Kuroi no Taiyõ – The Sun's Blackness

-o-

Well, okay, whilst Muramasa had his dramatic escape with Ryûjin Jakka in tow I came up with this in – dunno – 5 minutes? But this idea hooked me! Seriously, did someone EVER think of this?
I guess not – well, how? The episode 247 was barely subbed when I wrote this, LOLZ XD
But – anyhow – in this story I won't care about anything that comes after episode 247 aside possible information about Muramasa's past I could use.
Oh, and, in this story, Ichigo (for whatever fucked-up reason) doesn't know that Muramasa is only using the Zanpakutô for his plans XD
Also, this is kind of an AU so Katen Kyokotsu, Sôgyo no Kotowari and Kazeshini are still alive and well XD

Enough rambling! Here it goes!

-o-

"The relationship of the Shinigami Zanpakutô is talk and sympathy. But... There are exceptions, just like you. You really are interesting"
Muramasa to Hollow Ichigo

-o-

Ichi: Just say it

-o-

"Damn it! Damn it! DAMN IT!"

Ichigo had dropped his sword and was now furiously hitting the ashen ground below him with his fist. His permanent scowl was even deeper than usually and his amber orbs flashed in an angry shade of molten gold.

This freak had escaped again. Damn it!

"And all this is MY FREAKING FAULT! DAMN IT!"

A dark hand pulled him towards cat-like features with more force than necessary and piercing yellow eyes glared into his own brown orbs.

"Will you stop your whining already, Ichigo? There was no way you could've known he planned this! We didn't realize ourselves until it was too late but do you see any of us loosing our composure in such an awful way? Pull yourself together, for heaven's sake!"

Ichigo's muscles relaxed a bit at that and his angry scowl morphed into one of self-hatred as he looked off to the side.

"Can I have my Shihakusho back, Yoruichi-san?"

The woman in question snorted un-ladylike as she released her hold on his clothing and began walking away with the other captains, Ichigo followed reluctantly.

-o-

Somewhere in Seireitei…

Muramasa sighed as he looked around at his remaining pawns. There were nearly none remaining.

Ryûjin Jakka, of course. He was the one he escaped with. Then there were the Shinigami and Senbonzakura along with Tobiume and Haineko. Ashisogi Jizõ, Wabisuke, Tenken, Gonryõmaru, Katen Kyokotsu, Sogyo no Kotowari, Kazeshini and Minazuki were there as well but that was it. Half of his 'army' had been 'freed' or killed.

He needed something to assure his victory… but what?

An evil glint became evident in his turquoise eyes.

Well, he could always use this ability, couldn't he? It's taking its toll on his body but as long as it helped achieving his goals…

"What… happened to the others?"

His face jerked towards the catwoman and he tried to make a serious face albeit his inner uproar about his new plans.

"They were killed."

A heavy silence came over them until he broke it once again. "But do not worry… there is soon to be a new ally."

-o-

You want to protect, don't you?

Ichigo jerked out of his sleep with cold sweat covering his body, his breathing was labored and his eyes wide as he looked around the small chamber he occupied for the time being.

Was that… only a dream?

As the silence dragged on for a couple of minutes he sighed in relief and was already about to lie back down as the soft and melodious voice once again cannonaded in his mind.

It's your greatest desire and your most dominant instinct, isn't it?

"Who the hell are you?"

There was no response at first but then there was the voice for the third time that night, a smile was evident in the tone it was speaking.

I'm the key… the key to your own freedom… and the key… to fulfill your greatest desire, your most primal instinct, Kurosaki Ichigo…

A memory was triggered in his mind, a faint one only…

"Are you able to hear the voice, Ichigo?"

"Eh? Which voice do you mean, Zangetsu? I'm not hearing anything."

His Zanpakutõ's face was an indifferent mask as he answered. "Is that so? Then… there is no problem, I guess…"

Ichigo thought a moment. Wasn't that shortly before that whole mess began? But… there is no reason for me…

His thoughts began to slowly drift away in some far-away corner of his conscious as sleep claimed him once again.

-o-

Muramasa smirked evilly as he whipped away some droplets of sweat that were running down his forehead.

It begins…

-o-

They were all in one of the bigger barracks of one Division that hadn't been completely demolished so far. They were in deep this time, with Yamamoto's Zanpakutõ on the run as well. Not to mention… they still didn't have a clue what Muramasa was planning let alone did they know where he and his fellows were at the moment. They knew nothing, absolutely nothing.

