Author's notes: Welcome all. I've been wanting to write a Bleach based fanfic for sometime now and finally came up with something interesting, I think. Of course, I am slightly biased.
For those of you who have read my stories before you'll note I have a history of starting but never finishing a story. Well not this time! The story has already written out on paper and saved on multiple computers. So every week there will be an update until the story is complete.
And anyone who is curious there isn't really any coupling...just lots of hinting for Ichigo and Rukia.
With that in mind, let's begin the story!
P.S.: I do not own Bleach, as much as I really really want to because...there are a lot of very sexy men in it and I could star at them all day. *sigh* Bleach, in its entirety belong to Tite Kubo.
Summary: Ichigo stumbles upon a deeply kept secret of classmate Rukia. He's pulled into an unknown world of vampires where tragedy and death follow your every footstep and wait to strike.
Rating: T: There is a great deal of violence, gore, bloodshed, and language.
Night settled on the metropolis of Karakura City earlier than usual for summer. Lights from the quiet neighborhoods and tall business buildings lit up the night sky, dimming the starlight and dulling the full moon. And as the last of the sun's rays disappeared behind the horizon people began to fill the streets, blissfully unaware of the chase happening on the rooftops above their very heads.
A single figure leapt between buildings, running with all the speed possible, his lungs burning for oxygen, his heart beating as quickly as a mouse's. Behind him, six cloaked figures gave chase, five blades of steel glinting under the fluorescent lights of the skyscrapers. A figure in the center of the group signaled to the others with her hands. Two on her left broke away, while the other three fell back, dropping into an alley between two buildings. The man looked hesitantly over his shoulder and was stunned to see his chasers numbers diminish so quickly. Glancing back, no matter how brief, was a mistake. The toe of his shoe caught on a brick ledge and he tumbled into a small alley. His long fall was broken by a small collection of trash bags and cans. He cried out in pain from the unexpected impact, barely noticing the six cloaked figures surrounding him.
"Twelve stories," came a deep voice from the far left, his face masked in shadow by the hood.
"Tragic," came another voice, though softer than the last.
"I'm impressed he's still moving," said another male voice.
"Idiot. You shouldn't be," snapped a more feminine voice. She raised a hand and smacked her companion on his head. "He's a Newborn in the middle of the Rage. He could fall one hundred stories and still walk away. I'm more impressed he hasn't attacked us. Think he's close to the end?"
"It doesn't matter if he is or isn't," came a deeper female voice from the center of the group, clearly much smaller than those that surrounded her. "He's the product of illegal actions, has caused the death of four humans, and must be dealt with accordingly." She wrapped her gloved fingers around the hilt of her sword hanging on the left side of her hip. She took a single step forward and eyed the cowering creature. The others held their ground, their weapons positioned to strike should the labeled "Newborn" make any sudden movements.
As his executioner approached the cowering man struggled to push himself against the brick wall, his eyes wide with justified fear. With a single, flawless motion, she withdrew her blade, severed his head from his body, and replaced her weapon. The man's head tumbled and bounced off several trash bags and into a puddle left over from the morning's brief rain.
"Renji, take the body," ordered the woman as the others sheathed their swords. One of the taller figures nodded and pulled the limp body from the trash pile. "Rangiku, grab the head." The taller woman nodded, plucking the head from the puddle by the hair. "Take it to the incinerator."
"Yes ma'am," they answered in unison before disappearing.
"Izuru, Ikkaku, Yumichika," the small figure continued, turning to the remaining cloaked figures, "Let's head back. There are no more orders for the remainder of the night."
"Damn. This was the only one tonight?" Whined one of the cloaked men, "How lame."
"Stop whining, Ikkaku, and let's go home," the other man replied.
"Whatever," Ikkaku scoffed, "The hunt was quick because little missy's gotta get back home before her older brother has a fit."
"I wouldn't mind going home to Master Byakuya," said the other man in a dazed voice.
"Ikkaku, Yumichika..." Izuru said with a warning tone.
