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    You sat across from Byakuya, eyeing what remained of the tea in you cup. You had woken up to a massive hangover but thankfully, your ability to manipulate the reishi in your body had soothed most of the headache. You had a vague recollection of what had happened the night before but as you readied yourself for the day, you had received a request from Captain Kuchiki to join him for tea. You had discussed many things related to work but now a silence had fallen between you. You hadn’t noticed that you had breathed out a sigh until he spoke up.

“You seem distraught, ___.” You looked up at him, a plain expression on his face. “It must be something quite troublesome if even I can read your expression.”

“I’ve already finished explaining the rest of the details. You should have no trouble continuing the investigation.”

“Understood. But that is not what I asked.” Byakuya’s tone suggested he knew exactly what had been bothering you. “Are you okay leaving it like this?”

“I’m not okay with it but that doesn’t mean I can change it. If anything, by this point I can only make things worse.”

“If that is what you believe, then I shall leave it alone.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s none of my business but it seems like you and that man are always misunderstanding things.”

“The misunderstanding was believing that I belonged here in the first place. No matter how much I fight or how much work I put in, I’ll always be that girl who sat in the window wishing she could be someone else.”

“Wishing to be something else is not a bad thing but putting forth the effort is more commendable. There was a time that I believed it was pointless for anyone to try to change because at our cores, we will always be the same. I now know this to be untrue, people are constantly changing and evolving whether it’s on their own or through hard work. You are most obviously the latter whereas Zaraki is the former.”

“What do you mean?”

“To me, it seems that he’s changed since you joined his squad. He seems much more aware of his own strength than he was before, almost cautious.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“That’s surprising.” He took another sip of his tea. “Then leave. If I’m right, you’ll know what I mean before you exit the Seireitei.”

~BLEACH~

Kenpachi stormed down the hallway, others moving out of his path.

‘Of course, that idiot wouldn’t remember anything from the night before! If she would, she wouldn’t be trying to leave!’

“Stop right there, Zaraki!” A call came from a figure who appeared not too far in front of him. It was surprising who it was if not completely infuriating.

“Kunikida,” The spiritual pressure in the area increased drastically. “Get out of my way.”

“I won’t. You can kill me, I know you want to but I won’t allow you to interfere anymore.” He stated. “Not now! Now that she remembers who her real enemy is.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“It’s my fault, you know? When rumors went through the academy about some thug who became the Squad Eleven captain through trial by combat, I made the mistake of telling ___ about it. I thought the idea of some nobody instantly becoming captain would get a laugh out of her, she liked it when someone got the better of the “stuffed shirts” who run the Seireitei but… it was like she knew. She knew it was you. Hayato could have stopped her but he didn’t because he didn’t see any harm in letting her go. He assumed she’d try and fail then she’d return and that would be the end of it but it wasn’t!”

“Start making sense!” Kenpachi was beginning to lose his temper, grabbing ahold of Masume’s shihakusho.

“She was already broken!” he snapped. “If she had stayed like that, she’d have been safe! I tried to scare her! I thought if I could scare her into going back home she’d be safe but now it’s too late! That woman knows and she won’t leave ___ alone now.”

“What woman…?” He released Masume, recalling your expression back in the meeting.

{“Mother is home.”}

The expression wasn’t one he had ever seen on your face before. Your expression at that time he ignored out of pettiness now hit him hard.

{“My mother calls out to me and then… everything goes wrong just as it did in real life.”}

 It was fear.

“She’s not coming back, you know.” Masume spoke again. “She’s wrapped up in Hayato’s plan now. He wants that woman dead and ___ will die to see that happen too.”

“No.” Kenpachi stated before turning.

“Don’t interfere-!”

“No,” a venomous glare was shot Masume’s direction. “You’re the one who shouldn’t interfere.” Those harsh words were the last as he turned and ran.

