Raised in the Light
Light of the Future
*I will never own, or make money, on Bleach. *
Techniques or emphasis
"Hey Rukia hurry up already! We are meeting Gin and Rangiku in less than an hour to discuss where to construct the new academy."
"I heard you, be there in a second Renji!"
The raven haired girl turned back to her brother, who was seated comfortably on the grass. "Will you be okay nii-sama?"
The former nobleman turned toward the younger girl, and gave a warm smile and a nod, "Yes Rukia I will be fine, I am not as helpless as you all like to think."
"I know that..." the female replied with a slight blush, "I just worry about you."
A slight chuckle brought her attention back to the man, "I remember when it was the opposite... when I was the one worried about you, worried that you needed my help with everything, that you needed my protection."
Her blush deepened, it had been a long recovery for the man and he was finally getting back his mobility from the massive injuries he had sustained. Even with Kotetsu's assistance it had been difficult.
"Make sure that you send Gin and Rangiku a greeting from me and invite them over for tea. I have missed seeing them now that they are married."
"Of course nii-sama."
"You should get going, your husband isn't known for his patience."
Rukia nodded, and gave a slight bow before leaving.
"How is your brother doing?"
"Better, he seems to be getting happier by the day now that he can actually be outside for extended periods and no longer requires so much bed rest."
Rangiku nodded, "I understand that, if I was stuck in bed for so long I probably would go nuts."
The silver haired man shot her a sly grin, "funny, you weren't complaining when you were stuck in bed with me."
The sputtering and muttering from the blonde woman brought another bright smile onto her husband's face.
"Still though, I am glad to hear that he is recovering. He was probably the worst off among the surviving Shinigami... well except for..."
The others nodded, Yoruichi had been devastated when she had heard about Urahara's death. Add to that her physical injuries and she had taken to heavily drinking for months until Kukaku had pulled her out of the depressed spiral. Eventually she had left and gone on a journey by herself in the World of the Living to reassess her life.
"I'm still surprised that Tessai and the Visored never came back. I mean I sort of understand Mashiro not wanting to because of Kensei but still..."
"It's different for them Renji. Soul Society hasn't been their home in well over a hundred years. They don't have anything to come back to."
The former lieutenant nodded to his wife, "I know but still... I would like to see them more often than the occasional updates and such."
"Speaking of which, has anyone heard from Yachiru lately?" the blonde woman inquired.
"I... heard that she chose to move on last week..."
The woman's eyes widened at Rukia's answer, she knew that the young girl had taken Kenpachi's death hard but...
"I guess that makes sense, I mean Zaraki was one of the few people she cared about. With him gone and the war over... she didn't have anything to continue on for. I'm just glad that the Quincy created that gateway so that it would be painless."
As they had promised the other race had indeed come through with a way of allowing those who wanted to a peaceful transition into reincarnation. It had been a large archway setup with a strange energy field that instantly broke down the spiritual body upon entering it. An instantaneous and painless way to die was more than most Shinigami could ever hope for.
"Alright ladies and gentlemen let's make this simple shall we? Everyone knows why we are here. No more messing around, no more jokes, and no more lies. Let's just get this over with and be done with it."
"Jeesh Lothar, aren't you taking this a bit seriously? It's just poker."
"Just poker? Oh no Kort this is not just poker. This is strip poker, which means that our pride is on the line, and if you hadn't noticed... THE WOMEN ARE KICKING OUR ASSES!"
Indeed glancing around the table all of the female Sternritter, save for Irmine Jolie and Bambietta were completely clothed.
Those three females had opted not to participate, due to the fact that if they had ended up being ogled then their respective husbands, or in Irmine's case her adopted father, would have murdered the rest of the men.
"Hey it's not my fault, Xaros said he was good at this game."
"I am good at this game, but for some ridiculous reason I have been getting utter crap thus far."
"Doesn't explain why you can't bluff worth a damn" Mina muttered, causing the more feral Sternritter to giggle as well.
