|The Walking Dead - Bleached
Author: Arrancon PM
Ichigo Kurosaki, formerly the Subsitute Soul Reaper of the Soul Society, has awoken into a world ruled by the undead. But he is not alone. Now, he, his family, and his friends must survive against the walking dead, corrupted living, and perhaps each other. Based on the hit T.V show and comics. OC (Original Character) present. Rated M for strong language and graphic violence.Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Tragedy - Ichigo K. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 25,855 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 18 - Updated: 05-15-13 - Published: 02-03-13 - id: 8975669
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Thanks to everyone who's read or left a review for Chapter 1!
Starting with this chapter, the rating has been increased to T, just for language.
"Hey Starrk, I think he's awake!"
Ichigo opened his eyes to see a small green haired girl inches away from his face. He was lying down on a bed (again), with three layers of covers thrown messily onto him. He sat upwards, looking at the dark room around him. There was one boarded up window, with a small hole drilled in the center, a perfect fit for a gun barrel. A candle flickered on a nearby desk, dangerously close to a pile of nature magazines, and a box of bullets lay by an unloaded revolver. A man was sitting at the desk, snoring, his feet propped up in comfort. Ichigo glanced back at the green haired girl, who happened to be holding his shoe in her hand. The look on her face was clearly of agitation.
"Starrk! I said he's awake!" the girl snarled while angrily pointing at the man with Ichigo's shoe. "STARRK!"
"Umm, little girl?" Ichigo said cautiously, "I think he wants to rest. Maybe you should – OWW!"
The shoe left a perfect imprint of its sole on Ichigo's cheek. The girl was now pointing his own footwear at him, less than an inch from his nose.
"Keep quiet, you! One more word an' I'll hit you with this again!" She was fuming now, her eyes set to kill. Ichigo couldn't believe it: this girl was scarier than Captain Kurotsuchi!
The desk chair creaked as the man awoke from his nap. He yawned, and then turned his head towards Ichigo and the girl. Looking at the awoken man with wide eyes, Ichigo's attacker tossed the shoe behind her innocently, and then gave her superior a sheepish smile. He was clearly angry, glaring at the green haired girl, rubbing his temple.
"What the hell are you doing, Lilynette?" he asked, still half-asleep.
The girl, Lilynette, snapped back, "I was trying to tell you this punk here is awake, but apparently you have selective hearing!"
"And why's that?"
"Because you don't hear me screaming at you, but you can hear me TAP HIS FACE WITH A SHOE!"
"You freakin' slapped me across the face with it!" Ichigo yelled at the child.
Lilynette snorted. "Says you."
"Shut up, both of you!"
The man was standing now, more agitated than before. Ichigo could see him clearly now: he was wearing a long green trench coat, a larger version of the girls. Underneath the coat the man wore a military vest, with the nametag of the soldier who previously owned it still present. A belt was tied around his waist, with two holsters, one empty, one not. The candlelight gleamed off the holstered revolver's barrel.
"Now," the man continued, looking at Ichigo, "I'd like to apologize on Lilynette's behalf, 'cause hell knows she won't do it."
"Never said I wouldn't…" muttered Lilynette.
A sharp glare from the man silenced the girl. Ichigo was surprised the little devil obeyed the man's every command; it was as if they were connected somehow, much closer than family.
"As I was saying," the man said as he pulled the desk chair closer to Ichigo's bed, "I know who you are, Soul Reaper."
Ichigo looked at him, shocked. How'd this guy know who he was if they've never met before?
But first," the man continued, "I want to ask you one thing before we go any further, kid."
"Sure, what?" Kurosaki replied, still wondering how the man knew him.
The man leaned towards Ichigo, a serious look on his face.
"Were you bit?"
The Substitute Soul Reaper looked at him, confused. What was this guy talking about? Nervously, he replied:
The expression on the man's face didn't change.
"By the biter. Were you BIT?"
"Oh, you mean Hanatoro… no, I don't think so. I don't feel anything."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. Jeez, what's it matter?" That last comment came off a little more annoyed than Ichigo had wished.
