Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach
EDIT: Apparently the story has been going up and down (as far as actually registering a chapter being posted) ever since it was posted. So this is a repost in the hopes that it fixes the issue. If anyone has any idea why the old one did that, please let me know. Now to hope I'm not breaking any rules here.
AN: And here we are again...the second time this has been rewritten. I'm sure people are wondering why I gave up on the first true rewrite I started a few months back...well...there are several reasons.
1. I'm already doing the Soul Society Arc and on in Snow...and really, I didn't want to be writing the same part at the same time, since there weren't going to be that many differences between the two.
2. I just wasn't feeling it. DX1998 and I both agreed that the way the new version was going just wasn't as...I dunno, interesting, I guess. If only because it wasn't quite as original, what with the fact that Ichigo going back to that point in time has been done to death, regardless of the differences.
3. I went back and reread my old notes, and the old chapters for this and Winter War Chronicles, and decided I liked the story too much to just drop it. I mean, with the way the old stories were written, they still got a decent amount of reviews and I mostly put that down to the storyline.
So, thus, DX and I are going back and rewriting the old chapters of the original Change of Fate instead. Said original is still up, by the way. Though I hope any new readers will read this instead, and enjoy what may have been, if my writing abilities were better back then. I already have the first six chapters redone (the sixth being changed totally from an authors note to the longest chapter I have ever done in fact). 29k words of work, more or less, which is nearly as much as the entirety of the original, all 22 chapters of it.
On to the chapter!
Kisuke Urahara was working on a new invention. To those who knew him this wouldn't seem overly odd. After all, Kisuke was always working on something, his inherent curiosity getting him in trouble more often than not. It was one of those troublesome events that had him working on this new invention in fact. For the Hōgyoku was his greatest mistake, something he regretted creating to this day. Especially as it was now in the hands of the greatest madman in his long lifetime, in the form of Souske Aizen.
Thus, Kisuke had (with some help from Tessai) taken another gem, not unlike what he had done with the Hōgyoku. This gem, however, was a diamond he had 'borrowed' from his long-time friend Yoruichi. He didn't think she would miss it, and it was too important to ask first. For all the work he had put into training Ichigo Kurosaki, there wasn't any guarantee he could really beat Aizen. Thus, the backup plan. A lot of experimental Kido had gone into this diamond, and Kisuke wasn't entirely certain it would work, but it was always a good idea to have a backup plan.
Now, he just had to convince an irate former Captain that...
"KISUKE URAHARA!" the familiar voice shouted from the shop above, "Where are you?!"
The scientist quickly covered up the diamond, before moving to the ladder to his shop. Of course, Yoruichi was hardly the type to actually climb the ladder. She just jumped down, not a care in the world about her limbs. The resulting cloud of dust made Kisuke cough slightly, before a hand swept out of the sand and slapped him hard enough to send his hat flying off his head.
"What was that for?!" he shouted, holding his cheek as Yoruichi walked out of the sand, golden eyes glaring at him.
"Where. Is. My. Diamond," the cat-woman replied, each word equaling a step closer to her old friend.
Kisuke stepped back slightly, before raising his fan up to his face and grinning behind it. Of course, the 'mysterious' look he was going for was rather ruined by the missing hat and large palm-print on his face. But don't tell him that.
"Why, Yoruichi, I didn't think you cared about jewelry?" he said cheekily, "are you sure you didn't just lose it in a transformation?"
His answer was a kick to his gut, sending the former Captain to the ground groaning in pain.
"I don't," Yoruichi said, "but that's a family heirloom, and one of the few things I have left from Soul Society...so where is it?!"
Kisuke groaned some more, holding his stomach. It didn't last long though. The only reason he did it in the first place was because it was fun to mess with his old friend, not because Kisuke was an immature fool. Okay, so maybe that last part was a lie...he was an immature idiot most of the time, though he had his serious side. Something that came to the fore as he got to his feet and recovered the wayward hat. Despite still having the red cheek, Kisuke turned serious grey eyes on his oldest friend.
