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Genre: Romance
Rating: T
Pairing: Yumichika x OC
Spoilers: None
Summary: You do not love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her.
Word count: 1,774
Warning: Some language. Unclear timeline.

Disclaimer: Bleach belongs to Tite Kubo. Summary is an anonymous quote. Title is a Laura Whitcomb book.
Other: Song used for this chapter belongs to Relient K.

 Chapter listing


I feel like, I would like
To be somewhere else doing something that matters
And I’ll admit here, while I sit here
My mind wastes away and my thoughts seem to gather

What’s the purpose? It feels worthless
So unwanted like I’ve lost all my value
I can’t find it, not in the least bit
And I’m just scared, so scared that I’ll fail you



To his credit, Urahara masked his shock surprisingly well. His eyes widened for a few moments, before he plastered his usual happy-go-lucky expression on his face, tapping his closed fan against his lips as he watched their nearly invisible movements.


Suddenly, the two women slid to a stop, clouds of brown dust at their feet. Yoruichi let her gaze stray from Arya, whose leg muscles were still tensed to move at any second, and over to Kisuke. She shrugged.


Turning back to the girl, the ex-Captain ran an appraising eye over her. She was breathing a little hard, but nothing bad, which was surprising, considering both the speed they had been moving at and how long they had been doing it. She wasn’t as fast as Yoruichi was, she didn’t have a high enough reiatsu to be that fast, or even as fast as Soifon, Kisuke, or Byakuya. But she was faster than Yoruichi had expected her to be.


“Has Zaraki changed his training regime to include flash-steps?” she asked.


“Nothing changes Zaraki-taicho,” Arya said softly, straightening from her slightly crouched position. “He’s like a mountain. He’d just there.”


“An Eleventh Division member that skilled in something other than zanjutsu is rare,” Urahara said, appearing beside them.


Arya averted her eyes. “I’m not skilled.”


“Nonsense!” The blond said, arms waving erratically. “While your speed isn’t the same as Yoruichi’s or mine, it’s better than anyone in your own division, since they tend to not know it at all.” He stared at her for a moment. “Would you mind me asking how you’ve learned shunpu so well? From what I understand, the Eleventh is the only division you’ve been in. And they don’t teach shunpu to that extent in the Academy.


“Naichingeru,” she said softly, placing one hand on the hilt of her sword.


“Your zanpaktou?” He asked, eyebrows furrowing in thought. He glanced sideways at Yoruichi, before turning back to Arya. “Would you mind if I sparred with you for a moment, Arya-chan?”


She seemed startled. “N-no.”


“Excellent!” He tightened his grip on his cane and Arya was startled to watch him pull a blade from it. A shikomizue…


Urahara watched as Arya gave his zanpaktou a quick once-over, before her hand was back on her own sword and drawing it. Kisuke saw that it was a fairly unremarkable looking katana. And that was the only look he got it before Arya disappeared like the morning fog.


He turned when he felt a brush of wind behind him, lifting Benihime to block her downward strike. He noticed that their wasn’t much pressure behind the strike. But she was gone before he could retaliate and push back at her.


Her next swing came from the side, a low sweeping blow that would have taken off his legs if he hadn’t jumped over it. And then she was gone again, a straight blow aimed at his stomach that he twisted out of the way of. Urahara used his momentum to swing at her unprotected left side, but she was gone again, darting out of reach with several flash steps.


He stopped moving, pleased when she immediately did the same, and stared at her appraisingly.


“What do you think, Kisuke?” Yoruichi asked, appearing beside him.


Urahara said nothing for a long moment, staring at Arya. She lowered her zanpaktou to her side and stared silently back, waiting for his judgment.


There wasn’t much strength behind anything she did, he couldn’t feel much power behind any of her blows, but she was quick. When you were fast enough to get behind you enemy before he could even see you move, did it really matter how hard you punched or swung your sword? She’d never be faster than Yoruichi or Byakuya or anyone like that, but if she trained long enough, she might be able to get close enough to hold her own. She was young enough that she could still progress with training.


“How’s your kido?” He asked finally.


“I-” She shook her head. “I know what we were taught in the Academy, but it‘s not something I‘m very good at.”


He nodded, before grinning from ear-to-ear, whipping out his fan from who-knows-where. “Well then!” He said, sheathing his sword and flicking his fan open, “I think you should train with us! After all, I, Urahara Kisuke, will-”


“What he means to say,” Yoruichi cut in, “is that, we could help you hone your shunpu. And extra training with your sword probably wouldn’t be unhelpful either. So?” She grinned at Arya, “What do ya say?”


“I-” Arya gaped at the pair. Since graduating from the Academy, she’d never had someone to train with. The Eleventh Division members prided themselves on their personal strength, and when they did train, it was in violent training spars. Arya wasn’t good at things like that, so she trained the only way she knew how, which was how Naichingeru told her to train. And that didn’t involve kido or many sword techniques. Those weren’t things Naichingeru was good at. And now, she’d have people to train her in other things. Things that would maybe help her become stronger. She gave them both a hesitant smile. “I’ll do it!”




Thirty minutes later, after taking a little bit to train by herself, Arya climbed up the never ending ladder. She sighed when she reached the top. “What a climb,” she muttered to herself, not realizing their was someone else in the entranceway.


“Suck it up, buttercup.”


Arya gave a short scream in shock, spinning around and staring wide-eyed at Ikkaku, who was sprawled across the front step, and Yumichika, who was seated elegantly beside him. Her heart was beating out of her chest. "S-sorry,” she stuttered. “I didn’t see-”


“Don’t care,” the third seat said, sitting up. “We just came to tell you it’s your shift.”


