Hanataro and the Guardian

Hello everyone! Sixsamchaos here!

Here is the next chapter of my story. I apologize for the long wait.

It's just that I had a stressful week with AP Exams and all.

Please review and send me your opinions.

Again, criticism is encouraged and I would like to get any advice so that the story is more appealing to you.

If anyone has any questions about my story then please send me a message.

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach in any way, shape, or form. It belongs to Tite Kubo. I also don't own anything from other animes, books, or videogames as well. They belong to their respective owners.

"Damn it!"

"Hadō #63. Raikōhō!"

Screaming out the spell's name, Hanataro shot the lightning attack straight at the panicing Guardian. Xander was finally able to free his feet; however, it was too late. The electrically charged orb of energy made contact and released its devastating power. Lightning coursed through the man's body, as Xander was engulfed in light. Hanataro on the other hand was knocked back by the force of the exploding shockwave until Rukia caught him. Wind and dust kicked up and raged across the training grounds, as even the spectators were able to feel the destructive effects of the healer's kido.





"…Did that really happen, Captain?"

Hitsugaya continued to stare at the receding dust cloud, but responded to his lieutenant's question with a nod. Who knew that the timid medic had it in him to launch a spell of that magnitude? True, the spell wasn't as strong as one performed by a fourth seat or higher, but it was stronger than a normal Raikoho nonetheless. A small smile graced the man's lips but left as quickly as it arrived.

'Perhaps there is hope for him after all.'

Rangiku wasn't the only one to have been floored by the medic's kido, as many of the other shinigami conversed over what they had seen. Some were in disbelief that the healer out in the training grounds was the same kid they had seen being bullied time and again. Others were actually impressed by the level of power Hanataro had put into that spell, and some agreed that the boy would probably join the kido corps in a few decades.

"Man, did you see that kido spell? I never saw anyone besides the higher officers using that spell with that much power."

"I can't believe it. The kid's got some balls after all."

"I thought he was the weakest soul reaper out there. Who would have thought that he would be the one to attack?"

"He is, but I guess he's finally getting stronger because that was good strategy and teamwork out there."

The soul reapers continued to comment about the surprising medic but were soon put to silence as the smoke began to clear.


Rukia couldn't believe the amount of power Hanataro had put into that one spell. Not even Hinamori and herself would power a hado spell with that much spirit energy. Usually high-level attack spells were used without the full incantations since they were to distract the enemy, while also dealing damage. The ice-user quickly snapped out of her shock and helped said medic get to his feet. Inspecting her friend, Rukia breathed a sigh of relief to see that Hanataro wasn't too hurt by the recoil but still breathed heavily.

Rukia chuckled. "My, Hanataro you certainly know how to end a fight with a bang. That was some attack you used. Are you alright?"

"I-I'll be fine. That spell t-took a lot out of m-me," sighed Hanataro.

Suddenly, Rukia quickly grabbed the back of the medic's collar and flash stepped just in time to avoid getting hit by another wave of energy. However, the energy wave seemed to be different, as it sparked with blue electricity. Reappearing a few feet away, the two looked up to see Xander limping forward, as the dust cloud finally cleared. To the shock of both the spectators and the two fighters, the cowboy looked completely fine except for a few bruises, cuts, and scorch marks on his clothing. The Guardian also seemed to be favoring his right leg. Strangely enough, Xander's coat was still intact, but his shirt was completely destroyed. Electricity also danced around his gauntlet-blades before fading away. Xander continued to limp forward until he was a mere three feet away from the two soul reapers.

"Teamwork, surprise, and a finishing spell. Seems I fell for your plan…the spar goes to you," huffed Xander before falling flat on his back.

Hanataro immediately closed the distance and began performing the necessary healing kido on the dazed Guardian. Rukia quickly recomposed herself, as she resealed her sword and walked calmly to her friends. Hitsugaya and Matsumoto soon joined the group, as the other soul reapers once again conversed with each other.

"Congratulations on your win," complimented Hitsugaya.

"Thank you Captain, but it was Hanataro's thinking that won us the fight," replied Rukia.

