BLEACH: Listen To Your Heart
SUMMARY: Ichigo saved Rukia from Execution in the Soul Society. He saved her, but she chose to stay. He and his friends were granted safe passage back to the Real World…and they have to go back without Rukia and carry on with life. But…can Ichigo really carry on? IchixRuk
Written By: FlexRhysode1
Special Move Names (With English Translation)
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AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have been listening to this great song for a long time…and I have decided to do a Fan-Fiction based off it. And I have been on a Bleach Spree lately…so I decided to combine the two. This is my first Rukia and Ichigo Fan Fiction…actually my first Bleach Fiction ever. 0o so yeah. Lemme know what ya think of it! And while you are at it…check out my story for Naruto! If you like this, I am sure you will like that. But still. Enough of my rambling! ON WITH THE STORY!!
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT own any characters from Bleach. I DO NOT own anything in this story, except maybe a random person thrown in…but I will let you know about that. AND I DO NOT own the song 'Listen to Your Heart' by DHT. Tite Kubo and DHT have all the rights. Not little old me. T-T
A/N (AUTHOR'S NOTE): This Fan-Fiction is indeed rated M on the safe side. I refuse to do lemons. Sorry, to all you who hope for some. I really am sorry, but I do not like to write sexually explicit scenes. But please enjoy the story anyways. It is rated M for blood, language, death, and violence. I don't plan to kill anyone but Hollows…yet. ;) But still. It's rated 'M' for safety.
Bleach: Listen To Your Heart
"I know there's something in the wake of your smile,
I get a notion from the look in your eye, yeah.
You've built a love, but that love falls apart.
A little piece of Heaven, turns to dark."
- DHT, 'Listen To Your Heart'
It was a bright afternoon in Karakura Town…so bright that it threatened to blind anyone who glanced outside. Above the grey cement and black asphalt were shimmering heat waves, and even in the shaded spots the air seemed to shimmer from the intense heat.
No one was outside. No children, no adults…and no animals could be found. Everyone was indoors, leaving Karakura abandoned like a ghost town. There wasn't even a breeze to stir some kind of air through the town. The town seemed dead on the outside, though life was held in the walls of the houses.
It was the exact opposite for one inhabitant of Karakura. He was moving around, living…but on the inside, there was nothing. He was there, moving, but on the inside, he wasn't. He was far from alive, in his mind. He was hollowed out, a shell of what he used to be.
Ichigo Kurosaki had just returned from Soul Society a few days ago…and ever since then he'd been this hollow shell. He'd acted normal, as normal as he could at least, when he came back with Orihime, Chad, and Uryu. But, he wasn't normal.
At the moment, he was beating the crap out of his father. His father had attempted to punch him in the face…yelling some crap about him needing to be more energetic as a now-16-year-old young man. Ichigo, already on a short fuse, was now thoroughly thrashing his old man. Yuzu and Karin were watching from the kitchen table, finishing their lunch.
Ichigo blocked his father's flying screw kick, stopping his socked foot an inch away from his chest. Ichigo spun his father around, swinging him like a doll. "QUIT IT ALREADY!" He yelled, and sent his father flying into the living room and crashing into the sofas.
His father leapt back up, apparently unharmed, and yelled right back. "NOT UNTIL YOU SHOW MORE LIFE!" He roared, and jabbed his finger accusingly at Ichigo.
Ichigo leapt through the air, spinning like a helicopter, and kicking his father in the face. He sent the old man toppling, and landed in a cat-footed stance. "I AM SHOWING LIFE! WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU CALL ME LANDING A KICK TO YOUR HEAD?! SO SHUT UP AND LET ME EAT!" Ichigo yelled, panting and sweating.
His father got up a bit slower this time, and was about to jump at Ichigo until Karin finally interceded. "DAD! Let him eat in peace!" She yelled, and Isshin slumped over…defeated by his daughter.
