating from it, he discerned that it was heading straight for Hinamori.
Knowing that he only had one chance, Hitsugaya used his flash-step and appeared in front of Hinamori right before the unknown object reached her. In his haste Hitsugaya slightly misjudged his flash-step and when he appeared he knocked into Hinamori, who stumbled backward a step, looking surprised.
Hitsugaya felt something pierce the flesh of his back, even though he had on three layers of clothing, and seconds later a searing pain spread throughout his body. Hitsugaya gasped, his eyes widening. Unable to stand, he collapsed into Hinamori's arms.
Unaware of exactly what had happened but realizing that there was something seriously wrong with Hitsugaya, Hinamori caught him as he fell and then lowered him gently to the ground. Kneeling at his head, Hinamori stared down into Hitsugaya's half opened eyes.
"Captain Hitsugaya," she called out as his eyes began to close.
Hitsugaya's eyes opened a fraction and a hurt expression appeared within their brilliant green depths. Then, in the next second, he had lost consciousness.
Hinamori saw the hurt look in his eyes and could tell that it had nothing to do with the pain that he was in. Thinking for a second Hinamori thought she knew the reason why he'd looked so hurt. Until the betrayal by Captain Aizen that had caused her to try and kill her best friend she had never called him by his formal title or his last name. Back when they'd played together, before either of them became Shinigami, she's always called him Shirou-chan, even though he'd hated it. Then, once he'd became a captain, she'd started calling him by his full, first name, Toushirou, even though he was constantly correcting her for it.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, pulling his head and upper body into her lap. She cradled him in her arms for a second, her tears falling onto his face. Then she screamed, "TOUSHIROU!"
Near the gates of the Seireitei Thirteenth Squad Captain Jyuushirou Ukitake heard Hinamori's scream and felt the rapidly weakening reiatsu of Captain Hitsugaya. "What's happened?" he thought to himself.
With one flash-step Captain Ukitake had vanished.
Hinamori sat on the ground, cradling Hitsugaya's upper body in her lap, unsure of what to do. She had no idea what was wrong with him and she didn't know if she'd be able to get him back to the Seireitei on her own.
"Oh Shirou-chan," Hinamori whispered, gazing down at him. "I don't know what to do."
Hinamori jumped at the unexpected question and looked up quickly. "Captain Ukitake!"
Ukitake knelt beside Hinamori and gazed down at Hitsugaya. "What happened to him Momo?" he repeated, his voice filled with urgency.
"I don't know," Hinamori said, her voice full of despair. "I was just out walking when I saw Captain Hitsugaya. He stood gazing around for a minute or two then he suddenly flash-stepped over to me and shoved me. Then he made a horrible face and collapsed."
Knowing that Hitsugaya wouldn't have shoved Hinamori for no reason Ukitake untied the sash that held the young captain's zanpaktou across his back and then carefully rolled him over onto his side. Then he began carefully feeling his back. And after only a few moments he felt something that obviously shouldn't be there. Directly between the young captain's shoulder blades he felt something and that something was slowly burrowing itself into Hitsugaya's flesh.
Cursing Ukitake quickly drew his own zanpaktou and quickly pierced the object, which broke in half and fell to the ground. However, unfortunately, Captain Ukitake was unable to stop his zanpaktou before it pierced Hitsugaya's flesh.
Hinamori gasped in horror as she watched Ukitake stab Hitsugaya in the back with his zanpaktou and she gazed over at him, her eyes open in disbelief. "Why? Why did you stab him Captain Ukitake?"
Ukitake picked up the two broken pieces of the dart that had been attempting to bury itself in Hitsugaya's flesh. "This is the reason he pushed you Momo. My guess would be that this thing was heading toward you and Toushirou used his own body as a shield."
Hinamori gasped in horror as Ukitake's words sank in. Hitsugaya had shielded her from whatever that thing had been, and at a terrible price.
