Yes! I finally made my first Bleach fanfic, and Ichiruki fic! I've been wanting to write one, but haven't been able to for lack of ideas and my others stories. The idea of having a feudal-like era time with shinobi with the characters of Bleach was one of the only thing on my mind, so I decided to try it out. Hopefully I explained the confusing setting. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: The characters and names of objects and settings belong to Tite Kubo, creator of Bleach. Some language and (a little) blood.
Kuchiki Manor, today.
"Rukia, Oi Rukia!" Ichigo called her as he continued running toward the great mansion of the Kuchiki manor. His sword Zangetsu shook from his movements on his side, protected in its scabbard. He would fix the problem later, as he headed across the stoned court yard. The day was shining as the sun beat down from above the trees around the property that resided in the lavishing country near the city Seireitei. Fortunately there were no guards inside the court yard as they were all on their breaks; eating and drinking on their job. Ichigo would never get drunk as his job as a fellow shinobi, but it didn't matter since he was too young to drink the rice wine. It was a fatal flaw in the security at the Kuchiki manor. Byakuya, the clan leader, would be livid with rage if he was to find out, but no one would report it. Ichigo never went to tell about it since he actually enjoyed the emptiness and lack of the grumpy security men. Whenever he came into the courtyard like he was doing now, they would try to stop him and threaten to report him to Byakuya for indecency (whatever they could come up) in the court yard. Even if he was walking and staying quiet, they would still stare with narrowed eyes at him and his natural orange hair.
Even as a shinobi for the Kuchiki clan, not many others would respect him, even the lowers such as the guards didn't all because of his hair. He could remember the first day about a year ago when he walked in and their eyes all went to his bright hair as it was stuck out as a sore thumb. He was almost attacked if it wasn't for his now good friend Renji who stopped them. Ichigo knew since then Renji had ranked and was most likely inside the manor assisting Byakuya. But for Ichigo, he had came here as part of his job- to protect Byakuya's younger sister, Kuchiki Rukia. As a noble and the sister of the clan leader, she was highly important and everyone would risk their lives for her if there was danger. Every shinobi and security was told this, and they needn't anyone to enforce it. They were always friendly to her and highly respected her, and not because if they didn't, they were in for punishment as severe as a hanging from Byakuya himself. She was friends with everyone in the clan, and the shinobi and workers. Ichigo could even remember when he had first met her as he and Renji were walking to meet Byakuya.
Kuchiki Manor, on year ago.
"Byakuya-taicho will be having me introduce you to the clan and the rules since he's a busy man, so I'll start now. Respect all of your superiors, and never call Byakuya-taicho by his given name unless you're given permission to." Renji started explaining.
"Why are you calling him Byakuya, then?" Ichigo said as his scowl deepened at the stupid rule.
"Idiot, I obviously earned it from him. And I said never call him by his given name!" Renji said a little annoyed. He had noticed the boy's scowl hadn't disappeared from his face since he found him trying to fend off the stupid security guards up front. But he still couldn't stop himself from staring at the bright orange hair- he would have to dye it black if he intended to become a shinobi.
"Is that all the rules? I wouldn't doubt it was." Ichigo commented at Renji's silence.
"Be quiet, damn it! Like I just said before, respect your superiors! The only things you're superior to in the 6th division are the guards and rats outside- so you can't be an ass hole to anyone else." Renji was started to get annoyed at the boy's arrogance and felt a vein pulsing in his head, but he continued on his talk. "The next important thing that if you don't follow you will most likely get hanged. Always respect Rukia- and that goes even if you're superior to her." Renji pointed to him, seriousness in his face. Ichigo however, felt like he needed a snide comment to add to it.
"Rukia-That's a girl's name. Are you saying there's a spoiled and bratty princess here?" Ichigo asked in a slight annoyed tone. This made Renji's bulging vein pop as he swiftly turned to face Ichigo and grabbed Ichigo by the front of his dark clothes.
"Listen you brat, no one dares to call Rukia such things! Why did you even become a shinobi, and come here? Shinobi are supposed to the fighters and protectors of clans and the people of the division!" Renji yelled at him. He sent daggers in his eyes as Ichigo as he tried to pry Renji's rough hands off of him when the last sentence made him stop.
'I came here to be a protector… to finally be able to protect something.' Renji saw Ichigo remain motionless and showing no real emotion as he let go of his clothing, content he learned his lesson. Ichigo snapped out of his thoughts when Renji had released him and quickly pasted his scowl back on. Renji noticed.
'The kid is as strange as his hair color.' He began walking again trying to regain his calm stature. "Never say that again, but you won't when you meet her." Renji told him in a business-like voice.
