Look, I have a thing for characters meeting in unexpected ways and how that could impact canon. It's a weird little niche, but goddammit I'm wedging myself in it!


"Are you here to kill me, Shinigami-san?"

The question was said in a remarkably calm voice for one so young, made him pause a moment to look over the child once more. He was undoubtedly Ryuuken Ishida's son, even with the raven hair instead of white. They shared the same narrowed deep blue eyes and thin lips. Though the boy seems to have a softer figure than his father, likely the result of the mother's genes. From what he saw of her she was a slender woman with the same delicate jawline and small nose.

The boy was still crouched on the muddy ground clutching some torn and bloodied fabric in his pale hands. His thin shoulders were shaking, likely from the chill of the rain drizzling down on them as well as the emotional trauma of losing a family member. Bright blue eyes were focused on him, even though Kisuke had been very careful about keeping his aura hidden.

(He had meandered over when he detected several hollows congregating in one area and a rise in reiatsu. Hollows were becoming more and more prevalent in the city since the birth of Isshin and Masaki's son, but this was an unusual concentration. Analyzing the aftermath, he could make an educated guess as to what exactly occurred. The Quincy weren't the only bitter ones after the war. There were plenty of Shinigami perfectly willing to completely wipe out the already severely diminished numbers.)

He shrugged mentally and stepped into the clearing fully.

Kisuke hadn't paid much attention to Ryuuken's son. He had mostly focused his attention on the Kurosaki family, trying to piece together Aizen's connection and possible plans. A stray Quincy child was minuscule in the wake of that man's schemes.

But, the boy's ability to sense him despite the pains he took to make a gigai that masked his reishi was mildly interesting if nothing else.

(Things had been boring lately anyway.)

"No, I didn't plan on killing you." He smiled mildly and deliberately scanning the torn-up field to help put the child at ease. "And I'm not a Shinigami anymore."

Blue eyes blinked slowly.

"Why should I believe you? Shinigami are liars." The boy's hands clutched the torn cloth to his chest. "Grandpa said they were supposed to help and they didn't. They let him die and took his body."

(That confirmed his theory then. The team that was supposed to protect the older Quincy had failed their job. He wondered if this was another scheme of Aizen or if he was looking too much into what could have easily been a simple overlook.)

"I told you. I'm not a Shinigami anymore." He replied mildly. He pulled a face at the boy. "Come on now, do I even look like one."

Blue eyes focused on him intensely, taking in his sloppy attire, unshaven face, and shit-eating grin. Those eyes narrowed.

"You look like a bum."

"How rude!"

"But, you still feel like a Shinigami. Your reiraku is red."

He chuckled. "Reiraku? Jeez kid, how old are you?"

(To be able to perform such a high-level sensor technique at such a young age. No wonder the kid noticed him.)

The Quincy remained stubbornly quiet, blue eyes still trained warily on his every movement.

Kisuke titled his umbrella up a little and scanned the kid again. The shivers were getting stronger and the boy's lips were starting to look a little blue. He debated for a brief moment before casually dropping his coat over a startled head, ignoring the sharp rise in reiatsu as the boy tried to summon a bow at his approach.

"Well, you don't have to trust me, but you should go home."

He ignored the wobbling arrow pointed at his heart and turned to meander away with a wave.

(A mildly interesting thing in a city full of secrets)

He didn't think of the boy for the rest of the evening, nor the following day. In fact, he went a full week without thinking of that encounter in the clearing.

Until…

"I think I believe you." Blue eyes blinked slowly up at him. "No, Shinigami would live in a dump like this."

"You…" He schooled his features and leaned back, chuckling. "My you're a rude little thing for someone who was trembling so fearfully not that long ago."

A scowled and twitch of the brows. "I wasn't scared. It was just cold out."

"Reeeallly?" He opened his fan to hide his grin. "It didn't look like it from where I was standing."

"Well, it must be your old age. Your eyesight is going."

(This brat…)

He heard Tessai chuckle in the back room. He tilted his hat down a little bit. "What exactly are you doing here, kid?"

Red flushed pale cheeks and blue eyes looked down as the kid shuffled his feet.

"G-grandfather always said that Quincy's always repay their debts…so…" He muttered something to soft for him to hear.

"What was that?" He leaned forward. Genuinely curious now.

He got a scowl in return as the kid snatched up the bag he had set at his feet when entering the shop and tossed it at him, before darting for the door.

"Thank you!"

With that said, the door slammed shut and Kisuke could feel the boys running down the street at full tilt. Blinking in confusion her peeked in the bag, to find his coat neatly folded at the bottom.

(He'd find out later that the little hole in the sleeve, that he had been meaning to get fixed was sewn neatly and pockets were added to the inside. They never talked about it again, but the boy's eyes lit up when he noticed Kisuke wearing it.)