Matsumoto jumped in. "Are you kidding me? That last attack almost gave me a heart attack! Who knew little Hanataro here could make such a blast?"

However, said medic never answered, as Hanataro continued to stay focused on healing his friend. This caused the three soul reapers to center their attention on the exhausted Guardian and medic. Luckily, the wounds were shallow and were healing quickly, but Hanataro noticed that the bruises and cuts weren't being healed by his kido, as he was focusing on Xander's left leg. This also caught the attention of Hitsugaya and Matsumoto, as the former made a note to report this to the head-captain in the next captains' meeting. The busty lieutenant was also thinking along the same lines and planned to tell the other lieutenants about the spar in their next meeting. Rukia, however, was wondering where that last attack had come from, as she detected a tiny piece of Hanataro's spiritual pressure from the electric wave.

Xander continued to stare off in a daze before finally coming back to his senses. Sitting up, the cowboy thanked the healer before getting up. However…

"Y' ouch!"

"Careful! You j-just healed. Y-you can't do anything s-strenuous r-right now," explained Hanataro.

"I'm going to feel that tomorrow morning," groaned Xander.

"Guess we won't be able to have that spar today Captain Histugaya."

"It's alright Xander-san. We should be returning to our paperwork. Shouldn't we Matsumoto?"


"Matsumoto," repeated the short captain only to find that said strawberry blonde woman was gone, while the other soul reapers went back to their duties and training. Hitsugaya's brow began to twitch, as Rukia and Hanataro quickly grabbed Xander and began dragging the confused Guardian out of the Tenth Division. The ice-user and medic may have respect and admiration for the white-haired captain but there was no way in hell they would suffer the power of his enraged voice. It wasn't until the trio reached the entrance to the division before hearing…


"Uhhh. Is that normal?" asked Xander, as the two soul reapers flinched from the furious shout.

It was Rukia who answered. "Yeah. Most of the time, Rangiku-san would do something that the Captain would get angry over. It's usually skipping out on paperwork or being passed out drunk with Kira-san and Hisagi-san from time to time."

"I see. Do you think we can find a place to eat because I'm starving after that spar we had. Which reminds me, that was very impressive of you Hanataro. I never knew you were so good with attack spells."

"It just so happens that Hanataro and I were planning to join Hinamori-chan and the others for lunch. You're welcome to join us, but expect a few awkward questions from them since you're not from around here. Also, you weren't the only one Hanataro impressed today. I still can't believe you were able to use the Raikoho spell," smiled Rukia.

Hanataro blushed at the praise and tried to keep himself from staring at the beautiful noble next to him. However, he did make a few glances and smiled whenever Rukia wasn't looking. Unfortunately, Xander had seen the interaction, as he was a step or two behind them and smirked slightly.

'Hmm, it seems Hanataro here has a crush on Rukia. Better leave it alone for now.'

"I would be honored to join you guys. It'll be a perfect chance to get to know the other soul reapers. I can't really help fight Aizen if I don't know anything about you guys can I?"

With that said, the three warriors traveled to one of the fields within the Seireitei, where they saw a group of soul reapers sitting around a picnic blanket. Fortunately, Rukia and Hanataro had informed the cowboy of who was who among the lieutenants. The group consisted of Hinamori, Hisagi, Kira, Renji, and Isane. Noticing the familiar spiritual pressures, Hinamori quickly waved to the approaching group but was also surprised to see Xander. This was due to the fact that she couldn't sense his spiritual pressure, and it surprised the other shinigami as well. Although they had all seen the man and heard his purpose for coming to their world, many of the officers were still concerned over the credibility of Xander's story.

Hisagi and Kira didn't know what to think about the Guardian, as many of the older generations believed the legends to be merely stories. Renji felt both concern and excitement at the same time. Concern over the fact that there might be a force stronger than Aizen and the ominous future of an inter-dimensional war. Excitement, at the prospect of getting stronger, facing new enemies, and finding potential allies to take down the traitorous bastard and his hollow army.

