Salutations to you, my readers!
So, as promised, here is my Christmas gift to everyone: a Naruto and Bleach crossover!
Please bear in mind that it's been a while since I touched on the subject of Bleach; especially since I stopped reading/watching it entirely once Ichigo got his powers as a Shinigami back. The story after that did not catch my interest whatsoever.
So, there will be NOTHING in this story that has to do with the final arc. That means no Quincy blood in Ichigo, or "true form" for Zangetsu, or anything else concerning it.
I want to get that out of the way right now so that you readers, who I devote so much of my time to in making these stories, don't start asking questions about it.
*bows* Thank you all very much.
Disclaimer: pain17ification owns nothing
Chapter 1: Homecoming
'Man, this place has barely changed,' mused a young man of 20, his brown eyes staring outside the window of the bus he was riding. He had a nostalgic smile on his face as he looked around his hometown that he had been away from for the better part of two years. 'Wonder how the family's doing?'
He chuckled to himself as he imagined the antics that his younger brother and his father would no doubt be taking part in with one another. He loved the man for raising him and helping him grow into the man he was today, but his father was a bit much at times with his hyperactivity. And his brother was a bit physical in his responses, usual resorting to fights over words.
As for his baby sisters, they were quite a pair too. The eldest younger sister, from what he could remember, was pretty independent for a girl her age. She was also incredibly blunt; which he found both amusing and refreshing. As for his youngest sister, she was a sweetheart; no questions asked. Ever since the family lost their mother, she had taken on the role of housekeeper, cook, and overall caregiver.
And then there was him; the eldest child of the Kurosaki family. He had to be the one who looked after his siblings, making sure that they stayed strong after their mother's death. With his time spent in college, he hoped to be able to better support his family since his father mainly ran an emergency clinic. While it was a great service to the community – and they hoped that they didn't get so many patients – it only provided so much.
Sighing, the young man brushed a hand through his spiky red locks. He was still amused at how outlandish his natural hair color was; as well as his brother's. He vaguely recalled the both of them being bullied by people who thought they were dying their hair; or in his brother's case, bleaching it. The odd thing was that, while his mother did have orange hair and his father had black, no one in the family knew where he had gotten his red hair.
But he knew; he had known for a while now.
The bus reaching his stop cut him from his musings, and he grabbed his duffle bag and laptop case before exiting the bus; making sure to thank the driver for getting him to his destination. He knew that the simple things – like small acts of gratitude – went a long way for people; so he made sure to do them as often as he could.
Once the bus left, he smiled at the sight before him; Karakura High School, where he had graduated some years ago. Looking at his watch, he figured that his brother would still be in class, so he went down the beaten path he fondly remembered walking as he made his way to the Kurosaki Clinic. As he walked, he resumed looking around his hometown, his smile never fading in the slightest.
'Wonder how sensei and Neko-nee are doing,' he absently thought, turning his gaze to the direction of a familiar shop he frequented as a teenager. His gaze moved to another familiar location and he chuckled. 'I'll bet they're all lazing about as usual.'
It took him around an hour to reach his family's clinic, due to him taking his time getting there. When he gazed at the place, his smile grew warmer and his stance became straighter.
He was finally back home, coming back to his family now that he was an educated man. He found himself incredibly content about that fact as he approached the door. With a rhythmic knock, he patiently waited for a response and was rewarded with a familiar voice calling out, "Karin, can you get the door, please?"
He took a step back from the door, his bags still in hand as he heard the knob unlock and turn before the door itself swung open. A familiar black-haired girl looked out with a rather bored look as she greeted, "Yeah?"
Standing in front of her was a redheaded man with short, yet wildly spiked hair. He had brown eyes that looked at her warmly while he was dressed in an open black coat, a white shirt that had the top two buttons loose, dark brown pants, and black shoes. Around his neck was an orange scarf that was draped over his shoulders with the tail ends resting against his back. The oddest thing about him – which also made her eyes widen in recognition – was that he held whisker-styled birth markings on his cheeks; three on each cheek.
"Hey there, big-lil sis," he greeted fondly.
Slowly a smile graced her face before she poked her head back inside and called out, "Yuzu, come quick!"
"What's wrong?!" came an incredibly worried response.
"Just come outside!" Karin answered before she rushed out the door and collided with her eldest brother with a powerful hug. "You're back!"
"Of course I am!" he responded with a laugh just as he saw a familiar head of light brown hair poke out of the building. His smile never weakened when he saw that, like Karin, her eyes widened in surprise and even watered slightly. "Yuzu-chan…" he greeted.
