Totally not mine. Bleach belongs to Tite Kubo and Buffy belongs to Whedon et al. No money being made, please do not sue. Chapter 1
Buffy sighed, pacing the path she was on once more. She hated night patrols, which was strange because she used to patrol at night all the time when she was alive. then again, nothing ever happened at night in Seiretei, and even though there were people who took midnight strolls from time to time, most of them didn’t talk to her. Being the fourth seat of the Eleventh Division gave her a reputation of being a violent and ruthless person. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she were a male – after all, Ikkaku and Yumichika had a fair few friends, and they were the third seat and fifth seat respectively – but because she was female the reputation was doubly damaging. There were only a few people who knew what she was really like, and while most of them were her own division, there were a few people who what she was really like.
She sighed, leaning against a railing and staring out at the bright crescent moon as she thought about her life now. A lot of people wondered why she had joined the Eleventh Division at the beginning of her third year, even though she could have finished her years at the academy and gotten on the fast track to lieutenant-ship in another squad. However, she knew that someone had to keep her boys out of trouble, and she was sure it wouldn’t be that captain of theirs. She had to look after her brother and Ikkaku, and the only way she could do that was if she was in the same squad as them. For fifty-five years she had trained and worked as a Shinigami of the Gotei 13, moving up the ranks of the Eleventh Division, although it was pretty obvious she wouldn’t rise higher unless someone ahead of her died. However, despite this, she had a pretty decent life, once she thought about it.
She had a brother, Yumichika, who had “adopted” her shortly before they had entered the Shinigami Academy, and he was still one of the first people she went to when she was having problems.
She had a best girl friend, Rangiku, who could always cheer her up, and even though they had gotten off to a rough start in the beginning, they were almost as close as she and Yumichika were.
There was also Iba, who had taken a shine to her when they first met and even though he had transferred to Seventh Division recently, they kept in touch and spent time together even though most of the division saw him as a traitor.
And then there was Ikkaku, the thorn in her side for so many years. She still couldn’t quite classify their relationship, as she couldn’t quite say it was friendship. It was definitely more than that, although she couldn’t be sure if it was love or loathing, and it’s not like she could talk to anyone about it. Yumichika would just smile knowingly at her, Rangiku would giggle and tell her to go for it and Iba would just give her more sake. She was one of the few people Iba would share his sake with; most of the people who wanted to drink with him had to bring their own.
There was one wrench in the system in her almost idyllic life. It was her division. While she got along quite well with her Captain, Kenpachi Zaraki – although his vice-captain, Yachiru Kusajishi had taken a shine to her as soon as she had entered the squads, so Zaraki might just be civil with her for Yahiru’s sake - and most of the higher ranked officers of the division, the lower ranked officers had a problem with her. Since the division was mostly made up of men who had the attitude that women didn’t belong in their division, it was obvious that some members of the division made her feel unwelcome. They had made this known to Buffy many times, threatening her with violence if she didn’t transfer out. She hadn’t told anyone of this yet, and she didn’t plan on it any time soon. Since it had only come down to threats and small, easily defended bouts of violence so far, she didn’t feel the need to tell anyone about it. And if it came to blows, well, she could handle anything thrown at her. She hadn’t gotten to fourth seat of the Eleventh Division, the division known for its combat prowess, on her looks and charm after all.
Hearing footsteps approaching, Buffy turned to see who had arrived, her hand on her Zanpakuto as she did so. Being on patrol, she had to make sure she was on the alert just in case a threat came her way.
“Paranoid much, Ayasegawa?” the apparent leader of the group asked with a smirk and a chuckle. He was a large, beefy man, with broad shoulders and dreadlocked hair. She recognized him as Masato Himura, one of the fifteenth seats in her division. She had faced him twice at the beginning of her career, once at her entrance exam to the academy, and once to prove she deserved to be in the Eleventh Division. Fifty-five years later, he still held a grudge, although he hadn’t tried to attack her in all of those years.
