Bleach Fan Fiction / InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chapter 3

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Title: Breaking Through the Ice
Author: inuyashagirl5
Rating: T (Rating may change… Not sure yet.)
Genre: Action/Romance
Pairing: Kagome/Toshiro
Disclaimer: I do not own InuYasha or Bleach. InuYasha is owned by Rumiko Takahashi and Bleach is owned by Tite Kubo. I only borrow their characters for my own amusement and the amusement of the readers.
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Chapter Three

After being shown around by Rangiku, Kagome knew she was going to have trouble maneuvering about the place for awhile at least. The vast size of the place was one thing, but the many twists and turns were another. Her friendship with the tenth division lieutenant was bright and steady and already Kagome felt this woman was like an older sister to her. Similar to Sango in some ways, but vastly different in so many other. Rangiku had been showing her the way around for nearly a month now; stating it was her duty because her stuffy captain was busy and she didn’t want Kagome to be lonely. She wasn’t too lonely yet. She hadn’t made any new friends in the Soul Society yet save for Rangiku, but she was sure she would at some point. After all, there were many reapers within these walls.

She wished things were going better. She missed her friends dearly, often wondering how they got along after her death and if InuYasha had gone to her family in her time to tell them the news. She thought of her family and how crushed they probably had been at hearing what had happened. She wished she could be there comforting them instead of where she currently was, sitting quietly outside of her classroom; banished to wait in the hall while the teacher instructed the others on the things she was supposed to be learning. This had been going on for a week now. Some of her classmates were jealous and chose to be disruptive. They didn’t like that she was some sort of genius and already had a Zanpakuto. It didn’t matter that she sat quietly in class, ignoring them. The teacher always sent her out into the hall. At this rate, she would never learn to use Kido. Something needed to be done about it, which was why she was still waiting.

It wasn’t her fault that Aoi Hime chose her even before she met her death and she still wasn’t even sure why. She wasn’t going to complain though. Aoi Hime was her constant company and Kagome adored having her nearby at all times. Today was definitely a day she was glad to have a companion to comfort her while she dealt with her bratty classmates.

“They’ll come to rely on you in time. They’re young and immature. Give them time.” Aoi Hime said softly, frowning at the small gathering of tears in Kagome’s eyes. The other students were being unfair and she felt a little guilty in having a part in the priestess’ sadness.

“I hope so. I don’t have many friends as it is. At this rate, I’ll only have you and Rangiku.” Kagome pouted.

“You can talk to Captain Hitsugaya. He seems like he’s always in a bad mood, but I bet he’ll listen when he has the time.”

“Stuffy Hitsugaya… I doubt he’ll care about anything concerning me. I haven’t seen much of him in the last month. When I do see him, he glares at me and avoids me.”

“I think he glares at everybody, Kagome. Not just you.”

Kagome giggled loudly and Aoi Hime smiled. That was the first smile she had seen her wielder have all morning.

“Higurashi, why are you not in class?” The monotone voice caught her off guard and Kagome quieted enough to look up at the person who had asked the question. He was staring down at her with hard, gray eyes and, had she not dealt with Sesshomaru in her previous life, she may have felt intimidated.

“Good morning, Captain Kuchiki. The instructor said I was being unruly and told me to sit outside again.” Kagome answered and stood up to face him properly.

“Again? I find it difficult to believe that you would be disruptive to begin with.” He replied, gazing at the door to the classroom. “What is the real reason you are out here?”

“The other students dislike that I already have a Zanpakuto.” She readily answered. “They keep calling me some sort of a genius, but I’m clearly not. I know nothing and have yet to learn anything.”

“Come with me.” He turned and walked back the way he had come from. Kagome followed obediently. It wasn’t like she could say no to him. He is a captain and not only outranked her, but was very clearly stronger than her.

“Your aura has a nice twinge of teal mixed into it. Your Zanpakuto is vividly pink in contrast.” She murmured quietly. He gazed over his should at her while they walked. His eyes were a little wider than before and he looked confused. « They mingle really well together. »

“You can see both my aura and that of my Zanpakuto?”

“Yes. I was surprised the first time I saw someone like you… us. It was when I tended to Captain Hitsugaya in the living world. His aura is white while his Zanpakuto is an icy blue.” Kagome admitted with a quiet laugh. “It’s brighter now than it was when I was alive.”

“I see.” He murmured in reply. “Can you see auras when they are not directly in front of you?”

