Little Tsu: After reading the chapters of Bleach in the Deicide Arc, I really cried my heart out. So, without further wait...I dedicate this story to Gin Ichimaru, the previous Captain of Squad Three.
This is also technically the ending towards after Toshiro & the others had gotten Tsubaki back after losing her in "Gomenasai Captain".
The parts in italics are the flashbacks.
Always Watching Over Me
Life can throw many things your way...A lot of it is good...But so much is also bad...Some of it so bad in fact, that's it's hard to move forward...It makes life so much harder for you and you feel like you just can't continue on.
Right now, I'm feeling such a pain in my small chest as I stand here upon the edge of the cliff where the Sokyoku resides.
...A pain...that I wish would just vanish...And as my dark sapphire eyes gaze up emptily towards the vast skies, I'm unable to stop the flashbacks that entered my mind.
"My my...You've certainly come a long way since I first saw you, though you were unconscious...Have you been keeping up with your grades?"
My eyes glanced up innocently towards the man before me to see who had spoken rather cheerfully to me. It was then that my gaze was set upon you;...Gin Ichimaru, the Captain of Squad Three for the first time. "...You're Captain Ichimaru, right?...What are you doing here at the Soul Reaper Academy?"
The grin on your face only seemed to get wider if that was actually possible, but then you knelt down in front of me so that you had become more eye level since I was trapped in the body of that of a mere eleven-year-old child. "I've come for you of course...How would you like to be adopted, hm?"
I manage a weak smile as I remember the sheer happiness that it had caused me...The thought of knowing that I was wanted and loved...You gave that to me.
You gave me a family and...you always smiled at my accomplishments...Not the smile you constantly had on your sharp features, but...a genuine smile that showed me everytime I saw it just how proud you were of me.
"Tou-san! Gin Tou-san!" I had found you walking along the wooden floorings of the Squad Three Barracks. When you stopped in your tracks and turned around to face me with a curious look, I couldn't hold back the grin on my face as I leaped up into your arms and told you the news that I felt so proud of. "Tou-san, I've just been appointed ta the Third Seat in the Squad I'm in!"
"Ah, really now. That's very good my little Tsubaki. But you do know that you could easily become Captain, correct?" While one hand was placed under my legs to keep me held up in your arms, your free hand lifted up, only to rest on the top of my head, petting it gently...Normally I hated anyone that called me little, but...coming from you, I loved it...It was like you were calling me your little girl.
"I know Tou-san, but...I wanna stay under Captain Hitsugaya's command. I like being on his Squad and I don't wanna take Rangiku-san's position from her so I'm really happy with being Third Seat."
"Hm...Well, if my little Tsubaki is pleased with her position, then I am too...Why don't we go get some ice cream to celebrate, hm?"
My eyes had lit up as brightly as they always did whenever you showed pride towards me...I loved seeing you happy and proud of me...Proud to call me your daughter.
...I was...- am - happy to be your daughter.
"...Tou-san?" It's night out right now and we're sitting on the top of a grassy hill that I had dubbed my special place. It was just the two of us and we were both gazing up at the stars in contentment.
"Hm?...What is it little Tsubaki?" I don't move my gaze away from the star filled sky, but I can still see that you had turned your own closed eyed gaze towards me out of the corners of my eyes.
"Will we...always be together? I mean,...will you always be here for me...no matter what?" When I heard nothing but silence, I started to get scared...I was beginning to get scared of what you were going to eventually say to me as your answer.
"...I'll never leave you Tsubaki...You're my daughter. I'll always be here for you no matter what." Your voice had been soft, yet filled with such a serious tone that it had surprised me because I had never heard such a tone from you before. It caused me to stray my gaze from the sight before us, only to be met with your eyes opened in their narrowed expression; your crimson depths staring down into my own sapphire. Those eyes of yours could pierce the very heart and soul of almost anyone with fear and yet,...no other set of eyes could've suited you more, nor the soft, rare genuine smile that played your features.
You had lied though...You didn't stay with me always...Instead, you betrayed the Soul Society and went with Aizen and Tosen.
You left...And you never came back...It was then that I thought my very world had come crashing down around me. As the look on your face flashed before my eyes, it took everything I had to hold back the tears that threatened to fall.
"Too bad..." You glanced behind yourself towards Rangiku; my Luetenant and the one I could easily tell had been the one you loved truly. "It would have been nice if my capture had lasted a little longer. Farewell, Rangiku...Sorry."
