Okay, I got enough reviews asking for a sequel, that I'm actually going to write one. This takes place 5 years after Ichigo ran away to Hueco Mundo, leaving many shocked people behind him with his decision. Surprisingly enough, only one or two readers seemed to correctly guess where I threw Ichigo at the end of the story; I thought it was kinda obvious. Well, let's hope this turns out at least half as good as "Liaison".
and there probably won't be that much romance in the story... yet.
Depends if I can fit it in here somewhere.
-starts rummaging through plotline-
Warning: Lots a twists and turns in this story. Possibly more dying of the characters. Most likely there will be OOCs.
Disclaimer: I still don't own Bleach, or its characters.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - -
The slim crescent moon rose (A/N: not the flower... xD) over a high white sand dunes. It was night, once again in the cold desolate realm of the hollow. However, off in the distance was a group of beings, two with broken masks, one without one, and the rest were beastly creatures with the body of something that looked like a monster. Each of the hollows held a different and unique shape, kind of like the concept of a snowflake; while the other three held human forms, each with a sword on their hips.
"Hollows, we have taken you from where you called 'home', and we don't intend on letting you leave. We have a bigger plan, one that involves the defeat of the living. If you choose to side with our worthy cause, you will remain in existence. However..." a human form said and trailed off, his green eyes holding only the appearance of indifference.
"However, if you decide to leave, we won't hesitate to kill you all very slowly. Now pick you pointless excuse for hollows!" a teal haired human form finished. His voice filled with blood-lust and enthusiasm.
There was a mumble from the gathered group of about twenty, each talking to themselves, no one else. The first speaker turned to the second, before reprimanding him.
"Grimmjaw, we didn't come here to slake your blood-lust. Now remain quiet for the rest of this."
"Shut your trap, Ulquoirra. I didn't come back with you to be controlled by you."
"Now Grimmjaw, such language isn't appreciated." said the figure behind both of the remaining Espada.
Grimmjaw growled, and Ulquoirra simply nodded his head. The brown haired man slowly walked over, and stopped infront of his underlings.
"Hollows, your attention!" the man practically yelled, which did in-fact quiet the others. "Join me, and your pain will be gone, your loneliness will vanish, your hunger will dwindle, your pain will leave. I can indeed promise these things which would calm your soul. However, if you refuse to join me, you will not leave here alive."
More mumbling ensued after the leader seemed to get his point across.
"Aizen-sama, there is really no need for you to deal with these urchins." whispered Ulquoirra.
"That's okay. I don't want to end up standing here for days on end like our last gathering. This gets things done quicker."
The green eyed arrancar nodded his head in acknowledgment, while Grimmjaw had sat down, bored. All three of them watched as some hollows backed away from them, some stayed, and the small amount left took a few steps closer.
"Well, it seems none of you are going to run. That makes things easier for us." stated Aizen, more to himself than the crowd he faced. "Ulquoirra, follow from behind. I trust that if any try to run, you'll be able to have them change their minds." He then looked down at his teal-haired subordinate. "Grimmjaw, get off your ass, we're going back."
Aizen started walking away, towards the small part of his palace that hadn't been destroyed over the years. Grimmjaw got up to follow, walking a good 10 feet behind the brown haired man. The hollows came after, some a bit more hesitant than the others; and Ulquoirra bringing up the rear of the party.
- - - - -
Rukia looked up at the sky, the sunset painting the sky a color that reminded her of drying blood, red with a tint of darkness in it. Urahara's roof was her usual sitting place at that time of the day, she didn't know why though. She had left the Kurosaki household soon after Ichigo had vanished off the face of the earth. No one had seen him since his argument with Hitsugaya; his reiatsu, his presence, everything disappeared.
She remembered the conversation that they had had, soon after Ichigo's departure. It wasn't one of her more happier memories.
Hitsugaya kicked the shoji door open, and stormed into the shop. Urahara followed him, complaining about the young captain's rash act. On the other hand, Rukia had stood were she was, not moving for a few minutes before returning to the shop.
"I can't believe that fucking idiot! How dare he act that way toward me!"
"Hitsugaya-san, if you don't stop, my shop won't last the night."
The white-haired captain turned on the owner, Rukia just entering the shop. She ignored the two and climbed up the roof, and gently placed herself down. Hitsugaya's tirade could be heard from her spot, but she continued to ignore them as the sun went down.
A small amount of water started to well up in her eyes. Rukia had missed Ichigo, his obnoxious temper, his hidden kindness, just him in general. Most of the population who knew the "real" Ichigo missed him, but they were able to go on with their lives, as was she.
