You couldn't help but smile as you continued sauntering along, not even noticing the lack of humans around you. The Spring day had simply melted away all your worries, and practically nothing could ruin your good mood.
You stopped your happy sauntering and your smile faded from your face as four teenagers stood before you. They looked younger than you, but that didn't make them look any less delinquent and rough.
"We want your job!" one of them yelled. You furrowed your eyebrows and, before you even had time to realize how little sense the phrase made, the four of them lunged at you. You quickly reached down to your side, suddenly feeling confused when you felt nothing there, wondering why you would've grabbed there in the first place. You looked back up to the attackers who were still charging at you. You let out a cry as you brought your hands up for protection, as little as it may have been.
However, just as you were expecting to get railed, you heard one of them grunt out in pain as some clothes rustled. You slowly opened your eyes and peered over your hands, lowering them down as you stared before you in surprise. "It's you..."
The teen before you glanced over his shoulder, flashing you a smile before turning towards the attackers again. The other three charged at him, but the teen dodged every single attack, ducking and dodging before throwing a punch of his own and knocking yet another down. The remaining two yelled something incoherently as they charged again, your hero calmly stepping aside from both attacks then quickly counterattacking with a backhand across the face of one of them.
The boy held his recently abused face before growling angrily and rushing yet again. Mr. Hero only smirked as he grabbed the attacker's outstretched hand, using the latter's momentum as he shouldered his stomach and flipped him over his body, taking out the 2nd fiend that was sneaking up behind him. Your savior stood up straight as the four got up painfully from the ground, muttering something again amongst themselves before they ran off from the scene.
"That was great..." you said breathlessly, taking a few steps forward.
The bright-haired teen turned to you before a smile came to his handsome face. He let out a soft laugh before he took a few steps towards you, bringing up a hand to gently brush against your check. "Of course...But are you okay?" he asked worriedly.
He smiled softer and leaned in so your foreheads were touching. "Good...I'm glad," he responded, slowly pulling away and looking at you with soft eyes.
You felt that all-familiar excitement in your stomach as you stared into his deep, brown orbs, the same overwhelming feeling of love and lust overcoming the rest of your being. So inviting...everything about him was so inviting. Kiss...you had to kiss him!
He closed his eyes and stepped away, his hand falling from your face and bringing you out of your trance. "Well come on, let's go," he said, opening his handsome eyes at you once more as he held his hand out towards you.
You blinked curiously. "Um...go where?" you asked, stepping closer as you laid your hand in his anyway.
"Anywhere!" he replied with a laugh. He looked deeply at you as he closed the gap, resting his other hand on your cheek once more. "Wherever you go, I'll be there by your side. I'll be there to protect you."
"Do...do you mean that?" you asked, sure a fine pink blush had been dusting its way across your face; the butterflies in your stomach were sure going crazy, that much you knew.
"Of course I do," he responded sincerely, his smile fading to show his seriousness. You felt his hand grip yours tighter as his other gently stroked your face. "You mean the world to me...I won't ever let anything bad happen to you."
"I...Thank you," you whispered, feeling stupid for saying something so lame after he had just practically pronounced his love for you.
It seemed he wasn't fazed though, seeing as he only smiled as he stepped away. "Well, let's get going!" he said as he turned and took a few steps away.
"Wait!" you called, reaching out to him as you took a step forward. He stopped and turned, looking over his shoulder at you curiously. "I..." You looked down sadly before looking back up to you. "What's your name?"
He smiled softly, as though he knew the question was coming. "Don't you remember it?"
"I...wish I could," you answered honestly, your sad tone clear.
His smile never wavered as he answered. "My name...is..."
Your eyes sprang open, your mind reeling as you tried to process where you currently were. "What?" you asked, still not sure what happened, but vaguely aware that someone had called you.
"Come on, you better get outta there! You don't wanna miss graduation do you?!"
You gasped as you threw your blankets off you. "SHIT!" You heard your friends laugh outside before they ran off. "Come on, guys! Wait for me!" you pleaded as you jumped out of bed and began getting ready. 'Ugh! I can't believe I overslept! And that dream... That...dream...' Your actions slowed to a stop as your mind thought back to what you had just dreamed. 'That boy again...Who is he? And why does he keep showing up in my dreams?'
