Disclaimer - I do not own Bleach

Chapter One - The Meeting

Having recently abandoned his post as the Captain of Squad Ten of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads in favor of living in hiding in the world of the living Isshin Kurosaki struggled for a brief time over what to do with himself. But after a brief period of reflection he realized that the decision wasn't really all that hard. The former Shinigami had faced so many battles and he found himself weary of combat, tired of the sight of blood spilled over the stupidest things.

So, with these thoughts in mind, he decided that he would devote his new life in the world of the living to easing suffering and saving lives. After all he had wanted desperately to join Squad Four after he graduated from the Academy however his request had been denied. While it was true that he was one of the rare individuals who possessed the power to both fight and to heal Soul Society had decided, much to his dismay, that his strength could better serve them on the field of battle.

Now that he had left that life behind Isshin could pursue his desires to help people and, decision made, he enrolled in medical school. Having been given a special gigai that sealed his reiatsu and made him virtually undetectable to Soul Society the former captain made a vow to strive to fit in with his fellow students. He had been observing normal human behavior since his arrival in the world of the living and was confident that he could pull of the act.

"So Isshin," Urahara said as he and his friend enjoyed a cup of tea on the night before Isshin was to begin classes at the local university. "Are you excited about your first day?"

Isshin debated the question as he took a sip of tea and then turned toward Urahara, a serious expression in his eyes. This was a rare moment of complete seriousness for him but he was completely confident in the decision that he had made. "I'm tired of seeing death and destruction and for once I want to see life and happiness."

Urahara smirked.

"Plus there's the co-eds," Isshin said, a smile spreading across his face and revealing a little piece of the personality that all of his friends were accustomed to.

"Ah," Urahara said, his gaze focused on his former comrade in arms. "Now the truth comes out. For all your noble talk about helping people who are sick and injured you're really going there to pick up women."

"I'm not going there to pick up women," Isshin said hotly, not appreciating the insinuation. A few seconds passed, during which he glared at the shopkeeper, whose eyes were only just visible beneath the green and white striped bucket hat that was perched on his head. "But if by chance I DO meet a girl then of course I'll talk to her. I wouldn't be a gentleman if I didn't."

"You really are hopeless," Urahara commented. "If you end up getting yourself arrested, don't call me."

"Oh come on," Isshin said, his voice taking on a pitiful, whining quality as he gazed at his friend in an imploring manner. "You mean you won't come and get me out of jail if by some chance a misunderstanding occurs?"

"No."

"You're so mean," Isshin accused.

"No," Urahara maintained. He was used to Isshin's accusations, as well as his rather odd personality, and none of it phased him at this point.

"Fine," Isshin said, getting to his feet. "Guess I'll go home and get some sleep. Tomorrow we'll find out if I have the brain for the job. Thanks for the tea Kisuke."

"Oh you have the brains," Urahara muttered as he watched his friend leave the small shop that he had set up after having fled Soul Society. "If only you'll use them."


Nervous despite himself Isshin didn't manage to get much sleep that night and as a result was dressed and ready for his first day of med school by five o'clock in the morning. "We'll this day is off to a spectacular start," Isshin grumbled to himself as he made a cup of coffee.

Since his arrival in the world of the living the former captain had became hopelessly addicted to caffeine and he hoped that the coffee would help him get through the day. As much as he'd joked with Urahara he really was nervous about his chosen profession. What if he really couldn't do it?

"Oh this is ridiculous," Isshin growled as he downed his first cup of coffee in one gulp. It only took seconds for him to realize that this hadn't been such a good idea and he immediately jumped to his feet, fanning his tongue in an attempt to cool the burning as he ran over to the kitchen sink. Sticking his head under the faucet Isshin ran cold water over his scorched tongue, inwardly berating himself for being so stupid.

"Use your brain next time dumb ass," he thought to himself as he mentally recounted how long it took for tastebuds to grow back.

