Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach nor any of the characters used in this story.
Two Sides of the Coin
Ichigo cursed as he slammed his Zanpakutō into the splitting ground. He needed to train harder. If only he had been paying more attention then Rukia wouldn't have been hurt by that hollow. The previous night was still a fresh memory as he watched the hollow's claws dig through her flesh and toss her almost 20 feet away. He remembered her run to block the hollow's attack as he stood there clutching his head trying to gain control over his inner self; how he ran to her side once the hollow had escaped and vanished. He had braced her in his arm and asked if she was alright only to hear her hiss out how he was an idiot and how he shouldn't space out while fighting. Now, she was resting at Urahara's healing while he was below the shop training underground. She scolded him enough last night as he supported her on his back that he hadn't realized how deep her injuries had been. The hollow had pierced its claws straight through her flesh and he felt sickened when he bandaged her wounds.
'This wouldn't have happened if you just let me out Ichigo.'
Ichigo tightened his grip on Zangetsu. He didn't need this right now. He hesitated drifting his eyes shut but eventually returned to his inner world. His face immediately turned to self-loathing as he spotted him lying carelessly on the glass building. His inner hollow: Shirosaki Hichigo.
'You really need to shut up. I didn't need your help in the first place. I could have taken on that hollow without your help!' Ichigo replied as he pointed Zangetsu at him. His eyes were closed and he didn't even bother looking up at him.
'Pfft…really? If my memory serves correct you were the one standing there fighting me while that bitch of yours had to save your ass.'
'I wouldn't have been standing there in the first place if you hadn't decided you wanted to come out and fight!' It was then Shirosaki's eyes opened and he lazily gave Ichigo an annoyed look.
'You're really annoying you know that? You NEED me Ichigo. It ain't the other way around. Fool, for once can you just admit you were wrong, I was right and get over yourself. I don't understand why you keep hesitating to let me out King.' Ichigo flinched and he felt his temper boiling. Why?! He thought back to the last time his hollow had come out and attacked Byakuya.
'I will never let you out around Rukia. The last thing I want is for you to hurt her more than she already is!' Shirosaki quickly stood up from his lying position and approached Ichigo with a pissed off look on his face.
'Now listen here your Majesty,' he spat out. 'I don't appreciate you going and making assumptions about me. Now listen well, as long as you're in control you won't have to worry your sorry ass off. Although we're one in the same King we're total opposites just like I'm the smart one and you're the dumbass. It seems you've forgotten that the reason for your power is the girl. I don't exactly enjoy being indebted to something weaker than me.' Shirosaki's expression immediately turned into a smirk.
'I really should just kill her since she's your weakness and becoming mine.' Ichigo immediately stiffened and his eyes grew hard. 'But like I said, I'll be a good boy since a really tiny part of me appreciates the reason for my existence. Even if I exist because of your desire, your weakness, to protect that bitch shinigami.' Shirosaki jumped as the air where he once stood was sliced by a blade. He landed and kneeled on the tip of Zangetsu and chuckled. 'My, my, aren't you in a bad mood today.' Shirosaki placed his palm on the blade and Ichigo's eyes widened as it began to turn white. 'Instead of fighting me all the time shouldn't you go see how your bitch shinigami's doing? She calling you, you know.' Suddenly Shirosaki's palm smacked into his face and the back of his head met the hard dirt of Urahara's basement.
"OYYYYYYYYY! Ichigo get off your lazy ass! Rukia's awake! Better hurry up!" Urahara yelled from the opening in the sky. Ichigo stood up and rubbed the back of his head. Bastard…
He immediately headed towards the ladder at the news of Rukia being awake. He wanted to apologize for yesterday. Although he wouldn't admit it, it seemed his inner hollow was right…it was once again his fault that Rukia was injured.
,.-´¨¯¨·-.¸-( In The Guest Room )-,.-´¨¯¨·-.¸
Ichigo approached Urahara's guest room and felt the reiatsu that had become so familiar to him on the other side. He hesitated to open the door and began to rethink of a new approach.
