Genre: Alternate Universe, Shojo, Romance, Drama, School Life, Gender Bender
Characters: Momo Hinamori, Toshiro Hitsugaya
Summary: When Momo Hinamori wakes up on the day of her sixteenth birthday, she finds herself pulled into the middle of her family's thousand year long struggle – and somehow, this throws her into the prestigious Saiitou High, an all-boys academy!
Disclaimer: Tite Kubo owns Bleach
Warning: Toshiro will not come into the story until later (around chapter 5), and the development of Histuhina will not be quick. For those of you who like it when the romance comes in thick and fast, I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere. However, since the Hitsuhina is slow and steady, there will be pleanty of fluffy moments to it's leadup :)
Anyway, introducing my spin-off of Mulan (FYI, my penname used to be Snowy Peach Tsubasa) with a whole new plot line, one hundred percent original.
I recommend viewing this in half-screen mode. You can change it by clicking the 1/2 button just above the chapter select bar.
Chapter 1 – Horoscope
Gemini (May 22 to June 21)
Over the next week change will be inevitable – a worthwhile experience for the comfort-seeking Gemini. This is your foundation for easing your hidden potentials out into your everyday life. Your near future is riddled with many obstacles. However, it is vital to avoid a total dependence on those surrounding you. Forge your own path to surmount these difficulties and become the person you envision.
"Hidden potentials? I wish."
Shoving another spoonful of cereal into her mouth, Momo flicked the page over, scanning the newspaper for worthwhile articles. The entire listing of the market stocks – with its diminutive font size that threatened readers with future eye problems – was ignored, as was the sporting section.
After reading an article about the grand opening of a five-start international restaurant in Tokyo (and being mildly interested in it), Momo pushed the morning paper away from her and finished off her breakfast. When she had washed and stored the bowl and spoon away, and was walking past the dining table, she took a glance at the newspaper. After a moment, she sighed, and began to ruffle through the black and white pages.
"I suppose it couldn't hurt," she mumbled, lifting out the week's horoscope, "to see if this is true."
Taking the stairs two at a time, she walked into her room, placed the page on her desk, closed the window that she had forgotten to close the night before and grabbed her schoolbag. A moment later, her shoes were on and she was shutting the front gate behind her.
Momo Hinamori – above-average intellect, below-average athleticism, rock bottom social skills. Shyness was her major disaster area and she was easily intimidated. However, she was polite and could maintain a decent – albeit generic – conversation going for a few exchanges, providing that:
1. You do not look mean/angry/frustrated/aggressive/aloof or any combination of the mentioned
2. You start the conversation (the golden rule)
3. You pester her enough so that she finally warms up to you and stops being shy, at least around you (but only one person has ever bothered to do that to date)
Actually, as was the universal case, another way to get Momo Hinamori to talk would be to tell her something so fascinating/unbelievable/insane/mad/mind-blowing/surreal (and again, in any combination) that a conversation would be inevitable.
But really, what were the chances of that happening?
As Momo waited by the bright yellow bus stop, she rummaged around her schoolbag until she felt the smooth, plastic cover of her history textbook. They were just finishing up the study of China's history in class. Turning to the marked page, Momo began to revise the last chapter, reaching the end just as the bus pulled up.
"Hua Mulan had great fighting prowess, and could lead an army of thousands. Her body crossed through one hundred battles, never failing to stand in front, and compared to the most formidable of soldiers, she was still better."
The bus hummed along the bustling morning roads, carrying a full load of city-bound passengers. The bus driver pressed his horn in agitation as a P-plater swerved in front of him, the bus screeched to a halt at stop twenty-five – nearly missing it again – and Momo sat near the back, where the chances of being yelled at by the elderly for either giving up or not giving up her seat, was minimised.
A typical weekday morning.
"You're not off to a very good start," she muttered as she hopped off the bus at stop thirty-two, recalling the horoscope lying on her table.
Five minutes later and the front gates and white walls of Fujitou Junior High rose up in front of her, dominating her vision. Students were streaming in from all directions: walking from nearby bus stops, bicycling into the front courtyard and stumbling out of cars that needed to go because the light just turned green.
"Momo! Over here!"
Momo waved across to her closest friend as she jammed her thumb against the large, round stoplight button. Rangiku Matsumoto returned an energetic wave, her strawberry blond hair floating in the passing summer zephyr. When the neon green man became illuminated, Momo tore across the bitumen, a smile on her face.
"Hey, Rangiku! So, did you manage to solve that maths problem Igawa-sensei gave us?"
"Are you kidding, Momo?" Rangiku laughed as they walked through the front entrance. "I don't even understand whatever it is we're studying right now!"
"And you're not worried at all that we have a chapter test at the end of this week?"
"Not really," she replied while shrugging her shoulders. "I know I'm not a maths person, so I prefer to concentrate more on my strengths rather than worrying over what I can't, and don't want to, understand."
"Wow," Momo muttered, twisting around her combination locker. "I wish I could think like that. I'm always worrying. No wonder I'm so dull and unappealing."
"No, you aren't. But if you'd only open up more and stop being so shy, other people would know that too."
"That's never going to happen. I can't help but freeze up in front of other people, and then I end up either rambling like an idiot or giving only one-worded replies."
"You never know. One day something could happen and before you know it…" Rangiku stopped and shook her lock which refused to open. "Damn! What's my locker combo?"
"Twenty-three, six, seventeen," answered Momo without skipping a beat.
