It was a cold winter night when Suimin Burizadō found out she was becoming Squad 11’s new lieutenant. It was a position she did not entirely want. However, it was a position that needed to be filled following Captain Kenpachi’s death. His former third seat Ikkaku Madarame did not meet the council’s requirements. They instead promoted a young, talented Academy Graduate named Tatsuki Abe. To the rest of Squad Eleven he was Kenpachi Tatsuki. A tittle Suimin didn’t necessarily believe he deserved. Neither did Ikkaku Madarame, on the other hand. His position seemed firmly rooted in third seat. She herself always assumed to be rooted in fourth seat.
Instead, she had received a letter from Shuiro Fujimoto, the Captain of the Gotei Thirteen. It instructed her to go tomorrow to swear in as lieutenant to Kenpachi Tatsuki. A move Shuiro Fujimoto had made to ensure the young graduate had noble support. He would have to win over his own squad on his own.The Captain of Squad One in fact knew that Suimin was not the most respected member of Squad Eleven. Bankai or not.
“What are you reading?” Asked a husky voice from behind her. She turned around to see Kage, drinking sake in her room. Misuto was leaning on him. She turned back around to see the inner garden in the moonlight. “It’s a letter from Fujimoto.” She heard the clink of a sake cup being put down on a tray. Soon Kage was sitting next to her on the porch, Misuto sleeping in his arms. She handed him the letter. He appeared to not like the contents as well. “The old fox.” Suimin nodded. “The old fox, indeed.” Misuto breathed heavily in Kage’s arms. Suimin was jealous of her own Zanpakutō.
She reached out and brushed the pale blue hair from Misuto’s face. Kage held her hand, never turning away from the Cherry Blossoms. “Is this something you want?” Suimin looked across the garden to the pond bellow the Cherry Blossoms. “No.” Kage squeezed her hand harder. “Is this something you can refuse?” Suimin looked at the moon’s reflection on the water. The falling Cherry Blossoms falling and disturbing the image haunted her. “Most likely not.” She let her head fall on Kage’s shoulder. He sighed and stood up. First, he put Misuto to bed and then he came back for Suimin. He carried her to her bed, tucked her under the covers and sat watch. As she drifted into deeper and deeper sleep, Kage drank more and more sake.
Suimin’s dreams were normally the same. They were always nightmares. This time, however, it was different. Suimin was staring at the top of a cliff. She could see Soul Society below her. She could even feel the wind in her hair. Something was wrong though. Everything was too neat. She couldn’t hear the loud noises of the city or cries of animals. All she heard was the wind.
“Enjoying the view?” Said a voice behind her. Suimin turned around to a man in a wheel chair. There were so many restraints on him. “In a way.” The man’s chair rolled forward until it was beside her. “I always found myself fighting for silence and once I got it I suddenly realized that you even need the sounds you don’t like.” He said. Suimin’s eyes followed his gaze. They were locked on Squad One’s building.
“What lurks in silence is misery. Stay in it long enough and you will not return.” Suimin whispered to the wind. The man smiled. “I wonder who taught you that.” She looked at where the noble houses were, but said nothing. The man looked at her. She could feel him moving his eyes from her face downwards. When he was done he turned to look back at the view.
“It is shame.” He said quietly. Suimin turned to look at him. “What is?” He moved his wheel chair so he could face her directly. “That soon it will all be gone.” Her face went purple. The man was now standing before her smiling. Spiritual pressure was increasing so quickly that her heart started to race along with it.
“Who are you!” Suimin shouted at the man. He reached for her face, caressing her cheeks. She was frozen in place. “Sōsuke Aizen.” Sōsuke….Aizen. The lunatic of the past. What was he doing out of prison? “I can see you are panicking. It must be a shock to see the man you’ve only heard of.” Suimin nodded. She didn’t know what else to do.
Aizen turned back towards Soul Society. “You can relax. I am not here to destroy Soul Society.” Suimin didn’t believe him. He looked at her and laughed. “I wouldn’t believe me either, but it’s true. I need to save it.” If she was shocked before, this was something greater then shock itself. “Why would you want to save Soul Society?”
