Sorry this was late. I was going to write more, but I decided to put that in the next chapter. To those who don't read my other stories, this is connected to the Heavenly Guardian Series, which means Toushirou Hitsugaya and other characters may be mentioned that usually aren't mentioned. Toushirou and Byakuya are friends, for you're information. I hope this doesn't bother also includes Hisana's point of view of the event's of Chapter 10/11 of After the End.
This is dedicated to Byakuxhisa4eva, the wonderful person who introduced me to Bleach. Hope you will enjoy. Please be nice, this is my first byakuhisa story.
The air was chilly that day. The ebony haired woman kept her head lowered, walking close behind the Fourth division captain.
Sixth division needs a new fifth seat. You are competent enough. I think it is time that you were promoted.
"Since you are moving to the sixth, I presume that it is time that you wanted to be called by your real name again?" the senior captain said kindly, turning to look at the woman.
"Very well, I will leave you here, and inform Kuchiki-taichou that you are here."
"Please don't tell him my name. Not yet."
The violet eyes were pleading, though still lowered slightly in respect.
She had woken up in Rukongai. After living a short life in the human world, she had lost her life again do to illness. Dying at the age of 23, she awoke to find herself in the impoverish streets of Inuzuri.
Getting up from the corner of two houses where she had been curled up in a ball, she blinked at the sight before her. Poor wooden houses that looked ready to fall apart at the faintest breath of wind dotted the area. Shabby people loped around the houses, looking as fragile as the houses that surrounded them. They wore thin, ragged kimonos and walked slowly, their heads lowered as if condemned.
"I know this place…" she whispered to herself. She got up quietly, brushing the ever-present lock of hair in the center of her face out of her eyes. Her violet eyes surveyed the scene.
To an outsider, the woman didn't belong there. She looked too delicate, and too kind for the life of thievery and darkness that was the only life the souls of Rukongai's poorest districts knew.
She walked out of the line of houses, and kept walking until she had left the inhabited places behind, and entered a rural area of meadows and forest.
She sat by the quiet stream, and closed her eyes, trying to sort out her thoughts.
"My name…my name is…"
She sat thinking on it for a long time. She only recalled one name. Hisana. There were vague images that came with it, but the images always made her feel a strange pain in her heart, as if they were memories that she didn't want to remember.
Hisana…that was all that she knew of herself. But another name came to her, almost as soon as her own had come.
"I'm sorry, I must leave you. Kurotsuchi-taichou has made a suggestion for something to help Hitsugaya-taichou with his reiatsu control. I need to find Kuchiki-taichou, and oversee the event," Unohana said almost as soon as they had reached the sixth division. Hisana nodded. She touched the hilt of her zanpakutou in comfort. She had never thought that the life of a shinigami she had previously admired was not hers. And it was better than she'd expected.
Unohana walked into the compound, and away. Keeping her head down, Hisana walked bravely into the compound. There were some curious stares, but she kept her head lowered. She supposed that many probably mistook her for Rukia. Few knew of the sixth division captain's dead wife.
Reaching one young boy, she asked for directions to the fifth seat office. The boy introduced himself as Rikichi, and offered to take her to the offices of the 3rd to 6th seats. She thanked him.
She didn't know when it was when it first happened- when the first stirrings of hunger licked at her insides. She was curious. None of the other residents ever seemed to feel hungry, only eating as an indulgence. She however, found that she needed more food than they, and if she didn't eat, she began to weaken. Curious.
She always grew hungrier after straining her mind for any memories. She didn't know why she tried so hard, but she felt as if there was something important that she had to remember. She caught some glimpses, but nothing much, and the effort exhausted her.
Food was hard to come by in Inuzuri. Sometimes, and Hisana hated herself for it, she had to resort to thievery. She always scolded herself afterwards, but she couldn't help it. If she didn't eat every so often, she would go faint with hunger.
She lived this way for many years in the poor streets of Inuzuri. Nothing much happened to her during that time.
However, a few years later, things were set in motion.
She was visiting a nearby orphanage, taken care of by a kindly old woman who wanted to prevent the children from growing up under bad influences of the thugs of the district. She found herself drawn to the children there. The children liked her as well, and enjoyed her visits. The owner, however, though kind, often gave her rather strange looks.
One day, she took her aside.
"You know, I was surprised when you first turned up. You remind me of this other girl that used to live in this area. I found her as a baby and raised her. You two look almost exactly the same. She left about three decades ago though with her redheaded friend, to the Seireitei to become a shinigami. I remember that she was just as good with the children as you were."
Hisana, for whatever reason unknown, felt her heart begin to speed up. Her palms became moist. Why was she reacting this way?
She didn't know. But she did know that for some reason, this information was important. It was something she needed to know. "What was her name?"
"Rukia. Not a common name, but a nice one all the same. I'm sure that she's quite happy over in Seireitei right now…are you all right?"
Hisana had suddenly felt as if the world was spinning. The ground seemed to tilt so far that she wondered how she hadn't tipped over yet. She felt her body heat up, but chill at the same time.
