Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or any of its characters. They belong to Tite Kubo and whoever else actually owns it and I make no money from writing this. This story and all original characters therein however are mine and are not to be replicated, reposted, or copied in any way without my consent. Thank you.
WARNING! THIS IS A SEQUEL!! REPEAT! THIS IS A SEQUEL!! PLEASE READ "WHAT THE EYES CAN'T SEE" (link available through my profile) BEFORE BEGINNING THIS STORY!
A New Window
It's often been said that for every door that is closed, a window is opened. The future is a maze of possibilities; each choice a door closed or a window opened. Married life had only just begun for the two with near unlimited life-spans, but there were other lives just beginning.
Lives that would soon learn all about the world, and about themselves.
Life had been interesting for Kaien Kurosaki.
Only a few short years had passed since their meeting at the dojo, but since then he and Kin Urahara had been inseparable. He still hadn't figured out how his parents knew her parents, or why they hadn't met before that fateful day if that was the case, but needless to say he knew meeting her was one of the turning points in his life. Now, unlike him, she was an only child; or so the case was so far at least, and there wasn't a force strong enough to keep them apart.
They did everything together; they went to school together, they went to sports together, they fought together. Gender was of no consequence to them, and anyone unfortunate enough to point that out was quickly set in their place. There was one thing however; one thing that kept nagging at his mind all throughout the years of his life. Everything felt…easy. Sure, he trained a whole lot and Kin was a major factor in the reason for his strength, but everything still felt…simple.
Schoolwork was a joke; no matter how much Kin had him beat in brains—and her strange sense of understanding he felt mimicked whenever he was near her father—he was still smarter than most everyone else. He was stronger than most kids he knew, faster too. His eyes made seeing in the dark a breeze, and Kin had that same advantage, but for him there was a sense of comfort in the dark that almost disconcerted him. Even if he was only twelve years old at the time, he was old enough to understand that.
His family wasn't normal though, he was also smart enough to understand that. Sure, his dad was a doctor, but he could never understand why they were always visited by so many people wearing white coats. Those strange symbols on their backs didn't help him any. He could understand that they were doctors if they were just wearing the coats, but for some reason they always wore black kimonos under them. What was even stranger were the swords they always had somewhere on their person. Eventually he just started shrugging it off. They had been there when his siblings had been born, so he guessed they had to be doctors no matter what they wore.
He had only been four, but it was shortly after his meeting with Kin that his mother had become pregnant with his sisters.
That's right. Sisters. Plural. He might have just been four, but he knew enough to feel sorry for his dad for being cursed with his father's fate. Aunt Karin and Aunt Yuzu were the coolest to him, but for some reason he had felt a small bit of trepidation at the thought of having two sisters, instead of being the only one lavished with love like had been the case before. Still, like any good little boy he was fiercely protective of his mother, especially in her pregnant state. His father was no different, and he loved riding on his shoulders as they walked everywhere beside the woman their lives revolved around.
He knew all about his mother's temper, even though it was never directed at him. At those strange doctors yes, and even at Aunt Hiyori or Uncle Kensei every now and then, but never at him. He also knew how strong she was, and how gifted she was in Karate. He had giggled as his dad literally forced her to sit down during her pregnancy. It was a common occurrence to hear him say, "you've gone through it once, so why try to do the same things again?" Her huffs of defeated indignation as she pouted in her chair always made him laugh as he crawled over to his mommy and tried to make her feel better.
When Tsukiyomi and Masaki had been born the unease vanished. In less time than his little sister's first breath to her first cry he felt the same kind of protectiveness overtake him.
The first of the fraternal twins: Tsukiyomi, was born with startling white hair and Tatsuki's intense midnight-black eyes. That only increased his newly born desire to defend. His eyes had always made him different, and he was sure he was going to have to protect her from any ne'er-doers that would try to pick on her for her startling contrast to the black haired, black eyed society they were born into.
Soon after, he didn't know if he was overjoyed or sad when he had first seen Masaki. His late grandmother's namesake definitely fit what he expected, but in a way he was as surprised as anyone else. So far all the Kurosaki's had escaped Ichigo's bright orange curse. That changed when she was born moments after her older sister. The little girl had Ichigo's bright orange hair down to the darkest roots they could find, and even those roots weren't very dark. When she had first opened her eyes, they saw that she had also been blessed with Ichigo's profound amber-brown eyes.
Even now, he could remember his father's words after the twins' births like they were said to him just moments before. The man whose praise meant everything to him had squatted down to his level and looked at him happily, one of his new daughters cradled lovingly in his arms. Pain wasn't even visible on his face; quite commendable considering his wife had broken his hand in three places during labor. With Kaien she had only broken it in two.
"Looks like you've got a big job ahead of you, Squirt. Think you can protect both your little sisters just like you only had one?"
The answer that came after had of course been followed by one of his face-splitting, bright-eyed smiles that bled the confidence his parents had imbued in him. "You betcha!!"
A soft hair-ruffle had been his reward from his father. "Good to hear!"
He had yet to fail on that promise.
As he grew older much of his time was spent playing with Kin, while their group had grown to include Chad and Souken. Chad was the son of his dad's best friend: Yasutora Sado, and someone who he could sense had a deep sense of respect for his father, though he only knew her by 'Aunt Halibel.' The child had his mother and father's deep bronze skin, and his father's brown hair and eyes. Though he might have been significantly taller than him, he was no more built than the oldest Kurosaki child. Nonetheless, the amount of punishment he could take hardly justified that. Kaien was sure his friend would be able to walk into traffic and come out with only a few bruises, while the fiery pileup burned in the background. Even with that taken into account, he was sure having those kinds of muscles at their ages wasn't something normal.