"'Cause then you'll turn and kill us, dammit!"
The man was holding Ichigo by the throat with one hand, the other reaching for his revolver. Lilynette was also glaring at Kurosaki, feeling just the same as her partner. Ichigo didn't want this to turn ugly.
"Okay, okay! I'm sorry! Please, just don't shoot me. Please." The man released his grip after Kurosaki's last apology. Ichigo, rubbing his throat, leaned back onto the wall behind the bed. He wanted to know who this man was, and why the world had gone to hell.
"So, mind introducing yourself? And kindly telling me what the HELL is going on outside?"
"The name's Coyote Starrk," the man, who was now back to slouching in his chair, replied. "You should have known that the second Lilynette called me by name. Now, as for what happened out there," he gestured towards the boarded up window, "I don't even know. Six months ago something happened. News spread quickly, and I mean quick, of some infectious disease in the U.S, and then that said disease made its way to here."
"Where is 'here', exactly?" Ichigo asked out of curiosity.
"Not sure," Starrk replied, "Never really bothered to find out. One minute were coming out of a Garganta and the next we're… uh…"
The former Espada had only just then realized what he just said. Ichigo stared at him, eyes wide, and mouth slightly agape. Lilynette slowly face palmed; she needed no words to express how pissed she was at Starrk. He blew their cover, and now this Soul Reaper was going to kill them.
"You're – you're hollows?" Kurosaki stammered.
"Espada, actually." Starrk sighed. There was no use for secrets in this world.
"Then how do you know me?" Ichigo asked, "I've only met 3 Espada, and I sure as hell don't remember you." Ichigo asked.
"What, you don't think those three wouldn't have told the others about a red-headed human Soul Reaper?" Starrk retorted.
"Didn't really think of that…" said a slightly embarrassed Ichigo, who quickly changed the conversation. "So, what were you going to do after exiting the Garganta?"
"Alright, I'm just gonna be honest," Starrk started, "Us and the other Espada were sent here to the World of the Living by Sosuke Aizen in Gigai's to observe human behavior. Don't ask why, because there is no why. As soon as we set foot on solid ground, the Garganta behind us closes, and that bastard locks us out."
"Wait, why? Why would Aizen send you all here to die?" Ichigo interrupted.
"Just let me talk, kid. Apparently we're worthless to him. I had a bad feeling about the whole thing from the start. You know, Aizen putting us in these artificial bodies, ones we could be hurt in, ones where we can't use any of our powers, ones we were secretly locked in. As well as telling us to leave our swords, since this was a peaceful mission. He never cared about 'human behavior' before either, why tell us to observe things we were just going to kill later on? But none of us were able to speak up, because Aizen's golden child Ulquiorra right away says, *mocking voice*'Oh, my lord, we live to serve you! I speak on behalf of all of these inferior Espada to say that we will go on this somewhat suspicious mission, without any thoughts of why you are sending us on it! Oh, bless us, Aizen, bless us!'*end mocking voice*. Let me tell you something else about that pasty faced freak-"
"Back on topic, Starrk."
"Yeah, yeah, Lilynette. Anyways, all of us Espada are standing here, wondering just what the hell just happened. Some of us, me included, knew that this was probably going to happen, so we keep cool. Others, namely Grimmjow and Nnoitora, are mad as hell at Aizen, and somehow take their anger out on each other with fists ablaze. Ulquiorra was actually surprised this shit happened. He just stood there, not saying a word. That's when one of those things got Barragan."
"Barragan?" Ichigo didn't recognize that name. He was also beginning to wonder why he was so curious about the Espada. These really were strange times…
"The second Espada. He and Aizen hated each other, to put it simply, which is probably why our former leader gave him a Gigai just as old as himself. The old coot didn't even see it coming. Half of a biter – literally, half of one – was lying by his leg. It looked dead enough; apparently, enough just isn't enough. It woke up and took a huge bite out of his thigh. Barragan's Gigai wasn't strong enough to keep him standing, and he fell to the ground, just as a pack of those things showed up. We left him, since none of us liked him that much to begin with, and he was a dead man. More of those things started showing up, and we all got separated. Lilynette and I here were with Grimmjow and another Espada named Hallibel for a while, but about a month ago we went our separate ways. Don't really know what happened to the others though. They could all be dead, for what we know. But Grimmjow definitely is, after those Soul Reapers took him in, hell, six months ago?"
