Disclaimer: Ya. I don't own Naruto or Bleach, but you should already know that...
Chapter 3: New Friendships
"I have good news, Naruto." Sosuke smiled, petting Naruto's fox form and scratching behind his ears.
"What is it, Arujin?" Naruto purred, flexing his claws and stretching his body lazily.
"I made lieutenant, today. We had a ceremony. I am under Captain Hirako Shinji of the Fifth Division."
Naruto noticed the small amount of annoyance at the Captain's name, but didn't say anything.
"See, Arujin? I told you that you just had to be patient to gain a place in the higher-ups. One of these days, you'll even make Captain, of that I have no doubt. You've made me proud, Sosuke."
Sosuke said nothing, but his smile seemed a little more strained.
"The ocean is beautiful, is it not?"
Naruto tilted his head to see Hyourinmaru standing on the shore, tall and regal with a stony expression.
Naruto said nothing from his perch. He sat upon a large jagged rock that sat a few meters into the ocean, many other rocks around him.
Hyourinmaru stepped forward, the water freezing below his feet and creating a path before him. He continued toward Naruto, stepping from ice to rock and standing next to him.
"What do you want?" Naruto muttered, not feeling up to a confrontation.
Hyourinmaru glanced down at him, eyes softening at his rather miserable expression.
"You looked lonely." He murmured softly. "I sensed distress..."
Naruto sighed, nodding.
"Yes, just..." He paused, remembering that saying too much could cause trouble for Sosuke. "My wielder troubles me."
"At least your wielder knows that you exist." Hyourinmaru said, and though his expression did not change, Naruto got the impression that he was annoyed. "My own wielder is but a baby right now. He doesn't even know of shinigami or zanpakuto. I am only awakened because of his abnormally large amount of reiatsu for someone of his age."
Naruto tilted his head, his troubles suddenly gone and replaced by amusement.
"Yes," He smirked. "That does put you in a rather annoying predicament, does it not?"
Hyourinmaru made an agreeing sound.
"Are you lonely too?" Naruto asked quietly.
Hyourinmaru looked confused.
"You sought me out...Are you lonely as well? With no one to share existence with?"
"Kyoka Suigetsu..." Hyourinmaru pondered. "You seem to be a kind soul. Why would you be lonely? Does your master not appreciate you?"
Naruto looked down at the waves crashing against the rocks.
"That's not it..." He sounded skeptical, even to himself. "Arujin is just having trouble finding himself. It worries me."
Hyourinmaru knew that there was more to it, but said nothing, not wanting to break the companionable silence that ascended.
"Who the hell is Hyourinmaru?" Naruto asked, gazing up at Kazeshini, who lay on a low sakura tree branch, his limbs dangling lazily over the side.
Itachi raised an eyebrow, his eyes squinting in confusion.
"That uptight bastard? The hell do ya want with 'im?"
"He has been popping up quite a bit recently. Frankly, I am starting to wonder if he has been following me around. He and that Senbonzakura."
Kazeshini's eyes were wide in disbelief, and his mouth was hanging open a bit.
"Th-Those sticks-up-their-asses bastards? Willingly speaking to ya? Holy fuck! It the sky fuckin' fallin' too?" He shouted, swinging his head wildly to stare at the sky.
Naruto's brow twitched.
"Are you quite done yet?"
Itachi chuckled, shaking his head as he jumped down from the tree and landed lightly next to Naruto.
"Ya ya, sorry. It's just-" He snickered again. "So fucking funny!" He burst into laughter, holding his stomach, thinking of pretty little Kyoka Suigetsu being stalked by Hyourinmaru and Senbonzakura of all people!
Naruto sighed, shaking his head and pivoting on his heel, walking away.
"Never mind. I can see that you are obviously of little help."
Kazeshini just laughed harder.
"Is there something wrong, Naruto?" Sosuke asked, concerned over his zanpakuto's solemn expression.
"No..." Naruto shook his head, patting the grass next to him where Sosuke joined him on the ground. "But there are things that I feel you must know about my past in order to better understand me."
Sosuke sat upright immediately, knowing that whatever was going to be said was very important. After all, for a spirit to reveal their past life was a sign of utmost trust.
