Warborn 3

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
#1
Raw.

*

Warborn

Chapter 3

Part 1/2

*

Reunion

*

Ichigo frowned, placing his hand on the large, varnished desk, standing there for a long moment, before turning and looking at the empty shelves.

Soi Fon said nothing, simply leaning on the wall, observing her fellow captain patiently.

"It's... not quite what I expected," he said finally, looking at her

"The division compounds are similar, but not identical," the woman shrugged slightly

"No, I don't mean it like that," Ichigo rubbed his chin "I expected... I don't know, some kind of trace of Aizen? Or dust, maybe, considering how long it had been left empty."

"Aizen's old compound had been ripped apart by Onmitsukido and 9th division investigators for clues," Soi Fon explained "The new office wasn't sealed - the staff had been cleaning it every week."

"Oh. I didn't know that," Ichigo blinked, before wincing slightly as Soi Fon raised an eyebrow "Hey, I didn't even know I was going to be a captain last week, cut me some slack!"

"Get used to it, Shihouin-Kurosaki-taicho," she said smirking "Paperwork waits for no shinigami."

"Yeah, yeah," he rolled his eyes "And we really need to do something about this Shihouin-Kurosaki thing. It's too bloody long," Ichigo frowned "Though I guess it does spare some confusion, what with my old man and all,"

"You can go simply by Shihouin, if you like," the 2nd division captian shrugged "Technically, it takes precedence and, indeed, it would make things simpler,"

"Yeah, I bet you're just thrilled at the idea, aren't you?" he chuckled

"It is not unwelcome," she raised an eyebrow "Yoruichi-sama honored you greatly, you should be proud."

"I know that," Ichigo looked down at the desk again "Just like I know she does stuff like that for a reason - usually one involving her amusement first and foremost. I'm sorta waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak,"

"Ingrate," the shorter shinigami sniffed

"Cautious," Ichigo said glibly

Soi Fon snorted, though there was that tiny smile she couldn't quite hide on her face.

"I like it,"

The lithe ninja cocked her head, frowning

"When you smile, I mean," Ichigo looked at her "It looks good on you,"

Soi Fon blinked, before turning to ths side with a huff, a hint of a blush appearing on her cheeks.

"Are you trying to embarras me?"

"Guilty as charged," he admitted shameelssly

"Are you some kind of a masochist?" the shorter captian deadpanned

"I like when you're embarrased. You look cute, in that deadly, stabby sort of way," the newly minted captain chuckled

Soi Fon's eyebrow rose slowly and she pushed of the wall, walking past Ichigo and looking down at the desk for a moment, before sitting on it gracefully.

"It's a very nice desk, isn't it?" the lithe captian said mildly, crossing her legs. The action was bereft of any hint of impropriety or innnuendo, and yet...

Soi Fon might not have the voluptous curves, but she had grace in spades. The way the lithe, compact muscles played under her skin when she moved, the way her steps seemed to barely chain the raw speed she possessed with just a smallest of hints, the strangely... complete, all-encompassing way she made every step or gesture flow from one into other seamlessly.

She always moved gracefully, but usually there was sense of power and no-nonsense purpose she carried about her that dissuaded any other notion from even hinting at something more. It was only when she was distracted or relaxed that it became evident. It was surprising, even when it shouldn't have been, given her background and training - a testament to the borderline vicious strength of personality Soi Fon had. In a twisted way, it served as yet another layer of armor, another veil keeping the prying eyes away form the truth hiding in the plain sight.

A very interesting sight as far as he was concerned.

Ichigo's eyes followed her palm, as she slid her finger down the varnish.

"It looks solid, but sometimes you just have to check these things yourself." she loked at him, her face a veery picture of polite, if impersonal, interest one expected out of public servant or a majordomo "I wouldn't mind assisting you in that endavour, Shihouin-taicho."

The blond opened his mouth, before closing it wiout a word and shaking his head as Soi Fon slid off the desk gracefully, smirking.

"You know, if you wanted to solicit me for sex, you just should have said so," she said matter of factly, causing Ichigo to blink and stare "It will have to wait a bit, of course," she patted the desk.

"Of course," he nodded dumbly, before looking at the desk, then back at the rather amused Second Division captain.

Something told him that her showing him the ropes was going to be far less dull than he assumed.

"So... when's that later going to be?" Ichigo asked with interest.

Soi Fon sighed, shaking her head.

Still, a small, almost unnoticeable smirk appeared in the corner of her mouth.

"We'll see," the woman murmured, before turning to the small stakc of documents, all buisiness "For now we have job to do, Shihouin-taicho," she said pointedly

Ichigo nodded, grabbing the first sheet from the top and sitting by the mostly empty desk.

"I would advise you to deal with paperwork today, though," Soi Fon said calmly, grabbing several dcuments as she sat on the corner of the large desk.

Ichigo raised an eybrow quistioningly.

"It would make sure they are off the desk by the evening," she said mildly, causing Ichigo's eyes to widen a bit.

"That... is a great idea," he said grabbing a brush and staring at the paperwork with newfound determination

"Yes, I thought as much myself," she murmured leaning towards him with several forms in hand "Now, let's see what we have to work with."

*

The location of the Onmitsukido's headquaters was something of an open secret to anyone of rank within Gotei 13. While officially no directions were provided to outsiders and it was thought to be clasified, officers could find it without any problem. Most people thought it was an obvious ploy, that the headquaters served as an obvious distraction form the real special fores HQ - a secret hidden from any prying eyes. The allure of forbidden being what it is and the stories about mysteirous dungeons, trap-laden archives and fantastic mazes guarded by fanatical operatives and exotic kido circulated across Seireitei, causing many - some simply curious, others simply greedy or looking for an edge on their peers - to waste time and resources looking for the elusive headquaters.

