"Introducing Mira, a BLEACH Fanfiction"
Hello, Readers! I had an idea for an original character for the anime BLEACH, and it just wouldn't leave me alone. It certainly was persistent after I drew a sketch of how I thought she would look.
Anyway, the manga and anime versions of BLEACH don't belong to me and never will. No profit is being made by this work. Seriously, I'll be lucky to get a handful of reviews from the few who will be open-minded to OC's (Original Characters) …Admittedly, most of the time, I'm not one for leading OCs in fics myself.
The fading afternoon sunlight glinted off the various glass-paned buildings. A lone girl sat on the corner of an office building's roof. She seemed no older than twenty, with brown hair and casual clothes. An oversized sweater hid most of her torso, the straps of a tank top visible at her shoulders; short denim shorts over systematically ripped leggings adorned her lower portions; and open-toed boots with moderate heels decorated her feet. The wind billowed the girl's hair too much for an onlooker to get a good look at her face.
Such a scene was glimpsed by one Kurosaki Ichigo as he made his patrol around the city. This wasn't the first time the Substitute Shinigami had seen the girl. She seemed to prefer tall buildings at sunset, he noted. After all, he had spotted her in similar locations around the city several times in the last month or so.
Finally the Substitute Shinigami decided to talk to the girl. Or to be more precise, see if she could even see or hear him and follow up with some form of conversation. Considering the high-schooler was in soul form, the mysterious girl might not even notice him. Ichigo Shunpo'd his way over to the rooftop she sat on.
The carrot-top landed a few meters behind the girl and walked as noisily as he could, making sure each footfall resounded with a plod. The girl spoke as Ichigo got within a few steps from her position.
"You don't have to try so hard to be heard, you know. I know you're there, Shinigami." Brown hair blown by the wind obscured her features as she glanced over a shoulder to assess the visitor. "I appreciate that you're trying to not scare me off the roof, though."
Ichigo paused at her words, briefly imaging the results of if he had scared her off the roof. Messy and not pretty, he concluded. "What are you doing up here?" The boy's tone was part curiosity and part disbelief that she was actually up on a roof's corner.
A light chuckle carried on the constant wind. "Just enjoying the view. Nothing like watching the sun set behind a cityscape, you know. In a little bit, the buildings will be black silhouettes against the collage of color. Watching dawn break over the river is beautiful, too. I sit on the bridge then."
Hooking his thumbs in his hakama, the Substitute made a grunt of acceptance. "You feel like a Shinigami," the boy blurted.
The girl gave a humorless laugh at that. "And your energy is overflowing, affecting everything around you." She sighed, "I have Shinigami abilities, yes, but I'm not really one of them. You're the first aligned with the Seireitei I've come across in some time."
"Are you a Substitute, like me?"
"No, Shinigami-san. I was born in the Rukon with potential to be a Shinigami. My training class had a field assessment in the Living World, and things spiraled out of control from there. I haven't been back since."
The carrot-top lapsed into a contemplative silence, and the brunette girl lost herself within her memories.
The first year Shino Academy students milled about the courtyard, gossiping and socializing. Brown eyes peered over the shoulders of a tall redhead as the class gathered before the Senkaimon gate. Next to the redhead stood a blonde boy with blue eyes. The owner of aforementioned brown eyes recognized the pair as Abarai Renji and Kira Izuru, respectively. The rest of the class blurred in peripheral vision of white, blue, and red academy uniforms.
A playful shove from Kira sent Abarai stumbling into the person behind him. Fortunately, said person saw it coming and braced herself and the brash redhead upon contact. "Whoa," Renji muttered.
"Sorry, Mira." Kira had an embarrassed expression on his features.
The girl, now identified as Mira, gave the pair an unimpressed look. "We're here to report for a test, guys. It's no time to play around. If you're that bored, do stretches or something else productive."
A snort sounded from Abarai as Mira strode closer to the Senkaimon, weaving between clumps of classmates. Mira's passage went mostly unnoticed.
Mira was a remarkably average person in appearance. Non-descript brown eyes and hair, average height and build. She could blend in nearly anywhere in plainclothes. The only thing remarkable about her appearance was its similarity to that of Captain Aizen Sousuke of the Fifth Division. That similarity generally angered her when mentioned in her presence.
Power-wise, Mira was a bombshell waiting to detonate. The reason she entered the Shino Academy was to learn to better control her reiatsu. Mira hadn't wanted to join the Thirteen Court Guard Squads and their affiliates, but after breaking a large container of water that was supposed to have sustained her mother and herself by a fluctuation in the girl's already-suppressed energy, she gave in to the inevitable and signed up for the academy. By releasing bursts of energy during training as Kido, Mira had greatly advanced in the needed control.
