This is my story, Savage. The first Bleach story I'm publishing here, and I hope that you enjoy it.
I'll say here that the first couple of chapters are similar to Canon, it has scenes that are new, and some slight variation, but I need the whole Ichigo regaining his Soul Reaper abilities before he rescues Rukia.
Ichigo will be more powerful than Canon, though not what I believe to be unreasonably so.
I own nothing, and am making no money off this, or any, story.
This will contain spoilers, though I would assume everyone reading it will follow Bleach.
Any views expressed in this story, especially by Hichigo, do not necessarily mirror my own views.
I'll appreciate any reviews, other than what I think are called "Flames". Those will just be ignored.
Hollow Zangetsu talking: Spleens taste surprisingly good.
Old man Zangetsu talking: Do not hesitate.
? talking: Omnivores eat plants.
A young boy, hair a unique shade of orange, wept underneath the corpse of the most important woman, or, for that matter, person, in his world. The sound muffled into her shoulder as he unconsciously huddled into the final comfort Masaki Kurosaki would be able to grant him.
That was the day that Ichigo Kurosaki; the boy who's world lived and died with his mother, died. And, unknown to any besides the child himself, the day Ichigo Kurosaki; the Human-Soul-Reaper, was born.
Two months later, the same child sat up with a scream. One of terror. His hands clasped on his head, and he shook, not paying any attention to the crimson liquid that stained them red. He had grown used to the guilt-formed gloves. Blood was on his hands, and the boy doubted that would ever change. How could he redeem himself, after all?
He felt a pair of arms wrap around him; the only suitable occupant giving him comfort; while the remaining 3 looked on with varying degrees of emotion, though little was shown of the feelings that lay beneath their skin. One felt an all consuming sadness that wasn't shown on his regal face, another hid his sympathy behind a half-hearted grin; the kid was strong, normally, but how was he meant to take his revenge in an 8 year old's body? The final figure was not able to understand what was happening; but he could tell that, for some reason, his future wielder was upset. And, so, his crimson eyes glinted with anger and frustration as he could not find the cause in the gravity-defying city in which they resided. It must have still been about the female that perished. The one that was always on the boy's mind.
The boy's shoulders shook as he sobbed into the kind lady's shoulder.
Almost seven years later, Ichigo Kurosaki stared unflinchingly at the long haired Shinigami in front of him as his body moved without command. It was a sensation he remembered; something he had been shown years ago so that, in the case that it was necessary, he would not fight his partners for control. And so, when Zangetsu, for he assumed it was the old man, moved him no more than a few millimetres to his left, he trusted the spirit implicitly. Even with the months he had gone without them.
Ichigo was alive. There was no doubt in the minds of his observers of that, but he was weak. He was human; how could anything else be expected of him? For him to have any chance to save the girl he had grown inexplicably fond of, at least in the minds of three of his occupants, in the months prior. But that would be up to him. They could do nothing to help him from in here, and that was a fact that brought frustrated growls from two of the male spirits, a stony silence from the third, and a sad sigh from the lone female in his mind.
His accessible reserves of Reiryoku, previously filled with solely Ichigo's sizeable reserves and that from the imposter Zanpakuto, was rapidly draining from the Soul Reaper Captain's strike. Their wielder would need to gain access to his latent Death God abilities for the leak to be plugged. Hopefully, that would happen soon; or the storm would not stop any time in the foreseeable future.
As Rukia Kuchiki, the Soul Reaper that more than one of the spirits blamed for this situation, looked back, she would be willing to swear that the amber eyes, of her newly found human partner, looking after her flashed a violent red before the orange haired head dropped to the ground; the removal of his energy leaving Ichigo in an almost catatonic state.
"... You see, spiritual pressure increases most quickly when the soul is in danger of termination. The fact that you dodged the first attack shows that you have restored your power. And, now that you have restored your spiritual power beautifully, what do you say we celebrate? How about we-"
The man was interrupted by an axe, wielded by the large form of Tessai, swinging down between Kisuke and Ichigo; severing the chain extended from the human soul's chest.
"Move on to lesson two?"
Five minutes later, the conversation had progressed rather far. Ichigo was lying, face down, on the ground with Tessai sat, at attention, on his back.
"And one more thing; your chain will erode from the point at which it was cut. If it reaches your chest, you will become a Hollow. So what will it be? Will you become a Shinigami? Or will you become a Hollow?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Ichigo asked with a slight grin. "Let's get started."
"Very well." The bucket-hatted man pointed his fan off to the side. "Go."
The ground beneath the floored Plus soul gave way, and the two affected fell; the depth of the hole given away by the panicked, drawn out expletive from Ichigo Kurosaki.
