by Impervious Marr
Summary: Companion piece to 'Written Notes'. In this place that is too white and much too silent, Kurosaki Ichigo finds solace in music and melodies as he loses the abilities to track time and to judge what is right and wrong. Set in the distant future.
Warnings: I don't know… Implied MxM in the future? Some insane ramblings, a whole lot of confusion too.
A/N: I hope you enjoy. It is multi-chaptered! Yay! Let us all revel in the craziness that is Ichigo's mind! I did this when I was feeling particularly emo. -sob-
An Arrangement of Sound
Maybe it was the silence.
Just maybe, it could even be the white, because the whole place was too, unnaturally white. Sometimes, he couldn't understand how Ino – Inoue could still keep her sanity in this place. He had an idea why, though. Being a healer forced her to breathe some fresh air, the outside world, and Ichigo never had a taste for it since they put him in this room.
He couldn't remember when they asked him to stay in this room, and that was the most painful, because he lost track of time. But he gathered that it had been a few years. A few years, at least, because he remembered distantly that he had been shouting and screaming the first time he came here, and now he couldn't even remember how to use his voice.
They never, ever let him out. There weren't even any windows to look outside.
He never even saw the Arra – the, the things that brought him his meals and changed his sheets. They always seemed to come in when he was in the shower, or when he was sleeping, or when he wasn't paying attention – so the lack of contact from living, breathing things made him retreat to his inner world more often than he would like.
And sometimes, just sometimes, he was grateful that his Hollow and his sword – Zangetsu, though sometimes he couldn't hear the old man anymore – kept him alive with some semblance of sanity. He could just starve himself to death… But somehow, that wouldn't be right. His counterparts kept on telling him no, Ichigo, no, but sometimes they didn't understand, because they lived in a world that had some sound and not all was white like where he was in.
But he kept on living anyway, and staring at the wall emotionlessly, without scowling or crying or smiling or anything. He was long past those days, and he never really could keep an expression on his face when he's mentally conversing with his Hollow.
They decided on the name Hichigo, because Ichigo felt that their relationship was close enough to warrant the use of names. Hichigo still called him King, though, and it was funny how he'd grown some sympathy for the orange-haired boy – refusing to take his throne, he supposed, when he's weak like this.
What was weak, anyway? He couldn't remember the days when he felt that he was stronger than everything else. Sometimes it scared him to wonder.
In some of the conversations, when Zangetsu joined in, they talked about silly things, or the things he read in the books the Arran… Arrancars left for him, which was to say not very long ago. The added knowledge just made him bursting with things to talk about, and he talked about everything, even if it was in his own head, even if outside was painfully silent. He couldn't talk to himself anymore, because he forgot his own voice.
White, white, white.
"Your hair's getting long, King."
"So it is…"
His Hollow chuckled, and Ichigo could somehow sense that he was tilting his head, examining him carefully. "It's nice. I like it."
"Should I ask for a haircut?"
"Nah, you should ask for company."
It was the fourth time he woke up from unconsiousness from the last time he had that conversation with Hichigo. He must be going insane; nobody measured time by the number of times he woke from sleep.
But nevermind. It was better than wasting away, trying to think of when.
And that was when the creak of the door opening startled him. His mind went into overdrive at the sound, eyes widening at the figure that slipped into the room.
He was blinded by the sight. The person was foreign to him, but he could faintly string together something in his memories. I have met this person before.
His Hollow growled out in response.
"Kurosaki Ichigo," the man spoke, started, and Ichigo covered his ears, shutting his eyes. Too loud, it's too loud. Go away. "Hmm... I suppose Gin was right; silence drives a man to be deaf."
Go away. Go away. Go away. Stop talking, stop breathing, stop stop stop.
He didn't know if this was a dream. If it was, it was a level of a nightmare he couldn't comprehend. The level of noise was too much to bear, and Ichigo felt a pain greater than any physical pain he could distantly remember in the past.
The orange-haired boy shook his head repeatedly, whimpering, asking the man - that, that thing - to leave, now. He was fine with the silence. He needed company, but not this suffocating feeling. Not this loudness.
The energy that came from the man was stifling.
"Ichigo, look at me," he commanded, and Ichigo stopped shaking. He shuddered. The man stepped up to him and Ichigo could smell something that was different than detergent and floor cleaners, and himself. The feeling overwhelmed him, but he didn't cry.
He was beyond that.
"Ichigo," the man repeated forcefully, with a little bit of displeasure, and Ichigo looked up, eyes emotionless and his lips without feeling. "Talk. Speak. You haven't lost your mind, now, have you?"
I might as well have.
The stubborness that immediately engulfed him made him stagger; shrink back to the walls. His Hollow was lashing out threats and more threats by the passing second. It seemed that he knew who this monster was.
