Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, obviously, nor do I own the obvious Jump art above. This story is for funsies, not for monetary gain.
Notes from Shapooda: All powers AU OP Ichigo - Obv this implies heavy spoilers if you still somehow haven't finished the manga. But since I'm not planning on going into the Sternritters, if his powers aren't spoilers to you, then go right ahead and read it. I'm planning on a mashup of his final powers and his powers as he fought Aizen. This is a non-Mugetsu AU, as in, he never used it, and never lost his powers.
"Italics" are always taking place in a mindscape. "Bold" is for Shiro, who will always be referred to as Zangetsu. His quincy power will be referred to as Zangetsu-no-ossan, or Ossan. When in bankai obviously this will change to Tensa Zangetsu. I like his inner selves separate, so uh, they are separate, even if all powers Ichigo should have a merged Zangetsu. I like him accepting his powers but still having both, so uh….that's how it is.
Also, if I get something wrong, let me know. Even though I love Bleach, and I've read it over and over, and watched shit multiple times, let me know if I stray from canon. This first bit has been slow going from all the research I've been doing, and research cramps my style. That's my excuse. First Bleach fic, but I'm a long time fan. You might recognize tropes from other fanfic writers, and I won't lie and say I haven't taken inspiration, they're the real heroes *grovels*. Who would have known I got a kick out of time travel?
Edit: I'm having a hard time getting bolded words to actually show up bold, even though they're bold in the editor. Until I figure out a workaround, I'll underline Shiro's dialogue. Sorry for any confusion.
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An endless expanse of glittering white sand stretched under the sliver of the moon of Hueco Mundo, dark, sticky streaks on the dunes congealing like shadows. The scattered remains of a shattered Zanpakutou littered the blood streaked sand at Ichigo's feet. The fringes of his shihakusho swirled around him, settling after the shunpo that left him standing over the man he hated most in this world.
Blood glistened along the white edge of Tensa Zangetsu, cooling on the blade as Ichigo stared down at Aizen. His reiatsu fluttered in his chest, the Hogyoku gleaming where his heart should have been. The man laughed, the sound cut off by the blood in his throat. Teeth bloody, he smiled up at Ichigo in victory. "Now you understand, don't you, ryoka boy?"
Isolation. Loneliness. Power.
Ichigo didn't move, or otherwise react, watching the light fade from Aizen's eyes. He was dead, finally dead, and he could feel no joy. He gained this power to protect, but he had failed.
In the silence of Hueco Mundo, there was no sound but his own breath and the rush of blood in his ears. How sad, that he would find himself understanding the monster that had stolen everything from him. Was this the true price to pay for power? Aizen thought so.
He turned his attention inward.
"Did it not occur to you that Aizen is dead?"
He snapped, hardly in the mood for mind games. "He's definitely not alive."
"The Hogyoku has rejected him."
He stiffened in understanding. The Hogyoku had rejected its master, it had rejected Aizen. Which meant the Hogyoku had chosen a new master, and he was the only living soul for miles and miles.
He looked down at the small jewel in fear and understanding. The pale light reflected off its surface suddenly seemed dark, sinister.
Aizen should have been near invincible, but halfway through their fight, he'd stopped regenerating. He could pat himself on the back and say it was because his power was superior, but was that actually what had happened? He didn't think so.
He crouched by the body, Aizen's unseeing eyes making him nervous. He reached for the Hogyoku and hesitated, his fingers lingering just a hair's breadth away from the surface. He could feel the Zanpakutou and quincy spirits within him tense just as he did. Even touching the rock could change everything, couldn't it?
From the bottom of his heart, he wanted to see his friends again. To see them laugh, smile without the burden of the war weighing them down. His mindscape was achingly silent. This was his decision.
His fingers made contact with the stone, warm despite the chill in the desert, and the darkness of Hueco Mundo exploded with light and his deepest desire.
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Actual chapter coming later today (06-24-17), but here's the prelude to it. I'm nitpicking the actual chapter now, and deciding if it's too long to be one chapter or not.
Review? I like to hear ideas, I'm not opposed to pairings, I just can't decide on any as it is. If I make it that far there might be some mxm and mxf and possibly fxf, I'm just warning you now.