"What the-" Ichigo questioned, as he discovered metal rods had been bent around his arms; binding them behind his back.
"Forgive this arrogance." Tessai, the other in the shaft, said as he noted Ichigo had regained consciousness from the brief spell of his daze. "But for the duration of this lesson, you are forbidden the use of your arms. Bakudo #99: Kin!" The groggy boy's arms locked behind his back, and he gave a surprised grunt.
"Ichigo!" Urahara called from the top of the hole, peering down into the cavern below. "At the bottom of the shattered shaft it will take three days for your chain to deteriorate." The boy at the bottom frowned in confusion. "For this lesson, you're required to climb out without the use of your arms."
"So I'm able to access the powers of a Death God now?" He directed to Tessai, who nodded; rather solemnly. He must have been expecting Ichigo to fail; or at least preparing himself for that possibility. "Oh. That's good."
The orange haired soul plopped down onto the ground, sitting cross legged and closing his eyes.
"No, no Ichigo! You need to climb out!" Kisuke called down, humour in his tone. "Kurosaki?" He continued when the boy did not respond. "Tessai, what's going on?"
"I don't know, boss! He just asked if he could access the powers of a Shinigami now, then started meditating!" The large man yelled up.
"Well nudge him and wake him up!"
"Will do Boss!"
Meanwhile, time had slowed for Ichigo. Though it was far from obvious from his point of view; the same as it always used to be when he appeared in the backwards world.
"Oi! Old man Zangetsu!" He looked around in front of him. "Hichigo! Ne-"
"Behind you, Ichigo." The older 'Getsu's voice stated, prompting his wielder to spin around and face him, along with the others.
"Ah. It's good to see you all again." Ichigo said with a grin; in what would have been an odd occurrence outside of his inner world. But why hide your relief from 'people' that could read your mind? "How're you doing?"
"We're as good as you are, Ichigo. Though the weather has been rather unpleasant since the female Kuchiki was taken." The oldest-looking of them stated, speaking for the others, too. "Happily, though, it has cleared up for now."
"Great." Ichigo nodded. "Now, what do I need to do to get my powers instead of piggybacking Rukia's?"
"You need to find your Zanpakuto."
"Just the one?" Now that didn't make sense. "I don't understand, why would there just be one of you?"
"It is symbolic, Ichigo. Finding the blade will be finding your Shinigami abilities. The time will come that you will have to convince each of us, in the case that you have yet to fulfil our criteria, properly of your abilities; for Bankai, of course, but that will not be now."
"Oh, okay, I understand." Ichigo nodded. "So where will my sword be? And what are the rules regarding my finding it?"
"It will be in a box somewhere on one of this world's buildings." The tall, black dressed man pointed at one such Skyscraper to emphasise his point. "No rules. Just find the blade."
"Right. And who hid the blade?"
"Why does that matter?" Zangetsu raised an eyebrow; wondering what his wielder meant exactly.
"Well; if it's you, then it will be in the last place I look; the whole 'never give up' thing." Those watching knew that this wasn't meant to belittle the lesson, but that it was just Ichigo's nature to treat it casually. "Hichigo," The name that made it easy to differentiate between the two Zangetsus. "Would just be the first place I looked and he'd be there to fight me before I could get it-"
"Ah, I see your point." Zangetsu responded. "It wasn't hidden by any of us. It is simply there. A manifestation of a part of you, not something any of us can control."
"Okay, so it's a matter of my ability to sense that part of myself." The 4 nodded their confirmation. "Then I'll get going." The orange haired man turned to face an unoccupied region of his mind-scape, and pulled up the memory of Uryuu, the arrogant boy from his class. What had he said? Shinigami's soul ribbons were red?
He gripped the ribbon and yanked on the scarlet fabric in one quick motion. Oddly, he felt himself soar forwards instead of the box coming to him. Following the path, Ichigo channelled his Reiatsu into his feet, and vanished in a burst of speed; the technique that Shinigami called Flash Step.
The four figures stayed still in their places, waiting for Ichigo to return. The same thought ran through their minds. Well, the same vague thought.
'Finally, I'm going to be wielded.'
Ichigo returned in a slight flash. He had been gone for no more than 30 seconds; far faster than could be expected.
"Impressive as always, Ichigo." The female occupant commented with a smile. "Not that I find that surprising. We know you better than that by now, after all."
"Thank you, Nejibana."
One more thing: If I make any mistakes in spelling, I'm very sorry. I couldn't spot any in English, but I'm not good at proof reading for Japanese spelling, because... well, I'm not Japanese and don't speak it.
Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter.