Chapter 2: Little Treelast time...
As soon as she stepped into the portal it shimmered closed. Willow closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her hair quickly returned to its dark red shade. Her whole body swayed before her knees gave out and she dropped; Shunsui wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. Willows eyes opened slowly, the normally emerald color dulled with exhaustion looked from Shunsui to Jushiro.
"So exactly how much trouble are we in?"
"Not too much Little Tree." Willow did not hear Shunsui's almost whispered reassurance. She had slipped in to unconsciousness before he answered her. Shunsui gently lifted her up and cradled her. He was motionless for a moment listening to her faint heartbeat before he turned away from the Captain-Commander, walking to the edge of the arena Jushiro following closely.
"And WHERE do you think you are going Captain Kyoraku, Captain Ukitake?" Captain-Commander Yamamoto voice boomed.
"We are taking her to the relief station" Shunsui continued the group of unseated soul reapers parting to let him pass. Jushiro watched him leave before turning to the old man.
"Willow used too much energy. The last time she was in this state, it was almost a month before she awoke." Jushiro bowed slightly. "Whatever the repercussions against Shunsui and I are, they can wait till she has been examined by Captain Unohana." He used shunpo to catch up with Shunsui.
"Captain Kuchiki the Ryoka is your responsibility." He slammed his cane into the ground. "Captain Hitsugaya, bring Lieutenant Ise to my office then go to the archives. Find if there is any mention of this Willow Rosenberg."
"Hai, Captain-Commander." Both answered before vanishing.
"EVERYONE back to your squads!"
Retsu Unohana was just walking into the treatment area having let most of her squad of to watch the festivities. She was enjoying the rare quite of her relief station, when Shunsui followed closely by Jushiro. She was shocked to see him carrying a woman she had never seen before.
"Unohana you have a patent." Shunsui said bluntly, as he rushed to the nearest exam area and place his burden down gently on the bed. "Her name is Willow. She is suffering from massive reiatsu depletion. Jushiro is too weak to help her, and I cannot risk healing. It didn't end well the last time I tried." He moved away to the other side of the room getting out of Unohana's way. She moved to the bed looking down at the girl.
"She's human? Does Yamamoto know there is a human in the Seireitei?"
"Yes Retsu the old man knows. Most, if not all the Seireitei know by now." Jushiro answered from the other side of the bed. He brushed some hair off of Willow's face. "He didn't object to giving her aid." It's wasn't a complete lie. "Only restore her reiatsu enough to stabilize her. Anything more than may prove too risky." Unohana looked questionably at her longtime friend, but just nodded as Jushiro step away from the bed.
Unohana went to work quickly. Her forehead creasing slightly when she scanned the girl something about her was not right, she wasn't sure if the girl though her knowledge of living humans was limited, something didn't seem quite right with the girl. She pushed the thought aside and worked quickly.
Once Willow's breathing and heart rate were to a level she was comfortable with she pulled back her own healing powers, she struggled slightly as if something inside the girl was forcefully pulling at Unohana's own reiatsu though with a bit more effort she was able to break the connection. Unohana wasn't sure if she imagined it but for a moment the girl's skin and hair looked as if it had black streaks but when she looked closer whatever she had observed was gone. Just who is this girl?
Unohana looked between the two men she had known for several hundred years.
"She will be asleep for a while, but she will recover."
"Thank you Retsu." Shunsui and Jushiro voice simultaneously relief evident in both voices.
"I have one question though." She tensed slightly when she noticed Byakuya Kuchiki standing outside of the doorway, seemingly unnoticed by Jushiro, with his hand on the hilt of his Zanpakutō. He nodded to her then his gaze lock on Willow's unconscious form. His grip on the hilt tightened.
"Ask away." Shunsui smiled, as Jushiro used shunpo, reappeared behind Byakuya, the blade of Sogyo no Kotowari pressed to Byakuya's throat. Unohana sighed knowing she should have gone climbing and just left Hanataro in charge of the station today.
"What have you two gotten yourselves into now?"
(^o^)~Our friendship with Little Tree started like-almost-all great things, purely by accident~
In Shunsui Kyoraku's never ending quest to shirk his responsibilities, much to the irritation of his Lieutenant Nanao Ise, had learned of this quaint establishment in the 39th district that served the best silver sake and just had to try the place out. Jushiro Ukitake feeling the need to escape the 'mothering' of his third and fourth seats, used the mission as a way to escape. Though if anyone asked, he was there to keep Shunsui out of trouble.
They had been sitting in the private alcove of the 'Tea' shop for less than an hour when out of nowhere there was a flash of light, a loud pop and a slender young woman appeared in Shunsui's lap.
A naked one at that.
Shunsui grabbed ahold of her before she could scramble off his lap. He held on to her tightly as he looked to his longtime friend pleadingly.
"Let go of me!" Willow struggled harder, her dark red hair shielding her face.
"You may not want to move little one, where ever you came from you seem to have forgotten your clothing." She looked down at her chest and made a squeaking sound curling up as much she could. He chuckled deeply; Willow's blushed was almost as dark as her hair. He relaxed his hold knowing she wouldn't budge.
"Shunsui be nice." Jushiro stood quickly taking off his captain's haori and handed it to the girl.
