A/N. Ok, so I was working on the second chapter for Bleach the Remix, which would've been done by now if I hadn't gotten stuck on the hollow attacks the house and Rukia loses her powers part, so I had to put that on hold for a bit, and while thinking of a solution to the problem, this kinda popped into my head. Hope you guys enjoy the story!

Summary: A year after her mother's death, young Ichigo Kurosaki dies under very mysterious circumstances, leaving behind a devastated family. Soon afterwards, she is found and recruited by the shinigami and enrolled into the academy. Quickly graduating in the span of almost a year at the academy, she quickly finds her place amidst the shinigami. But when chaos strikes and her captain winds up dead during an evasion on Soul Society, what is she to think when things take a turn for the suspicious and unusually fishy?

WARNING: Slightly smarter and more thought-out and observant Fem!Ichigo; I don't know if I should put a pairing in this or not.

Disclaimer: I do not own, or claim to own, in any way, shape, or form, the manga or anime known as Bleach. The rights to that belong to Tite Kudo.

Episode 1: To become a Shinigami PT 1

The noon sun was warm to the skin as the small village bustled with the noise of a busy day. As a soft breeze danced across the streets, a small girl, no older than nine at most, sat on the low branch of a weeping willow, legs swinging carelessly in the wind as she observed the whole world go by with bored, chocolate brown eyes; short, unruly, strawberry blonde hair that fell to the base of her neck in the back and past her shoulders in the front getting pulled and nipped at by the passing winds before they finally died down. Expression unchanging as ever, the girl raised her hand up to her face, staring at it in false curiosity and contemplation before allowing the tan limb to fall limply into her lap again, the soft cloth of her dark gray yukata resulting in her vacant, unexpressive gaze dropping down to stare at it instead.

"Hey!" the girl looked up in barely noticeable surprise at the voice, having not expected for somebody to call out to her. Her eyes landed on the form of a girl with rich brown hair cut in a pixie style and wide, baby blue doe-eyes, a wide grin on the girl's face as she waved at her. The nine year old stared for a moment, hand lifting up in a slow wave as she watched the girl run up to her, almost tripping over her own two feet twice before she finally reached the base of the giant tree. "I couldn't help but notice that you were all by yourself." At the statement, the nine year old couldn't help but quirk an eyebrow in confusion, wondering why such a thing was so important that it garnered the attention of a person she had never met before. "My name's Kisehana Yume. What's yours?" the girl, Kisehana, asked, the bright smile still on her face as she stared up at her hopefully. The girl stared at her for a moment before finally deigning to answer,

"…Ichigo." She stated in return, still staring at her inexpressively. The girl's smile seemed to grow even further in size if possible at the new information, looking almost proud of herself that she had gotten an answer, as if it were some sort of amazing feat that no other could even hope to accomplish.

"Nice to meet you Ichigo-san!" the girl said, taking a step back to bow in greeting before immediately righting herself just as quickly. She was about to say something else when a voice, this one definitely male in origin, called out the brown haired, pixie girl's name.

"Kisehana!" Ichigo looked up, head tilting at the sight of a couple of boys and one other girl running up to them. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh! Hey Todo-kun, Miru-chan, Yosehiko-kun!" Kisehana greeted, turning to smile at the two boys and girl, obviously her friends, "I was just talking to Ichigo-san here."

"Who?" the boy standing to the left with brown hair asked as he stared at the girl as if she had grown a second head, not seeing anybody else here besides them, "Wait, don't tell me you actually named the damn tree!" At the accusation, Kisehana humphed in indignation, crossing her arms over her chest as she turned away with cheeks puffed out in a textbook perfect pout that made Ichigo think of chipmunks more than anything else.

"No! Ichigo-san!" she said, jabbing a finger up to the low tree branch, and subsequently where Ichigo was sitting. Following the thin limb up, the whole groups eyes widened as they seemed to recognize her from somewhere, though Ichigo hadn't faintest idea where they might have.

