Kurosaki Ichigo was only the slightest bit concerned when his body started slowing down and the slightest exertion left him fatigued. He first noted the changes in his movements and bodily functions a little more than a month after his first meeting with Kuchiki Rukia, attributing the fatigue to having to readjust to a physical body after spending time outside of it.

The first real sign that something was going terribly wrong inside his body appeared towards the end of his training with the Vizards, when upon re-entry of his body, Ichigo immediately fell victim to a long coughing fit which left him out of breath and his throat sore and his entire body tight and aching. Ichigo had no chance to contemplate this latest change, as he had discovered Inoue Orihime was missing, and he immediately set out to retrieve her from Aizen's fortress. Ichigo would never realize that the Vizards, concerned by the coughing fit, and spoken with Urahara, who had spoken to his father, leading Isshin to examine his son's body only to make a startling discovery…

Sanada Sayuri Presents:

"Limitations"

Disclaimer: The plot and characters of BLEACH is the intellectual property of Tite Kubo. Sanada Sayuri has no claim over the characters or plot of BLEACH and makes no profit off this work of fiction.

Summary: It was a little known fact that Kurosaki Ichigo's body was weak to begin with. The sudden death of Kurosaki Masaki led a young Ichigo to fight tooth and nail to overcome that weakness so he could protect the people he loved, and by the time he turned fifteen, he had emerged victorious over his body's weakness. And then he met Kuchiki Rukia. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever imagine the long term effect that this meeting with would have on his life…

Note: AU. Completely disregards recent chapters of BLEACH.

The last thing Ichigo expected when he entered his room through his window, was to find his father sitting at his bedside, holding his body's hand.

"It's about time you got back," Isshin said gravely.

"Wha-? Dad?!" Ichigo frowned, "Wait, you can see me?!"

Isshin pursed his lips in displeasure as he gently set Ichigo's hand on the bed and stood up. "I've always been able to see," he said, "I was a shinigami captain once, you know. All I wanted was for you and your sisters to live a normal life without the Elders and the other nobility dictating your every move and waiting for you to slip up. I never wanted you to become a shinigami for several reasons, but now you're reaping the results."

Ichigo was becoming seriously worried now. "What are you talking about old man?" the teen demanded irritably, "You're not making any sense."

"Your body is overstressed, Ichigo," Isshin said, "and your jumping in and out of your body isn't helping matters. If nothing else, it's weakening your heart and lungs and speeding the deterioration of your body. You're dying, Ichigo."

The red head felt his insides turn to ice at his father's declaration. "What?"

Isshin sighed and said, "You know that your body wasn't very strong to start with. And over the years, you made remarkable progress in overcoming that handicap. Admittedly, Kisuke, Yoruichi and I gave you some help in the form of Kidou healing, but without it, you would never have reached the point you did. But then after you met the Kuchiki girl, we didn't dare do anything that would make her suspicious. As a result, your body lacks the boost that the healing gave it, and is becoming damaged by the shock of your leaving and re-entering your body."

Isshin paused and said softly, "I have family in Seireitei. If you want, I can send them a message and they can take care of you. Kisuke is already working on a way to allow you and your friends to keep your memories after you die anyway. If you choose to let things take their course, I'm sure Aniki will be more than happy to take you in. We can stop the deterioration and keep your body in its current state, but you'll need to be very careful what you do and eat, or we can bring the Inoue girl over and eliminate the weakness altogether."

Ichigo swallowed hard. Why was this happening? Everything had been going so well… Why was everything falling apart? Isshin, seeming to recognize his son's distress, placed a comforting hand on Ichigo's shoulder.

"I don't know how much longer you have," the former captain said, "A few months at best, if you go on as you have, a little more if you're careful. Think about your options boy, and let me know when you've decided."

Ichigo nodded numbly and hopped off the windowsill as Isshin left the room. The teen turned and stared at his body, currently animated by Kon. It was strange, was that body of his really dying? There seemed no difference now from what he normally saw in the mirror. Was it really possible that the next time he stood over his body in the future, that it would be a gigai instead of the human body he had been born in?

Outside, thunder rumbled as the low hanging clouds released their load in the form of rain….


TBC...


I really shouldn't let my plot bunnies get the best of me, but I really couldn't help it. I have so many ideas, and now that classes have been over for two weeks, and classes won't start for another two weeks, I suddenly have an excess of time and energy. It doesn't help that my muses seem to churn out more plot bunnies when I'm working with my cousins. It's gotten to the point where I have a notebook and pen with me, and I scribble scenes and ideas as they come.

I'm many things, but I'm not mentally deficient, so for the time being, please enjoy what little I have posted for Limitations and Breaking Points. Once Deragonmaji and I are done with BLEACHed Elements and I have finished at least Soundscape, which of all my stories is the closest to being finished, and have posted up to at least the revised Chapter 10 of Mended Hearts, I will think about continuing these stories.

On the other hand, if anyone would like to work on Breaking Points and Limitations while waiting, please feel free to do so. Drop me a PM or a review to let me know when you post. I will be continuing this story, just not now.

Your most eager to please authoress,

Sanada Sayuri

Sanada Sayuri