Warning: Minor spoilers for the "Turn Back the Pendulum" arc. If you haven't read chapters -107 and up you might be a bit confused.

Disclaimer: If I owned it I wouldn't be writing fanfiction now would I?

Author's Comments: These flashback chapters have really gotten my creative juices flowing. Particularly with regards to Shuunsui and Lisa. The possibilities are endless!

The Untold Tale
by Lady Dragon

In the aftermath of the Ryoka invasion and Aizen's betrayal he was lauded as a hero, a defender of justice. Rukia-chan's execution was none negotiable, but his best friend refused to turn his back on his subordinate and pulled out all the stops to save her from her unjust fate. He didn't have to step in, Rukia-chan was nothing to him; just another unseated shinigami in his best friend's division. None the less he stood beside his friend even when this meant facing down Yama-ji.

His subordinates were proud, more so than usual, to call him their Captain. His seated officers were overwhelmed with the flood of paperwork, most of which consisted of request of transfer forms from shinigami from other divisions. Rangiku was still his favorite drinking buddy, but now there was a steady stream of female shinigami who came to their table nursing romantic fantasies featuring him as the hero who dashes in to rescue the fair maiden from peril. The most important change however was a subtle one. Nanao still chided him for shirking his duties, but now there was a slight uplift to her lips and a light in her eyes that said she was proud of the man she called Captain. It was a hard won respect, and it was the one thing that meant the most to him.

It was also the very thing that pierced his heart with a pain so fierce that no real sword could ever compare to. He wouldn't let anyone know though, of course not. Instead he would just let the brim of his hat lower to shadow his eyes, effectively hiding the guilt and sorrow that laid there.

After all, they didn't want to know that his heroic, daring, and noble deed was a century too late. They didn't need to know that there had been another female shinigami who needed him to stand against Yama-ji on her behalf. Her punishment had been wholly unjust, her life forever altered while carrying out her duty. And while she was branded a monster and outlaw he, her Captain, had turned his back on her, hid his cowardice behind the feeble excuse of tradition, and walked away. No, instead everyone wanted to hear about why he felt he had to help Jyuushirou rescue the young Kuchiki and what it felt like to stand against the legendary Ryuujin Jakka.

But the pitiful tale of a Captain who turned his back on the subordinate that was the other half of his soul? That was a story best left untold.

Written: May 19th, 2007