Hinamori on the other hand, didn't seem to like the stranger. Although, the female lieutenant was no longer in critical condition, Hinamori was still unable to come to terms over what Aizen had done. She truly wanted to believe that Aizen had turned traitor for a reason much to the displeasure of her partner, Tobiume. Although the spirit is frustrated over her wielder's conflicting emotions, Tobiume was always there to comfort her friend whenever said girl had nightmares.

Isane was the only one among the group to not feel any form of anxiety. In fact, the silver-haired woman greeted the group, as Hanataro and the others finally reached the picnic area. Isane smiled warmly at the group; however, if one were to look closely they would have seen a very faint blush on her cheeks when she had greeted Xander. This was something that wasn't unnoticed by Rukia and Hinamori.

"Glad to see you guys made it," greeted Renji.

"Yeah, it's finally nice to spend some time with friends than preparing for war," agreed Kira.

"Um Rukia-chan. Why is he here and why couldn't I sense his spiritual pressure?" asked a slightly nervous Hinamori.

"We invited Xander after we did some training. Wait…what do you mean you can't sense Xander?" replied Rukia.

Hinamori fidgeted slightly. "Well, I could sense both you and Hanataro clearly, but I can't sense any spiritual pressure coming from Xander."

It was here that Xander decided to try an experiment. Focusing on his energy, the Guardian flexed his power a bit, causing his eyes to glow a pale yellow. This caused all of the soul reapers to stare at him proving the Guardian's hypothesis. "I think I know why you can't sense me. It is the fact that I am not technically dead and not using my powers."

Rukia blinked. "I don't understand. When Ichigo and his friends first came here, I could easily sense his spiritual pressure, as did Hanataro here."

"Yes, but you also told me that this guy called Urahara transformed Ichigo's friends into spiritual forms. The man actually turned them into spiritual entities. I on the other hand, am not entirely a part of your universe; therefore, I do not technically exist. The dimensional jump only transforms the user so that they may interact with the local inhabitants of the universe he or she is traveling to."

Hisagi's eyes widened. "If we can't sense Xander then wouldn't that mean Aizen and the hollows can't sense him either?"

"I'm not sure. The only way I can know is if I fight an actual hollow."

"W-Well, let's n-not think about this. We should j-just enjoy our lunch."

"Right," everyone agreed.

For most of the lunch, the soul reapers and Guardian talked over various topics. Isane and Hanataro talked about their duties at the 4th division, while Rukia talked about her time in the World of the Living. Hinamori stayed quiet for most of the conversations but put her two cents in from time to time. Hisagi spoke about the new stories in the newspaper he was printing. Kira informed the healers that he was cutting back on the saki, to which they were greatly relieved. Xander even spoke about his time back in Gaia and some stories from his home dimension. It was actually a surprise to the shinigami when the cowboy revealed that he was not originally from Gaia. The more the group interacted with Xander, the more they were comfortable being around him. However, it was the topic that Renji brought up that truly caught everyone's attention.

"Hey guys. Did any of you experience something weird with you zanpakutos?"

The soul reapers glanced at each other in confusion. "What do you mean Renji," questioned Rukia.

"It's just that Zabimaru has been really quiet lately, and even the captain looked a little put off during our spar earlier today."

"Come to think of it, Tobiume has been acting strangely as well."

"I don't know if my zanpakuto has been acting weirdly, since me and Kazeshini and I never get along. What about you Izuru? Any problems with Wabisuke?"

"No actually. However, I can't help but feel that there is something going on that we don't know about."

Rukia turned to Hanataro and Isane. "What about you guys? Anything different with your zanpakuto partners?"

"Itegumo has been normal, but I sometimes feel that it's getting harder to get in contact with her."

"H-Hisagomaru hasn't been acting strange either."

"Hmm. I wonder what's going on. Zabimaru is never quiet when it comes to us talking to each other."

"Hey. What are you guys talking about? Zanpakuto?"

"Oh. That's right. A zanpakuto is the physical manifestation of our souls, and take on the form of the blades that we now wield. It is the source of a soul reaper's power. Together, we work in forming a synergistic union. We connect with our zanpakuto powers in order to gain shikai and bankai," explained Rukia.

