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Learning to Live

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Breaking the Fall". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: There are moments when the lines shift and everything changes. Those moments can define or destroy you. Third story in the Breaking the Fall Series.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > BleachjezaeiriFR181851,7455144073,96729 Oct 0919 Apr 12No

Between

Disclaimer: See chapter one.

A/N: Yes I am very incredibly aware that I'm horrible for taking so long to update and that it's so short but it just seemed the place to stop because of what I've got planned for the next chapter. And trust me it will be worth the wait because there's going to be a Amaya/Shunsui/Shiro chat, and an Amaya/Byakuya thing that's gonna be so very fun to write for me. And I am sorry for making you all wait but my muse and RL are just no being all that helpful right now.

Again thanks so very much for all the reviews-it was actually me going back and rereading them that got me over the massive road block I've had so thanks just doesn't even begin to cover it. Hopefully now that I've over the big 'oh crap i've just screwed myself' roadbump I'll have the next chapter out soon.


Anyhoo....how about a new chapter?














A hand went up to casually knock a piece of flying rock away from his face as he sat on one of the rock formations in the training space beneath his store. And though his body moved without thought his eyes remained on the two figures further away and below him. Mimasaka-chan-my name is Dawn- stood there with Tessai, the latter putting the unusual teenager through another grueling training session. Surprisingly, though not truly if he considered who her onee-san was, the girl had held up against the demands of the former Head of the Kido Corps well.

She was a surprising girl, from the fact of her existence which Amaya-san had yet to explain to her sudden appearance in his shop with a duct taped and thrashing Kon shoved into a school bag demanding his help. He rolled the three small pieces of Soul Candy in his right hand around almost absently. Yes, the teenager was a surprise but then the sudden and unexplained reappearance of Amaya-san was as well.

Two hundred years was a long time to have been gone and yet the timing of the return could not have proven better. After a century of waiting and planning things were finally beginning to come to a head. He'd made a mistake before, he would not again.

He had a chance, he had a plan and he knew what was coming.



*



His head throbbed, a dull pulse of pain from his left temple. It was surprising. His head should not have hurt, nothing should have hurt because he should have died in battle. Only his head did hurt and he could feel the rest of his body, he could feel the bandages and the blanket over him and smell the medical smells that told him he was in the Fourth Division.

Only he should have been dead.

But he wasn't.

His mind went back, a vivid image there of a small, almost delicate looking woman standing up from where she'd come out of the tunnels below Sereitei. And then he remembered with head pounding clarity the confrontation after. She'd moved like a dancer, a dance of blades and fists and blood. Those green and slightly amber eyes glowing with unreleased reatisu as she moved to where he'd knelt defeated and those movements had reminded him of death and power and age and the Captains.

And then a name, her name, and darkness.

Mimasaka Amaya, there wasn't a shinigami that had gone through the Academy that didn't know the name, it was impossible not to. He even remembered their sensei's face as the man had explained about learning to release their shikai and some of the most rare and unusual abilities had been seen among the Gotei 13. Among all others hers had been the rarest, a fact that had earned mention of her name even after her death. Some of his classmates had made comments about wishing for that same unique trait until their sensei had shown them just how truly difficult it was to begin to even call upon their zanpakutō, much less master it. After that his classmates had stopped wanting to be as rare as the long dead Captain had been.

Only she wasn't dead. He knew it as surely as he knew his own name. The way she had moved and fought, the reatisu he had felt so tightly contained right before his world had darkened, the look in those eyes-Captain Mimasaka Amaya was not dead.

And neither was he.

“How are you feeling Lieutenant Hisagi?” he recognized the soft voice and opened his eyes, turning his head to where the voice of Captain Unohana had come from.

“Captain Unohana? What happened?”

“You were found by a group of patrolling members of the First Division. Your wounds were not serious and have been healed.” her expression remained the same as he had always seen it, kind and motherly. “Who did you fight, Lieutenant Hisagi?”