Now Souken on the other hand was the son of another of his father's friends: Uryuu Ishida, and his wife, another of his father's friends: Orihime Ishida. He had his father's blue-black hair and dark blue eyes, but like his mother they held every emotion inside them like an open book, whereas his father could close them off at a moment's notice. The wire-frame glasses were a must for the child though. No Ishida had ever escaped that. They did however, give him a poise and dignity that was almost disconcerting. He got that from his father no doubt.
They were all born roughly around the same time, but Kaien still took pride every now and then in holding his age over them, even if it was only by a few months. They weren't the only children of their parents—all but Kin—but their younger siblings were too young to understand language, let alone friendships. There was however, one thing in which the oldest siblings shared in their lack of understanding.
They were all blissfully oblivious to their true nature.
It was shortly after that they began learning who they really were, and who their parents really were.
By the time they were both thirteen, Kin and Kaien were still as close as ever. Even he, gifted as he was, and the prodigy Kin failed to realize one very important thing: they had both hit puberty. While the newly acquired height difference between them should have tipped them off, for some reason it didn't. All it garnered was a very normal sense of insecurity on Kaien's part at suddenly being shorter than his female best friend.
Kin was rapidly following in her mother's footsteps and developing a figure any male on the planet would die to be close to, and Kaien's voice was changing from the lighthearted alto it was when he was a child to that of a deep, throaty bass. They had both continued Karate, naturally, and thus his body didn't have much to change other than the broadness of his shoulders and the added muscle mass that came as one gained in years. It was only natural that his growth in height would take longer, but at the time neither of them really noticed, or cared.
There was one side effect neither of them had anticipated though.
When they were kids, they would constantly train themselves against each other in the huge desert-like space Kin had discovered beneath her father's store. Having developed into an almost unsettling genius like her father, it didn't take her long to figure out all the possibilities such an area held and Kaien was the first to know about it. The rest of their group knew too, but the two were closer than even that friendship. As much as they trusted each other, there was something about their relationship that defied description, or even compare. It was something that, then, they had been completely unaware of.
It went without saying that she knew Kaien hated to lose, and she enjoyed it immensely when she beat him and was able to see the fire burning in his disconcertingly yellow eyes before his father's nature took over and he laughed it off. However, there was only one way for the Kurosaki child to win against Kin Urahara, and Yoruichi was much the same way.
In order to win against her: she couldn't be able to move.
If she could move, she could run. If she could run… he was screwed.
Simple as that.
Being that they didn't know the inevitable turn their bodies would eventually take, and since Kin acted more like one of the 'guys' than even Tatsuki did in her prime, he had no problem with the solution that came to mind to stop her movement. Put simply: he tackled her and held her against the ground until she grew tired enough to stop struggling.
Yet again, Kin wasn't the daughter of Kisuke Urahara for nothing. If anything, she had gained much of his knowledge and his strange sense of wisdom from her father even faster than the ex-captain had taken in acquiring it. Naturally there were limitations to what she understood; she was only a child after all. Thus, when it came time to figure out a way from under her friendly attacker, it didn't take long for the Shihouin heir to think of something. What came to mind was the one thing every girl had against a boy, especially at the younger ages, which at the time, had been exactly what they had both been. What was that weapon?
Oh yes, even in their younger years, all girls knew intuitively they held some sort of strange power over boys, even if they didn't know what that particular power was meant for at the time. So what did the evil little mocha-skinned girl do?
She leaned up and set a small peck against his lips.
Every time he had her pinned and she was too tired to fight, she knew she had one last resort, and each and every time it worked like a charm. He would jump off of her instantly while rubbing his mouth with the back of his hand—spitting out whatever might have been in it like it was on fire—yelling, "Grooooossssss!! Why'd you do that, Urahara!?!"
She would only laugh and bound away on her miraculously-there second-wind.
Little did she know, for all of her advanced wisdom, what would happen when they grew older.
Now, now they were both well into their thirteenth year, and as they squared off in the underground arena like they had so many times before, they both seemed oblivious to the changes the other was going through. They had known each other forever, and noticing small details was hard when they weren't specifically looking for it. Kaien didn't notice the slight swell that was gradually growing on Kin's chest, nor did she notice the growth spurt he had, and was, going though.
Their parents' other lives were unknown to them, so this wasn't a battle of Shunpo or even of reiatsu, no, this was a simple battle using the only known forms of combat the Living World knew of. From jiujutsu to karate, they had been training in them all their lives, and against each other they had even formed their own styles of fighting that made fighting in the competitions easier than sneaking into the giant training area when they thought no-one was looking.
They stared each other down like they always did, psyching themselves up for the bout they both knew was coming.
A sharp inhale from Kin was all the warning Kaien needed to know she was going to charge in the next half-second. He was right. With what seemed like otherworldly speed she charged at him with fists at the ready, and had he not been fighting her all their known lives he might not have been able to get his arms up in time to block the kick aimed straight and true at his head. Obviously, that wasn't the case, and her foot sat between his crossed arms for a long while as their strengths struggled against each other.
"Getting sloppy there, Urahara. I saw that coming a mile away!" Kaien taunted with a sly edge to his voice.
He barely ever called her by her name. He had learned early that she didn't like him calling her by her last name, so like any little boy that was exactly what he did. By now the term had almost become an endearment, but if anyone else felt so bold as to call her that they quickly found themselves on the ground. Like her parents, Kin barely had any trace of a temper unless properly and thoroughly provoked, though she had no problem with uttering threats in a tone that would have made Yoruichi proud. She was calm and concise all the time, though her mother's playful nature came out more often than not. She was as curious as they came, thanks in part to her father and in bigger part to her mother.
"Cocky as ever, aren't we?" she taunted right back with a large Cheshire cat grin. Kaien knew that grin, and he didn't like it one bit. It usually promised pain in the near future.
