Bleach Fan Fiction Wiki

Hello and welcome to Bleach Fan Fiction Wiki! If you are here to read fan-created articles, please visit the Reader Guide! To create and edit your own pages, start with the Editor Guide!

READ MORE

Bleach Fan Fiction Wiki
Advertisement

The Rule of Two: Contemplation is an article created by Achrones150. Use is allowed with the permission of the owner, with the exception of collaboration-created articles.

This article, The Rule of Two: Contemplation, was added by Blankslate who determines its usage on this wiki.

Act I[]

Memoirs of the Fallen[]

The bustling city of Tokyo, Japan, resembled a massive two story bee hive more than anything else. The city was divided into two sections, the "upper" section, of which was literally on top of the lower section of the city via massive towers, and the lower section, which was the other way around. On top of the upper section looked what appeared to be a large metropolis of sorts that was nearly twice the size of it's 21st century counterpart, glistening with it's gold and black hue that was reflected from the equally mesmerizing sunset. It was here that the rich and the wealthy could enjoy themselves in whatever lifestyles that they could possibly hope to indulge themselves in. Whilst the lower section was a reminiscent of the slums of New York City. Dark, damp, full of poverty and corruption, and practically radiating criminal, none could hope to survive in this part of the city...

...Except for one certain young man who laid out on a rather clean mattress that was situated on the top of a rather large apartment complex. He was sprawled out on the blue makeshift bed, his snore filled mouth wide open and comically drooling, two earphones found themselves resting within his ears, the wire of which led to an MP3 player that was within his right hand. Though it's battery was nearly dead from supposidly leaving it on for extended amounts of time, one could make out the cover to what could only be described as a Deftones album, and the song that was playing was that of "Knife Party".

Within his sleep occupated mind, his dreams seemed to correspond with the beat and flow of the music. In the beginning electric guitar strums, the black figure of a young woman with long hair and glistening green eyes stood in front of a nearly blinding light, staring straight into his soul. She reaches out her hand as if she wishes to grab his own, a bright smile barely visible on her black face. As he reaches out for her as well, the pleasant guitar strums are exchanged for the climax of the beginning parts of the song. When this happens, the light behind the woman shatters like glass, revealing a massive wave of deep blue water rushing towards them, preparing to ensnare both himself and the woman in it's wet grasp. .

When the wave of liquid impacts with the two, the song's vocalist begins to sing his introductory lyrics. The peaceful remedy was made perfect when the dreamer found himself holding the hands of the woman while under the water, seemingly unaffected by the thought of drowning as they could both breathe just fine. The woman smiles at him with gentle warmth as he does the same to her. But then, the vocalist begins to change his pleasant voice into one of slightly louder proportions and as he does so, the woman's happy expression becomes blank as a red mist begins to emerge from both corners of her mouth. The dreamer is shocked and concerned, but as he reaches out to help her, the red mist ingulfs all of the water, changing it's deep blue into a light red. The man cannot help but lose his breath from the sensation within his mouth that he could only describe as blood. Then, the woman's face becomes pained and weakened as she holds her stomach with her right hand and begins to sink to the bottom of the water. The dreamer catches her with both arms, and as he does so, the water begins to drain and sink like a bathtub's.

When the liquid all drains away, the next chorus begins as the dreamer holds the woman with both arms. They both were now in what appeared to be a ruined house in what appeared to be the Rukongai District, of which was being rained on with rain that originated from a black and purple sky, cracking with occasional bolts of lightning. Both he and the woman are soaking wet and blood poured from the corners of her mouth. He held her close as he tried to speak to her hurt and pained face, putting his left hand on what appeared to be a massive gash within her stomach area while holding her head up with his right hand. She looks into his face with tears emerging from her eyes, and slowly reaches out to his face with her left hand. He takes his hand off of her wound to grab hers, but as he does so, her eyes widen and she jerks slightly, before slowly closing her eyes and succumbing to her apparent wound. He cradles her head within his chest, but something causes him to look up briefly. When he does so, he sees a tall woman with a haori, pointing a cross like weapon directly at his face. He realizes that this woman was the cause of the death of the younger woman that now lay dead in his arms. He begins to speak, but she suddenley thrusts the sword into the middle of his forehead...

"AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"

With a loud yell, the man awakens from the dream turned nightmare and rips his headphones out, holding his head and groaning. Letting his pained face relax, the man dropped his hands and looked up slowly to see three ragidly dressed individuals with clown masks sitting on sides of the same building that he was. He looked down to see a small metal rod laying in front of him. He realized that one of these individuals had woken him up by dropping the piece of metal onto the same spot that he had supposidly been impaled...

"Hey boss are you awake now?" one of the bigger figures said. He was dressed in a wife-beater vest with dark blue jeans and a funny mask on.

"Yeah we was trying to wake you up without hurting you! But it doesn't look like we could! So we used that little metal thingy there!" a smaller petite female figure said, pointing at the piece of metal with rabbit like energy. She was wearing a much higher class dress with a tie, as well as having long yellow hair braids that emerged on the sides of her equally ridiculous mask.

The other individual remained silent as he awaited his "Bosses" reply.

The man rubbed his forehead and closed his eyes, speaking in a drowsy voice. "God you guys are such pricks." He then stood all the way up and stretched slightly before turning off his music player and wrapping his earphone cord around it, and then placing it in one of his jeans pockets. In full view, the man wore a dark blue t-shirt, with black leather pants and equally dark shoes. His hair was short and black, and his eyes were a bloodish red, both of them staring menacingly into those of his comrades.

The bigger figure then pulled out a brown paper back and reached into it to pull out an oval shaped hasbrown, before tossing it to his leader, who caught it without looking, giving the man a nod as he took a bite out of the potato product. As he ate it, he looked out into the rising sun, speaking as he swallowed his first bite. "Are we all set for this evening?"

The third individual spoke finally, his voice british sounding, which matched with his casual attire. "Yes sir, the explosives have been successfully placed onto the train tracks. Our target is scheduled to arrive around 4:30."

The train that he referred to was on the upper section of the city. Their target was a retired Soul Reaper from an unknown division of the Gotei 13.

Finishing his hashbrown, the man then turned around and walked towards a wall on top of the building that was revealed to be the entrance to the building itself. On it's side was a coat rack that held a black leather coat that matched his pants. He took it and put it around his back, letting it's neck frill come around the bottom of his head. He then turned towards the three. "Then proceed as normal. Do nothing until I give you the order to. Understood?" he said, his voice commanding and stern.

All three of them nodded in response and then left the building, the female one giggling as she did so. "Heh, bye Rushifa!" she said with a loud giggle. Clearly she had a disorder of sorts.

As they left, the man now known as Rushifa gave a sigh as he pulled a wallet out of his back pocket. He opened it to reveal a few stolen credit cards and pulled out a picture behind where his driver's liscence was. In the picture stood a younger version of himself with the young woman from his dreams. He was kissing her on her cheek and she was smiling with blushing red cheeks. He smiled slightly before putting it back in his wallet and then putting the wallet back in his pocket. He then looked up towards the black and gold city before him, before Flash Stepping away from view...

The Confrontation of Old Allies and Enemies[]

By 4:15, the scenery between the upper city and the lower city was like the concept of yin and yang. In contrast to it's lower counterpart's dark and depressing shade, the upper section of the city was bright and beautiful, practically gleaming with life. The noise was louder here though, as cars and trains zoomed across the rails and roads in hasty speeds.

One such train of more advance proportions was going through a track that was in the middle of the city via upper levels, meaning that the track for the train was above the road that held one of the larger roads. This train was black on the exterior, matching the color of the city, while the interior was more golden. Despite being a normal train, the accomodations within it would suggest that it was an upper class train by 21st century standards. The seats were shaped like booths that all faced the same direction as where the train was going. Passengers could only see the back of the heads of the passengers in front of them. The floor had a black carpet, and the seats had red leather to them to provide a form of comfort to the passengers...

In one of the seats was a young woman in a kimono-like attire. She had one leg shifted over the other, her hands folded within her lap. Her eyes were closed, her tied hair resting on the leather head of the seat. Leaning beside the window was a walking stick - one which would be normally associated with the blind. To anyone, it would've looked as if she had been sleeping. However, her mind and body were fully aware of their surroundings, even the small talk going around in the areas farther away from her. However, her mind was not concerned with such thoughts. Instead, she was focused on events that she had went through, before this journey to nowhere...

Her name was Evelyn McTavish.... and as far as anyone else was concerned, she was a nobody.

At least, to simple humans.

"Excuse me."

A swedish sounding voice broke through her trail of thought in the form of a younger man sitting in the seat that was before her. He was rather well built, with short blonde hair and brown eyes. He wore a green hoodie with black pants as he turned his sitting position to where he was looking at her partially. "Are you feelin okay? You don't look so good."

"I'm fine..."

Even as she spoke, Evelyn did not bother to open her eyes. Her tone was serene, peaceful, and yet held an extent of formality she would only extend to the hands of strangers. The only thing that broke what would've been otherwise a still body was the slight bumps that the train went through as it traveled. Her own tone held an American accent, despite her appearance. "But, thank you for your concern." She continued to speak, lapsing into silence and allowing him to speak.

"What division are you from?"

The younger man was quite the curious one, but he did so in good intentions. But somehow, he was capable of telling whether or not someone was a Soul Reaper. Was he a Soul Reaper as well?

Evelyn slowly opened one of her eyes to a half-lidded position, tilting her head to the side slightly as she did so. She remained silent for a moment, regarding him with what seemed like tension. Yet, she did not show any sign of sudden reaction or anything else. It would be questionable that she knew anything of what he was talking about. If she was genuine in her reaction, then it was normal. But if she was not, then she was certainly a master of hiding her true intentions from the ones that wished to pry.

"I'm afraid I don't follow you, sir. I've never served in any kind of military." She said smoothly, lifting a finger to point up at her eye. "They wouldn't dare let a blind woman like me into anyone's ranks." She lowered her hand to her lap again in its folded position, once again lapsing into silence.

The younger man looked kind of confused. "Oh well...I thought you were part of the Gotei 13, based on the feeling of your presence. And the Gotei 13 has had blind members in it before." He then smiled somewhat, letting his teeth show. "You're a Soul Reaper like me, aren't you?"

Slowly, Evelyn closed her eye and thought for a moment. Anyone else would have thought him to be insane from what his claims were. But she knew. She understood it, as direct and obvious his words were to her. With her eyes still closed, she leaned forward a little to close her voice to him. "You lack tact, young man...." She said in a lightly scolding tone. "You should be more careful when using such terms in the presence of them...." She lightly nodded her head towards the rest of the car, her words referring to the presence of the other passengers.

He looked on at the other passengers, most of whom were too busy handling their own affairs and only a couple glanced in their direction.

But he still should have thought that one through a little more.

"Ah, forgive me. Sometimes my curiosity gets the better of me." he said in a modest tone while closing his eyes somewhat. After a few more seconds, he resumed his conversation. "So what brings you to Tokyo, hm? Trying to escape the life of violence like me?"

"If only for a moment...." Evelyn answered, allowing herself to lean back in her chair once more. "There's really no escape from violence. It's going to be with all of us until our very end. The only thing I can really do.... is sit and allow myself to drift away, every time it starts to come close to me." She directed her closed eyes towards the window that had a good view of the city blocks passing by. "What exactly happened to you to make you feel the same?"

He then sat to where his knees were sitting on the couch and he was facing towards her, his arms folded on the top of the chair as he gave a slight sigh. "I just couldn't handle all of the rules and stuff you know? Like, we would get punished for even the dumbest of things. Like one time I stepped into the 11th Division's barracks, believing it to belong to the 3rds, which was my division. They forced me into temporary seclusion for a week! I just couldn't take it any more." he finished, looking out the window like she had.

This revelation brought a smile to Evelyn's face, although she didn't chuckle (even if she found it to be somewhat humorous). "So you're just looking to work without such rules in effect...." She summarized. "I understand. The life of a military soldier can be quite grueling for most, and it only takes the most hardened of individuals to truly rise to the top. Tell me, what rank were you?"

"4th Seat of the 3rd Division." he replied with a friendlier voice than normal. "They had that old saying where the 3rd Division was disturbed or depressing. Definatley not my type, which you've probably figured that out by now." he said, looking back at Evelyn.

The woman, in turn, moved her head so that her closed eyes would look back at the young man. "Your seated position shows in how you act." She commented. "I was Captain of the 8th Division, after the previous Captain had been killed."

The younger Soul Reaper widened his eyes before bowing his head slightly. "Oh forgive me, ma'am. I knew that you were a Soul Reaper, but I had no idea..."

"Don't bother bowing to me now...." Evelyn warned him, though still retaining her calm tone. "We're both in the same boat. I'm just a wandering woman, and you're just a wandering man. We're people with names, nothing more...." She placed a hand to the center of her chest. "And my name, before we talk any further, is Evelyn McTavish. What about yours?"

A sparkle came into the younger man's eyes. "My name is Fyodor Milkov. It's my honor to meet you Mrs. McTavish."

"Not honor, Fyodor.... a pleasure." Evelyn corrected, lowering her hand back to its folded position within her lap. "There's really nothing honorable about me. I'm far too damaged for such titles...." She raised a pinky finger to scratch the side of her cheek idly before lowering it back down.

Fyodor simply nodded his head. "I understand, I don't know what you may be referring to, but I won't ask further." As he looked out the window, a slight hint of dread came across his face. "Well, I hope that we really are in the same boat, because with the Black Wolf running rampant around here, people like us aren't safe. I'm actually heading to the airport to leave the country." He then turned to look at Evelyn, his face somewhat bored. "Have you ever heard of him? The Black Wolf?"

"No." Evelyn admitted. "Who is he?"

His look became somewhat more concerned. "He's a Soul Reaper, like you and me. He used to be part of the 5th Division, that's where he learned how to fight you know." He then looked back out the window, the same look in his eye. "He's a terrorist who camps out in big cities like Tokyo, hunting both retired and non-retired Gotei 13 members like us." He leaned forward slightly. "No one knows why he does it. Some say his whole family was slaughtered by one of the Gotei 13 squads, but no one knows for sure. There was a recent case where a retired Captain was brutally murdered outside of his own home. The Black Wolf is the only one capable of doing so."

"I see...." Evelyn took in a deep breath and exhaled, leaning her head back on the seat and tilting her head slightly upwards. "I don't suppose no one ever happened to pick up his true name?"

He shook his head somewhat. "No. The only real details that anyone has on him is that he always has a form of black on him, and his eyes are a blood red color." he sighed somewhat. "They say if you look into his face directly, you can see a black wolf instead of a humanoid one. Hence his name."

"Ah, a title for his traits...." Evelyn smiled a little. "I myself had my own title created by the populace. I never really paid much attention to it or truly accepted it as my own, but I still do remember. "Tiger Snake", it was."

Fyodor's face became somewhat happier. "Oh yeah! I remember some of my squadmates referring to one of the Captains with that name. I didn't stay around long enough to see most of them in person though." He then leaned back a little bit. "Why did they call you that name?"

"A tiger snake has rather ferocious accuracy when striking down its prey." The woman explained. "My fighting style focused on swift, unpredictable, and flexible moves in order to quickly kill any enemy I was facing. My swordsmanship skills even intimidated the 11th Division Captain at that time. Although even now I don't really consider it.... I still find it a rather close metaphor..."

Fyodor chuckled somewhat. "Remind me never to get on your bad side then." Turning his attention back to the city, he sighed again. "I'm glad you still find it appropriate. Those skills will come in handy should the Black Wolf ever find you."

"How skilled is he in combat, this Black Wolf?" Evelyn questioned.

His face then became almost dead serious. "Very. Based on reports from investigators, nearly 3 Captain level Soul Reapers have died by his hands. The thing is he doesn't utilize traditional combat with them most of the time. He usually uses a terrorist method to either kill them, or catch them alone. That's why he's wanted in nearly 5 countries. Including Japan."

"That doesn't sound like one who is skilled in the art of fighting more than it would sound like someone skilled in the art of tactical warfare." Evelyn said. "One usually utilizes such violent methods against their enemies because they are unable to fight their targets directly. To those with a passion for direct combat, he would be considered a coward, at best."

"Well...that's for most cases. I remember a few coherts of mine recalling how he challenged one of those former Captains in one on one combat and the Black Wolf one." He shivered somewhat. "From what they described...the Captain was mutilated and he was full of holes, as if he was fighting with both a sword and a gun at the same time." He looked out the window of the other side of the train. "But can't decide whether or not that's true based on a few rumors can we?"

"If it is...." A small smile came across the woman's face. "Then I wouldn't mind facing him in direct combat myself. Although I don't intend to purposely wander into trouble, I have been wanting to put my skills to good use for quite some time. It's just another excuse to raise a sword, sadly... but it's something I can't lie about."

Fyodor smiled while still looking outside. "Yeah. Fighting with a Zanpaktou always was fun to do. Sucks that we couldn't release them within..."

His eyes widened and horror flashed upon his young face. Outside of the train's window, on the top of a building that seemed level with the train, stood a youthful man looking directly into Fyodor's eyes. The red within them reminded him of the view of blood. The young man looked at him with a casual smile, before pressing a button on what looked like a cell phone.

"No..."

BOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With a great shaking sensation, the front end of the train began to glow with a bright orange light and then black smoke made it's way towards the outer end of the train.

Needless to say, Evelyn was surprised.

Her blank eyes finally opened in shock, and she involuntarily lurched forward as the vicious explosion knocked her out of her seat. She felt the train de-rail itself with a moan, control lost and its body forcibly splitting from the tracks. She accidentally fell against Fyodor, but she couldn't find the balance in order to raise herself back up again. All she could hear in her ears was the screeching of the wheels against the track, the sparks flying outside with a violent flair....

The young man then Flash Stepped off of the building and nearly 50 meters from the derailed train, standing in front of it with a menacing grin as if he planned to stop it.

The train then fully derailed from the tracks, all of the carts pushing against each other, transforming it's straight form into that of total disarray. It smashed into the ground and grinded along the road, smashing both cars and bystanders that stood in it's way. With a loud moan, the train finally stopped just a few inches from the still grinning man, who was now holding what appeared to be a large, black and silver Desert Eagle.

The Crystal Mirror of Time[]

"....."

The car that Evelyn and Fyodor had been on was a complete mess. The walls had crumbled in, turning into a twisted mass of metal and glass. There was blood staining the material; a prominent sign that death and injury had occured. It was a wonder how the woman, as concussed and wounded as she was, was able to survive. She had somehow ended up underneath the seats, both of which had collapsed on her person. With a soft groan, she slowly opened her eyes and tried to push herself up, but to no avail.

"What the hell happened....?!" She thought to herself, blood trickling down her temple and staining the ground underneath her. "Was that a bomb that went off just now....?!"

"No....no no please don't do anything brash!"

The voice of Fyodor suddenley broke the cycle of other noises as the young Soul Reaper found himself crawling along the bottom of the train's now filthy floor. In front of him was the man with red eyes, the two piercing orbs staring straight into his with a blank expression. Fyodor was holding out his right hand, begging for his life.

"Please Mr Wolf! We're retired! There's no reason to hunt us...!"

