This is a dreamscape.

Truly, because what else can it be?

Kuchiki Rukia's soft midnight-blue eyes gazed in wonder at the beautiful, untainted world around her. There was a lake, and there was a sky—one of night... dark and stimulating, but oh-so-calm, for there was not a breath of wind in this intimate environment. The 'floor', which Rukia appeared to be sitting on, was an expansive lake, which stretched on for an eternity. The clear water was completely still, and when she gently moved her hand, soft ripples were created which floated outwards from her fingertips, and slowly shimmered away to nothingness.

She stood, and the water reacted with a new, vibrant display of swells. Rukia watched in rapt fascination as they transcended outwards, and slowly disappeared again. As they left her, she turned her head heavenward, keeping her lower body as still as possible. She was determined to make no more ripples on this untainted purity. It was a challenge. Rukia smiled softly to herself.

There was a brilliant moon drifting low in the sky. No clouds, nothing else. The water was colored thickly black, due to it being nighttime, and this created a perfect reflection of the scintillating silver orb suspended in the heavens. And every time there was even a slight disturbance on the surface of the water, that orb would shimmer and break apart.

I'm here... in a world of calm perfection.

Her eyes drifted shut as she inhaled the cool night air. This, this utter perfection, was her dream, truly. As she exhaled, her breath showed in a translucent cloud of white, but there was no breeze, at all. She twirled her hands in peculiar patterns, twisting and rotating her wrists. Her movements became more exaggerated as she continued, and soon she was sweeping her arms in splendid circles, tilting her head and swaying her entire upper body to the tuneless melody of her mind.

She began to dance, her earlier playful challenge forgotten, and as she slid her feet over the water, a sleek trail of ripples trembled in wake, expanding and broadening onto the infinity of the pure, clear lake. Her arms swept the air in wonderful patterns of swirls and shapes, as she traced every possible motif she could imagine. She drew the age-old ringlets of an old tree, the flight path of the great heron as it circles above a lake, and an unraveling swirl falling from heaven—the symbol of the Shiba clan.

And then, as she danced her silent dance... a tune began to play.

It emerged, so subtly, at first only a quiet humming that was barely audible. It filled her entire body, warming her blood. Slowly, the soft, bittersweet melody rose in a slow crescendo, accompanied by the gentle sound of air rushing against cloth. Rukia opened her eyes, and turned to where the gentle, sweet song was emanating from.

In the very center of the moon, something stirred, and began to magnify, emerging from the heart of the moon. Rukia's eyes were wide as she looked on in pure wonder; a white form, closely resembling a swan, drifted towards her. The figure glided forwards on a tapered piece of white silk, and as it sailed nearer, it began to resemble more and more of a human shape.

A woman's shape.

The woman in white skimmed down her silk road, descending from the heavens. Everything about her profile—her face, her clothes, her every curve and movement—was perfect. She had no vertices... Everything of her was a smooth, languid grace, like she had been painted with one long, fluid brush stroke.

Her skin, and her hair, and her silken dress, were all pure and untainted white. She gently brushed the surface of the water as she landed, and then pushed up again, rising into the air. A single ripple materialized from where she touched the water, and ice began to form, creeping outwards as the ripple.

And then, she danced. Suspended in the air by some unknown force, she twirled and arched with the graceful fluidity of a cat, the beauty of a swan, and the cool, passionate serenity of the moon. Like a goddess, like falling snow.

She finally twirled down to the water surface, landing gently on both feet. The crisp frost immediately appeared and crept outwards, in a much wider radius than before. Rukia instinctively took two hasty steps backwards, avoiding the ice spider-webbing towards her. It stopped, just before her foot. Her eyes snapped up again to meet those of that ethereal goddess's. Even her irises and her pupils were a cold, silvery white.

"Rukia..." Her voice was soft, yet echoed a great divinity. Rukia swallowed hard, as the woman smiled and extended a slender hand. "Come dance with me?"

"Are you... my...?" The question died as she felt her breath catch in her throat. That otherworldly deity flew forwards in an elegant leap, landing directly in front of Rukia. She felt the water beneath her feet crackle as it froze over, and then the icy sensation of the woman's touch as she placed a delicate hand on her shoulder.

"Yes. I am your Zanpaktou." Those eerie silver eyes flashed as she turned her head, reflecting the light from the moon. "Rukia. What you see here now is your heart at perfect stability. There is not a breath of wind from any direction, nor a single drop of rain from this pure midnight sky... Your heart... is content." Her mystical voice echoed and increased in volumes on certain words. Rukia backed up a step, and felt herself slip slightly on the newly-formed ice. She steadied herself, and then felt the grip on her shoulder tighten. A creeping chill crept along her shoulder and down her arm.

Rukia cleared her throat, saying hesitantly, "You're... not exactly what I expected..."

The ice queen's neutral smile contorted into a humorless grin. "Come, dance with me, Rukia. Then, you will understand."

