This is actually my first Bleach fanfic ever, and to tell you the truth, I'm nervous.
I primarily write Evangelion fanfics. I have a great knowledge of that and its characterizations, so it comes easily.
I have written an Evangelion/Bleach crossover, but that's not the same…this is my first PURE Bleach fanfic, my first fanfic in the Bleach section.
And despite watching all of the anime and reading every fresh manga chapter that comes weekly from Japan, I'm still kind of nervous about Bleach factoids and characterizations.
I hope I don't mess this up or mess up facts or things about Bleach.
If I do:
1.) It's probably just part of the suspension of disbelief that is inherent in this fanfic OR me taking liberties as one does as I steer my own Bleach story.
2.) Just call me on it in your Review, though I ask you to at least be civil about it.
I'm actually probably freaking out a lot of my fans by making YET ANOTHER NEW FANFIC.
I'm notorious for starting dozens of new fanfics and ideas, but nearly never ever finishing any and going all the way. I get 10 chapters into one fanfic and I get a new interesting idea.
However I'll try my best, so whatever.
By the way, this starts immediately after the Soul Society Arc.
Ichigo has rescued Rukia, blah blah blah, etc.
Basically the Bount arc never happens in this.
I plan this story to be long, perhaps odd, but hopefully good and exciting. It will encompass and involve nearly all the characters you all love and enjoy and feature a lot of crazy fights and plot developments that obviously aren't canon.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or its characters, settings, etc.. Did you really need me to tell you that?
The dust had cleared over Aizen's betrayal and the invasion of the outsiders, and slowly Soul Society was trying its best to return to normality and prepare for the challenges ahead.
Kenpachi dashed about attempting to challenge the newly recovered and fleeing Ichigo, while the supposedly last remaining Quincy slowly sewed new clothes for his friends.
Rangiku was drinking away her misery with Kira, shouting and cursing vilely, while Tōshirō Hitsugaya stood broodingly over the bedside of Hinamori.
Things were painfully trying to return to some post-war normality, post-betrayal. Yet the forces of Hueco Mundo never ceased moving, and over Soul Society one could discern a certain tangible gloom.
Ichigo sighed, finally having lost Kenpachi, slowly striding past a generic stone building with his blade at his back as always. Suddenly, Inoue rushed forward towards him, clearly out of breath and straining.
"W-What's up Inoue?! And where'd you get that outfit?"
The young girl didn't even respond, panting as she faced Ichigo.
"She's…She's gone…I can't find Kuchiki-san anywhere in the city!"
Suddenly a familiar voice.
"Who's nowhere in the city?"
Inoue gasped, turning around and smiling beamingly as Rukia stepped out from the corner, a gentle smirk on her face.
"One only needs to look closer, Orihime-san…"
Ichigo studied her carefully as she strode towards them, trying not to make it obvious that he was watching her intently.
She was probably with Byakuya…I'll never understand that family circle…
"Always need someone to babysit you, Rukia?"
"Don't be so mean Ichigo!"
"It's alright Orihime-san, he's just being grouchy, as you would say…"
Ichigo grunted, glancing away towards the distance.
Where will she go, I wonder…will she come with us, finally? To…return it to how it was…before? Her…sleeping in my room…us…dealing with Shinigami. Can I protect her for long…without her close? I wonder.
Rukia glanced meaningfully at Ichigo for a moment and then turned back to chatting with the jovial Orihime. It seemed Ichigo had much on his mind.
The city was at peace…or at least trying to deal with its problems as best it could.
Except for one former Captain who found no solace in her sleep.
"Yoruichi! You believe me, don't you? You wouldn't side with them, with that blasted researcher, with father?"
He stared at her with fierce eyes, backing her into the wall, one hand tenderly caressing her cheek.
"You…wouldn't…forsake your only love, would you? I hope not…"
She stared at him and grimaced with him as her blade slid into his belly.
"Hope…springs eternal…my love."
Yoruichi stiffened, gasping as she awoke from her sleep. From her nightmare.
It had been more than a nightmare…she had sensed a spiritual presence in the midst of her dreaming…something massive…yet very quick and slight at the same time…she had just barely felt it.
Those eyes…she…she hadn't felt that reitsu for…for…she could not remember how long it had been since she had seen him. Or felt his presence…or lips.
They had been the second Captain class of the Shinigami Academy, it had been thus. The three prodigies.
Kisuke Urahara had been taught and mentored by Shunsui. She had been mentored by Ukitake, who would later take on Little Byakuya.
However…the third member of that prodigy class…was no longer in existence.
She had seen him destroyed, and it had been surprising.
He had been trained by General Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai himself.
After all…he was the General's…only son. He would even go on to mentor and train the traitor Aizen, his successor…what irony…what cursed history in the Fifth Division…
She rose from her bed cot, trembling as she wrapped herself in her blanket.
"Where did you go, Little Ōkami? Why do I feel you still?"
She knew she had felt something…in her heart…but she hoped Urahara had not sensed it. She hoped this was a figment of her imagination, that that prodigal son remained in his grave.
Hope springs eternal.
A man stood in the land of the dead, the land of demons and madmen. He seemed quite at home.
The man appeared to be in his 30s, young still, his clothes flapping in the harsh wind of Hueco Mundo.
On the back of his white thigh-length kimono coat was on odd black symbol. It was a black rhombus with five small ordered black lines inside of it.
He stalked over the terrible white dunes of Hueco Mundo quietly, and then chuckled, speaking seemingly to himself.
"You need not hide; I can already sense your spiritual presence. It's blaring and screaming to be heard. I hear you."
The massive hollow burst out of the white sand, roaring angrily through its spike-covered mask, swinging its massive scythe-like limbs around without care.
