Hey! So this is a chapter that was the original chapter 3 in my fic, "Fear", but never made it in. It might make a bit more sense if you read that before, but I think this is an ok stand-alone. Hope you enjoy!
Yumichika growled in frustration. He had been battling his newly materialized zanpakuto for what seemed like hours, though he knew it could not have been more than one. Ever since he had managed to materialize his sword spirit, he had come to this particular training ground, mid-sized and out of the way which caused few to use it, and battled his sword for dominance. That was the only way he would ever achieve bankai. Unfortunately, along with fighting, he and Ruri'iro Kujaku tended to argue a lot, mostly about Yumichika telling his best friend, Ikkaku Madarame, about the true nature of his sword.
The shinigami leapt back as glowing, azure vines broke through the ground beside him, attempting to wrap around his ankles. Avoiding the vines, he rushed forward, bring his katana down violently at the spirit, only to be blocked and pushed back. Yumichika cursed as he was once again on the defense, finding it difficult to attack while still avoiding the deadly plants.
"You know, if you ever get tired of losing to me, you could always just go and tell Ikkaku I'm a Kido-type!"
Yumichika scowled. "First off, I'm not losing. And secondly, NO!"
The sword rolled it's eyes. "You're so stubborn! It's not beautiful to have such a thick head!"
"At least my head is the right size!"
Ruri'iro Kujaku screeched and Yumichika found himself dodging more vines.
"WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSE TO MEAN!?"
Yumichika just grinned evilly. "Such an ugly sound. Makes sense coming from your ugly head!"
"Oh please, my head's more beautiful than yours!"
"It is not!"
"Yes it is! Your face is too long and your forehead is too big!"
"Have you looked at yourself? Your head is practically a perfect circle, and don't even get me started on your eyes!"
"What about my eyes?!"
"They're so small! I can't imagine how you can even see through them!"
Suddenly, as Yumichika went to strike Kujaku, in their anger they both released a considerable amount of reiatsu. The two warriors paused as they felt the air around them shift. Before beginning their battle, Yumichika always to great care in putting up several barriers to hide the training ground from unwanted outsiders. What they had both just felt was those barriers disintegrating. Sword and master both scowled as they spoke at the same time.
"Now look what you did!"
The zanpakuto looked indignant. "Me? You're the one who can't even control his own reiatsu!"
"What!? You're the one who was releasing power all over the place without a care in the world! I must say, you're a very ugly fighter."
"Not as ugly as the shinigami I'm forced to be a part of!"
"Oh, please. I am beautiful. You're just the manifestation of the ugly part of my soul!"
"No, I am the beautiful part of your soul! You on the other hand, are so ugly I can't believe I'm a part of you!"
"I hate being associated with your ugliness!"
"Funny, I was going to say the same to you!"
As the taunts went back and forth, neither realized that the fighting had halted. They just stood there, two feet away from each other, arguing about their beauty.
Hisagi Shuhei was a relatively simple man. He was reasonable, he didn't ask for much, he was a responsible lieutenant, he did his work, he still managed to stay friends with many people. Which is why he could never understand why it was always him that ended up in these situations.
He had innocently decided to go for a walk early one morning, hoping for some peace and quiet before the rest of Soul Society awakened. As he was walking, he was surprised when he felt a burst of familiar reiatsu, followed by a strange feeling that he soon realized was barriers being let down. Curious, he headed towards where the blast had come from. After a few minutes, he found himself outside of an old training ground, one that was rarely even used anymore. He heard loud voices arguing, and was about to enter when he spied a note posted next to the entrance. Looking over it, he paled as he read the incredibly vivid descriptions of how he would die (it involved needles, sake, a couple of matches, and a stuffed bear), how long it would take (2-3 weeks), how his body would be disposed of (you don't want to know), and how long it would take for his remains to be found (a couple decades, depending on the murderer's mood).
Hisagi suddenly felt very doubtful of his original intention to enter the training ground. But as they say, curiosity killed the cat. And besides, the note couldn't have been serious… could it?
The lieutenant shook away these thoughts as he hesitantly entered the training grounds. What he saw, was the fifth seat of the eleventh division, Yumichika Ayasegwa, arguing quiet loudly with a young man that Hisagi had never seen before. They were both inches away from each other, screeching in the other's face. They were speaking at the same time, not even taking turns any more, so Hisagi had some trouble understanding what they were talking about, although he could make out "beauty" and "ugliness" quite a bit, which gave him the general idea.