Ichigo was leaning against a windowsill; staring out into nothingness as he contemplated the voice he had heard that night. That voice had been entrancing, beautiful even. It had triggered something deep inside the very core of his soul he wasn't even aware existed until then.

That hadn't sounded like Muramasa… then again, Zangetsu never told me how this voice was like… I just assumed it was like Muramasa's… and why am I even hearing this voice, damn it? I'm not a Zanpakutõ for heaven's sake!

"Oi, Ichigo, what are you spacing out about?"

Ichigo jumped upon hearing Renji's voice all of a sudden and jerked towards the redhead with a glare. "Do. This. Never. AGAIN! You nearly gave me a heart attack, you imbecile!"

The baboon only chuckled. "It's always a pleasure. So now," he sobered up somewhat but the big smile kept glued onto his features. "Mind giving me an answer to my question?"

Ichigo crossed his arms across his chest and reverted his gaze back out the window but not really seeing anything. "I was just… contemplating."

Renji raised his eyebrows. "You even have such words in your vocabulary?"

Ichigo didn't even flinch. "You even knowing this word's meaning?"

The redheaded Fukutaichõ sighed exasperated. "Listen, I just wanted to help you since you looked pretty down for some reason I don't even want to think about. But if you want to gloom over it all by yourself it's fine with me. Just don't come crawling back at me, whining."

He was already turning around as he heard Ichigo whispering. "I'm hearing a voice in my head."

Renji looked back at Ichigo with a mocking tone to his voice. "You going nuts or something?"

"It's not like that," The redhead couldn't believe that Ichigo was keeping his calm in such expanse. Under normal circumstances he would've gone Bankai on his ass already. "I think I hear…" Ichigo turned around to face Renji with a worried expression. "I think I hear the same voice the Zanpakutõ heard before they turned their back on their wielders. What it's saying sounds too much like what Zangetsu told me. Its scaring me."

The male Shinigami sighed and took some steps towards Ichigo. "What exactly… is this 'voice' telling you? And even if it's indeed Muramasa… what should it bring him to talk to you in your mind? I doubt his parasite powers are affecting Shinigami as well."

Ichigo casted his gaze down as he replied in a low voice, making it nearly impossible for Renji to understand him. "It says… that it can help me find my freedom… and grant me what I desire the most… I-I…"

He trailed off and finally fell silent, leaving Renji in a shock-like state.

"Don't think too much about it, it's probably just the stress so don't worry."

Ichigo wasn't convinced – not the slightest – but forced a grin to appear on his face nonetheless. "You're probably right, thanks, akahihi."

Renji threw the grin right back. "Don't call me akahihi, strawberry."

-o-

As Ichigo watched Renji's retreating back the grin that had plastered his features vanished and was replaced by a dark expression.

Tell me, Renji, if there's nothing to worry about… then why…

His eyes lowered whilst the rest of his body didn't move an inch and then focused on the long claw-like nails of Muramasa only he could see.

Is his presence hovering around me like the blade of a guillotine?

And he hadn't even finished that thought as he felt Muramasa's other arm wrap around his waist like a snake about to squeeze the breath out of him, the nails' tips were lightly touching his throat's skin as he heard him whispering in his ear, his voice the same like the night before.

Because he cannot understand, he will never understand. Only those embracing their instincts given to them by the gods are able to understand. You are one of those chosen ones. Once you accept your soul's greatest desire… you will be able to see… what is now refused to your burning gaze.

Ichigo glared with rancor and disgust at Muramasa out of the corner of his eyes, and then snarled back, barely above a whisper. "Get. Lost."

He heard him chuckle even as his presence faded to a faint cold sensation around his neck – towering over him like the sword of Damocles, ready to slice his throat.

I won't cede my soul to you, Muramasa; there is no way in a frozen hell.

Looking over at the other Shinigami discussing their possibilities he couldn't help but feel somehow detached to them, like an invisible wall was separating them.

Then why… am I feeling like I don't belong here anymore?

Because you can't help yourself, you are following your instincts. And your soul knows what you are so desperately trying to ignore. It knows… that I will grant you the power to fulfill your desires, Kurosaki Ichigo. Let me help you… and the freedom you are so frantically searching for, the power you are so hopelessly wishing for…

This power will be all yours…

-o-

Ichigo's eyes glazed over as the coldness around his neck slowly engulfed his whole being, drowning him.

