I do not owe bleach. The explanation is my own, so it means it is not the real deal. It's crap actually.
Inspired by 'I hate the rain'
The orange haired orange-eyed teenage boy lay on the hard ground, staring up to the artificial sky of Urahara Kisuke's underground training facility. He wore the weirdest outfit anyone would have ever seen in the 21st century, a black ancient looking battle kimono with a white obi tied around his waist. His zanpakutō, the ever shikai-ed form of Zangetsu was beside him, the blade stabbed into the ground.
"Zangetsu?" Kurosaki Ichigo, the substitute shinigami, suddenly called out as his orange eyes retained a slightly lazily look within it's depth. The place was empty, and his voice echoed slightly. Anyone who had passed him would have seen him talking to himself and would have thought he was crazy, but since he was in soul reaper form no human, except for some rare cases, could see him.
The air beside of Ichigo shimmered slightly, and a middle-aged man with brown hair wearing a black robe suddenly materialised, his black eyes looking down at his master disapprovingly, his orange glasses flashing. "Yes Ichigo?" he asked calmly. Ichigo was silent for a while, surprising the spirit. After all, Ichigo was supposed to be the hyper active side of their relationship, while Zangetsu was to be the calm and rational side.
. "I was just thinking," Ichigo said softly after a moment of silence, "How does one become a zanpakutō spirit?" Zangetsu blinked, before a brooding look came over his usually cool features. "It is a deep question you ask, Ichigo," he said in his low and solemn voice. "It will not be welcomed among most of the zanpakutō spirits, especially the king." Ichigo instantly straightened from his slouching position as he stared at his Moon Cutter, his ember eyes and posture betraying his surprise.
"Zanpakutōs have a king?" Ichigo asked in shock. At that, Zangetsu lowered his eyes for a moment, simply looked away. "We zanpakutōs are not totally like shinigamis or hollows. Before we became zanpakutō, we were human, living human. That was the only similarity. But we were different even when we were human. We exhibited interest in our elements and display strength under it."
"Huh?" Ichigo asked in confusion, scratching his orange hair "What are you talking about?" Zangetsu made an odd 'tsk'ing noise.
"Before we were zanpakutō spirits, we were once human. We were fascinated with the elements we either were named after or are controlling now. Take Sode no Shirayuki for an example. When she was a human she loved the snow. She was one with it so much that she began being able to control it in small degree."
"Wait," Ichigo asked suspiciously "Isn't Sode no Shirayuki Rukia's zanpakutō? Are you saying you knew Sode no Shirayuki when she was a human…wait, she's a female zanpakutō?"
"Ichigo," Zangetsu chided "Sorry," Icihgo said sheepishly. "As I was saying," Zangetsu continued, "Sode no Shirayuki was able to control snow but in small amount. When the people realize she was some kind of a freak, Sode no Shirayuki was killed in a cruel method. The people buried her under a ton of snow. Her powers were not so great that she could lift the snow off her, and so under such circumstances she died of starvation and hypermonuia. A shinigami did not bring her to Seireitai. She went to Shiro no Shiryo."
"Wait a minute," Ichigo raised his hand, his eyes twitching slightly "As in Toshiro Hitsugaya Toshiro, the captain of the 10th squad?" "No," Zangetsu said in a tone that one might use when explaining why 1 + 1 equals 2 and not 11 to a child for a very long time. "Shiro, as in Shiro no Shiryo, the place where the king of all zanpakutō resides, the place where all zanpakutō spirit goes when their human self dies, the place where we are paired up with our soul reaper partners."
Ichigo had a slightly disbelieving look as he stared at Zangetsu. "Where is this place? I have never heard of anyone talking about it before. Is it at Soul Society?"
"No," Zangetsu said calmly, "Like Hueco Mundo, Shiro no Shiryo exists in another dimension, a place where no other spirit except for zanpakutō has been before."
"Why have no one ever knew about Shiro no Shiryo?" Ichigo asked, getting intrigued. Zangetsu looked hard at him as an unrecognisable look started taking over the Zanpakuto face, "Not many soul reapers are interested in where we come from, only that we are their power."
"You mean no one has ever wanted to know what the past of the zanpakutōs are?" "No one, you are the first to have ask such questions in a long long time, Ichigo. You should not be interested also...what made you ask me this question?" Ichigo shrugged his well toned shoulders casually, "I was just thinking of the Hollows and Espadas when this question came to mind." Ichigo missed the flash of emotions in Zangetsu's eyes when he said it. Zangetsu had a slightly shock and a bit thoughtful look on his face.
Ichigo still had that disbelieving look on his face, when a thought struck him "Wait, I thought of something. A zanpakutō is formed from a soul reaper spirit right? You mean you use to be a human also?"
Zangetsu signed, "Did I already answer that question? These are really deep questions you ask, Ichigo. When a soul reaper gains his powers, the spirit of the zanpakutō will be drawn to the spirit because of a similarity over both spirit, and the balance we can bring to both our spirit." Ichigo smiled slightly "I don't think there is any similarity between the both of us." Zangetsu did not smile, instead he frowned heavily "You should not question a bond between a soul reaper and his zanpakutō spirit."
Ichigo raised his hand is mock defeat. "All right, all right, I won't." he smiled and got up before walking away.
Zangetsu stared at Ichigo's retreating back, his brown eyes unusually troubled "These questions…could it be…"
Just some thing that came to be. Lame, I know, but I hope you like it and review. The explanation on Sode no Shirayuki's past was my own imagination, as is the explanation, so please don't sue me.