Actions

Work Header

Surprises come in many sizes, shapes, colors and Ichigos.

Chapter Text

#B#

Rukia didn't really like assignments in the world of the living. They were stifling, and it was a pain in the ass to get actual lodge instead of sleeping in parks or not sleeping at all. She would have to keep a low profile, and humans were not good company –they couldn't even see her. So most of the time, she always strived to finish as soon as she could.

However, there was this one time that she found something peculiar. A change of pace was always welcome, so when she saw a scowling, orange-haired teen talking and actually interacting with a plus, well she was obviously impressed. It was entertaining for about five minutes, before a hollow roar rang through the skies, and she flashed away in her fastest shunpo. Seeing that the weird boy had made no gesture to show he had heard it too, she could easily theorize that while his reserves were high, they weren't high enough to see her or the hollow.

So she left with that impression and almost lost her life to a hollow they had named PointedJaw. It was a high level hollow on the verge of evolution, and so it was considerably higher than her own skill level. She was certain she would have lost her life had a blue arrow not flown an inch away from her cheek, in the direction of the hollow's skull.

Rukia knew that a reishi arrow meant a Quincy, but that arrow had looked fragile and weak, so she fell back and waited for her new chance to attack. She never got the chance though, because as the arrow pierced the hollow's skull, it burst outward and completely obliterated the soul. She quickly turned around to see her savior, and didn't know what to think when she saw the orange-haired teen from before.

Even over her shock, her manners still remained, so she quickly and efficiently bowed her head in gratitude before standing straight again.

"I appreciate the save, Quincy."

The orange-haired brat –really, he could only be a brat when put up against her 150 years – nodded as well before turning on his heel and leaving the way he came,

"Make sure to be more careful, Shinigami."

And so she had not seen him again.

Two days later her assignment ended, and she didn't think back to the orange-haired Quincy that had saved her life. He had not pried into her presence in town, and so she respected his privacy and left that incident out of her report.

However, half a year later she found herself thinking back to that faithful night when she saw that same teen walking down the streets in a deep blue kimono decorated with tiny fireworks splashed over the hems in red. He was casually strolling the first district, looking for all intents and purposes as if he belonged here with an arm lazily slung inside his kimono and the other holding a bag with fresh fruit.

She was shocked further, when two men wearing typical Shiba servant clothing ran up to the orange head, distinctively out of breath and relief splashed all over their face.

"Ichigo-sama!" one of the bulky men cried out "please don't leave the compound without an escort! What would we do if something were to happen to you?"

The orange head gives a smile in resignation and lets the other man carry his bag only after much debate and frantic pleas from the retainers. The teen continues his walk shortly after, but he has two shadows every step of the way like she has seen her ni-sama on a couple occasions.

Later on, in one of those formal noble parties she hates with a passion, Rukia finds out that the orange-haired teen is the current heir of the Great and Noble Shiba Clan. He's Kaien's little cousin, and the man has stated without a fraction of doubt, that Ichigo had been born for the position. Rukia has no doubt that her lieutenant is only half joking, which only makes it a frightening thought, because there is a difference between those groomed for a position, those born into the position and those born for the position.

The fact that Kaien dots on the orange head even though Ichigo gives him an annoyed scowl about 80% of the time makes no difference to the lieutenant. He still parades around singing praises about his baby cousin even though the orange head is most defiantly not a baby. Rukia actually remembers Kaien talking about his little cousin for as long as she could remember, but the raven head had never mentioned a name, or brought out a picture.

So there's a doppelganger parading the streets of the living room as an honest to god Quincy, or the pride and joy of the Shiba Clan is more than what meets the eye. The way he meets her stare one day, and a knowing smile curls the edges of his mouth makes her think it's the second option, and not the first.

Yet again she remains quiet out of respect for the others privacy, and the orange head doesn't approach her unless it's on formal business which is rarely the case and only because she usually stays glued to her Ni-sama's side.

It's confusing.

Then her world is turned upside down when on a mission to the world of the living she ends up giving her powers to a human girl and borrows a Gigai from the shabby blonde guy that owns a candy store… really, what can she say?

Karin and her clash more times than not, but they still forge a sort of camaraderie where she knows the teen will have her back for as long as she takes to get her own powers back. Her sudden Shinigami abilities was a god-send in the girl's eyes, and the fact that she was able to protect her little sister and parents is all the payment and debt she says she can never pay.

Then Renji and NI-sama come and capture her with the sole intention of bringing her back to sereitei for her own sentence –she's floored, really. Karin tries to stop them, but she pretty much gets skewered in the process. Rukia's only hope is that the shabby candy shop owner might find the Kurosaki before she bleeds out.

Time passes by, she overhears some Shinigami gossiping about some Ryoka and instinctively knows its Karin with her suicidal plan to rescue her. She curses the girl to the depths of Hueco Mundo and back as she pushes down the small spark of hope that starts growing in her chest.

She gets a couple visits during her stay at the 6th division cells, but once she's transferred to the tall white tower, she knows no one will be allowed to even get near her until execution day. Three days before that date her door opens, and in walks a young teen with vibrant orange hair on silent feet. He stands there and just stares at her for half a minute, before taking a seat on the floor with one graceful movement that makes her think the hard ground is made out of the softest of pillows –it's not, she can attest to that, but that single minded ability to make anything look like a throne is pretty much a basic ability of everyone from a Noble clan except her.

She's never talked to him, so she has no idea why he is here when no one is supposed to enter, and why he even came in the first place.

"You're a strange one." Is the first thing he says, and she instantly finds her eyebrow twitching.

"Did you come all the way here just to tell me that?" she throws away the decorum, he may be nobility but she's gonna die anyways so what's the point.

He doesn't bristle nor show a difference in emotion. He merely stares at her, and she almost finds herself overwhelmed by the intensity of the stare.

"I wanted to thank you."

Rukia really doesn't know what to say, this orange-haired teen has been a mystery since day one, so she's not disappointed when he continues to baffle her even further. Maybe it's a thing he does, or maybe it was genetic –Kaien-dono baffles her once in a while too.

"For?" she asks instead.

The smirk he gives her is just as annoying as she remembers, but he doesn't answer her question which irritates her even further. If she weren't versed on Kuchiki patience, she knows she would have snapped by now.

"I have a favor to ask." She just looks on, expression flat to convey her own confusion "Don't give up, no matter what."

Rukia can't help pointing out "How can I give up on something I'm already resigned to?"

Ichigo's smile only widens before he stands up in one fluid motion "My stupid cousin would be highly disappointed if I just let you get executed, so stay strong."

With those words as a parting gift he leaves, and Rukia is left to wonder why Kaien-dono, who's a Clan head and a lieutenant of the Gotei 13, has placed his faith on his younger cousin to do something he is apparently unable to do.

So she pushes her doubts to the side, and tries to forget the first real chat she had with the mysterious orange head.

Soon enough her execution comes along, and her heart constricts when she finds Kuchiki Byakuya among the crowd, looking for all intents and purposes as if he were not here to see his sister's death.

Then Kurosaki Karin is intervening, and next thing she knows, Renji is carrying her to safety. Of course that doesn't last long when Aizen Sosuke, the dead captain of the 5th squad kidnaps her and starts to monologue about his plans to take over the worlds and become spirit king in front of the captains and lieutenants. If Rukia weren't so confused herself, she would have felt some pity for Karin and the rest of the gang who look lost to the entire thing.

And then everything gets weirder.

Shiba Ichigo casually appears out of thin air, his usual yukata replaced by a black shihakusho and white haori. She's pretty sure he's not a captain, she couldn't have been that oblivious to his presence, but then he's standing in front of her and she sees the big black kanji for zero on his back and finds her eyes widening.

The orange head walks center stage with all the confidence in the world, as if a melodramatic pshyco wasn't threatening their entire existence. Aizen actually looks like Christmas came early, since Ichigo is pretty much a book full of all his answers before the orange head suddenly reappears inside the brunet's personal space and touches his left breast.

"See this, Aizen Sosuke?" he asks the shocked ex-captain "I have your beating heart in the palm of my hand and you did nothing." His smirk turns bone chilling "You just let me have it."

And so the man tries to make a strategic retreat but is dumbfounded when the menos grande that appear over the sky pretty much freeze instead of attack.

When Ichigo turns to the hollows and pretty much gives them a winning smile, they take their cue and go back the way they came which is pretty much the cherry on the metaphorical cake.

Aizen is apprehended, and when questioned how he knew of the master plan, the air around him looks even more mysterious and he whispers to those present.

"The hollows told me of course." The way he puts an index finger over his lips pretty much stops every and any question they may have, so they leave it at that, and just thank the spirit king that nothing worse happened.

Later, much much later, she questions him –she just can't let it slide anymore!- and receives more questions than answers.

"Who are you?" she asks.

"I'm a Shinigami captain, born from a Shinigami captain turned human, who married a Quincy infected with Hollow energy." He's defiantly laughing on the inside.

"What did you thank me for?" she tries something hopefully simpler.

"I may have died in the past, but being who I am, I know who my family was."

The way he says it makes her think that he's not talking about the Shiba clan; which is weird. He's nobility, born in Soul Society, and living in Soul Society. But he talks about death, and other families, at this rate, believing him might just avoid an even bigger headache.

So maybe Shiba Ichigo will forever remain a mystery no matter how much she asks, and no matter how much he actually answers. But one thing she knows for certain, Kurosaki Ichigo does have a nice ring to it.

Chapter Text

 

#IS#

Everyone knows Kuchiki Byakuya is the epitome of noble grace and stature. He’s composed, regal and knows the ins and outs of the entire political side of Soul Society. However, even the ever emotionless Kuchiki has his breaking points, even though he rarely shows it.

Rukia knows that her Ni-sama does not curse like mostly everyone else does. She’s even heard her own captain –sweet and kind Ukitake-taicho- curse through a particularly tall stack of paperwork when he was trying to finish on time after a bout of sickness hit –it had been terrifying to hear. She has heard her Ni-sama whisper things to himself when she thinks he blows –not like she can tell, his expression remains impassive- but the times she has been close enough to hear, she can only tell it’s in a completely foreign language.

Renji has also heard such episodes, some of them directed at him –he thinks- but like Rukia, he really can’t understand the rapid words uttered under his breath, and he’s not so sure he ever wants to know. Kuchiki Byakuya is scary on a good day, he doesn’t want to know what those –most likely curses, from the tone he has been able to catch- mean.

One day, Ichigo accompanies Rukia into the Kuchiki Manor to pick up some papers she had forgotten in her room. As they pass by the room where Byakuya was having a meeting with the Clan Elders –Rukia had told him- the stoic Kuchiki stalks out, muttering words that Rukia has maybe heard a thousand times –Dummkopf, that sounds like something her Ni-sama has said in the past… maybe.

Ichigo on the other hand freezes which makes Rukia stop as well and turn up to her friend to find him blushing as bright as his namesake. The orange head mechanically turns to the Kuchiki head who seems to have barely noticed their presence before stuttering.

“I-Is that e-even humanly possible?” Ichigo asks the raven head.

Rukia finds herself looking between the two curiously as Byakuya’s eyes widen almost unnoticeably. Her Ni-sama doesn’t say anything for half a minute, but soon enough seems to have finished rebooting his thought process and asks as composed as ever.