'Here you go.' She looked up at him and nodded. "Use this to cover yourself till we can find something more suitable." She looked up and the one she was currently sitting on he turned his head and let his arms fall to his side. She quickly slipped or arms into the haori and wrapped around herself as best she could before she scrambled out of the man's lap.
"My Name is Jushiro Ukitake and the one you were using as a chair is Shunsui Kyoraku." She moved away from them quickly towards the door. Her path was blocked by the one the other called Shunsui. Willow looked back to the now empty cushion. She turned to the towering form in the doorway leaning against the frame with his arms folded across his chest a menacing gleam to his eyes caused a small squeak escaping her before she found her voice.
"How did you? You were just there."
"We couldn't let you leave, we introduces ourselves. It would be rude if a pretty girl left without telling us her name."
"Ummm…" Willow wasn't sure what to do. She didn't get the evil vibe from these men—really it was almost if they were vastly amused by the situation-but given she wasn't really sure which dimension she dropped into, this could be the nice means they are serial killers, world. Why couldn't I have ended up in the shrimp realm? Well, it could be worse. I could have ended up in a room full of frogs. She shivered slightly at the thought.
"Willow." She took a deep breath looking between the men. "My name is Willow Rosenberg. You're not going to kill me now, are you?"
Shunsui's laugher filled the room. "No little one." He leaned forward. "Unless you are a threat, no harm will come to you. We will have to get to know you a bit better to make that judgment."
"What my friend means to say is why don't we sit and enjoy some of these wonderful steamed sweet buns." Willow looked the tall lean man with long white hair gesturing to a cushion on the floor across from where he was now seated.
"So you are a student? In what you called High School." Ukitake refilled Willow's cup.
"Yeah, I'll be a senior this year." Willow nodded thanks.
"How is it someone from the world of the living, finds their way in to the Soul Society? Without a Senkaimon?" Kyoraku asked filling his own cup with a jug he pulled from underneath the table.
"I'm not sure what that is. Uh…I was trying out some mediation exorcises that are used to enter the astral plain. And poof, I ended up here. I'm a witch or a Wicca as it were. Well at least a beginning one… I…" Both of them looked at her with blank expressions, not sure what to make of her babbling. She was twisting the sleeve of the haori in her hands. "Umm…I am human. I just have the ability to channel life energy and bend it to my will with a spell. Well usually…sometimes it messes up…Uhhh…like making myself appear here...without my clothes." Her cheeks turned a few shades lighter than her hair. "I did mention I am really new at this."
"Ah, Kido." Shunsui spoke up. "You are what we call a Kido user though I was unaware that someone from the world of the living could use Kido the. Unless…"
"Are there many like you?" Jushiro interrupted not wanting his friend to say too much.
"Umm…Not really. Very few people believe in magic exist and even fewer are able to use it." Willow wasn't lying. Not really. I mean she is the only one of the Scooby's that uses magic—Giles didn't really count-and it was best not to mention Buffy and the rest of her friends.
"Could you show us, something?"
"Sure." Willow smiled brightly. She held out hand her cup balanced on her palm. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The cup rose slowly hovering a few inches above her hand. Suddenly the cup exploded in a blinding light. When their vision cleared the two Captains were surprised to find Willow gone.
"That was unexpected." Jushiro sipped from his cup and placed it on the table—as if her disappearance was nothing to note-before grabbing one of the last steam bun one the platter. "I hope she is alright."
"She has something about her, she'll be fine. I have no doubt we will be seeing her again!" Shunsui drained his cup. "Yup, Little Tree will find her way back to us eventually." He refilled his and passed the jug to 'shiro. "And since this is supposed to be a week long mission. I see no reason why we can't spend it here."
"She returned less the six hours later. Though for her it had been almost a month." Jushiro brushed a tendril of her hair off her face.
"The flow of time appears to be slightly distorted by her means of transportation. When we first met Willow it was not long after Kuchiki-san was appointed Captain of sixth division. But for her, our first meeting occurred about seven years ago. There is no consistency to it. One time will have been a week for us but three months for her; another will be mere hours for her-years for us." Shunsui was sitting on the end of the bed watching Byakuya Kuchiki taunt form standing sentinel at the door. Byakuya's gaze never leaving the sleeping girl still form.
"And you think so highly of this Ryoka you would commit treason?" The Captain of sixth division asked his tone composed.
"The old man may not have known about Willow but we did inform central forty-six…eventually" Jushiro adjusted Willow's covers then sat down on the stool next to her bed. "We were to observe her, to see if she posed a threat and report any changes…After a few visits it was more than clear she was not threat she was just a young girl that was stretching her new found wings."
"We were there for her during her happiest and darkest moments" Kyoraku moved to the window. "When she found, then lost her first love; and when she endured the loss of the one she called soul mate and its aftermath. Willow is an amazing human woman that was gifted—for whatever reason-with powers that are quite similar in many ways to Orihime Inoue's" Byakuya tensed at mention of the young women that had been residing in his home since the defeat of Aizen. Kyoraku gave Retsu a knowing wink at the Kuchiki's momentary slip.
"Enough, which warranted keeping the knowledge of Willow's existence a secret." Jushiro replied then added. "Though unlike Orihime…Willow has used her abilities to purposely harm another."
end part to...feedback is love!