Chapter 20: Ran-chan Na-han

A/N: Okay, what to say… I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take this long, but my life… is in a bind so I need to pull back my writing. Oh, IMPORTANT note, I've decided to continue this fic til before the timeskip in canon because when Rukia slowly faded away, that was when I thought the canon should have ended too. It feels like author is forcing it forward, just like in Katekyo. So to tell everyone, that's how it is.

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CHAPTER BEGIN

Night was peaceful. Moon was shining brightly among shiny stars. One wouldn't believe it what had happened just half an hour ago. People, enough power to destroy the whole town, were rampaging around it, trying to kill each other.

On certain rooftop, a group of these people had gathered to heal their wounds.

A couple of people were watching this in the distance. A woman and a man. They had been sitting on the edge of the building, watching the event. One, wearing a black kimono and the other short bright orange jacket and pants with white undershirt.

"Is that so?" Rangiku whispered quietly. "You just… moved on? Like that?"

"I'm a douche." He said quietly.

"I know that." She spat frustrated. "But I… I always thought that when you would break up with Nanao, you would finally see me!" She turned to look at him. "You know, you were the one person who never saw me. Everyone else were always ogling me and you, you never even looked at me. I tried so hard every day so that you would notice me."

"…sorry?" He suggested carefully.

"And then, you go and leave your home, your life and me behind to get yourself a girlfriend?"

"Technically, I broke up with Ryo-chan before I came to Soul Society so…"

Matsumoto turned away. "I don't want to see you now. Disappear."

Naruto didn't answer anything. Just used Shunpo to disappear just like he was told to.

((A))

Naruto walked in a quiet playground in the middle of the town. Night was clear and moon was shining brightly down to him. "I feel like shit." He muttered to himself and sat on a swing. He never thought he would be singing from the rooftops after meeting with Ran-chan, but this shitty feeling wasn't what he expected either. He hadn't meant to hurt her but it had happened.

"I'm really a douche." He muttered sadly and he was planning on continuing brooding when he heard footsteps behind him. 'Time to put on my happy face again.' He hid his emotions under the surface and waited patiently for the person to come closer. "Ichigo." He said finally to the Strawberry man standing behind him looking like he had gone through hell, even though all his wounds were healed.

"Naruto." He whispered darkly. "I heard you appeared there saving Rangiku-san." He slowly made his way to Narutos front. "You look like you're in a bad shape, though."

"This?" He asked as he checked what he meant. His body was full of cuts and bruises he had received in training before the fight he had owned by the way. "This is nothing. I simply overexerted myself while training."

"Training?" Ichigo asked.

"Everyone needs to get stronger for this upcoming war." He explained. "That's why my old man has never intervened with your fights so far." He narrowed his eyes. "He wanted to make sure you fully understand the difference between them and you. And you and Aizen."

"Aizen?" Ichigos fist tightened in his pocket just out of thought of the man behind all this. "What of him?"

"These attackers weren't even among his strongest fighters. That guy Grimmjaw was Espada 6 and you were played with. There are five, stronger than other arrancar between you and him. And let's just say that you survive those fights. Then there are those three who followed him there. Ichimaru, Tosen and Uchiha. They were all strong enough to follow him into a place like that. AND THEN there's the man behind all this. Do you seriously think, that the way you are, you can even appear front of him? Leave alone defeat anyone who he sends here?"

"WHAT CAN I DO! ? I WANT TO BE ABLE TO DEFEAT THOSE GUYS! I DON'T WANT ANY OF MY FRIENDS DYING FRONT OF ME! I WANT… I WANT… I want strength."

"Strength to protect others." Naruto smiled. He had known exactly what to say. He had used Ichigos greatest flaw just now. His way of thinking that he needed to do everything himself. That no one else could do it. "You just might make it."

"Naruto, I want to learn how to control my hollow powers! Yadomaru had a mask! She can tell me, right?"

"Of course. We can tell you." He raised his finger and Ichigo watched as Cero started forming onto top of it.

"T-that's…"

"Cero." He answered with a nod before letting the power disappear harmlessly. "Menos Grande signature move."

"Th-then you too are really a…"

"A vizard like you? Yes. Before I was born, failed experiment by dad broke the wall of Shinigami and Hollow in me. After I came here, he 'fixed me' which left me with the hollow who seeks a chance to jump into control every moment."

"It never goes away…?" Ichigos asked with hollow voice. Idea of constantly living with hollow lurking in the shadows was… scaring.

"No." He stood up and placed his hand on his shoulder. "But it can be toned down. Just follow me and I will let them show you."

"Them? There's more of you?"

"You'll see."

((A))

Ichigo followed Naruto to an abandoned looking warehouse. "This is it? That place you always go to train?"

"This is my clubhouse, yes." He answered as he opened the door. "I'm home!"

"Yo! Naruto!" Loves voice echoed through warehouse. They walked to the center of the warehouse, which seemed to have been abandoned long time ago. Inside Ichigo saw some weird people sitting around lazily. "Have you read this weeks JUMP? It's hilarious!"

"To-chan! Let's play twister!" Mashiro yelled. "Lisa-chan wants to play too."

"If he plays, I play." She said, correcting her glasses.

"C'mon ya gys." Hirako interrupted them and stepped forward. "Don'ya see dat our junior member came back wid a friend." They looked down to Ichigo.

"Ichigo. I present to you, Vizards." He pointed at the people watching them. "Masked warriors. People who have crossed the line of Hollow and Shinigami."

