“I’ve found us a squad!”
Yumichika and Buffy looked up from where he was helping her with her homework. Yumichika was bound and determined to make sure Buffy kept her grades up, even though Buffy was certain that she would be joining one of the squads within the week.
“Oh really?” Buffy asked.
“Well, I found one for me and Yumichika,” Ikkaku replied. “Eleventh. But the captain doesn’t take women.”
“Not even women who beat the crap out of one of their seated officers?” Buffy asked, arching an eyebrow.
“When did you attack a seated officer?” Yumichika asked, surprised. “And why aren’t you
“She’s the captain’s pet, didn’t you know?” Ikkaku asked. “She can do no wrong.”
“Okay, I think I’m gonna have to stop smacking you guys on the back of the head, because I swear you both have brain damage,” Buffy said, rolling her eyes when she got indignant noises from her boys. “The last guy I fought at my entrance exam was the twentieth seat of the Eleventh Division.”
“Wasn’t that the guy that knocked you out?” Ikkaku asked.
“He fought dirty,” Buffy replied with a scowl. “The bell rang to stop fighting and he punched me after that.”
“He still knocked you out,” Ikkaku pointed out. Buffy threw a balled up piece of paper at him, cheering slightly when it bounced off of his head.
They’d gone through the rules with a fine-toothed comb once they had realized Buffy was going to whatever squad would take them, whether the boys liked it or not. Thankfully, they found a rule that said a student could leave the academy if a squad offered him or her a position. While the boys now had a squad, Buffy was still a student and might stay that way until she graduated.
“What about that woman from the Second Division?” Yumichika asked. “Wouldn’t she be willing to take you on?”
“If her bodyguard didn’t hate me so much, maybe,” Buffy replied.
“what about that Kuchiki kid?” Ikkaku asked. “Isn’t his grandpa or something a captain?”
“Yeah, but he thinks I’m less than dirt,” Buffy replied. “Byakuya doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore, anyway.”
“What happened?” Yumichika asked, concerned. “I thought you two were close.”
“A lot has changed since you two were arrested,” buffy replied. “He made me choose, him or you guys. I chose you guys.”
“Oh, Buffy,” Yumichika said sadly, wrapping Buffy in a hug. “Is there anything I can do for you?”
“I’m okay,” Buffy replied. “It’s for the best, anyway. If he’s going to make me choose between my friends and my family, I don’t anything to do with him, anyway.”
“This still doesn’t solve the problem if you not having a squad to go to,” Ikkaku said. “Looks like you’re going to be stuck here for a while. Don’t worry, we’ll visit, though. As often as we can, promise.”
“I’m not licked yet,” Buffy said, a determined glint in her eye. “When’s your first squad meeting?”
“Tomorrow afternoon,” Yumichika replied. “Why?”
“I have a plan,” Buffy replied with a smirk.
“Why do I have a bad feeling about this?” Ikkaku muttered darkly under his breath, shaking his head.
The next afternoon found Yumichika, Buffy and Ikkaku walking down the corridor to the Eleventh Division’s meeting room. Both Yumichika and Ikkaku exchanged worried glances over Buffy’s head, but she was either unaware or ignoring them. She strode confidently between her boys, chin held high as she walked. As she swung her arms, her hand kept brushing up against the sword that now hung on her left hip.
She’d been having weird dreams for ages about a tall African woman who had been trying to speak to her, to try and tell her something, but the words kept on coming out as gibberish. Night after night the words began to make sense except for one, the woman’s name. It kept on coming out as static until the previous night, when Buffy had been able to decipher the name. That morning, she woke up to find a handsome katana, shiny and new, laying on the bed next to her.
Buffy took this as a sign that she was going down the right path.
The boys closed ranks around her as they approached the meeting room, keeping her between them and back slightly as they entered, so that they could shield her if necessary.
Over a hundred pairs of eyes focused on Ikkaku and Yumichika as they entered, except for the ones that belonged to the captain. Instead, Captain Kenpachi Zaraki focused his attention on the tiny blonde woman between his two newest squad members, partially hidden by their taller forms.
“She wasn’t part of the deal, guys,” he said, his eyebrows raised. “Mind explainin’ to me why you’re bringin’ her in here all willy-nilly?”
“I can speak for myself, thanks,” Buffy replied, pushing her boys out of the way so that she was no longer hidden by them.
“Independent. Won’t bow down to no one,” Zaraki commented with a nod. “I can respect that. It’s not good enough to get into this squad, though. You gotta know how to fight and let’s face it, little girls can’t fight.”
“Okay, one, I’m not little. Two, that was kinda, okay, a lot sexist,” Buffy retorted. “And three, I can so fight. Go ahead and ask one of your twentieth seats. Himura or something?”
“Get your ass up here, Himura,” Zaraki said. The beefy, dreadlocked man made his way to the center of the room. “This little imp here is saying she can fight. That true?”
“She could hold her own,” Himura replied. “Until a knocked her out, that is.”
