Reset then Restart, Replay.
Please read my following ramble on what I am doing:
Right so this is the many times improved, far more planned out version of Reset then Restart. Like I said I would do. I feel like I rushed many parts of it and because of that I missed showing how Ichigo had changed and grown up and what kind of affect this would have on the world as a whole. This will also allow me to fix many things that I have already decided I dislike. I am even going to re-watch part of the anime to provide a greater accuracy on what is going on. As such the updates for this will be far slower I hope you enjoy this more than the other one.
He stood alone looking down at the corpse of the man he hated most. Even though he had killed the man they had still lost. He hadn't moved or spoken since and he didn't feel any need to.
No one was waiting for him.
There was no one to run from.
There was nowhere for him to go either.
The air was thick with tension, neither one of them daring to speak. They knew that this was the last stand, the last battle, the last time they would sit together like this. Aizen had been constantly hammering them for weeks with low level- cannon fodder. That was all he could call what he was sure had once been humans, quincy, shinigami and hollows. The abominations they were now could only be pitied.
The air felt lacking from where the power had been sucked dry. This battle was going to be fought only on the power they had left inside of them and most certainly not in best shape. They had run out of food long ago and Shiro wasn't going to chance whether or not abominations could be eaten. (He would have once rejected that with all his might but the vizard had come to the agreement that they shouldn't waste the limited supply of food if they could just consume souls.)
Just a few hours ago the attack had stopped. They knew what was coming.
Kisuke had a tight grip on what looked like an Ipad. An item that had been protected at all costs as it was the security monitor, with Kisuke's newest nano tech featuring camera's that were essentially invisible. Normally they would have to worry about Aizen using the Hogyoku to search and destroy anything that gave them even a sliver of hope, this would be if Aizen wasn't as unstable as he was.
Many years ago the Quincy king Ywach had disappeared. Though nothing was ever confirmed it was suspected that Aizen had used the Hogyoku to absorb him, though however much he liked to boast that he was a transcended being his soul couldn't handle the pressure of the Reio's sons soul on top of the Hogyoku's own power and Aizen shattered under the sudden foreign power.
He was brought out of his musings by a warm hand grasping his own stopping the shaking he hadn't even realized was there.
"Ichigo." Kisuke was calm and soft in a way that he had only ever had for his student. At the same time it was also steady with reassurance, a constant pillar of support at his back. Ichigo knew that he could trust the man with anything.
"It's time?" His own voice was scratchy and deep but just as steady as Kisuke's had been. He was as ready as he would ever be.
Kisuke nodded at him and they both stood and looked out to where the sun was setting from their view atop the Senzaikyu. From within he could feel Zangetsu preparing themselves for what was to come.
"Yo king?" Came the familiar warble, once it brought him fear but now he couldn't ever go back to that. He wouldn't know how.
"Don't fuckin' die." Yeah, yeah he knew. Dying would make him a pretty shitty king.
"Tch. Who do you think I am?" Was the only response he had for Shiro's oh so nice statement.
"Tha's wha' I thought."
Turning around he faced the reiatsu hurtling towards them. (The reiatsu wrong and twisted and incomplete where is your zanpakuto? Your partner? A soul that couldneverneverbefixed-)
There was a shing of three swords leaving their sheathes all vibrating with the intent to kill. Ichigo brought his Zangetsu's up into an X as Aizen appeared, his own swords being blocked.HE WAS STILL SMIRKING. Aizen flew black with his strange deformed mockery of butterfly wings. Kisuke disappeared as he prepared the Kido spell.
For what felt like hours he exchanged blows with Aizen back and forth, Ichigo got in a hit but then he received one. Dodge, run, hide, attack, repeat. Somewhere along the line he activated bankai, two swords melding into one-complete.