BANG!!!!!

Before he could finish, the Black Wolf fired a bullet out of what could now be recognized as a high calibur Kido Pistol, going straight through Fyodor's head with enough force to tear it from his neck. As he watched the head roll over to the side of the train with his still blank face, the Black Wolf began to look around for any possible Soul Reaper survivors...

"Oh, no...."

From her senses alone, Evelyn could tell what happened. She immediately stayed still, keeping her spiritual pressure hidden and doing her best to look like she was dead. Her mind was far too hazy for her to engage in combat now, and the man would obviously shoot her if she attempted to rise up. Her blood-stained appearance as well as the fact that there was a crimson-pool underneath her could convince him.

Hopefully, she wouldn't die waiting....

As he walked around searching, he noticed a small trio of human survivors who stumbled out of the wreckage of their seats. Speaking in japanese, one of them held up his hands in a surrendering pose when he looked at the man. The Black Wolf simply stepped aside and pointed his gun towards the end of the train, motioning them to leave. He was here for Soul Reapers, not humans.

As they did so, the Black Wolf looked over to where Evelyn's blood pool was. He crouched down and looked at her with his blank face. Her head was tilted to the side so that he could not see her face, and he couldn't turn her head to where he could see it without causing something to fall on her. He put his gun to her head and nudged her with it a couple of times. After being convinced that she was truly dead, the Black Wolf simply sighed and stood himself up, turning to exit the ruined train...

Evelyn stayed still.

She knew that he had not left completely. She felt his presence nearby, and knew that it was only a matter of time until he left. She could not allow herself to lessen up, for she knew that one-slip up would cost her very life. Still, it was getting harder and harder to maintain her consciousness and actually falling into the abyss of death. She silently prayed, hoping for him to leave as soon as possible.

"Hey Rushifa! Rushifa! I got one see!? See!? I stabbed him in the throat and let him bleed! Isn't that-"

Suddenley, another gun shot rang out of the train from the same gun that the Black Wolf held. If one could see, they would have witnessed him fire a Kido bolt through the chest that belonged to the deranged female seen on the roof with him earlier. She screamed and yelled, holding her chest tight as blood poured out of the massive wound.

"I told you..." the Black Wolf said, his voice empty and shallow. "We were here for Soul Reapers, not humans. I fail to see how you could be so ignorant to forget such an obvious rule..."

The woman then looked up to him, blood coming from the sides of her masked mouth as he held his gun to her head. "...P-please...Rushifa...don't please..." she begged through a croaky voice.

BANG!!!!

With a single bolt, her body was tranformed into a bloody mess as the projectile went through her forehead and out of her neck.

"Freakin' moron..." the Black Wolf said.

Out of instinct, Evelyn's eyes widened at the sound of his voice, as well as the mentioned name.

"That voice....!"

Immediately, they narrowed into dangerous slits, her fingers slightly clenching.

Maybe she had over-exaggerated her injuries. She could feel her fury overriding her pain, her motor functions slowly starting to return. It would be to a limited extent... but she could bring herself to fight. It just so happened that her pole was right in front of her, just waiting to be grasped.

She didn't want to escape anymore.

She wanted to kill.

BANG!

With a quick twist of her body, she managed to bring herself on her back. One of her legs swung up, connecting with the back of the chair she was under and ripping it off of its hinges. The force of the kick sent it flying towards the Black Wolf with immense speed and power. As this was happening, she twisted herself around and pushed herself towards her feet. She grabbed the pole and swung it off to her side, revealing a three-pronged blade.

It wasn't a pole.

It was a Yari spear.

She threw herself at Rushifa, using the flying chair as a distraction in her effort to spear him through his torso.

A sinister grin came upon the man's face as he turned his gun towards the flying chair. Fortunatley for him, he was far enough to where he would have enough reaction time to turn and intercept it. With his right hand, he pulled the trigger of his weapon, a blue flash radiating from it's barrell as an equally colored bolt flew towards the seat and tore it in half.

His grin turned into one of shock and his eyes widened when he saw Evelyn charging towards him, his bolt whizzing past her head. Without thinking, he bent himself backwards in an attempt to let her fly over him. He succeeded, with only one of the blades scathing his right cheek...

But she was not through.

She managed to catch herself in mid-air, performing an elegant backflip over his bent-form. However, in the midst of her backflip, she switched her Yari to one hand and flipped it with supernatural speed. Its form was a pinwheel, a saw aiming to tear through his form. Because he was bent backwards, it would be nigh impossible to avoid being cut. Evelyn knew this, a sadistic smile on her face as she spun her weapon with such a frightening flair and a terrifying speed.

The same sinister grin came over his face as he watched her recover.

WHOOSH!!!!

With a Flash Step, he barely avoided the next impact, reappearing outside of the ruined train, waving at her in a taunting manner as he unsheathed a white katana from behind his coat. Fighting inside of a close quartered train was not fit for a fight like this...

Relying on her senses, Evelyn turned her body towards her enemy, her Yari gripped in one hand. She clutched her side, a large gash bleeding and staining her torso even more. Beads of sweat were falling down her face, and she knew he would have an advantage over her. She used an opening in the car created by the train crash in order to hop out, breathing audibly as she walked to her opponent. She slipped off her sandals, allowing her bare feet to tread the ground as she walked.

"I have to finish this quickly as I can...." She thought to herself.

The man sneered as he pointed his sword's hilt end at her. Dark and low words emerged from his mouth

"Put them Down...."

The weapon then became enveloped in a black and cyan energy before he quickly turned his blade to his left. When the energy dissipated, the katana's blade was now that of a large butcher knife, and it's handle and hilt were reminiscent of a revolver. He sliced the concrete ground twice in front of him, letting the sparks fly in a battle taunt before pointing the weapon back at her.

"...Puraimaru Gansuringa."

Evelyn closed her eyes, her brows furrowing slightly at the release command being stated. She could feel the energy as his sword shifted to its Shikai form. "I can sense a great difference from the power you had back then...." She said lowly, continuing to hold her wounded side. "To think that you would become a simple cut-throat with your potential and abilities.... what a pitiful way to fall...."

Rushifa smile became slightly wider. "Come on now...ma'am..." he said, still pointing his sword at her. "Remember, I would have been alot different had you simply listened to your subordinate's reason." He then closed his eyes somewhat and looked down, retaining his closed smile. "But like most of the mindless beasts that makes up the Gotei 13...it's always slaughter first, then ponder asking questions later with you." he then opened his eyes and pointed his sword at her chest. "Just like this."

CHITOW!!!!!!

With a pull of the trigger and a blue light, a Kido bolt discharged out of the blade's tip, heading straight for where it was directed...

PANG!

With a flick of her Yari wrist, Evelyn managed to deflect the bolt away from her person and charge at her opponent, her bare feet slapping at the ground as she ran. She only needed few steps in order to complete her distance. She twisted her Yari again, beginning a furious assault on Rushifa with a set of fast, precise, and fluid strikes.

Rushifa smiled. As he had predicted, Evelyn's skills had not decayed over the half century that he wouldn't have hoped. Parrying the first set of her blows with an equal amount of speed, he managed to let a few mocking words emerge from his mouth. "Just think, if I could kick your ass back then..." Then he quickly brought his downward facing sword back up to force Evelyn's Yari to go up with it. "...Just imagine what I can do to you now!" he finished.

As the blades of her Yari went up, Evelyn switched her movements fluidly.

She shifted her body so that her side was facing Rushifa. Her hands gripped the staff of her spear, and she began twisting it at the inhuman rate that she had done before. This time, the blades ripped up the concrete underneath their feet, sending bullet-sized chunks of it at the point-blank range her opponent was at. All of this was done without hesitation and without pause, even as he was speaking to her.

Rushifa's grin becamed somewhat angered as the concrete bits went into his eyes, blinding him for a brief few moments while rubbing his eyes with his free left hand. Most would expect him to be completley open...

Sensing a potential hope spot, Evelyn shifted patterns again, pulling back her Yari before delivering a power-backed strike towards his neck in the hopes to decapitate her opponent.

As she prepared her move, Rushifa's ears picked themselves up and he sniffed the air a few times. Then he smiled, bearing his wolf like teeth. Using the flat edge of his blade, and holding his left hand up against the other flat end to give it support, he successfully blocked the tip of the Yari's pointed blade. The blow was more powerful than he anticipated however, as the force of the now locked blades pushed him to where he slammed against the side of the building straight behind him, struggling to keep himself from being overwhelmed.

"Perhaps...I should explain..." he said, still struggling slightly. "You see...Puraimaru Gansuringa doesn't just let me fire Kido bolts like guns...It also gives me the senses of a wolf...which are significantly more advanced than...the likes of humans...hence the name....Primal Gunslinger..." He grinned again. "So in a way...you and I are in the same boat....McTavish!"

He then shifted the upper torso area to his right, grinding his sword off of Evelyn's spear and letting it go forward towards the building, before quickly twisting around and holding his sword up in a position to slice her arms off...

Had she been fine, she would've been able to escape unharmed. Hoever, as it was....

SLICE!

She gritted her teeth as the blade cut into one of her arms, even as she forced herself away from his swing. She staggered back, barely able to keep her balance. Her free hand managed to go to her side again, blood continuing to spill from the open wound. Her bangs were hanging over her head, and it was clear that the fight tiself was taking a toll on her. It took all her might not to fall to the ground, her legs slightly shaking.

SLAM!!!

With a brutal kick to the stomach, Rushifa put the elder Soul Reaper onto the ground back first. Giving a blank expression (with a slight smile) Rushifa then pointed his gun's tip onto Evelyn's forehead, letting a small red droplet of blood emerge from the bottom of it's sharp tip. He then pulled back the revolving mechanism on his gun-like handle, enjoying what may have been his foe's last moments. "I remember when Temari was in a similar position like this...What are your thoughts on her now McTavish? Any regret or remorse for your savage actions of the past?"

"....yes."

Despite the pain that she was feeling, Evelyn managed to speak in a soft voice. "I can't argue with you.... that the Gotei 13 possesses such corrupt roots." She whispered, her eyes still closed. However, her voice did show a tone of regret, though it was contained and composed. Her Yari lay at her side, but she could not bring herself to pick it up in order to defend herself. "For simple beliefs.... my family was harrassed and threatened with their very status and lives despite serving so faithfully. After what they did to me.... I just can't hold any more forgiveness in my heart for any of them, allowing such poison to seep through their cracks. It disturbs me to know how willingly I served under them, how I killed your beloved in their name, and how.... just how alike both of us really are...."

Despite not being able to see, she opened her eyes to a half-lidded position. In the distance, she could hear police sirens as well as ambulance sirens going off. It wasn't a surprise to her; such damage inflicted onto the city would be sure to attract attention. However, she was concerned about the fact that death was ever so close to her.

Rushifa's smile became slightly sympathetic as he heard the elder's words. He lowered his sword to where it was against his side, still looking at Evelyn's pained face. "Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you. I don't forgive you, but I won't kill you, not here, not like this..." He stepped back slightly, before grinning a little once more.

"...but that doesn't mean I don't mind slowing you down a little."

He then quickly brought his sword back up and discharged a Kido bolt into the thicker part of her upper right leg...

A gasp of pain escaped Evelyn's lips as the bullet tore through her thigh, and she instinctively shut her eyes tightly. Her back arched as she tried to stifle the scream that threatened to tear her throat, before she gritted her teeth and sucked in breath through the cracks. "Damn it....!" She managed to gasp. "Why did you even bother doing that....?!"

Rushifa chuckled a little. "The same reason why you bothered to impale Temari through her chest when her stomach was already cut open..."

He then leaned down to where his mouth was just an inch or two away from her left ear and whispered. "Because like you, I'm a cold-blooded bitch." He then pressed his right foot onto her stomach for a few seconds before letting go and walking away, re-sealing his Zanpaktou as he did so. He gave her a slight wave, knowing that she couldn't see it. "See you around....ma'am."

With that, he Flash-Stepped from view, leaving no trace of his existance.

That was when the last of Evelyn's strength gave out.

Her body finally became limp, and her eyes closed once again. Although she would survive, she would drift in her state of unconsciousness. The ambulance would surely pick up her body and tend to her wounds, and she would be fine within the arms of time. But her revenge would not come today.... it would have to wait.

With a heavy sigh, she allowed herself to fall asleep, her mind sinking to unconsciousness.

Breaking the Cycle: A Glimmer of Chance[]

Sure enough, the ambulance had found the woman's unconscious body and had her immediatley moved to into an ambulance vehicle to be sent off to the nearest hospital. Nearly two hours after that, Evelyn laid in a rather wide open room that had a dark blue tint to it. She was in a rather comfortable bed with a nightstand on her left side and various other medical equipment laid out to her right side, and she was wearing a standard black patient's uniform.

"Nnn...."

Slowly, she opened her eyes to the blind void she had always been used to. Because of the sheet wrapped around her body as well as the beeping of the equipment to her right side, she knew she was in a hospital. She let out a soft groan as she placed one of her hands to her face, massaging her temples. It was a good thing she was blind, otherwise she was sure to have been blinded by potential lightning on the ceiling.

"So I'm not dead, at least...." She thought to herself. "I should be gratefuly for that....but...."

The door to her right then opened to reveal a middle aged asian man with short black hair and a kind expression on his face enter the room. He was wearing a doctor's uniform and he had a datapad in his left hand. In a strange sounding english voice, he spoke to Evelyn with a polite tone. "Are you feeling well ma'am? You have been through quite alot, both during and after the crash."

"I'm....fine, I'll live...." Evelyn said, closing her eyes and lowering her hand back onto the bed. She took in a deep breath, the events of what happened before hitting her immediately. She had heard the gunshots as well as felt the presence of the retired Soul Reaper fade away. She remembered his pleas for mercy as he was ruthlessly shot. She practically felt his head tearing off of his shoulders as the bullet went through it. He hadn't deserved any off it.... he was a young soul, just having wandered out on his own....

She was almost tempted to shed a tear.

Somehow, she managed to keep herself from doing so.

The kind doctor walked over to her casually and gently placed his right hand on Evelyn's forehead, feeling her temperature before taking it off. "Hmm. Your fever is much lower than it was in the vehicle. That's good to know. Is there any part of your body that hurts significantly more than others? Your torso, arm and right thigh were severly wounded during the crash. The stomach wound was from the crash itself, but the other two were caused by an unrecognizable source."

"My wounded arm...." Evelyn admitted, referencing to the gash that Rushifa had delivered to it in the last moments of their fight. "It's minor, at best, though.... but it's the only part of me that's actually aching. Everything else feels fine...."

"Hmm." the doctor said as he gently lifted up her arm and pulled back the sleeve to study the wound. "Well, the best that I can tell, the arm wound was more than likely caused by a piece of shrapnel from the train crash. The leg wound more than likely the same, though I find it strange that the leg wound was sustained a few minutes after the crash...."

The doctor pondered for a few moments before slowly resting her arm back where it was and then walked over to one of the pieces of medical equipment, pressing a few buttons on what appeared to be a monitor of sorts. "Well, the majority of your wounds are well on the way to recovery. Best we can tell...." he drifted off again, looking into what appeared to be medical results on the monitor. "...You should be able to get back to full health by tomorrow." He then looked back at Evelyn with a smile. "It's a good thing we live in this era of technology, no?"

"Yeah...." Evelyn had to agree with him, taking in a light breath and exhaling. "I appreciate your efforts, sir." It was quite.... strange.... easily allowing the doctor to believe such things. It was better than him knowing what really caused the wounds other than the one to her stomach. "Speaking of which.... you wouldn't have happened to have picked up a Yari spear in the wreckage, would you?"

The doctor then gave a rather confused look as he looked at her a bit more. "Well...we didn't find a spear, but you were laying next to a brown cane of sorts." He then walked over to a desk to Evelyn's right, next to it was Evelyn's walking cane. He then picked up the cane and leaned it next to her bed to where she could grab it easier. "Here you are. We knew that it was yours since you were found next to it, but we didn't see a spear of any kind..." His face then became slightly comical. "...what exactly would you have been doing with a spear on a train, if I might ask?"

"The blades retracted on their own....?"

Evelyn almost smiled, knowing her Zanpakuto had done the work for her. "Oh, nothing...." She answered smoothly. "Just an idle question. I'm glad you kept my cane safe...."

The doctor smiled again as he stood all the way up. "You're very welcome ma'am." He then turned to walk for the door's exit, before turning to see her again. "I've placed a little remote on the left side of your bed, should you need me, simply press the button on it and I'll come for you. Okay?"

"I understand...." Evelyn gave a slight nod of her head in order to confirm. "Thank you very much."

The doctor nodded in return and prepared to exit the door. As he left it, a figure walked up to him and said some inaudible words, holding a special badge to the doctor. In response, the doctor gave an understanding nod and stepped out of the man's way to let him into Evelyn's room.

In the room's light, the man was rather tall and youthful with neck length, messy brown hair. He wore a pair of black military like cargo pants, a black sweater, a long black trench coat with silver markings on it's shoulders, as well as wearing a pair of sunglasses.

"Mrs. Evelyn McTavish?" he said. "My name is Akisame, I'm a private investigator. May I ask how you are feeling?" he asked with a kind and caring voice.

"Huh....?"

The woman didn't open her eyes, but her expression showed slight surprise. She turned her face in his direction, the surprise lasting only for a brief moment before returning to its original expression. "Well, as I told the doctor, I'll live...." She repeated her words, not minding the fact that she had to tell the same story over again.

Akisame simply chuckled slightly as he pulled up a moving chair to where he could be somewhat closer to her. "Forgive me for that, I had to make sure for myself."

He then took off his sunglasses and folded both sides down and put them in an upper pocket on his coat. He then reached into a back pocket and pulled out a smaller datapad similar to the doctor's. "So, Mrs. McTavish. Can you tell me what happened during the crash? I know about how it happened, but you're the first of the survivors within this hospital to actually regain consciousness, and I'd like a viewpoint that's different from the official report, which states that the crash was due to difficulties with the tracks."

This would be a test of how well she could keep herself out of the spot-light and retain her innocence.

"It...." She paused for a moment, her eyebrows furrowing for a moment. "Wait.... how could no one have noticed that....explosion?" She stated, her voice slightly confused. "I could smell the smoke and I heard what sounded like a bomb go off..... then I lost consciousness." She sighed in slight frustration. "I'm sorry.... I can only remember myself waking up underneath a chair....my stomach was bleeding.... from there, it's all a blur.... the only thing I remember after that was the sirens coming...."

Akisame typed a few sentances onto his little pad before looking back up at Evelyn. "I understand the confusion over the official report. But that's how stuff around this country works. With this....Black Wolf terrorist going around, the officials have to do what they can to prevent widespread panic. Even if it means coming up with a bs story." he said in light humor. He then prepared another page of "notes" as he continued to question her. "Did you recognize anyone on the train? Friends, family, something of that sort?"

"...no...." Evelyn's voice was slightly bitter as she spoke the words. "There was a young man by the name of Fyodor Milkov that I spoke to prior to the crash, but.... we just met in that moment, nothing more. Other than that, I was basically alone on that train..."