They would be very dissapointed if they ever learned the truth.

The HQ, placed near the ancestral Shihouin estates, was actually fully funcitonal and performed its role exactly as it should purely for convinience's sake - it was simply easier for all involved and it served as a silent reminder that the arm of the Onmitsukido has a very long reach, both in the shadows and out of them. There was no underground lair, no deadly maze and while there were forbidden and exotic kido, most of them were guarded rather than doing the guarding. Overall, Onmitsu compound functioned a lot like any other Gotei 13 division - the people just were less chatty, the locks tighter and the data written in constantly changing sets of codes that caused no ends of hedeaches to freshly minted officers and veterans alike.

While it was a sour lemon to swallow for any conspiracy theorist, they'd be delighted to know that under that veil of stricter than usual routine bureaucracy of Gotei 13, there was a grain of truth to the fantastic stories. However, unlike the overblown speculations, said grain was even plainer than the routine that hid it.

When the head of Onmitsukido worked, she did it on a comfortable seat in a room befitting her status, sorrounded by vary operatives and skilled assassins. When the head of intelligence worked, she was sorrounded by a plethora of aromas, ranging from musty smell of old scrolls and books of the second district's many bookshops or an enticing smell of green tea and rice cookies. Often it was the smoke of pipes mixed with cheap sake, sometimes the fresh yet heavy and rich smell of cooked food.

The Moving Castle was less a place and more of a concept, moving at the whims and patterns only the Coordinator of Intelligence, Shihouin Yoruichi, really knew, its location always shifting and changing thanks to the vast network of people who didn't even know how much they knew or why they were told to do what they did. Often, they weren't even 'told' and had no idea they worked for someone other than themsleves, save for very few who earned the trust of Shihouin Clan with blood, sacrifice and, often, millenia of loyal service.

Not that this service had gone unrewarded.

"Nice place," Yoruichi leaned back, balancing the glass of chilly, full-fat milk on her finger before chugging it with relish one might show drinking prime sake "You did good for yourself, Marenoshin."

The massive man to her right bowed his head slightly.

"Times had been good, Yoruichi-sama," he admitted, his fingers crushing a handful of walnuts "I am only ashamed I did not have the possibility to aid you earlier."

Yoruichi chuckled. Omaeda Marenoshin was a proud man, always had been. It wasn't the boastful, loud arrogane born form status and wealth which many would assume looking at the gaudily dressed noble. No - this, like the bulk that would make him seem slow and slovenly, was a far less obvious unless one knew the man. Marenoshin's pride was a dangerous thing, and a patient one.

Patient enough to calmly ignore his commander's desertion and the change of regime, patient enough to do as he was ordered for well over a century, not breathing a word to anyone, not even his own children.

This was the patient and ruthlessly commited pride of a man who did his job regardless of the cost. The same pride that felt more than was stung that he wasn't the first she turned to and the same pride that caused him to wait for years even after her return, still doing a job no one knew about nor seemingly cared for. On the other hand, the contacts and knowledge gained during his service allowed Omaeda family to have their fingers in a lot of pies, bringing the already wealthy clan considerable profit. As far as Yoruichi was concerned, it more than balanced out and in the end.

"No harm done," she said lightly, and several more walnuts cracked, the big fingers fishing the nuts out of their broken shells deftly "You are exactly where and when I need you, Marenoshin, as always."

"As always," the large man said, nodding with satisfaction, before standing up and pushing the large mirrored glassess up "Now forgive me please, Yoruichi-sama, I believe there is a steak here that is calling my name."

Yoruichi smirked, waving Marenoshin away, even as a familiar reiatsu spiked at the edges of her awarness briefely. Discretion was, among other things, one of the virtues Marenoshin hid carefully yet delighted in using when situation called and it seemed the centuty away form active duty didn't dull his edge none.

"Well, this is nostalgic," Kuukaku said, srawpling herself over the space Marenoshin emptied "All that cloak and dagger and Omaeda Marenoshin..." she tssked "You know, they say that when you start looking fondly at the good old days and living in the past it is the first sign you're gettin' old."

"The good old days really weren't and you know it," Yoruichi snorted

"You did enjoy all that shit at one time, you know," the fireworks master pointed out lazily, taking a long swing from the bottle "I mean, the cat and mouse games, the chase and the thrill of knowin' more than almost everyone else... there's something to be said for running the onmitsu, no?"

"Well, it had its charm," The Shihouin lady admitted with amusement "It still does, after a fashion. Not nearly as much as it used to, however."

"Aww, look at the poor lil' miss Onmitsukido commander-in-chief," Kuukaku said sarcastically "Look at me, I'm the second most powerful person in Seiretei and I can do what I want as long as I do my job! Boo hoo, I can't wander around and freeload on other people to my heart's content. I'm so miserable, waah waah, boo-hoo! Pity me!"

"More or less that, yes," Yoruichi admitted shamelessly

Kuukaku rolled her eyes. While her forced return to Gotei 13 ranks did force the Shihouin family head to act somewhat more mature, she didn't hesitate to flaunt her former 'rogue' status whenever she could, reminding Gotei 13 and the surviving nobility that she was no leashed dog - that it was they who needed her and what she brought to the table, not the other way around.

Ironically, it only served to add to her mystiquie, enhancing her legend. To many in Seireitei Shihoun Yoruichi was more myth than person, a larger than life Goddess of the Flash - a powerful, mysterious force of nature that rolled in like the heroic spirits of old just when Soul Society was facing a great crisis, bringing with her hope and victory. She was a symbol, an icon you couldn't quite bring yourself to say 'no' to. Yoruichi being Yoruichi shamelessly indluged in ways that would be scandalous had she been anyone else.

