Grrr...must...resist...another stupid time to....but...too...damn...funny...

Damn it. _ Curse you brain!

Today, Carrotglace learns that he should stop feeding his brain with new manga.

The Devil's Bleached Tears

Part 1

The road to hell.


My name is Ichigo Kurosaki. As long as I can remember, I've been able to see ghosts, dead people. To the point that when I was younger, I couldn't tell the difference between them and the living.

I was living with my beardo dad, and my two sisters. Life wasn't great, but it wasn't bad.

Then, she showed up.

Rukia, a Shinigami.

Something attacked my family, tried to kill me. It was called a Hollow, a monster, a human soul that had been corrupted, lost it's heart. She did something to me, tried to give me some of her power to fight it.

It got into me, and it went...wrong.

I ended up with all of her powers. She ended up living in my closet, powerless, and forced me to do her damn job. It annoying, but a temporary thing, until she got her powers back.

I suppose I did owe her.

I thought my life had turned upside down. Sooner or later, my life would go back to normal. She'd get her powers back, and I would get to go back to my usual routine.

Boy, was that ever wrong. Big time.

I had been doing all right. I thought I was starting to get the hang of things. Then, I got kicked in the balls by reality again.

It all started, when I ended up killing a Hollow. I'd seen a few of them go before, even performed a few soul burials. This one was different, I'd never seen one like it before.

It had been using a possessed parakeet to lure souls and Shinigami. My buddy Chad, he'd ended up with it. He's a tough guy, and he handled himself pretty well. We saved the kid inside the bird, killed the Hollow, and...the gates appeared.

That was when...he...showed up.

I didn't know it at the time, but from the moment I set eyes on him, my old life was doomed forever.


Ichigo swallowed as he gripped the soul sword and put it up in front of him. A door had appeared in front of the vanquished Hollow's spirit. It had skeletons carved into it, and a bad aura. "What is that?"

Rukia spoke up as she watched with an unnerving calm. "It's Hell."

The blond boy looked on in wide eyed horror as the gates opened up. A huge dead looking hand with tattoos etched onto its pale skin reached out and stabbed the spirit with a giant knife as the weakened Shinigami explained. "The soul sword has the power to cleanse sins. However, not every soul is destined for the Soul Society. The sword only has the power to cleanse the sins committed by the spirit as a Hollow. The sins committed by the soul while it lives, still weigh down on it."

The soul was dragged into the gates on the end of the blade. The hand vanished into the flames within. The heavy doors remained open.

The girl's voice caught his attention. "What?" Ichigo blinked as he looked over his shoulder at Rukia. Her eyes were a little confused. "It's still..."

The two of them jumped together as someone sailed out of the gates head first. He landed on his face, rolling over himself a few times as he tumbled across the pavement. A horrible and deep voice called out from the gates. "...And stay out!"

Rukia and Ichigo looked on as the figure staggered to his feet. He was wearing a black and gray mask, had a hood over his head, and a long black coat hanging from his shoulders. He staggered for a moment, shook his head, and turned to face the door shaking his fist at it. "You bitch! Fine! See if I care!"

Rukia started first as she looked on in confusion. "What the..."

Ichigo finished. "...Hell?"

The strange man was dusting off his sleeves and tugged on his coat to straighten it up a bit. "I didn't want to hang around there anyway. Fucking boring. Still...that cunt."

The dark haired girl and blond guy standing next to him were standing there staring at him. The boy spoke up. "Hey. Who the...?" He clenched his weapon and tensed his body.

Rukia spoke. "Ichigo, stop."

The stranger turned towards them. Half his mask was gray, the other black. There were no markings on it, and two eye holes cut into it. "What? What the hell are you two staring at?" His eyes were glowing red, but they faded after a moment leaving the eye holes of the mask dark.

The blond looked confused. "Huh? But...that guy..."

The dark haired girl stepped towards him. "Who are you? What's your business here?"

The strange figure just looked at her. A large well tanned boy was standing behind her with a bird cage in his hand. He arched his back and turned away. "Vacation. Mind your own business, Shinigami."

"What a strange person." Chad just looked on.

Rukia and Ichigo both looked at him with wide eyes.

The blond gagged on his own gasping for a moment. "He can...see him?"

The girl clenched her fist and frowned. "He' can see him?"

Chad looked at her and blinked in surprise. "Huh? Yes. Why?"

The figure popped his shoulder. "I'm guessing she thought I was some kind of spirit. I'm no Hollow, and I'm not a spirit. So, I'm not any of your concern Shinigami. Put that stupid sword away." He glanced at Ichigo as he said it.

The blond was enraged. "What? You just came out of Hell and...?" He gasped, Rukia was in front of him with her arms spread.

"Do as he says. He's right." She was giving the stranger a cautious looking frown. "Who are you?"

The stranger chuckled. "Why? What does it matter? I'm of no concern to the Soul Society. Nice body by the way, custom made? Doesn't look like any I've seen before."

