Two months had passed. Toshiro was upstairs in the Seventh Heaven, completely exhausted as the last of his Lifeforce was absorbed by the emerald. Hyorinmaru kept a careful watch over him so he could tell Toshiro the exact moment when he could begin restoring his Spiritual Pressure. The last week had been terrible for him as even walking became a challenge. Tifa kept a watchful eye out as well when he walked downstairs, worried about his health.
He had learned a lot about Gaia in that time, such as its geography and history. Aerith helped him with information about the Ancients and the Lifestream, the Jenova War Heroes about the creatures and towns. Rufus mellowed out of his power hungry stage and let Toshiro in on Shin-Ra's secrets in the hopes of earning the tiny Captain's trust. He'd even been introduced to a Chocobo, a large chicken-like creature that came in various colors depending on what they were built for. Seeing giant blue and green birds walking around had thrown him for a loop. As for the mechanical aspects of Gaia, well…Squad Twelve was having a field day. In return Toshiro was willing to give out information about Soul Society's technology.
Vincent had visited him once when he was still in good shape. He had thanked the Soul Reaper for his help and, upon hearing that Toshiro would be in charge of Gaia's protection among the Soul Society, looked forward to seeing him in battle again. During their conversation, Toshiro had taken the time to confirm that Chaos was indeed gone. He didn't see the other Jenova War Heroes as much, though Cloud made frequent visits for Tifa and the kids. The swordsman had hidden Hyorinmaru's materia away from the rest of his own in a church that Aerith used to grow flowers in. So in a way, Aerith was watching over the Weapon's materia now.
His thoughts were scrambled as the door opened. Teal eyes slowly opened to see Denzel and Marlene at the door.
"Um, Toshiro?" The young girl whispered. "Are you awake?"
"I'm fine." He replied, forcing himself to sit up. "What is it?"
They opened the door wider to step inside, the noise from below seeping in for a moment until they closed it behind them. Marlene was holding a tray of food.
"Tifa asked us to bring this to you." She set the tray down on the stand by the bed he currently occupied. "She hopes it will make you feel better."
"I don't need to be pampered." Toshiro argued.
A growling noise echoed in the room and Toshiro blushed, covering his stomach. The food did smell good. Marlene giggled.
"It's on the house." She said.
Toshiro shifted himself so he could eat as the two children sat on the edge of the bed.
"You know, you're not what I expected at all." Marlene said after a moment.
"How so?" The ice Captain looked at her.
"Well, everyone keeps calling you the Ice Captain, and from what Cloud and the others said you always acted so cold. But I can tell you're a nice person inside."
Giving her a strange look, Toshiro shifted himself to face them.
"You just need to be yourself sometimes." She smiled and the white haired child looked somewhat taken aback. "What do you think, Denzel?"
The brown haired kid jumped at being put in the spotlight and stammered at first.
"Well, I mean, you're still a little scary…" He muttered. "But…not like Kadaj was. He was…well, kind of psychotic."
"I have to deal with that back home, I know how you feel." Toshiro grimaced, thinking of Mayuri Kurotsuchi. He was sure the scientist was waiting hopefully for a chance to look at Hyorinmaru, after he was done with Gaia's machines. Said dragon growled at the thought.
"Do you have any siblings, Toshiro?" Marlene lay down on the bed, letting her legs swing back in forth in the air. He still didn't like being called by his first name, but he was making an exception for them.
"Sort of…We're not really related, but we lived together before we both became Soul Reapers."
Toshiro glanced at the girl in warning.
"Her name is Momo Hinamori. She's the Lieutenant of Squad Five." Marlene and Denzel both noticed his expression turn dark before he quickly turned away to eat again.
"I bet she's really glad to have a brother like you." The young girl smiled. Her smile turned to a frown when Toshiro gave her an incredulous look. "Well, as her brother, you look out for her right? She probably feels really special to have someone like you to protect her."
