Status: AU

Main Pairing: IchiHime

Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimers Apply

Rating: M

Spoilers: No Spoilers

Heart of Darkness

"This is a waste of time," the young man muttered after he took a drag of cigarette.

He looked at the city below him and sneered.Why his captain decided to move to Japan was beyond his comprehension. Their base in Spain he could live with. It was a mansion situated in the countryside, far from prying eyes. Now, they were in this godforsaken town. Not only did they have to move here, but also he was expected to go to school too, as a third year high school student. He glanced at the school uniform neatly hung outside his wardrobe in disgust before he took another drag of cigarette. Letting the smoke out, he looked at the city below.

"Have you settled?"

He turned around and saw his captain walk in his room.

The older man laughed at the younger man's scowl.

"You hate it here."

"I do. I don't see any reason why we moved here. This town," he paused as he turned away from the window and leaned against it. "This town is ugly."

"Have I ever been wrong?" he asked his protégé, who shook his head, cigarette still in hand. "I'm counting on you. I want the mission accomplished without any problem."

The protégé smirked, his brown eyes flashed in challenge as he crushed the cigarette in the ashtray. "Have I ever disappointed you, Aizen-sama?"

Sosuke Aizen let a smile form on his lips as he watched the young man walk towards the door in complete confidence.

"Remember, after tomorrow, you are a high school student, not an elite fighter from Hueco Mundo."

Aizen was answered with a wave as the orange haired youth left the apartment.

"Let the games begin, Yamamoto," the older man smirked.

It's been eight years since he had last set foot in Japan. After his exodus from Soul Society, Aizen, with a few of his followers, had spent their time in Hueco Mundo, and ended up in Spain by accident. Aizen had always been fascinated by Spanish culture. The aristocratic air of Spain appealed to him, since he was, of course, going rule the world soon. After eight years of breeding his protégé, it was time to set the arrogant youth loose on the same battleground in which he lost all those years ago.

The town of Karakura.


The roar of the motorcycle caught everyone's attention as a black motorbike sped through the road, with no regard of the speed limit. One passerby looked in awe when he saw the bike and clutched his friend's arm.

"Dude, did you see that? That's the 1098 S from Ducati! Cool!"

"Stop drooling," his friend said as he rolled his eyes.

The rider smirked inside his helmet. He knew people admired his bike as he sped past them. He turned to the right and increased his speed, seeing that he was now getting into the quieter parts of Karakura.

He pitied the people he passed by. Mere humans, his mind sneered with contempt. He, on the other hand, was different. He was part human, part god. His captain allowed him to live like a human form most of the time, to enjoy the frivolity being human. He drank, he smoked, he could do anything he wanted, and his body never paid the price for his actions.

His captain decided it was time to move to Japan, to begin their quest to take over the human world and Soul Society. It was time to finally grasp and consume what rightfully belonged to them.

He made another turn to the right and looked at the building to his left with a smirk.

Karakura High School.

Tomorrow, he'd be a student of class 3-2. Why he had to go to school, he didn't know, but what Aizen wanted, Aizen got. If he wished for his protégé to mix with these insignificant human students, then he would. His smirk became wider, knowing that he'd have the freedom to enjoy his stay in Japan without a need of a gigai. A highly regarded attribute of being a demi-god.


In another part of Karakura, Orihime Inoue placed the last seat on the table and looked around the cafe to make sure everything was in order.

"I'm going home, good night!" Orihime Inoue called out, untying and taking her apron off.

"Thank you for coming in on such short notice, Orihime-chan!" Megumi Arisawa said gratefully and handed Orihime a plastic bag with two containers. "Here, this is beef stew and pork ramen. Now you'll have lunch and dinner for tomorrow."

Orihime gladly accepted the bag.

"Wow! Arisawa-san, thank you so much!"

Megumi laughed and watched the young girl leave the cafe.

"Be careful, Orihime-chan! Watch your step!"

"I will!" Orihime called out before disappearing around the corner.

"Arisawa-san's beef stew! I'm so lucky!" she said to herself and began to hum quietly.

She enjoyed the quiet night. It was so peaceful. She gazed up at the stars and smiled.

"Onii-chan, Arisawa-san gave me food again for tomorrow, and for dinner tonight I had chicken yakitori!"

Orihime paused when she heard a strange sound. She looked behind her and saw two beams of light. The sound of the motorbike became louder as it came nearer, and Orihime let out surprised yelp as the bike passed her so fast her skirt lifted in the air. She quickly soothed it down and never noticed the driver looking back to stare at her legs.

She felt her heart beat faster as the bike disappeared, and Orihime frowned.

"That was strange..."