"I'm fine…just a little dizzy, and tired," she replied, trying her best to smile.
"Well, you have been working hard. Perhaps you'd like to take a break? I know it's a hard life here in Inuzuri. It isn't for someone…someone not used to it," she woman discreetly noting Hisana's delicate appearance.
"Yes…rest would be good…please excuse me…"
She staggered away, fighting the dizziness that was threatening to overwhelm her. She walked to the nearby stream and curled up in the soft grasses by the water, taking deep breaths to calm herself. She didn't know what was making her react this way. But she knew one thing.
Rukia. The name was almost as familiar as her own. Her eyes squeezed shut, and she came up with an image. She was taking a long look at a small bundle of cloth, with ebony black hair peaking out. Violet eyes identical to hers were gazing back at her, filled with more intelligence than the average baby. She was running away from the bundle, her heart being torn apart as she did so.
Rukia. Rukia was safe…
Her eyes snapped open. Why did she just have that thought? It seemed strange, especially since she'd just heard of this Rukia. And that image, it wasn't something she had done in her time in Inuzuri…unless…
She sat up, and gazed over the clear stream. Could she…was it possible…that she had been here before? Was it possible that in some past life, this had been her home?
Rukia was clearly someone related to her. She felt a strange relief every time she thought of her. She was safe…
But then, who was Byakuya?
A few days later, she first began to understand the strange hunger that gnawed at her insides. Sitting by the stream again, and staring out into the stream, trying to see the images that she concludes was her past life, she was met by a sudden crushing force. Gasping for breath, she looked to her side and saw several strange black-clad people. The outfit was familiar.
A young male paused and turned toward her. She felt her body tense up automatically at the approach of a stranger. A strange reaction took place. She felt strange coils of some sort of power suddenly loosen. The man paused, eyes wide in shock. "You have reiatsu…"
Hisana's body remained tense, but she was confused. What was reiatsu?
"Spirit energy," the man said, noting her confusion. "Do you feel hungry?"
Hisana was bewildered at his sudden, odd question, but nodded. The man smiled knowingly. "That's because you're unconsciously using reiatsu, and that drains your energy, and makes you feel hungry. Normal souls without reiatsu don't feel hunger," he explained, then cocked his head, eyes curious. "Have I seen you somewhere before?"
"I've never seen anyone like you," Hisana replied, though she had a sudden flash of a black-haired man in the same outfit as the man who stood in front of her. The man had porcelain skin and sharp features, and intense grey eyes. Hisana shook her head to rid herself of the image, though she couldn't shake of the feeling that she knew the man.
"Fukutaichou, this girl resembles Kuchiki Rukia, doesn't she?" one of the other black-clad men said. The first man nodded, realization hitting. "Yes, now that you mention it, she does."
Hisana's eyes widened. There was that name again. Rukia.
That name was familiar, important. What was it?
Her eyes glazed over slightly.
Was that her name?
"My name is Hisagi Shuhei, vice-captain of the ninth division. I believe that you have a high amount of reiatsu. I think you should enter the Spirit Arts Academy, miss, and become a shinigami."
"Shinigami?" Hisana asked, her mind more focused on the names. It seemed to just fit…the name Kuchiki…it seemed to be hers just as much as it was Rukia's, just as much as it was the mysterious Byakuya's.
"Yes, they live in Seireitei, and protect normal souls from other forces such as hollows. Will you join?"
Seireitei. There was another familiar name, and not just because the woman at the orphanage had mentioned it. It seemed as if…she had once lived there.
"Yes…yes, I think I'd like to try that.
She stayed in her room, out of sight of most. She wanted to stay out of sight for just a little while longer.
There were voices outside her room. Her heart leapt and her throat constricted as she recognized the deep, cool voice of the sixth division captain. Even though it was slightly distorted by the wall between them, she recognized it.
"Unohana-taichou, what brings you here?'
"Ah, Kuchiki-taichou, Hitsugaya-taichou. I was looking for you. I was also foreseeing the transfer of my tenth seat. I took the liberty of moving her to your division, Kuchiki-taichou. You needed a fifth seat, and she is more than capable, and I had no empty seats to merit her abilities."
"Your tenth seat?" Byakuya asked, a hint of perplexity in his voice. "I wasn't aware that you oversaw the transfer of mere officers."
"I had some time on my hands. We should be heading toward the Soukyoku. The exercise is about to start."
There was the sound of footsteps moving away. Then, the voice of another spoke. Hisana was slightly surprised to hear the child-like quality of it. Of course, she had heard of Soul Society's famous child prodigy. But it still surprised her to hear him, and speaking to Byakuya of all people.
"I suppose she's right. We should head to the Soukyoku."
"Yes. I'm puzzled at Unohana's motives, but I suppose it's good I have a fifth seat now." A sigh, then, "We should focus on the matter at hand. Do you think you can control yourself?"
"I think so. I've been training. Still, are you sure you want to use Abarai for this? And Kurosaki. I don't know if I have complete control over everything."
