Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach in manner whatsoever.
Takes place six years after Hueco Mundo Arc...so spoilers.
And rated M for future stuff...sooo...yeah...: D
8/23/08: And yes, I am editing...a lot. SOOO...if you noticed a couple of new chapters...it's not new. I just split chapters 3 and six to make them more manageable...but I did rewrite some of Unplanned Irony.
The Next Great Shakespeare
It has been six years since that awful time.
The time when we prospered the most.
Friends have died--
The war is stilling ongoing.
But we are still fighting
Yet there is no end.
The twilight freed itself from the sky, giving way to a splash of dark dusty clouds and bright-singing stars. With little effort, the wind pushed its way along the streets of Tokyo, sending leaves flying toward the heavens. At the heart of the city everything was still alive and active, flashing signs burning away to make up for the absence of light. Yet beyond the center, many of Tokyo's residents found themselves in a silent sleep- curled up in cozy beds, waiting for the sun to return.
And among these dozers, there was one young man lying down in a small bedroom. He had fallen asleep hours ago during the nightly news and his television was still on, blinking away advertisements. The remote slipped from his fingers as he turned onto his side, his dreams dominating his mind.
He was walking along the path that lead to the entrance of the Soul Society, though he was wearing his own clothes rather then the traditional Shinigami grab. Placing his hands inside his pants pockets, his eyes wandered the scene before him. Green hills rolled off into the distance. Worn ruins stood tall, ancient and beautiful. And a thousand fields of summer gold. In his current semi-conscious state, he was barely aware of how his legs ached from all the walking he had been doing. He was impacted by the peace that surround him--something he hardly ever got anymore.
The long, narrow gates of the Soul Society arched high above him as he approached them. He lifted his hand from his pocket, reaching for the iron handle. He twitched, his instinct telling him not to touch it. Yet, his stubbornness to get inside over powered the warnings and he grasped the handle firmly with both hands. And the whole Soul Society began burn all around him, rising in an ember of ash and smoke.
Kurosaki Ichigo woke up, panting and patting away at the sweat dripping from his forehead. He was sitting up, gazing around his room trying to find something familiar--something real. It came to him in form of his television, which was still emitting a faint blue light. Taking in a deep breath, Ichigo found the remote lying on the ground and flipped through the channels, trying to get his mind off his nightmare.
The odd thing was, it wasn't the first time he had had it. Over the course of six years, ever since the war with Aizen had started, he had dreamt of the destruction of the Soul Society. He had been in so many real battles, killed so many people, he had first hand experience of what it was like to take someone's life. But for some reason, even this feeling did not compare to what should happen if the Society fell in Aizen's submission.
And that's what all of his nightmares had shown him.
We won't, Ichigo thought firmly, we're still fighting…we still have a chance at winning. And with that, he turned off the television, thinking about his graduation from Tokyo University that was to take place the very next morning.
Six years can seem like a timeless end, but when you are able to change your perspective on things, it can seem as if six seconds had just flown by. Or at the very least, that's how Inoue Orihime had been able to translate her imprisonment in Las Noches. For six long fruitless years, had Orihime been locked in her tiny room, only visited when she was needed. Countless times had she had healed her enemies' wounds and repaired the Hōgyoku for Aizen. Her face now looked like a tired old sage, having lost her youthful complexion long ago.
But she had become content with her surroundings. Dismissing her own comforts was the sacrifice she had chosen to make for her friends. And may they live wonderful lives, would be her only blessing for them.
He was sitting in a white leather bounded chair, his head propped up on his elbow and dolefully pouring over one of his many books. He wasn't in the mood for reading at the moment but it was the only action right now to calm to nerves. Six years since the start of his war and the only thing keeping him away from victory was the constant rebellion of the Soul Society. Why wouldn't they just give up a lost cause?
All in good time. Aizen Sosuke rubbed his temples; all things fall when given the right push.
Opposition was a force that could last for centuries, as evidence conducted by human history have shown. Such opposition caused a high level dedication from the repressed and sometimes, if they were lucky, could surpass the enemy. But Aizen knew that his army was much stronger and larger. He could use the Hōgyoku and create new recruits within one day, whereas the Shinigami had to wait until someone with enough spiritual power came along in the hopes of training.