Why do I feel so funny?

She shook her head and continued to walk, only to stop upon hearing the sound of the bike again. This time, the bike did not speed past her; it came to a stop right next to her. She didn't realize her heart could beat this fast as the sound of the bike vibrated in the silence. The rider switched the engine off and lifted the visor of his helmet, and all Orihime could see was a pair of beautiful brown eyes.

"Hey," the mysterious young man said with a voice as cool as ice.

"Umm, hi?" Orihime responded with uncertainty.

She saw the way his brown eyes move over her body and frowned internally. She felt even stranger now, but she didn't know why. It was uncomfortable, his eyes, the way the roamed over her body. Her heart was beating so fast, and her stomach clenched tightly. In what, though? Anticipation? Her mind immediately dismissed the ridiculous notion. She hardly ever noticed guys when they checked her out, so why now of all the times?

"Are…are you lost?" she inquired, trying to at least be friendly to a person she guessed was new in town.

"Depends," the stranger replied, his voice deep and teasing.

That voice washed over Orihime, something about it having an almost hypnotic quality. Her self-preservation instincts were beginning to kick into overdrive, but Orihime also somehow knew she couldn't run like she had the urge to. Deep inside, she realized that if she ran...this stranger would chase her, like a dangerous predator on the hunt after smelling his delicious, succulent prey. No, Orihime wasn't going to run. She would talk to this strange man for a little bit longer, then politely excuse herself and hopefully never run into him ever again.

"Depends on what?"

She hoped he didn't notice the slightly desperate tone.

"Well, it's my first night here in Karakura. I don't know this place well enough, so I was hoping you'd point me to your apartment."

She turned so red, her face was beginning to resemble a tomato.

Okay, forget being polite.

Instead of replying, she gripped the plastic bag she was carrying, turned on her heal, and began to walk away from him. She was so embarrassed and upset that he'd even said such a bold thing to her that she completely forgot about how dangerous she'd thought he was moments before.

"I was kidding!" he yelled expectantly, as if that was going to stop Orihime from walking away.

She continued walking, ignoring his words, and the young man started the engine again and began to follow her.

"Look, I'm sorry. Okay? I was kidding. Honest. It's my first night here in Japan. We just moved here from Spain."

Orihime stopped at his explanation and watched him cautiously, trying to gauge the sincerity of his apology. He no longer felt dangerous to her, but could she be certain his apology was real?

When she didn't speak, he took his helmet off, and Orihime felt as if an unknown force hit her when she got a good look at his entire face.

He was handsome, even with that strange, bleached hair. His brown eyes were frostier than a glacier and the held the most arrogant look about them Orihime had ever seen. His body, from what she could tell, was muscular and fit, definitely something girls would swoon over. She had never seen anyone quite like him, and she doubted that she ever would.

He took off his gloves off and offered his hand.

"I'm sorry," he said again. "I didn't mean to offend you. My name is Ichigo Aizen."

Despite her better judgment, she took his hand and shook it lightly, tying not to blush and trying to forget the way his big hand engulfed hers in a hot embrace.

"Orihime Inoue," she replied, her voice soft.

Ichigo nodded and grinned. He held on to her hand a few seconds longer before he released it. He tried not to make it obvious that he was checking her out, but it was hard not to stare, especially with an amazing chest like she had.

Before he could say anything else, his phone rang.

Orihime winced as Ichigo swore and took the call. He spoke in rapid Spanish, and she could not understand a single word he said. With a shake of his head, he ended the call and slipped the phone back in his pocket.

"Looks like I'm needed back," he told her, donning the helmet again.

He put his gloves back on and winked at her.

"See you around, Hime!"

He snapped the visor shut and sped away from her, and this time, Orihime placed both hands on her skirt to keep it from lifting up.

The moment he was out of sight, she sighed. She felt a lot safer now that he was gone, despite the fact that he'd seemed friendly enough. When he wasn't making lewd comments, that is.

She sighed again. She should never have given her name. The only thing left to do was hope that she wouldn't have to see him ever again.


"Ohayo, Tatsuki-chan!"

Tatsuki Arisawa turned and looked in wonder as Orihime Inoue sat on her seat.

"What happened to your arm, Orihime?"

The young girl laughed sheepishly.

"I fell down the stairs this morning. I forgot my lunch and when and I tried to run up the stairs, I didn't see this cat, so I tripped and fell."

Tatsuki looked in wonder while Orihime explained all this with a smile.

"Are you hurt?"

"No. I fixed my arm already! See?" she replied, showing off her bandaged arm.

"Orihime, how many times do I have to remind you to watch where you're going?"

