Disclaimers, etc.: See chapter one and/or Disclaimers Page.
This chapter originally written on or before 11/29/2009
Opening Theme: Kuchibiru Kara Romantica by AAA
Ending Theme: Aitai Riyuu by AAA
Across the Dimensions
Fifth Division in the Red
Chapter Three: Rest and Relaxation, But This?
SOUL SOCIETY – FOURTH DIVISION BARRACKS
Zaraki could tell Thorne was regaining consciousness by the reiatsu leaking from her body. It was strong for the small amount bleeding from her. He had never before felt her power at this level. Something had definitely gone wrong.
Some of the lower-ranking shinigami of the fourth division fainted as she and Zaraki came closer. Unohana Taicho came quickly to meet them. Summoning her zanpakuto, Unohana placed Thorne inside it.
“What happened?” she asked Zaraki.
“It’s their fault. Zero division.” He told her quickly of when she scolded Yachiru and how even then her reiatsu seemed wild. Then the blood.
“It’s the royal family’s fault,” Unohana concluded. “I think we both suspect what happened.”
Zaraki didn’t want to admit what all those close to her must have thought. He never voiced it. One, as a denial. Two, Yachiru was a child. She didn’t need to overhear this.
Rumbling from inside Minazuki tore them away from their thoughts.
“Reiatsu,” she said. “Out of control.”
She removed Thorne from Minazuki and began enchanting a binding spell around her. She had to drain Thorne of her reiatsu and then heal her.
Yachiru and Kosetsu arrived. Seeing his shinigami master bound, Kosetsu roared and flew towards her. He began to rip away the bindings. As he continued to tear away at them, his snout reached out and touched her arm. Reiatsu flooded the area again, but soon sank into Kosetsu.
“That should be impossible,” Unohana murmured.
“So is having her zanpakutos. And keeping the spirit of one freely outside of the blade. Maybe – .” Zaraki began to hear a voice in his head, a young boy’s. He heard it grating in his ears like the speech of a dragon. “Yachiru,” he called, “summon the bankai.”
Yachiru drew the Kosetsu Ryu zanpakuto and shouted, “Go to war, Kosetsu!”
Kosetsu shined brightly then faded into snow white dragon wings that wrapped around Thorne. The reiatsu flood had finally ended.
SOUL SOCIETY – SIXTH DIVISION
Momo had just finished explaining that interesting American show as she understood it. Granted, she didn’t understand all of the references to getting blood tests and the camera cutting off at certain points, but she thought the blood tests meant blood type tests. After all, it was common for them to match people on that basis.
By now, Rangiku and Renji had turned many shades of red. They, unlike Momo, had understood what Momo had not.
Kuchiki Taicho kept a stern gaze on them, as if to say they should not let Momo know what she did not understand.
“I see,” he said, preventing Momo’s further ramblings. “And why is this a good idea for your taicho?”
This time, Momo blushed. She bent her head low. “Kuchiki Taicho. . .the fifth division is . . . .”
“In need of a serious break,” Rangiku interjected. Sure, it was a bad idea to lie to the sixth division taicho, but Thorne Taicho and the others did need a break. Even if the main reason was the division needed money. Besides, it gave Rangiku’s taicho such a perfect opportunity. As long as he didn’t waste it.
Kuchiki said nothing but remained in contemplation.
Suddenly, they felt the flood of Thorne’s reiatsu coming from the fourth division.
SOUL SOCIETY – FOURTH DIVISION – THORNE’S ROOM
Kuchiki rushed in first to the room. He caught a glimpse of hideous scars encompassing Thorne’s naked flesh. Unohana turned around quickly to block his view. He saw enough to confirm his suspicions. The scars were not fresh.
“What happened?” he demanded.
Renji, Rangiku, and Momo arrived next.
“Taicho!” Momo cried.
“Give Unohana some space,” Zaraki said in a firm voice from behind her. Rangiku could see him standing close to Thorne.
“Where’s Yachiru?” Rangiku asked, worried at what he might say.
“With Daichi,” he said. “Take care of them for me.”
Kuchiki turned away and the others left with him. Momo did not want to leave at first, but Ragiku’s firm grasp on her arm led her away.