"Ah, is there a new person?" Both jumped, but Ichigo went higher than Renji as he never heard the voice until then. He spun around quickly on his guard as Renji casual looked over to see a petite and pale-skinned girl down the hall. She was wearing a kimono, but it wasn't a formal one and the kind she wore when walking around the manor. Ichigo noticed how short she was, but yet with her large violet eyes she wore a very stoic and mature face like nobles.
"Oh Rukia, there you are. Where have you been, Byakuya-taicho has been looking for you." Renji informed her about her brother's concern of her whereabouts. Rukia gave an exasperated sigh.
"But nii-sama should have known I was with Ukitake-taicho." Rukia said in an innocent voice. Ichigo tried to hide most of his surprise when she mentioned the 13th division captain. In the whole city of Seireitei, there are 13 people who would either be the heads of the clans or the most powerful shinobi of their division. Even though there were separate divisions, they all were united together and all fought for the city by General Yamamoto. Kuchiki Byakuya of course fits both roles, and is the captain of the 6th division, that holds the Kuchiki clan. As captains, they are extremely skilled, but spend most of their time leading the division- which only means paperwork. But what made Ichigo surprised by her statement was she was with a different captain, and seemed she went all by herself which was considered dangerous.
'Why would they let one of the nobles-especially her leave the manor by herself with no discretion and see another captain of a different division? It sounds like they don't care if she gets held hostage'. Most divisions are spread out as the city is considered more like a country and it takes even by a horse a few hours to get to whichever division. That meant a few hours to go see the division Captain Ukitake was part of.
"So, who is he? And what's with that ugly look on his face." Rukia asked as she scrutinized his sour-looking face. He snapped out of his thoughts when he heard the comment and looked down at her, annoyed.
"What was that you-!" Renji immediately held Ichigo back as he tried to get his hands on her.
"Imbecile. You're just asking to get yourself kicked out of here and get in hot water with nii-sama." Rukia scowled.
"Yeah, you can see him later maybe… but now we have to see Byakuya-taicho." Renji told her as he began dragging Ichigo down the hall the opposite way from her.
"Later!" Rukia gave a small wave and Ichigo could see her smile looked somewhat sadistic. After a while Renji noticed he calmed down once again, so he let go and they went on walking and he explained the rest of the rules until they reached the center of the entire building- where the files and records were held and where Byakuya was usually at, doing work. Not only was he the clan leader, but he was also a captain, which doubled his work. They reached his room where he was quietly signing papers. He took very little notice when they entered, like he had more important things to do then talk to a rookie.
"Taicho, here's our latest shinobi. Tell him you name." He told Ichigo, and he turned back to Byakuya again.
"Kurosaki Ichigo." He stated in his tough voice. He saw Byakuya give a tiny glance up at them and went back down to his papers.
"What is with that atrocious hair, he will always be spotted on stealth missions." Byakuya commented. Ichigo refrained from trying to hit him.
"I'm not a stealth shinobi of course." He explained. There were three types of shinobi: stealth shinobi, regular shinobi, and elite shinobi. Stealth shinobi were very good on stealth missions where they were always hidden. Regular shinobi weren't very skilled in hiding, but had good skill with fighting with weapons such as swords, as most used. Then there was the elite shinobi- they were highly skilled in both stealth missions and had remarkable talents in fighting.
"Of course." Was all Byakuya said. "Just start him on down with the rest of them." He ordered Renji, who solemnly nodded. Ichigo made a face at him as Renji took him back out.
"Where am I going?" Ichigo said. Renji finally stopped dragging him by his collar when they were out of the main offices. "What am I doing now?" He tried asking him, obviously annoyed.
"Where most of the rookies to the division go to. We call the area Karakura, as there are other divisions near here." Renji explained. They walked out of the manor and after walking for half an hour, they reached another large building part of the 6th division. Ichigo sighed as Renji left with tasks to do himself.
Although he had fit in more in Karakura and made friends, he still saw the stares looking at him, or his hair.
"Kuchiki-taicho never comes to Karakura; he has more work to do then see the lowest shinobi class. Kuchiki-san has been known to come see us though, she's so cute!" Ichigo looked at Keigo as the topic of Byakuya was brought up.
"Hm?" He couldn't say much with food in his mouth. Keigo was one of his friends in Karakura from his division.
"Haven't you met Kuchiki-san yet? She's the nicest of the nobles, and she makes the cutest drawings!" He counted off the points what he loved about Rukia when Ichigo narrowed his eyes.
