Title: The Sideways City
Rating: M to be safe
Summary: AU, Ichigo and Hichigo are twin brothers, their mom died when they were young, and things weren't the same after that. All Ichigo wants is for his dad to love him the way a father should love his child, but that's asking to much. With cuts and bruises, all Ichigo has is his brother to protect him, and make him feel. But even the love between the twins isn't enough to forgive some wrongs
Warnings: Reference to Rape (noncon), twincest, child abuse, cutting, attempted suicide, and character death
AN: Part of the story is told in first person POV, via Ichigo talking to someone, flashbacks are all in third person. Written thus to create an image of a fragmented reality
UchiSays: I would like to point out, that this is not at all how I view Isshin Kurosaki, goat-face could never be so cruel, but I needed an antagonist and the father was the best (only) option, I purposely avoided referring to him as Isshin in this story because to me it's not Isshin at all, just some unnamed father figure, anyway Read and Review, I would even take flames on this story. It really shows my like of the tormented soul.
The Sideways City
"My first memory is of when my brother disappeared in the Sideways City.
"It wasn't really a Sideways City; it's just what we called the place because it was so different from where we lived. Everything seemed weird and strange and, to us, very sideways.
"My family used to vacation there a lot when we were little; Hichigo and I were about four or five, our little sisters were barely toddlers. I remember it very well. Mom and dad would sit around the house with the girls while Hichi and I went out to play. We played all kinds of games, usually ones that resulted in us getting in some kind of trouble. Not that we could actually get in trouble on vacation; our parents were enjoying their free time too much too really care about what we did.
"This particular time, Hichi and I were three years old. There was a beach in the Sideways City, and the two of us were playing in the sand. Hichi is an Albino, so too much sun exposure could kill him, that's why we were both covered head to toe in sunscreen. I really didn't need all that sunscreen, but I was a bratty kid and wanted everything Hichi had, I wanted to be just like him, so when I saw my mom putting all the sunscreen on Hichi, I cried until she put the same amount on me.
"Anyway, the two of us set under an umbrella on the beach, playing in the sand. We had our little shovels and pails and were making poor attempts at building sand castles, my mom and dad set not too far away laughing at something. I don't know what prompted me to do so, but I seemingly at random raised my head and looked out at the water. A seagull was circling over head and I couldn't take my eyes off it. When I finally managed to look away, I glanced over at Hichigo and found that he was gone.
"I looked around for him, but when he was no where in sight, I began to cry. My dad ran over, asking something like 'What's wrong with my little Ichigo?' I didn't really bother answering him, I just raised me voice to scream out my brother's name. Dad looked around to see where Hichi had gone then screamed at mom that he couldn't find Hichigo. Mom started running around like a chicken with her head cut off screaming his name. Dad did the same. They completely forgot about me, not that it mattered, since I wasn't going anywhere opting instead to sit in the sand and cry.
"Hichi was only gone for about three minutes. He had wandered down the beach and behind a little shack thingy looking at something; I think he said it was a hermit crab. He hadn't come back when we started screaming for him, because he was too interested in the crab. But when he finally heard my screams he came running back. He said it had specifically been my screams that made him come back, he hadn't cared a lick for mom and dad calling him, he'd returned because he wanted to silence the tears of his twin brother. From that day on, I hated to be apart from Hichigo.
"A few years later, I'm not sure exactly how many and don't really care enough to do the math, our mom died. Nothing was quite the same after that, because after she died, dad started to hate me and Hichigo. Well he didn't exactly hate us, but he sure didn't love us like he did before."
The hand slapped across his face leaving behind a red stinging mark. Ichigo raised a hand to gingerly touch his burning cheek, trying his hardest to not let the tears prickling at the corner of his eyes fall. He looked pleadingly up at his father, praying to god that the man wouldn't hit him again. But it seemed god wasn't present in the house at that moment, because the man once again raised his hand. Ichi squeezed his eyes closed waiting for the pain that never came.
"Don't you dare touch him." Ichigo heard someone declare, he opened his eyes to see his brother standing in front of him protectively.
Their dad glared down at the pale skinned boy staring angrily at him. He huffed and said, "What are you going to do about it Demon Brat?"
