AN: The author does not claim ownership of Bleach or Highschool DxD; they are the property of their respective owners. The author has no desire to profit off of the publication of this fan work and does not endorse any attempts to do so. Preliminary notes:
Thanks to all of those who have been favoriting, following, and reviewing. Your metaphorical pizza rolls have been sent in the mail, those living in the United States should expect them in a few days; for anyone outside the country it may take longer. Previous notes from Chapter 1 remain in effect.
Everyone go thank general zargon for being a beta this chapter. In addition, this author has been a great idea-bouncer. Go check out his/her Bleach/DxD/Gamer crossover, Game of Life and Devils, which I had the pleasure of helping out on!
"We're supposed to wear these?"
"These are the school uniforms at Kuoh Academy, Raynare," Dohnaseek explained.
"How do people wear these?" Raynare asked, incredulous.
"By not dressing like a hooker who loves to whip people," Mittelt snidely replied.
Kalawarner and Raynare were inspecting the uniforms that they were required to wear to school. Raynare seemed irritated by the selection of clothes that didn't seem set for usage in a sadist-masochist setting. It was amusing for Kalawarner and the others to see her so flustered. Raynare was always looking to be on top in several ways, one of which being in the Fallen Angel hierarchy.
Kalawarner watched, bemused, as Raynare attempted to put on the shirt that was part of the uniform. Her boss fumbled awkwardly with the button up shirt, before giving up and moving on to the skirt. When she finally finished up, it took Mittelt another minute in order to readjust things.
Kalawarner suspected Raynare's problem came from the fact that Fallen Angel society was so sexually liberal. Most of the first Fallens had been expelled for lust-related transgressions, and that trend continued to the modern day. Formerly celibate Angels rarely returned to the fold, and earthly temptations were often difficult to resist. With such a liberal society, it was considered acceptable to wear anything from Raynare's outfit to something more elaborate or conservative like Dohnaseek's suit or Mittelt's dress.
"You're going to need to change your appearance, you know," Mittelt said, jerking Kalawarner from her thoughts.
"Why?" Kalawarner asked.
"Kurosaki has already seen you, right? He'll be able to recognize you with ease," Mittelt explained.
"How do you recommend I do that, though? I don't want some human cutting me open for plastic surgery!" Kalawarner demanded.
"Just change your hairstyle and cut it short with a glamour. Lose a bit of height, shrink your breasts, and go for a younger-looking face," Dohanseek said, as though he were reading from a list.
"Where'd you get those ideas?"
"Standard Grigori glamour procedure for women."
"Why would you read that?"
Before Dohnaseek could answer, something ripped. Raynare was viciously tearing the uniform from her body as Kalawarner, Mittelt, and Dohnaseek watched. The nude Fallen Angel paused upon finishing, breathing hard, and then stalked off for one of her outfits.
The speaker, a man with black hair and the start of a beard was interrupted by a well-executed strike to his stomach before being thrown out of an open window. Ichigo sighed in irritation, not even turning his head in response to the barely audible groans of pain. He looked down at himself, face unreadable. Clad in the black Kuoh Academy uniform, Ichigo missed the old gray Karakura High uniform he'd worn for the past few years. He felt like he was wearing a suit rather than school clothes.
Grimacing, the tired teenager left his room and walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. Neither of his sisters were present, owing to the earliness of his awakening. Since taking the train to school took much longer than his commute to Karakura High, Ichigo needed to wake up earlier to arrive on time. With Kuoh's faculty already wary of his activities, he needed to make a good impression. Quickly fixing breakfast, Ichigo continued to eat even as his father entered the room.
"Good reflexes!" Isshin grunted approvingly.
"I thought we were over this."
"You must always be ready for any attack, Ichigo!" Isshin responded, a grin on his face.
Scowling, Ichigo finished his meal and dealt with his dishes. Picking up his bag, Ichigo headed towards the door and prepared to leave.
"With all the girls at that school, you had better bring back a third daughter!" his father called.
"In your dreams, old man!" Ichigo replied.
Exiting his house, Ichigo made his way towards the train station. He was ready, albeit apprehensive. There was nobody he knew at Kuoh.
The school building was certainly impressive. Kuoh was unusual in that it combined all aspects of education in one school. This mean that it required a much larger campus than most schools to accommodate students of all levels. The grounds outside the building were equally impressive. Compared to Kuoh, Karakura High was nothing.
Ichigo stepped into the building, passing buzzing hallways as he walked towards his first class. He occasionally garnered suspicious looks from other students, most likely over his sullen appearance and orange hair. Since many of the students lived in the area, they could easily walk to Kuoh and therefore didn't wake up as early as he did.