"So you finally decided to come here, Ichigo?" Yadomaru stepped forward. "We were thinking you just forgot our existence, you being so stupid and all."

"Shut up." Ichigo muttered.

"You will learn to know the gang later. All you need to know is that when you join us, we will help you to learn how to control the hollow inside you."

"Don't screw with me." Ichigo muttered. "I'm not joining you." He looked at Vizards and Narutos surprised expressions. "I'm here using you guys."

Then Naruto gave out a laugh with Hiyori who stepped forward. "This idiot must have gotten you confused somehow, brat." She smirked. "It's not your decision to make. It's if we allow you to join us. Prepare yourself." She pulled her zanpakuto and Ichigo jumped out of his body.

"Shouldn't somebody stop them?" Naruto asked but no one seemed interested.

"We need to see what that guy can do." Kensei said firmly. "If it's not Hiyori, I will beat the crap out of this punk."

The blond shrugged. "Sure, why not. Hachi, prepare Kekkai around us! Hiyori can't hold back like this."

"Hai-desu." He nodded and slammed his palms together.

"Okay, now." Hirako sat next to him and others followed suit. "Bring out the crackers."

((A))

"Yoruichi-sensei, I ask you to train me." Kunieda bowed down ceremonially front of Urahara shop.

"Hoo?" She smirked. "I don't know what brought this change in you, but I like it. So, you want me to bring you to the next level in training?"

"Hai!" She yelled firmly. "Now I know, that I must grow stronger and ever before. I have friends and I don't want them to suffer because of me."

"Then, tie your shoelaces because Goddess of Flash is about to give some private tutoring." She flashed her eyes. "And it's going to be hell."

((A))

"So, how's your training going?" Love asked while they were watching Ichigo using the power-walker which was supposed to drain his reiatsu. It had turned out, that Ichigo packed some power after all and he passed first test. Only two more left.

"It's going." Naruto answered while turning a page on a comicbook. "I really need to find a way to control myself. I loose control too quickly and then I'm just a berserk maniac."

"Dat aint bad ding." Hirako muttered, half eaten cracker in his mouth. "I would consider it to be an improvement from the current one."

"Shut up." He answered and threw a rock he found into his face. Hirako managed to dodge it, but the rock landed on Roses nose, who had a shock.

"WHO DID THIS! ! ?" He screamed and this started a useless fight that was a most painful to watch for Ichigo.

"Enough!" He yelled and threw the machine he had been using at Kensei who smashed it into pieces out of instinct. "I'm done with this stupid training!"

"Hey! Watch what you're doing with that thing!" Hiyori yelled as she reached herself designed machine to determine ones spiritual strength. "It's a genius piece of art!" She yelled.

"Shut up! I already know what it's for and I can tell, I can easily do three days without breaking a sweat!"

This started another useless argument, about how they knew what was right and how he had no time to waste. Slowly, everyone's eyes turned on Naruto, who hadn't opened his mouth yet. He shrugged. "What the hell, let's do that now. It will save some time when we don't have to listen that brat whine all the time."

"Are you sure?" Lisa asked. "It can backfire badly."

"I know that, but in the end, it's all on Ichigo." He smiled. "And I have full confidence on him."

((A))

They knocked Ichigo out and moved downstairs, where they began the battle which would determine Ichigos life. "So, that means, we have one hour and a half." Hirako counted them. "Thinking, Hachi remains outside, keeping up the barrier."

"Hai-desu." He nodded glad of how things had turned out.

"Okay, so that means, I'm going last." Hirako nodded. "If it fails, I finish him off. Any problems, Naruto?"

Naruto closed his eyes. "No. But I still have faith that my friend takes this one home."

((A))

Naruto felt his body shaking after the punch. "I knew you had power in your punch, Ichigo. But this is ridiculous!" He smiled as he had to dodge another, earth shattering punch. He then twirled in the air and kicked Hollow-Ichigo into head. "BUU!" He yelled and raised his finger and fired a mild cero into his face. That didn't seem to have hardly any effect. "Rikusokoro!" Six light rods appeared and snapped around him.

"Won't work!" Love yelled outside the barrier. "Person that far in the transformation will be hardly slowdown with kido like that!"

True enough, Ichigo struggled few moments before breaking free from the rods that shattered into pieces.

"Then, how about this!" He activated his zanpakuto and yelled. "Fifth art! Prison of Autumn!"

Ichigo was quickly covered in leafs. For a moment, Naruto was worried he might have overdone it, and then Ichigos scream broke through and leafs shattered and started flying into random directions. Few of them almost impelled Hachis barrier. One of those leaves scratched Narutos head. "Damn!" He cursed and touched it with the side of his palm. Blood was dripping. "Now look what you did!" He raised both his blades to block a kick from Ichigo. "Third Art!" He yelled and suddenly a copy of him appeared behind him and attacked Ichigo in his stead. Ever since he had gained full control of his zanpakuto, all of his old arts had become stronger. Second art was now stronger defense, first art had larger variables of flocks and his clones could now actually move and fight in his stead and not just be a target.

Then, Ichigo managed to deliver one painful looking slash on clone's chest and it dispersed again.

"Fourth art!" He yelled now and his Ginhas leafs started to line on top of each other, creating a long blade that reached Ichigos chest. He was pushed back, but it did not impel him. Finally, he stopped and he took a hold of it with his hand and the extension of Narutos blade shattered into pieces. Then, he used sonido of all things to appear behind Naruto and kick into his back, sending him into a rock. He struggled to stand back up.

