Disclaimer – I do not own Bleach.

The World Spins Like a Top

A soft snow fell upon the top of Shiba Kaien's head as he headed to his captain's quarters. A brand new fukutaicho badge was upon his arm. He found himself kneeling next to the door and knocking. Ukitake's voice bid him admitance and he slid the door open. His dark eyes took in the toys strewn across the floor and the bag the man was stuffing them into. He frowned, noticing that his taicho looked a little paler then usual.

"Are you sure you feel up to handing out the toys this year? I think I can possibly handle doing it on my own."

"No, no!" Ukitake waved him off, a smile plastered on his face. "I enjoy seeing the children's smiles as much as they enjoy seeing me. Let's head out then."

As the last toy went into the bag, Kaien stood up and walked over and took the bag, swinging it gently over his back. "Yes. Let's get going."

"You know, if I knew you would be carrying the bag I would have packed another." The taicho of the thirteenth division's comment caused his fukutaicho to roll his dark eyes. They headed out to the first district and as soon as they showed up a swarm of kids showed up, their eyes big and wide smiles on their face. Ukitake smiled back. "Hold out your hands."

Slowly, one by one the toys were handed out from the big bag. For some strange reason it felt like it was getting colder and the other children started to edge away from Kaien, glancing warily behind him. Turning to look over his shoulder, he saw two bright teal eyes staring at him as a child with white hair peeked over something. "Well, hello there."

The child didn't move forward and Kaien went back to helping Ukitake hand out toys from the bag. The children moved to the other side of Ukitake, while some other moved away even from the taicho. He glanced over and saw that the boy was staring at him. He held out his small hands for Kaien to look at. "My hands are clean."

Kaien reached into the bag and grabbed a small top and placed it in the boy's hands. He was surprised to see the boy frown. "My hands are clean."

"I can only give you one toy." Kaien shook his head at the child who couldn't be physically more then two to three years of age.

"No, my hands are clean." The boy persisted.

The member of the Shiba clan turned and took the small hands in his and felt how cold they were. "Yes, your hands are clean."

The next thing he knew the boy smiled at him and pushed the top back into his hands. The child then turned to run off. Kaien found himself grabbing the boy by the scruff of his neck. As he stood up the boy looked up with wide yes. He then pushed the toy into the boy's hands. "This is for you. You're supposed to keep it."

The boy smiled at him then. "Thank you."

He then hurried off, his bare feet leaving footsteps in the snow. Kaien suddenly felt the other children move close again.


Years passed and Kaien headed towards the tenth division to see his older brother. He walked in scratching his head. "I heard that you've gotten a new third seat whose yet another supposed child genius."

His eyes went wide as he suddenly felt the summer heat be hit with a winter chill. He heard the running of small feet. The sound of a small foot hitting something could be heard and then a loud thump as the owner of said feet was heard crashing against the ground. Papers went flying into the air.

"Actually... he's already material to be a fukutaicho, but there isn't a position open." Isshin let out a deep sigh before standing up and walking over to behind Kaien.

Kaien found himself blinking at the site of a child sprawled on the floor with a paper on top of his head. "How old is he?"

"Who knows." His brother scooped the boy up and began to brush him off. A quick movement of the hand scooped the papers while the other arm grabbed the boy before heading off to his desk and sitting down. The man plopped the papers down on the desk and then sat the boy into his lap. "Now Toshiro, I've told you that you don't have to rush me the papers. Take your time and think things through."

"Taicho, it's Hitsugaya..." The boy had a frown on his face, but Kaien could see the all to familiar bright teal eyes and white hair. Isshin suddenly ruffled the soft white head of hair, which caused the boy to frown.

"I thought you didn't like kids nii-sama." The young man shook his head.

"This one is different. He's not like Ganju at all."

"Yeah... he washes his hands." Kaien blurted out.

"Where did that come from?" Toshiro glanced up, frowning at the man.

"Well, you sure aren't as cute as when you were littler." Kaien shook his head at the child. The boy gave him a rather confused look. "I was handing out toys with Ukitake Taicho and I gave you a top."

The boy's eyes suddenly brightened up and he hopped off of Isshin's lap and hurried over to Kaien. He suddenly pulled something out of his sleeve. The item was a very worn wooden top. "I actually still have it. It's the only toy I've ever had."

"Toshiro, why don't you see what Matsumoto is up too." Isshin spoke up.

When the child had disappeared Kaien gave a weak smile. "She would love to have a little one just like him."

"See... he's different." The taicho of the tenth's face became serious. "Matsumoto found him in the Rukongai. His reiatsu was killing his grandmother, so he had to go to the academy in order to learn how to control it. Normally they don't allow children who are this young in. He typically doesn't act like a child, but every so often you get a gem like that."

"I just noticed it started to warm up in here again. Is his zampaktuo ice based?" Kaien asked.

Isshin paused for a few minutes. "His blade isn't just iced based. His spirit is an ice dragon. Chances are his reiatsu was felt by the children and adults around him and no one ever went near him. He's also leery of making friends or getting close to people because of this."

"Poor kid. He's actually a nice kid." Kaien stated. "Hope he eventually gets to make a friend."