The setting of this story is during the DiamondDust Rebellion movie, when the Gotei 13 caught up with Kusaka and Hitsugaya on Soukyoku Hill. The question is, what if Hitsugaya had cut the King's Seal like Kusaka told him to? And also, why is it that they share the same zanpakuto?
I've taken advantage of the fact that the timeline of the movies and anime fillers are sketchy at best, and placed the "Zanpakuto Rebellion Arc" before "DiamondDust Rebellion".
Disclaimer: If I owned Bleach, Kusaka wouldn't have died, and Ukitake and Kyouraku would have more screentime.
"This is our revenge! Cut it, Toshiro!" As Kusaka held the King's Seal high above his head, their eyes met.
"This better work," Hitsugaya mouthed. "Trust him," was Kusaka's reply.
Hitsugaya could hear the shinigami racing towards him, but knew that they couldn't reach him in time to stop him. With a leap of shunpo, he was in front of his old friend and had cleaved the seal in half. A blinding white light filled the area, forcing all of the shinigami to freeze in their tracks and raise their hands to cover their eyes.
When the light faded, Hitsugaya and Kusaka no longer stood there. Instead, it was a man with flowing teal blue hair, wearing the shinigami's black shihakusho with a captain's haori. His back was to the assembled shinigami, but his hair obscured the division sign.
"Who are-" Soifon began to demand of the strange newcomer.
What happened next was completely unexpected. Before anyone else could react, Ukitake and Kyouraku had dashed past the others and were advancing towards the man, their zanpakuto drawn.
There was a clash of steel against steel as the man spun around and blocked their attacks. The Gotei 13 couldn't help but let out a gasp. In his hands were two identical katana. He was a dual zanpakuto wielder, just like the two captains.
The other captains made to follow the two senior captains, but Yamamoto's raised hand halted them. The General Commander's gaze was focused on the three men.
The two captains stepped back as one, their zanpakuto positioned defensively in front of them. No words were exchanged for a while; neither did any of them move.
"Who are you?" Kyouraku finally broke the silence.
"You know who I am, Shunsui."
"Toyama Hyou died 400 years ago," Ukitake said through gritted teeth. His eyes burned with anger, a sight not common for the easy-going captain. "What purpose do you have in impersonating him and what did you do to Hitsugaya-taichou."
"I'm not an imposter, Juushirou. I'll prove it to you." He raised his blades, which made the two captains stiffen in anticipation of an attack. But he merely held them vertically, directly parallel to each other. "Darkness is not true without light, light is not true without darkness; the moon in water on a moonless night," he whispered. "Kage no Hansha." The katana that he held had previously been identical. Now, one was completely black from hilt to tip, the other a pure icy white.
"Impossible," Ukitake gasped. Beyond any doubt, the one thing that was impossible to replicate was a shinigami's zanpakuto. That he was able to use Kage no Hansha could only mean one thing…
Somehow, the man standing before them was really Toyama Hyou, their friend had who died 400 years ago in battle.
"Now if you would excuse me, I have something that I need to do." In a split second, Toyama had disappeared from the side of the two captains and reappeared in front of the General Commander. His black sword was held against Yamamoto's throat. The shinigami present gave out strangled yelps of protest, but the old man didn't even blink.
"Toyama Hyou. What is the meaning of this?"
"Revenge, sensei. Oh, I'm not going to kill you. Probably can't even if I want to. But I do want you to see sense, so you better listen to every word I say."
Ukitake and Kyouraku stood behind Toyama, ready to intervene the moment things got out of hand. Someone else, however, had different plans.
Toyama leapt away from the attack that left a deep indent right in front of the General Commander. Immediately, three captains had their zanpakuto aimed at his throat, rendering him immobile. One on one, Soifon, Byakuya and Komamura would have stood no chance against him. But in the current situation, he knew that he was overpowered.
"I-I-Ichigo! You could have hit the Soutaichou!" Rukia's panicked voice could be heard before the two landed.
"I didn't, and anyway the old man would have been able to evade if there had been danger, so chill." The carrot-top looked around at the situation, his gaze finally settling on the unfamiliar figure held captive by the captains. "What have you done to Toushirou?"
Toyama's mouth twitched slightly, as if he was enjoying private joke. "You'll understand once you hear me out. By the way, he wants me to remind you that it's Hitsugaya."
Everyone gaped at him besides the General Commander, whose expression remained impassive as always.
Ichigo's eyes narrowed. "He's not even here now."
"I'll explain that in due time. If you would release me, captains?"
"Bring him to the meeting room. We shall continue this conversation there," Yamamoto commanded.
The captains were assembled in the regular arrangement of a meeting, with their vice-captains behind them. But this was no ordinary meeting. Every single one of them was on their guard. And the reason for that tenseness was standing in the center of the room.
Ichigo whispered to Ukitake. "Hey, what the heck is going on?" He had been told to stand at the end of the room, and no way was he going anywhere near the crazy 12th Division captain. So next to Ukitake it was.
The white-haired captain didn't take his eyes off the figure in the center. "I don't know, Kurosaki-kun. I don't know."
"Speak, Toyama Hyou," Yamamoto said authoritatively.
"Let us start, then, with the relationship between a shinigami and their zanpakuto. How would you describe it, Shunsui?"
"I fail to see-" Soifon cut in.
"Zanpakuto are extensions of a shinigami's soul. A part of their soul, you may say," Kyouraku anwered.
The 2nd Division captain fell silent. Many of the captains present had never seen the man before in their lives and were understandably wary, but the fact that Toyama seemed to know the senior captains well rattled them.