"Before I start, I would like to request that you hold any commentary until I am finished." At Sosuke's nod, Naruto started.
"I hate fighting, Sosuke. I was born thousands of years ago, during a time when the world was very much different from what it is now. I lived in the Elemental Countries, which is what the continents were called at the time. The day I was born, I was named Uzumaki Naruto, and from the day I was born, I was fated to live a life full of trials and hatred.
"My very first memories were of cold glares and harsh words, and so, so much pain and loneliness. I grew up with no parents in a village that despised my very existence, and my only saving grace was the kind old man that ran the village and a ramen chef. I was beaten, spat upon, and loathed wherever I went. There were dozens of attempts on my life every week, and the cruel villagers would harm me in any way they could whenever the chance arose.
"Every birthday that I could remember as a child was spent hiding in utter terror, but the mobs that would come always managed to find me. My guards, the people assigned to protect me, often let them harm me, and the more cruel ones would lead the angry villagers right to me. If and when I was taken to the hospital, the staff would refuse to treat me, or they would strap me to a bed and torture me, anything they could do to fulfill their own sick fantasies of my death.
"The leader of the village would always come before I was killed or injured permanently, but he was a very busy man, and it wasn't as if he could watch me at all times. I lived at the orphanage, where I was ignored or beaten by the spiteful old ladies that ran the place. I would always get the last pick of anything, or the worst quality. I often went to bed starving, sometimes for days at a time.
"They kicked me out when I was only four years old, and the village leader got me an apartment. I could never own anything nice, because villagers would break in and steal anything deemed valuable. I was barred entrance to almost every store, and the ones I was allowed into sold me the worst items available at outrageous prices. I was sold expired food, hideous or tattered clothes, anything that normally wouldn't be sold to anyone else.
"Despite everything, I was actually very intelligent. I had a good memory and was unnaturally quick at learning things, but people did everything they could to sabotage my education. When I went to school, I got the worst text books. Teachers would refuse to answer my questions, they would give me 'special' tests that were levels above what anyone in my class was learning. If I got an answer right on a paper, they would erase it, during physical lessons, the teachers wouldn't show me how to do anything and when we sparred, I was always pitted against either the most talented student or a teacher who would hold nothing back.
"It wasn't until I graduated, after failing the academy quite a few times, that I was under a sensei who bothered to teach me anything. Even then, he only taught me one thing, and his favoritism of the top student of our class caused him to completely ignore my other teammate and I almost always.
"No matter how many times I saved my village and no matter how many good deeds I did, they still resented my very existence. It was only once the village was completely destroyed and I defeated the threat did they show any acceptance. There were still many other threats at large, and I went right back into fighting enemies for a village that scorned me, a village that ruined and destroyed me.
"A war broke out, between a man, who was quite likely the most powerful in existence at the time, and the rest of the countries. He was going for world domination, and so it was quite literally him against the world. The five major countries allied together in order to bring him down, and in the end I gave my life in order to rip his soul from his body and end him once and for all.
"I hate fighting, Sosuke. I fought my entire human life. I fought a losing battle from the day I was born, and continued fighting up to the day that I died. I'm tired of it, Sosuke. All of the fighting.
"Sosuke, I am your zanpakuto, your sword. My power is of illusion, a power of deception, not of bloodshed. My power is of light and dark, a power of truth and lies and judgment. I am not meant to fight, but you must know that I will fight for you, this one last time. I will fight with you for as long as I need to, and I will help you achieve your own goals and dreams and ambitions. I will fight alongside you, Sosuke Aizen, and with you will be my last stand."
While his mood was still rather solemn, Naruto couldn't help but be amused at Sosuke reaction. His mouth was hanging open a little, and his eyes were wide in shock. He looked amazed and angry and worried all at the same time, and Naruto marveled at the amount of emotion that his wielder was showing. While he always knew exactly what Sosuke was feeling, he had never physically seen much emotion on Sosuke's face.
"That is...That is horrible." Sosuke breathed, closing his eyes and swallowing thickly. "Such a tragic life..."
"This is true." Naruto smiled gently, resting his hand on top of Sosuke's. "But there were some good times also. Perhaps I will share stories with you, sometime."