Aizen bent down and kissed her forehead. “For you.” Before she could say anything back, his body became flower petals in the wind, leaving Suimin standing there with her hand on her forehead. “Go to Hueco Mundo.” was the last message he had for her. Then she woke up.
Suimin opened her eyes. Dawn was starting to finish. Kage was asleep by her side, but Misuto was up and awake. “Up already, Suimin?” Laughed her zanpakutō. She nodded at Misuto. He stood up and started jumping around. Effectively waking up Kage. Who was not good in the morning.
Kage put a pillow over his head. “Quiet, Misuto. I need sleep.” Suimin stood up and stretched. “You need to get up anyways. I have to see Shuiro.” Kage grumbled. Suimin bent down and hit him on the head. He shifted into a sword. “No fair! Kage, gets to go with you.” Suimin sighed. “You can come too.” Misuto ran to hug her, but she put her hand up. “Not as a sword.” He frowned. Suimin could feel the temperature dropping, little hail pellets began to fall around him.
Suimin ruffled his hair. “I need you for something more important.” His eyes lit up and the temperature began to rise again. Suimin waited for the hail to stop, before speaking again. “I need you to test the new Captain.” Misuto’s smile faded. The ground suddenly seemed more important to him. Suimin could feel the temperature dropping again. Children were so hard to deal with. “Misuto, If he can see you then he is worth serving. If he cannot then I will allow you to play all the pranks you want on him.”
Misuto looked up, happy once again. He was really such a simpleton. “Really! Any prank I want on him?” Suimin nodded. “You just have to be a good boy through this meeting.” The air around them rippled. When Misuto was concentrating temperature fluctuated rapidly. It would not settle until he decided on a positive or negative result. After a few minutes he nodded his head. Suimin sighing in relief.
She got up and headed for the door. Misuto trailing little clouds of mist behind her. As she walked through her house the servants bowed, never looking up to see her. Suimin was used to their dislike for her. Misuto normally enjoyed their bows, making gestures of royalty to them. However, today all they saw was hail and frozen ground behind her. Something they all blamed Suimin for. Sometimes, Suimin wished people could see Misuto. Maybe then they would see her as something other then an Ice Queen.
The walk from her house to Squad One’s barracks was short. It was built close to the noble houses for a reason. It was also a very lonely walk. The only thing Suimin would pass is the silent noble houses and their gates. Today, being the peculiar day it was, Suimin heard some noise. She counted three breaks to the silence. The first was the sound of a bee making it’s way to a flower. The second was the sound of a bird above her. The third was Misuto’s outburst. The first two were both very peculiar.
When she arrived at the barracks a man named Genshirō Okikiba was waiting for her. He was a co-lieutenant for Squad One’s Captain Shuiro. He was a man who had held that role longer then most Current Captains and their predecessors held their roles. As such, she often enjoyed his company. He greeted her with a smile and led her into the barracks. They walked silently up the stairs. A ritual they had established since her father first brought her to Squad One many years ago.
When they arrived at the doors, they opened immediately for them. Across the hall was Captain Shuiro, his other lieutenant and her new captain, Captain Tatsuki Abe. She watched Genshirō bow and move to the side. Suimin did not bother to bow. She had known Shuiro for too long. Misuto moved to stand by Genshirō. As one of the few who could see him, he naturally moved aside for the little boy. Suimin alone walked down the obnoxiously long path towards the two Captains.
Shuiro caught her eye and smiled. Another ritual that seemed to want to play out on this peculiar day. “Suimin Burizadō, early as usual.” She ignored his comment and bowed, half-heartedly to Tatsuki Abe. “Captain Abe.” The young man’s eye brow raised slightly. “She is exactly as you described Captain-Commander Fujimoto.” Suimin ignored the exchange, kneeling before the two men.
“You have summoned me to assist Captain Abe. I shall do as instructed.” She replied. The Captain looked at her and laughed. “She really is cold.” Suimin looked at the man who would become her Captain. He was younger then she thought. Tatsuki Abe had a child’s face, with a muscular body and very feminine features. It confused her.