“If I focus I can see many different colors. Some people are similar in color to others and some stand out. Those that do stand out tend to be the colorful ones. Hollows are just black though, but I can feel their negative energy without seeing them.”

He filed that information away for a meeting with Yamamoto. He would needed to be filled in as far as this girl’s unique abilities, as well as the fact she wasn’t being taught as she was supposed to. The teacher in the class must have a grudge against her too if she was refusing to teach her. For now, he would find someone suitable to help her learn.

He led her to the Fourth Division’s headquarters. Unohana wasn’t busy today and she was always a good teacher. Kagome could learn a great deal from her or her lieutenant Isane without the distraction of other students being problematic.

« Is there a problem? » Toshiro asked as they happened to pass by him in route. Kagome ignored him much to Aoi Hime’s amusement. Her wielder wouldn’t even glance his way.

« Higurashi-san is in need of a teacher. She’s been kicked out of class. » Byakuya replied.

« Again? » Toshiro scowled at Kagome, but she remained looking elsewhere. « What is this, the fourth time this week? Can’t you do… »

« It isn’t her fault. » Byakuya coolly interjected, leveling the younger captain with a glare. « If you knew this was occurring, why have you not inquired about the reason? »

« I’ll tell you why. » Kagome answered before Toshiro could. « It’s because he hates me. He doesn’t care what happens to me. Ungrateful bastard. »

Toshiro’s eyes widened in shocked surprise at her angry words. She couldn’t possibly think that he hated her. Yes, she annoyed him, but no, he didn’t hate her.

« Mind your tongue. » Byakuya calmly replied to Kagome, also surprised by her uncharacteristic choice of words.

« Kagome-san, I don’t… » Toshiro began, but Kagome held up her hand to stop him.

« Your glares make it more than apparent. It’s fine. Just being colleagues will suffice. I don’t need you to be my friend after all. »

Toshiro sighed loudly. He could feel a huge headache coming on and it wasn’t helping that she was being stubborn.

« You’re wrong. » He said simply and turned to walk away. He didn’t want to deal with this now. Not while there was someone else present. The last thing he wanted to do was make a fool of himself in front of another captain.

‘You’ve troubled him…’ Aoi Hime frowned

‘Feh.’ Kagome replied, sounding very much like her hanyou friend.

« Come. » Byakuya called and they continued on their way.

Toshiro stalked off towards his own headquarters, tossing out orders to his subordinates as he went. They readily did as they were told because they knew their captain was in a foul mood and to defy him would only make things worse for themselves.

« How dare she say such a thing. » He muttered angrily, slamming the door to his office behind him.

« Oh! » Rangiku jumped from the sound, startled awake. « W-what’s the matter, Captain? »

« Did you get any work done? » He asked, his tone harsh.

« Oh no! What happened? You’re in such a bad mood! » Rangiku ignored his question.

« Did you get any work done? » He repeated.

« A little. » She sheepishly replied. « I’m afraid I dozed off for a little while. But really, what’s wrong? I haven’t seen you this mad in awhile. »

« Insufferable… Bratty… » He seethed, sitting behind his desk. « I have done nothing towards her that would indicate that I hate her. Why would she even think that? »

« Who? » Rangiku blinked in confusion.

« Higurashi! She said that I hate her! » Toshiro pouted and crossed his arms over his chest.

« Well, you haven’t been very sociable with her. You’re often rude and you scowl at her all the time. You’re quick to call her names too. » Rangiku listed off a few reasons. « It’s no wonder that she thinks that way. »

« You’re on speaking terms with her regularly. Is that what she said to you? »

« Well, yes. To be honest, Captain, at the very least, you owe so much to that girl. Being nice, maybe even smiling at her a little, she deserves it. She protected you and saved you. »

« I know that. » He sighed loudly. He leaned forward, resting his head in his hands. He repeated softly, « I know that. »

« Since you know, then fix it. » Rangiku smiled. « I think she’d be perfect for you! I mean… You know Momo is never going to look at you the way you want her to. She’s always going to see you like a little brother. »

« Just what are you implying? » He asked through clenched teeth.

« I am simply saying that you could very well get that girl to fall for you. All you need to do… »

« That’s out of the question! » He interrupted with a shout. She’d embarrassed him. She could see the tips of his ears turning pink.

« Why not? She’s so cute! » Rangiku replied with a grin.

