A.N: Next chapter galore! Sorry if it's a bit slow... The next one should be better :p Thank you to my wonderful reviewers:
GrimmjowIchigoforever, Dark Green Poop, Yoshitaka, Panther X, Un-un-Schizo, Randomidiot15, oneluckyduck Sponge Fan, ThierryMyst, KiriUchiha, dishrag-chan, Matie, TealEyedBeing, and Kitsune's Dark Shadow.
This time you get cyber plushies, one of any character in this story! YAY! ((cough)) Um... yeah.
Disclaimer: Don't own Bleach. Not today, not tomorrow, not yesterday. Nope, not even right now. Never. :(
Alt Ichigo stood before his front door with his finger hovering above the doorbell, Grimmjow by his side.
The arrancar was growing irritated. They had just been standing there for ten minutes straight, Ichigo frozen in place. Impatience getting the best of him, he gave the door a few hard knocks.
The red head glared at him. "I wasn't ready."
"You'd be dead before you were ready."
The door swung open before Ichigo could retort. He gasped, tears forming in brown eyes as they landed on Karin. "You're alive!" He had her in a death-grip within seconds, the poor girl both confused and annoyed. "Ichi-nii, get off of me! Of course I'm alive!"
The red head stood back up. "What about Yuzu? Is she alive too?" His voice radiated hope.
"I dunno," Karin said sarcastically. "Might've died of old age."
"That isn't funny." Ichigo had said this seriously. The conversation was cut short as a goat-faced man showed up, launching himself at Ichigo.
"My son! You've returned in one piece!"
Ichigo hugged the man back. After all, he'd been gone for over a year. He had no clue that, to everyone else, he'd been gone for a mere weak. "Yeah, and finally, too."
Isshin pulled back, not questioning his son's friendliness. He could sense something off, yet it still seemed to be his son... "And who's this?"
"Oh!" Ichigo instantly perked up. "Grimmjow! He's my-."
"-friend," Grimmjow cut in.
"Yeah," Ichigo replied, slowly, as if deciding whether or not to go along with this. He pulled a paper from his pocket. It was a speech Aizen had prepared for him. "Right. So... Ah, here's where it starts." Only Karin seemed to notice that when he began to speak again, he was reading off the paper.
"You see, I was just on my way home, when I suddenly passed out in the middle of the street. Many people were walking by, but only Grimmjow pulled me out of the street. He saved me, but has nowhere to stay himself. Read with emotion."
Grimmjow rolled his eyes. Did the shinigami have any brains?
Isshin, however, seemed to believe every word. "Yes, you may stay with us! What a great deed you have performed!"
Yuzu seemed equally convinced, nodding vigorously. "Any friend of Ichi-nii is welcome."
Karin had already walked back into the house, having had enough.
"I guess you can stay in Ichigo's room, then," said Isshin. "His bed should be plenty big."
Grimmjow found his face heating up. Sharing a bed with the shinigami? What if Ichigo molested him in his sleep? "Ah... don't you think..."
Ichigo was intent on keeping him from finishing his sentence. "Yeah, definitely a good idea."
To top everything off, Szayel's Gigai had made him look exactly the same, just without the mask. Fangs, teal hair, and claws didn't blend in too well. They failed to keep him under a visual radar. Though the Gigai did keep shinigami sensors from going off, that was about it.
Great. Better prepare myself for hell.
Meanwhile, Ichigo was still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that his siblings were alive. It was too shocking for him to process, having yet to fully soak in.
To say Ichigo was depressed would be an understatement. He felt like the world was tearing into itty bitty pieces, leaving him to grasp for them in the hope of gaining sanity. What was making him so miserable?
Not Grimmjow. The arrancar was surprisingly easy to be around, if Ichigo were to go along with the affections shown unto him.
Not Ulquiorra. He seemed to get the hint that Ichigo was not going to be with him. That didn't mean he stopped staring, but the red head could deal with that. Besides, when Ulquiorra wasn't staring, his company could be enjoyable.
Not even the fact that he was somewhere so similar yet so very different was dampening his mood. What was bothering him was a brown haired, brown eyed man by the name of Aizen Sosuke. He had been roaming around Las Noches like he owned the place, using his strong reiatsu to control the weaker arrancar. Every once in a while he'd pay Ichigo a visit. When that happened, said Shinigami always made sure he had someone else with him. He didn't want to deal with the man alone.
The fear of his other self plagued his mind, as he found himself unable to get rid of it. And it was very unfair, in his opinion, since he hadn't even gone through the horrible experiences. He wondered, if the memories did this to him, what was his alternate self like around Aizen?
Rukia had also been released to wonder Las Noches, but he found himself unable to care. Any alternate memories about her weren't surfacing. Every once in a while he'd get a foreign sense of hate towards her, but it was distant and not his own. She had reiatsu suppressers to keep her from becoming a danger, anyways.
Ichigo was currently in a meeting, Grimmjow obviously on one of his sides, Szayel on the other. The scientist seemed to be onto him, though he couldn't find it in him to care. Who would belive the eighth espada when it came to something so unrealistic?
