Disclaimer - I do not own Bleach nor any of it's characters.
A/N - This is a companion piece to my fic Reincarnation and is a joint effort between myself and CynricShadowInk. It continues the adventures of Ichigo and Rukia's twins, Kaien and Masaki. Hope you enjoy.
Chapter One - It Starts
As her eyes fluttered open, twelve year old Masaki Kurosaki rolled over and glanced at the digital clock that was positioned on her nightstand. It took a couple of seconds for her eyes to fully focus but when they did the young girl's violet eyes widened as her bleary vision cleared enough to accurately read the time and she realized that she'd slept way later than usual. She was usually up by at least eight o'clock, even on days that she didn't have school, and yet it was already almost ten and here she was still in bed. She couldn't believe that she'd slept so late.
"Oh I can't believe this."
Groaning to herself Masaki jumped out of bed, walked over to her dresser and grabbed the first thing that she came across. Then, with her clothes in hand, she quickly made her way down the hall to the bathroom where she took a hasty shower. Even though she was in a hurry the girl still enjoyed the feeling of the warm water washing over her body but the enjoyment was brief.
Once she was dressed in the light pink peasant top and blue-jean Capri pants that she had grabbed, Masaki quickly pulled her long hair into two low pigtails and then made her way down the hall to her brother's room. She knocked lightly on the door but received no reply from within. Kaien was an extremely light sleeper so Masaki knew that, if her brother had been in his room, one knock would have been all that was required to illicit a response from him.
"I wonder where he could be," Masaki thought to herself as she turned away from her brother's bedroom door. Her curiosity aroused, Masaki made her way downstairs and toward the back door however she stopped short as she heard her mother call out to her.
The young girl stopped and turned to watch as her mother made her way out of the den. "What is it, Mom?"
"Don't wander too far away," Rukia said as she gazed at her young daughter. "We're all going to Soul Society in a little while."
"Okay," Masaki said, slightly curious. "Why exactly are we going to Soul Society?"
"Can't tell you that right now," Rukia said, winking at her daughter as she gazed into the girl's violet eyes that were so like her own. This was virtually the only trait that the girl had inherited from her mother however Rukia wouldn't have it any other way since Masaki was so obviously Ichigo's daughter.
"But why. . ."
But Masaki's question was interrupted as the communicator that her mother carried in her pocket began to issue a series of familiar obnoxious, high-pitched beeping noises. "Hold that thought," Rukia said as she pulled the communicator from her pocket and flipped it open. Gazing down at the small device, which greatly resembled a cell phone, Rukia groaned, shaking her head. "I swear, one of these days your father is going to drive me crazy. He's managed to track down that group of pesky Hollow and for some reason he wants my help destroying them. Like we don't all know that he could do it perfectly fine all on his own. I mean, honestly, he does it all the time so why should today be any different. Stay out of trouble Saki-chan and we'll be home soon."
Masaki nodded and watched as her mother emerged from her gigai and left the house. "My parents are so weird," she thought as she continued her search for her brother. Thinking that she had a pretty good idea of where she might find him the young girl made her way out to the backyard and quickly spotted her brother, seated on the soft grass under the large shade tree. The dark haired young boy was dressed in a pair of worn blue jeans and a black t-shirt and seemed to be engrossed in a book.
"Hey Kai," she called out as she ran over to the spot where her twin brother was sitting under the tree, casually reading a book. The black haired young boy glanced up and watched as his orange haired sister came to a stop beside him.
"What's up with you Saki-chan?" Kaien asked, placing his book down and gazing at his sister with a curious expression in his brown eyes, the eyes that he had inherited from their father.
"Did you talk to Mom and Dad this morning?" Masaki asked as she sat down on the soft grass beside him. The young girl pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them as she awaited her brother's reply to the question that she had asked. There was an expectant glimmer in her violet eyes; she had never been a particularly patient person, and she was dying to hear her brother's response.
Kaien nodded, knowing without even having to ask what was on her mind. "I met Mom on the way out here; she told me not to wander too far away because we're all going to Soul Society later. Is that what you're curious about?"
Masaki nodded, not surprised that her brother had been able to read her so easily. The two of them had always shared a special bond and often knew each other's thoughts.
"So what did you want to ask?" Kaien said in his soft-edged voice, turning his gaze to his sister. He already had a pretty good idea about what the question would be however he was determined to make her ask it before he offered an answer.