"Lay another finger on him and I'll show you just how much demon is in me."
The father snarled and raised a hand as if to punch or slap the rebelling child, then the sound of a low voice from behind him made him stop, "Daddy, what's going on?"
"Nothing my little Yuzu, what are you doing up?"
"I thought I heard yelling." The girl said.
"You must have been having a bad dream. No one's yelling out here. Now let's get you back to bed."
The two boys watched as their father ushered the young girl back to her room.
"Are you ok Ichigo?" Hichi asked, kneeling beside his brother. Ichigo nodded, "I'm sorry I got here so late. I promise I won't let him hurt you." The tears pricking at the corners of Ichigo's eyes finally fell and he launched himself into his brother's arms, feeling safer than he had ever before, even if it was only for a short time.
"I'm the older twin, but Hichigo was always the one to protect me. I don't know why, but that's just how it was. And I was grateful to him for that. I'm not sure I would have been able to survive without him.
"Hichi and I ran away a lot. Sometimes dad's acts were just too violent, and we couldn't stand it anymore. We would leave the house with nothing but the clothes on our backs and the shoes on our feet, if we were lucky maybe we had time to grab food or something. Sometimes we weren't even running away, dad would kick us out on the streets giving us no choice but to leave. We would wander around, no destination in mind but no desire to return to the hell we had just left. We'd stay gone for anywhere between a few hours to a week, depending on how long it was until someone noticed us and sent us back, or dad realized he missed his little punching bags.
"When we ran away, it was always me following Hichi. Hichigo would decide where we would go, where it was safe to sleep for the night, how much distance we had to cover during the day, where to hide when we saw people coming, and where we would get our food from. I always hated stealing, but Hichi said that we had to eat and since he had no money the food had to come from somewhere. He would make me stand lookout as he went and stole our meals. And despite my dislike of the petty crime that had to be committed to receive it, I always ate my entire share of the food and sometimes Hichi would give me his.
"We met old man Zangetsu around the fifth or sixth time we ran away. We were ten years old, we had been on the streets for two days, and we were hungry. I stood outside the convenience store as Hichi snuck inside to filch us some food. I was so distracted by my rumbling stomach that I didn't realize when the police officer went into the store, it wasn't until when Hichigo came bursting out yelling for me to run that I realized my mistake,
"Hichi led us running through the park to reach our current hiding place, but we hadn't made it very far before I stupidly tripped and the officer caught me before I could get up and run again. I screamed for Hichi and like a good brother he stopped and ran back demanding that the cop let me go before he kicked his ass. The cop didn't find that amusing at all and he said something along the lines of throwing me in jail and letting me rot there for life. It ticked Hichi off and he made to attack the officer, only to be held back by some man we didn't know.
"The man was Zangetsu, and we didn't know it then, but he would be saving us a world of trouble. Long story short, old man Zangetsu got us out of the sticky situation we were in, and then treated us to lunch. Hichi didn't like Zangetsu very much, but I was hungry and was willing to like anyone who would put food in my rumbling belly. Not long after that day, Zangetsu began teaching us how to fight."
"You're too slow." Zangetsu said as he knocked Ichigo to the ground, "And your moves are too predictable." He said also knocking Hichigo down, "You won't be able to defend a house fly if you keep this up."
Hichi growled and got to his feet rushing to attack the man again.
"The angrier you get, the more predictable your moves become." Zangetsu declared once again deflecting the boy's attack. Ichigo followed his brother's lead and once again rushed their teacher.
"You hesitate when it comes to attacking." Zangetsu stated, "That could be the death of you. Always fight as if you intend to kill. Hesitate and loose your life." He turned to Hichigo, "Act rash and have the same results. Fighting isn't brute strength; if that was the case there would be no point in teaching a couple of weak boys like you. But with skill and technique even a toddler could take down the strongest man in the world.
"Come at me with all you have. Do not hold back, do not hesitate, and do not charge in blindly. I will not waste my time teaching a couple of infants how to throw a tantrum. But if you young men want to learn to defend yourselves, then give it your all."
The twin boys looked at each other, mutual agreement and understanding passed between the look. They nodded and charged their teacher once again.
Later that day, the two of them collapsed to the floor, panting for breath, "You did well." Zangetsu said, dropping bottles of water into the boys' laps.
