Disclaimer ~ I do not own Bleach. This chapter contains spoilers for chapter 462 of Bleach. If Toshiro seems OoC to you... I suggest reading the author's note at the bottom for an explanation. Also, I wish to warn that this fanfic may seem dialog heavy, particularly compared to my other fanfics. There is a reason for this. Small variance from my story Admiration too.


It stood to reason that when those with full bring wouldn't stick around once their powers were enhanced. The shinigami and others watched as they quickly disappeared, making everyone anxious about what the future held. It was decided that it was time to fill Ichigo in on certain matters, that of the first Substitute Shinigami.

They met up at Ichigo's house, in his small room. Byakuya picked up one of the books Ichigo had that was written by Shakespeare. As he slumped against the wall on the bed, Kenpachi and Ikkaku sat cross legged on the floor, while Renji leaned up against the wall. Toshiro sat on the bed, his own legs crossed, while Ichigo sat in his computer chair.

Rukia had decided to keep the two Kurosaki girls occupied while the meting took place since she knew them very well and both girls knew something was up. Isshin and Urahara disappeared to take care of Chad and Orihime, while Uryu returned to the hospital, so that his father wouldn't know that he had disappeared, at least in theory.

"You are wondering about the substitute shinigami, right?" Hitsugaya stated.

"Of course I am Toshiro." Ichigo stated.

For some reason, the small taicho didn't correct him and simply started into talking. He gave first the basic details of the man's connection to Soul Society as an ally, not explaining how the man came to have the powers that he did. One aspect of his personality became clear from Toshiro's words, the man was power hungry, much like Aizen was.

"As for the reason why he ended up with his powers, it is a similar situation to you and Kuchiki Fukutaicho, yet completely different." Toshiro spoke up. "The reason that man needed your powers to become a shinigami again is because his powers were awakened by your own father. We didn't know at the time though, that your father was involved or that his powers had been stolen, until your father was stuck in the human world."

"My old man hasn't been very upfront about his past."

"He used to be..." The small taicho found himself interrupted.

"Hitsugaya Taicho..." Byakuya spoke up, eying the small taicho coldly. "That information isn't important to this meeting."

"I guess not." At that, Toshiro reached up a hand to scratch his head. "Anyways, we don't know what that man has planned, but I don't think it is at all good. Well, it stands to reason that is true, so..."

At that, the Kuchiki noble spoke up again. "If it is something that can be concluded by just thinking about it, you don't need to say it."

At that, Hitsugaya paused for a few seconds, regaining his train of thought. "The only thing we can do right now is make plans on the defensive. Though, truth of the matter is, I think the head taicho has an idea of what to do, he just isn't letting us know at this point. We also need to approach the Vizard, as they are honestly effected by this too."

"Well, I'm leaving." Kenpachi suddenly stood up. "Thinking and defense is not my strong suit. That belongs to other captains. I'm going to go find a place to crash for the time I'm staying here." At that point, Renji and Ikkaku followed suit, leaving only three of the males in the room.

Byakuya continued to read the book, seeming to ignore what was going on around him. Ichigo turned to the small taicho sitting on the bed, who seemed to be full of a lot of pent up energy. "Your were saying something about my father?"

"Your otosan..." Toshiro found himself quickly interrupted by the other taicho.

"I think that this is something that man should tell his son, don't you think?" The Kuchiki noble flipped a page in the book.

"My father has had over a year to tell me what he wants to tell me." Ichigo stated firmly.

At that, the small taicho suddenly began speaking again. "He used to be my former taicho. I actually replaced him when he disappeared from soul society. I served in the tenth division as his fukutaicho. He was rather annoying at times and collected these whistles. The collection is still stored in the division."

"So... you're telling me that you personally know my father Toshiro?" Before the small taicho could answer, Ichigo spoke up again. "Wouldn't that make you both the youngest and the oldest in our family?"

"I don't follow." Toshiro stated, simply watching the substitute shinigami.

"What month were you born?" The question was rather sudden.

"December... why?" While the small taicho seemed unfazed, while Byakuya's eyebrow twitched.

"You are older then me in years, but you are physically younger then Karin and Yuzu." Ichigo stated, watching as Toshiro's jaw suddenly dropped.

At this point, Byakuya suddenly spoke up. "While Hitsugaya Taicho has matured when it comes to people commenting about his height, it is still not a good idea to mention anything along those lines." The man flipped another page. "This writer... he is not Japanese, is he?"