"You're really strong." He panted. "I don't really think I can keep this up for much longer or I might accidentally start taking you seriously." Then Ichigo raised his claws and pointed them at him. "This… is not good." Ceros started to form into the tip of his claw.

"DODGE IT ! ! !" Lisa screamed but Naruto swung his blade and formed a wall between them. "IDIOT THAT'S NOT GOING TO HOLD! ! !"

Ichigo fired his blast and, as expected, it went right through Narutos defenses while he was still behind there.

"Thad idiot!" Hirako yelled when they saw the smoke clear. Naruto was standing there, holding his fist up.

"I- (pant) it worked." He smirked, badly burned. Right then, Hirako appeared behind him and he tagged out.

"What the hell did you do?" Lisa demanded angrily while wrapping bandages around him. Hachi was too busy holding the barrier up. "How you withstood his cero like that?"

Naruto smiled proudly. "It came to me in a second. I did this." He raised his fist and formed a small cero. "I penetrated his cero with my own. Pretty good, huh?" He smirked.

"Pretty damn risky and stupid." Lisa muttered. "You were this close of burning to death."

"Anyway, I think you should be ready." Kensei said, also battered. "We need to deal with him before he goes out of control."

Naruto bit his tooth but said nothing. He only nodded.

Hirako had problems holding back already and it hadn't been more than a minute of his own turn.

"I'll do it!" Naruto yelled suddenly. "I will kill Ichigo if it comes to that."

"You're serious?" Hiyori asked quietly. "He is your friend, right?" She looked up to his eyes and saw uncharacteristically serious eyes. "Brat?"

"He is my friend." He closed his eyes. "If I have to, I will take responsibility to end his life."

Right then, Ichigo stumbled and fell down. It was over. He had won over his Hollow side and everything was well! Naruto appeared next to him soon as the barrier was out. Everyone was worn out.

"How are you feeling?" He asked as he knelt next to him, patting the back of his head. "Still alive there?"

"Yes… I think I am." He turned his head and smiled. "Alive and well…"

((A))

"Concentrate!" Naruto yelled as he stabbed at Ichigos face and shattered his mask. "C'mon! Is this your hollow-mode or are you just playing with clay! ?" He smashed his fist into his face so hard that he fell backwards.

"Naruto, switch with me." Hiyori stepped forward and they slapped hands when Ichigo was struggling to stand up. "I'm not going to go as soft as he did on you, babyface." She raised her hand and activated her mask. "I'm going to crush you and see if there is anything in there that doesn't die."

Naruto didn't bother turn back to see Ichigo being smashed into some rocks. "This sucks."

"What?" Kensei asked while observing the slaughter. "The boy, yeah. Only few seconds and even then, they are flimsy at best." He looked at Naruto accusingly. "You said he was strong!"

"He is! He has amazing quantities of reiatsu in him! I know that firsthand! He just… doesn't know how to use any of it."

"So, what you would have us do? Train him, until he can actually fight?" Rose asked. "That would seem to take awfully long time. And we don't have that."

"I know…" Naruto sighed. "Anyway, my bankai training is badly in the way, I still need to learn how to gain control of all that reiatsu, so I'm leaving him into your capable hands."

"We'll be sure to kill him!" Mashiro yelled excitedly.

"Mashiro…" Love sweat dropped.

Naruto walked up the stairs and slipped through the barrier without much effort. Expect right outside, he met… "Orihime-chan"

"Urahara-kun?" Orihime had come following Ichigos reiatsu. "Kurosaki-kun is… down there?" She pointed towards the warehouse.

Naruto nodded quietly. "He is currently training with other people."

"C-can I see him? I have something important to tell him." She whispered.

"Did something happen?"

Orihime gave him a quick explanation about what Gotei 13 had figured out about Aizens intensions.

"I see…" He muttered as he let it all sink in. "So… Kings Key… still, can't figure out why he is after that place? It's not actually a vacation spot."

"Urahara-kun? You met the Soul Society's King?" She asked surprised and he shrugged.

"Well, if you can call it that. I'm a next head of Senju. Before I became vice-captain of the third squad, my mom arranged a meeting to finalize my right to the title." He looked uncomfortable. "After the meeting, nothing, no Gotei 13, no Central 46, not even the Royal Family can deny ones right to the title. Every head of every Great Noble house, like Byakuya of Kuchiki or Yoruichi of Shioin has met him at least once."

"What was he like then?" She asked quickly. "Was he like some grey old man that-"

"No!" He said quickly. "He is not like that. I'm sorry that I can't tell you, but we, who have met him aren't really supposed to talk about it. It's kind of secrecy stuff."

"Oh… okay." She nodded. "I won't tell anyone." She nodded. "Can I go in now?"

"Of course." He smiled and pointed at the warehouse. "I can go run down and ask Hachi to lower the barrier for a…" He watched as Orihime simply slipped through. "Okay… that's something cool… something to do with her powers." He then, started walking away, deep in thought. He could feel Rangikus presence in the town, probably doing some excessive shopping. Ryo on the other hand was in another place with Yoruichi. He couldn't feel Sado anywhere, so he must have been at the shop. Probably training. Ikkaku and Yumichika were at… Keigos place… of all places… and Toshiro was… somewhere between. Shizune was looking after the brats with the mod souls and his mom… appeared right front of him. "M-m-mom?" He whispered under her keen stare or glare. "Wh-what did I do? I didn't do anything! I swear!"