« Drop it and get back to work. You’re not allowed to leave until it is all done. »

« So stuffy. » Rangiku pouted.

« Shut up. » Toshiro hissed. He was ready for this topic to be dropped and forgotten. He reached for his own paperwork, eager for the distraction. He rolled his eyes as Rangiku laughed softly, but his lieutenant said nothing and got back to work.

oOoOoOoOoOo

« I’ll be honest with you, Kagome-san. » Retsu smiled as they walked alongside one another. They were heading to one of the training fields to get Kagome some practice. « We went through a lot of work getting you out of the feudal era and into the proper time. It wasn’t easy manipulating the gate like that. »

« Why did you have to pull me through time? Wouldn’t it have been easier to let me stay there? »

« You belong here. » Was all Retsu said as they stepped into the field.

Retsu walked her through the steps, teaching her the easiest things she could learn first. It was clear, quite quickly, that Kagome was going to learn fast. Her control was incredible for a beginner and the Fourth Captain wished the girl’s skills would land her into her own squad. If she had to guess, she’d say that Kagome would work best under either Jushiro or Toshiro.

« That would be nice. » She murmured to herself.

« What would? » Kagome inquired.

« Having you placed in the Tenth Division. Toshiro may be young, but he is a very good captain. » Retsu paused at the darkened expression gracing her pupil’s face. » You wouldn’t want to work under him? »

« No. I can only imagine all the names he’ll call me if I do something wrong. »

Retsu chuckled at Kagome’s response. « That’s just Toshiro. He’s always like that. »

« It’s rude. »

« I bet you could counter that, Kagome-san. » Retsu replied. « Catch him off guard with a smile and a compliment. Especially when he least expects it. »

« He’d probably call me an idiot. »

« Of course, if you really wanted to get on his nerves, you could always do what Jushiro does. » Retsu smirk was sneaky and seemed really out of place on her face.

« Jushiro? »

« Captain of the thirteenth division. Jushiro Ukitake. He always calls Toshiro Shiro-kun. » Retsu laughed. « He hates it! »

« Oh, that sounds so evil! He hates being treated like a kid. »

« Yes, he does. » Retsu smiled softly. « If you do call him that and he gets mad at you, just tell him that I said you could. I think he’ll be less harsh on you if he knows I said it. »

« I’ll do it! » Kagome grinned. « Anything to get back at him for being such a sour puss! »

« Let me know who it works out for you. » Retsu requested, though she had a feeling she knew how it would turn out already. They were having a rocky start, but it would be mended. She’d see to that herself if she had to do so.

Getting back to work, they spent the rest of the afternoon going over everything that had been taught. Though Kagome’s control was great, it was best to get the words memorized too. Retsu believed Kagome would be able to handle it just fine and couldn’t wait to tell Yamamoto such later on.

oOoOoOoOoOo

Byakuya’s steps slowed behind Yamamoto’s, the elder captain glancing over his shoulder; his eyes just slightly open. That was a sign that he knew he had the man’s full and undivided attention. Not that he expected anything less as far as the subject in question was concerned.

« Come inside and tell me everything. »

The two men sat across from each other alone in the quiet room. For now it was best not to get others involved.

« She is advanced, more so than expected. » Byakuya began. « While reading the auras of others is common considering what she was, the fact she can see the auras of our Zanpakuto and how it works with our own is incredible. »

« It is something that can be utilized. » Yamamoto replied. « How did you come to learn this? »

« She told me herself when I was bringing her to see Captain Unohana. » Byakuya answered, noting the question in his superior’s eyes immediately. « She was in need of a teacher. Some of the students are troublesome and the teacher has been kicking her out of the classroom because of them. »

« Captain Unohana was a wise choice for a teacher. » Yamamoto replied, « But that cannot be a permanent solution. The teacher has to do the job correctly and refrain from punishing the wrong student. »

« Perhaps we could have someone sit in on one of the classes and see just how bad the situation is? » Byakuya suggested.

« It will have to be someone who isn’t easily recognizable. That way things will run without suspicion. »

« I am certain that Captain Unohana could supply one of her own subordinates. The members of her squad are more likely to get along with Higurashi. »

« I agree. » Yamamoto answered. « Thank you for bringing all of this to my attention. Kagome Higurashi is someone we have to keep a close eye on at all times. Circumstances as they are, if it is learned that she is in possession of the Shikon no Tama, it would cause many problems here in the Soul Society. I don’t doubt someone would try for it. »

oOoOoOoOoOo

Kagome departed from Retsu with reassurance that she could find her own way back to where she was staying. At least, she thought she could. But she knew she had definitely gone the wrong way when buildings became less and forest became more.