Using her flexible female body and superior height, she was able to hop up even though her other foot was still trapped between Kaien's hands, and twisted around enough in the air to send her other sandaled foot at his unprotected head. Kaien cursed his stupidity for all of the nanosecond he was allowed, before he threw Kin's foot away and completely threw the body it was attached to off-balance. A very dangerous thing when that person happened to still be in mid-air. It was a move that he wouldn't have been able to pull off just a few years earlier, and even Kin was a bit surprised by the strength he was able to put into his arms. That was a quick thought though, because she wasn't stupid enough to forget she was flying through the air. He might have been worried had it been any other person, but he knew his best friend had as much grace as a cat and she would be able to get herself out of the situation he had put her in.
Luckily, just like he thought, she somehow managed to twist more while still in the air and land in a wide stance on the ground. She held herself there like something one would see in a ninja movie, keeping her hands at the ready, prepared to guard against any attack that may have been coming. Kaien may like winning, but against his best friend he wasn't about to take such an opening. That would be cheating.
Now that she was on the ground however, she was fair game. He charged at her again and their fight began anew, blasting their limbs at each other as fast as their bodies would allow. They had never had any reason to hold back before, and they found no reason to do so now. On the other hand, Kin was unprepared for the sudden strength that Kaien was gradually gaining with their steadily growing age. It was a fact—a fact, no matter how hard some women tried to deny it—that male bodies grew more muscle mass naturally and were more suited to physical labor at an earlier age. This meant she wasn't entirely prepared when one of his punches hit her harder than they had ever been able to before, and she could do nothing but fall back to roll away from as much as she could.
As essential as it was, she knew that move just cost her the match. It always did.
Sure enough, she soon felt her arms wrestled away from her stomach to be held firmly above her head—with what she was just noticing now were slightly larger hands. He had her pinned. Again. She hated being tied down, he knew it. He also knew it was the only way to beat her, so in fact it did two things she hated more than anything. One: being pinned. Two: losing.
Something different formed in her belly as she watched the heaving body above her though as he smirked victoriously at her. He was so close, and his presence was doing something to her insides she hadn't experienced before. Why did the lips she pecked so innocently all the rest of their lives suddenly look fuller, and promised more than just the simple rub and "ewwww" that she usually evoked? Why did his chest look broader than it had been, and when had all those muscles formed? More important than that, why hadn't she noticed sooner?
Shaking off those disturbing feelings, the young teen—just barely old enough to be called such—did what she always did. She smirked right back at him before leaning up as much as she could and pecking him on the lips.
He froze in place instantly, and unlike before when he pulled away right away, with him being frozen Kin wasn't able to count on his moving body to pull their lips apart. Their wide eyes stared into each other as their lips stayed locked in the seemingly innocent kiss, and to Kin's utmost surprise Kaien actually moved his head forward and completed the kiss she had initiated.
That feeling in her belly was growing more prominent by the second. As her overloaded, over-intelligent mind recognized what it was they were doing, suddenly she was able to feel an unknown pressure against one of her legs. It wasn't his knees, she knew that, and his hands were currently holding hers above her head, so what could it be?
Kaien however, he knew what it was.
He jumped off her like she was the bearer of the Black Plague and stuttered his way backwards, mumbling apologies at her incoherently. She cocked an eyebrow curiously but she was only able to take in his florescent red face with confusion. Apparently her not answering was something that Kaien had feared most, and as he turned and ran away she was sure she could see tears fly in the air as his head whipped around. Only then did she notice that one of his hands had been desperately trying to cover his groin. She could hear him trying to muffle his sobs even as he cursed himself with every colorful word she was sure was in the dictionary; some of them not even she had heard before. He was cursing, crying, and covering his crotch. But why?
For a genius, sometimes she could be surprisingly dense.
That was soon solved.
She turned bright red, unable to even get up as the knowledge of what that feeling had been tore its way through her mind. Then the other important part input itself into her brain. He had been crying. He didn't know why he had reacted any more than she did, and he was ashamed of his own body's unfamiliar response. He feared their relationship had just been destroyed.
There was no way in hell Kin Urahara-Shihouin was going to let him think that. She knew Kaien. If he ever felt embarrassed, or humiliated, or scared, or in this case, the worst possible case: all three, he always did something stupid. Even she could feel the strange aura that seemed to radiate from him as he ran. She had never felt this from him before. It almost felt like physical pressure was being put on the air, but that couldn't be.
Little did she know their little stint had just jump-started his reiatsu.
His very powerful reiatsu.
And right now he was alone. Things couldn't go any worse right now, but the only thought running through her head as her vision blurred to tears was that she was going to lose her best friend. He should know better than anyone that she would understand a simple bodily reaction, even one as unexpected as that from the last person she would expect it from. She had been taught a lot by her father, some things a lot of kids didn't even have any clue about, and her mother wasn't ashamed to use her feminine wiles to coerce her father. It went without saying that she had been taught the greatest asset a woman had going for them was their body when it came to certain things. She had just never understood that last part.
Never understood it until now that is.
She had just lost her first real kiss to Kaien Kurosaki, and what she had felt pressed against her was his body's way of saying he enjoyed what she had done. He didn't have any control over it, just like she was rapidly realizing she had had no control over her body's reaction either. She had been aroused. For the first time in her life she had been aroused…and it had been her best friend that had caused it.
She couldn't lose him, she couldn't, and she knew from experience that he was bound to get stupid when in this state. She could feel the wild fluctuations in the air around her, hindering her process as she ran to the giant ladder and started climbing up to the exit; the one he had disappeared out of quicker than she had ever thought possible. The pressure was almost unbearable, and it was getting harder and harder for her to move through the heavy haze that had come over the air for some unknown reason. She jumped out the trapdoor of the room and right out the front door that hadn't even been closed in his haste to get away.
He was running as fast as he could, and Kin Urahara was not one to be beaten in a race. Ever. That would normally be the case, but with the unfamiliar pressure she recognized—through some as-of-yet-unidentified way—was Kaien's putting weight on her, she wasn't exactly in top form. She could tell he was scared though. It was as if the pressure in the air was telling her that.