Sometimes, Kuukaku wondered if Yoruichi carried around herself some kind of field, some kind of... of bubble that allowed her to both see the world as her personal play ground and, even more astonishingly, for the world to politely warp around her to accomodate that desire.

"Anyway, you didn't bust out the Moving Castle after so many yars just to drink," Kukkaku said, taking a large swing from her bottle, before licking her lips "What do you need, cat?"

"You in Kyuuden Arakashi," Yoruichi said simply, causing Kuukaku to freeze, before leaning back slowly.

"Wow," the Shiba woman said finally "You don't aim low at all, Yoruichi. What brought this on?"

"Let's face it - Shiba's fall from grace was half Central 46's hangers on jockeying for power and half you being an idiot enough to let them piss you off," Yoruichi shrugged "The charges were ridiculous and everybody knew it. You having more pride and anger than common sense... well, that's not a great surprise at all."

"Any other perals of wisom you'd like to share, miss deserter?" Kuukaku rolled her eyes "I've had time to come to terms with what I did and where I screwed up, Yoruichi. And to be perfectly honest, I ain't so sure I'd do it much differently given another roll. Rukongai suits me better than the court dickery ever did."

"For now it might, but how long until the nobility remembers just who started the Kido Corps?" the dark skinned beauty said idly, causing Kuukaku to frown "And how many of them would start wondering just where did the Seppa come from or how many such gems hidden from prying eyes does the Shiba family have left?"

"Let them come," Kuukaku snorted "Even if they find me - and I think I can go to ground pretty well - they'd have to go through me to get it."

"Or you could simply take back the nice oaken seat and slam their faces with the weight of your name," Yoruichi drawled "My, I wonder what would be easier and more satisfying? Choices, choices..."

"Great idea, only that pesky exile and charges stand in my way," Kuukaku slammed her bottle down angrily "Don't get me wrong - I don't like the way they played me one bit, but I said I came to terms with it and that's no lie."

"And the families that were tied to the Shiba Clan?" Yoruichi raised an eyebrow "Did they 'come to terms' yet?"

Kuukaku glared at her friend darkly.

"Don't try my patience, cat," she growled "Do I regret it? Yeah, I sure as hell do. It might have not been all my fault, but I did fuck up. I don't feel great about it at all, but let's be fucking honest here - this didn't happen without the tacit approval from the top and you know it."

"This was then," the Onmitsu commander said calmly, before placing a scroll on the table "This is now."

Kuukaku frowned, looking at the document. It was sealed with both Onmitsukido and Gotei 13 seals, though not the ones used for military communication. No, these were the same seals she had seen in her youth, the ones used for reports to Central 46.

"This is a collection of evidence I prepared, backed by statements, proof and enough paperowrk to overturn the charges." Yoruichi said at Kuukaku's quistioning look.

"'Prepared'." Kuukaku raised an eyebrow "You mean forged."

"The charges against Shiba were forged as well," her friend pointed out "Two wrongs can sometimes make a right. It is as iron clad as possible and I can gaurantee it will hold up under scrutiny. All you need to do is to present your case to old man Yamamoto and you're as good as back where you belong."

"Hooh?" Kuukaku snapped her gffingers, using a chantless kido to light her pipe "Nice, this must have taken a lot of effort to arrange, even for you." she took a long drag form her pipe, remaining silent for a long while.

"So, what happens after?" she said finally.

"Aside from some fools getting what's coming to them?" Yoruichi shrugged "That depends on you, though I won't deny we could use every bit of help we can get, Kuukaku."

"No, what I meant after," the Shiba woman exhaled the smoke slowly, looking at her friend carefully "When this war is over, when Aizen is just another episode in the history of the Soul Sopciety and when the desertion of three captains is just another in the long line of shameful little footnotes. When the life comes back to normal and the sycophants attached to Central 46 and their buddies don't feel that sword hanging over their necks... what happens then?" she peered at her pipe thoughtfully, before looking at Yoruichi again "What's going to happen when someone decides that Shiba family is still a thorn in their side and that their return was just too convinient, hmm? What happens when the cat doesn't feel obligated to stay and runs for another hundred years?"

She slammed her pipe down, uncaring of the embers falling from it.

"No, Yoruichi, I ain't gonna do it," she said angrily "Our fall was shitty and my ass is still sore from hitting the ground, but at least I know where I stand now. Using means like that... even if old man Yamamoto won't fry my ass when the truth comes out, you know that people will dig and I ain't gonna have a leg to stand on with shady stuff like that."

"This is onmitsukido quality work, you know," Yoruichi pointed out

"I don't give a shit if your forgeries are goddamn perfect," Kuukaku snapped "They are still forgeries and I ain't gonna be able to rely on your support forever - nor am I going to. I'll do what I can to help you and the kid - I'm no fan of Aizen and you are my friends, but don't expect anymore than that. This time around Seiretei can clean up its own goddamn mess." she stood up "Don't get me wrong - I'm grateful for the thought, but if its gonna happen, it won't happen this way. If I ever come back, it will be through the front door, ready to slam the shitheads responsible down hard enough for them to choke on the Rukongai dirt," she turned on her heels, waving "Take care, cat - the rest of the bottle is yours."

With a slight hiss of shunpo, her form wavered and vanished from sight.

Yoruchi simply sat there, staring at the empty space, before sighing and grabbing the scroll and Kuukau's bottle, and taking a hefty chug from it.

"Well," she licked the droplets of alcohol from her lips slowly "This could have gone a bit better. Still..."

She stood up, sliding the shoji leading to a small, sunny terrace open.

"Satisfied?" she asked the old man, a dark cloth covering his shoulders like a cape.

Yamamoto simply leaned on his staff, just another old man enjoying the sun, his eyes closed and shoulders hunched.