~BLEACH~

    Your hands were clasped together, thumbs rubbing against your knuckle thoughtlessly as you walked along side your brother. Oyagi and Ise followed behind quietly. You could feel Oyagi’s sharp stare at your back but Ise didn’t seem to feel the same. Hayato shifted his attention towards you. “I understand… you must be feeling at a loss.” He began. “It must be hard to leave this place considering you worked so hard-”

“Its fine, Hayato.” You stated kindly. “You know, I actually thought that someone might try to stop me from leaving.”

“You know I can’t allow that.” He spoke sharply but quickly reconsidered. “Although I can understand you wanting at least some kind of goodbye. For all of the fuss they made, not one came to see you off.”

“Yeah…”

“___, don’t go!” You heard a girlish voice shout your name. You paused, turning to see Yachiru standing not too far from you. She gave you a sad stare, it almost seemed lonely.

“Yachiru,” you walked closer, crouching so that you were at eye level. “It’s strange that you’d be here. You only seem to show up around the Captain.”

She seemed to be taken aback by your comment. “You knew about me?”

You nodded, giving her a gentle smile. “There’s very few who sense reishi like I can. I knew that you were linked to the captain from the moment you appeared in the barracks.”

“If you know that, then don’t go!” she stated defiantly. “Kenny needs you but he won’t admit it! If I didn’t help him, he’d be lonely!”

“Yachiru, I can’t-”

“You have to!”

You swallowed your next words. You thought you had mentally prepared yourself to leave but once someone from your squad was actually asking you to stay, you found yourself hesitating. You took a deep breath, standing up straight. “I’m sorry but unless Captain Zaraki asks me to stay, I have to do this.”

“___, let’s go.” Hayato called to you.

“Sorry.” You apologized again and started walking towards your brother. You stopped as you noticed the surprise on his face. Before you had a chance to question it, a large shadow was cast over you. A strong hand grabbed ahold of your arm and pulled you back. You turned back to see Kenpachi standing behind you, a glare fixated Hayato.

“Not this time,” he growled. “Who gave you permission to take my Fourth Seat?”

“Captain Zaraki,” Hayato returned his stare with equal intensity. “You are the last person who can tell me what to do. ___ made the decision to come on her own.”

“Why…?” you pulled your arm away. “Why would you come here?!”

“I didn’t tell you the truth,”
“You told me all I need to know!” You snapped, more upset than you had ever shown.

“I didn’t tell you the whole truth!” he countered. You knew he could raise his voice louder than you and he reminded you in that moment so you held your tongue as he continued. “I told you I didn’t see you as a member of Squad Eleven but I didn’t tell you why.” He shifted awkwardly as if what he was going to say made him uncomfortable. “I met you before I was a soul reaper and I never even considered you’d become one, so when you were assigned to my squad, I tried to keep you at arms-length. I tried to give you the independence of a squad member,” He growled in frustration. “This would be so much easier if you remembered what you said to me last night.”

“What I said…” you paused momentarily. Considering you had black out drunk the night before, you could only imagine in horror and embarrassment what you could have possibly said. Your face had begun to change colors, turning a shade of red that you’ve never been before. “What did I say?!”

He opened his mouth with an annoyed expression but then stopped. After what looked to be a mental deliberation, he smiled. “I guess you don’t have to remember it. The point is, you’re not leaving!”

“What-?!” the whole situation had you spinning that you somehow came back to it angry. “Who said you could make that decision?!”

“I’m your captain!”

“Coming from the one who said he didn’t see me as a member of his squad!”

“I already said-!”

“You didn’t say anything!”

He stopped, once again returning to the awkward irritation. “I don’t see you as a squad member because…” he could tell by the intense stare you were giving him that you had no plan to let this go until you had an answer.

“___! Let’s go!” Hayato barked at you.

You were beginning to get annoyed by his hesitation. “I’m leaving!” you stated loudly, not willing to stand around in anticipation anymore.