Ichigo ran his hand through his hair, and sighed. He walked over to the table, frowning as usual, and plopped down at his seat. He was sweating slightly in his plain white tee shirt and tight blue jeans, but he would soon cool down thanks to the air conditioner. He grumpily grabbed his chopsticks, and started to dig into his rice.
Yuzu and Karin were both staring at him while they were eating…but out of the corner of their eyes. He pretended to ignore them, and gobbled down his food. Right now, he did not want to be around anyone…even his family.
Isshin Kurosaki slowly walked over to the table, contemplative and quiet. For once, he was dead serious. "Ichigo…" He said, and Ichigo looked up from his rice. He almost glared at his father…but at the sight of the soft and caring look, he faltered. Rice stuck to his lips, uneaten and unattended to at the moment, and he stared at his father. This was one of his very rare serious moments…
"What you need…" He said, pausing and looking thoughtful. "Is a girl." He finished. Nodding to himself and scratching his stubbly chin. Ichigo fell out of his chair.
He quickly jumped to his feet. "What the hell is wrong with you?!" He quickly wiped the rice off his face, and glared at his father, who gave him a cheesy thumbs-up sign.
Ichigo had had enough. 'Damn it…can't they just leave me alone?' He screamed in his head, and he turned and stormed up the stairs and to his bedroom. He heard Karin laying into Isshin…and heard Yuzu also scolding their father as they would a child. He ignored his father's shouted protests and defenses, and stomped into his bedroom. He slammed the door behind him, and at that moment, another tormentor reached him.
Kon, yelling as he had for the past few days whenever he saw Ichigo, launched himself off the desk near Ichigo's bed and through the air towards Ichigo.
"YOU COULD HAVE BROUGHT HER BACK! YOU SHOULD HAVE TIED HER UP AND BROUGHT HER BACK!" He roared. Kon had been obsessing over ways that he possibly could have brought Rukia back with him…after rescuing her from execution. Kon was taking it hard…but so was Ichigo.
Ichigo let loose all of his rage on that poor little stuffed lion that flew towards him, and punched him as hard as he could. Kon went flying backwards, crashing into the wall. "HAH! You can't hurt me! I'm made out of fluff!" Kon yelled, but when he managed to stand…Ichigo was no longer there. "Ichigo?" Kon asked timidly…and glanced around. Ichigo was no longer in his room.
Ichigo was stomping down the stairs, radiating with such a force of anger that his father shivered. Yuzu and Karin froze, still lecturing their father, as he stomped to the front door and hastily put on his shoes. "I'm going out!" Ichigo yelled over his shoulder, and then opened the door…and slammed it behind him.
Yuzu and Karin both looked at each other, and then at their father. Ichigo had never before stormed out of the house, away from his room. When he was in his room, it was like his sanctuary…and for him to storm from his room…it had to have been Isshin's fault.
Yuzu and Karin both yelled at their father at the same time, who cowered under the mighty glares of his two teenage daughters. "DAD!!" They yelled, and he whimpered in response.
It had only been five minutes since he had stormed out of the house…but he was already sweating up a storm. But, it didn't help his anger at all. He was so royally pissed off at his dad, at Kon…and at Rukia. It was all just too much for him to handle at the moment. He needed to work out his frustrations…but there were no Hollows to dish his anger out on.
He stomped around in the heat, pissed off and not knowing where his feet were carrying him. He couldn't get what his father said out of his head. 'Ichigo…what you need…is a girl.' Ichigo scoffed. His father was way out of line on that one…or was it just the fact that it seemed to hit too close to home that made him mad? He couldn't decide.
He finally realized that his feet had stopped moving…so he glanced around, withdrawing from his thoughts. He was standing…in front of Uruhara's store. He saw a familiar redhead poking his head out of the front door, and the cute little black-haired girl follow suit. He was standing in the shade created by the store…but it was still hot.
"Hey, orangey! Are ya just gonna stand there all day?" Yelled Jinta. He glared at Ichigo, and Ichigo glared back.
