A/N: Ohmygoshi! Remember me? Remember this story? Flipped and a coin and...THIS IS THE NEXT ONE TO BE UPDATED! I've let this one sit for far too long, and quite frankly, I've been a fool for it. Plenty of plans to continue it now, however, given what's been happening in the manga. If this story every reaches the Quincy Arc, well...those boys are in for a major and much deserved ass-kicking. This chappy might be considered a bit of a filler, but its a much needed one given how long I've been away. But rejoice friends! Neonzangetsu has returned! So has this story! So! Review! Read!
And, of course, enjoy!
"No one will take you from me...no one."
~Sode no Shirayuki.
Dancing in the Dark
Kurosaki Ichigo was going to fucking kill them. All of them. Not only had they interrupted the best night of his life, but they'd ruined the morning after! He'd awoken to the sound of screaming. Of ch ildren crying and men dying, and, though the sun was still hours away from piercing the horizon, he knew there would be no staying indoors, no, not tonight. Unlimbering his scythes, he let his reaitsu surge, flaring out in a deafening tide of destruction; flattening those of the lesser beings that dared to trespass in his prescence.
He let the shunko boil the cloak from his shoulders, revealing the division haori beneath. Ichigo gatherhed the air to his lungs in a gust of pressure, and with a tearing THWAM his cero gouged out what would be the first of the enemy armada below his feet. Confused as to why a cero had all but obliterated a quarter of their allies, the remainder of Ichimaru's arm turned their heads upwards and toward another great geyser of crimson as another blast of doom came barreling down into their horrified faces.
"Who dares!" He bellowed, drawing all attention to himself in a deliberate and excessive show of force that left him drained and gasping for breath. "Who dares tresspass!" Apparently they did, as the wall of flesh and meat and mask and bone came hurtling towards him. Ichigo unsheathed his sword and thousands fell, severed from the waist down. Ichigo unbridled Kyouka Suigetsu and the rest of them screamed, caught within torment too great to bear, too sinister to name.
Unfortunately, with most of the cannon fodder disposed off, that left the ranks of the upper echelons open to him. Kurosaki Ichigo snarled, bankai bursting from his body in a surge of frozen hell. Within his chest the Hogyoku whined and hissed and spat as his reaitsu forced it to life, and he strode out into the field as a god. Kurosaki Ichigo struck, and entire colonies were obliterated. The release had triggered a freezing of the ground and a summoning of the storm, and Kurosaki Ichigo took that storm and he set it loose upon the hollows like a dog starved for meat.
"Get outta the way," He rumbled though the mask, "You pieces of shit!"
The results were nothing short of spectacular.
He spun, riposted, parried, and struck, all of which to devastating effect. His blood-red-white scythes carved a neverending trough of destruction before him as he waded into the enemy horde. Ichigo flashed left, then right, and hollows perished where they stood. He spun, and entire villages of them evaporated. He was a blur, a streak of bloodsoaked white and tarnished silver, and he was unable to quench his fury, nor the flood of adjuchas and gillian pouring through the tear in the atmosphere.
And then he saw them. Creatures humanoid in appearance, bearing the shattered masks of hollowes. One of them a pale-skinned fellow with eyes of the most disspassionate jade and emerald saw him. He raised an ebony white finger and a pinprick of teal gathered at its tip. With a sonorously low roar it plowed into Ichigo, piercing his heart, and ending his life...
And then Kurosaki Ichigo awoke.
Woke in a cold sweat, to find himself tangled up in the arms of his lover.
That damn dream again...
He'd been having the same, reoccuring dream for far too long now. Was it an omen? No, it couldn't possibly be. He shook his head, clearing the cobwebs from his eyes. Scrubbing at his face with the back of a hand, he peered up at the ceiling, as though he might somehow discern meaning in the textiles overhead. The sun peered through the window albeit reluctantly, as though even it were reluctant to show its face before the young demi-god. Fingers like snowflakes brushed against the Hogyoku, wedged within his chest, stirring a glimmer of power, stirring him. The every act sent a silent shiver coursing down his spine.
Such simple world, and yet it ensared Kurosaki Ichigo.
