Hello new and old readers. I sincerely hope you enjoy this story, with as much enthusiasm as I have writing it. I love you all. You make this story exist and have meaning. Every review, favorite, etc. Really brings a smile to my face and a sense of awe. Like... holy shit. Someone liked this... That's insane. I'm going to try and respond to every review I receive to personally thank you, and discuss the story so far if you'd like :)! I love knowing you take an interest in it and love talking about, or explaining anything. Really!
So a few things about this story:
I really want to respect the characters as men and will try my hardest not to write them as women in the bodies of men. A stereo-type that I hate with this couple.
Also I very much dislike referring to Ichigo as Berry, or Grimmjow as Kitty. I feel that it's very embarrassing and demeaning ^^" I don't mind if you do, but just know I don't.
My take on Vampires and Werin involve the old myths and such, but to make them unique I have added a twist of my own. Not a lame twist like sparkling! Haha, but just warning you ^^
Alright, well that's it! Thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate it :)
Newly Re-vised- 2/11/2012
Ichigo Kurosaki was an ordinary, extremely ordinary, 19-year old boy. The trail that his life seemed to be following was just an ordinary path like any other. From the music he listened to, to the clothes he wore, even in the way he looked he was perfectly and utterly unoriginal. He attended high school. He had an annoying dad and two sisters who he loved against his better judgement. And he was tired of settling for the mundane rituals of his day to day life. Fearful that if he didn't make a change now, he'd be trapped in them forever.
Again, he was very ordinary.
Ichigo wasn't a very approachable person, even though he liked to perceive himself as such. He may have been reckless and agressive but he thought he made up for it in his kindness. Scowling permanently might have had something to do with it. Or maybe it was because of his 'I could give a fuck' attitude that intimidated any would-be friends. They were all courteous. They all would smile at him as he walked by, never saying a rude thing about him. But then again they never took the time to get to know him either. In fact Ichigo was so kindly thought of, everyone around him was sure he had so many friends… But none of them knew who they were. Not realizing that by perpetuating the thought that he was popular, yet never thinking to talk to him, made it so no one would. No one realized he'd need it.
Of course Ichigo would've liked a friend, but he lacked the urge to make bridges like that anyway. It was fine, he thought. This surface friendship and fake acceptance had stayed with him as long as he remembered, so he didn't mind all too much. You don't mind not having something you never had to begin with. This was all he knew.
Maybe it could have been his wild orange hair and dominating stance of 5'9"that might have driven them away, or attracted unwanted attention of negative high-school bullshit kind. But in all honesty, he just couldn't place it.
The teen was a frustrated, irritated, adolescent. He was known for his temper and all the fights he got in at school only increased this acclaim. He was a bad ass who didn't take shit from anyone. The guy you knew could beat the shit out of you with your own eye socket- yet would always be the one in class that would lend you a pencil or let you cheat off him in Math without a second thought. (Even though you wouldn't want to. His grades in math were piss poor at best.) Ichigo was very kind-hearted beneath that conflicting exterior. But no one really glorified that side as much as his brawls. He was, "the tough guy."
Nothing more, Nothing Less.
Another trait that brought esteem were his light brown eyes that seemed to immediately terrify people. His gaze was coarse and savage, and when it fell upon you it gave you a horrifying feeling reminiscent to rubbing off your face with a floor buffer. That was usually the feature that defined him in conversation.
"You know, the guy that fought Johnny last week."
"Huh? Oh! You mean that scary mother fucker?"
"The guy with the orange hair? Looks angry all the time? The king of the death glare?"
"Yeah! I think I know who you're talkin' about."
"Well you better, cause if you don't... he'll kill ya."
"If I know the guy, you're damn straight."
Some of these thoughts were crossing his mind as he continued down the deserted streets of Karakura, towards his home.
Tones of darkness mingled with the muted colors of the night as he passed along the desolate alleyways, making it hard to see the posters that usually led him home. Street lamps buzzed and flickered nosily above him as the teen marched on, clutching a small 7-11 bag that held two slim jims and a few candies. He sucked on a giant coke slurpee as he trudged through some puddles. Shops and other businesses around the Kurosaki clinic had long since closed and Ichigo looked a little on edge. It was the silence. It wasn't right. Usually there was some noise about. Either the chatter and murmurs of other people conversing in the twilight, or lose animals rummaging through trashcans or cicadas thrumming in the warm air, but this silence was not disturbed. It was vilely concentrated and bloomed with tension. Ichigo clutched the collar of his coat shiftily looking around, hoping for some relief to this ominous chill. He hurried his steps. The feeling of unease pursued him like a rabid dog. But that wasn't the only thing.