He ran his fingers through his hair, staring up at the ceiling with blank eyes. What was it that he needed to bring about the final blow to the war? His thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door. Aizen sighed quietly to himself before ordering, "Come in, Gin."
"Ah, how did ya' know i' was me?" Gin Ichimaru entered the room, hands hidden behind his back.
"I would think that was obvious after all these years." Aizen smiled, "Your spiritual pressure, of course."
"It's been six years." Gin took the seat next to Aizen, placing a magazine onto the table between them.
Aizen eyed it wearily, looking at the front cover. It took him a few seconds to register who it was but once he did his smile grew. It was that idiotic ryoka child from the human world, Kurosaki Ichigo. "Why have you brought me this, Gin?"
"I found i' yesterday when ah visited the human world. I though' i' might have been interestin'-- he's becomin' quite famous." Gin commented, "They say he's gunna be like Shakespeare."
Aizen looked more closely at the cover to see the headline that accompanied the picture and read aloud, "Kurosaki Ichigo, the world's next great Shakespeare." He knitted his eyebrows, "This is all very nice Gin, but I don't understand why on earth I should find this interesting?"
"Ah, true, true. I though' i' was amusing."
"You find a lot of things funny."
Gin shrugged his shoulders, "Just ha' an odd feeling you migh' want i'."
Aizen smiled, "That's very odd. Why would I want this?"
Again, Gin had no straight answer for this. He tilted his head up, obviously in deep thought. "Well, ya' can think of i' this way. We ha' killed off a goo' number of their captains in recent years and it seems Kurosaki is one a' their las' most influential leaders. So tha' got me thinkin'- maybe he migh' be the ticket ta' finally win the war."
"We already discussed this a long time ago, Gin. That boy is a waste of my time and holds no threat to me."
"In my opinion, he holds na' threat to ya' personally but he might ta' our cause." Gin rested his arm on his knee, "He's been growin' very strong since the war started. Both a' us have seen i'. You were one a' the first people to recognize 'is untapped potential. He's uncovered a lot a' i', but I got a feelin' that he still ha' more."
Aizen considered his words for a moment. Of course, he had already known this bit of information for a very long time and he was sure Gin had as well. Each time they had come across the boy in battle he had shown new tactics, always improving.
"What are you suggesting, Gin?"
"Nutin' whatsoever. But i' seems tha' every time one a' our men come across 'im durin' a battle, they end up gettin' killed."
Aizen didn't say anything for a moment or so, "And in the last battle, it was Tousen."
"A heavy loss fer' our side, na' doubt."
"Maybe I should take care of the boy personally? Kill him myself?" Aizen questioned.
"Take i' how ya' will. I just wanted ta' talk ta' ya', tha's all."
"Of course you did." Gin cracked his creepy, fox-like smile.
"Well then, I'll leave ya' be then. Perhaps Inoue will 'et a better reaction out a' this." He took the magazine and left the room.
Aizen leaned in his chair, rethinking what had just happened. Killing Kurosaki Ichigo…that would be a huge blow to the Soul Society. He would stop being such a troubling menace for the most part. How old was the kid now? If that woman was in her twenties now, so it was probably the same for that boy. Aizen rubbed his temples. As long as he had Inoue here to fix the Hōgyoku whenever it fell into a weakened state, he would have no trouble to finish this war.
But then a second option occurred to him, one that he had thought of times long ago but never really put into action. Having the boy join his army, his cause. He would be like Inoue , only doing it under some sort of threat but still, why waste such a powerful foe? He could be, as in Gin's words, 'the ticket to win the war'.I'll think more on the matter later, Aizen thought, getting up from his chair. A mental image of the magazine cover flittered into his mind and his smile quirked; He's gotten quite handsome after all.
Worlds away, Ichigo found himself waking up for a second time that night. He pulled the blankets off of him, swinging his legs over the edge. Placing his face in his hands, he couldn't comprehend why he was so worried. But he felt it…somewhere in the back of his mind. The message seemed to scream that something dreadful was about to happen. But he didn't know what.
My first attempt a piece like this...O.o...I don't know if it is good or bad...I was laying down the foundation for future chapters.
Three things- major thanks to Fierygirl0 who was my beta for this chapter.
Hōgyoku- Orb of Distortion (Just in case you watch the dub version.)
Also I want to thank Rozellarising or helping me with my grammar in this: D
So please give me your thoughts and any grammar mistakes…which hopefully I don't have any….