"Oi, Rukia... dinner!" yelled Kon from the ground.
The short shinigami looked down at the orange haired boy. His body was Ichigo's, Kon resided in it though. The konpaku pill had inhabited Ichigo's body since he had left. He had graduated from the high school, with a lot of tutoring from those who knew who he really was.
The teaching of the stubborn and perverted pill had taken a lot of time and patience for their group of spiritually strong friends to get him passing grades in the class. However, teaching Kon how to act like his host was a whole different matter. It took Kon a great deal of effort to not flirt with the girls, an even larger portion of will to keep him from molesting them in some way.
Ishida and Inoue were inside, sitting at Urahara's table when the pair entered the shop. They were married, had been for about 2 and a half years. Ishida was happy spending his time with his wife, but he was easily disappointed. The perky girl was still head-over-heals with the orange-haired shinigami hybrid. Their marriage wasn't that great, but the others were happy for them; even though their relationship always seemed to be a tense one.
Rukia sat down, next to the amber-haired girl. Kon had taken his usual place, across from both of the females present at the table. Tessai had brought out the food a little earlier, so everyone helped themselves. Jinta was pounding on Ururu's head when she went before him, which caused the normal uproar during dinner.
Most of them ate in silence, each thinking their own thoughts. Urahara was considering putting the two youngest people at the table in separate rooms, in order to spare his poor beaten shop. Kon was wondering how he could seduce either of the older girls into his room for the night, knowing full well he'd probably fail. Rukia was still depressed with the abandonment Ichigo caused, as was Inoue. Both women felt abandoned by the orange-haired boy they had grown to love. Ishida was wondering, once again, if keeping his wife his would be a good idea; when he realized that her heart lied with Ichigo, this idea never left him alone. Tessai was just focused on keeping the table and the things it held up in a reasonably neat fashion.
Chad, on the other hand, wasn't at the table with them. The tallest member of the group was in Mexico. He had moved there about three years ago, because of family issues. Chad hasn't been seen since, even though he does write from time to time.
After dinner, Inoue and Ishida walked home together, while the rest of the unique group stayed at the shop. Rukia went back up to the roof, Kon followed her, and the original 4 residents of the shop stayed inside.
"Why did you follow me, Kon?"
"You've been depressed since Ichigo left, I wanted to make sure you were okay."
It was apparent to many that Kon had mellowed out over the long five years, but he still had his perverted moments, earning him a good kick. The short shinigami couldn't help but smile weakly at the kaizu konpaku.
"Have I been that depressed?"
"Do you need to ask?"
"I guess not..." she trailed off, and looked up. Most of the stars were shining in the deep navy sky, one with a tint of red near the moon. Rukia stared at the tiny looking planet, forgetting that Kon was with her. Mars reminded her of the two people she lost during Kurotsuchi's need for knowledge about vaizards.
Soon after Ichigo left, Yamamoto had gone down the 12th division's throat about how his experiments caused this massive issue. He had forbidden the captain to do any more of this, unless every party is neutral, or willing, to go through with the testing – including the specimen(s). This condition definitely slowed the mad scientist down, and kept him away from the other eight vaizards. The promise also sent a wave of relief throughout the entire Seireitei, and most of Rokongai.
About two hours later, Rukia had fallen asleep on the roof. Kon still sat there, watching the occasional spirit pass, then moving his attention back to the sky. He was thinking about Ichigo, and how once he left, everything seemed to go downhill. Everyone who knew him was saddened by his absence, it was hard on a lot of them. The city just seemed a lot more dull.
Looking over to the sleeping shinigami, he gently smiled, and slowly brought her up on his back. He jumped off the roof, and put her in her bed. Kon turned to leave, but a tiny sound caused him to turn his head. Rukia was crying in her sleep, again; frowning, Kon left the room and locked up the shop.
The mod konpaku went into his room, and closed the door. He sat on his futon, and looked out the window.
"Ichigo... where the hell did you go?"
- - - - -
"Hey, King. What 'cha doin'?" asked a pale looking teen, wearing a white shihakusho.
The orange-haired boy opened his left eye, and stared at his counter-part. His frown grew from just his normal one, brows furrowing deeper.
"I'm trying to sleep, idiot. And stop calling me 'King'."
"It's wha' ya ge' fer rulin'."
"If I'm going to look at it from your point of view, as 'King'; I'm ordering you to stop calling me that."
"Can' do tha'."