She was running down the road when she heard it.
Kaien Kurosaki had never been more humiliated in his life. Of course he knew what had happened, but the thing was he had no explanation for why it happened. Sure, Kin was growing up into a beautiful woman, and there were certain things only she could stir in him, but…
But what? He realized as he jogged to a halt. Humiliation still firmly in place, his mind finally managed to think somewhat coherently after the mad dash of adrenaline had worn off to some extent. How come I didn't realize it sooner!? She's growing up…we're growing up. Maybe then I wouldn't have…!?
His thoughts were cut off abruptly by a huge roar that cut through the air like a jagged knife, and he clasped his hands over his ears to try and stop the painful sound. Opening his eyes after the sound did stop, he paled.
What was in front of him wasn't a kid, or an adult, or even a human in general. What was standing before him was a behemoth eight-foot tall monster that looked like something out of a bad science-fiction movie. As much as he would have liked to believe that, the bone-like mask and eerie teeth covering the bad stench of the monster's breath told him what was before him was all too real. He wiped his tear-streaked face and tried to stay perfectly still, thinking maybe the monster wouldn't notice him.
That was when he saw the beady yellow eyes of the mask turn down to regard him, and he knew that there was intelligence behind that mask. It might just be bestial intelligence, but it was intelligence nonetheless.
"Ahhhhhh," it sighed as a long tongue came out to lick at the air. "An especially tasty soul. There hasn't been one like this in a long time…" And then it was right in front of him like some magician that had disappeared. Kaien cried out in surprise as he fell to the ground from the force of the air suddenly pushed at him, his muscles shivering in fear. He tried to back away in a crawl from the giant's form but with each step back he took, the monster took one forward. It seemed to enjoy the terror that was undoubtedly radiating from him as surely as his large spirit force was.
The monster lunged unexpectedly and out of sheer habit Kaien impulsively raised his foot in a hard kick that sent the masked face snapping backwards, thus giving him the opportunity he needed to run away. There was no time for conscious thought, he did so immediately. It was a wasted effort, because soon later he felt a giant hand swat against his side and the overwhelming force behind the blow sent him flying into one of the concrete fences lining the back alley. He fell to the ground with a wet crack, coughing blood from his mouth and struggling to breathe. He could hardly see straight. His equilibrium had been set completely off-balance and blood was flowing into his eyes from the wound on his head when he had hit the wall.
"I'm going to enjoy eating you…" the snake-like voice hissed happily, and he could feel the Hollow's shadow come over him the closer it came. He wanted to get up but his legs wouldn't comply; he wanted to fight but his arms wouldn't move; he wanted to scream but his throat wouldn't work. He was thirteen years old and about to be done-in by something he never even thought could exist, and worse yet it looked like something that had come out of some bad make-up artist's gallery.
Oh well, he managed to think. At least now I won't have to face Kin…
"Kaien!" A scared voice exclaimed, and suddenly the blood that should have been going to his wound was draining away from his face for a different reason.
Oh god, no, not now! He thought in a panic and just barely managed to get his bleeding head to move to where the voice had come from. What met his eyes was his worst fear yet. Kin was standing there, panting from exertion and staring at him and the monster in fright. She looked tired, more than tired even, and her clothes were stained with sweat from the fruits of her effort. Her platinum-blonde hair was sweaty and pasted to her face, though the long ponytail had kept some of its firmness and was lying undisturbed on her back. Her incredible golden eyes were widened in fear at the sight of the monster, and he got the acute feeling that she knew what it was.
Had it been any other situation, Kaien would have found the look she was currently sporting extremely appealing. As it was, he was no longer scared for his own life; he was scared for hers. He could feel something different in the air, and for some reason he got the feeling it was coming from her. It was a strange pressure, almost like a sense, a wavelength even, that identified her. With him seemingly out-of-commission, the monster had no problem turning away from him and to the new source of reiatsu.
"Wonderful! Two souls in one day! This will be a feast fit for the King himself!" the Hollow said to himself gleefully. Rubbing is strange hands together like a child it took the same slow steps toward the mocha-skinned teen as it had towards him, letting the fear seep out of her the closer he got.
"G-Get away from me, you Hollow freak!"
She may know what it was, but that didn't mean she knew how to fight it. She was at a complete and utter loss. What had her heart pounding in her chest though was not the monster walking towards her; it was the bloodied state of her best friend, leaning limply against the wall with near-lifeless eyes barely able to keep their focus on her. The Hollow raised his hand to strike, and the sharp claws at the end of his fingers spoke all too well what was going to happen when that hand came down.
Kaien Kurosaki may be one to not care very much about his own life, but the lives of others, especially the life of his closest friend, was not something he trifled with. He knew why his heart was thumping louder and louder the closer the monster she called a 'Hollow' came towards her, he just couldn't understand why his wound hurt less and less the more he thought about it. He couldn't let this happen. He couldn't let her die. He saw the Hollow's hand come down as if in slow motion and he knew he had to get in front of it. Somehow, he just had to.
Kin closed her eyes as the inevitable approached her, only for the sounds of grunts and groans to meet her ears rather then her own end. Opening her eyes cautiously, they soon widened in both surprise and fear when she saw that somehow, Kaien had managed to get in front of her. By some miracle, he was actually holding off the Hollow's hand with his own two. He was visibly struggling however, but the Hollow was just as surprised as she was.
"H-How did you…!?" it asked in shock, unable to even finish its own sentence.
Kaien was having trouble, but not as much as he thought he would have against a monster at least two and a half, if not three feet taller than him and a good three times his width. He glared up at the monster from behind the hand threatening to disembowel him and tightened his grip.
