Chapter 22: Part II Where it Started
See who I am,
Break through the surface.
Reach for my hand,
And show them that we can
Free our minds and find a way.
The world is in our hands.
This is not the end.
Ukitake sat at his desk within the first division head quarters; he was not really getting much work done. His mind was too busy wondering if the Kurosaki family had made it back to the world of the living and what they would be doing. Would they still be apart of the Shinigami's? Would they help with the hollow problems or would they complete cut themselves off from Seireitei.
Ukitake sighed at this and shook his head; whatever happened he just hoped the two of them would be happy. However, he wondered what would happen to the son, Taiki. It is possible that he will develop into a full Arrancar but would that boy join the world of the hollows or remain as a helpful aid to the shinigami. He was concerned about the matter but not overly concerned. With a father like Kurosaki Ichigo, he was certain that the boy would not stray from the path of righteousness.
Nevertheless, he could not help but wonder what was going to happen with the Kurosaki family. It was very surprising to suddenly hear the voices of his officers calling out to stop a man and a very short woman from entering the Captain's office. It was even more surprising to see the being he was thinking about kick his doors open and march into the room to stand before his desk.
He started, a bit shocked, at the orange haired man that was being followed by his old unseated comrade, and then a very tall dark skinned man and a modified soul living in a gigai that looked just like Ichigo.
He turned towards a shinigami that came into the room and started to shout apologizes for this interruption, but Ukitake waved him away and announced it was all right. When the shinigami left, Ukitake turned towards the four people in his office. "And what may I do for the four of you, and so soon."
Ichigo was the first to speak, "You say my family will be safe? How can I know this is true and that you will keep your word." Ichigo stared down at the older man with eyes so firm and narrowed that it could possible kill Ukitake if Ichigo had laser beams in his eyes. Ukitake was thankful that was an impossible ability for a shinigami to have.
Well, he thought it was impossible even though Ichigo was a vizard and not a shinigami.
"You have my word."
"And my son?"
"Will be looked after and trained in the ways of a shinigami. He will not be hunted, nor killed due to his condition that could not be helped, but you must understand, if the boy choose to join the holl-."
"Then I will kill him with my own hands, no one else. He is my son and thus my responsibility."
Silence echoed through the room as Chad glanced Kon. They both felt slightly awkward in the room now and they where sure Rukia did as well. Rukia gazed up at her husband's stern face but did nothing to stop him as he spoke once again.
"How can a shinigami train a boy who is not shinigami nor a vizard?"
"I am not sure, but we will find a way to. He will receive aid and help, Kurosaki."
"That isn't good enough!" Declared the orange haired male as he slammed his hand on the desk of Ukitake. "If I join the shinigami, I demand the right to travel to and from the living world and Hueco Mundo. Without questions and hindrance." Ukitake could not help but stare at Ichigo.
"Are you proposing to join us, Kurosaki-kun?" By the look in Ichigo's eyes, Ukitake knew the answer almost instantly. The white haired man leaned back in his chair in thought. "What do you plan on doing?"
"The best way to teach a boy to become and understand what he is is to be trained by one who understands what he is and knows how to control those powers." Ichigo spoke from experience. He had to find the vizard so long ago to have them teach him how to be a vizard, how to understand himself and his powers. Without them, he would have become a hollow so long ago when he was fifteen.
"Are you hinting to finding an Arrancar to aid your son."
"Grimmjow owes me. I want to bring him into Seireitei and if he refuses then to allow my son and I to travel to the Hollow Lands." He said simply, "And I will do it with or without permission. I just prefer to mention it now, rather than later."
All eyes turned to Ichigo then and he ignored them.
"Very well." Ukitake said, "You may do so, and if it helps, you may offer him a seat among your ranks if need be, to help your son until the Arrancar's aid is no longer needed."
A pause came and then went.
"Who will you make your fukutaicho, seeing as the 7th Division has no Taicho or Fukutaicho."
Ichigo leaned forward to peer at Ukitake, "I want Kon as my fukutaicho." Ichigo's words echoed through the room. Rukia's closed her eyes and Kon's about fell out of his own head as Chad merely raised a brow and stared at Kon. "I want him to have his own gigai and don't you dare tell me I can not have him. Mayuri had his own modified soul as a fukutaicho!" Ichigo said pointing a sharp finger at Ukitake. "I want him to be able to lead his own life here, he has a right to it as does anyone else!"
"Very well." He said slowly and turned towards Rukia. "And what about you Rukia?" He inquired. The short woman looked at Ukitake and blinked. "I wish to go to 3rd and keep Kira as my fukutaicho." The sickly man nodded.
"In that case, I would like to welcome you both to Seireitei and as fellow captains. But I must inquire, what of Chad?"
That is when everyone stopped and took note of the big man of split decent. Chad, not liking being the center of attention shifted his weight around and then looked at Ichigo and spoke to his old friend. "I am not dead, do not worry about me." However, Ichigo frowned and stared at the man, they had a promise between one another, one made so long ago and never forgotten.