Rukia growled.

Chad scratched his head. "What a strange thing to say."

The girl shook her fist at the stranger. "Shut up!"

Ichigo lowered the sword, but didn't put it away. "You just got thrown out of Hell. Why wouldn't I be worried about that?"

The stranger cocked his head. "Well, I guess you've got a point. Heh. I don't really have to explain anything to you though."

Rukia ignored him as Chad set the cage down. She focused on the bird for a few moments. "The chain of fate was disconnected. It's impossible for you to return to your body anymore."

The bird shuddered. "N-no way!"

Ichigo looked sullen. "Sorry, kid."

Chad hung his head as well. "Shibata..."

The girl seemed to cheer up a little. "Don't worry. The Soul Society is a place where you've got nothing to be afraid of! Such as never being hungry, and your body feels light! It's nine out of ten times better than this world!"

"Yeah. You'll definitely have more fun than the other side of that gate."

The group looked on to find the stranger looking on over Rukia's shoulder.

He looked about. "What?"

Ichigo growled. "What are you still doing here?"

The figure shrugged. "Well, I've got to admit, this is an interesting scene. I mean, a possessed bird, a Shinigami, an injured Shinigami, and this guy. Well, you've got no room to be calling me abnormal buddy." He looked up at Chad.

Rukia glowered at him. "Are you kidding? I've never seen anyone get kicked out of Hell before! Get lost you weirdo! This is private business!"

The man turned his mask towards her. "Yeah. Well screw you, you're in public. Your private business is invading my public."

Chad looked surprised. "Hell?"

Ichigo kicked at the man's head, but found his ankle between his fingers. The figure flipped his wrist and the blond Shinigami was on his back. "Cut it out. Jeeze. Hell was fun and all, but...this is a weird scene."

The blond stood up and held his sword over his head. "You!"

The figure looked at him and pointed at the cage. "Look, you're weirding the kid out. Besides, if you attack me, you'll get in trouble, Shinigami. I'm outside your jurisdiction. Lay off."

Rukia stared at him. "He's weirding him out?"

Ichigo growled and stewed for a moment and looked at the quivering bird. "At least, if you go to the other world, you'll be able to see your Mom again." He smiled at it. "Its not possible to return to life here, but at least if you go there, your Mom really will be waiting on you."

The masked figure turned to look at him. "No she won't. You liar."

Ichigo spun around. "What?"

The stranger was leaning against the wall. "You're a Shinigami, you should know better. It's very rare for anyone to actually meet family from this world in the next life. You shouldn't lie like that. Sorry kid." He raised three fingers. "You've pretty much got three choices here. You can go to the Soul Society." He lowered one of his fingers. "You can go to Hell." He lowered another and kept the middle one pointing at Ichigo. "...or you can stay here, and turn into one of those monsters." He crossed his arms and looked at the cage. "It's not that much better than here I've heard. The Shinigami are kind of jerks for the most part, but they tend to ignore the souls outside their walls. You'll be safe, and most everyone there are pretty nice. The jerks end up where I just came from. I had fun, but you probably wouldn't like it much. I suggest you listen to the Shinigami. Even if they are stuck up inconsiderate blow hards."

Ichigo was struggling between laughing at the angry Rukia, and punching the guy in the face. In the end, he ended up doing both.

The stranger left a crater in the wall with the back of his head, and Rukia glowered at the invisible spirit boy as he pointed and laughed. "Gee! He knows you pretty well!"

Ichigo was bent over her fist a moment later.

The stranger stood up, shook his head and turned away. "Well, you guys are fun. I'll be seeing you around, Ichigo. You too um...Rudiko, or whatever." He walked down the road and waved his hand as he left.

Rukia glowered at him, Ichigo frowned and crossed his arms. "What an asshole." They both said at the same time.

Chad was confused, and the bird with him.


Rukia stood in the Urahara Shop looking over what she'd just bought. It was a shady looking place, but it was clean, and didn't look very worn. The owner was sitting across from her in loose clothes, and a striped hat with a shaggy light colored mop of hair. She unwrapped a package she'd ordered. "This was the only one available huh?"

The young girl Ururu was standing with the boy Jinta, and the overbearing man Tessai around the scene going about keeping the shop up as Rukia talked with the manager.

The man chuckled. "Please don't say that. That one is the second most popular, so it was difficult to get."

The girl nodded. "I understand." She started to turn away, but paused. "Urahara..."

The man glanced up at her from his calculator. "Huh?"

Rukia hesitated for a moment. "I saw something very strange yesterday. I wanted to ask you about it." She looked away and clenched her fist. "Have you ever heard...about anyone getting...kicked out of hell?"

The man looked confused and furrowed his eyebrow. "No. That's impossible. There's no way the demons would ever let anything out of there."

Rukia glanced over her shoulder at him. "That's not true. Yesterday...I saw it with my own eyes."

The manager of the store just sat there looking at her. "Huh?"