"KISUKE! Hurry up!" He dodged to the side avoiding Aizen's sword, no longer Kyoka Suigetsu but a hollow replacement made by the hogyoku never matching the true thing, the glove on his right hand attached to the pulsing crystal blade. Reiatsu flowed around the man thing in shade of purple and blue, reminding him of ice and who he had lost at fault of his own anger.
Sliding backwards he let himself fall off the remainder of whatever this building had used to be a cero going through the area he had just been in.
Running between the buildings he kept his eye on Kisuke, waiting for him to complete the kido they had worked on together, not enough to seal or kill Aizen. But it was enough to keep the man still. Enough for Ichigo to use the last of his power to cut Aizen down.
Looking down at his coat he compared it to how much it was at full and realized he wouldn't have much longer, his bankai was close to falling apart. Normally his own reserves would play almost no part in keeping his bankai activated, once it had been on for a year, though with the worlds in the state that they were there was no longer enough reishi in the air for him to absorb. He could always absorb the remains of the Seireitei but he was not willing to risk fighting on flat ground with the mad man. Not only that but if he started to absorb things Aizen would be able to locate him.
"One more minute!" Urahara called out, not knowing where he was but trusting him to stay close enough it hear him and keep watch. His voice was laced with the ever-present exhaustion. Aizen knew they were up to something but every time he tried to interfere with Kisuke, Ichigo would shoot an arrow at him (his sword was his bow so yes he could do that) and disappear again.
Every movement took visible effort not just physically but mentally too. The only reason he was fighting was that if Aizen was even left alive he would just bring them all back to suffer under his it even worth it? Dark shadows hung under his eyes and Ichigo knew he was just the same. Their skin now pale not only from being under Hueco's Mundo's moon for so long but also from lack of sleep and illness. Even as spirits their conditions were too poor and their resources lacking.
Where once he would have been able to stay awake for weeks they had found themselves more tired and weak, lowered down below even normal human standards. They were both far lighter than they should have been.
While he was stood there he looked up at the cloudy sky, he couldn't remember the last time the sky had been clear enough to see the sun, the moon or the stars.
"Ichigo. Left." Not even hesitating he moved left, his trust in his zanpakuto was strong and he knew that they would be at his back, protecting him with their lives. Rolling forwards he narrowly dodged the unnatural blade and spun round cutting Aizen in half, not that it did much. The man was healed before his bottom half could even move away from him.
"ICHIGO!" Jumping upwards he knew that this was their last chance, these last few moment would decide the rest of their futures. Pointing Benihime at Aizen Ichigo could see Urahara's sleeve tied up with a piece of dirty bandage, his left hand bleeding and the diamond like shapes of part of the kido.
They had gathered so much energy for it that the air hummed with power and at this distance he could no longer hear the words Kisuke spoke with confidence, if he wavered even a little then he will be deemed unworthy and it would backfire on him. Darkness gathered behind him.
But it did work. Chains that vibrated with power secured Aizen to one place, without looking back Ichigo let himself fall forwards his blade held out in front of him.
Reiatsu gathered around Tensa Zangetsu screaming for the death of this man. He continued to fall down, his focus solely on Aizen.
Ichigo didn't yell the word like had so often, but whispered it. Though it had no affect of the shear power released from the blade. Everything around him was obscured with a mix of blue, red and black. Enough to block out the sky as every last drop of reserves got pushed out from a single point.
Setting his feet down on the floor he pulled his blade from Aizen not needing to flick of any blood as it had disintegrated. His bankai collapsed down and split into his twin sealed blades and he sheathed them on his back. Flexing his hand he jabbed his arm forward and yanked the Hogyoku out of the mans chest throwing it away.
"Heh, you actually won ryoka boy I do wonder why your still stood there though-" Not even moving his gaze away from him Aizen coughed up blood, drenching his once pristine white uniform in it, splattering on the floor. "Are you going to let your dear mentor bleed to death then." Once he had said that he went still, his eyes glazed. He would never know why he did it but he reached a shaking hand forwards and slid the mans eyes shut, it was the most peaceful he had ever seen him.