"Naru-nii," she whispered back, tears falling as she smiled brightly and rushed into his arms like Karin had done. "I missed you…" she said, her voice muffled against his shirt; which he felt was getting wet from her tears.
His smile softened as he held her close, rubbing her head affectionately. "I know… I missed you girls too."
Pulling away to stand next to Karin, Yuzu wiped her eyes and smiled brightly. "Welcome back, Naru-nii."
Naruto Kurosaki smiled back as he followed them inside. "Great to be back," he responded, stepping back into his home for the first time in two years.
An awkward chuckle escaped him as he saw his father and brother once again going at it. "It's like I never left home," he commented, smiling at Yuzu when she gave him his helping of dinner. "So, what has everyone been up to while I was away?"
Karin shrugged. "Nothing much. Yuzu and I are doing alright in school, Ichi-nii is still being bothered because of his hair, and dad is…dad."
The two of them shared a laugh at that while Yuzu stifled her own giggle. "Ichi-nii is still seeing ghosts too," Yuzu added.
Naruto paused in taking another bite, slowly setting down his chopsticks. "…He is?"
Both of his sisters nodded. "I can still feel them when they're near; but I can't see them yet," Karin noted. "What about you, Naru-nii?"
He shrugged and gave a disarming smile. "I wouldn't know. I haven't had any spiritual encounters since I left for college."
"I wish I could see them," Yuzu sighed out, feeling left out. "Only dad and I can't see them."
"Don't worry so much about it, Yuzu-chan," Naruto assured, reaching over and rubbing the top of her head. "It's not as glamorous as you think. Most of the time, the ghosts are just people having trouble accepting what happened. I can't think of a time I talked to a ghost that wasn't either depressed or angry about what was happening."
"That sounds so sad…" she mused with a sympathetic look.
"It is. Which is why it's probably best that you don't see them. You don't need the unnecessary guilt at being alive weighing you down. There are a few ghosts who throw that in your face, trying to make you feel like you're the reason they died."
"Geez," commented Karin. "Talk about messed up."
He shrugged and gave them both a small smile. "Don't ever be ashamed that you're alive, girls. Even if someone says you shouldn't be, it's not their life to lead; it's yours."
They both nodded with thoughtful looks on their faces. Dinner was quiet after that talk, save for Isshin and Ichigo still having their pre-dinner brawl.
"There we go," Naruto said to no one, having finished putting away his belongings and sitting on his bed. "I really gotta remember to thank Yuzu for keeping my room clean while I was gone."
His room was simple in terms of decorations. He had his bed, a desk, and a small television set on top of a stand. His closet held all of his clothes and even a small dresser, giving the actual room more space to move around in. On one of the walls was a small shelf that he had screwed in for the sole purpose of holding his pictures.
In the first picture, there was his family before his mother's death. His father and mother were standing at the back while he stood in the center in front of them. Ichigo stood to his left while Karin was on his right. Yuzu was clinging to his back with her arms around his neck. All of them looked so happy; so peaceful.
The next picture had three kids in it. The first was him, the second was Ichigo, and the last was a girl around Ichigo's age with short orange hair cut in a hime style. Her wide, gray eyes were incredibly expressive and she held an innocent smile on her face. The Kurosaki brothers were also smiling with Naruto standing behind the two of them and his hands on their heads.
"I wonder how Hime-chan is doing since I left," he mused as he looked at the younger visage of Orihime Inoue. She was a childhood friend of his and Ichigo's, and Naruto had been a major source of support for the girl when her older brother, Sora, had died. It took a while, but slowly the girl had returned to her bright self.
The third picture had him as a teenager standing in front of a small shop. Next to him was a man dressed in green with a black haori and wooden geta sandals. On his head, and slightly shadowing his eyes, was a white and green striped bucket hat. On Naruto's shoulder was a black cat that had amused looking yellow eyes. The hat wearing man had a hand fan hiding the lower half of his face while Naruto's face looked to be in the midst of laughter, as if a joke had been made while the picture was taken.
"I'll bet sensei hasn't changed a bit," he thought aloud, shaking his head in amusement. "Him and Neko-nee…"
The final picture had Naruto sitting around with a diverse group of people; eight of them, to be exact. They were having mixed expressions of laughter, smiles, and even annoyance (though that was diluted by the smile mixed in). The lot of them all looked to be content, just going through another day of their lives without anything to bring them down.
"I should go see how they're doing this week," he planned, making a mental note to have a day set to go visit them all. Moving to his desk, he saw that everything had been left where he had left it; making him once again feel grateful for Yuzu taking care of his belongings. He picked up some of the papers, looking them over and smiling in recognition. "I never finished these…" he mused, looking at the incomplete works in his hands. "I should set some time aside for this."