“Kurosaki Ichigo,” he begins as cold as ice to try and hide his curiosity “You understand German?”

Ichigo clears his throat to try and clear the blush dusted over his cheeks before nodding as slowly as possible. He looks nervous, and if Rukia weren’t so shocked herself –she finally knows what language that is!- she would have savored the expression on his face.

“And French.” He points out shyly which makes Byakuya raise an eyebrow “A- And Italian. And Chinese. And Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, Roman, Dutch, Swiss and Russian among others.” 

Byakuya comes to the slow realization that the Substitute Shinigami must have understood his fluent string of curses. The fact that he had mixed up his swears in German, French and Russian must not have fazed the teen if what he says is truth, and right now, he seriously cannot find it in himself to doubt the other.

“Huh,” Rukia deadpans, almost as if she’s just now realizing that Ichigo is never going to stop surprising them.

Byakuya cannot help mirroring Rukia’s shocked expression with a furrowing of his brows as well.

Ichigo’s blush returns full power. 

Chapter Text

"Do you think you can do it?" Ichigo asked the little orange head.

The boy stared intently at his prey with narrowed eyes as he tightened his grip on his knife. His eyes hardened in resolve before turning up to look at his father.

"I can do it." Ichigo's smile twitched upwards as he felt a bubble of pride grow in his stomach. He gave an encouraging nod, before a cocky smirk invaded his face.

"That's my boy, get to it then." He gestured "Remember, always keep your grip steady and be mindful of where you cut. A sloppy job will only make it harder." He instructed.

The little orange head blinked his big brown eyes at his father while he gave a confused scowl –honestly Ichigo called it a pout, but the little boy would always sulk if he mentioned it.

"But Tou-san, Isshin-ji told me you would always mess up." Ichigo spluttered in indignation "What if I end up inheriting that too."

He cleared his throat to try and keep a cool and collected expression. He was the adult, and he'd be damned if he didn't teach his little boy properly the fine art of cutting.

"I'm sure you inherited your mom's skills instead." He stated.

The little boy looked on, slightly doubtful before taking a deep breath. "I can do it." He tightened his grip on the hilt. "I can cut my own steak without Tou-chan's help!" he exclaimed as he rose his utensils and dug in with a war cry that made Ichigo beam in pride.

The little orange head sawed into his steak with fervor to try and cut it into bite sized pieces but the meat seemed to be a hard opponent who wouldn't submit to the blunt blade of the butter knife. The boy cried out in outrage before turning to look at his pretty-much-identical father.

"Tou-chan, the steak defeated me." Big fat crocodile tears started to form at the corner of his brown eyes making Ichigo panic.

He scrambled for something to say before brightening in eureka as he broke into a big grin.

"I know," he appeased the little boy "how about I take you with me next time I need to exterminate a hollow. I bet that'd give you a better perspective with chopping up things."

The little orange head sighed in resignation before scowling –cough *pouting* cough- at the older "Tou-chan, there I use a zanpaktou. Here," he waved the butter knife to emphasize his point "I use a flimsy, edgeless knife."

"Uh…" Ichigo stuttered "don't tell your mother?"

The unimpressed stare the little orange head gave him made Ichigo think of how his own wife would react if she ever found out.

He did not want to know.

Not to be continued...

Chapter Text

Like clockwork, almost silent steps resounded through the walls of the long hallway. Aizen turned his eyes towards the door, and almost expectantly stayed still as if afraid that the sound was a mere illusion.

The steps stopped at the foot of his door, and the shuffling of someone settling down was heard before a faint thump echoed through his small cell.

"Any news," he asked even though he already knew the answer "Ichigo?"

The orange head sighed softly from the other side of the door before relaxing his stiff posture and falling limp against the wall he had chosen to recline himself on. He sat there in silence, trying to make sense of his own thoughts with the small reprieve he was given.

"It is lonely." He states not for the first time. "I hadn't really understood it… back then."

Aizen closes his eyes slowly as he too relaxes his posture against his own piece of wall. He opens his eyes again, but they seem much dimer than they had been not half a minute before.

"Back then," he seems to whisper into the empty cell "do you mean that time I tried to become Spirit King?"

Ichigo nods from his position outside even though he knows Aizen couldn't see him. He still knows the man would have understood his silence, and so no verbal answer was really necessary.

"Now that I think back," he begins again "I had thought you had given up."

The orange head mulls over his words before scoffing lightly as if to show his own indignation.

"I actually had." He reveals causing the brunet to turn his head towards the door fast enough to give himself a whiplash.

He stares "But you came after me."

Ichigo hums in agreement before closing his eyes as scenes of that battle flash against his eyelids. He opens his eyes once his last attack against the very man he is conversing with happens, and quickly wishes he hadn't.

"Goat-face," he states as if he were really just figuring out a particularly hard puzzle "he insisted we go after you even though we both knew it was futile."

Aizen nods to himself as if already expecting that "Shiba didn't realize the difference in our strengths because he couldn't sense my power anymore. Humans tend to overlook their fear when they do not see what they are scared of."

Ichigo stays quiet, and for a second he almost thinks the orange head has left with a sudden mastery of silent walking. But then the orange head heaves out a giant sigh that has him raising a brow.

"I could." He reveals "I could always understand your reiatsu, even back then. Goat-face had been surprised, I just hadn't known why."

If Aizen hadn't been observing the metal door he would have done a double take. Even then he contemplates the orange head's words and tries to make sense out of them at the best of his ability.

"I was never really above you, was I?" he questions, almost as if it were directed at himself and not really expecting an answer.

"I hadn't known." Ichigo clarifies "He asked me what I was going to do?" he takes a deep breath as he glances up to the musky ceiling. "'Are you going to sit there and cry because you couldn't protect someone again?' That really hit the nail."

"And so you came after me stronger then before and brought me to my knees." He summarizes as he hums in resignation "You always overcame yourself and now…" Aizen trailed off, as if afraid of saying it out loud.

"Now our positions areflipped and my reiatsu is the one no can really understand anymore."

They both stay in companionable silence as the truth was laid out to them. Ichigo had really been the only one to understand how lonely Aizen was from a single clash of blades, while Aizen is the only one who knows what Ichigo is currently going through. They are their greatest enemies, yet the best of friends.

"I wonder," Aizen breaks the silence "why they let you come here every day, unguarded."

Ichigo snorted "You think they'd let me come in? They would think we're plotting world domination or something just as ridiculous."

"We could." Aizen points out "Make the world bow to our feet and overthrow those corrupt men from their pedestal."

The orange head thinks about it, even if only for half a second before the faces of his friends, family and even Aizen flash through his mind and thinks no. "That's not the answer." He says instead "We may be strong and above others, but the greater we are, the harder we will fall."

Aizen stays silent as a small smile curves his lips. He had known the answer would be no, he just hadn't expected the reasoning. Honestly, Kurosaki Ichigo could never fail to overcome his expectations.

"Oh well," he drawls lazily "I guess we'll have to condemn ourselves with sharing a prison cell someday. You and I both know Central 46 well enough to predict their future orders."

"Someday," Ichigo whispers as he stands up and dusts his hakama pants "but when that happens, we both know what will happen."

The smile that curves the corners of Aizen's mouth was genuine, as it was expectant.

"That'll be fun to orchestrate." His smile widens "The day local hero, Kurosaki Ichigo says no more." He starts to laugh as Ichigo's steps become softer and farther "I would love to be a fly on the wall when Central 46 hears it."

Ichigo's smile widens with glee as he exits the hallway and closes the door with a resounding groan. His eyes brighten; he's actually looking forward to it.

Aizen must be seriously rubbing off on him.

Not to be continued...

Chapter Text

#AKC#

Rukia never really questioned why she had been assigned to the most spiritually active block when she received her assignment that day. Even if she had, she probably wouldn’t have received a real answer.

Be as it may, she didn’t question her orders, and found out how spiritually active Karakura town really was first hand.

First of all, it may be a hollow magnet, but the amount of hollows she got to defeat were actually few and most of them were weak. The times she had received orders on her pager to defeat stronger hollows, they would always disappear almost two seconds after.

The residents were also weird, many of them actually glanced her way, while others ignored her existence like usual because they could not see her –if only she knew that was not the full truth.

On her second week, she followed a trail of hollow residue to a calm neighborhood before losing her track in front of a two story house with a clinic attached. She found it easy to walk in through one of the open windows up until she had the surprise of her life.

Big brown eyes were actually starting at her inquisitively.

“What is a Shinigami doing in sacred ground uninvited?” was the first thing the orange-haired teen asked her, making Rukia stop her tracking almost instantly.

“You can see me?” she asked before shaking her head to clear her thoughts “Scratch that, you know what I am?”

The brat had the gall to give her a raised eyebrow in response before he crossed on leg over the other, making the simple office chair look like a throne.

“Of course I do,” he scoffed “More like you don’t know what we are.”

“Humans” she deadpanned.”

The orange head laughed out loud in amusement as if she had just said a great joke. Honestly she could not find the humor in her own words.

“Humans?”

Rukia rolled her eyes “Yes human, now I am a Shinigami who needs to do her job so get out of the way, and let me track the hollow.”

The human gave a smirk at her words before crossing his arms over his chest “You won’t find it. The trace ends here because this is where he stood the last time he breathed.”

She obviously understood what that meant, and maybe, just maybe he really wasn’t as… human as she had thought he was. She really couldn’t feel the hollow’s reiatsu, so the logical answer would be that the hollow was dead. And besides herself, only humans dwelled in Karakura… or did they?

Rukia cleared her throat “As you said, I’m a Shinigami.” She stood up straight and to attention “Un-seated officer of squad 13 of the Gotei 13. Kuchiki Rukia.”

“Hm, you’re a Kuchiki.” He stated in wonder, looking at her inquisitively like if she were a rare specimen “I’ve never met a Kuchiki that didn’t have a perpetual stick up their ass.”

Rukia was floored, even if her mouth didn’t feel like a dessert, she still didn’t think she’d be able to form words. Her brain took a hell of a long time to kick start back into action too, but once it did, she could only stare incredulously at the orange head. Because sure, the Kuchikis were well known for their mask and composure and perfect posture but humans were not supposed to know that! They shouldn’t be able to describe the very core nature of a Noble Clan in a handful of insulting words either.

“U-uh and you are?” she asked unintelligibly –her Ni-sama would be really disappointed.

The orange head leaned in excitably as a smug smile curled the corner of his lips –Rukia found herself wanting to punch his face and wasn’t that a first?

“Commander of the Round table of Archangels, acting Chief of planet Earth and 1st Heir in line to the Throne of the Heavens.” His smirk widened in amusement as her jaw dropped “But my friends call me Ichigo, it’s good to meet you.”

 

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

#WoF#

He backs up slowly as he comes to the realization that his charade is up. Ichigo looks like a smoldering volcano ready to explode, and Gin knows as certain as he is the sky is blue, that by the time the orange head is done with him, he’ll be lucky to remain in the mortal plain of existence.

The rest look surprised as well, as if they had never really seen Ichigo this angry, and maybe that might be the case. He may be laid back and pretty much let’s all the other gods do as they wish so long as they don’t do something wrong, but impersonating a god is a big no no, and Gin had known it from the very beginning.

Why had he joined Aizen in his overtake if he would need to infiltrate the god’s table?