"I'm waiting strawberry!" Rukia's voice called from the other side. He sighed then opened the door. There she was facing the window with her back towards him. She was wearing a simple yellow dress and guilt began to fill him as he outlined the bandages underneath the cotton. She turned around and looked him straight in the eye. There was a pregnant silence as he felt himself being scrutinized under her gaze. Then, she smiled sweetly and raised her hand toward his face. He closed his eyes momentarily forgetting everything as he waited to feel her warmth but instead was on the ground trying to soothe the burning sensation.
"BITCH! The hell was that for?!" He seethed rubbing his cheek where her fist had struck him.
"I should be asking you what the hell was that?! Get that pathetic look off your face Ichigo!" She yelled back. She smirked as his usual scowl returned to his face and a vein began throbbing on his head.
"I was going to apologize dammit! I was about to say something really nice and maybe take you out to places but you had to go and hit me! I'm not apologizing for shit!" He stood up and exited her room. Rukia stared at the door annoyed before chuckling to herself.
"I don't want any of your pity jerk!" She approached the bed and threw on a matching jacket. She opened the door and spotted Ichigo with his back to her like she expected. She approached him and smiled. "I'm hungry, so what places do you have in mind carrot-top?" He scowled at her before grabbing her hand and leading her out of the shop.
"Demanding midget." He replied in answer to her previous question as he took her somewhere to eat.
'You really are pathetic King….' Shirosaki muttered to himself as he watched the scene. His eyes lingered on Rukia longer than he wanted before turning around and watching the clouds. 'A shinigami woman…how fucking pathetic.' He tried finding images in the clouds to waste time but his eyes widened when one looked like a certain shinigami. 'The hell?!' He glared at Ichigo who was currently arguing with Rukia at some random café. He pointed Zangetsu at him and threatened. 'This is your fault Ichigo,' His eyes narrowed at his clueless King. 'Once the dumbass always the dumbass. I swear if you don't figure out what to do now…' his gaze flicked to Rukia who was begging to turn red in the face, 'then I'm going to have to do it myself.'
Damn…Ichigo cursed to himself. He wanted this to be a regular walk back from school but his inner hollow decided to start speaking to him. Rukia was almost fully recovered and had refused when he insisted on retrieving Orihime. He recalled this morning when she needed help changing her bandages. He was flustered as he wrapped the cotton around her torso as the smooth expanse of her back sat exposed to him. His fingers would occasionally brush against her skin and he marveled at the softness. His face scrunched up. Rukia was just his friend. He shouldn't be thinking about her like that.
'Oi, Ichigo…what do you think you're doing?' Ichigo sighed in aggravation. Leave me alone dammit.
'What do you think I'm doing? I'm walking home.' He replied harshly.
'No, dumbass. I mean what do you think you're doing walking home and doing nothing?' Ichigo was becoming annoyed.
'What the hell are you talking about?'
'I can't believe this. Don't you feel it?' Shirosaki was waving his arms around lazily for emphasis.
'Feel what?' Shirosaki sat up and glared. He's so careless…
'Why don't you ask the shinigami women?' Ichigo glanced to his side at Rukia just to see her falling forward. He immediately caught her before she hit the ground.
"Rukia! What hap- she passed out?!" It was then Ichigo noticed the strong spiritual pressure that was heading towards him. Using the shinigami badge that Ukitake had given him, he released himself from his body. His hand clenched the hilt of Zangetsu as he prepared himself for a hollow attack. Suddenly the pressure returned to normal. He briefly wondered if some other Shinigami had taken care of it and let go of his sword.
'FOOL! Never let your guard down!' Ichigo turned around as the screeching filled his ears. As he looked over his shoulder his eyes widened as the hollow from the previous night lunged at Rukia's unconscious body. "RUKIA!" Then everything went black……
'You really are pathetic...Ichigo.'
Rukia groaned as she slowly regained consciousness. She recalled the events right before everything went black.
The strong spiritual pressure.