Hichigo smiled big, "Of course we did." He boasted proudly.
"Don't go getting full of yourself; you still have a long way to go." Zangetsu chastised, "You're getting better, but is it enough? You still act too rashly, and Ichigo still falters in his resolve on occasion. You might be able to hold you own in a street fight, but in the battle that really matters, will any of this be enough to protect what's most important?"
"Around our twelfth birthday, dad's abuse took a turn for the worst. I guess he was lonely after mom died, because I became the object of his misplace affection. At first I didn't realize what was going on. Suddenly dad went from hitting me every time he turned around, to doting on me like he did the girls. He would kiss me and call me beautiful, play in my hair and buy me things. I felt as if I was suddenly his favorite child.
"I would like to point out that dad never laid a finger on Yuzu or Karin. He adored them, and not in any sick twisted way. He felt for them they way a father should feel for his child, the way I always wanted him to feel for me. And suddenly he was. Hichi didn't trust him and told me to stay away from him. I think that was the first time I ever went against Hichi's wishes, and I regretted it.
"The first night he asked me to sleep in his room with him, nothing happened. We simply slept in the same bed. It felt sort of warm and loving, so when he asked me to again, I didn't argue. Hichi still wanted me to stay away, but I was feeling like the favorite child and thought Hichigo was just being petty and jealous. Dad still treated Hichi like shit. Hitting him and calling him Demon Brat more then he ever had before, but he seemed to love me now, and that was enough to make me look the other way whenever I saw my brother being abused.
"The second time I slept in dad's bed, he and I took a bath together first, then he helped me dress in pajamas and held me in his arms, petting my hair and whispering things like how beautiful I was as I fell asleep. I should have known something wasn't right thing. But I wasn't until the third time I shared dad's bed that I realized how fucked up the man really was.
"There I was, a twelve year old boy who would do anything to make daddy love me, and there he was a sick twisted prick who wouldn't admit to never being able to truly love me in a parental way. Don't get it wrong, he didn't rape me or anything, Hichi didn't let it get that far. But he did kiss me, and touch me in places that he shouldn't have. But Hichigo had taken to sleeping outside the door whenever I slept in dad's room, so the moment he heard scream for dad to stop he came rushing to my rescue.
"It was always Hichi coming to my rescue, never the other way around
"The next day dad was ticked. He beat the shit out of me and locked Hichi in the basement so he couldn't do anything to stop it. I thought he was going to kill me. But in the end he just left me bruised on the floor. Not dead, but damn close.
"The sad thing is, the thing that scared me the most about that day wasn't from the beating I got, it was the fact that I realized that my dad could never be a real father to me. I was confused. But most of all I was frightened, because I knew it wasn't over.
"After realizing how effective locking him in the basement was at keeping the Demon Brat out of his way, dad took to locking Hichi down there more often. That left me alone with him and his misplaced affections. I lost my virginity to my father on the floor in the hallway, half way between the living room and the basement door. Nothing was the same after that.
"I started hurting myself. I enjoyed inflicting pain onto my body in order to distract form the pain I was feeling inside. I guess you could say I was pretty fucked in the head. I was a twelve year old kid who liked to cut himself and beat himself and do whatever he could to hurt himself while his dad fucked him into the mattress nightly and the only person that could save him was pounding on the basement door. Oh, and did I mention, every morning after dad raped me, he beat the shit out of me. Not that it mattered or anything, I was a masochistic brat that like pain remember.
"I would let Hichi out of the basement while dad was away during the day. We would lock ourselves in my room, and he would watch as I cut myself. The first few times he tried to stop me. But I always fought him until he gave me my blade back and yell and scream until I broke down in tears saying how I needed to feel. I needed to feel anything but the hollowness inside of me. Nothing else could feel the void, but pain. After a while Hichi stopped fighting me and just watched as I carved into my own skin. This lasted for a while.
"The Hichigo gave me an alternative to the pain. He said he would make me feel. That was when my brother and I became lovers. We were twelve years old."
Hichigo set on the bed, watching as Ichigo reached into the bottom of his closet and pulled out the knife. It was just a run of the mill kitchen knife he'd swapped when no one was looking. The orange haired boy set the blade down on the bed before pulling off his tee-shirt, revealing multiple bruises and scars that would never go away, and set down on the bed next to is brother.
