Title: Multitudinous Seas Incarnadine
Disclaimer: I'm only saying this once, I. Do. Not. Own.
Summary: It started with a deal. An unlikely friendship started between Shinigami and his Inner Hollow that turned into something unexpected. IchiHichi.
A/N: I'VE BEEN BRAINWASHED!!! Thanks to this quote from the episode; "You will fear my power Ichigo, I will break you! You will not see me as your slave but your master! I'll make you scream out as a Hollow!" Suggestive or what? Plus Hichigo looks fricken awesome! He's scary but his badass-ness makes it all better! Anyway, since that rant is over with, I hope you enjoy this (Whisper, if any of you are curious about the title, it's from Macbeth)!
"It's a Kaisicle."
EPISODE #1: ARMISTICE
Hichigo scowled upwards at the cloudy sky, golden eyes narrowed in irritation. It had rained for three times in a row that week and he'll be damned if he'll let it rain for a fourth day! His gaze drifted to the silent 'mysterious' Zangetsu whom was standing at his favourite perch, the upright flagpole.
And was perfectly dry.
How the spirit of the Zanpaktou succeeded in remaining dry in a constant downpour was beyond the albino Hollow, but Hell if he was going to ask that good-for-nothing creepy emo for help. He harrumphed and crossed his arms. He didn't need anyone's help!
The sky gave a loud rumbling before it released its burden and soaking Hichigo for the fourth time that week.
A slender white eyebrow twitch in annoyance. Mustn't kill King…mustn't kill King…mustn't kill King…
The downpour became heavier.
"Is there a problem?"
Hichigo scowled at the – dry – Zanpaktou and flipped him the birdie. "I'm wet. If it doesn' stop soon I'm gonna throttle King!" He shook a fist at the vertical sky. "Hear that King! I'm gonna kill yer unless ya stop being Emo like the livin' rock over there!"
Unsurprisingly there was no answer.
"Pleh!" He huffed and swiped sopping snow-white bangs from his black-golden eyes and glowered hatefully at the – dry – Zanpaktou spirit. "Do you know why he's bein' emo?"
"That's alrigh', take yer time…bastard…"
Hichigo paced angrily up and down the building and growled ferally as the downpour refused to cease. "STOP RAININ'!" He roared, waving his arms in a slashing motion erratically.
The downpour continued.
"Little- Look! Listen ta me! STOP! RAININ'! Oi, King!"
"That will not work."
Hichigo released a small gurgle of surprise that would later be denied from existence and whirled round to the – dry – Zanpaktou spirit; the maniacal grin on his face belied the spastic tic in his cheek. "Then what will?"
"Why don't you ask him?"
The grin slid off his face and an aura of calmness overcame him. "Why that's a great idea." His spirit energy skyrocketed and his face contorted with rage. "Like Hell! I doubt King'll tell me anything! Grahhh!" He whirled round and roared incoherent insults at the raining sky.
Ichigo flopped onto his bed and wondered if one could die of stress by having their brain implode.
The fact that the increase of Hollow activity and schoolwork – he still needed an education as he couldn't very well tell his teachers that he already had a job as a fricken' Soul Reaper – he barely had time to sleep or eat – or shower as Karin kept pointing out to Ichigo's annoyance.
He could tell his stress was irritating his inner Hollow, as the days went by he could feel Shiro's spirit energy become more and more agitated. He threw a tanned arm over his amber eyes and slid them shut. Hollow or not, he was going to get some sleep dammit, even if Grimmjow was spying on him through his window.
Within two minutes someone rapped on the aforementioned window and he released an almost inhuman growl.
Sitting upright, the dark bruises under his eyes looking purple under the low light in his bedroom he glared at the intruder sitting on his windowsill. Rukia waved, hand clutching the pager that alerted them to a Hollow's presence.
He opened the window with more force than necessary and glowered at the dark haired Soul Reaper. "What?" He snapped harshly. Why did a Hollow have to appear every minute!? It was like when Ishida started that stupid contest between them to see who could kill the most Hollows.