Brown eyes drifted open to regard her, the most unlikely of companions in this, the strangest of times.
Pale hair lofted around a heartshaped face from which eyes of pure sapphire like winter skies shone. And yet those eyes did not open beneath his gaze, not immediately. She still slumbered beneath his stare those eyes drifting open only reluctantly as he stroked her back. Bereft of sleep beneath his tender ministrations, she stirred, a small sound of contentment leaving her lips. She turned, in his arms to regard him, and for a moment her eyes were twin chips of ice so akin to the element she wielded. Abruptly they softened, swelling with such love and adoration that he couldn't help but to smile at the sight of it. She snuggled into him the chill of her bare skin threatening to drive the warmth from his flesh.
A tiny smile broke out on his chiseled face, like a crack etching along a stone surface.
"Mornin'," He drawled, "Shirayuki-chan."
Pale cheeks burnishing before the loose usage of the affectionate suffix, she sought his lips with her own. Her mouth was cool against his, frigid despite the warm summer morning. He rose with her, propping himself up upon his elbows so that he might hold her close. The yuki-onna responded in kind, supple fingertips dancing their way across his chest, leaving thin lines of frost in their wake. But whereas the frost faded others refused to relinquish their grip upon his scarred body.
His own chest bore a complicated tapestry of such marks, left over from months of arduous physical training, and more recently, his tenure as a shinigami. A pale patch of skin where Renji's Zabimaru shore through his shoulder. A burn where Byakuya's Hakuteikin had nearly ripped out his heart during their last fateful battle. A jagged, parrallel scar streaking across the bridge of nose, evidence of where he'd nearly been blinded by an unexpected attack by Ichihmaru. She explored them silently by the morning light her eyes shining with concern. They'd suffered such wounds together, sustained injuries of the body and soul alike in their quest to save Rukia from execution. But whereas his own wounds marred his skin her merely lent themselves towards her beauty, appearing as silvery streaks of brilliance across her snow-white flesh.
In his eyes, she'd always be beautiful.
A pale, crescent-shaped scar marred the otherwise flawless perfection of her left shoulder. He gently traced it with his finger. Strange. For all the scars he held, Ichigo bore no such mark upon his body. So why did she?
"I don't remember this one." he murrmurred. "Where did you get it?"
Shirayuki extricated herself from his arms long enough to snatch at his hand, eager to obscure the mark.
"T-Tis nothing." she spoke with only the slightest of stammers. "Merely an old wound."
Ichigo shrugged. He knew better than to poke and prod. If she wanted to tell him, then she'd tell him. If not...well, he'd find out sooner or later. Such was their way. There were no secrets between the two of them. He knew of her dislike of Ame, and her begrudging acceptance of Kyouka Suigetsu. She knew he was fiercely protective of her, always cleaning her edge every day, spar or no. Rukia never cared for her in such a way. She never even bothered to learn her techniques as Ichigo had. But he held no bitterness toward her. If not for her, then he'd never have met Sode no Shirayuki. In a sense, he owed her everything.
She returned and snuggled beside him once more, drawing the covers over him. It warmed him more than any fire, he thought. It hadn't been all that long since he'd rested in the arms of a beautiful woman-theirs was an almost daily occurence after all-yet he reveled in her prescence nonetheless. The zanpakuto was flawless in every aspect, at least to him. Beneath that beauty she had a biting temper, and a tendency to cling to him at times as though he were her lifeline, which in essence, he was, but putting all that aside she was his. And he was hers. Nothing could ever break this unbreakable bond. Nothing, could violate this inviolable pact. She belonged to him, and he, her. She was a woman like any other, someone wanting to be loved. Someone worth loving.
She might be worth mastering his newfound powers. The powers of Ame, of his hollow. Of Kyouka Suigetsu, and the Hogyoku. The mere thought of it was almost enough to evoke a groan.
"Is something wrong?" Shirayuki asked.
"Don't sulk." She replied primly. "You were gifted with such powers. Just as you were gifted with me. It's only fair that you learn to master them."
Ichigo shook his head.
"No...I seem to recall you referring to them as 'fickle bitches' however."
