Sorry it took so long to updated. I just, really didn't like this chapter for some reason? It took a long time to finally finish writing it. Anyway, I hope you all are safe and okay during these times!
To answer the question: Will include the revelation that the true Zangetsu Is the inner hollow & Will Karin be a Hybrid of everything like her Brother?
Yes at some point I would like to include the true Zangestu, but I only briefly read the end of Bleach. I know important events & whatnot (and who Ichigo ended up with - madness) but regardless I will include Manga-like elements. I still haven't decided how the captain line up will be? Probably just left as it was at the end of the anime. As for Karin being a hybrid I honestly don't know. As of right now I still haven't really decided what her Zanpakuto will be like - suggestions welcome! I have been playing with the old idea I used to have in my previous fanfic of her Phoenix but I really don't know. The whole fire & ice thing is done quite a lot with her and Toshiro and I didn't want this to be centered around romance like my last fanfic. We will see.
Rubbing her temples, Karin Kurosaki wonders if it's even possible for dead people to get headaches. It certainly feels like it is. The influx of new information about her father's past, secret double life makes her swirl as she shuts her eyelids tighter only wishing herself into oblivion.
This has got to be a dream. A really bad dream.
It occurs to her that her father is almost, sort of like James Bond. Aside from being a spy. Although, he could be a spy...
Opening her eyes to face the very-real nightmare in front of her and squinting her eyes at her father, she's almost absolutely certain that this man is incapable of leading a division of any sort.
"Just- Just so I have this straight," she finally manages, still squinting dubiously, "You-" with an accusing finger, "were Toshiro's captain!" Swinging her finger to Toshiro's face. He quickly swats her finger away in annoyance, but decides against interrupting his former tachio's life changing revolutionary tale to his daughters. Without missing a beat Karin continues, "And mom was a Quincy. Who you knew for two minutes. Who you then, gave up your entire life for."
The protege of the former tenth squad captain sits with an obscure look on his face. Never, did he think, that Ichigo Kurosaki could possibly have any relation to his former captain, but now sitting in place with all the puzzle pieces falling into place it explains everything. It's almost ridiculous at how much remarkable sense it makes. The sheer strength and raw power of Kurosaki Ichigo shook the very foundation of Soul Society. The chances of that happening to a simple human? The chances of that happening to the son of a Shinigami captain and Quincy? Another thread in Aizen's intricately woven betrayal. Isshin Kurosaki leaving them? Just another Aizen ploy.
The sudden absence of their captain had been hard on the squad back in the day, but the enlightenment of why now seemed to give rest that single question Toshiro had speculated for decades. Giving it all up for a human girl, Isshin was definitely that type of man. Sacrificing oneself in battle for a human is far different than sacrificing oneself's entire life for a human. Hitsugaya ponders if he'd done the same in his shoes, leaving behind his squad mates, Hinamori, his grandma. Probably not.
Nodding along to Karin's recount to his life story, Isshin scratches his chin before crossing his arms with a reply. "Yep! That pretty much summarizes it!" He grins with a thumbs up.
"Don't make it sound so simple!" Karin yells, shoving her foot into his face. Dead or not, she's not putting up with her father's antics.
Once more, Isshin drops the circus act for the second time in a single day, which Karin truly believes to be a sign of the end times. "But Karin. It is that simple." His somber expression continues to sober her up as she blinks furiously. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry.
Yuzu's already at it again, blubbering as her father pulls her into a hug. Karin's the one who's dead, but strangely enough she's not even envious of Yuzu right now. If anything, she's almost grateful that it's her and not her twin.
Taking death in stride huh? Yeah, I wonder how that'll go when I'm living with the world's shadiest shop keeper.
"We've offered Karin a bed here in the meantime while we get this Soul Society situation straightened out." Yoriuchi finally pipes up. Isshin ponders this for a few moments, knitting his bushy brows together. Numerous questions circle around Karin's head as she visualizes the actual words spinning.
Will they even let me stay? Will they come for me? How do I leave Yuzu? How are we going to tell everyone I'm dead?
Finally feeling dizzy, she diminishes all the possibilities playing in her mind, leaving behind the worst case scenario in which she'd die. Again. She's dead, but she certainly still feels very much alive, although, there is something to be said about conversing with other, sort of dead people. Shinigami's. The whole mess is just confusing, leaving an empty hole of despair in her stomach that grows wider with each passing second. Turning to her father for more answers, and maybe a little reassurance, she notes that this is probably the first time in her life she's ever gotten a straightforward answer out of him.