"I don't know. What I do know is if you even try to hurt Kin, I'll make sure you're nothing but a smear on the concrete!" he threatened lowly, though it might have sounded more convincing was he not grunting to keep the hand at bay and wobbling slightly from the effects of his previous wounds. He too was just as surprised as anyone else at how he had gotten to where he currently was, but he wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak.
The Hollow was taken aback, but not by the boy's words. Instead he was shocked at the way the bright yellow eyes of the boy seemed to glow as if by their own light as he uttered his threat. The two hands pushing against his gained ground, and the monster witnessed crimson liquid start falling from the boy's eyes as they shone brighter. "What are you!?" it gasped.
"SHUT THE HELL UP!!" Kaien screamed, and launched his hands away from his body with a strength even he didn't know he had. The giant's hand was pushed over its head easily, and it toppled backwards from the unexpected force of the push. Not one to stay in the face of such danger, Kaien quickly turned and grabbed Kin's arm, pulling her shocked body behind his as he ran away.
"What is that thing!?" he asked her as he dragged them both along, trying to ignore the blood staining his face and getting into his eyes the longer he ran. He didn't know she was looking at him like he was from another planet, but sensing his panic and seriousness, Kin decided to answer him even as her own surprise and fright threatened to choke off her voice.
"I-It's a Hollow! My dad said it's a bad spirit formed from good souls that've lost their hearts! Never mind that, you're bleeding!!" she cried.
He wiped his face with his sleeve, though that only stemmed the bleeding temporarily before he was once again blinded by what was meant to keep him alive. Conversely, the tears of unknown origin had never stopped, but unlike the rest they seemed to fill him with strength rather than drain him of it. "Dammit! I can't see!"
Not too long after he said that he felt Kin's hand jarred out of his own, and he was nearly thrown along with her from the force of the Hollow's strike. She went crashing against one of the concrete walls, but unlike him, she made no noise, and made no effort to stir. She was out cold. He couldn't accept what the other possibility was, and that was that the pool of what was undoubtedly blood gradually growing on the ground beside her meant she was…dead.
Raw emotion assaulted him just as it had before, only this time with ten times the ferocity. Words couldn't describe his condition, but the glare he leveled at the monster came impressively close. Eyes shone the fiercest yellow imaginable, emotionless golden orbs filled with malice and hatred towards the beast in front of him. His blood boiled within him, surged angrily against his fate, and soon the only blood falling from his face was from his eyes. Power surged within him, anger the likes of which he had never known before liquefied deep into his furious glare. It had the desired effect, and the monster stopped for a second—likely out of surprise—but only for a second.
The best he could equate what happened next to was an out of body experience, because he hardly felt any pain when the five fingers clawed through his torso. The ugly mark ran down his stomach and sent more blood than the teenager could afford to lose spilling to the ground, sending him to his knees instantly. Glaring as best he could up at the beast even as his vision blurred and his limbs started feeling cold, there was a surprising lack of fear towards his impending doom. All that was left was an adamantine resolve that even if he was going to die, he wasn't about to give the beast the satisfaction of knowing he had been scared in his last moments.
"Go ahead, give me your best shot!" He taunted weakly, and was too focused on the beast to realize the change his voice had undergone.
He was sure behind the mask, the Hollow was giving him a smile. "No," it said calmly to its bloody and broken prey. "I think I'll eat the girl first. Such a pretty body with lots of reiatsu; she'll be a perfect appetizer until I get to you. Fear and anguish make a soul so much more delicious, and I can tell you care for her."
Kaien's glowing eyes widened in panic. This was one course of action he hadn't anticipated. He couldn't do anything. He couldn't stand, he couldn't move, he could just barely see for that matter. All he knew was the one person that meant more to him than his own life was in danger. No more. No. More.
His blood was far past boiling, it was raging, an almost sentient fury begging him to close his eyes. He could practically smell the stench of death around him, feel the blood of the monster on his hands, taste it, thick and luscious in his mouth. There were no descriptions to give voice to what would the urge would do, only a palpable bloodlust that wanted nothing more than to sink its bare fingers into the behemoth and rip; an insistence deep within him that could feel blunt human teeth tearing through flesh and bone with single-minded longing. If only he closed his eyes, it could all be his. If he just fell into his desire, she could be safe. He could eat—
Wait, where'd that come from?
Sadly, he could feel his eyes closing, but not for the reason it wanted.
"You get the hell away from my son!!!!!!!" An eerily echoed voice suddenly shouted out.
Fresh hope jolted his system back from the abyss, and the son of Ichigo Kurosaki looked up to see where the voice had come from. Through sight blurred by blood and lack thereof, he saw a man with bright orange hair and glowing yellow eyes fall down from the sky with a gleaming sword in his hands. Unfocused in his vision he still managed to see his savior come down with the giant blade in hand, and with one smooth motion he had cleaved the monster in two like it had taken him less effort than it would to comb his unruly hair. Swordplay aside, the man's eyes were what had his attention; eyes lined by pure darkness rather than regular white sclera, eyes he knew he should know.
He fell back to the ground in relief as he let himself succumb to the unconsciousness that had threatened him, until he felt his head be raised into a lap he knew all too well. "Kaien?? Kaien baby, don't do this to us! Ichigo! He needs help fast!" he heard the woman yell at the orange-haired male.
Only then did his blurry vision focus in on the face of his mother, holding his body to her in fright as she kept his head upright in her lap while she stroked his hair. She looked…younger, and he saw his father looked just as young as he ran towards him. She had called the man 'Ichigo,' so that meant he had to be his dad, and that meant the woman holding him was his mom. His dad looked exactly like those other white-jacketed beings, clad in the complete black kimono, and the only thing his mother lacked from that outfit was the white jacket.
"Mom…Dad…" he coughed out weakly. "Kin needs…help…" Then his head lulled to the side as he finally fell unconscious, settling the voices of bloodlust within him.