Though Aizen had been speaking Ichigo could not hear him over the sound of his own breath and the buzzing in his ears. He was angry, but why? Perhaps is was how Kisuke stumbled towards them. A hand covering the whole in his chest.
"Ichi- Ichigo." Never had Kisuke sounded so weak. He was hurt. If he was so injured then why was he still smiling so kindly at him like that!
When he got close to him he tripped and threw his arms around him. Ichigo's stayed at his side, He was still looking at Aizen.
"Heh looks like I didn't have enough power for it. I'm sorry. I really am. I put you through so much and you still continued to fight. I wish that this world got a better chance, I do not regret meeting you or making you a shinigami. My only regret was not stopping him sooner. I hope we get a better chance next time." Ichigo never saw it but in that moment Kisukes eyes slid knowingly from Ichigo over to the hogyoku. All Ichigo would remember was how even when Kisuke fell down at his feet he continued to smile.
They stood there a while, Ichigo and Zangetsu. The latter two not saying anything, the strange mix of emotions running through their wielder, Shiro felt them all and could tell that anything could tip him over the edge. He slowly slipped down onto his knee's ignoring the rubble that dug into his skin and the blood (his sensei-odd father figure- awkward family member)Kisuke's blood, seeping through the remains of his hakama.
Sure he had his spirits but he was his spirits and that just isn't the same.
In the end he hadn't protected anything had he. "Ah haha. I guess I knew it would end like this huh? Even though we tried so hard." He whispered to himself. Quiet like the world around him.
For once he let him curl up into himself, uneven nails digging into his bare arms and scoring deep scratches though he ignored the blood that welled up in little bubbles. And he let. It all. Go.
He ignored the loud static in his mind, the nonexistent whispers of his friends spirits, ignored the way the breeze disappeared, the tangy smell of blood lessened, ignored the way everything shattered, unraveled itself and disappeared.
For once in fifteen years he forgot his surroundings and drowned everything out meaning he didn't notice the constant tap tap tap maintaining a consistent pattern coming towards him.
He doesn't know how long he sat there for in his state of nothing, an unmeasurable eternity-instant-somewhereinbetween until he regained awareness. Tired. Emotionally and physically. Everything was dulled out and gray.
"Hello there. Your finally awake, you don't have to answer me yet." A presence next to him. It felt familiar and comforting even if he couldn't place it. So he listens and instead of saying anything he pulls his legs from under him bringing them up so he could rest his head on his knees wishing for his mothers warmth, gentle and forgiving (would she ever forgive him for this? For who he had become?) not noticing how the presence pulled a blanket for somewhere and settled it over his shoulders as he went back to blank, quiet, peace.
Zangetsu always told him to look forward and never stop but he's been running forwards for years. He was sure the zanpakuto spirit wouldn't be bothered by this, him stopping just for a bit.
The presence began to hum a tune that he'd never heard before, he liked it though. Familiar. He'd never heard it before.
After an unknown amount of time he woke back up from his half sleep (there but not) and looked to his right. A man sat there with his head tilted back and eyes closed as he hummed out a looping tune of peace and he was almost tempted back to blank awareness. Ichigo shook his head getting rid of the sudden wave of sleep.
The humming stopped.
Whoever was beside him tilted his head left and locked eyes with him. His face mirrored his own (Shiba? Like Kaien who he never got to meet. Another thing Aizen ruined.) His eyes glowed light gold (like the sun, he should stop looking because mother taught him not to look at the sun, before he went blind. While he was certain anyone else would be blinded he kept looking. He would be fine.) His pupils were white making it seem like he was forever looking at something he couldn't ever see -perhaps he was- his hair glowed with a slightly lighter shade it seemed airy,insubstantial as though it couldn't care that gravity? meant that it should stay flat due to its length.