Yoruichi wasn't fooled for a second.

"So what are you going to do now?" she asked, sitting next to him and taking another chug of sake, before putting down the Shiba family scroll on the small table next to Yamamoto's own bottle and rice cookies.

One of Yamamoto's eyes opened, gazing at the scroll thoughtfully.

Yoruichi blinked as the paper and the case started to smoke slightly, crumbling as if from immense heat.

"Oi, oi, uncle... if you're gonna keep using your reiatsu like that you're gonna fry the cape!" she snapped at the old man "Kisuke didn't make a lot of these and I happen need them!"

Yamamoto straightened somewhat even as the scroll turned to ash.

"I want you to apprehend all involved within the Shiba incident and detain them for questioning as quickly as possible" he said finally

"Bold, old man," Yoruichi raised ane eyebow "This is going to ruffle some feathers."

"It is time to bring this farce to an end," Yamamoto leaned on his cane "Time to remind these cocksure children what happens when they replace justice with greed. I dare say a taste of their own poison would do well to discourage them in the future."

"You know, if you feel so strongly about it you could have done this... oh, I don't know, over a century earlier?" she said sarcastically

"It wasn't my place to interfere with the affairs of Central 46, girl," the old man sighed "It was the decision of our government and all I could do was abide by it."

"Ah, I see," she smiled mirthlessly, crossing her hands on her chest "It was all about laws and government when some bastards kicked innocent people out of their house, but ignoring both is all fine and dandy now that our own house is burning, is that it?"

"No, child," Yamamoto smiled faintly as he got up "Now, I am the government."

Yoruichi blinked a few times, before frowning and coking her head.

"You know, I can't quite figure out what you're doing," she said thoughtfully "You never were the sort to go after political power," she shook her head "Well, more than you already had, that is."

"I have no love for politics," Yamamoto murmured "Sometimes, however, one can't deny the necessity, however distasteful it might be."

"Still, you've been doing a lot of stuff Central 46 wouldn't have liked lately. I mean, snagging Ichigo and recruiting the rest I can get - Seireitei does need help, but the Academy thing, using military bureaucracy to replace some institutions held by Central 46's bureaus... and now this? From you, of all people?" she shook her head "If you wanted power you could have grabbed it thousands of years ago. No, that's not it. What's your game, uncle?"

"Sometimes the only way to teach children that fire is dangerous is to let them get burned by it," the captain-general said, looking at the sunlit vista stretching form the terrace "I will show these rascals just why do they posess the privileges they have and that they are, indeed, privileges, not rights," his eyes narrowed, the cane hitting the terrace loudly "It seems that too many generations had passed for them to remember how their families attainted their status, too many years for them to remember that what is given can be taken away just as easily. I intend to remind them."

"Hooo..." Yoruichi smiled "Something tells me you've been giving them plenty of matches to play with."

"Just enough, girl, just enough," Yamamoto said dryly

She laughed, leaping out of her chair.

"Just say the word, old man!"

"The time has come to stop these from burning our house at last," Yamamoto stretched to full height and suddenly it wasn't an old man bantering with a girl he had known since she was born - it was the Captain-Commander of Gotei 13 dispensing orders to his subordinate "Onmitsukido commander-in-chief Shihouin Yoruichi, I give your official orders to apprehend the criminals involved in the Shiba incident without delay," the cane hit the floor once more "You are given the authority to bring this shameful matter to a close by any means necesssary."

"Yes sir," Yoruichi grinned ferally "Consider it done."


*

"Well, this is one hell of a mess," Ichigo sighed, dropping yet another stack of papers with disgust

"It is to be expected, the Fifth Division had been inactive for a while," Soi Fon shrugged

"No, I don't mean the paperwork - I mean this," he pointed at the personell list "I knew it got bad, I mean... hell, everybody heard what went down at Chigaya but... holy shit, under twenty percent? And most of the officer core gutted?" he threw his arm up in disgust "That's not a division, Soi Fon. Damn, that's barely a company. What the hell am I supposed to do with this? I can't even cover the patrol routes around Seireitei proper with this, much less send anyone to Rukongai or wherever."

"No one's expecting you to," she rolled her eyes "Not for a while, at least. That's why you've been givien time to rebuild your forces."

"Yeah, that's the trick, isn't it?" he grimaced "I have under twenty percent of a demoralized standing force, my officer core is nearly nonexistient and things being what they are, I really doubt I'll have many transfers, gramps' backing or no." Ichigo sighed "Dammit, most of the new guys really will be new, huh? Straight from the academy... geez."

"Even with the Shino Institute sending you the bulk of their graduates you still won't be able to fill out your ranks, either," Soi Fon frowned, grabbing one of the papers and reading through it, before letting it drop with a hint of irritation "It seems that Third Division got their new captain just in time, they were already reporting loses exceeding their capability to replace."

"How the hell losing the guy at the top can cause something like this?" Ichigo muttered distractedly, digging through papers "A-ha! I knew it was here somewhere. Look at this," he waved a document "It says that even before Chigaya the Fifth lost nearly thirty percent of their soldiers in less than five years. What the hell?" he threw the paper down "I get it, us Bankai badassess are a force multiplier from hell and we can cut down armies of hollows pretty much at will, but to that extent?"

"Morale plays a factor - captains are icons for their soldiers and to Seireitei in general." Soi Fon sighed "It is part of the reason why the desertion of three captains hurt us so badly." she frowned "Captains also hold the squad together, enforce discipline and provide direction."

"So, morale plummets, discipline loosens and things to to hell as people stop doing their job right?"

"Essentially, yes," the woman scowled "Ther is also the fact that the Fifth under Aizen had been built on, more or less, his cult of personality. As skilled an officer as Hinamori might have been, she lacked the charisma and the skill or sheer ruthlesness neccesary to bring them to heel."