Shuiro shrugged. They had grown up together as kids. This was not something that he considered new or bothersome. “She is also your new lieutenant. I expect you to use her, well.” Tatsuki looked at Shuiro like he was just given a gift he didn’t want to receive. He sighed and stood up. “You expect a girl like her to help me gain respect from my men.” Suimin ground her teeth together to stop herself from saying what was on her mind. “It is not my job to earn your respect from your subordinates. That is the responsibility that falls on the Captain’s shoulders. Sir.”
The man turned to look at her and frowned. “You are useless to me.” Suimin flashed stepped right in front of Tatsuki. Her zanpakutō to his throat. “Respectively Sir, I did not yet say you were useful to me. You also have worth to prove.” His eyebrow raised again. Suimin noticed a faint scar in his brow. He released his spiritual pressure. It felt like a mountain had just been dropped on this room. Tatsuki was surprised she was still standing. Then he noticed the outline of a little blue boy in the back of the room. He increased his spiritual pressure again. Details began to fill in.
When the little boy saw him glance at his direction the first thing Tatsuki could define from him was a smile. After that only his clothes came into view. The rest remained blurred to him. Tatsuki looked down at Suimin. “The shadow boy, is he also part of your zanpakutō?” Suimin pressed her sword closer to his throat. She released her spiritual pressure to the point it matched the Captains. Shuiro sighed in the background. Misuto left Genshirō’s side. The old man saying nothing as the temperature dropped in the room and mist spread everywhere.
“Do not think that you are the only impressive thing to set foot in Soul Society, Captain Abe. You are a decoration, at best.” The man’s eyes narrowed. He reached for his own zanpakutō, but froze when Shuiro clapped his hands. “Enough, you two. Save the bickering for when I am not around.” Suimin stepped back. Misuto now standing by her side. She reached down for him. When he was in her arms he turned back into a blade. Tatsuki watched her sheath both zanpakutō. He did not relax until it was done.
“I suppose she has some merit.” He said to break the silence. Suimin ignored him, turning around to walk away. When she was across the room she shouted. “Are you coming or not Captain Abe?” Tatsuki turned to look at Shuiro. The Captain-Commander tiredly shooing him to leave the room. Tatsuki bowed and followed her out of the room and down the street towards Squad Eleven’s barracks.
The walk was silent most of the way. Tatsuki had simply handed her an armband and said nothing. That was until they had almost reached the barracks. Suimin saw him stop, put his hand on the wall and look like he was about to puke. She rolled her eyes.
“What’s wrong?” She asked him. Tatsuki turned to her. “Let’s go another day. We have so much to learn about each other, first.” Suimin glared at him. This was not a man she thought she could see herself respecting. “It is your job to greet Squad Eleven.” He put his hand over his mouth again. She thought she could see him turning green. Be nicer on the guy. He’s nervous, said Kage in her head. Suimin rolled her eyes. Of course he was.
“If you act like this, you will never have their respect.” He turned to her and puked right in front of her. She jumped back. “Watch where you’re puking, idiot.” She shouted. Tatsuki wiped his mouth and looked at her. He was smiling. “So you do have emotions.” Suimin glared at him “Hurry up. People are expecting you.” Tatsuki looked at her up and down. “You do not fit the appearance of an ice queen, nor a Squad Eleven shinigami.” Suimin walked up to him and handed him something to wipe his face on. “What I look like is not your concern, Captain Abe.”
The Captain took the cloth from her, eyes opening wide in shock at the touch of her hands. “Your hands are rough, but your Shekai is kidō based.” Suimin turned and started walking towards the barracks alone. “Hurry up or I will inform all of Squad Eleven of you vomiting from nerves.” Tatsuki stashed the cloth in his pocket and ran after her.
They reached the gate that lead to Squad Elevens barracks very quickly. Grunting could be heard in the background. Suimin’s nose wrinkled from the smell of sweat. She pushed open the gate doors before Tatsuki had time to prepare himself. The entire squad was fighting under the leadership of Ikkaku Madarame, while Yumichika Ayasegawa stood in the shade and watched. Although, Yumichika had an intolerable personality Suimin and him got along under the banner of non-combat Bankais. A secret that only a few shinigami knew about.