“I’m sure you understand my caution, Himura,” Buffy replied, not removing her hand from her Zanpakuto. Himura had brought four others with him, and even though they hadn’t made any moves to attack her, she still felt threatened. To be a member of the Eleventh Division, one of the requirements was to be a master at combat. It would not be difficult for any of these men to spring and attack, overpowering her if she was not on her guard. There had already been a few attempts to attack her, but it had always been one on one, and it would always be when she was alone. She was pretty sure that the rest of the division was scared of at least Ikkaku, if not both Ikkaku and Yumichika, and since she was almost always with them the attacks were few and far between.
“You don’t need your Zanpakuto,” Himura said. “We only wish to talk to you.”
“I may be blonde, but I’m not stupid,” Buffy said, eyes narrowing. “You and I both know that our division doesn’t settle its disputes with words.”
“If you want it that way, fine,” Himura said, gesturing to the four smaller, but no less tough than anyone else in the division, men standing behind him. They came forward, expressions of unrestrained glee on their faces as Himura gave them their instructions. “Break her, boys.”
Before Buffy knew it, she was bound in Bakudo No. 63, Locking Bondage Stripes, the golden chains wrapping around her arms, binding them to her sides. She glared at Himura, who was standing off to the side, smirking.
“That’s dirty tactics,” Buffy growled at him, glaring. “We don’t use Kido in our division.”
“Which is why the Kido wasn’t cast by someone in our division,” Himura replied. He pointed at the guy who had cast the spell. “You, leave, we don’t need you anymore.”
“I’m still getting paid, right?” the guy asked.
“Yeah, yeah, you’ll get paid, now get out of here,” Himura replied, waving his hand dismissively. “And remember, you didn’t see anything, you didn’t hear anything. Now scram!”
The man flash stepped away, disappearing. Buffy stood there, helpless, unable to break the Kido spell. She hadn’t been in the academy long enough to learn the high level Kido, although now she wished she had worked on it after she had left, even though her Kido tutor had completely cut ties with her once she had made her choice.
The other three men advanced on her, pushing her to the ground and wailing on her. Kicks and punches landed on her with precision and she was powerless to protect herself. By the time her assailants were hitting her with their sheathed Zanpakutos, Buffy had passed out from the pain and her injuries.
By the time Buffy awoke, she was alone, no longer bound by the Kido spell and in indescribable amounts of pain. She groaned and rolled over, wincing as the pain wracked her body. She struggled to her feet, using the railing to pull herself up as she did so. She tried to take an inventory of her injuries, figuring out where she hurt and the severity of the pain. She could tell she had a couple cracked ribs, a dislocated shoulder and she was pretty sure her knee was damaged pretty severely. Holding onto the railing, she began limping her way back to the Eleventh Division barracks, to the apartment she shared with her brother.
While she had been passed out, her Slayer healing had done some of its work, but it would take a full night – or day, in this case - of rest at least before she would be back to where she should be, uninjured and in top form. Buffy just hoped Yumichika was asleep when she got home, and wouldn’t hear her come in and see the injuries she had sustained. If he did, he would probably carry her to the Fourth Division barracks himself to be healed by Captain Unohana herself. Even after all of these years, she still sustained her fear and loathing of hospitals. It didn’t help that Retsu Unohana was a formidable woman who wanted to make sure that her patients healed properly, stopping at nothing to make sure it happened. More than once Buffy had woken up strapped to a bed, unable to get free as the healing Kido washed over her.
She sighed as she reached the door to her apartment, sliding it open as quietly as she could. She had the option of having a place all to herself, but she would have gotten lonely, fast. Ever since the beginning it had been her, Yumichika and Ikkaku. Now that she was in her division, though, it would have seemed strange for all three of them to live in the same apartment, so Ikkaku got his own right next door. More often than not, though, he was over at hers and Yumichika’s, playing cards, being lazy and stealing their food and booze.