"Bastard that he is, Aizen did a good job as a commander," Ichigo admitted reluctantly, before blinking "You know... I wonder if it had been his plan all along. I mean, you gotta adnit, even without that massacre at Chigaya fields, Fifth was hit really bad over the last few years before it was suspended from combat duty.

Soi Fon just glared at the papers angrily.

"This miserable traitor's shadow will be haunting us for years," she said darkly, before shaking her head "Still, that's even more of a reason to reactivate this division and wipe Aizen's stench off of it as soon as possible."

"And who better than me to do it, huh?" Ichigo smirked

"You did survive attacking him twice, the word does get around," the onmitsu admitted "If nothing else, it will bring morale up, even if it was a close call both times."

"Way to ruin my self esteem. Thank you so very much." he said with a sigh

"Arrogance breeds complacency, Shihouin-taicho," the lithe captain said with a smirk "Be mindful of your limits."

"I will, once I find them," her fellow captain said with a smirk "Anyway, I guess we-"

"Kurosaki, do you have a moment?"

Ichigo blinked, turning to the door to see Hitsugaya, with Matsumoto hovering next to him in her usual spot.

"Hello to you too, Toshiro, I'm feeling fine, thank you for asking. How are you?" the young captain said sarcastically

"Busy," Toshiro said dryly "I need a favor."

"Can it wait?" Ichigo sighed "I've just gone through a mountain of paperwork, I have another one to climb and it isn't even noon. I'd love to help you out but, well..." he pointed at his desk.

"I think this favor will lighten your load a little," Hitsugaya crossed his arms over his chest.

"Well, less paperwork sounds great to me," Ichigo perked up "What do you need?"

"Acess to Fifth Division's internal detention block."

Ichigo blinked, before looking at Soi Fon.

"...do I even have something like that?"

"You want to see Hinamori," the lithe woman said bluntly, narrowing her eyes.

Hitsugaya nodded, closing his eyes and bowing.

"Please," he said, and Ichigo sombered, knowing how much of a blow to his pride it was to ask this "I want to... I want to see her."

"Oi, Soi Fon... I thought that Detention Unit took Hinamori in, what gives?" he asked with a frown.

"Captain Yamamoto decided that her hands were the ones responsible for the Fifth Division, so her fate should be Fifth's to decide as well," her back stiffened "Hitsugaya-taicho, I hope you aren't asking for mercy for her. You of all people know best what she did and what her..." Soi Fon scowled "incompetence cost this division."

"I..." the boy's shoulders stiffened, before sagging "I just want to see her. Please, Ichigo. You have the authority. I want to talk with her. Just... talk."

Ichigo frowned, gazing thoughtfully at his subdued friend, before looking to his side, noticing Matsumoto's anxious expression.

Okay, this was obviously serious enough.

He winced slightly. Soi Fon was not going to be pleased by any stretch of imagination, but hell... he owed the shorty, and he was a friend.

"All right," he said slowly, before turning to Soi Fon "Where is that detention block?"

His lover glared at him for a moment, before turning towards the door.

"Follow me," she said vanishing into shumpo.

*

"Gloomy much?" Ichigo muttered, looking at the well-kept but uniformly grewy and depresing walls.

Honestly, he had sewers more cheerful than this place, even if it ws obviously well cared for and spotless. Contrary to his expecations, it was also brightly lit, though it made sense. The light, however, did only serve to increase the overall bleak and apathetic feeling the whole place had. The walls seeemed to press on you without any care and the lights left no place for shadows which, ironically, served only to increase the discmofort one felt moving through these corridors. The whole place felt bleak, depressing and just wrong.

"It is a prison, not a resort," Soi Fon snapped with irritation.

Ichigo just rolled his eyes at the tone.

Well, at least she wasn't really mad if she still snapped at him. Contrary to what most people thought, irrirtated Soi Fon and even screaming, hitting-people-a-lot Soi Fon wasn't truly angry Soi Fon. Angry Soi Fon tended to be silent, chilly and to say she was uncomfortable to be around in that state would be like saying Hitsugaya's bankai was a bit chilly.

"Sorry, I just expected something else," he said placatingly

She threw him a sharp look, though her stiff shoulders relaxed a bit.

"It intentional, designed to increase the punishment value of the block," Soi Fon said finally, throwing him her verion of the olive branch "Usually it is used to detain unruly shinigami. It cools tempers and provides motivation to avoid this place in the future."

"Well, it is effective. I know I don't want to be here again." Ichigo grimaced "Prefferably ever. Whose idea was it?"

"Captain Unohana's. She said it would decrease the number of temper-realted injuries during training among sodliers."

Ichigo blinked.

Retsu came up with this? Well, the creepy factor just doubled.

While he had absolutely nothing against the Fourth Division's captain - indeed, he owed her his life and he just plain liked the woman, Unohana had these... moments when she wanted to convince unruly people to listen.

She never ceased to smile, never bothered flaring her reiatsu in the way Kenpachi or even Byakya tended to do sometimes when they wanted to make an impression. She just smiled... but it felt wrong. Just... wrong. Ichigo had been on the recieving rend of one of those smiles during his recovery in the Fourth and since then he never quesitoned Unohana's little suggestions. There was something unnatural and incredibly creepy in them.

It made his skin crawl when she did it.

"So, is it working?"

"It had been applied to only three division detention blocks, couting the Fifth among them, and the data's still pouring in, but it seems to be working indeed." Soi Fon nodded with satisfaction "Nothing less from Unohana-taicho."

"No kidding," Matsumoto muttered from behind "I don't know if to call it impressive of terryfying."

Soi Fon quirked an eyebrow.

"She can channel that look through walls now," the blonde shuddered "That's just plain disturbing."

