So...this is my first Bleach fic. Oneshot about Rukia and Ichigo. I rewrote it recently, because I wasn't happy with the firs version. I hope you like it. The lyrycs are from the song "Animal I have become" by Three days grace...or something. There might be many differences from the anime plotline, I admit I'm not even halfway through the series. Hopefully this won't result and angry mob with pitch forks and torches.

Darkest side

Kurosaki Ichigo threw his bag on the floor in his room and, asking in a loud voice not to be disturbed, locked himself up. It wasn't a good day-another fight with a bully, and he had to stop a hollow in that new construction site. His head was ringing and his muscles ached like hell. All he wanted was to lie down and fall asleep.

Yet he never got enough sleep. And currently, he was shovelled up with homework. He wondered if he would finish it for the summer holiday. Eventually one or both of his sisters would come in his room to ask him to help or his father would try to attack him from behind. Another normal day at home. Ichigo wondered if it wasn't too normal. And there was that Hollow too…

"ICHIGO!" Rukia said while slamming the door of his closet open to look at him. Oh, yeah. She was there too. Maybe he should've chased her out before he locked the door. "We have to talk."

"Not now." He said, turning his back on her "I'm not in the mood."

"You better get into it then! Did you kill that Hollow today?"

"I must've. Otherwise that's the hardest bastard of them all."

"Did you see it pass? Did it go to Hell?"

"Not really. There was a lot of smoke and I was too tired to watch the whole show."

"You really are stupid! Just who do you think you are?!"

"Let's see…a tired, bored teenager who wants to take a break?" said Ichigo, barely listening to a word she was saying.

"NO! You have my powers, thus you are a Shinigami! You can't neglect your duties!" Rukia was black and blue with anger.

"Stop screaming like that." Ichigo said, feeling his head aching. "Do you have and idea how important this is?"

"Yes I do, you're repeating it to me every damn day!" Said Ichigo, clearly offended.

"You're obviously not listening well enough, because you're totally screwing up!!!" she shouted


Rukia looked at him, dumbfound.

"I just…"


"I'm sorry, Ichigo…" she tried to explain, but Ichigo was too much off line.


Rukia, without a single word, slipped out of the closet and went out through the window. She turned to look at Ichigo one last time, but he had already turned his back on her. Then she disappeared.

Ichigo sat down to do some homework, but he couldn't bring himself to think. His head was buzzing and he needed to lye down. That fight was horrible. That hollow was stronger than the ones he had to fight...Suddenly, a thought crept into his mind. Why did he shout at Rukia? She was just doing her job; it wasn't her fault that she was taking things too seriously. He looked at his watch and realized that it was two hours since she left. Why wasn't she coming back? Was she upset with him?

Ichigo, worried about her, got up and walked to the window. He peeked outside to see if she was coming back anytime soon.

"Baka" he grunted out. "Disappearing out of the blue like that…and in her condition too."

Recently, they had an accident. In a fight with a hollow Rukia was severely injured and had to pass her powers onto Ichigo (once again). So she was stick in the human world again, and again was weak. Even a 60 meter dash would drain her out. Ichigo didn't want to think about what would happen if she ran into some dumbass or worse. She'd probably act all powerful and mighty or start screaming insults in her preposterous "modern" Japanese.

His heart sunk, and next thing he knew he was running towards the door, putting on his shoes and hissing "baka" underneath his nose. His sisters peeked out of the living room to see their big brother dash out through the door, leaving one last loud "BAKA" behind him.

"Wonder what got him so worked out!" asked Karen and went back to her magazine.

I can't escape this hell
So many times i've tried
But i'm still caged inside
Somebody get me through this nightmare
I can't control myself

Ichigo's heart was racing as he ran throughout the neighbourhood, looking for Rukia. He stopped at every corner, looked into every yard, even checked the dog huts. He got growled at, he got bit, and he was chased by a poodle. At one point he thought that it was useless from the beginning. She was probably mad at him for shouting at her and didn't want to see him. And when Rukia wanted to stay hidden there was no way to find her.