Even though it was the middle of the night, the lights were on in her apartment. Shit,
Buffy thought. Just wonderful. Hey, maybe I can get away with lying to them this time. I think I’ve gotten better.
Her mouth and mind had grown foul as the years had worn on. Part of it was Ikkaku’s influence all on his own, and part of it was being a member of the Eleventh Division.
“Buffy!” Yumichika exclaimed, his eyes widening when he saw what had happened to her. She knew it was bad; she felt like she was a full-body bruise. She did not even want to think about what her face looked like. “What the hell happened to you?”
“Hey guys,” Buffy greeted with a weak smile as she raised the arm that did not have the dislocated shoulder in a wave. She instantly regretted it, another shock of pain shooting through her body. Gotta add a broken collarbone to the list,
she thought grimly, trying to keep the painful smile on her face.
“You look like shit,” Ikkaku commented as Yumichika got up from his seat and rushed to Buffy’s side. He wrapped an arm around her waist and forced her to lean on him, taking the weight off of her bad knee as she did so.
“And you look like a horse’s ass all the time,” Buffy retorted as Yumichika began leading her to her room. “What’s your point?”
“Not now, Buffy. Please, try to be civil,” Yumichika said with a tired sigh as they entered her room. He had been dealing with the two of them snapping at each other for decades, and neither seemed to want to let up any time soon. He gingerly lay her down on the bed, propping her up with pillows as he did so. Even though he was being gentle, Buffy still winced in pain, causing Yumichika to frown. “Now, tell me what happened, and no lying. You know you’re horrible at it.”
“He started it, he always starts it,” Buffy grumbled, rolling her eyes. Crap, even rolling my eyes hurts!
Buffy thought. Must lie, must lie.
“I… uh… walked into a door.”
“Bullshit,” came a cough and snort from the door. Ikkaku leaned against the doorframe, a rare concerned expression on his face. To see Buffy like this, broken and bruised, did a number on him. It threw him to see the strong, independent woman he knew battered and broken. It was almost as bad as when Mayuri Kurotsuchi had kidnapped her when they had been in the academy. He still hadn’t gotten the bastard back for doing that to Buffy, and he still hadn’t forgiven Kisuke Urahara for letting the sadistic scientist out of the Nest of Maggots after kidnapping Buffy had gotten him thrown in there in the first place. “And Yumichika said no lying! Do you really wanna have me beat it out of you?”
“Ikkaku, not now!” Yumichika exclaimed, glaring at Ikkaku. It was rare that Yumichika got truly angry (he thought angry expressions were dreadfully ugly), but when it came to the safety of his sister all conventions of beauty were thrown out the window and he donned what Buffy had dubbed his “scary face”. His expression softened when he turned his attention back to Buffy, who had an amused look on her face. “Tell me who did this to you and I swear I’ll make them pay.”
“That’s sweet of you to say, but I told you, I walked into a door,” Buffy replied sleepily. She was fighting to stay awake, her Slayer healing forcing her to sleep so that it could to its work. She yawned widely before continuing. “Let me sleep and I’ll be fine in the morning, I promise. Benefits of having accelerated healing.”
“Do you need anything?” Yumichika asked, his voice soft.
“No, I should be okay. If I do, I’ll yell,” Buffy replied. A small smile crossed her lips. “I’d probably throw something at Ikkaku to get your guys’ attention, but I don’t think my poor shoulder would be able to handle it.”
“Hey!” Ikkaku exclaimed, but another look from Yumichika stopped him from saying anything else. This was serious, and definitely not a time to start bickering.
“Sleep well, little sister, we’ll be here if you need us,” Yumichika said with a caring smile as he ran his fingers soothingly through her hair a couple of times before getting up to leave. Ikkaku followed him after throwing one last look at Buffy, closing the door behind him.
“She’s lying,” Ikkaku said flatly when they reached the kitchen and sat down at the table.
“What was your first clue?” Yumichika asked, sighing heavily. “Was it the fact that she was one, a body sized bruise with numerous injuries? Or two, the fact that she can’t lie to either of us, no matter how hard she tries?”
