So I've always wondered what the deal was with the DiamondDust Rebellion. What caused the ice zanpakuto to bond with two people? It happened, but rarely. Why, though? A lot of late night coffee and a healthy dose of insanity brings me to write this story. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach!

What have I done?

The 12th division captain studied the pitiful creature before him. Scraggly red hair, fearful amber eyes. She had once been just an ordinary child in the 24th district of Rukongai. Until he had gotten hold of her and some others, of course. She was the only one who had survived this far. Curious. She had looked the weakest.

Interesting, but not nearly interesting enough. Another failure, it seems. But the Captain General is growing impatient.

The balance of Soul Society was everything. More important than the souls they had sworn to protect, apparently. And although it was just a small nuisance, the issue of fire zanpakutos and ice zanpakutos needed to be solved.

Hyourinmaru, Sode no Shirayuki, and countless other ice-based zanpakutos, they grow stronger by the day. While fire-based zanpakutos are fading, disappearing. The Tengunmaru is gone, as is the Raika, but most noticeably, the Ryujin Jakka is growing old along with the Captain General.

Was this girl before him really an answer? She now had reiatsu, could now step into the world of the Shinigami, dangerous and unpredictable as it had become. And undoubtedly, as long as her abilities manifested in the right direction, there would be one more shinigami with a fire zanpakuto in their ranks. But was one enough? Surely he'd have to create dozens of others in order to reach the equilibrium. And it had taken so much blasted time to make this one.

Kurotsuchi Mayuri made a frustrated face, the black and white stripes on his face twisting with fury. "Damn you, Captain General!" Why set him on this idiotic task? This was all that damn Hitsugaya's fault!

There had been that entire fiasco with Sojiro Kusaka, another shinigami who had contracted with the same ice zanpakuto spirit. Thank goodness one of them had died. Trying to balance two Hyourinmaru's would be a blasted nightmare.

"Out with you," he said coldly, letting the creature go. She was just a mirror. A broken one, perhaps, but a mirror nevertheless. All she needed was to mirror an ice zanpakuto the other way, and the problem would be solved. Her reiatsu was twisted enough to accomplish it. Hopefully her reiatsu powers would manifest on their own, but if they did not, then he could care less. Truth be told, the 12th division captain had no idea exactly what would happen.

But she would be fire. And that was that. He sent the girl along roughly, until Nemu kindly took her away. The girl was like a broken doll, stumbling behind Nemu, following her like a dog followed its master. She would have no memory for a long time. Mayuri had tried his best not to fiddle around with the creature's reasoning capacity. The brain was fine, as long as it wasn't connected to the reiatsu nerves. Mostly. He believed.

He turned away, eager to move on to more important things. If the Captain General still wasn't satisfied with this, well then, the old bastard could take a trip through Hell's gate and stay there.




The door opened slowly, admitting Ayame into the wide courtyard where the 9th squad members were clustered in groups, waiting for her. Upon seeing her, they fell silent. She scanned their faces, seeing fear, curiosity and even hostility.

"My name is Ayame." She said, hoping her voice carried far enough to reach the ears of the shinigami in the back. "From today on I will be part of the 9th division...please take care of me."

This was met by silence. No one knew what to say. No one knew how to deal with her, because their captain was gone. She wondered what the previous 9th division captain had been like. Kaname Tōusen had been by far the most judicious captain, or so the rumors claimed. She found it hard to understand such a man. But she could understand the betrayal of having been abandoned by someone you looked up to.

Finally, the lieutenant of the 9th division came forward. A man with a 69 tattoo on his face stepped up, a scowl on his face. It looked like it was his permanent expression, but Ayame couldn't help but feel a qualm of misgiving. She wasn't wanted here, was she?

"My name is Hisagi Shuuhei, lieutenant of the 9th division." He said roughly, unused to the formalities of being a leader. He scowled at her again, as if it was his way of smiling. "Welcome to our squad."

She heard a whisper somewhere to her left. "That's the mod soul the 12th division created…"

I'm not a mod soul! Ayame whirled around, trying to find the whisperer, but only found increasingly hostile faces. But she had been created, definitely, for some strange purpose that she did not know. At least not yet.

"Tell us a bit about yourself." A voice came from the back, bold.

"I…" she hesitated. How to explain? But she only knew the truth, and couldn't understand enough to tell a lie. "I was from the 24th district in Rukongai…"

But that had been ages ago, before all this happened. As if it were another life. Still, should she just leave it at that? Let them assume that she became a shinigami the normal way; by having inborn reiatsu, by testing into the Shinigami school, and by passing the exams.