"We aren't gonna wait forever, Sayako! Get your lazy ass in gear!"
You gasped again as you grabbed your Zanpakuto and attached it to your side. "I'm coming, I'm coming!" You checked your composure one last time before you busted through the door, seeing your friends look at you with amusement. "Just shut up and let's go." They did nothing but laugh once more before you all ran off towards central Seireitei, ready for one of the biggest days of your Soul Reaper life.
You were clearly one of the later ones there, seeing how crowded the arena already was. You and your friends hurried up and filed into a line so as not to attract more attention to yourself. Not more than a few minutes later did the ceremony begin, starting with one of the teachers giving some speech about responsibility and about how much of it this graduating class had.
You began to zone out, realizing you had been mindlessly counting the clouds in the sky that looked like Head Captain Yamamoto's beard before the principal spoke again. "And now, I present to you...This year's graduating class of Soul Reapers!" The rest of the crowd burst out into cheers and whoops, your mind registering mixed yells of "Congratulations" and "Yay". You couldn't help but smile to yourself as you looked around you; the Soul Reaper Academy wasn't as hard as you thought it might've been, but now you'll be a full-fledged Soul Reaper. You'll actually be able to DO something now.
And boy, were you excited!
"Well, guess this is it," one of your friends started. "We probably won't see much of each other after this..."
"What're you talking about?" another asked. "Of course we will! It's not like we're spread out that much. We may be in different divisions, but that doesn't mean we can't still hang out!"
"But NONE of us got seated positions!" the first continued. "That means we'll be doing all the bitch-work for the higher-ups. We'll be too busy to hang out..."
"Well if you keep thinking like that, you will be!" you commented with a wide smile. "I dunno about the rest of you, but I'm eager to go to my division. So I'll see the rest of you screw-heads later, alright?"
"But...but Sayako! Come on! What if this is the last we see of each other?!"
You flashed a smile over your shoulder. "Then I know I'll be able to pass on happy!" They gave you a look of surprise, causing you to laugh. "You guys are stupid. I'll see you guys soon!"
But it was too late. You were already gone.
You quickly got out of the arena as fast as you could, seeing as you weren't much one for crowds in the first place. You sighed to yourself once you were clear from the chaos. "Phew...Finally outta there..."
"Well well well! Look what we have here!" A smile formed on your face as you recognized the voice, turning around and seeing your older friends smiling at you. "Our little graduate! Already out in the world on her own!"
"Shut up, Rangiku..." you fired with a smile, returning the hug she offered you. You pulled away before turning to the dark-haired male on the right.
"Congratulations, Graduate," he said, rubbing his hand through your hair.
"Thank you, Shuuhei," you responded sarcastically before he too pulled you into a hug. You pulled away and turned to the final member of the group. "Thank you, Izuru," you said as you hugged him as well.
"But I didn't say anything yet..."
You giggled as you pulled away. "You don't need to. I know what you want to say."
You giggled again before Rangiku spoke up. "Well, what say we go celebrate, huh?!"
The other two agreed as they turned to you, who returned the gesture sympathetically. "Sorry, guys...I really want to, but we're supposed to report to our divisions right away."
"Oh you're so cute!" Rangiku complimented with a squeal of sorts. "I forgot what it's like to be so young! I remember when I graduated too!"
"You're not that much older than her," Shuuhei pointed out. "And what do you mean, you remember? You were drunk off your ass that night!"
"How do you know? You weren't there!" she fired back.
"Who DOESN'T know?" Izuru asked rhetorically. "Word spreads fast in the Seireitei."
Rangiku sighed overdramatically before turning to you once more. "See what I have to put up with? You can't leave me with them!"
You giggled again before replying with a smile. "Sorry, Rangiku...But I have to report to my division. Don't wanna make a bad impression on the first day!"
"See, Rangiku?" Izuru chided. "Look how responsible Saya's being."
"Yeah, you don't want to bring her down to your level, do you?" Shuuhei continued to tease.
"Fine, fine," the 10th Lieutenant sighed as she waved her hand dismissively. "I don't need to be told over and over again..." You couldn't help but let out another small laugh as she smiled at you once more. "Alright, you go on ahead. Take care of yourself, now!"
