Chapter 61: The Grand Finale
Hi everyone ^^ As you know, this fanfiction…Is very, very nearly at its end T-T IN fact, this is the FINAL chapter! There may or may not be a sequel, I plan on starting a Fragile Dreams fanfiction soon (You should buy that game…So beautiful and sad at the same time…And frickin' creepy…) But, ahem, anyway, As you know, I own neither Bleach nor its characters (or Fragile Dreams) But I own every inch of my OCs :O…Minus the Bleach parts of them XD
"Thank you. I'll be on my way now." Kikyo said politely to the nurse, a bright but forced smile on her face as she walked out of the hospital room, leaving Yuriko, Toshiro and the nurse behind.
"Thank you." Toshiro repeated with a small nod of his head, the nurse bowing, before he followed her, his face concerned, with furrowed eyebrows and his mouth twisted into a frown.
"Are you sure you're alright?" he asked worriedly once he'd caught up to Kikyo, who was walking with a rather fast pace, her true feelings still hidden behind her false expression.
"Of course I'm alright, Toshiro. I can't…Cry at every little thing right? I have to be strong. I'm perfectly fine." Her voice was awkwardly happy, but her expression changed when Toshiro's hand wrapped around hers tightly, stopping her quick steps as they stood there side by side in the fourth division corridors.
"You're right." Toshiro broke the silence, "You can't cry at every little thing. But…That doesn't mean you can't show any emotion at all. There were times when I let my emotions get the better of me…And I regret that…" Toshiro closed his eyes as he remembered the time he'd lost it whilst battling Aizen and foolishly charged towards him, resulting in the fall of nearly all of his comrades, "But sometimes it's best to let it out because if you don't…it will hurt even more" (OOC ftw 8D) "I heard about the danger Monami Yuki is in. Anyone with a heart would be upset."
Toshiro widened his eyes when Kikyo placed a hand on his cheek, she was still smiling, although this time, the hint of falseness didn't exist, "Thank you, Toshiro, but…I'm not upset. Because I believe in Yuki. You…were always superior to her, so…you might not see her hidden strength too, but…Yuki has always been strong. Not just physically…But mentally. If ever we were in a time with great sadness, she would never let her unsure emotions show; she would put on a smile…Even though it was difficult…So that I would be at ease. That's why I'm not sad, Toshiro. Because I think- I know that Yuki will win."
Toshiro's eyes remained wide throughout the speech, but once she had finished, they slowly closed and a sigh escaped his mouth, "I guess you're stronger than you used to be, Kikyo." He opened his eyes into a smirk as Kikyo chuckled back,
"You're right. And anyway," She abandoned his hand to link arms instead, "I'll always have you."
(Don't worry; the corny moments are over 8D)
"You think I have a crush on him? Are you crazy or what! As If I would like him, I think I hate him more than I like him!" Midori snapped, although her face was bright scarlet,
"Yeah, yeah, of course." Etsuno teased as Shinjiro smiled with her,
"I-It's okay, Midori…We don't mind if you do." He tried to reassure her, which ended up useless, just angering her even further,
"What do you mean 'We don't mind if you do'?" she replied with an actually quite accurate imitation of Shin's voice, "Even if I did like him, I wouldn't give a f-beep-ck about what you think!"
"Quite irresponsible, talking like that in front of children." A familiar male voice chuckled from behind her, a scowl appearing on Midori's face as she turned to face Yasahiro,
"Shut your mouth, you!" she snapped furiously before storming off into the shadows, her glistening emerald glare just about visible in the darkness as it aimed at the two children and the chuckling man,
"What's wrong with her?" Yasahiro asked with a smile at the two children, Etsuno giggling mischievously,
"Oh, Midori's just growing up!" She replied happily.
Yuki panted, her used-to-be-smooth skin now covered with scratches and wounds as she stood opposite Akuma, who was in no better shape as she stood before her blood daughter, her eyes hatred itself as they glared at the exhausted Yuki,
"Let's…End this…Now…" Yuki said through her teeth between breaths, Akuma nodding in agreement as beads of sweat rolled down her fair skin, sticking her tangled locks to her forehead. Yuki looked down, she knew it wasn't time to be doubting herself…But could she really pull it off? The fate of Soul Society pretty much rested on her shoulders…That was quite a lot of pressure to put on a single woman.