"Hey I can bluff just fine thank you! Just because one of you can smell lies doesn't mean I am bad at this game, I still say that using our powers is cheating!"
"You were the one who suggested it to make the game 'more interesting'." Gerhard noted with a smile. He had been the only male to still have his actual pants on, the rest were down to their underwear.
"Yeah well that was back when I had the brilliant strategy for Kort to actually use his and cheat for us."
"How the hell did you want me to subtly draw an intricate pattern on the ground around us with no one noticing?"
"I don't know genius, I just expected you to figure it out!"
"Now now boys let's not fight, raise or fold."
The various men looked down at their cards, gave a combined sighed, and folded at the same time.
"Alright boys pay up, let's see those tighty-whities." Rille ordered with a smirk.
Despite the mutterings and grumbles three pairs of underwear were thrown onto the table, along with a pair of pants from 'The Zenith'."
"What are you going to do with these anyway Rille? It's not like you enjoy men's clothing or anything." Mina pointed out.
"True, but I do believe we have quite a flag poles that are missing some... decorations and I figured..."
At that very moment both Ichigo and Jugram walked into the room, blinked at the sigh of three naked men, and one nearly so, sitting at a table with their clothing in piles and three still clothed women sitting on the other side.
"Uhm what are... you know what never mind I don't want to know."
"Hey Karin, Yuzu are you two ready to go?"
"Yeah dad hold on, Yuzu is just packing a bag of homemade cookies real quick!"
The man shook his head at the two girls antics. It had been rather difficult to accept the death of his friends and their loss but the fact that the Quincy had allowed them to live was far more than he would have hoped for all considering.
Even stranger was that his two daughters were now actively visiting their brother every other weekend or so was... well a bit odd.
"Okay, do you have a few extra pairs of clothes?"
"Dad this isn't the first time we have done this, even if we forget something Ichigo has spares. We will be fine."
"I know, I know... I just worry about you two."
The two sisters smiled, before embracing their father in a family hug.
"We know dad, hopefully you will come with us soon... it would be nice to have a family dinner some time..."
The older man smiled, "I would like that too, I just think it is a bit too early for me to see the Quincy all considering... maybe you can talk him into coming here and we can just have pizza at the house?"
Karin smiled, "I think he would like that, plus he is pretty easy to convince."
"Yeah! We got this really awesome ice cream last time!"
Isshin shook his head in exasperation, "yeah yeah, just make sure you are eating nutritious food along with the sweets okay?"
"Alright see you later dad!"
With that the two girls activated a small necklace device, which created a portal and allowed them entry to the Quincy World.
Isshin, in the mean time, let his cheerful smile falter a bit, before going to the phone and calling up Ryuken, hopefully his remaining friend wouldn't be busy and would enjoy some company.
One of the two remaining Quincy still living in the World of the Living gave a deep sigh, life had become so very complicated in such a short time and then... well all of the changes that had occurred had certainly sent his head spinning.
The Shinigami had been defeated, and mostly destroyed. The Quincy had reemerged stronger than ever. The Soul King was dead and a balance that he never knew about restored to existence. But it was more than that, there seemed to have been a restoration of something else as well. He remembered seeing his son for the first time directly after the battle and although the boy had been seriously injured he was not in any sort of life threatening state.
Uryu had greeted him respectfully, but Ryuken could tell that he was disappointed in himself.
Yet the father had chosen to ignore all of this, and pull his son into a fierce hug repeating over and over how much he loved his son and how much he was proud of him.
Once the two had returned home their relationship as father and son had grown tremendously. Currently his son was interning at the hospital to eventually take over his position, hopefully allowing him to step down in the next few years and either retire or take on a much more diminished and easy going role.
Glancing over at his buzzing cell phone the older Quincy noted that Isshin was calling him, probably to see if he had any plans for the evening.
With his son visiting his friend Sado the elder Ishida was, in fact, free.
Picking up the phone the bespectacled man greeted his oldest companion, "Hello Isshin, plans tonight?"
"Master, your sisters are scheduled to arrive in the next few hours."