Sosuke nodded absently, appearing to be deep in thought and Naruto left him to his musing.
Naruto sat on the edge of the cliff, his body numb and his mind frozen in shock.
How could his sweet little Sosuke...
He could still hear the screams of pain...
'Why would he...?'
Red and white splattered was everywhere, as they clawed at their faces in pain...
Surely, this would get Sosuke in trouble. It would get him executed.
Messing with the boundary between shinigami and hollow...
Sosuke had always been so kind, so why would he...?
'Sosuke, I don't understand...'
There were never any signs...Was he unhappy?
'Are you...Still hiding from me?'
His heart shattered.
'I shared myself with you, I opened my soul to you and...Do you not trust me? Still?'
Naruto buried his face in his hands, biting back tears of anger and sadness.
"I cannot tell anyone..." Naruto muttered, staring at the stars. "I cannot. They will take Sosuke away, lock him up, seal his powers, seal me, they'll-
He couldn't say it.
He took a shuddering breath.
"Focus." Naruto growled. "They'll take him away. No one needs to know"
He collapsed to the ground.
"They'll take you away from me, Arujin. No one needs to know..."
'Can I keep this from the world?'
'Don't they deserve to know?'
'Am I doing the right thing?'
"They'll separate us. They'll take you away."
'I hope you know what you're doing Sosuke.'
"No one needs to know..."
"Who are you, Mister?"
"Are you okay?"
"Why do you look so sad?"
"Are you sick?"
"Do you need a hug?"
Naruto looked down at the curious zanpakuto, who was composed of two children. Both were identical, being young boys with large green eyes and short silver hair that was pulled back into a ponytail. They wore light blue robes over kimonos, triangular-shaped hats, light beige hakama and blue shoes. They were dressed much like traditional Shinto priests, and were admittedly cute, holding hands and all.
"Who are you?" Naruto asked, kneeling down and smiling slightly when they climbed into his lap, forcing him to sit.
"We are Sogyo no Kotowari!" They chorused, beaming when Naruto ruffled their hair through their hats.
"Law of Twin Fish." He murmured. "You two seem awfully cute and playful. What are you doing by yourselves?"
Both blinked and glanced at each other, then back at Naruto.
"No one wants to play!" One pouted.
"Will you play with us, Mister?" The other one asked, tugging on his haori.
They both paused and looked at each other again, then back at Naruto.
"What's your name?"
Naruto smiled, picking up a two sakura blossoms and placing them behind the little zanpakuto's ears.
"I am Kyoka Suigetsu." He murmured. "But you two can call me Getsu."
"Getsu-chan!" They both smiled brightly. "We're going to be best friends!"
Naruto walked, making sure that his silent steps wouldn't jostle the sleeping twins. One was clinging tightly to his back, and the other was curled up in his chest. Both were snoring softly, their innocent faces lax with sleep and sweet dreams.
He took them to his favorite spot at the cliff, gently settling them on the soft grass. He sat back against a sakura tree, watching the ocean sparkle with moonlight. The twins woke once, barely coherent, crawled between his legs and curled up together, latching onto his haori once more before falling back into their peaceful rest.
It was some time later when he heard a rustling. He made sure that Sogyo no Kotowari was still asleep before turning his head to scope things out.
Approaching him was another pair. One was a tall, purple-haired woman with a red ribbon around her neck and an eye patch covering her right eye, the left being turquoise. He hair was in two corkscrew pigtails with bangs framing her face. She wore an indigo cape with a skull imprint on it and a long, dark dress with a low-cut neckline, exposing her bust. On the center of her head was a golden bone headdress, consisting of a skull and crossbones with six golden curved spikes sticking out.
The second was much shorter and younger, with chin length purple hair that covered her left eye, the right being turquoise and there was a skull on the left side of her bangs. A dark top extended into a cloth mask that covered her lower face, neck and arms, along with shorts and knee length socks. Over this was a purple hip-length coat that was fastened with a dark purple sash.
Both stopped in front of Naruto, staring at the twins sleeping on him.
"Who are you?" The older one asked, her eyes narrowing as she looked back in forth between the three of them.
"Kyoka Suigetsu." Naruto said quietly, as to not disturb the twins.