Ichigo eventually transitioned to a more neutral expression, and the looks became more infrequent. Edging through the crowd of students, Ichigo finally arrived at his classroom. To his surprise, he was not the only one in Kuoh with an odd hair color. A very well endowed red-haired girl spoke to another, black haired girl close to a window. The vibrant red made Ichigo's more muted, natural orange appear almost ordinary. As he stepped past, he caught the eye of the redhead, gave a nod, and passed by before colliding with something.
The speaker was a girl with blue hair. No wonder nobody really focused on his hair here. The girl's hair was tied back into a ponytail behind her back, and she seemed to blush slightly. Her face was vaguely familiar to Ichigo, although it was hard to place where he might have seen her before.
"No, it's nothing. I probably should've been watching where I was going," he replied politely, albeit embarrassed. Their peers had turned to look at them after the sudden outburst, though they quickly turned back to their conversations.
"Anyway, my name's Tsumetai Tenshi. And you are…?" the now-identified Tsumetai introduced herself, and Ichigo noted that she blushed slightly.
"Ichigo Kurosaki. I'm new here," Ichigo gruffly replied.
"Oh, really? Me too! What's your homeroom?" Tsumetai asked eagerly.
"That's odd, because I'm in the same class," Tsumetai said.
Ichigo shrugged, and continued on his way. Tsumetai followed behind him, occasionally asking questions on where he was from and why he'd transferred. Her chatter alleviated some of his worries about intimidating other students. So far the entire Kuoh experience had been just short of surreal.
Keigo hadn't loudly announced his presence. Orihime hadn't said hello. Tatsuki wasn't prying Chizuru away from Orihime. No one from Karakura High was present. Rather than a sea of gray uniforms, it was black, and for the girls, black and white. However, it was new and certainly interesting for Ichigo.
The tug was gone. It had gradually decreased to something akin to a dull throb as the nights went on, and had become mostly unnoticeable after some time in Kuoh, but now it was gone. All thanks to Ichigo Kurosaki, it seemed. Since her encounter with him, there had been absolutely no tug. At the same time, she had to admit she found him somewhat attractive, albeit thick-headed. She had come across as a bit overeager, but it should've been more of a positive to a hormonal teenager like Ichigo. Regardless, she would continue to try and get his confidence.
Another point that worried her was that the sword from earlier could be discovered by either a curious Mittelt or bored Dohnaseek. She had no idea as to the swords' purpose, only that she had found it after her attack on Ichigo. Perhaps it operated as some sort of curse? Hades' reapers were enigmatic at best and usually stuck to their own kind. The weapon itself required more investigation.
Ichigo turned to face the familiar voice of Tsumetai. He was only a block away from Kuoh, having begun his long journey home.
"Yo, Tsumetai," Ichigo answered casually.
"You said you're going to the train, right? My house is near there. Can I walk with you?"
"Sure," Ichigo replied.
The two students set off on their way, chatting and sometimes lapsing into silence. Eventually, a few blocks from the train, Tsumetai stopped.
"Your house is around here?" Ichigo asked. Tsumetai nodded in reply.
"Thanks for walking with me, Ichigo. See you tomorrow!" Tsumetai said, a smile on her face.
"See you tomorrow as well," Ichigo replied, giving a slight smile. He went his way, and Tsumetai seemed to continue on hers. But if Ichigo had turned around, he would have seen a smirk on the face of his new friend.
"If I catch you with that crap again, you three…." Ichigo growled.
The second day of school had gone smoothly until his encounter with the school's 'Perverted Trio'. He'd spoken to Tsumetai, plowed through the first few classes, and then found the trio. The first in their group, the one with the most guts, was a large-eared guy with gray hair, who Ichigo decided to call Big Ears. The other looked like the stereotypical nerd, with large-framed glasses, and he cowered behind Big Ears, was now Glasses. The last guy, who was brown haired and looked awfully ordinary, seemed to be edging for an escape. Ichigo dubbed him Normal.
"Hey look, man. We got a right to look at our porn!" Big Ears proclaimed.
Glasses nodded frantically in agreement, hiding the dirty magazine behind his back. A few of the other students, mostly girls, stopped and watched, shaking their heads.
"Get the perverts!" someone called.
Ichigo took a menacing step forward when someone else spoke.
"Didn't you promise that there would be no altercations, Mr. Kurosaki?" asked the school's principal.
He grimaced as he stepped back and turned around.
"Sorry, but these guys are passing around…pornography," he explained, forcing the last word out.
"I see. Considering their reputation here I'm not surprised. Hand it over, please," she commanded, giving a look that allowed no excuses.
Glasses begrudgingly handed over the book, and it was almost as though a trick of the light that made it look like he was crying. It was pathetic, to Ichigo, that the perverts were really that desperate. Someone started to cheer, but a quick shushing prevented any further celebration from the crowd.
"In the future, Mr. Kurosaki, please don't take things into your own hands."