Tessai stepped out of the back room, as solemn as ever, as Kisuke unfolded his coat. "The barrier I placed around this shop shouldn't allow those with reiatsu to notice it."

Kisuke shook his head with a perplexed grin. "Yeah, that kid has some good senses. Puts most Shinigami to shame."

"Do we need to move again?"

"Nah, he's not much of a threat."

(Just a mild interest.)

It was nearly two weeks before he saw the kid again.

"Aren't you supposed to be in school?"

The kid flinched and blinked owlishly at him from his position looking over the candy on display.

"Ryuuken said that all the elementary schools in the area are unacceptable and so I have tutors until I'm old enough to go to Eiichi Academy. I gave them the slip today because they were irritating."

Kisuke whistled. "Isn't that the fancy, rich kid school?"

The kid scowled and turned back to the candy. "Yes. It's for people specializing in the medical field."

"Hm…" Kisuke settled down in his usual spot. "You don't want to?"

"My opinion doesn't matter." He muttered darkly. "In any case, being a doctor would be a huge step up from owning a ratty candy shop that I bet no one even visits."

Kisuke's eyes twitched. "You know kid, you have a really bad attitude."

The smirk he received for the comment was as unexpected as it was brief.

He came in the next day with some money.

"I want that, 3 of those, and 2 of those." He demanded brandishing his handful of coins dramatically.

"Alright, alright." Kisuke waved lazily, hiding his grin behind his fan. "Demanding brat."

"You should be grateful." The brat replied with a sniff. "I'm helping your run-down shop."

"Hey now, we do have customers you know."

Blue eyes glanced around the room doubtfully.

"Well, we have enough to get by." He relented, earning a brief grin in return.

He didn't always come with money, but the boy managed to visit nearly every day after that. Tessai began inviting him to tea and snacks listening contently as the boy chatted about his day. He was a lot politer to Tessai than he was to Kisuke, he noticed amusedly.

(It was easy to forget the boy was a Quincy…until it wasn't.)

Blue eyes turned towards the door.

"Do you sense that?"

"Hm?" Kisuke tilted his head up stretching out his senses until he could feel the faint touch of a hollow across town. "You mean the hollow?"

(Damn the kids reach was far.)

"Are you going to get it?"

Kisuke waved his fan in front of his face. "I told you I'm not a Shinigami."

He barely caught the disappointed look that flashed across the boy's pale face before he turned away.

What an odd kid.

(What exactly was he expecting out of him?)

"You don't have to be a Shinigami or Quincy to try and help a spirit in trouble." The boy muttered as he started for the door. "Grandfather used to say that it was everyone's duty to help those in need."

"And now he's dead."

(Maybe that was a little mean. But, he wanted to see the kids reaction.)

The boy paused on the threshold of the store.

"That's what Ryuuken said."

He didn't see him for a month after that.

When he did, his arm was in a cast and bound to his chest with a sling. While Kisuke was processing that fact, the brat wasted no time plopping himself down beside him with a scowl on his face, feet curled under him in a traditional seiza and back as straight as a rod. There was silence for a while. The only noise in the shop was the water running in the kitchen as Tessai did the dishes.

"Ryuuken says that it's worthless to be a Quincy. He says that I should just give up." Narrowed blue eyes glared towards the door.

Kisuke tilted his hat up and leaned back on his hands to stare at the ceiling.

"And you're telling me this, why?"

Shoulders slumped.

"I don't know." The kid bit his lip. "I, well, you're the only other person that knows about all of this."

Kisuke glanced down at the boy's arm.

"Well, it is pointless to keep getting hurt fighting things you don't have the skill to beat."

Blue eyes misted over, and the boy tilted his head toward the floor to hid them. Kisuke turned back to the ceiling.

"But, I suppose if you get strong enough it wouldn't be a problem." The water stopped in the kitchen. "Of course, to get that strong you'd need a good teacher…"

He trailed off meaningfully.

(It was an amusing distraction. Took away from the growing monotony of waiting on one's enemy to make the first move.)

The boy sniffed.

"Are you implying you're a good teacher?"

Kisuke laughed. "Ah, who knows…"

(Maybe it'd be useful to hold a surprise in reserve for that faithful day Aizen finally made his move. A surprise, even he wouldn't expect.)

(Well…he kept telling himself that anyway.)


This story is dedicated to the wonderful Akaluan for whom I love and admire for writing Dragon Eclipse. Go read it! It's amazing!

I just love Uryuu and think he deserves more love and attention than he gets in canon. Maybe I'll continue this in the future (like my other bleach fic) but for now, it'll just be a oneshot.