Ikkaku scoffed again, ignoring his companion's warning, "Whatever," he said before disappearing, Yumichika close behind. Izuru looked at his commander who seemed unaffected by Ikkaku's words before following after the other two. The murdering sixth remained behind her violet eyes focusing on the dark blood splatter that decorated the bricks, her mind wandering.
"Yo! Princess!" Ikkaku shouted from the top of the building, "you comin' or what?"
She rolled her eyes, all previous thoughts gone from her mind. "Shut the hell up Ikkaku," she said, suddenly appearing beside him on the roof, " Let's go." And the four of them disappeared into the night.
Outside of Karakura City, along a long narrow highway, a small red car was weaving through the mountain roads recklessly. Inside the tiny vehicle was a small family of four: a father named Isshin Kurosaki and his three children, all of whom were screaming at him to slow down. Only when they nearly had a head on collision with a semi-truck did the black haired man decide to listen to his children and take his foot off the accelerator.
"What the hell is your problem old man?" shouted a orange haired youth sitting in the passenger seat. His jaw, shaped very much like his fathers, was clenched, and instead of a pleasant, carefree smile, the young man's brows were furrowed in a scowl, his lips turned downward, and his brown eyes angry. "Trying to take us all out?"
"Oh please, Ichigo," the old man said with a pleasant smile, "You're being over dramatic. We missed that truck by a mile."
"If I stuck my hand out the window I could have touched it," grumbled one of the young girls sitting in the back seat. Her arms were crossed, and she shared her brother's scowl. Her dark hair was hidden under a baseball cap, the bill hiding her eyes in shadow.
"Look at what you've done to your little sister, Ichigo," their father complained, his dark eyes glancing every now and then in the rearview mirror back at his children, "Karin, when did you become such an angry child?"
"Since she realized what kind of family she had," Ichigo mumbled, lifting his foot up and pressing it against the dashboard.
The only one who failed to raise their voice in objection against their father was little Yuzu, a soft spoken child who only wished to see her family happy. It was an on-going battle she was sure she would lose any day. Several times she opened her mouth to try and calm the family, but Ichigo and her father continued to bicker about what was safe and what was not. Relief only came when the family saw a sign for the city limits of Karakura.
"Ha ha! We're almost there!" Isshin exclaimed excitedly. Yuzu joined in his cheers while Ichigo and Yuzu ignored them both.
As the car came around the side of the mountain they were greeted with a sight that none of them could deny was beautiful. At the base of the mountain was a city of colorful starlight. Lines of moving lights from cars travel to and from the center of the city, which shone brightly in the night like a beacon, created a dancing picture. The street lights dimmed as they moved further from the heart of the city, but didn't fail in creating interesting grid patterns. The city's beauty didn't wane any as the car drove up one of the busy streets. Buildings towered above them like monsters, threatening to touch the heavens, people lined the sidewalks, and cars filled the streets. Karakura city was alive.
Things calmed down a good deal as Isshin drove to the outskirts of the city and into the residential neighborhoods. Houses designed exactly the same lined the streets, the street lights illuminating the security gates which had the numbers of the houses welded to the bars. With no driveway, Isshin was forced to park on the street, a feature which greatly displeased Ichigo and his little sister, Karin. He mumbled as he climbed out of the car, but his family ignored him.
"This is our new home!" Isshin stretched out his arms as if to embrace their new house. It was, as Ichigo would have described it, a two story block. A small path on the left side of the house, led from the small iron gate to the front door. With each step Isshin proclaimed how their life in Karakura would be a new and brilliant life filled with joy and success. Yuzu followed suit, laughing happily as she followed her father through the front door. Ichigo and Karin stood at the gate and gazed upon their new home.
"It's different," Karin said, unhappily adding, "It's smaller."
"We don't need too much room," he replied, his own unhappy tone softening as he spoke to her. He ruffled her hat and made his way inside. A new town, a new life. That is what Isshin Kurosaki hoped for, that is why he moved his whole family away from the small town they had grown up in. There were far too many dark memories in the small town of Ameno. Around every corner was a reminder of the life that was lost, and the years that passed did nothing to make it better. When Isshin was offered a job in the renowned Karakura Hospital he saw a chance to leave behind the sad memories of his wife's murder, and though his children felt bitter about it, he was sure they would forgive him in the end. New starts is what they needed, and that is what they would get.