"Captain!"

Ichigo blinked, comping to a stop before a door guarded by two shinigami, now standing at attenion.

"I guess the word travels fast," he said noticing the Fifth Division's markings on the shihakusho "We're here for the prisoner."

"Yes sir!" the taller of the guards straightened out even more if that was possible and quickly slid the door open "Do you require assistance?"

"I think we can manage," he said dryly, pointing at three captains and one leuitenant behind him.

"Ah, forgive me, sir. If you need anything we'll be just oustide the door" the guard bowed, before leaving hastily.

Ichigo took a look at the cell inside, cut in half by another wall, this one made of sekkisekki stone. The rest of the cell was covered in it as well, maybe even built from it. Considering it was made to hold unruly shinigami, it made sense.

Just like corridors, everything was grey and opressively depresing, just... more so, as hard as it was to believe.

'Oh yeah, Retsu's work all right,' he grimaced, thinking of spending even a night here. 'Well, at least it will do its job. I guess.'

At the end of the cell, a blanket stirred.

"Is it dinner already, Misuzu-san...?" came the sleepy voice as Hinamori came up to the bars, only to pause and blink.

"Shiro-chan!" the young woman said with obvious delight "How are you?"

Hitsugaya swallowed hard, looking at his childhood friend.

The girl looked... well, she didn't look too bad. She had been stripped of her shihakusho, but she was given a white prisoner's robe instead. Her hair wasn't nearly as neat as he was used to, probably because the prisoner's combs really weren't, and she was denied any haiprins or other sharp acessories. Still, she was clean and obviously not mistreated. If nothing else, the detention gave her a lot time to sleep, which she was obviously using well. Her eyes were duller than he remembered, though, but that was only to be expected.

"It is Hitsugaya-taicho," he said on reflex, before shaking his head "Hey, Hinamori."

She smiled, though it was a thin thing, before blinking, as if just noticing Hitsuygaya's companions.

"Hello Rangiku-san," she said cheerfully

"Hinamori," Matsumoto said softly, nodding her head with a strnage expresion. Not quite anger, not exactly pity

"Oh, Soi Fon-taicho," she bowed hastily, eanring nothing but an expressionless look from the Second Division's captain "And Kurosaki-san! I haven't seen you in a while..." Hinamori blinked, looking at Ichigo carefully "Oh, is that a captain's haori?"

Ichigo nodded.

"So Commander-General inducted you into the ranks?" her smile became wider, causing Ichigo to shift uncomfortably "So I guess you outrank me now, too? Congratulations, Kurosaki-san, it is really nice to have you join us officially!" she said brighly

"Thanks," the newly minted captain said, nodding stiffly

"So, which division did Comander-General give you? Is it the Third?" the former vice captain asked with interest "I mean, the Ninth wouldn't be bad but there is so much paperwork in the Ninth and you were always such a go-getter and the Third might be a bit gloomy, but it fights a lot so it would fit you. You alwauys liked to fight, didn't you? I-"

"Actually, it is this one," Ichigo cut her exited babble, causing the girl to blink a few times.

"Pardon?" she said after a moment, clearly confused

"The Fifth," Ichigo said softly "It is my division now, Hinamori."

The girl blinked again, staring at him, before shaking her head and sighing.

"You can't joke like that, Kurosaki-san. It is in bad taste." she chided him, smiling softly "Surely you don't want to join me in here, do you?"

"He's not joking, Hinamori," Hitsugaya said softly "I wrote one of the letters of reccomendation myself,"

"But Shiro-chan, you can't do that," Hinamori shook her head with a sigh "After all, he can't be the captain of the Fifth Division - You shouldn't trick Kuosaki-kun like that, it is just mean" the girl said sternly

"And why is that, Hinamori?" Hitsugaya asked, an odd expression on his face

"Because Aizen-taicho is still the captain, of course," Hinamori said, as if explaining something obvious to a child

"Really." Soi Fon's tone was chilly enough to qualify as a bankai on its own "That is an interesting concept."

"Aizen-taicho might be hurt when he returns," Hinamori said, her hands going to her sleeves, wringing them in a nervous gesture "Work probably piled up so much since I've been here... he'll have so much catcing up to do and so much work..."

"Hinamori," Hitsugaya said, his jaw tighening "We aren't here to talk about that."

The girl looked at him in askance.

"Chigaya, Hinamori. We are here to talk about Chigaya."

The former leuitnant paled slightly, her face seeming to age in moments, and for the first time since they came, Ichigo noticed that she seemed worn, as if frayed around the edges. Until now the almost manic cheerfulness seemed to mask it, but now that it crumbled it was plain to see.

"...I..." she looked away with obvious shame "...can we please not talk about that?" she asked in a small voice.

"No," the youg captain said harshly "No, Hinamori. We will talk about this."

Hinamori's hands twitched, grabbing her sleeves tightly yet again, and this time Ichigo noticed the numerous deep creases and signs of stretching at the edges - obviously this was far from the first time she did it.

"...I'm... sorry Shiro-chan..." she said soflty, fidgeting "I know I screwed up... I know... I'm so sorry..."

"You are sorry," the boy said tonelessly, his face expresionless "Hinamori... do you even know how many people died there?"

"...I'm sorry..." she said almost inaudibly

"These people died because you led them blindly. Beacause you left them. You left them to die, Hinamori." Hitsugaya's voice, contrary to his composure seemed to crack a bit, betraying how tight a leash he had over his emotions right now "Do you know what people call it now?It is called the 'Chigaya Massacre'. Or just 'the massacre'. That's how many people died."

