AN: okay, I actually got this idea while watching Fullmetal Alchemist. I almost made this a xover but decided against it…my second attempt at first person POV. Lets see if I can keep it up…

Officially Speaking: Chapter 1

"Officially speaking, the Winter War never happened."

All I can do is stare at him. What exactly do you say to that? I have the scars to prove it happened. My eyes rake over the young captain's face, noting the large scar that crosses his left eye. He has the scars to prove the war happened…

"Huh?" Eloquent, I know.

A shuffling of papers can be heard through the empty office. I'm not sure where his ditsy vice captain ran off to; probably ducking out of the paperwork.

"The reformed Central 46 has decided it is in the people's best interest that the events leading to and the Winter War are kept confidential. So they have ordered any information dealing with anything to do with the betrayal to be locked away."

"But Aizen's dead…and there are holes in the Squads. How exactly are they planning on explaining that?" How can they decide that the last year and a half didn't happen?

There is a hint of apprehension in Toshiro's eyes and I have to say that freaks me out a bit. This day is going downhill like a rockslide.

"The official reports will state that the ryoka (sp?) that invaded killed Aizen, Tousen and Ichimaru, and then they were killed. Because during the war, everything was on a need to know basis, not many even know about the war. Most of the seated officers know, but almost none of the unseated officers. Everyone of a lower spiritual pressure will have their memory modified."

I'm beyond shocked. Okay, technically a 'ryoka' did kill Aizen but still…how could they just decide to rewrite history just because it looked bad to be betrayed by one of their own.

"What about me?" I was told, not even two days ago, that my living full time in the real world wouldn't be good for the people there. So if the ryoka were supposed to be dead…

"Well," Damn, I see my day getting worse. "You will be attending the Shinigami Academy."

"What?" please be joking…

"Where you will be keeping a low profile for at least three years. You will not draw undo attention to yourself or any of your…unusual talents." He's not joking.

This is ludicrous. They expect me to be subtle? "But how? I mean, I kinda stand out if you hadn't noticed. Why can't I just join one of the squads? Don't you need new members? I'll do paperwork…" Come on Toshiro, you know you want to say yes.

"No." Damn it to Hell. "You must go through the Academy like any other shinigami. They want you to blend in, less chance for any of the other information getting leaked. Then after three years at the Academy, you will be quietly promoted to Fifth Division Captain."

My jaw drops and my brain tries to catch up with the other parts of my body. I finally manage to make my mouth work. "Captain? How is that subtle?"

Toshiro ran his hand through his hair. I wonder how he got the job of dropping the bomb on me. "They need competent people to fill the, 'holes' as you put it. There are a lot of promotions taking place in the near future." He sighed and pushed the stack of paper to the edge of his desk. "Truthfully I can only tell you what they've told me." He opened the drawer in his desk and pulled out a thin leather band with a silver buckle. "You will need to wear this."

I catch the band as he tosses it to me. "What is this?"

"A band similar to Kenpachi's eye patch. You wear it around your wrist and it will drop your spiritual pressure down to normal levels."

What can I do but wrap the band around my wrist? I'm pretty much stuck. It's this or I could hide out in Heuco Mundo. But I think the white sand would drive me bonkers. That's probably what pushed Aizen over the edge, not that he had far to go.

"And we will have to seal your zanpakuto."

"Ha. Yeah right." Like I'm going to be able to talk the old stubborn man to go into his sealed form.

Toshiro scowls. "It needs to be done. You won't be the first student to come to the academy with a zanpakuto, but you would be the first one with a shikai."

"And if this doesn't work, or I decide playing this game just isn't any fun?"

"They'll want to execute you." Well, ain't that a cheery thought.

I steal a glance at Zangetsu who is propped up against the wall. I can feel his displeasure from here. But between making him unhappy and having the entire Gotei 13 after my blood…

Thirty minutes and one migraine later I'm holding the sealed form of my very unhappy zanpakuto. Toshiro tosses me a bag. It has essential items including a few changes of basic training clothes and common toiletry items. I can't wear my shinigami clothes; instead I'm to wear…ugh…student uniforms.

The last thing he gives me is a soul pager.

"This is for emergencies only. Do not let anyone see that you have it, understood?" I just nod along, hoping I'll awake soon from this nightmare.

I follow him, the slow way because I'm not supposed to know how to flash step, to the academy. It's just inside the western wall. He stops at the door and turns to lock me in a searching stare.

"They are expecting you. Be careful and if you need anything…"

"Hey, this should be no problem. I get three years vacation before I have to do any work." I shoot him my famous cocky smirk, which he just rolls his eyes in response. He lifts a hand in final greeting before taking off.

The main office of the academy looks about what I expected it to look. There is an official looking woman sitting behind an official looking desk doing official looking paperwork. My entrance catches her attention.

"You are the new student Captain Hitsugaya informed us about, correct?" her tone is clipped and very…official.

"Yes, ma'am. I am Ichigo Kurosaki." I even throw in a respectful bow. And who says I don't have any manners?

She presses a buzzer on her desk without even acknowledging my greeting. Another woman enters from the door on the left. She looks me over and I can't really tell what conclusions she's made but her gaze is unnerving. She tucks her straw blonde hair behind her ear and nodded her head.

"Come with me." She turns and walks away without even making sure I'm following her.

For such a short girl, she sure can move. We made it to the dorms in what seemed like record-breaking time. She pushed open a door at the end of the hallway on the left.

"This is your room. Currently you have no roommate. Please drop off your belongings, along with your zanpakuto which students are not allowed to carry around, and follow me."

Now ain't she just a ray of sunshine? Zangetsu isn't happy about being left behind and I have to say his feelings mirror my own. But I figure arrancar aren't likely to come through the ceiling or anything so I shouldn't be so anxious.

"So, where are we headed?" The silence is driving me nuts and the band around my wrist is starting to become irritating.

She fixes me with a glare. "You will be evaluated by Sensei Morita in kendo (is that the right term?), kido and hand to hand combat. Afterwards you will take a written examination. These tests will determine if you will advance past first year." Her answer was so clipped I'm just going to give up on making conversation.

The crowds of students part before my rather formidable guide. Some were whispering about me, I could tell by the way they averted their eyes when I glared in their direction. Nothing I'm not used to.

The training room is empty except for a slender dark haired man who looks up from his book to look me over. The same quick dismissal that my wonderful guide gave me. I would love to tell them Aizen had the same opinion of me the first time he saw me too, look where it got him.

"I will be back in two hours." She leaves without even wishing me luck, or saying goodbye.

The sensei stood from his reclining position on the mat and tossed his book in the corner. "Pick a sword." He said lazily, pointing to the various wooden swords hanging on the wall.

The first one I pick up is so light its ridiculous. I hang it back up and look for a thicker sword. The thickest is still to light for my comfort but I guess I can't be choosy. It's not the length of Zangetsu but it's the longest on the wall that's still a sword. I twirl it once in my hand before facing the sensei.

He has his own practice sword in his hand and he scans my stance critically. "All wrong." He mutters before crossing the distance and moving my arms and legs in the 'correct' position.

I have to remind myself that I'm not supposed to draw attention to myself so that I don't just chuck the freaking wooden sword through the guy's skull. This is going to be a long three years.