Ichigo sighed as he sat at the edge of the koi pond at Kuchiki manor. He skimmed his hands over the surface of the water, sending ripples across the pond and scaring some of the koi. He sighed again for what felt like the hundredth time that day, standing from his seated position and headed back towards the manor.
His training sessions had yet to be very successful, but he's found them to not be as hard as they used to. Soifon seems to be easing up on him a bit and not being as hard. In fact, she's even become a little more supportive and involves when he trains. He takes in some of her advice and tries to use it in his techniques. Sometimes it will ease the stress of his transforming body, and others it will put more strain as his bones and everything connected to them reform.
Most of all, he felt happy. He had his whole family living with him. His mother and his aunt had presented themselves to everyone at the manor and though Byakuya was a little skeptic, he accepted Melanie in his home.
Isshin was with them, along with his now older sisters Yuzu and Karin. His unofficial father for a while, Byakuya, didn't mind having his rambunctious family living with him and Rukia had taken all of this in with open arms when she realized that she'd be spending plenty more time with the Kurosaki family.
But worry still played on everyone's minds. They all knew that the war was going to be hell, but they wanted to make the most out of what peace they had. They just wanted to act like a normal family before the deaths and hardships begin to cloud their minds with depression.
Currently, Ichigo was working in the courtyard of Kuchiki manor late in the night. Everyone else was asleep and he just found he was feeling too restless. So to ease his mind a little and take it off of the upcoming battles that he will most likely have to face sometime in the near future, he decided to try his best to complete his possible wyvern transformation.
He tried to call upon his ability again, taking a deep breath and holding out his arms. He felt the shift of bones underneath his skin and the surfacing of black scales protruding from his skin. He clenched his teeth as pain exploded across his body, but he continued to push himself. Sweat broke out on his forehead and he kept trying hard, noises of discomfort leaving his lips. He let the magic fade as he felt he would break under the pressure of what he was trying to accomplish.
He was missing something, he realized. He needed to know something more and he felt that the information was sitting inside of his brain and waiting to be released into his conscience. He took a deep breath and took to thinking. What did he need? What was it that needed to be resurfaced to complete his transformation? He thought back to some of the conversations that he had with his mother when she found that he was trying to change into a wyvern.
'Ichigo stood in the middle of the training grounds at the second division, trying hard to clutch the magic inside of him. he was focusing so hard that he jumped in fright and lost his concentration when his mother's voice sounded not too far from him.
"Try controlling your breathing and spreading both of your arms."
Ichigo looked up in surprise as his mother stepped closer to him and moved his arms out away from his body.
"I can't give you specifics on how you are supposed to shift, but all wyvern learn how to on their own. I can give you some advice though. What is it that drives you to do anything?" She asked her son as he stared up her, confused.
"I... don't know," Ichigo replied and let his arms drop to his side.
Masaki moved and hugged her little boy, enclosing him in her warmth.
"Don't worry, Ichigo," she replied, smiling. "You'll find the answer eventually."'
END OF FLASHBACK
'What drives me to do anything?' Ichigo thought to himself, desperately searching for an answer.
He sat down at the sky, looking up at the stars as he thought. The twinkle of the stars reached him, bathing him in their soft glow. As he thought, he found his mind wandering as the twinkle of the stars glowed brighter.
'Strange,' he thought, laying down on the ground and watching the light from the stars flicker above him. 'The twinkle of the stars reminds me of the light I can see in Yuzu' s and Karin's eyes when they're-'
He stopped his train of thought short, something finally clicking in his mind. He sat up quickly, disturbing the dirt slightly as he moved to stand. Why hadn't he thought of it earlier? It was so blatantly obvious that he felt stupid for not reaching this conclusion immediately.
It was his family. The answer was that he always did everything for his family!
Ichigo took a deep breath, spreading out both of his arms away from his body. He began thinking about his family, how he would be able to do absolutely anything for them to make them happy and keep them out of harms way. As he did, he allowed his body to shift, limb to limb. He found his whole body moving on command and not hurting. No pain accompanied the transformation this time and he found that the feeling of his bones shifting underneath his skin felt oddly satisfying.
Within moments, everything around Ichigo seemed to shrink. The manor didn't look so big anymore and he could see over the forest around the area. Ichigo stared in wonder at himself, testing his wings and opening and closing his maw. After that, he moved his new tail experimentally, almost hitting the building.
Then, the full awareness of the situation finally hit his mind. He was a wyvern now; meaning that he's accomplished his goal!