"I..." the girl shook, finally looking up, tears in her eyes "I'm so sorry.. .Shiro-chan... but I thought... I just thought, if I could-"

"If you could what Hinamori?" Hitsugaya said slowly "Lead your already demoralized, fatigued forces against one of the largest hollow incursions we had in Rukongai in the last century? Leading them straight at the enemy frienzied from breaching the Wall and then leaving them without any leadership or orders?"

"It wasn't like that!" the girl wailed, tears falling freely now "I... I wanted to make it all better, Shiro-chan! I could! I could make it all better if I just could get to that man, just unleash Tobiume on him, just kill him... if I could just... I could have ended it all, Shiro-chan! For us all!" her fingers dug into the sleeves, stretching them and almost tearing the fabric "I could have ended it all..." she hung her head "...but I failed. This was wasn't him... but if it had been..." her shoulders shook "can't you see, Shiro-chan.. if I killed that man everything would be all right again... we would have ended the war and he'd be back,"

She looked up and Ichigo took an involuntary step back.

Hinamori was still crying - her eyes were red and tears were falling freely, but at the same time she was smiling in what under any circumstances would be called cheerful manner. Now, with the tears and wide eyes almost appearing to shine on their own, it was anything but.

"He'd be back, Shiro-chan! He'd come back and everything would be better!" the strange smile got even wider "He was always so strong, so wise... he'd know how to make it all better if he'd come back to us..." she looked at the floor, her voice both hopeful and lost at the same time "...to me. It'd be all better."

Ichigo stared at the half mad girl before slowly turning to Soi Fon.

"You knew about this?" he asked her softly

His lover nodded, her face expressionless.

Ichigo shook his head slowly.

"This is screwed up," he said finally

"Yes," Soi Fon said simply.

"...Hinamori," Hitsugaya said finally, looking at his childhood friend "You killed all those people... you killed your subordinates to bring that traitor back... the traitor who skwered you, the traitor who cost us so many comrades..."

"It isn't his fault!" Hinamori said defensively "It is all that man's fault! Aizen-taicho would never do that if not for that man! I know I failed, Shiro-chan, but I had a chance to kill him! I thought I had a chance! Wouldn't it be worth it?!"

"You led your people to die over that?! Over THAT?!" Hitsugaya grolwed "They trusted you, they entrusted their lives to you without hesitation! And you let them die for what?! For Aizen?!"

"But Shiro-chan..." Hinamori looked at him oddly "Isn't it their duty to lay their lives for their captain?" she smiled, tears still falling "It was so sad, but I think it is okay." her smile became almost serene in a disturbing way "It was all for Aizen-taicho, after all."

Toshiro stared at his friend, disbeleif and rage fighting on his face, before taking a step back, away from the bars.

"I don't think I want to talk to you anymore, Hinamori," he said finally, his voice oddly detatched

"Captain?" Matsumoto bit her lip, her hand hovering over her aptain's arm, only to flinch as he turned to her, his face utterly expresionless. "...Toshiro?

"This isn't the Hinamori I knew, Rangiku," he said simply in that detached tone, turning towards the door and vanishing.

Matsumoto bit her lip.

"I'm sorry," she said bowing to Ichigo.

"Yeah, so am I," the Fifth Division's captain said slowly "I... just take care of him, would you?"

She nodded, going after her captain.

Hinamori stood still, staring at something and only after Ichigo turned did he realize she gazed at the place his back had been as he turned towards Matsumoto.

"Kurosaki-san... please fold Aizen-taicho's haori when you put it away..." she whispered "I don't want his quarters to be a mess when he returns..."

The young man just looked at her expresionlessy, before turning towards the door.

"Goodbye, Hinamori," he said softly, before walking out.

Soi Fon followed without a word.

*

End Part 1/2

*
 

Weresmilodon

Well-Known Member
#2
Ah, it is good to see this. I've been getting worried about you, Fosfor. I've been thinking about contacting you to see if everything is alright. Then i decided to give you some more time, since you visit the forum often enough. (For measurement, just this week i contacted thegrum, and I've been worrying about him since a few months after his site went down...)
 

trevelyan1983

Well-Known Member
#3
I came in here expecting another necro of another old Fosfor thread. Instead, I find new fiction. This is a very welcome surprise!

"And we really need to do something about this Shihouin-Kurosaki thing. It's too bloody long,"
GET OUT OF MY MIND, FOSFOR!

No, seriously, I was just thinking that the double-barrelled name thing seemed cool two chapters and a couple years ago, but now it's just too big a mouthful.

Then you come along and lampshade that sucker. Oh yeah.

"This was then," the Onmitsu commander said calmly, before placing a scroll on the table "This is now."
What?

No, let me rephrase that.

WUT?

That's 100% proof Grade A Buffy. Which, strangely, makes Kuukaku suddenly sound a lot more like Faith. Well, that's fine by me - I love old school Buffy even more than I love old school Bleach.

And damn, but Hinamori was one creepy Yandere Nadeshiko

You're good to go, Fosfor. Your current raw chapter? It's easily on par with most of the edited stuff from the good old days. (Can I say good old days? I mean, sure, it's true, but it also makes me feel fucking old. Where'd I put that Gin avatar . . .)
 

Epsilon

Well-Known Member
#4
Welcome back Fosfor!

Ooh, Hinamori's a mad mess here and yet, I really do pity her. Even more so compared to her canon fate when she got skewed by Hitsugaya.
 

Python453

Well-Known Member
#5
Welcome back to TFF, Fosfor. Please remember to leave your sanity at the door.

And, good part 1 on chapter 3. Can't wait for part 2.
 

Ghostface

Lazy Bastard...
#6
Where are the previous chapters? I'd like to read this from the start.

Man, I'm not sure which Hinamori's got it worse.
 