Akisame's eyes furrowed slightly as she mentioned the name to him. Something about the swedish sounding name struck him as oddly familiar, but he paid it no more thought as he typed a few more words onto the datapad. He then resumed his little survey. "What about anyone that looked odd? Strange facial signs, abnormal behavior patterns? Someone who's personality seemed to stand out?" He was hoping that she would remember someone bearing a resemblance to the Black Wolf so that the authorities would know what to look out for.

That was when an anime vein popped on Evelyn's head. "Sir? I'm blind." She said lowly, although a slight bit of irritation could be heard.

The Private Investigator's face then became somewhat comically embarrassed. "Oh yeah that's right..." He apparentley typed that into his little pad and rubbed the back of his head. "...the doctor told me that before I came in...just me being stupid again...my bad."

He then stopped rubbing and looked back at her with serious look. "Well, I guess that you probably didn't hear anything out of the ordinary either, right?"

"Well.... after the train aftermath....." Evelyn's annoyed look lightened up. "I thought I heard gunshots within the car I was in. But I'm not sure...."

Akisame closed his eyes in what appeared to be sorrow as he typed her next words into the datapad. "I did find a couple of bodies within one cart. One of them was shot in the chest and then apparentley in the head. Can't be too sure since there was hardly anything left of her." He then looked back up at Evelyn with the same serious gaze. "And the other was just shot through the head, though the force was enough to...well...decapitate him." He tried his best not to sound disrespectful, but he had to tell the truth. "Both cases are evidence enough that this wasn't a track accident, nor just an explosion. This was the work of terrorists."

To this, Evelyn remained silent.

Akisame then simply typed a few more phrases into his datapad, even he was becoming slightly annoyed by the noises that it would make. "So, Mrs. McTavish. What were you doing on that train? Where were you headed?"

"Truthfully, I wasn't heading anywhere...." The woman answered honestly. "I was just wandering the area like a nomad, never really staying in one spot for too long."

The man then put his datapad away by closing it and putting it in his back coat pocket, before folding his hands in front of him as he leaned a little closer to her. "Well....I asked this because...in comparison to the wounds that the other survivors sustained, your wounds were somewhat odd...besides the gash in your stomach from the crash." He then smiled somewhat. "The one in your leg looked an awful lot like it had been hit with a Kido Bolt...."

And then it became obvious.

He knew.

Somehow, or other, this man knew about such forms of weaponry despite being an apparent human investigator. Though Evelyn showed no signs of her surprise on the outside, it was very apparent inside. How did he know? Was he human? Could he tell she had been falsifying information? In any case, there was no point in hiding from him any longer.

"....how do you know about such weaponry....?" She whispered, eyebrows furrowing slightly as she spoke.

Akisame smiled a little bit as he leaned back in his seat. "Because Mrs. McTavish, like you and the Black Wolf, I'm a Soul Reaper. Personally trained and tutored by a retired Soul Reaper Captain. I'm a Private Investigator within the Yurei Okuko and this crash struck me as rather odd. My wife and child and I are on vacation here and I was taking a little stroll through the town to get a glimpse of what it was like, when I saw the train crash. I could feel the presence of two Captain-level Soul Reapers fighting it out and then...well, here I am."

"Then I guess there's no need to try to make myself look like an ordinary civilian...."

Following this statement, Evelyn let out a soft grunt as she sat herself up in her bed, folding her hands within her lap. "After the train crash...." She explained, her eyes still closed. "I woke up with the injury to my lower torso. When I came to, I could hear Fyodor nearby as well as sense the Black Wolf approaching our car. The boy was begging for mercy and trying to reason with Black Wolf, but didn't get very far before the--"

However, she stopped herself before she could finish, her fingers tightening slightly on the sheets. What had been about to come out of her mouth was an obvious insult - something that she didn't want the police officer to hear.

"...the cut-throat shot him." She finished. "Fyodor was the beheaded body you found. Then.... a woman, presumably his accomplice, came up and started cheering on how she had killed one of the other survivors of the crash. However, the Wolf was only hunting for Soul Reapers, and the one she had killed was a human. Therefore, he shot her in the chest, then in the head. That was the other body you saw."

Akisame's smile faded for a more solemn look. "Then it's worse than I thought." He looked back at her with a sorrowful look, before continuing. "And then he found you correct?"

Evelyn nodded. "The only reason I didn't get killed immediately was because I was playing dead." She said, a somewhat grim tone in her words. "Right after he killed his subordinate, I managed to summon the strength and attack him. Because of my wounds, I was only able to fight him for a limited time period before I succumbed to my injuries. The last wound I sustained, the Kidō shot to my thigh, was simply insult to my weakened state before he left the scene."

He then looked down somewhat, fumbling his fingers a little. "I see...." He then pulled out his datapad again and put his finger to where it would be able to type quicker. "And I don't suppose you wouldn't know the real name that this sick son of a bitch uses...would you Mrs. McTavish?" Her response would tell him whether or not his hidden suspicions were correct or not...

Ignoring the rather vulgar language that the detective used, Evelyn spoke her confirmation in a slightly colder tone.

"His name.... is Rushifā Sureiyā."

His smile returned and he typed the name in to the datapad before quickly putting it up. "Thought so."

He then sat back in the chair once again, his voice professional and informative. "I would know that name from anywhere. He's wanted in all kinds of places..." He then held up his right hand and held up his finger to symbolize a location. "...Soul Society, Yurei Okuko, at least 5 different human world countries."

He let his hand go back down. "He used to be part of the Gotei 13 sometime ago...just like you and my wife."

"Who is your wife, if I may ask...?" Though her eyes remained closed, Evelyn turned her face to him and put on a slightly questioning expression.

Akisame smiled just a little bit more before exhaling. "She's gonna kill me for this, but no point in keeping it a secret now...It's a name I'm positive that you're familiar with..." He then leaned forward slightly, still holding his hands in a folded manner below him.

"Do you remember a woman named Soifon? Captain of the 2nd Division?"

It was a very subtle motion made by Evelyn, mild at best - but the fingers of her hand flinched in a brief millisecond before sliding back to their original position. She turned her face away from him once more to face forward, her head hanging down slightly. "....yes...." She said readily, keeping her calm and composed tone.

Akisame couldn't help but become somewhat nervous. If anything, they did not want another incident like with Brina. Not when they had a child with them...

He inhaled and spoke once more. "Trust me, I know what you're thinking, and believe me. She has attoned for what she did to you and your family. But she has no idea that you're here and alive. And if you want my honest opinion, I would rather her not know at all..."

"Am I really supposed to believe what you say about her so-called "atonement"?

Now one could hear the venom within Evelyn's calm tone as she spoke to the man. She only allowed herself to speak one sentence before she lapsed back into silence, letting the tension seep into the room as quickly as her voice stopped.

"Shit"

It was the first thought to come into his mind. He began to regret even entering the room. He had to find a way to convince her that his wife had truly paid for her crime. The only thing that he felt he could say just came out...

"...Haralson and Brina will tell you the same thing."

"....Akisame, wasn't it?"

For the first time in the conversation, Evelyn allowed herself to open up her eyes and direct her gaze towards him.

Now the tranquil fury was all too clear, a seemingly insatiable anger flashing repeatedly through those blank pupils of hers. There was no light, not even from any outside light source that could be reflected off of her eyes. It made the hawk-eye stare even more dangerous and disturbing to look into, perfectly expressing every part of her anger she had hidden within the surface.

"I don't mind you speaking about my husband...." She whispered. "But I would appreciate it if you didn't bring up that bitch's name ever again to me. Please...."

Akisame widened in surprise at Evelyn's sudden angry tone. Her glare seemed to tear straight through his mind and even made him wince slightly. If she referred to his wife as a bitch, then he would understand, but Brina? Her own daughter that has expressed countless times the regret of her actions towards Evelyn? The thought of her now somewhat vulgar and furious tone threw him off guard completley.

He shook the feeling off and prepared to resume his questioning. "Forgive me for getting so off topic. My mind tends to wonder off in thought when thinking about family or friends..."

To this, Evelyn remained silent, closing her eyes and once again shutting off her fury from the outside world. She turned away from him to face forward once again, patiently waiting for him to continue.

He tilted his neck side to side, letting the bones crack in them as he loosened himself up. "Now...What is the history between you and Rushifa? Soifon has told me about the incident before, but she recalls not being well informed of the situation. Kind of surprising if you ask me, something like him to be kept from a Captain like her."

"Rushifā... before he came into the Gotei 13, was no different from the rest of the poor citizens of the Rukongai slums." Evelyn began, her voice steady and reserved once more. "He served as a Seated Officer in the 5th Division. Back then, he was more of a troublemaker than anything else. He had fallen in love with a Seated Officer by the name of Temari Utsukuchi under my command. He cared for her so much that he would even sneak into the 8th Division barracks in order to be with her. If anything, I was more of a scolding mother to him, giving him the slap on the wrist before sending him off to his own barracks. He never did stop, though, and I never could bring myself to do anything more than scold him...."

She chuckled softly at the memory.

"Then.... all it took was one night for all of that to come crashing down. One night, Temari and I, as well as four other members of my division, came to corner a wounded criminal within Rushifā's home. When I saw Rushifā healing his injuries... I didn't hesitate to declare them both to death. Temari was quick to stand in my way in protest, even going so far as unsheathing her sword to me. I should've done the good thing and tried to reason with her first... but... I struck her down instead in cold blood, shortly before I killed the perpetrator."

Her bangs were overshadowing her blind eyes now.

"The boy took her dying corpse and ran away with it. In the pursuit, he somehow managed to acquire the name of his Zanpakutō, release it, and then kill my four subordinates. All my subordinates had an extreme loyalty and devotion to me, and so their deaths only fueled my own desire to kill the boy. In my own personal anger, I failed to see his tact. All it took was a simple Kidō bolt to my shoulder in order to distract me.... and he was gone, just like that. I never saw him again.... until recent times, obviously."

Akisame's head lowered in slight sympathy. Such a charming love story between Rushifa and Temari reminded him of his days with Soifon...

He brought himself back to her attention. "A Seated Officer took down four other Soul Reapers with just a few trigger pulls..." There was no doubt, if Rushifa could do that back then, one could only imagine what he could do now.

"So he was healing a criminal. Is there any doubt that he knew who the man was?" he continued.

"He didn't know. I know. I should have informed him of who he was before I made such a drastic decision...." Evelyn answered.

Akisame sighed a little. "Well...no point in dwelling on it. I think-"

RING RING RING!

The datapad in his hand began to ring, signaling a phone call. "Hold for just a second." he said to Evelyn, standing up and facing away from her, albeit still in the same room while talking over the phone in a calm voice.

"Hello?...Yeah...Yeah it's all good I'm finishing up right now...She did what?....That little snot.........Well sure, if that's what you two want to do....Yeah I'll bet she'd love to see those.....Okay...Alright I'm leaving right now....I love you too Sophie....bye."

He then hung up the phone and placed it in his pocket, turning back to face Evelyn. "Sorry about that. Soifon and Eve are wanting to go to a light show later tonight and they were wondering how much longer I would be." he said.

"I don't want to keep you from your family." Evelyn said smoothly, turning her face away from Akisame as she spoke. "So if you wish to end this early, I understand."

"It's fine..." he said in an equally smooth voice. "...I apologize for disrupting your peace in such an adrupt manner. Thank you for your cooperation."

He then turned and opened the door that kept him in the room. As he prepared to exit, he turned back to glance at her one more time.

"Get well soon Mrs. McTavish."

"Mhm...."

That being said, Evelyn allowed herself to slide back into a laying position, the back of her head resting against her pillow. Now, with her closed eyes, it appeared as if she had fallen asleep instantly, as if she had not been awoken at all.

Invitation From the Clique[]

It had been a few hours since Akisame had left Evelyn to herself. Her expression was more peaceful than it ever would have been as she slept, her folded hands resting on her chest. Her chest rose and fell with each breath that she took, and her breaths were steady and stable - a clear sign that she was recovering rather quickly from her wounds. An earnest person might see her recovery as quick as within the hour.

There had been no nurses or doctors to check up on her, allowing her to get an undisturbed sleep. She really had nothing else to do other than lay in the bed, for she was sure she would get scolded if she attempted to leave. The only sounds were the constant, steady, and rhythmic beeping of the monitors. But even that did not disturb her. Despite everything that happened to her, she seemed quite at ease.

The door then creaked open in a slow manner, revealing a masked man with a torn and frilled coat that covered all of his body. He wore a long hat that concealed the top of his head, and his mask was white with two eye slits that revealed nothing but blackness.

He then casually walked over next to Evelyn's bed, apparentley not caring that she was asleep, before placing a note down gently onto her folded hands...

"Mmmm....."

The sudden touch made Evelyn groan a little. She slowly opened her eyes out of instinct, her expression slightly confused as she stirred. Because she was just coming out of sleep, she did not yet pay attention to the messenger that had given her the message.

As the masked man slowly backed his hand away, he turned around and proceeded to leave the room, gently shutting the door behind him...

Evelyn's ears jerked slightly, and her eyes widened to their full stature. She immediately turned her head towards the spot where the door had been. "What the.... was someone in my room just now....?" She thought to herself, rising to a sitting position in her bed. "Probably just a nurse or doctor checking up on me and didn't want to disturb my sleep...."

She closed her eyes, directing her attention to the letter in her hands. "Hello, what's this....?"

She grasped the letter with both hands, her fingers prying at the mouth in order to open the envelope. She slid the letter out, placed the empty envelope beside her, and unfolded the letter itself in order to view its contents. With one hand holding the middle of the letter, she used a finger to trace its face. Because she was blind, there was only one way in which she could read the letter: Braille. She wondered how exactly did the messenger know she was blind, but didn't allow herself to divulge on it.

"Dear Evelyn...." She read out loud. "If you are reading this, then you are aware that you've attracted the interests of an old friend. You may not know me, but I knew you from the very beginning. If you would, please come to the Okinawa Islands and meet me in the underground caves. Perhaps you will recognize me from my title.... after all, ones with names for themselves aren't too far away from one another." She stopped tracing the words, lowering her hand from the letter and letting it rest in her lap.

"An old friend...." She muttered to herself, taking in a deep breath and sighing heavily. "Now who would I know to send me such a letter....?" She folded the letter back up before placing it back within the envelop and closing it. She reached over to her nightstand, resting it on the flat surface. "Well, I can't dwell too much on it now..... I'll wait until I'm cleared out." With that being said, she nestled herself back within the covers, laying her head on the pillow.

A Beautiful Exchange[]

Nearly three hours later, the sky had transformed from golden, into black as the sour yellow clouds passing over head visage was reflected by an equally colored moon. The upper section of the city was still shining with it's golden tint, matching almost perfectly with the sky. The combination made it seem as if this part of the city was now the lower section.

Within what was called the "center" of the great city of Tokyo, was a rather large diamond shaped courtyard that stood outside of the largest tower in the city. There was a large crowd gathered both around and in the center, most were dressed rather fancily, while some were simply casual. It was here that a festive light show was taking place, in which little flares would fire into the sky and create brilliant streams of light that would reflect the northern lights.

Joining the crowd was a small group of four. A tall man known as Akisame, wearing his same attire from the hospital, and with him was his wife Soifon, who wore a pair of black sweatpants and a brown fur coat. Resting in her arms was a small infant wearing a tiny black shirt and small purple pants and bare feet. The infant was awake, but it was quiet and it looked around at all of the people oohing and aahing at both the lights and her. Soifon broke their silence by speaking to their fourth companion. "Thank you again for coming Brina. I don't know what little Eve would have done had you not been within her radius." she said in a gentle voice.

"It's no problem, sensei...."

The companion in question was a female who had a somewhat unique attire compared to the rest of the crowd - something which caught a few eyes. She was wearing a sleeveless, white shirt tinted with gray due to the night sky's influence. There was a black sash around her waist. Below that, she was wearing shorts that reached down to the upper thigh. Her brown hair was tied in a short ponytail at the top of her head, instead of the long one she usually had at the bottom. Her trademark smile was on her face as she stood by her companions, her brown eyes looking on with interest at the fireworks for a moment before feasting themselves on to Soifon. "I always try to come visit when I have free time, so you don't really have to thank me...." She continued.

Soifon smiled as she turned her gaze back forward. "Sure I do. After all..."

When she said that, Evelyn turned her eyes up to look at one of the lights that exploded with a brilliant blue light. She gasped before smiling and clapping her hands twice, giggling as she did so.

Soifon looked over to her daughter and chuckled a little at Evelyn's reaction. "...Eve wouldn't have anyone to play with." She then directed her words to Evelyn, tickling the infant with her nose, which in turned caused her to giggle more. "Wouldn't she? Wouldn't she?"

Akisame gave a smile of happy approval as he watched the two goof around with one another. Such a peaceful feeling this was...

After laughing a little with Soifon and the child, Brina directed her attention back to the lighting, her arms folded behind her back as she watched the display. It was moments like this that she really seemed to enjoy the outside. Even if it was artificial, she didn't mind the brilliant and artistic way the fireworks were brightened up. She certainly couldn't regret coming with them. Her only disappointment was that her father wasn't here to join them.

"He's such a loner...." She thought to herself, though out of teasing for Haralson.

Akisame then shielded his eyes with his left hand as a pink light emerged from one of the projectiles. "...Ow..." he said in a low and goofy tone.

Soifon looked over at his direction with a slight hint of concern. "What's wrong?" she said

He rubbed his eyes a few times before looking forward once more. "It's the synthetic eyes. Pink and bright things don't work for them all that much." he said in the same voice.

Soifon scoffed and rolled her eyes, slightly shifting Evelyn up a little more over her right shoulder before looking back at him. "Well why didn't you tell me? I wouldn't have suggested we come if we knew that." she said with a bit of annoyance in her voice.

He simply shrugged it off. "Don't get your panties in a wad it's nothing to worry about. Besides it's not like they're going to use just pink right?"

Right then, Soifon punched him in his right arm with her left free one with a bit of force, causing him to grasp it in comical pain. Before he could even react, another pink firework emerged and made his eyes shiver in an equally comical fashion.

"That's what you get for bringing that form of my attire into conversation in such a rude way." Soifon said with annoyance.

"Karma does not like your lack of chivalry in such situations, Akisame." Brina said in a comical interjection, popping up from the bottom of their vision briefly when she made the statement.

Akisame rubbed his arm a little more before looking at Brina, one of his eyes closed. "Yeah. Thanks for the reminder Brina." he said with comically pained annoyance

Evelyn then leaned back to where her tiny body could be seen more visibly as she looked at her father. "Na! Na!" she said, pointing her right finger at Akisame as if she was telling him no. Soifon's eyes widened as did her smiling open mouth as she looked towards Akisame and gave a cocky smile with squinted eyes. "The odds are against you here Aki." she said

The man simply glared at his daughter and pointed at her in comedy. "I think Tenshina put it best: You suck."

"Ah!" Brina blinked, looking away for a moment in thought. She switched her arm positions, folding them to her chest. "That's right. I should've invited him over with us.... he might've enjoyed this, too...."

Soifon looked over to Brina in reassurance. "Maybe we can still get ahold of him? See if he isn't too busy to come over?"

"Eh...."