"Success!" exclaimed Rangiku a moment later. "Where would I be without you and your brain, Momo? I'm calling dibs on your brain, so remember me when you're writing your will!"
"Ah, well I'm not really that smart, you know?"
Rangiku rolled her eyes. "In what way?"
"I only get high grades because I study before the test, and then forget everything afterwards. That's not smarts; that's just remembering things in the short-term."
"Whatever you say, Momo, whatever you say."
The morning passed by like every other. A few boys received yard duty for arriving late during first period, an explosion during third period filled the chemistry room with a cloud of green smoke, and fourth period art turned into a paintball session. After lunch, Momo and Rangiku trudged back to their homeroom, where the last two periods were replaced with a compulsory study session. During this time, students were busy filling out applications for high school.
"Can you believe that we're almost finished with junior high?" Rangiku asked. "We only have another week left!"
"Yeah, I can't really believe it. It feels like yesterday was my first day."
Momo and Rangiku were sitting in the back corner, near the row of windows. Various application forms and pamphlets were scattered between the two desks they had pushed together. Momo signed and dated her last application and placed it on her pile of completed forms.
"Rangiku," Momo said, leaning over to get a better look. "You're only filling out one application form?"
"Yeah! This is the one I want to go to!"
"You're so confident! I filled out all these just in case, but…" Momo looked at the name of the high school Rangiku was applying for. "Yeah, I want to go to Kenshi High as well."
"I've heard that they've got a great tourism course on offer there! Too bad it's an all-girls school!" lamented Rangiku as an afterthought.
"Hey, it might not be as bad as you think, Matsumoto."
Momo and Rangiku turned to see a boy with bright green hair leaning against the desk adjacent to theirs. He grinned at them and Rangiku returned it.
"And what makes you say that, Kurudou-kun?"
"I'm applying for Saiitou High, the all-boys high school, and its sister school just so happens to be Kenshi High," he replied. "They hold all major events together and the two high schools are just one block away from each other."
"Hey, Katashi!" Another boy came over and caught Rangiku's green-haired friend in a headlock. "Are you seriously applying for Saiitou? Do you know how insane it is to get in there? Otou-san told me that unless you started grade school there, it's almost impossible to transfer in!"
"Thank for your support, Akio," replied Katashi, voice laced with sarcasm as he pushed the other boy away. "Hey, so where are you applying, Hinamori-san?"
"Um, well, I've filled out applications to Higashimizu, Kainami, Shizuha and Kenshi High…but, um, yeah…Kenshi High sounds like the best one."
"Yeah, seems so. Well, catch you guys later!"
Katashi and Akio walked away, heading for the large group of students occupying the front of the classroom. When they were out of earshot, Rangiku flicked Momo on the forehead.
"Hey, what was that for?"
"Speak up next time, Momo! I could barely hear you! And you don't have to be so formal with Kurudou-kun." Rangiku smiled. "I mean, he's been in our class for like what? Three years now?"
"I thought I was doing pretty well!" Momo defended indignantly, rubbing the dull throb on her forehead. "You know how long it takes me to open up to others."
"If I'm not living proof of that, then I don't know what is! Kidding!" she added upon seeing Momo's pout. Rangiku was shaking her head in amusement when a thought struck her. "Hey, it's your birthday tomorrow!"
"Yeah? I suppose it is."
"Come on, Momo, sound more excited! It's not just any birthday; it's your sixteenth!"
"I never got what was so special about it. I mean, it's not like I'm becoming an adult, or reaching the legal drinking age. It'll be just like every other birthday so far. There's nothing really special about it."
"Oh, help me, Kami-sama."
Momo walked into the room, a towel over her head of damp hair. All her schoolbooks were strewed across her desk. Even with the end of the school year in sight, her teachers were relentless in doling out last-minute assignments, tests and homework. Setting her classical playlist into shuffle, Momo resumed from where she had left off. By ten o'clock, her desk was neat and her schoolbag was packed. All that remained on the desk was the horoscope.
"If you're referring to my turning sixteen tomorrow, then I suppose that is inevitable," she commented after rereading the first sentence. "Why do I still have this piece of junk?"
She hesitated, looking from the clipping in her hand to the waste basket sitting just under her desk. After a moment of deliberation, she tucked her horoscope between two books in her folder caddy, thinking of only the last sentence as she shut off the lights and climbed into bed.
Forge your own path to surmount these difficulties and become the person you envision.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
"Hey, wake up!"
Momo groaned, feeling much too tired to heed that request. She ignored the voice and her alarm, which was blaring out high-pitched beeps. Her arms came up and wrapped themselves around her pillow as she buried her head into the soft fabric. She smacked her lips and sighed in comfort.
"Hello down there! Wake up already!"
"Five more minutes, Okaa-san," she muttered, but then her muscle stiffened as she felt the blanket being whipped away. "Alright, I'm getting up, Okaa-san!"
Groaning, Momo pushed herself up into a sitting position and began to rub the sleep from her eyes. She stretched her arms up and yawned, wishing she could go back to sleep.
"Okaa-san, what are you still doing here? Shouldn't you be at work by-"
Momo cut herself short, realising that her mother wouldn't be in this house during this time of the day, and neither would her father seeing as they both left for work in the early hours of the morning. And the voice telling her to wake up was rough and unfamiliar. She snapped her eyes open, frantically searching for the intruder.
And she found them.
Eleven of them.
Five inches tall.
Floating above her head.
Thank you very much for reading the first chapter! I hope my writing has improved somewhat over the course of this year :)