Inside Yuzu was already inspecting the kitchen. Since the death of their mother the younger twin had taken to filling her mother's role, cleaning the house and cooking. She needed to be sure the kitchen would be enough to work with. She was a little disappointed by the smaller size, but the appliances were much newer than the ones at their old house which made up for anything the house was lacking in her opinion. Isshin was already checking out the living room, figuring out where he would put the couches and TV when they arrived with the rest of their things. Down the hall, Karin was looking for a suitable room. She was surprised to find quite a few rooms, small little things that looked more like cramped college dorms than bedrooms.
"Dad! What the hell is with this hall?" Karin yelled. Isshin found his daughter and smiled.
"This used to be a family owned clinic. I was thinking, as a side job away from the hospital, I could open up a clinic. The Kurosaki Family Clinic! Sounds grand doesn't it?"
"No," Karin responded in a bored tone. She shut the narrow door and made her way upstairs. Ichigo had already found his room. It was the only one big enough for his bed and a desk for his school work. The two extra windows were nice as well. He'd opened the one facing the street and breathed in the warm night air. The smell was different from Ameno. He couldn't quite pinpoint what the exact difference was, but he didn't particularly like it.
Disappointed her brother had already claimed one of the larger rooms Karin went on a search for her own. She found Isshin standing in a doorway talking to himself.
"What did you find old man?" Karin grunted.
"The perfect room for my perfect angels!" He exclaimed. Karin peeked under his extended arm at the room. It wasn't nearly as big as Ichigo's, but it was big enough for her and Yuzu to sleep in. "I was thinking we could paint it pink and white!"
"Hell no," Karin snapped, "I'm not letting you pick out my room color. Yuzu and I will do that."
Isshin pouted but didn't argue.
"Hey old man," Ichigo called from his room, still gazing out the window. Isshin peeked into his son's room, "When's our stuff getting here?"
"The truck should be arriving tomorrow while you're at school," Isshin said stepping into the room. He walked over to the closet and slid open the door. Inside, lying neatly folded on a shelf, were several futons, blankets, and pillows. "The previous owners left these here for us. We should only have to use them tonight."
Ichigo nodded and said nothing more. Isshin stared at his son's back wondering if there was anything he could say to him, but the distance between them had been created years ago and was far from healing. In the end all he could say was, "You should go out, it's far too early for bed," before walking out of the room. The corners of Ichigo's lips twitched upwards, grateful for his father's suggestion.
As Ichigo walked down the brightly lit sidewalk he wondered what Karakura City had to offer as means of entertainment around 9:00 PM. Nothing was going on in the residential areas except for a few small groups of teenagers hanging around in the occasional park or basketball court. He passed an football field and made a mental note to tell Karin.
With each step he grew closer and closer to the busy city. It was easy to tell when he crossed the line between residential and bustling city. The amount of cars that were on the streets tripled in number, along with the amount of people walking on the side walk. Were he any smaller and far less confident while he walked Ichigo would have been pushed and shoved by the crowd, but his deep scowl forced people to clear a path around him. He looked into their faces and saw nothing familiar in them, only curiosity. Part of him missed knowing everyone in town, remembering everyone's name, but another part of him enjoyed the anonymity. None of these people knew him or his past. When he looked into their eyes he didn't see sympathy.
He headed for the heart of the city which was filled with activity. A small festival was going on in a small plaza outside one of the towering buildings. Crowds of people gathered around performers, laughing and cheering as they watched. A top hat was passed around and people placed money in it. On the other side of the street was a small cafe, still open to the public. Many people were sitting at little iron tables, chatting and sipping tea and coffee. Turning the corner Ichigo managed to find a quieter part of the city. Many of the buildings were closed, their lights off except for one or two with a dedicated worker still focusing on their paperwork. He walked by large gates protecting the entrance of a large, gothic style school.
