Chapter 1: Chapter 1
- Ichigo's mask:
- Orihime's mask:
- Ishida's mask:
- Chad's mask:
- Karin's mask:
- Yuzu's mask:
- Masaki's mask:
--Third Person’s P.O.V.--
“Mama, I’m hungry.” a girl with messy orange hair tells her mother, who’s rocking a double crib with two beautiful baby girls sleeping in it. The mother has light brown hair and warm chocolate brown eyes, mirroring her oldest daughter’s. Her name is Masaki Kurosaki, a beautiful housewife and the proud mother of three perfect girls. One of the babies, Yuzu Kurosaki, is her mother’s mini-me, with the same light brown hair and chocolate brown eyes, while, Karin Kurosaki, the other twin, has the father’s black hair but her mother’s eye color. The woman stops her action, turning to her four years old child, smiling.
“Are you, now, Ichigo-chan?” Masaki asks her, smiling. The girl nods, before her tummy make its presence known, making Ichigo blush. Her mother giggles, before standing up. “Well, we can’t have that, now, can we?” she asks her baby, offering her hand and smiling when the child takes it without hesitation. She starts walking, gently leading her daughter to the basement of their house. Masaki then takes out a key from her pocket and opens the door, before walking in with Ichigo. As soon as the girl steps inside, the woman locks the door again, before turning to her firstborn.
“Why is it so dark and cold down here, Mama?” Ichigo asks her mother, trying to see her in the darkness.
“Because what’s down here is a secret, sweetie.” Masaki says, staring at her child.
“What secret?” the girl asks, curious.
“Well, before I tell you, can you promise Mama something?” the woman asks. Ichigo nods, her small right index finger making a cross symbol on her own chest. “Never tell Papa about this room and what is inside of it.” Masaki says. Ichigo nods, before her mother turns on the only light in the room. A purple neon light in the middle of the ceiling is enough to enlighten the entire basement. The girl gasps, looking around. Four large grey metal boxes are placed around the room, a box for each wall. Each box is closed shut with a locket. Ichigo moves closer to the box on the left side of the wall and sees a word on the locket. She narrows her eyes, trying to make out what the word is. She recognizes it as her mother’s name.
“Why does this locket have your name, Mama?” Ichigo asks.
“Because that’s where my food is kept.” Masaki explains, walking closer to the box on the right side of the room. The girl follows her. “This, on the other hand, is where your food is.” the mother says, before taking a key from her skirt’s pocket and opening the locket. The woman opens the lid, before picking up her daughter to let her see what’s inside the metal box. the sight is gruesome. In the box, which is actually a chest freezer, there are many bags with bloody pieces of meat inside it. As the mother moves the bags around, a bag catches Ichigo’s attention. The bag is smaller than the others, but there’s less blood in it, letting the girl see what’s inside. Ichigo gasps as she sees a hand, a human hand, inside the bag and turns to her mother. She stops as she meets her mother’s eyes. The warm chocolate brown disappeared, leaving hangry black corneas and red irises shining in the purple light of the room.
“Mama…” the girl says, her eyes not moving from her mother’s.
“It’s time you know what we really are, Ichigo-chan. After all, you’ve been hungrier than normal this past week, even though you ate more than you usually do.” Masaki tells her daughter, her voice still soft. The girl frowns, not understanding her mother. Masaki takes out a bag from the pit of the chest freezer, this one full of ocular orbs. She puts the bag in Ichigo’s arms, who’s horrified by it, and closes the lid, putting the locket back in its place and the key in her pocket. Masaki then puts Ichigo down and takes the bag from her, opening it. She takes out an orb, gently moving it in front of her daughter’s nose. Ichigo tries to shy away but stops in her tracks when the smell reaches her small nose. Without her knowledge, her eyes turn the same colors of her mother’s and her mouth waters.
“Why… Why does it smell so good?” she asks her mother, her eyes never leaving the orb held in front of her.
“Because we’re Ghouls, sweetie, and this” Masaki says, raising the orb a bit, “is what we eat. Since your Papa is human, we can’t let him know.” she tells her baby, smiling as Ichigo takes the orb from her hand and starts licking it like a lollipop.
“But why didn’t you tell me before?” Ichigo asks her mother.
“Because you’re only half-Ghoul, just like your sisters, and the first four years of your life you’re just a normal human. I’ve been waiting for you to finally show how hungry you were since your birthday, Ichigo-chan.” Masaki answers her daughter, smiling at her with love. Ichigo smiles too, before taking a bit out of the ocular orb. The Ghoul watches as her daughter eats orb after orb, before telling her mother she’s full. “Now, Ichigo-chan, I want you to know everything that is related to us and our story. I’ll teach you how to hunt and recognize humans from Ghouls, and one day, we’ll teach your sisters.” Masaki tells her, her smile widening before disappearing. “But you have to promise me that you will never practice Cannibalism. It destroys a Ghoul from their very own soul. You must never eat another Ghoul, Ichigo-chan. Promise me.” the woman says, her voice serious.
“I promise, Mama.” Ichigo says, smiling at her.