Shirayuki burned beneath his gaze.
"I...I said no such thing!"
"Are you really going to lie to me?"
She looked at him for a long moment, her eyes dark and inscrutable.
At last, she shook her head.
"It doesn't matter what I said about those...women."
Kurosaki arched an eyebrow.
"Because I hold the one thing they can never hope to obtain." she continued.
"And this is?"
Sode no Shirayuki smiled, and for all her element, the gesture was warm as lava glow. But her eyes were frigid and frozen like the tundra.
It was in that instant that Kurosaki Ichigo truly understood. For better or worse, he was bound to her. And she was not the sort to share, at least, not for very long. Barring a change of heart, he saw no way to avoid it, the coming storm in her eyes. One day there would be reckoning between the residents of his soul, and only one, would emerge the victor. The notion left the shinigami slightly disheartened. Despite the inherent chaos and strife in his soul space he'd grown rather accustomed to their constanst prescence. Ame often kept him on his toes with her abrasive behavior but she could be quite passionate at times. Kyouka Suigetsu's influence was always a calming one, and often much needed in the calamity of his day to day life. And then there was the woman nestled in his arms
She wrapped her arms around his neck with a sigh. Still in his state of bleary-eyed wakefulness, it took the demi-god a moment to react and place his own arms, around the curved waist of his zanpakuto. He buried his face in her neck, reveling in the chill of her pale skin on his cheeks and the smell of her hair in his nostrils. He felt her arms tighten around him and her breathing quickened, her breasts heaving up and down against his chest, skin against skin, her hips grinding against him
When next they kissed, there was no white-hot spark of reaction this time. Their kiss was slow and soft and tender, but it did not lack for passion. There was no longer any need to seize the moment while they had it. This was something to be enjoyed, here, together.
Here and now, he couldn't help but reflect.
The first time he'd seen her, was when his life was forever changed; When Kuchiki Rukia's sword pierced his chest and triggered it, transferring her powers to him. In his world that had been eternal night, waiting for acknowledgement, there was a flash of white. She was that flash of white, for an instant she lingered there in his world, eyes wide in stunned silence. Horror painted upon her pale yet elegant features, as if she could not believe what her shinigami had just done.
Now, when he saw her, he no long saw a frightened creature of the snow. No longer did he view her as thus; a weapon to be wielded, a sword to slice his enemies. She'd always been more than that, but with this, with the consumation of their feelings, of their love, she'd become so much more to him.
Approximately one month had passed since Byakuya's wedding. Since the night Kurosaki Ichigo first made love to his zanpakuto, Sode no Shirayuki. Four weeks had passed since then. Within the span of those twenty-eight days, precious little had changed, however. To the ryoka's initial dismay, he actually passed the captain's exam. Worse, when it came to a vote, he was unanimously appointed to fill the void left behind by Sosuke Aizen's betrayal and subsuquent capture. Of the three divisions to whom he might've been nominated, it just had to be the fifth division, didn't it? He had to claim the place of the one man he might've befriended under different circumstances. And then there was the matter of his fuku-taichou, now Ichigo's direct subourdinate. She was scared shitless of Ichigo; the man who'd broken her precious Aizen-sama cast him into the Maggots Nest and left him there to rot.
It certainly didn't help that he'd ripped the man's zanpakuto away from him. That he essentially had three tenants-each of them women!-residing within the well that was his soul. Of these three, Sode no Shirayuki held a special place in his heart. In essence, she was his first. His first sword, first kiss, first, well, everything. She was his life, his lust, his love. She was his destiny. Nothing would ever take him from her. And there'd would be no mercy for the fool who tried. Yes, nothing would take her from him.
Together they were unstoppable.
A/N: IT LIIIIIIVES! Snowfall lives on! I know its been on ice for awhile but *Shivers beneath Shirayuki's wrath* I plan to update this fic again as well, in addition to all my others. What of what is that scar of hers, hmm? One can only wonder how they'll fare when Muramasa eventually arrives to wreak havoc on Soul Society. Can you say Harem catastrophe much? He'll have three berserk women after him...poor boy! Things get heated next chapter, so...
...REVIEW, would you kindly?