"Calm down. It's not about you… this time." She said annoyed. "Come one, I'll buy you ramen." She led him to a little restaurant and they ordered.

"Okay, this is weird." He said awkwardly. "What's going on?"

"I need to talk to you about something."

"Did… dad do something? Because if he did you can't punish me-"

"It's not your father… or it kind of is. I don't know." She shrugged. "It is about both of us. And little bit about you too I suppose."

There was a moment of silence. "Oh my God!" He gasped when it hit him. "You killed him and you need my help to get rid of the bod-"

"WHERE THE HELL DO YOU GET THAT IDEA! ! ! ? ? ?" She screamed and smacked his head with a fist. "We are getting married!"

"Eh… wha- what did you say?" He tried to gain control of his senses. His mom packed quite a punch. "Sound like you were saying that…"

"Your father and I have decided to get married." She told him.

"Seriously?" He picked his ear with his finger quickly. "Did I lose my hear suddenly beca-"

"Enough with the antics!" She snapped again. "Your father and I have decided to get married, so you better deal with it on your own time."

"But… why?"

"Because we are two adults who share feelings towards one and another-"

"No I mean, why?"

She sighed. "An idiot like you wouldn't understand. But the main thing is, we are and you better get along with it because it is happening, no matter what you think."

Naruto was stunned. How was this happening? All things he had started to rely on were chancing… he didn't even get to understand what was going on! They could have at least asked him first! I mean, he was their son after all! It affected quite a bit!

"Oh, by the way." She said quickly smiling. "I''renext! Youwilldoitright? Great! IknewIcouldcountonyou! Goshlookatthetime! Igottago! Bye!" She stood up and left in flash.

Naruto stood there, frozen solid of the words as they sunk in. And to make matters worse, she had left him with a check that waitress just brought in. "That… bi-"

((A))

The next day, Naruto was walking around aimlessly. He knew that he was way too disturbed by news to even try to concentrate on his bankai training. He needed to vent all that out before he could even consider doing anything.

So he went to school.

"I don't know what's going on…" Ochi-sensei said as she looked at him, awake for once, sitting in her class when most of his friends were gone. "But I think world must be coming to an end." She said and others giggled. "I mean, Urahara Naruto awake in my class while others are skipping class? What is going on? You wouldn't have any ideas?"

"Well… not really." He said uncaringly. "I mean, they could be just camping."

"And ditched us ! ?" Keigo screamed. "Nooo! They ditched all of us! Did you hear that Mizuiro! We've been ditched!"

Ochi-sensei simply shrugged and left the room as it was after the class. But almost as soon as she Was gone, Tatsuki came to him and slammed her fist through his desk. "Where… is… she?" She asked warningly. "And don't give me any that kind of crap!"

Naruto suddenly felt so small front of her. "I don't… know." He whispered and she crabbed his collar and threw him on the floor. Students watched as he was slammed on the floor, pushing desks aside. She marched up to him and grabbed his collar again.

"I'm asking again, whe-" She stopped when she realized that what she held was an empty shirt. "What an ear-" Then she felt pressure on her breasts.

"Nice and firm." Naruto giggled and started running like an idiot, without his shirt on. Under the circumstances, acting like a perverted idiot was the best distraction. But the fault was, she was running after him, ready to murder.

((A))

Naruto sought refuge from his training dimension. While there, he didn't have to worry about being interrupted so he could start his training seriously. "No time like the present. Only some months time before the war began." He would need to step up the training.

"Kage bushin!" He waved his hand and replica formed front of him. "You know what to do."

Clone slumped there for a second until he grinned madly. "Yo… Tono! Here for another round?"

"Yes." He bowed his head. "Good luck fighting, my pale replica. BAN-KAI! ! !"

((A))

Few days later…

Naruto was taking another break from training… and avoiding home. His mom had started bugging him if he had problems with… anything that was happening back home. It was starting to feel… 'newlywed' back home. They weren't even married yet! The ceremony wouldn't be held until after they won the war. Of course, that didn't mean the actual 'honeymoon' hadn't already begun.

So, Naruto decided to spend his breaks far as possible from the house. For everyone's sake. Because if he saw his mother act like a twenty something old human who had just moved in with her husband, he was going to puke and then blast a Lleno Cero on their poor little shop.

Out of everyone in their little family, Shizune was the most pleased with these news. She had long wanted her mistress to find a good man to stand by her side. When one didn't appear, she would settle for… whatever Urahara was. He was after all Narutos father so she didn't really complain. One who took it worse was Jinta or Tessai save for Naruto. Jinta because he was a brat who couldn't handle change and would need time to get used to the idea that he actually had a woman in the house who would look after him. Meaning Shizune. Tessai on the other hand was crying in the corner because his place as the 'lady of the house' was now permanently taken. Ururu was nicely between them. She was somewhat confused, but she knew Owner was happy with this woman so she tried to cheer them on. The occasional pet, Yoruichi simply clapped her hands and said something polite. And four modsouls, Ririn was excited about the wedding, Kurodo was speaking nonsense, Noba silent and Kankuro somewhere between.

And Renji (who was their houseguest again) was forced to clean up after the whole family now.

So, no wonder he was ready to face furious glare owned by Rangiku just to stay away. "What are you doing here?" She asked quietly while carrying shopping bags.

"Just walking." He answered. "What about you?"

"Doing some shopping." She showed her bags. "This is funny coincidence."

Naruto shrugged and there was an awkward moment between them. What happened to the closeness between them? "So… I'll be going now." He stepped past her when her phones alarm went off. She flipped it open quickly. "A Hollow?" He asked.

"Nothing you need to worry about." She said quietly and put the phone back into her pocket. "It's duty of Shinigami of Gotei 13, not son of a candy shop keeper."

"I guess." He muttered. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you before about my…"

"About you resigning your post? About leaving all your friends behind without even good bye? About leaving your life behind? Yeah, some people might think an apology would be necessary." She said with a chilly voice. "Or perhaps I'm just angry that you didn't even ask me!" She turned on her heels and started walking away. "I WAS YOUR BEST FRIEND FOR YEARS AND YOU DIDN'T EVEN BOTHER TELLING ME ANYHTING! ! ? ?" Her voice echoed through streets and people started looking at them but neither even noticed.

"It's complicated, okay!" He yelled after her. "SUDDENLY I HAD MORE IN MY LIFE THAN JUST LAZY AT HOME! ! ! A BEST FRIEND WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT! ! !"

Narutos throat was sore after all that screaming. When he was taking deep breaths to calm down, he could have sworn he heard: "Go fu… yours…" Being carried by the wind but he couldn't be sure.

"Who was that?" He sprung around and saw his classmate, Mahana standing there curious expression on her face. "Hi."

"Hi." He raised his hand. "Wazup?"

"Nothing much." She shrugged. "Just coming home from school. Haven't seen you there for awhile. But then again, after the stunt you pulled with Tatsuki it's a miracle you are not dead yet."

Naruto laughed quickly to the joke and she giggled.

"Are you and Ryo really over?" She asked quickly.

"Why you ask?"

"Well, just curious." She smiled. "These few weeks she has been missing school. Not much as Kurosaki and others, but few days and such. Every time she comes to school, Tatsuki grills her about Orihime."

"It wasn't my idea that she would go with Rukia to… where those two went." He stopped himself before he revealed too much. Her smirk widened.

"So you do know something?"

"Well, much and none." He shrugged and was about to change the subject, when he felt sudden reiatsu spike all around the town. High level reiatsus scattered into several places. That must've been what Ran-chan had been warned about.

"Something wrong?" Mahana asked suddenly. He had seen his expression change from relaxed to concern.

"Yeah, I just remembered this thing I needed to go deal with. Let's talk again soon." He raised his hand. "Say my apologies to Tatsuki." Then he turned around and started running.

((A))

Rangiku wasn't happy. When she had accepted this assignment, she had expected to corner Na-chan and make him admit his love for her right then and there. But now, every time she saw him, it was like everything about him had changed. And she wasn't sure if this new Naruto was something she wanted. What had happened to her Na-chan?

Right then, she felt a sudden spike of reiatsu right over her. "Stop hiding, Shinigami! I know you're down there!" An arrancar with a scythe appeared on top of her, above the street. "Others might want to wait for something to happen, but I'm don't! Perhaps couple Shinigami bodies will prove that you're not that tough!" At the same time, several other reiatsus appeared all over the town. Man raised a weird looking scythe up in the air. "Now! Let us savor the utmost of suffering together!" Arrancar Hidan was ready.

((A))

"Ready to face your death, human!" Female arrancar laughed at Ryos face. The girl was holding a flute in her hands. Yoruichi had decided to do something by herself today, which meant that she was training herself for the day. "I'm going to enjoy ripping you apart!"

Suddenly Ryo smirked lightly and red flames in her feet turned purple. "Don't count on it. You've given me perfect chance to test my training with Yoruichi-sensei!" Arrancar Tayuya was ready.

((A))

Sado blocked a punch of another arrancar with his arm and was pushed back many meters. Renji was too busy with some of his duties for the day, so he decided to go to school for once. "Hahahhhaahhaa! Felt that, weakling! That wasn't even my strongest punch! Give up! I WANT TO RIP YOU APPART! ! !" Arrancar screamed.

Sado stood there, like he was going to say something to prove him wrong. Something deep. Something that would make this arrancar think twice. "Thank you." Arrancar blinked. "I can test my new attack." He activated his Jugo screamed as he charged forward.

((A))

"Wouldn't this be my turn to fight, Ikkaku?" Yumichika asked as another arrancar appeared front of them. Guy with blond hair and eye patch. But the thing that they noticed was his hands that had mouths of all things. He seemed pretty excited to get a chance to fight.

"I hate to say, but yeah." Bald man sighed and leaned back. "But, feel free to back down whenever you're ready."

"Over my dead body." He smiled back and pulled his zanpakuto.

Arrancar Deidara was already creating explosives.

((A))

"Hihahihahihahiha!" A crazy arrancar sprung all across the town, blasting buildings, creating mayhem and everything. "I will destroy everything!" Then a fist appeared out of nowhere and smacked him down to the ground, shattering the concrete. "W-w-who the hell was that!"

"Take a wild guess." He slowly stood up and turned towards the voice and saw Tsunade standing there, with Jinta, Ururu and Shizune. "You better have a damn good reason on wrecking my new hometown."

"I will make you pay for that!" Arrancar leaped through the air and reached for Tsunades face. But before he could reach her, Shizune leaped between them and blocked his attack with her zanpakuto. "Wait for your turn, bitch!"

Shizune didn't care about the insult and swung her blade before taking a new stance. "Former Gotei 13 vice-captain, Kotetsu Shizune. Retainer of the great noble house of Senju and its mistress, Tsunade-sama. I'll take you on."

