Zanpakuto... Their abilities and shape are usually a reflection of their wielder's soul. As their relationship grows, and the shinigami learn their katana's name, they are able to utilize an even greater power.

Fire. Fire and a heat so intense, so mighty, so overwhelming, it threatened to melt the very skin from his bones. The boy opened his eyes to the voice that called him, and saw nothing but fire, felt nothing but heat. The plain had been charred black, most likely by the many volcanoes spewing lava into the distance.

A sudden explosion jolted him out of his thoughts. He glanced around, grey eyes filled with amazement. One volcano, larger then the others, continued to spew out lava, creating a molten river that flowed into the far-off sea on the horizon. Lava burst out the top, accompanied by large black boulders. The rocks hit the ground with such an impact, they formed craters in the ground, some as deep as the Sokyoku was tall. To a normal person, this all would have been very frightening, of course, and that person might even get a heart attack. But this was all very normal to the youth , and that was why he was feeling awed as the ash spewed into the sky, blotting out the crimson sun.

Then, he appeared.

A tall, bearded man, his body ropey and muscular, crisscrossed with many battle scars, his very flesh aglow with the obsidian flames of this world and the next. He waded out of the lava, the molten liquid dripping from his lean shoulders as he exited the bath. Despite witnessing this sight many times before, the youth felt his pride cowed somewhat. How could any man bathe in lava and emerged unscathed?

Apparently he could.

"Boy." When he approached, the charred earth trembled, turning to flames beneath his feet, and when he spoke, the sky, the very heavens themselves quaked with fear. "Do you know who I am?"

The youth nodded wordlessly, all sense of speech escaping his numb lips. It was the reason he'd been brought here, dragged from his dreams and into wakefulness, then into his dreams once again as if he'd been summoned here.

"You are....my zanpakutou?"

Zanpakutou. The word in of itself held deep meaning. Only a handful of these mythical swords actually existed here in the Sereitei, and their owners...well, they weren't exactly tactful with them. But he'd seen what a zanpakutou could do, and the amazing powers they commanded. With one of these legendary blades, supposedly born from the wielders soul, he'd finally accomplish his lifelong ambition.

"Your Zanpakutou?"

Or so he thought, for the man apparently had other plans.

"Your Zanapkutou? YOUR ZANPAKUTOU?!"Ruby red eyes suddenly flared a white hot blue white, the circle of flames blazing impossibly brighter with every word. Abruptly, the once genteel tone of the man turned harsh, his very presence threatening to consume the human who dared to trespass on this, the most sacred of grounds. "Impudent pup!What in Kami's name makes you think I BELONG to you?! I could kill you an instant if I so chose!"

The youth flinched, expecting to die, right then and there. Then, just as the burning, ruby red eyes filled his vision, theY softened a tad, the bluish white inferno cooling itself to a soft, smoldering amber. After the boy realized he was NOT going to die, only then did he dare to peep one eye open.

"Indeed I am." The man huffed, a small jet of flame escaping his thin lips. "I have waited for one hundred years to hear you say these words, and a hundred more to ascertain your bravery. I am pleased to see I was not mistaken"

He stood stone still, still trying to absorb it all, take it all in. All that, all those fireworks and the unbearably hot flames, was all just a test? All of it, even the threat yo kill him He'd nearly wet himself!

"Yamamoto Shigekuni Genryusai. Look at me when I am speaking to you."

The youth stiffened slightly, feeling as if he were being addressed by Father. He reprimanded himself for this immediately. Father was dead, he and Mother had been killed by that hollow. Unbidden, a silent tear rolled down his cheek, creating a thin whisp of steam as it touched the earth.

"You still miss your parents."When the god like entity placed one blazing hand upon the lad's shoulder, Yamamoto was surprised to feel only the faintest tinge of coldness, in this otherwise scorching world. Still, he sniffled silently, remembering how they'd died right before his eyes.

If he'd had power, he could have done something. If he had power, he could protect his friends, instead or run away whenever danger and evil reared their ugly, deformed heads.

"That dream. That dream of yours, Genryusai." The man intoned solemnly, gently breaking the youth away from the saddened flashback. "Tell me of it once more. Tell me of your grand ambition."

The words spilled from Yamamoto's lips before he could stop himself. His dream, to create an academy, to make the Sereitei a better place, to do so many things to restore the peace, to create absolute order in this lawless world.

"It sounds as though you've rehearsed this. Perhaps you were waiting for a chance like this to happen?"

"It's doubtful." the boy sighed. "I can't accomplish it, not by myself at least. Everyone thinks I'm crazy."

"Your reasons are strong, Genryusai." In fact, they're almost admirable. They are true reasons. And if you have so many of them, why are you refusing my offer? Wouldn't you want to make your dream a reality?"

"But how?"

"How?" A rare smile pulled at the lips of the aged man, barely noticeable through his blazing red beard. "How, you ask? Tell me my boy, do you not yet know of my name?"

Silvery irises widened.

"Your name...is...

In the real word, Yamamoto's lips moved, mouthing one phrase. He had no way of knowing that this sentence would change his life forever, he just did what his instinct told him to do. Speak, Yamamoto, speak my name, declare my command, and take your place in history.

"Banshō issai kaijin to nase. (Reduce all creation to ash)

"Ryujjin Jakka/Ryujjin Jakka." The boy and the man breathed as one. Summoned by the phrase, a sword roared into existence, its purple bound hilt and oval guard brandishing a blade of the purest fire. Unable to tolerate the smothering heat, the hut caved in around them, little more than a pile of smoldering ashes.

Startled by the destruction, several passerby, including a young girl with braided black hair and violet eyes, stopped to stare at the supposed village idiot, and the mighty flaming sword he desperately clutched in both hands, as well as the disintegrated abode he'd once occupied.

"Genryusai?" The aforementioned girl dropped her breadbasket and gaped openly at the sword in Yamamoto's hand, awed into silence, along with the rest of rukongai. "Is that...what I think it is? Is that..."

"Uh...uh..um...Yamamoto sweatdropped, his cheeks flushing red, darker than Ryujjin Jakka's beard, as he realized he had nowhere to hide, AND that he'd just singlehandely burned down his house. Well, now they'd really think he was crazy!

"Erm...yes, Retsu?"

Ryujjin Jakka laughed merrily.

They live and die together with their shinigami. They are zanpakuto.

Read? Review? Like? Anways, after watching the zanapkutou arc, I got cleverly curious during work the other day, and began to wonder. How the devil did Yamamoto and co. MEET their zanpakutou? And that was when this fic was born. Naturally the first division is...well, first, and we'll go down the line from there. Hey, I might even go into work on the vizards and arrancar after all this. B.T.W. Lemme know if any of uz think I should make these into actual stories.

Next up: Chojiro Sasakibe.