Ichigo gave a nod, and the students around the scene dispersed and began on their way to their classes.
"So, you dealt with some perverts yesterday?" Tsumetai teased.
"Yeah. Now I'm some sort of celebrity."
"Apparently those three do all sorts of stuff around here without penalty. They've got a bad reputation with the girls' Kendo Club, and Matsuda is supposed to be very vocal about their latest foray into smut. It's quite pathetic, really," Tsumetai explained.
"Which one's Matsuda?" Ichigo asked.
"The one with the big ears."
Tsumetai and Ichigo sat under a tree on Kuoh's extensive grounds. Lunch was in session, and as such they were not alone. Other students took up their own positions with their own circles of friends. The nice weather meant that girls from the school's gym class would run by every now and then.
"Why don't they get in trouble?" Ichigo asked.
"I'm just as new here as you are. But no girl has gone out with them in all their time here, so I guess that's our way of getting revenge," answered Tsumetai.
"The school really should do more, Tsumetai," Ichigo said.
She laughed, and the two went on to finish their lunch in silence.
"What are you doing this weekend?"
Ichigo paused and thought as she watched. The last day of the school week had finally come to an end, finishing the first week of many.
"I'm going to be busy at my Uncle's shop, so I'm afraid I'm booked," Ichigo replied.
Kalawarner internally cursed. She wanted to get closer to Ichigo, though his distance from the abandoned church and surrounding area was making a connection problematic.
"What does your uncle do?" she asked, trying to buy time to think.
"He owns a candy shop, and every now and then he has my dad make me work at his store," Ichigo answered.
"Hmm…you know, next week I'm thinking about going on a big shopping trip, and I could use some help. How about then?"
"Sure," he gave a slight smile, waved goodbye, and set off on his way. Kalawarner watched for a minute, and then walked up the street towards the abandoned church.
The skyscrapers and everything else that had made his inner world so memorable were gone. The replacement for the format of his Inner World was instead a pair of opposing sections of white and black, like two tiles, that seemed to have an innate 'glow' to them. Ichigo stood on the white tile, his black shihakusho sharply contrasting his surroundings. The 'glow' of the tile obscured much of his lower body.
Ichigo turned around to face the familiar face of his 'Inner Hollow'. Or was it Zangetsu now? The Old Man had identified the deranged part of Ichigo's soul as this, after all. Zangetsu himself stood only a few feet away, also on the white tile. His doppelganger's white clothes and body allowed him to blend in with the glow with the exception of Zangetsu's eyes and at times his black sash.
"Hello….Zangetsu," Ichigo replied, face stern.
"So, King! You finally came to talk with me!"
Zangetsu seemed to contrast with his wielder even more than the fake spirit had. His demeanor and clothing seemed to offset Ichigo's, rather than sharing some stylistic similarities as the old Zangetsu.
"Why is it so different in here?" Ichigo asked.
"Consider this a reset. The Old Man really messed things up around here, so it's going to take a little time for things to get back to normal. This is kinda like default, King."
"Well, fine. What exactly was the Old Man supposed to be? He mentioned being 'another power'."
"Snitches get some stitches, King! That's a surprise, and that's all I'm saying!" Zangetsu seemed to revel in his irritation.
"What are the chess pieces?" Ichigo asked, changing the topic after finding himself at a dead end.
"Sheesh, King. All you ever do is come in here asking for more power or information on how to use that power. Can't we talk? I mean, aren't you a little curious about how your Zanpakuto is feeling?" Zangetsu's tone was condescending, and his smile seemed to stretch even further across his face as he asked his questions.
"I don't care about that right now. Something caused one of those pieces to interact with the Fallen Angel, and I'll bet it was you."
"I might have had some role in that. Let's just say that they're good for connecting people who can and will be important for you," Zangetsu explained.
"Why weren't the chess pieces in my old Bankai?"
"Just something the Old Man wasn't interested in letting you play around with."
Ichigo chose to abruptly exit his Inner World. The peaceful surroundings of Urahara's training ground greeted him as he opened his eyes, rather than the unusually drab setting of his Inner World. Walking up the stairs, the frustrated teenager thought on his less than compliant Zanpakuto's responses. Much like the Old Man Zangetsu's warning, his current spirit was not willing to part with concrete information. While Ichigo could certainly continue his Saturday arguing, he had much better things to do.
Throughout the week Ichigo had been conflicted by Tsumetai's request. As someone who generally avoided romance, it was odd to finally give in. Considering the nature of his duties as a Substitute Shinigami and the potential for death during the Winter War, he had shied away from anything with either Shinigami or humans. Like it or not, he really couldn't decline. The blue-haired girl was very territorial with him. Since the incident with the Perverted Trio, admirers had sometime come by. Considering that the female population approved of his actions, there were plenty of good-looking admirers. Yet every time one of them attempted to start a conversation with him, or simply get close, Tsumetai would drive them away.