Something was behind him.
The light thump of footsteps caught Ichigo's attention. He continued forward, straightening up now to look larger than he was, trying to dislodge any thought of jumping the teen out of the mind of the person behind him- like you would frighten off a lion by raising a stick to make you look taller. Or at least he'd seen some shit like that on the Discovery Channel. He bet now they lied and just cut out the part out where the lion killed him.
The darkness swallowed the space behind him and Ichigo could barely make out other buildings let alone another person. Ichigo swallowed dryly.
"You ever hear somethin' die before?..."
Ichigo shifted remembering the fucked up boy that'd had an obsession for killing things. He never knew what about him really scared Ichigo, but he had always been terrified of the way that little boy looked at things. People, included. There was a kind of hatred there, the Kurosaki boy, was frightened of. The orange-haired boy played with him sparingly, only having to when he wasn't allowed to say no. That boy had pretty much mentally scarred Ichigo- torturing squirrels and frogs before the impressionable young boy's eyes until he screamed for him to stop. Ichigo, had become incapable of being around violence towards animals. He'd watch horror films all day long, totally fine with sharing the rush with his family on the couch. But he'd have to leave the room if something violent happened to a dog or a cat, the images haunting him with visions of screaming neighborhood pets. Ishin understood and would quell any questions brought up by his sisters. Soon they just realized not to talk about it, chocking it up Ichigo's good-character. His deep rooted fear had added to his compassion for animals, like steroids to his conscience, giving him the drive to one day become a spokesperson against animal cruelty of every kind. Although he had turned the events that occurred into a positive goal, the scars remained. Irresponsibly and terrifying scars that he could never get over. Thankfully, Ichigo never saw the boy again. Ishin never let Ichigo play with him again after their cat went missing.
The teen didn't realize why until just the second. He felt sick to his stomach realizing what had happened. He laughed painfully realizing how fucked it was to suddenly grasp that right now... But still, grasp it he did. Sometimes he wondered, if subconscious memories like that sprang up by pure coincidence...
The continuous sound of foot steps rustled in the void behind him, scattering papers and disrupting puddles as they ran towards him.
Ichigo remembered now.
Then the foot steps ceased.
It was a calico.
…Scratches, could now be heard in the place of the foot steps, scouring the pavement behind him. Their threatening pace quickened. The scrapes echoed like the ticking of a clock being stretched by a serrated knife.
Against all better judgment Ichigo stopped in his tracks and turned around bracing himself and curling his hands into fists. He wasn't some fucking coward going to get punked by some... little...
The sharp clicks and grinding noises continued in a frantic pace, echoing madly through the silence. He stepped back heart beating in his throat. For an instant Ichigo believed he saw a flicker of movement now as something obscured the streetlights at the other end of the alley. The sudden blinking of the lamps above Ichigo made him jump. The timing couldn't have been better.
Ichigo's body was tense and still as his eyes glared into nothingness. Flicking back and forth. Searching. For anything he could punch.
"Y...you lost?" Ichigo called out into the alley, saying it for the sake of saying it.
Panting was the only that returned to him.
But it wasn't human.
And it was getting closer.
The electrical whirring of the street light above held the alley within its clutches- like the spot light of a stage signaling the anticipation of a grand entrance. Spasms of light continued to blink down then vanish and reappear again, leaving Ichigo's frightened eyes unadjusted and throbbing. Ichigo could barely see anything as he squinted into the dark. Finally, the lights went out completely.
He held his breath and froze.
"You ever hear somethin' die before?" he heard above the blood in his ears and the high pitched screams of the lamps.
"No..." he remembered sobbing in the memory.
In an instant the lights went on again, and at the very edge of the reach of light became illuminated the face of death with eyes born from the most compassion-less yellow imaginable.
"...Do you wan't to?"
Ichigo ran. He threw his big gulp and bag to the ground with a violent force that sent the drink splattering over the alley like a wave crashing against a rock. Ichigo fled from the unknown thing, running as he'd never run before, his breath coming out in horrified noisy gasps.
Fucking christ, Ichigo cussed, eyes as wide as fists.
Unable to hear anything over the blood pounding in his ears, he blindly ran forward splattering his jeans and sneakers with street puddles. He looked behind him unable to catch a glimpse of anything at all. At the worst possible time Ichigo's foot slid over a soggy piece of paper and he lost his balance, rolling him into a few trashcans and almost dislocating his knee. He screamed in pain.
What happened next, could only be described as "The single most important event in Ichigo Kurosaki's life"
If only he could know what would come to be, from an encounter that lasted all of ten minutes.