“O-okay. Thank-you.”


The pair rolled their eyes as they stood. “Whatever, Kurosawa,” Yumichika said, following his friend into the sitting area. “If you get injured, don’t come back here.” He sneered at her. “The Eleventh Division would be better off.” And then the door slid closed behind the pair.


Arya stared at the door for a long moment, wondering what it would have been like if her brother had never died, or if she was stronger, or if the people in her division actually liked her.


Wondering about it won’t change anything




Sighing, she turned and headed out the front door. I know Naichingeru, she thought back,

I just…. never mind…


You should make the best of what you have. Her zanpaktou’s voice was delicate, a young woman’s voice, very lyrical and lilting.


Maybe you’re right


Of course! Naichingeru chirped perkily. I’m always right!


Arya chuckled softly to herself as she leapt onto the nearest rooftop and started to flashstep through the city. Her zanpaktou was always so positive, almost like a child, it was hard to be depressed when speaking with her.




The next few hours were filled with meaningless shunpu, traveling from rooftop to rooftop. The amount of Hollows in the city tonight was almost nonexistent. She wondered if the new Hollows they were here to learn about really were Aizen’s, and he was bidding his time for something. Or maybe she was over thinking things.


The next thing she knew, the building to her left exploded in a shower of concrete and glass. Rolling to the side and covering her face, she sprang to her feet, sword drawn, staring at the Hollow that had appeared suddenly.


It was large, walking four-legged like some sort of great cat, but it’s mask looked more like a great insect. And whereas a cat would have had one lashing tail, this creature had several, that lashed behind it like they had minds of their own.


Moving slowly, so as not to attract its attention, Arya stood so that her zanpaktou was held in front of her chest, perpendicular to her body. Running her left hand down the blade, she said, “Yasashii no Utau.” The blade started to glow a soft green. “Naichingeru.”


When the glow around her zanpaktou faded, Naichingeru had changed into a longer, more slender blade, the hilt was wrapped in a dark green ribbon, that trailed from the end of sword.


The increase of reiatsu from her releasing her sword, caused the Hollow to swing it’s head in her direction and she stared at the creature with interest as he gave out a hair-raising screech for no apparent reason.


When it lunged forward, great mouth open wide, Arya flashstep-ed to the side, and reappeared behind the Hollow. Raising Naichingeru high over her head, she brought the blade down, slicing clean through the mask from behind, landing lightly on the group as it dissipated. Standing slowly, she glanced around. She felt no pleasure in killing Hollows, no pride in slaying them, just relief that she was still alive.


You really are too sweet to be a shinigami, Arya-chan.


Glancing down at her blade, Arya gently ran her free hand along the ribbon trailing from the hilt.


“Are you alright?”


Arya glanced up at the sudden question, eyes widening when she took in Ichigo in his shinigami robes, zanpaktou in his hand. “I- Yes. I’m fine, Kurosaki-san,” she answered, confused as to what, exactly, he was doing there.


“Oh.” He relaxed from his tense position, placing Zangetsu on his back. “My badge went off and well…” He rubbed at the back of his neck.


Arya didn’t say anything. She had heard the stories about how Ichigo was always charging into battle. He seemed the type who didn’t like to know that others were fighting when he could do it. She understood his need to protect his friends, even if she wasn’t one of those people.


“I heard from Chad that you’re gonna be training with Urahara-san.”


“Hm? Oh, yes. And Yoruichi-san, as well.”


“Well,” he said, looking off to the side, “good luck with that, they’re both crazy.”


“I- yes.”


Looking back at her, he said, “I should probably go, it looks like you’ve got things under control sorry to bother you, Kurosawa.”


“It’s- it’s not a problem,” she said softly, as he turned and prepared to leave.


“See you in class tomorrow,” he said with an over-the-shoulder wave. “Bye.”


She watched his disappear with a burst of shunpu. “Yes. Goodbye.” And then she was alone.




Shaking her head, she smiled down at Naichingeru. “It’s nothing. Just thinking.” She gave a glance back to where Ichigo had disappeared to. “I think… I think I could be friends with some of the people here. That would be… nice.”



And sometimes I think, that I’m not any good at all
And sometimes I wonder why, why I’m even here at all
But then you assure me

I’m a little more than useless
And when I think that I can’t do this
You promise me that I’ll get through this
And do something right
Do something right for once



A/N: Notes:


1. Once again, “Naichingeru” means “nightingale”

2. I seem to have forgotten to have Arya leave her gigai before she began her training. So, uhhh, yeah, just, image that she did that before beginning with Yoruichi, kay?

3. A “shikomizue” is a Japanese concealed sword that’s disguised as a cane or a walking stick. I’m not sure if they ever use this word to describe Benihime, but, from what I can see, that’s what she is.

4. I said Arya wasn’t as strong as the others in her division, not that she wasn’t strong at all. Rukia doesn’t even hold a seat (disregarding the whole Byakuya thing, I still don’t think she’s as strong as most characters) and she can release her zanpaktou, so I want no lip about Arya being able to release hers.

5. “Yasashii no Utau” translates approximately to “sing sweet.” And if anyone knows where I got the phrase “Sing sweet, Nightingale,” you are as much of a retard as I am.

6. No, she does not have a crush on Ichigo. And no, Ichigo does not have a crush on her. Friends means friends people. That’s all.