Info: Jushiro only needs thirteen reasons to protect the woman of his dreams. But it is forbidden for a Soul Reaper and a human to be together. How will Rika and Jushiro find a way to be together? Plus some unknown force is after Rika for her powers over crystal beasts. Read on as Jushiro risks everything for the one he loves, including breaking the law just to be with her.
Disclaimer: I make no profit from this.
It was a quiet, peaceful morning at Karakura High School, expect for one classroom that was in process of having a math test. One particular student who had dark tanned skin, sat at the very back of the room. She was 16 years old and had transferred from Egypt a few years ago after her parents had been mysteriously killed. At that same time a couple had travelled to the country on vacation and felt bad the young girl lost her parents and they had decided to adopt her, taking her back to Japan with them. She had blue eyes and lavender colored real thick hair. Her hair was pulled up into two high buns on either side of her head. Two long strands of hair rested in front of her ears, twisted up into curls. The girl's name was Rika Macross.
Like the rest of the students in her class, she wore the same school uniform. However there was one question that no one seemed to have an answer for and Rika was not one to speak about it. She was in the tenth grade, but was the oldest student in the class. She should have been in Grade 11. What she didn't want others to know was math was her worst subject since arriving in Japan. Math was very different in Japan compared to Egypt. She had failed math so badly, she was held back a year. She even took summer classes and still wasn't enough to pass her.
Once the test was complete, all students handed in the paper to be marked and they would get the results at the end of the day. By the end of the day, Rika went to her math teacher to get her paper back.
One look at her and a frown formed on his face. "This is the third time you've failed a math test this year! Shape up or you'll be held back another year!" He yelled at her, shaking a ruler in her face before handing her, her test paper.
"A zero again! Oh no! Mom's going to kill me!" She panicked, very depressed, turning away and headed out of the school for the evening. When she got home she tried to hide her test from her mother. Luckily for her, her father was at work and sometimes worked pretty late.
As she tried to sneak away to her room, her mother came up behind her suddenly, stopping her. "I heard you had a math test today. How'd you do? Show me sweetie," her mother ordered her, smiling at her daughter.
"Uh… Well I…" She turned very pale.
"Hand it over," her mother held out her hand to see the test.
"Fine, here," Rika sighed, her head down, in defeat. She dug through her backpack pulling out her math test. Keeping her head down, she handed it to her mother, knowing full well what her mother's reaction was going to be.
"Hey! You told me you studied!"
"I did!" she exclaimed back.
"From what I see you didn't! Now get out of here and don't come back!" Her mother yelled, slapping her adopted daughter across the face before pushing her out the door. Before Rika could blink, she heard the door lock, locking her out.
Rika was quick to turn towards the door, banging her fists on the wooden surface. "Mom! Please! Let me in! I promise I'll do better next time. Please, I'm starving!"
"You can starve to death for all I care! I'm not letting you back in until you've spent hours at the library studying for the make-up test!" Her mother cried out.
"Fine! Be that way!" Rika cried out, tears in her eyes. She turned and ran off, crying. Her mother was always very strict on her about her grades. Whenever she came home with bad grades her mother would lock her out of the house and not let her back in until she spent backbreaking hours at the library studying. Rika wondered if her mother actually loved her at all. "I'll show you! I'll run away from home. Then maybe you'll start being a bit nicer to me!" She said out loud to herself. With that in mind she headed to the subway planning on sneaking on board and running away.
In the Seireitei in the squad 1 barracks, standing before the Captains of 13 Squads, they all waited for Head Captain Yamamoto to speak. To each one, they were a bit puzzled in why the head captain would suggest such a meeting. There wasn't really much going on lately.
"I called this meeting for a reason," Yamamoto began. "There has been recent activity in the Land of the Living. I am sending a Captain there to take up the mission. But to be reasonable, I am allowing the offer for one of you Captains to step forward. If not, I will appoint one."
The 13 Captains looked at one another. One thing was for sure, as Captain Kuchiki looked around at his fellow Captains, he was not going to volunteer. To him going to the human world was beneath him. He really didn't like being there at all and only went when ordered. Some of the other Captains had gone to Earth before when they had 'time off'.
Sighing, Jushiro stepped forward, "I'll go. What's the mission?"
"A human in Karakura Town has been sighted with high amounts of spirit power. Her name is Rika Macross, however, she has been targeted a lot lately by tons of hollows and even some Arrancars."
