Title

Something Worth Fighting For

A/N: It's been a long time since I have done anything. I apologize. College is about to begin and, contrary to popular belief, I will actually have much more free time. I'm going to try a type of fan fiction that I haven't had the courage to try yet. This will be my first Bleach fan fiction. Let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is extremely welcome., just attempt to lay off on the flames. I don't want to have to hurt someone. Anyhoo…enjoy.

Chap. 1: Loss of Innocence

Innocence. What is this innocence that they all speak of. I don't remember the last time there was any form of innocence in this world. Ignorance? Plenty. Happiness? Enough. Innocence? Almost nonexistent. Yes, my thoughts are morbid and cynical. But with all of the turmoil surrounding this lifetime, to think anything different would be to put myself in utter denial of reality. It has been so long since I felt the tickle of innocence in my life. The memories of my childhood are almost too silly to recall now that I have lived and learned the hard ways. Hard ways…is that really what this has been? Probably not. To most other Soul Reapers I appear to have had it easy. The "boy genius" taken from the Soul Reaper Academy in early graduation. Immediately assigned to one of the 13 protection squads of the Seiretei. Not just immediately assigned, but immediately assigned as Captain of the 10 Guard Squad. Sure, it's a picture of success in early life, but it is much more taxing than any of the other subordinates could imagine. Sometimes I wish that Rangiku had never discovered me in the market place in Rukongai that fateful day. If only she had just left my change on the counter and minded her own business…Lord, what am I going on about? This pity party is anything but becoming of a captain—

"Captain!"

Speak of the devil… Toushirou was roused from his thoughts by the object of his internal conversation. His buxom lieutenant scurried over to and stood beside his desk. "A penny for your thoughts, Captain," she said as she elbowed him gently in the shoulder, attempting to lighten the heavy tension surrounding the young captain.

"A penny, Rangiku? Really? Such incentive I can hardly decline…" He muttered sarcastically while rolling his eyes and leaning closer to the paperwork he had been working on prior to the internal conflict. His chin rested on his hand, firmly supported by his elbow on the desktop.

"Sorry, Captain, but you seemed rather lost in thought. I figured whatever was on your mind had to be considerably more interesting than the paperwork," Rangiku stated as she moved to recline on the blue couch in front of his desk.

"I wish I could disagree with you for the sake of disagreeing, but I am afraid your statement holds true." Toushirou sighed as he struggled to regain concentration on the task at hand. Finally resigning himself to defeat, he sank back in his chair, "Rangiku, come take care of this nonsense for me. I need to go take care of some things."

The busty blonde groaned in complaint but rose and made her way to the desk. "Fine, but you owe me."

The young captain stretched his tired muscles as he exited his office, breathing in the fresh air of the Soul Society. Hmm… winter is getting close… he thought as he walked along the path that weaved through the lodging areas of the seated officers. The air was cooling on his skin as a cold breeze blew in, a living testament to the approaching freeze. By his basic nature and instinct, Toushirou loved the frigidity of winter. How could he not? The fact that he wielded the most powerful of all the ice and water zanpakuto should have been enough of a sign to all.

As he continued down the wooden path, he noticed that many fellow Soul Reapers were retiring to their chambers. It was then that he noticed the orange sunset peaking in the distance. Wow, it's already nightfall. I really lost track of time with all of that paperwork. With that thought he changed his direction to lead himself to the gates of the Seiretei.

Upon reaching his destination he shunpo-ed himself up to the top of the wall, he seated himself with his legs dangling over the edge. Looking over the Rukongai at sunset was one of the more peaceful things to do at sunset. He smiled to himself as he felt another cold breeze graze over his skin, biting at it with a white-hot chill. It was one of the most satisfying feelings to the white haired captain. He allowed his mind to rest, but his mind would not allow him to rest. His thoughts drifted to the upcoming assignment in two days. All he knew of it was that he and five other fellow seated officers would be traveling back to Karakura Town in the world of the living. Their mission: The summoning of Ichigo Kurosaki for Court Guard Assignment.