Calm. That was how Hitsugaya Toushirou could describe this day. The sky was sapphire blue. Not a single cloud. He was in the world of living for the usual hollow slaying. The hollows were noting big, but there were quite number of them, so Toushirou was sent. He was currently floating high above some big city in the USA. New York was the name, if he remembered correctly.
His fukutaichou, Matsumoto Rangiku, was only few meters behind him. She was watching his back, as usually. Today it wasn't too hard. There were no hollows left. Remains of the last one were quickly fading away. Rangiku was already planning on shopping spree in the city below.
Toushirou frowned. "Stay sharp, Matsumoto," he said slowly, sensing something strange in the air. It was horrible feeling. Feeling of death. Death of many. But that couldn't be. There were no hollows in that area at the moment. At least he didn't feel any. Nor did his sensors in cell phone detect one.
"Taicho?" Rangiku asked uncertainly. "What," Toushirou snapped annoyed, because she was disturbing him in trying to figuring out what the feeling was. Rangiku didn't flinch, already used to her captain's antics. She just pointed, "What is that?"
She finally caught Toushirou's full attention as he turned around, eyes following the direction in which she was pointing. There, in the distance in the city below them was something happening. From one place was rising dark gray cloud. It was so huge that it slowly started to hide the sky. "I… don't know," Toushirou finally said.
Both shinigamis were watching the smoke rising for a few seconds when Toushirou's cell rang. Toushirou pulled it out and flicked it open. "Yes?" he said calmly. "Ah Hitsugaya-taichou," he heard some shinigami from the twelfth division, "Our sensors are picking up something strange in your area." Toushirou fought rolling his eyes. It was really obvious, that they were picking something up. He felt it, and probably was looking at it. "Our sensors are telling us that there is quite numbers of new dead people. Can you look into it? And if needed, perform konsou?" Toushirou quickly agreed and shut the phone.
Toushirou turned to his subordinate. "Matsumoto, we are going there," he said. "W-what?" Matsumoto asked surprised, "There?" Toushirou only nodded and shunpoed away in the direction of the smoke.
The two shinigamis arrived down to the source of the smoke. And they stopped absolutely horrified. Before them stood not one but two buildings with big smoking holes in them. Big, tall, majestic buildings were in flames. Even high there, where they stood, they could hear the panicked screams of people bellow and sounds of sirens.
"What happened?" Matsumoto couldn't help but ask. "No Idea," Toushirou said truthfully. Normally he didn't care much about the living and their affairs, but now help but wonder what did they do, for something like this happen.
They were still people in those building. Toushirou could see them from where he stood, frantically waving on the helicopters flying around in desperate hope of being rescued. But there was no hope for them. When Rangiku saw that, she gasped and quickly covered her mouth to muffle the sound. But she couldn't hide the tears in her eyes. She was used to fighting and death, but this was too much even for her.
Toushirou carefully came closer. The survivors couldn't see him, so he wouldn't give them false hope, that they can be rescued. He couldn't do that. It was forbidden to change someone's fate. And for those in there was time to go.
"Are you angel?" suddenly came from somewhere. "Wha?" Toushirou looked around surprised. Then he spotted him. A man, who was looking straight at him. The man was one of the unlucky ones, that were trapped above the deadly flames. "Are you an angel?" repeated the man, still looking at him. He was standing on the edge of a broken window.
"Angel?" Toushirou rolled the word on his tongue, "Yes, you might call me that. I'm what you would call Death God. I'm here to collect the souls of dead and lead them to their after life." To his surprise the man smiled. It was calm smile, as if greeting a good friend. "Thank you," the man said, "I will die today. I know that. But I refuse to hide in a corner like a coward and wait for death. My soul is now at ease, now that I know, that someone pure like you is here to lead the way for me. Thank you."
With that he smiled one last time at the young Death God and he make the last step of his life in this world. It was silent. He didn't scream out like one would expect the jumpers at their journey to dead. No, his descend was silent and graceful to the end. Almost as if someone turned down all sound around them.
Toushirou heard Rangiku gasp somewhere behind him. "Don't close your eyes," Toushirou said, "Don't look away, Rangiku. Watch the man that welcomed death as his friend, with head held high, with respect."
Where once stood twin towers, was now only debris and sorrow. For most of those that stood there, the world turned gray. But two sets of eyes weren't watching anything on the ground. They were watching the scene above the disaster. The sky was full of black butterflies. Each of the butterfly was deceased soul. They were all headed to their afterlife. At their tip was a single butterfly, which was leading the way. "Farewell," whispered Toushirou to the butterflies.
This is in honor of all those, who lost their life in the attack ten years ago. But if anyone finds it offending, I will accept that and delete this story.
This was inspired by the photo of a jumper which has the same name "The falling man".