"Karakura City High School," he read aloud "So this is my new school, huh?" He looked back up at the school and noted it looked very expensive, probably twice as much as his old high school. Ichigo kicked a rock and continued walking. That was the only down side to the move: Ichigo was in his final year. Moving to a whole new city in his final year of high school put a damper on his mood. At his old school he already had friends, connections, traditions. Here in Karakura there was no time for making new traditions or friends. Besides he would be far too busy preparing for graduation and college to even bother trying to make new friends. In one of the many boxes being delivered tomorrow were stacks of college applications along with study guides for the entrance exams. He hadn't touched a single one and he less than a year left.
Somewhere in the distance a clock tower struck ten. With an exhausted sigh, Ichigo turned around and headed back home. No matter how much he complained school would start in the morning and he would have to attend.
Bright rays of sunlight peeked through the thin blue curtains and forced Ichigo from his relatively pleasant sleep. He squeezed his eyelids shut, hoping they would keep the light out, but it was no use. It was too bright for him to continue sleeping. He grunted and rolled over on his other side. The red numbers on his alarm clock sitting on the floor told him he was up an hour earlier than necessary.
With groan he sat up in bed, and threw the blankets off his legs. He stumbled to the bathroom where he took a quick shower. He returned to his room and slid open his closet door. Inside hung his school uniform, which he didn't hate too much. The pants were black and came with a black jacket. Along the hem, collar, and lining of the opening of the jacket was white material symbolizing his status as a senior. The color coded years at least gave him a chance to figure out who was in his year and who wasn't, though he didn't plan on taking too much notice. He slid on the trousers and buttoned up the white shirt that went underneath the jacket. He grabbed his backpack and slung it over his shoulder, he then grabbed the black jacket and slung it over the same shoulder. With a sigh he left his room and headed down the stairs.
In the kitchen Yuzu was already making the family breakfast, omelets and rice from what he could smell. He set his things on the kitchen table and went to the fridge.
"Good morning, Ichigo!" Yuzu chimed, "Your lunch is on the top shelf."
A small black box sat on the top shelf along with several other boxes. He grabbed one and shoved it into his bag before replacing it on his shoulder.
"Toast?" Yuzu offered her brother, holding out a golden slice of bread. Ichigo glanced at her then the bread. "You haven't eaten breakfast before school in years except for a single piece of toast," and with that, Yuzu shoved the toast in his mouth. Ichigo smiled and nodded a thank you to his little sister before heading out the door.
He saw no other students wearing a similar uniform to his as he made his way into the city. It was only when he was three blocks away did he start seeing anyone close to his age, many wearing different uniforms, a few wearing something similar to his. He spotted several other jackets with the same white trim as his, as well as a red, blue, and yellow. He wasn't sure what the order was, and found himself not caring. Even white didn't matter. Many of the students passed through the open iron gates he'd spotted the night before, in groups of two or more, only Ichigo and a couple other students entered the lavish courtyard by themselves. He could already tell who was in what clique before he made it to the front doors.
As he made his way towards his classroom he began to notice the stares from the other students. He already had a few guesses as to why their eyes were glued to him: his orange hair, his scowl, his good looks, and/or because it was evident he was new. The school, though large in structure, seemed to be made up of a small student body where each year only had a couple hundred students instead of five hundred or more. His old school was similar in this way, only everyone had grown up knowing each other.
It wasn't hard finding his classroom, out of the three that lined the west wing hall only one was making so much noise it could be heard from the main entrance. It only grew louder when he opened the door. Surprisingly and pleasantly enough, no one seemed to notice him and continued on with their grouped conversations. His brown eyes found an empty desk in the back of the room near the window. With a bit of trouble Ichigo managed to weave through the students and claim the desk. He set his bag on the ground and pushed his hands through the arms of his jacket. His fingers made quick work of the buttons and when he was done he took a seat.