11 Years Later
I sigh, remembering that moment like it happened yesterday. If only you could see me now, Mom. I’m sitting under a bridge, no street light to be seen from here. Everything is dark. The night is moonless and cold. I take a deep breath, inhaling some fresh air, before letting it out. I look in front of me and see the blood left from my latest meal spattered on the grass, almost reaching the small river flowing under the bridge. I sigh again, not wanting to move from here, even though I’m completely covered in the same red liquid. Sorry, Mom, I guess I never could keep my promises, no matter to whom I made them. I recall how it started this time.
I’m walking on the side of the street, the stress from the battle against the Arrancars almost suffocating me at home. Rukia has been even more worried about me, since I used almost all of my Reiatsu to defeat Ulquiorra. Rukia is more overbearing and I can barely have a second for myself before she disrupts my peace. Thankfully, Karin and Yuzu have the excuse to go over to Chad or Ishida in order to be able to eat in peace. For me, well, that’s a bit more complicated. Rukia doesn’t leave me out of her sight. Ever. Even Rangiku-san and Toushiro leave Hime on her own once in a while, giving her the possibility to eat. Chad and Ishida are lucky. Those two live together since they became a couple, which means they don’t need someone to watch over them. Lucky bastards. I scoff, shaking my head. Thanks God, the twins weren’t home tonight… Rukia got me so frustrated and angry that I shouted at her and then walked out, leaving her gaping at my house, with my Dad trying to calm her down and explain that it was the stress. At least, it gave me the chance to finally be alone. I cross the street among the other people. Since it’s December, people have taken to staying out late to think about presents and all that stuff. My stomach hurts by how hungry it is. I let myself be inebriated by all the different scents around me. I could eat a woman… No… Maybe a man, since they’re bigger… Or a clochard, no one would care… Pity… There’s no Ghoul… I turn my head from left to right as I reach the other side of the street, taking note of the many faces I see. I suddenly hear a low growl, barely audible with all the noise. I turn my eyes over my shoulder and finally find my mark. There’s a Ghoul, male and incredibly strong looking, staring at some teenage girls walking by. I lick my lips, trying to contain the watering. He’s probably some kind of pervert… I smile at my thoughts. Good, he’ll follow me once he sees the isolated direction I’m taking. I start walking in his direction, making sure that he notices me, before I take down to a darkened hallway. I hear his footsteps behind me and I try to contain my grin. It’s been almost three whole fucking months since I could eat. Those fucking Shinigamis never leaving me alone and expecting me to fight every single battle for them. I turn right, going to an old bridge where Mom used to take me to teach me how to hunt. As I move there, he attacks. I’m pushed against the wall of the underside of the bridge. His hard body blocking mine. He didn’t recognize my scent… Well, almost nobody does… I raise my head, looking into his black and red eyes, my own mirroring his. He frowns, before jumping away. As he does so, I let out my orange with white tips Kagune from my back. I have a beautiful Rinkaku with three normal tentacles and two spiked tentacles. I strike him in the middle before he can even tough the ground. His blood splatters all over the place, making my hunger grow. I start attacking him, turning his body into unlinked body parts, before I start eating them all, not leaving anything behind except for the blood. I sigh in relief, before sitting against the wall of the bridge and dozing off, my stomach finally full.
I sigh, relaxing a bit more against the wall, before I slowly crawl to the water, not wanting to walk. I use some of the water to slowly clean myself up a bit, not wanting to attract to much attention, even if I’ll use isolated hallways to go home. Once I’m clean enough, I start walking home after checking that nobody is nearby. I’m halfway home when I smell a familiar scent. I look on my left and find Hime, her clothes drenched in blood. “You too, eh?” I ask her. She raises her head and smiles, which for normal humans it would look incredibly creepy and sick.
“Rangiku-san and Toushiro-kun went to Urahara-san, so…” she says, shrugging.
“Wanna come back with me?” I ask her.
“I have to take a change for tomorrow since it’s school night, but yes. Thank you, Icchan.” she answers, nodding. We walk together to her home and she takes a bag with her pajamas and school uniform. Once we arrive at my house, I stop her. I start checking the house to see if Rukia is inside or if Dad is awake, but to my relief no one seems to be there. I wave for Hime to come and we quietly enter, moving to my room to let me pick up some clothes to sleep in before we silently run into the bathroom. We take a bath together, just like we did since we were children. Hime and I became like sisters, after her brother and her moved to Karakura. We help washing each other’s back and Kagunes, which is more relaxing than anyone could think. We then clean everything and go to my room, where we lay down on my bed. “Do you remember that we have to pick up the Arrancars tomorrow morning, right Icchan?” she asks me.
“What? Why?” I ask her, frowning.
“Because Urahara-san enlisted them in our school so that we could keep an eye on them.” she answers me. I turn to her, still lying on my stomach. She turns on her right side, meeting my eyes.
“Why should we keep an eye on them? I mean, they would be stupid to attack us after we rescued them! We could have left them for dead in Hueco Mundo. They shouldn’t even consider us enemies anymore. After all, it was Aizen who abandoned them to their own fate.” I tell her, getting a little bothered.
“My thoughts exactly. But still, they want us to do it…” Hime objects.
“Okay, fine. We’ll get them tomorrow.” I tell her. “Night, Hime.” I wish her.
