(A/N: If you know me well enough, you know that when a character dies that I'm well attached to that death is not the end. That's exactly what's going to happen with the one and only Leoluch Vi Britannia. Watch the master strategist atone for his sins by becoming a Soul Reaper, but as they say, old habits die hard, and we will soon see Leoluch attempting to work to save the Soul Society from a mad man. This fic starts off prior to the Turn Back the Pendulum arc of Bleach chronology wise. Please enjoy)
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or Code Geass
I…am ready…to enter…hell.
I opened my eyes to find myself lying on my back in a clearing in between two forests. There was a blue sky and white clouds above me.
Did I survive? I wondered. I sat up and felt my chest. No bloodstain, I looked down. I was wearing my casual clothes: my red jacket, my black sleeveless shirt and my navy blue jeans. But that doesn't matter I was killed wearing my emperor robes. Did C.C refuse to let me die? I looked around. No nearby water, she can't be washing out my clothes. I opened my shirt and spread my hand across where I was stabbed. No scar either, even when C.C was injured there were still remnants of her blows. I stood all the way up and re-buttoned my shirt. So I succeeded in dying. I looked around some more, feeling the wind and hearing birds. So then where the hell am I? This place is too peaceful to be hell. Or if it is, it's certainly not like how I imagined it. I closed my eyes. So…now what? Suddenly I noticed a peculiar oddity. With my eyes closed and my mind clear, I could sense several presences. When I opened my eyes they were gone, but when I closed them and focused I could sense them again. What's this strange phenomenon? I questioned. Why can I all of a sudden sense other people? Is this…some form of afterlife power? I should investigate it when I have the chance. For right now, I'll let this power lead me towards shelter.
I followed the presences in my head when I felt I was lost and eventually found myself out in a market square. People seemed to be going about their daily lives and everyone, for the most part, didn't seem miserable. I closed my eyes and scratched my head. This place sure ain't hell. I laughed to myself. Again though, with my eyes closed I sensed those presences again, but I sensed less presences then there were people around me.
Does this mean I can only sense certain people? But if so what do all these people have in common that I can sense? I opened my eyes. And how do they differ from the ones I can't.
"Hey move it!" I heard someone shout and then got rammed from behind and sent tumbling across the ground.
I got up and ran over to the guy that was pushing the cart that rammed me. "Hey, what the hell was that for?" I demanded to know. He didn't respond. I grabbed his shoulder and turned him around to face me. "Answer me! Damn you!"
"Sorry," he said with no flicker of emotion, "You see my business isn't doing to well lately and my wife is sick and you just happened to be in my way."
No…it can't be…I started to back away from the guy.
He blinked a few times, "Hey, what do you want you brat?" he shouted.
"S-sorry," I ran away from him and over in between two stalls and stopped to catch my breath. Do I really still have the Geass? Why didn't I lose it when I died? Shouldn't the contract have ended with my death? I looked around and the shop next to me had a fragment of glass of which I could see my reflection in it sitting on the counter. I walked in front of the stand. "Mind if I look at this for a moment?"
"Not unless you plan on buying it!" the merchant snapped.
I had no time to deal with self-centered people. I had to know if I still had my Geass. "Oh I'm sorry, allow me to rephrase my statement," I looked at the merchant in the eyes, "I'm borrowing this and I'll give it right back."
He changed as if he was under the influence of my Geass. "Yes, go ahead," he said.
I held up the glass to look at it only my right eye showed the Geass emblem reflected in it. I put my finger up to my left eye. The contact lens was still there. I removed it. Both eyes reflected the Geass. I put the lens back and threw down the glass in disgust. It shattered. "No!" I shouted and ran away as far as I could. I ran and I ran and I ran with my eyes shut tight, disbelieving that I was cursed even after death. Instinctively my eyes flew open when I realized I would have ran straight into a lake if I ran any farther. I dropped to my knees and looked at my reflection in the water, seeing my Geass reflected in my right eye. I still had this curse, even after death I could not go on and be at peace with myself.
Calm yourself Leoluch Vi Britannia
I looked up and across over the lake, "Who's there?" I called out. There was no answer. "Answer me!" I covered my right eye with my palm and laughed. I'm getting too old to be hearing voices at my age.
"Excuse me!" I heard someone call out. I turned around to see a small girl with strawberry blonde hair, with bright blue eyes, her hair covering her left eye, run up to me. She was dressed in dirt brown rags. Her top had torn seams on her upper right shoulder.
"Hmm, what is it?" I asked her turning around and clutching my right eye.
She held up her hand, palm facing up. There was a small object in her hand. It was my contact lens. "I saw you drop this when you got hit by that shopping cart. I wanted to return it to you so I followed you here."
"I see," I responded. "Thanks for returning it."
"You're welcome," the young girl said all bubbly. "What's your name?" she asked me.
"Normally it's polite to give your name before asking someone else to give there's," I told her.
She smiled brightly, "I'm Rangiku Matsumoto," she said, "So what's your name mister?"
"I'm Leoluch, Leoluch Lamperouge," I told Rangiku.
"Nice to meet you Leoluch-kun," she said with a smile and extended her hand up to me. I shook it. "Say you wouldn't mind helping me find my friend would you? He always leaves without telling me where he's going and I worry about him."
"Well if you want something from me, perhaps you can give something to me," I stated. She took two steps back in a timid fashion. What brought on that reaction? I shook my head. There are 219 different reasons I can think of that would produce that reaction, but none of which should affect her if I amend my statement. "I just want some information. I'm new here so perhaps you can help me."
"Oh I see, so you just arrived here. Well this is Rukongai," Rangiku told me. "It's the area that takes up the majority of this world called the Soul Society."
"Soul Society?" I questioned.
"Well I mean you died right?" Rangiku asked me.
So this is the afterlife after all. But Soul Society? I never heard of this after life. As I pondered a realization came to me. Wait a minute, this girl's just a kid. "Wait a minute does that mean you also…"
"Huh? Oh, yeah, but…" Rangiku looked down at herself, "It's strange. I used to be so much older than this when I was alive." She cupped her developing chest "And I used to be a lot bigger than this too. She dropped her hands at her sides and looked up at me, but also there are souls here that were born here, but of course I'm not one of them."
"I see." So that means souls here must live a lot longer so they may degrade according to their age. I looked back at the river, but then why am I as I was when I died? Why do the same laws not apply to me? I looked at my hand. I wonder… Rangiku began coughing, "What is what's wrong?"
"It's you…you're…" she gasped as she hit the ground.
Me? I didn't do anything. I still thought it would be best if I put some distance between Rangiku and me. She took a few deep breaths and stood up.
"I see…so you have…spiritual power."
"Spiritual…power?" I questioned.
"It means you're special here. Not all souls have it, but those who do are said to be gifted. Just now your spiritual power leaked out and you have so much of it that it caused me to collapse," Rangiku said to me.
"I see…so I can't be near you," I said, feeling melancholy. Another curse to add onto the pile.
"Now you can come near me, you just have to learn to control your spiritual power," Rangiku said to me.
"How do I do that?" I asked.
"Uh…" Rangiku opened her mouth to speak, but then hung her head.
So she has no idea, I thought.
"Ah…well, you could become a Soul Reaper…but…"
She put her hands behind her back and started squirming in place. "Ah, well, you seem like a good person and well my other friend always leaves me alone and well…I get lonely and so…"
"You want me to live with you is that it?" I asked her. "Sorry, but I'm a loner," I told her. "What's this you said about Soul Reapers?"
Rangiku seemed disappointed in my refusal, but answered my question nonetheless, "Soul Reapers are souls that have gained special powers by joining the military faction the Gotei 13. Only souls with spiritual power and nobles can become soul reapers. If you tried you could easily become one."
"Why does the afterlife need a military organization?" I asked.
"Well, not all souls become pluses like us. Some more evil and corrupted spirits become hollows, at least that's what I've heard. I've never actually seen a hollow, but apparently they're these evil monsters that prey upon innocent souls to grow stronger. They also prey upon living humans. The Soul Reapers protect us from those creatures. They're also like law enforcement here in the Soul Society," Rangiku explained.
My fist clenched. So monsters in this world exist even in the afterlife do they?
Rangiku continued her explanation, "Soul Reapers purify these hollows and purge them of their sins. At least that's what I've heard."
