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The Strawberry and the Silent Child @writer_of_many_subjects
Chapter 1

I do not own Bleach, I started thinking about writing this since the Anime is coming back. It brought back that happiness from junior high and high school and I wanted to capitalize on that, so here this story is. Also spoilers ahead.


The Strawberry and a Silent Child

It looks like rain.

That was the only thought that was going through her head as she stared up at the sky from her spot on the cold ground. Strawberry blonde hair, which held more of a pinkish tinge to it than a blonde, surrounded her head like a halo. She was a bit confused as to how she got on the ground, it didn't help that she wasn't sure where she was. She tried to move her arm so she could get up from the ground.

The pain in the back of her head meant that she had an injury of some sorts, the warmth told her that she was bleeding. It wasn't a promising idea for her to remain on the ground where she could get hurt even more. She was able to get up to a sitting position and reached for the back of her head with trembling hands. She needed to know what the amount of damage was.

Her eyes grew wide as something wrapped around her throat and she was thrown back a few feet. She clenched her jaw and brought her hands up to hit at whatever was holding her. There was a solid mass, she was sure of that as she continued to beat at it. The mass increased the pressure on her throat and a cough passed through her lips as she tried to breathe.

What the hell is holding me down?

She blinked as the mass finally appeared. It was ugly, she knew that much, with a large skull like mask on its head covering what used to be a face. She wondered how she could miss something this big and ugly but tried to focus on not choking to death. She brought a leg up and tried to kick at the monster that was trying to kill her.

It released her in slight surprise. She blinked as it picked her up by the back of her white polo and tossed her through the air. Her breath was knocked out of her as she hit a bench. She let out a strangled gasp as blood began to flow down her face. She went to scream, but the only thing that came out was a gurgle.


She tried to get up but was pushed back down to the ground by her throat. She felt tears gathering in her eyes, she was going to die by a monster of all things it was ridiculous. She started to see dark spots in her vision and fought to get a breath. She didn't want to die in some park.

She heard a loud scream above her, and the monster disappeared. She took a few greedy, deep breaths and closed her eyes. She didn't remember falling asleep, so when she was lifted from the ground, she let out a surprised breath and her eyes snapped open as she wildly looked around. She was being put into the back of a vehicle.

A regular car, of all things. She wished that she could scream, to call attention to what was going on, but all she could do was close her eyes. It was so hard to breathe; she couldn't help but wince when she tasted iron. Ah, she was going to die in some stranger's car. She would rather die by monster.

"Help!" She was jolted out of her thoughts by the scream, it wasn't her's.

She tried to move her head to look out the window above her, but she let out a hiss of air at the pain that went through her neck. It got harder to breathe, and that iron taste increased. She could hear distant voices and she felt the distinct action of being lifted into the air and placed on something stiff. Something was placed on her face and breathing got a bit easier, at least she was getting air.

"What happened?" A deep voice asked, she frowned not understanding what the man was saying.

Where the hell was she? Did she lose the ability to understand spoken words? She didn't think that was the case, but it could happen. She felt something poking at her neck and let out a hiss when it hit the middle of her throat.

"She's a foreigner, I was able to discern that much," The first voice continued, it belonged to an old man, "She didn't respond to anything I said, even in the car."

"What was a foreigner doing that could cause her to be hurt this bad?" The owner of the deep voice asked, his dark brows furrowing.

"Hey, it's going to be all right, my dad's really good at helping people," A little girl with light brown hair informed the injured girl as she gently pats her hand.

The girl just stared blankly at her before tilting her head and wincing. She had no clue what was going on. She wished she could understand what was being said around her. It would help her to know what was happening, which was important to her.

"Dad, can she speak Japanese?" The little girl asked the dark-haired man.

"I don't think so, she was most likely in the wrong place at the wrong time," The man replied, "Most likely a tourist that got lost."

A strange gargling came from the injured girl and they both looked down at her. She understood the word tourist. She had to let them know that wasn't the case. She frowned and slowly shook her head. The man gained a thoughtful expression before snapping his fingers.

"English?" He questioned.

She could almost cry at the familiar word. She gave a nod and he raised his brows. He had his work cut out for him, he was going to have to call around to different tourist traps and airports to ask if they had seen her before. A fifteen-year-old from an English-speaking country wouldn't be on their own. Well, he was guessing that she was fifteen. She couldn't be younger than his son.

"Where are you from?" He asked, his English heavily accented and he watched as her expression became panicked and her breathing picked up.

She shrugged and looked away from him, it clicked in his head. She ran away from a troubled home and got hurt. She didn't look like she wanted to talk about her home and he could understand that, but he could get in trouble and possibly arrested if he didn't at least try to make it look like he had looked for any documentation on her. Like hell he was going to let her go back to a bad home, the bruises on her legs were older than the ones on her upper torso.