"Do you have any idea why Mom and Dad are taking us there today?" Masaki asked, hoping that her brother may have somehow stumbled across the answer that her mother had neglected to give her. Sometimes her quiet and unassuming brother was just good for things like that, however, it seemed that today was not one of those times as Kaien shook his head.
"I don't have a clue," Kaien said in a quiet voice.
Masaki groaned in disappointment. She'd really been hoping that Kaien would know something. "I asked Mom about it but she said that she couldn't tell me and she had this strange look in her eyes. I bet it involves us, and I bet it's something important."
Kaien shook his head, not sure why his sister was so convinced that there was some secret motive for their parents taking them to the Seireitei. It wasn't as though going there was a strange occurrence, seeing as their dad, Ichigo, was one of the Captains of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, Squad Five to be precise, and their mother, Rukia, his vice-captain. "Have you stopped to think that this may just be a routine trip? We could even be going to visit Nii-san for all you know."
Masaki briefly thought about her snowy-haired older brother before shaking her head. "Mom and Dad never plan visits to Nii-san. Dad prefers to just show up so that he can watch Shiro-kun's reaction and then laugh at him, you know that."
Kaien paused as he realized that she had a very valid point. Their father received great pleasure from tormenting their older brother and most likely wouldn't plan a trip to visit him. "Well then maybe they have a meeting with Grandpa Ukitake or something like that."
"I don't think that can be it either Kai," Masaki said, still convinced that the trip to Soul Society had something to do with the two of them. "I mean, if they were really just going to see Grandpa Ukitake, then there wouldn't be any reason for us to come along. We're twelve years old and more than capable of staying at home by ourselves."
"Tell that to Dad," Kaien said with a wry smile. Ichigo was a bit over protective where his children were concerned, and Kaien had it on good authority that he had been the exact same way with their elder brother, Shiro, when he'd been a child.
"I've tried," Masaki said in the same wry tone that her brother had used. "Repeatedly. But, unfortunately, Dad has selective hearing."
"Nii-san's been telling us that for years," Kaien said with a smile, a mental image of his snowy-haired older brother appearing in his mind. "Who would have guessed that he was actually right."
Masaki couldn't help laughing. "Now Kai, you know if Shiro-kun were here he'd tell you that you should always listen to him because he's always right."
"Uh huh," Kaien said. "I know this, but according to Kasumi, that's just a lie that he tells to save face."
"You guys shouldn't talk about the Squad Ten Captain like that," a new voice called out, joining in the twins' conversation. "He'd get angry about it if he ever found out."
Both Kaien and Masaki glanced up and watched as their mother and father walked toward them. The corners of Ichigo's mouth were twitched up into a crooked, half smile and he and Rukia were walking arm in arm. They each offered their parents the sweet, innocent smile that all young kids seem to have.
"Don't give me that look," Ichigo said as he and Rukia came to a stop in front of the spot where their children were sitting. "The innocent routine won't work on me, I know you. Besides, every time you guys have that look it means that you're plotting something."
"Dad I'm shocked that you would think something like that about us," Masaki said innocently, gazing up at her father with her large eyes.
"Uh huh," Ichigo said, placing a hand on top of his daughter's orange hair. "I have no idea what causes me to feel that way, but I do. Now come on, or else we're going to be late."
"Late for what?" Masaki demanded as she and Kaien quickly got to their feet and came to stand between their parents.
"You'll find out soon enough," was all that Ichigo would say.
"That's SO not true," Masaki maintained. "Because, if it were, then I would have found out about an hour ago."
"Just come on." Shaking her head, Rukia turned and began walking toward the house, muttering under her breath as she did so. "Yet another one who's just like you Ichigo. Absolutely no patience."
Ichigo looked slightly offended by the grumblings of his wife but wisely chose not to comment. In stead, he motioned for the twins to follow their mother and, once Kaien and Masaki had obediently fallen into step behind her, he too followed his family.
Rukia led the way back into the house and then downstairs to the Senkaimon that was located in the basement of their home. Once the group was all assembled in front of the gate that lead to Soul Society Rukia placed her hand on the archway and released a burst of reiatsu, opening the pathway to the Seireitei.
"Let's go," Rukia said, gesturing toward the Senkaimon.
Kaien and Masaki obediently stepped through the portal, followed closely behind by their parents. Then, when the Kurosaki family arrived in the Seireitei, Ichigo immediately led the way toward the Squad Ten barracks. The twins were following a few feet behind their parents as Kaien turned to face his twin and whispered, "See, I told you we were coming to visit Nii-san."