I relaxed a little. It was good to know that the military here prided itself in protecting the weak. I was reminded of the Black Knights. "I think I might join," I said aloud. I walked past Rangiku.
"W-wait," she ran forward and grabbed my sleeve.
I looked at her. She looked like troubled as she looked at me. "Won't you please stay?" she asked.
"I told you before," I said shaking her off. "I walk alone." I continued to walk only to realize Rangiku was following me. "Are you going to follow me until I change my mind? I thought you can't get too close to me anyway," I said glancing back at her.
"There is another way to control your spiritual power. Well not necessarily control it, but the more I stick around you the more I become used to you. You know like an eminuity," she said.
"That's immunity," I corrected. "I told you before though," I put my hands in my pockets and continued to walk. Rangiku wasn't following me, but after I took three steps she started crying. I turned around. "What? Are you crying because you aren't getting your way? I thought you said you used to be older."
Suddenly a make-shift spear landed just to my right. Any closer left and I would've lost a finger. I turned around and saw a kid with silver hair and his eyes shut. He was dressed in similar rags to Rangiku. "Ah nuts. I missed ya."
"Gin?" Rangiku recognized him.
"See and here's your friend, so quit crying will you?" I asked her.
"Hmm, Ran-chan," Gin went over and picked up his spear, "Were you crying cause you wanted ta know where I was?"
"That was part of it, I guess," she sniffed.
I continued to walk on. Their business was not my business. It wasn't long though before that damn spear sailed over my shoulder and blocked my path. I turned around. "You got a problem kid?"
"I got a couple a choice words for ya. Ya seem kind a out of place ta me in those clothes see? And on top of that I don't let anyone who makes Ran-chan cry just walk away," Gin said to me.
"She's only crying because I've decided to become a Soul Reaper rather than staying with the two of you. I told her a couple of times before she started turning on the water works that I'm a loner, but she wouldn't listen," I explained.
"Being a loner ain't exactly the best idea ya know? And besides it's a long walk from here to the Seireitai where da Soul Reaper folk reside. Yer best stickin with us till de send a patrol unit down here and then go back wit da patrol," Gin told me.
"Why's that? When your alone you make your own rules. When you're alone—"
Gin cut me off, "When yer alone yer da perfect target fer hollow bait. And you my friend are mighty tasty lookin. If I were a hollow I'd find yer appearance and spiritual power ta be absolutely delicious. If ya want ta get eaten fine by me."
"You're bluffing," I stared at him.
"If I were bluffin I wouldn't a been carrying this spear around. Ran-chan's supposed to stay in our little hut whenever I go out, but I guess I took to long dis time," he scratched his head.
"You take too long a lot of times Gin and you never tell me where you're going either," Rangiku snapped at him.
"My bad, my bad," Gin apologized. He looked at me, "Come on big guy you don't want ta have it on your conscience if somethin bad happens ta this poor innocent little girl do you?" Rangiku put on the most innocent look she could.
"Isn't that what the Soul Reapers are for?" I asked.
"De Soul Reapers can't exactly keep track of every little soul. It's not uncommon for two little brats like Ran-chan and me to suddenly die or starve ta death. If we do though it's no skin of dere backs, we'll just become reincarnated as living souls," Gin answered.
They don't care? That didn't sit right with me.
"Da Soul Reapers pride demselves in protectin us, but de can't always protect all of us. It's survival of de fittest for us non-Soul Reaper folk," Gin continued.
"Please stay Lelouch-kun," Rangiku looked at me with pleading eyes. For a moment I thought I was looking at Nunnally before she was blind and crippled, but I closed my eyes and shook my head to the side slightly and dashed away such images. "Gin always brings back more food than we need every time he goes out. We can sustain you until a patrol unit comes by."
I looked to the side avoiding eye contact and scratched the back of my head. "I suppose I can stay. I mean…it's not like it's a big rush." It really wasn't. The Gotei 13 may not be able to protect everyone, but at least they were trying. That would change when I got there. The Soul Society had existed this long till I got here. A bit of time spent protecting these kids wouldn't make much of a difference till I got there and worked my way up to make them a more efficient group.
"Then its settled, you'll stay wit us till da patrol unit comes by. Follow me," Gin took off.