“Both,” Ikkaku replied, slamming his fist into the table, making the utensils sitting there jump. “I bet it was that Himura bastard. He’s had it in for Buffy since he met her.”
“That’s the guy she faced at the entrance exam, isn’t it?” Yumichika asked. Ikkaku nodded, and Yumichika’s expression turned grim. “Long enough time to hold a grudge, eh? Do you think we should go to the Captain about this?”
“Buffy will kill us if we do,” Ikkaku said, just as grim. “She’d rather die than ask him for help. Being the only girl besides our vice-captain in this division kinda sucks. Unfortunately for Buffy, she doesn’t get the constant protection Vice-Captain Kusajishi has. The kid’s never out of Zaraki’s sight!”
“Do you think we should have done more to convince her to stay at the academy and join another division?” Yumichika asked, worried.
“She’s stubborn, you know that. She didn’t want to stay at the academy, and anything we said wouldn’t have changed her mind,” Ikkaku replied, arching an eyebrow. “You can’t make that woman do something she doesn’t want to do, you should know that by now.”
“Point taken,” Yumichika said with a sigh. “But you’re right, Buffy will kill us if we take this to the Captain. Or worse, hate our guts. But if we don’t, she could die. Himura is known for being relentless, and he won’t give up until she transfers out or she dies. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather Buffy be alive, but hating me than dead. At least if she were alive, I can work at gaining her forgiveness. It might take a few centuries, but at least I’d have a chance.”
“Good point,” Ikkaku said with a sigh, suddenly feeling tired. “Should we go tell him now, or wait until morning?”
“I don’t think we’d come out of it alive if we woke him up now,” Yumichika replied with a grimace. “First thing in the morning we’ll go and see him. Hopefully he’ll be up early enough that we won’t have to wake him up ourselves. Although he might be kind of upset about having to transfer Buffy out; she does do the paperwork the best.”
“Is paperwork really a good enough reason to keep her here?” Ikkaku asked.
“No, it’s not. I was just trying to inject some levity. Guess it didn’t work, huh?” Yumichika replied. Ikkaku shook his head, his expression still serious. “Didn’t think so. Are you heading home, or are you crashing here?”
“May as well crash here,” Ikkaku said with a shrug. “It’ll save time in the morning, anyway.”
“All right, then,” Yumichika said with a sigh. “Good night, Ikkaku, I’ll see you in the morning. Well, later this morning.”
“Back at ya,” Ikkaku replied, flopping down on the sofa in the living room. He was out, snoring loudly, within moments. Yumichika smiled slightly to himself, marvelling at his friend’s ability to fall asleep soundly nearly anywhere. He got up, grabbing the dishes on the table and placing them in the sink on his way out. He stopped at Buffy’s room, sliding the door open so that he could see her. He could already see the bruises on her face healing and she was breathing easier; she was right, she probably would be fine in the morning. However, Slayer healing wouldn’t fix death. Nothing would.
“I’m sorry this happened to you, little sister,” he whispered sadly. “I only hope you can forgive me for trying to save your life.”
He sighed, closing the door so that Buffy could sleep in peace before turning and heading to his bedroom, right next door. He flopped onto his bed, closing his eyes and drifting off to sleep, his dreams filled with death, destruction and kidnap centered around his sister.
“Is she still asleep?” Ikkaku hissed in a low whisper the next morning as they were getting ready to leave.
“The last time I checked, yes,” Yumichika replied.
“Well, check again,” Ikkaku said, glancing at the closed bedroom door.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were paranoid,” Yumichika said with a chuckle.
“Do you want Buffy finding out?” Ikkaku asked. “I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to get my ass kicked before being tied up so that we can’t go see the captain.”
"That was a completely different situation," Yumichika said with a wave of his hand. "You weren't going to calm down until she made you sit down and think about what you were running off to do. Just think, if she hadn't, Iba probably wouldn't be here now."
