What's In A Name?

By: Otaku-Kage

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any of its characters, however this is story is solely my idea. :)

Kenpachi's eyes went wide as the blade bit deep, sliding across his chest with the final blow of the match. He couldn't believe it. He was gonna die and lose his seat as Captain.

"These matches are supposed to end in death, but I will spare you, not because I'm a nice guy, but because I pity you more then anything. It amazes me how you kept your seat as Captain when you don't even have Bankai." His opponent explained.

Somewhere, dully, he could hear the voices of his subordinates Yumichika and Ikaku yelling his name.

"As of today, at 11:49 a.m., Zaraki Kenpachi is stripped of the title of Captain, losing it to his opponent Mitsurugi Hiora." Called the Captain-Commander Yamamoto.

Kenpachi slowly sank to his knees, deprived of his last bit of strength, then fell face first into the hard ground. He lay there as realization of his situation slowly sank in. What it all meant, what it felt like. For the first time since he could remember he felt overwhelmed and didn't know what to do.

"Pathetic." He heard someone call in what sounded like a whisper. He searched for the voice but he couldn't place it.

"You choose to listen to me now?" He heard the whiper again. It was strange, it sounded sorta like an echo. An echo inside his head.

"I'm not in your head, I'm in your hand." Kenpachi used the little strength he had to look down but all he saw was his sword.

"Still don't get it do you? I AM your sword! And also a part of you more or less." The voice sounded angry, but before Kenpachi could respond the world went dark.

Kenpachi awoke laying on his back looking up to the ceiling. He could already tell all his wounds had been treated and chose not to sit up. He did however look to where his sword had been when everything went blank but it wasn't there.

"Taicho!" He heard Yumichika say as he rushed to his side.

"Swo...ord. Sword!" He said coarsely at first, then with greater force.

His subordinate rushed off at the mention of his sword and returned moments later, placing it in his right hand. Kenpachi raised the sword above his head, ignoring the pain it brought to the massive wound to his chest. He was used to this pain.

"I've been calling for you all this time. Why now do you speak?"

"Taicho?" Yumichika said questioningly.

Kenpachi ignored him and waited for his swords response, which didn't come.

"Must have imagined it." Kenpachi said lowering the sword to the gound beside him.

"Why should I answer you when you have ignored me for so long. Its true you have called out to me since we met Ichigo but that doesn't make up for all the time you ignored me before. God knows look at the condition I'm in. You have allowed me to rust and flake and chip away over the years. This is not my true form." His sword finally replied.

"Eh? Your a bit long winded for a sword." Kenpachi said raising the sword back up to look at it more easily.

"Captain is your sword speaking with you?" Yumichika asked, incredulous to the situation.

Again he was ignored as Kenpachi further questioned his blade. "I thought this was your only form. What else do I not know besides your name?"

"This form is a manifestation based solely on how you treat your own body. Through years of neglect, your body and I have grown weak, brittle, and is slowly chipping away to nothing. You wish to be a Captain again? Then say my name."

"Then what is your name?"

"HAH! Hahahahaha, you expect me to just tell you when you don't even ask yourself what yours is?" His sword retorted in a smug manner.

"My name is Zaraki Kenpachi." He responded as if it was an obvious answer.

"That is the name you chose for yourself, and yes you embody that name well, but it isn't your true name. Until you learn your own you shall never know mine." The sword ended the last statement in a way that sounded like a dismissal.

Kenpachi wasn't an idiot. He knew he wasn't going to get anything else from his sword for now. Lowering the sword to the ground he continued to stare at the ceiling as he came to a decision.

"Well, it looks like its time to find my name."

"Your what?" Ikaku said walking into the room to join his taicho and fellow subordinate.

"I'm going to become Captain again, but I can't do it alone. I must have my sword by my side, and to do that I'm going to figure out my true name." Kenpachi explained to both his subordinates.

Ikaku and Yumichika both glanced at each other, then back to their captain, both wondering where this was going to lead them.