"Come on Lelouch," Rangiku ran off.
"Hey wait a minute!" I called out. I ran after them and they started getting really far ahead of me. Damn it, at this rate I'll lose them. I closed my eyes as I ran only for that strange power to kick in. I stopped. I can…I can sense Rangiku and Gin. With my eyes closed, using my senses I followed not where they were, but where I thought they might be heading. Like a blind person I used this sixth sense to navigate my way towards Rangiku and Gin. Eventually I realized they had stopped moving and I opened my eyes to see us in front of a wooden cabin. There was a small pond nearby and a log set out in front of the house.
"Oh my, did ya get here by sensin' us Lelouch?" Gin asked.
"I…guess I did," I said holding my head.
"Yer gonna be a great Soul Reaper if you can already sense people wit spiritual power like dat," Gin told me.
"I'm…really out of shape," I admitted.
"Ah well…being a Soul Reaper should fix dat den. I've been in Rukongai a while and I've seen even some folks as big as whales move like dere in top form," Gin stated, "Provided you can handle the rigorous trainin I hear bout, you'll be fine." He walked past me. "Anyway I gotta get goin and get back ta what I was doin. Stay here wit Ran-chan would ya?"
"Hey hold on now. I thought you said being a loner was a bad thing," I looked at him.
Gin looked up at the sky, "Judgin from de position of the sun it's still midday. Hollow attacks become more frequent at night. I got time."
"Then we'll all go together," I said to him.
"I move faster on my own. I need ya ta stay here wit Ran-chan while I go out an get some food. Yer not fast enough ta hunt and yer not crafty enough like I am to steal without gettin caught. I can spot my own kind. Yer not my kind, but yer close." He opened his eyes and looked at me. The blue color and the fact that they were only open halfway made him look really creepy with that big huge smile on his face. "Yer lucky Ran-chan likes ya. Like I told you before you look mighty tasty ta hollows and I enjoy swallowing up tasty lookin people like a snake." He then took off leaving me feeling rather disturbed.
"You have a weird friend," I told Rangiku.
"Gin's might be a bit off center, but he's got some good qualities to him. I mean he might leave all the time, but he always comes back. He's very reliable especially when I ask him for something," Rangiku defended the kid.
"Well anyway, the place looks nice," I said and walked up to the door, "Let's see the inside."
Inside the house there were no working lights except for a couple of candles. There was a low rising table, some crates scattered about, a single bed and a pillow and some blankets. There was no food stored anywhere visible. "How do you guys survive without stored food?" I asked.
"In Soul Society you only get hungry if you have spiritual power and even then only if your power is exhausted, but Gin stores the leftovers in the crates," Rangiku said and opened one revealing food that was thrown about inside the crate. There were stacks of crackers, some tomatoes, some apples, some bananas and a couple of carrots and potatoes. "Help yourself."
"Thanks," I said going for an apple. I examined it to make sure it wasn't rotting, cleaned off some dirt and looked around.
"What are you looking for?" Rangiku asked.
"Well this should be properly washed shouldn't it?" I asked.
"You can use the pond if you want, but I've never gotten sick after I brushed the dirt off," Rangiku stated.
I sighed. I guess immune systems are higher here in the Soul Society. Well, bottoms up. I bit into the apple.
A few hours later
Gin came back as Rangiku and I were playing chess. Apparently she and Gin had a set locked away in one of the crates as well as some other games like Checkers, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Go. I was going easy on Rangiku, but I wasn't about to let her win either.
"Ah so yer playin chess are ya?" Gin asked as he dragged a big bag behind him into the house.
"Yeah," I said and moved my queen to E4. "Checkmate." I told Rangiku.
"Hey!" she got mad that I had led her on the whole game.
"What's in the bag?" I asked Gin.
"Well," Gin reached into it and pulled out a pillow and a few blankets. "You need a place ta sleep." It seemed like that stuff had been taking up most of the room in the bag. He pulled out a big object. "I also got this." He leaned up a mirror on the far side of the wall. "Now you don't have ta use de pond ta see yer reflection Ran-chan."
"Ah, wow it's perfect," Rangiku ran over to the mirror and began posing in front of it. Gin finished unpacking, which included a couple of loafs of bread and a bucket, which I could only assume would be for getting the water out of the pond for drinking. He sat down at the table in front of me. "You play?" he asked.