Now's not the time for negative thoughts! Be positive! Positive as can be! You're gonna win! Moeru's voice cheered her on in an encouraging manner, a smile suddenly appearing on Yuki's lips, although not at her zanpakuto's cheering, but at the idea that had just come into her mind at that moment,
No-Wait! Moeru exclaimed suddenly, N-Now don't be rash! Don't you understand the consequences of the decision! Now let's carefully think this through-
It's okay, Moeru. I know exactly what I'm doing…And the results of this action. Yuki interrupted confidently, her voice perfectly calm,
But if you do that…What about Kikyo?
Kikyo…Is a very strong girl. And even so…She has Hitsugaya with her. I've always…loved her like my daughter. I wouldn't do anything that would hurt her…Usually…But this time is different…This is best for her…And Soul Society. Moeru could hear the sureness and happiness just from Yuki's words as she spoke, every single word was so full of confidence that it sounded ready to burst, she sounded…So wise, and mature…
I guess…There's no stopping you, then Yuki. Please…Be sure this is what you want though. Moeru's voice echoed, Yuki widened her eyes a fraction when she heard sobbing from inside her head…her zanpakuto…Was crying?
And I thought…This was the time to be positive. It's not a zanpakuto's job to cry, Moeru. I'm sorry, but I don't think shikai form is suited for this job…I'd like you to revert back to normal now. Yuki could hear sniffing in her head as, with a dim light, her two fans morphed back into her red-hilted sword.
Akuma laughed in disbelief as Yuki stood before her, her eyes burning with bravery as she stood before her with the sword tightly gripped in both of her hands,
"You really plan on beating me with that? With not even shikai?" Akuma sniggered, a dark sneer on her face, which turned into a furious scowl when Yuki didn't look at all offended or intimidated, but instead…Smug?
I just need to taunt her a little…Yuki thought to herself, a determined, serious face behind her smirk, "Oh, seriously, I could defeat you unarmed. Heck, probably even with my hands tied behind my back!" Yuki chuckled, relying absolutely on her acting skills, feeling deep relief when Akuma growled with rage, "Oh, growling like a dog now? Or, for your case, should I say a weak, helpless puppy?"
"You brat…" Akuma said through her teeth, her eyes burning with fury, making Yuki feel uneasy as they connected with her own, silver eyes. "I'm going to kill you."
Yuki's smirk widened into a grin, "Oh yeah? I think I'd sooner see a pig fly!" she teased, sticking her tongue out, "Hmph, I think a pig would be more attractive than y-" Yuki's eyes widened as she stopped mid-sentence to only cough up an alarming amount of blood, closing one of her eyes in agony as Akuma smirked at her,
"I think that's where you're wrong, Yu-u-ki." She whispered into the doubled over woman's ear, her cold breath sending a shiver down her spine, "Because…I don't see any flying pigs right now. Do you?"
Yuki didn't reply as her open eye wandered down to her stomach, where the excruciating pain was located, seeing exactly what she expected to see. The blade of Yuki's humungous scythe had gone right through her, so far that the point peeked out of her back. It had slipped through her as effortlessly as a knife through butter, how fragile the body was...
"It's over." Akuma hissed with demonic delight as the life seemed to vanish out of Yuki's eyes. She was just about to rip her weapon out of the dying woman when she stopped, her jaw dropping and her eyes wide as a weak, but definite grin appeared on Yuki's face, her eyes not quite dead yet as she lifted her left hand weakly, her other tightly grasping her zanpakuto, and placed it on the staff part of the scythe, her fingers wrapping around it as she used every ounce of her strength to stop Akuma from escaping,
"You're…wrong…" Yuki choked, almost inaudibly as Akuma trembled, sweat still trickling down her cheek and dripping off of her chin, "It's over…For both of us…" The strength seemed to flow back into Yuki's eyes as she raised her other arm quickly, her murderous pupils staring back into the terrified eyes of her mother, before closing them, May the next world…Be kinder to you, Akuma…I hope you can finally calm down…But if you don't forgive me…I understand. And with that, she drove her sword forward.
(Oh, I know I'm evil for changing scene now 8D But that's the way I roll XD)
Kikyo gasped, freezing mid-step suddenly as she walked alongside Toshiro out of the fourth division, trembling as her smile faded into a frown and her eyes opened wide,
"Kikyo, What's wrong?" Toshiro asked worriedly, looking into her widened green eyes, which, without turning her head flicked towards him,
"I…Have a bad feeling. I don't know why…But I feel cold suddenly…I thought I heard the sounds…Of blood spilling." Kikyo replied, her eyes having relaxed but the frown and the trembling refusing to leave.