"Kisehana." One of the boys began, tone warning as he slowly edged toward the other girl,

"What is it Todo-kun?" she asked in genuine confusion, bewildered by her friend's sudden strange behavior.

"Come on." He said, pulling at the girl's arm to follow him as they all slowly began to walk away, "W-We should probably get out of here…" he suggested slowly.

"Huh? Why? Todo-kun, what's the matter?"

"Baka, just shut up and come on!" the other boy, obviously Yosehiko, snapped at her, helping to get her moving along by pushing her away while the other boy, Todo, pulled.

"O-Ok!" the girl finally agreed, shocked by her friends sudden, very strange behavior and urgency. "I-I guess I'll see ya later! Bye Ichigo-san!" the girl called as she finally disappeared with the rest of her friends. Ichigo sighed as she watched the girl go, knowing full and well that if the other girl's friends could help it and actually had a say in the matter, then she'd never be seeing Kisehana ever again. 'Well, I guess it's not all that unusual…' she thought as she stared off into the distance for a few minutes before finally leaping out of the tree, landing on the ground with a soft thud before heading in the direction of the village. She was hungry, and if she remembered correctly, she probably had enough money to buy a small snack, maybe even a whole loaf of bread if she was lucky.

People seemed to part like the Red Sea for Moses as Ichigo walked down the dirt road, faces filled with apprehension and slight fear as the nine year old passed them by, some even going so far as to run away. 'It's always been like this. Since as far as I can remember, people have avoided me. I'm not sure why though.' Eventually she stopped, bare feet having brought her to a local bread store she commonly shopped at, the only place that sold things cheap enough for an orphan to buy with what little money they could gather on their own. 'Maybe it's because of the expression that I always have on my face, or lack of one. But they have always been wary, maybe even afraid. Another reason could be that I died and was sent here. But that would be stupid. Almost everybody here has died. We're all spirits, given a second chance of sorts, though none of us can remember what our lives were like before arriving here.' She walked up to the counter, digging in her pockets as she pulled out a small cloth bag, opening it to pull out several bronze coins before pointing at a loaf of bread.

"Here you go kid." The man sitting behind the counter said, trading her the loaf of bread for the coins as she proceeded to walk out of the store. 'They call this place Rukongai. It's not heaven, far from it really. But I think it could be worse. Lots worse actually. I'm just lucky I wound up in one of the districts closer to Seireitei.' At the thought her eyes drifted over to the huge white walls that lay in the center of Rukongai and its 320 districts. 'Supposedly the farther you get from those huge white walls, the more dangerous and unsafe it gets. The less likely you are to survive.' As her mind began to wander elsewhere, a sudden round of noise drew her attention to the center of the large, dirt road, a small group of four men and a woman walking down the street, unbothered despite the loads of attention –mainly angry, vindictive glares- they were getting. Clad in basically the same uniform, with only one of them; a short boy that was probably only two or three years older than her with messy, pure white hair and wearing a white haori, the girl snorted as she recognized the group almost immediately. 'Shinigami. They live within the walls of Seireitei, and usually only come out to either drink themselves silly or hunt down hollows. At least that's what I heard. I think some of them have families living in Rukongai, so they probably come out to visit as well.' Her thoughts were once again interrupted as a fight suddenly broke out between one of the shinigami, a tall man with strange tattoos and long, red hair pulled up in a ponytail that made him look like a pineapple, and a bystander that had probably said something to piss the man off.

"What? You want to say that again you dumbass?!" the red head hollered loudly, tone challenging as he got in the other man's face without any hesitation. Ichigo couldn't help but sigh when she realized that the direction she intended to go was the same as where the fight was about to break out. She blinked as her worries were abated when the white haired kid intervened, eyes glaring at the back of the older man's head in silent warning as he motioned for the group to continue onwards and to ignore the abrasive idiot that had tried to pick a fight he had no chance of winning in the first place. The red head huffed slightly, looking almost mutinous, but otherwise did as instructed, continuing to walk with the group as told.