"Momo," Ukitake said, interrupting Hinamori's thoughts. "We have to get Toushirou back to the Seireitei. Captain Unahana must be alerted to the situation."
"I'm on it," Hinamori said. She gently placed Hitsugaya's head on the ground and then jumped to her feet. "I'll run ahead and alert Squad Four."
Ukitake nodded his approval of her plan and watched as she dashed off and then he prepared to head back himself. Not wanting to leave the sword behind, Ukitake picked up Hyourinmaru and secured it across his own back. Then he placed one hand under Hitsugaya's shoulders and the other under his knees. Groaning slightly he lifted the young captain and cradled him in his arms.
"It's a good thing you're so light," Ukitake said with a slight cough. "Otherwise I might not make it."
Hitsugaya moaned softly as if in reply.
"Hang in there Shirou-chan," Ukitake said, gazing down at the young captain's pale face. "You'll be okay and when you wake up I'll make sure I have some candy on hand."
Terrified of what would happen to Hitsugaya if he didn't receive treatment soon, Hinamori ran toward the Seireitei as fast as her legs could carry her. Pausing at the gate only long enough to flash her vice-captain's badge, Hinamori made her way to the Squad Four barracks which also served as the infirmary.
"Hinamori," a voice called out.
Hinamori stopped abruptly and turned to find the Fourth Squad vice-captain, Isane Kotetsu coming up behind her. The appearance of the Squad Four vice-captain couldn't have came at a better time. She would more than likely know where Hinamori could find Captain Unahana.
"Isane," Hinamori gasped. "Have you seen Captain Unohana?"
"She was in her office awhile ago," Isane said. "Why?"
"There's something wrong with Toushirou," Hinamori gasped, attempting to catch her breath.
"Captain Hitsugaya?" Isane said.
Hinamori nodded. "Captain Ukitake's on his way back with Toushirou and he told me to run ahead and tell Captain Unohana what happened."
Isane nodded. "Come with me and we'll find Captain Unohana."
Hinamori nodded and she fell into step behind Isane. Isane led the way down a long corridor to Captain Unohana's office and knocked lightly on the door.
"Enter," a soft voice called out.
Isane pushed the door open and she and Hinamori stepped into the office. Captain Unohana was sitting at her desk, working on a stack of paperwork, but she looked up as the two vice-captains entered the room.
"Is there a problem Isane?" Captain Unohana asked.
"Forgive me Captain Unohana," Hinamori said quickly, stepping around Isane and walking over to the desk. "I was sent here to inform you that Captain Ukitake is on his way here with Captain Hitsugaya, who's in urgent need of medical treatment."
Seeing the frantic look in Hinamori's eyes and noting the urgency in her voice, Captain Unohana jumped to her feet. "Come with me," she said to the two vice-captains. The two vice-captains nodded and Captain Unohana led the way to the courtyard in front of the Squad Four Barracks, Isane and Hinamori following closely at her heels. Once outside the three Shinigami stood staring in the direction Ukitake was likely to come from.
And they hadn't been there long when the older white haired captain appeared holding the young white haired captain in his arms.
"There they are," Isane said, pointing at the approaching figures."
"Sorry it took so long," Captain Ukitake apologized to Captain Unohana as he walked up to her, with Captain Hitsugaya held gently in his arms. "I would have been here sooner but I'm old and feeble."
"Bring him and come with me," Captain Unohana said, getting right to business.
Captain Ukitake nodded and followed her into the barracks, leaving the two vice-captains standing outside in the courtyard. Hinamori watched them leave, tears glistening in her eyes. "Shirou-chan. . ."
"He'll be okay," Isane said, placing a comforting hand on Hinamori's shoulder. "Captain Unohana will have him as good as new in no time."
"I hope so," Hinamori said softly. "This is all my fault."
That statement utterly confused Isane. "How is this your fault Momo?"
"He was protecting me," Hinamori said. "Whatever hit him would have hit me if Toushirou hadn't jumped in front of me."