AN: OK, so this is my first story ever. Read, enjoy, review. Please and thank you.

Disclamer: I own nothing. If I did, Sajin would be getting a lot more screen time on Bleach. As it is, I can do nothing. Also, the title of the story is from Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I also do not own. (Did I do that right? Like I said, new to this, still learning)

Chapter 1: Betrayed

His world was on fire. Everything burned.

He closed his eyes against it. The flames licked across every inch of him, leaving him breathless.

Everything was growing dark. He was going to be burned alive.

And he had never wanted anything more.

Sajin Komamura sighed heavily as he signed yet another transfer paper. Things had been difficult enough this month without all of the recent transfers.

His best (only, if he were honest with himself) friend, Kaname Tousen had defected from the Soul Society along with Souske Aizen and Gin Ichimaru. Sajin felt betrayed both professionally and personally.

The aftermath of Aizen's defection was devastating. All of the captains, lieutenants, and higher ranking officers were struggling with all of the extra paperwork, not to mention the added stress from the looming Winter War. Even worse, everyone had to deal with the grief caused to the three squads who had to deal with the fact that their captains were traitors.

Sajin realized he had been staring at the same line on the form he was reading for several minutes now. He shook his head to clear his thoughts. It was yet another request for transfer.

Sajin could not say he blamed them. After all, who would want to be led into the upcoming war by a monster such as himself?

Sajin Komamura was the perfectly hideous blend of man and wolf. He had tried to hide this fact from the world, but his appearance had been revealed when Captain Kenpachi Zaraki of squad 11 had destroyed his helmet. By the time he was given an opportunity to conceal himself once again it was already too late. Everyone knew and one of the only people who had never judged him for his appearance was gone.

Of course, people still treated him respectfully to his face. He could not pretend he did not hear what they said when they thought he was not listening, though. He also could not deny the obvious reason for recent rise in transfers from his division. Even his third seat had been unable to stay under the command of the monster captain.

A light knock on the door snapped him out of his thoughts. "Come in," he called.

The door slid open to reveal Tetzuezaemon Iba, lieutenant of squad 7. "Sir," he said bowing respectfully, "I have come to help you prepare for your meeting."

Sajin cursed inwardly. He had forgotten that all captains, lieutenants, and third seats had meetings today.

"Is something the matter, Captain?" Lieutenant Iba asked.

"Nothing that you can fix, Tetzuezaemon," the weary captain replied.

The walk to the first division headquarters was something Sajin used to enjoy. It was a leisurely few moments he had alone to just think. Now, however, he could only think of all of the stares he received as he passed through the crowded streets. Sajin resisted the urge to run.

Several grueling minutes later he reached his destination.

Sajin looked to where the third seats were gathered before they were let into their meeting room. Wait, he thought. There is someone here from my squad.

"Tetzuezaemon," he called to the lieutenant, who was already headed toward his own group. "We have a third seat now?" He felt completely idiotic asking such a question.

"Yes, Captain. She was a transfer from the ninth. She passed the test; she almost beat me. I thought, since you were so preoccupied, it might be alright to let her have the position, at least until you can review her yourself." He bowed deeply. "My apologies, sir, I should have consulted you first."

"It is fine, Tetzuezaemon. Calm down. I have been acting rather strangely recently. In the future, please consult me first." Sajin looked into the group and tried to figure out which one was his new third seat. "Bring her by my office tomorrow morning."

"Yes, sir." With another bow, Iba went off to join the other lieutenants.

AN: So there it was. Love it, hate it, want to burn it and dance on the ashes? Let me know! Remember, I am still quite new to this whole experience, so any helpful ideas or explanations of fanfic terms would be most appreciated (but please be nice. i am a humble nerd who only wishes to write and live in peace).