Echoes of the Heart

BY : LadyRebel
Category: Bleach > General
Dragon prints: 526
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or its characters, nor do I profit from this fanfiction.

Muguruma Kensei's Point of View



The Interdivision Exchange Program~First Division~ 6:27 PM


I'm staring at the piece of paper Kyōraku Shunsui soutaicho placed in front of me on his desk. I could feel my left eyebrow twitching as I read which division I'd be working with during The Interdivision Exchange Program. I looked over at the man sitting on the couch with a frown of displeasure,


Why am I being forced to work with him?" I asked, slowly rolling my eyes while Kenpachi leers at me.


"I believe your divisions can learn something from one another and therefore you both will be working with each other," Kyōraku explains while using a dismissive tone as Kenpachi snorts from his place from the couch while I'm pinching the bridge of my nose,


*I'd rather deal with Natsumi or my fukutaichos,* I thought to myself.




"You realize my division uses a mix of kidō, swordplay, as well as physical work while his division just charges in without even thinking, which is why his division has the highest death or injury rating of the Gotei 13."




I believe you're just throwing us together because of The Ninth's fifth seat Mitama Natsumi." I said in an accusing tone.


I knew I shouldn't have mentioned Natsumi in front of the soutaicho who adores Natsumi like a daughter because The Old Man glares coldly, and his hand goes straight for the handle of his zanpakuto told me instinctively to run. Kenpachi shook his head in disbelief as he walked out, leaving me alone with a furious soutaicho. I ran out of the office as The Old Man bellowed my name furiously.


I ran to my division like a bat out of Hell. I sighed with relief when I spied Kenpachi watching Natsumi as she spars with Ikkaku.


"Why did you request to work with my squad? Is it because you're jealous of the friendship between Renji and Natsumi.


Kenpachi snorted in reply as his eye never leaving the two shinigami sparring.


I understood why Natsumi now trains with her godmother in The World of the Living or trains with The Soutaicho and several others. Natsumi is bound and determined to surpass both of her fathers.




"All right tomorrow morning at dawn, be ready on our training grounds and don't be late, or I'll sic Natsumi on you and your boys." I grumped.


Kenpachi roared with laughter which my right eyebrow twitched more as I sighed dismissively, walking away.


The following day, a little just before dawn, I saw Natsumi outside, all ready sparring with Kenpachi, neither of them holding back. I came out to watch and saw that I was the last to arrive.


I watch as they both clash, my division cheering Natsumi on while the Eleventh cheered on Kenpachi. I was pretty impressed by Natsumi because the young woman wouldn't back down from The Berserker taicho. I saw a wicked little smirk on Natsumi's face, which told me she enjoyed this battle immensely while Kenpachi laughed like a maniac.


I called a halt. Natsumi smirks at Kenpachi, who roars with laughter. "You did well, Natsumi, but you still leave yourself wide open."


I saw Kyōraku soutaicho, Kuchiki taicho, Ukitake taicho, and Rukia-fukutaicho had joined us as well this morning. I could see Rukia beam with pride at her goddaughter. Soon after that display, of raw power versus finesse.


I wanted to see how those boys would stand against my hand to hand. I tried to fight Kenpachi hand to hand, so I paired everyone off.


I watched as Ikkaku dodged Mashiro as she would have landed a direct kick to his mid-section, Natsumi could hold her own against Yumichika, so I say they were evenly matched.


So the training session came to an end for the day. I was very impressed by Natsumi, who could take a hit and deliver one and stand toe to toe against one of the biggest badasses of the Gotei 13.


My division more or less was shut down for the night until I noticed the lights of Natsumi's office were on, and both my fukutaichos had told me Natsumi would do her paperwork late into the night. Still, I didn't believe them until the other night when Shunsui came and dragged his goddaughter home.


I also heard her boyfriend, or as Mashiro and Hisagi call him a weasel-faced loser, had been complaining I drive Natsumi too hard, and he wants Natsumi to come home. I don't push the young woman hard. Natsumi chose to work hard, which earned my respect and those around her.


I entered the office, and I dismissed Natsumi, to which she grudgingly went home. I had to shake my head at her retreating back because Phoenix reminds me of Byakuya. I met up with Shinji, and we went to the meeting together.


11:42 PM~First Division~Taicho Meeting Hall


I swear we've been standing here for two hours listening to the windbag sprout crap that we didn't know already. I noticed my fellow taichos, even some of the fukutaichos, were sleeping on their feet. I wonder if anyone ever thought of putting a table and chairs in here for all of us to sit.


I could feel Hisagi fidgeting, and I could see Abarai-fukutaicho was dying to say something about the windbag not getting to the point. Still, he refrained from doing so because of Kuchiki-taicho.