“Good night, Icchan.” she whispers. I slowly close my eyes, sighing, before I let myself fall asleep.
I can’t believe it. I’m in a fucking gigai and I’m wearing a fucking school uniform. Shit. I look at the others, seeing the same bothered look on their faces. Probably more because of the gigais than the uniforms. The five of us are waiting for the Kurosaki kid and the Inoue brat to arrive and lead us to the new school. Where the hell are they?! I pace in front of the entrance of the candy shop. Mad Hatter is looking so smug right now. What a bastard! I glare at the Shinigami with the fucking white and green hat, before two somewhat familiar Reiatsus come closer. I turn just in time to see Kurosaki and that Inoue walking up to the shop. I narrow my eyes at the longer hair that Kurosaki has. It barely reached her chin last time we fought. Now it reaches her shoulders. I turn to Inoue, noticing how her Reiatsu is now stronger, while Kurosaki’s is a bit weaker than before.
“Itsygo!” Nel screams, greeting Kurosaki. I roll my eyes at them. The Substitute Shinigami just waves at her, a small smile on her lips. Inoue openly smiles at Nel and waves too.
“Yo, Nel. How have you been?” Kurosaki asks.
“Better, thanks to you! I’ve been able to stay in my real form with little to no problems.” the ex-Terceira answers her.
“You’re welcome.” Inoue says. I see Mad Hatter moving closet to them and look away, not interested in the least at what he has to say to them. My eyes fall on Starkk, who’s staring at Kurosaki and Inoue with shocked eyes. I narrow my eyes at him, before turning to Harribel, who’s standing on his left, seeing confusion if her eyes as she too watches those girls. I move closer to them, trying not to gain too much attention from Mad Hatter.
“The hell is wrong with you?” I ask them.
“Can’t you smell the blood?! It’s like they’re covered in it!” Starkk says, his eyes not leaving them. I frown, moving to Harribel who nods. I turn to Ulquiorra, who shrugs at me. I turn to Kurosaki and take a deep breath, trying to separate her scent from the others. I’m not good like Starkk or Harribel, but my sense of smell is still stronger than Ulquiorra’s. Suddenly, a wave of blood invades my nose, making me almost choke on air with how strong it is. The hell did they do?! I stare at Kurosaki, trying to find something wrong with her. I find nothing, before something on her right hand, the one holding the school bag on her back, catches my eyes. Her nails are darkened, almost like a faded red, on the tips. It’s too small for a normal human or a Shinigami to notice… I move back to where I was standing before and use a bit of my Released Form to have a better sight. I narrow my eyes, before widening them. That’s crusted blood! The fuck did she do?!
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Our favorite Sexta Espada finds out.
“Oi! Why are you late?!” I ask Kurosaki, not caring if Mad Hatter was talking to her. She turns to me and frowns, her eyes clearly bothered.
“My father being a nuisance. Why, got a problem with that?” she asks me, her voice hard.
“Yeah, I do! It’s already bad enough that we have to wear these fucking uniforms! Having to wait for you two bitches to come here on top of that actually pisses me the hell off!!” I snarl at her. Before I can see it coming, she’s standing right in front of me, her free hand holding my throat but not raising me from the ground. As I move she tightens her grip, making me gasp.
“Well then, you can take that shit up your ass! It’s not my fault that my father tried once more to kill me while I was sleeping! And if you have a problem with pretending to be human, why don’t you go back to Hueco Mundo!” she snaps at me, baring her teeth. I narrow my eyes at the smell of her breath. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said she ate a human being on her way here. But I know better… She then pushes me away, making me fumble a bit to stay on my feet. She then turns to that Inoue chick. “Let’s go Hime. We’ll be late.” she tells her, walking away.
“It’s been a pleasure, Urahara-san.” the woman says, before following Kurosaki. We slowly follow them too, getting a wave from Mad Hatter. Tsk, the hell happened to her?! I keep my eyes on the Shinigami in front of me, her shoulders are relaxed, right hand holding the bag on her back while the left one in her pants’ pocket. She’s wearing a male uniform. I didn’t know it was okay.
“Ne, Itsygo. Are we gonna be in the same class?” Nel asks her.
“Hat-n-Clogs said so.” she answers her, not turning. I see a bunch of boys with black school uniforms coming from a hallway on our right. They look like clowns.
“Hey! Ain’t that Kurosaki?!” one of them asks, pointing in our direction. We stop walking, while the Shinigami and that Inoue keep walking as if they didn’t hear a thing.
“Yeah! Let’s get her!” another says, before they all run to Carrot-top. She sighs and hands her bag to her friend, turning to those idiots.
“Okay, who comes first?” she asks them, looking bored with both hands in her pockets. Does this shit happen every day?
“Unfortunately, yes, but Icchan is used to it.” Inoue says. I raise an eyebrow at her. “You asked that out loud…” she tells me with a smile. I nod and move my eyes to Kurosaki just to see her sending a fat boy flying through the air with a slap to his chest. I stare at her. Fuck! She’s strong! She then starts running towards the boys and starts beating them one by one. Once she’s finished, she takes her bag back and starts walking like nothing happened.
“Will they be okay?” Harribel asks her as we follow them once more.