"Yes, the Department of Research and Development," Mayuri began, "was able to find the data on this woman."
Yamamoto nodded. "It is suspected that Aizen is after her. She is to be brought here for protection."
Jushiro blinked. "A human brought over to the Soul Society when she isn't even dead yet? But Head Captain the law…"
"I am fully aware of that Captain Ukitake. I have spoken to Central 46 about this and they've agreed," the Head Captain explained. After what had happened with Aizen, the Seireitei had to get new counsel members for Central 46. Now it was unknown exactly where Aizen was hiding right now, though they suspected they were in Hueco Mundo, but it wasn't fully known. When he left he had taken Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tousen with him.
"Okay, I'll leave right away," Jushiro smiled. After the meeting was over Jushiro left heading to the world of the living. He always was fascinated by the world of the living. There had been so many interesting things Jushiro couldn't help but enjoy when he made his rare visits there. Just as he exited the Senkaimon, he heard yelling and sobbing. Immediately concerned, he ran towards the cries only to find himself going down a flight of stairs heading toward a subway terminal. Fear gripped his heart, fearing a hollow was down there.
At the bottom huddled in a corner was Rika, cornered by a huge black creature. She didn't even know what it was. She had seen ghosts before, well more like her entire life. But this creature was not like any ghost she ever saw before. No, it looked like some type of scary monster. Something she'd normally only see in her nightmares. She began wailing very loudly like a big cry-baby, "Please! Go away and leave me alone! What do you want? Please, don't kill me!" She sobbed.
She'd always been kind of a cry-baby. In grade school she had been picked on, called,' Weeping Willow,' as she cried all the time. Sometimes for no reason, just cause she felt like it. And after being picked on she'd go home and pig out on junk food until she'd get sick and fall asleep. In school she was even pushed into lockers and had her lunch money stolen. But when she entered high school this gang of bullies cornered her one-day and there were these two guys who came to her aide, Ichigo Kurosaki and Sado Yasutora also known as Chad. They defended her, and later on she became friends with the two of them. Since then, people left her alone, fearful of Ichigo and Chad beating them up. As she got back to reality she heard a slicing sound followed by a sickly roar.
She saw a man with long white hair dressed in a black kimono with a white haori over top. The man before her took down the monster. Once down, he re-sheathed he sword then walked over to the frighten girl, noticing she could see him since she was able to see the hollow. He stuck his hand out to the trembling figure before him. "Are you okay?" He asked, with a gentle smile gracing his lips.
"Who…who are you?" She asked him, shaking like a leaf and not taking his hand.
Jushiro's smile faded to a look of concern. He rubbed her shoulder in a smoothing gesture and she jerked in shock somewhat. "Hey, it's okay. My name is Jushiro Ukitake. And that monster you just saw, it was called a hollow. Don't worry, though, it will never bother you again. You're safe."
"I…I'm Rika, Rika Macross. What if another one shows up?"
"Don't worry, I'll protect you," Jushiro assured her with another smile. 'This is Rika? The woman I was sent to find? She's got to be no more than 16 years old? I was expecting someone a bit older. But I guess this must be her. The name matches.'
She saw the way he was looking at her, like he was trying to figure something out about her, "Why are you looking at me like that? You're making me nervous."
"Sorry it's just that, I'm with a high government and was hired to protect you. There are some bad people who are after you. If you come with me I can guarantee you protection."
Rika thought about this. Should she really just go off somewhere with a stranger? Someone she didn't even know? Then again he could be right. She had been attacked by these monsters before and barely got away with her life. Should she tell her mother she was going? 'No! I'm not telling her a thing. Like she'd care anyway. All she cares about is my grades. That's right! No more school if I go with this man.' She nodded to Jushiro, making up her mind. "Yes, I will go with you. But first you have some explaining to do. What are hollows? And where are we going?"
He took a deep breath. This was going to tough to explain. "Okay why don't we discuss this over some tea? You look like you really need to calm down," he told her, still with a smile on his face.
"I'm sorry, but I don't like tea. Can I have some hot chocolate instead?" She asked.
Jushiro lightly laughed. "Of course." He held out his hand for her to take, pulling her to her feet. First they went to Kisuke Urahara's shop. "Wait here okay."
She nodded as Jushiro went into the shop. A few minutes later he returned, dressed in a sophisticated suit and tie. His Zanpakuto no longer was attached to his side. Then again, it would look weird seeing a man walk around town with a sword strapped to his side while wearing a suit. Unknown to Rika, Jushiro had just changed into what was known as a gigai, created by Kisuke. It was the only way for the humans to actually see the Soul Reapers properly, if they couldn't see them to begin with.
Jushiro linked his arm with hers, leading her to a nice restaurant. Once there, they found a table and ordered their drinks. "Okay, what is going on? Who's after me?" Rika finally asked him, taking a sip of her hot chocolate after the drinks had arrived. The hot drink started warming her insides right away, relaxing her. As the hot liquid slid down her throat, her body began to stop trembling from what she just witnessed.
Jushiro took a deep breath. "Okay, what you witnessed was called a hollow. They were once spirits of people who died and were attacked by other hollows before they could pass over to the what is known as the Soul Society," he told her, seeing her confused look at the mention of where he was actually from. "Okay, the Soul Society is what you humans refer to as heaven."
"Wait! Hold on a minute. Are you telling me you're not human either?" Her eyes went wide in shock.
He shook his head. "No, I am a Soul Reaper. We are spirits that protect the world of the living from hollows and help spirits to pass on to the afterlife. And a hollow is a spirit that was turned impure. It is our job to kill these hollows, returning the spirits back to their former form, allowing them to pass over. However there are times when a spirit did not have a good soul before turning into a hollow, therefore they are sent to hell."
"Souls? Spirits?" she blinked. "I'm not sure I'm grasping this correctly."
He sighed, seeing this was getting difficult. "In a nutshell hollows are evil creatures who kill humans and sometimes will…" he paused and thought for a moment. Humans often referred spirits as ghosts. "Take a ghost, as you call them, and turn them into hollows as well. These hollows can be formed from good ghosts and bad ghosts." He paused again. "A hollow can be recognized by the hole in their chests and the mask on their faces."
"Woah! Jushiro, this is a lot to take in at once." Rika felt like her head was spinning from all this information he was telling her. Hollows. Ghosts. Soul Reapers. It was a lot to comprehend.
"I am sorry. I don't mean to put pressure on you," he told her. Suddenly a notion came to mind. "Since you were able to see me in my true form as well as the Hollow I was wondering something."
"Yes?" Rika asked him.
"How long have you been able to see these things?" He wondered.
She blinked. "Ever since I was born."
"Forgive me, but you don't seem like you're from this town. You don't look Japanese."
"I'm not. I was born in Egypt."
"So you're Egyptian then?" Jushiro wanted to be sure he was on the right track.
Rika nodded, "Yes, I lived in Egypt until my parents died about two years ago by a monster. And from what you just told me, I'm guessing it was a hollow that killed them. The monster did have a hole in its chest and wore a creepy looking mask. Afterwards, I was adopted by a Japanese couple and moved here to Karakura Town." She paused a moment. "Now, I have a question for you. Who is after me?"
"We don't really know that yet. But we suspect it may be a man called Sosuke Aizen. He was one of us, a Soul Reaper. But he betrayed us and made his escape to the land where Hollows dwell. He has control over them along with what is known as Arrancars and Espadas."
"What are Arrancars and Espadas? Some type of hollow?" The girl wondered, feeling more confused that she was five minutes ago. Her heart began to leap up into her throat, feeling somewhat light headed.
Jushiro nodded. "Yes. But they are stronger. Arrancars and Espadas have human like qualities with partial masks on their heads and they can use swords called Zanpakuto."
"I can't take this anymore!" Rika held her head, feeling darkness envelop her body. She felt her body fall over onto the floor, the stress getting to her, passing out.
"Rika!" Jushiro's eyes went wide with worry, jumping so fast from the table, his tea shook a few split seconds before toppling over, spilling the contents. The glass fell to the floor, shattering. His immediate concern wasn't on the breakable dish but to her as he went to her side, lifting her up into his arms.
"Please be okay," he rubbed his hand gently along her face as he decided now was a good time to leave. Other people in the restaurant were staring in his direction, probably due from her sudden drop to the floor and his sudden movement, causing the dish to break. Ignoring them, he put some money on the table for their drinks before lifting her into his arms, carrying the young woman out of the place.
He felt there was only place he could go and that was to Kisuke's. Keeping her firm in his arms, he carried her to the former Captain's home. The thought did cross his mind to leave for the Soul Society, but didn't want to send her in a more state of shock than she already was. Even though he had to do his job he wasn't about to take her without informing her first.