“Damn it, wait!” You expected him to grab ahold of your wrist once again so you readied yourself to pull away. To your surprise, his forearm locked around you, pulling you against his chest. “I can’t see you as a member of my squad because then I’d have to keep my distance,” he grumbled, his other arm looping around you in an embrace. “And I’d have to pretend like you didn’t mean anything to me and I hate fake crap like that!” You noticed his grip tightened but not enough to hurt in any capacity, it somehow still felt gentle. “I don’t have enough self-control to have you within reach and not want you… but if you’re gonna run back to that house, then the squad regulations can go to hell!”

“Filth-!” Hayato started but you didn’t let him finish.

“Shut up!” you snapped before gently setting your hand over Kenpachi’s. You couldn’t believe it took you this long to realize it. The little things you had trouble understanding before suddenly made all the sense in the world to you. “Captain, you can let go of me now,” you shifted, trying to turn to see his face. “You can tell me this rest later. If you say anymore now, I’ll be too embarrassed.” His grip was hesitant but he slowly let go. You reached up, setting a hand on his cheek. “Although, you’re already feeling embarrassed, aren’t you?”

“Isn’t that obvious?! If you had told me the truth while you were sober, this wouldn’t have happened!”

“Right, right. Sorry.”

“___,” Hayato said your name with an edge, as if to scold you. “You do understand what I have to do, don’t you? Our mother is waiting.”

You nodded. “The thing is, that was always your goal. My reason for living is standing right here, telling me not to go so how could I leave him?” Kenpachi was surprised by the honesty of your statement.

“Captain Kenpachi Zaraki is easily more of a danger to you. What kind of official would I be if I left my little sister in the care of such a beast who has just made it apparent that he has perverse intentions towards her?”

“That’s a harsh way to look at love, don’t you think?” A new voice interjected.

Kenpachi turned, realizing there was now a crowd behind them, most of it were members of Squad Eleven. The person who had spoken was Shinji. “You knew we had an audience, huh?” Kenpachi watched you nod.  

“You would have complained if the other captains had ammo to tease you with,” you joked about it but you didn’t really want to be teased any more than usual either.

“It’s about time the Captain was honest,” Ikkaku stated. “You’ve been a permanent part of Squad Eleven since day one.”

“Just because the Captain lacks awareness, doesn’t mean the rest of us should suffer. If we didn’t have our Fourth Seat, who else in the squad would meet my aesthetics?” Yumichika added.

“You guys are quick to talk shit, aren’t you?” Kenpachi frowned.

“It’s not talking shit if it’s true.” Yumichika countered. “We all attempted to keep ___ from leaving but it was a moot point unless she heard it from you.”

“Come on, you guys. Captain Zaraki is already having a hard-enough time,”

“And who’s fault is that?!”

“I already apologized.” You argued. “Anyway,” you turned back to Hayato. “As you can see, I’m happy here so I don’t plan on quitting.”

Your brother chuckled, a surprisingly tame reaction considering his opinion on the matter. “I see. You are a member of Squad Eleven, through and through. Then I know what I must do.” He turned to face you directly, a serious expression on his face. “I, Judge Hayato ___, challenge the Fourth Seat of Squad Eleven, ___ ___ to trial by combat.”

Unrest surged through the crowd. “That sneaky bastard,” Ikkaku started.

“You just don’t know when to give up, do you?” Kenpachi shot him a glare but it quickly vanished once he heard your laughter.

“Uh oh, I think she’s losing it.” Yumichika sighed.

“A kotatsu table,” you smiled at Kenpachi as you caught your breath. “Winter’s coming up so we should get one for the office or you might catch a cold napping in the open. Also, I’ve always wanted to snuggle under one.”

A grin spread across his face. “That’s a good idea.”

“I’m surprised. First you laugh and then you ignore me.”

