rotwood_reaper: (shinigami)
[personal profile] rotwood_reaper
"A... transfer order?"

Kiyone Kotetsu flaps an agitated hand. "No, no! Nothing that bad! You're just going to the World of the Living for a month! It's like that time you went there with me as my aide!"

"..." Rukia remembers that, slightly. About as well as she remembers her very first stay in the mortal world, the one that ended when she was a baby. "Um..."

"See?" Sentarō Kotsubaki interjects. "I told you she doesn't remember! She's blocked her memory of it! Right, Rukia?"

"Shut up!!" Kiyone replies. "Go bury yourself in a garden somewhere!!"

"Your post is a one-reiri* circle in the center of Karakura-cho," a much softer voice explains, cutting short the argument between his two sanseki**. "This assignment shouldn't be too difficult for you," the man with the long white hair adds with a smile.

Rukia is surprised to see Jūshirō Ukitake-taichō here, as are Kiyone and Sentarō; Kiyone, in particular, points out that Captain Ukitake ought to be in bed. He insists that he'll be all right, that his illness is at bay. "Besides, I thought Rukia might be a little worried about her first solo assignment. So I came to send her off."

"Th..." Rukia bows deeply, touching her palms to the floor and very nearly resting her forehead on them. "Thank you, sir!"

"You can drop the formalities," the captain assures her. "Did you tell Byakuya?"

"Oh!" She'd been trying not to think about that. "Not yet, sir." An image of her brother walking away from her, seeming vaguely disappointed with her as he always does.
It's because you look so much like Lady Hisana.
"Actually... I thought... this might be too trivial to bother Kuchiki-taichō with. I was thinking about going... without telling him."

Captain Ukitake weighs her words for a long, solemn moment. Then: "All right." He drops to his knees, facing her as an equal. "If that's how you feel... then have it your way. I'll tell Byakuya for you. Now go!"
"But don't forget... as long as you're in this company, I'm your friend for life."
It seems as if, one moment, she's regarding her captain with shock, barely aware of Sentarō's brooding and Kiyone's faint smile. The next, she's standing before the senkaimon, regarding it with determination. Ready to enter the mortal world and take up her duties as a shinigami... she steps through.

* About five miles in diameter.
** Third seats.
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rotwood_reaper

January 2011

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