Reaching to her sash, Brina slipped out what looked like a cellular phone. She dialed a few buttons, then looked on the LCD for a moment. "No, he's too busy with work to come...." She summarized, sighing lightly and slipping the phone back into her sash. "A shame.... guess I'll have to tell him all about it when we meet up again...."

Soifon tilted her head slightly. "I'm sorry. Maybe next time." she said, briefly putting her right hand on Brina's shoulder while holding Evelyn with her left one, before switching back to her old pose.

As the group stood near the edge of the diamond, Akisame noticed that most of the crowd was actually dancing as if they were in a ball within the rather large diamond shape. He almost asked Soifon if she wanted to dance, but he decided against it, since Evelyn would not make it very easy to.

Soifon on the other hand analyzed the crowd, looking for anyone outstanding. One particular person caught her eye for some reason. As she looked closer, she could tell that the man appeared to be in his early 20's, had black hair that was swept forward, was wearing a black and purple suit with a classic watch hooked to his coat and extended to his pants via chain and black gloves on his hands. He had orange eyes and he was talking on what appeared to be a cell phone. After rolling his eyes in response to what the other line said, the man quickly noticed Soifon and gave her a friendly smile before looking over to Brina and widening his eyes slightly. He then retained his friendly gaze as he looked back at Soifon, putting the now hung up phone into his pants right pocket, before facially motioning Soifon to get Brina's attention.

Soifon smiled in response and nodded in acceptance. She looked over to Brina, who's form was illuminated by a green light from a firework. "Hey Brina." she said. "I think that boy over there wants to dance with you." she said in a teasing manner.

"Hm?"

Curiosity dawning on her face, Brina turned around to see where her former master was pointing.

Her eyes widened slightly upon seeing his form. In the current attire he was in, he looked so.... spectacular and classy. In her casual, eye-candy attire, it made her feel somewhat insecure to be in his presence. Yet, if he was willing to show an interest in her, then how bad could it be? A slight blush came over her face, and she couldn't help the small smile that crossed it.

"All right, then...." She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before exhaling it. Then, she allowed herself to walk over towards the man, waving behind her. "Wish me luck, sensei...."

Soifon simply smiled with her teeth showing as she watched her former apprentice walk on towards the man. "You'll do fine Brina, just work your charm."

As she came closer to him, he began to walk towards her with his friendly smile, his eyes squinted slightly in a collected manner, his hands in his pockets. As they came closer, the man held out his right hand to her in a professional manner before bowing slightly, closing his eyes as he did so. "My name is Lee, to whom do I owe this pleasure?" he said in a charming voice, opening his eyes to their collected slints.

A composed giggle escaped the girl's lips, and she put on her own smile. "The name's Brina..." She answered readily, reaching out to slip her left hand into his right. "The pleasure's all mine, Lee...."

His calm smile then cracked slightly to reveal a glistening set of teeth before speaking again, gently and slightly wrapping his fingers around her newly acquired hand. "Brina?" he said in his still charmed american accent. "What a lovely name. Would you care sharing a dance with me, Ms. Brina?" He didn't bother asking for her last name, to him, doing so was a rather rude gesture.

"Of course not...." Was the polite answer of the girl. She gave a brief wink in return for his charm. "I'm all yours...."

He let his teeth hide behind his smiling lips as he slowly stood straight up, still holding her hand, and stepped backwards a little bit, letting her form follow his. Then, with a gentle gesture, he took hold of Brina's other hand and held it in an upward position, just slightly lower in elevation compared to their other set of hands. They then began the classic step-by-step dance manouver, looking into each other's eyes with charm and excitement.

"So..." Lee said in the same low, charming voice. "...What brings a lovely specimen such as yourself to Tokyo hm?"

"Oh.... nothing above the norm." Brina somehow managed to keep her calm and pleasant tone even as she allowed herself to listen to the purr within his voice. She liked it, as much as she liked the feel of his fingers intertwined with hers. "I'm just here with family and friends. We came to see the light-show.... but I think I might've gotten a bit more out of it than I thought I would...."

"Ah yes, they do this every...let's see what day is it....?" he said, tilting his head to the right and turning his eyes upward in thought, before coming back down to meet her gaze again. "...5th of January that's it. Yeah every 5th of this month they put on a little light show like this, attracting visitors from all around. Some say that they last all night long."

"All night long, huh....?" Brina murmured, closing her eyes for a brief moment. "That's good. I don't think I want to leave this so soon...."

He chuckled slightly, keeping his eyes in their cool and collected half open slits, his white teeth showing again. "Really? Am I doing that good? Or is it just the lights?" he said in a low and humor filled tone. As he said that, a golden light popped above them, letting a rather beautiful display show itself over the pair.

It was for a brief moment that Brina turned her gaze towards the brilliant display. But it was only for a brief moment before she settled her eyes back into the gaze of what she thought to be the better of the two. "Oh, I don't know...." She answered, slightly teasing him. "You could do a bit better...."

He raised his right eyebrow while smiling still. "Oh can I now?" he said in an equally teasing manner. "Well...I've never really been much of a dancer, but I do recall an old trick that my father taught me..."

Then, in a quick manner, he let go of her right hand and held her left one up higher above both of them. With an unpainful and gentle twist, he caused Brina to slowly spin in a single circle. As he did so, and while still keeping a gentle touch onto her left index finger, he quickly spun around her still spinning form in the opposite direction. While she was spinning to the left, he spun to the right in a greater display of speed. Then, with amazing yet gentle accuracy, he stopped both of them right in the same position that they were in before the trick was started, their hands held back in each other's hands.

Soifon smiled as did Akisame with a bit of entertained surprise at the man's skill. Evelyn looked on and gave a slight huffing noise as she then looked away from them, putting her right hand in her mouth. Soifon looked over to her with a gentle look while patting her on the back. "Hey you quit that. Give aunt Brina some alone time."

"Wah--!"

A slight yelp of surprise came from Brina when she found herself spun around. However, the surprise was only quick to last. She allowed him to spin her, moving with a flow to satisfy his own movements. She didn't have to lift a finger when he made his movements, relaxing back into her immediate position once her hands found their way around his again. "Well, I've got to say.... not too bad, for someone who claims not to be much of a dancer...." She complimented lightly, continuing to move in step with him.

Lee simply chuckled slightly once more, letting his teeth show through a narrow crack in his mouth. "Well, I'm glad you approve cause ah....that's pretty much it besides this step to step thing we have going on." he finished with a gentle smile.

As they continued to move for a few more minutes, Lee spoke once more, hoping to break the cycle of silence. "I must say, a person such as yourself could certainly stand out in a crowd." he said in a charming and polite voice. Hopefully, she wouldn't think that he was referencing her outfit, when in fact he was commenting on her own personal and facial attractions...

"I try my best to...." Brina answered, opening her eyes from their closed position once more. Her gaze met his once more. "It's rather boring when everyone looks the same, don't you agree?"

"Indeed." He said, still looking into her eyes with his same expression. "I don't like it when everyone looks so alike, it's better when a little...spice or variety is mixed in with the whole recipe." Slowly he switched the elevation between their hands, and turning their directions to where both were in the same spot as the other previously was. "Funny how such a little bit of something can brighten up an even bigger something..." he said, waiting for her reply.

A slight smirk came across Brina's lips. "Now I know you aren't just talking about the lights..." She said in good humor, her eyes narrowing into slightly mischievous slits. "Although they make this all the better...."

His gentle grin widened somewhat as he chuckled again lowly. "Ah, you wound me Ms. Brina. A lowly person such as myself could not possibly hope to flirt with a fine example of radiance such as yourself." He said as he briefly closed his eyes with his chuckle, before opening them again. "Such a shame that I will only be here for tonight. Such fond acquaintences we could make with each other, no?"

"Only tonight?"

Her eyes contorted out of disappointed surprise for a brief moment. She let out a light sigh, closing her eyes and hanging her head a little. "Well, I suppose there's no helping it, I suppose...." She admitted in resolution. "You're probably a busy man with places to go, and I'm a busy woman myself. But I have to agree.... it's fun while it lasts...."

"Yes, such inconvienances life can make for one..." he said as his face became equally disappointed as well. "But with people like the Black Wolf or incidents like the train crash earlier today going on, it truly can't be helped..."

"Wait a minute...." Brina's expression faded to a slightly confused look. "I thought that train crash earlier was due to technical difficulties. What's with this mention of the Black Wolf?" Her deductive senses kicked in right away. Because he had linked the two within a single sentence so casually, it couldn't have been a slip of the tongue. She also happened to know who exactly the Black Wolf was; a terrorist individual with a criminal carnival of killers to back up his doings.

There was one question she needed to ask herself.

What position was this man in, when it came to that?

Lee gave her his signature charming smile and retained his collected half lidded eyes. "Heh, technical difficulties they say?" he said with a slight scoff as he closed his eyes and tilted his head downward. "Ah the lies governments will tell us to keep us safe."

He then looked back up at her with his previous look. "If it was due to technical difficulties, how would one explain the gunshots heard after words? Or the two corpses with gunshot wounds in them?" he finished.

"....I see."

Brina closed her eyes in thought, the smile fading slightly but not leaving her face. Her voice was low as she spoke to him. "To speak in such a manner would mean that you aren't part of any law enforcement. You can't be a civilian, for all of them are unaware of what really happened. Lastly, the fact that you're able to blend in so easily with the crowd tells me that you weren't a henchmen...."

Her smile widened a little more.

"So that leaves only one option as to who you are.... and I think we both know what it is."

He smiled a little more, raising his left eyebrow. "Who I am? Heh, if you're referring to the head of security for Yang Shao Industries, the company that produces the trains such as that one, then you're most certainly correct."

"Ooooh, he's good...." Brina thought to herself, having to admire his cover. She would have to maneuver herself a little better than that if she wanted him to admit to his doings.

"Really....?" She purred, shifting her fingers in one of his hands a little. "I don't know about that...." Her voice was a little bit playful, and it seemed as if she was treating this as a simple game.

Lee gave a low chuckle in response to her muses. He knew what she was getting at, and given how perceptive she had just revealed herself to be, it was only a matter of time before he would be forced to spill the beens.

He would simply have to play along.

"Yeah, the train that crashed earlier was actually a new experimental one that had been introduced just last month. My manager and I, along with several others, were observing the train's movements and seeing if it's functionality and other systems were in check." he said, still keeping his smiling and serene expression locked onto her playful one.

"Since nearly an hour after the crash, my coherts and I have been paying compensation to the victims and their families..." his eyes closed and he looked down somewhat in a sorrowful expression before looking back up at her with his original face. "...It's the noble thing to do, no?"

"Yeah..." Brina agreed. "But there's something else...."

She gently squeezed one of his hands - that which happened to be his gun hand. "All I need to do is apply a bit of pressure to your hands.... and I can feel callouses underneath your gloves. From the pattern in which they stem, it seems you've been using a hand gun within the recent hours. Such bruises would only come from the likes of a high-caliber weapon. But considering the nature of the Black Wolf, fighting him directly would've not only been the only option with such a weapon, but also next to impossible to survive through."

Her eyes half-lidded slightly.

"Am I wrong?"

And there he had fallen.

He chuckled slightly louder as a blue light popped above him, but he kept his friendly gaze on her. "Ah, I underestimate you Ms. Brina." He said in his polite and low voice, still keeping the dancing moves fluent. "I had known that you were perceptive and whatnot, but I didn't expect you to learn my cover so quickly..."

He then waved his hair behind him somewhat as it was partially blocking his vision. "My name is Rushifa Sureiya, also known as "The Black Wolf..." Has he continued to speak, a fire work sailed overhead and popped with a blood red light. "What would you like to know...Ms. Brina?"

Although keeping her eyes locked within his, Brina was inwardly cheering like a moron for her deductive skills.

"Well... firstly, I'd like to know why you're killing Soul Reapers, even those that have long retired from the Gotei 13...." She began softly. "Why do you seek the lives of those that have long since parted ways with such a tyrannical and hypocritical society?"

He grinned in a charming manner. "It is as you said, they are and were pawns of a tyrannical and hypocritical society...but there is a fine difference between out right quitting the Gotei 13 and simply retiring from them." He continued to dance with her, reveling in what may soon turn out to be tension between them. "You see...in my earlier antics, I simply hunted down active members. But it wasn't until one certain incident with a Vice Captain, that I learned that a "retired" Soul Reaper, is nothing more than a simple mole, an agent of the 13 who is "officially" retired, but they still do favors and take jobs for them."

Out of an idle motion, Brina traced her upper lip with the tip of her tongue. She had to admit.... she too was getting excited from the revelations. She would've expected him to pull out a knife in his sleeve and perform a "silent kill" on her at that moment. But, of course, it was probable that he didn't know who she was. The fact that they were dancing so casually only enhanced that. She decided to test him with her next question.

"So.... what would you do...." She said coyly. "If I told you that I myself.... might be one of these "retired" members....?"

His serene face relaxed and he gave her a reassuring smile. "Don't worry Ms. McTavish....Soul Reapers that openly rebel against Soul Society...like you, your father, and your brother...are perfectly safe from my antics. You have nothing to fear." He then glanced over to Soifon and Akisame, both of which were now cuddled together with their baby on a bench that was facing to the duo's right. "And neither do they."

Brina gave a slight nod in return. "Thank you...." She said politely and with genuine gratitude. "Now that I know who you are, though...." She closed her eyes and smiled, seemingly to herself. But her words were still directed to the man she was dancing with. "I can safely say that this might not be the last time we'll see each other."

His grin lowered to a smile and his eyes became partially closed. "I do have the means to make that so..."

Letting go of her right hand briefly, Rushifa reached into his purple shirt and pulled out what appeared to be two necklaces with silver crosses on each of them, one significantly bigger than the other, that were around his neck. Using his free hand and while they were still dancing, he took the smaller necklace off of his neck and then gently took back Brina's hand, sliding the necklace into hers. "This is a special amulet that my mother gave me before I enlisted..." he started, keeping a warm and honest look on his face as he looked into her brown eyes.

"...They say that when two people seperatley have these unique amulets, one has the big one, and the other has the small one, the two individuals are destined to meet each other. How many times and what ever places they may be in...depends on the ones who wear them." He said. As they danced more, a pink light shined above them with a popping noise as he continued to look into her gaze with warmth. "Until now, I have had yet to find an individual such as yourself that would be worthy to hold it." He gently squeezed her hand slightly. "Please, I insist that you take it."

"....on one condition."

After listening to his speech, Brina gently relieved him of the amulet and held it within her hand for a moment. Then, she moved the necklace over her hand and around her own neck with one smooth motion. "Do make this night as memorable as possible...." She whispered, using her newly free hand to wrap around the middle section of his arm. She moved it around her so that he would be at a perfect position to hold her around the waist. She moved her hand that positioned his arm there to his forearm, while still keeping her other hand within his other one.

His easy smile remained as a slight sparkle briefly shined in his eyes. "Well that depends..." he said in his low and easy voice as he positioned himself to where both of their chest and torso areas were gently pressed against each other, slowly wrapping his arm around her waist. He then came a little closer to her left ear and whispered. "...What did you have in mind?"

Brina was certain that her heart had never beat so rapidly before in her life.

The way Rushifa wrapped his arms around her her and the way his breath hit her ear was sending chills down her spine. Certainly, the man knew what he was doing and how to pick up on her hints. "Mmmmm....." She let out another soft purr of satisfaction, clearly happy with how he was treating her. "I'm really not sure, considering you're only here for tonight.... but, considering how adaptive you are.... maybe you can figure something out for the both of us...."

He backed his head up slightly to where their faces were just a few inches away from each other, his gentle smile still present. "Oh I have something in mind as I'm sure you've already found out..." he began as he slowly slid his right hand down her left arm and then gently placed it onto her upper back. "...but it's rude for the male to start..."

"You're such a gentleman...."

Now it was her turn to pick up where he left off. Taking the initiative and following his hint, she closed her eyes and leaned into him completely. She placed her lips on his own in a passionate kiss. Because both of his arms were wrapped around her, she placed both of her hands on his own back in order to keep the balance. It was a rather blissful and wonderful feeling, to be in such a position....

Rushifa then closed his eyes as well as Brina placed her lips upon his own. He slowly tightened his hold on her in a gentle manner as they kept their lips in their locked position. Under his exterior, he was slightly nervous. Even though it sounded rather odd, Brina was the first woman that he had actually ever kissed before, he and Temari never had the chance to do so. But with Brina...an odd sense of inner peace seemed to transfer from her lips into his own soul. All of the problems that he had in the past, Temari, Evelyn, the faces of those that he had slaughtered, all of it just seemed to...dissapear with her touch...

Brina didn't want to pull away.

But she knew she had to.

After a moment or so, she gently pulled her lips away from his, smiling in content. "Now.... for the remainder of the time that we're here.... let's stay.... just....like....this." She closed her eyes and once again immersed herself to the sounds of the environment going on around them, the lights continuing to go off, and the soft music playing within the background.

Rushifa then slowly pulled his lips off of hers as she did, a satisfied and understanding look in his face as he listened to her smooth words with an easy smile. "Sure...whatever you want..."

They then smoothly danced to the near perfect atmosphere while keeping their pose, lights of all kinds of different colors popping above them, the music matching perfectly with their movements. For the first time in years, Rushifa felt happy to be in the presence of another Soul Reaper...without the want to hurt or kill them.

At the bench mentioned earlier, Akisame had dozed off, while Soifon and Evelyn watched their friend witness love for the first time. Soifon gave a slight smirk while watching them. "Way to go kiddo..." she said with happiness.

Evelyn on the other hand simply crossed her arms and huffed again while watching them, earning her a comically annoyed glare from her mother.


It had been nearly thirty minutes since the pair had resumed their dance and swayed to the music. By that time, a large portion of the visitors had left the scene, though still leaving a rather large crowd behind in the diamond. Only a few were still dancing, including Brina and Rushifa.

At this point, their pose was much more intimate than before. Brina's head laid softly on Rushifa's chest, while the right side of his face laid gently on top of her head. His eyes were closed as he tried to enjoy the moment, until...

RING RING RING!

Rushifa then gave an annoyed scoff as he slowly took his head off of Brina's and pulled out the phone. It was a text message that was done in symbols that the average person's eye wouldn't be able to recognize.

"....that's your call, isn't it....?" Brina asked softly. She didn't raise her head up from its position on his chest just yet, but she did look up at him. Her tone was slightly sad. She was expecting him to leave, but.... even knowing that, she was still reluctant to let him go. It was the curse of getting caught up in the moment.

Rushifa gave a slight sigh while looking at the phone, before looking down at Brina with an equally sad expression, his lips in a slight frown. "Yeah....yeah that's my call..."

He let his right arm slowly slide off of her back and down to where he could gently hold her left hand, lifting it up slightly. He then let his other arm slowly come off of her waist and folded it behind his back. He then bent down slightly and kissed her uplifted hand. "Thank you for the dance...Brina..." he began. His reluctance to leave almost hindered him unable to speak.

A slight blush came across Brina's face as Rushifa kissed her hand, her other one folded behind her own back. "N...no....thank you...for everything." She managed to say, giving a weak smile. "This was probably something we both needed."