Ichigo walking beside her.
A warm body holding her.
Then, she heard the hollow's scream closer than she expected. She immediately became aware of the situation and looked up the moment Zangetsu clashed with a claw. It was the same hollow from before and she tried to sit up but felt a sharp pain in her temples.
"I-Ichigo?!" He stood rigid as the hollow continued to try and push the blade away in vain. It was silent then her mouth dropped in disbelief when he began laughing.
"What a weakling. I can't believe you were able to cause so many problems in the first place."
"Watch your mouth shinigami!" The hollow screeched before swinging its other claw down. Rukia watched amazed as Ichigo caught it with one hand but it soon turned to horror when she heard a crack. Ichigo crushed the hollow's arm with his bare hand and it screamed in pain. The blood flowed freely from the wound splattering her dress and his robe. He lifted up Zangetsu and threw it in the air catching it vertically by the hilt.
"Disgusting. I can't believe I'm wasting my time on you." He swung his arm once and threw his blade with incredible strength plunging the hollow into the building behind it. It howled as it began to disappear.
"What are you? You are no shinigami!" Then…it was gone. Rukia never moved from her spot, her body unable to. She was speechless as he took care of the hollow in mere moments carelessly removing the blood with one swift swing. Where the hell had he received such strength from?! She blinked twice as a hand suddenly entered her view. She stared at it before raising her eyes to meet his scowl.
"You want me to leave you there?" She hesitantly grabbed his hand and it was then she noticed his eyes. They were black and no longer amber but a distinct yellow. She made to snatch her hand back but his grip on her tightened.
"Who-who are you?" Chills ran down her spine as a grin appeared on his face.
"Who do you think I am…Rukia-chan?" He tested her name liking the way it rolled off his tongue. Her eyes narrowed as her mind came to one conclusion.
"My…don't have to be so rude to your savior you know. I have a name." Shirosaki…Rukia merely glared as she refused to acknowledge it.
She began pulling harder at his mocking tone then her other hand reached for Sode no Shirayuki and grasped the hilt.
"Are you going to kill me?" She asked preparing and unwilling to die without a fight. At this his eyes flashed and his grin slightly faltered.
"Now, why does everyone like to make assumptions like that?" He pulled her forcefully on her feet and she winced at the pain. "Why would I waste my energy on something as weak as you? If I wanted you dead I would've just let that hollow kill you." Rukia still didn't feel all at ease. She held her ground and glared. "Come on already!" He pulled her arm and she crashed into his firm chest. She raised her free hand and jabbed her nails into his skin until she drew blood. He merely grinned and showed no signs of pain.
"Let. Go. Of. Me. Hollow!" She seethed. There was amusement in his eyes as he drew in closer to her face.
"You're starting to annoy me with that attitude of yours Rukia-chan," he drawled, "and although I find your efforts entertaining, the sooner you stop bitching the sooner I can rest." He released his hold on her and kneeled with his back towards her. "Well? I might take myself on my offer and just leave you there. I could care less either way." Rukia narrowed her eyes. Her head was spinning and she tried to focus on the picture in front of her. It wasn't possible. The way he was acting made him seem so…Ichigo.
"This doesn't mean I trust you." Rukia stated as she weakly climbed on his back. His arms wrapped around her thighs and she felt her face heat up at the way his fingers brushed the skin. Instead of wrapping her arms around his neck she felt content with holding him arms length by his shoulders.
"I suggest you hold on tighter." Rukia shot him a defiant glare and was met with his annoyed one. She looked off to the side. He acted just like him, looked like him, smelled like him. He positioned her so she wouldn't fall before placing his right foot ahead.
"Then don't." Rukia almost shrieked when he suddenly shunpoed toward the house. She fumbled to grasp a tight hold on him and wrapped her arms around his neck. She could almost sense him smirking.
Within a minute they were in front of the Kurosaki Clinic and he entered the room through the window. He sat Rukia down on Ichigo's bed before removing Zangetsu and leaning him against the closet.