For a few minutes he studied his new classmates, most bright and cheery, talking happily with their friends. There were mixed groups of boys and girls, some flirting, some rejecting. He instantly grew bored and turned his attention to the window. To his great joy it was a view out into the courtyard in the back of the school. The great landscaping told him the school had quite a bit of money to spare on expensive and nice looking plants, as well as a medium sized fountain in the center of it all. The cement pathway made a trident, two paths leading to walls of tall bushes, and the center path led to a second iron gate.
At that moment the gate swung open and three figures passed through it. Ichigo watched them curiously observing the way the two taller, male figures walked behind a much smaller girl. He couldn't get a good look at her features, but her proud posture and unusual grace told him she came from money. People with money were all the same, and with that thought Ichigo immediately lost interest. He turned his head to face the front of the class room, waiting patiently for the teacher to arrive and call the class to order.
Ichigo looked to his right to see a rather short girl with spiky black hair standing beside his desk. She smiled down at him, her hands balled into fists and resting on her hips. She reminded him of a friend he had back at home, which was the only reason he felt inspired to speak with her. "Yo."
"New, huh?" she guessed, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. Ichigo bit back the sarcastic remark that popped into his head and nodded. "Tatsuki Arisawa," she offered him her hand. He took it.
"Nice to meet you Ichigo," Tatsuki slid into the seat beside his and reclined in the chair. He watched her curiously, surprised she didn't force a conversation on him. It was a pleasant surprise. With a small smile, Ichigo rested his chin in his hand and waited.
A bell chimed from the center of the courtyard, warning all students to take their seats and all teachers to begin class. Several other students strayed into the room followed by a middle aged woman who Ichigo could only assume was the teacher. She called class to order and all the students took their seats. As she began taking attendance the door opened again and three more students walked in. To his surprise it was the short girl with the two men. While the girl looked too young to be attending high school, they looked too old.
The girl apologized to the teacher for their tardiness before taking a seat in the back row close to the wall. Tatsuki and one more student separated Ichigo from the spiky pink haired man covered in tattoos who sat on the girl's left, and the thin, blonde man sat on her other side acting as an organic barrier. Ichigo only had enough time to see her pale violet eyes and intense stare before the teacher began their first lesson.
When class was dismissed for lunch the teacher, along with many of the students, grabbed their lunches and ran off in various directions. Most headed to the courtyard where several large trees provided a great deal of shade from the burning sun. Ichigo pulled his lunch box from his bag and set it on his desk.
"Why don't you come eat with my friends and I?" Tatsuki asked with a grin.
"No thanks, I'm just going to eat here," he replied, his eyes accidentally finding the mysterious trio and watching them leave the classroom. Tatsuki followed his line of sight and smirked knowingly.
"Come on, lover boy," she grabbed his wrist and dragged him from the room, giving Ichigo little time to grab his lunch.
"H-hey!" he argued, trying to pull his arm from her unusually tight grip. It was only when they were heading down the staircase leading to the first floor did Tatsuki release her death grip on his wrist. At this point it didn't matter which direction he went to eat lunch, so he defeatedly followed Tatsuki out to the courtyard where groups of students were spread out on the grass.
A small group of people waved to Tatsuki, she waved back and motioned for Ichigo to follow her. He sighed and shoved his free hand in his pocket, following Tatsuki to her little group of friends. It was made up of mostly boys, which didn't surprise Ichigo as Tatsuki struck him as the kind of girl who got along better with boys then girls. There was only one girl amongst them, rather mousy looking with black hair pulled back into a bun.
"This is Ichigo Kurosaki, he's new this year," Tatsuki introduced Ichigo, pointing him out with her thumb. Everyone nodded and introduced themselves.
"Keigo Asano," a rather thin boy with brown hair answered, waving his hand obnoxiously in the air.
"Mizuiro Kojima," the boy sitting next to Keigo said with a smile.
"Momo Hinamori," spoke up the mousy looking girl. Ichigo nodded to the three of them. He was mildly intrigued by Tatsuki's choice of friends as the lunch wore on. Keigo never stopped talking, Mizuiro never spoke, his eyes always locked on his cell phone as he texted someone, and Momo was generally quiet. She only spoke when Tatsuki asked her questions about her summer vacation or how her home life was. Ichigo never once added to the conversation. He simply ate his lunch with his eyes closed, trying to focus on nothing.