"Are you just saying that because of the stupid rule?" He asked him. Keigo looked offended, and shook his head.
"What? Of course not! It's what everyone thinks! You haven't met her yet, have you?" He said. Ichigo shook as he drank some of his water.
"Once already. Seems to me she's sadistic and rude for a little girl." Ichigo muttered.
"She has a good sense of humor especially for rookies, and you're one to say that." Keigo pointed out. He took a bite out of the soft roll in his hand and swallowed.
"What do you mean?" Ichigo asked curious as he started taking a big drink of the water.
"She's the same age as us." Keigo informed him. Ichigo choked on his water when he said that, and spit his water making Keigo jump in surprise. "What's wrong with you?" He said as Ichigo tried to stop choking.
"She's the same age?!" He yelled in disbelief at Keigo. Keigo wiped the spit of his face in slight irritation.
"Duh, she's 15 years old. That of course makes it even better for me to be the same age as her!" He confirmed it. Ichigo made a strange face. The brat was so short- how can she be the same age as him?
"You may not have had a good first meeting, but you'll change your mind when you get to know her." Ichigo could tell he wanted to look wise and mature when he was neither. He finished the bun he was eating and stood up with his water container.
"Where are you going, Ichigo?" He asked in a questioning voice.
"I don't want to continue talking about such a thing." He said as he started walking away. "I'm going to take a walk. Later." He held his hand up signaling a wave to Keigo without looking back.
"Fine then." Keigo muttered. But he knew once Ichigo saw Kuchiki-san again; he would change his thoughts on her. Kuchiki-san was always like that, and she should definitely not tolerate Ichigo's stubbornness and his plastered scowl.
Ichigo walked through the grassy fields that were around Karakura and found a single tree. He sighed as he stopped under the shade and dropped down and leaned against the tree. He didn't feel like doing anything, and soon his eyes started drooping, and he closed them shut as he enjoyed the peaceful silence. It felt like he sat in peace for about 15 minutes when he heard a noise of shuffling. He quickly opened his eyes and darted around as he began to stand up wary. There was an odd silence, so Ichigo tried to strain his hearing for any noise.
"Jeez, it took me having to make an intentional noise to wake you up?" Ichigo jumped as he fell to the grass in shock and surprise. He turned and looked up from the ground, and saw Rukia staring at him with her large, violet eyes. She was wearing black robes like what many shinobi wore. But Ichigo's shocked face turned back with a scowl and was beyond annoyed.
"What the hell is wrong with you, sneaking up on me like that?!" He yelled at her, and she only seemed mildly surprised. He then realized who she was. "Oh… It's you…" He made a face at her, and she furrowed her brow in annoyance at him.
"You're a shinobi, you shouldn't be surprised by such things you should have already sensed near you before a noise is even made." She lectured him in a noble tone. He made another face at her arrogant air around her.
"What are you doing here anyway" He asked, ignoring her lecture.
"Hm? I always like to come to Karakura. It's not fair you all get to stay here all day." Rukia muttered. Ichigo was about to counter the statement when he stopped, and his mouth dropped. He felt something strange, and it was nearby.
'What was that sensation… There's something near!' He remained frozen for a moment and Rukia saw him.
"What is it?" She asked, but then she felt the same thing. Her eyes widened as her face became serious and turned towards the large trees. "What is that…?" She mumbled. Ichigo started running off towards the large trees. It took her a moment to realize and process what happened, and she went after him. "Oi, hold on a minute!" She called. He continued running, focused on to the trees. He saw she was following him, but it didn't matter to him. He entered the wooded area as he tries to find where the thing was when he heard a horrifying noise of a yell
that sounded inhuman. He stopped as sweat slipped down his face, his breath slightly heavy. Rukia saw him stop after the noisy groan or yell and she saw his face was frozen with some fear. She sighed, and ran in front of him and sprinted to where the noise was coming from. Ichigo saw her run in front of her, and his eyes widened.
'What the hell is she doing? Didn't she hear that?' His feet felt heavy like lead, but he followed her closely anyway. He found himself running into a bare spot in the forest, and his eyes widened when he saw what was in front of him. It was a huge monster that looked to have black with white armor that looked almost like bones. It wore a white mask and was similar to a skull and you could only see the glowing red eyes from underneath it. "W-wha… the hell is that?!" He gasped. He stood rooted in his spot at the sight of the thing.