"H-hey! You left Ichigo's body back there!" It was silent before he looked over his shoulder and flashed her grin.
"Don't worry Rukia-chan. He'll be here soon."
Ichigo groaned as he sat up. He scanned his surroundings and realized he was lying face down in the middle of the street. Then he noticed something else.
He jumped to a sitting position and did a once over on the lifeless street. Nothing. No midget in sight.
He remembered the hollow and Rukia passing out and the worst of his fears got to him.
It wasn't possible. She was Rukia. There's no way she could've let a basic hollow defeat her. Or could she? He dropped to his knees and his hands fisted as the possibility dawned on him. Then, he felt a sliver of her reiatsu. It was faint but there. His head shot up and he focused all of his energy on it. It was nearby…
At his house?!
Ichigo scowled in disbelief. Had she defeated the hollow and actually ditched him?! The hell?! With that information in mind he began sprinting to his house in order to yell at her.
Also because he wanted to confirm that she was alright.
But mostly to yell at her.
"What do you mean he'll be here soon?" Rukia asked suspiciously. He turned on his heel and kneeled before Rukia who gave his a questioning glance.
"Exactly what I said…which also means that I don't have too much time before he gets here." He grasped the midsection of her dress before forcefully pulling the buttons apart. She shrieked and crawled back on the bed covering herself.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU-MMPH!" In an instant she found herself lying underneath him with his hand clamped over her mouth. With his free hand, Shirosaki parted the folds of her dress and checked the bloody bandages.
"Your wounds reopened women." He stated in an aggravated tone. He began removing her bandages and paused when her flat abdomen became exposed to him. For a moment he admired the smoothness of her skin before reprimanding himself and continuing with the task. Rukia on the other hand was staring at Shirosaki with a blush as he dressed her wounds. He caused a tingling feeling to arise in her stomach just like Ichigo always did. She felt disgusted with herself and looked away.
Once she felt the tightening of the cotton she slowly sat up as he crawled off of her. She checked where her dress had parted and saw fresh white bandages covering her abdomen. She thought about thanking him but decided against it.
"Why are you doing this?" She asked eyeing him. He stared at her intensely for a few seconds before shrugging. He kneeled before her again and lifted up her blood speckled hand.
"You should be dead. You're a liability and with you around how is the King ever going to get any stronger?" He stared at the few blood drops that were a contrast to her pale skin. "It's pathetic." He raised his gaze to hers before continuing. "You wanna know a secret Rukia-chan? I want you killed but I can't do it myself. A tiny part of me has a high regard for you for giving me my power. There's also the fact that me and that dumbass shinigami are one in the same, think of it as 2 sides of a coin."
Rukia eyes never left his and she surprised herself for actually taking in everything he said. Weren't hollows supposed to not think or feel? What exactly is he?
"The two of them together create the coin but the two sides are unique and different. They both have their own traits that set them apart from the other yet it can't be whole without the other. We think differently and are essentially two personalities but we serve the same purpose. His desires and needs have managed to affect me."
"Desires and needs?" It came out as a whisper from her mouth. His grin widened and Rukia shivered under the intensity of his gaze.
"Would you like me to show you some of them Rukia-chan?" Her eyes widened when she head loud stomping running through the house. In an instant the door was flung open and she was startled to see Ichigo standing there in the doorway. His eyes took on a dangerous look as he saw the scene before him. How was it possible that he was standing there?!
"I don't know what the hell you did but get away from Rukia you bastard!" Ichigo threatened in a low tone. His hollow merely smirked before resting his check against Rukia's hand.
"Do you want that?" His tongue darted out as he watched Ichigo amused. He licked the blood drops off her skin and they both tensed at the action, "Do you Hime-sama?"
Rukia's jaw dropped, HIME-SAMA?!
Ichigo saw red, "HIME-SAMA?!"
END OF CHAPTER ONE!
TO BE CONTINUED!
-My first bleach fanfiction
-Please read and review! Tell me what you think!HIHidd