Stop… what am I doing? I can't just… give up…

Actually… why can't I? It's not like they… are really seeing me as an equal, right? No, what… the hell am I thinking?

You are finally willing to see the truth that has been covered for too long. They never-

-saw me like an equal, just as… as…

Say it.

I was only a tool they could use to take the worst casualties… and when I'm of no use for them anymore, they'll… they'll…

His train of thoughts became slower, his conscious was beginning to fall into the blackness of sleep as the cold aura around him made him shiver and lose his footing.

Say it, it will bring you the freedom you are yearning for.

They'll turn their back on me.

Muramasa's silhouette smiled devilishly as he sunk his right, clawed hand right through Ichigo's back, sunk it where the teen's heart must be and implanted a bit of his Reiatsu in its center, then dissolved, returned to his body so he could regain the energy he had lost.

The coldness around Ichigo vanished with Muramasa's departure. Instead an unbearable heat began to course throughout his body, making him break a huge sweat as his eyes closed and he let out a small gasp as he fell forward – and finally let himself fall asleep.

-o-

They had hurried him to the 4th Division as fast as possible, his temperature rising and rising without any sign of stopping, his breathing was shallow and his skin was glittering because of the sweat covering him.

Damn it… maybe there was more to what he told me than I wanted to realize…

The redhead looked down at his friend's heated face.

Damn, don't you fuck up, Ichigo, don't you even dare!

-o-

Ichigo stood, surrounded by darkness… he felt weak…

So… weak… I just want to… sleep…

A shudder ran down his spine as he sensed the Zanpakutõ's presence again, making him suck in a deep breath and the fine hairs on the back of his neck standing up in alert.

You finally… surrendered to your instincts… that is good… that's… your first step towards the freedom you ever wanted… you deserve.

The teen's eyes dropped again, signaling he wasn't going to keep up his mental awareness any longer.

Will it… hurt?

No… and after it's over… you will feel better, you have my word on that.

How do I know… whether I can trust you or not?

You can trust me… because… you'll soon be no different than I… you'll be my kin.

And thus Ichigo let himself fall into black oblivion as exhaustion claimed his being.

-o-

"Unohana-taichõ! Do you have any idea what-?"

"Abarai-fukutaichõ, I have to ask you to turn down your voice's volume a bit for we are in the presence of patients." Her smile would of seemed nice to most people but a former member of the 11th Division knew better than that. It was a smile given to her by the demons and you shouldn't mess with this woman, ever.

Renji paled. "A-ah, my deepest a-apologies, Unohana-taich-chõ…"

Her smile brightened just a fraction. "I see we have come to an agreement, I'm glad."

She then looked at the assembled Shinigami and then down on the flushed face of one Kurosaki Ichigo, his breath was going nuts and the sweat was reflecting the light like a mirror.

"Concerning his state… I checked his vital functions but there was nothing giving off the impression of causing his high temperature. It was quite the opposite. Although his fever should of damaged his internal organs by now there is nothing wrong with them. He is at perfect health. What is more impressive," at that she laid her hand on his forehead. "Even though one is able to feel the heat radiating from his skin, it doesn't burn nor hurt in any way. The fact that his clothing isn't damaged although his temperature is way over 60 degrees Celsius is proof enough.

"His high temperature should have killed him long ago, it should have grilled him alive but he is appearing to be perfectly fine. If it wasn't for the fact that he's unconscious he would be just fine. I honestly don't know what-"

But Ichigo's barely audible voice interrupted her. He was still not conscious but mumbled one word nonetheless.

"Cold…"

Renji snorted. "Great, that guy worries the crap outta us, has the temperature of the sun and is still complaining that he's cold? Is that guy honestly that much of a lune?"

"There is more."

They all reverted their attention back on the 4th Division Taichõ who was now holding a wet piece of clothing in her hands. The moment it made contact with Ichigo's skin the water began to condense sending small clouds of steam towards the ceiling. After that she took some ice cubs whose met the same fate as the water in the clothing.

Unohana looked back up at the present people. "Every single try to lower his fever went this way. Safe for the water in his and our bodies every other form of said liquidity condenses, my Kidõ shows no effect whatsoever. It's nearly as if his very soul was consisting of heat. I'm on my wits' end, really, there is nothing I can do about his state."

They were silent and Rukia couldn't help but take one of Ichigo's hands in both of her own, squeezing it. The suffocating silence around them was brought to an abrupt end as huge amounts of Reiatsu came crushing down on them.