Yoruichi merely grinned in return, glad that the resident genius was finally taking things semi-seriously. Of course, she still didn't have the foggiest idea why he would have taken her diamond in the first place. It wasn't like he needed it.
"Tell me Yoruichi," Kisuke began, his voice deadly serious, "have you ever heard of time travel?"
Yoruichi just gave him a deadpan look, "Of course I have. It's impossible though."
It was only natural really that the former Captain knew about time travel. Spend a century in the World of the Living, and one would have to use their media to keep from going crazy of boredom. Yoruichi herself had something of a soft-spot for the American 'Back to the Future' movies. Thus, she knew a fair bit of fictional time travel. Key word there, of course, being fictional. Living World science had long ago decided that time travel was impossible outside of books or movies.
Soul Society may have operated on a different set of rules, but that didn't mean they had time jumping Shinigami running around.
"Ahh, so little faith in me Yoruichi," Kisuke said, mock-hurt in his voice, "what if I told you I found a way to make it work?"
"I'd think you're even crazier than Mayuri?"
"Okay, that one was uncalled for!" the scientist protested, "And I'm not joking. Tessai and I have been working with every Kido we know, and even invented a few new spells along the way. The Kido needed a focus of some sort, and a diamond happened to work well. Every theory I have points to this working."
"But it's impossible, Kiuske," Yoruichi said again, in case her friend hadn't heard her the first time.
Kisuke just shook his head in response. He figured his old friend would have more faith in him than this. Sure, he had some crackpot theories before, what scientist hadn't? But everything he had done so far pointed to this working. Obviously he couldn't test the diamond itself though, for a reason he told his friend.
"I'm telling you, it will work Yoruichi. I can't test it myself, obviously..."
"...because it would be a one-way trip. Any changes would wipe this timeline from existence. This is a last-resort, nothing more or less."
Yoruichi just sighed. It was obvious that Kisuke believed his invention would work, and there wasn't anything she could do to convince him otherwise. So she'd play along, if only to humor her oldest friend.
"Okay then, if this thing works, how does it work?" the cat-woman asked.
Kisuke just waved a hand, "It's too complicated to explain. Just pump enough reiatsu into it, and it will activate. I've programmed it to go back to when Rukia first came to Karakura."
Yoruichi shook her head, "Whatever Kisuke...is that Ichigo?"
The sudden change of topic had to do with the familiar sense of barely restrained power approaching the shop. Ichigo should have been training with the Vizards though...Shinji had made it very clear that he needed a lot of work. There was something odd about the kids Hollow, even compared to the Vizard's counterparts. So why was he coming to the shop?
"Hey, Hat and Clogs!" Ichigo shouted, climbing down the ladder.
"What brings you to my humble shop Ichigo?" Kisuke asked.
Ichigo purposely ignored the humble shop comment, and shrugged, "Rukia asked me to get some Soul Candy for her. Apparently Ikkaku lost his."
Kisuke laughed, as he looked up at the ladder. He could feel Rukia's impatience even from down here. And it didn't surprise him at all that she had been the one to drag Ichigo down here. Those two could read the other's minds, and Rukia was probably the only one who could tear Ichigo Kurosaki away from training. And it was funny that Ikkaku lost his supply, though somewhat worrying if someone stumbled on it.
"There's some candy over there," the shop keeper said, waving his hand over his back as he moved to the ladder with Yoruichi, "I'll get the payment from Miss Kuchiki."
Ichigo frowned, "Why would it be down here?"
"I have to test it to make sure we don't have another Kon in one of them!"
"That was your own fault!"