The orange haired teen opened his mouth to say something, only to have Toshiro beat him to the bunch. He blinked a couple of times, surprised that the small taicho got ahead of him like this. "William Shakespeare is an English play write who lived during the Elizabethan time period. He is considered one of the greatest writers in the world."

"Says who?" The Kuchiki male continued reading.

At that, Hitsugaya's pace slowed down. "Ichimaru..."

"You know full well I don't care for that man's opinion Hitsugaya Taicho." Byakuya spoke up, just as the corner of the small taicho's mouth twisted up in frustration.

"It's not just Ichimaru who says that though. He's my favorite author." Ichigo piped up.

"Even more reason for me not to believe he is one of the best." The man continued making snipes.

At that, the Kurosaki male let out a deep sigh. "His work is studied in colleges and stuff and is considered important academically."

"I've actually read all of his work and I enjoyed it. I..." Toshiro stopped short when he received a glare from Byakuya.

"I'll be going elsewhere to read this. While you may be excited to see Kurosaki Ichigo again, Hitsugaya Taicho, be sure not to bother him too much." At that, the other male suddenly got up and headed out of the room.

Two teal eyes blinked a couple of times. "Sorry if I'm bothering you Kurosaki."

Ichigo though simply smirked at the white haired youth. "While your talking may eventually become bothersome, I think it is nice that you've come to find your voice and you feel more free to be yourself."

"Unohana Taicho has actually been working with me on that. Ever since the Winter War, she insisted she see me to talk over certain things because she was afraid I would bottle them in. I've still got a lot of things to work on..." The small taicho glanced at the ground. "A lot if you can't tell from Captain Kuchiki's reaction. He stopped me from talking excessively earlier, when we were confronting the first substitute shinigami."

"How are things with you and whats her face?" Ichigo asked. "You know, the girl who you grew up with?"

"Hinamori? She hasn't really talked with me unless our duties call for us to talk. Unohana says that we should sit down for counseling, but Hinamori absolutely doesn't want to have anything to do with me anymore. She's not exactly... very forgiving of perceived wrongs."

"How do you feel about what happened?"

"I know that I shouldn't blame myself for what happened to her that day. I didn't know what was really going on. Still, we grew up as siblings and I don't like seeing her hurt. You understand that feeling though, not being able to protect your sisters."

"Yeah. I do. How's Rangiku-san doing?"

"Matsumoto?" The small taicho paused for a bit. "She acts like she's doing fine, but truth is she really misses Ichimaru. I believe that they were classmates, graduating from the academy with each other. I think there was something more to their relationship, but I don't feel comfortable prying. Something tells me I don't want to. Some people think she should move on, because of the way Gin was."

"What do you think? You just called him by his first name, didn't you?"

At that, Toshiro blinked a couple of times. "Yes... I did. He was annoying and couldn't ever stop calling me Shiro-chan and Chibi Taicho. He liked finding ways to aggravate me, but I never really thought of him as someone who would harm me or those I cared about, because of how close he was to Ran-chan, but then he pulled this stunt. I'm not surprised, but something always felt off."

"Because he planned on turning on Aizen the whole time I think." Ichigo pipped up.

There was a pause from Hitsugaya and then he spoke up again. "Well, that would make sense. I lost my temper with him when Momo went nuts like she did after reading Aizen's letter that was meant to trick her, but now that I think about it, I never felt an intent to kill form him. It was all from me because he hurt Momo."

There was a slight pause. "Do you think he planned to fight me like that?"

"I don't know the details Toshiro." Ichigo stated. He then found himself simply watching as the small taicho talked to him about various things, well into the night.

Author's note – It didn't turn out anything like I wanted it too, simply because I am not used to writing someone who is exuberant about talking. I kept thinking of different ways the conversation could go and different orders... to many ideas.

Anyways... I was going to explain why Toshiro's behavior is off, because I honestly think that people will notice. The piece is actually theoretical and I may have taken this one too far. Anyways, I noticed hat Toshiro's behavior in this chapter was perhaps different from it normally was. He was basically more open to talking with people, particularly Ichigo.

He spent time actually going into detail about the first substitute shinigami, giving Ichigo details despite the fact he normally holds back. It was also during a time that speaking about things wasn't a good idea and he got chides by Byakuya about the whole matter. If so, it would prove to be interesting character development for him.