Byakuya's answering voice held a hint of humor. "I think it's high time that I taught them a lesson in the strength of captains. Abarai is getting too ahead of himself. And Kurosaki, well, I want to make sure that he's more than capable of taking care of Rukia. And, I think it also a good chance to teach him a lesson in respect."
"In other words, you admit you blackmailed them," the younger captain pointed out.
"I see it rather as convincing them, if you will," Byakuya said, his humor more evident.
"Hn. Well, don't blame me if your lieutenant is out of commission for a while after this."
"Oh, I wouldn't."
The footsteps moved away. Hisana smiled to herself. Byakuya had loosened up over the years. She was shocked slightly still by the confirmation of the rumor that Byakuya had befriended the tenth division captain. He hadn't ever liked to socialize, much less with younger shinigami, and especially ones that came from Rukongai. Maybe it was due to the fact that the young prodigy was quite mature for his age, and had a similar personality to Byakuya.
Or perhaps he had loosened up ever so slightly since the last time she'd seen him.
Of that she didn't mind.
The academy was an interesting experience. She was surrounded mostly by nobles, though there were a few students from Rukongai. She wasn't a genius, but she had quite good marks. It was an interesting and exhilarating experience, holding a blade for the first time, sparring with others, blasting kidou from her hands. She had a feeling that she had never done any of it in her past life.
When approaching the academy, and asked for her name, she had hesitated. In the end, she decided not to give a last name, as she wasn't even sure that Kuchiki was her real name. Instead, she pretended that she did not know her last name.
Being surrounded by reiatsu, she felt the strange memories return faster that usual. At first, she was worried. But the worry slowly melted into a burning curiosity as to her past life.
She had a decent amount of friends, who were mostly either from Rukongai, like herself, or the lesser nobles. The higher nobles usually regarded themselves with a higher superiority than the Rukongai pupils, but she dealt with them easily. Not many could stand to bully the sweet and quiet young woman without feeling guilty.
After getting used to the academy, she mustered up enough courage to ask about the Kuchiki family.
"Oh, the Kuchiki family! I'm not surprised that you know of them. They are one of the Four Great Noble Houses of Soul Society," answered one of her friends, a girl from the lesser nobility.
"Yes, and I heard that the head of the family is also a captain, and one of the most powerful ones too!"
Interesting. "What's his name?" Hisana asked in curiosity. But her friends shook their heads. "I can't recall. My family isn't quite fond of the Kuchikis, though I don't see why, but we never talk about them much."
Suddenly, there was a commotion in the halls. Everyone started speaking at once, and then streaming toward the exit to the front.
"Huh? What's going on?" Hisana wondered out loud.
"Did you hear? One of the captains is visiting the school. I think he's only here to see the headmaster, but it's still exciting!"
Hisana exchanged looks with her friends, and then followed the crowd out of the school.
Already, most of the school seemed to have gathered in the front. Hisana carefully made her way through the small spaces when someone shifted to pass the wall of bodies. She stopped in the second row, unable to move forward any more. Still, she could clearly see the figure that was moving toward them with swift and unfaltering grace. He was too far away for her to make out any features, but her recent training has taught her to recognized the power he portrayed in merely his confident step and high reiatsu.
As he moved closer, the students moved back, intimidated, and Hisana understood why. The man had sharp, stern features and cold grey eyes. He gave one glare to one over excited first year, which left the poor boy shivering in fear. His eyes were fixed directly on his destination, and he walked as if he weren't surrounded by hundreds of academy students. He wore odd white ornaments in his ebony hair, and a pure white silken scarf rested upon his shoulders.
"I can't believe it!" a student nearby suddenly hissed. "Kuchiki Byakuya!"
Hisana froze, her eyes suddenly so wide that it seemed too large for her face. At that moment, the man approached the spot where she stood, and she saw his features in sharp detail. A burst of reiatsu hit her senses, and with it, a splitting headache exploded in her mind. She ducked down involuntarily, clenching her teeth against the pain. A small whimper escaped her throat.
Images were filling her head again, this time with far more clarity than usual; the small child that she was running from, and the mysterious man that she felt as if she knew. And not just images, words this time too.
Did you go for a walk again?
Yes, I'm sorry if I worried you.
It is no trouble. I only worry about your health.
I abandoned my sister…
One flower has bloomed…look…
These past five years that I've spent with you, have been like a beautiful dream…Byakuya-sama…
Hisana couldn't tell who it was that called her name, or shook her shoulder. It could have been the mysterious man from her visions for all she knew, though at this moment, he did not seem so mysterious anymore. She panted as the pain faded from her head. She opened her eyes and found several curious stares. She barely noticed them. Instead, she stood up, and ignoring the rush of dizziness from standing up so suddenly, she craned her neck to see what had become of the Kuchiki captain.
The only thing she saw was the kanji for "six", and a flowing scarf, moving steadily away.
So, that's chapter one. I was going to make it into a oneshot, but it got too long. This won't be a very long story though. I hope it wasn't confusing. It goes from being in the present to the past. The exercise mentioned is just a training exercise, and you can just ignore it. Toushirou is just having trouble controlling his reiatsu. Hope you liked it, and please, if you feel up to it, please review!