Ichigo takes a step forward, his face is impassive –no usual scowl in place- and at this distance, Gin can actually see the orange head’s aura. Usually high-class Gods emit presence because of their age and power, but their aura and holy power is completely untraceable unless they intentionally lower it to their level of comprehension.

He really wished he would have never had the pleasure to feel it.

“I knew you were a demi-god from day one Gin.” He explains slowly as if trying to make a toddler understand.

Gin actually appreciates it, because this is news to him. He had thought he had completely fooled the high table two millenniums ago when he joined. The fact that Ichigo knew all this time is shocking, he should have been disintegrated into ashes a long time ago if that were the case.

“I also know that the reason why you decided to commit this crime was noble, even if the intentions were stupid, and the plan even more so.” Okay, now Gin feels he should feel offended by that but can’t. “I was going to leave you alone, but attacking the Queen of the heavens is not something I even want to forgive.”

Gin winces, he had known that. Masaki was the Goddess Queen and no one looked at her wrong and lived to tell the tale. He was honestly lucky he hadn’t really killed her, if he had, he knows there would have been no time between the act and his death. But he must continue his paper until the bitter end no matter what. There was still… hope?

Even the little Kuchiki seemed confused! She was altering her piercing glare between Ichigo and Gin as if trying to figure out what one of her best friends was talking about. Out of all the gods and goddess’ currently present, Kuchiki Rukia might be the only one to actually know what Ichigo’s talking about.

Her confused expression makes Gin doubt that.

“It’s judgment time.” The orange head calls forth making even Sung Fei wince. Judgment was not fun.

Ichigo brought a finger up pointing heavenwards, before looking expectantly at Gin with an expression that he honestly couldn’t understand. He still looked furious, but his eyes showed something else, something almost expectant.

It freaked him out.

“We shall begin.” Ichigo stated calmly making all the others shuffle into formation. The orange head nodded once again towards Gin, and for a second he couldn’t help his glimmer of hope increase.

“I can tell that you’ve never been true to me.” He began in a double toned voice “I can smell that you’re acting so fearfully, I can hear what you’re hoping I want to hear. I can feel the alarm bells are ringing in me.” A faint aura of blue on black started to emerge from Ichigo’s forefinger and the dread returned full force. That judgment spell was pretty much describing him! Accurately! “I can touch but I know you don’t feel a thing, I can pray but I know you commit a sin.” Ichigo’s eyes turned a golden hue and Gin knew he was finally done for, the God had seen all his crimes. “I can sense, now it’s all become clear to me. You’re no good, and you mean no good treacherously!”

Treachery! Gin thought in his mind, he was trialed for treachery?! That was Aizen’s main thing!

All of a sudden a blood chilling yell resounded through the holy grounds making Ichigo’s lips curve upwards. Almost instantly a man with shaggy brown hair and thick black glasses appeared collapsed on the floor holding his head in pain making Gin’s eyes widen in realization at what the orange head had really done.

That wasn’t just a judgment spell. That was the judgment spell. Holy shit, he hadn’t been judged!

Aizen tried to stand up under the pain and force but all he could manage was to tilt his head upwards “Ichigo,” he spat out like venom “I knew you would be a throne in my side.”

The orange head hummed in agreement as he struck a thoughtful pose “I’d be offended if you had even thought otherwise.” Aizen snarled “But now we don’t have time to chat.” His smirk widened “Judgment is still open.”

The snarl instantly froze in his throat as his eyes widened in horror.

 

I can tell that you've never been true to me

I can smell that you're acting so fearfully

I can hear what you're hoping I want to hear

I can feel the alarm bells are ringing in me

I can touch but I know you don't feel a thing

I can pray but I know you commit a sin

I can sense now it's all become clear to see

You're no good, and you mean no good treacherously.

 

Not to be continued…

 

Chapter Text

#DDR#

“Dance Dance Revolution?” Rukia questioned the orange haired girl as Orihime just looked on expectantly “Is that some sort of war?”

Tsatsuki rolled her eyes “I continue to emphasize the point that Shinigami need more human training before coming to the living world.” She pointed out before grudgingly explaining “Some people call it DDR for short, it’s a dance arcade game where you follow the pattern shown on the screen, supposedly to the rhythm of the song.”

“Please tell me you know what an arcade game is.” Ichigo deadpanned from where he was playing a shooter game with Chad. The Mexican teen was actually beating him, which made him honestly wonder where he had learnt the skill.

If only Ichigo knew, that his Abuelo had shown him to shoot Iguanas in the elder’s ranch. It was fun.

Anyway, back to Rukia. She kept on looking at the machine with a dubious eye before she followed Orihime onto the game pad reluctantly. Tatsuki smiled evily at her –or, well, she thought it was evil-looking- before inserting some coins into the slot.

The game flashed brightly with flimsy colors she would think was just for show before Orihime started to control the menu with the arrows. The raven head looked down at her feet and tried to memorize the buttons –those were big buttons, not like the T ve control- before Orihime brought her back to attention.

“All you have to do is step on the arrow shown on the screen once it overlaps with the transparent one.” She explained. Tatsuki never agreed to play these games with her!

“O-okay.” Rukia agreed before narrowing her eyes at the screen. She needed to concentrate,

Before she knew it, the game had begun and she found herself trying to follow the arrows on the screen. Her feet coordination had never been good, and to try and follow the speed it was going at! She’d be surprised if she didn’t accidently fumble and fall on her ass.

She looked to the side, and found her jaw dropping at the ease with which Orihime moved before trying to unsuccessfully follow her example. It just seemed she was incapable of playing this excuse of a fun game from hell, and if she never had to play again, it would be too soon.

Almost a minute after, the game stopped and it was obvious without seeing her score that she had really sucked. In her opinion the game had taken an eternity, and she’d be high tailing off the pad as soon as she could.

“Ha!” Ichigo laughed from where he stood beside Tatsuki –he had lost to Chad a minute into the song and had filed it away as a lost cause “I thought nobles were supposed to know how to dance.”

Rukia bristled as she instinctively kicked his shin which he narrowly dodged “Like you could do any better, I bet you have two left feet!”

Ichigo winced as Orihime brightened in glee making Rukia think she had won this round.

“Yes, come play with me Kurosaki-kun! It’s been ages since we last danced!”

Tatsuki and Rukia both did a double take as Ichigo tried to shrink in on himself. Almost instantly Chad appeared on his side and put a comforting hand on his shoulder –Chad wasn’t letting him escape!

“You an Orihime, go out and play DDR in your free time?” Tatsuki asked skeptically which made Orihime nod cheerfully, not catching the sarcasm.

“Uh,” Ichigo scratched the back of his head “Kinda?”

Tatsuki shared an evil grin with Rukia before the two raven head’s hauled the orange head onto the stage. Orihime just smiled in excitement before turning to the screen to choose the next song as the girls manhandled him to stay on the pad.

“Okay, so we’ll start with our usual, and speed up.” She stated, making the other three lean into the screen to see what the orange-haired girl had chosen.

“Pluto Relinquish?” Tatsuki rose an eyebrow.

Chad sweat-dropped “Isn’t that regarded as one of hardest songs on DDR?”

“She’s putting it on extreme.” Rukia pointed out, making the other two do a double take.

Ichigo just sighed in resignation before resigning himself to his fate and positioning himself accordingly as the song began.

Someone in the arcade choose that moment to turn and see what the fuss was about before brightening and turning back to his buddies “Guys, it’s the orange dance twins!”

The rest of the arcade seemed to have heard the shout, and soon enough the DDR was surrounded by the other customers. Even the employees and managers were crowding!

“Huh,”Tatsuki cocked an eyebrow “I guess they do come here often.

And now that she looked at the two, they were moving in tandem and seeming to sink more and more into the dance routine. As she saw the steps she realized the song wasn’t fast, but the amount of steps being crammed into every second was intense.

Almost a second after that song was finished –with full combo!- Ichigo started to scroll down and look for the next song as if going on autopilot. He even had a grin on his face now, making it obvious he was enjoying himself; Over the “Period”.

This song was faster, but once again they were certainly surprised at how Ichigo moved, like if he knew the steps by memory and with a grace his delinquent appearance belied.

“Guess the joke’s on us.” Chad pointed out needlessly as the crowd cheered in excitement making them jump in shock.

“What the hell?!” Tatsuki cried indignantly. It seemed the two orange head’s had even forgotten about the outside world!

EGOISM?” Rukia questioned the new song.

Tatsuki just face palmed as she saw her best friend move in tandem and share wide smiles with her crush while she would always stutter when talking normally. Did this not make her nervous?!

“Is that how they solve the sexual tension?” Chad pointed out.

The raven-heads winced. They.Did.Not.Want.To.Know.

 

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

#NaS-S#

“Hey Rukia?” Renji asked as they walked towards the Kurosaki household, already wearing the gigais Urahara had let them borrow. “What does Ichigo do in his free time anyways?”

Rukia hummed to herself as she tried to think of what she had seen the orange head do besides hollow extermination and homework.  She glanced towards the red head with a thoughtful expression as she rubbed her chin.

“Read.”

“What?” Renji deadpanned “You’re telling me that guy reads.”

“He said he likes to read things from this dead guy called Shakespeare.” She seemed to remember as they turned the last corner “I also recall seeing him listening to music or English classes.”

“Wow, never pegged him for a nerd.”

Rukia laughed at that as she recalled her own shock. “He is in the top fifty students, and that was after the whole shinigami thing started.” She smiles smugly at the dumbstruck expression on Renji’s face “And if Isshin-san is to be believed, when he was in middle school his grades always placed him in top 5.”

Renji seemed like he was on the verge of a panic attack if it weren’t for the fact that they had arrived at their destination. At least there’s a clinic downstairs in case the red head really does have a stroke. For now she turns to ignore the gurgling noises oddly reminiscent of a dying penguin and walks up to the door like she owns the place. She tries to knock but no one answers after the third time so she just turns the knob and strolls in when it opens.

Ichigo did know they were coming, so in theory it’s not invasion of property; she tells herself. Renji follows quietly behind her, and they both change into the guest slippers before making their way inside.

“Well it seems the family isn’t home.” Renji pointed out needlessly as they survey the empty living room and kitchen.

“They must have gone out.” She reasons calmly as she starts her trek up the stairs. Halfway there she hears a weird voice and stops mid-step to try and stretch her senses.

Renji furrows his brows “Why’d you stop?”

“Sh.” She reprimands “listen closely.”

Nani hitotsu hajimaranai de, nani hitotsu owaranai mama.

Renji leaned in a little closer and found himself raising a brow when he started to hear it too.

Kinou wo wasure, kasunderu yume no naka

Kaze ga ashita wo yuri okoshita...

“You’re right.” He realized as he restarted his ascend up the stairs “You think the strawberry’s listening to music, and that’s why he didn’t hear us come in?”

Rukia hummed to herself as she thought out loud “If we were anyone else, that would be dangerous.”

Kanashimi to yorokobi ga hibiki au karada no oku

She paused, wait a second!

Shinayaka ni nijimidasu iro   ao no MERODI- wa komori uta ni

That was not music, she theorized. There was no instruments in the background, and she really doubted Ichigo would listen only to the lyrics. And the voice sounded somewhat familiar, had she heard it during her stay before?