The name caught in his throat, making it feel as dry as any desert but he forced it out. One did not deny Captain Unohana anything. “Captain Mimasaka.”

Even with the throbbing in his head he did not miss the moment of surprise that crossed the Fourth Division's Captain before she turned and began to walk out of the room.



*



Alive.

Alive.

Alive-alive-alive.

She was alive.

Alive, and defending that impudent boy. For hours it had swept through his mind, pulling his generally controlled thoughts back again and again. She was alive and emotions that had remained buried for well over a century battled with his sense of peace along with the other conflicts that had been filling him.

Rukia.

Hisana.

Amaya.

It always came back, one a reminder of the others. Rukia was his debt to his beloved wife, Hisana, whom he had believed was a gift found because of the loss of his first love.

Not lost, not dead. Amaya was alive, alive. And defending Kurosaki Ichigo in the boy's foolish attempt at saving his adopted sister.



*



With a muffled thump she tossed the tied up and gagged Kon into her empty suitcase and began to zip the lid closed. The animated plushie was beyond annoying and had decided that his ability to be a pain in the ass was best used on her. At least until her sister and Ichigo got back and then she fully inteded to chuck the small toy lion at Ichigo's head as hard as she could. Cause seriously, a warning about a perverted and loudly insane toy that was alive would have been so of the good.

She was, however, going to conviently ignore the fact that the orange haired grumpy assed teenager hadn't had a clue about the fact that neither she nor her sister were exactly normal before he'd disappeared. She really wanted to hate Ichigo, after all it was his fault her sister was off in Soul Society potentially getting herself killed yet again, but she couldn't. Which sucked. She couldn't because he'd saved her life and she couldn't because she'd already seen the difference in her sister.

When she'd come back Buffy, no Amaya, it was Amaya now, had been, well hollow inside. Distant and cold and broken. Back then she hadn't seen it, she'd been too young and stupid and self absorbed to see what was in front of her. And then Sunndale had turned into a big crater and reality and being an adult and a thousand other things had hit her upside the head hard. Really really hard. Like her sister in a bad mood armed with a troll hammer hard.

And then they'd come to Japan and finally she'd seen something in her sister's eyes that wasn't faked for once. And then she'd woken up in the Kurosaki Clinic and a few hours later everything she'd known about her sister had gone all wonky and for the first time in what felt like forever she'd seen life in her sister's eyes.

So no, she couldn't hate Kurosaki Ichigo but she certainly intended to annoy the hell out of him every chance she got for sticking her with Kon with no warning. She turned, ignored the muffled sounds of struggle from Kon and headed for the bedroom window. It was open, the breeze a nice distraction from the summer heat even though it was the middle of the night. Not that she paid too much attention to the temperature as she climbed out the window and up to the very top of the roof.

Had her sister been around she was pretty sure she'd have gotten an ear full but Amaya, she was getting there at calling her sister by the name kinda, was gone so it didn't matter. Besides she was pretty sure once Amaya found out about her cornering Kisuke for help a little roof climbing wouldn't even hit the wig meter.

She found herself in the same spot that she'd spent the better part of the last few nights in and waited settled down, her knees pulled up near her chest as the wind blew her hair around her face.

"How was training today?" Isshin-san didn't look over at her as he asked it and she didn't look at him either.

"The man could make a drill sergant cry." she wasn't kidding either. Tessai was freakin scary when he decided to make you work. And not in the yelling way but more the quietly intense scare the hell out of you way. At least when Kisuke bothered to poke his head in he was good for a good laugh or smart assed comment, Tessai was too serious. Not that she was complaining, she'd asked for the training and from the lines she'd been able to read through apparently Kisuke still hadn't managed to figure out what the hell she was.

Which she found so very funny oddly enough.

"Well, I don't know about that. I've seen your sister train students at the Academy."

She let out a snort. "I've trained with my sister and she was more lecture than turn me into a squelchy mash of mush."

