Edit: I fixed some minor errors, rewrote the intro a bit and changed the style to fit the later chapters.
AN: Before we begin I'm going to just outright say I'm not going to try and plan this out as I did in my other story. It didn't turn out well for me. I'm going to just write and write while sticking with an overall goal to see if that does better for me.
Strange Dreams and an Echoing Scream
"I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear before I tell you my story. I had no idea what picking that thing up would do. I didn't plan for anything to happen and I damn sure didn't want to do any of this."
"Looking back onto the things I've done in my life I can't really say that-"
"We get it Ryoka! This is supposed to be an interrogation, not your fucking life story!"
"Oh, come on at least let me-"
"Do you wanna go back to the Nest?"
"I guess the best place to start would be when I saw one Ichigo Kurosaki get stabbed through the chest with a sword."
"Come on Keigo. You can't tell me you believe that crap!" I said while heading home from school.
To my right, a young brown-haired teen wearing a Kara-Kura High-school uniform with its collar flipped up stared right back at me then said "Come on Al you gotta go with me! Please? Ichigo won't go because he thinks it's stupid and..." a skittish look came over his face " The girls won't go with me because, you know."
"What? That you're an incorrigible perv?"
As we continued bickering back and forth about how Don Kanoji was coming to town soon we reached the street corner near my house right next to the Kurosaki Clinic. At the edge of the street, three young kids wearing black and with piercings galore were trying to do tricks on a skateboard and failing, completely.
Not really paying much attention to it I kept walking with Keigo as he kept trying, again and again, to get me to come to that stupid live show.
"For the last time I'm not going Keigo; ghosts don't exist! I don't want to spend my pocket money to go watch some sham tell me about what happens after death for an hour."
As I said this one of the kids fumbled his board while trying to do a kick-flip. He fell back flat on his ass and knocked over what looked like a small vase with a little yellow flower.
By this time Keigo and I were almost at the end of our little walk when from behind the three kids came a familiar pissed off face.
"What the hell do you three think your doing!?" yelled an irate orange-haired teen from behind them.
Ichigo came forward and raised his voice again, "I asked what in the hell do you three think you're doing?!" looking more and more pissed off by the second.
Maybe it's about time for us to clear out of here I thought.
I looked to Keigo and said, "I think we better clear out of here before we get caught up in some of his shit again."
Keigo looked down the street and said "Yeah, it's not worth the risk. Berry-Head can handle himself."
As we both started to clear out Ichigo leaned forward and grabbed two of the kids by their heads and slammed them together. As I was about to go around the corner I saw what looked like the outline of a little girl start to fade in behind Ichigo.
A little bit stunned I rubbed my eyes and looked again as Ichigo bent forward and yelled out to the three teens "Apologize!"
One of the braver kids looked perturbed and said "T-to Who?"
Berry-Head seemed just about ready to finally blow his top then said "To the girl!" as he pointed to the outline behind him.
I rubbed my eyes again and the outline seemed to finally come into shape as I saw a young girl with brown hair and pigtails standing next to the telephone pole behind Ichigo.
In cold disbelief, I thought What. What in the hell.
The two kids that had their heads knocked together finally stood up and with the other kid bowed their heads towards Ichigo.
They immediately turned tail and ran carrying their boards with them.
Ichigo let out a puff of hot air and turned back to the little girl. After quickly saying something I couldn't catch he picked up the small vase and put the flower back in it.
After he finally calmed down a bit he finally seemed to notice me as he said: "Hey, Aldwin what are you doing here?"
I looked at him for a bit then let my lips turn into a smirk and said "Eh, nothing much. Just watching the show."
Well, let's figure out who the little one is I guess.
I walked to the two and said "So who's the kid?" While giving a small nod to her.
A brief look of shock came over Ichigo's face followed by him quickly locking it down then saying "Y-You can see her?"
I responded with "Yep." letting out a small pop on the p.
"She's standing right there isn't she?"
All of the sudden the little girl's face lit up as she walked forward and said "Thanks Mr." to Ichigo.
Ichigo looked back to her and said "Don't worry about it."
He shook his head for a second then said to me "I don't know the best way to go about this, but she's a..."