"I'll guess I have to work through you then." The arrancar grinned angrily and pulled a monk-staff-like pole and pointed it at her. Arrancar Kazuma was ready.

((A))

"So, you are the one who could use Sonido and cero of all things." Arrancar 102, Kakuzu asked quietly as he glared down to Naruto. They were in an abandoned lot, or he was on the lot and arrancar above him in the air.

"And who you might be?" He asked politely. "Arrancar-san?"

"Don't mind me. I was just sent to deal with you." He raised his fist and it came charging forward, without it's body following. Naruto pulled Kinha and blocked it before leaping backwards. Kakuzu came to the ground and charged forward pulling his other fist back before aiming a hit on his head which he dodged. "Good, Shinigami. You've already outlasted my estimations." Naruto slashed at his chest with his blades but he managed to dodge both of them and leap into safety.

"I'm not Shinigami." He answered quietly. "I'm a Vizard." He used Sonido to appear behind him. "There's a difference." He pulled Ginha out of her sheath and slashed through his back and he stumbled forward. "Well, I'm starting to doubt Aizens skills to recruit fighters." He said as he examined the wound. "He… isn't bleeding that badly." He muttered when suddenly a thread shot out of the wound and punctured his stomach. "Blooh!" He coughed up blood, but remembered to jump back. He collapsed one knee to the ground. "I… I was careless." He whispered as he swept the blood away.

"That you were." Kakuzu said as he stood up. Slowly a thread appeared out of his body and stitched himself up. "But to be honest, I didn't expect you to give this much of a challenge. You completely surprised me with your skills."

"Really." He smirked and struggled to stand up before sheathing his blade and taking his stance. "This is actually really interesting this way."

"If you say so." Kakuzu answered. "But the wound on your abdomen is severe. You can't repeat that stunt of yours anymore." He raised his fist and slowly, red reiatsu started swirling around it.

Naruto tried to recognize the attack. 'Cero? No… it's-' Suddenly a powerful burst of reiatsu came towards him and he tried to dodge it. He managed mostly but the attack, whatever it was, did graze him. But he couldn't relax yet when more were coming. This arrancar was shooting them out of his fists. After few of the attacks that grazed him, he was starting to feel angry that he had no idea what those attacks were! Finally, Kakuzu stopped sending them and looked Naruto into his eyes. "You did amazing job dodging my balas."

"Bala?" Naruto asked confused. "Never heard of that before."

"Shocking." He shot back sarcastically. "You did well dodging them."

"Thanks. And thank you for demonstrating the attack so many times. I can tell that not as strong as a regular cero, it's many times faster."

"Twenty times in fact." Kakuzu answered and started gather more reiatsu into his fist. "I need to wrap this around quickly, so this next one will be your last." He shot the bala at Naruto but then, suddenly there was an explosion in the middle. "What the-" He yelled.

"As I said, thank you for showing that attack to me so many times." Naruto answered behind the clearing smoke. He stepped forward holding his fist high. "I would have never learned of his attack without your help." Reiatsu started to gather around his fist and Kakuzus eyes started to widen.

"No way-" Naruto shot his own bala at shocked Kakuzu which made a direct hit. "NOT YET!" He started raining balas one after another, just like he had been rained on just a minute ago. He continued this barrage until he felt like the wound on his abdomen was starting to get serious. "Whoo." He smiled. "That's some neat trick. So happy that you decided to teach me that."

Slowly, out of the rubble, Kakuzu stepped forward, badly burned. "You are indeed something else." He gasped for air."That barrage got me completely by surprise. But I'm not done yet! RIP THEIR HEARTS! ! Jiongu! " He stood up and suddenly, it seemed like he came apart completely. Hair was coming out of his mouth, joints, even from his wounds. "I'm not going to be taken down by some brat like you who got lucky. I'm Privaron Espada 102! Kakuzu! Pleased to kill you for profit!"

"So that's arrancars release." Naruto commented the act and pulled his blades. "Kinha Kitsune, Ginha Momiji!" He released his zanpakuto. "I guess I need to get some serious too." He pointed his blades at him. "Urahara Naruto! Former Gotei 13 vice-captain of the third squad! Let's go, Kakuzu!"

"Come at me!"

They charged at each other.

((A))

Ryo had to move fast as she kept delivering kick after kick at those small hollows that kept appearing out of dark holes. This lady arrancar apparently knew how to summon them from their home world. They were all weaklings, so weak in fact that she could defeat ten of them with one kick. But they kept getting in her way, when she tried attack their boss who was controlling them. When she blew into her flute, they became more organized and harder to deal with. And there didn't seem any limit she could summon them at once, but Ryo knew she didn't have endless stamina. At the rate this fight was going, she could last another ten minutes.

"What is it?" Tayuya taunted behind her guards when two other hollows appeared on Ryos sides fists raised. "Can't keep up anymore, little fly?"

She grinned back angrily before disappearing for a flash and both her attacker's masks were destroyed and they were defeated, she appeared back on her place before Tayuya blinked. "You should be careful, for I'm just starting to get warmed up. You should have stayed home, at your flute practice and not come here. Little girl."

Tayuya grimaced at this. "I'll feed those legs to you!"

((A))

Shizune deflected the staff attack of her opponent was using. "Come, come! I will face you!"

"Don't keep running away from me!" Kazuma screamed as he leaped through air, towards her while she kept baiting him. She was leading him away from people and civilians. When she had began her fight, she had told her mistress to go about her business like nothing had happened. She would deal with this one. Jinta had argued, but Tsunade had simply shrugged and walked towards the pachinko parlor she was heading originally, and dragging kids with her. She trusted in her aid.