« I really need to work on my sense of direction. » She muttered sourly to herself. Aoi Hime’s soft laughter met her ears and Kagome smiled. « You could help me, you know? »

‘Where would be the fun in that?’ The spirit inquired.

« I should turn around and go back the way I came. » Kagome spun around, only to blink a few times. « I’m really lost, aren’t I? »

‘Just go forward.’ Aoi Hime said. ‘I don’t think we strayed far.’

Except, they had. Kagome grumbled as the sky darkened and she tripped over a tree root. Rubbing her sore, dirty knee she settled herself down to take a short rest.

« I am tired. » She admitted with a yawn.

‘Do not fall asleep out here. It isn’t safe.’ Aoi Hime’s words fell on deaf ears. Kagome had dozed off against the tree. ‘We need to work on more than just your sense of direction’

All the Zanpakuto could do was hope that nothing stumbled upon her sleeping wielder. She didn’t think Kagome was ready to fight hollows on her own, but sometimes the girl could surprise even her.

As the sky darkened into a deep navy blue and stars twinkled in the night, Kagome continued to sleep; oblivious to the commotion brewing back at the Tenth Division’s headquarters.

« Nobody has seen her since this morning. » Rangiku relayed the message from their underlings to Toshiro.

« I saw her this afternoon with Captain Kuchiki. He was bringing her to see Captain Unohana. »

« I’ll go see if she is still there. »

With quick steps Rangiku made her way to the Fourth Division’s headquarters. Retsu was at her desk filing out her paperwork. She lifted startled and confused eyes when Rangiku entered.

« Is there a problem, Lieutenant Matsumoto? » The Fourth captain asked after the abrupt entry.

« Kagome-chan hasn’t returned to her room. » Rangiku explained. « I was hoping she was still here. »

« I see. She departed from the training grounds hours ago. » Retsu rose to her feet. « She assured me she could find her own way back. I will help you locate her. »

« Thank you. »

Upon return to the Tenth Division, Toshiro’s face fell as he realized that Kagome wasn’t with them. He had hoped she had stayed late with the other captain and had just lost track of time.

« I have sent word to Yamamoto. For now, the three of us can split up and search for her. » Retsu frowned a little. « I must’ve pushed her too hard. We went over so much today. »

« I do hope it went well. » Rangiku replied as they stepped outside.

« Oh. It went quite well indeed. She’s gifted. That’s for sure. »

With a nod the trio took off into separate directions with a quick promise to contact the others once the girl was found.

Hours passed with no sign of Kagome and now several different squads were assisting in the search. Toshiro was more than worried now. He could feel guilt eating away at his heart. What if she didn’t return because she didn’t want to see him? What if he had pushed her away for good?

‘Don’t be so foolish.’ He silently scolded himself. ‘She’s fine. She just got herself lost is all.’

His self scolding did little to calm his fears as his steps quickened as he moved further into the dense forest.

Dark eyes peered down at the young woman asleep on the ground. He could hear voices in the area and knew he didn’t have time to take action, but he would. Soon.

« So this is where you were hiding? » A grin formed as he leaned down to run fingers across her cheek. « How lucky for me to find you first. »

Her nose crinkled at the soft, ticklish sensation. Something was pulling her out of her peaceful slumber and Kagome groaned softly. She wasn’t ready to wake up just yet. as she opened her eyes, she jolted awake at the shadow that slinked backwards into the dark. Soft laughter met her ears as she scrambled to her feet.

‘Unsheathe me!’ Aoi Hime urge her and Kagome did as she was asked.

« Who’s there? » She called out, her eyes darting from side to side. « Show yourself! »

The echo of laughter was all that met her ears until it was no more. She frantically looked around, seeing vivid colors in all directions. She wasn’t alone in the forest, but there was no aura directly in front of her.

‘What’s going on?’ Kagome wondered, panicked at the current situation. ‘Why are there so many auras out here?’

‘Someone is drawing near. Be cautious.’

« It’s Toshiro… I know his aura. »

Toshiro’s direction altered as he felt the pulse of something bright and pure coming from his left. It was out of control and erratic and he hurried to find out what it was.