“Who cares?” Kurosaki answers, shrugging. “Though, I probably broke that idiot’s ribs and sternum with my hand…” she points out, humming.
“Poor him…” Inoue says, a small compassionate smile on her face.
“Poor Ichigo who has to stand that every single day.” a voice speaks, making us turn to the left. I see that Quincy and the human with the Left Arm walking up to us.
“Yo, Chad. Ishida.” Kurosaki greets them.
“Good morning, Uryuu-kun. Tora-kun.” Inoue says, smiling wider. So, that’s how they’re called.
“Why can’t you use my name, Ichigo?” the Quincy asks.
“Cause I like Ishida better.” she deadpans. Ishida rolls his eyes, shaking his head in defeat.
“Have you been eating enough at least?” he asks her. Why would he ask something like that?
“Yesterday. Tasty dinner.” she says, scratching the back of her neck.
“Just that?” Chad asks, frowning.
“Try living 24/7 with a Shinigami who doesn’t leave you alone not even in the bathroom and then tell me if you can eat enough.” Kurosaki says, crossed.
“Kuchiki-san isn’t leaving you alone?” the Quincy asks, appalled.
“It’s been months now.” the Shinigami mutters, before she starts to walk away.
“Orihime, is it true?” Chad asks the girl, who sighs, nodding.
“That explains why she’s been sending her sisters over to us almost every night.” Ishida says.
“Oi, what’s the problem? She just beat those idiots. She’s fine, in my opinion.” I tell them, wanting to know what is going on with Carrot-top.
“Oh yes, she’s fine. If not being able to eat properly for months, being put under constant stress at the same time and fighting against you guys is being fine, then she’s perfect.” Ishida says, sarcasm clear in his voice.
“What does that mean?” Starkk asks, speaking for the first time to someone other than us Arrancars.
“It means that Ichigo was able to defeat those guys only because she had dinner yesterday, not because she’s fine. Haven’t you felt her Reiatsu?” Chad asks us.
“It’s weaker.” Ulquiorra points out.
“Exactly. She’ll probably fall asleep by the end of first period.” Ishida says, before we walk to school. When we finally reach the building, it’s almost time for class to start. We hurry to our classroom, finding Kurosaki seated at one of the central desks, her head resting on her crossed arms over the table. Her shoulders move slowly up and down, showing her regular breathing. I don’t believe it. We walk up to her and Inoue gently shakes her right shoulder. No reaction. It’s a joke.
“Looks like Icchan is already asleep.” the red-headed girl says, frowning slightly.
“How can that be?” Nel asks, worried.
“She needs to eat more, that’s how. Does she still keep something to eat at home at all?” Ishida asks Inoue, who shakes her head.
“She threw everything away when Kuchiki-san moved into her house… without her consent.” she says, muttering the last bit.
“Fuck!” Chad swears, before they take their seats as the teacher enters. We are introduced to the class, not bothering to say anything other than our names, before the class starts. Kurosaki keeps sleeping, the teacher never calling her out. I turn to my left, where Inoue is.
“Hey, why is Kurosaki being ignored?” I ask her.
“She’s on top of the class almost, only second to Ishida. The teachers don’t care for anything else.” she whispers, smiling. I raise an eyebrow, before moving my eyes back on the orangette. When the lunch break comes, all of the students leave the classroom except us. Suddenly, a noise is heard and we turn to Kurosaki, who’s still sleeping.
“Did she just growl?” Harribel asks, moving closer to the desk.
“No, that was her stomach.” Inoue points out, her face worried.
“I’ll wake her and take her to a restaurant to eat something good, you guys go on.” Chad says.
“Alright. Take care of her, Tora.” Ishida tells him, before we all walk out to the roof. I stop, unsure to whether follow them or go tail Chad and Kurosaki. I opt for the latter and silently run back down. I follow them out of the school, Kurosaki’s stance resembling that of a zombie. I hide my Reiatsu, not wanting to be caught, before seeing them walking into an abandoned building. I hear some noises upstairs but keep following the two. The hell is this restaurant? Suddenly, I see three men drinking and laughing near a window. They stop when they see Kurosaki and her friend, taking out their knives and moving closer to them. I almost move to help them, but something freezes me. Kurosaki half bends forward, from her middle back five things come out, ripping the uniform. I stare at them, shocked. Those tentacle-like things are enormous and long and, most of all, covered in blood. Three of them are smooth, while the other two are spiked. They’re all orange with white tips. They’re hovering over Kurosaki and Chad, pointing at the men. The trio share a look before they grin, throwing away their knives. I watch in disbelief as they’re eyes become red with black corneas. The hell are they?! The man on the left has a purple spear-like tentacle on his left shoulder. The one in the middle has yellow wing-like things spouting from his upper back and the last one has a pink tail. A fucking tail?! I move my eyes back to Kurosaki, unable to stop myself from admiring those tentacles. They are perfect. The move with fluidity and elegance, though their strength is clearly visible from their thickness. The white tips shine in the sunlight, making the tentacles even more beautiful. The blood only adds to their beauty.
