Several people stood around the bed in the center of the private room. All of them staring down at the small girl under the sheet, wondering when she would wake up. Nobody could find anything wrong with her. Not a scratch or bruise anywhere. It wasn't until somebody brought in the girl's human body did they understand what was wrong. Her human body was no longer capable of holding her soul. It was dead.
Nobody knew what the repercussions were going to be, so they all hovered by her bed side, hoping she'd wake up. As a shinigami, her heartbeats were regular and she was breathing on her own. Her reiatsu was lower than they thought it should be, but it could be because she was unconscious. Even Captain Unohana was at a loss.
Renji sat closest to the head of the bed, holding her small hand in both of his, doing his best to offer her some form of comfort. He was petrified of what was going to happen to the small shinigami. When humans die they usually lost all memory of their lives, starting with a fresh slate here in Soul Society. Since she was in spirit form when her human body died, he wasn't sure what was going to happen to her.
Will you remember me, Kagome? He squeezed her hand.
Sitting on the other side of the bed was Uryuu. He too had a hold of a hand and was holding it tightly. He wasn't as worried as the rest. He knew she was strong. After hearing the explanation from Ichigo about what happened the moments before her collapse, he was sure she was safe. He was surprised though to hear that Ichimaru Gin actually turned against Aizen. He wasn't positive if he believed it, but they were some of the last words Kagome spoke.
Gin was placed under arrest with his reiatsu completely suppressed so he couldn't escape or cause any injuries. They couldn't do anything with him until Kagome regained consciousness. She was the only person who knew Gin's story, and the Captain Commander was more inclined to believe Kagome than the treacherous captain. He knew Kagome's soul was pure and would believe what she said. Until then, Gin was to be imprisoned.
Three days passed before there was any change in Kagome's condition. Her breathing quickened and there was a change in her heart beat. Renji, still holding her hand noticed the moment she started to stir. Her hand tensed in his. His eyes widened and he alerted the others. They hovered around the bed, watching closely.
Kagome's blue eyes opened slowly. The brightness of the room forced her to squeeze her eyes close before trying to open them again. Somebody noticed her discomfort and dimmed the lights. Her eyes scanned the room, taking in everybody's faces. She gave no indication that she recognized them and it was making everybody very nervous.
"Kagome?" Renji broke the silence that had plagued the group since the discovery.
Her eyes met his. She blinked several times before opening her mouth to speak. "Where am I?"
"Squad Four Relief Station. You've been unconscious for four days." He answered.
"Four days? What happened…?" She looked down at her body and inspected herself for injuries. When she didn't find any her brow furrowed and she scowled. "I don't remember…"
Renji's heart sank. "You don't remember?"
She shook her head. "No…"
"Kagome." Ichigo spoke. "What is the last thing you do remember?"
Kagome blinked then closed her eyes for better concentration. "I remember standing in the ally…Matsumoto was there and so was Gin." She opened her eyes and looked at Ichigo. "You showed up…after that everything is missing. What happened?"
The entire collection of people let out a sigh of relief. Uryuu squeezed her hand. As her brother, it was his responsibility to tell her the bad news. "Kagome." She turned to look at him. "When you took the Shikon jewel into your body, it severed your connection with your human body."
Kagome's eyes widened and she shot to a sitting position. The world spun and she brought her hand to her forehead in a sad attempt to make everything stop spinning. "Pain…I remember pain. Lots of it."
"That was the permanent separation of soul and body." Rukia explained.
"So I'm dead?" Kagome asked.
"In a manner of speaking, yes." Miroku patted Kagome's knee. "On the other hand, you are now a permanent shinigami now."
"What about Mom…Souta…?"
"I'll tell them everything." Uryuu soothed.
"So…Is everything over? The war?"
"Yes. Aizen is dead and so is Tosen. All of the remaining espada are gone as well. The only survivor is Gin. He is in custody awaiting your testimony." Renji explained.
Kagome tried to get out of bed. "I have to tell Captain Yamamoto! Gin isn't really a bad guy!"
Renji stopped her from standing by putting a firm hand on her shoulder. "Now isn't the time, Kagome. Take it easy. We don't know all the repercussions of being permanently separated from your body are going to be." He looked up to Miroku. "Can you fetch Captain Unohana?"
"Of course." Miroku left the room.
Unohana appeared moments later. She took one look at the gathering of people and told them all to leave so she could do her inspection in private. Renji and Uryuu started to argue, but the captain gave them a stern look and they scurried out with their tails between their legs.
Kagome would have laughed if she hadn't been terrified of something being wrong with her. Unohana sat at her bedside and placed one hand over her forehead and the other over her lower abdomen. Her palms emitted a green glow, filling Kagome with a warm tender feeling. The captain kept her eyes trained on her hands, searching her Kagome's body with kido.
Unohana pulled her hands away and gave her a comforting smile. "I can say with certainty that you are in perfect health."
Kagome sat up and smiled. "That's great! With the way everybody looked, they were afraid I was going to disappear on them."
Her captain smiled. "They were worried because this is the first time any of us has seen such a phenomenon. At the very least, we figured you would lose your memories. It is common for newly departed souls to forget their human life. I can only assume that you retained your memories because you were already in soul form when your body died."
"I guess that makes sense. But you say I'm healthy then?"
