Princess of the Dead

It starts with

"Once upon a time…"

But will it end with

"Happily ever after…?"

Prologue

The Story

"I will catch you, Yoruichi!" Byakuya yelled in frustration as he ran after the captain of squad two. The catlike woman easily jumped over the walls of the Kuchiki manor with his hair tie in her hand. Byakuya followed, but as time wore on he was slowly falling behind. It was frustrating to the young man for he had trained on his flash step for months and he still couldn't catch her. He saw the disappointment in his grandfather's expression and the narrowing of his father's eyes. These thoughts forced the young man to speed up in his chase.

They were out of the manor and were now in a green field filled with strange purple flowers that only the forth squad shinigami knew how to use. They had a sweet, almost playful smell that tickled his senses. Unfortunately, during this note of observation, the young noble did not notice the sharp black rock sticking out of the ground. He may have said something, but the words turned into shrieks of pain as he stumbled over the rock and skimmed across the field like a rock on water.

"Woah, you really should pay attention, Bya-chan, especially when you're using flash step," Yoruichi told him as she squatted down next to the noble who now lay on his stomach. He groaned out loud as he got up and threw the sharp rock at an innocent purple flower.

He pounded his fist into the dirt until blood stained the ground red. "Dammit! Why am I doing this?"

"To protect someone, stupid."

Byakuya looked up at Yoruichi and studied her. She was being completely and surprisingly serious. Was the world ending? The noble questioned in his mind as a vein twitched on his fore head. He asked smoothly, "Protect who?"

"Well, for you it'll probably be your family and your friends, but to also protect the princess from the stars."

"You're really full of it today, Yoruichi. I've never even heard of a princess from the stars." Byakuya huffed out as he got up and smoothed out his pants. "My grandfather would have told me about such a princess."

"Of course your grandfather wouldn't know of such a thing because he believes that the princess will only bring bad luck." Yoruichi said seriously as she picked up the purple flower. She stared at the purple flower with such intense eyes that he began to wonder if the thing would burst out into flames. "The princess…she came from the star of Saturn one day. She had the same powers of a shinigami. She destroyed hollows and gave peace to wondering souls. She even gave us our own powers and helped us get stronger. She was so lonely though that she went back to the sky to protect her friends, but she died…We all still search for that princess." Yoruichi held up the flower to Byakuya as she said, "She was said to have eyes the color of this flower."

"I've never seen a girl with violet eyes." Byakuya said, mesmerized by the tale of a lost princess. "Is this why you and Urahara work so hard to get stronger?" He looked up at her with wide curious eyes.

She smiled at him, "I do dream about finding her because I know she can make everything better. We can get stronger so no one would have to die. Can you just see it?" Her eyes widened with something Byakuya had never seen. Yoruichi broke down laughing at this delighted thought. Byakuya began to wonder what Yoruichi saw in this princess.

____________

Rukia sighed longingly as she stared out into the water of the stream. She had to tell Byakuya that she didn't make it into a seat again. She would have to explain how she wasn't strong enough and how she messed up with her head bowed down. The rest of the Kuchiki house would know and sneer at her as they whispered behind her back. She pulled her knees to her chest, resisting the urge to break down crying.

"KUCHIKI!"

"YAAHHHH! Kaien!" Rukia turned to yell at the tall man who began ruffling her hair. "Do NOT do that when I'm thinking!" She yelled, trying to pull away from his hand that had a good grip on her head. He sat down next to her as he pulled away and handed her some tea. His face was grim.

"That's VICE captain to you, Kuchiki." He warned her with a playful grin, "What's got you so down anyway? You've been so completely zoned out." Kaien knew the real reason to her distress and he had always wanted to get up and kick that dumb ass brother of hers. If only Ukitake and his wife weren't holding him back…How dare that damn noble make his student feel like crap! He gritted his teeth, but didn't show his displeasure to Rukia, knowing that would just force her to recoil from him.

Rukia stared out into the water, "What am I doing here?"

"To protect."

The girl looked at her vice captain with a question look of his insanity.

"HEY! Don't give me that look! Why the hell did you become a shinigami if you didn't want to protect?"

"What am I here to protect then?"

"The heart, of course." He explained, pointing to his chest.

Rukia looked even more confused at this.

He sighed, Damn Byakuya. He really shouldn't have taken her out of school so early…He pointed at her, "You know, the heart. The spirit. The thing that makes you, you and the people that make you happy. You know?" He shook his head. "Well, if you're one of those other shinigami you're also here to protect the princess from the sky."

"Princess from the sky?" She asked as she sipped her drink.

"Kuchiki! You've really never heard of this?"

"I'm sorry, I didn't have parents to teach me that sort of thing." Rukia said with a vein popping out of her forehead.

"What about your brother then?"

"…."

"Never mind. Anyway, this girl came from the sky with a glaive. She looked real fragile looking from what I was told. Kind of like you."

"HEY! I am not FRAGILE!"

"Are you going to keep interrupting me or can I get back to the story?" Rukia folded her arms over her chest. "As I was saying…even though she looked like glass she destroyed these hollows with just one swipe of the glaive. She had the mark of a twelve on her forehead glowing on her forehead." Kaien pointed to his forehead. "She wore this weird outfit with a short skirt that was torn up. She had these freaky eyes too. She saved the Soul Society once. Some of us dream of finding her again."