He chuckled a little more. "Yeah really..." he said with a gentle smile, his eyes still looking into hers. He then stood straight up and gently took her other hand within his free one. He now held both of her hands in a loose fashion, his gaze now sorrowful, but reassuring. "Trust me...as long as you have that amulet on....we'll see each other again." he said with a slight smile cracking the left side of his face.

"I'm going to hold you to that...." Brina answered, her smile growing a little bit wider. "So don't leave me hanging, all right....?"

His smile widened just a little bit as he leaned forward and gave her a light kiss to her right cheek. He spoke as he slowly withdrew. "You have my word."

With that, he slowly let go of her hands and turned to walk away from her, his head looking back at her as he did so, and his hands now in both of his pockets.

After tossing one more look in Rushifa's direction, Brina turned around and walked away in the opposite direction, straight towards the ones that had accompanied her. She couldn't help the rather cheery look when she turned away from him, unable to contain her happiness at that moment. She knew she was probably over-reacting, but... she felt as if she could bounce on a cloud! The light blush was still so present on her face as she walked.

Soifon noticed Brina walking over to them and she stood up to meet her, still holding Evelyn in her arms over her right shoulder. "So....?" she began, a slight grin on her cool and collected face. She could tell that Brina was overjoyed, one could see the blush for miles. "...How did it go?"

"Better than I ever would've imagined!" Brina said, the bottom of her eyes formed into a slight upside-down U shape. "I think we hit it off real well, considering it was only a first meeting. He definitely knew what he was doing and how to treat a woman. Best thing is that it won't be the last time I'll see him!"

Soifon chuckled as her grin widened. "Aww I'm so happy for you! What is he like exactly? He seems rather collected and calm, well from what I saw."

Evelyn then looked over to Brina and stuck her bottom lip out and crossed her arms somwhat, her eyes looked like they were wounded, but she is a baby after all...

Soifon noticed her daughter's gesture and scoffed, rolling her eyes back to Brina. "She cannot get over the fact that you like someone besides her." she said. While her words were now directed at Brina, Soifon was looking at her daughter's pouting face.

This made Brina's smile turn a bit mischievous. She leaned over a little, placing her hands on her knees. One of her eyes closed while the other was kept open. "Sorry, Eve. But I just can't focus on you all the time...." She teased, reaching over with her finger to tickle the child.

Although she giggled at Brina's tickling, she turned back to her pouting gaze and looked away from Brina when she was done, earning another scoff from her mother. Soifon then began to rock her around slightly while looking back at Brina. "Hopefully she'll go back to sleep like him." she said while glancing at her husband. "I'm thinking about just leaving him here." she said in good humor.

"He fell asleep?" Brina asked in surprise, looking over Soifon's shoulder and looking at the dozing Akisame. "How could one even do that, what with the fireworks and all?"

The woman gave a sigh as she looked over at him, still rocking Evelyn around. "Unless I'm onto him, he's the laziest thing to have ever stepped foot on this planet. I've jumped on him about it time and time again, but he's just as stubborn as I am when it comes to sleep."

Brina's expression was thoughtful, a finger placed to her mouth out of thought. "Should I wake him?" She questioned, looking over at the sleeping man as well.

Soifon's smiling expression mixed with a thoughtful one as she looked at Akisame, then to Brina, and then to Evelyn, before looking back at Brina. "How about you and Evelyn wake him up? Let's see what they both do."

Evelyn, by apparant instinct, instantly turned to Brina and began reaching out for her.

"Hmmm.... you have an idea?"

With curiosity dawning on her, Brina reached out to take the child into her own arms. She turned her attention to Akisame, slowly walking over to him and sliding herself into a position in where Evelyn could be within reach of his face. It was just an assumption.... but she couldn't help but be curious.

Akisame's head was tilted down and he was breathing gently, his arms spread over the top of the bench and his mouth closed. As Evelyn inched closer, she reached up her left hand and popped her father on the forehead, letting a happy and brief yell emerge from her mouth.

Needless to say, Akisame freaked out.

"AH!!!!!!!"

With a brief yell, Akisame immediatley reared back and forced the bench to fall back with him. Both of them crashed onto the smooth concrete ground behind them in a comical manner. Soifon couldn't help but cover her mouth in laughter. Evelyn simply gooed and clapped at waking her father up in such a fashion. As he laid on the ground in a manner that would make anyone laugh, Akisame lifted up his head to look at the two females that had awakened him. "What...what the hell was that???" he said in a drowsy voice.

However, Brina could not respond.

Holding the child in her arms once again, she had her head tilted up to the sky, laughing hard at his unfortunate wake-up call. Somehow, she was able to stand up in an idle posture while not falling over from the hilarity that the situation ensued. Had it not been for her earlier fun, she would've managed to say at least something. But she was laughing far too much for any words.

He then stood himself up and set in to dusting his outfit off as Soifon walked over to him with her arms crossed, her face giving a cocky smile as she spoke. "Your daughter and Brina just gave you a rather painful wake up call, if i'm not mistaken."

He rubbed the spot on his head that was sprained, opening one eye to look at Brina and Evelyn. "...Man...you guys really suck..." he said in good humor, though one could not tell as much from his comically annoyed face.

Evelyn simply clapped her hands more and laughed with Brina.

"Ah....!" Finally, the girl managed to get a hold of herself, looking at the man with a mix of sheepishness and amusement. "I'm so sorry, Akisame.... but it was such an obvious thing to do, even your child knew it...." She said jokingly.

He gave a sigh as he let his hand fall down. "No worries Brina. How did your ah..."dance" go tonight?"

That's when Evelyn gave another huff and reached for her mother, who gently took her out of Brina's arms, still chuckling at her husband's reaction.

Brina gave a teasing grin, folding her hands behind her back. "Good enough to make little Eve jealous of the one I was dancing with." She answered readily, with another teasing laugh for the infant.

Akisame scoffed as he looked at his daughter with one eyebrow raised. He wanted to reference how Evelyn and Brina were comparable to Soifon and Yoruichi, but he knew how his wife would react. So he simply wrapped his arm around both of them as Soifon leaned against the right side of his chest. "Do you want to come back with us to the hotel Brina? We have an extra bedroom." Soifon said to her former apprentice. Evelyn looked at Brina with her bottom lip stuck out, as if she wanted her to come.

"Well, I--"

Just before Brina could deny, she took once look at Evelyn's pleading face.... and immediately sank in. "Gah, I can't say no to a face like that!" She whined, her shoulders sagging in defeat. "All right, all right! I'll come with you...."

Evelyn practically yelled as she reached for Brina with enough force to have Soifon nearly lose her grip of her. "Whoa now easy easy little girl." she said with another chuckle, catching her daughter and holding her little body to where it was facing Brina. "Heh, you'll have enough time to play back at the room, alright?"

Evelyn then reluctantly gave in and relaxed slightly, before taking everyone off guard by reaching for Brina again.

Of course, Brina was prepared. Gently, she relieved Soifon of her burden and held it within her arms. "You are so picky, you know that?" She teased Evelyn, lowering her head down and nuzzling her in an affectionate gesture.

As he watched his daughter play with Brina, Akisame couldn't help but look over to where her "date" was. The young man was sitting on a concrete table speaking to one another. The man looked over to Akisame and smiled slightly, giving him a friendly nod, to which Akisame did the same. He then rubbed his left eye before exhaling. "Alright guys let's go, I can't stay on my feet for too long."

He and Soifon then turned around and began to walk in the opposite direction, expecting Brina and Evelyn to follow. Soifon was still leaned against him with her arm on his back, while his arm was around her waist as they both walked.

Of course, Brina was not too far behind him with little Evelyn in her arms. In order to buy time, she decided to sing to the child as a means to help her go to sleep. "Oh, holy night...." She hummed. "The stars are brightly shi~ning...."

She managed to keep a firm pace with Akisame and Soifon as she continue to sing out the melody in a quiet, yet rather beautiful and accurate tone.

"it is the night... of our dear Savior's birth~..."

As Evelyn lay in Brina's arms, she laughed slightly in enjoyment at Brina's song. As she sung further, Evelyn's little eyes fluttered to a close, and thus she fell asleep with her mouth closed.

Soifon closed her eyes as she listened to Brina's beautiful voice, letting it mix rather perfectly with the atmosphere.

"Long lay the world, in sin and sorrow pi~ning, til he appear'd.... and your soul~ felt it's worth~...."

It was almost as if the night itself had gone silent under the young woman's singing. The moon seemed to glow brighter, its light shining on the city they were in. It was as if everything had stopped just to listen to Brina fill the air with the melodic lullaby.

Certainly, a good night had passed.

A New Age is Dawning...[]

Rushifa sat upon the concrete table, watching the young woman and her friends leave the area. He leaned forward and sat his elbows on his knees, folding his hands together and placing them on his mouth in a thoughtful manner. He closed his eyes as he listened to Brina's singing, it was so beautiful and harmonic, that he could hear it all the way from where he was. He even started to pick up where she left off, albeit singing quietly to himself.

"...A thrill of hope...the weary world rejoi~ces...for yonder breaks....a new and glorious morn..."

He stopped his little melody when 3 well dressed men walked up to him and sat next to him on the table and it's respective seats. Two of them wore sunglasses (at night) and had short black hair along with a fair build. The third one was a tall, middle aged man with a bald head and a brown beard that went around his mouth and around his chin, as well as a celtic cross tattoo on the back of his head. He wore a black and blue suit in comparison to the purple of Rushifa's, as well as a brown leather coat with fur in it.

He sat next to Rushifa on the seat below him, pulling out a pack of cigars and handing one to him, to which he kindly took. They then lit the two products as the bald headed man spoke first in a raspy british accent. "Well now...looks like little Ru Ru has found himself a sweet lass he has..." he said in good humor, exhaling a breath of smoke.

Rushifa smiled and scoffed. "She's no ordinary sweet lass Lars..." he said, calling the man by his nickname. "If she was a sweet lass, I wouldn't have given her one of my amulets."

Lars cocked an eyebrow at him, albeit keeping his friendly smirk. "Well now...she certainly isn't an ordinary one if she could fall for you."

Rushifa cocked a similar look back at Lars before exhaling some smoke into his face, forcing him to comically cough slightly. Rushfia's eyes then became serious as he continued to watch Brina walk away. "Any news on the other McTavish?" he said.

Lars regained his figure and pose. "Yeah. Some of our agents managed to place a camera in her room prior to her being brought their. Someone brought her a note not just a few hours ago." He inhaled another breath of his cigar before resuming. "The note was in braile, but when we replicated the note based on the feed, one of our boys managed to incript it. Someone wants to have her as a bodyguard for his base at Okinawa."

Rushifa then stood up and discarded his cigar butt, still keeping his gaze on Brina. "When will she be leaving?" he asked.

Lars then through his cigar away as well and walked next to Rushifa. "Sometime early tomorrow, best we can tell. We have agents on the outside watching her every move. She won't escape from us." he said with reassurance. He then noticed Rushifa trail into thought watching the woman leave. "Is she going to get us closer to her?" Lars asked.

Rushifa simply sighed. "No. No I don't want her involved unless she wants to be. She doesn't know that her mother is alive, and I would prefer that she didn't find out..." he then closed his eyes and looked down. "...She's a little something I'm going to be..." he could not help but look up and and admire Brina's physical features before turning around and scratching the back of his head. "...something to keep and eye on."

Lars chuckled slightly as he lit another cigar. "Ah you haven't changed a bit Ru." he said. "Not one bloody bit."

Rushifa scoffed slightly before taking on a serious tone. "Alright. Prep the boys and the truck." Knocking his contacts out of his eyes, he then turned to look at Lars with an excited yet cool gaze. "We're going to give her a little parting gift."

A Taste of the Scorched Earth[]

It was 2:05 PM.

Evelyn, after a final check-up by the nurses and doctors, was given clearance to leave the hospital. It was a bright and sunny day, with not too many cars out on the street. However, there were plenty of people that were walking about on the sidewalk to their respective locations. All-in-all, it was quite a good day to be outside.

As the woman walked with her walking "staff" in hand, she slowly made her way off of the "porch" of the front entrance and down the steps. Her gait was calm and steady, despite the obvious obstacle of being blind. She was able to navigate her way through the coming and going current of people with natural ease. Off of the short stairway and into the sidewalk, she relied on her other six senses in order to do the work for her as she walked. It was a rather curious sight for some to see; a blind woman easily roaming the area without need for anyone else.

Eventually, she made her way towards a street corner and, after staying still for a moment, raised her hand up in a hail for a taxi.

Sure enough, one taxi pulled over next to her and the back door of it opened automatically. Inside was an average built caucasion man with tan skin, messy shoulder length hair, sunglasses, and a soul patch for facial hair. He gave Evelyn a slight smile as he spoke to her, knowing her handicap. "Where to Mrs?" he said in a somewhat scottish sounding voice.

"Haneda Airport."

Her eyes closed, Evelyn made her way to the car, leaning over in order to slide into the back seat. She leaned out the doorway to grasp the handle of the open door and shut it. "I'm taking a plane to the Okinawa Islands." She explained, keeping a calm and somewhat formal tone of voice.

The man then raised an eyebrow while looking back at the road and joining the moving trail of traffic. "Okinawa eh?" he said in his unique voice. "Heard that the place has been abandoned for quite some time. Not trying to sound like a nosey little bother, but why would you be going there of all places?" he finished. His taxi was mostly black in coloration, with yellow stripes that symbolized it's status.

"Apparently, it's not as abandoned as one might think." Evelyn answered readily. "Someone from there sent me a letter to go there and meet up with them." Her answer was honest and true, and she didn't bother to hide behind any "enhancements".

"Ah. I see." he said in understanding.

The radio he had was playing a rather unique melody that gave both a sense of peace and excitement at the same time. The taxi driver simply whistled along to it, before resuming his conversation with Evelyn. "Been in Tokyo long? Just came here from my homeland a few months back to make a living. Get a different taste of atmosphere you get my meaning?"

As they rode along the road, the traffic was surprisingly smooth and fluent, barely stopping at any point. The section of the city was rather thick with skyscrapers though, and the airport that she mentioned earlier was nearly 6 miles from where they were.

"I just came in on the train involved in the incident yesterday." Evelyn explained, her hands folded in her lap. Her staff was resting right beside her. "It's a rather short stay, I understand. But I'm too much of a traveling woman to stay in one spot for long."

"A nomad are you?" the kind, albeit strange man commented, before returning to the topic of the train. "Aye, terrible little skirmish that was." He looked into the rear view mirror to mimic the effect of looking at her without totally taking his eyes off of the road. "My apologies for having to go through something like that on your first arrival." he continued.

As they talked, a rather large tunnel was in view nearly a mile from where they were. On the other side of it was a very wide road that was big enough to fit nearly 10 lines of traffic. The road was like a downward slope, in which led to an equally wide bridge that stretched nearly 4 miles to the airport, standing over the massive atlantic ocean.

"I lived, so it's only natural that I put it behind me." Evelyn answered, leaning her head back against the seat. She shifted one leg over the other to cross them, with her top "tapping" just above the ground. "But thanks for your concern."

"Aye." the man said in response. They then entered the tunnel, it's bright orange lights illuminating the car. "Ah bloody hell..." the man said, even with sunglasses he had to cover his eyes partially. "That's one thing about this town I don't like; the bloody colors."

Because Evelyn was blind, she had to smile. "At least you're able to see colors...." She said lightly. "Someone blind like me would get tired of seeing nothing but a black void all of the time...."

The man then chuckled slightly. "Ah my apologies for that. You know I used to be blind myself, still am slightly, but not to the point to where I can't drive." he finished with a smile.

To his right, a couple of lanes away from him, he noticed a large black semi auto truck with a large silver trailer on it's back. The driver was a bald man with a brown beard and wore a brown leather jacket with fur in it. He looked over at the taxi driver and tilted his head up briefly to symbolize a greeting. The scot simply held his hand up with a blank expression.

Of course, Evelyn could not see this. She simply sat still and remained silent, almost looking as if she was asleep.

As they came closer to the edge of the tunnel, the driver began humming to the pleasant tone playing on the radio. As he continued, they left the large tunnel and began going down the non-steep slope that led to the bridge. From what he could see, the airport took the guise of a city itself, albeit smaller in size to it's Tokyo counterpart. The view was rather daunting, the bridge itself was nearly 4 to 5 miles long, and it stretched over the part of the Atlantic Ocean that would have normally split the airport's island from Tokyo.

Then, the song on the radio changed from a peaceful melody, to a more heavy oriented one. "The hell..." the driver started. Distracted by the change in music, he didn't notice the 18 wheeler truck driver changing lanes to where he was but a few feet from the taxi. The driver of the truck then pulled out a 9mm pistol and shot the taxi driver straight through his head, killing him instantly. The taxi then skidded to the left, hitting the wall and continuing to go forward at increasing speeds due to the now dead driver's foot staying on the gas pedal.

It all happened within the blink of an instant. One moment, the driver was fine. The next, his signature had dropped right out of her senses.

VOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM~

As the car accelerated, its surviving occupant lurched back against the speed it was gaining. Her eyes opened and widened in shock, and her heart was accelerating as much as the car itself was. Fighting against the momentum, she gritted her teeth and forced herself into the front side of the car. She grabbed the dead man by his collar and forced him into the passenger's seat before climbing in herself. Her hands gripped the steering wheel, and for a moment, she could feel fear within her heart. At such speed, she knew she couldn't drive the car herself.

So she would just have to stop it.

She forced her foot on the brake pedal.

SCREEEEEEEEEECH!

Friction came to life, and the taxi's tires were melting under the intense heat. However, little by little, the taxi began to stop. Within several seconds, it finally managed to cease movement with an abrupt halt. Somehow, she managed to make it from the brink of doom yet again.

But there was no time to celebrate.

She quickly jumped into the back seat, grabbed her pole, kicked one of the back doors open, and quickly ran out. She had to get out of here, now!

The truck driver snickered as he then rapidly turned his steering wheel to the left, with a large skidding noise, the truck turned and swung the trailer violently in the newly changed direction, swiping other cars and bystanders off of the bridge. When it became forward facing, the truck driver pressed down on the gas and went straight for Evelyn. He then turned the truck's wheel again, this time he made the truck turn left slightly, before making it go completley to the right, forcing the trailer to swerve to the right. When the ordeal stopped, the end of the trailer was facing Evelyn nearly 10 meters away. The back opened to reveal a young man with a black coat and black pants, along with a blue shirt and black shoes, accompanied by several other goons dressed in black and wearing clown masks. His black hair was messy and slightly neck length, matching his piercing red eyes, and in his right hand was a sword shaped like a large knife with a revolver like handle.

"Well well..." he began, taking easy steps towards her. The radio in the taxi was still playing the heavy music, of which seemed to be on a loop, playin the song over and over again. "...It appears fate is not really kind to one such as yourself."

"Rushifa....."

Evelyn's eyebrows narrowed, and her teeth gritted inside of her mouth. She swung her pole out, once again revealing the frightening three-pronged blade of her Yari. She held the staff with one hand, brandishing it in a defensive position and remaining silent as he approached.

Rushifa grinned in a sinister manner as she brandished her weapon. He continued to step forward, letting his sword drag along the ground, which in turn made some sparks fly from the tension between ground and metal. "Tell me...do you know how a wolf kills a snake dear Evelyn?"