So it was pretty obvious she wanted him to herself. At the same time, Ichigo was curious as to why he had not encountered any of Fallen Angels, Devils, or Angels during his time at Kuoh. While Hat-and-Clogs had never specified how many members of the Three Factions were in the suburb, he knew there was at least one Fallen Angel still running around.
The exclamation drew Ichigo's attention, and he watched as the Perverted Trio's backs moved away from him. They wisely turned tail and ran whenever they saw him, which was good. As he waited, Ichigo noted the group consisting of three girls and one guy passed. The white-haired girl in the group and the redhead gave a nod, but they seemed to be suspicious of him.
Ichigo turned as Tsumetai approached. She gave a wave to a black-haired girl at the end of the hallway, and then they set off.
"You're lucky you live in the city, Ichigo," she said.
Her companion, the orange-haired target of hers, gave an affirming nod. Various stores offering the latest in fashion, electronics, and more lined the streets of Karakura Town's shopping center. It was a somewhat gray Saturday, but not enough to spoil the day.
"It's got its benefits," Ichigo noted.
"We've got our own shopping center up north too, but it's much smaller and cheesier than this one," Kalawarner explained.
Kalawarner carried nothing but a purse, but Ichigo was laden with shopping bags. Most guys his age would have struggled to carry all of the bags, she noted, but he merely showed a few signs of exertion.
"Where to next?" he asked, readjusting a bag.
"How about a movie?"
"Sounds fine. What do you want to see?"
It was odd for Kalawarner to have her way in a relationship. In her experience, giving ground was not a good idea. To take advantage of someone in the ever-changing landscape of Fallen Angel groupings, it was best to not appear weak or particularly compromising. Except for Azazel, because he was their lone archangel.
So the pair went on their way to a nearby theater, paid for tickets, and settled down. Kalawarner chose something that sounded vaguely romantic, and laid her head against Ichigo's, and merely enjoyed being with him. It was relaxing. Like it or not, she was getting more attached to him. This was going to make killing him a lot harder, and yet…why kill him?
When their movie ended, the two set out for the suburb as the sun slowly set. Ichigo had offered to help her lug all of the bags to the train station there rather than just drop her off at the Karakura station, which Kalawarner was thankful for. She really did regret buying so many things.
Then, their heads turned towards another during the ride, and lips brushed. It was entertaining for Kalawarner to watch Ichigo's embarrassed reaction as she went a little further until she realized that she actually liked the kiss. Which made her job a whole lot harder.
Isshin Kurosaki to the outsider was ecstatic. His two daughters were justifiably confused by this behavior. The weekend was the busiest time for the family clinic, and after a long day of treating minor injuries or giving advice to athletes, the man-child was usually tired. Instead, he seemed to be impatiently pacing, waiting for someone.
The cause of his happiness was quickly discovered when Ichigo Kurosaki walked through the door. Isshin rushed to his son.
"A little birdie told me you were downtown with a girl!"
Ichigo flinched, before attempting to get away from his father.
"So what if I did, old man!" he shouted.
"You've finally shown an interest in women! You've got to bring her here!" Isshin exclaimed.
"And risk you screwing everything up? Hell no!"
"If you don't bring her here for dinner, or something, I'll find a way to bring Zaraki Kenpachi here and have him spar with you, Ichigo!"
Ichigo visibly paled.
"You wouldn't. The Captain-Commander won't let you."
The kiss had been an accident, but Kalawarner had continued it. It had been a 'date' of sorts, now that she looked back on it, with all of the shopping, lunch together, and seeing the movie. It was an odd experience. Rather than focus on sex, as Fallen Angels or Devils did in an early relationship, it was more about relationship and trust building.
Ichigo was almost certainly responsible for her new weapon, and when she was close to him the 'tug' seemed to go away. He seemed nice, albeit rough around the edges, and she liked him. Bringing out her sword, still in its scabbard, Kalawarner wondered why she had it and what purpose it could have. As she unsheathed the weapon the door opened, causing Kalawarner to freeze up in panic. An angry-looking Raynare stormed into her room before stopping, hands on her hips. The other Fallen Angel was back to her normal attire, and Kalawarner waited for her to speak.
"You've got to kill him soon. At the rate you're going I'm going to be in that school all year," Raynare proclaimed, and then she paused, looking at the weapon in her comrade's arms. "Where'd you get the sword?"
"I will, I will. The sword's a gift from….an old exorcist friend of mine," Kalawarner lied smoothly.
"You said that you'd get the job done last week. Kill him this week, or I will."
Raynare left, and Kalawarner grimaced. She wasn't sure whether she wanted to kill Ichigo anymore, but no matter what she did she wasn't leaving without answers.
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