"We are Katen Kyokotsu." She replied, gesturing to her younger counterpart.
"We sensed Sogyo no Kotowari near an unfamiliar presence and decided to investigate." The younger one spoke.
'Flower Haven, Crazy Bone. Rather spot on, is what it looks like.'
"Ah." Naruto nodded. "I assure you that I mean no harm. They exhausted themselves playing earlier, so I took them here to rest."
The older one nodded, looking at the sky.
"Our wielders are quite close," She said softly, gesturing to the snoring twins, who unconsciously crawled higher into Naruto's lap, their heads now resting against his chest as they joined hands once more. "So we feel the need to know that they are safe."
"I see. Well they are quite a hand full, but nice to have around."
"You may call me Hana." The older one said, glancing down at him.
Naruto looked at her curiously.
"We are one zanpakuto but two spirits. Here, where were speak to each other, it makes things easier for pairs to give themselves titles."
"That makes sense. So you call yourself Hana?" He looked at the younger one. "And you?"
"Kosshi." She murmured.
"Ah." Naruto nodded. "I see. Flower and Bones for Katen Kyokotsu. It really is fitting." He glanced at Sogyo no Kotowari. "Have they given themselves names?"
"Yes." Hana gestured to the one on the left, then the one on the right. "That is Kouyuu, and that is Warai."
"Friendship and Laughter..." Naruto smiled. "It suits them perfectly."
"I was just glad they didn't name themselves Law and Fish or something." Kosshi muttered, rolling her eyes.
They all laughed.
"So have you met anyone else from the past?" Naruto asked from his spot at the base of a sakura tree.
He was back in the Sakura Forest that Kazeshini never left, and he decided to take Sogyo no Kotowari this time. Kouyuu and Warai were having fun playing with the sakura petals, throwing them at each other and running around.
"Well..." Itachi scratched the back of his head. "A few, but it'd be better for you to find out on yer own."
"Oy!" Itachi snarked. "That 'hn' things was my trademark!"
"In a past life." Naruto said smoothly, spying Itachi twitch out of the corner of his eye.
"Ya, ya, in a past life."
"So is anything interesting going on with your wielder?" Naruto glanced over when he saw Itachi freeze.
"Ya..." Kazeshini sneered. "Stupid wielder. Fuckin' kid is so unappreciative! He wanted to learn the damned release and the second he saw 'is shikai, BAM! He fucking dropped my blades! Did I mention he was by a cliff? Ya, that'll take a fuckin' while to repair."
Naruto looked confused.
"Does he not like your shikai or something?"
"He's terrified of it!" Itachi growled, clutching his scythes. "Moron says he never wants to use me again, that I look too much like a killing tool. That little fucker needs to get over himself. S'not like he can just get a new zanpakuto. He's stuck with me, the bastard."
"He sounds like an immature brat who obviously doesn't know yet what it means to be a shinigami. He'll have to kill sometime."
"Even in the next life, we're tools of war and bloodshed. How fuckin' ironic."
"It always feels nice to materialize." Naruto sighed happily, stretching in his fox form.
He hummed, expanding his senses and finding a familiar presence a few miles away.
Using a few quick shunpo, he stood in front of a small house. There was a faint reiatsu signature inside, along with a rather strong one. He jumped onto the roof, peering through one of the windows. There was a middle aged woman with brown hair done up in a bun. She was wearing a light purple kimono, and in her arms was a squirming toddler. They obviously weren't related, as the little boy had turquoise eyes and soft white hair.
"Aw, such a good little baby. Isn't that right Toshiro-chan?" The lady cooed.
"Toshiro, eh?" Naruto murmured, hopping back onto the street. "I think I'll watch him..."
Chapter 3 Fin.
Yay, another chapter! I had fun writing this one, with cute little Sogyo no Kotowari! It's not that long, but uh...Anyway. I did a few translations, in case anyone didn't really catch on while they were reading.
Kyoka Suigetsu- Mirror Flower, Water Moon
Hyourinmaru- Great Ice ring
Senbonzakura- Thousand Cherry Blossoms
Kazeshini- Wind Death
Sogyo no Kotowari- Law of Twin Fish
Katen Kyokotsu- Flower Haven, Crazy Bones