The dark haired girl turned away, not realizing that everyone was looking at her with wide eyes and slacked jaws. " don't know anything then?"

Urahara was staggering to his feet. "Kicked out of...?" He narrowed his eyes. "I doubt that, if someone came out of that gate, they weren't thrown out."

Rukia walked out of the store and left them sitting there. Everyone in the shop was looking at the manager and stayed silent.



Ichigo caught the small Pez dispenser and looked confused. "Huh? You were gone this morning so you could buy this?" He'd just been dragged out of his classroom by force and was standing outside on a small balcony overlooking the school grounds.

Rukia nodded. "Yep. Because of what happened earlier." She put her finger up. "Listen, if you take one, a temporary soul can enter your body and take over for you while you perform your duties."

Ichigo gave her a sour frown. "My duties?" He didn't say it out loud. "Gikongan?"

The girl nodded. "Right, push the duck's head and a pill comes out."

The blond frowned. "It says 'Soul Candy'."

His companion gave a small sigh. "Right. The Shinigami Women's Association complained that the name wasn't cute enough, so they changed it years ago."

"But...why is it a duck?"

She shouted at him and got miffed. "Shut up! I couldn't pick! I wanted the 'Chappy Bunny'!"

Ichiko was having a bit of trouble keeping his giggles contained. "Oh. You wanted...the bunny?"

Rukia turned red. "Shut up! Are you insulting me you bastard!? Just try one and you'll understand soon enough!" She had her foot on the top of his head and forced him to bow a moment later.

He pressed the duck's head and a pill came out. After swallowing it, he found himself standing next to himself.

The body turned to look at them and smiled. "Pleased to meet you! I am Ichigo Kurosaki! My favorite phrase is 'early to bed, early to rise'!"

Ichigo was horrified. "What is this? Some kind of sick joke? This isn't cool!"

Of course, at that moment, Rukia's phone rang. "An order! Great! Come on, let's leave it to him!"

Kurosaki found himself being dragged away. "Hey 'me' get over to my next class!"

His body waved back. "Leave it to me, Mr. Master!...Take your time." His face turned into a smirk. "Heh."

He started to turn away, but found himself in front of a black clad man in a mask and hood. "Well, hello there."

'Ichigo' blinked. "Um...heh."

The stranger gave a small chuckle. "That was certainly interesting. You're not going to class?" He leaned against the wall and crossed his arms.

The blond nodded. "O-of"

"Call me Akuma." His voice was pleasant and calm.

The body nodded. "It's nice to meet you. I um...need to go..."

The stranger gave a nod. "Of course." He watched Ichigo walk away, in the opposite direction of his class. "Heh. Well, isn't that interesting? No Gikongan I know of would do anything but follow instructions. How...odd."

The soul pill chuckled as he stretched his legs. Whoever the weird guy was didn't follow him, and he was alone on an open field in the school. He turned and kicked the aluminum railing along one of the covered walkways and it dented in. "Yeah! That feels good! I finally got it! A moving body! Those bastards in the department, locking me up for so long! I'm finally free!"

Ichigo's body got a bit wide eyed as he felt something snag the back of his shirt. He felt the sensation of fast movement and landed on his belly with a bit of discomfort. "Oof! Hey!"

The masked figure was lying on his belly next to him. "Shhh!"

One of the faculty was rushing up to the scene. "Hey! Who did this! Damn destructive brats!" The man shuffled off to try and find the culprit.

Ichigo looked surprised. "Um...thanks?"

"Well, this is interesting. You're no normal Gikongan. I've never seen one with much personality before." The stranger had his hands behind his head and was lying on his back as if sunbathing. "Sure is bright out here isn't it? Kind of hurts my eyes a little."

The blond kid nodded. "Um, yeah." He looked nervous.

"Relax. You seem like you might be fun. I've never been to this world. We're both new here!"

Ichigo nodded and smiled. "Really?" His face fell a bit. "Um, who are you?"

The stranger shrugged. "I told you. My name is Akuma."

"Oh, that's a strange name." Ichigo cocked his head. "I've got to go now. I've never been able to run and jump before! I want to try it out!"

Akuma nodded. "I'll come along. We'll hang out. I think running and jumping is a bit overrated, but...hey. I'm game for anything right now. It's been pretty boring here so far."


Orihime was happy. She was having a wonderful lunch. Her friend Tatsuki was having such fun putting Chizuru in a headlock and belting her head against the tabletop. It was a truly wonderful and youthful moment of joy and happiness. All that, and food too!

The happy girl's nostril's flared for a moment. She cocked her head and looked towards the sensation as she sniffed at the air. Her limited thought process was still distracted by honey covered bread, overpowered even that wonderful sensation. "I smell..." She stood up and left what she was doing behind forgotten.

Tatsuki was a bit of a tomboy, with short black hair and great martial arts skills to protect her with. Chizuru was a sick and depraved sexual deviant, and they both got along so well together. Plus, Chizuru really knew how to feel a girl up better than any boy she could remember.