Ichigo and Tatsuki looked down on their son in momentary shock. His voice had been that of a Vizard, unmistakably. Ichigo had long thought his son able to see spirits, so knowing that he could see them wasn't much of a shock to him. There was one aspect that had been though. His eyes had been glowing, but they had not been laced with black like most Vizards'. How he even managed that kind of transformation and stayed in control was absolutely beyond them, but the sheer volume of blood lining the area quickly brought them back to the Present. Ichigo needed to work fast.
Yoruichi and Kisuke had rushed over to their daughter, as they had been right beside the other couple as they rushed to where they felt the newfound reiatsu of their children burst forth. It wasn't for a good reason either. They could feel the fear in the spirit pressure, even though the amount felt from the eldest Kurosaki child was cause for more than a bit of trepidation. Then again, the fact that Kin could even move under that pressure was a testament to her own inner strength, and for a fledgling release as it was that was saying something. Kisuke was an ex-captain, and well versed in the arts of healing, but nothing of this extent. For once the ever-calm shopkeeper had worry flooding his eyes as he propped his daughter into a better position on the ground.
"Ichigo! Hurry!" Yoruichi yelled frantically. She could feel her daughter's reiatsu fading. Had she been in spiritual form—had she even had a spiritual form at that point—the kinds of wounds on her body would have been child's play, but being in an all too human body, the wounds were enough to strain the spirit to try and keep it alive.
Ichigo set to work instantly, pulling the Fourth Division medical kit from his back and rushing to the two injured teens. He wasn't a captain for nothing, and Ogihci wasn't about to let his son die. Placing the two bodies side by side after realizing bandages wouldn't do anything in this situation, he placed one hand over each of the bodies and concentrated his reiatsu. The Fourth Division taught how to use reiatsu to speed the reishi recovery of what were essentially beings made up completely of spiritual energy, thus healing wounds faster. With his amount of reiatsu he could do everything short of bring the dead back to life.
The alleyway exploded into an array of blue and black reiatsu as Ichigo released the healing arts he had been taught onto the two bodies.
Ichigo and Tatsuki sat facing their old teachers in the shop they hadn't been to for this particular reason for over thirteen years. Needless to say parenthood had changed all four of them. Yoruichi was looking more than a little stressed, even though she knew her daughter was perfectly stable and resting after Ichigo's healing treatment. Urahara was as calm as he usually was, but his eyes betrayed the slight worry he was actually feeling.
"We knew this would happen one day," he said at last.
Ichigo sighed as he slumped against one of the nearby walls. He enjoyed being in his Soul Reaper form much more now, considering his living body was growing older and getting more inflexible and achy as time went by. In this form he was still barely twenty, and would likely stay that way for a very, very long time. Tatsuki was exactly the same, though hers had changed to have her longer hair just like her regular body. Otherwise, she too was just as young as when she had first transformed.
"Yeah, we did. I guess we can be thankful they made it to thirteen before their reiatsu broke through the cloaking Kidou we put on them when they met. I would have preferred him to make it to fifteen like me, but it can't be helped now," Ichigo responded, and they all nodded. "At least they got a little bit of a normal life. It was only a matter of time before some stimulus awakened their reiatsu anyway."
"We should probably start training them as soon as possible then. Now that they're going to be targets they have to know how to defend themselves, even if the Espada watch out for Kaien like he's their own child," Yoruichi interjected sensibly.
Urahara nodded. "I think that would be for the best as well. Kurosaki-san, do you have any problems with that? It might be for the best if I train them into their Soul Reaper forms, and not you. I know your skills, but I don't think you have the control to keep your parental instincts silent when trying to train him. I can do that," he said solemnly.
Tatsuki chuckled slightly in response and earned a curiously cocked eyebrow from her husband's old teachers. "There's no need for that. Ichigo and I have known for a while that Kaien's soul is already a Soul Reaper."
This earned the widened eyes of the two sitting opposite her.
"H-How can you be so sure?" Yoruichi asked through a suddenly dry mouth. "The cloaking technique should have made his reiatsu completely undetectable; how can you know??"
Ichigo snickered as he raised his eyes to regard his friends and ex-teachers. "When he said his first words we knew. I don't think I'll ever forget them," he explained with a chortle.
His wife joined him eagerly. "Yeah. What did we think he was trying to say again? Something about Play-Doh…"
The orange haired man in his teenage body smiled. "It was: 'Play-Doh boar likes biting.'"
Naturally, the other two had absolutely no clue what they were talking about.
"And this is funny because?" the Goddess of Flash asked tactlessly.
Her young ex-pupil looked at her like she was a hopeless student, and smiled again when he went back to reminiscing. "Did we ever tell you about that time when we had to fix that hole in the side of our house? Turns out the little squirt was trying to say 'Hadou Four: White Lightning!' The little guy almost blew off Grimmjow's head!" He fell back into laughter after that. "I probably shouldn't have used that so much around him, but hey, hindsight's twenty-twenty, eh?"
Tatsuki managed to regain her wits faster than her husband, though she too had taken great joy in laughing along with him. "So yeah, considering he didn't blow himself up after using an Incantation Bypass without even knowing what he was doing, it was a pretty safe assumption on our part that his soul was already a Shinigami."
Urahara and Yoruichi looked like they were going to faint.
"An Incantation Bypass at that age!?" the Shihouin princess gasped. "Is that even possible?!"
Urahara grinned. "I suppose so, if Kaien managed it. You have to remember we had no idea what kind of reiatsu he would be born with, considering he was fathered by the Hougyoku itself. There's no telling what kind of abilities he could have been born with."
The companionable air that had been there moments before seemed much more strained after he had finished, and Urahara realized this right away.