He could feel a headache beginning, pressure building up behind his eyes and-
"Stop thinking about it, your brains struggling to process you trying to assess me as you would with the usual rules of existence while their gone." His voice was- Normal. It was smooth and soft and just generally pleasing to listen to (he could probably sing well a distant part of his brain popped up) but it was normal. He had a feeling that this person was now making a distinct effort into reigning in his abnormality.
Instead of looking at the person he looked at his surroundings. The sky above him was all nothing and nothingness while he sat on a glassy plane of something while beneath him was an ocean of everything that the person next to him had their legs dipped into.
Thinking of the lack of things and too many colours and whatever it was around him in abstract terms seemed to work.
"That's probably best for now. I am sorry that I didn't reign in myself earlier I honestly thought you would be able to handle it, you're not too far off though."
Where he would normally take offence to something like that he didn't because nothing about this was normal. He tried looking back at who ever this being was and though it hadn't changed much he was able to process the slightly floaty hair, sun like eyes and flawless tanned skin. (Unlike white porcelain and Inky blackness, piercing red) What had he been thinking about?
"You okay?" Calm and steady like everything in the world was fine- no Aizen. He guessed it was.
"Hmm." Talking would be to much for his exhausted everything. He put his head back on his knees but kept his eyes trained on the one next to him.
"I'll take that as a maybe." They looked down at their feet dangling of the ledge of something they were sat on and pulled a cookie out from his haori and began nibbling on it absentmindedly.
Ichigo pouted. Unfair.
Whoever it was looked back to him and pulled another one out,"Want one?"
Ichigo took it. He hadn't had one in forever. He nibbled on his own cookie. It was nice, was it like Yuzu's? He couldn't remember. Ichigo was hit with a sudden bout of longing.
"I've been watching for a while now you know?" He brushed cookie dust into everything and got another one out,"I had wanted to come down and help you long before it got so bad. The exiles too, I really had. But I couldn't. I'm not entirely sure why. None of you deserved this." They finished cookie number two and looked back at him. Looking into their eyes he could only see sadness, regret and honesty. Ichigo couldn't bring himself to be angry. "You did good. I-"
He looked like he was struggling to say something. Mouth opening and closing slowly and frustration built on his features. Eventually after trying for a few minutes they shook their head and tried something else.
"The most I could do was send squad zero down to you and invite you up towards where I was. I got rewarded with a migraine and a half for that."
Squad zero huh? It would make sense that he would have something to do with the nothing-something-everything. "Reio?"
A small smile. "Yup. I don't seem to do much of anything good though really do I?" He was looking all sad again.
"Sounds like you didn't have a choice."
They chuckled, "You always see the best in people don't you. It was a shame you had to grow up so fast."
Ichigo shrugged in answer and it went back to silence. Another cookie appeared in his hand and Ichigo sent a judgmental look over to the Reio before nibbling on his cookie.
The Reio muttered an embarrassed "I like sweet things ok?" Under his breath.
Ichigo smiled a little for the first time in what felt like forever but then frowned at his surroundings because where in the three realms were they?
"You did this." The Reio stated rather bluntly.
Which- I. Who. He- "WHAT." How in the name of the Reio(haha he's sitting right next to me with his god damn infinite cookie pocket. Yamamoto, Soifon and literally every noble ever would probably have a heart attack. Oh wait I am a noble.) had he done this.
"Guess you want an explanation huh? Well try sensing me you shouldn't be able too right? Well normally that is but even though there is a significant gap between us that probably wouldn't take too long to close we are still sitting on the same level of existence. What you basically did was grab everything and pull it apart which is why you where having trouble over the whole gravity thing."
You wot mate? Was the first thing that came to mind and he could feel that Shiro had some input into that mess so now he was trying his hardest not to burst out in a fit of laughter.
"God dammit Shiro WHY?"
" 'cause your all sad an' serious an' shit an' I 'ave 'ad enough of i'!"