Interrupting him was the loudest screech I've ever heard. A small still primate part of my brain thought predator as an almost numbing feeling came over me.
My eyes tightened a little bit and I said aloud "What was that?"
The little girl's eyes went as wide like a rabbit as she ran down a small alleyway as fast as her feet could carry her. Ichigo looked around as his eyes turned to pin dots. Personally, I decided it was time for me to get out of here before whatever the hell that was came knocking.
I turned to my house right down the street as Ichigo looked to me and opened his mouth. He looked like he wanted to say something, but decided against it.
I quickened my pace then looked over my shoulder one last time and said "Well, I guess I'll see you at school tomorrow."
After coming into my house I passed by my mother who saw the look on my face.
"Is there something wrong honey?" She said with a faux smile on her face.
I've always hated this woman. Every single day since Dad disappeared it's been like this. I can't stand it. She's already given up.
I looked at her as a minute amount of disgust came over me and said "Nothing, Mom. Nothing at all."
She looked at me for a moment then the normal look of complete apathy for everything around her came back as she turned her phone back on.
Why'd he have to leave I thought with a sigh as I hurried up the stairwell to my room. The door handle went down with its signature squeak as it opened. My water-bound companion throughout all these years, Bubbles the Oscar (AN: It's a type of long-lived fish.) looked back at me from his fairly large tank.
I put down my bag and started to change out of my school clothes then thought Eh, who cares? I don't have anything left to do tonight anyway. I stopped undressing and walked over to my fish tank. Bubbles started swimming to the top of the tank as I approached then started bobbing up and down with anticipation.
After a few seconds of rummaging around my desk, I grabbed a small container labeled Tropical fish Food and unscrewed the cap. Bubbles seemed even more hyper as I brought out the small container of fish food.
After undoing a small latch on the top of the tank I pulled out a small pinch of the flakes and threw them into the tank. Bubbles immediately went to the surface and started jumping up into the air slightly as he ate the flakes with increased vigor.
I put the latch back down and thought to myself Well there's my one good deed for the day.
I laid onto my twin-sized bed and said aloud "What are you gonna do now Aldrin? You got nothing to do and a few hours to kill."
A small buzz ran along my thigh as a loud ding played. I jumped a little bit then pulled out my flip-phone. After opening the small red device I saw the text Received from Keigo.
Hey man, you home yet?
Yeah. Do you need something? Or it still about that Kanoji bull?
Hey man, you know that guy's great! You just don't vibe with the Kanoji style. Bwahaha! But seriously though. Did you see what happened when I left? Ichigo was looking pretty pissed and I saw you stayed behind.
It wasn't much just the usual Ichigo stuff. A lot of testosterone and him busting heads. He was mad because those kids knocked over some flowers.
Some flower? Huh, that's weird I guess. You know for who?
After thinking back to it I thought I think it was for that girl, but...
I don't know man. Maybe a car accident or one of his dad's patients?
Yeah, still pretty weird though. Even for Ichigo. But are you still on the fence for some Don Kanoji action?
God Dammit Keigo I thought with a sigh.
At this point, the conversation just lead to a debate between me and Keigo's belief on whether or not Don Kanoji was a liar. After a few barbed responses from myself, Keigo pulled back from the conversation and me being me took that small victory.
After looking at the time I noticed that it was almost 7 O'clock. I debated something in my head for a bit then thought Well I gotta get up early for school anyway. Why not? Then I started trying to fall sleep.
After what seemed like a few hours I started to toss and turn in my sleep. A cold sweat started to drip from my brow. After a few more seconds I awoke to the unnatural screech again.
Huh? Whazzat? I thought a little groggily.
I brought my hands up and tried to rub a little bit of the sleep out of my eyes. I stood up again as I heard again a long growl that sounded like two dying animals screeching at once.
After debating it in my head for a moment I decided to actually get up. A few seconds of fumbling around in the dark later my bright phone screen lit up my room. 11:45 P.M. It read.
I laid back down and tried to go back to sleep to no avail. The unending roars and screeching seemed to only be getting louder and louder.
What in the hell is going on out there? Did a lion escape from the zoo? I thought while trying to rationalize the noise.