He took a small step forward, simply hoping to get a better look at the mystery figure, when, as his luck would have it, he stepped on a small twig. The quiet snap might as well have been a gunshot the way the two in front of him immediately silenced and whipped their heads towards him. Hisagi stood awkwardly as Yumichika looked confused and narrowed his eyes.
"Did you read my note?"
Yumichika's eyes narrowed more. "Did I leave out the part about the stuffed bear?"
Hisagi paled again. "No, uh, no you definitely did not."
"Well in that case, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING HERE!?"
The ninth division officer immediately began his hasty explanation, suddenly fearing for his life as he realized the note might have been serious after all.
"I was just going for a walk when I felt a blast of reiatsu and barriers dropping and I wanted to see what was going on and whether there was any trouble or something!"
Yumichika's eyes remained narrowed, but the man next to him rolled his eyes.
"Don't make such an ugly expression, I don't think we need to worry about him."
"Your expression is uglier than mine, Kujaku."
"Um…" Hisagi attempted to cut in, feeling more confident since he was relatively certain the fifth seat wasn't planning on following through on his threats.
"Did you say this is Kujaku? As in, your zanpakuto?" Hisagi shivered slightly at the memory of the first time he had seen Yumichika's sword's true power. The feeling of having your reiatsu forcibly drained is an unpleasant, abet memorable, experiance.
The sword looked at him for a moment before grinning in realization. "Oh that's right, I remember you! You're the lieutenant we fought during the whole ryoka situation." He suddenly whipped his head back to Yumichika. "You showed me to him, so why can't you tell Ikkaku!?"
Yumichika groaned. "It's not the same, Kujaku!"
Hisagi cut in again, trying to understand what exactly it was he had stumbled upon. "Wait, wait, wait. So, this is your materialized sword. I heard you were trying to achieve bankai, so that makes sense, but shouldn't you guys be battling or something? I thought that was how you gained dominance?"
The sword spirit huffed. "Yes, but it's pointless for me to take him seriously if he just planning on keeping me a secret forever!"
"Not forever, necessarily…"
"Just until Ikkaku bites the dust?"
Kujaku groaned, putting his head in his hands. "It doesn't work like that!"
Yumichika turned to Hisagi. "Do you see what I have to deal with!?"
The zanpakuto cut in before he could respond. "Don't drag him into this! This is about Ikkaku, your best friend, and how you can't even tell him about me!"
"I can tell whoever I want! I just choose not to due to the undesirable effects that would come with revealing you!"
"I'm telling you, your getting no where like this!"
Hisagi thought for a moment. He watched as the two bickered, Yumichika insisting that no good would come from him revealing his sword to the third seat, and Ruri'iro Kujaku arguing that he would never get stronger if he couldn't get past this. Finally, the tattooed man raised his hand slightly in an attempt to both silence the two and get their attention.
"If you want my opinion..."
"That depends on whose side your on."
The lieutenant glared before starting again. "If you want my opinion, quite frankly, Ikkaku… is an idiot."
Hisagi held his hand up for silence again as Yumichika opened his mouth, whether to agree with or deny the statement, he did not know, before continuing. "…But he is a good guy, and a good friend. I doubt he'd ditch you just because your sword it Kido-type."
Yumichika looked slightly shocked at his words, but before he could respond, the zanpakuto in question beat him to it.
"See! Even he agrees with me!"
"Oh, shut up ugly!"
"Who are you calling ugly!"
"Well, seeing as you're ugly, I must be talking to you!"
Hisagi shook his head and grinned as he left the training ground, unnoticed by the two bickering narcissists. He had a feeling Yumichika would work it out eventually, although he hoped he would take his words into consideration. Perhaps if enough people drilled it into his head, he would come to his senses? Who knows, but for the moment the only ones capable of doing so were himself and a very irritated zanpakuto. Oh well. He was sure everythign would work out. Until then, he was going to get as far away as possible, and hope that the fifth doesn't decide to carry through with that stuffed bear threat...
So there ya go! See, NorthernShinigami suggested in a review that I add in Hisagi, since he is the only living person to know about Yumichika's sword. I liked the idea, but writer's block prevented me from finishing. By the time I did finish this chapter, the story had already progressed beyond where I could add it in. But I still kind of liked it, so I decided to post it seperately. Hope you enjoyed, but even if you didn't please review! I'd love to hear your opinions!