Ichigo stopped when he passed the construction site where he fought that hollow. A sudden, and not lesser horrible thought than the ones proceeding appeared in his head. What if she decided to come and see if the Hollow was still there….and maybe it was….and maybe she fought it!

His heart sunk and he didn't even have time to say "baka", before he found himself in the building.

So what if you can see the darkest side of me?
No one will ever change this animal I have become
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal

Indeed he was right. Rukia was there, on the place where the seventh floor was…or was supposed to be. She was cornered by the hollow he fought earlier that day. The creature was missing a limb or two, but it was there indeed, and it was strong. There was blood coming down from the shinigami's face.

Ichigo didn't know how he got on the seventh floor, he didn't know how come Rukia was still alive. All he knew was that he was REALLY angry. The hollow, still standing, looked confusingly around itself, obviously wondering towards which one he should turn to. Seeing the Ichigo was stronger, it decided to kill him first.

But the young man was faster. With an animalistic roar he jumped towards the creature, swinging with his sword. The hollow dodged the hit and swung with one of his huge, claw-like arms towards his head. Ichigo swung underneath and stood between it and Rukia.

As the fight went on he suddenly felt strange. A shiver ran down his spine and it got hard for him to breathe. His thoughts were blurry and he couldn't focus his vision. He choked on his own breath upon realizing what was happening.

The shinigami looked up, as Ichigo was blocking the hollow's hits. Something in the young man made her feel scared-he was quickly pushing the hollow back, but he was too fierce, it seemed as if he was enjoying hitting it. And there was a distinguishing shade of black in his left eye.

Ichigo was turning into a hollow again. Rukia knew that this would never turn out well. He was doing his best to keep the hollow in him down, and she was certain that he had managed to destroy it for good. Alas, that was not the case.

With one final blow Ichigo sliced the hollow in two and the creature was sent to Hell at last. But Ichigo didn't get out of Shinigami mode, he didn't move at all. His entire body was tense and his eyes were wild. Rukia stood up and walked to him. Afraid of what was going to happen, she touched his shoulder.

I can't escape myself
So many times i've lied
But there's still rage inside
Somebody get me through this nightmare
I can't control myself


There was silence…and then he hit her. He hit her so hard she was slammed against the wall, as his hollow mask covered half of his face. There was steam all around him as he raised his sword to strike her. Rukia though, swiftly dodged the attack and moved sideways, not breaking eye contact even once. Her thoughts were racing, she was calculating the chances she had against this creature…and the chances of him coming back.

So what if you can see the darkest side of me?
No one will ever change this animal I have become
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal I have become
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal

Ichigo was struggling desperately. His hollow self had grown stronger, and his anger and frustration had definitely weakened his defences. He cursed himself-being so neglecting and now his body was on the rampage…and Rukia was the one in danger.

Of course, right now his prior thoughts were about his evil alter ego, who was currently strangling him with his bare arms and squeezing the air out of him. He tried pulling up, but it seemed worthless.

At the same time, Rukia was facing big trouble. Ichigo, who usually had some pattern of action when he was a hollow, was now acting like a doll. A thought came across her mind-what if his other self was trying to get rid of him for good this time? What if he was in mortal danger? The thought was horrible indeed, and what made it worse was that she couldn't help him in any way.

The hollow Ichigo attacked her again. Rukia jumped aside, but the pain in her wound was so sharp she was immobilized for a second. That was all the Hollow needed.

Ichigo felt his other self distracted and used the opportunity to knock it off. He stood up and growled out:

"You bastard, aren't you tired already with that?"

"Beating you? Hell no." he grinned "This time I'll win."

"Over my dead body!"

"Don't make promises you can't take, Ichigo. You of all people should know that. You sowre to protect your family, but you're not doing a pretty good job."

"Leave them out of this!"

"Oh, you don't like it, don't you? You know you can't save anyone, so why not let me take over? I'll certainly do a better job. Maybe I'll find you some good friends too."