"Did you say Soul Reapers?!" Ichigo couldn't believe it; some of his friends may still be alive! "How many were there? Who were they?"
"Whoa, calm down kid," Starrk said. "How could I know who they were? I never met them before."
"Well, describe them!" Ichigo urged.
"Well, from what I remember, there was a short, blacked haired girl. She was with a tall Latino and a guy with a sixty nine tattoo on his face. Man, he must be some pervert, huh?"
"I know them!" Ichigo yelled with joy as he jumped out of the bed, knocking Starrk out of his chair. He could barely contain his excitement: Rukia, Chad, and Hisagi were alive! Well, maybe. Six months is lifetime in this world. One, or all, of them could be gone. He had to at least search for them, dead or alive.
Starrk was being hoisted back up onto his feet by Lilynette, even though he didn't need his other half's help, when he noticed Ichigo walking towards the door.
"Whoa, hold on there," the Espada called, "you're not ready to go outside yet."
"Why not?" The Substitute Soul Reaper asked as he looked back at Starrk.
"You seem to forget that it's a living hell out there. Also, I can tell you don't have any powers, just like me." The Espada was sitting down once again, with Lilynette at his feet. "If none of those other Soul Reapers had their powers, I'm guessing you don't either, right?"
Kurosaki felt somewhat embarrassed being corrected by the Espada, but was surprised that his friends were in the same weak condition as him.
"The others are powerless too?" Ichigo asked, "How do you know?"
"They were using guns instead of their Zanpaku-to. None of them tried using Kido or anything like that either. They must be trapped in their Gigais like me and Lilynette."
Ichigo walked back over to the bed, plopping back onto it. He couldn't hide in this shack forever, especially with these two. The fact that they were Arrancars was bad enough, but one being an Espada was as worse as it could get. Besides, his friends don't even know he's alive, meaning they weren't going to come looking for him. And the only way Ichigo had any chance out there was if he had a gun, something he had never used in his life. 'Guess there's a first time for everything,' he thought.
He turned to the Espada, the latter drinking from a bottle of whiskey, while his younger partner eyed the alcohol with thirsty eyes.
"Teach me how to shoot."
The Espada looked at him from behind the bottle. Setting the alcohol down, he removed one of his revolvers from its holster and showed it to Ichigo.
"You ever fired one of these before?" Starrk had gone from laid back to serious in less than a second.
"Never even held one," Kurosaki responded, "but I know how they work. I just need some practice, and who better to ask than you to teach me?"
Starrk smirked. There was no way this kid would be harder to teach than Lilynette. He was more mature, much stronger, and a lot more determined to learn the way of the marksman. 'Damn,' Starrk thought, 'teaching this kid might actually be enjoyable.'
"Alright," the Primero Espada announced, "I'll teach you. Be up first thing tomorrow morning at sunrise. Not many biters are out then. Perfect time to find a few individuals to shoot down."
"Thanks, Espada." Ichigo said with a smile, followed by a slight chuckle.
"What're you laughing about?" Starrk asked.
"Nothing," replied Ichigo, "just never thought I'd be thanking an Espada for anything."
The Espada smirked. A Soul Reaper thanking him? It really was the end of the world.
As Ichigo crawled back into his bed, Starrk loaded the revolver. After blowing out the candle on the desk, he pulled his chair over to the boarded up window. Starrk looked through the small hole in the wood, seeing if any biters were outside. For once, it was clear. For once, he could sleep in peace.
Ten minutes later…
"S-Starrk? This *hic* stuff tastes funny…"
"Mrrgh… give me the booze, Lilynette…"
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