"You seem to have done well so far." Kazuma muttered dissatisfied that his original plan to wreck havoc and destruction had been interrupted and the interruption was taking more of his time. They were standing on top of a roof of a tall building, Shizune holding her blade towards him. "Are you done running, or do you want to give it another try, bitch?"

"Insolent." She said calmly. "I'm servant of the Senju family." She leaped forward and slashed at him but he blocked it with his staff but he was taken aback by the sheer force of the attack when she stepped forward and slashed upwards. "I will make you regret ever coming here." She whispered with a dark voice.

((A))

Sado punched Jugo into chest. Jugo flew backwards and stood up screaming. Sado punched him again. And he came at him again. And he punched him again…

((A))

"You're really something else." Kakuzu panted while facing his opponent.

"Well, thank you." Naruto answered and he spat some blood. "Right back at you. You've been definitely one of the strongest opponents I've ever faced."

"Yet, you never brought out your mask. I've heard of it. When you bring out that, you will go all out."

"Well, sorry about that. I had some problems with my reiatsu lately, so I try to avoid using it. Don't take it personally. I would have definitely enjoyed using it against you." He smiled. "I would have survived with less injuries." It wouldn't have been bad if it had been so, as his body was next to ruined. He had several cuts. Broken bones. Wounds, bruises… everything. It was kind of miracle he was still standing up. "But this is still my victory."

His opponent was lying on the ground, defeated. The land around them was like after a war not just a battle. It was like two armies had met instead of two fighters, which was actually more accurate. Kakuzus specialty was separating four dolls from himself that all fought independently. Naruto had countered with an army of his clones. It was a fight of clones. "It was really a fat chance." He muttered. "Getting back to the top." He looked up. "I still can't believe I was defeated by a brat like you."

"To me, you are nothing more than an old guy who has lived long enough." Naruto pulled his blade one more time. "Good bye, arracanar Privaron Espada 102, Kakuzu. This was a good match."

"Don't patronize me. Just finish it and let me rest."

Naruto braced his heart and stabbed downwards. He sighed as he sheathed his sword. It was over.

Then, he closed his eyes and concentrated on sensing on who were left. Sado was okay. His opponent was gone. And so was Yumichikas opponent. Only ones left were the ladies. He concentrated a bit harder to see how each of them were doing. He sure hoped no one needed help. He was in no condition to offer any.

((A))

Shizune deflected another attack from Kazuma but wasn't faced. She raised her finger and formed a triangle. "Bakudo #30! Shitotsu Sansen!" Three glowing fangs appeared front of her before launching at her opponent. He managed to avoid them.

"That level of attack won't even hold me!"

"Then why bother dodging?" She asked as she blocked another attack. Their faces were only inches from others. "I have an attack of my own which I developed under Tsunade-sama." She smirked and took a small breath. When he was about to ask what she was up to, she spat a senbon out of her mouth. It landed directly on Kazumas eye. He leaped back screaming.

"Aaah!" He yelled, as he tried to reach for the needle. "You… you bitch-"

"Too late!" He heard when she appeared right front of him. "Let's go!" Zanpakuto answered the call and she slashed her opponents face. "No… problem." She panted hard and collapsed right next to him. She hadn't fought like that for a long time. She needed her rest.

((A))

"Shizune-nee still has it." Naruto smiled calmly. Even though she didn't look like it, Kotetsu Shizune was very strong woman, even if her zanpakuto had no offensive skills whatsoever. It did more damage in its sealed form, but it helped when she was very skilled at kendo. Naruto had witnessed her beating Madarame of the eleventh squad in a practice match where they used only wooden swords. When it came to skill, she was topnotch. Even Retsu-baa had trouble facing her, and she was a master at kendo. It was no surprise. After all, Shizune was Narutos first teacher before his mother gave in and taught him herself.

Of course, only Shizune saw those skills as a burden, as they tended to scare away every possible suitor who might want her. She had often drunken herself into coma while crying 'why didn't I spend more time playing with dolls like my sisters, instead of swords!' during her days off.

That left… Ryo-chan and Ran-chan. And what he could sense, they both had fights that weren't going too well. Ryos opponent was summoning new pawns one after another while Ran-chans opponent seemed simply too powerful. Possibly equally powerful as the one Naruto had faced. He wanted to help both of them… but in his wounded state, he could only help one of them. If that.

Ryo or Ran-chan? Cheetah or cat? Which should he help?

((A))

Ryo panted as she leaped into air and swept two hollows with one sweeping kick. This was getting her nowhere! "No matter how many you destroy, I can summon twice that much." Tayuya laughed at her.

"Fine." She took a deep breath. Then another. Then another. "I really didn't want to do this cause Yoruichi-sensei said that I shouldn't use this move until I've mastered it enough." Tayuya watched as she took her jacket off and threw it away.

"What you think you're doing?"

"I don't want to ruin my best jacket." She answered. "Sorry, but this is very hard to control, so don't blame me when everything goes wrong." She took another deep breath. "SHUNKO! ! !" She cried out and lighting-like reiatsu shot out her body and every hollow near her were destroyed in an instant.

"Damn!" Tayuya cried shocked. "You wanna play rough, huh? Well fine! Let's see how you like this!" She prepared to reveal her resurrection.

((A))

"Haineko!" Rangiku released her zanpakuto and wall of ash appeared between her and her opponent.