“Who’s the first?” a guttural voice asks. I widen my eyes. That’s…
“Let’s do this, bitch!” the man on the right says, stepping forward. His words confirm my thought. That was Kurosaki’s voice.
“Chad, get out. I’ll find you once I’m done with the meal.” the girl says, her voice still guttural. The boy does as he was told, leaving through another window. I sigh in relief. At least he didn’t pass by here… Suddenly, the tailed man attacks, striking Kurosaki in the right side, slashing through the flesh and intestines. I gap at the wound, knowing that it was a fatal blow. Kurosaki doesn’t even move.
“The fuck…” I whisper, staring at her. Her shoulders shake, before she starts laughing, her voice sending chills down my back. One of the smooth tentacles wraps itself around the attacker’s neck, raising him in the air. He tries to counterattack, but the two spiked tentacles get wider, the spikes lengthening and sharpening, and wrap themselves around the pink appendage, hurting it. The man screams as the tentacles slowly rip his tail into pieces, leaving a useless bloodied stump behind, before they attack once more, completely ripping the appendage off of the man. The scream that leaves the man’s throat is blood chilling. So cruel… The other two smooth tentacles start creating hole after hole into him, dismembering him slowly and painfully. Kurosaki then turns to the other two left alive. They are gaping at what happened, they’re red eyes never leaving the blood splattered on the floor and the walls. They try to run out of the door, moving in my direction. Shit! I try to move closer to the wall but, before they can see me, two spiked tentacles stab them in the chest, making them spit our blood. I stare at the display, horrified. Something hits me in the face and I raise a hand on my face. I look at my hand to see it covered in blood and little whitish splinters. I choke as the putrid smell reaches my nose. They’re bones’ pieces. I move my eyes back to the room where the two men are dragged in. I’m finally able to see Kurosaki’s face since getting out of the school. Her face is covered in blood, same with her orange hair and clothes, some grey substance dripping down from her mouth and chin. I see a piece of greenish grey flesh hanging from the right side of her mouth, her jaw moving as if she’s chewing something. I then raise my eyes and find two pools of shining red eyes, swimming in black corneas, staring in maddening glee at the men still impaled on her tentacles. She’s perfect… I shake my head, trying to erase the last thought from my mind. No, she’s not. I’ve seen Hollows eating other Hollows, I did it too. But this. This is madness. The piece of grey thing is swallowed into her mouth, before being chewed. I look at her hands, trying to find where that meat came from. I find my answer in her right hand. The mangled head of the first man is dangling by its opened cranium. The dark meat I see is the man’s brain. I feel myself almost throwing up. She’s eating him… I turn to the two men, shocked to see them still alive.
“Have you never heard of the Five Spades?” Kurosaki asks them, grinning. The duo freezes, their eyes full of horror, fear and despair.
“We… We’re sorry…” the first one says, swallowing.
“We didn’t know…” the second continues.
“It doesn’t matter. You’re the ones who raped those children, aren’t you?” she asks them, her monstrous voice echoing in the almost empty building, even though she’s not raising her voice.
“We… we didn’t…” the second starts, before the tentacle leaves his body. Before he can even fall, the appendage strikes again, this time lower, creating another hole. The man gasps, blood flying from his mouth.
“We were hungry…” the first one says, trying to save his friend.
“Oh, were you now? But then, why raping them? You could have just eaten them and be done with it? Why prolong their agony?” she asks them.
“We… just wanted… some… fun…” the second says.
“So, raping twenty-nine children whose ages went from 4 years to 7 years old was your idea of fun?” she asks. I stare at the men, not believing what they had done. They deserve every bit of pain she’s giving them. “Well, my idea of fun is eating until I’m full…” she says, before she starts moving the tentacle stuck in the second man’s chest around, sending the criminal crashing against walls, pillars and other things. Once she stops, there’s nothing attached to the tentacle that remotely resembles a man. It’s just a piece of flesh and bones dripping blood on the floor. She throws it away, before focusing her attention to the last man. She moves the other four tentacles to take a hold of every limb, raising him into the air. Kurosaki then takes out the fifth tentacle from her victim’s chest. She then moves it behind the man, the tip pointing at the man’s behind. I widen my eyes, fearing what she’s about to do. I’m having a nightmare… She can’t be… Kurosaki is a good girl… not a killer… Suddenly, the tentacle moves back. “Tell me, were you the boss?” she asks him.
“Yeah, Michael and Jepsen were doing it because I told them too…” he says.
“Good… Then… Let me show you the pain and the agony your victims felt…” she tells him, before the tentacle shoots upward, entering the man from behind and not stopping until the white tip was completely inside. I gap at the display, feeling bile raising in my mouth. I swallow it down, even though the scream the man lets out almost makes me throw up. I can’t move my eyes from what’s happening.
“I’m… Ah…” the man tries to say.
“You’re sorry?” Kurosaki asks him. He tries to nod, but she shakes her head. “It’s too late… You weren’t sorry while raping them…” she tells him. The tentacle moves, this time faster, and the man gurgles as he’s ripped open from the inside out. Suddenly, the tentacle shoots upward, the white tip exiting from his mangles mouth, breaking his neck and jaw. The other four tentacles start tearing the limbs from the body, before letting them fall to the ground. I try to let out my breath slowly, but red eyes stop me. Fuck! I’m dead!!! I try to move but the five tentacles circle me. I feel them lightly touch me, as if caressing me. I stare at her as she moves closer. “Why are you here, Grimmjow?” she asks me, her voice turning back to normal.