Rukia paused then scrutinised him closely. The orange haired Soul Reaper looked ready to either keel over from exhaustion or snap – which would be a bad idea since his inner Hollow would most likely gleefully go on a rampage throughout the city – and shook her head. "I was going to inform you on another Hollow spotting but…" She sent a thinly veiled look of concern. "I think I'll take care of it and inform Renji instead."
Ichigo grunted and fell back onto his bed. "Whatever. Sleep. Night." He grunted brokenly, already feeling himself being dragged into the comforting blackness of sleep. Rukia gazed at him for a minute longer before disappearing without a sound.
As he fell deeper into sleep, he could hear a voice growling out; "This fuckin' rain won't stop! Dammit King! STOP THE RAIN! STOP BEING EMO!" Ichigo mentally sighed as Hichigo continued to rage and shrugged it off. He could care less if Shiro possessed him or not now, all he wanted was sleep.
The downpour degraded into a light drizzle and Hichigo grinned in triumph. It only cost him a slightly raw throat from all that shouting but it stopped raining – kinda. He ignored the Zanpaktou spirit sigh.
"I think Ichigo won't be able to keep this up."
Golden eyes narrowed, the maniacal grin frozen in place. "So you did know what's up with King." He scoffed and twirled round. "What's wrong with 'im then?"
"…An increase of Hollows is stretching him to breaking point."
Hichigo snarled. "He should've let me take care of that! I'm perfectly capable!" He huffed, but then grinned. "Well…he'll be pretty deep in sleep so…" Giggling his too-wide grin stretched his alabaster face. "His body is free to control!"
Zangetsu sighed again. "His body is exhausted. So will you if you take control."
Hichigo slumped briefly before grinning. "Che. Whatever." He glanced at the grey sky. "I'm capable of fightin' tired or not." He released another insane giggle, oblivious to Zangetsu's exasperated glance to the sideways sky above. Then a look of realisation dawned on Zangetsu's face and the Zanpaktou smothered a smirk.
"Actually, I think I have a better idea…"
Ichigo's amber eyes fluttered open and met the cloudy rumbling clouds of his messed up sideways inner world. He sighed and stood, his black Soul Reaper robes rustling with the movement.
Ichigo briefly grimaced at the mocking sarcastic drawl and turned to meet the black-gold gaze of his bleach white counter part. "What do you want?" He snapped; he wasn't exactly jumping to the chance for a most likely gruelling match against his inner Hollow.
"So much hostility." The snow-white haired Hollow grumbled. "Well…to answer yer question, King, ya need a break." He plastered on his favourite 'Insane Grin™' and stalked towards his black clad King.
Ichigo's face deadpanned. "What? And let you run amok?"
The Hollow scowled and swiped a flippant hand. "I won't 'run amok', King." He paused briefly and grinned again. "Or maybe I will…" He was standing a mere foot away from the Shinigami and prodded a lazy black nailed finger at his bare chest. "Wanna fight?"
Ichigo easily swatted the pale hand away and took a step away. "Not really, no. But I can't have you running about doing God knows what with my body!" He shifted into a defensive stance, prepared to summon Bankai when his Hollow counter part attacked.
To his surprise, Hichigo scoffed and stepped backwards, obviously trying to make himself seem less threatening. "Hold yer horses, King. I ain't gonna fight yer if ya don't want to." He seemed a little put off by this but the grin still remained on his pale face.
Ichigo narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "What…?"
"Ah, ah, ah!" Hichigo jerked his arm sharply to cut the Shinigami off and his grin grew wider. "Don't question my once-in-a-lifetime offer, King!" The pale Hollow shrugged. "I had to look at yer memories ta keep me amused since Zangetsu and his pole are as entertainin' as watching paint dry, so I guess I'll be able ta act like ya."
Ichigo blanched. "Y-You…you've been looking at my memories!?"
Hichigo rolled his eyes; the golden glow in his eyes glinted mischievously. "S'that a problem, King? We do share the same body." His grin became sly as Ichigo growled and lunged sloppily at him.
He easily sidestepped the move with exaggerated flourish and sighed. "There was nothin' interestin' in them…pretty boring this 'School' thing is." He examined his black nails with a neutral face. "S'not like I watched ya shower or anythin'."