Oh goodie now he was getting weird looks. They quickly went back into silence while he mused over the thought that he was almost as powerful as the Reio himself once he gets back into tip top shape. He never thought on if's always when.
"If you could go back to when you was a child, say when you were four years old, even though no one could remember anything you had gone through together. Would you do it?"
Even if no one remembered him? Ichigo thinks of his friends, comrades- his sisters. His mother. Looking over with certainty he knew his choice. "Yes. I would. I'm the protector after all right? Can't just stop here."
A grin. Looks like that was the right choice. "Well guess we should get going then." He paused, seeming to be thinking over something. "I- Well. I know this is and odd request but could you do something for me?"
The hell was he meant to be able to do? Ichigo raised his visible eyebrow in question.
"I- uhhh, haha- I don't have a name. Don't know what happened to my old one. It's quite gone. I'm sure you remember Hyosube-san? Ah you had a conversation about the importance and power of names. Well as much as I could name literally anything else I can not name myself. So haha awkward request." And wow it was awkward. The Reio looked like he wished to be anywhere else at this present moment. He was even doing the very common Shiba action of rocking slightly from the hill to the balls of his feels and rubbing the back of his neck and looking at the floor.
"Your trusting me with this? Alrighty. Uh. Akira Tsuki. There. Now can we please move on."
Oh god he didn't know people could be blinded with smiles what is this power. He fought the urge to block his eyes with an arm.
Tsuki-san stood up and Ichigo followed. Now he could get a good look at him he looked the man over, knee length hair, 7ft tall. He was wearing a shihakusho, the inner layer was golden coloured but instead of the usual white bandage like length of fabric to hold everything together he instead had a red one reminding him of a shinigami's spirit ribbon. He was wearing a haori that was a deep purple with what seemed to be jigokucho in gold with the swirl pattern on the wings were in the usual red.
Overall very fancy looking. Unlike Ichigo his fringe did not look like some overgrown wild mess which the man was currently CACKLING ABOUT! He sent over a good old glare which must of been far more powerful than normal because he stopped very suddenly and shuffled back a little.
"Well then, best get going then. Or well putting everything back together." Tsuki-san put his hand out and Ichigo grabbed it.
"Be seeing you I guess."
A grin and everything changed.
A flower growing and withering.
The shattering of glass.
A friends smile.
A babies crying.
The warmth of a mother.
"Welcome home Kurosaki Ichigo."
Lets get this started. Now if you thought that there was to many pauses in that big long convo between Tsuki and Ichigo please remember that this is the most awkward conversation in existence cause its not everyday you think over the fact that everyone you ever knew or loved is dead, reality is doing some weird shit and your not entirely sure if you took some hallucinogenic drug or something, meet the Reio and find out you almost as powerful as the king of existence then you, the person absolutely awful at naming things are tasked with giving the most powerful and respected being in existence -A NAME- insert over the top hand wave here.
NO I am not leaving the original and just going on with this one I just want to see some peoples feed back.
If you could be very nice please tell me the following things:
-What is your first thoughts?
-What do you think of what little is shown about Aizen?
-What do you think of Ichigo?
-What do you think of Tsuki?
-Is too much revealed for a first chapter. As the writer I already know the story and it hard to tell how fast people pick things up or throw them together or was I vague enough to confuse people about the ExTra IfOrMaTiOn?
-How is this chapter one compared to the RTR chapter one including grammar and story telling?
-Is there anything missing? I can always edit the chapter.
-Literally anything else you could think of.
This might be a lot to ask but it is crucial to my improvement and getting a nice smooth running completed story out of the end result.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to whatever I update next.
Luna says see you next time! : )
Ps- Yes I did reread chapter one of RTR. For anyone who actually managed to get through the first few chapters gets an award. Oof. Bad writing. I hope I have improved. Pure pain.
BTW did you think the cookie thing was gonna go away. Aw hell naw thats a character trait at this point. A part of him.