Putting them back down, he moved back to his bed and lied down, staring at the ceiling with a smile. Closing his eyes to rest for the night, he felt a sense of peace fill him to the core at being back home.
Brown eyes opened to a blue sky that had some drifting clouds scattered about it. He also felt that he was lying on something besides his bed and sat up, taking note of the smoothed stone he was now residing on. Getting to his feet, Naruto stepped to the edge of the plateau he was on, looking down to a large settlement that he instinctively knew to label as a village.
"Here again, huh?" he asked as he closed his eyes, smiling at the calm breeze blowing through his hair and hitting his face. It picked up for a brief instant and his smile grew fonder as he turned around. "I kept you waiting, didn't I?"
Smirking back at him was a woman that stood at a fair height of 5'8" (174cm); a little less than a head shorter than his 5'11" (180cm). She wore a tight black leather top, a black miniskirt with matching stockings, a brown belt going around her waist, and a gray haori with a black crow insignia on it. She had long, light gray hair tied in a ponytail that reached down to her lower back and gray narrow eyes.
She moved closer to him and ran her finger down his chest to his abdomen. "Yes…you did," she answered, never moving her gaze away from his own. "Y'know, part of me wishes that you had you older self's eyes."
He rolled his brown orbs in amusement. "So you keep reminding me. Blame genetics for that one, Kara-chan."
"And yet you have red hair in this life instead of your old hair color; like your old mother," she retorted.
Shrugging, he replied, "Again; genetics. My mother in this life had orange hair; which is blonde and red in a balance. At least I didn't get black hair like the old goat."
"True," the silverette agreed, making a face at the idea. "You would've looked way too strange with that color." She reached a hand up and cupped one of his whiskered cheeks, her smirk returning, though it was softer. "At least you kept this little feature, Uzumaki-kun."
"I don't have that name in this life," he reminded, his tone showing slight exhaustion at the repetition. "That was the old me; my previous self. This me is Kurosaki; you know that."
"You'll always be an Uzumaki to me, Naruto," she stated with a shrug as she moved around him and stared down at the village that was the home of his previous life. "To think that I was meant to be the partner of the reincarnated savior of a war-torn past," she mused, looking both amused and eager. "At least you're not so goody-goody like your old self." She turned her head slightly, grinning devilishly at him as he dropped his smile for a straight face. "I always enjoyed seeing your dark side, after all."
"You would," he fired back in jest as he moved to stand beside her. "So, why did you bring me here, Kara-chan?"
"What? A girl can't just call a boy over to catch up?" she asked back, raising a brow. "Maybe I grew bored of being in here by myself?"
"You know you can always talk to-"
"I refuse to speak to that living throw rug, and you know it," she cut off, her gaze sharpening. "I enjoy my time with you; however brief you make your visits. I know that you don't exactly approve of my methods, but that doesn't mean you can just shut me out of your life."
She held a hand up to her chest, where a black feather – one that gave off an ethereal glow – floated out of her. From Naruto's chest, an equally black feather floated outwards. Both of them flew slowly towards one another, swirling and dancing in the breeze before returning to their owners.
"We're connected, after all…" she finished, her voice growing soft.
He sighed at her words, knowing that they were true.
"You're right. I'm sorry for being so…distant with you, Kara-chan. I'm just trying to live a life with some sense of normalcy."
"Your life stopped being normal the moment you heard my call, Naruto. Your brother will soon hear a call too; and eventually your sisters. It's in your blood."
Sighing again, he lowered himself so that he was seated on the mountain overlooking the village. "I know… But I can't help myself for wanting a normal life. My past life wasn't normal, and I was sorta hoping this one would be."
She chuckled as she sat beside him, resting her sheathed sword across her lap. "Normal is overrated, Naruto. Abnormal is what it's all about in terms of living."
He chuckled alongside her, not reacting at all when he felt her move closer and rest her head on his shoulder. "I really am sorry for neglecting you… I hope you know that."
"I do," she answered without hesitation. "You're my partner and I know you enough to understand how you feel about things. Just don't forget that you're…important to me."
He looked downwards slightly, seeing that she was looking away from him with her cheeks dusted pink. He smiled at her tsundere nature and wrapped an arm around her, catching her off guard for a split second before she gave a faint smile of content.
"I know. You're important to me too…"
The two of them looked out to the setting sun that was changing the bluey skies to orange hues, a sense of tranquility resting over them.
The next day, in the later hours of the morning, Naruto walked through the streets and alleyways of Karakura Town with a set destination in mind. He just hoped that the place was open so that he wouldn't be forced to wait for their business hours to begin.
