Author's Note: I was just thinking, Bleach souls can dieā€¦..and die again. So how did each of them die in the first place? So I wrote these short drabbles for some of our favourite characters)

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach

The Ode to Obituary

By annyenil

Zaraki Kenpachi hadn't been the same man he is now. He had no name. He was Prisoner No. 1068 where he came from in the living world. That quiet corner of sanctuary in north Okinawa where the famous Home for the Runaway was. Home for the Runaway was a place for youth criminals who have committed severe crimes that even the legal system can provide no absolution. These were young adults who are serving time. Or rather, serving life-time. These criminals have names. Names like Scar-head, the Terminator, and the Turkey Man which when whispered in the dark alleys will draw whimpers from the faint-hearted dwellers of the streets at night. These criminals were born to rob, murder and commit any malevolent act one can possibly think of in the world.

Prisoner No. 1068 was different. He had not committed any crimes in his life in the real world. The Home for the Runaway received a female serial killer who poisoned five men to death for reasons unknown, cooked them and then poisoned her parents with the fatal cuisine. Her motives were unclear, and she testified in court that she was merely cleansing the depraved souls of the earthly world, and that this blood-less manner of killing was to bring about a catharsis to the weary hearts of the world.

Her verdict was simple: Life-long sentence. And so, with a knowing smile on her face, she was sent to the Home for the Runaway. It was there where she met him. He was a warden. He called her Prisoner No. 945. That place was desiccated. Desiccated of any humanity. Every pair of eyes was like empty sockets. Sagging cheeks hung loosely on the cheekbone. She shivered. He didn't blink, but shoved her into a cell gently and locked the door. The thundering sound of the closing door was a plummet, sending her to an abysmal loneliness. I have so many souls to save, so much of the world to purify.

Somehow, somewhat, the warden was attracted to this lunatic. She was savagely debauching. And he had little defence, having worked in such a looming place for a greater portion of his life. So many conversations took place over the tiny square window on the heavily chained door of Cell 945. "Save me, please. I need to go. Please." She would beg him with that slithering voice of hers.

One night, when the Home was oddly serene, when there were no fights, no quarrels and no troublesome prisoners, the warden creaked open the forbidden doors of Cell 945, and closed it behind him. His body intoxicated with lust, his soul lost behind those doors.

Very soon after, the warden hung himself on a Cherry tree in the courtyard of the Home. Prisoner No. 945 gave birth to a young, bronze-skinned boy. The Home panicked. If anyone hears of this, the Home may be closed down. They had no choice but to pay a lawyer to create a faux case. The young boy was locked up as Prisoner No. 1068.

No. 1068 never complained. He had little idea of what went on in the outside world. Everyday was the same for him. He would wake up at the designated time, he would learn his lessons from a warden, and he would eat, and sleep.

Time was expansive. Time was nothing.

The only time of the day where a little less banality pervaded his life is when they allowed him to go out to the courtyard. Sometimes, it was the misty rain, sometimes it was the nasty, penetrating sun, and sometimes it was thick, stained sallow snow. It didn't matter what kind of weather, as long as he was allowed to, he would go out and train. Running jerked his sleeping mind. Lifting weights ladened his light heart. He loved every bit of it, every moment of it, every agony of it.

No. 1068 was weird, because he was the only one allowed to go to the courtyard on his own, eat more palatable food (albeit only slightly more so), and to actually read. The other Runaways at the Home flouted him. It wasn't fair, they'd say, that 1068 had privileges. The wardens told those questioning prisoners that 1068 had been a criminal from a noble house in south Okinawa, and had to be given special privileges.

Nobody had to know the truth. Not even No. 1068 himself.

He never questioned, never doubted. If life was this way, so be it. He never had anything else to miss either. As long as he could keep up his exercise, life was good. It wasn't that he was easily contented, but there was simply nothing else to compare to. He couldn't miss what he never had had.

No. 1068 passed away in a still manner. He was simply sitting there, in that claustrophobic cell of his, waiting for the warden to unlock the door when he heard an angel's voice. It was such a dolcessimo voice, he couldn't let go of it. He had never heard anything like it before. He wanted to follow that voice. He had to.

For the first time in his life, 1068 felt a new emotion aberrant to his normal stoicism. He had to go to that voice, because the angel was telling him to do something he had been born to do. "Come," she said floridly, "Come and fight!" No. 1068 walked towards the angel and the separation that had appeared in the air closed in like a zip on him. When he turned around, he saw his own body sitting on the cold steel floor. A warden darted in and lifted the body, putting two fingers on the wrist and shook his head. "No. 1068 is dead." He announced calmly.

No. 1068 did not turn back. His mind was a white canvas, unpolluted by knowledge, desire or emotions. He had only one thing to do in life: fight. He never had anything else anyway.

Life was nothing.

No. 1068 later named himself Zaraki Kenpachi and became the Captain of the 11th Division of the Gotei 13. He found the girl with the angel's voice.

His angel now hangs off his right shoulder.