Ichigo let our a soft roar of happiness, careful to make it soft enough to not disturb the sleeping members in the house. His excitement was cut short by the sudden feeling of dizziness that swept over him. He felt his body contracting back into human form and found himself laying on the ground. His limbs weak, Ichigo just decided to stay where he was and fell asleep from exhaustion.
Byakuya woke from his sleep, sensing something off about his environment. He noticed nothing was moved out of place in his room and felt that his home was undisturbed, but what could it be?
He reached out with his senses, finding that Ichigo was no longer in his room, but out in the training grounds. Pulling himself out of bed, Byakuya tightened his sleeping yukata around him and made his way towards the training grounds.
When he reached his destination, he saw something unfamiliar in its center. As he walked closer, he noticed that it was a body of what appeared to be a teenage soul reaper with longish brown, spiky hair, passed out on the ground. He narrowed his eyes at the figure, walking up to it. When he reached it, he nudged the figure a little bit too hard with his foot, waking the boy up
"What was that for?" The boy asked in a familiar voice, opening his blue eyes and looking up at Byakuya. "Byakuya? Why do you seem so angry?" The figure asked, sitting up. "And why does my whole body hurt?"
"State your name and the reason why you chose to trespass on private grounds," Byakuya stated, glaring down at the boy.
"Trespassing?" The figure asked, staring incredulously at the noble. "What the hell? You're letting me and my family stay here for crying out loud!"
"I believe I would have remembered if I let someone like you into my home," Byakuya stated. He pointed his fingers at the boy, getting ready to use kidou. "Now I demand you answer me. Why are you here?"
"I already told you!" The figure shouted, standing up quickly and causing a pice of his longish brown, spiky hair to fall in front of his eyes. The boy stopped his next statement, staring at the piece of hair in shock. He picked it up with his fingers, twisting it in his grasp as he also stared dumbfounded at his hands. "What the hell?!" The boy shouted. "How the hell did I get brown hair? And how did I get taller over night?!"
"I told you to answer me," Byakiya stated, placing his fingers on the boy's shoulder. "So unless you wish to have a hole in your shoulder, you best be telling me what I want to know."
"Alright, I understand your confusion now!" The boy stated, moving away from Byakuya's fingers. "But it's me, Ichigo!"
"Ichigo?" Byakuya asked, narrowing his eyes.
"Yah, that's me!" The boy cried out frantically. "This is going to sound stupid in some ways, but I went out to train in the middle of the night last night because I couldnt sleep. So I trained and trained and figured out what I was missing to turn into a wyvern and I finally completed my transformation! After that I just passed out in the training grounds because I was so exhausted! So don't point your fingers at me like you're trying to kill me!"
"Byakuya, you can stop trying to kill him. If you tried to sense his reitsu at all, you'd obviously have been able to tell that it's as out of control as Ichigo's notmally is."
Byakuya turned his head back towards the manor, noticing Aizen stepping out into the court yard. He turned back to the boy, reaching out with his senses and found that Aizen was right. This boy was Ichigo. But what had happened to the boy's appearance? His hair had completely changed and it looks almost just like Aizen's with some spike to it.
"I guess finally turning into a wyvern has brought out your true identity, hasn't it Ichigo?" Aizen asked, stapping closer to the flabbergasted boy.
"I... I guess," Ichigo states, sounding a bit dejected. "But I'm definitely going to miss my old hair. My hair is just too thin now."
"Well, you definately get that from your real father," a new voice said. Ichigo turned to see Masaki coming out into the courtyard with disheveled features.
"Mom? What are you doing awake?"
"I felt your distressed reitsu and I needed to see what's going on. It looks like it was just a little bit of confusion on how you look."
"I was nearly killed because I look a bit more like Aizen now," Ichigo complained slightly, sighing where he stood. "Besides, I had no idea that turning into a wyvern was going to give me my original body with different hair, so I was just as confused as Byakuya was when I found out."
"Byakuya-sama?" An attendant asked, stepping into the courtyard, yawning tiredly. "Would you like for me to prepare breakfast for you and your guests?"
"It would be greatly appreciated," Byakuya nodded, sending off the attendant to prepare breakfast.
"I guess we best wake everyone else-" Masaki started, only to be cut off by an alarm.
"Alert! Alert! There is a breach in the Seireitei! All captains and the Kurosaki family report for an emergency meeting. All other available personel find the ryouka and try to take them down. Alert! Alert!"
"Well, I guess we aren't going to be eating," Ichigo stated in dismay as his stomach growled in protest. He followed everyone to the squad one barracks and knew that this could be the begining of a full out war.