As Orihime reached the window she looked outside. Tatsuki was right behind her. "What? What is it?"

The girl was leaning out the window and crouched low into the corner sticking her nose into the breeze. "I smell Kurosaki!"

Tatsuki got a bit wide eyed. "Smell? What are you a dog? Besides, even if you could smell him this is the third..."

Ichigo appeared almost out of thin air in front of them. He landed on the floor. The girls stumbled back screaming. Tatsuki pointed at him. "You! How did you get up here!?"

Another figure landed right behind the boy. "Huh? We jumped. It's only the third floor. Right Ichigo?"

The blond boy looked back at his masked friend and nodded. "Yeah! That's impressive right? You're impressed?"

Orihime blinked as her eyes focused on the black clad masked figure in the hood. "Who...?"

Tatsuki was on her feet. "Ichigo! Wha? Who the hell is this guy?"

Kurosaki frowned back at his companion. "What? Him? I guess we're both pretty impressive? I kind of wanted to be the center of attention."

The figure shrugged. "Sorry. I think they're impressed, but they've never seen me before. They're kind of used to your face I guess." He seemed to think on it. "Hey! I know!" The pulled off his mask and hood. "There, that's better! Now they'll be used to both our faces!"

Ichigo looked at him and his jaw hung a little. "Um, hey..."

Standing next to him was a boy with white short cut spiky hair. His eyes were squinted a little, and he had a thin lipped, but very wide grin plastered across his face.

Tatsuki and Orihime both gasped as they looked at them both with wide eyes. "What the?" The short haired tomboy muttered. "K-Kurosaki?"

"Hey! You look like Ichi-um I mean me." He cocked his head. "Um, sort of. I know! He looked like this before!" The boy frowned and scrunched his eyebrows together.

The white haired boy nodded. "Hey! Pretty girls! I've always wanted to talk to one!" He pointed at the gathered group of shocked young girls.

Ichigo nodded. "Yeah! Me too! Hey, we should pick one and try!"

Akuma nodded. "Sure!"

The blond boy scanned the crowd and locked his eyes on a very large pair of breasts. Orihime was too stunned and confused to move. "Oh! Extra large!"

His white haired companion sniffed the air and chuckled. "Oooh. Tough chick!"

They were at the back of the crowd, on the other side of the room by that point. The two boys jumped and landed in front of the two girls.

The pair grabbed Orihime and Tatsuki by the hand as they put their other hand behind each girl's neck. Ichigo spoke to the large breasted girl. "Please to meet you pretty lady. Would you tell me your name?" He kissed her hand.

Akuma nodded and smiled. "Ah, beauty and strength, a wonderful combination in a woman! It's so beautiful to find one who understands the value of a good punch! What is your name?" He kissed her hand as well.

Tatsuki was red, she made a choking sound and glanced over at Orihime. "I...uh...I..." She was frozen and unable to speak or move.

Orihime pulled her hand away from Ichigo and frowned after looking confused for a moment. "Huh? Y-you're not..."

Her friend balled her hand up into a fist. "Y-you...who the hell do you think you are? Who...?" She pulled her hand away and lifted a desk over her head. "Die!"

Akuma and Ichigo both jumped out of the way as the enraged tomboy started lobbing desks at them.

The white haired boy scratched his chin as he ducked under one. "Hmmm. Not what I expected."

Ichigo nodded. "Yeah. No kidding. All we did was kiss them on the hand and ask for a name. Are they in grade school or something?"

Akuma slid to the side, most of what the girl was tossing was aimed at him. "I'm not sure. Girls where I come from would have ripped half my clothes off by now. This is odd."

Ichigo got a bit wide eyed. "Really? We should go there!"

The white haired boy shook his head. "Can't. You wouldn't like it anyway."

The door slid open. Rukia stood in the doorway and called out at the top of her lungs. "That's enough!" She froze and her eyes went wide.

The two boys turned to look at her with wide eyes. "Uh oh."

The white haired boy turned to see Ichigo rushing towards them from the window. "Cheeze it! It's the fuzz!"

The pair bolted, both jumping right past the invisible boy and into a three story drop. Ichigo was looking at the shocked Rukia. "Wait. H-how many?"

Rukia was leaning out the window as he sat on the ledge and watched two of himself rush away. "What the? What did? How?"

Ichigo frowned at her. "What's going on?"

She turned and rushed out of the room. Ichigo followed after her. Tatsuki was standing and huffing in the destroyed pile of desks.

Orihime was looking out the window as the class tried to collect itself. "Kurosaki?" She clenched her fist. "No. That wasn't...who was that other guy?"

Tatsuki glowered at her. "I'll kick his ass when I see him again! Who was that? I've never seen him before, and I've known Ichigo for years!" She froze. "Wait...I..."

Her friend looked over her shoulder. "Tatsuki?"

The girl seemed lost in thought. "A cousin maybe? He was acting strange."