Whatever had happened to her had been gruesome. She was swallowing her own blood, she had bit into the side of her mouth at one point when her neck had been grabbed, and couldn't speak. He had some equipment for x-rays, he needed them to make sure patients didn't have punctured lungs, and he used it to make sure she wasn't bleeding internally from her throat or chest. She was wearing a metal necklace and he informed her that he was taking it off, but would immediately give it back upon finishing.

It was an Ankh of all things. Something that she cherished seeing as her eyes hadn't left it as it left her possession. His daughter held onto it for the older girl and gave her a small smile, it was enough to cause the girl to calm down.

"Well, you don't have any internal bleeding and the bite in your cheek doesn't need stitches," He informed her, "We'll see how you heal up to see if your vocal cords were effected or not."

She gave him the smallest of nods and he put a hand on her head, ignoring the flinch she gave upon contact, and ruffled her hair. She looked at him in surprise and smiled at his daughter as she was given her necklace back. It remained in her grasp as she couldn't sit up and clasp it around her neck. Within seconds of watching him put away equipment she fell asleep again.

"Kurosaki family meeting," He called up the stairs to his remaining children.

A teen with a scowl on his face and bright orange hair came down the stairs and shot him a look before moving towards the dining table. A dark-haired little girl, with a face almost identical to her brothers, gave him a confused look before joining her older brother. The small brunette took a seat and stared up at her father, having guessed what he wanted to talk about. He took a seat and gained a serious expression, something that surprised his children.

"There's a girl in the clinic, one that shows obvious signs of a…rough home life," He explained, "She was brought in by Watanabe-San, I don't really want to send that girl back home with how she reacted to being asked about her home country."

"Oh, she's a foreigner?" The dark-haired daughter asked.

"Yes, Karin, from an English-speaking country," He nodded.

"I didn't know you could speak English," Karin informed him with a look of slight respect.

"Dad is full of surprises." The orange haired boy agreed.

"Oh, you make your father so happy!" The man exclaimed with a grin as he tried to hug Karin.

All respect from the two was lost at that point. They moved to the side and he was left grasping at air before falling to the ground. He looked up at his children with a slight pout. He quickly got back onto his feet.

"Is she staying or not?" His son asked.

"I can't send her back."

There was something in how his father said that, that got his son's attention. His father looked like he had seen a ghost, or that he felt horrible for her. He was curious as to what this kid looked like. He sighed and headed towards the clinic; his curiosity was getting the better of him as his father called for him.

"Let him go, I don't blame him for being curious," Karin sighed as she frowned at her father.

"She seemed nice," The brunette said.

"How can you be sure, Yuzu?" Karin questioned.

"Her eyes," Yuzu and their father said in unison.

Well, people did say that the eyes were the window to the soul. Karin shook her head at how the two were acting. She could be a murder in surprise and could have fallen in the park after her victim fought back. It wasn't unlikely, though her father would say that she was watching too much television again.

The orange haired teen looked down at the half-awake teen in the clinic. Her amber eyes looked around the room in slight confusion before remembering what was going on. He would be the first one to say that she looked like hell. She was heavily bruised on the torso and neck, and her hands were all bandaged. She saw him and narrowed her eyes slightly before realizing something and letting out a slight sigh.

"Ichigo." He introduced himself.

She waved at him, it was slow and barely noticeable, but the sentiment was there. He sat in a nearby chair and watched as she watched him. It was like she didn't know what to make of him, and he watched as her eyes traveled up to his hair. She paused for a second before smiling at him. It was like the color of his hair brought her some joy, it had to be her favorite color.

"You…You going to be okay?" He stumbled through his English.

Her eyes lit up at someone else she could talk to but gave a slight shrug in response. She didn't really know if she was going to be okay. They were going to have to call her something. An idea came to him and he looked around for something. He found what he needed and grabbed at it.

"You write your name," He told her.

She blinked at that and accepted the writing utensil he handed her. She looked at the pen as he held up the paper. She frowned in concentration and wrote something down. Shizuko S. Potter. He watched as she slowly wrote down a single kanji that made up her first name. Silent Child. He made a face at that.

"You know Japanese?" He asked.

She shook her head and he gave her a confused look before she wrote something else down.

My mother was obsessed with Japanese culture, she made sure I could write the meaning of my name down in the correct Kanji.

That sounded about right. He let out a sigh at that and put the paper down next to her bed. She gave him an apologetic smile, she had nothing to apologize for. He brought a hand up and plopped it down onto her head and ruffled her hair just like his father. She blinked in surprise and gave him a happy smile.

It was the start of a very slow friendship.

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