Suddenly we heard the spirit wolves howling in fury, which was matching the howls of Baika and Sakura and the roar of Silva. We could listen to every animal in Soul Society echoing the wrath of the spirit wolves. I knew instinctively something happened to the Ninth's Phoenix.


We heard a roar and a yelp of pain, which meant Silva had bitten the guards because the doors to the hall were flung open, and Natsumi came running in as Kyōraku-soutaicho bellowed,


"What is the meaning of this, Natsumi?"


Natsumi ignored her godfather and flung herself in the arms of heart-wrenching sobs filled the room. I could see even the most hardened taicho in the room felt pity for the young lady. I watched as Ukitake-taicho rock the sobbing girl.


At that moment, Yamaguchi Akira and Kana Ayame came running in and realized what Natsumi had walked in on tonight. I could feel several fukutaicho's reiastu spikes, including mine. I watched as Ukitake-taicho pushed his daughter into the arms of Kuchiki fukutaicho while he slowly drew his zanpakutō as he slowly advanced on the two fools. I hadn't noticed Kuchiki-taicho had moved as well.


"Father, Uncle Byakuya, don't kill those idiots because it won't bode well with you both in the Mosquito Nest for killing these idiots. Please let them go."


I watched as Natsumi hugged both her father and uncle and she moved toward the two who broke her heart without saying a word Natsumi backhanded Ayame and punched Akira in the face as she growled,


"Stay away from me, both of you. We're childhood friends, but no more."


I had to blink because Abarai Renji fukutaicho was beside Natsumi along with Hisagi. I was watched as Renji bonk Natsumi on the top of her head and not lightly either, and I must add while scolding her,


"You little idiot, you hit them in front of everyone. You do know if the soutaicho decides to punish you, there isn't anything your father or godfather or godmother or your taicho could do to stop him."


Natsumi burst into tears again as Renji hugged her close. Hisagi and several other fukutaichos and several taichos surrounded the two in a tight net. I moved forward and took my place in that tight net as I could hear Renji's soft reassurance as Natsumi cried.


I could feel Kenpachi twitching, and I understood his feelings. But all I could see was Renji showing concern for his friend. I heard Hisagi's soft reassurances as well.


I noticed it went quiet. I turned, and I saw the look of horror etched across Natsumi as she realized where she was and what she had interrupted as she pulled away from Renji slowly. I know Natsumi was also sensing Kenpachi's discomfort about her being close to Renji.


I watched as Natsumi peek at Kyōraku soutaicho, who had an unreadable expression on his face as he asked,


"Natsumi, what happened to make you so upset?"


Natsumi looked up at her godfather with tears in her eyes as she hid behind Shūhei. To my surprise, the soutaicho came forward and entered the protective circle and hugged his goddaughter tight as he whispered,


"Tell me, my sweet girl."


Natsumi blushed as she nodded.


"Muguruma-taicho sent me home after a long day, so I stopped on the way home to grab something for dinner, and then I stopped to pick up Akira's favorite snack."


Kyōraku soutaicho made an encouraging sound for Natsumi to continue. I could tell the other taichos were listening as well. I noticed the look Kurotsuchi had on his face as he eyed the unconscience Akira.


"I came home to find Baika, Sakura, and Silva were in the yard, which isn't unusual for my kids to be waiting for me to come home or show up at the Ninth because I hadn't returned home. But what I did find unusual was the cottage was dark because Akira usually leaves the fireplace burning just in case I come home." Natsumi murmured.


"My sweet girl, I know what happened and why you came here," soutaicho said, "Now I want you to go home and rest. "


I watched as Natsumi looked over at her father, who handed her the keys to his home, and I watched as Natsumi bowed and ran off with her children.


The meeting resumed as I thought of a way to help Natsumi, but I feel Kenpachi will not like it, but I can't have Ayame and Natsumi in the same squad or Ayame working under Natsumi.


So after the meeting, I went to speak with both Kyōraku-soutaicho and Ukitake-taicho about it. The two older men both agreed, and the soutaicho even wrote out the order transfer himself.


The next few days, Hisagi and I, with some help from her friends, moved Natsumi out of Akira's place and moved her home with her father. Still, to my utter surprise, Kenpachi volunteered to let Natsumi move in until one of the unused dojos was turned into a living space for Natsumi and her animal companions. Still, Natsumi would've declined the offer, but Hisagi bonked her on the head, and Natsumi agreed grudgingly.


But according to the soutaicho's order, the transfer doesn't start until six months from now.


Three months had passed, Natsumi put in a three-month vacation to The World of the Living, which I approved.


I'm going to miss Phoenix when she leaves on her new adventure.


To Be Continued!

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