Chizuru gasped. "Strange? He put his lips on my Orihime! That disgusting Ichigo! I'll never forgive him!"

Tatsuki looked out the window. "There was something familiar about...that other boy's eyes. He and Ichigo..."

The brunette turned to frown at her and shook her head. "No. That wasn't Kurosaki."

Tatsuki narrowed her eyes a little. "Then...who?"


Akuma chuckled. "I think we lost them."

Ichigo's double nodded as he gasped for breath. "Hey. You're pretty fast!"

The white haired boy nodded. "Yeah. You're a Mod Soul aren't you?"

The blond froze and looked at him with wide eyes. "I..."

The strange boy shook his head. "Don't worry. I'm not with Soul Society. I like you, it's been fun." He still had his eyes squinted and the strange wide grin on his face. "I didn't think there were any of you left. Operation Spearhead was canceled."

Ichigo's body frowned and hung his head. "Y-yeah." He looked at the stranger and clenched his fist as he backed away. "Who are you? How do you know about that?"

The stranger's grin became a little wider somehow. "I told you, I'm Akuma." His eyes opened and two silver irises were looking back into Ichigo's eyes. "Come on, if they catch us, the fun will be over. Right?"

The Mod Soul nodded. "Um...right." He looked a bit wary.

Akuma chuckled. "Don't worry. I told you already. I'm not Shinigami. I don't care much for those uptight blow hards."


Ichigo was winded and irritated. "Damn. We lost them! I lost myself!"

Rukia glanced at him. "That's a paradox."

Her companion growled. "What's going on here anyway?"

The girl looked at the ground. "Didn't you notice?"

He frowned at her. "What?"

"That other you, the one with the white hair. How he was dressed?"

Ichigo gasped. "N-no way!"

Rukia nodded. "Yeah. It was that guy again. I'm sure of it."

The Shinigami clenched his fist. "What happened?"

The dark haired girl shook her head. "I'm not sure. He must have done something to that Gikongan."

Ichigo nodded. "What do we do then?" He looked over at her again.

"We've got to catch your body and get you back inside it." She started running again. "Come on!"

Kurozaki had a serious frown on his face. "Yeah. Then I'm gonna kick that guy's ass!"

Rukia spoke as she jogged. "He must be some sort of shape shifter. He looked just like you."

Ichigo was running beside her. "So, he's not human then?"

The girl nodded. "I doubt it. He's probably dangerous. Be careful."


Yuzu Kurosaki was standing in the field of the grade school looking out over the wall. She had light brown hair, was ten years old, and was looking at her brother as he bounced up and down in the street outside the school walls. Her twin sister Karin was standing nearby as she called to him. "Brother!"

Her sister had black hair and a serious look on her face where her sister was light and cheerful. "Huh? Yuzu, what are you doing?"

The girl looked over her shoulder. "I saw our brother!"

Karin looked surprised. "Huh? Where?" She looked about. Sure enough, she spotted him sitting on the wall in a long black coat. "Hey. What's Ichigo..." There was something off about him.

The older boy was sitting on the wall looking at them with a strange smile on his face, grinning like an idiot. Ichigo never smiled that way, ever. He raised his hand and waved.

Karin waved back before she realized what she was doing with an odd expression on her face. It became even more confused as he bounced into the air behind himself. The grin on that one's face was even dumber. He was also leaping as much as five meters high. "Wheee! This is so fun! Look everyone! I'm awesome!"

The calmer of the two Ichigo looked over his shoulder and stood on top of the wall.

"Who the hell?" The dark haired girl grabbed her sister as she tried to wave. "No! They aren't human! Ichigo can't jump that high!" She pulled her back and stared at the stranger in black as he glanced over his shoulder. "Who? Is that?" He jumped down and went after the bouncing idiot.

"Hey, Mod Soul." The man in black landed in front of him.

The blond looked up in confusion. "Huh? What is it? I'm having fun!" He was perched on the wall overlooking a group of boys playing with electronic games.

Akuma had a frown on his face. "We shouldn't linger here. I feel a bad presence is coming soon."

Ichigo's body seemed confused. "Huh? What do you mean?"

The white haired man shook his head. "It's a Hollow. That means the Shinigami will be right behind it."

The fake soul looked over his shoulder as a shadow loomed overhead. It was looking down at the boys playing with their games. "Huh? Oh no!"

Akuma gave a heavy sigh. "Oh well." His companion dashed down below as the monster dove for the children. He pulled them away from the scene and shoved them out of the way.

The boys all looked shocked. "Hey! What are you doing!?"

The high school boy waved his arm. "Run! Get out of here!"

The Hollow was invisible to the boys. It looked like a giant centipede with a skull like mask over it's face. "You! I don't know who you are, but you shouldn't interfere with my meal!" One of it's legs extended fifteen feet and tried to stab at him.

A black blur appeared in front of Ichigo as he put up his arms. "Hey, Mod Soul. Stand back."

The Hollow snarled. "What?!"