What he stumbled upon instead was Kagome; her Zanpakuto drawn and her eyes wide in fright. She was the bright, pure and erratic pulse of power he had felt. When her eyes met his he could clearly see her relief.

« There you are. » He said softly, calmly. « We’ve been looking for you. »

« There was someone else here. But, I didn’t see him. He had no aura. » She sheathed Aoi Hime and stepped closer to Toshiro. « I don’t want to be out here anymore. Please get me out of here. »Toshiro touched her elbow, intending to lead her out of the forest. She was shivering, proof that she was frightened and he was concerned that something was out there as she had said. What ever it was, it could wait until later. Kagome was his top priority right now.

« Come on let’s get you back to the barracks. » He put his arm around her and led her back out of the forest. Along the way they encountered Rangiku and he asked her to get the word out that Kagome had been found safe.

She said nothing as they went, but she often looked back over her shoulder, searching the shadows for something or someone.

« You’re safe with me. » He said gently. « I would never let anything happen to you. »

« I know. » She smiled a little at his words. « It’s your duty after all. »

That stung a bit. He didn’t believe he’d protect her only out of duty, but he understood why she would say such a thing. He hadn’t been kind to her. He had to fix that somehow.

« I am sorry. » He said after a few quiet minutes had passed. « I do not hate you, but honestly, I find myself frustrated with your presence. It’s not easy to explain and I hate that. »

« Perhaps it stems from the fact that I saved you when I was still alive? You didn’t like being weak. » Kagome said. « But, even though I have never seen you in action, I know you are strong, Toshiro-kun. »

He sighed softly and bit his tongue. He had a feeling it was best to give up on her addressing him properly. At the moment it didn’t matter anyway. Instead he opted to continue on as if it didn’t bother him.

« I am sure you’ll see me in action soon enough. » With a smirk he added. « You’ll be thoroughly impressed too. »

When she giggled and calmed he knew he had said the right thing.

« Of that I have no doubt. » She replied.

By the time they made it to their quarters, Kagome was no longer shaking. Retsu was waiting for them, wanting to give the young woman a quick check up to be sure nothing was wrong. Once reassured, Retsu placed her hand on top of Kagome’s head, giving her a kind smile.

« Tomorrow you’ll be attending class with my underling. His name is Hanatarou. He’s going undercover so we can get a better idea of what is happening in that class. »

« Oh, um, thank you. »

« Be sure to eat something before you go to bed. You need your energy. » She waved to Toshiro and Rangiku before turning to leave. « Do have a good evening. »

« You too! » Kagome chirped.

« Food and bed as Captain Unohana said. » Toshiro grabbed her by the elbow and led her to the small kitchen down the hall. « Take a seat. What do you want? »

« Um… I can cook, so… »

« What do you want? » He repeated, shooting her a half-hearted glare. It wasn’t at all intimidating, causing Kagome to giggle.

« What ever you feel like making then. I am not picky when it comes to food. » She answered, laughing again when he rolled his eyes and heaved a huge sigh.

He settled on rice and a simple miso soup. Setting the food before her, he also sat down across from her. It was time to get an insight on what happened in the woods.

« Did you see who the person was? The one in the forest? »

She flinched a little at the reminder and then shook her head. « No. It was just a shadow and some laughter. Aoi Hime was insistent that I draw her too, but nothing else happened. »

« You felt nothing either? »

« Not an aura, but I certainly got a bad case of the chills. I trust my gut, Toshiro-kun. Someone was out there. »

« I believe you. I’ll talk to the other captains about it in the morning and see if we can figure out who was out there. »

He would have passed it off as a bad dream had her Zanpakuto not reacted. Since it had, it was something to be taken seriously. For now he’d be sure that she was watched and protected.

When she was done with her meal he also accompanied her to her room, just to be one-hundred percent sure that she was okay. She didn’t seem like she was suffering from exhaustion though and for that he was glad.

« Get some rest and be sure to speak to myself or Lieutenant Matsumoto before you leave tomorrow. I have no doubt that Yamada-san will be here bright and early to pick you up as well. »

Kagome wanted to roll her eyes at his over-protectiveness, but opted instead to give him a bright smile.

« I will. You get some sleep too, Shiro-kun! »

With that, she quickly shut her door so she couldn’t see or hear his reaction.

If she had, she would’ve seen his face turn cherry pink. It wasn’t out of anger either. No. His heart had skipped a few beats.

Chapter 2