Xander's eyes widened. "Incredible. So, it was your zanpakuto that allowed you to change your sword's form?"

Rukia nodded. "Every zanpakuto partner is unique and has its own strengths and weaknesses. We grow stronger by bonding with one another and trust in each other to defeat our enemies. A zanpakuto is born with its soul reaper and dies with its soul reaper. However, I haven't noticed anything strange about Sode no Shirayuki."

"Again, incredible. I can't believe that none of you soul reapers came to Gaia when you died."

"What do you mean?" asked a curious Hisagi.

"Since I was chosen to be a Prime Guardian, the Thirteen often tried to train me in their spare time or introduce me to other Guardians. I have many beings from all over the multiverse, but I have never once seen a soul reaper become a Guardian."

"Perhaps it is because of our world's cycle of reincarnation?" asked Isane.

"Maybe. But I wonder why your Spirit King hasn't allowed any soul reapers join Gaia. It's obvious that some of you are more than qualified."

"You'll have to speak with Head-Captain Yamamoto or the Spirit King himself," answered Kira.

Renji looked at Xander curiously. "What do you mean by 'more than qualified'."

"In Gaia, there are five ranks. The highest ranking would be Omega Class. The Omega Guardians are the most powerful Guardians and are usually seen as High Generals in military missions. Underneath Omega Class is Alpha Class, which is similar to the relationship between you lieutenants and your captains. Next is the Beta Class. The Guardians of that level are regular Guardians with moderate strengths and weaknesses. The lowest of the Guardian classes is Delta Class, in which is comprised of newly trained and chosen Guardians. They are considered to be the rookies of the Guardians. However, the rank below them is the people we command. They are kind of like the unseated soul reapers each of your divisions has. They are the bulk of our military strength and follow the regular chain of command from cadets to generals. From what I have seen, all of your captains are Omega Class Guardians, while most of the lieutenants vary between Alpha and Beta Class."

"I know you told us that you can't bring in any troops but is there a way for them to get to our world?" asked Hisagi.

"Hmm. The only way I can think of is hijacking Zennousha's dimensional prototype. It is the machine that will allow him to send his armies to the other dimensions. The problem is that he'll have it heavily guarded, and we were just having small skirmishes since we're not at full strength."

Hanataro looked up. "W-Well. Whatever the c-case, I think w-we should just enjoy o-our lunch and n-not think about it f-for now."

Everyone smiled and agreed to their friend's suggestion. Xander extremely enjoyed the food that was given to him, although he did feel bad for joining them at the last minute. Hinamori now joined the conversations with more confidence, but was still unsure about the cowboy. Hisagi asked Xander about his experiences in the other dimensions but was sadly disappointed when the cowboy told him that he hadn't been to any other worlds. Rukia and Hanataro were chatting about the wonders of the human world while also catching up on recent events. Unknown to the noble, a faint blush seemed to be dusted on the healer's face whenever he spoke to her. However, this wasn't unnoticed by the others. The irony was that Isane would have a faint blush as well when she spoke with Xander, to which the Guardian mistook for an illness, while the others shook their heads in amusement.

It wasn't long till the picnic was over and everyone decided to return to their divisions. However, Rukia and Isane informed the others that they were heading to the SWA's meeting, while Hisagi and Kira were doing the same and invited Xander, but the Guardian declined. Hanataro decided to continue the tour of the Seireitei, while also informing Xander of anything.

*After a Few Weeks*

A few weeks passed, as Xande became more accustomed to living in the Seireitei. The cowboy enjoyed the peaceful reprieve of not being constantly hunted but knew that war would be upon them, as Zennousha's scientists must have completed their dimensional gate by now. During this time, Xander was also introduced to the other divisions to see where he would stay for the remainder of his mission, and was accompanied by Hanataro from time to time.

The first division was the first division, in which Xander stayed. Being the highest ranking division and the "brain" of the Seireitei because of its role in the leadership, the division made Xander slightly uncomfortable with so much authority. Although he did enjoy occasional talks with Yamamoto, the Guardian was more nervous since it reminded him of speaking with the Prime Guardians back in Gaia. Ironically, the Head-Captain was old enough to actually be a Prime Guardian, as the Thirteen are the oldest of the Guardians.