"I will," you responded with a nod as you turned to leave. "Thanks again, guys. I'll come find you all after I get settled in, alright?"
"You better," Shuuhei told you with a wink.
"Good luck, Saya!" Izuru yelled after you as you headed off on your way. You yelled another farewell or two to your friends before you turned and jogged off towards your new division and your new life.
To say you were excited would have been an understatement. Even though your Captain was a few feet in front of you, clear as day, the whole scene still seemed surreal. You were finally a full-fledged Soul Reaper. You had been training a long 8 years for this day and it had finally come. You couldn't wait to get started!
"And so, that's what we're basically about in this Division. Are there any questions?" You glanced out of your peripheral and saw that most of the other newcomers seemed too scared to move; either that, or they were just frozen with excitement like you were. As such, there weren't any questions. "Very well then. With that, I welcome you all to the 5th Division."
"Yes, Sir, Captain Aizen!"
You casually held up your sword to block the incoming attack, stepping to the side and allowing the sword to slide off yours as you hit the assailant in the back of the head with the hilt. He let out a groan as he fell to the ground clutching his head. "Owww, I give up, I give up!"
You sighed and rolled your eyes as you sheathed your katana. "Of course..." you muttered, soft enough so no one could hear you.
Ever since you had come to the 5th Division, all you and your fellow newbies had done was train. Train, train, train. Normally you wouldn't have minded. But normally you would've been sparring with stronger opponents.
"C'mon, Saya! I'll take you on!" You turned to see Ryouta, another unseated newcomer to the 5th Division. Unlike Kenta, Ryouta was actually worth fighting.
You smirked as you drew your katana out once more. "You're on, Ryo!" Not waiting another moment, Ryouta quickly dashed at you, his sword reared back and ready to slash. You quickly brought up your katana to block as he did so, bringing it back down to defensive position as he disengaged. He smirked at you as he rushed again, this time sweeping up from the bottom in an upwards slash.
You knocked his sword to the side before you stabbed forward, barely missing him as he jumped back out of range. You lowered your arms back so your sword was in offensive position, your eyes focused on his core so you could predict any of his moves.
Both of you had your swords held steady, eyes focused on the other as you calmly circled around each other. Figuring he would be used to circling by now, you lunged forward and slashed to the left; however, he had saw through your attack and easily blocked it. "Hmm...not bad, Ryo!" you teased with a sly smile.
He smirked as he replied. "Funny; I was just about to say the same thing to you!" he yelled, swinging his sword around before crashing from above. You held your sword above you to block the attack, swinging your sword around you and carrying his before sliding down the blade and getting a quick slash in. He grunted in pain as he jumped back, his eyes flashing down to the small tear in his kimono before they focused on you once more. You taunted him with another smirk, keeping your sword steady. "Alright then...You asked for it!" Your eyes widened for a brief moment as he gripped his sword tighter and held it above him, allowing you enough time to move your sword into defensive position and change your grip.
As you suspected, he came bearing down on you, attacking relentlessly with vertical slashes. 'Come on...Just a little more!' you urged, a small bead of sweat sliding down the side of your face. He continued pushing you forward as his sword swung erratically, not allowing you any sort of opening. Knowing this wasn't going to let up, you prepared for a counterattack.
'Now!' As his sword came down on yours yet again, you pressed your whole body into it, pushing your sword against his as you rushed forward. The move seemed to catch him off guard, allowing you to knock his sword away before slashing at his torso yet again and diving safely to the side. You rolled back up to a stand, holding your sword at the ready once more.
Ryouta panted as he lowered his sword down. "Alright, alright...You win," he breathed, obviously tired from his endless attacks.
You finally let out a breath that you realized you were holding as you lowered your sword and walked forward, slapping hands with your fellow brunette as a sign of good sportsmanship. "Good job, Ryo...That was a good one."
He let out a weak laugh as he swallowed thickly. "Yeah...But I swear, I'll beat you one of these days."
You laughed and sheathed your sword as you began to turn away. "In your dreams maybe. But I'll be looking forward to it until then."
"Heh..." He closed his eyes and sheathed his sword as well, taking another deep breath. "As will I."
"Awww, c'mon, Sayako! Don't look so gloomy! We're supposed to be celebrating!"