"What? You think you're better than me?!" the arrogant bystander yelled out, trying to rile one of them up and coax them into attacking him. When none of them acknowledged his jibe, the man; bulky and almost as hairy as a gorilla, growled, irritation apparent as he tried again. "Well?" And again, the man went ignored, none of the shinigami even turning or pausing slightly to show that they had even heard the man as they walked past Ichigo and continued on. Eye now twitching and fairly close to popping a blood vessel, the man charged at them, fist cocked high in what would be a very sloppy, very poor punch to the back of the head. "I'll show you!" He called out in anger, fist about to descend on the white haired kid's head, only for the man's eyes to widen in shock as he found himself tripping over one of Ichigo's feet, having stuck it out in the man's way on purpose and saving him a more humiliating defeat by the hands of a much more skilled and experienced opponent, even if that opponent appeared to be just a child. All of the shinigami turned back, having not expected it when the man landed face first on the ground with a heavy thud. One of the older men in the group, a guy with short, spiky black hair and the number sixty-nine tattooed onto his left cheek, looked towards her, staring at her in surprise at what she had done, though the expression dropped from his face as he turned to talk to the white haired boy,

"Hitsugaya-taicho…" he was cut off as the bulky man suddenly stood up, immediately turning to lash out at Ichigo for having tripped him earlier.

"You little brat! How dare you get in my way!" the man yelled in anger, immediately reaching out to try and grab her when one of the shinigami stopped him,

"You know that's not very nice." The shinigami, a man with pale blonde hair, stated; tone warning and serious as he easily held off the bigger man's strength, tossing the brute onto his butt without so much as a sound as he stared down at the man, "She's just a kid." He went unheard though as the man got up, glaring death at him as his fist curled into a tight fist.

"First the brat interrupts, then the shinigami scum." The brute stated with a sneer, as he slowly circled around the shinigami. The blonde man barely moved an inch from his position, seeming to keep at least one eye on Ichigo herself as while keeping an eye on his opponent as well. "What does it matter to you anyways? She's just some nameless kid off the streets. Nothin' important."

"Maybe, but that doesn't mean that we'll just sit back and watch while try to beat the crap out of her." The blonde man answered, expression unchanging from its seriousness. Suddenly and without warning, the bulky man smirked, seeming to lung for the shinigami in an attack of pure and raw strength. The shinigami put up both of his arms in an impromptu attempt at blocking the expected attack, only for his eyes to widen in shock as instead the man averted his attention, snatching up Ichigo instead. Dragging her forcibly back with him, the man sneered at the shinigami as if daring them to attack now with her in harm's way.

"Well? So what are you going to do now?" the man goaded, thinking he had won this little battle of wills before it had even started. Ichigo sighed as she stared off to the side, contemplating her choices for a few moments, before suddenly taking ahold of the man's arm in a surprisingly strong grip. Exerting more energy than what may have been expected, she only paused for a second to speak to the shinigami, before flipping the man over her head, the man's eyes widening in shock as he suddenly found himself laying on his back and in pain.

"I don't need saving." She commented as she proceeded to brush the imaginary dust particles from her hands, her arms falling limply to her sides as her whole form appeared to relax once again, "You know, you're actually pretty heavy." Ichigo said as she bent down to stare into the man's eyes, an uncharacteristic, smug grin making itself at home on her face, "But I've flipped men far bigger than you." With that, she stood up, leaving the man blubbering and babbling in stunned silence and shock as she turned to face the group of also stunned shinigami, though they also looked amused as well. Giving a polite bow, Ichigo gave a small wave before running off without another word to the group, taking off in the direction of the wall before suddenly turning down an alleyway and disappearing. She missed however, when the white haired boy's eyes seemed to widen at something just as she disappeared, whispering under his breath so low that his companions almost missed it,

"It couldn't be…"

A/N. So what do you guys think? I hope you enjoyed the chapter and thanks for reading! Please, please, please review and see ya!