Walking down a longer stretch of alleyway, he saw a familiar shop getting closer and smiled. The two young preteens in front of the place were new to him, but he figured that they were just two more lost souls that his sensei had picked up.
Raising an arm in greeting, he caught their attention by calling out, "Good morning!"
The girl jumped a bit in surprise while the boy turned to him with annoyance on his face. "Yeah, what do you want?" he asked rudely.
"J-Jinta," began the girl with a slight stutter, "Tessai told us not to be rude to potential customers."
The boy, Jinta, scoffed at that. "Whatever… You need something, Whiskers?"
'Wow,' thought Naruto with sarcastic deadpan. 'That's original.' Outwardly, he never lost his smile as he replied, "Is Urahara-san in? If not him, then maybe Tsukabishi-san?"
Before the kids could answer, the sliding door of the shop opened, and a rather tall man with black hair, a moustache, and glasses stepped out. "Did someone call my name?" he asked before spotting the whisker-faced redhead. "…Naruto?" he asked in slight surprise.
Grinning, the young man raised his arm once more. "Yo, Tessai! How's it- ACK!" he greeted before he was engulfed in a, literal, bone-crushing embrace by the now emotional man.
"Oh, it's been ages since you last came by!" he exclaimed dramatically, throwing the kids for a loop as the whiskered redhead's back popped in several places. "Two years is far too long of a time between visits!"
"Yeah well," groaned out Naruto, ignoring the snickering that echoed in the back of his mind, "I was…busy with school…and stuff!"
To his relief, he was set down as the man rushed back inside, calling for Urahara. He took the time waiting to fix his ruffled clothes as his partner spoke up. "Still a strange one for a man of his caliber."
'Everyone has their own quirks once they reach a certain level of power, Kara-chan. He's emotional, Neko-nee is teasing, and you're bloodthirsty.'
"For the record, I was always bloodthirsty."
He smiled in amusement as a familiar sandy blonde walked out of the shop. "Well, look who decided to come back to town! Been a while since we had you drop by, Kurosaki-kun."
Naruto chuckled sheepishly. "Yeah, it has, sensei. It's good to see you and Tessai again, though." He looked over the man's shoulder curiously, but didn't get the chance to ask anything as the shopkeeper spoke up.
"She's not here at the moment; but she should be back within a week or so."
Raising a brow, the redheaded Kurosaki asked, "Personal concerns or your own curiosity?"
Urahara smiled and hid his face behind his fan. "Oh, a little bit of both," he answered vaguely. "Don't worry so much; she'll be fine."
"It's not Neko-nee that I worry about," shot back Naruto as the subject was dropped. "How's business?" he asked, discretely looking at the kids.
"Relax, they know all about our friends from the other side. It's why I offered them a place to stay. As for our friends, they're still quite common here, unfortunately. We occasionally get pest control, but that only stops the visits for however long they're in town."
"Damn," sighed out the redhead.
Tessai spoke up next. "On the bright side, they don't seem to be any more than the garden variety Hollows. Nothing too concerning."
"Garden variety or not, with my family being so spiritually aware, they're in danger of being targeted." Sighing again, he brushed a hand through his hair tiredly. "Looks like I'll be reconducting some business transactions with you, sensei."
Urahara flourished his fan over his face once more and laughed jovially. "Excellent! I was hoping to get some revenue soon!"
Naruto rolled his eyes, but couldn't stop himself from giving a small smile at his sensei's antics. "I just hope I haven't gotten too rusty over the past couple of years…"
There was a brief pause between the three men before they all laughed together, confusing Jinta and Ururu. The brunette turned to Jinta and asked, "Are all grownups odd?"
"Only the weird ones," he answered as he resumed sweeping, prompting Ururu to go back to her own chores.
The cool evening breeze felt great against his skin, brushing through his hair while his eyes were closed. A smile was on his face as he basked in the feeling, allowing a sense of nostalgia to overtake him as he embraced his natural element.
"And here I thought you were trying not to think of your old life," commented Karasuba. "Yet here you are, letting your guard down and thinking about the past."
'I can't help it when the breeze is just right. It's the ambiance taking over, y'know.'
"Ambiance, eh?" she asked back, her tone teasing. "Look at you using fancy vocabulary. Looks like college did you some good after all."
He rolled his eyes at her teasing, but he couldn't help the smile that was etched on his face. The mood, however, was ruined when he felt something dark nearby followed by the sound of an echoing screech. "Dammit," he sighed out, leaping off of the telephone pole he stood on and moving across the rooftops.
"Ooh! Some action after two years?"