As he said that, his blade began to engulf itself in a black and blue energy, as if he was preparing an attack. "They take them, then they swing them..." he then picked up his sword and began to twirl it around in a slow manner, letting the energy extend and become longer like a whip. "...around and around and AROUND!!!!"

With the last word, Rushifa then pointed his blade at Evelyn. "Okami no Haaku!" (Japanese: "Wolf's Grasp")

Then, a black and blue energy shot towards Evelyn while still connected to the sword, the end of it shaped like a claw of sorts, aiming to grab Evelyn and ruthlessly throw her around...

Quickly, Evelyn reacted.

She thrust her staff out once it came close, allowing the energy to grasp onto the blades. But the moment she latched onto it, the trapped metal glowed a brilliant yellow for a brief moment. Then, lightning bolts of the same color shot down, using the very energy Rushifa had utilized as a current to reach him. It was a wordless Tsuzuri Raiden Kidō spell. It wasn't meant to just shock him, but disrupt the energy flow of his very Zanpakutō and severely cripple his defense in one swift move.

"Oh Fuck!"

It was the first thought that came to his mind as the electric currents came straight for him. With a split second reaction, Rushifa then swung his blade to the right and forced the energy wave that he'd launched to discharge itself in the form of a rend attack away from him. The lightning unfortuanaley (for him) had been able to successfully nip him in his arm, sending a brief but painful stinging sensation into his body before he regained his fighting pose.

He gave a blood thirsty grin as he began to run straight towards Evelyn, dragging his sword along the ground as he did so. Nearly five meters away from her, he quickly fired two Kido Bolts towards her...

The woman stood her ground, unmoving in the manner of a stone wall. She gripped her staff with both hands, pulling the Yari back before swinging it, deflecting the two Kido bolts back towards Rushifa. However, in the wake of her swing, a burst of concentrated spiritual pressure was released in order to combine with the attack power of the reflected bullets. Throughout all of this, she continued to stand there in her spot.

Even though she was remaining silent, no readable expression on her face, the notion was clear.

She was mocking him.

And he knew it, but he knew that such a naive gesture wouldn't faze him so easily.

He grinned a little more as the two bolts came for him. With a Flash-Step, he moved right behind her and held his weapon up to slice her, but he looked up towards one of the crooks in the open trailer and nodded.

PSSSSSSSHOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The crook being signaled then pulled out an RPG launcher and fired it straight towards Evelyn. Rushifa managed to maintain his spot in the air, waiting for her to make her next move.

For a brief moment, Evelyn's expression contorted to one of surprise, and she instinctively turned towards the blast.

However, it was all she could do.

BOOM!

The blast hit her dead-on, resulting in a massive explosion of heat and flames that ended up flipping a few more abandoned cars off of the bridge. Flames started to sweep the radius in which the two had been battling in.

Rushifa landed a few meters behind the blast, his expression serious and determined. He knew that she wouldn't have keeled over from such a primitive tactic, but he also planned to meet her where ever she reappeared. He sniffed the air twice, using his enhanced senses, and tightened his grip on his blade...

Of course, Evelyn was indeed one not to go down so easily.

With a Flash Step, she re-appeared on the truck itself, her Yari's tip pointed towards the engine. She stabbed it deep into the engine with immense force, crumpling the cover of the hood with the power she exerted. Then, she used another Flash Step to fall back to the opposite side of the truck....

BOOM!

....just before it exploded, taking the body as well as the trailer with it.

Fortunatley, the driver named Lars had left the truck right after it had stopped a few minutes earlier.

Rushifa then resumed his grin as he Flash-Stepped right behind where Evelyn landed, holding up his sword with it's black and blue energy to cut her down...

It would be here that Evelyn would demonstrate the effectiveness of her title.

With her own enhanced senses, she swung around just in time to parry the blow before it could crash down upon her head. However, she didn't allow herself to stop there. Twisting and flipping her Yari, she unleashed a series of coordinated, fluid, swift, and precise strikes upon her opponent. It didn't matter if Rushifa blocked or evaded. Her pattern was never disrupted, her attacks flowing each other with a natural ease that only a master fighter like herself could ever utilize in the field of battle. Her body even moved as if she was simply dancing to the beat. This was enhanced by the rock music playing from the taxi.

That's what it was to her; a dance of death.

Rushifa's grin only became wider as his piercing red eyes narrowed themselves right onto her closed ones. After letting two of her strikes pierce his torso area, and after he managed to block some of her other ones, he then managed to avoid another swing and then planted both of his feet onto the section of her yari spear that was between both of her firm hands. He then squated down on it with force before springing himself towards the sky. He then aimed his gunblade at her and discharged two more Kido bolts down on her.

But he wasn't done there.

He then twisted his body around and allowed his weapon to initiate it's signature energy attack. Right behind the two bolts was a rather large rend of energy that was similar in shape to the Getsuga Tenshou. Rushifa wasn't planning any specific strategy or plan, he was simply playing along.

That's what it was to him; a game.

It was all a matter of deflecting the bullets away and quickly maneuvering herself to a safe distance before the latter blast could hit her. She slid back, settling back into a comfortable, defensive stance with her Yari pointed towards her opponent again. But she did not allow herself to make a move against him. Instead, she allowed herself to speak, for the first time within their second match.

"Do you realize who it is that you are facing?" She asked, a bitter and cold tone within her voice as she spoke to him. "You seem to have willingly thrown away your desire for revenge in exchange for a simple cut-throat mentality. Do you not have to resolve to kill me.... the one who murdered your beloved in cold blood?"

The man then landed right in front of her nearly 5 meters back and pointed his blade back towards her in a similar fashion, his grin now a smirk. "Yeah....I know who I'm facing..." He closed his eyes slightly, retaining his smirk. "...my "beloved" that you refer to is long gone...I've found someone else that I believe can serve as a more profitable replacement." He then opened them back up and gave Evelyn a mocking glare. "And I must say....Ms. Brina McTavish sure knows a man when she sees one..." Deep down, he truly cared for Brina, but if Evelyn was going to play the mind game, then he would simply play along.

"Even if she is...what you referred to as...a bitch."

Without giving her time to react, Rushifa then discharged an augmented Kido Bolt towards her. He had been building up energy for it while speaking.

It was only due to her senses that Evelyn could step within the minimal safety line and prevent herself from being hurt.

With a simple side-step, she avoided the attack with just enough distance for it to glance her clothing. However, as safe as she was, she could feel the powerful energy concentrated within the attack. If she had let it hit her, she would've certainly suffered external as well as internal injury. Silently, she thanked herself for having such experience and not the level of a junior Captain.

"So that's it, then...." She summarized. "You've already moved on. There's no real reason for you to continue pursuing me. You're just doing this for your own entertainment, aren't you?" Slight disgust was within her tone as she voiced her observant opinion to her enemy.

He then began to casually walk towards her, twirling his gun sword around his right index finger. "Well...in a sense you are correct. I have moved on..." His smile then became a serious frown. "...and yeah...this is fun and all, but I still have a drive to hunt you down...I can't get the images out of my head....of Temari moaning....of her crying....of her face bloodied and pained...The images of a young girl that I held precious in my heart...she wasn't just a girlfriend...." His eyes narrowed with an evil blood red as he stopped twirling his weapon. "...she was my friend...and yours."

He then Flash-Stepped in front of her with his back an inch off of the ground, using his left arm as slight leverage as he drove his right foot into her torso area...

One could've best described it as a "reflexive" action.

But it was a brutal one nonetheless.

With a swift move, Evelyn flipped the Yari and punched the lead blade through the back of his knee and out from his cap before it could reach her torso. Cold metal pierced through bone and flesh in a torturously beautiful manner. The crimson liquid spilled down her hands keeping the staff in place, but she paid no attention to it. Her eyes were open, narrowed into the piercing, blank glare that she had been trademarked for.

Then, with her blade having the man's leg impaled on it, Evelyn unleashed another Tsuzuri Raiden through the weapon and his body.

The sensation was nearly overwhelming with pain.

Not allowing himself to scream, he instead gritted his teeth as both the metal and the electricity ripped his body with pain, his face equally reflecting. He also flipped over and bit down on his arm to prevent his teeth from breaking against each other, drawing blood from his arm.

...but he was still grinning...as if he enjoyed it.

In reality, he took joy in the fact that Evelyn had slipped right into his trap. Unbeknowest to Evelyn, Rushifa had endured pain similar to this before, though it wasn't as intense.

With a bit of struggle and a pained groan, he successfully ran his sword into her left shoulder, and pulled the weapon's trigger...

Neither of these actions had been expected by Evelyn, who had been under the assumption that his body would be rendered completely immobile due to his nervous system being overloaded with the electricity. She was perfectly certain that the electrocution would've rendered him helpless to a slow and torturous demise. She had assumed that she would get revenge for her four slain subordinates.

But, because fate had decided to mock her once again, she had to be wrong.

The narrow-eye glare turned into a widened-eye look of shock as the blade was shoved through her shoulder, and then....

BLAM!

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH~!!!!!!!!"

A brief, yet blood-chilling scream escaped Evelyn's throat as the Kido bolt tore through her shoulder at the point blank range they were at. The bone, muscle, and nervous system within that area was shattered and exploded under the impact. She was forced to rip the blade out of his leg and stagger back, letting out pained moans as she gripped her Yari with her uninjured hand. There was good reason to scream too; as she fell back, the remnants of skin barely holding her arm to her body tore apart, leaving the limb to fall on the road in a bloody mess.

Rushifa fell on the ground, holding his bloodied knee in a brief sense of helpless pain, before successfully standing himself up with his sword, of which was now in it's sealed form. Blood coming out of the left side of his still grinning mouth, his hair bangs over the right side of his face, he began to limp towards Evelyn with bloodshed in his eyes.

"Heh..." he began, pain still present in his tone. "...and here...I was about to...say that we....were in the same...fucking....boat...but now...heh...now it looks like you've...become a part of a rather..." he then whipped out his AR-52 Marksman pistol with his left hand out of his coat. "...bad spot....haven't you?"

As he came closer, he pulled the back of the guns charge, aiming it straight for her chest..

It was at that time that neither Evelyn and Rushifa would've paid attention the sounds of traffic around them. The sounds of honking and the screeching of tires during the midst of their battle would've never been rendered important to any of them. So the sound of a motorcycle approaching at immense speed from behind Rushifa probably would not have occured to him as important.

However, that would change with one yell.

"HAAAAAAAAAAARLEEEEEEEEEEY DAVIDSON!!!!"

It was as if Heaven had leaned towards the side of Evelyn.

Over a car behind Rushifa, a motorcycle had leaped straight over Rushifa's head and cast a shadow as it passed by. Who was riding it as well as who had yelled so loud was the motorcyclist herself; a young girl with a light brown jacket over black shorts and a color-matched mid-riff shirt. Time seemed to slow down as she passed by. Taking one hand off of her handle-bars, she whipped out what appeared to be three kunai knives. With a swift back motion, she tossed all of those knives with excellent accuracy at the car...

....or more importantly, its gas tanks.

BOOM!

An explosion ensued, bright enough to distract Rushifa for the time being.

Not bothering to stop to look, she skidded to a stop right beside a surprised and pained Evelyn. The young girl turned to look over at her with a stern expression. Yet her tone was somewhat casual and informal. "Before you ask, I'll explain everything on the way. Hop on, before the cops decide to show up!"

Knowing that now was a bad time to ask questions, Evelyn had no choice to oblige. She quickly re-sheathed her blades and ran over to the motorcycle, quickly hopping on and wrapping her free arm around the girl's waist in order to brace herself.

Without hesitation, the motorcycle took off down the free-way.

Rushifa couldn't help but turn his eyes upward at the newcomer's bike, and in that instant, the orange light symbolizing the explosion struck his eyes, forcing him to snicker and cover his eyes with his gun hand.

By the time that he had put his arm down, the stranger was making away with his target on the road. With an annoyed growl, he aimed his gun at the cycle and fired four shots from it.

BANG!

BANG!

BANG!

BANG!

The bullets missed their targets as he expected, but at least it would warn them that he still had them in his sights. Then, with a screeching noise, a black car being driven by Lars came next to him, opening the passenger's side door. "Get in mate we ain't got time to looksie!"

He then hopped in the vehicle and it began to pursue the duo at increasing speeds.


The head-start that the motorcyclist managed to gain allowed for a free period of breathing time.

15-year-old Tamafune Marubeni closed her eyes and took in a deep breath of the air as she sped down the free-way, which was almost clear at this particular point. Her heart beat with adrenaline-fueled excitement. Her hands gripped the handlebars of the vehicle she was riding on, her eyes focused on the road as she continued to zoom on the clear road. Her black-colored eyes looked over her shoulder towards her weary rider, and she gave a small smile.

"Just hang in there, lady. I'd be worried if you were just a normal Human... but from what the Spiritsmith's told me about you, I can safely say you're tougher than you look."

"W...who are you....?" Evelyn asked, her expression pained as she rested the side of her head on the young girl's back.

"Me?" The girl repeated, keeping her casual tone as she turned back towards the road. "My name's Tamafune. But, if that's too annoying for you to pronounce, you can just call me Tama for short. I'd say more, but...." Once again, she glanced behind her, her eyes flashing with concern. "....doesn't look like that stump of an arm would like that."

"....t...thank you for saving me...." Evelyn whispered, closing her eyes. "But.... I wish you hadn't. I was supposed to--"

"--kill him?" Tama cut her off, her statement catching the older woman by surprise. "Yeah.... that's something in the later explanation of things. For now, let's worry about escaping those guys and getting off of this free-way."

Rushifa and his car caught back up to the duo, albeit still a good few meters behind them. Lars then looked pass the motercycle and pointed at a large truck that was carrying a little over a dozen cars in front of their targets.

"Look there he is." he said, referencing the truck driver, who was also one of Rushifa's agents. The truck driver gave them a thumbs up as Rushifa kept his gaze on Evelyn and Tama. He then noticed a new song playing over the radio and turned it all the way up, letting the windows of the car go down and making it to where the whole highway could hear it nearly. "Keep it like that." he said, to which a flinching Lars nodded.

They then passed the duo on the motorcycle and came up to the massive truck. Opening his door and with a pained grunt, courtesy of his now descently wrapped knee, leaped to the truck's left side and crawled up to it's top. He then limped towards the last car on the top section, and then shot it's chains that kept it in place with his hand gun. Finally, with a pained snarl, Rushifa kicked the car off of the trailer with his left leg, letting it propel towards the duo...

"As bad as this guy is, I have to admit, he has pretty good taste in scenery music...." Tama commented, grinning in excitement as she could hear the music from where she was. "Hang on!"

With a quick swerve, the biker kid deftly avoided the car and gunned it, accelerating and shifting lanes until it was to the left of the car. This way, it would be protected from potential attacks from the truck itself. It was a sign that she, despite her age, had done this potentially many times before. She grabbed the pole that Evelyn had resting in her lap, shifted it to her right hand, and swung out.

When the blades extended, they pierced right through the back tire of Lars's car, all three blades shredding the rubber to pieces.

"Ah bloody wanker!!" Lars cursed as his car slowly began to slow down.

Rushifa had other plans in mind for his friend.

With quick thinking, he quickly leaped over to the end of the truck where the now totalled car once rested. He then grabbed one of the loose chains and tossed it towards Lar's car. It shattered the windshield and gave Lars a shock, but he quickly got wind of the idea and hooked the chain to his steering wheel. Rushifa then pulled the car over to the truck's right and locked it in place. The car was now on the trucks right side, still going.

Rushifa then leaped over to the side of the truck and held on to one of it's bars, whipping out his pistol with the free hand and firing it in Tama and Evelyn's direction.

"Oh, for the love of--"

Needless to say, Tama was not pleased with the recovery.

She gritted her teeth and kept a distance as Rushifa shot at her and her partner, swerving from side to side in order to avoid being hit. "Damn it!" She hissed, having to jerk downwards occasionally. "This is the last time I do someone a favor! Hey lady, you still conscious back there--"

"Nenshō."

Abruptly, she was cut off by Evelyn tilting her head back.... and breathing a massive burst of fire from her mouth. The flames hit the back of the truck, enveloping everyone of the cars as well as the man hanging from the side. At first, Tama's eyes widened at the violent display of force by her comrade. However, she grinned in a mocking manner, swerving her bike to the truck's right side.

"That's what you get for being stupid, stupid!" The young girl jeered, staying behind the truck at a steady pace. She took a glance to her right, tilting her neck to the side and preparing for her next move.

Rushifa noticed the blaze heading for him, and did not hesitate to react. His coat now on fire, he tossed it onto the road and slid into the middle section of cars, shooting the upper chains and letting all of the burning cars on that section fly out onto the road, thus allowing the truck to pick up speed and get somewhat further ahead of the bike.

"You're not the only one capable of magic, McTavish..."

Rushifa then briefly held onto his left arm, which was slightly burned from the fire, before walking over to the end of the truck and holding out his right hand. From his mouth emerged a terrifying word as his hand began to tremble with lightning and blue energy.

"Hiryugekizokushintenraiho!!!!"

From his hand then shot out a massive blue wave of energy that forced even the truck to accelerate and push Rushifa deeper into the trailer as the beam went straight for Evelyn and Tama...

At this point, Tama was starting to wonder if they really were just being lucky.

"WOAH--!!!"

Out of reflex, the young girl jerked the motorcycle to the right just before the immensely powerful attack could reach them. But the bike did not only managed to barely avoid the attack that surely would've destroyed them, but they rolled off of the free way and to their destinated exit-route. Because the truck was accelerating forward, it would not have the time to turn around and catch up to them before they were lost. Because of the injuries Rushifa sustained, there would be no potential way to catch up without his wounds hindering his progress.

"D....did we.....?"

Evelyn managed to speak up again as they rode into a smaller road and into what appeared to be another city section. Because of her condition, the spell had severely weakened her more than she had wanted to be.

"....yeah....." Tama breathed a sigh of relief, hanging her head down as the adrenaline began to fade. "I think we finally managed to get them off our tail. Don't want to stop and look, though...." She slowed her speed down to a more fitting one for such a small area. "We're taking an alternate route to the Okinawa Islands. Thankfully, the Spiritsmith saw this coming and was prepared ahead of time....."

Rushifa then recovered from the drawback and looked forward to where he had used the blast.

Needless to say, the bridge was utterly destroyed.

But he realized that Evelyn and Tama had escaped, and he became slightly angered at the thought. Before he could do anything brash, he slumped down onto his rear and held onto his knee as the truck pulled to the side of the road. Lars then left his car along with the truck driver, and they both lifted Rushifa off onto his feet.

"You alright lad?" Lars said in a mocking, yet somewhat caring voice.

"Yeah...yeah I'm alright...get me to a hospital or something." Rushifa replied, his voice tired and annoyed.

Keeping in Touch...[]

It had been nearly three hours after the chase incident, and despite it's importance and urgency, the hotel room belonging to Akisame and his family was surprisingly peaceful and serene. Akisame himself was sitting in a recliner with a pair of black swimming shorts that extended down past his knees, along with a regular black t-shirt. His wife Soifon and his daughter Evelyn were in a back room with a door closed, presumidibly dressing in a fashion similar to himself.