It was then that your gaze had turned towards me...I was standing right in front of you not even twenty feet away and my eyes stung with tears that began to blur my vision slightly. Your usually constant smile had disappeared then and I could've sworn that I saw a look of genuine hurt and guilt there for only but a second.
However, it was those words you spoke towards me, that made it feel like a zanpaku-to had pierced through my chest. "...Goodbye my little Tsubaki. Take care of yourself."
In all honesty, I never thought I could've felt any more broken than on that day. I never thought...that I'd ever feel pain worse than what I had felt...
But I was wrong. And I wish...that I hadn't been.
It had all felt like slow motion to me...The sight of you falling by Aizen's hand; the one you had sought to betray and take down yourself...It had been your plan all along, hadn't it?...You never really intended on truly betraying the Soul Society.
As I saw all that blood that wasn't Aizen nor anyone else's, but your own, my eyes filled with fright and all I could hear was a loud anguished cry.
Had that really come from me?
It was after that though, that I was immediately at your side as I flash stepped there, kneeling at your side as I desperately grasp onto your large, yet slender hand into my own small ones. There's so much blood and tears are falling freely down my cheeks as they fall onto your beaten body. The sight of you dieing before me was too much for me to handle and I finally broke down.
"Why?...Tou-san, you idiot...You should've let me help you! You can't die on me now! I won't let you!"
As I stared at your pale features, your light lavender hair strewn messily around your barely opened eyes, I felt my heart suddenly shatter as you smile weakly towards me and try to speak, but your voice never came. Instead,...I read your lips so that I would know what you wanted to say. It wasn't until after you finished, that pure dread filled my terrified gaze, but it was when your own gaze hazed over and became dull, that I truly felt my world come crashing down.
"Tou-san?...Tou-san?...Please...Wake up...You promised...You promised! TOU-SAAAAAAAAAAN!" I cried out to you with all the heartache that I felt inside me as I rested my forehead against your chest, crying my heart out.
...But you couldn't hear me anymore...Never again would I hear your voice...or see your smile.
I suddenly never felt so alone...
Lifting up my sleeve covered hand, I wipe away the tears that had fallen. I couldn't help it though...It had been almost a year since your death and I'm still having trouble moving on...It's hard...It's so hard to get over losing the first person that meant more to you than anything else...The one...who made you feel wanted, loved, and alive.
"Tsubaki! Tsubaki, there you are! Do you realize how long I have been searching for you?"
Glancing behind me, I see Captain Hitsugaya standing there in the distance, giving me an annoyed, yet also irritated look. He actually looked a bit out of breath as well so I guess he really had been searching for me for a while now. Sighing lightly to myself, I force on a smile and lift a hand back to him, though I didn't wave it. "Sorry, sorry. I'll be right there Toshiro!"
As I begin to walk off towards him though while he spouted off about it being 'Captain Hitsugaya', a gentle breeze blew passed me, sweeping my waist length dark silver hair and my robes around me. "...Congratulations my little Tsubaki...I'm so proud to call you my little girl."
My eyes widened at the voice and I quickly whirled back around, only to gasp faintly at the sight before me. There you were...Standing right there before me with your oh so rare genuine smile and your Soul Reaper Captain's robes on. "Gin Tou-san!" Taking a quick step towards you with my hand reaching out, you suddenly vanish before my eyes.
My still reached out hand trembled slightly and fresh tears filled my eyes along with streaking my face, but as I slowly lower my hand back down at my side, I lift my head towards the sky one last time. This time though,...it wasn't out of sadness...Instead, a genuine smile graced my child-like features for the first time in so long as it caused me to remember the last thing you had told me before you left for good.
"I will always watch over you...my little Tsubaki."
"Tsubaki! Come on already! You're missing your own party!"
"Coming! Sorry Toshiro!"
"It's Captain Hitsugaya! Just because you're my girlfriend, doesn't mean you get special treatment yet."
Turning back around once more, I ran towards my old Captain with the smile still gracing my features while my white robes boring the 'THREE' symbol on the back proudly, whipped around behind me with my smooth stride.
My name...is Tsubaki Abarai.
...I am the proud daughter of Gin Ichimaru,...the greatest man I would ever know and I...am the new Captain...of Squad Three.
Goodbye Tou-san...And thank you for always watching over me.
...I couldn't have done it without you.
Little Tsu: Well, that's the end. I even actually cried while typing this so I don't know whether to think of it as sad in a heartbreaking way or sad in the pathetic sense, but then again, Gin had been one of my most favorite characters of the series so it had broken my heart after reading the final chapters of his life. Gin Ichimaru will always be in the hearts of his fans & you will always be missed.
Please review, thank you.