He went and knocked on Kisuke's shop door as it was kind of late and he had already closed up his shop for the night. The man came and answered the door. "Captain Ukitake what are you doing here so late? Who's the young woman?"
"I'll explain in a minute. Can I come in?" Jushiro asked. Kisuke stepped out of the way, allowing Jushiro to come inside. They went into the living room, taking a seat on the floor, on some cushions. Kisuke went and got some blankets for Jushiro to lay Rika on the blankets until she woke.
"Okay, what's this about?" Kisuke asked him after the human was settled and they were too.
"I am on a mission, to protect this girl, Rika Macross. We believe Aizen is targeting her. She has very high spiritual pressure and even Arrancars have been after her," Jushiro explained.
"And Captain Yamamoto requested you to bring her to the Seireitei for protection." Kisuke turned and looked at the girl. "Why is she unconscious?"
"Having to tell her about who we are, took a toll on her system and she fainted," Jushiro answered.
"I see, well you do know this would be hard for humans to believe you know," he told Jushiro.
"I know," Jushiro said. "That's why I..."
"Uhhhh..." Rika was starting to wake up.
Jushiro was right at her side at once, bracing up her head in his hand. "Rika! You okay?" He gave her a concerned look.
"I think so." She opened her eyes and noticed she was in a different place. "Where am I?"
"This is my friend, Kisuke Urahara. He owns a shop, selling candies and other unusual items," Jushiro explained. He put his arms around her, helping her to sit up. "You sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine, I was just a bit shocked by what you told me is all. Sorry I passed out like that," she told him.
"It's okay, it wasn't your fault. What I told you was a bit shocking to take in after all. But don't worry I'm here to protect you," he told her.
"So, you're taking me to this Soul Society right?" She asked him, getting the idea he was explaining everything for a reason.
"For your protection, yes. However it's your choice. I won't force you if you don't want to." Jushiro watched her, waiting for her to make up her mind.
Rika nodded, then shrugged. "Okay, why not. Let's get going, before one of those monsters attack a..."
A huge explosion suddenly disrupted her words. "What the?" She jumped to her feet, running outside.
"Rika wait!" Jushiro cried out, immediately following her. He was just about to reach the door when he heard her scream. He moved faster only to find her in the clutches of an Arrancar. The Arrancar had long dark hair going down to his knees and his eyes were orange, wearing while robes from Heuco Mundo.
At once, he pulled something from out of his pocket and swallowed it. Suddenly two Jushiros appeared. One was still in a suit and the other one was in the black colored hakama pants and kimono top with a white haori over top. The one in the suit stepped back getting out of the way while the other pulled out a sword, known as a Zanpakuto, getting ready to attack the Arrancar. He released his Zanpakuto right away turning it into two blades.
"Ha! A Soul Reaper. My master wants her, you shell not interfere." The Arrancar tried to get away with the girl in his arms, taking to the air.
Rika sobbed, "Jushiro help me!" She burst out in tears. She was whining again like a baby.
"You're loud! Shut up!" The Arrancar yelled in pain, feeling his ears ringing. He hit her upside the head.
Jushiro's eyes narrowed in anger. He was quick to flash step, blocking the Arrancar's way. "How dare you do something like that!?" It always took a lot to make Jushiro mad as there were few things that pissed him off and this was one of them. He pushed one blade into the hand already holding the twin and pointed before calling out a name, trapping the Arrancar in a form of seal. Six yellow beams were wrapped around him. Jushiro then jumped up and attack the Arrancar with his double swords, cutting it. From the two slashes, it died and Rika fell towards the ground. Jushiro sealed his Shikai, sheathing it quickly before again using flash step, catching the woman into his arms. If his best friend was there, he would have probably made a witty remark of something like 'You really like the women falling for you, don't you?'.
"Jushiro!" Rika gasped, finding him floating in the air.
"I got you."
She was quick to bury her head against his chest, wrapping her arms around him. "Get me out of here before something like that happens again."
Jushiro nodded and landed on the ground below before letting her stand on her own feet once again. He took her hand then. "Now I'm about to open the gates to the Soul Society. Whatever you do, don't let go of my hand on the way through. The doorway into the Soul Society doesn't let humans through, but if you're holding onto me you can get in." Pulling out his Zanpakuto, he then opened the Senkaimon to the Soul Society, keeping a tight grip on her hand, leading her into the doorway.