Still, the espada was making him feel nervous.
"And," said Urahara, as Ichigo refocused his attention, "I would like Ichigo to go to the human world with Aizen after this meeting to check on the enemy. See if Ishida and Chad are up to anything. Make sure Ichimaru isn't trying to start an army again."
Indeed, the world was against him. Ichigo knew it as a fact now. "Can't I go with anyone else? Or make someone take my place?"
Urahara lifted a fan in front of his face, hiding his smile. "No. You need to be able to get past your fear. That will only happen if you spend time together."
"I'll go instead," Grimmjow volunteered.
"No, I will," insisted Ulquiorra. Ichigo figured that the fourth was trying to earn points in Ichigo's book.
"I'll go to collect statistics." Okay, Ichigo had no excuse for why Szayel would volunteer. Statistics? There had to be more to it than that.
Urahara raised a hand to silence the group before anyone else could volunteer. "Ichigo will go with Aizen. End of discussion. Now, as for the new food..."
The rest of the meeting droned on, as Ichigo tried to think a way out of this one. He could just ditch, but that wasn't realistic. Urahara would find out, and Ichigo neither knew nor wanted to know how the man punished his underlings.
Sighs of relief were heard as the meeting finally ended. Ichigo wasn't contributing to that, as no relief welled up within him. He would've been happy with the meeting continuing on forever, as long as he wouldn't have to face the psycho brunette.
"Well that sucks," said Grimmjow, matter-of-factly. "Just get the mission over with and ignore Aizen."
Ichigo decided not to point out that he would have to pay attention to Aizen if he were to go on a mission with him. It was rare for Grimmjow to give him advice, after all.
"Yeah, I'll keep that in mind." Ichigo must have said the right thing, because Grimmjow seemed satisfied with himself. Pushing the oddity from his mind Ichigo looked around for the-horrible-one. It was when he appeared before him that he accidently fell back into the sixth, wondering why he always ended up doing that around Aizen.
"Let's just get this over with," said Ichigo, almost grumbling it.
Aizen shot Ichigo a look that sent shivers down his spine, and not the pleasant kind. He didn't stand too close to the crazed man.
Back in Karakura town, Grimmjow was trying to figure out how to use the silverware, as Ichigo was oblivious to Karin's studious gaze, stuffing in mouthfulls of mashed potato.
"You know, normally you eat with more manners," Karin pointed out to her older brother.
Ichigo swallowed his bite before speaking. "Whatcha mean?"
"You barely chew, and you're shoveling food."
Isshin got to his feet. "Oh, my Karin is so grown up! She's already prepared to take care of children!"
The girl punched her father square in the jaw, sending him crashing into a wall. "Can't you be normal for one meal?"
Grimmjow raised a brow as Isshin started crying to a poster of a red haired woman, who he figured was Ichigo's mother.
Ichigo himself seemed to be delighted. Smiling brightly, he scooted closer to Grimmjow. In turn, the espada scooted farther away. School was going to be such a blast...
Ichigo was trying his best to ignore the babbling insane man. But there was only so much he could do.
"Did you know that Ichimaru and I were good friends before I was kicked out of the seretei? We would go for long walks, and..."
"Can you shut up?" Ichigo demanded. "Just show me the way to him so we can get this over with."
Aizen smirked. "But then we wouldn't get to spend as much time together."
"Yeah, that's sorta the point." The longer he spent with the man, the more disturbing memories he would get.
"OK," Aizen agreed. "I'll lead you to Ichimaru."
Ichigo gave a sigh of relief. "About time."
"For a kiss."
Ichigo stared at Aizen blankly for a moment. His expression didn't change as he spoke. "No way. That's sick, and who knows what I'll remember?"
The grin Ichigo received was creepy. "Then we'll just have to tell Urahara we couldn't find him."
"Yeah, well, Urahara..." Ichigo trailed off. Is it possible that Ichimaru lives where Urahara did? Not waiting for Aizen, he took off with sonido's in the direction of what should've been the Urahara-shouten.
Aizen must've managed to keep up, because he stopped beside Ichigo almost exactly when Ichigo himself had stopped.
The red head grinned as he took in the building before him. It looked exactly the same as Urahara's, except it said Ichimaru's shouten.
"How'd you know where to find this?" Aizen demanded, eyes narrowed dangerously.
"No," said Aizen. "You knew. How?"
Ichigo wasn't even going to tell Grimmjow that he was from an alternate universe, let alone Aizen. "How do you think?"
Ichigo was thankful when a new voice spoke, though it was creepy in its familiarity.
"Ichigo, Aizen. Not shopping, I suppose?"
The red head raised a brow. "How did you know my name?"
Ichimaru's fox eyes stayed the same. "You forget so easily. We met in soul society when you were trying to stop Rukia's execution."
Apparently some things never change. At least not completely, so he'd have to still be careful. "Yeah, I remember..."
"Come in. I'll have Jinta make you some tea. Then we can discuss the army I'm cooking up."
A.N: Reviews highly appreciated. As always, I like constructive criticism. :D And next chappie should be out in a couple of days. Blegh... feel kinda ill though... LOL