It was a long moment between the two men as they stared at one another, Chad and Ichigo never thought much about the future. They knew that when it came time, they would face the music, but neither ever thought that one of them would die. Yes, in time they knew they would or that one could move away, but simply die and live in another time and space was a difficult thing to grasp.
Ichigo's sword worn hand reached out to Chad silently. The big man looked at the hand and then at Ichigo. The strawberry was smiling at Chad, "Hey," He said finally to his best friend, "If someone fucks with you, be sure to tell me."
That was it, that was all that needed to be said between the two for them to understand each other. No matter what, their promise was still alive and strong. If Ichigo ever needed him, he would come, as he knew Ichigo would come to his aid if he needed him. "The same goes for you, Ichigo." The two clasped hands and shook with a tight grip, both peering at each other with a loop sided smirk.
Three Years later:
A tall young man with shoulder length orange hair that was currently tied back in a ponytail with a band looked out across the whites and grays that made Hueco Mundo. His brown eyes turned to view the man beside him.
"So this is it." He stated, as he looked at his fellow orange-headed companion. However, the man beside him beside him was a bit older with short orange hair and hard brown eyes. The younger of the two smirked as he looked at the Captain's haori with interest, seeing the large symbol for the number seven on the back.
"Kon," said the man that Kon had used as a base for his gigai, Kurosaki Ichigo. Kon had grown so used to Ichigo's body and looks that he had his own gigai fashioned after the young Kurosaki. He was slightly shorter then Ichigo, thin and wiry. He had the same eyes as Ichigo and the same hair though longer. However, on his nose and under his eyes he felt freckles and a bright cheerful smile.
Dusting off his sleeveless black robes and adjusting his, yellow cloth belt. "Oi, Ichigo. How far away is the person we are looking for again?" Kon inquired as he looked at his Captain who moved through the sands, followed by Kon who had his hands in his pockets.
"Not far. I am sure he has notice our presence." Ichigo chuckled lightly as they came to a stop by a crystallized tree. Kon could not help but whistle as they stared at Las Noches. "Wow, it's a big place." Kon said as Ichigo entered the building.
"Don't worry, I know the way."
Kon followed behind Ichigo, his brown eyes scanned the area making sure no hollows or remaining Arrancar would suddenly attack them. So far, it did not appear anything lived here. The walls where broken and crumbled in many areas that allowed he moonlight to shine through. Every once in a while Kon would notice a hollow lizard scamper by but it was to small to cause much worry.
His chocolate eyes rose to the ceiling and saw thick lines of decay within it and the markings of Kiddo of some kind. He concluded that a battle had been fought here long ago. This became even more evident when he saw markings of swords and old blood that was smeared on the dirty walls.
Kon wasn't paying much attention anymore and when Ichigo had suddenly stopped moving, Kon ran right into the taller orange haired man. "Damnit! Why didn't you…say…any…thing…." Kon had started to rub his nose but suddenly stopped as he noticed they had been climbing a long staircase and where now in a room that was darkly lite.
His keen eyes went straight ahead where he caught a figure, sitting on an ivory throne with one leg thrown over the arm of the chair, while his other foot was planted firmly on the ivory floor. He sat at an angle and his head resting against a fist.
"Well, well, well." The voice was unemotional but a hint of a growl could be picked up on much like a cat purring. "Shinigami, I didn't think you would be so stupid enough to just stroll around here." A wicked smile appeared on the man's wild features, his hollow mask clearly visible on the side of his face.
"Grimmjow." Ichigo spoke with boredom in his voice as he looked upon Grimmjow. Kon on the other hand stood in a fighting position with his fist in the air as laughter sounded through the chamber and eyes began to appear in the shadows. It appeared that other things lived in this place other then small hollows.
Grimmjow shifted himself in his chair, putting both feet on the floor and leaning forward to gaze at the shinigami he had fought with long ago. A wide feral grin appeared on his features as he spoke with a voice full of slyness. "So, after all this time, you just had to come back. You really can't get enough of my sword, can you?"
"Ah, save your stupid remarks for someone who cares. I merely came here to get that favor you owe me."
"A favor? Since when did I owe a Shinigami a favor? Eh?" Grimmjow asked as he tilted his head at the orange haired man. "Especially one that is a Taicho." Mused the feline Arrancar. Ichigo seemed unfazed by all of this and peered at the Ex-Espada. "Since the day Aizen died and when I saved your ass from Mayuri."
Grimmjow frowned for a moment as he recalled that Ichigo did save him from the creepy ass captain who wanted to use him and the remaining Arrancar as science projects. He would have been a little experimental rat if it were not for Ichigo. Granted he had given up his rights from ever leaving Hueco Mundo. It was surprising that he actually kept his word.
"What do you want, Shinigami?" Grimmjow asked in his growl like voice. Ichigo merely chuckled a bit as Kon watched the events unfold. "I want you to help my son."
Grimmjow raised a teal brow at this, "Who the fuck allowed you to have children?"