-o-

Outside the Division they were met with the remaining 'free' Zanpakutõ. Muramasa was leaning on Haineko, sweat covering his face as he grinned wickedly at the Shinigami.

Hitsugaya growled. "What do you want now?"

"Oh, not much, we're just here… to collect a new ally."

The young Taichõ frowned. "New ally? Which new a-?"

The sound of an opening door made them turn around.

-o-

He was leaning against the door frame, clinging onto the wood as if for dear life, his gaze was blurry, glazed-over and his orange bangs were sticking onto the skin on his forehead as he tried to look at them all but failed.

Muramasa smirked as he sent his presence out to him once again, whispering into his ears like he did so many times before.

Why are you still so reluctant? Embrace it; say it and you will be free. You already accepted it… now the only thing you have to do is say it. It isn't that hard, trust me…

Ichigo gritted his teeth and tried to steady his breathing as he whispered, nearly inaudible.

"Rise from the ashen darkness…"

Muramasa returned to his body as black flames began to engulf the young Shinigami.

Too easy.

-o-

As the black fire finally dissipated Ichigo was no longer standing but kneeled there, his head casted down. His attire had changed, drastically.

He no longer wore a Shihakusho but instead a pitch-black kimono, the right sleeve and part of the fabric covering his chest was a bright orange just like his hair. Said sleeve seemed ripped and only really covered half of his upper arm. Around his right wrist wrapped a black ribbon as well as around his neck. His feet were bare, his skin seemed to burn underneath and glowed having an orange tint to it as well. When he raised his head they noticed his eyes' new color. The left was black and the right orange, mirroring his whole attire.

When he straightened himself up into a standing position the same black fire began to swirl around his body. His gaze burned itself into them, creating heat where it landed on.

In the sudden, deafening silence Muramasa's voice rung out terribly loud.

"How is your name?"

When the young teen replied his voice burned just like everything else on him and hurt their ears with incredible heat.

"Kuroi no Taiyõ"

-o-

And the end^^! How did ya like it? I honestly tried my best with the conversations but I'm still a bit unsure 'bout them. I suck at talking – not only in real life but here as well! Crap!

Now comes the fun part… for me! No updates until I got at least 20 Reviews :F That of now means shall indicate I will update as soon as I hit the 20-Reviews-mark, just that there won't be any until I at least have that much.

Ichigo: WHAT? 20? Are ya nuts, woman?

Me: Huh? How so? With Family Duties it went well^^

Ichigo: Because you only wanted 10!

Me: So what? I got greedy xD

Ichigo: *sighs* How did you come up with this anyways?

Me: What d'you mean? The Reviewlimit or you becoming a Zanpakutõ?

Ichigo: The latter.

Me: Well, like I mentioned at the beginning: while watching you helping Muramasa^^

Ichigo: I didn't mean to!

Me: I know! That's why you are now XD

Ichigo: And what about that crap with me being a fire-type? Zangetsu is for combat!

Me: Well, because I like IchiRuki. She's the moon and you the sun; the sun is a huge ball of fire XD

Ichigo: First: Why do you always pair me up with this midget and make me talk mush?

Me: Because I like sappy-ness to a great extend and because you take too long in the manga.

Ichigo: *mumbles some swear words under his breath* Whatever, I'm just not into romance, goddamnit. Second: Why this stupid release command and the name?

Me: *begins to cry* S-st-stupid? I thought about everything really hard! It took me nearly a week to think about your appearance, powers, name and release command! Then the way how to transform you, the research about apocalypses and tapeworms, illnesses and human communication-

Ichigo: Human communication? Apocalypses?

Me: Y-yeah, I suck at talking. And one of your attacks will have to do with the end of the world.

Ichigo: For that you are talking a lot with me right now. A-and… THE END OF THE WORLD?

Me: That's because I'm a crazy fangirl of yours.

Ichigo: You don't seem too crazy to me, just… strange.

Me: I took my medicine.

Ichigo:

You didn't explain this world's-end-thingy further.

Me: Because that destroys the suspense. See ya, strawberry!

Ichigo: H-hey, wait!

*throws Ichigo out of the room*

Me: Now that Berry-tan is out. For those who want to see an image of Berry-tan as soul weapon there is a link in my profile. The picture looks pretty close to what I had in mind so it should give you a vague idea.

-o-

akahihi – as much as 'red baboon'

Kuroi no Taiyõ – as much as 'The Sun's Blackness' or 'The Blackness of the Sun'