They both arrived at Ichigo’s room, and Rukia took it upon herself to open the door as silently as possible in hopes that maybe she could resolve the mystery. She gave Renji a look before they both strolled in and she found Ichigo sitting on his desk with his headphones on. Normal, but-

Kanashimi mo yorokobi mo kioku sae nemuri ni tsuku

Is he singing?! And he’s good at it?!

Yasashikute zankoku na iro   ao no MERODI- wo komori uta ni.

As the song ended, Renji seemed to snap out of his own shock –she was still in shock!- and backed up into the wall, Ichigo instantly heard the noise with the empty air of the song and turned around so fast she was surprised he didn’t get a whiplash as he gave them a wide-eyed stare.

“U-uh,” he stuttered “I can explain.”

Was there anything too explain?

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

#HT#

"Tsu-kun!" Nana called out cheerfully as she walked out the kitchen and into the living room where her son and his friends were playing video games for a change. They were always out playing rough, so it was a nice to see them unharmed on the couch.

"Y-yes, Oka-san?" Tsuna asked nervously as he eyed the bright smile on her face. That expression was usually followed by a visit from his Dad, and to be honest, Iemitsu could go screw himself and never come back for all he cared –that man left his mom crying at night alone far to many times for Tsuna to actually have any feelings towards the man he has only seen four times in his entire life.

Nana's smile widened "Your cousin is coming to visit!" she clapped her hands dramatically as Tsuna's eyes widened before his face broke into a smile so wide, that almost no one in the room had ever seen it.

"Ichi-ni is coming?" he questioned gleefully as he stood up from his position on the couch and repressed the urge to bounce excitedly like his mom was doing "I haven't seen him in two years!"

Nana nodded in agreement as she placed a finger on her chin thoughtfully "Oh I should cook a full spree tonight for dinner. And some chocolate cake! Ichigo loves chocolate cake!"

With that last thought in mind she bustled back into the kitchen as Tsuna turned back towards his friends before his smile froze on his face as a sudden realization rushed through him like a bucket of ice cold water.

"Ichi-ni is coming!" he squealed in panic "You guys have to leave, now." He turned to his hitman tutor with a pleading expression which just made the raven head smirk evilly "Please Reborn, go visit Colonello, or Fon or, anyone else."

The baby hitman's smirk widened "No."

Tsuna tugged on his brown hair with a groan as his eyes swept the living room where nobody had even stood up "Please, before he-"

A large hand fell on his brown fluffy hair, and he instantly felt dread and happiness at the same time –how that's possible, he'll never know.

"Hey little cousin, what's this I hear about kicking out your friends?" The orange-haired man leant down playfully to his eye level with a cheerful smile "Afraid I'll embarrass you?"

Tsuna's eyes widen as he turned towards his favorite cousin before he disregarded his previous panic and gave the orange head a tight hug with a bright smile plastered on his face. "Ichi-ni!"

Ichigo merely returns the hug with a grin of his own "Yo!" his smile flatters however, as his eyes fall on the raven-haired baby hitman lazily sitting on his own couch.

Everyone looks on in apprehension as Ichigo instantly scowls at Reborn as if the man-turned-baby had killed his puppy. Reborn stares at the orange head as well, and he instantly looks on edge and ready for an attack.

Ichigo disentangles himself from his baby cousin before stalking towards the hitman with long strides as his scowl hardens.

"What's a half doing in this town, under this roof, with my baby cousin?" Ichigo snapped menacingly, making almost everyone jump at the difference in attitude.

Reborn's eyes narrow as well as he completely regales the orange head "And what's a Reaper doing in this town, under this roof, passing itself as a family member of my student."

Ichigo growled low in his throat making Tsuna squeak in surprise at the animalistic quality of the noise. "I asked you first."

Rebron gave the impression of shrugging without actually shrugging before helpfully explaining "I'm not really a half. I was cursed by a full-fledged, causing my presence to leak out a faint residue which makes it seem I'm a half." His smug smile widens "And I'm here to train the future tenth boss of the Vongola Famiglia."

Tsuna squeaked "Reborn!" he admonished unhelpfully "We agreed to not mention that to just anyone!"

The hitman merely raised an eyebrow as he glanced from the scowling orange head to his student "And this thing isn't anyone." He pointed out.

"Hey!" Ichigo yelled out indignantly "I am not a thing."

"You're a Death God, I don't consider Reapers as human beings."

The orange head bristled like a cat and Tsuna was oddly reminded of how Gokudera would sometimes do the same "You're not human nor demon, and you're saying I'm not alive?"

"Of course you're not alive, you're a Death God. You have to be dead." Reborn waved the retort off handedly.

Ichigo's eyebrow twitched as he glared at the baby hitman for all he was worth "And you think you can just stroll in here and say you'll turn my baby cousin into a Mafia boss when this roof is under my protection?" he questioned in mock threat "Do you want me to reap your soul and send you into the afterlife?"

Almost everyone in the room paled, and the silver haired teen that had looked torn between scowling at him, and looking at him in awe finally seemed to decide himself on fainting instead with a gurgled mummer of UMAS. Whatever that is, he thinks he really doesn't want to know.

Besides, it's not like he can just reap souls. But they don't know that's not how it works, so it could be used as well as any threat –maybe even better than saying he'll break the hitman's nose.

Reborn narrows his eyes "You wouldn't dare."

Ichigo's smirk turns smug as he crosses his arms over his chest "Try me."

Tsuna chooses that moment to interject as he clings to the orange head's arm with a pleading expression and trembling puppy dog eyes "Please Ichi-ni, just leave it be and don't kill anyone."

For someone who trembles at the mere mention of becoming a mafia boss, Tsuna seems oddly at ease with the mention of killing someone when it comes to his delinquent looking cousin, Reborn thinks to himself.

"Fine," Ichigo grumbles to himself as Tsuna beams like he has won the lottery "But that demon" he spats the word out like it's a curse "better behave himself too."

Rebron narrows his eyes when Tsuna moves his teary eyes towards him instead. He glances from the scowling orange head to his student before nodding. It's not like the Reaper will actually do anything if he likes Tsuna as much as he seems to show.

As the tension between the two drops, Tsuna's up-until-then-silent-friends chose that moment to put in their own two cents.

"What I would like to know," Yamamoto Takeshi begins with his usual grin "Is how Ichigo-san is a Death God, while still being Tsuna's cousin."

Everyone turns to the orange head with a questioning expression as even Gokudera choses that moment to revive and glare inquisitively at the man. Ichigo just scowls.

"My mom and Aunt Nana are sisters born into the Kurosaki Clan of Quincy –do not ask what a Quincy is, they're human and that's all you need to know." Even Reborn nods in agreement at that point "While my idiot Dad was a Death God."

Everyone keeps on staring at the orange head as if he were a rare specimen until Ichigo hardens his scowl.

"And I still don't like your criminal tendencies Tsuna, don't think we won't talk about this."

"Hiiee!" Tsuna squeals as Ichigo's wrath is centered on him instead. "I don't even want to be a Mafia Boss."

 

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

#KM#

“Phasing through walls?” Kisuke questioned curiously as he hid his disbelief behind his ever present fan “Usually Shinigami do not, or cannot, use this ability.” He explained calmly.

“Huh,” Ichigo hummed to himself as he tried to think back to that faithful night to see if he might have missed something. “I’m pretty sure Rukia phased into my room that day.”

Kisuke, ever unflappable kept on fanning himself as he pondered this new tidbit of information. His weary gray eyes stayed glued on the inquisitive expression Ichigo showcased as if it were a rare occurrence before snapping his fan closed to gain the orange head’s attention.

“As you said, it’s essentially phasing through solid objects in the world of the living. But this technique is mainly used in the Onmitsukidō as a stealth skill.” He expanded when it became obvious Ichigo would not let it go “The cadets call it Umbra, but its full name is Umbra Ambulatio.

Ichgio blinked in confusion “And what does that mean?”

Kisuke’s hat shadowed his eyes as he leaned forward with a serious expression that almost shocked Ichigo “The literal translation is Shadow Walking.”

The orange head gulped in nerves at the sudden thickness of air and the way the sunlight outside seemed to decrease little by little as if a cloud had suddenly decided to block the sun at this exact moment.

“I-is it like a secret, forbidden technique?” he questioned nervously.

Kisuke stayed silent as he let the moment stew. His eyes darkened, and Ichigo was momentarily reminded of that time the blonde had told him about their past and how the Vizard had been hollowfied ages ago.

“In reality-“ he began seriously.

“BUWAHAHA!”

“SON OF A-!” Ichigo fell backwards in shock until he hit a wall and rolled to a stop. “Yoruichi!”

Said person started to laugh out loud as she rolled around the hallway in unrestrained amusement. Kisuke also began booming with laughter as the two found entertainment in their little prank.

Ichigo merely reddened until he resembled his namesake “You two! I was being serious.” The two merely kept on laughing harder, making the orange head growl low in threat as he stood up to strangle the laughing pair.

 All of a sudden, he slipped under the rub he had unintentionally moved when he tumbled earlier and fell backwards again. This time though, instead of stopping against the wall, his body seemed to phase through the tatami door and he fell on the floor of the neighboring room.

Almost instantly the two shut up as they stared at the place Ichigo had stood before looking at each other in unrestricted surprise and sudden horrifying realization.

Shit,” Yoruichi cursed out as Kisuke nodded in agreement.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep.” He murmured when it became obvious Ichigo wasn’t even there anymore. “The suspension is gonna kill me.”

“Yeaaaaah,” Yoruichi drawled “I’m going back to soul society.”

Kisuke whimpered as he felt the breeze of a flash step before he found himself standing alone in the sitting room.

“Tessai!

#KM#

As Ryūken tidied up the paperwork in his office, he found himself snapping to attention as he heard a faint whoosh of air and a distortion in the reishi. As he looked up he saw his wayward nephew walking through the room as if he owned the place and could only stare at the strangeness of the situation.

“Oh,” Ichigo exclaimed as if shocked Ryūken was there. This was his office! “I didn’t see you there Ryūken-Jisan. Could you point me in the general direction of Uryuu’s office?” he asked casually.

Ryūken merely stared until his motor functions seemed to start obeying him again and pointed towards his left.

“Thanks!” Ichigo called back as he phased through the nearest wall towards the left.

Ryūken stared a couple minutes more at the now empty air where Ichigo had stood moments ago before going back to his work. If he erased it from his memory, it would certainly avoid an intense head-ache, better to act as if it had never happened.

It never happened.

#KM#

Hours later, Shiba compound…

GHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” A high pitched squeal resounded through the entire clearing making the birds take off in fright “WHO CHANGED MY SAKE FOR CATNIP!?”

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

#CU#

“Ichi~!” he cooed to the little orange head sitting on the engawa with a bag of chips in his arms. The boy looked up to his crazy, annoying uncle and let out a long suffering sigh as if Kisuke was the child.

“Ki-jichan,” Ichigo began seriously with a downwards quirk of his lips. “Oka-san won’t let you baby sit me again if you’re trying to use me for one of your experiments again.”

The chocked sound the blonde made at the mention of Masaki made Ichigo sigh once again. Why his Uncle Kisuke was allowed to still see him was an honest to god mystery.