Kisuke just waved again as his hat disappeared into the shop. Ichigo frowned, before shaking his head and looking for the Soul Candy in question. Kisuke was always eccentric, but leaving his supplies down here where it could be vaporized by a passing Kido seemed rather stupid to him. Whatever though...he needed to find the stupid Candy fast so he could get back to the training. Why he let Rukia convince him to do this was beyond him.
Where is that stupid Candy. Hat and Clogs, you better not have been ly...ah, there it is!
Sitting in next to a rock in the rough direction Kisuke had waved was a tarp. This had to be the candy, since the form under the tarp was about the right size. And there wasn't anything else in sight that fit it. Yet, when Ichigo grabbed the object under the tarp, it wasn't a Soul Candy container. It was...a diamond? Why would Kisuke have a diamond down here?
The second thing he noticed was that there was something off about this diamond. It glowed, and not in the typical 'shiny jewel' style. There was swirling...reiatsu?!
"Oh damn it!" Ichigo quickly realized this was one of Kisuke's inventions, and tried to get it out of his hand.
Unfortunately for him, the diamond was keyed to activate if enough power was pushed into it. And Ichigo's sudden panic allowed his already leaking power to come out in enough force to activate the time 'machine'. By the time Kisuke realized what was happening up in the shop, it was too late. Ichigo Kurosaki vanished in a flash of light, and God only knew where he would end up.
As the light faded from Ichigo's eyes, he found himself laying on the ground. At first he assumed that the diamond-damn Kisuke for leaving it sitting around!-had just knocked him over. That theory went out the window when he felt a dull pain on his chest, in addition to smelling the iron tang of blood. A smell that was centered in the puddle of his own blood that he was currently laying in.
And when the Substitute tried to move, to get to his feet, he felt himself pushed down into the blood. A rather large foot was planted on his back, and it pushed the teen down every time he so much as attempted to shift his body. A foot that, when the owner spoke up, became very familiar.
"Quit squirming, the more you move the quicker you'll find yourself dead," the voice of Renji Abarai said...and the words were very familiar.
Okay, where the hell am I, Ichigo thought, and why the hell is Renji standing on top of me?
As Ichigo stopped moving for a second, if only to get the annoying pineapple to stop pushing him down, he noticed Rukia standing in front of him in a scarily familiar dress. The blue and white dress was, clearly, the one she had worn when she had been taken back to the Soul Society, so long ago. She even had the cut on her arm, and the one on her cheek. While Ichigo suppressed an involuntary flash of anger at Renji for making those cuts, he noticed something else.
Standing beside Rukia, was her brother. Byakuya wasn't wearing his Haori, but he did have his zanpakutō partially drawn. That was the final nail in the coffin, so to speak.
How am I back here?
Because, now, Ichigo realized that he had somehow gone back in time. Impossible to think, but how else could he be relieving the worst night of his life?
"I do not understand it either Ichigo," Zangetsu's soothing voice rang through his head.
"It should be impossible Ichigo," the zanpakutō spirit continued, "And yet, here we are. The wounds on this body are already healing...and you have full access to my abilities, and those of...your hollow..."
Ichigo noticed how hesitant his blade was when it came to talking about the other aspect of his soul. Understandable, but why should Zangetsu talk like that when the teen had sealed away that monster? Then again, he didn't really have time to think about that right now, as Byakuya was sheathing his own sword. He was getting ready to leave!
As he sheathed his blade, the noble had begun talking, "There is no need to inflict the final blow, with my two attacks I shattered his Soul Chain and Soul Sleep."
Damn, I forgot how smug he could sound...
"No trace of his reiatsu, much less the special shinigami power, will remain," As Byakuya said that he prepared to leave the town behind.
He would leave the boy to die, and take his sister back to the Soul Society. While he could care less about the boy who so closely resembled Kaien Shiba, the noble wasn't happy about taking his sister back. She belonged in the spiritual realm, but his vow to Hisana...he hated what he had to do. No matter...it had to be done, and there was no choice when the law of the Soul Society came into play.