"Just take it down!" Rukia called over to him. He looked over where she stood in fighting position. Never once did the thought she was a shinobi enter his mind until then, when he fully noticed her uniform and the incredibly white sword that hung by her waist. Ichigo gave a small nod and looked back at the monster, and took out three shuriken and observed the monster. It wasn't moving for a few moments, and Ichigo waited for it to make a move when one of its hands stretched forward. It came to hit him, but he quickly avoided the hand and threw the three dark shuriken. All three were deflected by the bone armor, and Ichigo silently cursed.
'Damn it… How are we supposed to take it done with that armor? I guess it's time to use Zangetsu…' He withdrew his black sword from the scabbard that held it, and placed it in front of him pointing right at the monster. Even though shinobi didn't have such large swords like they did, many of them in the divisions had a katana that they carried unless on stealth missions, which he didn't have to worry about anyway. He jumped at the creature and landed a hit on the black skin he found, and grinned as blood dripped out. The monster screamed and Ichigo was quick to take his sword out and back away just in time before the clawed hand had hit him.
He saw Rukia jump to land a hit as the thing was distracted and sliced it at the black neck. Blood splattered all over, including on her and her pristine white sword, but the hit was too shallow. Rukia saw this as her eyes widened and she struggled to withdraw her sword from the creature's neck, but the monster was faster. It moved its neck quick and swiftly and batted her off. She had gotten her sword free from the neck as it moved its neck, as the claw hit her and she fell to the ground with a large thump from the impact, including a pained groan from her. Ichigo looked at the thing angrily, and took his chance as he slashed at the neck, finally severing the head from the rest of the body and finishing what Rukia had started. More blood spilled from the hole in the head and body as it fell to the dirt and remained motionless, dead.
Ichigo was able to gain his breath as he panted heavily, staring at the corpse on the ground. He looked over to where he saw Rukia was steadily standing up, using her sword that was stuck into the dirt for support. He walked over to her and saw she was covering her mouth. She took her hand away picked her sword out of the earth and placed it back in the scabbard. The white ribbon that was connected with the hilt was wounded around it and she looked back at him.
"Oi… Are you alright?" He asked when he saw blood on her lips. She gave a nod, but he saw she wore a pained expression on her face. "You look like you need medical attention, come on." He felt a little awkward in such the situation, as he had no medical experience whatsoever. She gave a small nod, but she didn't move.
"But… I can't walk that well." She murmured. He could see it was already proving difficult for her to remain standing without any support. Ichigo quickly figured the solution.
He sprinted out of the forest with her on his back. He had no choice but to go back toward the quarters in Karakura since it would take too long to reach the Kuchiki manor. He also
knew it would be hell if he walked into the courtyard with blood and an injured noble on his back.
Fortunately he didn't meet any weird guards as he rushed inside to the medical wing of the 6th division building. One of the medical shinobi named Hanatarou from the 4th division who often visited and was friends with Ichigo was inside with the medical shinobi that stayed at the quarters were inside, and both stared wide-eyed in shock as Ichigo brought her inside.
"Kuchiki-san! What happened to her?" Hanatarou gasped in horror. She was taken to one of the rooms, and Ichigo felt no need to stay there, so he left. It was already evening as Ichigo looked up at the sky, and heard his name being called.
"ICHIGO!" He looked over to seeing Keigo running over. At first it sounded like his usual happy self, but Ichigo noticed his face serious. "Have you heard, Ichigo?" He asked him when he finally reached him.
"Hm? What?" Ichigo said, giving his usual scowl, but felt it was difficult maintaining the plain scowl after what happened. He had already changed into a clean set of clothes from the blood-splattered pair and had already reported what happened to the head shinobi in Karakura.
"Kuchiki-san had gotten seriously injured, and was in the medical wing here! She won't be fully recovered for a while." He informed him. Ichigo's eyes widened, not knowing how serious her injuries were. He felt guilty he didn't stay to see what happened to her.
"R-really?" Ichigo said. Disbelief dripped from his voice.
"Yeah! At least she'll be okay. If she didn't get help a little later, it would've been really bad." Keigo grimaced at the dark thought. Ichigo realized Keigo didn't know it was him who had saved her, so he started pretending to not know of the event.
"Do you know how she had gotten injured?" He asked.
"She was fighting a regular hollow. I heard she wasn't in the condition to fight anyway, so she was lucky she defeated the hollow and the injuries were only this serious." Keigo explained to what he had heard. Ichigo's eyes widened. He didn't know about that, and when he remembered when he first saw her, she didn't seem to be in pain or anything and looked just fine until after the fight.
"R-really?" He said in disbelief. Keigo gave him a suspicious look and gave a nod, confirming it. Ichigo remained silent on the topic for the rest of the day.
It was the next day, as Ichigo was in the medical wing in Karakura getting his arm bandaged from a scratch when one of the messenger shinobi walked in.