#CU#

“Ichigo-chan, I brought you some chocolate covered marshmallows!” Kisuke burst into the Kurosaki household with a bright smile on his face, and a giant bag cradled between his left and right forearms.

Ichigo merely looked up from where he was drawing with Tatsuki on the floor with a deadpanned expression before turning back to his work as if he wasn’t there.

Tatsuki mirrored his actions before asking “Who’s that?”

“Ignore him,” the eight year old advised “He’s just a crazy lunatic that freeloads off Oka-san’s godly cooking.”

The raven merely hummed in understanding as they both ignored the spluttering of the blonde standing at the doorway.

#CU#

“Leave me alone!” he yelled towards the blonde with a venom that Kisuke had never seen in his entire life. He couldn’t help but think that this was all new for Ichigo as well.

“Ichigo, come back home with your dad and the girls.” Kisuke pleaded, at this rate, he was not above begging.

Ichigo merely grabbed another rock from the bedside of the river and hurled it in the shop-keepers general direction with rage filled eyes. It missed by a longshot.

“Go away! I don’t wanna go back!”

“Ichi,” he said a little softer “Masaki is gone, but we’re all still together and we need you just as much as you need us. Come home.”

“I don’t-!” he tried to scream again before a sob chocked in his throat and he tried again “I don’t want-“ this time he couldn’t stop the tears from free falling and he tried to scrub an angry sleeve over his eyes “I don’t want to go home.” Ichigo cried, and this time he didn’t stop the tears that fell as Kisuke embraced him in a tight hug.

“Everything’s gonna be alright.” He whispered to his ear as the little boy sobbed into his shoulder and his haori became wetter ad wetter “We can go back to the Shouten with Yoru and Tessai. It’ll all be okay.”

Ichigo only nodded into his shoulder, but his grip was tighter than ever and he didn’t protest when Kisuke stood up with the little orange head in his arms.

#CU#

“I am not, under any circumstances, taking that book bag to school!” Ichigo yelled in indignation on his first day of middle school.

Kisuke mocked pouted as he lifted the normal blue book bag with an orange strawberry sowed on the corner. “But Tessai pulled an all nighter finishing it on time.”

He crossed his arms in front of himself as if to ward off the effects of Urahara Kisuke –it was a moot point, Urahara Kisuke was unescapable. “I don’t care! I’ll be the laughing stock of the school!” with that final proclamation he turned on his heel and walked towards the front door of the Shouten.

Kisuke was left alone in the living room with a bag better suited for a girl and a childish pout on his face. “Why is it that Ichigo hates me yet prefers to spend the night here?”

Yoruichi suddenly burst into laughter making Kisuke turn back to give her a petulant expression. “It’s not funny!” he whined.

Yoruichi just laughed harder.

#CU#

“So Plus are the normal ghosts that I see all the time, while those mask covered monsters are Hollows; Pluses that have stayed to long?” Ichigo questioned as he furrowed his brows while Kisuke merely nodded behind his fan.

“Exactly,” he closed his fan to reach for his own tea “and Shinigami are in charge of reaping the Hollows and making sure the Pluses go to the other side –Soul Society.”

Ichigo stayed silent as he stared at his cold tea as if it were the most interesting thing in the world. The fact that he hasn’t seen a Hollow up until now, has him questioning who has kept him safe for the last 13 years of his life –going on 14.

“You’re all Shinigami?” he pretty much states, and Kisuke freezes for half a second before placing his cup on the table again.

“Any particular reason for that train of thought?” he asks instead.

Ichigo stays contemplate before he heaves a long suffering sigh and turns up to stare into Kisuke’s gray eyes “You guys feel different. Even Goat-face, though he feels fainter. And Ka-san… was not a normal human either. Her air smelled different too.”

Kisuke snaps up to look at the boy so fast Ichigo’s surprised he didn’t get a whiplash. His stare is intense, and Ichigo almost squirms at the heat before the man relents his ferocity.

“I think… I need to call Isshin.”

#CU#

“Kuchiki Rukia.” Ichigo tastes the name on his tongue which gains him a curious expression from the petite Shinigami. “You’re from the main family?”

Rukia gives him an incredulous expression as she gapes like a fish out of water “You- How do you know about that?!

Ichigo looks at her like if that were a stupid question before blurting out “Uncle Kisuke of course.”

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

#SM#

"Stop following me!" he bellowed from the top of his lungs, making all the other Shinigami walking nearby run off in fear of his rage "Go back to your inner world god damn it!"

The two turned to each other with a conspiring look before the white haired albino broke into a wide smile.

"We don't want to~!" he sing songed, making Ichigo growl in irritation.

"I swear to god Zangetsu," they both looked at him with a questioning look "both of you. Go back into your inner world, or I'll find a way to keep you guys in there."

The Quincy side of his zanpaktou merely kept a cool and collected expression, while the Shinigami and Hollow side, hollered in laughter as if Ichigo had said a particularly funny joke. As always, anyone who passed by him in the street and actually knew who, or what the other two were, couldn't decide themselves between feeling awe or terror.

"You to expect to follow me around the whole town and into the meetings I have scheduled for the day?" he asked incredulously, more than a little annoyed.

"Of course!" answered the albino.

"That was the plan." Was the reasonable response from his down to earth spirit.

Ichigo threw his hands in the air to showcase his frustration. "I give up." He proclaimed as he turned around and continued his trek towards the first division barracks where he was programed to have a meeting with Kyoraku.

The two Spirits stayed behind for a second before shrugging to each other and following their dense owner.

"Do you think he'll ever figure out that he can control our materialization?" The white haired Zangetsu asked his counterpart.

The raven head kept his stoic expression before sighing and shaking his head. A couple feet in front of them, Rukia turned the corner and bumped into their orange-haired owner. She took a look at the two, before turning back to Ichigo and slapping him over the head as she began yelling.

Zangetsu –both of them- would bet anything that she was admonishing him for not being able to control them.

The albino turned to him and gave him an unimpressed stare. "Should we tell him?"

The raven head stays quiet as Rukia delivers a kick to Ichigo's shin. That's have got to hurt.

"No." he once again denies "No need to take away our amusement."

The wide grin the hollow gives him has Zangetsu questioning if it was a good idea or not. He's supposed to be the reasonable spirit, but well, staying cooped up, standing on a pole sideways all the time isn't fun.

"We could always stalk other Shinigami's so that he thinks we're inside." Zangetsu ver. White says evilly.

The glasses wearing spirit sighs again before admonishing "The gossip will reach his ears sooner or later."

The albino hums in agreement before wincing at a particularly painful looking punch delivered by the petite Shinigami. Honestly, Ichigo could take her down with his eyes closed, why he lets himself get beat up is a mystery.

"Maybe he's a masochist." He mutters out loud.

"A hardcore M." Zangetsu-Old man agrees.

"Ouch!" Ichigo yells before pushing Rukia out of biting reach "Calm down midget! Blame them!"

She growls, and both zanpaktou spirits can't help but think that their owner has taken one too many hits to the head if he continues to insult her height without restraint.

"Idiot Strawberry!"

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

 

#PiNmT;NiD#

“A… painting?” she questioned calmly as she tried to visualize what he was describing.

“Yes,” he nodded while trying to keep his brush steady so as to not ruin what he had already finished “I had started it before, but then with the whole winter war fiasco, and then I lost my powers and my image of everyone got hazier as the days went by, I left it half ways.”

“I see.” Rukia really couldn’t see. For one, since when did Ichigo paint? And second of all, she was standing in front of his easel, so she couldn’t see what he was painting anyways. “And you think you can finish it before we have to leave for Soul Society?”

“Of course!” he exclaimed as if it were some sort of insult to think otherwise “I’m just adding the finishing touches since so many people thought it would be a good idea to change their style in a year and a half I hadn’t seen them.”

“Hey!” she protested.

Ichigo snorted “I don’t mean it looks bad, it just makes my job harder.”

Rukia grumbles under her breath but doesn’t say anything else on the matter. She just watches as Ichigo furrows his brows in concentration and makes a little twirl with his wrist. She thinks it’s a painting thing, but she wouldn’t know, her skill lies in drawing.

“What about the drying time?” she questions curiously. Paintings need to dry right? She should at least have that right.

The orange head grunts as he makes an upward swipe before retracting his brush and turning towards Rukia “Its water based, so it won’t take much time. Besides, I can speed it up with a hair drier.”

“Won’t that damage it?” it should, right?

“If you know the technique, no. But you have to be careful. An amateur shouldn’t try it.” He points out as he dips the brush in colored water and takes a careful step back. His lips twitch upwards “Perfect.”

Rukia tried to peer over the painting stand, but before she could make out more than the color black, Ichigo grabbed the chart and stalked out the room. “Give me an hour, I’ll see you at Geta-boushi’s!” he yelled back as he closed the door of his room.

Rukia was left in an empty room, full of paint and an empty easel with nothing else to do. “Uh… painting is not my thing.” She said out loud before turning around and jumping out the window. She wondered what Orihime was doing.

#PiNmT;NiD#

“Kurosaki Ichigo,” the old man began, when it became obvious that Ichigo needed something else besides getting permission to take Ginjo’s body back to the living world. “what’s your next point of business?”

“Uh,” Ichigo stuttered nervously as he scratched the back of his head “I know these kind of things aren’t exactly supposed to be said out loud. And in perspective, I guess it’s one for another and stuff like that but-“ he turned towards where Rukia and Renji were kneeling next to the clothed painting “I brought something to… give.”

This brought the attention of all the captains as they tried to see what he was grabbing. Ichigo grasped the painting before standing in front of the rows of captains and taking off the concealment.

The way even the captain commander rose an eyebrow and looked surprised made Ichigo smirk smugly in appreciation. Rukia and Renji couldn’t seem to help themselves and leaned further the most they could to catch sight of the painting.

“That’s…” Renji began.

“Beautifully done, Ichigo-kun.” Ukitake praised when it became obvious no one else had words to describe it amidst their shock.

It was a painting of a meadow, a couple trees in the distance and a large sakura on the right side. Under the tree were Yamamoto, Shunsui, Ukitake, Byakuya and Unohana enjoying tea and sake while the other captains and lieutenants all portrayed somewhere in the frame. Some of the lieutenants, including Renji, Izuru, Hisagi, and some of the vizard were drinking on top of a hill, their rowdy nature plausible even through painting as if it were a real moment caught live. To the left, Ikkaku was being chased around the meadow by a happy Yachiru and a sword excited Kenpachi. Even the special humans, Isshida, Inoue, Chad and Ichigo himself were in a corner of the painting having a heated debate with the Urahara group along with Soi-fong and her own lieutenant.

All in all it was a beautiful piece of art, completely realistic looking and breath taking.

“Well?” Ichigo asked nervously as he peaked over the frame to see Rukia and Renji.

Rukia burst out laughing, not really caring that she was in the captain’s hall.

“It seems you do know how to paint.”

Ichigo smiled, wide and relaxed in a way almost no one had ever seen before. “Thanks.”

It lit the room.

Chapter Text

“I need help!” was the first thing Isshin said as he burst into a captain’s meeting about two months after the quincy war.

Ichigo looked at his dad with an inquisitive eye before heaving a long suffering sigh and turning back to his papers “Denied.” He answered for all of those present even though he had the inkling that the plea had only been directed at him.