Akuma was holding the leg back with one hand in a casual manner. He turned his eyes on the creature and grinned. "You know. I've never seen a complete Hollow before. You're usually cut to shit before you make it to where I'm from. A real mess, not much fun."

The creature pulled it's leg back. "You shouldn't toy with me, boy."

The black clad figure put his hands into his pockets. "Why not?"

"Who is he talking too?" One of the boys muttered from behind Ichigo.

The black clad figure turned his glowing red eyes on the group of children. "If you don't run the hell away right now. I'll swallow your souls!"

The boys screeched and rushed off in terror. Ichigo was shaking and covered in sweat. "What the hell?"

Akuma's face returned to his thin smile and squinted eyes. "Now, where were we?"

The creature loomed overhead. "Who are you?"

The black clad figure shrugged. "What? I thought we were threatening each other still. You wanna know who I am?"

The Hollow chuckled. "You look tasty."

The white haired boy shook his head. "I'd give you indigestion. Besides, all you need to know, is that if you don't scram. I'm gonna kick your ass."

The creature lunged at him with it's jaws open. "Die worm!"

Akuma chuckled as his leg lashed out as he spun into a kick. "Worm? Me? You're the one with the segmented body!" The creature took the blow in the face and slammed into the wall, smashing a hole in it. "You've got too many legs though. Hmm."

The Mod Soul looked on with wide eyes as the boy in the black coat rushed down the side of the monster's length. When he stopped on the other end, the thing's legs fell off as the ground was sprayed with it's blood.

The Hollow shrieked in pain as it twisted and rolled about.

Ichigo's body was sweating bullets and looking shocked. "N-no way!"

Akuma had a sword almost as big as he was. It was a European style sword, with a skull above the hilt and it was resting on his shoulder. He jumped on the monster's back and ran down the length of the creature running the blade along the other side.

The Hollow was limbed as he landed in front of it's screaming face with his back to the thing. "Heh. Now, you're the worm, aren't you!?"

The monster hissed in rage. "I'll destroy you!"

Ichigo jolted where he was sitting as a loud bang sounded. " are you?"

Akuma smirked at him with his cheerful and somehow sinister grin. "How many times to I have to say it?" He twirled a handgun around his finger as he pulled it away from what was left of the monster's face. "You sure have a short memory friend." He snorted as he glanced over his shoulder as the monster seemed to evaporate and put his weapon away. The sword vanished from sight as soon as he hung it on his back. "You're late, Ichigo."

The Shinigami was looking on from on top of the wall with his jaw hanging. Rukia was beside him.

The black clad figure smirked at the shocked looking Shinigami. "Hey. I figured you and I would meet again."

The blond was enraged. "You! I'm gonna kick your ass!" He pointed his sword at the stranger.

Rukia balled up her fists. "What did you do to that Gikongan?"

The white haired stranger clicked his tongue. "No gratitude, hear that Mod Soul? I kept an eye on his body all day, and this is how he thanks me? Ungrateful dick."

Rukia gasped. "What? M-Mod Soul?" Her eyes turned towards the cowering Ichigo's body.

"Bastard!" Ichigo jumped into the air with his sword over his head. He landed and froze as he found the barrel of a gun under his chin. He was wide eyed and dropped the blade behind his head. "What the?"

Akuma was grinning at him. "Aw, too bad. You brought a sword to a gun fight it seems."

The Mod Soul pushed himself to his knees. "Wait! Please! Don't hurt him!"

Akuma turned his smile towards the animated body. "Wasn't planning on it. He shouldn't be so aggressive though. You Shinigami always jump in without thinking. So careless."

Rukia growled. "Who the hell are you?"

The stranger chuckled as he pulled another gun and pointed it at Urahara. The man had walked up behind the scene and was about to poke his cane at the cowering body. "Well, hello stranger." He turned his eyes on the man and the shopkeeper froze.

Urahara swallowed as he looked into the man's eyes. "Oh shit."

The two armed children started to point their weapons at the boy in black, but the man in the hat waved them off.

Ichigo's body was confused. "What's going on?"

The children looked confused and glared at the stranger.

Akuma chuckled. "I'm saving your ass. Rubika or whatever. Do me a favor, and put Ichigo back in his body." He twirled his twin handguns around his fingers and put them away behind his back.

"As for you." He turned his eyes on the shopkeepers. "I'm guessing that my new friend came from you? You're not Shinigami."

Urahara nodded. "Yeah. It was a mistake. Rukia got the wrong item."

The girl with black hair frowned and nodded. "I see." She knocked Ichigo's body and caught the pill that came out.

The man in black turned his eyes on her. "He's a good kid. You'd better take care of him. I'll be seeing you soon, and if he's not around. I'm gonna get upset."

Rukia gasped as she stepped back. His eyes were glowing red. "Wh-what are you?"

Ichigo was frowning at the stranger as he sat up. "What the hell is going on?"