At last, the three sixth year students who stood directly in front of the gate called the class to attention. The well-known rising star Hisagi Shuuhei stood in the middle, flanked by the towering Aoga in the standard boys' uniform and Kanisawa in the girls' red. Hisagi gave a brief explanation of what was expected of them before the mighty doors opened and they rushed en mass through the Dangai, or Precipice World.
The group landed in what looked like an industrial area. Mira noticed she could sense the other sixth years in position to hold the barrier around the testing area. There was a sensory grey area in the distance but within the area set for the barrier. Mira shrugged off the occurrence as likely where the faux Hollows were kept.
The class dispersed, and Mira took note of who she was assigned to. Minoko, a diminutive black-haired girl with an oversized kimono, and a boy whose name Mira could never remember. The trio wandered away from their starting point.
Minoko broke the silence. "Do you think you can take one those fake Hollows by yourself, Aizen-chan?"
"Don't call me that," Mira snapped. "And we're first years—we're not expected to destroy a Hollow single-handedly. That's why we're in groups of three."
The boy nodded in agreement with Mira as Minoko sneered. "Surely," Minoko spoke with a sarcastic tone, "one who bears such a likeness to Captain Aizen must have some of his formidable ability."
The brown-haired girl took a deep breath in an effort to calm her flaring temper. Of all the people to be stuck with, she groused, it had to be an unsocial boy and the girl most likely to get a Shakaho to the face for cheek. "We'll see when the Hollow shows up, won't we?"
They walked for a while longer. Something seemed off as the night wore on. That gray area had apparently divided and moved about. Still, that could be shrugged off as the faux Hollows moving into position. Except…Except that the barrier team's presence was eclipsed by grey at their last known locations. The gray hovered over some spots within the barrier. Mira realized with a start, she didn't sense the barrier itself, hadn't all night. Surely the concentrated reishi holding the barrier would be noted if she could sense the ones casting it, right?
At that moment, the faux Hollow appeared before their group. The artificial beast looked similar to a praying mantis, standing on the four hind limbs while the front two were raised in an attack-ready position. The boy, whose name Mira still couldn't remember, sprinted after it, drawing his sword as he ran. Minoko arched an eyebrow in Mira's direction before jogging after the boy. With a heavy sigh, the third of the trio dashed in to aid her group.
Within moments of his forward charge, the boy was flung away from the Hollow, propelled by one of the powerful forelimbs. Minoko stood some distance away as she stuttered through a Kido incantation, unaware of the Hollow's moments in her direction. Mira, in her haste to prevent injury to a classmate (regardless of how much dislike stood between them), stepped into a beginner's Shunpo; she landed to the left of the beast to fend off one striking forelimb. Her sword shook from the impact in her hands, but the brunette's grip stayed strong. The other raised limb swung her way, and the girl leapt onto the flat side of the large serrated front legs. Another jump sent Mira into a spinning diagonal, rotating toward the Hollow's triangular head. Mira's sword slashed out to cut the large white mask in two, and the faux Hollow disintegrated before the Shinigami-in-training even landed into a guarded crouch.
"That was amazing!" crowed the blue-clad student. Minoko irritably crossed her arms under her unimpressive chest.
Mira rose from her previous position, sheathing her unnamed sword in the same movement, and shook her head. "We were lucky this was a slow one. Any faster, and we would be in big trouble."
Any reply that may have been offered was silenced as the cry of a true Hollow cut through the quiet night.
Kurosaki Ichigo continued to stare at the strange girl who sat upon a random rooftop in Karakura. "Why," the carrot-top hesitated a moment before continuing his question, "Why didn't you go back? Why not go back and finish your schooling and become a Shinigami for real?"
A mirthless laugh carried on the seemingly everlasting wind. "Because, the one who supposedly saved the remainder of those classes—the first years and the sixth year students—was the one who created the chaos and bloodshed. My brother went Bankai on my training class."
The girl turned pained brown eyes to the Substitute Shinigami. For the first time, Ichigo could cleanly see her face. A face he knew well. The face of his greatest enemy. The face of Aizen Sousuke.
Woven sandals skidded on the roof as the boy landed from his short Shunpo away from the girl still perched on the raised edge overlooking the city. Ichigo gripped Zangetsu over his shoulder and growled out a rough, "Who are you!?"
Ripped legging-clad legs swung over the ledge to bring the girl to face the teenage Shinigami. The wind still tugged at her hair and sweater, but her hair no longer blew to obscure her features. "I'm the younger sister of a monster far worse than any Hollow. Judging by your reaction, you've met Sousuke."