As expected, Isshin took no interest in decorum and walked right up to his orange-haired son and started to throttle him where he stood.

“Yuzu and Karin ran away from home and I can’t find them.” He cried, instantly making all the other captains stand to attention in preparation for the explosion Ichigo was sure to bring at the news.

Ichigo waved it off with a shrug “They’ll come back eventually Goat-face, I’ve told you time and time again to not over react.”

Everyone felt their jaw drop at the casual disregard the overprotective older brother showed. They had all been expecting the newly appointed captain of the eighth division to run out of the meeting room with swords raised and ready for action.

“Besides, if you’re so worried, why don’t you just track their reiatsu?” the orange head pointed out instead making Isshin whine.

He sniffed “They blocked off their signal.”

Ichigo sighed “What did you do goat-face?”

The exaggerated gesture of hurt makes it obvious that the raven head really had been at fault. He seemed to notice too, because almost instantly he deflated and looked the other way reluctantly “I told them to stop going out at night because it could be dangerous.”

Everyone looked on as they found themselves agreeing with the reprimand as Ichigo face palmed, as if not knowing what to do with a misbehaved child.

“We agreed-“ the orange head began.

“We agreed to disagree.” Isshin pointed out as he crossed his arms defensively “They’re my little baby girls, I can’t just get used to these things.”

Ichigo snorted as he turned his nose up as if Isshin had offended him in some way. “Here is me disagreeing.” He drawled “And at this rate, I’m running off with Yuzu and Karin too.”

“No!” Isshin panicked as he pleaded on his knees “Anything but that, just tell me where they are- if they’re safe!”

Ichigo looked down at his father with disdain as he ignored the other captains present. After a minute of debate he nodded in agreement and Isshin instantly cheered up with a little jump and whoop of glee that had him rolling his eyes.

“Great!” Isshin exclaimed as he took out a hairpin from his pocket “Follow the trail Sparky!” he yelled in exaggeration, making Ichigo growl low in his throat which instantly shut Isshin up who decided hiding behind Toshiro was a good idea.

“Off!” The white haired captain complained, and almost as soon as he had taken shelter, he was thrown center stage in front of Ichigo.

“Okay,” Isshin appeased as he rose his hands in the universal sign of placation. “No more doggy jokes.”

The orange head rolled his eyes but nodded in peace before he closed his eyes, took a deep breath and let it out as his body relaxed –something they had never really seen. Almost a second later, Ichigo’s hair extended to his waist, and a fluffy pair of orange ears seemed to stand to attention on his head. As Ichigo opened his eyes, they saw a glimpse of an equally orange tail wagging back and forth behind him and could only stare in undisguised shock.

“Hmm,” Ichigo hummed as his right ear twitched before he glanced towards that direction. He sniffed the air slightly, his gaze stopping on Isshin before he seemed to follow some invisible track that no one else could see. After a second of debate he turned towards the west of the room and nodded to himself as if to ascertain his own conclusion. “The twins took a trip to Tokyo.” He told him.

Isshin instantly brightened in glee as he walked towards his eldest son – who-was-a-god-forsaken-human-dog-hybrid. Why-hadn’t-anyone-mentioned-anything!?-  And stood straight to tower over Ichigo as he gave him a pat –a pat, WHAT!?

Ichigo instantly bristled –almost like a cat ironically enough- but seemed unable to move away from the touch as his tail wagged to showcase his real thoughts –obviously, this was followed by a deep red blush.

“Good job Ichigo, your mother would be so proud!” Isshin praised as if it were the most normal thing in the world “You’ve certainly gotten better.”

“Goat-face.” Ichigo growled “I’m gonna kick your ass if you don’t shove it, before I run off to Tokyo with the girls and stay there for a year!”

“Now, now.” Isshin placated, this time showing no fear as he scratched behind a fluffy ear. “How about we calm down and-“ a vindictive smile curled the edges of his mouth which made Ichigo’s eyes widen in realization “-sit.”

A quick thump was followed by that word, as Ichigo found himself sitting on his knees with his hands firmly pressed to the floor as he trembled in undisguised rage.

“O-ya-ji~!” he sing songed in suppressed rage as he grinded his teeth –were those sharp canines!? “You better run off to another dimension, because when I stand up, you are going to die!” Ichigo threatened.

Isshin merely laughed in mock amusement as he gave a cheeky grin while all the other captains couldn’t find it in themselves to not tremble in fear –the reiatsu that was emitting from the orange head was thick and strong, how in the world did Isshin not seem affected?

The raven head’s smile widened as he took out a bag of cookies he had intended to use as a bribe in case Ichigo hadn’t agreed to help, before moving it in temptation in front of the growling orange head.

“Yuzu’s chocolate cookies,” he pointed out gleefully “Go fetch!” he threw the bag out the window of the fourth floor, making Ichigo instantly brighten as he ran out –like a dog!­- to get the bag.

Everyone turned to Isshin with the same thought in mind as he boomed in laughter.

He is so dead.

Tetsuzaemon Iba, new captain of the seventh division, only looks on in shock and thinks –begrudgingly- that maybe being insane is a requisition for being a captain, and if so, he really has no place here.

The fact that no one mentioned why Kurosaki Ichigo has honest–to-god dog ears and tail, has him miffed.

 

 Not to be continued...

Chapter Text

#CC#

Kaien didn’t hate his dad, he really didn’t. But the way everyone would always compare him to his orange-haired father rubbed him the wrong way even though his dad always came to the rescue with retorts about how everyone was their own person. He didn’t even feel jealous of his dad either, because the things his pseudo aunts and uncles always lamented about their non-similarities were crazy things he didn’t even want to know about.

“Hm… your father could make the go- I mean the company, yeah the company, run around like headless chickens when he tried to inva- I mean, meet with the boss without a… meeting.”

What was there to be proud of that?

“Kurosaki Ichigo was a fast learner in comba- uh, combustion, yes… science.”

So dad had good grades in chemistry, big deal. He’s good at physics!

“Sword handling is a great skill to learn! Your father is- was –would be good at it?”

And people thought his Dad –a doctor, ha!- could wield weapons. Like, get real.

So no, he did not hate his dad, nor did he feel jealousy. He was happy to have a successful parent, head of neurosurgery since the tender age of 24 and most well liked doctor in the main hospital. His Dad was amazing, and he knows most kids say so, but he thinks his Dad is the best Dad in the world –not quite a super hero, but close.

Let it not be said, that he hates to disappoint his Dad. So when he one day gets in a fight –by accident, honest!- and his Dad has to come pick him up from the principal’s office, he was really ashamed.

Ichigo arrives with a face that Kaien can’t even begin to decipher. He doesn’t look angry nor irritated, yet he still has a bad feeling about the entire thing, and is obviously nervous when his Dad and the principal speak a couple of hushed words in between them before turning back to him.

He gulps.

“We’re leaving Kaien.” He tells him calmly, which only makes him panic further.

Even then he follows, and as they walk through the student infested halls –many of them shooting his Dad some awed looks and starry eyed stares- they easily make it to the high school gates where he sees the last person he wanted to see today.

“Well well,” the voice drawls pompously “if it’s isn’t the wittle Kurosaki boy and his pansy daddy.”

Kaien instantly bristles, because while he can ignore the taunts, he finds himself oddly annoyed at the jab against his dad.

Ichigo stops on his tracks as well, and merely glances to the side to raise an eyebrow at the bleached blonde teen with an uninterested look.

Kaien feels his respect for his dad raising, he pretty much deemed Oshima Ryuichi, the biggest thug in school a non-threat with a single look.

“Well!” the teen yells.

“Calm down Ryu.” A more mature, yet equally disgusting voice interjects, making Kaien turn to see an equally bleached adult with an odd resemblance to Ryuichi. “Let’s not get worked up by some scrawny little twit and his daddy.”

“Oshima Reiichi.” His dad calls out in wonder, and Kaien almost does a double take.

His prim and proper Dad knows this delinquent guy?!

Well, his dad isn’t prim and proper, but he’s a well-respected Doctor, way above in the food chain when compared to this guy.

The man looks on in confusion as he narrows his eyes before recognition seems to dawn “Kurosaki Ichigo!” he yells before a smile spreads across his face –they have gathered a crowd by now too “It’s been ages, hasn’t it, buddy.” He says sarcastically.

Kaien twitches at the tone, but stays glued to the floor as his dad scowls for all he’s worth.

“No wonder my Son got in a fight with yours.” The man continued as if undisturbed “He’s just as much of an arrogant bastard as you were in high school.” Reiichi cackles as he ignores the murderous aura starting to emit from his Dad –what? “Dying his hair like his Daddy, trying to steal my son’s style. I bet he wouldn’t know about fashionable if it bit him in the ass!”

Almost half a second after the last syllable was uttered, Reiichi was thrown back five feet with incredible force that Kaien could barely even think was possible. Reiichi wobbly stands up as if not knowing what had just happened before his eyes narrow on Ichigo who was barely retracting his arm from his previous punching motion.

“Talk all the crap about me you want,” Ichigo began dangerously making Kaien shudder “but the moment you bring in my boy was the second you signed your death sentence.” He growls low as his eyes narrow “I hope you’re ready, because the beat downs I used to give you back in our high school days, will look like a walk in the park compared to what I’m about to do.”

Oshima and Oshima Jr. looked ready to snap as the two charged at the orange head with a yell. Kaien belatedly thinks that maybe he should join in the fray too –you know, father-son duo against father-son duo- but his dad dodged their attacks like if they were snails, and he did an elegant looking side step that had the two tumbling against the loss of balance. He looked like he was egging them on, and before Kaien knew it, Ryuichi was knocked unconscious by a well-placed chop, and Reiichi was beaten to an inch of his life.

Kaien would have felt bad for the man if he weren’t so annoyed at what they had said about his dad too. He was about to call out to the elder, when all of a sudden Reiichi stood up with renewed vigor and took out a knife out of seemingly nowhere.

The crowd gasped, and Kaien found himself yelling to his father –who had his back turned!- but before he could even think, let alone move, his Dad did a back step and extended his hand so that the knife could pass neatly between his fingers. The grip on the fisted hand was intense –Reiichi was shaking and grimacing in pain- but before he could stutter out another curse, Ichigo jabbed him with two fingers on the right side of his throat making him crumble like a puppet without strings.

The street was silent as his dad let go of the wrist and dusted his hands before walking back to his side with a clam smile and not a scratch or dust on his white doctor’s coat.

The crowd roared to life again, and Kaien found his eyes widening in realization as his father started to maneuver him in the direction of the car.

His dad isn’t cool, he is a badass!

“Dad!” he exclaimed in glee “Teach me how to fight!”

Ichigo’s smile widened as he ruffled his hair in a way that made him feel embarrassed yet pleased at the same time even though he was 15.

“Sure,” he agreed “we can get your aunts and uncles to help.”

“Huh?” Kaien questioned as he slid into the passenger seat as Ichigo’s smirk turned smug.

“Yeah, and then we can talk about stories of how I invaded the afterlife, or how I learnt combat from a very young age, or even sword handling!” Ichigo cut in unhelpfully as he started to connect the dots of all things his aunts and uncles had tried to censor his entire childhood.

Scratch that, his Dad is a Badass Motherfucker!