"I'm sure it's just your imagination-" Toshiro started before he was interrupted,
"Yuki!" Kikyo exclaimed, "I have to see her now!" and before Toshiro could protest, she found herself running. She didn't even know where she was…She knew she was being stupid…But…She felt as if a force was leading her there, pulling her there, luring her there…
Akuma's neck craned, her eyes even wider than her open mouth as the pain shot through her chest as the gleaming blade was driven slap-bang in the centre of the heart. A trickle of glistening blood was the beginning of what seemed like a waterfall of the red liquid gushed out of both her mouth and her wound as Yuki's eyes finally narrowed, her vision blurring as weakness swept over her.
Her hand limply fell from her weapon, which was still firmly stuck through the witch's chest. Yuki's head fell back limply, her hair falling out of her face as she slid off of her foe's blade, landing in a heap on the floor. The last thing she saw was Akuma falling before her, although now just a blurred mass. Yuki smiled to herself weakly as her area of vision seemed to grow narrower, her eyelids feeling heavy. I did it…It's…Too bad I can't celebrate it with the others…She thought to herself as she finally fell into blackness. Goodbye…Kikyo…Sakura…
And with that, her hand, which was previously balled into a fist, went limp along with the rest of her body as the blood soaked into her clothes, her fingers finally uncurling slowly and her mind clear.
Akuma stared weakly up at the ceiling after hearing her daughters hand hit the floor, splashing in the pool of blood that they lay in. …Why is it…That I'm suddenly feeling…Great remorse. She closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath as a gentle, pure smile crossed her face, It's nice…I feel so peaceful…Like all the hatred and grief has been lifted off of my shoulders…I guess…I should thank you, Yuki. You ended…The misery that was my life…Only now can I be happy…And…I'm sorry…For ending yours. Akuma felt all of the remaining strength leave her body as she, too fell into blackness. She felt light…As if she didn't weigh anything. She couldn't see a thing…But she still felt…She still felt…There. She didn't feel at all surprised when a familiar face appeared before her,
"I can…Finally be with you…Can't I? I missed you…so…so much…And I hope…That you can forgive me for my sins…" she sniffled in pure happiness and warmth as she felt warm liquid trickle from her eyes and down her cheek, tears?
The boy before her, the image of what he used to be, not having aged a day, smiled back at her…He seemed to be glowing…Yes…Akuma thought to herself…You were always my sun...In times of great darkness…You lit the way…
"Thank you, Hiroyuki…You were my first and only lover…" she whispered aloud, and with that, she took his hand. Yuki…I remember…You used to always say that Soul Society wasn't the end…You know what…It may be too late…But I believe you.
Both Akuma and Yuki lay there with smiles on their faces, the blood still spreading across the floor. And this…Was the end of the Kuraitsuki war…
Kikyo widened her eyes, falling to her knees onto the cave floor, not caring that the force of her fall cut her knee against the stone of the cave floor. It was dark…But still light enough to see the two bodies before her. The world seemed to slow down as she stared at the two women…corpses…It seemed to be in slow motion as Toshiro ran to her, calling her name desperately as he approached her. The image of Yuki's pale, lifeless and bloodied face failed to leave her mind as she closed her eyes.
Toshiro wrapped his arms around her as her cries turned into sorrowful screams.
The remainder of the Kuraitsuki clan immediately went silent once the two reiatsu's disappeared…Midori stepped out of the shadows, her eyes fully of grief as she stared at the ceiling, closing her eyes for a moment before walking over to her two relatives, Etsuno and Shinjiro and wrapping her arms around the two sobbing children as the faint, muffled cries of the third division Taichou just about became audible, the sorrowful sound reaching all of their eyes.
And with that, they closed their eyes, every single person in the cave, for a few minutes silence in respect; it was over, with the death of both the miserable witch who caused it and the brave hero who ended it.
Exactly one year later…On the same date of their deaths…
Many shinigami gathered in the streets of Seireitei, most of them crowded together in a large courtyard. The chattering and laughter stopped immediately with the sound of Yamamato's voice. Many heads spun around to face the old but powerful Soutaichou as he spoke,
"Today, we celebrate the day Akuma Kuraitsuki's misery finally stopped and the remainder of the Kuraitsuki clan finally joined us again," He announced, Midori smiling happily as she stood amongst the crowd in her shihakusho, proudly patting the fukutaichou's arm band she wore,
"And at the same time, show our respect for the brave shinigami who ended it all, Kuraitsuki Yuki." Yamamato continued his speech, "Please, for one minute, close your eyes and think of her sacrifice."