"It's Aizen, King. That bastard who put you in this place those years ago!"
A I Z -
Ichigo's eyes snapped open, and his mouth opened. The voice that came out of him was raspy, weak, but definitely him. It was distorted - must be something to do with his Hollow being so close to him, or the fact that he hadn't used it in a long, long time.
The chance to use his voice after so long filled him with a sense of euphoria and fear.
The man smirked, as if he just won the greatest victory.
It wasn't torture, no. The fear that subsided over him eventually faded out into a passing memory, something he knew that he'll soon forget. Aizen visited him a few times, before deciding that he was fit to step out into the world outside. He tried to talk, but not too much, because the questions he wanted answers to were questions he forgot.
The hallways were also white. He followed behind Aizen, because the man was always the dominant one, needing to be over everything and anything within the world. Ichigo could live with that. As he passed the floors, he encountered something that intrigued him - a full length mirror.
He stopped, and turned around, steps silent as he walked up to the device, but Aizen heard him anyway.
The orange-haired boy ignored the call in favor of looking at his reflection. The one they gave in his previous bathroom was small - he never really got a chance to examine himself in full form. Ichigo looked at the male who was staring back at him.
His eyes were half golden, half brown. He surmised it had something to do with bonding with his Hollow closer than before. That one he knew, so he dismissed the fact.
His Hollow didn't lie; his hair was now long, but strangely placid, falling against his eyes instead of sticking every which way. His build was lithe, thin - he lost those muscles he had long ago. And in these white clothes, he felt like a ghost.
Ichigo was as pale as anyone could get, after living in a place with no sunshine. He shuddered at the image and slunk away, wrapping arms around himself. Hichigo was the one who comforted him first.
"King, it's alright, it's alright."
Ichigo mumbled something under his breath, which made him quirk something resembling a smile and his Hollow laugh.
"I look like a girl..."
Aizen stared at the scene before him, before shaking his head in amusement and tugging the boy by his hand. The feeling warmed Ichigo to the core, because Aizen was another human being, and Ichigo stepped closer, unwilling to let go.
"I want a piano."
The request made Aizen pause a split second in drinking his tea, and he cleared his throat as he looked at Ichigo calmly. He was seated opposite of him on the table, as of routine - afternoon teas were meant for only both of them. Not that Ichigo was complaining; he wasn't sure if he could handle someone other than Aizen at the moment. Ichigo wondered sometimes why Aizen would bother entertaining him, but didn't question it.
"A piano, Ichigo?"
"Yes." The Vizard drew circles on the table, unimportant, then looked back at Aizen with unreadable eyes. "Can I have a piano? I read it in the books." He dropped his gaze. In truth, he didn't, but he remembered once upon a time how he wanted to play one of them, how he loved how it sounded.
And he hated the silence when Aizen went away.
Aizen didn't comment on the blatant lie. He decided to let it slip for now. "A piano..." He thought about it and shrugged mentally. There wasn't any harm in that, and he decided Ichigo had enough of just talking and talking.
"I want to learn again."
Aizen looked at him curiously, but his mind was already made up.
"I'll look into it. I'm sure we can find one and I'll put it in your room."
Ichigo was half-surprised, but pleasantly; his thanks was polite and his lips curved for the slow, gentle, small smile that spread, but for Aizen, that was enough.
It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, the first thing he saw when he woke the next day. The sleek, polished ebony and ivory keys gleamed against the wooden body of the instrument - he expected for Aizen to get something unassuming, but he should'nt have thought that. Aizen wanted nothing less than the best, after all.
It was a grand piano.
There was a note, he noticed, scribbled in perfect writing.
It's all yours.
Ichigo ran a hand down the keys lightly, revelling in the touch. He knew it would become familiar, one day, and already he was getting used to it. Ichigo took his own sweet time to look, because he knew he had plenty of time, so he examined everything without a care in the world.
The first note he played was pure music to his ears. He closed his eyes, and even his Hollow marvelled at the feeling.
End Chapter One.
A/N: Maybe I'll flesh it out later? I don't know. I just finished it a few minutes ago, and it's all unbeta-ed and written in WordPad. I'll fix any spelling mistakes later when I boot it up to Word. This is a response to a review back in Written Notes, by Ice Silverwind, asking about a sequel. Well, maybe not a sequel, but a prequel maybe. So I thought about it, and this is what I came up with.
I haven't thought much about how Ichigo came to be captured, but oh well. And I still haven't thought of Aizen's interest in him. Maybe he finds Ichigo amusing. Who knows?
Have a nice day everyone! Please review and tell me if I should continue Ichigo's weird ramblings. If you've read through all of this crap so far, I love you. :D