Ichigo seemed slightly mollified but the expression of someone discovering a voyeur watching them shower remained on his face. "I'm not letting you use my body, everyone else would sense your Hollow reiatsu and think the worst."
"Zangetsu will take care of that." Hichigo scoffed.
Ichigo blinked. "Zangetsu's in this too!?"
"'Course. It wouldn't do if my King." This was emphasised mockingly. "Died from exhaustion and took us all with him. My only condition is that ya let me out durin' battles more. Like I said, it's borin' with just the livin' rock."
Ichigo frowned, the clouds above swirling with confusion. Could he trust his inner Hollow not to use his body for nefarious purposes? If what Hichigo said was true, then Zangetsu would make sure that he behaved himself – how, he wasn't sure – and he'd get a little vacation, but the only problem was…"What if Rukia and everyone sees through your acting?"
Hichigo grinned; obviously he knew Ichigo was considering it. "Well, either I'll fight 'em off or-" he added quickly noting the expression on the orange haired Shinigami. "I'll just switch places with ya and pretend nothing out of the ordinary happened."
Ichigo weighed the pros and cons, he'll get a vacation from all the stress of being a Shinigami and school, just him and his inner world, the cost however, was letting a psychotic Hollow who is prone to berserker fits to masquerade as him and be in contact with all of his friends and family.
He narrowed his amber eyes at the amused black-gold ones of his inner Hollow. If he did allow Hichigo to do this, and nothing harmful to his friends and family happened, does that mean that some form of alliance could happen? Two heads are better than one, if they didn't snap and swipe at each other and actually effectively worked together…
Ichigo shook his head. "I don't believe I'm actually agreeing to this…" He grumbled. "Fine. I…agree. But!" He suddenly snapped, seeing the triumphant look on the albino's face. "If you hurt any of my friends or family…or anyone else for that matter intentionally, then I'll take immediate control and you won't be allowed to…to…" He cast about wildly for what he could cut Hichigo from. "You won't be allowed to enter fights at all."
Hichigo raised a dubious eyebrow. "At all? Even when yer gonna die without my help?"
Ichigo nodded. "Yeah." He held out a hand, mentally kicking himself for actually agreeing to this madness. "Deal?"
"Remember, if I do this right, I get out to fight more." Hichigo grinned happily, gripping Ichigo's tanned hand in a firm grip and shaking it. The albino Hollow paused thoughtfully. "Y'know, this was the most civil conversation we ever had."
Ichigo huffed and crossed his arms. "Yeah, neither of us are bleeding or getting stabbed." He glared at Hichigo pointedly at that and the albino Hollow sent him a mocking scandalous look. "You stabbed me too!"
Ichigo snorted, a hint of a smile on his usual scowling face. "Whatever, now shoo." He made a flapping motion with his hand. "Aren't you supposed to be acting as me?"
Hichigo stuck out his blue tongue childishly before dematerialising from Ichigo's inner world with a final shout of "Emo!" Ichigo growled and shook a fist.
"I'm not Emo!"
Unbeknownst to the two, Zangetsu smiled, standing atop of his upright flagpole. Now once they work together, they can be stronger than ever.
'Ichigo's eyes fluttered open, briefly glowing gold before fading to their previous amber. The orange haired teen sat up and stretched the kinks out of his back. 'Ichigo' looked round his room curiously and an uncharacteristic grin spread across his face. 'Finally! Now what does Ichigo do in the mornin'?'
Rifling through the Shinigami's memories, 'Ichigo' slumped. "School." He grumbled irritably, the previous questionably sane grin slipping into a sour grimace. He quickly checked that his Hollow reiatsu was eclipsed by Ichigo's own Shinigami reiatsu and stood. "From now until King comes back from vacation, Hichigo Shirosaki is now takin' the role of substitute Shinigami."
'I wonder what'd happen when I slip out of King's body?' He mused quietly. Would he be his usual albino self? Or would only his eyes and mask be present? 'I'll burn that bridge when I get there I guess…' He concluded.
