Disclaimer: Me no own. Do not sue. Am broke from paying for wedding. (not kidding either)
A/N: Ok so I know its been...well almost a year but I do have valid reasons. 1. My hard drive with all my, well everything, died. 2. I bought new one and started rebuilding, it then died. 3. I'm on an island for work which leaves me with little free time and limited internet access. 4. I'm up to my eyeballs and ready to pull my hair out trying to plan an international wedding and move.
Oh and downloading over 300 Bleach eps and multiple movies takes a REALLY FREAKING LONG TIME. I think I've set the record for longest going single torrent I've ever had. (Two months almost, I kid you not.)
Anyway thanks for everyone's patience with me. And to those who encouraged and didn't complain about my absence I thank you twice over. (I hate whiners.)
I can't promise regular updates as I'm pulling 80 hour work weeks and have my wedding to plan but I am trying now that I've got about half my notes rebuilt.
Anyway. Thank you thank you thank you. And on with the long awaited update, shortish as it may be.
Pennies and fire. Funny how the mind worked, how people thought about some things. She was one of them she guessed. It wasn't blood and pain, it was pennies and fire. Why? Because pennies and fire were mundane, everyday. Tasting blood and feeling pain though every inch of your body wasn't something people dealt with day to day.
Well most people anyway. She wiped the blood from the side of her mouth and shifted her weight, all while tring to push the burning she felt pretty much everywhere to the back of her mind. Pennies and fire were mundane, normal. Just like she was.
"You're letting it control you." she looked across the distance to where Kisuke-san stood. They'd been training for hours and he still looked, well, pristine. Like he'd just been out for a stroll. But his eyes, she knew the look in those eyes. They were so like her sister's. Only she'd never seen her sister look at her with eyes like that. No, that look had always been reserved for others, never her. Not even the hand full of times that Bu...no Amaya had trained her.
She felt her brow furrow. What was controling her? "Vague much?"
"Fear." one word and she shifted her weight as though the word struck her. Fear. Fear. Fear.
Fear was controling her? Was it? Was she afraid? Yes, but not of being hurt, not of hurting someone else. Of being a burden to her sister, yes. Of Amaya dying, yes. Of spending the rest of her life known as The Slayer's little sister, yes. And one more, the one fear she didn't even like to admit to herself. One about memories that were and weren't real and blood and keys and a power that could rip the world apart.
Only. Only. Only. Pennies and fire. Mundane words, mundane lives. Blood and pain, anything but ordinary. Her life had never truly been ordinary. Not since she'd drawn her first real breath. She was Dawn, sister of the oldest slayer in history. She was the Key. She'd faced gods and demons and she'd lived in pain and blood her whole life.
So why was she afraid? She'd seen her sister die for her. Lived through the loss of her mother. Felt the guilt of her sister's sacrafice. She'd been one of the weights that had cracked but not broken Amaya. She'd stood on the mouth of hell and survived. And there was no way she'd feel like she'd been hit by a semi truck if she wasn't real.
Fear. What was there left to fear? Not death, not now that she knew the truth. Not pain, she'd dealt with just about every kind despite her age and she was getting better at ignoring the physical pain with every day. So what was left?
The Key. Only she was the Key and the Key was her. She could destroy the world. She could. No one else. And unless she overcame her fear she would never be strong enough to keep someone else from using her like Glory had. And to do that she could never be afraid of who and what she was.
"There it is." she ignored Kisuke-san, mind working. She was the Key, no one else. And she was Dawn. She was her mother's daughter and carried the same blood as her sister. And no one, not the Watcher's Council, not the Gotei 13, not anyone had ever controled Amaya.
No one could control her either.
She didn't see Kisuke-san move, she wasn't nearly good enough to see shumpo yet, but she didn't need to. She felt it. The displacement of air from the sudden high speed movement was enough and all thought went out the proverbial window as warmth spread though her and instinct took over.
It happened fast, so fast. A blink of an eye. The single beat of her racing heart and she found herself blinking down at the green and white stripped hat in her hands. "My, my, very impressive Dawn-san." she looked up in the direction of voice and found Kisuke-san nearly fifty meters away and below her, his lips quirked.
"Huh." fear, what fear?
There was something about running, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, that oddly enough, did wonders for her. It was the same effect she got from spending hours doing katas. Everything went away, or became oddly clear. Her mind became more focused, her emotions bled away. It was something she'd figured out early on during her years as a shinigami and had kept up all the long time since she'd first discovered the value of it.
Sitting still was her time for reflection, to let emotion and memory and dreams fill up the spaces in her head. When there was movement in her body everything became clear. Edges sharper, lines more defined, paths opened before her.
Which was probably for the best because she didn't have time to indulge in the sheer overwhelming urge she'd had to beat the ever living crap out of Byakuya or storm right into the Captain Commander's office and call the old grump out.
The fact that she stood maybe a fifty fifty shot at surviving the second one was something she was all too aware of. Still, the running worked wonders for her mood and left the Amaya that wanted nothing better than to curbstomp someone behind and the rational Amaya in her place.