 

Not to continued…

Chapter Text

#CitCiM#

"Watch... If I do this, my hand is almost instantly at your heart." Aizen muttered as he touched Ichigo's chest with his hand as the orange head's eyes widened in shock. "Let me ask you one thing, Ryoka boy. Why do you fight me?"

Ichigo turned towards Aizen, his eyes still wide as he tried to put as much distance as he could "What?!"

Aizen didn't turn towards Ichigo as he elaborated "Do you hold a grudge against me? No, you don't." he paused but continued when Ichigo remained quiet "The fact that you are here means that you've gotten Inoue Orihime back safely. And from the expression on your face, none of your friends have died." His smirk widened as he glanced back to look at Ichigo "Can you really hate me from the bottom of your heart? It's impossible."

Neither moved, but for some curious reason Ichigo's stance relaxed as if he weren't in battle and his previously shocked expression morphed back into a serious set face.

"Right now, you have no hatred." The brunet continued as if he hadn't noticed the shift. "You're just fighting out of sense of responsibility. You won't be able to reach me with that." Aizen absently turned as he took in the casual pose the orange head had adopted "The will to fight without hatred is like an eagle without wings. You can't protect anything with that. Your powerless friends only serve as weights to break your legs."

The two stared at each other, assessing the words laid out between them with no expression what so ever. On the inside though, Aizen couldn't help but feel slightly apprehensive at the way his jab had had no visual effect on the orange head.

All of a sudden, as the captains that had been previously downed were getting ready to attack and give an opening for the only Shinigami strong enough that had not seen Aizen's release, said Shinigami burst out laughing as if the megalomaniac had said a particularly funny joke.

Everyone stared, even Aizen seemed miffed.

Ichigo continued laughing "Oh my god! *hahahahahaha* are you seriously- were you really- *hahahaha* how could you think-!"

Honestly, it seemed he couldn't even form his own sentences thanks to his own out of control laughter. He was even holding his sides, before he slowly started to regain control of his motor functions and straightened with a sigh as he removed the tears from the edges of his eyes.

"That was a good laugh." He said calmly as a smirk remained firmly kept on his face "I was trying to extend my cover for as long as I could. I even acted all shocked and let you enter my personal space multiple times!" he exclaimed as if it were an accomplishment in itself "But this takes the cake, I cannot, under good conscious, stay straight faced through your crappy monologue."

They all stared at Ichigo as if he had gone crazy, even Aizen seemed baffled by this turn event as Ichigo merely lifted his arm and pointed a finger skywards.

"See this, Aizen Sosuke, the life you led yourself to believe, was a mere mirage I created to even out the battlefield." A glow of gold started to form on the tip of his finger before it exploded upwards in a bright pillar of light that pierced the clouds. Almost seconds later, what seemed like meteors fell around the orange head, making a cloud of dust cover the area.

After what seemed like ages, the air cleared and around Ichigo stood the much talked about zero division in their full glory. They stood tall and to attention before Ichigo turned back to give them a cocky grin.

"Yo," he greeted "what took you so long to find me?"

"Soul King-sama!" Ichibei yelled out indigently "you were masking your presence from the very beginning! And once you decided to drop the human act, we are landed in the middle of this silly war?!"

Ichigo waved a hand in the air "Semantics, it was my idea to leave an empty vessel upstairs and be born as a human." He pouted at the Zero squad who looked highly unimpressed "It's so boring staying in the palace doing nothing. And since I knew So-kun would be making his move soon, I thought I'd be a good means of entertainment."

Ichibei sighed, his expression resigned as if he has had to pass through this same dilemma many times. The rest of the Shinigami and Aizen himself just openly gapped. It seemed even megalomaniac, mass murder, puppeteer, master mind evil overlords could also be surprised by reincarnated, bored spirit kings hell bent on seeing his invasion as a game.

"So!" Ichigo exclaimed happily as he turned around to give the brunet a grin. "Let us get this party started."

"Ichigo-sama," Oetsu Nimaiya called out calmly "I believe that the Soul King would be overkill in this case."

"Don't worry about the small details." He waved off handedly as he snapped his fingers and his shinigami garment shifted into his original clothing. It was a simple black shihakusho like any other shinigami, but he held a flowing green robe thrown on top lined with gold embroidery. He also ported a diamond stub, and he had a crown a top his head that looked more like an Arabian Crown in style than an actual gold crown.

The sword God sighed "Whatever you say then, your majesty."

Ichigo scoffed at the endorsement before turning his attention back to the fuming wanna-be King with a smirk on his face,

"Now, how about we get this wrapped up in the next 30 minutes?"

"YOU-!" Aizen began.

Ichigo sighed again as he absently picked on a hangnail "Yes me, and if you're gonna monologue again go ahead. But make it quick, I want to go get lunch."

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

#S#

Today was a nice day, Ichigo decided as he walked down the street with his left hand in his jeans and his right holding an open book. There had hardly been any hollows, and Goat-face hadn’t been that annoying today either. The sun was covered by the clouds in the perfect way that gave sunlight, yet procured shade for his side of the path. The teachers hadn’t called on him today, and his relatively peaceful trek to Geta-Boushi’s place had been undisturbed.

However, as he walked up to the shabby looking candy shop, he heard a loud crash and a muffled outcry from somewhere inside. It seemed, that while he had had a great day, someone else was utterly miserable.

He easily ignored the disaster and walked in like he owned the place before placing his book in his back pocket. Ichigo followed the noises to the back room where he knew Urahara kept his inventions –he had been warned away from that room- before throwing the door open when it became obvious only the blonde was home and he had no other option but go inside.

“Oi, Urahara-san?” Ichigo called out as the smoke started to escape the room through the door. He ignored it, and merely stalked inside without a single preoccupation “You should get some vents in here.”

“Kurosaki-san?” Urahara called out from… somewhere to the left. “I thought I had mentioned the lab was off limits.”

Ichigo waved off the complaint as he did every time he did something he wasn’t supposed to do before walking in the general direction he thought the shop keeper was. The fact that the smoke had started to clear helped him greatly, and soon enough he found the blonde man kneeling by a weird contraption that looked oddly reminiscent to a portal.

“I’m not gonna go on a rampage and destroy your gizmos.” He proclaimed sarcastically as he rolled his eyes.

Urahara looked up from the panel and gave him a stupid pout Ichigo knew was all for show. “You never know, and I invest hours in some of these things.”

Ichigo sighed but didn’t refute the point. Instead he concentrated on Urahara’s new project as he scanned the papers and parts lying around on the floor, desk, boxes and other inventions.

“And what are you working on?” the orange head asked instead to diverge the attention.

“Glad you asked!” Urahara perked up happily as he went back to tweaking with some wires “This is a mirror into alternate realities. It lets us take a peek into other worlds in the same attractor field!”

“Hmm,” Ichigo hummed as he kneeled down next to the blonde to see what he was doing “Is it restricted to parallel points, or can it see past or future points of those other lines?”

“Well-“ Urahara paused as he turned to Ichigo with an incredulous expression.

Usually, Urahara likes to answer questions with a little of technicality because it is fun to see others fidget and not understand a word of what he had said. Usually, it always works, and Kurosaki Ichigo had been no exception… though the boy tended to ignore him instead of actually paying attention, now that he thought about.

So really, when he had answered Ichigo’s question, he was expecting a confused huh? Not interest and intelligent questions on further description!

“You-“ he tried to begin again before Ichigo out stretched a hand to point at one of the wires.

“And you’re doing this wrong.” The orange head stated as if he was chastising a child. “If this is what I think it is, then the control panel should be set up in a way that connects the main power energy to the proton generator and the particle splitter, otherwise you’ll just get glimpses of the same place, in another universe.”

Urahara stared as he alternated his wide eyed look from Ichigo to the wiring. He had been about to connect it to the proton generator only and… that would have caused what the orange head said, he would get an image of his lab… in an alternate universe. But if he connected both!

“Thank you for pointing that out, Kurosaki-san.” He said honestly after he had picked up his jaw from the floor “I hadn’t noticed that… I wouldn’t have expected you to notice that either.”

Ichigo snorts as he tried not to roll his eyes “You may not know because you don’t exactly have a complete file on my studies lying around somewhere, but after the Shinigami business started I was still 23rd place in my year grade over all.”

Urahara continued to stare.

“And before that happened, I had more free time to study, so I would be 1st place and my grades were always outstanding in a way that had the teachers debating for a while if I should skip a grade or two.”

He continues staring.

“Oi,” Ichigo waves a hand in front of the shop keeper’s eyes when it becomes obvious he has frozen from the shock “should I go get Inoue?”

“…No.” he finally seems to snap out of his trance “I had never had the chance to read your school file, so I guess it was a negligence from my part, my apologies Kurosaki-san.”

Ichigo sighed, typical of Urahara to have his file lying around somewhere.

“I guess,” the blonde starts again as he turns back to his project while weighing his words carefully “I wouldn’t mind you coming into my lab from time to time.”

Ichigo merely gives him an unimpressed stare as he passes a hand through his unruly hair. He really shouldn’t have expected anything less from the man, he always takes advantage of any situation that might benefit him.

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

#RcbR#

"Renji, we have known each other for ages -since we were little kids in Rukongai- and you have done many stupid things. But this, this takes the cake."

Renji makes a pained noise from the back of his throat as he sends Rukia a panicked look. He hadn't meant to start a fight with what seemed to be the top gang of the area. But the guys were ogling a little too much, and really, it was just a gang, it's not like they could beat a trained Shinigami.

So the gang had actually been prepared and obviously trained, well fuck.

And really, as Rukia and he were guided inside a non-descript building that was most likely their base of operations, he wasn't surprised to see Ikkaku, Yumichikia, Matsumoto and Captain Hitsugaya being guided in too. Figures they'd stand out when on patrol, now they just needed Ichigo to be caught too and the whole gang would be together.

"Oh great," Captain Hitsugaya rolls his eyes from where he is being pushed inside "I thought Kuchiki was at least reasonable enough to know not to pick a fight like these morons."

"Captain~!" Matsumoto complained, but was widely ignored.

"All of you walk!" the leader of this particular group growled "Until boss decides on what to do with you, you're all staying here."

Rukia sighed for what seemed to be the nth time as she looked around the hallway. There were many other thugs walking around, and surprisingly enough, a lot of people in suits and lab coats as well. It seemed that while this base was obviously intended for a gang, it wasn't a small time group. Most likely Yakuza.

In reality they could escape, but the ruckus they would make would be noticeable and their cover would be broken. At this rate they would have to make a deal with this boss, or leave by force –at least civilians wouldn't be involved in here.

As Rukia was going to bring her attention back to their group, a blur of orange passed by the hallway to her left which she barely caught from the corner of her eye. She turned, but whoever had passed was already gone, and might have been an act of her imagination. All of a sudden, she saw the previous person do a backtrack, and was honestly shocked to see Ichigo just standing there, peaking over a corner of the hall with a deadpanned expression.

She just wondered what he was doing here and why he wasn't being escorted like they seemed to be.

"You have got to be kidding me." He complained as he scrubbed a hand over his face.

Rukia's eyes just widened as everyone else turned towards the direction of his voice.

"Ichigo?!" more than one of them yelled.

Ichigo sighed as he stalked towards their group, briskly followed by a man in a suit. He gave the thugs a glare that had them easily shrinking under the ferocity.