"Kuchiki-taicho wants to see you at the Kuchiki manor. Please report at his office as soon as possible." The messenger informed him. Ichigo agreed and when his arm was bandaged up he had set off to the Kuchiki manor. After half an hour later, Ichigo arrived back at the Kuchiki manor. It was about noon, and Ichigo noticed there were less guards and other security in the court yard. After a slight delay with the guards at the doors, he walked inside and went straight to the center of the building where he found himself once again in Byakuya's office. He saw Byakuya was doing paperwork, like he was when Ichigo was first here.
"I've read the report you sent yesterday. The corpse has been taken care of and Rukia's injures…" He began saying, still looking at the papers, but Ichigo interrupted him.
"Is she alright now?" He clamored, slightly conerned. Byakuya gave him a small glance and there was silence for a moment.
"…Yes, she's fine now. But I cannot trust her to go where ever she would like unattended while she's recovering." -Ichigo now knew what it took for her to get a guard- "I would like you
to escort her. You're responsible for what happens to her." He instructed him. Ichigo's mouth dropped. He realized he was given an escort mission-to be a guard for her for who knows how long. Hopefully he would get a good pay for it. Ichigo tried to hide his annoyed face.
"Fine then." Ichigo was reluctant to agree.
"That's good. Rukia should be out in garden right now." He gave not much details of what he was supposed to do. He dismissed Ichigo, and he couldn't say anything else. Grumbling, he walked out and turned down the hall and found the door outside to the garden. He soon noticed Rukia's black hair even when he saw the back of it once before. He walked over silently, but he was surprised she turned around to see him when he was a yard or two away from where she sat.
"Ah. What do you want?" She asked, sounding just like Byakuya. Ichigo's eye twitched in annoyance, but he didn't dare try to strangle her.
"I was given the mission to guard you until you fully recover." Ichigo struggled to say. Rukia sighed in annoyance.
"Nii-sama…" She murmured in an exasperated voice. She stared out forward for a moment before speaking again. "I don't want a guard- At least not by someone who isn't strong enough to take a hollow down." She commented as she glanced at him. Ichigo grinded his teeth and grabbed the front of her kimono and looked at her.
"What was that?" Ichigo said. Rukia closed her eyes as she yanked his hands off her pale blue kimono before clearing her throat. "What?" He asked confused.
"What I'm saying is you have great potential, but your current skill is pathetic as a shinobi in the 6th division." She informed him. Ichigo's eyes widened at her painfully true statement, as he clenched his teeth. "I can always teach you, I won't mind being guarded." She bargained as she looked at his face. Ichigo thought for a moment more, but he knew his answer to such a deal.
"Fine then." He agreed. He stood up straight as he introduced himself. "Kurosaki Ichigo."
"Kuchiki Rukia. Pleased to meet you!" Rukia said with a small smile.
Kuchiki Manor, today.
"Rukia- What..." Ichigo mumbled when he stopped at the steps. He found Rukia wasn't outside like she would. She was supposed to be waiting for him outside the manor. He looked around but still didn't see one her colorful kimono she would wear. He went inside the Kuchiki manor and started walking down the halls inside the large mansion. After a little while of walking, he gave up the search after growing impatient and waited back outside. It wasn't until waiting for another hour did he turn to see Rukia quietly walk outside. He didn't speak until she walked to near his side.
"Rukia, I've been waiting for you! Where the hell were you?" Ichigo said, somewhat annoyed. Rukia slapped him from the top of his head, making his head go down toward the steps. After recovering a second later, Ichigo glared at her.
"What was that for?!" He yelled angrily. He received a slap across the face as Rukia glared at him in extreme annoyance.
"I had told you before I wouldn't be able to get out until a little later! You obviously didn't listen to me from before." Rukia scowled him. Ichigo didn't fight back, but remained silent gave a small smile at Rukia.
"Right, sorry." He apologized, making Rukia slightly surprised. She sighed, and after a few calm moments, she decided to change the topic to something else.
"Hasn't nii-sama given you another mission yet? You're useless here since you do nothing." She asked him as she walked down the steps from the Kuchiki manor. Ichigo followed in suit, rather calm from her remark.
"No, he hasn't. I wish he would though." Ichigo complained as he scratched his head. Rukia gave him a small smile continued on walking for her daily walks again, around the 6th division area, and stop by Karakura.
Is this just a one-shot? I'm not entirely sure, depends if I get around to another chapter and people would really want it. Hope you enjoyed reading! Comments are very much appreciated. For more on shinobi, look it up yourself. Thanks so much!