“I…” I try to find the words but I’m frozen. For the very first time in my life I’m scared for my life. Me! Grimmjow! This woman in front of me is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. But also, the first one to gain my total respect. How can it be?! She just killed them, and she’ll probably kill me too, but I’m not really bothered by that. I widen my eyes, this new revelation startling me more than the tentacles around my body. I won’t be able to see her kill again… That’s what is bothering me… I close my eyes, waiting for the killing blow.
“I won’t kill you, though I ask you to kindly step away and wait for me downstairs.” she tells me. I move robotically, not even thinking about what I’m doing. I step out of the building, my legs failing me. I kneel on the ground, shaken but still alive. After some time, she gets out, completely covered in blood. “Well, let’s go.” she says, her eyes the beautiful warm chocolate brown that always characterized her. I follow her, not knowing what to do.
“Why aren’t you…” I try to ask her.
“I couldn’t eat you even if I wanted to. Your Gigai isn’t made of flesh. It holds no use for me.” she tells me.
“Then what…” I start.
“You’ll see.” she says.
“Why did you…” I ask.
“They deserved it. And I needed to eat.” she says.
“What are you?” I ask her.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Explanations and discovering feelings.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“I’m a monster, or didn’t you see?” she asks me, her voice bitter. I frown, before I stop walking. She stops too, her back still turned to me.
“I saw five fucking tentacles coming out of your back and killing three fucking pedophiles and then you eating one of their fucking brain. That’s what I saw.” I tell her. I watch as her shoulders slump, before I hear her sigh. She starts walking again and I follow after her, wanting to know the truth. She walks up to an apartment, before she ascends the steps and knocks on the door thrice, before stopping for a second and then knocking twice again. I furrow my eyebrows in confusion, before the door opens, a young girl with short light brown hair and chocolate brown eyes answers the door. She smiles as she takes in Kurosaki.
“One-chan!!” she screams, before hugging the Shinigami around the waist, not seeming to care about dirtying herself with the blood. That’s her sister?! I stare, wide-eyed, as Kurosaki chuckles and lowers her head, nuzzling the girl’s hair affectionately.
“Sorry, Yuzu. I should have come earlier.” she tells the child.
“It’s okay, one-chan. Karin-chan and I knew you needed some alone time to feed.” the girl says, before she moves back and runs back into the house, dragging Kurosaki by the hand. I follow after them, finding another girl with short black hair and dark eyes sitting on the couch, reading a little book. I read the word manga on the front page.
“Hi, Ichi-nee. Did you eat?” she asks, staring at the bloody clothes. She’s the other sister. I look between the two younger girls and frown. They have to be twins. They look to be around the same age.
“Yeah, don’t worry Karin. Did you girls eat enough these days?” the Shinigami asks her. The girl nods, before going back to read her manga. I see Kurosaki turning to me, making me tense. “These are my younger twin sisters, Karin the oldest and Yuzu, the youngest. They’re just like me. Girls, this is Grimmjow. A new friend and ally.” she makes the introductions, making me stare at the children. They eat people too… I would have never thought someone who looks so harmless being so dangerous. “Can you wait for me to be done with my shower and change?” Kurosaki asks me. I nod, before sitting down on an armchair, mindful of keeping the girls where I can easily keep an eye on them. Kurosaki nods, before she enters a room on the left. I sigh, leaning against the back of the armchair.
“So, Grimmjow-kun.” the youngest, Yuzu, says, gaining my attention. “Are you one-chan’s boyfriend?” I stare at her, gaping. I close my mouth, trying to find an answer that doesn’t offend her. I don’t want them to kill me…
“Of course, he’s not, Yuzu. Ichi-nee would never go for someone like him.” the dark-haired twin answers, making me snap my eyes to her, confused. She’s staring at me, an eyebrow raised. “You’re not strong at all.” she points out. I narrow my eyes at the girl.
“For your information, I was the one who beat her to the ground months ago.” I snarl, staring at her. She widens her eyes, making me realize the big fucking mistake I just made. Shit… Now they’ll kill me…
“Okay, you’re strong.” she comments, shrugging, before she opens her manga again. I stare at her in disbelief.
“Don’t worry.” the other twin says, making me turn to her. “One-chan healed in less than three hours from the wounds, so don’t worry. We’re not mad.” she reassures me, smiling gently. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding until now, sagging back against the armchair. I hear the door open and I see Kurosaki enter the living room again, wearing black shorts and a red baggy tank top, her feet bare and hair damp. I can’t help but stare at her. The blood is completely gone, her tan skin looking healthier than it did this morning. I follow a waterdrop as it descends from her hair and down to her neck, before it goes into the cleavage peeking out from the tank top, her breasts stretching the cotton of the t-shirt. They’re not big, but still very round and firm. Her long legs are nicely muscled, the shorts only adding to their beauty. Her feet are small and delicate, her toenails painted orange. I notice her hands are the same, small and delicate, but the nails are painted white. She sighs, stretching her neck left and right, before she looks at me.
