Disclaimer:Shuuhei Hisagi, Shiba Kaien and all other characters and places mentioned within this story do not belong to me and are property to their respectful owners (namely Kubo Tite). this story was written for entertainment purposes only, I am making no profit from posting it upon this site.

A/N: Just something I got stuck in my head a while ago. I finally decide to write it out and post it. This isn't quite the original idea, but it's close enough for me to be happy with it.

The soft murmur of the stream was calming, a light mist cast by the fast flowing water was cool against the man's heated skin. It had been nearly a week since he'd been brought back to Soul Society and rushed to the Fourth Squad, and it felt good to be back out in the open air. He closed his eye and allowed the gentle breeze to caress him and stir his unkempt black hair, lulling him into a daze.

"Ooy." The young man started, turning to peer over his left shoulder to see who had broken the day's peace. A man with black hair almost as tousled as his own and vibrant, green eyes was walking towards him, looking rather intimidating. The blue-robed man scrambled to his feet, recognizing the approaching male as a seated shinigami, and a fukutaichou above that.

"Sh-Shiba-fukutaichou," the student stammered, bowing deeply to the man before him, "pardon me, sir; I did not mean to intrude." The vice-captain looked vaguely confused and affronted by the younger male's actions.

"Na, na, calm down. You ain't done nothin' wrong. 'M just wonderin' what you're doin' out here. Sit." The young shinigami glanced up at his superior hesitantly to nod and resumed his previous seat. The seated officer blanched momentarily when he saw the thick pad of bandaging on the young man's face before he settled down next to the other male. "You'd be Hisagi Shuuhei then?"

"You know my name, Shiba-fukutaichou?" Kaien had to laugh at the confusion and worry in the younger's voice.

The man pointed vaguely in the direction of the bandages wrapped about the academy student's face and said, "Everyone knows what happened, fer the most part." He paused then to watch as the sullen man stared gloomily at the flowing stream. "Shouldn't you be back with the Fourth Division?"

Shuuhei scoffed at the man's words, "I needed to get out. It's too cramped there."

"And your eye?"

"It's fine… they're just keeping me as a precautionary measure. It's standard procedure."

A long pause passed between the two before Kaien spoke again. "What got you?" At the sight of the student's tensing he directed his green eyes to look out over the water with his young companion, allowing him ample time to respond as he pleased.

"It was a Huge Hollow… it killed two of my classmates before we could get the underclassmen away…"

Another silence followed the statement. "I'm sorry, fer the loss of your peers."

More silence, then, "Thank you…" The two men watched the passing water for some time, allowing the peaceful quiet to wash over them.

"I'll get better." The older man glanced at the student beside him, taking in the determined look upon his features. "I'll improve, and I won't lose any of my team members next time. I'll be able to protect them, and support them. I'll make sure they stay alive." He turned his dark eyes upon the elder shinigami, his gaze just begging for approval of his words from the man.

Kaien chuckled and placed a large hand upon the student's head, ruffling already wild hair. "I believe you. You'll do good as a shinigami." The fukutaichou stood at those words, pushing the younger man's head down playfully as he regained his feet. "That scar's gonna get you a lot of girls," he murmured in a secretive tone as Shuuhei choked at the sudden pressure, "women love scars." He walked off then with a friendly wave.

"Oh, by the way," the vice-captain called back over his shoulder, "you should back to Fourth Division. Unohana-taichou is gettin' ready to send out a search party if ya don't get back soon. See ya, kid!"

The young shinigami blinked in surprise for a moment at the man's retreating back before smiling at the trees on the opposite bank. It figured that the fourth squad captain would know where he'd gone and dispatch someone to get him back. The woman was rather amazing like that. He rested upon the bank for several minutes longer then stood and began the long walk back to his current quarters, thinking along the way.

"Perhaps," he said to himself as passed beneath the trees, "I'll visit here more often."