"In any case, that they don't let her stay here then at the very least, I would think we would be able to visit her. Ichigo constantly goes up there. Given my prior standing before I left, and everything that Ichigo has done for them I don't see why we wouldn't. It certainly would take a lot of convincing to the Soutachio."
"I don't care! Yuzu won't be able to visit me will she!? She's not a Shinigami!" Karin counters, shooting down any option that leaves her twin behind. Her twin visibly flinches, and sinks her head even lower.
Her elder brother pulls a face before a visible light bulb dings off in his head and he turns to Urahara. "Hey, when we broke into Soul Society - remember that Senkamion with the spirit particle changer-whatever that we went through that allowed Orihime, Ishida and Chad?"
"The spirit particle conversion Senkamion," he swiftly corrected. After a brief pause, Urahara set down his tea with the wheels inside his head churning. "That Senkamion only lasts four minutes. Besides, do you really think the Captain Commander will allow that? A human soul that belongs to the world of the living. Not only that, but a human soul with no abilities or spiritual powers to protect herself. What if Soul Society were to come under attack whilst Yuzu was there?"
"That's bullshit! There's millions of souls up there that have no way to defend themselves either!" Ichigo slams his fist down, rattling the tea pot. Urahara quickly eyes the tea, before returning his calm gaze to the fiery shinigami. The first hand knowledge of the harsh streets of Rukongai only gave away just how virtually defenseless thousands of souls were in Soul Society.
Yuzu bites her lip and continues sinking her head in shame. If only she could defend herself, they wouldn't be in this mess. If only I weren't so weak. She balls her fists into her uniform, daring the tidal wave of looming emotions to completely overtake her right then and there. As if sensing this, her father puts his arms around her, and it takes every fiber of her being to not wreck havoc on everyone's ears with more wailing. How does Karin do this?
Hitsugaya sits calmly, drinking in everyone's arguments and counters and scratches his head out of mere frustration. What a mess. Karin is quite possibility the worst possible person that could've died, and Toshiro can't help but wonder if the universe just really likes to spite the Kurosaki's that much. Her stubbornness, hardheadedness will not go unnoticed if anything, being a fugitive from the other realm is really the last thing this town needs.
"In any case," he finally interrupts, while standing abruptly, "There's no harm in her staying here until we make our case with the Soutaicho. I don't want to give anyone any false hope but it's unlikely that she's going to be able to stay." Hearing those words threatens Karin's tall jenga tower of emotions and she simmers down in almost defeat. How can she protect Yuzu from another world? How can she protect herself?
She meets his icy-stare, and knows that he doesn't say it to hurt her. His bluntness is just as apart of him as her stubbornness is. It's almost refreshing, she thinks. Having someone being honest about the reality of the whole situation even if he doesn't understand her reality of the situation. Truth be told, she's not backing down from this fight, and her reality is that she is not, under any circumstances leaving her sister especially with the two idiots they live with.
"Toshiro, I appreciate the honesty of the reality of what the soutaicho will decide. But I'm not leaving Yuzu. It's final," she finally challenges and his eyebrows give a swift rise, he's only taken aback a little. Her stubbornness is nothing new to him, but her resolve is. Ichigo can't help but straighten his back a little higher, a proud smile twitching on his face. Isshin chuckles, "That's my girl!"
Urahara claps his hands, breaking the heavy fog of the serious atmosphere, "Alright! It's settled then, Hitsugaya-tachio will go to Soul Society to fight for Karin-chan's behalf while we rally behind her! Why, how heavy my heart lies for the trials of Kurosaki, it's almost like a shojo anime." Instantly peeved, Karin turns back to Urahara with an accusing glare and resists the urge to throw a punch at his very, punch-able face. "Is my death a joke to you!?" She snapped, wondering just how soon training would come so she could proceed to kick his ass.
"I would never joke about something so horrendous Kurosaki!"
Matsumoto clears her throat and pushes herself off the wall she's been propped up against for the past half hour. Eyeing her former captain, she finally gets the chance to ask her own question she'd been harboring for years. "Say taicho, you didn't do all of this to skip on the paper work did you?" she inquires accusingly while waggling her finger.
"Matsumoto, you really think I'd do that to you?! My beloved squad," he cries out, grabbing her hand.