"I'd rather not, if you don't mind."
The young man smirked, reaching for the small Tantō that had been sheathed at his hip.
The Espada and the Traitor Shinigami sat quietly around the stone table, a meeting commencing.
Aizen approached the table, taking his prominent seat.
"Good morning, Espada. There's an intruder in Las Noches. But first... shall we make some tea?"
The various Arrancar stiffened some of them seemingly ready to go off and fight, a few of them exceedingly excited.
"He is a guest of mine. Do not worry. This is invitation only, until one leaves the mortal realm through death."
Ulquiorra rose from the stone table suddenly, quiet and alert, though his face remained emotionless.
"Aizen-sama…Grimmjow has already gone off and ignored the call to meeting. I assume he has gone to meet the intruder directly after sensing his spiritual presence."
Aizen only gave him a slow stiff smile.
"Well then, retrieve him before he gets himself killed. That would be quite…unsavory."
Before Ulquiorra could take Aizen's orders to action, a chuckle and strange voice filled the chamber.
"Don't worry…I don't kill fleas. Though I've heard you've developed a practice of doing so, little traitor Aizen."
A young man dressed in a black kimono with a stylish white haori over it, much like a Captain of the Gotei 13 would wear.
All Arrancar at the table stiffened, though Gin, Tousen, and Aizen didn't seem surprised by the newcomer's voice.
Ulquiorra turned and stared at the newcomer with more than just a bit of trepidation.
I never felt this being's spiritual presence enter the room. Even now it seems to be barely detectable.
The young man smirked, dropping Grimmjow's body hard on the Espada stone table, chuckling.
The rest of the Espada studied Grimmjow quietly, some in fear, some in anger, some amused and laughing at his fate. Something odd that struck all of their thoughts was the fact that he hadn't a cut or bruise on his body.
"Like I said, he's not dead…"
Aizen only stared at the newcomer, not even raising.
"Well, that was prudent of you not to kill him…sempai."
He spoke the last word more in mockery than in respect.
"Well, little Sōsuke, why have you summoned me here? We haven't spoken in…centuries actually. I'm surprised you found me or even knew of my location. I am deceased, or so the Soul Society has officially declared."
Aizen only smirked.
"So was I, for a small period…it matters not how I found you, rather, what you can do for me. It is a little matter of a friend of yours and his mistakes. Kisuke Urahara."
The young man stiffened, rendering Aizen a cold glare that terrified a few of the Espada but only filled Ulquiorra with annoyance.
How dare he regard Aizen-sama thusly…Why does he tolerate such a fellow?
"Do not mention that name…again…Aizen."
Aizen was unmoved.
"Indeed…it was his mistake to place the Hōgyoku inside of that girl, and do it so awkwardly. The removal was successful, but only to a degree. And I discovered this far too late. The essence of the Hōgyoku is corroded and melded with her soul. It was a mistake not to take her outright."
"So you need her back, alive I presume? What does that have to do with me? Surely you haven't become so weak to depend on others, have you Aizen? Can you not have one of your sickly creations handle this girl…"
"…or one of your Shinigami lapdogs?"
Gin only chuckled while Tousen made no response.
Aizen smiled grimly.
"Always willing to ruffle feathers, yes? That is why they called you a wolf…a nuisance…But I know I have something you want…a particular device, isn't that so?"
The young man smiled, nodding eagerly like a child and rubbing his chin.
"Why, yes, you do have something I want. But what stops me from simply taking it by force? Perhaps it was unwise to inform me of your possession of it in the first place…this Quincy artifact."
Aizen gave no response, clearly unimpressed. However by now Ulquiorra had reached his boiling point, hurtling straight towards the young man.
Aizen gave Ulquiorra no orders to stand down, simply watching in fascination as the young man stared Aizen in the eyes and disappeared in a flash of shunpo.
He was too swift for most eyes to detect; appearing directly behind Ulquiorra's confused form and bringing his arm up to point in the Arrancar's direction.
"Destructive Art: 95, Lighting Genesis, Crash Down."
Aizen appeared suddenly in a flash of shunpo, grasping the young man's arm and pushing it down gently before he could launch the spell.
"You have made your point, there is no need for you to prove your strength and go about smashing my quarters about as you always did."
Ulquiorra watched on in annoyance as the two continued speaking.
"You have no quarrel with me, but I know you have quarrel with Soul Society…with…I need not go on, you know it better than myself. I need this job done well, and I cannot go to it personally. If you accomplish these easy goals, I will give you the artifact you have been seeking for so very long."
The young man pushed Aizen away, sighing and turning away.
"I will make it so, I suppose. It is so queer to hear you asking me favors, yet so familiar…it reminds me of the past. And that irritates me. I will go seek out this girl you hunt, and I will erase my past in the process. So be it…little Sōsuke."
The man disappeared as quietly as he had appeared initially, in a shunpo so quick that it seemed to have barely ever happened.
Aizen gave a calm smile, turning back to his collected Espada as Grimmjow twitched and slowly rose from the table with a groan.
"So be it..."
Sorry if that chapter was short for your tastes, or weird…but like I said, this is my first fanfic with Bleach characters and plot, and I'm still trying to flesh everything out and I wrote this from scratch.
But I have a lot of ideas plotted out…hope you enjoy the ride.
I hope it wasn't terribly lame, especially the characterizations.
Post any reviews/concerns/problems/questions/compliments/whatever within your reviews, and I'll respond to them in my Author's Notes like this, if you wish. I read all reviews.
Oh, and if you're into Evangelion or any other non-Bleach animes/mangas, do check out my many other fics by clicking on my Author's Profile.
See you next chapter, hopefully.