Suimin raised her hands to her mouth. “Squad Eleven Assemble. Captain Kenpachi Tatsuki is here.” The men stopped fighting and turned to see. Many of them looking shocked at the image of the man who had defeated their previous Kenpachi. Laughter went up in the crowd. Ikkaku looked at Suimin, sharing the i’m-unimpressed-look. She shrugged. “Get in line.” Shouted Ikkaku. The men immediately formed rank, Yumichika walking from out under the shade. Suimin walked towards them.
Tatsuki followed behind her, face green. She turned and pointed to the spot he was supposed to stand at. He silently walked there. Tatsuki then turned and handed Ikkaku a lieutenant armband. Great. They were co-lieutenants. Appeal at its finest. Yumichika jumped up in joy. “Yes! Third seat is mine.” Everyone else either laughed or clapped. Yumichika quickly regaining his noble composure.
Ikkaku took the armband and smiled at Suimin. She wanted to be the one to puke. Tatsuki Abe turned to his men. “My name is Tatsuki Abe. From now on you will address me as Captain Kenpachi Tatsuki. Although, I fought Kenpachi Zaraki on his deathbed I believe the tittle will be proven as well earned. Until someone is capable of proving it wrong, I expect no complaints from my own Squadron. Do you understand?” The crowd looked at each other, a man slowly raising his hand. “Will you accept challenges?” Ikkaku looked at the Captain. You could tell he was the most interested. Tatsuki nodded at his men and they erupted in cheers. “Challenges can start tomorrow, today we drink!” He clapped his hands and women entered the gate with sake. The men ran forward like a herd of wild animals.
Yumichika sighed. “So uncouth.” Suimin waved the girls over to the center of area. Ikkaku growing with excitement shouted, “Men, make this area comfortable for the women!” They all rushed to quickly arrange a banquet for the ladies. Ikkaku himself joining the fray. Suimin turned to the Captain. “You are so simple as to win them over with booze and women.” Tatsuki smiled. “Women are too complicated of creatures. Men are simple.” Yumichika looked taken a back. “I am by far not a simple creature.” Suimin laughed. Tatsuki looked at her shocked. “You can even laugh?” Yumichika nodded solemnly. “It’s such a shame. A beautiful laugh wasted on an ugly woman.”
Suimin hit the bottom of her sword on his foot. He glared at her. She kissed the feather that hung from the back of her sword and it shifted into a man. Tatsuki was surprised by the image of a tall man in a black kimono. He turned to Yumichika. “You see that right?” Yumichika nodded. “Suimin’s zanpakutō can physically manifest.” The man in the kimono nodded at him and ran to join the other men in drinking. Tatsuki looked at her. The other men did not know of Misuto.
She turned and jumped up the tree in the shade. He saw her sit and watch the festivities from there. Yumichika joined her in the shade. Tatsuki sighed and headed towards his men. Unaware of the conversation about to take place between Yumichika and Suimin.
“He’s ugly and horribly unbalanced.” Yumichika sighed. She nodded. “His personality is even worse.” He looked out at everyone drinking. Suimin pointed to the ground and a tray with two sake cups appeared. He looked across the way to where Kage was holding up a glass to him. Yumichika nodded, handing one cup up to Suimin. “I could smell the throw up.” Suimin took a sip of the sake. It was pretty decent grade he ordered for them. Tatsuki was even more insecure then she thought.
“He can see part of Misuto.” Yumichika looked up at her. “Zaraki saw all of him.” He replied, somewhat coldly. Suimin shrugged. “Not every generation gets a Zaraki.” Yumichika bent down to refill his sake cup. “I know.” Suimin saw Kage walking their way. The sunlight must be bothering him. He reached them and lifted his arms for Suimin. She fell into his hold. Him turning back into a zanpakutō. Yumichika, walked away from the shade towards Ikkaku, who was drunkenly joking with a girl. Suimin stayed in the shadows. Ice forming at her feet.