Ichigo felt a heavy body collide like a bullet with his, bringing him to his knees and slamming into the damp street. He was forcefully bent down in a painful position he could not escape from. Something sharp stabbed into his back and he hollered in fear more than pain. During the rush of adrenaline ad pain, his mind became muddled with scenes and voices from his past.
"You wanna know why I like it?"
He saw the image of a bird and a hand holding a rock.
Before he could turn to see, or even truly scream- teeth sank into the tender flesh of his neck and began to gnaw. He cried out in pain and shock before turning and lashing out frantically. Ichigo tugged and punched and scratched in a blind frenzy. He felt fur, he saw fangs, he heard growling that almost made him freeze from its violence. It was a cat. A big... cat.
"It sounds like they're laughing."
It yowled in pain as he ripped out a patch of hair around its eye and as soon as it got off for just a second Ichigo tried to drag himself away. The animal shook its head and attacked again, striking out with its paws now, batting Ichigo over and over in an endless barrage of claws and violence. Slamming them into his head, and his arms that he threw up in an attempt to protect himself. The cat raked its claws into one of his arms and he shrieked bloody murder. The teen's terrified form kicked out with all his might, landing his heel square into the cat's jaw and nose. Finally he was given enough time to turn around and grab a trash can lid. Just before the beast lunged for the kill, drenched fangs exposed, the teen brought down the lid that landed with a disgusting crack.
"Listen, Ichigo. Listen to them laughing."
The cat stumbled backwards wailing and slowly laid in the street in pain. Ichigo's entire horrified body shook with the effort to breathe. Tears were streaming down his bruised and pummled face but he couldn't even tell he was in so much shock. He was able to take in the animal now, realizing it was smaller than he originally thought. It was a sleek black color that glistened in the headlights of a passing taxi down the alleyway. Its thin, yet muscular shoulders tried to prop it up but it fell back to the ground again, still dazed by the assault. Its bobbed tail flicked to and fro behind it. He would never forget how the cat's head slowly rose to meet his eyes, to look at his with almost human-like intelligence as blood dripped down its face. Ichigo felt himself shiver and sob as he looked into that cold yellow gaze. And it was because, he realize...it looked... sorry.
Then the presence was gone before he realized it. Disappearing with the memories of bloody rocks and hands. The bewildered teen looked around and clutched his neck in horror. The sound of clicks faded quickly as the cat ran away.
Ichigo's shaking fingers fumbled up to his shoulder. Yes, there were, surprisingly large, puncture wounds. A burning feeling in his neck began emanate throughout his entire body. He was able to stand somehow and began to limp forward.
Gotta…. make it... Home!, he thought in desperation, feeling hot liquid ooze from the worst of his numerous bites.
Ichigo stumbled to his father's clinic and opened the door. He left it open as he stumbled through the house. No one was in the living room and by sheer will power alone he made his way up the stairs. He couldn't make a voice loud enough to call to his family. He was just so tired… In his bloody, thoughtless state all he wanted to do was sleep. He dragged his feet to his room and shut his door. He lay against it unable to move any farther and slowly slid to the ground, panting and dropping his hands to his sides. A fever began to emanate through his body. It was a clammy numb kind of fever, where he thought he were about to pass out.
Ichigo's body began to shake in tremors and his cheeks turned a miserable frying-pan hot. He clutched his neck tentatively. It was the most painful thing he'd ever felt in his life. Even the ligaments and skin hanging off his severely mauled arm didn't hurt as bad as the churning lava his neck had become. His breathing became ragged as his body boiled from the inside out. Ichigo's eyes widened in pain as a sudden constriction slammed him against the door. The muscles of his body began to twinge and spasm. He cried out. Bones began to bend and sway beneath his skin and it turned into the most god-awful ten minutes of Ichigo's life… but then strangely, it ceased hurting. It was an awkward sense of numbness. Ichigo's spinning vision could no longer take this. He lost his ability to tell the difference between fiction and reality, between what was actually happening and what he thought was happening. Then Ichigo collapsed, as the room spun faster at a sickening pace, he thought he heard the sound of someone laughing.
His vision blurred and slowly, it faded into darkness...
The sun gleamed brightly through the windows of Ichigo's room. A chilled wind blew through the open window snapping the sleeping teen into a state of some-what consciousness. Ichigo was lying on the floor near his door when he awoke. His eyes cracked slowly, narrowing at the intense light filling the room.
He felt a blanket of nauseousness creep over him. Ichigo lifted his head in a fluent movement. His body felt great after a substantial mauling, maybe it'd all really been a dream... He sighed happily to himself at the realization. He tried to get up.
