AUTHOR NOTE: This is sort of like a what-if story, so what if this happened instead of that, etc. Once again, my beta's parents have banned her form editing (sobs) so I am editing myself and I do so very sucky editing, as my beta says.
I have worked very hard on this, and researched (aka Wikipedia) lots, so please take the time to review!
SO without ado, please enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own bleach, ! All rights go towards Tite Kubo.
Prologue: Ume No Tsubasa (The Wings of Fate)
~Poised high, waiting for the collision of fates, strings released, chains unbound, there was silence as it took a breath and. . .~
A short, white haired kid ran barefoot through the dirty streets of Rukongai, panic and worry clear on his face. His normally pure, snow white hair was streaked with dirt and blood, his hakama was torn and blood dripped out of the wounds that covered his body. Guilt burned through him as he ran; everything was his fault. Running through the crowds of people looking at him oddly, he continued to search for his friend, refusing to give up. Tears were welling up behind his eyes, but they never fell. Instead, the sky began to cry for him, driving the people off the street.
Thunder and lightning continued, and the constant rain that soaked his hakama through turned into bitter cold hail stones that relentlessly attacked his unprotected skin. Vaguely, Hitsugaya registered the fact that it was raining, no, hailing once again. It always seemed to do that when he felt sad or angry. It was almost as if the weather followed his emotions and mimicked what he wanted to do. He pushed the unnecessary thoughts from his mind and focused solely on finding his missing friend. 'Who is probably freezing cold and lost,' he berated himself.
"Hinamori! Oi, Hinamori!"
He closed his eyes and tried to sense where Hinamori was. Recently, he found that he could tell where she was just by closing his eyes and thinking about her. It was hard to explain; he could sense other people too but Hinamori stood out because of some unknown reason. He could just sense her. The aqua blue eyes opened, and reflected in them was a deep sense of hopelessness and longing. It was useless, he couldn't seem to sense Hinamori; not in his exhausted state.
He had probably been looking for her all night. He punched a nearby wall in frustration and as he did, memories of what happened flashed through his mind.
"I'll go with you this time, Shiro-chan!"
He stopped and scoffed at her.
"I don't need you, bed-wetter."
Hinamori frowned and folded her arms. She looked around to check whether Grandma had left the room or not before leaning in and whispering into his ear.
"Plus, they might come again."
Hitsugaya stiffened but he didn't reply or turn around. Hinamori frowned and opened her mouth once again to argue. It really wasn't fair; she was the older one, so she should be the one protecting him and doing the work. Knowing Hinamori wouldn't budge, Hitsugaya gave in.
A huge grin spread across her face as she ran forward and grabbed Hitsugaya's arm.
They had bought enough food to last a couple of days and were making their way back when Hitsugaya began to feel a little uneasy. He had the distinct feeling that they were being followed. Hinamori was oblivious to the tension and was happily babbling on and on about how she loved markets and how pretty the sunset looked tonight. But something was wrong; he shouldn't have bought Hinamori with him. Last time they had attacked him, what if this time they attack Hinamori?
"Oi, you white haired freak! I thought we made it clear that you weren't gonna show your ugly face here again!"
"You wanna get another round?"
Hitsugaya's worst suspicions were confirmed; it was the same pair from last time who had attacked him on his way back from the market. He had barely made it home with all his injuries. Hinamori had to spend ages in the river with him, washing off and cleaning the blood and cuts so Grandma wouldn't be so worried. His hands tightened into fists. It wasn't fair; they could hit him for all he liked, just as long as they didn't hurt Hinamori.
"Who's the friend? She wanna get it too?"
Hinamori was visibly trembling, but she forced herself to stay calm. She had come here just for this reason: to make sure Shiro-chan wouldn't get hurt. She took a deep breath.
"Leave us alone."
The two men looked at each other and pulled out 2 swords. Shinigami swords.
"We gonna take her out? She's got nothin' to do with this."
"Of course we take her out, she's with that creep. She has the same aura as him, they both have spirit energy."
As they advanced upon Hinamori, she frantically looked around and met Hitsugaya's eyes. A moment of understanding passed through them, brown to blue. In a flash the men were upon them and there was no more time to think.
FLASH BACK END
There was a moment of confusion and Hitsugaya only remembered running in any direction he could, blood dripping from the wounds he had inflicted and received. He had no idea whether Hinamori got away safely or was right now in the cruel grasps of the men. Everything was just so confusing. However through the mess of jumbled thoughts one stood out.
That's what the attackers had said they both had. It was what Soul Reapers had, he knew, so what was it doing in him and Hinamori? He suddenly realised that it was probably Spirit Energy he was using to sense Hinamori. Normally he would sense her signature so why, why would her signature disappear now? Unless. . .
Hitsugaya shook his head. He refused to consider that option, Hinamori would be fine. They both knew the harshness of the other districts of Rukongai before they moved to District 1 with Grandma; she would survive. She had to. Hitsugaya stumbled as the hail stones below him cut into his bare feet. Where was she?
Hinamori found breathing harder and harder to do; each breath seemed to send painful waves rippling through her ribs and her chest. She coughed and some blood came up with it. It was impossible; she wasn't going to make it. The men had got to her after Hitsugaya had escaped and had left her to die in the rain.
She brought a shaking hand up to touch her left eye. She waved her hand in front of it but it was no use. Blood and tears fell together from her eyes, blending together into a hideous mixture which ran down face and onto her yukata.
She looked up at the gloomy sky and wished for the agonising pain to come to an end. Suddenly the rain turned to hail and stung her wounds heavily. Hinamori gritted her teeth in agony; please just let someone end this.
Lightening flashed brightly and when Hinamori opened her eyes, there was someone standing in front of her. She squinted to see who it was and then pulled back. Who was it? She could just make out the outline of a person. The stranger bent down and lifted a hand to Hinamori's face; she made no move to stop him, she no energy left even if she wanted to.
Hinamori's body arched forward as she uttered a painful cry. The stranger smiled.
Suddenly, there was a blast of enormous spirit energy and the pressure forced Hitsugaya to his knees. He attempted to get up and move towards the familiar source but the pressure made him collapse on the ground, his body unable to fight against the exhaustion.
He felt the pain and fatigue creep up to him and his head rolled forward into a dead faint.
When Hitsugaya found the strength to stand up again, he found Hinamori lying in a crumpled heap at the corner of an abandoned alleyway. As he hoisted her up over his back and made his way back home, he didn't notice the pair of black rimmed glasses lying on the ground next to where Hinamori was. He would regret not remembering later.
~And so fell the blade of destiny that would sever bonds for the new and plunge the world of light into an endless night of which there was no return for the desires ruled. . .~
AUTHOR TIME: SO, what do you think? Drop a review, a flame, or plain greeting, it doesn't matter!