You looked up from your drink to Rangiku, who was already on the verge of being tipsy. "I think you're just using my graduation as an excuse to celebrate," you pointed out.
"Excuse or no, it's always alright to drink!" Shuuhei replied as he took a shot of sake. "Now loosen up! You only graduate once!"
"Easy for you to say, Mr. Genius," you muttered bitterly as you took a sip of your drink.
"I wouldn't really call him Mr. Genius," Izuru commented, looking slightly buzzed as well. "He DID fail his entrance exams twice."
"Yeah, well look who got to be a Lieutenant straight out of graduation!" Shuuhei fired back. "That's right! This guy!" he yelled as he jabbed his thumb at his own torso.
"Alright, alright," Rangiku intervened as she waved her hand before them. "Stop fighting. We're here for Saya, after all."
As if immediately forgetting the previous conversation, Shuuhei smiled brightly and slapped your back. "That's right! Congratulations, Saya!"
"Come on, drink up!" Rangiku urged.
You exchanged eye contact with all of your friends before you looked down to the small shot of sake that Shuuhei had poured for you. You weren't much for shots, which is why you had a lighter drink to the side. But then again...
"Yeah, you're right!" you exclaimed, furrowing your eyebrows as you smiled almost evilly. "I only graduate once! Fuck stupid training! I'm here to party!" With that, you grabbed the small bowl and swallowed the contents whole, your friends cheering around you as you slammed the cup back down to the table. "Ahhh, Gods!" you hissed, your throat burning as you felt the similar trail of flames gliding down your chest to your stomach. "Ugh..." You lowered your head to the table before you continued. "Now I know why they didn't let us drink in the Academy..."
"You're a natural!" Shuuhei complimented as he took another drink of his own. "Soon you'll be able to hang with the rest of us!"
"I don't know if I want to hang with you if it's gonna be like this..." you groaned out as you sat up, wishing you had ordered water to wash it down rather than your other alcoholic drink.
"Now, now...Don't be like that!" Rangiku teased as she took another drink as well. "It's a lot of fun!"
"Yeah, don't worry," Izuru added calmly with a smile. "You'll get used to it. It's not so bad."
You sighed and ran your hand through your hair, feeling a bit dazed. You had drank alcohol before, but even you admit that you've had a bit more than usual. You weren't sure how much more you could handle and still remain coherent. Not to mention there was still something bothering you. "I..."
The three turned to you as you trailed off, looking at the table while your mind continued cranking. "Yes?" Rangiku ushered.
"I...Need something to do," you said, thinking more in your mind than about what you were saying.
"You're already doing something! You're hanging with us, silly!"
"No, no," you responded as you shook your head. "I mean...with my Division. All we do is train ALL the time. I just...I want something to do. I want to do something. Something that Soul Reapers do instead of just sitting around." They all exchanged confused glances among themselves before they turned to you and you went on. "I think...I think I'm going to ask Captain Aizen for a mission."
"Like what kind of a mission?" Izuru asked slowly.
"I don't know," you replied as you gesticulated your hand in a shooing manner. "Just...something. I wanna just go. Kill Hollows or something, I don't know."
"Like...in the World of the Living?" Rangiku asked as she tiled her head to the side.
You nodded plausibly before turning up to look at her. "Yeah...Something like that." A smile formed on your face as you placed your hands on the table and stood up, the other three blinking oddly at you. "Yeah, that's it. I'm gonna go ask Captain Aizen if I can go to the World of the Living! There must be something I can do there, right?"
You nodded to yourself as you turned to leave. "Yeah! Genius! Thanks, Rangiku!" You downed the rest of your drink before you disappeared out the nearby door, leaving the Lieutenants to blink.
"That girl is WAY too ambitious," Rangiku started, closing an eye so she could look down the empty bottle she held in her hand.
"Nah, she's normal. You're just too lazy," Shuuhei retorted, calmly taking a glug of his drink.
"Heyyyy~!" she complained, lowering the bottle to frown at the scarred Lieutenant.
Izuru on the other hand was still watching where you had once stood. "Do you think she'll be okay...? That over ambition could get her hurt..."
"Oh come on, you remember her during the Academy," Shuuhei comforted calmly, not making eye contact to prove his smooth composure. "She may not be a seated officer, but she can still definitely hold her own. She'll be fine." With that, he took another shot, wincing slightly as the rough liquid slid down his throat.
