Calm before the Storm

Disclaimer : I own nothing but the plot.

Chapter 1

The Winter War had come and passed. Its effects far more adverse than anyone could have ever imagined...

It was a morbid battle and though the shinigami had won, it was not that simple. In fact to many, it felt like a hollow victory.

A lot of important shinigami had lost their lives in the War, the most shocking of which was the death of a certain Shinigami Representative…

Yes.

Kurosaki Ichigo had died in the Winter War…and the people still couldn't believe it.

Ichigo was supposed to be the hero, the savior. It was inconceivable that he should die.

He died in shinigami form and now could not even be reborn in Soul Society!

Only a few people new what had killed Ichigo but they all knew one thing.

He was gone forever…

And though he did destroy some high ranking members of the Espada, it was hardly any consolation.

But…

If Kurosaki Ichigo was dead, then whostopped Aizen?

That was perhaps the biggest shock of all…

The shinigami, who defeated Aizen with one swift blow, was not even a seated officer in the Gotei 13! This shinigami had hardly just only achieved Bankai during the war itself!

This shinigami was no prodigy, nothing exceptional and there were other shinigami in a better position to defeat the treacherous ex-captain.

Ah! But it was none of then who landed that finishing slash. It was her.

Shocking all who witnessed and heard…

Kuchiki Rukia had landed the final blow.

Kuchiki Rukiahad killed Aizen Sosuke.

And because of that very fact…

Hitsugaya Toushiro hated Kuchiki Rukia…

__________

Where Ichigo and Rukia were fighting their own battles, Hitsugaya Toushiro, Matsumoto Rangiku, Hinamori Momo and Ichimaru Gin were fighting their own battle.

Much to Hitsugaya's elation Hinamori had recovered beyond sufficiently enough to participate in the Winter War and as depressed as she was, she finally got over her delusional state of mind and saw Aizen for the monstrous traitor he really was.

And then mush to Hitsugaya's irritation (and Matsumoto's delight) Gin turned out to be a double agent assigned by old man Yamamoto himself and was sworn to secrecy so that Aizen would not get suspicious.

All four of them held their own and fought valiantly and skillfully, destroying a few formidable opponents albeit not without injuries.

They had reached the part of the battle field from where they could see Aizen, nonchalantly watching some arrancar taking down a shinigami, his ever charming deceitful smile never faltering off his face.

Hitsugaya's blood began to boil at the sight and his comrades could feel a further drop in the already low temperature.

Thoughts of gory revenge clouded Hitsugaya's mind as he was finally going to make Aizen pay for all he had done to Seireitei…to Hinamori…

Bankai activated, he advanced toward Aizen, only to almost clash blades with Tousen instead.

But before their Zanpaktous collided, Hitsugaya was surprised to find that Ichimaru had intercepted Tousen instead.

Ichimaru grinned his fox-like grin telling Hitsugaya to save his strength and go after Aizen instead and that he would handle Tousen.

Hitsugaya nodded, failing to notice that during this ordeal Hinamori had already made her way to Aizen. And by the time he noticed, it was already too late.

"Hinamori!" he shouted following behind her, willing her to stop, to come back.

She didn't stop till she stood right in front of the malicious traitor.

She begged him to change his ways, to stop the war, that he really still was the same old Aizen-taicho and that if he gave up she wouldn't have to hurt him.

Hitsugaya couldn't believe what he was seeing or hearing.

It had been a bad idea to let her participate in the war after all.

Clash!

Much to his horror, Hitsugaya was now being attacked by an arrancar, and he knew that it was just to stall him and keep him from Aizen and Hinamori.

"No!" was all that he could think.

He could see that she was trembling as she raised her weapon hesitantly and he knew it was not because of the cold.

Unfortunately for them as did Aizen and being the bastard that he was, he was going to take a full advantage of the situation.

He shunpoed himself parallel to her and grabbed her blade, not to discard it, but to place it on his heart. Leaving Hinamori simultaneously confused and horror struck.

"Well here you go Hinamori-kun...isn't this what you came for?" he asked, smile never once faltering as he pressed the sword in a little. "Well? Go on…finish me off…"

She began shaking violently and dropped her sword almost as if it had caught fire. Her body convulsed uncontrollably as she fell to the ground, holding her head and sobbing

"I can't. I can't! Not to Aizen-Taicho. Not to Aizen-Taicho…"

Needless to say, the mistake had been made.

Hitsugaya raced as fast as he could slice through arrancar after arrancar, trying with all his might to reach Aizen, but it wasn't good enough. It was already too late.

Hinamori sat there, head low, crouched, quaking in a corner with tears streaking down her face and unintelligible mutterings on her lips, when Aizen approached her.

"Dear, dear Momo, loyal to the very end! How blessed I was to have such a wonderful FukuTaicho…"

She raised her head, tear glistening eyes ever hopeful and then wide with shock.

"…wonderfully foolish that is!"

He was holding his Zanpaktou over his head, ready to strike.

"Hinamori! Move!" shouted Hitsugaya who finally got away from frantically fighting the seemingly never ending horde of arrancars with Matsumoto's assistance and intervention.

It was no use.

Hinamori just stared at the blade blankly, unseeingly.

"Hinamori!! Momo!!! NO!!!"

A silver slash of a Zanpaktou in motion.

The sickening sound of metal cutting through flesh.

Hitsugaya's faster than ever dashing towards Aizen.

The roar of his ice cold dragon.

A loud, lifeless thump.

A miserably chocked but audible whisper…

"But…I-I…loved…you...A-Aizen...T-Tai...cho…"

In that moment a part of Hitsugaya died and along with it so did a piece of his heart. Hinamori shattered it into a million shards with her dying breath, leaving it (along with him)… broken…bloody… and far beyond repair…

There was a blinding flash.

_________

Hitsugaya's eyes came back to focus as he felt a light reiatsu approaching and heard the soft pattering noise of footstep against the stone path and he knew that someone was there. He couldn't help but sigh as he thought…Isn't there always?

"What do you want… Kuchiki?"


Authors Note: Hello! This is my first fanfic ever and I would love it if you review. It would encourage me to improve and to update more. This is also just the beginning and I know you probably have alot of questions as to what is going on but I hope they will become clear to you in the next chapter! And yes. This is HitsuRuki! Join the HitsuRuki Army!!! xD