Ichigo picked the knife up in his hand and looked over his arms and legs, trying to find a good cut zone. Deciding right below his left shoulder looked like a good spot, he close his eyes and raised the blade to make the incision, readying himself for the pain, readying himself to feel.
Something wrapped around his wrist before he could make the cut and Ichigo opened his eyes to see who was stopping him. His brother was holding his wrist gently but strongly, stopping the movement of the knife, "Hichi, what are you doing?" Ichigo demanded.
"I'm sorry King," Hichi said in a low voice, "I can't keep watching you do this to yourself."
"Let me go, Hichi," Ichi growled, "We've been trough this before and I refuse to fight with you about this again. Let me go, I need to feel."
"Let me," Hichi paused, "I can make you feel," he said slowly, almost hesitantly, as if afraid of what Ichigo's reaction to the words would be, "Let me make you feel." Slowly he closed the distance between them, allowing Ichigo time to resist if the other boy so wished to, not resistance came, and Hichi's lips pressed gently against Ichigo's.
Ichigo froze, not sure how to react, but then the next thing he knew, the knife was falling from his hand and to the floor beside the bed and he was eagerly kissing back at his brother's lips. Hichi ran his tongue over Ichigo's bottom lips and Ichi was quick to part them to allow access for the other's tongue. Hichi released his grip on Ichigo's lips and instead wrapped his arm around his twin's slender waist, pressing them more closely together. Ichigo, in turn, threaded his fingers trough the Albino's white locks.
"Hichi," Ichigo panted once the kiss was broken so the boys could feel their lungs with much needed air.
"Let me make you feel, King." Hichigo said almost pleadingly, "I can make you feel things no blade ever could."
Ichigo stared into his brother's golden eyes, seeing all the emotions reflecting in their depths. He gave a slow nod, "Make me feel, Hichi. I need to feel."
Hichigo smiled and connected their lips again.
"My sisters weren't blind, not were they deaf. They saw the cuts and bruises Hichigo and I bared, and I'm sure they heard my screams at night. No matter how hard we tried to cover it up, and trust me we tried very hard none of us wanted the girls to know what went on, but no matter how hard we tried they still knew that something wasn't right in our house. And it affected them when they left the house. Apparently Karin was subject to violent mood swings at school and on the playground, and Yuzu broke out in random fits of tears.
"Teachers noticed and began to worry;they took the girls and asked them questions about what was going on. Problem is they never asked the right questions. The girls were smart, and knew how to tell half truths. Dad told them that if anyone knew what went on in our house people would come and force us all away from each other. They didn't want that. So when the teachers asked if anyone was hurting them at home, they honestly replied no. When asked if dad hit them, they shook their heads, when question on rather he touched them inappropriately they gave the truth, no. But they never mentioned that their big brothers were getting hurt, and hit, and touched, because no one ever asked them that.
"When Hichi and I were fourteen, dad caught us together. Amazing that it took that long really, seeing as how we did everything in his house, right under his nose. He just never caught on, except that one day. He came home from work early looking for me, probably trying to make a quick booty call, he came into my room without knocking and found me and Hichi on the bed, bare naked, Hichi hovering over me, our lips pressed together as he moved inside of me. Goes without saying that dad completely flipped his lid. He yanked Hichi off of me and flung him across the room.
"I set up and watch dad start beating the shit out of Hichi and suddenly I knew what old man Zangetsu meant about strengthening my resolve to protect what's important. Hichi was what was most important, and there was no way I could protect him if I set in the background acting chicken. That was the first time I ever tried to fight dad. I don't know; there was just something about watching him wailing on my brother, the one that had always protected me, that made me snap. Everything Zangetsu taught me went to getting the man the hell off of my brother. The moment Hichi was free he joined in on the fight, he went right, I went left, and we defended ourselves and each other. But it wasn't good enough.