"Yeah," I nodded.
"I'm really good at dis game ya know?" Gin's smiled widened.
"You want to go a round?" I asked.
"Sure thing," Gin said.
"I have to warn you though, if you're gonna tell me you're good at this I'm not going to hold back like I did with Rangiku," I said resetting the board.
"Would be a waste if ya did," Gin told me. We started playing and I could tell right away that Gin was no amateur. He was good, but I was better. He was surprised that after I moved the pawn in front of my king that I moved my king. "Hmm, dat's an interestin move," he commented.
"If the king does not move into battle his men won't follow," I told Gin.
The game continued and then Rangiku started watching. After a while longer I lost half my pawns a bishop and a rook. Gin had lost both his knights, almost all of his pawns and one rook. Currently it was his turn.
He moved his white squared bishop. "Check."
I took his bishop with a nearby pawn. He moved one of his remaining pawns. I took it with my Queen. "Check." He moved his king out of the way. I moved one of my pawns to the edge of the board and took back my rook. "Checkmate."
Gin looked at the board and opened his eyes to examine it more thoroughly. He looked at me, closed his eyes and smiled. "Whatdya know? Ya got me."
"Wow Lelouch you must be really good if you can beat Gin," Rangiku told me.
"How could you tell don't you two just play by yourselves?" I asked.
"Nah," Gin said and went over to one of the grates and pulled out a plaque. "I got dis a couple a months ago."
The plaque was an award for victory in a chess tournament in the market square. According to this Gin placed second. "I woulda won completely, but I got beat by a Shinigami. I remember him clear as day: square rimmed glasses and brown hair. I don't remember his name, but de next time I see dat guy I'm gonna have ya play him. I think ya might be able ta beat him."
"That's high praise, I thought you didn't like me," I teased.
"Who said I didn't like ya? When I said ya looked delicious I was complimentin ya," he said. He looked at the window the moon was out. "Anyway we should get some sleep. Pick a spot on da floor and set up da pillows and blankets dere kay?"
I set up my blankets and the pillow next to the chess table. I laid my coat down on one of the nearby crates. Rangiku climbed onto the bed and Gin set up his blankets next to her bed. I lay down and closed my eyes. "Good night Gin. Good night Lelouch-kun," Rangiku said.
"Night Ran-chan," Gin said.
"Good night Rangiku," I said. I was asleep within minutes only to be shaken awake. I opened my eyes to see Rangiku. She looked frightened. It was still dark out and I could hear gin snoring.
"Rangiku it's still the middle of the night, what's wrong?" I asked, with a groaning tone.
"I had a nightmare," she said.
"Nunnally what's wrong?" I asked her.
"I had…" Nunnally sobbed. "I had a nightmare."
I sat up and held Nunnally. "Hey, hey it's ok, don't cry. Your big brother's not going to let any bad things happen to you. You sleep with me tonight ok Nunnally. I'll keep the bad dreams away."
"Thank you Lelouch," she said nuzzling into me.
I sighed. Being with her is going to be so nostalgic. "Do you want to sleep with me?" I asked Rangiku. She nodded meekly. I lifted up the covers for her. "All right, come on." She snuggled into my chest and put my arm around her.
"I'm glad I asked you to stay with us Lelouch. Gin's like a friend, but in the short time you've been here you've been like a big brother to me," Rangiku then fell asleep in moments.
Have a pleasant dream, Rangiku.
(A/N: Ok, chapter one is done. So for those confused let me repeat this is taking place well over 100 years before Bleach. This is before Gin became a Shinigami so it means this is before Urahara became a captain as well. How will Lelouch adjust to life in the Soul Society? Will Rangiku start to become attached to her new "onii-chan" that Gin gets thrown to the wayside? I'm not going to ask who the Shinigami is that beat Gin in chess, because I'm sure it should be obvious. Still, when Rangiku gets back to being older boy oh boy will Lelouch have a surprise XD. On top of that, just what was that voice that told Lelouch to calm down? Anyway hopefully you guys reading this can tell me if I should continue this project or not. I would like some feedback on the subject. See ya!)