Izuru sighed as he looked from Shuuhei to the door once more. "Yeah...I hope you're right..."
You stood staring at the door before you in a frozen stupor, your mind reeling and thinking of possible courses of action.
Damn you and your determination. You were here, but now what do you do?! It was your Captain, the highest ranking of your Squad. There was no way he'd even recognize you, much less give you permission to go to the World of the Living just because you want something to do. Surely those are dangerous missions reserved for seated officers.
'But maybe...if I prove myself I can get a seat!' You looked down sadly. 'Aw, who am I kidding. That's not gonna work. I'm probably not even gonna get this job. What am I even doing here? Why don't I think before I---'
You started as the door slid open before you, you staring wide eyed as the rest of you froze. "How long were you planning on standing there?" your captain asked with a gentle smile.
"It's okay to knock, you know," he continued. "I'm not so terribly busy that I can't talk to my subordinates."
"Oh, um...R-right," you stuttered as you bowed. "I'll remember for next time..."
He laughed softly. "You are way too formal. I'm your Captain, not royalty; relax a bit."
You stood straight and felt your face flush. "Um, y-yes, Sir."
He smiled a closed-eye smile at you and tilted his head slightly. "So what is it you wanted to see me about?"
"Oh! I, uh..." You looked shyly to the side before you slowly continued. "I was just..." You then looked down, then hesitantly up to his gentle expression. "I was feeling...a bit bored with training, I guess. I was wondering if..." How should you phrase it? It sounded so good in your head, how could you have forgotten it?! You mindlessly began fiddling with your necklace, something you often did when you were nervous or thinking too much. "I was wondering if it would be possible for me to get a mission. Y'know like...in the World of the Living...or something..."
You avoided eye contact, not wanting to see his condescending gaze he'd no doubt be giving you. "You...You're Sayako Takahashi, correct?"
You jerked your head in his direction, your wide eyes expressing your confusion. "Y-yes, that's right. How...did..."
"I know many things," he replied, giving you another closed-eyed smile. "I remember monitoring you during a mock battle in the Academy. You did very well, so I made sure not to forget your face."
"Oh, um...Th-thank you, Sir." You really weren't sure why you were so stuttery. Usually you were fine around higher-ups; maybe it was because you didn't actually have a plan before you came here. Either that or the alcohol was still somewhat in your system.
"So, you want to go to the World of the Living, huh?" he continued.
"Um...Well...I guess not the World of the Living specifically...But I just want something to do, I guess."
He stared at you for awhile before he smiled once again. "Very well. I'll see what I can do about getting you access to the Senkai Gate."
Your eyes widened in surprise. "Access? Really?"
He nodded once, his smile never leaving his face. "It will allow you to travel freely between the World of the Living and the Soul Society...but only if there's a mission. We can't have rookies wandering around, for security's sake."
"I-I understand!" You bowed thankfully. "Thank you so much, Captain Aizen! I won't let you down!"
He laughed softly and rested a hand on your head. "Now I didn't say it would be approved so don't go getting your hopes up. But I'll do what I can. I feel good things from you."
You stood straight again and looked at him with surprise. "R-really?" You felt your face flush once more as he smiled with a nod. You bowed profusely again. "Thank you, Captain Aizen! You don't know what this means to me!"
"Oh not at all. And you'll be able to help me with some things as well." He gave you another closed-eye smile as he tilted his head. "Now I'd best get back to work and you better run along. I'll keep you updated on letting you into the World of the Living."
"Thanks again, Captain Aizen! I'm eternally indebted to you!" With that, you bowed once more before you turn and jogged away, a smile plastered to your face.
Help him with things? You weren't quite sure what that meant, but you were thankful for finally being able to do something worthwhile.
And you weren't going to mess it up.
You stood nervously in front of the Senkai Gate, waiting in anticipation as the two guards moved to open it for you.
This was it. After two weeks of waiting, Captain Aizen had finally got you cleared for missions in the World of the Living. Today was your first mission and you were going to do your best to prove yourself worthy to your Captain.
"Ms. Takahashi, you are to vanquish the Hollows that are within the area of Karakura Town. If you need backup or any other sort of help, use your communicator. Once you have finished clearing the area, call us and we will open the gate to let you back through," one of the guards instructed.