"Don't you lie to me!" She indignantly squalls, grabbing him by the clutches of his shihakusho. Turning a pretty shade of red, Isshin presses his palm against his jaw and murmurs, "Oh Matsumoto, I didn't know we were going to get close like this!" He gives a few flutters of his eyelids to perfect the school-girl crush look. It doesn't take long for the lieutenant's hand to connect to his jaw with a piercing slap. "The amount of paperwork you left us!" comes the infamous wail.
Sitting deadpan, Karin turns to Toshiro with a repugnant gaze, "How did you stand these two?" Karin can already tell by the grinding of her soccer friend's teeth that he's had more than enough of this reunion. "The tenth used to be very... loud," he finally exhales.
"I'll say," Karin mutters thinking about the two larger than life personalities. The tenth must've been a circus all the time.
"The paperwork!? I'm sure good ol' short stuff did it!" Isshin defends himself rubbing his cheeks. Here is where Karin can visibly possibly the largest vein ever in a forehead pulse to life. Being no stranger to bursting Toshiro's bubble, she can't help but grin just a bit. Torn between wanting to feel sorry for him and no doubt the pain he'd endured for centuries being under those two tyrants, but also wanting to see how far they could push his buttons.
"You know what I did do the paperwork! ALL of it! Do you know how much paperwork you left behind!? It took months, literal months!"
Giving a cheeky thumbs-up is nearly what pushes him over the edge. "Proud of ya shortie!"
"I have grown TALLER! I have surpassed you," Toshiro seethes through his teeth. Years, it's been years since he's seen his captain and he's still pulling the same old shenanigans. The Kurosaki's lives must have been a nightmare.
The sound of crisp clapping jolts everyone away from the long over-due reunion. "Hate to be a party-pooper but the sooner we make our case with the Soutaicho - the better," Urahara murmurs calling attention to the weighty matter at their hands. With her attention jerked away from the visions of Toshiro's sardonic days at the hands of her father, Karin purses her lips into a thin line. With the gears turning in her head, she knows it's high improbable that the Soutaicho will allow any exemption for her to stay her. It's unfair really, how many ghosts does she know that are hanging around waiting for years just to end up as a hollow?
Soul Society is anything but fair.
"What if we use Karin as bait?" Jolting towards Toshiro, her face contorts into a bewildered expression as she repeats back, "Bait?"
"It's rather pragmatic that the Soutaicho will allow you to stay just to stay, especially given your family history. Kakura town is a high-activity town already because of the spiritual pressure from various people such as your brother and his friends. We can already guess that you will have a huge amount spiritual pressure."
"If it's a high-activity town then is there really any harm in my staying here? It's not as if hollows don't already attack on a frequent basis," Karin points out, trying to figure out where he's going with this. "The espada that attacked you - we have no idea if they're linked to Aizen or not. But we do know they waited until Ichigo was gone to strike so we can probably safely assume they've been watching you for some time and that their next target is Yuzu since they failed." Ichigo shifts uneasily next to Karin with a look of apprehension. He already doesn't like where the puzzle pieces are falling. Urahara leans back, already picking up a sense in where Hitsugaya is heading with his plan.
Yuzu gives the barest hint of a strangled sob as she continues fighting her crying again. All of this is my fault.
"I doubt that their intentions were simply to kill you both just for fun, so you are still a target too. It's likely they'll attack again. By using you as bait we can lure them in and allow you to stay in Kakura town. The chances of them out-right launching an attack on Soul Society is unlikely, so we don't know if they would come after you there. If we convince the Soutaicho to station a squad of shinigamis in town, then being bait shouldn't be a problem," Toshiro finishes with his thumb resting on his chin. Silence fills the air with everyone still digesting this new plan.
Ichigo is the first to speak up, against it of course. "Absolutely not. How is either of them going to be bait when they can't protect themselves? What if the espada attacks while we're gone again? What then?" Karin chews on the inside of her cheek with a pensive look. It's not a bad plan.
In all likelihood, Yuzu is going to be a target regardless of either or not Karin chooses to be bait. This way, Karin can stay close to her and protect her. "Hold on Ich-nii. This is the best plan all things considered. If me and Yuzu are just targets anyway, but this way we aren't just scrambling in the dark. Urahara already said he'd train me."