“Don’t get me wrong, Hayato,” you took a few steps towards him. “I’m glad you’re taking me seriously. It’s just been way too long since I’ve fought someone who I didn’t have to hold back against.”

“And yet you seem confident that you’ll win.”

“I am.” You glanced at Kyoraku who had been quietly watching. “You’re okay with this, Head Captain?”

He shrugged. “I am a bit reluctant considering it is the Head Judge of Central 46 but I wouldn’t dare argue with a Squad Eleven tradition.”

“Sir, I must argue against this!”

“Shut up, Oyagi. Ise, my zanpak-to.” Hayato held out his hand and the other Honor Guard member unfastened the second zanpak-to from his waist and handed it to your brother.

“He has a zanpak-to?” Ikkaku questioned.

“Unfortunately, he does.” Shinji sighed as he tossed a sheathed zanpak-to to you. It’s hilt and sheath were made of wood with no guard and a flower design carved into it.  “Kick his ass, ___!”

“You never answered me, dear sister. Why are you so sure you’ll win?”

“Because you want to take me alive,” you had a sharp look in your eye as you spoke. “And I’ll kill you to see that doesn’t happen.”

“Why does a judge have a zanpak-to?” Yumichika asked.

“Because Judge Hayato ___ used to be a soul reaper,” Byakuya chimed in.

“Everyone’s watching this match, huh?” Renji added.

“That guy was a soul reaper, huh?”

“Not just any soul reaper,” Byakuya glanced at Kenpachi as he spoke. “He was formally the Fifth Seat of Squad One.”

“And that was back before I was even a captain.” Shinji added. “I can only imagine what he’s like now.”

“I doubt he’s let himself get out of shape, their family won’t allow it.” Byakuya sighed. “The truth is the ___ family is actually the most controversial noble family in the Seireitei right now. Many horrible rumors have gone around about their family’s secret training to strengthen their members. Hayato’s father died when Aizen slaughtered the old Central 46 members, both he and Hayato have been attempting to repair their family’s reputation.”

“You could say that his actions have started a civil war among his family members,” Kyoraku added. “Having ___ on his side now that she’s strong enough to put up a fight is an understandable move but those matters are trivial to her.”

“Why do I get the feeling you’ve been hiding things from me about my Fourth Seat?”

“Hm,” he shrugged at Kenpachi’s question. “I assumed you would have asked her if you really wanted to know… but then again, you don’t care about that stuff either.” He smiled. “You’ve been too busy worrying about whether or not she loved you to even consider other things~”

“Shut up!” he snapped.

“Is ___ about to draw her zanpak-to?!” this drew their attention back to you and Hayato, who had already unsheathed his blade.

“Well, sister, shall we?”

“By all means,” your fingers wrapped around your zanpak-to’s hilt, removing it from its sheath as you let it drop to the ground.

“The blade-! It’s wood!” Someone stammered in surprise as everyone watched.

“Be ready, Hayato. This is the first time I’ve drawn my zanpak-to as a member of Squad Eleven.”

“And the last,”

TO BE CONTINUED…

AHAHAHAHA. ITS DONE.

So y'all know, I was super picky about this one. Deciding what to include and what to leave out was super important because I wasn't sure how much space the fight would take. 
BTW, if y'all ever want to join in the fun of my process, I do writing live streams. 