After a few more seconds I stood up and decided to take a peek out of my window. Reaching for the curtains I pulled it back to see what was making so much noise in the street. Later I would see this as a defining moment in my life.
In the middle of the street there stood a creature. The sweat on my brow continued to increase. It was the size of a small elephant. Its long spindly limbs bent were as black as the night sky and bent in angles no creature should be able to survive. As I stood in feeble-minded horror the thing let out a loud sniff followed by a low growl before it turned to my direction.
W-What is...how...am I still asleep?
The creature's face, if you could call it that, was covered by a chilling bone-white mask. The mask had comically oversized teeth with a pair of razor-sharp incisors. It let out another small roar Groooooaa!
That small primate part of my brain from earlier today seemed to scream predator as I quickly let down my curtain. Unfortunately for me, however, the creature seemed to notice this. It immediately stopped it's unnatural moaning and groaning as large pounding footsteps seemed to dash to my window.
The hair in the back of my neck stood up as my fish Bubbles swam behind a rock in his tank seemingly trying to hide. Frozen in fear I looked to my window. Through my beige curtains, two glowing yellow dots glared back at me.
Instantly a large shadowy hand pushed through my window shattering it.
Fight or Flight? Oh hell, who am I kidding? FLIGHT!
I turned around as fast as my body could carry me, meanwhile, the menacing creatures mask cracked a huge smile and opened its mouth.
"Another lovely for me tonight?" came from the thing.
It lunged forward with supernatural speed and grabbed me before I could even make it a foot towards the door. It's slim yet unbelievably strong arms hoisted me into the air as it said "So many snacks, so little time."
The only coherent thoughts coming from me at the time seemed to be me repeating Shit. Shit! SHIT! In my mind, and the rapid pumping of my heart as adrenaline coursed through my veins.
Gotta move. Gonna Die. I have to do something!
It raised me forward towards it's dripping maw with one hand as I started to struggle more and more. Less than a second from the creature's salivating mouth I freed one arm and with all of my remaining strength, I threw a punch at the thing's large yellow eye.
Surprisingly enough it worked. The mask itself seemed to be fairly brittle as my fist went straight through it. Or maybe just it's eyes? I thought. The thing's grip tightened on me as it let out a roar of pain "GRAHH!"
I pulled out my fist from it's freshly pulped socket and felt something warm on my hand. Blood. My blood, and lots of it. I bit my lip "Goddammit!"
The things mask left sharp bone fragments all over my hand. Warm blood started to trickle down my hand more and more.
The creature seemed to be drawn out of its daze with the scent of fresh blood as it stopped shaking its head back and forth to look at me. It squeezed me tight enough that I felt a few pops from my chest.
Fuck that's gonna hurt in the morning.
Going with comedy as my outlet for life-threatening situations I said "Well, hey at least you got a career as a pirate ahead of ya!"
Suffice to say the thing did not seem amused. The black muscles on its arms tightened as it turned to the street and flung me through the air directly at the Kurosaki Clinic. I went face-first through the Clinic's front door bursting it open in a shower of wood-chips and my blood.
Fucking had to go with a pirate joke didn't ya Al?
I landed on top of a small kitchen table breaking the legs under my weight as I felt more blood start to seep through the back of my shirt and down my face.
"This day just keeps getting better and better!" I screamed at the top of my lungs.
From up a small stairwell, I heard some light talking as a small girl with short brown hair come down the stairs. Her eyes seemed to lose all semblance of their sleepiness as she stared at me and the approaching abomination in horror. She then promptly let out a high pitched shriek and ran away.
From upstairs I heard a girl yell "You won't be able to do anything just stay up here!"
I saw a tuft of telltale orange hair as a male responded with "I have to get down there and help my sister!"
I looked up as a girl standing in the hallway at the top of the stairs wearing black robes and holding a sword by her side. She was fairly short and had short black hair with light purple eyes. She drew her sword before pointing her index finger and middle finger at Ichigo then saying aloud "Bakudo number One. Sai!"
Ichigo fell forward as his hands arced behind his back. They seemed to be held together by some otherworldly force. After falling flat on his face Ichigo exclaimed "Goddammit Midget get back here!" as the woman ran down the stairs.
