The Blind Confession
A Bleach Fanfic
The time was ten-forty-five
Fenice entered into his office, and told Ichi to to be seated.
Ichi entered with Natalia. She offered him a seat to which he thanked her, and soon left closing the door. Ichi remained quiet, as he heard Fenice moving about.
Fenice was carrying a folder on his way in, and he placed it on his desk as he sat in his chair. As he opened it, he also undid the knot tied under his chin, and took off his hat. Revealing he was man in his late 30’s with ear-length, messy black hair, light tanned skin and a eye patch over his left eye. Placing the hat at one corner of the desk, he then brought out a small grey bowl and placed a kiseru pipe on it.
“Hello again, little Ichi,” spoke Fenice, calmly lighting a match for his pipe, but Ichi didn’t answer. Ichi’s eyes though closed, darted about as his face was lowered. It was cooler inside the room than the other, but soon the air turned bitter by the smell of tobacco. Fenice started again, “A troubling night it’s been. Hope you don’t mind the smoke.” Ichi shook his head, and with that Fenice took a few quick puffs, while putting out the match, and sighed out a stream of smoke.
Putting the tip back his mouth, he inhaled smoothly through the mouth and exhaled fumes from his nose, as he looked back down to the folder. Inside was a record of Michio Minamoto’s birth, family and so on.
He then asked, with a curious glance, “Is Ichi a nickname, Michio?” Ichi gave it some thought having heard his real name said again. Twirling his thumbs, he looked up with a little smile and answered, “It was-but now I prefer it.” “I see,” nodded Fenice, as he returned to the papers, and flipped a page.
Ichi’s smile faded, and he leaned back in his chair, and continued to fiddle with his fingers. A sweat beat streaked down the side of his face, and his lips trembled as if wanting to say something. The sound of another page flip, and a exhale of smoke from Grant sounded again. Suddenly the thought of last night struck him hard, and he gasped, “How is she!” He bit his lip realizing he spoke out loud, and regretted it.
Fenice had stopped his reading and brought his gaze up to Ichi. One grey eye glared back at him, feeling the gaze Ichi lowered his head, apologizing. Fenice considered Ichi’s concern, but looking back to the papers he replied bitterly, “We’ll get to that later.”
Continuing to scan the papers, Fenice occasionally glanced up at Ichi catching the many faces and body gestures. Blowing out a puff of smoke, the shinigami placed his kiseru slightly in the bowl, and leaned back into his chair with a sigh and stretching his arms out. Looking up Ichi’s eyes flinched about behind the closed lids as he waited for Fenice to say something.
Grant began as he leaned forward: “Alright, Michio. I know this may be new to you, surely from this I don’t see any reason for you to be mean spirited to any one. However I judge you here and now, as the head of this station. Whether you were to come from the lowest district or from a noble family, you will be treated like everybody else who comes into this academy.”
“With that said,” continued Grant, “do you have personal gripes with the Tachibana?” Ichi gave it thought, while he undid the band in his hair. Letting his hair fall, he fiddled with the band in his fingers. Staying quiet he thought about his family, the Minamoto, and how they worked with fellow nobles; both good and bad.
In truth the Minamoto and the Tachibana kept close ties with one another, providing new members to be brought into the greater four noble families; there were other things but Ichi couldn’t recall them. However when he was much younger a bloody massacre occurred on the eighteenth of April, and the Tachibana were all but wiped out. Though few members did survive the onslaught, namely those married into the other families including the Minamoto. Why it happened is still a mixed debate.
Grant kept his sharp stare on Ichi, frowning in silence.
Ichi’s hands relaxed on the armrests, and he sighed opening his eyes slightly. “I can’t find a reason why yesterday came to be… I don’t have anything against them or her.” trying to find an answer Ichi continued. “Things of the past were either before my time, or simply I was too young. And this incident of which I appeared was simply-” He came to a halt.
The shinigami waited for the boy to finish his statement, his index finger tapping on the desk. He had put the pipe back in his mouth and was exhaling fumes once more.
“Being in the right place-but wrong time.” finished Ichi, lowering his head slightly.
“I swear, I-I’ve only ever met her at the fighting arena, and having giving it time I decided to go see how she was yesterday… But-”
Ichi hushed himself and brought his hands together in his lap, feeling a sudden chill crawl up his spine. Remembering that Kagerou was in that room as well as two others last night. They were there before him, and even attacked him. He could not recall who struck first, simply the sharp pain of a dagger flying into his shoulder, and a person of small height soon clashed with him afterwards. Three voices; one was Kagerou’, the other was a male’s, and the one he clashed with was obviously a female. Before being knocked out, he remembered being thrust against the wall by something perhaps wrapped in sheets.
“When we found you and her in the room, she was near the point of driving a knife through your throat!” entered Fenice’s voice, interrupting Ichi’s thought. “However with luck, the second we turned on the light she panicked and left you alone. She was absolutely terrified and soon fell into shock.” He then explained how there might of been a brawl, seeing how the whole room was knocked about and a window had been smashed out as if one had escaped.
Hearing the way Fenice brought up the idea of a brawl happening in the room. Ichi explained his side of the story further adding his account of meeting Kagerou and two others in the room upon entering. It was still a mystery to Ichi, but he had to get the thought of the three of his chest. Hearing this Fenice’s eye widen with surprise.
“It was only a hunch, and now you're saying that there were others!”
“Yes,” Ichi replied.
“Ho ho, I knew it! Things always seem to happen during a storm.” cheered Fenice, lightly clapping. “So what your telling me is you think these three may have had ill intentions with Kirie, and that will leave you clean?”
“No of course not! I simply told you all that I knew, and it so happens your theory on the clues were correct-that’s all.” replied Ichi, with a serious stare of his opened eyes.
Grant’s mocking smile, soon faded back into a frown. The twinkle in his eye faded too, as he sat back putting down the pipe once more.
“How many does this make,” Fenice muttered.
“This would have to be our third time,”
“Very curious, when I first met you I thought you were nothing more than a one time champ who didn’t care of the gossip,” Fenice kept staring into Ichi’s blind stare, talking almost to himself. “then you get in a fight with the Yellow Haze gang. Just like the fight with Kirie, it seemed as though you were mocking them with your dance. And now here we are again, as judge and convict!”
Ichi’s eyes lowered slightly and was puzzled by what was being said.
Grant took another long puff from his pipe, looking to the ceiling he blew out a cloud of smoke and smirked. Tapping out the ashes of his pipe into the bowl he placed the pipe down again.
“Yet again coming from you it sounds like, you’ve lived most of your days wandering right into trouble whenever you least expected it. So oftenly you tread cautiously and tend to leave things be. Apparently you even left your family according to this record.” he continued.
Fenice leaned down and rested his arms on the desk, and peered into the boy’s face as if to study him. Ichi bit his lip, and upon lowering his head the hair hid away his face.
“It hurts doesn't it,” Fenice stated softly. “when the surrounding darkness is your only friend, Michio.” Ichi’s felt his heart sink and his eyes began to well up, but he desperately tried to hold back the emotions as his hands returned to the armrests and his grip tightened.
Fenice sighed and stood up, and brought out his locket watch and opened it. Looking at Ichi and then back to the innards of the watch, he closed it and put it away. “But then again, Michio. Think of it this way, you didn’t have to walk a barren war torn landscape that had monsters roaming about devouring friends and enemies all around you, and all you can do is hide and wait for them to get you. But in the end the monsters never will come to end your misery.”
Ichi finally raised his head in tears, in total loss of words. Grant however came to the boys side, and placed a hand on his shoulder. The boy shivered slightly in his grasp, but Fenice told him that it was going to be fine.