The Hollow charged forward against Ichigo with its jaws wide open. Ichigo put his fists up in a futile gesture to defend himself; his expression was intense and irrationally confident.
The Shinigami saw how the human was facing down the Hollow; he would surely be killed. There was something different about this human; this odd looking boy. He was able to see her and Hollows; he was able to break her binding spell, and now he was defending his family against the Hollow without fear.
"Was he brave or just stupid?" she wondered.
The Hollow roared and threw its frog like head on Ichigo. Rukia sped towards Ichigo and got between the Hollow and him. The Hollow's mouth pierced Rukia's shoulder and abdomen causing blood to pour onto the floor; Rukia's blood.
Ichigo watched in stunned silence as Rukia weakly pushed the Hollow's mouth away from Ichigo and herself. With a final push, Rukia sliced into the Hollow's mouth knocking out a tooth. The irritated Hollow reared its head back and roared in pain and annoyance.
Rukia fell to her knees and then onto the ground; her injuries were grave. Ichigo gave Rukia a horrified look as he saw the extent of her injuries.
"Idiot, I already told you that your power is no match for it. Either way you're an idiot! Or did you think that everything would be over once you gave him your soul to eat?" Rukia scolded; her tone was soft and almost sad.
"I'm sorry. I just…," Ichigo stuttered sympathetically.
"Do not worry about it. That's what I would like to say. Unfortunately I am unable to fight the Hollow," Rukia told him.
"Now, all of us can only wait until we become its food," Rukia said sorrowfully.
For the first time, Ichigo realized the mortal situation he was in. He slammed his fist on the ground in frustration. "Everyone is going to die and it's my fault," he berated himself.
Rukia could see that there was still fight in Ichigo's expression. As she could see it, there was only one solution. It was illegal; a capital crime but there was no other way. At least it would give him a chance to live.
An image of Kaien entered her mind as she considered Ichigo's face. Other than the orange hair, Ichigo looked very similar to him. His smile, his expression of outrage, and his seriousness were now on Ichigo's face.
Rukia took a sitting position and extended out her sword. "Do you want to save your family?' she asked.
It was a rhetorical question, but one that would get Ichigo's attention. "Is there a way to help them? Tell me," Ichigo asked her.
"There is a way. No, to be exact, there is only one way," Rukia said vaguely while she contemplated the act she was ready to commit.
"You become a Shinigami," she finished.
"What are you saying? How can I?" Ichigo wondered.
"Pierce the middle of your chest with this zanpakutou and I will give you half of my Shinigami powers," Rukia explained.
"You will gain Shinigami powers temporarily and be able to fight the Hollow on equal terms. The percentage of success is not very high, if it fails you die. But there is no other way," Rukia told him.
"Okay Shinigami. Let's give this plan a try," Ichigo agreed.
"It's Kuchiki Rukia," Rukia smiled weakly.
"I'm Kurosaki Ichigo. Let's hope this isn't our last meeting," Ichigo smirked.
As the Hollow charged the two, Ichigo took Rukia's sword and without hesitation sliced him through with it. There was an intense white glow of power as Rukia's powers transferred to Ichigo. The bodies of Rukia and Ichigo disappeared for a moment as the white glow engulfed them.
Suddenly the Hollow's left arm was sliced off. Ichigo stood by the dead arm as a Shinigami. His clothes were now the black robes of a Shinigami and he now held a large sword. His boyish looks and expression were still intact; Ichigo was still the same person as before.
Rukia stared at Ichigo in disbelief; her clothes were a pure white. Ichigo had taken all of her powers instead of only taking half. His sword was enormous; he was the source of power that had confused her senses this whole time.
Ichigo charged the Hollow and sliced off his right leg. The Hollow fell toward Ichigo for a final attempt to strike him. Ichigo raised his sword and sliced downward splitting the Hollow's head in half. The Hollow screeched and became nothingness.
Ichigo smirked at his victory over the Hollow and then collapsed onto the ground in exhaustion. Rukia looked over his body in amazement. She raised her hand and flexed her fingers. She felt weak and drained of all her powers. Inside her soul was a different story.
Power surged through her body; power from Ichigo had transferred to her as well. The stream of energy went through her body and collected in one spot. Some of Rukia's spiritual energy surrounded the new orb within her. The energy pulsed and became a perfect sphere.
Rukia looked around her at the scene. She got back to her feet and checked the vital signs of Ichigo, his two sisters, and their father. Satisfied they would live, she went outside again and prepared to drag Ichigo's Shinigami body back into his body.
A figure walked up to Rukia; he was an adult in his mid thirties, blond hair, and pale complexion. He carried a cane with him, but it didn't seem he needed it for balance. Rukia could barely see the man in the dark but then immediately recognized him.
"Urahara Kisuke," she realized.
"My…my, a Shinigami without her powers," Urahara commented.