And rational was seriously what she needed after talking to Shiro, Shunsui and Byakuya in the last few hours. Aizen was 'dead' and now things had gone from bad to potentially fatal for everyone. If that manipulative son of a bitch managed to get what he wanted without being outed to the rest of Soul Society then they were in for a war with absolutely no chance of winning on the off chance they made it out of Soul Society alive to begin with. And that just wasn't acceptable.
But running, well it cleared away the cobwebs and the dozens of different what if's in her head and made things clear. She'd seen his kind before, and she had a good idea of the methods he'd use to play out his little plan.
Keep everyone looking at his right hand and no one would notice him slitting their throats with his left. Why? Because everyone expected him to be right handed.
Landing on a rooftop she stopped and looked around her. Yes, she had a plan. Not a perfect one but hopefully it would be enough to make a difference. But before she could go hunting she needed to check on the rest of her kids. An eyebrow went up at her own thought. Her kids, dear gods and little fishes, she hadn't refereed to any of her students as 'her kids' since Yoruichi and Kisuke. She gave a mental shake of the head and narrowed her eyes as she searched for the reatisu she was looking for. Yoruichi and Kisuke were as far from being 'her kids' these days as possible. Hell, they had nearly as much crap in their pasts as she had had at their age, though Kisuke was beating Yoruichi in that particular race.
It didn't take long for her to pinpoint the boys, she'd already had a good idea where at least Sado had ended up after taking on Shunsui. But the fact that she could very very faintly feel Ishida too meant that at least both the boys were alive. Captured and in Unohona's care but alive.
People really didn't know the value of alive. Sure, things might be bad. Very very bad but as long as you were still breathing then the fight wasn't over.
Her head turned east and she felt it, Inoue's very distinctive reatisu. She still wasn't entirely sure what the girl was but she had realized just how powerful the sweet goofball of a girl could one day be. Inoue potentially had the power to make Willow do a double take and that in itself was an added reason to make sure the girl kept out of trouble. She pushed off and sent herself in the direction of Inoue. First she had to make sure that Inoue was alright and would stay alright and then she was going hunting.
Eleventh freaking Division.
She knelt down on the wall surrounding the Division's quarters and tried as hard as she could to resist the urge to bang her head against the stone. Hard. Like, crack the stone hard.
Eleventh freaking Division.
Even back in her days as a Captain they'd been the most fight hungry and crazy bunch of shinigimi in all of Sereitei. Natural Born Killers meets Fight Club kinda crazy.
She seriously doubted they'd changed all that much.
It figured. It just figured.
“I'm gonna wring that girl's neck.” seriously, she was doubting the high school was going to last a month with her sister plus her other four pains in the ass all there. Maybe Isshin would give her odds on a bet. She shook her head and looked around. Things were, well, oddly quiet.
Actually, they were freakishly quiet.
That, in and of itself should have warned her that something was very epically wrong. Not that she needed the warning as she suddenly felt reatisu smash down at her. A reatisu that she instantly recognized.
“Son of a....” she went from kneeling and facing the inside of the Eleventh Division's barracks to standing with her back to her previous view with Areno Ame out in a single movement that took the blink of an eye.
Just in time to have a psychotic looking mountain of muscle with an eye patch, porcupine hair, scar and sword that looked like it should have been thrown out centuries before come down at her with a maniac laugh. His sword hit hers and she didn't just let her reatisu flow she felt the slayer inside her rise up. Sparks few as the blades pushed at one another and his sheer size forced her to put her right foot back slightly so that she had the leverage she needed not only to keep from being forced off the wall but to try and put some distance between herself and what she was guessing was the Eleventh Division's Captain. Though how someone with so little control on their reatisu could be a Captain she wasn't sure she wanted to know.
Once she had the leverage she needed she put her free hand on the back of Areno Ame's blade and pushed, hard. Thankfully she had slayer strength to go with her shinigami abilities or he might not have moved but he did, his whole body sliding back as his grin only got bigger.
“Heh, she was right.” he turned, and she followed his gaze. Up on the roof from where the hulking mass of Twelfth Division Captain had to have come from stood five figures. And right in the middle of them stood Inoue.
“Amaya-san! Hi!” she blinked at Inoue and then felt the urge to bang her head against the wall again. Seriously, they were gonna get her killed, again.
“Inoue, you alright?”
A nod. “Yes, Yes.” a pause “Is Kurosaki-kun alright?”
A lone eyebrow went up. So that was the way the wind blew huh? “As far as I know.” Inoue looked like that wasn't the answer she wanted, unfortunately it was the truth. It orange haired moron might have already gotten himself killed trying to reach bankai for all she knew. “Now you want to tell me what the hell is going on or am I going to have to threaten someone else today?”
“Oh? Who did you threaten Amaya-san?”
She shrugged, she still hadn't put Areno Ame up because, hey, not stupid. “Kuchiki Byakuya.”
The giant of a man laughed and it was deep and rumbling and dear gods, he had to be the Gotei 13's godzilla, as he put his sword up. “Threatened Kuchiki huh? I like you already.”
And why the hell did that comment both scare the hell out of her and make her hope she wasn't going to have to get into a massive brawl at the same time?
Actually, she really really didn't want to know the answer to that.
****Its been almost a year so reviews and feedback are love. Tell me what you want to see now because once the Rescue Rukia stage is over this baby is going very AU. And if I don't know then I'm not gonna even consider it.
Deathberry is back baby!