“Bell rang. The rules said you had to stop fighting when the bell rang. I stopped, he didn’t,” Buffy replied. “I lived, didn’t I?”
“You should learn something very quickly, you little pixie,” Zaraki said. “Not everyone is honourable. Not everyone plays by the rules. If you’re constantly on your guard you won’t be knocked out by a random fist to the face.”
“I know that n-” Buffy began, but was cut off abruptly by a blade bearing down on her head. On instinct, Buffy dodged out of the way, rolling across the floor. When she was back on her feet, her sword was drawn and she was in a battle-ready position.
“Not bad, not bad,” Zaraki said. “But anyone can dodge. I want to see you fight. Not me, of course, ‘cause I don’t want to kill ya, but Himura looks like he’s itching for a rematch.”
The smile on Himura’s face would have made her nervous if she was anyone else. However, she’d faced down fledglings scarier than this gut and had already proved that she could hold her own against him. She was certain she would come out victorious this time.
“Rules are unreleased Zanpakutos only, no Kido, bloodshed but no death,” Zaraki continued. “Ready? Let’s do this, then.”
Himura let out a loud battle cry before charging at her, sword raised high. An easily avoidable attack, Buffy dodged it with little effort. From that moment, the fight was well and truly on.
Buffy tried to ignore the audience she had and just concentrated on the fight. It almost reminded her of when the Watcher’s Council had come to Sunnydale with information on Glory, information they were unwilling to part with unless she had passed their examination. All those eyes on her, everyone judging and evaluating her, trying to figure out if she was good enough, worthy enough. At least this time around she got to use her own fighting style from the start.
Their fighting styles were vastly different; Himura’s was very jerky and in your face, hit first, hit hard and hit fast. Buffy’s was more flowing and artistic, incorporating punches, kicks and flips. Both unique, both worked for the respective combatant and both effective and deadly.
A particularly hard kick to Himura’s chest sent him flying across the room. The only thing that stopped him was the wall, the plaster cracking upon impact. She was on him in an instant, the point of her sword nudging his Adam’s apple.
“I think I win,” Buffy said with a smirk. With her sword tip still brushing against Himura’s throat, Buffy turned to captain. At his nod, she removed her sword and returned it to its sheath as Himura got to his feet. As soon as he was stable, his meaty fist went flying through the air, headed straight for Buffy’s temple. This time, however, she was ready for it, catching the fist in her tiny, feminine hand.
“Did you really think I was going to fall for that twice?” she asked, cocking her eyebrow at Himura as she squeezed his knuckles. When he grimaced in pain, she dropped his fist.
“Welcome to the Eleventh Division… er… what’s your name, anyway?” Zaraki asked. Ikkaku and Yumichika looked on, stunned into silence but there were pleased expressions on their faces.
“Ayasegawa. Buffy Ayasegawa,” Buffy replied.
“Welcome to the Eleventh Division, Buffy Ayasegawa,” Zaraki said. “Now, let’s get this show on the road, eh? I got things to do.”
Buffy made her way to Yumichika and Ikkaku as the meeting continued. She knew there was going to be a boatload of paperwork waiting for her, but that could wait for a couple of days as she basked in the warmth of beginning a new phase in her life.
Later that afternoon, after the meeting was over, Zaraki pulled Buffy aside.
“I was gonna let you in as soon as I saw you walk in that door,” he said. “I’d heard about you, known about you for ages. Besides, it took balls of brass to waltz in here like you did. I can respect that.”
“Umm, thanks,” Buffy said, not quite sure what else to say as the little girl with the pink hair climbed down from her perch on Zaraki’s shoulder.
“I’m Yachiru,” the girl introduced herself. “Can I call you Buffy-chan? Or Pixie?”
“Sure,” Buffy replied, bewildered.
“Good, ‘cause I was gonna do it anyway,” Yachiru replied. “Come on, I wanna show you my toys.”
Before Buffy could react, Yachiru had grabbed Buffy by the hand and was dragging her out of the meeting room, followed by the chuckles of her new captain and amused expressions from her boys.
“Don’t be too long,” Zaraki called after her. “You still have to fix the wall you broke!” THE END Wow, is it satisfying to write those two little words, even though this saga is far from over. For those of you who have missed the memo, this is going to be a three part series, each part covering a different period in Buffy’s life. There is going to be a very long time period that passed between the end of this story and the beginning of the next. For those of you who feel that some things have been left unresolved, I’m sorry you feel that way. However, as I’ve said, this is a three part series. I have to leave something for the other stories, right? :P I’d like to thank you all for reading, reviewing and emailing me, from the encouragement to the plot ideas, from the prodding to the bribing. Again, thank you. I don’t know when the sequel is going to be posted; I started it in November of last year, but since I’ve finished this there are some details that need to be integrated into the sequel, so I need to do some tinkering before I can even think about putting the story out for public consumption. The sequel is called “Sunnydale Shinigami”. As always, feedback is awesome. Flames will be used to toast marshmallows. Speculation will not be confirmed and anyone asking for future plot points/timelines will be bitched at. I’m not kidding.