"You'll have to kill me first."

"Why, Ichigo, your body's technically already dead….I think it's supposed to finish off your little friend right about now. It would be a waste though. Tell you what, if I kill you before your hollow body finishes her off, I might just have some fun with her."

"No…Rukia…Damn you!" he screamed angrily and his sword just slipped into his hand. The next thing his alter ego knew, he was dismembered and was fading away.

Rukia felt something happen…but as she was relaxing, Hollow Ichigo hit her again. She spun in the air, but landed on her feet and raised her fists.

Ichogo looked around, feeling a little odd. He won, why wasn't he going back to himself. He couldn't wake up, the air was still stuff. It was hard to breathe. The conversation he had with his other self were spinjning in his head like a crazy marry-go-round and didn't leave him to rest. Sure, why should he go back, he was no good at all. He couldn't protect anyone, he just screwed things up. And then he realized it…he couldn't go back.

Somebody help me through this nightmare
I can't control myself
Somebody wake me from this nightmare
I can't escape this hell

Rukia noticed how the mask on his face grew. Then…had he lost? Or he couldn't find his way back. She was wondering and the Hollow was taking over. Maybe Ichigo's mental barrier had weakened from all the exhaustion and the argument they had earlier. Either way there was only one thing to do.

It flew towards her, but she didn't jump back. Instead she jumped at him, one hand against his chest, and pinned him against the floor. The little Shinigami used all her power to keep Ichigo's body still, without hurting it…or allowing it to hurt itself. It was really hard and she resorted to a method she learned form her life on Earth. She wrapped her arms around Ichigo's body, even if that gave the monster's claws better access to her back, and she used all her power to tame it.

"Ichigo…" she mumbled "Ichigo, do you hear me?"

Ichigo's eyes shot open as he heard her voice. But where was it coming from? Where was she? She seemed so close and yet…and yet so far away.

Then he understood. She was calling him out. She was trying to help him. Him, who screamed at her and who was cruel to her….he didn't deserve it. Well, she thought he did. Her will to bring him back brought warmth into his cold, dark and frankly horrible world. He had to go back. He had to keep his promise. He had to apologize to her the least.

"Rukia…" he thought and followed her voice out. A voice that brought feelings about all the good things in the world. A voice that warmed him up inside and out. A voice, sweet and gentle when it wasn't yelling at him to move faster. A voice that called out to him.

Ichigo opened his eyes and saw Rukia. The Shinigami was resting her hand on his chest and was looking carefully at his face. Then she smiled softly.

"Thank goodness…you made it."

"Thanks to you." He said huskily and noticed his head was resting in her lap. Her outfit was shred to pieces and she was bleeding from several places. But she still kept her smile.

"Are you OK?" he asked, panic going over him as he thought what might have happened to her.

"I'm fine." She smiled softy "Ichigo…"


"I'm sorry for making you angry, this was all my fault…" she said, but he pulled up, looked into her eyes and replied.

"No, on the contraire. I…I should be the one apologizing. I was really mean and I hurt you so badly when I should have thanked you." He took a deep breath and went on "Rukia, I'm sorry. I acted like a total ass and I took everything out on you when it wasn't your fault. And even then you saved me and I'm very thankful."

"I…" Rukia blushed "It was the right thing to do."

"It means a lot to me, Rukia." Ichigo said softly "Especially when I lo…"

"When you…what?" Rukia looked at him questioningly. "Ichigo?"

He gulped, and for a second thought he made a mistake. Then he noticed her eyes and thought "What the hell.", leaned forward and kissed her gently. A few moments felt like an eternity before she returned the kiss. They stayed like that for a while, holding to each other tightly.

Then Ichigo took Rukia in his arms and carried her down the stairs to his father's clinic. They didn't say a word….but they knew they didn't have to.

A/ did you like it. Yes, it's a little fluffy and my English is probably absurd. Other than that, I hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.