Ichigo glanced up from the handful of reports he had been reading over. "Ah thank you Nel."
The green haired woman smiled, before turning to leave.
The former Espada turned back, a curiously look on her face, "yes master?"
"How... are you? Are you okay? Are you happy?"
The woman blinked a few times in confusion, before smiling once more, "Of course master, Harribel and I are very happy."
The orange haired boy nodded, allowing the Arrancar to leave.
Letting out a deep sigh Ichigo allowed his mind to wander back to the past year. After the Shinigami had been allowed to return to the Soul Society most of them had retired to simply promoting peace and helping the inhabitants to rebuild their homes and improve their way of life.
The Seireitei has been converted into a large city, allowing for the inhabitants of the higher numbered Rukongai districts to have immediate housing upon their return to sanity.
Of course many of them had simply opted to reincarnate, no longer wishing to remain with all of the terrible memories and emotions that they had been forced to endure for so long.
Even with the Quincy's intervention there had been quite a lot of starvation and homeless refugees, but even still the populace had banded together with what remained of the Shinigami acting as the police force.
"Was it worth it father? All of the lives sacrificed?"
Although he had been speaking to himself the man in question always seemed to be ready with an answer.
"That is the question that all great leaders must ask themselves my son."
Turning Ichigo glared at the elderly man, "You know I could have done without the paperwork involved in running a nation."
Yhwach chuckled, "which is one of the main reasons I decided on an early retirement my son."
"And of course Jugo just so happened to get his wife pregnant a few days before this happened, meaning that I was the only choice."
The former Quincy king smiled "It is not my fault that you decided to choose Bambietta to impregnate first and that she wanted to wait longer than Joli and Jugo did. You could have chosen Nelliel or Harribel first..."
"Oh yes because that would have gone over well 'sorry my love but I decided to have sex with and impregnate the two Arrancar because I don't want to be king of a nation, hope you understand'. Do you want her to murder me in my sleep?"
The man chuckled, "of course not my son, and you are doing an amazing job thus far at being lord of the Quincy."
Ichigo smiled, before noticing that Bambietta was slowly making her way into the room, her new pregnancy beginning to become obvious at this point.
"Oh, hello lord Yhwach, will you be joining Jugo, Joli, and I for dinner tonight? Ichigo is eating with his sisters."
The dark haired Quincy smiled, before giving her a nod, "that would be lovely yes. I would like to thank you both for keeping an old man in your plans."
Both young adults returned the smile, "you are welcome to join us any time dad, you know that."
"So what were you two talking about?"
Ichigo's eyes widened in fear, while his father developed a mischievous grin of his own. "Oh just the state of the various families, and when Ichigo will be paying more... attention... to his servants."
Bambietta frowned, meanwhile Ichigo had managed to use the slight distraction to his advantage... and flee like a coward.
"Good news Toshiro, the votes finally came in and you were chosen to be the official Mayor of West Rukongai!"
The white haired boy smiled, that meant he had beaten Gin in the other man's quest to become the leader of his respective section, not much of a victory but still one he could rub in the silver haired asshole's face.
"HEY! I know that smirk mister, this isn't a competition between you two..."
"Of course not Momo... not a competition at all..."
"We are having Gin, Rangiku, Rukia, and Renji over for dinner next week, which means that you are going to behave and be nice"
"Of course dear, Byakuya isn't able to join us yet?"
The younger girl frowned and shook her head, no... and Kotetsu is still too caught up in her work getting the new hospitals built to join us."
Hitsugaya's smile dropped as well, they had both become increasingly worried about the former lieutenant and her obsession with staying busy. Sure it was important to keep their minds from the casualties of the war but she had been taking it to the extreme, even her sister had become more and more concerned as the weeks and months passed.
"Perhaps we will need to have an intervention at some point."
The black haired girl nodded, before glancing at the calendar located on their wall once more.
The boy noticed, and smiled at her stare, "we still have six months until the wedding Momo..."
"Oh I wasn't... I mean I didn't..."