Marlene was trying to cheer him up, but every word only seemed to bring the Captain down more.
"She's only recently been released from the infirmary." He said, face hidden in shadow.
"O-oh, I'm sorry. I mean, you're only one person, you can't be everywhere at once." The girl stood and cautiously walked over to the white haired being. Denzel looked nervous and backed away.
"I was the one who put her there."
They froze, startled.
"I was fighting an enemy who used something called Complete Hypnosis. I…I attacked who I thought was the enemy, but…it was…it was her instead. She almost died…"
Toshiro vaguely wondered why he was telling them this and blamed it on how exhausted he was both mentally and physically from his low amount of energy left.
"It wasn't your fault." Marlene said softly, stepping over and embracing the distraught Captain. Toshiro's eyes widened at the display of affection and didn't move, unsure how to react.
Denzel, feeling it was safe, crept closer as well to see what Toshiro's reaction would be. Neither expected tears to flow as the Captain lost his control over his emotions, but Marlene kept a gentle smile on her face and didn't let him go. Aerith had told her the Captain was hurting inside due to something a Tsviet did and wanted to help, while Denzel had tagged along to get over his fear of the icy child.
Needless to say he was no longer scared and even came up to pat the Captain on the back.
'Toshiro, the Lifeforce is gone.' Hyorinmaru said quietly. 'You need rest to start replenishing you Spirit Energy.'
Wiping away his tears Hitsugaya acknowledged the Leviathan and asked for them to leave, taking off the pendant, which had turned clear to show it had absorbed all the Lifeforce in his body. Marlene gave him one last hug before leaving, Denzel in tow. He had not expected to get along with them, not enough to cry in front of them anyway. He reigned in his wild emotions and lay down to sleep.
After his last month was spent and Toshiro was well once more, the gate back to the Soul Society was opened and he prepared to head home. Some of the Jenova War Heroes had come to see him off. Yuffie, Vincent, Cid, Cloud, Tifa and Reeve. Shelke, Shalua, Marlene and Denzel also wished him goodbye.
"Don't forget what I said." Marlene whispered. "Try to be yourself more."
He nodded the slightest bit to that, turning to the others and bowing.
"Thank you for your hospitality." He said politely.
"Hey, none of that shit." Cid shouted, startling Toshiro. "You're one of us now, no need to be all noble. Keep in touch, short stuff!"
Sighing, Toshiro gave them a small smile instead before turning his back and vanishing through the Lifestream portal. That ordeal was over with, now he needed to check in with his Squad to see how things were running. With his luck, Matsumoto had escaped house arrest and gone drinking while he was away.
"If she hasn't done anything I'll make sure to punish her for it." He scowled as he spoke.
Hyorinmaru, tuning in to his master's thoughts, roared with laughter at the devious plans Toshiro had for his Lieutenant. Things back home were going to be interesting indeed now that the stress of Omega's plight was lifted.
"Hang on…did Cid call me…short stuff?"
His brow twitched as Hyorinmaru laughed once more.
Just a little chapter to explain what he did over the next three months after his meeting with Rufus and him getting along with Marlene and Denzel...sort of. Marlene's like a tiny Momo, except she doesn't idolize a traitor, so i could kind of see Shiro getting along okay with her.
Oh Cid, you so getting frozen ^^
So that's it! The End! Goodbye! Unless you lovely readers have an idea for a sequel? I had a couple ideas but i'd like to see what ya'll(sorry, i'm Texan) say and see if anyone has the same ideas as me.
Love the Reviews! Ive never had so mny for one story! Well, this is one out of the three stories i have...my first one has thirty something and that's it, i have over 160 something at the moment, i think. Awesome! I feel loved! *throws out cookies for everyone who reviewed*
Enough of that, i hope you enjoyed my Bleach and Final Fantasy 7 crossover! It was fun to write it and it made me happy to see all the awesome reviews! I'll shut up now, hehe, i've got homework/other fan-fiction to work on. Bye bye!