"I understand," you responded with a firm nod. The two turned towards the doors once more, opening them the rest of the way and revealing a bright light within. Your heart beat nervously as they finally stepped to the side, allowing you to go through. 'Well here we go...My first real mission. I can't mess this up.' Swallowing one last time and attempting to calm your nerves, you finally took the first few steps, stepping through the doors into the blinding light, wondering what could possibly await you on the other side.
When you opened your eyes, you immediately experienced a feeling of vertigo, feeling your heart fly into your throat at first glance. The gate had for some reason spat you out in the middle of the sky, the small town seeming miles below you. However, since you were a Soul Reaper, you were able to keep yourself afloat in the air.
You let out a quick exhale as you forced yourself to calm down. "I'm alright...I'm fine," you repeated to yourself. "I'll just... Yeah." You took another deep breath before you descended, landing on a nearby house before you found your wits again. "Alright. Well now that I'm here, how do I--" You were cut off from your own question by something vibrating on your hip. You blinked as you reached down, pulling out the cell phone-like device the Soul Society had given to you. You whipped it open, seeing a map of the city and a few blinking dots. "Well I guess that answers my question..." you muttered to yourself. 'These must be the Hollows around town. So all I gotta do is kill 'em and I'll be done! Sounds easy enough!' You smiled to yourself as you put the phone back in your hakama, memorizing where the first bleep had been located.
And so off you went in search of your first Hollow to kill. Your adrenaline was running high as you Flash Stepped across the tops of houses, hoping the Hollows would be tough enough for you to have a challenge, but easy enough for you to handle alone.
"Ah, there he is," you commented to yourself as you slowed to a stop. It was a Hollow a few feet taller than you, a bit minotaur-like in appearance with a strange bull skull for a mask. You jumped from the building and landed before the creature, drawing out your katana from its sheath on your hip. "Heh. This'll be easy." The creature roared and swung its muscular arms back, ready to strike you to the ground. You merely smirked as you easily dodged to the side, slicing to the right and catching it in the arm it had just swung.
It let out a cry of pain as it yelled again, this time swinging at you with its other fist. You kept your smirk on as you dodged easily once more, jumping a few feet back to parry the next incoming attack.
"I really don't have time for this," you told it calmly. "So I'm gonna have to say good-bye now. Sooo," you started, pulling your sword back as you jumped in the air towards it. "Good-bye!" you called happily, stabbing the thing straight in the forehead. You pulled your katana from its face as you landed safely to the side, sheathing your sword as it let out a moan as it disintegrated into nothingness. "That was too easy," you told yourself. "I hope I'll have at least a little bit of a challenge..." Just then, your phone began beeping again, indicating another Hollow was nearby. You could only hope this one was at least a little harder than the last.
Unfortunately, it wasn't. If anything, it was weaker. It was about 10 times slower, which allowed you to pick it off as soon as you got on the scene. The next 5 Hollows you fought all varied in size and strength, but all fell easily by your hand.
The next alert you received seemed a bit more urgent, showing a bigger blinking dot next to a smaller one. 'Two Hollows?' you asked yourself as you put the phone away and Flash Stepped in the general direction. 'That's odd...but maybe it'll be a better fight! I hope so.'
However, when you got on the scene, it wasn't quite what you expected. You stopped in surprise, seeing a strange snake-like Hollow with a long, open-mouthed face mask and a long slithery tongue protruding from it. The apparent second 'bleep' is what surprised you; rather than two Hollows, the snake monster was slowly closing in on what seemed to be a human. However, the reiatsu you gathered from her told you otherwise: she was a spirit.
"Please! Stay away from me!" the young girl cried, holding her arms up for protection.
"Mmmm, but don't you know I jusssst love the taste of fear on my victimssss?"
You narrowed your eyes as you quickly drew your katana and pointed it at the beast. "Leave that child alone, you monster!"
Both turned to you, the spirit girl looking worried and the Hollow looking ever-emotionless. "Hmm! A Sssoul Reaper! Do you think you can stop me?"
Your determined expression remained steadily on your face as you stood perfectly still, your sword still pointed at the Hollow. "I don't think, I know I can stop you."