"W-would you like to come in, Ichigo?" Ururu asked, and Ichigo shrugged.
"Sure…is Uruhara in?" Ichigo asked, as the shop door opened to admit him. Ururu and Jinta shut it behind Ichigo, and Ichigo was immediately confronted by a mass of muscle.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Kurosaki. What a pleasant surprise, to see you so soon." Tessai boomed, half-scaring Ichigo. He looked up at the big man, and nodded.
"Nice to see you too, Tessai. Listen, is Uruhara around?" Ichigo asked, looking around the shop.
"Yes…but he's busy at the moment. Can I get you anything? Tea? Soda? Water?" Tessai asked politely. Ichigo shook his head. "Nah…" He replied, and looked around some more. He could see a large assortment of all sorts of do-hickeys. He vaguely wondered what some of them could do…and then he spotted a black cat slinking around the corner of one of the shelves. He could immediately tell who it was.
"Yoruichi?" Ichigo asked. The black cat looked up at him, and raised a paw in greeting.
"Hey, Ichigo. I didn't expect to see you so soon." Yoruichi said in her raspy cat-voice.
"Wh-what are you doing?" Ichigo asked. He hadn't expected to see Yoruichi around…
"Nothing. Oh, and Tessai…Uruhara's not busy anymore." She said, and then darted out of the shop. Uruhara, clogs tapping on the wooden floors, appeared when a door rolled aside. His eyes widened momentarily when he saw Ichigo…but then went back to normal.
"Ah, Mr. Kurosaki…what a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you today?" Uruhara asked, leaning casually on his cane. Ichigo eyed the cane, which he knew was actually a Zanpakuto.
"Well…I don't know really." Ichigo admitted…and then he realized that maybe he had come here….to talk to someone. He needed someone who would listen, and he didn't want to burden any of his other friends. He was sure Uruhara would understand his situation perfectly.
"Well…actually…I was wondering, if maybe we could talk?" Ichigo asked, and Uruhara almost fell over in shock. Jinta, Tessai, and Ururu immediately made themselves busy around the shop…trying to appear busy and like they weren't eavesdropping.
"Sure, Ichigo. Come on in." Uruhara said, turning to the door from which he had just come.
"HOLLOW! HOLLOW! HOLLOW!" Screamed Ichigo's medallion, which was attached to one of his belt-loops. It was his new Deputy Soul Reaper Pass, given to him by Rukia's Captain. Captain Ukitake.
"Dammit!" Ichigo snarled, and grabbed his Deputy Pass. Instantly…his body slumped over and his spirit emerged. He glanced at Uruhara. "I'm sorry…can we talk when I get back?" He asked, and Uruhara smiled and whipped out his little fan that he carried around.
"Oh absolutely. We'll take care of your body." He assured Ichigo, and Tessai picked up Ichigo's body.
"Okay…I'll be back." Ichigo said, and bolted out of the shop. Luckily, he did not feel any of the heat since he was now a spirit, or more specifically a Shinigami.
He reached out with his spirit-sense, looking for a general direction of the Hollow. He felt the dark spiritual energy, realigned his course, and sprang onto the roofs of the houses. He would be upon it soon, he hoped.
He landed gently in front of a park…but not just any park. It was the park. The park where he had saved the first spirit from a Hollow, the day after Rukia had lost her powers. Ichigo pushed the memory aside and surged his power. The Hollows reacted to those with high spiritual power first…they were drawn like moths to the flame. So if the Hollow was hunting a spirit, they would feel Ichigo's high spirit power for a moment so that it would draw them away from the spirit.
Almost immediately, he heard the cry of a Hollow. He casually removed Zangetsu from his back, and then he presented the wrapped Zanpakuto in the ready guard. He heard a second Hollow cry, off to his right in the trees of the park. So there were two Hollows now. He gripped his black Zanpakuto's handle tighter.