Isshin passed his idle time by reading a huge medical textbook and when the clock signaled that it was time for him to leave for the university he found that he had the entire book memorized. "Well," he thought to himself as he shoved the book into the bag that he would use to carry his books to and from class. "This will definitely cut down on the amount of time I have to spend studying."

Vaguely wondering how he would spend his free time now that he had the entire textbook memorized Isshin made his way to campus. The walk wasn't a long one and when he arrived he saw that several students were already assembled in the courtyard, biding their time before the start of classes.

Isshin's eyes scanned the scene, noting that most of the students were huddled together in small groups. "Protection from predators," Isshin absently thought to himself as he walked across the courtyard. If only they knew what was really out there, Isshin seriously doubted whether they would even leave their homes. There was one man who wasn't with a group however and it was toward him that Isshin gravitated. The man had sleek black hair and wire-rimmed glasses and seemed to be completely engrossed in the book that he had spread open on his lap.

"Hello," Isshin called out in a friendly tone of voice as he came to a stop in front of the man. "My name is Isshin Kurosaki. What's yours?"

The man spared Isshin the briefest of glances before his eyes returned to the pages of his book. It seemed as though he wasn't the overly friendly type and Isshin shrugged off his dismissal and continued on his way. If the man didn't want to speak to him then he wouldn't press the issue.

After all he had plenty of time to make the man his friend.

Consulting the schedule that contained a list of his classes Isshin saw that he had Anatomy and Physiology 101 as his first class. "Sounds exciting," Isshin muttered as he consulted a map of the campus. Then, once he had ascertained which building housed his first class he made his way there. No point in wasting time out in the courtyard when he could be wasting time in class.

Isshin entered the classroom only to find it almost completely devoid of students. There were only a few students scattered around the huge, auditorium style room and one of them immediately caught his eye. She was seated about halfway up the row of seats and held a huge textbook open in front of her. Long, strawberry blond hair fell down to obscure her face and almost against his will Isshin found himself wanted to see the face that was hidden behind the veil of hair.

Walking quickly up the aisle Isshin drew to a halt beside her and spoke quietly. "Hello. My name is Isshin Kurosaki."

Having honestly expected a response similar to that which he had gotten from the black haired man out in the courtyard Isshin was shocked when the young woman gazed up at him and offered him a warm smile. So shocked that he momentarily lost the ability to speak, a first one for him, he had to admit.

"Hello. My name is Masaki."

"Masaki," Isshin breathed as he gazed down into the most beautiful face that he had ever had the privilege to lay eyes upon. Her skin was perfect, almost like that of a porcelain doll, and her eyes held a look of kindness in them.

Realizing that he was staring at her Isshin forced himself back to reality. "It was nice meeting you Masaki. Maybe. . ." Isshin lost some of his nerve at this point and felt the sudden urge to walk away with his tail tucked between his legs so to speak.

"Maybe we can study together sometime," Masaki said before Isshin had the chance to retreat like the coward he was feeling like. There was an air of confidence about the young woman as she offered him another dazzling smile.

"I'd like that very much," Isshin managed to choke out through the lump that had suddenly appeared in his throat. He had never had a problem talking to people, in fact both Urahara and Yoruichi had told him that he talked too much at one point or another, and yet with this woman he found himself tongue tied.

"Great," Masaki said, her gaze going back to her book.

Taking that as his cue to leave Isshin continued up the isle, choosing a seat in the back row. He already knew enough about anatomy to teach this class so he didn't really need to be close enough to hear the words spoken by the professor. After looking over the textbooks last night he had quickly gotten over his fear and pretty much came to the conclusion that these classes were merely a formality. Something that he had to do in order to get his medical degree.

This morning he had debated getting Urahara to forge an identity for him so that he wouldn't have to attend classes but now he was really grateful that he had decided against this course of action. Had he chosen that course then he wouldn't have met HER and that would have been a definite loss.

A/N - and there's the first chapter of my Isshin/Masaki fic. Not sure what possessed me to write this but here it is, hope you enjoyed.