The heads of thousands of shinigami lowered as they stood still and silent, the only sound being the slight breeze and the trees as they shifted slowly, their leaves and branches moving in time with the wind,
Finally, Yamamato signalled for the shinigami to open their eyes, "And now, let us move onto celebrations." The gathering of shinigami once again erupted into chatter as the sake bottles were handed out. From her same position as before, Midori clenched her fist in determination, she gulped, closing her eyes, I have to do this! She opened them again quickly, now burning with confidence.
Etsuno giggled, tugging on Shinjiro's sleeve as they just about saw her approach Byakuya Kuchiki over the heads of the people, her cheeks bright scarlet.
Elsewhere, in a quieter place, Kikyo and Toshiro sat side by side on the roof of a house, staring up at the bright, moonlit sky, covered with shining stars, surprisingly peaceful despite the sound of drunken laughter in the background,
"It doesn't seem like a year ago, does it?" Kikyo sighed as she gazed up at the moon, her arms around her legs. In the last year, her hair had grown even longer and her face seemed that little bit less round, her eyelashes also having grown longer. There was not much different about Toshiro, although Kikyo swore he was a few inches taller.
"You're right." Toshiro agreed as Kikyo smiled at him, she stopped smiling when he looked away. He had been…acting kind of strange all day. He didn't seem to want to meet her eyes…Was it…Shyness?
"Are you alright?" Kikyo asked, leaning forward to see his face, which apparently he wasn't expecting as he jumped, Kikyo the only thing stopping him from falling as she grabbed his hand after he slipped. "Phew, that was close." She closed her eyes as she sighed in relief before opening them into a smile, "I don't know what I'd so if something happened to you…You're the only family I've got!"
Toshiro shook his head to her surprise, "I'm not your family." He argued,
"What do you mean, of course you a-"
"Not officially." Toshiro interrupted her, and she froze immediately, before slowly grasping what he was saying,
"Oh…" She replied slowly, "I think I get what you're saying…"
"Do you want to…Become family?" Toshiro asked suddenly, his cheeks burning red as Kikyo widened her eyes,
"You…You mean…You mean…That, right?" she replied nervously, now blushing too after receiving a nod from Toshiro, who was getting worried now. Her face was so shocked that he was beginning to lose confidence,
"It's- It's stupid, just forget I said-" Kikyo smiled before interrupting,
"I'm not saying anything until you ask properly." She said brightly, closing her eyes and grinning as Toshiro sighed in relief, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath before opening them,
"K-Kikyo…Will you marry me?" (If you thought he meant something else, you're a dirty minded freak 8D)
"Wow! What is with this year? Love's everywhere! Love is in the air!" Kikyo and Toshiro both screamed, jumping out of their skins and spinning their head around to see a plastered and grinning Matsumoto behind them who was tightly gripping a sake bottle,
"Matsumoto…" Toshiro growled angrily, a vein popping in his forehead, He had been angry at her before, but now she'd gone too far…He was about to yell when Kikyo held her hand over his mouth, gesturing for him to be quiet,
"Shh. Don't be angry. It's time to be happy!" She smiled before removing her hand and looking at Matsumoto.
"Honestly…What's with the shinigami this year…So many new couples…I mean, with Hikari and Hisagi…Renji and Rukia…And I'm pretty sure something's going on with Yasahiro and Unohana, too." She went on, her face flushed.
"U-Um Matsumoto?" Kira appeared behind her, not expecting to be pulled into a bone crushing hug at all,
"And of course me and Kira!" Matsumoto exclaimed as Kira blushed.
Midori's determination still burned as she approached Kuchiki-Taichou. She felt her confidence drain however when she received a cold glare from him,
"U-Um, Kuchiki-Taichou," She started nervously, fidgeting as she looked up at him shyly,
"What?" He asked icily, just making her feel even worse,
"I…I…" Her cheeks went red as she prepared to say it, "I love you! Will you go out with me!"