What the hell?
He couldn't. He opted instead to roll to his side and raise his head.
What's wrong with me? He thought looking around. ...
Ichigo was left speechless as a new world blossomed before him. It was the same one, he knew it, but at the same time so different. He could make out the colors of the minute particles of dust fluttering through the air. The rich contrast of the colors that now came into focus almost startled him. He traced the intricate stitching of his drapes with ease. He could even distinguish the round sloping rings of his oak floor, each inch coming into newer and newer clarity like a high definition movie. The teen's other senses had become equally as enhanced.
Ichigo could make out the ethereal sounds of walking coming from the kitchen down stairs. Yuzu, he determined, was wearing socks and shuffling across the stone floor preparing breakfast. But that...wouldn't be audible even if you were standing in the kitchen...
He heard her speak to herself, as she dropped an egg.
The smell of spring flowers and bacon wafted through the house, and then the smell of cherry incense from the shrine three houses away filled his nose. He'd never noticed any of these things so intricately before. His head was muddled with a tinge of fear and confusion. As he looked harder he realized that even the colors of his room seemed off… everything was tinted in blue and green. There were colors he couldn't even describe at the lack of ever seeing them before. Some colors, that he knew should be there, were not. Red and brown. They were shades of deep aquamarine. It was beautiful. Like he was gazing through the tinted window of a church.
Ichigo got to his feet to inspect his room thoroughly but noticed something odd.
Wait…why am I on all fours?...
Ichigo couldn't walk upright.
...Oh my god...
He turned around to look into the mirror on his door. He stared back at about the height of the door knob. Ichigo took in. with now golden amber eyes, the frightening figure that stared back at him.
"HOLY SHIT!" Ichigo screamed at the mirror but his words contorted into a loud feral moan. Staring back at Ichigo was the image of a huge... tiger...? The body of the immense cat was covered in a thick luscious coat of the same vibrant orange as Ichigo's hair. The deep onyx of its stripes were so rich they looked as it they had been painted on. The cat was broad and muscular, but seemed much larger than a normal tiger should have been. It could crush a man's head with one step of its massive paws. Creamy white fur ran from the tiger's cheeks to under part of its body and legs. Its jaw line was round and strong and the teeth in the gaping mouth were a shining white. There were white gradients above his eyes that looked just like eye brows and seemed to display as much shock as Ichigo.
And the eyes.
A glaring liquid amber mixed with with surprise, turning the pupils into miniature pinpricks against the flickering plates. The soft fur around his eyes was stained with intricate slashes of shadow that made an exotic and powerful pattern over his features. It could strike intimidation into anyone who bore witness to their hypnotic appearance. The cat's uniquely sharp tipped ears laid flat against his skull. A long tail stiffened behind the animal. The tiger shook his head in disbelief. He slowly backed away from the mirror mimicking Ichigo.
This can't be happening. This can't be happening. This can't be happening. Ichigo stuttered mentally. Shakily he lifted a paw and pressed it to his face, realizing he was moving the beast, because he was the beast. His jaws shuttered together as he tried to force himself to say something, before he cried as forlornly as possible-
"I'VE TURNED INTO FUCKING RAJA!"
Yuzu looked up from her cooking as she heard a blarring Roooooaaaaaaaaahhhhhooo! coming from upstairs.
She turned back and continued to flip the bacon and murmured to herself, "Watching Big Cat Diaries this early in the morning? Ichigo..."
She smiled though, proud of her kind-hearted brother. The entire family was proud of his big heart.
Ichigo started nodding his head and blinking spastically, getting accustomed to this as quickly as he could. He started spewing out facts to calm himself down as if he could some how perfectly rationalize being an animal.
"Pathera Tigris... Status endangered...Tigers are among the most recognizable and popular of the world's charismatic megafauna..." He turned his face slowly from sided to side as he gazed into the mirror, "T-the global population in the wild is estimated to number between 3,062 to 3,948 individuals... with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets that are... isolated from each other."
He timidly opened his wide mouth to peer inside and stuttered most fearfully of all, "T-they have exceptionally stout teeth, and their canines a-are the longest among living felids...ok...w-well... that's interesting..." he commented taking in his huge teeth. Suddenly the image of the animal that attacked him last night came into mind and he flinched back wondering if he were simply suffering from a bad case of shock.
He sat back now, trying not to freak out, "So... I'm a tiger... t-that's ok... you love tigers... yep... tigers, Ichigo, they're your favorite... I'm... a tiger..."