However, as he was about to tell Renji to get off the boy and open the Senkaimon, a massive wave of power came off the unmoving body. Even the power that had previously come off the boy was nothing compared to what he felt now. Renji was even forced to move, as the power nearly blew him aside.
The moment Renji had moved off Ichigo's body, the Substitute got to his feet. The strap and oversized sheath on his back were gone, replaced by the familiar-to him at any rate-red strap and cloth coated blade. Zangetsu's oversized cleaver blade was held in his hands, the tip of the massive sword pointed right at Byakuya Kuchiki. And the wounds on Ichigo's body had sealed up, leaving nothing but marks in his shihakushō to show he had been struck.
Where did this energy come from, Renji thought, his eyes widening in shock, he should have no power at all, let alone a new zanpakutō!
Before the redhead could do more than gape in shock, Ichigo had lifted his head up. A fierce grin, entirely out of place on his face, had formed.
"You aren't winning this time Renji."
Before the shinigami Lieutenant could do more than blink, Ichigo had leapt forward. His shunpo was nearly on par with Captain Kuchiki's, and Renji in his limited state was barely able to follow Ichigo's moves, leave alone counter his blows. It was only through sheer luck that he brought Zabimaru up fast enough to take the first blow. A blow that knocked him back several feet, from the force of it alone. Renji's arms shook, as Zabimaru hissed in pain in his head.
His loyal blade was cracked slightly, as the Substitute flashed forward again. And again, his cleaver moved faster than Renji could follow. This time though, he was unable to block the blow. A blow that was nothing more than the flat of the blade impacting his forehead...but then, that was all Ichigo needed. The reiatsu enhanced blow had knocked Renji out of the fight, for the foreseeable future.
I forgot how much his power was limited, Ichigo thought, quickly realizing that Renji had not been a match for him. With most of his power sealed away and no Bankai...it hadn't even been fair.
Of course, that still left Byakuya who hadn't moved an inch during the fight. His eyes had widened ever so slightly however, which for him might as well have been his jaw hitting the floor.
"How have you regained your powers boy?" the noble asked coldly, as only he could, "and how have you acquired a new zanpakutō?"
"You know, I don't feel like telling you Byakuya," Ichigo replied, raising Zangetsu once more.
Byakuya glared slightly, before vanishing in a buzz of shunpo. The Ichigo who should have been in this battle, would have never seen anything. He would have once more been stabbed through the back...losing his powers as fast as he had gained them.
This was not that Ichigo.
As Byakuya struck his blow, his eyes widened slightly once more. For instead of impacting Ichigo's back, he instead hit the blade of Zangetsu. A blade that swung forth, and nearly cut his arm off. The instinctual shunpo that the Kuchiki man performed prevented that, but it was still closer than he would have thought possible. Only Yoruichi Shihoin was capable of that...how had this boy done it?
"Surprised Kuchiki?" Ichigo asked, breaking into his thoughts, "I can see your every move now."
"Do not get too cocky boy," Byakuya replied, regaining his composure quickly, "I will show you true power."
Ichigo just sighed slightly. He knew what was coming, even before Rukia did. Because as he raised Zangetsu into a ready position, Byakuya brought his own standard katana up to his face. A cold glare looked past the blade at Ichigo, as the noble's mouth began moving.
Rukia's eyes went wide in fear, as she saw the blade in her brother's hand vanish into a wave of pink petals. Petals made of sharp metal...that she knew would cut clean through Ichigo. No matter that he had suddenly become far more powerful. No one could stand against her brother, certainly not Ichigo! The fool was going to die unless he...
The teen spent a second to look over at his best friend. Rukia's violet eyes were wide with fear...not for her, but for him. Ichigo just snorted slightly, and gave a small shake of his head. The shorter shinigami looked shocked, but only for a second. Because after that second, Ichigo had vanished from her line of sight. The shunpo he had just performed was faster than the one Byakuya had used to strike him down...and Rukia had been completely unable to follow it, in her weakened state.