He could hear a large amount of noise as the Hollow to his front crashed through the trees to try to get to him. Ichigo took a few steps forward into the park, and watched as the Hollow emerged from the trees. It was a large, centipede-like hollow, reminisce of the Hollow he had fought so long ago when Kon had run away with his body. Then the Hollow to his right emerged from the trees, a large green ape-like body with a tiny masked head. Ichigo quickly sized them up, and then Zangetsu unraveled itself.
"Food…" Rasped the centipede. He was a large hollow, at least as big as the tallest trees in the forest. But he wouldn't be a problem.
"Must devour…" growled the ape-like Hollow. He was pretty big too…at least two times as tall as Ichigo. His muscles were bigger than Ichigo's head.
Ichigo accessed his anger. The anger he accessed was the anger that he felt boiling just under the surface of his calm façade. The anger he felt at Kon for constantly blaming him for not being Rukia back, the anger at his father for probably understanding too well…and the anger at Rukia for not coming back. The anger at Rukia for not understanding what he tried to tell her…
Instantly, Zangetsu reacted to his anger…his massive intent to kill the Hollows. Zangetsu wanted to cut…just as badly as Ichigo wanted to. Zangetsu started to cry out, and blue spirit energy coated it. It wanted to be unleashed, just as Ichigo wanted to unleash all of his anger.
He raised his sword above his head, and the two Hollows seemed to reconsider attacking him for a moment. But that was all, just a moment. Then, they both sprang at him. Ichigo screamed his anger, made his torment audible, and brought his blade down. As soon as his blade touched the hard dirt ground, blue energy blasted out towards the two Hollows…and destroyed both of them. They didn't even have time to scream.
Dust obscured Ichigo's view, engulfing Ichigo completely, and he sank to the ground. He plunged Zangetsu down into the soil, and fell to his knees, leaning against his Zanpakuto. He grit his teeth in frustration, and held back his tears of anger that threatened to spill down his cheeks. 'Rukia…why couldn't you just understand?' He thought, feeling such an emotional anguish he hadn't felt in a long time.
He instantly recalled the whole happening a few days ago…back in Soul Society.
The white-haired Captain of the 13th squad, Rukia's Captain, Captain Ukitake, was standing in front of him. He had just presented Ichigo with the golden Deputy Soul Reaper Pass, Deputy Pass for short, and was standing with Ichigo and his group of friends in front of the Portal that they would take out of Soul Society.
Rukia had already told them that she felt her place was in Soul Society. She needed to help stabilize Soul Society in any way she could. They were saying farewell when Ichigo felt that maybe, if he told Rukia what he had been feeling for a while now, she would stay with them and com back.
"Rukia…can I talk to you in private for a moment?" Ichigo murmured, as the rest of his friends said farewell to the assorted friends they had made in Soul Society. Rukia's dark purple eyes caught his brown ones, and Ichigo felt his heart hammer in his chest. She gave him a slight smile, hardly a lip-twitch…but one that was an obvious 'yes'.
They stepped away from the group, towards a set of trees where they wouldn't be overheard. She was now wearing her black Shinigami clothing, looking just as she had before she transferred her powers to Ichigo. He looked at her…and she waited. He looked away, unsure if he could say it now.
"Ichigo…" She murmured, and he looked at her. There was a soft smile on her lips…and a look of affection on her face, held in her eyes.
"I…I wanted to say that I…I…" Ichigo stammered out, keeping his voice quiet. He couldn't quite say it. It was as if there was something preventing his tongue from moving, from forming 'love'. He looked at her eyes, looked at her smile, and he wished she could read his thoughts.
"I know, Ichigo…" Rukia murmured, smiling. He blushed slightly…forgetting to keep his tough-guy face.
"You do?" He asked, hoping desperately. It wasn't like him…to do these kinds of things.
"Yes…and I'll miss you a lot too. You're one of the greatest friends I'll have ever had." Rukia murmured, and Ichigo's heart fell. Rukia wrapped her tiny frame around his in a hug. He bit back what he wanted to say…not wanting to spoil things now. If he was seen just as a friend…then that's all he would be. He just wrapped his arms around her petite body, and held her to his chest, imagining that it was more than a friendly hug…just in this moment.