"This kiddyshit is getting annoying!" Hidan screamed as he simply slashed through the wall and walked right past it, without a care in a world. Rangiku didn't understand what was that maniacs trick! He wasn't strong. He wasn't fast. Or smart. Or even that good at fighting! All he really was a berserk that just wouldn't die! She had tried almost everything with him. Kido, zanpakuto, throwing fist at him even scratching and biting! She did all the damage, but he didn't seem to be affected at all! It wasn't even any kind of super healing, Actually, what she could tell, most injuries she had given him were still visible. So why the hell was he still walking? "I'm getting tired of this!" He waved his weird scythe their blades clashed. "Let me use you to honor the great Barragan-sama! King of Hueco Mundo!" He pressed down. She tried to fight back, until she felt his blade scratching her. "Hahaa! Now we're talking!" He jumped back suddenly. "Prepare to give your life!" Hidan revealed his resurrection.

((A))

Ryo felt her body moving on its own. That woman had brought out some weird transformation and now, she was trapped in some illusion while her body refused to move. "This was fun." That womans voice echoed. "But this is the end…"

Ryo closed her eyes. She couldn't even access her reiatsu anymore! She was so going to die… "Naruto!" She whispered when the darkness disappeared and she found herself lying on the field just like moments before. Hollows were defeated.

"Are you okay?" She turned around.

"You! What are you doing here?"

((A))

Rangiku coughed more blood. That maniacs special skill was transforming all the injuries she inflicted on him, back on her. Now, he was about to kill himself or rather her. "DIE! ! !"

She closed her eyes, preparing for her death. "Ran-chan! Ran-chan! Let's play a ball game!" A tear fell down her cheek. "I'm so glad, that you're my best friend, Ran-chan! I don't know what I would do without you, Ran-chan! You want to practice kissing? Ewww! You want me to call you pretty? Sure, that's what friends are for, Ran-chan! I'm becoming a Shinigami, Ran-chan, how do you like that? My mom is pain in the ass! I was promoted into vice-captain! I caught up with you, Ran-chan!" "Naruto…" She whispered sadly. "In the end… I wasn't anymore but a friend to you…"

"Don't be an idiot." Her eyes shot open. "You've always been more than just a friend to me, Ran-chan." She looked up and saw Naruto standing there, holding Hidans hand, preventing him from using his ability. "I'm sorry I'm late." He whispered.

((A))

"You okay, little bee?" Yoruichi smirked after she quickly defeated everyone and everything that might be a threat. "I was really impressed with your fight." She nodded firmly. "As expected of my student."

((A))

"Who the hell are you?" Hidan screamed as he struggled, trying to pierce his own chest to finish the broad off. "You're interfering with my ritual!"

"I know that." He answered coldly. "I followed your actions just a moment ago and it wasn't hard to deduce what was going on here." Then he started pushing forward. "I'm going to end this."

Rangiku watched shocked as her opponent was being slowly pushed back. What could that help… then she noticed the ring in the ground, the thing he had been standing on. Then he slowly pushed him out of the ring and somehow, his resurrection reverted. "It's okay I suppose." He said quietly.

"It's no use! He is almost immortal! You can't destroy- cough!" She started coughing up blood the moment she tried to convince him of the danger facing this opponent. It must have been something in her eyes, because she could swear, Naruto was in worse condition than she was. But he was standing and winning.

"Really now?" Naruto asked quietly. "Then I need to be extra sure with you." He raised his palm. "This is perfect chance to show my newest technique. Dorado… Cero (A/N: Golden hollow flash). Golden reiatsu started forming into his palm. "Sorry if I go overboard, but this is untested technique. And yeah, you… dared to hurt my Ran-chan." He lowered his voice and brought his palm right into mans face. "Taste this."

Hidan didn't get a word in between when powerful cero went straight through his head and body. Fight was over before it began. Slowly, Naruto walked away from the ashes and over to Rangiku. Slowly, he picked her up in his arms, her head resting against his chest. 'He has grown so strong.' She thought. 'My Na-chan is so strong…' She dozed off. Last thing going through her mind was… it hadn't been so bad.

CHAPTER END

SHINIGAMI GOLDEN CUP

Takes places in the episode where they went to the beach. While others were building sand sculptures, Naruto was using a camera which was focused on every girl on the beach. Especially on Rangiku, Yoruichi and Orihime. Even though he wasn't proud of it, he took couple very nice pics of Retsu-baa.

Of course, girls didn't share his enthusiasm while turning into a pervert right there, so he had to do this all 'commando' crawling and hiding a lot.

"Wow!" He giggled as he zoomed on one very nice rack that was offered. "Whose are those beautiful, big mounds? I would like to give them couple squeezes. Blond hair… nice… t-t-tattoo? MOM! ! !"

Naruto spent rest of the trip vomiting while his mother who also had come to the beach was asking, what was wrong with him.

SHINIGAMI GOLDEN CUP

"And that was when I finally made him snap!" Hollow Ichigo explained while Hollow Naruto was drinking a nice cup of tea. "Man it's hard with my guy. He with this straight 'protect everyone attitude' and all that shit."

"You got it easy." Hollow Naruto sighed. "My lord is cruel, twisted son of a bitch. Literally. Think how easy you have it your king being such a pussy."

"True. But he has a nasty habit of finding some extra power from somewhere and PUM. Here I am."

"Do you ever wonder how our lives would be if we weren't part of people we were."

"Yes. Better."