The shopkeeper glared at the white haired boy. "Yeah. What's a demon doing here? You shouldn't be..."

The white haired figure chuckled. "What would you know of where I should be?"

Ichigo glared at him. "Demon?"

The stranger shrugged. "What? You're surprised? Don't worry about it so much, Ichigo." He had his grin plastered on his face the whole time, and didn't seem worried about any of them.

Rukia hung her head. "I suppose, you expect us to thank you?"

Akuma shrugged. "Not really. I've got reasons for what I'm doing. Still, you should hang on to that kid. He'd never fit in where I come from." He put his hands in his pockets and started walking away. "He's a sad story you know. One of the last of his kind. He's really afraid of being destroyed. He'll be a lot more useful than one of those brainless Gikongan drones. You should keep him around."

Urahara turned to walk away. "Rukia. Is that the guy you..."

She gave a nod and glared at his back as he left them. "Yeah. He's the one." She had the pill in her palm and looked at it.

Ichigo looked at the strangers and then faced his companion. "Who are these people? That guy was a demon?"

Urahara shrugged. "No one. I'm just a shopkeeper."

Rukia gave a heavy sigh and handed the pill to Ichigo. "Here. Take care of it."

The boy frowned as he looked at it and shoved it into his pocket. "What the heck is a Mod Soul anyway?" He followed after her. "What do you mean take care of it? Do I have to feed it or something?"

Rukia looked over her shoulder. "You shouldn't trust that guy, but you don't want to piss him off either."

Ichigo glared at her."What? I'll kick that jerk's ass the next time I..."

The girl turned away from him. "I don't care how strong you think you are. You screw with that guy, and he'll kill you."

The blond nodded. "What are we gonna do about him then?! He's a demon or something right? We can't just ignore him!"

Rukia stopped and balled up her fist. "Yes, we can."

Ichigo stopped in his tracks. His face fell for a moment and he seemed to get angry. "What? He's evil! What if he's come to destroy the world or something!? We're supposed to just sit here and do nothing?"

"Shinigami aren't meant to deal with his kind." She shook her head and put her palm against her forehead. "It's not our problem. Besides, he won't destroy the world."

The blond seemed confused. "Huh? What do you mean?"

Rukia whirled around and slugged him. "Shut the hell up! Look! Forget about that guy! He won't get in the way of Shinigami business! There are rules he has to follow too you know. He won't destroy the world. Sure, he's a demon. He's not our problem though. Come on." She grabbed his collar and dragged him along behind her.


Isshin Kurosaki whistled to himself as he sat down in his favorite chair with a cup of coffee in front of him. He was a cheerful man with a grin on his face. He was in good shape, had a scruffy beard on his chin, and seemed pleased with his station in life.

As it was, his daughter Karin was washing dishes in the kitchen, and he was just settling in after dinner to read the part of the paper he'd not finished before opening the clinic up for the day. It was closed now, and his family was settling in for the night. Yuzu was in her room, and Ichigo was as well. All was right and quiet in the world.

He had no idea how much that was about to change. He cocked his head and frowned a bit as he realized he could hear a knock at the door. He glanced over and saw that Karin was running water, and his other two children were up in their rooms. It was a persistent and steady knocking.

He gave a small sigh and stood up, walking to the front doors of the clinic. He could see someone leaning against one of the doors outside, tapping the other with the back of his hand at a steady and methodical pace. It wasn't very loud, or fast paced, and he didn't seem frantic or urgent.

He unlocked the door and poked his head out with a small frown on his face. "The clinic is closed."

"Yeah. I noticed."

Isshin froze as his eyes went wide. ""

The white haired spitting image of his son turned to grin at him. "Hey."

The man just looked at him with a blank expression. "It...can't be..." He stepped outside and poked his finger into the boy's arm.

The stupid grin didn't fade and the boy just looked at him with familiar squinted eyes.


"Long time no see. How are things?"

The boy's expression faltered as he found himself crushed in two strong arms. "Oh! It's been so long! Have you come to visit? Will you be staying?"

Akuma chuckled. "Where else would I go? I got kicked out of my old place. I'm kind of stuck here. So, I guess I'm staying."

Ichigo was standing at the bottom of the stairs looking on with wide eyes and a hanging jaw. "What the?"

The white haired boy looked at him with the same stupid grin as before. "Hey, bro. Long time no see."

The blond boy just stood there in shock. "B-bro?"

Karin was standing in front of the scene with a dish towel in her hands. "Hey. That...guy...I saw him..."

Yuzu also appeared on the stairs. "Dad? Who is this?" She was beaming and launched herself onto the newcomer's leg.

Ichigo jumped forward in alarm. "Yuzu, don't!"

Akuma just looked at him. "What do you mean, Ichigo? Don't tell me you've forgotten your own brother?"

Isshin slapped him on his back. "Well, it's been a long time! Maybe he just didn't recognize you? Son! Get over here and say hello to your dear brother!"