twitch.tv/morganbarrows

If you haven't caught up, you should:
Part 1: enthaga.deviantart.com/art/Ken…
Part 2: enthaga.deviantart.com/art/Ken…
Part 3: enthaga.deviantart.com/art/Ken…
Part 4: enthaga.deviantart.com/art/Ken…
Part 5: enthaga.deviantart.com/art/Ken…
Part 6: enthaga.deviantart.com/art/Ken…
Part 7: enthaga.deviantart.com/art/Ken…
Part 8: enthaga.deviantart.com/art/Ken…
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmalifauxwriter:
MalifauxWriter Featured By Owner May 22, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I need more.
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner May 24, 2017
Thanks! I'm glad. :) The latest part was just posted. Please enjoy!
Reply
:iconsailormoonnerds:
sailormoonnerds Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
*screams* i've been waiting for this~!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner May 2, 2017
Then please enjoy!
Reply
:iconmemezy:
memezy Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2017
WHAT A CLIFFHANGER!!
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017
Yup yup! I am the queen of cliffhangers >:)
Reply
:iconmemezy:
memezy Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2017
That's your official name now sorry I don't make the rules
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2017
Well, who am I to argue? 
Reply
:iconcocomidori:
CocoMidori Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMG, I've been so busy with homework I didn't notice the update, and I was waiting for it so much. That said, it was so great, if only you could have seen my face the second I saw this. I  kinda love Kenpachi being awkward and embarrassed, things have gotten so  good, and I am really looking forward for the fight, sounds like it'll be a good one! I'm sorry I didn't make it for the live steam, I'll try to check more often and to comment next time I actually make it. Thanks so much for your hard work, you already made my day!
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2017
Its no trouble! I'm glad you're enjoying it. :) There will be a stream tomorrow ;) time to be announced 
Reply
:iconsakuraharuno159:
SakuraHaruno159 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
YES! I can't wait until the next chapter!
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017
lol thank you! Glad you're enjoying it! It'll update again soon! If you want a sneak peek of me possibly working on it, I have a writing live stream later on today 8PM central america time. ;) 
Reply
:iconkittienkatt:
kittienkatt Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
Wow thank you for writing part 9 so fast.  I have enjoyed this one and was happy when he finally told her the truth.  Again great writing i can see it come to life in my mind.  I will patiently wait part 10.  No rush.   Keep those ideas flowing.  I am always excited for the next chapter to come out. :)
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017
Thank you so much for being so understanding. :) I may actually be working on the next chapter in tomorrow's live stream ;) 
Reply
:iconlenna-belam:
Lenna-Belam Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
Yay I'm so happy to read this new chapter I'm happy dancing around like Ikkaku's victory dance.  I can't wait for more.
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017
Ahaha~! Glad you're enjoying it. I will likely be working on the next chapter in tomorrows live stream ;) in case you want a sneak peek. 
Reply
:iconnevermoremist:
Nevermoremist Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Damn cliffhangers (>_>)
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017
Always and forever. You should know by now that I want to extend your suffering as long as possible XD
Reply
:iconnevermoremist:
Nevermoremist Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm terrible at making cliffhangers. I just can't seem to end it there :shrug:
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017
I don't know why I'm good at it really. I just know as a fan, what would annoy me not to know. 
Btw, writing live stream today at 8pm central america if you wanna join the fun ;)
Reply
:iconnevermoremist:
Nevermoremist Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I dunno how to do that stuff and have limited Wi-Fi ^^;
Reply
:icondragonalfa122:
Dragonalfa122 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Goood I'm so hyped for the next chapter *o*
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017
Yaaaasss. Stay hyped~ 
Reply
:icondragonalfa122:
Dragonalfa122 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't worry, I will ;D
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017
There's gonna be another live stream tomorrow ;) 8pm central america jsyk
Reply
:icondragonalfa122:
Dragonalfa122 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, sorry, I'll be sleeping at this time, it'll be 3AM for me X'D 
Crying TwT



Btw, I was tagged, so prepare yourself to be tagged 8D (and if you won't want to do it, don't force yourself XD)
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017
lol its fine. the wednesday-thursday ones are gonna be earlier on in the day ;)
Reply
:icondragonalfa122:
Dragonalfa122 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Perfect for Wednesday :D
Reply
:icondelightedmoose:
DelightedMoose Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017
OOOOHHHH!!!! am not disappointed! looking forward to next chapter ❤❤
Reply
:iconenthaga:
Enthaga Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017
Thank you! Glad to hear it. :) The next one will be a lot of fun 
Reply
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