The second division proved to be a nervous time for the Guardian. Captain Soifon still didn't trust Xander and made it slightly difficult for the cowboy during his time in the division. In addition to, the members of both of the captain's squads made sure that Xander would address the woman with up-most respect during his stay. In fact, some were actually spying on the man, which annoyed the Guardian to no end. Fortunately, Rizer taught Xander how to sense a person's strength in the Guardian ranking system. The majority of the soul reapers were not even Delta Class, while the captain was high-Alpha to low-Omega. The lieutenant also seemed to be a low-Alpha. It wasn't until Xander defeated a few of the seated officers that Soifon began to take some interest in him. Unfortunately, this led to a series of incredible painful spars, to which Hanataro was needed to heal Xander's bruises. The cowboy may have high healing ability like all Guardians, but he was still facing against someone who was stronger than him.

On the bright side, Xander felt that he was able to decrease Soifon's distrust in him even if it was just a little bit. However, Omaeda seemed to welcome the cowboy but most of the soul reapers believed that it was just Xander's skill in the kitchen that made the large lieutenant happy to have him in the division.

The third division was interesting in itself, as Xander observed Kira lead his fellow squad members. It was here that the cowboy learned the extent of Aizen's betrayal along with the actions of Gin Ichimaru. Many of the soul reapers were curious and even a little suspicious of Xander since he was a stranger to them. It wasn't until the cowboy interacted with them that the third division opened up to him. This would usually include the cowboy training with the squad members and sometimes assisting the blonde lieutenant in running the division.

The fifth division was a bit more depressing time for the Guardian. When Xander first entered the division, he could feel the sadness and anger that permeated the air. After observing the squad for several days, the cowboy concluded that they were unwilling to trust him, in fear that he too would betray the Gotei Thirteen. Xander also saw that many of the soul reapers hated Aizen for lying to them for so long, and a few even stated that the good captain they knew never existed.

However, it was in Hinamori that Xander had the most emotional time with. The poor girl seemed torn between her fellow soul reapers and her own feelings. It was here that Xander spoke with Hanataro about the girl's emotional state. The cowboy even went to Unohana, Isane, Renji, Hisagi, and Kira. Needless to say, all were suspicious about the cowboy's intentions. It was in the last few days of staying in the division that Xander decided to confront Hinamori about Aizen.


Xander and Hinamori were currently in the main office of the division. Looking at the lieutenant, it was obvious to the cowboy that she was uncomfortable to be in here, especially when she would glance at the empty desk at the other end of the room.

Xander sighed before taking a seat in front of Hinamori's desk. "You know. I too, experienced a betrayal on a personal level as well."

Said soul reaper froze immediately but still kept her attention on the paperwork. "Is that so, Melee-san?"

The Guardian looked down. "Yes. When I was first brought to Gaia, many of the other Guardians didn't like me at all. I was deemed a social outcast and many rumors were made about me. However, there were four people who saw me as a friend. The first was the Guardian who brought me to Gaia, Fixer. He was a Guardian of Metal. The second is someone named Razor, who was like a brother to me. The third is a girl named Kaiya, and she was both my best friend and the love of my life. The third…was Zennousha."

Hinamori shot up at this. Wide-eyed and mouth agape, it was easy to interpret that she was shocked from this revelation. The girl was horrified that the man that Xander hated with so much fury was once his friend. Knowing that he had the girl's full attention, Xander continued.

"Zennousha and I talked many times and he even helped me out in my training. In time, I began to see him as some sort of uncle, while Razor, Kaiya, and I did everything together. We even made a few pranks on the other Guardians. However, it wasn't until the coup that I saw Zennousha for what he truly is."

"He killed Fixer before my very eyes. He ridiculed me and tried to kill me. I was able to escape and found the others. I planned to get the three of us away from Gaia but it was then that I found out who was aligned with who."