Just as she reached the bottom of the stairs the thing from before pushed itself through the entrance of the Clinic. I quickly stood up as a fresh wave of adrenaline coursed through me. Ichigo seemed to be struggling against his invisible bonds as he stood up and ran down the stairs letting out a yell.
The girl looked behind her for a second and seemed to be dumbfounded at what Ichigo was doing before she raised her pale sword brought it down in an arc in front of her. The creature's arm was struck, but regrettably, she didn't put enough strength behind it to cut all of the way through.
Viscous black blood spurted through the wound as the creature jumped back and let out a double-voiced cry. Ichigo let out a blue aura as he shouted yet again and tried to pull his arms out from behind his bonds. The girl jumped back towards us and said "Ichigo you Idiot! Stop it. You're only going to hurt yourself!"
Ichigo being the impulsive person he was ignored, her warning and continued to struggle. After a few short seconds, Ichigo succeeded and with another loud howl; he picked up a blue foldable chair. He held the chair overhead then charged the creature.
The girl let out a small scoff and said: "Damnable idiot, You can't kill a hollow with a chair!"
I started to pull myself further back then thought to myself Hollow huh? That's what these things are called? How in the hell is it supposed to be hollow?
The girl ran forward again as Ichigo finally reached the doorway where the hollow was standing. He brought down the chair over its head as the girl who ran before cowered in the corner. The hollow shrugged off the blows and swiped at Ichigo with its freehand. This sent him flying over to the side of the Clinic and out it's broken door.
The girl stepped forward as blue energy rose from the soles of her feet then she suddenly disappeared. She reappeared directly in front of Ichigo in a flash, just in the nick of time too. The hollow had bounded forward seconds before and had almost struck Ichigo.
The girl was caught in the creature's mouth with her sword pushed between two of its teeth. I noticed more black blood gush forth from the monster's teeth. She pulled her sword back and with a graceful twirl, one of the hollow's over-sized teeth fell from its mouth onto the road.
Immediately the blood-soaked tooth started to disintegrate into black particles. Ichigo's eyes widened as he screamed "Rukai No!" Rukia was bleeding profusely from her right shoulder. With a small pomf she fell backward on the street while leaning up against the wall. (AN: A lot of streets/alleyways in Japanese suburbs have walls on the edges)
Her pale sword sat in her hand as Ichigo ran to her. Meanwhile, the hollow was hitting its head on the ground while letting out loud cries.
I think it's about time for me to get out of here.
I started to sprint out of the Clinic's battered door trying to make as little noise as possible. I made it past the beast with no trouble as it continued to moan and groan about its recent dental work. Almost out of here. I thought.
In the back of my head, I heard a raspy voice Will you run from everything in your life?
Will you run from everything in your life?
Who the hell are you? Oh, great. This is just fucking great. I almost died and now I'm delusional. Fuck my life!
I took another step away from the scene. Is this all we'll amount to? A bystander? Nothing? No one?
Behind me, Ichigo and Rukia seemed to be hurriedly talking about something as she pulled her sword forward and...stabbed him?
You know what? I don't care. If it keeps me alive and well I don't care what happens.
So that's it then? Will you do nothing again? Will you sit there and watch, again?
Getting more and more frustrated with this inner enigma I said aloud "What the hell do you mean, again? I've done everything I have had to do in my life!"
I felt like the voice seemed disappointed as some images suddenly appeared at the forefront of my mind.
A child with red hair. Red marks on her arms. Kids laughing.
A cat on the street meowing from a box.
Flashes of conversations I've avoided. Pain, Family, and suffering.
A lightly bearded man. An argument. The last smile I'd ever see.
"S-Stop it!" I yelled while putting my hand to my head. "What do you expect me to even do? I don't have a sword, or whatever the hell superpowers short, pale, and dying has over there!"
You don't need them.
"That Rukia chick has superpowers! What do you expect me to do when she lost?!" I yelled again as the pounding in my head started to pull into a crescendo.
Follow your instincts.
I felt my headache start to lessen as more images flashed through my mind.
A hand. My hand.
The images panned out into the third person.
A slowly moving image of me running with my hand out and grabbing the creature.
Red Lightening arcing from my hand to the hollow.