"It wasn't passed on, I can tell you that much," Ichigo said softly as he looked down on one of his hands. "You created the Hougyoku, but when I merged with it…I can't really explain what its like. It's like it's me, but not me. It's another part of my reiatsu now, but my soul keeps it locked away unless I call on it, just like my Hollow. When you think of it that way it's like a swallowed crystal. If a thief swallowed a diamond and it got lodged somewhere in him, then he became a father afterwards, would that mean the diamond would get passed on to his son? No, it's still in me, well, it's still me I mean. I can't say it couldn't have done anything to him, but it's impossible to pass on. I mean, it's me now."
Both older Soul Reapers looked relieved, especially at the knowledge that it couldn't be passed on, and hadn't been even after three children.
"How are Tsukiyomi and Masaki by the way? I haven't seen them in ages!" the mocha-skinned woman exclaimed for a much-needed topic change.
"Karin and Ulquiorra are looking after them right now. They both came to the house as soon as they felt Kaien's reiatsu. Besides, taking care of a couple of nine year olds'll give them a heads-up to what they'll face in a few years. I can't believe their little girl is already five…" Tatsuki trailed off as she shook her head in her hand. "Jeez, this body really throws off my sense of time. I feel like a teenager again, not a thirty-something year old woman!" She laughed.
"Speaking of that…" Urahara began, "How have your younger siblings adapted to their Soul Reaper forms? It was a bit harder on my part to get them out, but they both seemed pretty distraught at the thought of growing older than their older brother."
Ichigo laughed. "They've been enjoying them to the fullest, and I'm sure Ulquiorra and Jinta have been enjoying them too!" He snickered softly at the blush that rose on Tatsuki's face. "I never thought I'd have to train my little sisters in using swords, but the older they got the higher their spiritual power became, so we didn't have much choice in the matter did we?"
Urahara nodded his agreement. "Any children they would have had would have been true-bloods regardless of if they transformed before or after they gave birth because of the dormant status of their powers. Since they both manifested before their children were born it just gives more of a reason to watch out for their little ones. It seems like the Menos are growing more and more confident the more spiritual power they sense."
The eyes of the King of Hueco Mundo darkened into their Hollowized state while his face turned much more menacing than before. "I realize that," he hissed lowly as he balled his hands into fists. "I'm going to have to do something about that. Those freaks have been getting much too confident since I became a father. If not for the Espada I'd be a lot busier, but they like to kill and it gives them some exercise, so I don't mind."
His Queen nodded. "Yeah, and the upside is we've been getting more and more Arrancar to accept the different lifestyle in Hueco Mundo. It's been a while now, but we've got most of the Arrancar that were created under Aizen all united. The annoying thing is the Menos and Huge Hollows are becoming more powerful every day, and they're making the transition to Adjucha more frequently than before. It's become a real pain to keep them under control even though they spend most of their time trying to eat each other anyways." As much as she had confidence in her statement, she still groaned.
"Nothing we can't handle, but I've had to keep my eye out to see if any do actually manage to make it to the final stage. I don't think they know how though. If they figure out how to remove their masks, then we'll be in more trouble."
"Seems like you two have been busy," Yoruichi pondered aloud.
"Yeah, between taking care of Hueco Mundo, raising three kids, and making sure we still keep up appearances for Soul Society; we've been pretty busy," Tatsuki answered as she relaxed into her husband's side.
"I wouldn't doubt it," Urahara replied cheekily.
They didn't know about the other person listening in though.
Kaien awoke groggily, the only process he was capable of trying to place where he was. The roof above him looked familiar, and upon closer examination he finally realized that he was in a house he knew all too well: Kin's house. Memories of both the welcome and the unwanted shot back to him like a bullet, and he launched his upper body up in surprise and fear. It came as a huge shock then when he looked down at his stomach he saw no wounds, not even a scar.
A dream? He thought confusedly. He knew that couldn't be the case though. He hadn't slept at Kin's the night before, and he would remember if he did something other than their regular fighting.
Paling, the other memories—those of before the Hollow attack—came flooding back to him in a wave of humiliation and guilt. He swallowed heavily. He didn't deserve to be her friend anymore, he didn't even know why he had reacted like that. Before, all he would have done was jump off her and rub his mouth, but for some inexplicable reason he leaned forward and made the light peck an actual kiss. Groaning lowly, the Kurosaki child pillowed his face in his hands. This was the last thing he needed.
Regardless, the memory of her injury made him look around the room just to make sure she was okay. She had to be okay, then at least he would be able to live with himself. Why didn't that monster finish us off? The vision of the orange-haired man in black with the white haori and giant sword in hand came back unexpectedly, along with his mother's face. What's going on here?
Throwing off his desire to dwell on the matter, he soon found Kin resting on a futon not too far from his own. With a grunt of objection from the wear on what he now knew were still healing muscles, he made his way over to her sleeping form. Her mocha-colored skin looked as healthy as ever but her beautiful platinum-blonde hair still had remnants of blood in it; though there was no wound to be seen anywhere on her head anymore. The sight of the blood was perfect proof to him that he had experienced reality, not any kind of dream.
He wanted to reach forward and touch her, just to make sure she was still alive, but as soon as his fingers were in reach of her skin he hesitated. His heart was telling him something about the girl in front of him, but he didn't want to listen to it. It had never bothered him much before, but now that his body was able to respond as well he couldn't refute it. Too many things could go wrong if they were to enter a relationship, most prominently the fear of rejection or worse, total excommunication. That, he wouldn't be able to handle.
He would much rather have her as a friend than try to go beyond that and have the potential to destroy that friendship. She was the one person he'd known for what seemed like forever, and losing her was something he wouldn't risk anything on. Especially not his heart. Even if it was hers already.
Why did I have to wait until now to see her as a girl!? Dammit…
He beat the side of his head, suddenly heartsick at the turn his thoughts had taken. There were other thoughts there as well, and they were much less friendly. The sight of her blood staining her hair was something he never wanted to see again, and yet he had been able to do nothing. Nothing. He was strong, he knew that, but they had just had an encounter with something that wasn't even human, and he had stood no chance against it! He curled his fingers into tight fists, enraged more the longer he lingered on the thought. If only he had given in to that desire, maybe…
The thought of where that desire had come from in the first place was set aside for later examination.