"The three of us were near a cliff when it happened. I was about to warn the Prime Guardians but I was stabbed through the heart by a blade. Turning around, I was shocked to see that it was Kaiya who did it. If that wasn't enough, she stabbed her dagger into my eye, while Razor cut off my right leg and arm."

Hinamori was shaking by now, as she could only imagine how devastated the man before her felt. Seeing Xander's shoulders beginning to shake, the soul reaper suddenly realized that the cowboy was telling her something extremely personal.

"To add insult to injury, Razor threw me off the cliff. I must have broken several bones by the time I hit the bottom. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was able to survive because of my healing abilities. It wasn't until after a few months that I was able to regenerate my limbs. However, I can still feel the cold steel of my friends' blades. I can still see the cold hatred in their eyes. It was here that I realized that Zennousha never saw me as a friend. I discovered that he was simply using me to get information about the Prime Guardians. Razor wanted power, plain and simple. Kaiya on the other hand, actually believed in the lies Zennousha was spouting. She actually believed that it was the right thing to do."

Tears could now be seen, as Hinamori's eyes widened. Here was someone who also knew how it felt to be torn apart by a close person's betrayal. However, the next statement shocked Hinamori to her core.

"The reason why I am telling you this, Hinamori-san, is that you remind me of Kaiya."

"I…remind you of…her?"

Xander nodded. "When I began looking for other survivors of the genocide, I was able to track Zennousha's forces and saw Kaiya several times. Each time I was disguised and each time I saw that she seemed more and more uncomfortable with Zennousha's empire. The last time I saw her she was near breaking point. I just don't want that happening to you. You still have friends and allies that not only care for you but also depend on you for strength."

"They depend on me?"

"Yes. Hanataro, Isane, Unohana, Renji, Hisagi, Kira, everyone cares about you. Your division needs you to be strong and to lead them. You are still the lieutenant and you have a responsibility to uphold. Now I can't say anything about Aizen because I never met him but you must understand that he has done terrible things, and betrayed everyone including you."

Hinamori looked down, but did not answer the Guardian. Sighing, Xander looked at the girl once more before getting up to leave. Without turning around, the Guardian said one last thing to the confused and scared lieutenant.

"I hope you will be able to find peace because the next time you see Aizen it will be as enemies than friends. Just remember that you don't have to face this alone. Hanataro and the others will be right there with you."

And with that, the Guardian left.

*End Flashback*

The Sixth Division proved to be the most difficult for Xander to stay in. This was mostly due to the fact that its captain was a noble and the air itself seemed to have a feeling of strictness. Xander was a bit bewildered and impressed at how efficient the division was run. He was even more impressed whenever he saw Byakuya and Renji spar in the training grounds. After seeing Senbonzakura in action, Xander was a bit nervous about fighting someone who can control over a thousand blades at once. However during the spar, Xander noticed that Byakuya received a small cut from his own zanpakuto. It wasn't enough to be noticeable but Xander knew that Renji was on to something a few weeks ago.

Something was going on and it involved the zanpakuto.

The seventh and ninth divisions were also interesting in their own ways. Xander formed a companionship with Captain Komamura through conversations from time to time. It seemed that the anthropomorphic captain enjoyed Xander's stories about the Guardians, especially those who were just like the dog-captain. Unfortunately, Hisagi's newspaper and magazine group proved to be highly annoying, as the reporters and photographers tried to interview Xander everywhere he went. The mob of reporters finally stopped after several events…

…One reporter ended up hanging from one of the division's trees by his underwear with cake smashed against his face…

…A camera was sent back to Hisagi except the photos weren't pictures of Xander but were embarrassing shots of not only him but also of several lieutenants and seated officers as well…

…A few days later, Hisagi was informed that several of his photographers were in the fourth division. It was there that the lieutenant found that they had their cameras stuffed up their…

Needless to say, none of the reporters were keen on finding Xander after that.

The eighth division proved to be a bit of a blur for Xander, as he could not remember most of his time there. However, the cowboy did remember how scary Nanao was without her glasses. It was also here that Xander learned what his alcohol level was when it came to taking in saki, since his healing abilities prevents him to get drunk easily.

