AN: Okay I really have no excuses for this…blame boring 9:00 am classes with profs that take roll…

This is my first Bleach fic, and my first 1st person POV…

Uh, spoilers…if you haven't watched to about 146ish you probably wont get it

And finally, Bleach ain't mine, don't sue, you wont get much…

I am not crazy.

Then why are they looking at me like I might crack any moment now? I'm in control.

The old man…and that's all I'm calling him because right now he doesn't deserve a title or even a NAME, has decided I need to be 'analyzed' to see if I pose a threat…Can someone tell me what analyzed means? Because there is no way in hell I'm letting that demented clown get his hands on me…no way in hell.

Oh no. A shrink? Do they even have Shinigami shrinks? Apparently they do…and guess where I am now? Sitting across from one in the Fourth division offices. He reminds me of a mouse…that's been asked to talk to a cat.

Hmmm…I wonder if I release some of my reiatsu, will he faint? Then I can run away…that would be nice. Unfortunately, Renji is sitting right outside. Maybe I could convince him to play hooky from his Vice-Captain duties…okay maybe not.

"How are you feeling?" I just stare at the man dully. Is he serious?

"Just peachy." Ask a stupid question…well you know how the saying goes.

"Um. It's been over two weeks since you returned from Hueco Mundo, correct?"

I just raise an eyebrow. Seriously, he had the papers in front of his face, I am not going to answer insane question.

Because, I am not crazy.

The man takes a deep breath and soldiers on. "So it's been two weeks since you failed to return with…"

"Do not say her name." Okay so maybe I growled that out, but at least I didn't snarl, and my Zanpakuto is not in hand. Clearly I am in control.

The poor man looks scared shitless though, so it must have been a bit harsher than I thought. "O-okay." He takes another deep breath but still looks at me through wide eyes. I relax my features the best I can and the tension slowly leaves the room.

Stupid old, interfering, senile, idiotic, old, paranoid…wait did I say old twice? Well he is ANCIENT so…

"How about your Hollow?"

I snort. "What about him?" Is he still a homicidal manic bent on crushing my willpower so he can take over my body? Yes. Am I going to let that happen? Well…wait, I mean NO! Right, that's the correct answer.

Hang on, he's asking questions again…

"…any trouble controlling your temper?"

Temper? You mean any more that usual? "Nope." I fold my arms across my chest and dare him to contradict me…considering I just growled at him a few minutes ago.

He looks lost for a moment. I take this as my chance for an escape. "Well if that's all, then I'll just be going…" I'm out the door before he has time to form another word.

SLAM! Oh shit, forgot about the pineapple head guarding the door. I pick myself up off the floor and expect to get forcefully shoved back into the office.

"Escaped? Good, let's go." I can only stare at Renji in shock.

"I…what…huh?" okay so not my most coherent moment.

Instead of answering he grabs my arm and drags me away. What can I do but follow? I think I'm still too dumbstruck that he's disregarding orders…

Maybe I am crazy, and this is all a dream…

NO. I am not crazy.

We are in some secluded area now and he finally stops.

"We think you're getting a raw deal." What should I say to that? Thank you? I think I'll opt for silence.

"They think you're dangerous, and they might be considering executing you."

Again, what exactly should I say? I just shake my head. I defeat the maniac Aizen and this is how I'm repaid? Because I lost control, once?

Okay so maybe I didn't so much loose control as decided my Hollow had the right idea…but still…it had been once and now they want to kill me for it? I'd like to see them try.

Renji must have seen that 'look' in my eyes because he was quick to continue. "Look, nobody will follow any order to kill you…well almost nobody."

Like they would go against the Cap…No, the old man. I will not give him a title!

I sigh, because what else can I do in a situation like this? "Maybe I should…"

But I didn't finish the sentence because a certain black haired midget walking my way distracted me.

It still hurt to look at her, to see the fear and distrust in her eyes. Even if right now they were clear I always see the look she had on her face after I…

NO! Thinking those thoughts led to madness. And I am not crazy, right? Right.

Okay, so why am I banging my head against the wall? Oh right…crazy shinigamis want to kill me.

Running sounds good. Really good. Like chocolate ice cream on a hot day good. And Rukia is getting closer…yup, running it is.

I surprise Renji by Flash Stepping my way out of there…Ah shit, I have a tail.

I am going to ignore her. Yes because that has always worked so well in the past. Can anyone else hear the sarcasm?

A few steps and I am out of the Seritei and making my way towards some trees in the distance. A tree. I want to climb a tree.

I repeat, I am not crazy.

Perfectly, normal, sane people get the urge to climb trees all the time, right? Sure, why not?

Nice, tall tree. Perfect. Too bad the midget is still behind me…oh well, maybe she won't want to climb the tree…yeah right. I can only hope?

I find a branch sturdy enough to hold me, and wide enough to be comfortable. I lean my head back against the trunk and close my eyes. The branch shifts but I ignore it. It's the wind…

SMACK! Okay so maybe the wind doesn't hit quite that hard. What can I do besides open my eyes and glare at the midget who still has her hand raised to hit me again?