"In the end, dad beat the shit out of the two of us. I was locked in the basement and Hichigo was told to get the fuck out of his house. Two days I stayed locked down there, and probably would have been longer if Yuzu and Karin hadn't heard me beating on the door and let me out. I owe my sisters a lot. After I was let free, the first thing I did (after eating and putting some clothes on) was go out and find Hichi. I checked all our usual places that we run away to, but didn't find him. So I decided to ask old man Zangetsu if he'd seen him. Turns out Hichi had gone to Zangetsu, begging him to teach him more and help him get stronger, but Zangetsu said he's taught us all he could and there was nothing me we could learn from him. Hichi hadn't been satisfied with that answer, and aggravated Zangetsu had sent him to a friend of his for more training.
"That's how we met Kisuke Urahara."
"Urahara, there's another brat out here looking for you."
"Is that so, Tessai, send him in then."
"You heard the man, go on in. But don't touch or break anything, I doubt you could afford it, second door on the right."
Ichigo nodded and entered the shop, heading to the door that the man had pointed out, "Well hello there, you must be Ichigo, pleased to meet you."
Ichigo gave a hesitant look to the man sitting behind a low table in front of him. He looked a bit worst for wear, with rather ragged green robes, a tattered green and white hat with dirty blond hair sticking our from under it, and a hand in his hand.
"Now don't be that way, Zangetsu said you would be stopping by. So come on in, don't be shy, you brother should be returning soon. I sent him out on an errand for me."
The fourteen year old boy took hesitant steps into the room and room and set down across from the man, "I'm Kisuke Urahara by the way. Are you hungry, would you like some tea?" he gestured to the tea pot and cakes set out on the table. Ichigo nodded and picked up one of the cakes and took a small bite as Urahara poured him a cup of tea.
"So, are you a fighting instructor?" Ichigo inquired.
Urahara gave a small smile, "Something like that."
"What do you mean?" Ichigo wanted to know, finishing off his first cake and picking up another, he was starving from being locked in the basement for two days.
"I mean that I am rather skilled in fighting, but that's not my job and from what Zangetsu said, you two don't need any instructions in fighting."
Ichi nodded, "So what is your job?"
"I run this shop of course, and in my spare time I offer weapons training to little boys that need help in defending themselves."
"When we were sixteen, dad got engaged. Some bottle thin floozy with more boobs than brains. She called our house cute, thought the girls were adorable, and Hichigo and I were quaint and curious, as if those was the adjectives you would apply to a person. Hichi hated her from the start, but I thought I would give her a chance, because it was thanks to her that we got to return to the Sideways City.
"Dad hadn't wanted to take Hichi and me with them on the trip, but she really wanted to see our vacation house and wanted to make a family event out of it. So all six of us packed up and headed out. Dad threatened that if Hichi and I did anything he would kick our asses from here to Tupelo, wherever that is. Hichi and I didn't really care, we wanted out of the city and a chance to escape into the unfamiliar. We hadn't been to the Sideways City since mom died, so it seemed like a big change for us.
"Days were spent covered in sunscreen sitting out on the beach, or swimming, evenings went to 'family time', dinners and movies and that sort of cheesy crap, and nights were spent with Hichi and I curled up next to each other in the same bad, staring out at the stars. Everything seemed perfect, until dad lost his fiancé.
"The freaking bimbo decided the family life wasn't her thing and skipped out with some random guy she'd met on the beach. Needless to say dad was angry and who could he take his anger out on if not Hichigo and I. That was the first time either of us had gotten a broken bone. Dad had been pretty brutal over the years, but he'd never broken any of our bones, that would require us having to go to the hospital to get it fixed and he either didn't care enough to want to take us, or didn't want the attention it would bring to the family. But after loosing the woman he thought was the second love of his life, my mom being the first, he sort of lost it, broke my arm right below the elbow. I had a cast for a month. Hichi was pissed. I guess I should have known where this was going, but I was oblivious as ever before.
"Turns out dad had spent a lot of money on the floozy that he didn't marry and she took a lot more with her when she left. We had enough money to get a caste put on my arm, but that left not enough to get the five of us back home. Yuzu and Karin were rather taken with the Sideways City and got the brilliant idea of just living there permanently. Dad agreed, he sold our house back home, had some of his friends put out stuff in storage and our vacation house became the main house and the Sideways City became our new home. And new home begets new beginnings, right?