Get-lost

Well-Known Member
#7
Weresmilodon said:
Ah, it is good to see this. I've been getting worried about you, Fosfor. I've been thinking about contacting you to see if everything is alright. Then i decided to give you some more time, since you visit the forum often enough. (For measurement, just this week i contacted thegrum, and I've been worrying about him since a few months after his site went down...)
The Grumm is/was doing fine the last I heard. He posted a few parts of something non-Ranma related on a Yahoo group between last July and this January.


On topic: Hinamori's gone pretty far around the bend eh?

Good quality stuff man! There seems to be much less quality writing lately which makes your absence even more pronounced.
 

Karnath

Well-Known Member
#8
Ghostface said:
Where are the previous chapters? I'd like to read this from the start.

Man, I'm not sure which Hinamori's got it worse.
Fosfor's ff.net account
<a href='http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3511813/1/Warborn' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'>http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3511813/1/Warborn</a>
 

bob999999999

Well-Known Member
#9
Realizing that others have already said it, and more certainly will, I'd just like to jump in and say how awesome it is to see you posting something new!

Great to see you here again!
 

zeebee1

Well-Known Member
#11
Fosfor, I thought you said you'd never post fanfics here again.
 
#12
...Words cannot adequately describe the joy I felt at waking up to an update from Fosfor of all people.

I thought you died or something. :mmm:

I may well love you forever if there's more in the works - this or other stories.
 

ringlhach

Well-Known Member
#13
Welcome back, Fosfor.

You know, for something that's supposed to be raw, you did pretty damn good. ^_^ You're missing the occasional comma or period, but that's all I saw. If I have time later, I'll work up a list- but don't expect one.
 

zerohour

Well-Known Member
#14
WHOOOO!!!!!

If I remember correctly, Warborn is a snapshot of the war, and won't have any final resolution. Still, it's plenty interesting to read and see how everything has changed, and it's kind of fun to try and piece together what exactly happened between now and then.
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
#15
zeebee1 said:
Fosfor, I thought you said you'd never post fanfics here again.
No. I said I will not post new stuff here. I did say I'll update what is already here.
 

Halcyon7

Well-Known Member
#16
Where do you intend to post your new stuff, if you don't mind me asking? My PM box is empty if you want to keep it on the DL. I've always been a fan of your works and I'd love to be able to keep up to date with your latest.
 
#17
Fosfor said:
No. I said I will not post new stuff here. I did say I'll update what is already here.
May i ask where you are posting your new stories?
 

Vexarian

Well-Known Member
#18
Fosfor said:
zeebee1 said:
Fosfor, I thought you said you'd never post fanfics here again.
No. I said I will not post new stuff here. I did say I'll update what is already here.
LOL. Bitch move is bitchy. You just want to feel bitches sucking your cock all day long so you restrict it to a small group of people who like you.
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
#19
Eteru said:
Fosfor said:
zeebee1 said:
Fosfor, I thought you said you'd never post fanfics here again.
No. I said I will not post new stuff here. I did say I'll update what is already here.
LOL. Bitch move is bitchy. You just want to feel bitches sucking your cock all day long so you restrict it to a small group of people who like you.
No, I'm just tired of trolls and morons like you.

By the way, for a person proclaiming to hate me, you devote an unhealthy amount of time to reading my stuff. I'm moved, really I am, but try to go and get a life. So far about the only thing you can do is whine and prove how much of a bitch you are with every post.
 

Coelacanth

Well-Known Member
#20
Hey man, welcome back. Nice to see you posting here again.

I enjoyed reading this, but, tbh, this isn't my favorite piece of your work.

I hope you'll have some time to work on some of your older stuff.
 

Vexarian

Well-Known Member
#21
Fosfor said:
Eteru said:
Fosfor said:
zeebee1 said:
Fosfor, I thought you said you'd never post fanfics here again.
No. I said I will not post new stuff here. I did say I'll update what is already here.
LOL. Bitch move is bitchy. You just want to feel bitches sucking your cock all day long so you restrict it to a small group of people who like you.
No, I'm just tired of trolls and morons like you.

By the way, for a person proclaiming to hate me, you devote an unhealthy amount of time to reading my stuff. I'm moved, really I am, but try to go and get a life. So far about the only thing you can do is whine and prove how much of a bitch you are with every post.
Lol.

Lol.

Lol.
 

Python453

Well-Known Member
#22
Fosfor said:
Eteru said:
Fosfor said:
zeebee1 said:
Fosfor, I thought you said you'd never post fanfics here again.
No. I said I will not post new stuff here. I did say I'll update what is already here.
LOL. Bitch move is bitchy. You just want to feel bitches sucking your cock all day long so you restrict it to a small group of people who like you.
No, I'm just tired of trolls and morons like you.

By the way, for a person proclaiming to hate me, you devote an unhealthy amount of time to reading my stuff. I'm moved, really I am, but try to go and get a life. So far about the only thing you can do is whine and prove how much of a bitch you are with every post.
If it's any consolation, you're not the only one he does it to.
 

Vexarian

Well-Known Member
#23
Also, I don't hate you. :huh:

I just think that most of your stories are shit. Are they better than 99% of the crap out there? Yes but that doesn't mean that they don't suck.
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
#24
Eteru said:
Also, I don't hate you.? :huh:

I just think that most of your stories are shit.? Are they better than 99% of the crap out there?? Yes but that doesn't mean that they don't suck.
I don't give a shit what you think. I never said I'm good and I never shied away from critique, quite the opposite. Trolling, on the other hand, is fucking annoying, as is your bitching about the fact I want sycophants, when this is exactly the other way around. I discouraged such behaviour, I outright asked, multiple times.

So I don't know what's the weather on your planet, but I don't really give a damn. I'd ask you to shut the fuck up and stop trolling, but considering it is the only way you can get people to pay attention to you chances that you will actually listen are nonexistient.
 
Top