Brina had not changed from her clothing style since yesterday.

She was sitting on the edge of the bed with her shoes and shocks off. One of her legs were dangling off the bed, while the other was pulled up to her chest and hugged with both of her arms. She was whistling a tune, one picked out of random as she waited for her mentor as well as her "niece" to come out.

When Soifon and Evelyn emerged, one could see that Soifon was dressed in a pink swimsuit with a green dress around her waist that extended on down to just above her ankles, as well as her trademark wolf amulet hanging around her neck and down just a few inches above her chest. Evelyn was dressed in a similar color style, though her attire was a simply onesie swimming outfit.

Soifon gave a normal sigh as she prepared to leave the room. "Okay Brina. Eve's been wanting to go to that little pool on the lower levels all day, so we're all going to take her there. You sure you don't want to come?" she said as Akisame stood himself up and walked over to them.

Brina gave a nod and a small smile as she raised her head up towards Soifon. "Yeah. Sorry, but I got a little too exhausted from last night." She answered. "But I do hope you have fun yourself!"

Evelyn stuck her bottom lip out and huffed again as she turned away from Brina, making her mother laugh slightly. "Hey now. Aunt Brina's tired let her rest for a while." She then looked back at Brina with her average smile. "Alright we'll be back in a little bit."

As they prepared to leave, they opened the door and (out of Brina's line of sight) out in the open hallway stood a young man with messy black hair and blue eyes, with a dark blue t-shirt and black pants and shoes, along with a large cross necklace around his neck. He also had what appeared to be a large, black guitar case slung around his shoulder. He gave the trio a polite bow as he spoke in a voice that Brina would surely recognize. "Hello...Is Ms. Brina present?"

Soifon almost instantly recognized the boy as the one who danced with Brina last night. She gave him a polite smile as she bowed in return. "Yes she is here."

Akisame's face was cool and collected. "And you're wanting to see her am I right?"

The man kept his smile as he continued. "Heh. If I might have your permission, then yes please."

Soifon looked up at Akisame with her curious smile as he looked down at her, before she answered him. "Of course you can. She's been wanting to see you ever since last night."

He chuckled somewhat. "I had a feeling that she would do that."

Akisame and Soifon then stepped out of the man's way to let him in, but Akisame gave him a slight whisper in a joking manner. "Don't do anything unless you tell me first alright?" he said, knowing that the boy would know what he meant.

He laughed slightly as he responded. "Don't worry sir, I promise."

With that, the trio left the room and shut the door. As he looked back he managed to get a glance of Evelyn sticking her little tounge out at him, leaving him in a comically confused state. "She must not like me all that much..."

"Hm?"

Once Brina turned to look up at the man who had just stepped in, her eyes widening slightly upon recognition. Once again, that light blush spread across her face, and she immediately stood up from off of the bed. "R-Rushifa?" She voiced her surprise within the name she spoke.

Rushifa then looked back at Brina with a cool, but slightly excited gaze, holding his cross necklace up in plain sight. "Told you we'd meet again." He then gently set his guitar case down against a counter to his right, preparing for what Brina might do next...

"AH~!"

A happy squeal escaped the British girl's lips, and before anyone knew it, she was right in front of him. Her arms immediately wrapped around his shoulders in a hug. "Oh, I knew that, but I didn't think it would be so soon!" She exclaimed. "How'd you know where I was staying?"

He let out a low but soft pained groan as he hugged her in return. "Heh, being a terrorist with a whole gang tends to leave one well informed." he said with his ever so present charming smile, letting his arms tighten her upper back in a gentle manner.

"Glad to see we're easily connected." Brina remarked, chuckling a little. "What have you been up to that couldn't make you come sooner?"

He loosened his grip on Brina's back as he looked down at her, a slight smirk on his face. "Surely you heard about the little bridge incident a few hours ago?" Deep down, he was hoping not to involve any of his antics with her, but he had to be honest with the woman.

"Bridge incident?" Brina blinked, pulling herself back a little so that she could look him in the eye. "No, I haven't heard anything about that." She hadn't been watching TV, and the couple didn't tell her anything, after all.

He chuckled slightly as he continued to speak. "Yeah...found another little Soul Reaper that was doing favors. Been hunting her for a while now...but she got away again." He closed his eyes slightly, keeping his friendly smile. "Cohorts left the place in a bit of a mess. Best for the Black Wolf to just...disappear for a while...." his eyes then opened in a casual way. "That and my band has a little show tomorrow, so it's safe to say I'll be here for a while. Thought I'd stop by and see how you were doing."

"A kingpin and a lead singer, huh?" Pulling away from him for a moment, Brina idly did a little spinning dance similar to the pivots of a ballerina. "You guys any popular? I might come to check it out one day, if I'm not too busy myself."

He slid his hands into his pockets with a chuckle. "Well...I'm not the lead singer, just backup guitar. And if by popular you mean locally recognized, then yeah we are popular." he said as he walked around the room and admired the layout of it all. "Gotta say, this couple that you're with sure knows what a good room is...."

Brina stopped spinning, allowing herself to sit on the bed once again with both of her legs dangling of the edge. "Being married pushes you to get the best quality.... even if it is just a measly old room...." She commented, smiling in good humor. "I'm glad to have been with them."

He smiled. "Yeah they're pretty good people, from what I can tell." He then began to stroke his chin in a thoughtful way as he continued to look at her. "Though I doubt their baby is very fond of me." He casually walked over to the bed and sat next to her. His position made it to where he was leaned forward with his elbows on his knees as he fumbled his fingers around.

"Don't be surprised...." Brina said in a slightly laughing tone. She turned her head in over to look at him and meet his gaze. "She's very fond of me, and she tends to get a little jealous upon seeing me hit it off with other people."

He laughed slightly. "Well I doubt we're going to get very well acquainted in the future."

He then looked over to her. "So anything interesting happen of late?"

Brina let out a heavy sigh, falling on her back and laying on the bed. "Hardly." She said in a slightly complaining voice. One of her legs shifted over the other, and her eyes closed for a moment. "Ever since last night, there's pretty much nothing at all that's happened of interest to me. I did get a few calls from potential contractors, but the jobs weren't of much interest to me."

"Ah mercenary work...something I'm gonna have to try soon..." he said.

He gave an understanding look as he slowly laid down next to her, staring at the ceiling with his arms folded on his chest. "This woman that you're with...what's her name what's her name....hair braids....Soifon! Yeah Soifon...wasn't she the first one to fight Ultharon when he came about?" he said, hoping to start a conversation.

Boredly, Brina raised one hand in front of her face and inspected her nails. Her other hand rested behind her head. "That's her..." She answered. "She served as my mentor. We had.... quite a bit of history, good and bad...."

"Yeah...heard about that." he said. He glanced over to her briefly. "But you two have reconciled...right?"

"Uh huh...."

Unexpectedly, Brina shifted her position. She raised herself into a sitting position, only to lay herself on her stomach. However, what she was laying out on was his stomach. The result was them forming a cross with their bodies. "You know...." She started, propping her chin up in one hand and tilting her face to look over at him. "You don't have to force up a conversation with me. You did come up to just check on me, right?"

He quietly grunted slightly as she switched positions. It was obvious that he was still somewhat sore from the earlier engagement.

"...Heh, well, checking up on someone can take quite a while..." he said as he folded his hands around the back of his head.

Another chuckle escaped Brina's mouth. "Yeah.... when you're actually doing something worthwhile." She said teasingly, bending one of her legs up and moving her foot around in an idle motion.

He scoffed somewhat in a humorous way. "Well what do you want to do? I don't have anything going on for the rest of the day." he said as he briefly scratched the left side of his face before resuming his older pose, closing his eyes as if he was going to sleep.

A comical look of amusement came on Brina's face as she looked at the man she was using as a stomach pillow. "Well, since that's true...." She began, tilting her head to the side a little. She shifted her hands to clasp them together. "And since I don't have anything going on, either, how about a date?"

He lifted his head up with his palms, giving her an excited yet collected look. "A date huh?" he then fell back where he was, without closing his eyes. "You're on. Just say the word, and I'll have us there in a minute."

"What?"

Brina's voice took on a slightly whining tone, and she looked at him with disappointed incredulity. "For a supposed gentleman, you sure don't know tradition." She complained. "The guy's supposed to court the girl, not the other way around!" She pushed herself off of his stomach and back into a sitting position, bending over to slip her shoes and socks back on. "C'mon, Rushie. Surprise me!" The last sentence took on a more teasing yet challenging tone towards him.

He smirked slightly as he slowly sat himself up, raising an eyebrow at the new nickname he had just recieved. "Heh, "Rushie" is it? That's better than the one Lars gave me..."

He then popped his neck in both directions, letting them stretch slightly before standing all the way up. "Tradition also dictates that the girl is happy." he said as he came somewhat closer to her with his hands in his pockets. "Don't know if any surprise that I give you will be to your satisfactory..." he said with a cocky smile, his form of accepting her challenge.

"...But...there is one thing that we have to do first." he said with the same expression, albeit raising an eyebrow, holding his right index finger up as if he was pointing at the ceiling.

"Hm?" Brina looked at him with a curious expression, her hands folding behind her back as she straightened up from her position. "What would that be?"

His smile widened as he inched closer. "Well....for this surprise to work, certain conditions need to be met."

He then came close enough to where he could whipser in her right ear. "We need to get you some better clothes."

The tone that he took as well as the way that hey conveyed his message with her widened her own smile a bit more. "You sure know how to get under the hood when you need to, don't you?" She whispered back, one of her hands on her hip in an idle stance. "All right, then.... I can agree to those conditions."

He leaned back and kept his smile, holding out his right hand in a motion for her to take it. "And don't worry, the owner of one of the best clothing stores in the city also happens to be one of my finest agents...I'm sure we can cut some strings."

"A mole for every situation...." Brina laughed a little. "I think I could get used to you...."

With that statement, Brina reached out and slid her hand within his, her slender fingers wrapping around it with a natural comfort.

Rushifa gave her a comfortable grin as he turned to leave the room, grabbing his guitar and slinging it over his shoulder as they left.

The Date[]

It was nearly 3 hours later and the couple arrived at their new destination. Rushifa and Brina first went to the clothing store to find both of them descent outfits and they later had dinner at a rather upper class dining establishment.

The "surprise" that Rushifa had told Brina about, was indeed a famous musical performance done by one of the greatest groups of play acting and musicians known throughout the world. The building that housed this sensation was nearly 6 stories high and from an aerial view, was shaped like a large circle. It blent rather well with the black and gold hue of the city.

A black car then pulled over in front of the building, being driven by Lars, who wore a tuxedo. Rushifa stepped out of the back drivers seat, revealing the fine wear from the previous night on him, and walked over to the passengers side door, opening it and extending his left hand to properly help his "date" out of the vehicle.

And of course, a right hand came out to take it.

Brina had traded in casual for "classy". She was dressed in a black, sleek dress that would've reminded Shinigami of their uniforms. Yet, it held a modern and certainly attractive feel to it. Her hair was tied in the lower pony-tail style that she always wore with her Shinigami attire. She stepped out of the vehicle, the casual smile and serene gaze within her expression. All in all, she blended in perfectly with the rather high-class environment she was in.

Rushifa gave her a very impressed smile as he kissed her hand and then slid next to her right, still holding her hand, and they began walking up the steps towards the large building as Rushifa motioned Lars to go on. There were numerous other higher class civilians that were all going to the same destination. Most couldn't help but admire the appearance of the young couple.

They then came to a ticket booth, which was being run by a man who looked similar to one of the goons who was with Rushifa and Lars back during the light show, sunglasses and a tux, along with a wire that extended to his ear. Rushifa kept walking and held up a card for the man to see, to which he nodded and lifted the gate open for the couple to pass through.

Rather than going into the main room with the rest of the crowd, Rushifa directed both himself and Brina towards a classic appearing elevator. As they entered it, Rushifa pressed a button that said "6" and the craft began to slowly go upwards. Rushifa couldn't help but give Brina a friendly smirk as it did so.

"And here, you were so fearful of me being disappointed...." Brina remarked jokingly, looking over at him just in time to see him pass the smirk in her direction.

He closed his eyes and gave a happy chuckle. "Well, can't help but be a wee bit nervous on a first date."

He then opened his eyes and gave her a calm and cool smile. "I'm glad you're impressed so far. But the real show has yet to begin."

The elevator then stopped to reveal their destination; the highest booth in the building, looking over the stage and the crowd like an eagle. In the booth were three lines of seats with four seats in a vertical direction. Still holding Brina's hand, Rushifa directed both of them to the front row and they sat on the right side gently. As she sat down, he handed her a pair of small, golden binoculars with a small golden rod attached to it for easy holding. "Thought it would make us look fancy." he jokingly said.

"The rod just makes them look silly...." Brina remarked, smiling in humor as she relieved him of the binoculars. "But just because they're gold-colored...."

"Gold makes everything look better doesn't it?" he said. Fortunatley for him, the play was not to start for another 6-7 minutes. From what the stage appeared to be like, one could only assume that the play was to be Shakesphere's "A Mid Summer's Night Dream." A play that he had seen once before, and he was positive that Brina would like it as well.

"Ah Shakesphere..." he began.

"I've never read his workings before." Brina commented, keeping ahold of the stem of her binoculars. She had them to her eyes in order to get a feel for them before the actual play started up. "So this is really the first time I've been to something like this."

He smiled while holding his left elbow on the arm rest next to him, fumbling his fingers around as he did so. "It's safe to say that a well cultured person such as yourself would enjoy this. A Mid Summer's Night Dream is regarded as one of his best works. It's got little fairies and all kinds of little magic stuff in it." He then gave a humerous smile as he looked over at her. "You know...typical girl stuff."

This prompted Brina to look over at him for a moment only to stick out her tongue in humored annoyance, before she turned her attention back to her binoculars. "Even I don't go that far." She remarked lightly.

He chuckled a bit more as he looked back at the stage. "I know I know. I was just kiddin'." he remarked in good humor. "Can you see good enough?" he questioned, not wanting to have her experience hindered any.

"Yeah...." Brina shifted one leg over the other, keeping a good focus on the stage itself. "It's impossible not to when you have binoculars with you...."

"Good....good." he said, still smirking slightly. His phone then vibrated as he pulled it out to read another message in the same unintelligible symbols, of which read: "She's on the move."

He gave an exhale as he thought about the message, and then looking over to Brina's serene expression, before looking back at the phone and turning it all the way off, sliding it back into his pocket. Then the lights began to dim, signaling that the show was to begin.

As it did so, Rushifa inched somewhat closer to Brina as the play set in to starting...


It was nearly two hours later, and the play had ended. People began to get up and leave, so did Rushifa and Brina. When they got outside however, they found that it was raining, hard.

Rushifa couldn't help but chuckle at the situation as he glanced down the road to see Lars driving close to their parking space.

"Ugh...."

Brina winced as she felt the raindrops hit her, a lopsided frown on her face and one of her eyes closed. At the fast rate it was raining, she knew that the two were going to get soaked in the rain. "Can't help but feel this made dressing formally pointless...." She complained, keeping her hand within his. "C'mon, before we get too drenched out here!"

They then ran in a hurried but fun manner as Lars pulled up on the sidewalk. Rushifa opened the door and let Brina in first before hopping in himself and slamming the door shut. With a chuckle, Lars reached into the front passenger seat and then handed Rushifa an umbrella. "You forgot this mate." he said with a smile. He glanced at Brina and gave her a kind nod. "Ms."

He then began to drive away as Rushifa comically rubbed the back of his head while holding onto the umbrella. "Heh. I probably should have brought this before we went inside."

Brina shrugged after giving Lars a polite nod in return. "Doesn't matter now, I suppose...." Her smile might as well have been a mile wide, even as she tried to push her hanging and wet hair out of her face. "Hopefully, the rain didn't ruin anything on your end."

He looked over to her a smiled once more. "Nah. I love it when it rains..." He then turned his attention outside the passing buildings, all being drenched by the rain. "...it makes everything so much more...." he then slightly turned his head in her direction, his friendly gaze briefly meeting her. "...elegant." he finished as he looked back outside.

Finding her efforts to be a bit too in vain, Brina stopped trying to fix her hair. She leaned back into the seat, looking at him from the corner of her eye as she laid her head on the back of the seat. "That's the first time I've heard someone say something like that about the rain." She said. "You know.... I grew up with the belief that it wasn't just rain.... moreso than it would be the gods crying of a recent tragedy. That's why everything looked so gloomy on a rainy day...."

Rushifa then looked back to her as he crossed his arms, his gaze warm and curious. "Really? My old mentor used to tell me something similar. The difference is, he always believed that the gods weren't crying over a recent tragedy, but rather they were crying tears of happiness over a joyful event." He looked forward and closed his eyes and tilted his head downwards. "He always taught me to be happy when it rains, because then..." he then looked over to her, his eyes half opened. "...because then, something wonderful has happened."

"....that so....?"

Brina's smile faded a little from her face. She raised one of her hands to place on the half of her face that was opposite to where Rushifa sat, ignoring the drips of water that snaked down her arm when she did so. "I can't help but wonder if I grew up under the tutelage of your mentor instead of the tutelage of mine." She remarked softly, her eyes closed.

"Why would you say that?" he asked.

"Because when I was within the 2nd Division.... every-time it rained, there was nothing but tragedy that ensued." Brina explained. Even through her soft and kind voice, there could still be a bit of bitterness heard within it. "Sensei's mentor, Yoruichi Shihōin, was killed by that monster Ultharon under the rain.... I left behind slaughter and a broken heart when I had defected from the Gotei 13, under the rain.... whenever I was under a rainy sky, I always seemed to experience tragedy."

Rushifa's expression lowered as he slowly slid his left arm around her back in a comforting manner. "Well...think about what happened today. It's raining now, and yet you have nothing bad to have happened to you. Well except for the rain itself."

Brina lowered her hand into her lap, closing her eyes and leaning into him, her head resting on his chest. "Yeah. Now, at least for the moment, it's a different take." She admitted, the smile returning slightly. "Thanks again for tonight, by the way...."

His smile became warmer as he leaned his head onto hers. "Yeah...thank you too...for coming with me."

Lars then flinched slightly as he reached into the console of the car and pulled out a letter of sorts. "Oh yeah mate, you talking about your mentor reminded me. He sent you a letter today. Don't know what it says."

Rushifa kept his pose as he reached out and took the letter, opening it and placing it to where both he and Brina could read it. The letter was in the same unitelligible symbols used before, but he read it aloud quietly.

"Rushifa,

I'm sending you this letter as a means of letting you know that I'm still here should you need anything. Whether or not you reply is up to you, but I cannot help but keep an eye on my first apprentice. Remember to always watch the sky...

-The Watcher."

Rushifa's eyebrows raised slightly. "Huh. It's been a while since he sent me one of these..."

"The Watcher?"

Brina's eyes widened in complete surprise as she heard him speak the words. She directed her surprised gaze from the note to Rushifa. "Kaffy was your mentor?" She repeated and summarized her observation.