He disengaged from her with a smug smile. "Don't go getting in trouble, Shorty." He teased her, and she smiled. She punched him lightly on the arm.
"Don't do anything stupid, Ichigo. I can't be there to baby-sit you now." She teased back. He growled playfully, frowning. She smiled up at him, and he let a small caring smile to grace his features. She seemed puzzle at the affection he allowed to show, and then he went back into 'tough-guy mode'.
"All right then. Let's finish saying goodbye. I'm sure Orihime will cry if you don't say bye." Ichigo said, and she smiled and nodded. Together they walked towards the group, to finish saying farewell.
Ichigo gritted his teeth, and staggered to his feet. He yanked Zangetsu out of the ground, and attached it to his back now. He didn't even look at the massive path of destruction he had left behind.
Uruhara stiffened next to Ichigo's body, whom Tessai was holding in the sitting up position. Uruhara had set the tea table and was waiting for Ichigo, when he felt Ichigo unleash one of his powerful energy blasts. From what he could tell…the Hollows were regular Hollows, not requiring a fraction of that energy spent.
"Owner…you felt it?" Tessai asked softly, and Uruhara nodded.
"It appears Ichigo is distraught about something." Uruhara murmured, and looked at the empty body that Tessai was holding.
"Hmmm…do you think Soul Society will investigate the blast?" Tessai murmured. Such a powerful blast in the World of the Living would draw Soul Society's attention…and possibly land Ichigo in trouble.
"Most likely. They probably already know who and what caused it. We'll just have to warn Ichigo to be careful." Uruhara said, talking more to himself than to Tessai.
They sat in silence for a few minutes…until Ichigo walked into the room. He walked over to his body, and carefully synched back into it. He opened his brown eyes, and looked at Tessai. "Thanks, Tessai." Ichigo said, and Tessai nodded. He then stood, and left the room, shutting the sliding door behind him.
"Well then, Mr. Kurosaki…what would you like to talk about?" Uruhara asked, walking around to the other side of the Tea-table so he could face Ichigo. He sat on his bottom, and took a tea-cup and brought it to his lips.
Ichigo followed Uruhara's suit, drinking some of the ice-cold tea. He set the cup back down…and then glanced down at the tea-cup and saucer. "I…uh…I'm not sure exactly where to start…" Ichigo murmured, embarrassed. He hadn't thought of how to say it.
Uruhara allowed a small, amused smile to show. "Well, Mr. Kurosaki…I find the best place to start, when you can't seem to find where to start, is at the very beginning." He said gently.
Ichigo attempted a grin, that seemed more like a grimace…so he stopped. "Well…it started last year, really." Ichigo said. Basically, he was saying it would be a lengthy tale.
Uruhara smiled encouragingly. "Well, Ichigo…my day is free. Tessai and Jinta and Ururu can take over shop. Today most likely won't be very busy with the heat…so take your time." He said.
Ichigo nodded…and then took a breath. Exhaling, he began to weave his tale, beginning with that evening last year…when he had first learned of the existence of Soul Reapers…back when he first met Rukia Kuchiki.
Ichigo was walking down the streets of Karakura, well into the night. He was sure it was around midnight. He had broken curfew, and he was sure there would be a punishment for it. But, he would gladly take the punishment. Talking to Uruhara, baring all his feelings and thoughts to someone, had left him feeling freer and much better than before.
His mind was especially mulling over one of Uruhara's questions. Uruhara had listened well, and at the end of Ichigo's tale, asked a few questions. The first…was…difficult.
Uruhara had asked, "Ichigo…when was it that you fell in love with Mrs. Kuchiki?"