“Yuzu, Karin, why don’t you move to the kitchen?” she asks them, voice soft but firm. They share a look, before they do as she asks and go in the other room. I watch as she takes Karin’s place on the couch, folding her legs under as she sits. “Sorry. I needed to get off the blood.” she apologizes. I nod, before frowning.
“Wait, what about your friend, Chad or something?” I ask her.
“I texted him. He’s at the school right now. This is Ishida and his house.” she answers, shrugging. I nod. “So, are you scared?” she asks me. I hesitate, before nodding. “You shouldn’t be. Like I said, we couldn’t be able to eat you even if we wanted to.” she reassures me, making me nod.
“What are you?” I ask her.
“I’m a ghoul.” she says, making me shake my head in confusion. “Ghouls are a carnivorous species that are only able to feed on humans. We are as close to humans as possible: we normally have the same physical appearance and intelligence as a human with the exception of diet, mentality, and inner biology. If certain rare conditions are met, ghouls and humans may even be able to have offspring, like my mother did with my father.” she tells me, making me widen my eyes. “Yeah, I’m a half-ghoul or, I would be one if it wasn’t for my diet.” she points out.
“What do you mean?” I ask her, leaning forward, my elbows resting on my knees.
“Well, normally, a half-ghoul only has one Kakugan, or red on black eye. As you saw, I have two. Karin and Yuzu only have one each.” she answers.
“Why is that?” I ask, furrowing my eyebrows.
“Because of my diet. Like I said, ghouls only live on humans, we wouldn’t need anything else. Unfortunately, some of us, myself included, committed a horrible sin, the biggest taboo of our species. It’s also known as the forbidden fruit for us ghoul. This sin is cannibalism. Every ghoul child is taught to never eat, under any circumstances, another ghoul, no matter if it’s a life or death situation. A ghoul who commits this crime is known as a Kakuja.” she says, her eyes sad as she looks at coffee table in front of the couch.
“What happens if you do?” I ask her.
“It changes you. It destroys you from the inside out. A normal ghoul is always hungry, no matter how much they eat. We can’t feel sated. Sometimes, a ghoul isn’t able to eat as much as they need, making them go almost mad with hunger, which becomes five times stronger than the normal hunger. Cannibalism changes your appetite, worsening your hunger to maddening levels. Your normal hunger is the same as the hunger of a fasting ghoul.” she answers.
“And yours? You haven’t been eating enough in months, right?” I ask her.
“My hunger is ten times stronger than a normal ghoul’s. Which means it’s twice the hunger of a fasting ghoul.” she tells me, meeting my eyes. I see madness in her chocolate brown ones. “It’s disgusting, repulsive, nor it is a satisfying hunger. I try to contain myself, but it gets too strong sometimes, and my mind isn’t able to bear it. Cannibalism makes you stronger, if you’re a full-blooded ghoul. A half-ghoul like myself? It’s practically unheard of. It gave me a hellish hunger and a second Kakugan, but that’s not all. My kagune, those five tentacles you saw.” she hints, making me nod. “It didn’t have five tentacles before I started eating ghouls. There were only three, the smooth ones. The other two sprung out after I ate my first ghoul. You have no idea of how painful it was. My whole body burning like acid was in my veins, my bones breaking and mending together again for 48 hours straight…” she groans, flexing her back and shoulders, as if remembering the pain. I wince at the image. “I never actually regretted eating my first ghoul, but I regret having done it in front of my mother. It was probably the last thing she saw before dying.” she says, lowering her head. I frown.
“What happened?” I ask her.
“We were walking home. I was nine at that time. It was raining. Mom and I were almost home, but a Kakuja who had gone mad with hunger found us before we could reach the house. She started attacking us. I was a child, I didn’t have enough control of my Kagune, just enough to bring it out. Mom… she fought hard… Never letting the ghoul come close to me. But then, Grand Fisher came and almost got me. Mom sent him away, probably back to Hueco Mundo. In doing so, she had turned her back to the Kakuja, who took advantage of it and used her deformed Kagune to stab my mother in the stomach and abdomen, before sending her fly on the dirty ground, near a river. I had tried to stop her, but she destroyed my three tentacled Kagune as if it was nothing, which it probably was for her. I don’t really remember what happened next. I just know that I went into a rage and attacked the ghoul. The next thing I remember is sitting next to my mother, completely covered in blood and with a new Kagune attached to my back, the two new tentacles tense, the spikes pointing out for any possible attack from an outside force. I had my mother’s head in my lap, and I was caressing her hair. She was gasping from breath… I just know that she looked up at me for a second, her eyes sad, before she let out her last breath and her eyes became empty.” she tells me, her eyes tearing, before she hides her eyes behind her hair. “I did the one thing she always told me not to do. She died watching her oldest daughter become a monster…” she finishes, bringing her right hand to her face, probably to dry her tears.
“I don’t think she hated you… You survived… I think she was actually proud… Maybe…” I try to say, hoping to somehow comfort her. Shit, I’m not good at these things… “Maybe she was sad because she was leaving you alone…” I tell her, making her raise her head to look at me. She stares at me, before she lowers her head and smiles.