So, first order of business would be to get changed. He paused. Dressing. He glanced down at his temporary body, which was clad in a crumpled white T-shirt and baggy jeans. He blinked then turned slightly to see the School Uniform draped over the back of a chair.
Hichigo tilted his head then nodded to himself. He easily slipped the T-shirt off and grabbed the top part of the uniform. He couldn't help the smirk that curled round his lips. He should've felt uncomfortable in undressing King's body but…his smirk grew when he imagined King's expression when he discovered that he also cleaned it.
He smoothed the creases from his uniform and ruffled his now orange hair. The customary grin was plastered on his face that looked strange on King's face. Hichigo quickly schooled it into Ichigo's scowl and using the mental image of a dry Zangetsu during a downpour. His scowl deepened.
Second, breakfast. Hichigo hummed. King didn't eat souls did he? He ate human food. He contemplated it briefly before once more checking that Ichigo's reiatsu eclipsed his, that his scowl matched Ichigo's and leaving the room – mindful to pick up the white schoolbag – to get breakfast.
As he descended the stairs, Hichigo scoffed. This should be a piece of cake. Act like Ichigo for a day or so without anyone catching on he was actually Ichigo's inner Hollow. Simple.
If only it was that simple.
Rukia looked up when Ichigo entered the room, he blinked when he spotted her and waved a lazy hand. "Hey, Rukia." He grumbled before flopping onto his seat at the breakfast table.
Yuzu placed her older brother's breakfast before him who picked at it disinterestedly before shoving a bit into his mouth. Rukia tilted her head, he looked a little better than last night but his behaviour seemed a little…off.
She scrutinised his closely, discreetly examining his reiatsu, Ichigo's was at the forefront but his inner Hollow's was closer to the surface than usual, in fact…it seemed like the Hollow's reiatsu was feeding Ichigo's.
She frowned. Could the Hollow be helping Ichigo? After all, if a lower level Hollow catches Ichigo off guard, not only would its host die and it along with him, but it would also be humiliated. But why not simply possess Ichigo? She shook her head and returned to the breakfast. Ichigo is far too stubborn, exhausted or not, to allow his Hollow to take over.
If only she knew.
Hichigo was mentally doing a victorious jig.
He'd panicked a little when the female Shinigami looked at him suspiciously and wondered if he slipped up just by greeting her. But then she shook her head and resumed eating her dinner.
He successfully tricked a Shinigami!
But it didn't make the strange glances King's father kept shooting at him stop worrying. Didn't his father usually greet him by attacking his son? (Hichigo wondered if this was a strange human custom or that King's father was just weird)
After a couple of minutes, King's father, Isshin, lunged forward. Instincts kicked in and Hichigo raised a foot and slammed it into King's father's face to keep him at bay. He frowned at him and on spur of the moment murmured. "You have to try better than that old man."
This must've been the correct thing to say as Isshin proclaimed that his son was getting better, and cried to the poster of King's mother when Hichigo scathingly replied that he was simply getting slow in his old age.
Rukia and King's family have been fooled. None of them were wise to the fact that it wasn't Ichigo sitting at the table but Hichigo. He smothered a grin by lifting his cup of orange juice to his lips.
Man was he good.
Ichigo was surprised how comfortable the buildings could be.
He admits, despite his relaxed position, there was a gnawing in his gut as he wondered just what Hichigo was doing with his body. He hoped that the albino Hollow wasn't killing anyone at all.
He narrowed his eyes against the glare of the sun above and stretched out his muscles. Didn't he make the deal to relax? He closed his eyes and cleared his mind. If Hichigo messed up or something, he'll deal with it after his vacation.
He's allowed to be selfish for once…right?
A/N: Ooooooh! How's that for the beginning? Will Hichigo successfully fool everyone that he's Ichigo? How did Zangetsu stay dry? And when will the IchiHichi start? Stay turned, for Multitudinous Seas Incarnadine!
P.S: If any of you are wondering why Ichigo's body's eyes didn't change to Hichigo's black-gold, is because that you – my opinion anyway – cannot change the physical appearance of the corporal body because the soul is different, take Kon for example. His voice will be different, gruffer, but not Hichigo's underwater effect. Hope that clears some things up!