"Hichi and I didn't like this new arrangement. It kept us too far away from our comfort zones, and much to far from Zangetsu and Urahara. Hichi swore dad had done this on purpose, we were getting too good at fighting back against him and he knew someone had to been teaching us, getting us out of the city got us away from whoever was giving us our strength. It also got us away from places we were comfortable with running to and away from anyone sympathetic to our case. The new house gave dad more control over us."
"Look at those freaks. What's up with those hair colors?"
Those were the first words hurled when Ichigo and his brother entered the class in their new high school. Ichigo tried not to let it get to him, he was pretty used to people taking shots as his hair color, seeing as how bright orange hair wasn't exactly normal and neither was Hichi's snow white locks. But still the words sort of rubbed him on and ha had to concentrate on controlling himself.
"Hey, King, just relax." Hichigo said, "We're used to this kind of shit remember. It comes a million times worst at home. Don't let it get to you."
Ichigo nodded and willed himself to relax. But still he was a bit angry. Teenagers just really ticked him off, with their superficial beliefs on what was normal and their store bought ideas on everything else. Ichigo knew right off he back, this was the start of a new hell for them.
"Nothing is ever easy when you're a teenager. Everything comes as the result of hard work, lots of ridicule, self-esteem issues, ostracizing, heart break, and bleeding. Never forget the bleeding, if there's no blood split then it was hard earned.
"I guess what I'm trying to say is, Hichi and I had it hard. And everything served to push us closer and closer to the edge. Everything stretched our nerves taut, stretched our limits to unbearable lengths. Everyday was another battle, another lose, another trip trough hell and back. We focused all we had on surviving. Dad still beat us; he still raped me, and Hichi still made me feel. The girls still suffered, and people were still cruel. All we could do was survive. We focused so much on surviving, we didn't realize when we were about to snap.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm not the type of kid that you read about in the paper or see on the nightly news, who snapped took a gun to school and killed everyone before turning the gun on his self. No, I'm not that kid, and neither was Hichi. But Hichi did snap, and so did I. When Hichi snapped he killed dad and the girls. When I snapped, I killed Hichi and myself. Or at least I had hoped to."
"King," Hichi called out to his brother who was walking up the front steps, "You- you love me right King? You love me, no matter what I do, right? Right, King, right?" Hichi was close to hysteria.
"Of course I love you Hichi, what's going on?" Ichigo asked, wondering why his brother seemed so nervous.
Hichi let out a sigh of relief and hugged his brighter half, "Of course you love me. Why would I ever think otherwise? You love me and you won't ever stop, right King? That's why you'll forgive me. That's why you'll always forgive me."
"Forgive you for what? Hichi, you're scaring me."
"I did it King. I did it, for us. I ended this hopeless torment."
"What are you talking about?"
"I killed them Ichi. Dad, Yuzu, Karin, I killed them. I killed them all."
Ichigo froze before trying to force his way out of his brother's arms, "You did what?" He yelled in hysterics, "You couldn't have, Yuzu? Karin? You couldn't have killed them." He broke free of the Albino's grasp, running into the house only to freeze in his tracks. There they were, Yuzu and Karin, both dead, "Hichigo, how- how could you?"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to King. I got a bit carried away, but I did it for us, now we're free. You forgive me right King? Of course you do, you love me. You'll forgive me no matter what I do, right King? King?"
"I snapped on my brother because he killed my sisters. Then I turned to the mirror and snapped on myself because I killed my brother. I shattered the glass and tried to end my life.
"You see, my first memory is of my brother disappearing in the Sideways City. That was the day I decided I never wanted to be apart from him. My brother disappeared in the Sideways City. That was my first memory, and I thought it should be my last as well.
UchiSays: Well there you have it, The Sideways City, pretty cruel of me really, but I got a thing for the tormented soul, so yeah I tormented Ichi a little. (understatement). I was planning on writing this story again, almost the exact same story only told for Hichi's POV, but after I killed him off at the end I changed my mind. Actually I had the idea of telling it from 4 POVs, Ichi, Hichi, Yuzu/Karin, and the Dad, but again, I killed everyone at the end and scrapped the idea. I'm sorry if I tortured anyone with this story, again I love a tormented soul so yeah. Please Review and tell me what you think.