“Thanks.” she breathes out, making me smirk at her, before I nod.
“So, you’re all ghouls?” I ask her. She nods.
“More or less. Hime is a full-blooded ghoul, though she too is a Kakuja now. She tried to save her brother, but it was already too late.” she says, making me nod in understanding. “Chad is a full-blooded ghoul while Ishida is a half-ghoul. They have normal diets, like my sisters. Ishida is my cousin; his mother is my mom’s sister.” she tells me.
“Wow. Just… I would have never thought you guys to have had bloodier lives than ours.” I say, making her chuckle.
“Yeah, well. Ghouls usually do.” she points out, leaning back against the couch.
“Does your father know? I mean, you never mentioned him…” I say.
“He doesn’t. I made sure of it. Which is why Yuzu and Karin are here most of the time. It’s our safe heaven.” she tells me, before looking at the clock on the wall. I follow her eyes, seeing it’s already eight p.m. I raise an eyebrow. “Time sure flies away when you’re focused on something…” she comments, stealing the words right out of my mouth. I nod. I really can’t believe everything that happened today… This girl… This woman… She’s strong… And to think she endured our attacks and all while slowly going mad with hunger… She’s at the top of the females I’ve met in my life. She would be the perfect mate… A traitorous growl stops my next thoughts. I widen my eyes. She would give us strong cubs. The voice continues, followed by a purr. Fuck. I can’t believe Pantera. My own fucking Zampakutou… You know I’m right… I roll my eyes, shaking my head to clear it. “Too much info?” Kurosaki, no Ichigo, asks me. I look at her and smile.
“Nah… Just my Zampakutou being an asshole…” I tell her. She nods, humming.
“I know what you mean…” she says, before standing up. “Come on, the others will be here shortly, bringing pizza for you, probably.” she tells me.
“Wait, what about the others?” I ask her.
“Probably already left at Urahara-san’s place by now. I texted Chad to let him know about you, so…” she shrugs, before walking in the kitchen. I follow her, this time calm and relaxed, knowing the full story behind what happened at the abandoned building. Who am I to tell her she’s a monster? I’m a fucking Arrancar after all… I enter the kitchen, only to stop when I see Kurosaki standing in front of the table. I look over her shoulder and grin at the sight. Damn, who knew kids could be so cute? Her sisters are cuddled together under the table, reading the manga from before. “Hey, you two. Shouldn’t you be already in bed? Ishida texted me saying you woke up at four a.m. this morning.” Ichigo tells them. I watch as the girls’ heads snap to us, their eyes sleepy and half-open. My grin widens as I see Yuzu nodding off, her eyes slowly closing. “Can you help me?” Ichigo asks me. I nod. We walk to them and I take Karin in my arms, before waiting for Ichigo to pick up Yuzu and then follow her to another room. I see two single beds. Probably the room where the girls sleep whenever they stay over. I watch as Ichigo lays Yuzu in the bed on the left, before I gently lay Karin in the free one. I step back as Ichigo comes to tuck her in as she did with Yuzu, who’s already asleep. Karin is still awake, though her eyes are half-lidded.
“Can you sing mom’s lullaby?” she asks is a soft voice. Ichigo smiles, her face relaxed in a way I never saw her been. I stare at her as she sits on the side of the bed, running a hand through her sister’s black hair. I lean against the closest desk and watch them. She’s beautiful… She would be the perfect mother for cubs. I roll my eyes, shutting the growl down.
“Are you sure?” Ichigo asks the girl, who nods. “Even if it’s scary?” she asks again. Karin nods.
“Scary?” I ask her. She turns to me and smirks, nodding.
“Suffer, suffer, scream in pain.
Blood is spilling from your brain.
Ghouls gnaw you like a plum.
Piercing cries and you succumb.
Suffer, suffer, scream in pain.
You will never breath again.” Ichigo sings, her beautiful voice lulling Karin to sleep. I stare at her, not believing how she fell asleep with such a song. I turn to Ichigo, who shrugs, before we go out, closing the door behind us.
“Seriously?! That’s a fucking horror song!” I whisper to her. She laughs, nodding, moving back to the kitchen. I watch as she takes out two glasses and fills them with water, before putting the on the table and sitting down in one of the six chairs. I follow her, sitting in the chair on her left and take one of the glasses. “Thanks.” I say, getting a nod back.
“I know. I know. But… Mom used to sing us that lullaby and it stuck… I didn’t want to change it because it… was one of the best memories we had of her… Plus, we grew used to it. Every ghoul child grows up with a horror lullaby. Hime has her own one, Chad too. Ishida knows our lullaby since our mothers were sisters and all that.” she explains, making me nod. I snicker, thinking back at the lyrics. “Funny though, right?” she asks me, wiggling her eyebrows. I shake my head at her.
“You’re crazy.” I say, before laughing lowly. She follows me, her chuckles sounding like bells to my ears.
Hey guys, I just wanted you to know that the explanation about the Ghouls is from Tokyo Ghoul Wikia, the explanation about cannibalism and Kakujas on the other hand in purely made up.
I also borrowed Dennis' lullaby from Hotel Transylvania 2, only changing one word. =)