And in a flourish of whiteness, they ascended into the endless sky. Rukia gasped loudly and gripped onto her moon goddess's robes tightly, terrified to let go. She only laughed at her, a rich, high-pitched sound that was too perfect to exist in reality.

Rukia shot her a resentful glare. "Not helping."

"Rukia. You have only to will it, to be able to fly of your own intention. This is your heart, after all..."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Rukia stared down at the water, which they were skimming over at way too fast a speed for comfort. She gritted her teeth against the harsh velocity they were hurtling forwards at, and then turned her gaze back to the woman of white.

"You say... I only have to will it?"

The goddess smiled a soft smile at her.

"Okay... then..."

And so, she loosened her death grip. The cloth was ripped from her grasp by the sheer speed they were traveling at. Her breath caught for a moment, and her heart pounded in her chest, but she forced herself to calm and squeezed her eyes shut.

I will... fly...

And she did. She barely skimmed the water, causing a violent wave to erupt in her wake, and then she was gliding up, somersaulting as she soared. Her terrific laughter bubbled up, giving out a great warmth, and that cold, emotionless ice maiden could not help but smile. Rukia relished every moment of her new-found freedom; the air twined through her hair and brushed against her skin, as the sky melted into her, or she melted into the sky, and all the while she stared at the queen of this domain, trying to gage her reaction from her impassive face. Of course, her icy deity gave nothing away—only smiled a mysterious smile, and began to strike up a pose for a new dance. Rukia slowed her wild flight path and stopped, hovering in the air, with all her attention fixed on the silhouette of white, as she danced to the awe of all others.

Spirals of ice twirled from where she touched the water surface. As she continued, Rukia noticed that there was an intricate pattern to her dance steps, and the snowflake patterns of frost would piece together to create a great, spectacular picture.

"Rukia. Dance with me." Her zanpaktou reached out a slight hand, beckoning her to come. And how can I resist? She stretched out with her own hand, her eyes shimmering to become beautiful sapphires. Warm skin met against icy silkiness, and she felt her whole body turn pleasantly cool at that barest of touches.

And she found that, when she touched down on the surface of the water, her own steps left a great icy star in the lake, and it would creep and crinkle out as she felt it draw on her power. Somehow, she was able to dance to the utter perfection of that ice queen; every swirl and somersault was perfectly in place. Yet, she wasn't even sure what she was doing. She simply followed where her heart guided her, and found herself where she was meant to be.

She knew now that, this was her unmatchable dream. To dance away an eternity, in this endless and absolute perfection...

Eventually, she felt her rhythm slow, and the goddess pulled her close as the hung low above the lake. Rukia gazed down in pure, untainted wonder at the great swirls and trails of frost, laid like feathery down over the calm, unmoving lake.

"Beautiful..." she whispered. There can be no other way to describe it...

A dreamscape.

"Sode no Shirayuki." The icy voice rolled with power next to her. Those ivory eyes caught hers and flashed a smile of vivacity. "Sleeve of White Snow. This is my true form."

Rukia gasped and snapped her head around to her materialized Zanpaktou. The snowy figure grinned, an expression unlikely to be found on a figure of such deathly pale beauty, and snatched up Rukia's hand. They soared upwards, towards the vast whiteness of the moon.

"For you to be able to dance with me, and paint a shadow of my true form..." The ice-goddess slowed, gazing at her with a fierce intensity as she spoke her next words.

"You are ready. I will teach you... the first dance."

Rukia felt more than saw the colors bleed back into the world around her, as she breathed back into reality; the grass resumed its soft fluttering with the cool summer's breeze that came by. And Rukia's arm moved with an instinctive reflex, to parry a harsh blow aimed in her direction.

... Speak my name, and you will defeat your enemy...

Okay...

"Mai..."

... Speak my name, and we shall dance together once more...

"Sode no Shirayuki!"

She closed her eyes, drawing on her Zanpaktou's power. Concentrate, concentrate!

"Some no Mai... Tsuki Shiro!" her words ripped past her throat, and she felt the power pouring out through her hands, and along her blade, as if it were a part of her. She followed through with her steps, still with her eyes closed, swishing her blade through the air. A perfect white circle appeared on the ground, and began to freeze over the tiny blades of grass in its area. And then, a glorious white pillar of pure ice shot up from the ground, transcending to the heavens; swallowing up her opponent, it obliterated all inside it to tiny shards of ice.

And then, she finally opened her eyes.

"Wha—KAIEN-DONO!!!"

She could only thank the gods that her shikai was weak at the time, and shattered at the same moment as her sanity.


Hey guys. I realized only now that I was in such a hurry to post the story that I forgot to put in ANs. -- Silleh.

Well, it's only one main thing. Whoever is reading this story go and give MatsuMama a great hurg for being an awesome beta. ) She made this possible. Thank you!

And, well, I realize it is a little bit boring, 'cause of all the block description. But you know how it goes... meh. Hopefully I'll be posting a lot more interesting stuff soon! So, till then!

--Caz