"That all you have Byakuya?"
Rukia spun around, seeing Ichigo standing in the air above her. His eyes were glowing blue, as an equally blue glow began to surround his blade. Rukia felt herself pressed down from the pure power rolling off her friend. The waves of power nearly sent her to her knees...until it suddenly let up on her. Just her and Uryu however, if the way her brother looked was any indication.
Byakuya Kuchiki would never stoop so low as to show if reiatsu was impacting him. But Rukia...she knew her brother well enough to see the tell-tale signs that he felt every bit of energy Ichigo was putting out.
"Because I'm not impressed," the teen continued, drawing both siblings attention, "Getsuga Tensho!"
The blue energy that had gathered along Ichigo's blade was suddenly released in a brilliant crescent of spirit energy. The attack moved faster than Rukia could follow...and knocked aside any blades that Senbonzakura put in its way. Byakuya had to shunpo to avoid the attack, as it gouged a hole in the street. As the elder Kuchiki floated in the sky, watching the amazingly powerful attack fade away, he failed to notice that Ichigo had flashed behind him.
The teenage shinigami didn't give him the chance to notice either. Zangetsu's blade came down hard on the back of the noble's head. Byakuya crumpled, and fell to the ground next to his lieutenant.
"Brother!" Rukia yelled, running up to the crumpled form of her elder sibling.
"Don't worry Rukia," Ichigo's calm voice said, as he landed next to her, "he'll wake up eventually. Probably with a hell of a headache."
If the situation were any different, Rukia would have laughed at that. As it sat, she spun around and stuck a finger on Ichigo's chest, "How...where..."
"How did I get this power?" the teen finished for his friend, "That's a long story. I can explain, but I'd rather not do it where Soul Society could find us."
"They can find us wherever we try and hide!" Rukia countered, "With that constantly leaking power of yours Strawberry!"
Ichigo sighed slightly, but didn't dispute the point. He knew well that he couldn't hide his power, though it was looking like he would need to learn how to do that fast. That being said, Kisuke could do it for him, and he knew the shopkeeper was around here somewhere. After all, he had saved him and Uryu both. Speaking of which, the Quincy seemed to have been knocked out by the power Ichigo had been letting loose.
Thankfully, before Ichigo could start kicking himself for that, Kisuke chose to make his appearance. The shopkeeper looked much the same as ever, as he casually walked up to the group. The ex-Captain was holding an umbrella, as rain began to fall from the sky. Yoruichi was, unsurprisingly, perched on his shoulder. And both of the exiles were giving the substitute a calculating look.
Not that he could blame them, considering what he had just done and all.
"Well this is interesting Mr. Kurosaki," Kisuke said, his voice curious, "how did you manage to release that monster of a blade so soon?"
"Long story," Ichigo replied shortly, "very long story. Can you heal Uryu?"
The shopkeeper nodded, "Of course, of course. And long stories are the best stories. What do you want to do about the shinigami you so brutally knocked out though?"
Sighing slightly at Kisuke's flippant tone, Ichigo looked at Byakuya and Renji. Neither would be getting up anytime soon, but he would rather they didn't interrupt what he had to do.
"Can you keep them out cold like this? Or change their memories?"
"The first I can do easily enough. The second...not so much. Most of their abilities are sealed right now, but a memory modifier won't work on such powerful shinigami."
Ichigo just sighed again, "Good enough."
And with that, Kisuke set to work on keeping the shinigami unconscious and on healing Uryu. Only once that was done...they could go back to his shop. Because Ichigo had quite the story he would need to tell them.
He only hoped that Kisuke had a way to fix things.
AN: And there we go. Now, as I said above, DX and I have already redone the first six chapters. And since we are still working away at the rest, this will be updated weekly on Wednesday, even with my somewhat more limited free time that is delaying Angel and Snow.