The creature let out a laugh as it slithered away from the girl and turned to face you. "Well you have a lot of guts, challenging me on your own like that! I'll try to make your death as painful as possible!"
"I'd like to see you try."
"Gladly!" With that, he lunged at you, surprisingly faster than you had originally anticipated. You were still able to easily dodge out of the way, however, rolling on the ground before jumping to a stand and facing it once more. "Hmm! You're much more agile than I thought you were!" He pounced again as he swiped with a clawed hand, catching you in the arm as you attempted to dodge. You hissed as you looked down, seeing a fine line of blood form along the scratch.
You glared at the Hollow as you held your sword at the ready. "You'll pay for that!" You dashed forward, holding your sword high and bringing it down as you got closer. However, rather than chopping its arm off like you had anticipated, it brought its hand up and easily caught your blade. Your eyes widened as your sword stopped; was its skin really that strong?
You narrowed your eyes as you looked up at him again. "Not quite!" You held your sword tightly as you pulled yourself up, thrusting your feet forward and kicking him in the face, forcing him to let go of your sword as you fell back towards the ground. You landed on your back, quickly doing a reverse somersault and hopping back up onto your feet and holding your sword tightly.
"Urrr...you're a resourceful little mutt, aren't you?" it asked as it lowered its claws from holding its pained face.
"More resourceful than you think," you responded calmly, lowering your katana as you held your hands out towards him. "Hado! 31! Shakkahou!" With that, a large ball of red fire flew from your hands and landed directly on the face of the beast. It cried out in pain as it held its face once more, the smoke slowly clearing from the attack. You smirked to yourself as you brought your sword out again, taking the opportunity to jump forward and stab the monster in the forehead.
It cried out severely once more, you jumping away as it finally dissolved in the familiar Hollow death. You breathed a sigh of relief before turning to the young girl, seeing her cower behind a nearby tree. "P-please don't hurt me!"
You smiled softly as you slowly walked over to her. "It's okay, I won't hurt you. That monster's gone, he can't hurt you anymore."
She slowly peaked out from behind the tree, looking up at you with innocent eyes. "Are you...are you a good person?"
You laughed softly as you nodded with a smile. "Yeah, something like that. Are you alright?"
"I...I am now, thank you..." she responded quietly, stepping out from the tree and smiling weakly.
"Good..." You nodded to yourself before you stood straight. "Now, I need to send you to the Soul Society now. Will you be okay?"
You smiled in reassurance. "Yeah. It's a place for souls like you. It's a safe and wonderful place there. No more monsters can come and hurt you; you'll be perfectly safe!"
"R-really? No more monsters?"
You nodded once more. "Yep! You'll be fine."
"A-alright. I...I guess I'm ready..."
"Good, good girl." You held your katana up, flipping it around so the handle was pointed towards the girl. "This won't hurt at all, I promise. Maybe I'll see you there someday!"
"Okay...Thank you," she said, finally smiling as she bowed. You nodded again as you pressed the edge of the sword against her forehead, the familiar stamp appearing before her form slowly disappeared. You smiled and lowered your katana, watching as the black butterfly fluttered off towards the sky.
You breathed a sigh of relief and sheathed your sword. "Phew...Finally all done. It only took all day," you commented to yourself, looking at the moon in the dark sky. "Well, guess that's it." You were about to reach down to call the Soul Society, but a strange feeling flooded your being. 'That...reiatsu...' You blinked as you turned to the side, seeing two humans run in your general direction. 'Oh, just regular humans. I don't have anything to worry--'
The taller of the two stopped before leaning over and panting. "Damn, Rukia! How much further is it?!"
Your eyes widened at the sight of his brightly-colored hair. "It's him!" you recognized aloud, recalling the familiar male from your dreams.
With that, both turned to you with a surprised expression. Your eyes widened in surprise as well. "A-a Soul Reaper?!" the shorter one rhetorically asked.
"H-how can you both see me?!" you asked in surprise, taking a step back and feeling your heart beat erratically.
Before you got an answer however, the male stepped forward with sympathetic eyes. "It's...you..." Your eyes fell on his familiar brown ones before he continued. "Sayako...?"
Despite the fact that you were technically already dead, you were pretty sure that your heart had stopped beating.