"That's a lie," someone else said. She found the voice this time. A golden haired youth with a beard, not kind, but not angry either. "That's where my family is, and I've never seen you."

The inarticulate flashes of memory were gone, snatched away by her confusion. "I…I don't know. I think I was from there," she winced internally. Best not to say 'I think' too much, or else they would start thinking that she had memory problems. "But I was found by the 12th division, who…because they saw a little irregularity in my reiatsu, made me go through a few tests to fix it. But now that it's fixed, I'm a shinigami now. Or so I think. Um…"

"That's it?" A little blankly, the golden haired youth stared at her. If anything, he looked a little disappointed. "You're not some freaky mod soul? Not some monster? You're not even a spy from the 12th division? This is the first time they've ever let someone transfer from the 12th division."

Ayame blushed and scratched her head, "I don't think they would make me a spy. I'm too bad at lying."

They had told her that she was just a simple Rukongai orphan in District 24, plucked off by the 12th division to be a test subject. Originally, someone with no reiatsu at all. But now, she did. Thanks to something they did.

"Then are you really a shinigami?" Jokingly disbelieving, someone raised a taunt.

"Show us your zanpakutō!" A challenge. Ayame stiffened, unsure of what to expect.

"Yeah, show us your soul-cutter!"

"Even better, disarm Hisagi within 10 moves!"

"I bet she can't do it!"

"I bet she can."

"I bet she can't! He's the lieutenant after all."

"I bet she can. Hisagi's sluggish lately."

"Remember the last hollow attack? Plain sloppy, that time."

Hisagi scowled at them, "Will you shut up about that?"

There was money being passed around. Ayame flushed when she saw the odds against her.

"They're not going to let up once they place the bets." Hisagi told her stiffly, obviously wondering whether he should apologize or not. "Might as well get it over with before they get serious. But that also means you can bet, if you want."

Ayame frowned, unsettled by the racous calls for a fight. Even so, she clenched her sword, pulling it out. "I don't have any money." But I don't want to lose. Would that mean I'm artificial? To lose? If it's like that, then I can't! But how can I win against a lieutenant?

Hisagi attacked first, to the cheers of the crowd, moving into an offensive position that surprised her into jumping back and blocking first. Then it quickly became a cycle. Him attacking, her defending. It was hard to do anything but react. Clangs rang into the rowdy air, blending into the shouts and taunts. The hot air did nothing to calm them down, but rather quickened their blood instead. A fight between the new recruit and the leiutenant, a standard practice to initiate a new member into the 9th division.

She slipped underneath a high swipe of his sword, but didn't dare get too close to Hisagi. He was too fast with his sword, and she was just a mirror. Her move drew few cheers, but it was quickly apparent to the crowd that Ayame was barely holding her own. She was a mirror, they had said. Well then, why was she having such a hard time finding an opening to attack? The only thing she could do was defend?

Her opponent frowned as well, and then dove neatly into an undercut slash. The blow was harder this time. She had to twist her entire body to avoid it, but frustration made her add in another step and a slash, even though it was risky. Hisagi took a step back, and Ayame finally saw her chance. With a leap, she attacked, adding her other hand to the sword to increase the strength of the blow. Too late, she realized, as the point of the sword neared Hisagi's heart. She didn't know how to stop –

There was a screech of metal against metal as her attack was blocked.

Damn, she thought. But there was no time for thought. She moved. Her brain told her to do so, told her what to do and how to do it. They had said she was a mirror. And it had taken so damn long to stop defending.

There was a shout from the crowd, nearly distracting her. Hisagi was distracted. He looked away. She raised her sword, but he glanced at her once, not coldly, but to let her know that he was still on guard. "What's happening?" He called out.

Ayame let her sword drop to her side. She looked down, afraid that she had broken some rule. Hisagi did not seem to notice. The answer had concerned him.

"Fire!" Someone was shouting. "Fire! Fire in the barracks! Somebody call Hitsugaya over or get some water! There's a fire!"


Cliffhangy xD Sorry!

So, how was it? Wasn't that bad, was it? I hope not. Anyway, reviews would do a lot for this worn out soul. Please review with some feedback! Ayame's a mirror; she's been programmed to copy the first ice zanpakuto she sees, but her twisted reiatsu will change it into its opposite. Thing is, she's the first experiment that Mayuri's tried this on, so the intended results are rather unclear. It could be a weak copy, it could be quite strong. It could blow up in everyone's face like a coke that's been shaken too long.

Thanks for reading~!