Disclaimer: Sometimes I think these things are pointless. Do you honestly think I own Bleach? 'Cuz I don't.
Summary: When Ichigo, Orihime, Uryuu and Rukia are attacked one night, Ichigo's powers managed to manifest again. Suspicious of the strange Hollow activity, enter the Shinigami. Sequel to "Familiar". IchiRuki IshiHime TatsuRen and others.
A/N: Well, this is a sequel to my oneshot "Familiar" I started writing this the night I posted it. I've tried to do the multi-chapter thing before, but it didn't work out so well, so I hope this will. If you plan on reading this, you don't have to have read "Familiar" but I would suggest it. Thanks to everyone who review that. Some of the things in italics are taken directly from Bleach Volume 19, Chapter 162, Black Moon Rising, so I don't own that. Enjoy!
Kurosaki Ichigo was tossing and turning in his bed. The cause of this unease? The nightmares that had plagued him for most of his life, had returned, and with a vengeance.
Ichigo was on his knees, battered and bruised. He was fighting someone. He knew the man's name, and yet he didn't.
The man was staring at him in shock. "What?"
Ichigo answered, although he had no idea what the question was, nor the answer. "You heard me. Don't make me say it again. OR don't you believe what you're seeing? It's the truth," he paused than continued, "even if you can't believe. I'm nowhere near finished, Kuchiki Byakuya!"
Ichigo's voice continued to remain cocky, and yet he had no idea what he was talking about. "Watch closely. This is my Bankai."
'My what?' Ichigo asked himself. But his body moved on its own accord. He rose to his feet and hefted a huge sword.
The man just continued to stare at him. Ichigo could feel the energy around them. It was palpable.
The sword in his hands seemed to sing with powers as he gripped it with his left hand as well as his right. "BAN-"
Ichigo woke up, sweating, and panting. "What the hell...?" he muttered.
"Ichigo?" a voice came from the door. "Ichigo are you alright, dear?"
It was his mother.
"Yeah mom," he replied. "I'm fine."
"You were shouting something about someone not believing something," she continued. "What was it about?"
"Dunno. Couldn't tell you, mom."
Kurosaki Masaki sighed. "Alright," she gave him a strange look. "Dinner's on the table dear, coming down?"
"Yeah," Ichigo replied. "I'll be right there."
She left him with his thoughts. He frowned as he left the room. "What the hell is Bankai?" he wondered.
About an hour later, Ichigo was walking through the empty streets of Kakura, trying to clear his head. He was getting nowhere with his mental predicament, and when he looked up, he was standing in front of the neighborhood's park.
It was Ishida Uryuu, Inoue Orihime, and Kuchiki Rukia, his three best friends. "Hey guys," he said as he walked over.
"How are you?" Orihime asked.
Ichigo shrugged. "Fine, I guess… I ended up taking a nap when I got home, and had one weird dream. I was fighting some weird guy, and we both had swords. I knew his name, even though I had never met him before."
Ishida nodded, "I too, had an odd daydream when I got home. I was shooting strange creatures with a glowing bow."
"Tell me about it," Rukia added. "I dreamt I was being executed." She paused. "I think."
Orihime nodded vigorously. "There was a talking kitty in my dream, and it sounded like a guy cat, but then it transformed into a lady, and hit some weird guy wearing a hat and clogs over the head with a fan that the guy had been holding, and then he wined and called her something "-sama" but I can't remember what her name was and then she called him a pervert and-"
The group had started laughing. "Wow, Inoue, I can't believe you managed to say all that in one breath," Ichigo laughed. "And even discussing strange dreams, you managed to have the weirdest."
Rukia giggled. "Did you ever notice that there's something wrong with us?" she asked.
"No," Ichigo said sarcastically. "Really?" He rolled his eyes.
"Shut up Strawberry!"
"Midget," Ichigo returned, his voice even. He didn't need to say it any louder. She really hated that nickname. "I've been having weird dreams a lot lately, now that I think about it," he commented. "There was a really odd one two nights ago, in which I was fighting this really freaky looking guy with red hair. The dude had all these tattoos, even as his eyebrows!"
Everyone laughed. "Do you remember his name?" Rukia asked. "Because he sounds strangely familiar."
Ichigo shrugged. "Not really. He kept calling me "Strawberry" so I called him "Pineapple". Don't ask me why though."
Ishida nodded. "I had a strange dream two nights ago as well. There was a strange man who kept calling me "Quincy" and wanted to do experiments on me…."
Everyone shuddered, except Rukia who twitched. "That didn't come out quite right, Ishida-kun," she pointed out.
Everyone paused, and then it clicked, and they all shuddered again.
Ichigo frowned, as the name of the man from his dream came back. "Hey Rukia?"
"Do you have a…." he trailed off.
The air had become unbelievably heavy. The four fell to their knees. "What the hell…?" Ichigo muttered.
The sudden change in pressure pressed down so hard on the others that they were hardly able to breath, let alone speak.
And then it appeared. It looked human enough, if you ignored the huge hole in its chest and the bone white mask that covered half its face. It looked down at them. "Well, well, well. Look what I managed to snag," it said in a deep bass voice. "Four War heroes." It chuckled evilly. "You all look so delicious, I wonder who I should eat first… Perhaps the short one."
It reached out a hand towards Rukia, who was unable to make any move against it. The creature wrapped its fingers around her, and lifted her into the air. "You will make a fine appetizer," it growled.
Rukia managed to break the constraints on her voice and shouted loudly. "HELP ME, DAMN IT!"
Ichigo rose to his feet shaking. "Let her go!" he shouted. "Put her down!"
The creature chuckled, but made no move to comply.
"Damn it!" Ichigo shouted. His name meant "one who protects" but he had never had anyone to protect. Now he had friends to help, and he was unable to protect them or himself. He was pathetic. "Damn it all!" he said again.
A few mere inches away from its mouth, the arm and hand holding Rukia froze. So did everything else.
And then, Ichigo wasn't in the park anymore. He was standing on the side a skyscraper. He gave a yelp and fell onto his butt. He heard a chuckle, and looked up. In front of him stood two people. One was a black haired man with dark sunglasses, and was wearing a cape. The other had white hair, a white face, a white outfit and demented eyes. That was the one who was chuckling and that was the one that spoke. "Welcome back, King."
A/N: Sorry about the cliffhanger, but...I couldn't help myself. I already have most of Chapter 2 written out, so you shouldn't have to wait that long for it. I hope you liked Chapter 1. Please leave a review! They help motivate!