"But…were okay now."

"For now," Kaien said as he rustled with her hair again.

_______

"Rangiku, you seriously believe in a princess?" Hitsugaya asked his vice captain who nodded happily.

"Come on Captain," the beautiful woman whined. "If you don't believe in something then what are you fighting for?"

"Believing in something has nothing to do with why I am fighting," he said hastily. "I fight for my own reasons. A princess has nothing to do with it!" Rangiku recoiled slowly from her angry captain who was now glaring at her. "Now get back to WORK!"

"EEP!"

_____

"Captain, do you really believe that the princess could help you?" Rukia asked as she got her captain a cup of tea. He laid in his bed with blood staining the new sheets. He hadn't expected her to see him like this, but he didn't bother with trying to push her out of his house. He was much too tired and knew that Rukia was way too stubborn for something like that to work.

He sipped on her tea, "I like believing in this. It makes me happy. We all need something to believe in, right? Rukia, don't you want to believe in something that's ridiculous?" He smiled happily and kindly as he asked her this.

"I probably do captain. I just don't know what a princess could do."

_______

"Really? A princess?" Yachiru asked Ikkaku who nodded mutely. "What was she like? Was she pretty?"

Ikkaku shot the vice captain a glare before saying, "How the hell should I know? She hasn't been seen in the soul Society for five thousand years."

The pink-haired girl stared at her subordinate and pouted. "Then how do you know all these stories about her?"

"Everyone knows these stories. Didn't the captain tell you these stories when you were a brat?" Ikkaku didn't mention how she was still a brat now, but that wasn't worth mentioning to his vice captain who would've just ignored him. The two were sitting outside of squad eleven, relaxing as their captain trained somewhere far away for the moment.

"No, cue-ball! Ken-chan hasn't even heard of this princess!"

"Really? I thought this was the sort of thing he would be after."

"Really? Why?"

"Well, it was rumored that this princess could slice through a thousand hollows in once swipe of her glaive. She could easily have destroyed Aizen, Tousen, and Gin for their betrayal. I would have killed to see that to be honest." He said with an evil grin, "She had no problem reaching Bankai. She had these cold dead eyes that would have put the old man's death glare to shame, I hear. She even knew how to heal the sick. I bet she could've healed Captain Ukitake."

"Really? Maybe she can help Ken-chan with Bankai then!" Yachiru cheered happily, "Was she pretty?"

"Well, I heard from Renji that he heard from another guy that she wasn't really. She looked cold and ancient looking."

"Ancient looking?"

Ikkaku rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "How do I explain this…"

"Like the Old man that Ken-chan can't stand?"

"No…" Ikkaku sighed in frustration when Yumichika walked in.

He suddenly leaned into meet Yachiru face to face as he explained what Ikkaku could not, "Remember seeing the statues of the pretty woman in Egypt when we went to Egypt to kill hollows? The one that reminded you of what a mother would look like?" Yachiru nodded. "That's how a princess looked like. Or so I've heard."

Yachiru fell silent, a sight that was rarely seen in the Soul Society that it surprised the two members of squad eleven, "Like a mom?"

"That's what he said, squirt." Ikkaku said as he watched Yachiru jump off onto the ground.

She turned to smile at the two, "I'm going to see Bya-chan!"

"Good," Ikkaku muttered.

She started running through the squads, ignoring the bustling of papers that went flying everywhere in the process of her chase. She found the captain of squad six in his manor with a stack of paper that went flying everywhere once she got there. He only sighed as she sat on his desk, swinging her legs absentmindedly.

"Bya-chan, I gotta question."

"What is it?" He said coldly, knowing that it wouldn't affect her at all.

"You're old right?" A vein had appeared promptly on his forehead as she asked this. "Did you meet the princess that Ikkaku was talking about? He said that she was like a mom and ancient and stuff like that."

Byakuya actually felt his lips tug up in a smile at the familiar story.

"No, but I heard similar things."

"Is that why you became a shinigami?"

He shook his head.

"Then why?"

Children were such a pain.

___________

Luckily for Byakuya, a meeting of the captains had been called by Yamamotto so Yachiru left him alone. The captains stood facing each other as Yamamotto began with the usual greetings and announcements on hollows and Aizen. He then got to the point of the meeting as he cleared his throat.

"I'm sure you've all heard of the princess."

They all nodded in agreement.

"They're have been reports that the princess has been born. If the stories of what we've heard as children are true then we can use this princess against Aizen."


Sailor Ra: As some of you have noticed that I've cleared out most of my really old stories and keeping the only really, super good ones…which wasn't a lot.

Cain: You should stick with your novels.

Sailor Ra: Nope, I need a break from you two. I actually have writer's block on the novels that I'm working on and I haven't work on fanfiction in a long time. Anyway, I'm not real sure about the pairings for this story. I just like Byakuya whole lot so this is why he got a lot of spot light in this prologue.

For Hotaru you guys get to decide and for any other pairing you want. I am NOT doing Usagi/some other person other than Mamour. That's my only issue. Now don't swamp me or attack me with knives.

Prodigal by One Republic

Stop and Stare by One Republic

Say (All I need) by One Republic

Beautiful by Trading Yesterday