Tatsuki received a grin from her clumsy friend, but before she could berate Orihime any longer, their teacher walked in and motioned for the class to sit.

"Settle down, I have an announcement to make. Tatsuki-san, please go to the Principal's office, it's about your tournament in Tokyo."

The students scuttled to their seats while Tatsuki left the room.

"We have a new student, his family lived in Spain for a few years, and now they've returned to Japan…"

"Wow, a male student! I hope he's cute!" a girl whispered, and all the other girls giggled.

"I hope you all make him feel welcome, please come in…"

Orihime felt her breath catch in her throat the moment the teacher mentioned Spain, and it took all of her self restraint to stop the butterflies from dancing in her stomach. What was wrong with her lately? Just because their new student was from Spain didn't mean—

An orange haired youth walk in, and, low and behold, it was the same bold, young man from last night.

Orihime let out an exasperated puff of breath and sunk down lower in her seat. It was just her luck that it'd be the same guy. Maybe he wouldn't see her...

His brown eyes scanned the room before resting on her. She saw his eyes widened in recognition before she looked away, her gaze steadily directed at the courtyard outside the window near her seat, a tiny blush adorning her delicate features.

Darn it.

"Would you like to introduce yourself to the class?"

He nodded.

"Hey. My name is Ichigo. Ichigo Aizen."

Orihime felt his hot gaze on her, and the strange tingling that told her to run for it came back.

I don't like it...this foreign feeling that my life will never be the same again, somehow, because of this boy from Spain.

"Orihime-san, please raise your hand."

Had her friends that knew nothing of what was going on inside of Orihime's head not been surrounding her, she would have hit her head on her desk in utter defeat. It was just her rotten luck, too. However, seeing as how doing that wouldn't be very appropriate, given the situation, Orihime opted for slowly putting her hand up.

Ichigo grinned.

Why did it look a little feral to her again?

"Ichigo-san, please sit behind Orihime-san. She will take you around the school later on."

He walked past her, and Orihime could hear the disappointed sighs of her female classmates as he sat behind her.

Why couldn't the teacher have picked one of the girls who actually want to do this?


Home Room finished without a hitch. Before Orihime could move, she felt him close to her. She turned around, finding herself face to face with Ichigo. Well, okay, so it was more like face to chest, but she certainly felt better thinking they were on even ground.

"Looks like you're my guide, Hime," he said with a smile that wasn't reaching his eyes.

Deep down, it bothered her, that fake smile, though at the time she hadn't understood why.

Orihime gave a strained smile back as she moved to place some distance between them.

Distance was good. Safe. Reliable.

Ichigo seemed to have different plans because he moved closer to her, and she retreated until her back was against the wall. He must have known he was intimidating her, his arrogant smirk was proof enough of that, and he obviously didn't know the meaning of personal space. Again, Orihime felt like the helpless prey of a fierce predator. A tiny part of her was exhilarated with this turn of events, but she quickly squished it into oblivion. Now was not the time for such thoughts! He now stood so close their legs almost touched, and Orihime felt knew her heart skip another beat as Ichigo raised his hands...and showed her a slip of white paper.

She refused to feel disappointed. Refused.

"My schedule," he said simply.

Orihime calmly took the slip of paper. Ichigo brushed his hand against hers in the process, and she quickly moved her hand back to her side.

It'd be days before the hot sizzle completely left the place on her hand where they'd touched.

"Umm, Aizen-kun," Orihime said, a bit desperate to distract herself from her thoughts.

"Ichigo. You can call me Ichigo."

She nodded and began to maneuver around him.

He blocked her body with his own. Again.

After last night, Ichigo had known he'd somehow find the young woman he'd encountered. He actually liked being near her, as short as their time together had been. She was the first human wench that he'd ever taken even a tiny hint of interest in, though for the life of him, he really couldn't fathom why. He hadn't been happy about having to come to this hellhole school, but when he saw her sitting in the classroom, he knew he'd hit jackpot. Now, at least, he would have something interesting to pass the time with.

She isn't going to get away from us again, a voice whispered sinisterly in the back Ichigo's mind, so quiet that not even the young man himself heard it. Ever, it promised.

Orihime shuttered unexpectedly. To hide it, she forcefully moved around him and then looked down at his schedule.

"We have geography together next. I can take you around campus after that."

She didn't wait for him to reply when she walked away, and behind her Ichigo just grinned as he looked at those long, luscious legs.

He would definitely be enjoying this mission.

Summary: What if Aizen was exposed as a traitor after the death of Kaien Shiba and escaped? How different will the world of Bleach be if Ichigo was kidnapped after his mother was killed and brainwashed as Aizen's protégé?