Ichigo opened both his eyes, which showed clear agitation at the being crouching a few feet from where he was sitting.
"Call me Ichigo, dammit. It's been over six years, and you know I don't like the damned title you keep calling me."
"Hell no, King. I said I ain't callin' ya 'Ichigo', an' I stan' by tha' decision."
The shinigami stood up, and started to walk away from the hollow. Kuroji stood up, watching his king walk off. He shook his head.
'I wish I knew wha's pissin' 'im off so much...' he thought before vanishing.
- - - - -
The orange-haired teen opened his eyes, and looked around. No one was in his house, and he liked it that way. He looked out the window, a sandstorm was gusting its way through his district. Ichigo hated sandstorms, they were just as bad as the rain from where he used to live.
"I wonder what's taking them so long to get their asses back here...?" he asked to no one in general, still looking out the small, thick window.
- - - - -
The two arrancar, former shinigami, and the approximate party of twenty hollows had finally started walking toward Aizen's palace, or the remainder of it. A small figure peeked over a dune, and cracked skull mask on top of his head.
"Ichigo-than will want to know about thith."
The small being slid down the dune, landing on his ass. Two other, much taller figures darted over to him.
"Are you okay Nell?" asked the middle-sized hollow-looking-thing.
"Yeth, Nell'th fine. He thaw thomething important, and needth to tell Ichigo-than. We needth to hurry, or Ichigo-than will be mad at uth." said the tiny arrancar.
The group of three scampered over to their worm pet, and mounted him.
"Bawa, we gotth to go to Ichigo-than."
Bawabawa grumbled a response happily, and slithered away from where they came. Nell was sitting in the front, while Pesshe and Dondochakka behind him a few feet back.
- - - - -
Ulquoirra turned his head, and stopped. He looked at the dune that had just been occupied by Nell. Shaking his head, he felt the group of four leave, and made a mental note to tell Aizen of what he felt.
"Don't stop, trash; or I'll kill you." he stated, noticing that one of the clutch was slacking off their speed.
The hollow quickly went back into the heart of the group, mumbling something inaudible. Ulquoirra made another note to tell Aizen about this hollow, and the possibility of a problem that it could cause.
- - - - -
Ichigo's eyes flickered to his door, and quirked a eyebrow.
The tiny arrancar burst through the door, stumbling over his cloak. His two "brothers" soon followed afterwards.
The orange-haired teen looked over at his guests, and stood up. He scratched the back of his neck before facing them.
"What is it Nell? Was it really him?"
"Yeth, you were right, Ichigo-than. Aizen ith thtill alive, and he hath two of the ethpada with him. He'th collecting hollowth for some reathon."
"Did he say anything out of the ordinary?"
"Like what, Ichigo-than?"
"Like a war, other arrancar, anything?" he asked, sounding like he really didn't care too much.
"Well... they wath talking about a big plan, and defeat of the human world."
Ichigo's eyes widened a bit at the mention of his realm of origin.
"Really, now? After all we went through, he's still trying to get a higher seat in his little 'heaven'."
- - - - - - - - - -
Well, that's chapter one; and yes, sorry I didn't release this sooner. Hope it meets everyone's standards. I'm surprised at how some of this seems a bit redundant, but, meh. Everyone's reviews from Liaison contributed to this being released, and I thank you all for the support. I'm gonna gun for about 5 to 7 reviews before chapter 2 will be released.
I also have some pointers I'd like to... well... point out.
(one) I'm not that big of a Ishida/Inoue fan, even though that pairing is in the story (and it is one-sided); actually, I don't really like either of them.
(two.one) The character Nell speaks with a lisp, so most of his "s's" will be typed "th". To find out more about him, read chapters 245 and up.
(two.two) I've been told Nell is a girl by some, and a guy by others. My source seems to be putting Nell down as a boy - from what I can tell at least - so he will be a boy in the story.
(three) There will probably be some Ichigo/Kuroji, but not as much as last time; I apologize for that, cause I really like that pairing too.
(four) There might be some one-side Grimmjaw/Ichigo too, but that has yet to be decided; if I do put it up, it will also be one-sided (Ichigo will want no part of it, considering he's still at a loss at Kuroji's loss of memory).
- - - - -
Oh right, before I forget. For those who are even the slightest bit curious, I'm going to give you the definition of tergiversate.
+ "to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc."
+ "to turn renegade"
+ "to use evasions or ambiguities"
+ "to change sides"
+ "be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information"
+ "abandon one's beliefs or allegiances"