"There goes Miss Kuchiki!" exclaimed Keigo lovingly. Ichigo opened one eye and glanced at the long haired brunette, a bit of drool hanging from the corner of his mouth. Intrigued by Keigo's reaction, Ichigo opened his other eye and searched the courtyard for this apparent heart throb. His brown eyes landed on the petite girl from earlier. She was entering the courtyard through the iron gate from before, her two friends behind her. Her eyes remained facing forward while the two men walking behind her scoured the courtyard, looking for something.
Many of the younger students watched the three of them from the corners of their eyes, while most of the seniors completely ignored them, not including Ichigo's group. The pink haired boy caught sight of Keigo eying the girl and narrowed his eyes. Keigo yelped and focused on his lunch. Then his black eyes focused on Ichigo, but unlike Ichigo's new friend, he did not avert his eyes. They remained locked onto the tattoo covered male's. The world around the two of them faded to black. Electricity passed between them and Ichigo felt an unusual urge to attack, but something in the pit of his stomach told him it would be better to run.
"Renji!" shouted the blonde haired boy. The man named Renji tensed and broke their eye contact. A small gap had formed between him and the other two in their group. Both stood on the stairs waiting for Renji to follow. The blonde looked confused by Renji's sudden stop, but the girl seemed relatively uninterested in general. Renji hurried to their side and they continued inside the building.
"Wow," Tatsuki spoke up, but Ichigo kept looking at the door, "Have you two met before?"
"No," Ichigo replied before looking away from the door and at Tatsuki, "Why?"
"I've never seen Renji looked so pissed before. It's almost like you two have been enemies for years."
"Nope, never seen him before in my life," Ichigo popped a chip in his mouth, his mind trying hard to figure out what had just happened while another part wanted to forget it completely. "What's their deal?" he asked without thinking.
"Rukia Kuchiki," Mizuiro answered, tapping away at his key pad.
"Rukia Kuchiki is the little sister of Byakuya Kuchiki, a major donator to this school. Over fifty years ago his parents actually built the school and after making quite a name for themselves. Byakuya inherited that big name along with his little sister, Rukia," clarified Tatsuki. " Izuru Kira and Renji Abarai are her body guards."
"I thought they looked a little too old to be students," Ichigo added. Tatsuki nodded and then pointed to Momo.
"Little Momo here actually works at the Kuchiki Manor."
Ichigo looked at the mild mannered girl, a small blush gracing her pale cheeks.
"Only because my grandfather has been working there for years," she added, her fingers playing with the hem of her black skirt.
"She as stuck up as she seems?" Ichigo asked curiously. Everyone stiffened and glanced at him. Momo's eyes were wide and she shook her head vigorously.
"Oh, no, no, no. Miss Kuchiki is very nice. She's very friendly at the manor. It's just when she's at school that she comes off as cold, but that's because it's better for her to not make any friends here," Momo tried to explain. Tatsuki nodded her head in agreement.
"When we were all first years Rukia became friends with this girl, Hikari Yamato, and one day at school they were having lunch together and someone attacked Rukia, but missed and ended up killing Hikari," Tatsuki explained sadly.
"Ever since then, Miss Kuchiki has kept her distance from the other students," Momo finished.
"Yeah, that was a weird day," Keigo added.
"How so?" Ichigo asked, his opinion of this Rukia Kuchiki changing ever so slightly and his interesting growing.
"The assassin didn't use a gun, he used a katana and cut the poor girl's head off."
Everyone in the group shivered slightly, a sign they had all seen the horrific act with their own eyes. Being familiar with tragedy Ichigo didn't push the group for any more answers. What they had told him was enough to know that Rukia Kuchiki was a lonely and dangerous girl, and his curiosity was peeked.
Well I hope you all enjoyed the chapter! Please feel free to R/R. Constructive criticism welcome :).
Next Week: Chapter Two: For Society