Disclaimer - I do not own Bleach nor any of it's wonderful characters.

A/N - this story is AU and I have decided to mix up the captains a little bit. I'm not a fan of the Head Captain so I'm choosing to ignore his existence. And Urahara is still a captain. Hope that you enjoy.

Chapter One - Unusual Child

Squad Twelve Captain Kisuke Urahara was walking around the Seireitei, content to ignore the work that he should be doing, when he felt a surge of reiatsu radiating from out in the Rukongai. It was odd for such a strong reiatsu to appear out of nowhere and even stranger that he couldn't identify it. Such as strong reiatsu should be familiar to the captain but it was not.

"Unusual," Urahara muttered to himself as he began walking toward the wall that separated the Seireitei where the Shinigami lived from the Rukongai, which was inhabited by normal souls.

Something weird was going on and he couldn't contain his curiosity. It practically demanded that he seek out the source of this unusual and strong reiatsu.

"Something strange is going on," he muttered to himself as he left the Seireitei and made his way out to the Rukongai. The reiatsu signal had been strong at first but now it seemed to come and go.

Which of course made it difficult to trace.

But that fact only made Urahara smirk. He was always up for a challenge, since he was usually bored with the tasks he was given as a Shinigami. Even being a captain didn't offer him much of a challenge and he was always up for something new.

"I'll find you," he said as he continued to follow the faint signals. "You can hide your reiatsu if you wish but it won't do you any good."

Urahara made his way through a dense forest in District One, walking at a brisk pace until he came upon a winding river. But this wasn't the part that caused him to draw up short, his eyes wide.

No, the surprising thing was the young child who was lying on the ground near the bank of the river. The little boy appeared to be around the age of five or six and he had snow white hair.

And there was a large sword lying on the ground at his side.

"Hello there," Urahara said in a quiet voice as he walked toward the child.

The little boy sat up quickly, gazing at Urahara with wide, distrustful eyes. The child got to his feet and made an attempt to run from this strange man dressed in black and white but, after only a few steps, the little boy tripped and fell back to the ground.

"Whoa," Urahara said, speaking in a kind voice and holding out his hand. "You don't have to be scared of me. I don't have any plans to cause you harm."

The child gazed up at the man and there was a look in his large teal eyes that told the Shinigami, as plain as words would have, that he didn't believe the words that were being spoken to him.

"My name is Kisuke Urahara and I'm the Captain of Squad Twelve of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads." Urahara continued to speak softly, in the hopes of gaining the little boy's trust. "What's your name little one?"

The white haired child held a thoughtful look in his expressive teal eyes for a few moments before shrugging his small shoulders. He may have had a name at one point but he no matter how hard he thought he couldn't remember what it had been.

"So you don't know your name huh?" Urahara muttered. "Well no matter. I think that you should come with me little one. You have too much power to just remain out here alone." As he spoke Urahara's gaze returned to the sword that was lying on the ground beside the child.

The little boy's gaze followed that of the strange man and he saw that there was a long katana lying on the ground. Instinctively the boy knew that this sword was very important and he reached out and seized hold of it, pulling it toward him. He felt a warm and comforting sensation spread throughout his body as he grasped the hilt of the sword and he felt better somehow.

Which didn't make a lot of sense seeing as he was still out in the middle of nowhere, with a strange man that he had just met.

But for some reason his fear diminished when he held the sword close to him.

"Don't worry about your sword," Urahara said with a chuckle. "You can bring it with you. After all, I think you're probably going to need it later."

The little boy gaze up at the man, as though trying to determine whether or not these words were a veiled threat.

"Come with me."

Urahara was hoping that the child would follow along willingly, since he couldn't leave him out here in the Rukongai. He didn't want to resort to force but he wouldn't have any other choice if the little boy decided to fight him.

Thankfully this did not prove to be the case. The child got to his feet, using the sword to maintain his balance.

"Come on," Urahara encouraged, offering his hand to the little boy.

The child ignored the hand that the man was holding out to him and instead pushed himself to his feet using the sword that he held.

"You're an independent little thing aren't you?" Urahara said with a chuckle. "Well no matter. Come with me and I'll take you to the Seireitei. I think there's someone there that you need to meet."

The child was still wary of this strange, blond man but he followed along none the less. After all, it wasn't as though he really had anywhere else that he could go. He was in a strange place, with no memory of how it was that he had came to be there.

He couldn't even remember his own name.

The white haired youth was by no means certain of what the stranger had in store for him but he was hopeful that, by following the man, he might be able to discover the truth of himself.

It was worth a shot at least.

Urahara made his way back toward the Seireitei, with the child following along behind him at a safe distance. It was obvious that the little boy was still somewhat wary of him but that didn't matter.

Urahara was more concerned with how the

child had escaped their detection with such high reiatsu.

It was positively unheard of for someone with his level of power to remain under the radar of the Shinigami and Urahara was at a loss as to how to explain it.

"There's something odd about this child," he thought to himself as he led the way back toward the gate.

There would, of course, be time enough to discover what was going on with this little boy. But for now Urahara was content to deliver the child to the Head Captain.

When they arrived in the Seireitei, Urahara immediately led the way to the Squad One barracks. He needed to alert Head Captain Ukitake to what he had discovered and then he needed to go back to Squad Twelve and figure out exactly what was going on.

Urahara led the way to the Squad One barracks and, when he arrived at the office of Head Captain Ukitake, he knocked lightly on the door.

"Enter," a voice called out from within.

Urahara opened the door and, motioning for the little boy to follow, stepped inside the office.

"Captain Urahara," Ukitake said, glancing up from his paperwork to gaze at the blond haired Captain of Squad Twelve. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"

"I have made a discovery that I think you may be interested in," Urahara said, stepping aside so that the Head Captain could get a glimpse of the wary child who was following along behind him.

"Where did he come from?" Ukitake asked as he got to his feet and approached the spot where the white haired boy was standing, holding a large sword.

"I found him out in District One," Urahara explained. "He had tremendous reiatsu but doesn't seem to know anything about himself. He can't even remember his own name."

"Poor thing," Ukitake said in a gentle voice, gazing down into the child's large teal eyes.

"I couldn't leave someone with his reiatsu out there alone," Urahara explained. "So what would you like me to do with him?"

"Leave him with me," Ukitake said, his gaze once again shifting to the child. "I'll take care of him until something else can be worked out."

"Right," Urahara said, nodding his head. He had known that this would be the case when he decided to bring the child to the Head Captain but had no intentions of saying this out loud. "Well, since you're going to look after the boy, I'm going to go back to Squad Twelve and see if I can figure this situation out."

"Right," Ukitake said. "Let me know what you discover."

"Yes sir." Urahara bowed to the Head Captain and then turned his attention back to the little boy. "You'll be safe here with Head Captain Ukitake."

And, without so much as another word, Urahara turned and left the office. There were many things that he needed to investigate and he found himself anxious to get started.

"At least this will relieve some of the boredom," the thought to himself as he made his way toward the Squad Twelve barracks.

A/N - well here's the first chapter. I actually got the idea for this story while working on another fic. Hope that you enjoyed.