"I'm gonna take a wild guess in the dark, and say group H did not attend the emergency meeting that was called?" he asked the men.

"I-Ichigo-sama, we- we couldn't l-leave the streets unprotected." The leader stammered.

Ichigo did not take kindly to his excuse and growled "There is a reason why these meetings are urgent, usually brief, and important." The thugs flinched "Yesterday morning I told the entire clan that we had new people in town: a white-haired elementary school brat with aquamarine eyes, a red-haired hippie wanna-be with tattoos everywhere, a strawberry blonde who looked like she was trying too hard to dress like a prostitute, a bald guy with tattoos around his eyes carrying a wooden stick, a purple-haired she-man with feathers as eyelashes, and a raven-haired violent midget with big violet eyes. I told everyone they were under my protection."

The assembled men, group H Ichigo had mentioned, looked like they had been slapped by a dead fish as they alternated their wide eyed gaze from Ichigo to the described group.

"We-" the same man from before tried.

"I even provided mug shots in case some other freak case resembling the aforementioned waltzed into town!" he yelled, making the entire group flinch again.

They seemed to take at least two minutes to get their brain back in working order, but once they did, they bowed waist level and stiff as a board and chorused.

"We are so sorry, Ichigo-sama!" they yelled.

Ichigo scowled, but soon enough huffed in resignation and waved them off. "I expect this to not happen again." He advised.

"Of course not, Ichigo-sama!" the leader yelled again as they all straightened "What is our punishment for disobedience of direct orders, sir?"

The orange head thought about it for a second before turning back to give the suited man a look and turning back.

"Yamanaka will supervise you, I want 45 suicide runs before the day is up, and then you're on guard duty for the rest of the month."

The entire group looked like they wanted to whine but refrained from doing so as they stood up straight and saluted "Yes, Ichigo-sama!" With that last yell, the group marched out the hallway, quickly followed by the man that was standing behind Ichigo after they had shared a pointed look and nod.

After the hallway was emptied, Ichigo was left alone with the shinigami and he outwardly winced at the awkwardness of the situation.

"Okay," he began nervously as he tried to form words when they all just stared at him incredulously "So I think I should start with saying that should not have happened."

They continued staring. Usually when it came to this group they couldn't stay quiet to save their life. Then Renji, ever tactless, blurted out with a pointed finger.

"You're a Yakuza boss!"

Ichigo blinked "I thought it was obvious, there're rumors flying all over the place."

"I thought they were just rumors!" cried out Rukia as she looked around as if still trying to understand what had happened "And I don't appreciate you're descriptions!"

There were nods all around, and Ichigo just rose an eyebrow.

"You're hung up about that? Not the kidnapping, not the fact that I kept this a semi-secret. You are upset because of the way I described you all to the clan." He intoned as if he couldn't believe his very words.

The unimpressed glares he received all around answered his statement.

Ichigo sighed, again.

Shinigami.

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

“Ha!” Renji called out in glee as Ichigo growled menacingly under his breath “You snooze you lose! I get to choose the punishment!”

The orange head gave Renji his best scowl, but it did nothing to deter him in his path to humiliating Ichigo. Rukia, who was sitting on the engawa watching everything patiently took a sip of her tea that hid her evil smile. Served the strawberry right.

“You cheated, I know you did!” Ichigo declared in a vain attempt to avoid whatever crazy thing was going on in Renji’s brain.

“Nop!” Renji declared happily as he placed his hands on his hips, a wide smile firmly planted on his face “I win, so I declare that today, for the rest of the day, you must… uh…” he stopped to think as Ichigo looked on apprehensively.

Almost by pure fate, at that very moment Byakuya strolled into the Kuchiki compound, the prefect mask of composure firmly planted on his face like every single day as he stalked towards the main entrance where they were loitering around.

“Ni-sama.” Rukia greeted calmly, as Renji scrambled to make his own excuses before a light bulb turned on over his head.

“I’ve got it!” he stated enthusiastically as he disregarded the Kuchiki “For the rest of the day you have to act all noble, prim and proper like captain or you’ll get a tattoo of my face on your ass!”

Everyone looked horrified, and after a second, Renji seemed to realize what he has said in front of his captain and froze in horror too. As Ichigo’s brain started to work again, he turned from Byakuya, to Renji and then Byakuya again before nodding.

“O-kay…” he began nervously “I’ll go with the Byakuya idea.”

Everyone still stared in silence, and for a minute Ichigo thought Byakuya would actually explode before he caught the tell end flicker of amusement on usually impassive gray eyes.

“I believe I can help with your bet, Kurosaki Ichigo.” He intoned calmly after what seemed like an eternity.

Oh no. Ichigo thought worriedly as he tried to not run in the other direction. But he would stand his ground, he would not, under any circumstances, even if he was asked to kiss Kenpachi, going to get a Renji tattoo on his ass.

“O-kay…” he repeated nervously “Start?”

“Uh,” Renji stammered nervously before nodding “On the count of three?”

Ichigo nodded.

“One.”

He took a deep breath as he closed his eyes and concentrated. He tried to focus on his core, find his inner peace to avoid losing his composure throughout the day.

“Two.”

He exhaled, his reiatsu mirroring the notion as it seemed to spread around him like an embrace before settling down into a peaceful hum in the background. He heard Rukia make a surprised sound, but ignored it as he concentrated,

“Three!”

Ichigo snapped his eyes open calmly and slowly as he made sure his posture stayed straight and stiff. He gave a barely there smile, before inclining his head in the Kuchiki clan head’s direction.

“Apologies for not doing so earlier, but excuse my intrusion in your home, Kuchiki-dono.” The orange head intoned calmly in a tone of voice that had them thinking it was made of honey.

Shocked silence before Byakuya caught himself and nodded respectfully as well.

“It is no bother. I may have not said this before, but you are welcome in this household anytime, Kurosaki-san.” The raven head answered back with a practiced efficiency even though Ichigo could tell the man had actually meant it.

Ichigo’s smile twitched ever so slightly, but his mask remained firmly in place “Much appreciated, but I am afraid I must correct you Kuchiki-dono. My proper name is Shiba Ichigo; Kurosaki is my human surname.” He explained to the raven head, completely ignoring his shocked audience.

“I see.” Byakuya didn’t even twitch, as if this hadn’t been a surprise to him as well “Am I to presume your Cousin is making preparations?” he rose an eyebrow questionably.

“Of course,” Ichigo agreed placidly “the main compound is being cleared off, so we’re moving back into Sereitei as well.”

The raven head nodded in understanding “And I imagine –since she has no children to call her own- that you are stepping up as heir to your clan?”

Ichigo’s smile widened ever so slightly, but it remained politely on his face with no trace of malice. Rukia and Renji kept on staring at the two nobles, their shock evident in their face as they tried to process the fact that this straight faced, respectful orange head, was their brash, scowling friend.

“I assure you it was not my idea.” Ichigo commented ever so hesitantly, as if he was placing a lot of trust on the Kuchiki Head to have said that out loud.

Byakuya hummed in agreement as if he had expected nothing less before turning towards the entrance of the building with his usual composure.

“I’m about to settle down for tea with some of our clan elders.” Byakuya informed them “Maybe it’d be a great opportunity for the Kuchiki Clan to extend their formal friendship towards the Shiba Clan?”

Ichigo’s smile didn’t even twitch, but the tell-tale gleam in his eyes told them all he was more than agreeable to the idea.

“Of course,” the orange head drawled expertly “Please lead the way, Kuchiki-dono.”

While the two entered the manor as if it were a common occurrence, the two lieutenants stayed dumbstruck in their positions as they watched the two interact like pleasant acquaintances.

“Did that just-“ Renji tried to point out lamely as he shared a wide eyed look with the raven head.

“It never happened.” Rukia agreed as she tried to get over her own shock “Ni-sama and Ichigo did not just become tea buddies. It. Never. Happened.”

The redhead blinked in shock as he tried to delete the scene from his memory with little to no success before a voice interrupted his thought process.

“Oh, and Abarai-san,” Renji turned towards the rich voice and was visibly pained to see Ichigo standing by the door once more with a pleasant and polite smile that Renji was now willing to dub let-us-happily-bond-over-a-detailed-examination-of-your-entrails. “I wasn’t able to resist in mentioning-“ the smile grew a quarter inch “-Your wit never ceases to underwhelm me.” He gave a slight nod and turned back inside “Good day.”

“It never happened.” Rukia whispered venerably.

Not to be continued…

Chapter Text

The first thing that leaves Ichigo’s lips when he burst franticly into the Urahara Shoten is something Kisuke had expected and yet was completely unprepared for. When dealing with Kurosaki Ichigo, one should be resigned to expect the unexpected always.

“I need a favor!” he barges into the room looking frantic and at the verge of a panic attack.

The shop keeper hums to himself as he keeps calm and continues working on his latest project while giving the orange head his attention. “Does it have anything to do with the piñata I found in the living room?”

Ichigo looks horrified for half a second before denying “No!” he hesitates “Well yes, but the important part is the baby Renji left in the fridge.”

This makes Kisuke pause if only for half a second to wonder why he hadn’t realized there was a baby in his fridge. Then he continues his meticulous work as if Ichigo hadn’t blurted out something completely and utterly insane.

“I wonder,” the blonde begins in mild curiosity “where freeloader-san even got a baby.”

The inquiry makes the orange head grimace as if the story visibly pains him before heaving a fortifying sigh and squaring his shoulder as if preparing for another war.

“So, as you would know if you weren’t holed up in your lab all day, yesterday we had my bachelor party.” He elaborates as if Kisuke weren’t already aware of this; which he obviously was, he just decided to not attend for the sake of his limited sanity, looks like he had made the right choice. “So we went out drinking but somehow things went out of hand and to be honest I hardly remember what happened after Ikkaku brought out a chicken from who knows where and Shinji thought it’d be a good idea to go for a piñata after Chad mentioned them from one of his stories from when he still lived in Mexico but I also vaguely remember Byakuya arriving with some Koi fish in a bag as a gift or something but that might have been a dream except there were Koi fish in my sink this morning and-“

“Your rambling Kurosaki-san~” Kisuke interjected lightly when the young adult looked like he was going to pass out from lack of air as he said it all in a single breath.

Ichigo took a deep gulp of air before nodding as he absently passed a hand through his hair. “Right, so for some reason when I woke up this morning I was lying on the ground in Ryuuken-Ji’s house –which, I may add, he was none too happy about- so when I went looking for everyone else it was all a disaster, I have no idea how we all survived.”

The blonde gave an amused huff as he finished the last touch on his invention and turned to look at the pale orange head. It was glaringly obvious he had a massive hangover.

“So going back to the baby in the fridge.”

“Oh, yeah,” Ichigo scowled as if suddenly remembering the situation that brought him barging into Kisuke’s home. “So I followed the trail of disaster and found Renji passed out inside the fridge –which I feel I need to say, was totally unplugged- with a baby in his arms.”

“Ahah, and you need my genius assistance to…?”

He grimaced again as if his next words visibly pained him “I need your help finding the baby’s parents.”

Kisuke smiled as he stood to his feet and secured his hat on his head “Well I can think of worse things to entertain my day with. And I may just know who the baby belongs to.”

 

Not to be continued…