SOUL SOCIETY – FOURTH DIVISION – HANATARO YAMADA’S ROOM
The last place the four expected to find Yachiru and her adopted brother was in Hanataro Yamada’s room. Then again, they did not expect to see the formidable fukutaicho of the eleventh division crying in her brother’s arms.
Hanataro jumped slightly in surprise as they came in.
Kuchiki pinned Hanataro with his gaze. “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” he stuttered, “but she released so much reiatsu that we all froze except Unohana Taicho.”
“They did it,” Daichi Takeya accused in a firm voice. “That royal shinigami division – zero. They hurt hime-sama.”
Daichi usually referred to her as taicho, sometimes as Shinnouhi, never as mother, but hime-sama only when he remembered his days as an orphan spirit in the Rukongai. He gritted his teeth and touched the handle of his zanpakuto, Aoi Raiko.
Hanataro set two teacups down by Daichi and Yachiru.
“Onee-san,” Daichi said to Yachiru as he offered one of the cups to her.
“Dai-kun.” Her sobs seemed to quiet down.
Daichi kissed her forehead.
For a moment, Momo flushed with embarrassment. Although Daichi appeared older, Yachiru insisted that he was the younger of the two. So why had it bothered her that he kissed Yachiru?
SOUL SOCIETY – FIRST DIVISION
Yamamoto Sou Taicho was among the first to feel Shirahime’s reiatsu leak, but at Hitsugaya’s sudden appearance, he declined to go to the fourth division. Hitsugaya had turned around with a shocked expression. Sou Taicho placed his hand on his shoulder to prevent him from leaving.
“She’s probably just angry,” Yamamto said, able to read extreme anger from the reiatsu.
Hitsugaya calmed little and nearly spat his words, “Yeah, I’m sure it was Momo’s idea.”
Yamamoto looked puzzled. Sure, when Hinamori had just awoken, her harsh treatment of the new taicho would have been enough to strip her of her rank, but even then, the royal taicho did not punish her. So, what could be so bad now?
“Hinamori’s idea?” Yamamoto prompted.
“She wants Shirahime to go out on a lot of dates. Some idea from a tv show from America.” He blushed. He called her Shirahime. Damn. He kept telling himself to refer to her as “Thorne.” He tried to always remain formal around the Sou Taicho. But he had called Hinamori “Momo” even then. Calling Hinamori by her first name never stirred up the same sort of feelings he felt with Thorne. Yet every time someone called her by her proper title, Shinnouhi, it reminded him of how far out of his reach she was.
“Well, I think this is something for –.” Before he could say “her to decide,” he felt the violent reiatsu change as Kosetsu absorbed Shirahime’s reiatsu.
He flash stepped to the fourth division. Hitsugaya followed close behind.
SOUL SOCIETY – FOURTH DIVISION – OUTSIDE THORNE’S ROOM
When the pair arrived, the fourth division fukutaicho pointed them to Thorne’s room. When they arrived, Yamamoto caught the distraught look in Unohana’s eyes. He cleared his throat. Zaraki reluctantly took the cue and left, blocking Hitsugaya’s way in.
Closing the door behind him, Zaraki quickly looked Hitsugaya over. The stern look on Hitsugaya’s face told Zaraki without question what he had denied accepting for months: Hitsugaya was in love with Shirahime. Shiroyuki owned Shirahime. The royal family had done this to her. Now this child of a taicho had dared to stake some type of claim on her. How dare any of them. Why should everyone else have a piece of the woman he loved? Even Zaraki had a limit.
“You can’t protect her. You’re only a kid. Sure, you’re a taicho but she’s royalty.” He emphasized his last word. Most of his speech was meant for himself, but he finally wanted to tell Hitsugaya off. He had to get off the steam, the blame somewhere. Someone had to put the pint-sized taicho in his place. He looked like a child, younger than Hinamori, the same age as Daichi, her son, and not too much older than Yachiru, her daughter. He paused, smiling to himself. Yachiru always called herself the older sister. She was in fact older than Daichi, but he appeared older, Hitsugaya’s age. Then again, anyone else would point out both Daichi and Momo were adults even though Zaraki and Shirahime thought otherwise. Looking through the eyes of a parent, grown up children still seemed young.