It roaring in pain as a bright light flash from where Ichigo knelt.
"That-That's not possible. I-I can't." I said quietly.
You can and so much more. Take it. Power. It's in your blood. It's your birthright!
"What do you mean?!" I exclaimed once again.
Do it, or die. Will you sit by again as you're bound by chains? There will be no peace in your life.
The voice seemed to be getting louder and louder. Gain Strength.
Gain Power! BE VICTORIOUS! BREAK YOUR CHAINS!
I turned around. Around my body and outline began to appear. Standing over my shoulder was a tall figure with striking red eyes behind a white mask. Black robes flowed over its body, and death followed with it.
The hollow stopped struggling with its half-broken mask as black particles ran up the broken tooth regenerating it completely. I ran forward faster than I've ever moved before in my life stretching out my right hand to the creature's shoulder. For a second I thought nothing would happen.
I felt that same energy travel from around my body up into my arm. It felt easy, almost like riding a bike again after not doing it for a while. It felt like I've known how to do this my whole life. Abruptly, the pleasant feeling ran into the tips of my fingers.
A smile came over my face as I forced it out. Red Lightning burst forth from my fingertips along the hollow's back and shoulder. Immediately, it let out a deafening cry of pain as it hunched over slightly, and it started to convulse.
In front of me and the hollow, Ichigo fell to the side as a large explosion of light burst forth illuminating the area and momentarily blinding me. After a few scarce seconds, the light cleared to show Ichigo standing straight up wearing the same black robes as Rukia while holding a ridiculously sized katana in one hand.
He gave off a small smirk then looked at me and the hollow. A small amount of surprise came over his face as he looked at what I'd done. This was immediately followed by him leaping forward with a large arcing slash bringing his katana down the middle of the hollow's mask, splitting it in two.
The hollow let out one final death throe before it fell to the ground, already starting to disintegrate. Rukia sat behind Ichigo wearing a completely white robe, while Ichigo swung the black blood off his comically large sword.
I felt the energy in my hand fizzle out and die with a few short crackles as my vision started to blur. The black particles from the deceased hollow seemed to be drawn towards me in small amounts. When they finally reached my body I heard the voice in the back of my mind start talking again. It's been so long. To long! It cried.
I felt something then. Almost like a hunger in the back of my mind that I've never noticed got satisfied. It felt so...so right, and for a few seconds, all was right in the world. I did not know it at the time, but the wounds on my body started to gradually improve, as the black particles flowed into my body.
Ichigo didn't seem to notice anything and turned to go care for Rukia. However, Rukia looked on it muted horror then said, "But-but the purified souls aren't supposed to...how?"
Need more. I always need MORE! The voice cried as a feeling of something missing came back into my mind.
The headache started to come back some as the voice kept rambling on about needed more Reishi, whatever the hell that is. Abruptly, I fell to my knees as my actions that night started to catch up to me. Black dots started to appear in my vision. The last thing I saw before I blacked out was a tall lean man with blonde hair and a bucket hat say "Interesting." while standing a few buildings away.
AN: Alrighty then. A few things I want to know from you guys. What'd you guys think? Good? Bad? Tell me why in a review and I'll do my best to respond. If you find any spelling or grammar errors point it our and I'll fix them.
Other than that tell me if you guys have any ideas on what you want to see happen in this story, or if you think up some OCs that you want to include tell me about them and I'll try to include them.
Alright, one last thing before we go into minor/heavy spoiler territory. What do you guys think about having in romance at all in this story? I'm not going to do anything heavy, but I've thought about doing Al x Sui Feng or Al x Rukia as they would fit best for his personality/character.
If you haven't already figured it out from the story's picture and the "voice" in Al's head I'm going to have Al's Zanpokto spirit be based on Darth Nihilious. I'm not going to go into anything too specific here, but you should look him up he's pretty cool.
The next chapter should be up fairly soon 2-3 days mattering on how much time I have.
Last-minute comment before I post the editor I used to post this chapter removed all of my indents, italics, bold, and underlines so if anything looks weird dialogue wise tell me and I'll try to fix it. I don't know what happened to it. When I pulled it over from my document software all of them were gone so I had to reput them in.