Rukia froze and didn't say a word so as to not incriminate herself. Urahara looked over the Shinigami body of Ichigo. "Indeed, something more is at work here," he added.
"It's not what it looks," Rukia said defensively.
Urahara smiled. "Don't worry about me telling. Your secret is safe with me Kuchiki Rukia."
Urahara inspected the condition of the house and the bodies tossed around. "From the looks of things, you could use my help," Urahara offered.
Urahara and Rukia walked into his shop; his other workers had already gone to sleep. The shop looked like a traditional Japanese shop featuring toys and candies. In reality, the shop was an outpost for Shinigami.
"You will need a gigai," Urahara said mainly to himself.
"How fast can you make it?" Rukia asked feeling apprehensively.
"Soon, it will be no problem at all," Urahara replied.
Urahara walked over to a computer and located Rukia's file. It gave him weight, height, density, spiritual pressure readings. All the information Urahara would need to create a proper gigai.
Urahara typed in several commands and watched as his system went to work on creating the gigai. Within a few minutes a Rukia duplicate appeared; she was clothed in white.
"Try it out," Urahara offered.
Rukia approached the gigai and fused with it. Her spiritual body disappeared inside the gigai. The gigai's eyes suddenly shot open; it was alive. Rukia flexed her now human fingers and attempted to walk.
"It's a little hard to get used to at first," Urahara confessed.
"It seems acceptable," Rukia observed as she moved her limbs.
Urahara stared at Rukia as she tried out her new body; something was wrong. The gigai began to literally melt like wax. Rukia noticed it too and then gave Urahara an uncertain look.
The gigai continued to melt and then it caught fire. Within seconds, Rukia's spiritual energy caused the gigai to explode into thousands of pieces. With the gigai completely destroyed, only Rukia's soul remained.
Rukia turned to Urahara and frowned at him. "I am not happy with this product," she told him.
Urahara considered what he had done wrong; everything was supposed to be perfect. The spiritual fluctuation he observed from Rukia was not normal. Urahara looked around his shop for something he could distract Rukia with.
"While I fix this, why don't you look at my other products," Urahara grinned.
Rukia gave Urahara a suspicious look. "I require a memory modifier," she told him.
"I got just the thing," Urahara said grabbing the object and showing it to Rukia.
Rukia frowned at the object. It was a small cylinder canister with a spring at the top. Connected to the spring was a duck head that wobbled black and forth.
"I prefer the bunny head types,' Rukia said annoyed.
"Those sold out unfortunately," Urahara excused.
Rukia sighed. "I'll take it," she relented. "I also need a soul glove," she requested.
Urahara gave her a curious look. "You intend to use him again?" he asked referring to Ichigo.
"Only until my powers return," Rukia said defensively.
Urahara gave her a sympathetic look and then handed her the glove. "I'll pay for these with the bounties I get," Rukia promised.
"Go back and repair their memories and I will make a new gigai for you," Urahara suggested.
Rukia nodded and ran off back to Ichigo's house. Urahara went back to his computer and wondered what had gone wrong. The computer analyzed Rukia's spiritual pressure; it had suddenly fluctuated just before the gigai was destroyed.
"So, it wasn't the gigai's fault," Urahara considered.
Rukia's spiritual pressure was in a state of fluctuation; it was clear she was unaware of it. Was it due to the transfer of power to that boy? Was she at risk of dying? Urahara considered these questions with curiosity.
Urahara walked into the backroom of his shop and then descended into his basement. A short distance away, was a small orb placed in a glass case. Urahara stared at the indestructible orb with awe and some fear.
The orb could control the spiritual fluctuations in Rukia's body. Urahara knew that the orb would be discovered eventually. Shinigami would soon lose their patience with him and take it from him. If he were to hide the orb in Rukia her spiritual pressure would dissolve and she would be like any other soul; the orb would be hidden forever.
Urahara carefully took the glass case off the orb and then carefully grabbed the orb. Placing the orb aside on his desk he went to work on designing a new gigai. When he was finished, he placed the orb inside the chest of the gigai where its heart would be.
Rukia walked up to the store when her task had been completed. She had replaced the memories of Ichigo's sisters and her father. She also placed Ichigo's soul back into his body and placed everyone in their beds. She repaired their wounds so it would seem nothing had happened.
"Back so soon?" Urahara asked her as she came in.
"I would have been faster if I had my powers back," Rukia said fatigued.
Urahara nodded as if he could relate. "The gigai is ready," he told her.
Rukia gave him a cautious look. "Is this going to work this time?"
"I guarantee it," Urahara promised.
Author's Note: I am revising the story due to recent manga revelations that have made the past draft a mess. Also, I wanted to write more dialogue scenes then simply excuses for action. Material not covered in the story is still assumed to have happened; what I write is new material in addition to what has already taken place. This allows for me to write a whole lot less and a lot less boring for you. I will be also rewriting the ending. Your input does matter; I will take it into account. If a similar story to this exists, I would like to read it for tips.