"She shouldn't have run off and gotten drunk with him and Rangiku," Ikkaku said stubbornly.
"Well, whatever," Yumichika said with a sigh. "Come on, let's get out of here before Buffy finds out what we're up to and we have to lie to her."
"Yeah, let's do that," Ikkaku agreed. The two men left the apartment, stepping out into the bright spring sunshine.
The walk to the captain's quarters was a quiet one, both men contemplating what they were doing. There was a very real prospect of coming out of this with Buffy hating their guts, but at least she'd be alive and they'd be able to spend the next couple of decades begging for forgiveness. It was better than having her dead.
Reaching the Captain's quarters, Yumichika knocked on the door, praying that Captain Zaraki was awake and in a good mood. He didn't want to start this meeting off on the wrong foot, and that would certainly happen if Zaraki was already in a foul mood. Yumichika had a feeling that, even if Zaraki had been in a good mood at the start of the meeting, he wouldn't be in one by the end of it.
The door opened and they were greeted by a small, pink haired girl dressed in a Shinigami uniform. She had a vice-captain's badge on her arm, signifying she was the vice captain of the Eleventh Division. She smiled when she saw who was at the door.
"Ken-chan! Pretty Boy and Cue Ball are here to see you!" she exclaimed, rushing back into the office. Yumichika and Ikkaku shared a look; their young vice captain had a bad habit of giving people unwanted nicknames because she was too lazy to learn their real names. The only person they were aware of that she knew their real names were the Captain - although she insisted on calling him Ken-chan - and Buffy, whom she called Buffy-chan.
"Whaddaya want?" Zaraki asked. Well, he wasn't in a horrible mood, but he wasn't happy either. That probably had more to do with being interrupted than anything else.
"We'd like to talk to you about something," Yumichika said, taking a seat across the desk from Zaraki. Ikkaku took the other chair next to Yumichika. "It's about Buffy."
"Well, spit it out already, I don't got all day ya know," Zaraki said with a roll of his eyes.
"We think Buffy was attacked last night," Ikkaku said with a grimace.
"Yeah, and?" Zaraki asked. "She's a member of this division, prone to being attacked."
"We think she might have been attacked in an unfair fight," Yumichika continued. "She can usually take on two or three of our squad members with no problems whatsoever, but I think some dirty tactics were involved."
"Masato Himura is at the bottom of this, I know it," Ikkaku bit out viciously.
"Now, now, that's some pretty serious accusations you've got goin' on there," Zaraki said, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "Has Buffy said anything to you about it?"
"Well, no," Yumichika replied. "She said she walked into a door."
"Well, she might have," Zaraki said with a smirk. "She's a bit of a klutz, sometimes."
At the looks he was getting from two of his highest seated officers, Zaraki sighed. This was not going to go away with jokes and laughter, that much was for certain.
"If you want, I'll try to talk to her," he said with a sigh. "She might try to lie to you, but she knows I'll kick her ass if she tries with me."
"Thank you," Yumichika said as he stood and bowed in respect. "It's all we can ask of you."
"Nah, don't mention it. Buffy's kinda grown on me since she came here, I just wanna make sure she's doing okay," Zaraki said with a shrug. "I'll send Yachiru down to come and get her later this afternoon. You'll make sure she's healed up okay, right?"
“She’s well on her way,” Ikkaku replied as he got up. “Thank you.”
“I said, don’t mention it. I mean it,” Zaraki said, waving it off. “I’m not doin’ this for you, I’m doin’ it for her. Yachiru kinda likes her, so it would be kinda bad if she died.”
Ikkaku and Yumichika both nodded before turning and leaving the office, silently walking back to Yumichika’s apartment to wait for Buffy to wake up.
Both men were wondering if they had just made a huge mistake.
XOXOXO So hi, I’m back. Did you miss me? Probably not, hahaha. So anyway, this is the first chapter in the shiny new fic in the series. Ain’t it purdy? I’d love it if you all would tell me how much you either liked or hated it. Feedback is awesome.