But that was the wrong move. As soon as my eyes are captured by her violet ones I am transported to the past, when everything finally hit the fan.

I "NO! ICHIGO! You have to SAVE her!" Rukia called from her crumpled form on the floor, bloodied and bruised.

"She's made her choice." I could feel the Hollow agreeing with me, asking to take over. I wasn't strong enough to do it myself…to kill a friendly face, even if it had to be done.

Orihime was standing in front of Aizen, protecting him with her shields. "I am not WORTHLESS!" she screamed and I could see the madness in her eyes. "He believes in me! When all you saw was a helpless girl who was always in the way…always a burden. He knows my true strength!"

"I never…" I never got a chance to finish my sentence. The Espada were going after my friends, the ones that still counted on me.

The Hollow pushed his way into my brain. 'Look, King. You've got to get the girl out of the way right? So let me…You never let me have any fun…and you don't even want this fight!'

Looking at the girl, my friend, the one I had risked life and limb to rescue, I knew he was right. I pulled the hollow mask over my face in the easiest transformation I ever had, letting go more than I ever have.

'Aizen is mine, got it?' I remind the Hollow, who by now is laughing and having the time of his…well not life, but you get my drift.

I let my rage mix with his own bloodthirsty desire and the result was probably not pretty. I don't want to kill her, but every time I/we get any kind of hit, she merely laughed and the skin stitched back together.

'Fatal blow, King. It's the only way…'


I shake my head to rid it of those thoughts. It was in the past, and you can't change the past so what is the use dwelling on it?

She is still staring at me. I can feel her eyes boring holes into the top of my bowed head but I can't find the strength to lift it. I can't find the strength…what has happened to me?

I am not crazy.

"Ichigo." Her voice is soft and I can't hear any accusations hidden, but I am still cautious to lift my head.

She's straddling the branch in front of me, and biting her lip. I can only lift my eyes to her chin, I can't risk looking into those eyes again.

"Ichigo. Look at me."

No, I'm sorry, I can't.

Her small hand closes around my chin and lifts my head the last few inches.

Instead of the fear, hate or even distrust that I expected to see in her face, all I see is concern…and maybe something else…

"Do you hate me?" Okay I was so not expecting that question.

I have to blink several times in order for my brain to catch up with my mouth. "Of course not." I am beyond confused. If anybody should hate anybody it should be her hating me. I was the one who failed her.

"Why won't you look at me?" Something is shattering within my chest.

"I…I was afraid." There, I have finally said it. Even if I had to look off into the trees to say it.

"Afraid?" She says it like she can't believe it.

"Hai." The trees sure are interesting around here…

"Of what?"

I close my eyes and face her again. Opening them slowly I search her eyes for any hint of distrust or fear, and yet again I find none. "I was afraid you would hate me." I still am.

"I did at first." She said quietly.

Something inside me cracked. Am I falling apart? Am I going crazy?

I am not crazy.

"But I realized something." Her voice is enough to bring me back into focus.


"You hated yourself even more." Still that quiet voice.

Hated? As in past? No, Rukia it's hate. As in right now, and forever.

The graceful girl stood on the branch and turned. Then sat down again with her back against my chest. I can feel her breathing evenly and she pulls one of my arms around her small waist.

"I don't hate you, Ichigo. You did what had to be done. You were strong enough when you had to be." Her cheek rests against my chest as she looks up into my face.

She is warm against my chest. She doesn't hate me. I cling to that thought like a lifeline.

"Rukia." Her eyes seek out my own and for a moment I'm lost within their depths. "Will you keep me sane?"

Her hand reaches up and brings my head down closer to hers and presses her lips sweetly to mine. Pulling back only a hairbreadth she answered. "Only if you return the favor."

I feel the tears sliding down my face, but I am in no shape to try and stop them. Zangetsu will just have to deal with the rain.


Home. I haven't seen it in over a month and it has never looked more beautiful than it does right now. Even with my crazy family housed inside, I feel like running up the walk like a little kid.

Apparently I'm stable enough to return to the real world. Whatever that means. Back to school and problems that normal teenagers have to deal with.

Oh and keep my Hollow under control. Sure, no sweat.

I make my way through my window and knock Kon upside the head while he's sleeping. Kon's been taking care of my body…at least he only had to play sick, if he had gone to school…shudder.

"Ow! Ow! What was that for?" It looks strange to see my angry face staring back at me.

"Thanks for keeping my cover, now get out." I reclaim my body and pick up the mod soul, shoving the round pill down the lion plushie's throat.

Now I have a pissed off plushie…ah well, I will just throw him around a bit till he calms down.

Sleep is what I need. Let's see if I actually get any though. Well, any sleep free from nightmares…

The bed feels good. I'm home, maybe that's what I needed…

A shadow falls across my face and my eyes snap open to stare at the figure in the window. Now can anyone say, déjà vu?

AN: I could continue…not sure if I should…