Five barrels…Xander was able to drink five barrels of saki before going unconscious, but now without singing out random songs for all to hear.

By the time Xander left the division, he didn't know which one was more painful, the giant hangover after the alcohol or Nanao's world famous fury.

The eleventh division, in truth, was the most painful thing Xander had ever experienced during his time in the Soul Society. Apparently, the men that Xander and Hanataro fought a few weeks ago were members of the division. Unfortunately for the cowboy, this resulted in Zaraki and Ikkaku looking challenging him to a fight. Fortunately, Hanataro was with Xander during both events, to which the cowboy was extremely grateful for. Ikkaku's fight proved to be challenging for Xander since he had never fought someone who used a detachable spear before. Zaraki's fight on the other hand, was a complete nightmare. The Guardian was barely able to stand up to the man's monstrous strength, but for some reason Xander was perfectly fine in handling Zaraki's spiritual pressure.

When questioned for the reason why, Xander merely chalked it up to not fully being a part of the dimension, as he technically didn't exist. Of course, this was after Hanataro peeled Xander off the wall and gave him medical treatment. Unfortunately, Zaraki began challenging Xander to a fight whenever possible, since Xander was able to cut the monster even though they were only shallow cuts.

However, the most terrifying experience that Xander had in the eleventh division was meeting Yachiru. The small, pink-haired girl reminded the cowboy of his sisters, but she terrified the man when it came to playing her…games.

It turns out that playing with Yachiru was extremely dangerous as many of the people before Xander either didn't make it or were horribly maimed or scarred. In addition to, Yachiru had developed a game in which she would steal Xander's hat, while the Guardian would chase after her all over the Seireitei. Needless to say, a lot of soul reapers were pissed off at the two for the messes they made but did not voice out their opinions in fearing retribution from Zaraki. Yachiru also invited Xander in exploring her tunnel system underneath the Seireitei. However, things proved very confusing for the cowboy, as Yachiru got several times in the tunnels and resulted with them ending up in very strange places.

The first place was actually the sixth division and inside Byakuya's study. From there, Byakuya's men appropriately hunted down the two.

The second location was one of the laboratories inside the twelfth division. Unfortunately, Mayuri ordered Nemu to grab Xander before the two made their escape in hopes of experimenting on the cowboy. This resulted in Xander refusing to stay in the mad scientist's division, as he didn't want to be the lab rat in the freak's experiments.

The final location was actually the men's room where the SMA meetings were held. Apparently, the two had interrupted a meeting; however, Yachiru merely asked Ukitake for some candy before dragging Xander back into the tunnels.

Yachiru even gave the cowboy a nickname, and by the time 'Zan-Zan' left the division the little soul reaper enthusiastically asked him to return as soon as he could. Although it was already decided that Xander would stay in the fourth division, as it would be suicide to stay in the eleventh.

*Present Time*

Xander and Hanataro were currently walking back to the division after training. Over the past few weeks, Hanataro and Xander trained to help each other in the art of combat and healing. Although Xander had his healing abilities, he did not know any medical techniques. Luckily, Hanataro was the perfect teacher and began teaching Xander how to use healing kido. In turn, Xander taught Hanataro how to strengthen his skills in fighting and even taught him abilities that Rizer had taught the cowboy before coming to the Soul Society. In addition to, Hanataro's stuttering began to decrease and even gained some confidence.

The two were near the sixth division when an explosion suddenly went off in the distance. More explosions followed soon after, as the two looked around in horror to see that the Seireitei was lit ablaze, while unknown assailants were attacking Soul Reapers left and right.


Many of the Captains and Lieutenants were unable to believe what they were seeing. Just a few moments ago a strange white-clad man told them that Head-Captain Yamamoto was gone! But they had a more immediate problem to deal with.

The zanpakuto are destroying the Seireitei!

Hitsugaya glared coldly at the long-nailed stranger. "Who are you?"

"I am Muramasa."

Please Review Please!

P.S. It is official. I have decided this story to be a HanaRuki fic.

P.S.S. I hope to get 'After the Struggle' off the ground soon.

Sixsamchaos, out!