"Who the fuck allowed you to live?" Kurosaki countered and since that was a fair answer Grimmjow leaned back in his seat with irritation. "What's up with your shitty kid, Shinigami? I would expect one of your line to be another pain in the ass."
Ichigo smirked at that, "He will be a pain in your ass and I will make sure of it, Grimmjow. Now what is up with my child is rather simple. My son's powers are awakening and they are not a shinigami's but a hollows or, if you will, an Arrancar."
This causes Grimmjow to narrow his eyes, "Arrancar?"
"A natural one, Mayuri had used him as an experiment when he was a infant. It changed his soul and it became lost in limbo between Vizard and Arrancar. Recently, he as been showing signs of becoming an Arrancar."
"A hole in his chest. He has not shown any signs of having a mask or a zanpakutou. That is where I need your help, I am a Vizard and so I lack the knowledge of how to teach a child to be anything but that." Ichigo sighed at this, feeling a bit odd explaining his inability to handle his son. "You have been given permission to enter Seireitei to help my son, you may even join my squad if it will help you. If you wish not to go into Seireitei then the boy will come here, though I prefer it the other way around." Ichigo pointed out in a firm voice.
Grimmjow rested his hands on his throne and studied the Taicho before him and his fukutaicho that was a mod soul. "How old is your son?"
"Three, going to be four next month."
Another bit of silence came into the room, which soon broke when Grimmjow stood and began to climb down the stairs and towards Ichigo. "I will not be kind, nor will I show any mercy to the child if I am to teach him the ways of an Arrancar."
"I understand." Ichigo said, watching his old enemy.
"I will come and go as I please and do as I see fit. If any Shinigami bother me, I will rip them a new asshole."
"They have been warned of such events." Ichigo stated as Grimmjow came to a stop as he walked off the last step, his hands in his pockets as he leaned forward, invading Ichigo's personal space. "Then I will come and see what to do about your little bastard of a son."
Teal eyes rotated to the side, "Stark. Take care of things while I am gone." The sounds of a yawn echoed in the room, no one was able to see the lazily Espada but his voice was heard. "Aye, King-Kitty." He said with another yawn and more then likely went back to sleep. Ichigo merely raised a brow at this and looked at Grimmjow as he walked past the two orange haired men, mumbling.
"King-Kitty?" Kon asked slowly which caused Ichigo to shrug and Grimmjow to growl. "Got a problem with it?" He asked Kon dangerously. Kon quickly shook his head no, Grimmjow snorted. "Good."
With that said and after coming to the conclusion that Stark must be following Grimmjow's orders due to laziness. Grimmjow, Ichigo, and Kon left Hueco Mundo and they returned to Seireitei.
Rukia watched as the three men stepped out of the Garganta. Taiki and Masaki stood by their mother with a curious expression as they watched a Teal haired man look at them. The man with the teal haired turned to their father, pointing at the children. "You didn't fucking tell me you had twins!"
Ichigo smirked, "You never asked." He stated and looked at his son that was now hiding behind Rukia's black pants. Rukia, was a bit edgy over the idea of having an Arrancar in Seireitei, let alone dealing with her son but she understood someone needed to help the boy and she nor Ichigo could do it.
"Taiki, come here." Ichigo told the child with orange hair. The boy looked up at his mother who sighed and pushed him towards his father. The little boy was dressed in a blue and green kimono. The dark hole of a hollow was clearly seen in his chest, once the boy stood a few feet from his father, Ichigo pointed at the tall and scary as hell man beside him.
Taiki did not really like the big man in front of him, in fact he found him to look like the boogie man that lived under his bed. In fact, he was sure he was the boogie man that lived under his bed in the living world! The small boy gulped as his father spoke. He listened to his father explain that this man was now going to be his teacher and that he should listen to the man and do as he said, much like he did with his father.
But Taiki did not care for the big scary man. In fact when Grimmjow bent down to look the child over, the poor son of the Kurosakis screamed and ran behind his mother and hid. Grimmjow, still bent down with his arms on his knees looked up at Ichigo.
"What the fuck? You created a coward, how the fuck did that happen?"
This rewarded the 6th Espada a kick to the head by Ichigo, "He is only three you fucking retard and your fucking mask scared him!" The two then commenced into fighting which caused poor Rukia to sigh as he daughter giggled and her son shook in fear.
She was sure, that this new adventure in parenthood with Grimmjow as a teacher to their son was going to be one hell of a ride.
A/N : I would like to thank all of the reviewers, readers, my friends who helped me when I got stuck (that means you Aaron). I am so happy and yet sad at the same time that this story has come to an end. Though now it gives me time to work on All Around Me, and some other ideas I have been toying with! I hope you all enjoyed this story as much as I did when writing it. It was very tough for me to write this chapter because I had so many ways to end it, but I decided to go with the simple way. Which turned out very well.
Thank you so much for you support! I hope to hear from you guys again in my future stories!
Until next time, Ja ne!