Disclaimer: Don’t own Bleach or BtVS. Tite Kubo and Joss Whedon respectively.
Timeline: Begins just after Chosen.
The survivors of Sunnydale looked out over the crater that used to be their hometown. As they were about to turn away Buffy coughed, hard. The others spun to look at her, horror in their eyes at the blood in her palm and the growing bloodstain at her side where a Turok Han had gotten lucky. She looked up from the blood on her hand with resignation in her eyes, "Damn. Was hoping that wouldn't happen." Then the most successful slayer in history collapsed. Dawn was at her side almost before she hit the ground but her pleas and denials were hushed by her sister, "It's ok Dawnie. Really," she was stopped as her body coughed again, even harder this time, "I'll be ok. Don't be sad. Just do one thing for me Dawnie."
Dawn jumped on Buffy's words eagerly, trying anything to keep hope her sister wasn't dying and leaving her again, "Anything Buffy! Anything as long as you stay here for me!"
"I can't do that Dawn, but I still expect you to do this for me. Live for me Dawnie, live your life to the fullest and be happy for... me," strength spent the slayer who had defeated everything thrown at her finally met her match in the one adversary no mortal may defy and she died.
Buffy opened her eyes, suddenly confused as her side no longer hurt and she could breath again. Then she saw the others, still huddled around her body and understood. Still, she looked around. She didn't remember standing around after she jumped off the tower the other time she'd been dead long enough for it to matter. As she looked around, subconsciously knowing trying to get her friend's attention was futile, a man in a black kimono appeared in a blur and drew his sword, a long bladed katana.
Still uncertain of what was going on she dropped into a fighting stance. If this was some kind of demon she would not go down so easily. Deciding not to let the possible demon make the first move she launched herself with one foot as she brought the other around in a kick. It connected on the surprised man's jaw and sent him spinning across the ground.
Buffy wasn't sure what to think when the man, after recovering and saying something like 'russo' under his breath, turned away from her and shouted in japanese, "Taicho!!! Taijiya!!!"
Another appeared, this one a dignified woman with a long, thick, braid flowing down her chest and wearing a white overcoat of some kind, she dismissed the man Buffy had kicked without looking at him and the man fled. The woman never took her eyes off Buffy but when her mouth opened Buffy was surprised to hear english, "Apologies Slayer. My subordinate thought you to be an ordinary soul and tried to help you pass on. I am Retsu Unohana, Captain of the Fourth Division, and you are?"
Deciding any attempts to guess what the woman meant were doomed to uselessness considering her lack of information she answered, the woman hadn't drawn the blade in her hand afterall, "Buffy Summers. I've been dead before, technically three times. Two of them didn't stick, the one in the middle did and I don't remember anything like this from any of those."
Retsu's eyes widened, Buffy Summers was a bit of a legend in the gotei thirteen. All slayers were assigned a shinigami bodyguard of sorts to ensure no hollows attacked the warrior and that, upon death, she was konso'd immediately to prevent a hollow forming from a slayer's soul. After her defeat of two ancient master vampires in as many years the assigned shinigami took a camcorder with him and started showing her fights to others in the gotei thirteen.
The eleventh, and some spattered others, were in awe of her raw combat ability. The sixth, tenth, and thirteenth were in awe of her leadership and strength of character. The vast majority of the rest knew her as the soul who had gone straight to heaven, not that uncommon, without konso, more uncommon, and was then ripped from heaven by a magical loophole, utterly unheard of.
Schooling her features the medic answered the unasked question, "Two of your deaths were, I presume, short enough term and from injuries that your spirit stayed in you long enough to recover. The third, you went straight to heaven without even pausing outside your body at all. I don't know what makes this time different but this is what normally happens when a soul dies. My subordinate was not attacking you, he was trying to provide you passage to the afterlife."
Buffy nearly facefaulted like she'd only ever seen happen in anime, "So I kicked a guy in the face who was just doing his job? Tell him I'm sorry would you?"
Retsu nodded acceptance of the request, "I need to perform konso, soul burial, now." She informed the four time dead legend as she drew her zanpakuto.
Buffy still wasn't sure about the whole sword thing but held still, the words "This won't hurt at all." reached her ears as the pommel of Retsu's sword touched her forehead and all she knew was blackness.
Buffy woke up with a splitting headache, "She could have said I'd wake up with a world class hangover. Fuck..." When she eventually recovered enough to open her eyes and actually look around she found herself in a crappy old hut that looked about to fall over if she sneezed too hard. Groaning she sat up, her hand coming into contact with something metal and not void of weight. Her eyes snapped open and like laser guided bombs zeroed in in the sword at her side. It was beautiful, a deep red scabbard leading to the red katana handle with a diamond pattern.
Compulsively she gripped the scabbard in her left hand, her right wrapped around the grip of her
sword, for it felt too perfect to be anyone else', and she pulled them apart, her eyes feasting on the beautiful blade as inch by inch it was uncovered. It was beautiful and it was hers
. Sheathing the blade she slid the long strap attached to the scabbard over her shoulder and smiled. It was part of her in a way the scythe had only hinted at. It was an elegant instrument of beautiful death.
Her attention turned back to herself and found a kimono with split legs in the same red as her sword. It wasn't very high quality but it was in decent shape. She was distracted from her musings by a loud growl from her stomach. Buffy blushed despite herself and decided she needed to find food.
Not long after Buffy'd left the hut she'd woken in she was surrounded by a group of thugs smiling lecherously at her. "I don't want any trouble," she warned, hoping to avoid needing to fight when all she wanted was food. When that failed she took a bit of advice from one of Giles' books on the art of combat and focused on them, directing her irritation at being held up and her willingness to subject them to much pain toward the group. The book had called it killing intent which wasn't entirely accurate in this case though it was close enough. It did cause a few to decide there were better targets to rob however. The others hesitated but attacked.
The following could only be called a fight by someone lacking all but the sense of taste as Buffy weaved through the group striking their bodies hard trying to disable without killing them. When the dust cleared Buffy stood in a sea of groaning bodies. Her stomach and its loud demands for sustenance distracted her from noticing her increased, even for her, agility, precision, speed, and control. Leaving the thugs laying on the ground she wandered off looking for food, unaware of the person following her, watching her.