"Lot of good that did me," Ichigo snorts cynically with his arms crossed. "Kurosaki, you continue to hurt me. Fear not, I think Hitsugaya-taicho is onto something. Realistically I believe this is the only shot we have of convincing him to allow Karin to stay."
Isshin strokes his chin thoughtfully, and nods in agreement. Overall, at least this way both of his daughters are protected somewhat. Yuzu rubs her hands on her nose before declaring her approval of the plan. Her twin gives her a hand squeeze to comfort her, knowing that they're both in this together.
"I suppose that settles it. Let's head out Matsumoto," Hitsugaya turns as his lieutenant jumps to her feet. Turning towards her former captain with a wistful look, "It was, really nice to see you again Tachio," Matsumoto murmurs softly with a new appreciation for her former captain. The new revelation of the disappearance of her captain quelled her mind as she no longer had to wonder why.
"Yeah, you too. Both of you," Isshin smiled back twinkly.
Karin's gaze falls on her shinigami friend and she almost wants to wave goodbye for the comedic affect. Do people wave goodbye when they're stepping into portals for other dimensions to other realms that may or may not want to kill you? "Hope I don't see you on the other side Kurosaki," Toshiro remarks before stepping into the Senkamion. "Yeah I'll try not to die again!" Karin yells after him, feeling the gravity of her situation weigh in the pit of her stomach as the gates close with her rescue squad inside.
Knowing there's much to discuss, she turns her gaze towards the people surrounding the table. Every single one of these people has now helped start the chain reaction of what could be her downfall or saving grace. To live under the wretches of Soul Society is unbearable, especially without Yuzu, but will staying bring her harm? Karin glares at her feet, allowing the train in her mind to crash with each new hypothetical question. Is she going to be cut off from the living world, doomed to watch her friends move on without her?
The soccer match...
With a small snort, barely enough to keep her from chortling even louder she glances at Yuzu's tear-ridden face once more to remind herself of the important details now. Dead and worried about Soccer. Glad to know I have my priorities in line.
Stepping out into the sun, Karin shields her eyes as she gazes towards the neighborhood around her. Although dead, she swears she can almost feel the sun's warmth on her face. Almost. Though it's probably her imagination she realizes as she gives a tug on her empty chain.
It feels... weird. Grimacing, she lets her hand fall to her side as she completes what it means to be dead. No more school, friends, no more soccer. Just her, destined to be a shinigami for an eternity? With a sigh, she thinks back to all the times she saw Ichigo take off in his shinigami uniform. For so long she wanted answers, and then she got some half-baked vague answers, and now she knows everything only because she's dead.
It's so unfair.
Hearing the door slide open behind her, she doesn't bother turning to see who it is. Shifting, she sees her twin out of the corner of her eye take a seat beside her and promptly looks down at her tear-ridden face. "Yuzu, are you going to be okay?"
"Karin- are you going to be okay? I mean," Yuzu balls up her fists as she stares her sister down with a crestfallen look, "You're the one that's died. And y-yet everyone is asking me if I'm okay." Karin kept help but feeling stung after she hears 'You're the one that's died' and she bites her lip while turning away unwilling to face her sister.
"Look Yuzu, it isn't a big deal. I've known about shinigamis for awhile now and Ichi-nii so it's like I'm, not dead really? I'm still here." Burrowing her face into her hands Yuzu lets out a pained groan. "Karin-chan please don't do this. Don't pretend everything is fine just for my sake. Being a shinigami still isn't the same, a-and I know you are still here but it's okay if you want to be mad about it. You don't need to act like it isn't my fault."
"Hey!" she snaps, jerking her head towards her self-inflecting guilty twin. "It is not your fault! Okay?! Sure I'm not the happiest camper in the world to be dead or- or to become a shinigami but Yuzu it's not your fault!" She reaches out and grabs her twin's wrist - forcing Yuzu to face her in the eye. "The only one to blame for all this bullshit, is the hollow that attacked us. Not you. Not me. Not anyone other than them."
Letting out a choked sob, Yuzu can only give a despondent look as she whispers out, "I'm sorry. If only I weren't so weak-"
"Yuzu," Karin cuts off. "There is nothing either of us could have done. That was an espada, one of the highest ranking hollows. I'm still here. And I'm not going anywhere, alright?"
Weakly nodding her head, her sister pulls her into a side-hug and contemplates how she's gonna enact her vengeance on the hollow.
Sorry this chapter is a little short, I just have a hard time liking it. Any suggestions welcome!