She stood there, frozen as he walked away from her, having replied without a seconds hesitation, rather than crying and feeling upset like a normal girl with, Midori instead found herself burning with rage,
"FINE! I DON'T LIKE YOU ANYMORE ANYWAY, BASTARD!" She yelled after him before storming of.
"Although it doesn't seem like everyone had a happy ending." Matsumoto giggled after having heard the exclamation of fury. She finally released Kira, who was getting quite blue, to take another gulp of sake. "Hey, Monami," Matsumoto asked, Kikyo replying before she could say anything else, a large smile on her face,
"Hey, Rangiku-Chan…Soon, It won't be Monami anymore…It's going to be Kikyo Hitsugaya." Kikyo announced the big news.
Kira's jaw dropped and Matsumoto's sake bottle crashed to the floor, shards of glass flying in all directions.
Three months later…
Kikyo yawned as she woke up, stretching out her arms as she threw off the covers and lazily got out of bed, noting that Toshiro wasn't there. "Huh…He always gets up before me." She yawned, glancing at his side of the bed before making her way into the kitchen, where Toshiro, her husband, was sitting in his shihakusho and haori.
"Good morn-" He started to say before Kikyo, out of the blue, suddenly dashed off, her feet pounding on the wooden floor as she ran, "Hey, where are you going?" he called after her, standing up and following her. He found her in the bathroom, bent over the toilet. "Are you alright?" He panicked as Kikyo stood up straight again, her face kind of pale,
"I-I'm fine, I just suddenly felt a bit sick." She replied with a smile, "It's nothing to worry about. I'm going to get into my shinigami clothes-"
"It's not fine. I'm not taking any chances. We're going to fourth division right now." Toshiro interrupted, Kikyo shaking her head,
"But I'm fine!" She protested,
"Come on." Toshiro said stubbornly before grabbing her arm and dragging her out of the house.
"Hm? Hitsugaya and Hitsugaya? How can I help you?" Unohana asked with a smile once they'd entered her office,
"Kikyo suddenly threw up this morning; I want you to make sure nothing is wrong." Toshiro explained before Kikyo could even speak, the latter pouting and crossing her arms,
"Oh, I suppose I'll take a look. I'm sure it's nothing serious though." Unohana said gently, gesturing for Kikyo to come forward. Toshiro stood their anxiously, his arms crossed as he waited for Unohana to finish.
"Oh…Oh my." Unohana chuckled in surprise after examining the third division Taichou, causing Toshiro to panic,
"What! What's wrong! She's okay, right?" He demanded, stopping when Unohana held a hand up, a strange smile on her face as she looked at him,
"There's nothing to worry about, you two…Although this may be a bit of a shock."
Kikyo stared open mouthed and Toshiro's jaw dropped once Unohana explained,
"You've…Got to be kidding me…"
Many, Many years later
(Hey, sorry about all the fast-forwarding, this is the last time, okay? ^^ Sorry if the ending seems rushed, but this is how I've been planning it to end for weeks, okay? *.*)
The short girl walked through the hall, her pace quicker than usual. Her long, snow white hair flowed behind her along with her haori as she approached the large doors, stopping for a second to take a breather, leaning on her knees. I hope I'm not late…She thought to herself as she looked up at the door, her green eyes glistening in the sunlight as she took a deep breath, gulped and pushed open the door, balling her hands into fists as she stepped into the room,
"U-Um, I'm not late, am I?" She asked nervously, staring at the Soutaichou anxiously from across the room,
"No, Hitsugaya Kazumi. You are on time." He replied, the white-haired girl sighing in relief before grinning and jogging over to her position next to her father, who smiled at her proudly as the sound of the Soutaichou's staff echoed throughout the hall.
Hey…Guess what…T0T…That's the end! 8D Did you enjoy it? Did ya! Did ya! Did ya! X10. Ahem, anyway, many, many thanks to you for following this story until the very end…I hope you enjoyed it, and, please, if you are reading this…Even if you never have before, seeing as it's the end of this story…I would be overjoyed if all those who have never reviewed were to do so just this once. I may, or may not write a sequel…Depends on who wants one. So..As a final vote…WHO WANTS A SEQUEL! 8D Although even if I do get loads of votes, it won't arrive for a while…I need to do loads of planning and I have other fanfics to write…Thanks again for reading this whole story! And actually, once again, one last question…WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE OC OF MINE! 8D Just out of curiosity…Sorry to all you Yuki fans…But hey, her death resulted in an adorable marriage proposal right? :D