Ichigo was frozen, his jaw was hanging down. "I...I don't...have...a..." The silver orbs were staring right into his eyes. "It...can't be...I...I know you..."

Karin had dropped her towel to the ground as she looked on. "B-brother? I...but..."

Ichigo looked around at his family, his sisters were confused, but so was he. His father welcomed the man with open arms, and was swinging him about in his arms as if greeting a four year old.

Akuma looked a bit out of place. "Um, could you put me down, Dad?"

Isshin slapped the boy on his shoulders. "How is your mother?"

The white haired boy cocked his head. "She's still the nasty, evil, vengeful, sadistic, bitch she's always been. Why?"

Isshun smiled and nodded. "Well, I'm glad to hear she's well!"

Ichigo hit the floor. He was pale and shaking. "What the hell?" Akuma wasn't lying, he knew he wasn't lying. He had no idea why he knew that.

The white haired boy looked down at him from above as his father's head appeared at his side.

"Ichigo?" Isshin looked confused.

Akuma grinned. "Just the memory wipe wearing off. He'll be fine. We're going to have lots of fun together you and I. Lots of fun indeed. Heh."

The raven haired ten year old girl looked confused. "Dad...who is this guy?"

Isshin slapped his shoulder. "Isn't it obvious? This is your brother Akuma. He's come to stay with us!"

Yuzu seemed confused. "We have another big brother?"

Karin growled at her. "Don't be stupid! If he's our brother, where did he come from?"

Akuma blinked. "When Mom got killed, she took me back to hell with her of course. You all forgot as part of the deal she made with Dad."

Ichigo was almost foaming at the mouth. He sat upright. "What?!"

Isshin gave a heavy sigh. "I never could resist a bad girl!"

Akuma put his hand on Ichigo's shoulder. "Well, Dad made a deal with Mom, so they could get married. She took human form and lived here for a while. When she died, she had to go back to hell."

Ichigo grabbed his father by his collar and glared at him. "You sold your soul? You idiot!"

The man scratched his head. "Of course not. got to keep you three when she left, and she took him." He grinned at the blond boy and gave a heavy sigh. "It was wonderful! I don't regret a moment of it!"

Ichigo walked over and sat down next to the dumbstruck Karin. They sat together with wide eyes and slacked jaws in silence.

Yuzu was beaming at the white haired boy. "Wow! So, you're my big brother!?"

Akuma's disturbing grin hadn't budged through the whole scene. "Yes. That's right. I'm sure we'll all have lots of fun together!"

"That's the spirit son!"

Karin was as pale as her brother. "M-mom is in...Hell?"

The white haired boy walked over and sat down. "Well, yeah. Don't worry though. She's the one doing the torturing, to be honest, I don't think she'd have it any other way. You guys don't realize it, but she's a bit of a sadist."

Ichigo jumped to his feet. "What? How dare you?!" His mother wasn't like that, she loved him, she was always kind, always smiling. His rage flared up as he launched himself at the white haired boy.

His brother cocked his eyebrow. "What do you mean?" He chuckled as he caught his brother's fist with ease. "You just don't get it do you?"

His brother was looking at him with wide eyes and shaking in his grip. "Don't you ever call my mother..."

"Ichigo, everyone in this room but Dad, is a half demon." Akuma's face became serious. He leaned in and spoke in a quiet tone that no one else could hear. "Do you remember that voice you heard, when you saw the gates?"

The blond was looking at him in shock. "What?"

Akuma smirked again as he looked his brother in the eye with his silver irises. "That was Mom, throwing me out."

Ichigo hit the floor as his eyes rolled up and he passed out. He laid on the ground shaking for a moment and his eyes opened. He looked at the grinning face above him. "N-no! It's not true! Mom wasn't like that!"

Isshin scratched his head. "Well, it's kind of...true, Son."

Ichigo's eyes locked onto the man's grin. "Wh-what?"

His father gave a heavy sigh. "She was a wonderful woman, and she loved you all very much...but...she wasn't...human." He blushed a bit. He wasn't about to go into her sadism. He enjoyed it, but, didn't think it was something he should bring up. She kept it in the bedroom during her time with the family.

He looked at his brother and the white haired boy shrugged. "Heh. You always were a Momma's boy. What's the big deal? Even I didn't know until I left with her." He crossed his arms and shook his head as he turned away. "She never treated me the same as she did you. I used to get jealous, but now I've realized that you weren't meant to go with her. She was getting me ready to leave with her."

Ichigo glared at him. It made him angry just to look at the smug grin on his face.

Akuma just kept smiling. "I'm sure we'll get along fine. Just like...old times. Heh."

That statement got to the blond boy, he wasn't sure why. He was a little afraid, but there was something else behind it. Something deeper, something angry, something that didn't want to back away. He couldn't help it, and he didn't know why, but there was something about what his brother said that he was looking forward to. He wasn't so sure he wanted to find out what it was, but he couldn't help it. He wanted whatever it was.



Next Time: Akuma starts school.