Under orange eyebrows, hard brown eyes narrowed at the words uttered in such a cold truth. "You mean Aizen Sousuke, the traitor to the Seireitei? Heh, I guess you could say we've crossed paths."
The girl shook her head in a forlorn manner. "Ah. I would take that you're still here despite crossing paths with him to mean one of two options. One, he thought you beneath his attention—too insignificant to bother killing. Or option two, he has some sort of drawn out, maniacal plan that you are a part of, whether you like it or not. Well, there was a third option, but your reaction to my face cancelled that out."
"What's the third option?" came the distrustful query.
"That you are or were one of his lackies, a subordinate in his plans of undermining everything." Another sad shake of her head. "I've been gone too long to have any idea what he's planning or even what plans he completed or put into motion. Never been in his close circle anyway, even when we were growing up."
The scowl adorning Ichigo's face didn't lighten up. "If you grew up together, how did you not notice what he was doing, what he was becoming?"
"He was already out of the Academy when I was born," the mysterious girl explained. "The times that he visited home were very rare and never more than a day. He kept his nice-guy mask on around us." She stood and clasped her hands over her stomach, "Suddenly, he would visit more often. But when he did was around the time that unusual disappearances and strange Hollow started showing up in the Rukongai."
Ichigo's stare hadn't lessened in intensity as the brown-haired girl spoke, neither had his hold on Zangetsu's grip. "I get that you were little at the time, but wouldn't something like that throw up red flags? Especially to your parents?"
Long-fingered hands unclasped from their hold on each other to lock onto the opposite arms in a desperate self-embrace. The girl bowed her head, eyes closed and nearly obscured by hair if not for the still-billowing wind. "Both my parents were Shinigami at one point. My mother spent most of her time tinkering in the bunker she made when she wasn't tending to her family. My father more or less retired from the Eighth Division, and he noticed the pattern. My father followed Sousuke one night during one of his unusual visits. Father came home before Sousuke, but it wasn't long before my supposed brother followed.
"An argument broke out. Father was shouting at Sousuke about betraying his colleagues and superiors…Something about 'Hollowification' experiments and scapegoats. My sister, Keiko, tried to ease down the yelling to no avail. Sousuke just gave the creepiest of smiles during my, our, father's yelling. Next thing I know, as I'm huddled underneath our table, Father is cut down by a single stroke from Sousuke's Zanpakuto. Keiko screamed at the sight. Someone stepped in front of my hiding place just then. White tabi, black hakama; I assumed it to be one of Sousuke's men."
The Substitute Shinigami felt shock take hold of his expression. The thought of someone slaying his or her own family in cold blood made his own blood turn cold. His eyes, moments ago fierce and focused, softened in sympathy, and Zangetsu found itself clutched not as tightly as before. The large Zanpakuto urged his wielder to remain vigilant in case of a rouse, despite not sensing ill intentions from the supposed sister of Aizen the Traitor.
"I-I heard," the girl's cracked in emotion, not for the first time, yet she pushed onward. "I heard my father's gasping, dying breathes. I heard my sister's frightened pleas for explanation from Sousuke. I heard my monsterous brother's deadly calm tone saying 'leave no witnesses'…Just before Keiko's last scream and the thud of her body joining our father's on the floor." She took a moment to compose herself, audibly gulping down a lump in her throat.
"The man who stepped in front of the table, he spoke with a funny little accent. I don't remember what he said, exactly, but he hid me from view and his reishi had spiked slightly to mask what little I had back then. He saved me from my brother's blade that night. I learned his name much later." The girl sat back down onto the ledge of the roof, drawing her legs up to hug them to her chest. "Sousuke didn't even bother to dispose of Father and Keiko's bodies. Just left them as they fell. Finally Sousuke and his underling left the house, but I stayed under the table until morning. Sunrise came, and I ran to my mother's bunker, praying to any deity that would listen that she had been spared. She was asleep but alive."
The carrot-topped boy had to clear his throat before voicing his next question, his hand almost completely free of his sword. Disbelief, sorrow, wariness, and sympathy battled for dominance within his eyes. "What's your name?"
She slowly raised her gaze to land on the boy once again. "My name is Aizen Mira, and I despise the one born as my brother."
Well, what did you think? Too out there? Interesting? Let me know in a Review! You know, that tempting little box just below? Yeah, that one.
For those who are patiently awaiting the next installment of my fic, "Of Wizards and Demons: Hogsmeade's Devil Hunter", I do apologize for the excruciatingly long wait. Writer's block is horrible; I can't make it feel right when I force it too hard. Blargh.