He chuckled and it made her eyebrow go up some. What was so funny? "That was before." and it was the words that he didn't say that she saw. That that had been before. Before Sunnydale had fallen. Before she'd known her sister was a whole lot more than just the Slayer. Before her sister could leave her human body floating in Kisuke's shop in a big tank full of liquid and tubes keeping it alive. And way before she'd started learning to use kido.

But she saw and she understood, really and truly for the first time in her life she did. And it kinda put a lot of things in perspective for once. "Maybe if I toss Ichigo at her head and tell her he wants to be trained she'll leave me alone."

Next to her Isshin-san laughed.



*



Dark skies, the storm just waiting above her. Flowing power and destruction in the sky while the same was below where she lay with the sands shifting below her. A few feet from her she could sense Areno Ame standing with the wind probably making that dark multitoned long hair dance. But for the moment she was less concerned with Areno Ame and more focused on other things.

She had no illusions about what she'd stepped into, she was too old for them. There was a war coming, a big one. And she'd not only just walked right into the middle of it unknowingly but she knew she couldn't just stand aside and let others fight it. She couldn't just let others die without fighting herself.

But Dawn, her sister wasn't prepared for a war like the one that was coming. Against vampires and demons Dawn had experience but against shinigami and hollows and other things, none. None at all. She was putting Dawn in danger.

The same kind of danger she was willing but hated putting Ichigo, Ishida, Sado and Inoue in. The same danger they were already in.

“There is no greater teacher than battle.” her gaze slid sideways away from the sky above her to where Areno Ame stood and she narrowed her eyes. She hated it when Areno Ame did that, picked the thoughts right out of her head. As far as she knew no one else's zanpakutō could do that but then she'd never really asked. Oddly enough even after almost a thousand years there was still a lot she just didn't know for certain about Areno Ame. Not that it mattered at the moment. She had bigger issues than worrying about the things she didn't know about her zanpakutō.

But unfortunately the point got across. She let out a sigh and pulled herself to her feet, the sand not sticking to her at all. She rolled her shoulders and glanced over at where Areno Ame stood as she pulled the two swords out of the sand. “Alright, time for us to change the game.” she shifted the blades in her hands, one warm and the other cool.

“Bankai.” she felt the sand begin to swirl around her and the rain begin to hit her skin.

She had things to do but before she could she had to be sure that she'd be able to stand up to just about anything the new members of the Gotei 13 could throw at her.



*




*Please Please Please Review. Feedback/Ideas/Thoughts/Questions/Pairing Stuff......whatever. Just no flames. Those are promptly fed to Buggy the Balrog Bunny.

Oh yeah and the Soundtrack List so far.

The Hollow-A Perfect Circle
Won't Back Down (Bring You Hell Remix)-Fuel
24-Jem
Here is Gone-Goo Goo Dolls
The Only Way is the Wrong Way-The Davey Brothers
Time-Saliva
Into Hell Again-3rd Strike
Tonight and the Rest of My Life-Nina Gordon
Pattern-Band of Skulls
It's Not My Time-3 Doors Down
Pedistal-Portishead
Am I Not Sweet-Natural Born Hippies
Setting Sun-The Chemical Brothers
Break Me Down-Red
Someone to Save You-One Republic
Reason to Cry-Takida
You and Me (wedding version)-Lifehouse
What I've Done-Linkin Park
All that I Am-Rob Thomas
Ever the Same-Rob Thomas
Little Wonders-Rob Thomas
Ignition-Toby Mac
Miracle-Vertical Horizon
Story of Us-Sarah Fimm
This Blood-Black Lab
I'd do it all again-Corinne Baliey Rae
Soldier of Love-Sade
Chances-Five For Fighting
The Reason-Hoobastank
Days Go By (Guitar Version )-Dirty Vegas
Tomorrow-SR 71
Princess-Matt Nathanson
Take Me Away (acoustic)-Lifehouse
Frontline-Pillar
New Divide-Linkin Park
Lightening Storm-Flogging Molly

if anyone has any song suggestions let me know. And Review *tries to look cute and probably fails miserably*
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