Never again. I won't let her get hurt by those things ever again!!
That was when he heard voices from between the thin wall, and when he walked over and shuffled the door open just enough to hear inside, his eyes widened. The people inside were definitely his parents, but they looked younger, much younger. That, and their clothes matched those strange visitors' that he used to see all the time.
As the conversation went on his eyes continued to widen, until by the end he could barely breathe anymore. Another thing was coursing through him now: excitement. He knew why his family was different now; maybe not all the details, but he was sure those would soon be explained to him. The only thought he managed to zero in on with complete certainty was just one word of their conversation: training. If he trained under their tutelage, in a realm he had never even heard of, he was sure he was going to get stronger. He may not allow himself to be with Kin, but he was going to make for damn sure he was always her protector and friend. No matter how long it took.
That was when he saw his father's eyes lock onto his.
"Come on out Kaien, your mother and I have a few things to tell you…"
The last thing he saw was Urahara's cane flying towards his head, and after that, he was plunged into a whole new world; one he belonged in before he was even aware of its existence.
The spiritual realm.
The four adults slowly stepped forward to see the unconscious form before them, and when they did, four breaths were caught in four throats.
On the floor was Kaien, but he wasn't in a shihakushou.
Four sets of stunned eyes viewed the white hakama, identical to their counterparts on the standard Shihakushou were it not for the color. They were matched by a white jacket more suited to that of the Espada than a Shinigami; almost an amalgamation of his father's Bankai longcoat and the Sexta Espada's infamous jacket. Like his father's Bankai it was connected at the middle of his chest, but like that of Grimmjow's the sleeves were rolled up. The difference was in the size of the jacket itself, unlike both Tensa Zangetsu, which was long and flowing, and the sixth Espada, which resembled more of a midriff cut. With the already impressive definition of his body the covering clung to his form perfectly, revealing only the sliver of flesh leading up to his neck before it broke off into the black lapels. They could only imagine what it would look like when he grew older.
If only that had been it. Though the clothing should have been warning enough, that wasn't what had their attention. Peeking out from above the jacket's connecting parts was a strange blot of darkness, and the area under seemed eerily void of solid mass. All the signs were there; none of them wanted to admit it. With a heavy inhalation, Tatsuki knew what she had to do. Unstrapping the middle of the jacket to get a better view of his chest, their suspicions were confirmed.
Exactly where Ichigo's had been…right in the middle of his chest…
…was a Hollow's hole.
And the other thing he should have had, his zanpakutou, was nowhere to be seen.
"This…is going to be interesting…" Ichigo sighed amusedly as he crossed his arms over his chest before turning to his old mentors. "I'm sorry Hat-and-Clogs, Yoruichi, but I think my family'll be staying in Hueco Mundo for a while. If Tsukiyomi and Masaki are the same, then we don't know what kind of powers they'll have. I can't have Soul Society finding out about this until we have a grasp on everything that could be going on, or could go on in them."
He paused, and his eyes looked down to the floor sullenly. "Tell Kin we're sorry. If he really wants to we'll come back for him to say goodbye to her. They'll see each other again, but I don't know when…"
It was obvious he didn't want to do this, but the two ex-captains knew why it was necessary. As much as this was important, Yoruichi and Kisuki could only gulp as to what would happen later. It was their little girl's turn next, and she wasn't going to be happy to find Kaien gone.
"I know, Kurosaki-san. We'll try to keep things under control here for you. I assume you're taking the twins with you?"
Tatsuki nodded as she hefted her son's physical body onto her shoulder. "Yes. If this is what Kaien's spiritual body looks like, then the sooner we get them all trained the better. Since Karin and Ulquiorra are living in Hueco Mundo at least they'll have their daughter to play with."
Her husband chuckled. "Not to mention Chizuru and Grimmjow's daughter. That little blue-haired hell-raiser will get them up to par in no time!"
Yoruichi's eyes softened with worry. "If only souls grew as fast as humans. I'm sure Rukia would love it if her son could train with Kaien."
Her old student mimicked her look. "Yeah, I'm sure she would," he said softly. "But he's only a toddler now even though he's as old as Kaien. Tell them to come visit us though if they contact you," he requested.
Urahara tipped his hat to the couple as Ichigo picked up his unconscious son. "I'm leaving it to you to tell my daughter why you had to do this when you get back."
His face contorted in duress, but in a sincere way. "Believe me Urahara-san, if I could avoid this I would, but Soul Society wouldn't understand. Once we have everything organized and they're ready to take on the Menos' that keep popping up over here we'll come back. Right now this is the last place he needs to be."
With a wave of his hand the Garganta was opened, and the two looked at each other in alarm. They had no idea Ichigo had advanced that far.
"You know where we live, if Kin really wants to you can send her over!" Tatsuki called out through the hole.
And then they were gone.
And so began the tale of Kaien, the son of Ichigo and Tatsuki Kurosaki; and the story of Kin Urahara-Shihouin, the daughter of Soul Society's rebels: Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihouin. Stubbornness seemed destined to keep them apart, but fate works in mysterious ways and the future is never foreseeable; so as the two entered into the new world their parents had hidden from them, they had no idea what awaited them on the road ahead.
This is their story. A new window has been opened.
Author's Notes: Wow, I didn't know this story needed so much editing. I guess I've spent so much time rereading the later chapters I didn't realize the state I originally wrote the early chapters into. That's always the problem with improving as you continually write, eventually the earlier work becomes completely different than the later. I sincerely hope it was to your standards, I'm always trying to improve.
Well, here's the first chapter to the sequel! Reviews always appreciated! I'll give the same challenge I did last time: fifteen reviews and I'll instantly upload the next chapter!
Hope you enjoyed the chapter!