Suddenly he started slamming his paws into the ground, inadvertently- freaking out. He kept mumbling something about I'm too young to move to india, before suddenly his shoulder popped out of place... He shakily turned to look at it with fear in his eyes.
Without warning Ichigo's entire form creaked and spasmed. Again, the numbness over took his body. Ichigo hunched his back and winched out small whines as his bone structure morphed. Soon the teen was in his human form again, left sprawled and terrified on his floor. He saw his tan body clothed in the same ripped bloody clothing he'd been wearing last night when he got attacked. He reached up, barely able to move and touched his face again. Smooth skin. Ichigo let out a pathetic whimper.
It wasn't a dream...
Ichigo barely said two words to his family during breakfast as he gobbled down his bacon with a voracious appetite. He was overcome with a hunger that wasn't entirely his own. He didn't even touch his toast or eggs but downed his milk in an instant and went after the meats. His family watched in confusion, not even eating, just staring. Karin's eyes went wide as she saw the meat fly through her brother's fingers,
"I-Ichi...nii..." She said warily.
Ichigo was a completely different person today. She was sure everyone else had noticed. She glanced over to see Yuzu who was cowering behind her spatula while Isshin kept on starring with a mix of gleefulness and pride.
"THAT'S MY HEALTHY SON! EAT UP! NOW I WON'T FEEL SO BAD WHEN I KICK YOUR ASS THIS MORNING KNOWING YOU HAD A HARDY BREAKF-Guhg!" The teen didn't even wait till he attacked him today. He just punched him with astonishing speed and Ishin slumped over onto the table. Yuzu jumped.
Ichigo made sounds Karin had never heard before. A small deep grumble escaped his lips as he licked his teeth clean like a carnivore. Karin cautiously looked into her brothers gaze before flinching back at the sight... He didn't seem right today. Something was there. In his movements, or sounds- that made her suspect it.
Ichigo thanked Yuzu and flicked his hand in farewell as he glided swiftly to his back pack. Who the hell was able to do that?, she thought, to walk so damn balanced and calm- no, so gracefully? She couldn't help but get up and go after Ichigo.
"Ichi-nii." She announced pulling at his sleeve to get him to stop.
He cleared his throat and cocked an eyebrow at her, "What, Karin?"
She searched his eyes in frustration and crossed her arms, "You're coming to my soccer game today, right?"
Ichigo's expression was calm and aloof, if you didn't know him it might have appeared emotionless or bored. But Karin knew it as a contemplative face. He said matter-o-factly, "It's been marked on my calendar for weeks. Of course..." Suddenly a knowing smile crept across his face and he knelt down with a twinkle in those strange new eyes and said, "Aw my little sister loves me~." He taunted.
Karin pouted her lips and looked annoyed, "God you're so annoying."
Ichigo laughed softly and clamped his hands on her face, "Ha I thought that was your job." He stood swiftly and bent down to kiss her head while she was in his clutches. Karin fought against the affection, grumbling a loud, "Bleeeeehhhh..."
As he turned again to walk towards the door, Karin couldn't help but stop him once more, a feeling of foreboding still very present in her mind.
"Ichigo?" She said more seriously.
He glanced back again, picking up on it.
"...Are you alright?"
She noticed him twitch before smiling and saying, "Yeah, why?"
"... I dunno," she murmured dreamily to herself, "You just seem... different today."
Ichigo shook his head and shrugged his shoulders, "Well, I dunno Kar, I'm honestly fine." He inspected her expression, "I promise I'm fine."
"...Alright...", Reluctantly she agreed but her tone appeared questioning as if expecting another answer,
"Karin." He said assuringly with a grandiose smile, "The next time you see me, I'll be at your game, kicking your coach's ass for not putting you in until the last moment."
She couldn't help but smile to herself. She felt a familiar hand on the top of her head and it rustled her hair softly. She gazed up to her brother's face like she always had when he did that. It was a sensation that made her feel safe no matter what would happen. It was something that reminded her she had a place to go. Safe and sound.
"That's my girl." she heard him say in a warm voice that sounded foreign to his own. It'd never been that nice had it?... She felt his hand leave her hair, and watched him close the door behind him with a soft click. She deflated after he left, staring at the place he used to be with a kind of solemn expression. Oh, well she thought to herself, she'd just ask when he got home...
Karin looked to her family and guessed they were thinking the exact same thing. She sought her father's gaze for some fatherly advice, and discovered with disgust he'd been out the entire time- face plastered in his eggs. Yuzu too, had long since fainted, her little striped socked feet propped up on the table. What the hell was this a genetic trait?
Karin slapped the palm of her hand into the center of her forehead and massaged her brow and said