"But that can't be right," Masaki said, her voice also a whisper.
"Hey guys," a familiar voice called out as the small family reached the gateway that was the entrance into the Squad Ten courtyard. The twins' gazes simultaneously went toward the sound of the voice, and they both smiled as they saw their older brother Shiro, the Captain of Squad Ten. The young man, who appeared to be around the human age of seventeen, was dressed in the customary black Shihakusho along with the white haori that marked him as a Captain of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads.
"Hey runts," Shiro said as the twins ran over to greet him, offering his younger siblings a smile. "So, are you guys excited?"
"About what Shiro-kun?" Masaki asked, getting the feeling that he knew something that they didn't. "Maybe he'll tell us," she thought to herself as she gazed up at her older brother hopefully.
Realizing that he must have said something that he shouldn't have Shiro cast a quick glance to his mother. The look on her face confirmed his suspicions and he cleared his throat in a slightly nervous fashion. Apparently his mom and dad hadn't given the twins the good news yet. Recovering his composure he offered his siblings a smile. "You'll find out soon."
"Oh that is so not fair," Masaki said.
"Life almost never is," Shiro said in a quiet voice, a strange expression in his vivid, blue-green eyes. Then he turned his attention to his parents. "So, shall we go?"
Ichigo and Rukia both nodded.
Now really curious about what was going on, and what was making her family members act even weirder than normal, Masaki fell into step behind her older brother and her parents. With a shrug of his shoulders Kaien followed suit; also curious, but content to let events unfold as they would. Unlike his sister, he had inherited some measure of patience from his mother.
Led by Shiro the group quickly made their way from the Squad Ten barracks across the Seireitei toward the Squad One barracks. Once their destination became apparent Kaien felt the need to once again turn to his sister and whisper, "I told you so."
"Okay," Masaki hissed back, narrowing her eyes as she gazed at her twin. "So you've once again proven that your freaky little psychic powers work once in awhile. But I still think that this involves us and in a major way. Didn't you see the look on Nii-san's face when he asked us if we were excited?"
"I did," Kaien said in a quiet voice. "And I'm curious about that as well but I have the feeling that we're going to find out soon."
"I hope so," Masaki said. "Cause I can't handle this for much longer."
When the Kurosaki family reached the entrance to the Squad One barracks Shiro led the way inside and down a corridor to the office of the Head Captain. The white-haired young man knocked lightly on the door and then stepped back, awaiting a reply from within.
"Enter," a familiar voice called out.
Shiro slid the door open and motioned for his family members to enter the office ahead of him. Then, once they were all inside, he stepped inside the office, closing the door behind himself. The five Kurosakis walked across the office and assembled in front of Head Captain Ukitake's desk.
"Welcome," Ukitake said as he gazed at the group that was assembled in front of him. He offered the Kurosaki family a broad smile. "Kaien, Masaki, do the two of you have any idea why we're assembled here today?"
"No," the twins said in one voice, their intense gazes locked on Ukitake.
"I see," Ukitake nodded, his smile widening. "Well due to the fact that the two of you have already shown an aptitude for kidou. . ."
"Thanks to their brother," Ichigo muttered, interrupting the Head Captain's words.
"Hey," Shiro said, turning to face his dad and forcing an innocent expression on his face. "You can't prove that I did it."
"Maybe not," Ichigo said. "But I know it was you."
"Getting back to the topic at hand," Ukitake said, interrupting the argument between father and son before it spiraled out of control. "Since the two of you are already fairly skilled in the usage of kidou, your parents and I have decided that it's time to begin your formal education." And, as he spoke those words the Head Captain picked up a bundle of clothes and offered it to Kaien, then picked up a similar bundle which he offered to Masaki.
As the twins accepted the clothes that he offered, they exchanged excited looks. They were going to begin classes at the Academy.
"This is great!" they exclaimed in one voice.
Ichigo shook his head as he gazed first at his daughter and then at his son. "The teachers are never going to forgive me. Hell, they still haven't recovered from Toushirou's brief stint in the Academy. They still tell horror stories about those six months."
"Thanks, Dad," Shiro said.
"It'll be different with us," Kaien said.
"Yea," Masaki said in agreement, at the same time thinking, "It'll be worse."
A/N - and thus ends the first chapter of Kaien and Masaki's story. Hope you enjoyed it, please review and let us know what you thought. Til next time.