It was difficult for Ichigo, because he couldn't place an exact time or date. He had initially learned he cared for her as a friend when he had faced the Hollow who had trapped a poor boy's soul in a Cockatiel. Ever since then…the feeling had just sort of grown on its own. He hadn't really even been aware he looked at her as more than a friend until Rukia had left Ichigo's house and left that note…it was the night Rukia was taken back to Soul Society. He had been aware as he fought for her, fought Renji Abarai…and then nearly died when Byakuya Kuchiki attacked him. But if he was honest with himself…it just sort of happened on its own without really presenting itself completely to him until it was necessary.
When he had answered all of Uruhara's questions, Uruhara had presented him with a basic observation. He had said that Ichigo's mistake was letting his opportunity pass…but it wouldn't be Ichigo's last opportunity. Ichigo would just have to do his best to live and carry on as normal…until he saw Rukia again. He was sure Ichigo would see Rukia soon, and then present his feelings to her.
Uruhara and Ichigo had talked a bit more after that, and Ichigo had been reluctant to go, but knew he had to go back home. He had left Uruhara's shop, after Uruhara had told him that if he ever needed to talk…Ichigo knew where to come.
Ichigo was now almost to his house, and he was preparing for a furious assault from his father. When he reached the door, he carefully extended his hand for the knob, and then turned it. He opened the door, and was surprised when no crazy dad flew at him with a flying kick.
Sitting alone with a cup of coffee at the table, was Isshin Kurosaki. He looked extremely tired, and a little hesitant when Ichigo entered the house. Ichigo decided to take the initiative…after they both avoided each other's gaze and didn't speak for a few minutes.
"Look, dad…I'm sorry for breaking curfew…and I'm sorry I left the house like that. I shouldn't have done it, and I realize that now…a little too late, of course. But, still…I am sorry." Ichigo said, and his father sighed. He got up from the table, and walked over to Ichigo.
"Ichigo…I forgive you. But, allow me to apologize. I was out of line, over the top…and I should have realized you needed space. I wasn't thinking…and I want you to know that if you ever need silence or space again…just let me know. So, I'm sorry, Ichigo." Isshin said, his dark brown eyes staring deep into his son's.
"It's not your fault dad…but I forgive you too." Ichigo said, and Isshin immediately wrapped his son up in a hug. It wasn't one of his goofy forced hugs…but a genuine father to son hug. Ichigo embraced his father, and then withdrew.
"Ichigo…get to bed. There won't be a punishment…this time. I'll see you in the morning." Isshin said, and Ichigo nodded. He silently ascended the stairs to his room, and quietly slipped into his room and shut the door behind him. He went over to his bed, flopped down, and was surprised to see that Kon was sitting silently on the desk next to his bed.
"Hey…Ichigo…" Kon said softly.
"Kon…" Ichigo replied…and waited for what the Mod-Soul had to say.
"Well…I'm sorry…y'know, about the past few days. It's not your fault, and I know you did your best. But I'm sorry." Kon murmured, and Ichigo gave the stuffed lion a small smile.
"Hey, Kon…it's fine. I just overreacted. No need to apologize…I know that you're taking Rukia's decision hard…and I understand. I just overreacted, and I'm sorry I took that out on you earlier." Ichigo replied, and Kon turned away.
"Hey, no biggie, Ichigo. I'll see you in the morning." Kon said, and jumped over to the open closet. He jumped up onto the cot that Rukia used to sleep on in his closet, and shut the closet door. Ichigo lay back completely on his bed, and put his hands behind his head. He sighed, and closed his eyes.
"Hey Rukia...you better come back quick." Ichigo whispered softly, smiling up at the stars…and he quickly fell into a deep sleep. A sleep where he dreamed of Rukia…and her beautiful eyes and soft smile.
YO! I hope you guys liked this ending…and lemme know if you want to see more of this story! Review and let me know! And I hope that Ichigo didn't seem too Out Of Character during the ending. I just wanted to show his soft side. :) lol. So, lemme know what you thought. The next chapter will be from Rukia's point of view mostly. If there is a next chapter…