"Yin and Yang. Two sides of the same coin. Shinigami and zanpakuto. That is correct, of course. Now what if we add reincarnation into the equation?"
The room was so silent you could have heard a pin drop. 'Reincarnation,' Kyouraku mouthed, the gears in his head working at top speed.
"Take the Yin Yang symbol and turn it 180 degrees. Flip a coin over. The roles are reversed, and the zanpakuto becomes the shinigami." Toyama's burning gaze met Yamamoto's piercingly. "How is it that you, sensei, who have lived for thousands of years, failed to notice this sequence? You who have seen countless shinigami die and be born again?
"Ah, but perhaps you don't know." He turned to Ukitake. "Juushirou, how many zanpakuto spirits do you have?"
The captain was slightly taken aback by the sudden question. "Two."
Kyouraku tilted back his hat, his eyes serious. "Two, of course."
Pretty much the entire company had made the connection, and couldn't keep the shocked and horrified expressions off their faces.
"So, it is perfectly fine for a shinigami to have two zanpakuto spirits, but not for two shinigami to be bound to the same zanpakuto?" said Toyama, his tone hard.
"Allow me to introduce myself. In my previous life, I was known as Toyama Hyou, a shinigami. In this life... my name is Hyourinmaru." Gasps were heard.
"Hitsugaya Toshiro and Kusaka Sojiro..."
"Both are my masters, and in our previous lives, they had the names Hakuryuu (White Dragon) and Kokuryuu (Black Dragon) respectively. Together, they form a dual zanpakuto pair. My zanpakuto, Kage no Hansha (Reflection of Shadow)."
Everyone's attention shifted to the steadily solidifying figures behind Toyama. Two people, one dressed in white and the other in black, appeared.
"Soutaichou." The boy they knew as Hitsugaya Toshiro was now wearing a pure white kimono. Silence filled the room as the 10th Division captain and the General Commander regarded each other solemnly. The rest of the assembled shinigami looked like they were still struggling to accept the situation.
"Haku! Haku!" A pair of childish voices cheered as the two young boys apparently appeared out of nowhere and tackled the white-haired boy, causing them to collapse in a heap on the ground.
"When we saw you, we knew, but you didn't remember us! But you're still our friend, so we told Juu to give you lots of candy!"
A hand came to lift one of them off the poor flattened boy. "Hey, no welcome for me, Sougyo no Kotowari?"
"Ahhh! Koku is here! Koku is here!" One of the twins cried out as the other squirmed free. "Shoo! Shoo!"
Kusaka looked cross. "Why you little-"
"You can't really blame them, Kokuryuu. You've always bullied them." A new voice, low and seductive, cut in.
"Well, it's been a long time, Katen Kyoukotsu. You've gotten older."
The busty woman smiled dangerously, her smaller counterpart standing silently behind her. "And you've gotten more impudent. Let's take this to the training grounds, and I'll beat some manners into you."
"Order!" Yamamoto's voice boomed, banging his cane against the floor.
"I assume that no more proof is needed that these two are who I say they are?" Toyama asked with a raised eyebrow.
"What is your request, Toyama?" Yamamoto asked. It was merely a formality now, as they both knew perfectly well what he wanted.
"Abolish the rule that says no two shinigami may share a zanpakuto. Add to the rulebook that there will be no punishment or discrimination against those who wield the same zanpakuto, and make sure that this rule can never be overruled."
"Your request has been heard and will be conveyed to the Central 46 with express support from the Soutaichou of the Gotei 13."
Half an hour later found the shinigami taking tea at Ukitake's private quarters. The three friends sat around a small table, idly watching the koi in the pond.
"Are you… staying?" Ukitake asked, though they all knew the answer.
"My time is over, Juu. I've lived long enough and died fighting just like I wanted to. Now, it's those children's turn." He looked over at where Matsumoto was fussing over Hitsugaya, and Kusaka was talking with Hisagi and Renji. "The only reason why I returned was so that they could have a life. Once the King's Seal is restored, we'll be back to normal."
Despite their best efforts to hide it, Toyama could see the sadness in his two friends' eyes. "Shunsui, Juushirou, this isn't like last time. The whole fiasco with Muramasa has one benefit, at least. I may be a zanpakuto, but thanks to him I'll be able to materialize whenever I want. I won't really be gone this time."
Sougyo no Kotowari peeked over the top of the table at Toyama. He smiled at them. "Have you been taking good care of Juu, Sougyo no Kotowari?"
The twins nodded vigorously. "Really good care." "Really, really good care." Their faces turned serious. They tugged at Toyama's sleeves. "Hyou-chan? Don't ever leave again. Juu-chan will be sad. We don't want Juu-chan to be sad."
He patted their heads gently. "I'm not leaving. I don't want Juu to be sad, either."
"I promise. I'm not going away for a long, long time." He grinned at Ukitake and Kyouraku. "This time, you won't be able to get rid of me, even if you want to. I'm not a captain anymore. I'll basically be free the whole time. So prepare to see a lot of me."
Kyouraku looked amused. "Nothing to do all day? Sounds boring, Hyou," he drawled. "Why don't you-"
"I'm not doing your paperwork for you, Shunsui," Toyama cut him off flatly.
Kyouraku started to retort but was distracted by the sound of Ukitake's laughter. He began to chuckle as well, followed by Toyama. Soon, the three of them were helpless with laughter. They sat there laughing for a long time, and if too many tears were running down their faces, no one mentioned it.
Please review! I would love to hear feedback from all of you. Constructive criticism is welcome.