“You’re not good enough,” Zaraki announced firmly.
Hitsugaya was unaccustomed to rage. When Aizen hurt Hinamori, he was very angry. When she spoke of her beloved Aizen Taicho, he was angry in a different way. But those days had passed. Now, he knew she hated Aizen. Not for betraying her or the division, not even for nearly killing her, but for killing once and still pursuing the taicho she truly adored. But what right did Hitsugaya have to the Shinnouhi? Why was he so angry now, when he could only relate to Momo’s adoration of her?
Zaraki wasn’t really saying he wasn’t good enough to protect her. What he meant was he wasn’t good enough to love her, to be with her, and that gave him a new meaning of angry, a new depth of rage.
Ragiku’s jokes came back to him: maybe it was now down to him and Zaraki.
“I love her.” His own words shocked him. Had he ever said it to her? He couldn’t remember right then. In this world there was only Zaraki and himself. He could never best Zaraki in combat, but maybe for this fight.
“I have a daughter to check on,” Zaraki’s comment interrupted his thoughts, “and her son as well. Would you be ready for that, Hitsugaya? A family?”
His comments stunned Hitsugaya into silence, and he decided return to his barracks, stopping only once to ask Isane to tell him when Shirahime awoke.
SOUL SOCIETY – FOURTH DIVISION – THORNE’S ROOM
Unohana knew what needed to be fixed was not really the reiatsu that still leaked, or the scars that would take a long time to heal, even with all her methods, but the heart. The emotional and psychological damage was more than anyone should have to bear. Neither she nor Yamamoto understood exactly what was done, but they could speculate.
“I can’t believe it. Even for them,” Yamamoto said finally.
“The only thing we can do is try to seal off their access,” Unohana said. “But you know we can’t.”
“I can try,” he said. “I once bested a small zero division training division. They did offer me the chance to join them, but I didn’t want to leave my students behind.”
Unohana was surprised. Yamamoto was not the princess’ biggest fan.
Shirahime stirred, slowly coming back around. “I’m naked,” she said flatly.
That wasn’t a phrase Yamamoto heard every day.
“We had to tend to your wounds. I can help you dress in a bit,” Unohana promised.
“You should rest,” Yamamoto said. “Leave your worries to us.”
“Ha,” she laughed weakly, “and here I was having a dream I was on tv surrounded by men who wanted to marry me. So many of them. I couldn’t count them. Stupid tv.” She looked to them. “Surely I am dreaming if Yamamoto is being decent to me.”
Yamamoto took Unohana by the arm and whispered, “How about therapy dating? Hinamori Fukutaicho’s idea.”
Unohana raised her brows in surprise. “I suppose . . . yes . . . .” Her brows knitted further, aware she was out of some loop she would no doubt hear endlessly about in the next coming weeks. “Just no sex,” she added. Kenpachi Zaraki is going to be angry about that. Then there was that relationship with the other one . . . .
“Of course not, the royal family would kill us,” he interjected. “That is, if we were lucky. It’s some American thing. We can have her explain it later.”
“Sou Taicho, did you not know that was already happening?” Unohana thought.
He turned back to Shirahime. “Do feel better. We will keep watch.”
As he left, Shirahime felt the room spinning. “Did he say ‘sex’?”
Unohana reddened. “Expect,” she blurted quickly. “He didn’t know what to expect on what you thought of Hinamori’s idea.”
Shirahime looked at her, confused. As she drifted off, she tried to ask her about what idea, but that could wait.
Preview of the Next Chapter:
Who knew that dating was supposed to be relaxing? Thorne drifts off to unconsciousness and continues her nightmare of being on that show only to find it is soon to be a reality.
Hitsugaya has admitted his feelings, only to find he has endorsed the dating. Will he win out over Zaraki or will someone new enter the picture?
Meanwhile, Yamamoto encourages Hinamori to go through with the idea. Only one problem remains: is there supposed to be sex on this show?
Who is a candidate to be a bachelor? Vote now.