Rushifa looked down at her with a hint of confusion. "Kaffy?....Well his name did start with a K and it was a bit of a mouthful...."

"Hence why I referred to him as Kaffy." Brina said, her eyes reverting back to their normal serene look. "He's an old friend of mine. After a failed espionage mission, I was struck down and left for dead while it was snowing. He just barely managed to get there on time, as I know I was on the brink of death by the time he did."

His eyes widened for a brief second before reverting back to a cool and collected gaze. "Oh yeah. He did mention in recent months about a little brown headed girl. Said she was annoying, but likeable."

He then placed his head back on hers. "When I defected from the Gotei 13 a good century or so ago, I went to the himalayas and nearly died from the cold, but then he found me and took me in. Ironic isn't it? Anyway, he took me to the top of Mt. Everest, he's got a hut up there, and we talked about our pasts. He was exiling himself due to all of the destruction he had caused a while back and eventually I asked him to be my mentor, to which he agreed. Then after about another 10 years of training and meditating, he told me it was time for me to find my own path. I went, traveled, explored. And now....now I'm here."

"Are you satisfied with the path you've taken....?" Brina asked immediately, closing her eyes and laying her head back down on the man's chest. "Or are you still looking?"

Rushifa sighed as began to gently stroke her hair with the hand that was around her back. "I haven't found it yet. Killing Soul Reapers...trying to overthrow a corrupt system....bringing change to an ever changing world...I thought that was the path, but..." he then gently squeezed her shoulder slightly, making both of them come a bit closer to one another. "...but recent events have had me rethinking things..."

"Hm?" Brina opened her eyes and looked up at him, letting a soft sigh escape her lips as he raked her fingers through her hair. She was seriously starting to think that he had laced his fingers with some sort of drug. She could not get over how comforting and addicting his touch could be!

He looked down at her with his trademark, toothless smile, chuckling slightly. "Heh what is it?"

The girl gave him a slight comical glare before putting her head back down in its regular position, huffing lightly. "I thought you were going to finish with something else. Never mind...." She grumbled.

He chuckled a little more as he then kissed the top of her head. "Well....what would you like for me to say...Ms. Brina?" he said, trying to just poke fun at her.

"Well...." Brina looked off to the side for a moment with her eyes. Then, she put on a huffing expression once again and closed her eyes. "Oh, forget it. You were better off when you were running your fingers through my hair." Her voice was slightly poutish, as if she was a child who had just lost a game of catch.

Rushifa was still letting bits of laughs come from his mouth. "Well in that case..." he then set in to stroking her hair once more with a bit more passion, laying his head back onto hers. "...now will you tell me?"

Immediately, the brown-haired girl blushed lightly under the sudden contact her eyes opening out of surprise. But allowed herself to relax. "....what is there to tell?" She asked back, smiling in content and closing her eyes once again. "I don't mind what path you take.... only as long as you keep me somewhere close to you when you take it."

His face became serious but caring as he looked down at her. "I don't think that I could take it without you..."

"Even better." Brina answered gently and readily.

He smiled, continuing to stroke her hair. He started to say something, but before he could the car stopped at the hotel that Brina was in previously, the door of the car opening automatically.

Rushifa sighed in dissappointment as he looked out the window to see the building entrance. Lars looked back and spoke. "Sorry mate, couldn't drive any slower."

He chuckled slightly as he looked at Lars with a snicker. "Yeah well, you can wait for me to drop her off before going anywhere."

Lars simply gave a fake complaining voice. "Aww come on lad."

Rushifa then looked down at Brina. "Well.....come on I'll walk you up there." He then stepped out of the car and held out his hand to take hers. The rain was now a mere sprinkle, making it look like it was snowing.

Naturally, the girl took his hand and stepped out of the car, using her foot to shut the door behind her. She looked behind her with a grateful smile towards Lars. "Thanks for the ride, Lars!" She said to him with a slight bow of her head.

As the door closed, Lars gave her a friendly wave. "Anytime Milady!"

Rushifa smiled as they walked towards the elevator leading up to the highest floor of the building, where Akisame and Soifon's room was. Once inside, Rushifa entered the buttons corresponding to the floor number and it began to ascend. This elevator was clear, so the pair could see the black and gold city in the distance, the sprinkles of rain now becoming more and more visible.

Brina let out a light sigh, allowing her eyes to be attracted to the colors of the city down below. "Sensei and her family probably beat me to the room by now...." She muttered. "Just goes to show how much time passes by when you're having fun, huh?" She reached out to slide her hand within his, grasping it gently.

He leaned against her as well, holding her hand in a firm but gentle grasp. "That's how it always is....all the time." The city was so beautiful from this view he almost felt like he was talking to himself. This had truly been a good day for both of them.

Unbeknowest to Brina, and himself at first, a slight bit of blood was coming from the right side of his mouth.

The elevator door then opened and the pair began to walk down the hallway leading to the room. Suddenley, Rushifa's right leg began to wobble and shake as he touched his forehead with his right hand as if he had a slight headache, giving a quiet exhale as he did so. And before either of the knew it...

PLUMP!!!

Rushifa then fell to the ground, holding his right knee with his right hand, and letting his left hand fall out of Brina's. "...Ow...." he muttered, his voice somewhat pained.

Of course, this surprised Brina right away.

Immediately, she knelt by his side, her expression showing concern. "Rushifa?" She questioned uncertainly, pressing a hand on his shoulder in order to let him know she was still at his side. Her eyes caught the trickle of blood from the right corner of his mouth. "My God, you were hurt...? When? How?"

He looked up at her at first with his bangs in his face, before waving them off and wiping the blood from his mouth. "Don't worry...little incident at the bridge took a bit of a toll on me..." He then gently sat himself up on his lower end, a hand still on his right knee. The knee wasn't bleeding, contrary to what he was thinking, but it was still pretty sore from Evelyn's attack...

"Several hours later, and the injuries are still having an effect on him....?" Brina thought to herself. "He must've been doing a good job hiding it if it lasted so long...."

"You fool....." She reprimanded him, though her tone was still gentle. "You were ignoring your own health for me all this time. You should be more careful!"

He looked back at her with a hint of sorrow and guilt. "Yeah....sorry about that...." He then put his right hand on her shoulder and used it as a means of standing himself up with little difficulty. He then looked back at her with the same face. "...I didn't want to have any hinderances for you."

Another sigh escaped Brina's lips. She reached over to wrap an arm around his mid-section in order to help him stand to his feet, grunting slightly as she did so. "If anything, you should get some medical treatment and some rest." She said, a small smile returning to her face. She looked down the hallway. "I only have a few steps towards my room anyway. Think you can get back to the car on your own?"

He smiled again. "Yeah. The docs already told me that it would give out every now and then. I can make it to the car from here..." he looked into her eyes with gratitude. "Thank you...Brina..."

"No, Rushie..."

Following the statement, Brina closed her eyes and leaned in, giving him a kiss on the cheek before pulling back and letting go of him. "Thank you." She finished, her smile gaining its normal size. "You were being sweet and selfless tonight, so it's only fair." She slowly walked past him. "You be careful, now!"

His cheeks gave a slight blush as he watched her go down the hallway, before closing his eyes and exhaling, and proceeding to the elevator. After pressing the buttons to send him to the bottom, he placed both hands in his pockets and watched Brina go, right until the doors closed.

Inside the room, Soifon and Evelyn were sitting in Akisame's recliner, the former of which was holding a plush black cat in front of the latter. "...and she had a long, slender tail that she would use to..." Soifon then turned the cat's tail towards Evelyn and began to tickle her in the stomach area. "...tickle you with!" she finished as her daughter began to laugh and goo at the cat. Soifon was obviously telling her about Yoruichi...

She then heard the door open and recognized the signature as Brina's, noting her formal attire as she entered the room. "So did you have fun tonight?" she said, giving her apprentice a warm smile.

"Apparently too much...." Brina said back, her smile turning a bit amused as she shut the door behind her. Her brown eyes cast them on the black cat, her smile growing a little wider at the child playing with it. "It was quite the night out when we were done."

Soifon's smile lowered somewhat as she kept her eyes on Brina's. "Well, what was it you did exactly? He was keeping it a surprise for all of us apparentley." She then gently leaned Evelyn back as she pulled the switch on the recliner, letting the footrest come out slowly to stretch her legs. Evelyn was still playing with the black cat that her mother had bought her earlier.

As she was speaking, Brina was walking towards the room in which Soifon and Evelyn had changed in, stopping at the doorway that would take her within that particular area. "I'd tell you...." She said, turning around and playfully sticking out her tongue at her ex-mentor. "But that would ruin the fun of it!" That being said, she walked into the doorway and once again disappeared out of sight for the time being.

The blue headed woman simply chuckled as she watched Brina enter the changing room. She then sat in to resuming her play time with Evelyn, who was petting the toy cat as if though it was the real thing. She looked into the cat's yellow eyes...remembering the last few moments she had had with Yoruichi...

The Revelations of Yesterday[]

"I cannot allow you to fight this nightmare! I cannot allow you to suffer the same fate as my idiotic lieutenant or my men! I WON'T ALLOW YOU TO DIE!"

I wished we could've fought together tonight, but it is not to be. Another time perhaps...in this life or the next,"

As the thoughts of Yoruichi passed through her head, visions of her murderer, Ultharon, began to come into her mind. His yellow eyes staring straight into hers.

After nearly 3'000 years of riducule and injustice, my people have risen from the ashes of our destroyed homeland...

She then began to witness flashbacks of Ultharon's first attack....her and Akisame rushing through the Ruknogai trying to help civilian's escape him. She remembered when Ultharon transformed into something that made even Yamamoto tremble in weariness, before he attempted to kill the monster in vain. And she finally remembered the current Head Captain, standing strong amoungst all the others who had fallen into despair, including herself, before he heroically finished the Sovereign of Hueco Mundo and banished his soul to hell...

It was here that Brina managed to step out, wearing her signature casual attire.

"Hey, sensei. I just noticed something. Where's--"

However, she immediately stopped her sentence upon the strange flash of emotion she saw within the other woman's eyes. "....sensei....?" She asked hesitantly, stepping a bit closer to her in a slow, deliberate manner to gain her attention.

Soifon continued to look into the cat's eyes for a few more moments before blinking her eyes and snapping back to reality. "Hm? Oh! I'm sorry I ah......I got lost in thought there for a minute. Akisame is asleep..." she looked out on the front porch of the hotel. There, one could see Akisame asleep on one of the leather seats, not even acknowledging the rain. "...on the porch."

Brina closed her eyes and shook her head sagely, before walking over to where the TV was. "I shouldn't be surprised by now...." She muttered, stooping over to pick up the remote. She sat down on the bed, shifting one leg over the other while flicking the monitor on. Now it was time to check the news in order to see what exactly had happened.

As she flicked through the channels, she looked over at her ex-mentor, her expression still showing slight concern. "Thinking about Yoruichi....?" She questioned.

Soifon's gaze became relaxed, but still saddened somewhat as she watched Evelyn play with the cat more. "I can't get it out of my head...the day that I left her in the rain...the day that I left her out there...alone....with him." The last word of her statement was angered and scornful. "I remember how she looked at me...she wanted me to leave with Akisame...but at that same time...she wanted me to stay with her, so that we could fight like a pair...like we used to."

She closed her eyes and looked down, watching her daughter now switch from playing with the cat to playing with one of her hair braids. It didn't hurt, in fact, it felt rather comfortable, that mixed with the large saggy white sweater and pink shorts that she wore left her feeling relaxed all over...except for in her mind.

Brina smiled, although it was a weak one. Her eyes had gained a slightly weary look to them, showing her own vulnerability to the rather depressing memory. "Well...." She began, slightly hesitant of how to cheer her up. "With her intelligence and intuition.... maybe she saw this to be. Maybe she knew that if she sacrificed herself, then it would be a happy ending for you. You have a husband who loves you dearly, as well as a child. She was willing to put your wants before her own."

She placed a hand on the other woman's shoulder, turning away from the TV in order to grant her the view of a somewhat encouraging expression. "If anything.... I think she would be pleased with how everything turned out. Right?"

Initially, Soifon's face was hurt. "But...it wasn't what I wanted. I...I wanted to be with her...I wanted to keep her safe, she deserved this life, not me. I should have stayed and died with her, I should have...."

A single tear came out of Soifon's left eye as she looked at Brina, her expression initially saddened and grieved, but as she wiped the tear off of her face, her expression became relaxed and joyful. "...You're right...she was watching out for me the entire time...and here I've been...ungrateful and...."

She shook her head and closed her eyes, before opening them back up to meet her friend's gaze, the friendly expression still present. "You're right....she would want this...for both of us..."

"Yeah...." Brina squinted her eyes, taking her hand off of Soifon's shoulder and turning back towards the TV just in time to find it flicker onto the appropriate channel; the news. "For both of us...."

She placed the remote on the bed, shifting one leg on the other as she watched the screen. "You've watched the news earlier, haven't you? I keep hearing that there was some incident on the high-way that occurred earlier, but no specific details...."

Soifon's expression then became slightly worried. "Yeah...we heard about it...I had to practically fight Akisame to keep him from going there." She looked down at Evelyn, who was slowly drifting into a deep slumber, before looking up at the screen. What she saw from the news camera brought horror to her face.

The bridge connecting Tokyo and Haneda Airport was destroyed. Too destroyed to be any ordinary human weapon that was left unchecked.

For the moment, Brina paid no attention. She leaned in, folding her hands in her lap and listening intently as the female voice of a news reporter was narrating.

"--was the aftermath of what appeared to be an event of sub-apocalyptic proportions." The narrator explained. The monitor itself was viewing the destruction from above. What used to be a freeway was now a skeleton, its very foundation reduced to smoldering ash. There were abandoned cars all over what remained of it, but there were also some which had fallen in the water. "A seismic blast of what appeared to be electricity was responsible for destroying the bridge. However, reports of a vehicular chase between a civilian motorcycle, a car-carrier truck, and a black car prior to the electric incident were filed in. This has been confirmed by police investigators, who had a helicopter on the scene after reports first came in."

The camera than transitioned to what looked like the actual chase, with the motorcycle (with what looked like a young girl and older woman on it), a massive truck which had been blocking the way as they raced down the freeway.

Evelyn then awoke to the noise and began to watch the incident as well, blubbering at what she saw.

On top of the truck was a man in a black trench coat and other unrecognizable forms of attire, kicking a car off of the back of the truck, a gun in his hand. Soifon leaned in closer to try to get a better view of the man.

"Is that him? Is that the Black Wolf?"

"The motorcyclist has yet to be identified." The news reporter continued to explain the situation, as the chase scene played out as it had done within the actual incident. "However, there have been police reports that there is a match between the cloaked individual on the truck and the wanted terrorist Rushifa Sureiya, a man known for several brutal murders on what seem like random victims throughout five countries of the world. The other, the second rider of the motorcycle, has been identified as one Evelyn McTavish, who had recently recovered from yesterday's train incident. Police officials are still investigating the scene prior to that where....."

However, the two words that had been spoken by the reporter had caught Brina's ears and stopped anything else from coming through. Her blood froze from the inside-out, and her expression slowly contorted to her own shock and horror as she registered the words.

Evelyn. McTavish.

Soifon's eyes equally widened. Shock and horror overtook her expression. She stopped, she stopped everything. She stopped bouncing Evelyn around, she stopped looking at the TV, her mind went blank all except for the two words that seemed to echo throughout her mind...

"S-She-She's.....alive?!"

From that moment, as far as Brina was concerned, it was nothing but deathly silence.

The fact that her mother was still alive shook her with a bit of happiness, at first. However, she immediately remembered and how they parted ways... with her Shikai in the woman's back and her figure stepping away from a target painted by the Gotei 13. There was no happy ending. She had left her mother with a cold smile on her face as she left her to suffer in a painful demise.

So what reason would there be for her not to see her at an enemy, considering the times that had passed....?

"Oh, god.... oh, god....."

Immediately, Brina passed her hands on her face, her shoulders starting to shiver. Her breaths were quickly becoming that of the sobbing kind, although she didn't seem to be crying just yet. But she seemed well on her way to breaking down, the fact of her mother being alive as well as the memories of the past hitting her like a sledgehammer.

Soifon immediatley set a crying Eveln down in the chair and came next to Brina, holding her right shoulder and her back with her arms in an attempt to comfort her. She was just as shocked as Brina was, but she was the elder, and she had to act as such.

"Brina. Brina listen to me! You have to get ahold of yourself. Calm down and let the stress go!" she said, her tone commanding but soft.

"I....I can't...!!" Brina cried, tears falling freely down her face and and staining her face. "Y....you weren't there when I struck her down! A strong, kind-hearted mother screaming in agony as her own daughter stabbed her in the back!! You weren't the one who was putting on a fake smile and pretend you enjoyed to see her in such pain!! But I was!! I saw her very spine break and re-form itself, I saw her very skin bubble, and--!!"

She couldn't bring herself to say any more of the gruesome details, as she had now broken down completely into pained and full-blown crying. Her head was hung down even further, and between the sobbing, one could hear the muffled mantra of "oh god" again and again, like a broken record.

Soifon bit her lower lip and closed her eyes in frustration, hugging Brina tightly once more. "Brina...please just calm down. She doesn't hate you I'm positive. I'm the one that she should hate and see as an enemy, not you...." her voice trailed off, for she did not know what else to say.

Once again, her past was coming back to bite her.

Somehow, the younger woman managed to get hold of herself just enough to say out her next sentence. "I...I'm going to sleep....please see to Eve...." With a hand still covering her face, she managed to stand herself up and walk away from the bed. Her feet were shuffling, almost as if they didn't even know where to go. She bumped into the doorway she was about to before actually going through it, disappearing from their sight once more.

Soifon then took Evelyn and followed Brina. By that time, Akisame had awakened and walked in the doorway, noticing a tearful Brina being followed by his wife and child. He didn't need an explanation, for he already found out. He quickly began to follow Soifon and relieved her of Evelyn, rocking her back and forth gently to get her to sleep.

As for his wife, she came and placed two firm hands on Brina's shoulders, effectively stopping her where she stood. "Brina. You don't need to be on your feet, you're too stressed to even see where you are going." she said, reason in her voice. She slowly wrapped her arm around Brina and began to direct her towards the other bedroom, attempting to prevent her from hurting herself further.

Her next move was sudden.

With a violent, sudden jerk, she tore away from Soifon, dropping her hands from her face in the process. She held her arms to herself in a self-hug, her bangs overshadowing her expression. "P...please, don't touch me...." She said hoarsely, once again shuffling to her own sleeping room. "Just.... just leave me alone...." Her expression was bleak, and tears were running down the corners of her eyes. It was clear that she wouldn't have any more discussion, intent on going to sleep until tomorrow.

Maybe then, she would be better....

But she doubted it.

Soifon simply let her arms fall to her sides, her head hanging down with her teeth gritting, her fists tightening. She just wanted to go back and stop herself from giving Brina the order to kill her mother...

...but she couldn't. All she could do was stand where she was and let the guilt and anger build. She then realized the truth of what the situation truly was. No matter what she did, no matter where she went, no matter who she would fall for or kill...

Her life of violence would never leave her.

Advertisement