He laughed warmly at her embarrassment, they had both been so excited when he had finally gotten the courage up to propose that both had been keeping track of how many days until the ceremony with almost religious zeal.
In the darkest pits sat a man once again bound to a chair, a false throne for a creature that once considered himself all powerful. Now he had nothing. His servants were gone, his nation taken and destroyed, and his powers removed.
Aizen Sosuke sat in contemplation, once more staring in the endless blackness that was his eternal prison.
Where had he gone wrong? How could he have been defeated so easily? The Soul King was dead, he should have been the one to take up the mantle of 'God'. Instead he was denied and cast aside. At least when the Seireitei had done so they had periodically checked up on him, just to ensure his confinement. It had given him an inkling of pride to know that deep down they had feared him enough to continue keeping tabs on his progress.
Now though there was nothing. No monitoring, no monthly checks... nothing but the eternal darkness and silence.
He was immortal, he would never age, nor die. But that didn't matter much without freedom. What was the use in living forever if there was nothing to look forward to?
"Come come Nemu-chan we have much to see oh so much to see!" The Quincy proclaimed excitedly as both the Shinigami and his assistant followed along.
The female allowed her mind to drift back to the past wonderful year that she had been granted. Ever since the war had ended, and she was adopted, the man had been spoiling her with both gifts and affection. She had grown quite fond of the 'hugs' and her new wardrobe contained every color imaginable.
Currently the three were undertaking the best part of her new life, a vacation. Mask had insisted on taking a month long vacation, and had allowed the other two participants to choose what they did. It had taken a few days but eventually they had settled on a hiking and camping trip, much to the older man's glee. They were on their second week thus far, and she had loved every minute of it.
The exercise, being outdoors, seeing nature in all its beauty... it was something she had never been given the chance to experience in her previous life, being locked away in a cold and uncaring laboratory surrounded by technology. Not only that but the Seireitei was a relatively lifeless place, consisting of stone buildings and roads with little greenery.
Now though... it was simply time to relax and recover from the conflict.
"Come come we must make the waterfall by dusk! The way that the setting sun strikes it creates quite a scene!"
Joli watched on fondly as her husband and adopted daughter played on a swing set, with the blonde man pushing the giggling girl.
Thinking back on everything that happened would always create a sense of awe in the female Sternritter. Not only had the younger girl died, but then she had been brought back to life and adopted almost immediately after the war was over.
Then there had been the wedding, with Ichigo as the 'best man' and Bambietta as the 'maid of honor'. Irmine had happily accepted the position of 'flower girl'.
A month later and her own pregnancy had been confirmed.
Now she was roughly seven months along and the other two had been bonding more than ever. The younger girl had been absolutely thrilled to hear that she would soon have a younger brother or sister and had eagerly taken to aiding in the redecorating of their new home.
Everything was... perfect, and before the war this would have given the Quincy woman a sense of foreboding. It was these times that fate would seem to conspire against her and cause death and destruction, but now...
There were no storm clouds on the horizon, no future wars to take part in, no conflicts that would force her to miss sleep with worrying about the lives of her loved ones.
There was simply peace.
Karin and Yuzu sat happily at a picnic table enjoying the ice cream that their brother had bought them.
"So nii-sama, how is the wedding planning going?"
The boy smiled at the brunette, "It's going well, Bambietta wants to get through the ceremony before she becomes too obviously pregnant to walk down the aisle unaided."
"I still can't believe she asked us to be two of her 'bridesmaids'." Karin noted with a shake of her head. That conversation had shocked both the sisters more than they were willing to admit.
"Well of course she did, she knows how important you are to me. Plus that meant she got to veto having Xaros plan my bachelor party."
"Oh yeah, what was he going to do that got her so worked up anyway?"
The two girls paused, blinked, and then continued eating their frozen treats.
Ichigo merely chuckled.
"So nii-sama, our dad wants to have you over for dinner sometime." the black haired girl nonchalantly noted, but Yuzu could see the concern in her eyes of being rejected or angering the man.
"Oh? I figured he would eventually. That's fine, I know that he probably wouldn't feel comfortable coming to this world quite yet."
