Just so people know, I don't own any part of Bleach.

I give thanks to iealchemist at Onemanga forums for inspiring this.


Tragedy...

It...hurts, Hantaro thought, in shock from his wounds, it hurts so much. Rukia, he thought, seeing the mark on Rukia's face, the Espada...took control of her...made her...attack me. It feels so...cold. Hanataro's eyes clouded over, as his eye sight grew dark, and remembered his past...

-

It was roughly 100 years ago, and Hanataro was just a small child, in the care of his sitter. She was a kind, caring woman. Hanataro was always put in her care, because his father was an acting Vice-Captain of the Gotei 13. He looked up to his father, and when he grew up, wanted to be just like him.

"Captain Unohana is such a motherly woman," he once told Hanataro, "but she can be quite scary when provoked." He chuckled. "If you ever join the Gotei 13, what division do you want to be in?"

A small Hanataro smiled brightly. "I want to be like you, Dad! I wanna be part of Squad 4!"

"That's the spirit, Hanataro," Seinosuke smiled, and ruffled Hanataro's hair, "you'll be the second Yamada in Squad 4."

The Yamada family was a Noble family, lower than most families. In fact, compared to the other noble families, they were like commoners; nobody. They even lived in the Rukongai. None of the Yamada family had ever become Shinigami before Seinosuke Yamada became Vice-Captain of Squad 4. Seinosuke was proud of Hanataro. He had such a smile on his face when Hanataro managed to form an orb of reiatsu in between his hands.

Hanataro never knew who his mother was. In fact, Seinosuke never told him about her. The one time he met Captain Unohana, he felt some connection to her. Hanataro thought it was the motherly personality that his father told him about. However, he felt that...it was something more.

-

In his memories, Hanataro saw something he never saw before, or didn't remember, because he didn't like what he remembered...

Hanataro was curled up in a ball, afraid of the recent incidents of destroyed souls. He heard them one night, close by. The agonizing screams, and he even saw one such person vanish right in front of his eyes, a white substance cascading out of her mouth, and tears streaming down from her eyes, as she was swiftly annihilated. He couldn't see who it was, but he remembered a pair of completely white glasses, reflecting the light, and a cold smile. He ran home that night, and cried the entire day after.

That night, someone knocked on the door. Remembering the man with glasses, he asked his sitter, his voice squeaking in fear. "Who...who is it?"

"Don't be scared, Hana-chan," his sitter said, her nervous smile trying to re-assure Hanataro, "it's probably no one." Her hands trembled as she reached for the door, a kitchen knife hidden behind her back; she wasn't taking any chances.

She opened it. A pair of bright, white glasses appeared. The sitter recognized the figure from what Hantaro saw, and described to her. "Is Yamada Hanataro home?" He asked in a cold, courteous voice that sent chills up her spine.

"I WON'T LET YOU HURT HIM!" She revealed the knife behind her back, and stabbed forward. She knew there was nothing she could probably do, since she recognized his clothes as that of a Shinigami, but she wasn't going to let this man, whoever he was, hurt Hanataro. He was like a son to her.

The man caught her hand, and pointed a finger, and touched her heart with it. "Hado 4, Byakurai."

A blue bolt of reiatsu tore through her body, and her blood splattered Hanataro's face. "Ah...ah..." He said wordlessly, a coldness building inside his gut.

"I toned down the power of the blast, so it didn't completely annihilate your body," Aizen said to the sitter, as she dropped to the ground, "so you can see the boy, one last time."

"H...Hanataro...run..." That was all she could whisper, before the light vanished from her eyes.

Hantaro's small form quivered and shook from the sight of his sitter being killed by the man with the glasses. "K...K...KEIKO-SAN!!!" He ran directly at the man with glasses, enraged that Keiko, his sitter, was so brutally murdered before his very eyes. Before he could reach the man, a massive force bore down on him, and he fell into Keiko's blood, his shaking eyes meeting her.

"You're still young," the man said, pulling a syringe out of his sleeve, "but you have ripe potential as one last experiment." Hanataro strained to even direct his eyes to the syringe, filled with a white material, which he injected into Hanataro, causing him to cry out in agony, for the woman who had been a mother to him all his life...

-

"KEIKO-SAN!" Hanataro screamed, jack-knifing upwards. He felt his face, and found that he was crying. His body felt cold, as if it had broken out in cold sweat. "Hanataro, what's wrong?"

He quickly turned his head, expecting to see Keiko for some reason, but he saw Isane instead, with a worried look on her face. "...Just a dream," he told her, "about something I don't remember. It was...horrible." His face contorted into a pained expression as he remembered the details, and the feeling of blood was livid in his memory. His mind snapped back to the present, as he remembered: Rukia!

He looked over at her, and quickly got out a blanket that Isane gave him, and as gently as he could, laid Rukia down on it, as he and Isane began to tend to her wounds. I won't let you die, Rukia, he thought, remembering the second reason why he became a Shinigami after that memory, not like Keiko-san.

He shivered; it may have just been it's oppressive air, but something about Hueco Mundo felt...welcoming. That vial of white substance flashed in his mind, and he shook his head, and focused on healing. But something...kept whispering in the back of his mind, something that felt dark and cold, but...caring at the same time. The voice echoed:

Welcome home, Yamada Hanataro.