Disclaimer – I don't own Bleach. This is the third fanfic I am writing for "The Ultimate Fanfic Challenge 200 Prompts" and it is written for the bonus prompt #02, Valentine's Day. Unlike the other prompts I only have to write five-thousand words rather then twenty-thousand. This story is AU in the fact it ignores the final arc for what should be obvious reasons. ANC:65.
Not Mine Valentine
A soft wind blew across the desert of Hueco Mundo as Hirako Shinji and Hinamori Momo stepped through the gate. The reinstated taicho of the fifth division frowned at the area around him and took in the various spiritual pressures and the lack of them where there should be. Tilting his head slightly as he came to the conclusion that things were safe he began to move forward with the other Shinigami that were with him.
Momo glanced around, her mouth forming into a deep pout. "I don't understand why we are opening up diplomatic relationships with the Hollows of all people."
The man turned to look at her with an irritated look. "Of course we are going to be opening up relationships with anyone that could turn out to be an ally and give us information if something starts to go down here. This will put us at an advantage so that we can be more aware of anything that may cause us to have to go to war again."
"All Hollows are the same." The small female glanced away, her cheeks puffing out in frustration.
"Then I guess I'm just like them because I happen to have Hollow powers." Shinji continued walking towards the palace.
"It isn't the same." Momo kept close to her heals.
"Of course it isn't." The man remained silent after that, but couldn't help but think to himself. "It is very much the same thing, but someone who hasn't had to deal with having an inner Hollow wouldn't have any knowledge of this."
The group found themselves met by a dark haired female dressed in a uniform that seemed reminiscent of traditional clothing of a Japanese noble. "Welcome to Las Noches."
The small fukutaicho frowned at the female as the memory of having fought the female and her companions remained fresh in her mind. She glared at the female, only to have Shinji give her a look. "Remember that these Arrancar are no longer our enemies but are now our allies."
Rather reluctantly the female followed behind him until they came to the meeting hall with its long table and they took their seats. Harribel was setting at the end. "I don't remember you being a member of the Gotei Thirteen before, despite the fact you did in fact show up. You have both the powers of a Shinigami and a Hollow, do you not."
The corner of his mouth twisted up. "No thanks to Aizen. My group was kicked out of Soul Society because of his actions, but upon being pardoned a few of us moved back home while others of us were not as forgiving. I was sent this month as per the agreement to have a meeting to discuss anything that needs to be discussed. Though right now Soul Society has no agenda to discuss."
"Is this so you can get home sooner or because you really don't have any agenda to discuss with us." Francheska narrowed her eyes at the man.
"Well, if you want to push whether or not we have any agenda it is limited this time around to listening to the things you need to have discussed." Shinji placed his hands on the table while crossing his fingers in a lose manner."
"There is the matter of Ichimaru Gin to discuss." Harribel's words caused the entire group of Shinigami to flinch other then Shinji.
"The assumption is that he is dead or managed to disappear and not want to be found." The blond taicho watched her carefully. "Most people prefer the idea that he is dead as a lot of people don't like him."
"Yourself?" The woman folded her arms across his chest.
Instead of Shinji speaking up, his fukutaicho blurted her opinion out. "Ichimaru Gin is a monster. He deserves to die. He..."
The blond haired taicho placed a hand over her mouth. "She asked for my opinion and not yours. I know all to well how much you dislike Ichimaru Gin."
"So what is your opinion of the man?" The woman continued her questions.
"Of Gin-chan? I see him as a child, but then I'm one of the few people who knew him back when he first joined the Gotei Thirteen." Shinji frowned at the woman. "And I don't think that he ever grew up either. His actions to be a double traitor were in truth childish and only something a child would have come up with. It is a little hard to judge him, particularly when his only notable crime is having turned traitor."
"But..." Momo tried to speak up again, only to have him interrupt her again.
"He has his issues, but the only people that he is known to have killed has been those who are seen as criminals in the eye of Soul Society at the time of killing. We have not determined whether or not he killed any of the forty-six. The fact he was a double traitor actually works in his favor if he hasn't killed any of them. Of course, the new forty-six may be as big of jerks as the old ones."
"But you have nothing against him?"
Shinji closed his mouth. "I wouldn't say it is right to say I have nothing against him as he did Sarugaki Hiyori in half, but I wouldn't say I bear him any ill will towards him for that as she isn't dead. Also as I said, I knew him when he was a kid. So while I don't like his behavior, it is a little hard for me to hold anything against him."
Harribel nodded her head. "Then you'll be willing to take him back with you to Soul Society so that he can face trial?"
Shinji's frown deepened while the female nodded to Frankcheska to leave the room. "We found him a few weeks ago. To be honest, he's lucky to be alive as his physical state isn't as good back during the Winter War. He's also to forewarn you not saying a single word. He's just glared at us."
Shinji raised an eyebrow as the silver haired man was brought into the room. He could also feel his fukutaicho suddenly bristle. He held his hand up to stop her from reacting negatively as he looked the man in the eye, or least as much in the eye as anyone could with Ichimaru Gin. "Just great."