Unohana nodded. "Yes. You are free to go, but I would like you come see me immediately if you notice anything different about your body."
"Yes ma'am." Kagome smiled as the Captain left the room. She then took the time to stand up and put on the outer, black part to her uniform. She pulled her hair back into a low ponytail and grabbed her sheathed zanpakuto that was leaning against the wall. She slid her sword into her obi and walked out of her room.
Uryuu and Renji were both leaning against the wall, waiting for her to come out. They smiled at her and took spots on either side of her as she walked down the hallway. Kagome told them that she was as healthy as a horse and the tension in their shoulders disappeared.
Kagome left the relief station and made her way to the squad one office so she could speak with the head captain about Gin's involvement with Aizen. She knew there was little chance the silver haired shinigami would be let go without any punishment, but the least she could do was lessen it. They made it to the doors to the office and Kagome requested that she be allowed to speak to Yamamoto alone.
The meeting with the captain went smoothly in comparison to what she was expecting. He listened to her every word, taking into account some of it was hearsay, but she believed all of to be true even though she had no proof to offer him other than her ability to detect evil. She never sensed any from Gin and she told him that as well.
"Ichimaru Gin has committed several crimes again Humanity and Soul Society and cannot be let off without punishment, but I will take into consideration what you have told me. There were several human witnesses to Gins attack on Aizen. They even overheard them speaking when they would have been better off escaping. You have some brave friends, Higurashi."
"Friends? Who were they?"
"I believe one of them went by the name Tatsuki."
Kagome smiled. "Yeah, she is one brave girl." Kagome bowed. "Thank you, Head Captain Yamamoto."
"There is one for thing I would like to discus with you." She straightened. "After hearing of your adventure into Hueco Mundo and the deeds performed in Karakura Town, I and most of the captains have come to an agreement. If you were to make a full recovery, you would be moved from squad for over to one of the other squads as captain. You have proven yourself worthy of the title in both skill as well as mentality."
Kagome's eyes widened. "You want to make me a captain?"
The old man nodded. "Yes."
She didn't know what to say. The fact that they wanted to make her a Captain was flattering and not anything she ever expected. "I accept."
"As I expected." Yamamoto reached under his desk and pulled out a white captain's haori with the number five written on the back. "With Lieutenant Hinamori in critical condition and their captain dead at your hands, I believe squad five is need of your attention more than the other two."
Kagome took the haori from him and put it on. It was a perfect fit. She spun around allowing it to billow out around her. She smiled and laughed. She could hardly believe what was happening to her. She turned to the old man and gave him a hug, careful of the bandages on the stump of his arm. She wanted to ask what happened, but she thought better of it as she released him.
"Thank you so much, Captain-Commander. I will do my best."
She turned and ran out of the office. Uryuu and Renji were still waiting for her. They took a look at the white haori and their mouths dropped open in surprise. It was obvious the captains had not consulted their lieutenant's about the vote.
"Squad five? They made you the captain of squad five? I can't believe it!" Renji grinned as he picked her up around the waist and spun her around. "Congratulations!" He set her lowered her just enough so he could place a quick kiss on her forehead.
Uryuu cleared his throat, obviously not happy with the public display off affection Renji was giving his sister. Renji put Kagome down and grinned sheepishly at the quincy.
"So, they made you the captain of Aizen's old squad. It's only fitting considering you were the one that killed him." Uryuu grinned.
Kagome hugged her brother, placing a big kiss on his cheek. "I'm so happy!"
"You deserve it, Kagome. If it wasn't for you, who knows what would have happened."
Kagome shrugged. "Ichigo would have been able to handle it. I'm sure of it."
Uryuu pushed his glassed further up his nose. "Say, Kagome. From what I heard, right after you absorbed the jewel, your reiatsu disappeared. That you didn't feel like a shinigami anymore. What was all that about?"
Kagome thought back to the moment in which she fired the arrow. "It was probably because at that moment I wasn't a shinigami, but a priestess. The arrow I fired wasn't an arrow made of reishi like yours. It was made solely of my purification powers, the ones we thought Byakuya destroyed. It's also probably why he wasn't able to defend against it."
"Kagome, you are one scary shinigami." Renji commented.
She smiled up at him and took a page from Captain Hitsugaya's book. "That's Captain Higurashi to you." She stuck her tongue out at him, earning her a funny look. Renji let out a playful growl before trying to grab her around the waist. Kagome saw it coming and jumped out of the way, blowing him a raspberry.
"You think you can get away with that?" Renji grinned.
"Yep. I'm superior to you! Don't forget Lieutenant, I'm a captain now. I out rank you." She grinned.
"That doesn't mean I can't kick you scrawny butt." He jumped at her only to have her jump in the air, push off his head and land behind him. "Oh you're in for it now!"
"Bring it on Pineapple Head!" She taunted before running off towards her new barracks with Renji in tow.
(A/N: Phew! This has been one heck of a ride! But don't worry, the story doesn't end here, just part one. I am in the works of a sequel to this story! This one didn't get enough Renji/Kagome love because of all the action and character development. The sequel will take care of that and allow the two to develop an actual relationship!
Thank you to all my readers especially the ones who reviewed every time I posted. I'd list the names, but there are too many to list here, besides, you know who you are. Nothing means more to me than waking up in the morning to see a slew of reviews.)