Disclaimers: See end notes or Disclaimers Page.
This chapter originally written on or before 6/6/2011
Opening Theme: Shoujo S by Scandal
Ending Theme: Kimi wo Mamotte, Kimi wo Aishite by Sambomaster
Across the Dimensions
The Zanpakuto Uprising Part 1:
Chapter One: Kuchiki Comes to Call
Shirahime ran to Byakuya before he left. Shooting a quick angry glance to Kisuke, she called out quickly to Byakuya. “Byakuya, wait!”
He turned with a ghost of a smile, happy that she came to him.
She faltered, unsure of her words. She closed her eyes momentarily, then looked back at him. “Byakuya, I know we’ve talked about this, but you don’t realize what you’re asking.”
“Any man understands what I’m asking,” he insisted.
She sighed in frustration. She looked to her side, spotting a very puzzled Yachiru and a very contemplative Kisuke. She could feel Yoruichi breathing angrily at her neck.
She held up a hand to Yoruichi, stopping whatever words she had for her. She took Byakuya by the hand and ran through the door. She could sense Kisuke stop Yoruichi from following them
OUTSIDE OF THE URAHARA SHOP
Byakuya had slightly bristled. He was used to giving orders, but certainly not getting them, even ones without words. He looked down at her, judging what he thought she was thinking. He felt too mature and too noble to do it, but he picked her up and flash stepped far away.
SOMEWHERE IN KARAKURA TOWN
Only when he had stopped had he fully realized she had been in her nightgown. He sat her down on a bench nearby, so that she did not have to put her shoeless feet on the pavement. He took off his haori and placed it around her, perplexed for a moment when it did not seem to fully cover her. Of course, she had been in human form, and the haori was little physical comfort to her.
“You look better that way,” he remarked. He reached down to her and tucked some of her hair behind her ear. “You are a shinigami who deserves to wear your own haori.”
She looked away. “The mere fact I am human right now is enough of an indication I don’t.”
“How many humans can flash step?” he countered.
“I didn’t – .”
He laughed playfully. “Just because I carried you doesn’t mean you couldn’t do it yourself.”
“I should have changed, I guess.”
“And leave Haruhi to Yoruichi’s questions?” He asked, referring to the name of her mod soul that resided in her body when her soul was separated from it.
She laughed. “Yeah, we need more quality time. Or I have to introduce her to Kon.”
“I wouldn’t let him have the chance to make out with your body when he’s in Ichigo’s body.”
“Jealous?” she countered.
“Who wouldn’t be?” he asked, bending down to kiss her.
She pulled away. “Byakuya, I can’t. You don’t know what they will do to you or to me. You don’t understand what they did to me before.”
She tried to chase away the thoughts of what zero division and the Soul King’s personal guard, those even higher than zero division, had done. She knew it had been the reason Sou Taicho had banned her, even though he did not say so.
Byakuya was direct, but not uncaring. He stepped back slightly. “I won’t let them hurt you again. Marry someone. Then when we kill Aizen and the royal family opens the gate, they will find it too late to take you away.
“You tried it once with Zaraki. Even Kurotsuchi believes it could work.”
“With him?” she goaded.
“I would defeat him in battle if he tried.”
“And Hitsugaya, Kurosaki? I suppose you’d be battling them, too.”
“Everyone, if I had to.”
“Sou Taicho. He won’t agree at all.”
He knelt in front of her, taking her hands in his. “Will you marry me, Shirahime Thorne, in this world? Right now?”
Her lips trembled. “I don’t know.”
He brought his lips to hers. She froze, unmoving. His kiss surprised her, filled with admiration and desire. She returned it. Several moments passed. She froze suddenly.
He pulled back. “What is it?”
“Something’s wrong,” she whispered. She looked him with an unwavering gaze. “You have to go back.”
He seemed surprised at her words, but he knew to heed them. Picking her up, as he did before, he flashed stepped back to the Urahara Shop.
URAHARA SHOP — MAIN ROOM
“You’ve done it this time, Kisuke,” Yoruichi snapped.
By this time, Tessai, Ururu, and Jinta had come into the main room.
“Yachiru, why don’t you go and play with Ururu and Jinta for a while?” Yoruichi said in a softer tone.
Tessai ushered Yachiru and the others back through a hall.
“You want more grandkids already, Kisuke?” Yoruichi continued.
“You did ask me about being a great-grandfather.”
“Yeah, but I’m not expecting Daichi and Momo to get together right away.”
“You worry too much. Shirahime wouldn’t – ,” he began.
She only stared at him.
“It would be Byakuya’s death sentence.”
“Yes,” she agreed, “and neither the royal family nor zero division would have to dish it out.”
He sighed, blowing some hair out of his eyes. “She is a grown woman, you know.”
“With two kids – three for those of us who know about Raiko – and a fukutaicho who either looks at her as a mother or I don’t know what. What were you thinking? Want to sell her away again?”
Her reference to their past lives hurt, the wound opening again.
“Kurotsuchi told me about Kuchiki.”
“And I think what he said is right. If we want to save her from the Soul King, she should marry someone else while he can’t reach her.”
“And he really thought it was a good idea?” she asked incredulously.
“He’s not happy about Byakuya, but he wants what is best for her. Something happened between Kurotsuchi and Shirahime before zero division took her away. For I don’t know what reason, he cares. I’m serious.
“Zaraki has moved on, though he might marry her to keep her safe. Shirahime won’t let him. As to Ichigo, she’s got no interest in him. He may think he’s old enough for her, but she’s still an American. She keeps looking at him like he’s a child. You know how Americans are about that sort of thing.”
“No thought to Hitsugaya?”
“He may be an exceptional taicho, but he’s not strong enough to take on the royal family. I shouldn’t be surprised Shirahime knew about his real form. Even so, I still don’t think he could defeat the royal family. And I’m not the only one.”
“Well, Kisuke, why don’t you ask Kurotsuchi then? Has it occurred to you that he’s interested? Because I think he is. I never thought I’d see the day. Kurotsuchi enamored with someone. Shinnouhi of all people.”
“No. Whatever happened to her, she just doesn’t want to look at Kurotsuchi. Just like Zaraki. I’m sure it’s zero division’s doing. I guess they’ll be angry when they find out they should have done the same thing with Kuchiki.” He tentatively took Yoruichi’s hands in his. “I am sorry, Yoruichi, but if Kurotsuchi is right, it will only be a small window of time she would have to make her decision. I think he is right. Byakuya is the best for her right now.”