"Yeah... too many bad memories I guess. He wanted to get pizza I think."
"Sounds good to me, as long as he is buying."
The two sisters smirked deviously at their brother's acceptance, not only could they con him into buying them ice cream but now their father owed them pizza as well.
"Could you tell us a story nii-sama?"
"Sure, what would you like to hear about?"
"Everything!" both girls exclaimed at once, before blushing at their outburst. It was Yuzu who continued on though, "what we mean is that... we don't know much about your childhood, what was it like?"
"Well, I suppose it started with the birth of my two sisters, they were both so perfect, and happy, and quiet back then..."
Ignoring the two glares the man continued on, "Then one day when I was walking home with my mother it began raining so hard, and I saw a young girl standing by the water..."
***Omake: A Message from our Sponsor***
"Well everyone we have had a lot of fun these past few months haven't we?"
"We sure have Ichigo-kun," Gin nodded in agreement. "But now we have something very important that we would like to talk to all of you about, something that affects thousands of innocent people every year, and that is..."
"Chair related deaths"
Both men stared at each other in confusion.
"Uh Gin... I thought we agreed that we were doing a serious topic for the last Omake, not the silly one that the Author wanted to do."
"And this is a serious topic Ichigo-chan. Do you have any idea how many people die every year due to chairs?"
"Neither do I, which implies something evil and devious is afoot!"
The Quincy rolled his eyes, "Gin with everything that has happened in the last two stories, and the events planned for the Author's next two stories I think that..."
"You know I am a bit confused about something Ichigo-dono."
The boy let out a sigh at the changing nicknames but decided to humor the man, "and that is?"
"Well I mean you just said it yourself, the Author tends to pick a character, usually the main one, and give them a God awful childhood full of terrible memories and sometimes physical abuse."
"Well he has already mentioned potentially two more Bleach stories... starring you..."
Ichigo's eyes widened in horror at the implications.
"So maaaaaybe we should go back to the more fun Omake that he had planned eh?"
Another moment of consideration passed before... "we are here today to talk to you about something very important and dear to my heart... chair related accidents."
The silver haired Shinigami smiled, "wise choice Ichigo-pal".
Well that is the final chapter, I hope everyone enjoyed the story as much as I did! As I mentioned last chapter I do have more Bleach stories planned but not for a while.
Hopefully the last chapter was sufficient for everyone, I always have trouble with the first and last chapters in my stories for some reason.
War Enders (Aka Special War Potentials)
Genryusai Yamamoto -deceased-
Kisuke Urahara -deceased-
Kenpachi Zaraki -deceased-
The Royal Guard -deceased-
A The Ascension Ichigo – God's Will
B The Blade Jugram – The Sword of God
C The Contagion Brune – God's Plague Bearer -deceased-
D The Domain Kort – The Kingdom of God
E The Emotion Vanda – God's unending Love -deceased-
F The Freedom Joli – Freedom from God
G The Golem Irmine – Holy Union of God
H The Heat Bazz-B- God's Holy Flame -deceased-
I The Impact Ubel – Warrior of God -deceased-
J The Juggernaut Adalgar – The Body of God -deceased-
K The Key Maker Orlan – The Path of God -deceased-
L The Legion Rille – The Army of God
M The Mirror Lothar - God's Reflection
N The Noise Xaros – My God's Answer
O The Oracle Penrod – The Knowledge of God -deceased-
P The Primal Keifer – Creation of God
Q The Quick – Clovis – God's Chariot -deceased-
R The Restraint Lutz – Temperance Before God -deceased-
S The Shield Mina – Protection of God
T The Thunder Adali – Light of God -deceased-
U The Unseen Clotilde – The Presence of God -deceased-
V The Volatile Bambietta -The Wrath of God
W The Whisper Erna – The Voice of God -deceased-
X The X-ray Hanno – God's Vision -deceased-
Y The Yield Dearg - Humility before God -deceased-
Z The Zenith Gerhard – God above all others
The Royal Guard