'I doubt it'd be enough to sate you, Kara-chan,' he deadpanned, somehow knowing that it would make her pout.
Chuckling, he stopped on top of a late night café's roof, staring at the serpentine Hollow that was moving through the street, pushing some of the idle cars as it travelled and surprising many of the drivers at the sudden shifts their vehicles suffered. It was dark blue in color with a white mask that held bright red markings underneath the nostril slits. What made it unique in its own right was how its tail was split near the end, giving it three separate tips while the center one was sharpened like a pike.
Naruto shook his head at the sight as he held out his left hand, where a black feather floated out of before it flashed orange and became an ōdachi styled sword. The sheath was pitch black, the guard was circular, and the wrappings on the handle were a silvery gray. Attached to the end of the pommel was a small orange tassel that was half a foot long.
With his right hand, he pulled out the blade, which gave off a stunning silver sheen, while tossing away his sheath which dispersed in a small burst of black feathers. Wind picked up around him, distorting his image before his previous attire – an orange sweater, blue jeans, and black sneakers – had changed.
From his feet upwards, he wore waraji (straw sandals), white tabi socks, black hakama pants, an orange obi sash, a black kosode (robe), and an orange shitagi (undershirt). On his arms were light gray gloves that stretched to his elbows and left his fingers exposed. On the back of each glove was the same crow insignia that Karasuba had on her haori. (1)
He rolled his neck around two times, getting the kinks out of it as he got used to being "in uniform" for the first time in a long while. "Back in black, eh?" he joked aloud before he vanished in a blur, reappearing right in the middle of a four-way intersection that the Hollow was nearing. His right hand held the handle of his sword, resting the back of the blade against his shoulder as he smirked at the snake. "I'm sorry, but," he pointed his left hand upward, gesturing to the red light in front of the Hollow, "you don't have the right of way just yet."
The Hollow roared at him before it lunged, intending to take a rather large chomp into his body. His smirk remained as he vanished again, appearing on the pole that the traffic light was attached to. His smirk widened into a grin as he crouched and kicked off the pole, shooting upward by about twenty feet before he turned his body so his head was pointed downward. Kicking off the air as if it were solid, he shot down at the Hollow with the tip of his sword spearheading his dive.
"BANZAI!" he cried out in excitement, piercing the Hollow through the top of its head and through its throat, landing with a roll before he jumped away and resettled his sword on his shoulder. His grin was gone in place of a serious visage as he watched the Hollow writhe in pain before giving one last screech and fading away. His eyes closed and he bowed his head slightly as he whispered, "I hope you find peace…"
He kept his head bowed for a few moments longer before he leapt off, deciding to do a perimeter sweep of Karakura Town. Unknown to him, a rather petite woman wearing a uniform more formal than his witnessed the event from when he first appeared at the intersection. She had short black hair with a long bang that rested between her violet eyes, slightly paled skin, and a sword strapped to her white obi sash.
Frowning, she leapt off of her telephone pole perch and began to follow him, all the while thinking, 'Who was that Soul Reaper?'
1~ If someone is willing to draw this Naruto (remember he has red hair and brown eyes), I would GREATLY appreciate it and repay you in some manner!
And there we go! That's the first chapter of this story done!
Now, in case you aren't aware of who Karasuba is, she's from the Sekirei series and is #4; also known as the "Black Sekirei". I liked her character and thought, "Hey, why not make her into a Zanpakuto for Naruto?"
And so…I did! *grins*
Just pointing out now, she's the only character from Sekirei that I'm bringing into this story. As for Naruto characters – besides the series' namesake of course – I'm only going to add 1-3 more characters; and one of them was hinted in this opening chapter!
To clarify, Naruto is the eldest Kurosaki child; him being twenty years of age. Then we have Ichigo at fifteen years, Karin at eleven, and Yuzu at eleven as well (being younger than Karin by a few minutes). Naruto Kurosaki is the reincarnation of Uzumaki; and he's AWARE of it.
Now…the pairing. As promised, this is going to be a story where Naruto and Orihime end up together romantically. BUT, this will also be a small – I repeat, SMALL – harem with three women MAX. The second woman in the pairing is…Kara-chan. I like the idea of Naruto and Karasuba expanding their relationship as partners BEYOND the scope of that partnership.
As for the final girl…I have put up a poll on my profile for you all to help me decide! Five women are on it, only one can be the winner! Each voter will be allowed to pick up to two choices!
I look forward to seeing who the winner will be! Please don't forget to review! And also, don't forget to vote on my poll!
One last thing: Merry Christmas to everyone here on this wonderful website! I hope that you all have a safe and wonderful holiday and I'll see you all next year!