Howl at the Moon

Renji, shinigami of Zaraki Kenpachi's division, also known as squad eleven, had a problem. He'd just been transferred here, and quite frankly, he wasn't too happy about it. Sure, he loved a good brawl just as much as anyone, however, the first impression of his new squadmates not to mention his captain was rather...intimidating.

And once they'd found out that he didn't even know the name of his zanpaktou....

Well, let us just say that the results had been less than pleasant. To make matters worse, Zaraki-taichou said that a man who couldn't fight wasn't a man at all, and he had one day to shape his ass up or he was gone. By gone, that meant transferring to the next available division, and THAT meant being a subordinate of Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi.

Now, poor Renji didn't know what he wanted, or rather, what he wanted to do with himself. However, Abarai Renji knew that he did NOT want to be transferred to the twelfth division, under the watchful eye of that deranged madman. So he'd decided that he wanted to find the name of his zanpaktou. And the only way he could think of doing so was to, well...

Challenge Kenpachi Zaraki to a fight, or so Ikkaku-san had told him. Surely a near death experience would be enough to provoke his zanpaktou into emerging, right? Unfortunately, before Renji had even paused to consider Yumichika'ssuggestion of actually meditating, he'd gone ahead with Ikkaku's suggestion.

Now here he lay, facedown in a puddle of his own blood, his eyes dull and lifeless as Kenpachi Zaraki pulled the nodachi out of his chest.

But imminent death was not the cause of Renji's current dilemma.

Two beings stood before him, and they couldn't be more un-alike. One, an intimidating man with long hair dressed in an all black cloak. His eyes were hidden behind sunglasses, the opaque lenses doing nothing to betray his gaze.

The other, a well endowed woman with green fur, rough hair, and a chain around her waist. Attached to the chain, which ended in a collar, was a boy, dressed in all white, and balanced on a serpentine like tail.

They seemed to be waiting for something, for neither had said anything, but the woman and the boy had an almost expectant look on their faces, as if they were waiting for something.

The man, however, remained silent, his gaze locked with Renji's. There was not the slightest hint of anticipation on his rugged face, instead he just stood there, arms hidden deep within the folds of his cape.

Suddenly, it occured to Renji that he both needed and wanted a combat type zanpaktou. And if physical appearances were anything to go by, then the sinister looking man in black was obviously the better choice. And so, with this in mind, he raised a weak, trembling hands towards him.

A brief look of horror passed across the visage of woman, but before she could say anything, she vanished, dissapearing into whisps of smoke, the snake boy following after her moments later.

Aside from the fact that he survived to live another day, Renji wouldn't remember much of what happened next, just that the man quirked an eyebrow, nodded, and uttered one word as he knelt down to place a hand on Renji's shoulder.

"Zangetsu."

--

Depressed, heartbroken, and alone, Zabimaru could only wander the Sereitei. Renji's connection to Rukia was so strong that he'd actually left a trace of his reaitsu on the Kuchiki girl, and so, Zabimaru followed after her, never seen, but always there, barely a shimmer, and growing weaker with every passing year.

Now, they looked on, sullenly following after her as Kuchiki Rukia left for the world of living. However, as they were often wont to do, the two soon found themselves bickering once more, just as always....

--

Chimpette retreated her fist, and said in return, "You idiot, I wasn't talking about Renji. I was just saying that I didn't like him. That goddamn sonnova bitch, its his fault this happened to us in the first place!"

"That's talking about him. What are you, stupid? OW! Quit it!"

"Don't call me stupid- you're the one who's not even paying attention to me."

"Why are you making such a big deal out of it?" Snakey ducked another blow from the woman's fist, and smirked. "Ha! You missed! OW! Why do you keep hitting me? It hurts, you know."

"I know. That's why I have to keep hitting you- to knock some sense into that stupid little brain of yours!"

"Well I heard that every time you hit someone on the head, he loses ten brain cells. So that backfired on you, didn't it? Hey, why are you-? Whoa! Missed again! And again! … Stop trying to hit me; it's getting annoying. I said quit it. I said QUIT IT! Now who's the one who's not listening?"

"Hey, if you're not gonna listen to me, I'm not gonna listen to you."

"I told you, I waslistening. I knew you said something about Renji."

"But you didn't know what I was saying about him."

"Who cares? I still knew he was the topic of what you were talking about." The boy rose up in the air, supported by his snake tail, and glared at his companion. "I don't get why you're so worked up over me eating a stupid piece of fruit, and not catching everything you were saying. You were probably just talking to yourself again."

"What was that?" Chimpette growled. "Are you saying that I'm some old lady who just rambles nonsense to herself all the time?"

"What the-? I never said that, you senile old cow!"

"Do you hear yourself? You just called me old! And don't…"

"OW!"

"… Call me a cow! You're one to talk about size, you little shrimp."

At her words, Snakey bared his thorn-sharp fangs and hissed furiously.

"Scary, scary," Chimpette sneered. "Monkeys aren't afraid of snakes, you know."

"Well it's not my fault if snakes are naturally smaller than baboons. At least I don't have a huge ass." Snakey retorted. The corner of his mouth twitched upwards. He knew that his comment would piss her off.

"What did you just say?!" Chimpette roared.

Snakey smirked, and then opened his mouth to continue his insults, when a confused look suddenly came across his face. He frowned, and sunk back onto the ground, landing on his own two feet. Chimpette watched him in puzzlement, and then the same look of confusion settled on her face.

"Hey, did you feel that?"

They both felt it now, a strange, pulling sensation. Then, the rooftop they were sitting on, began to distort and blur, as if someone had spun around one too many times and couldn't see straight. Snakey and Chimpette exchanged another anxious glance. They'd just felt Rukia's reaitsu vanish and reappear inside someone else.

"Eh?"

Before either could ascertain its meaning everything went black, before turning a stark, bland white, blindingly bright, stabbing at their eyes with its intesnity. It didn't take them long to realize where they were. This was the soul of some human, the same human Kuchiki Rukia had just injected her powers into.

"Huh," Snakey glanced around anxiously, and when he found nothing in the blank void, gave a weak, expasperated hiss, "How the hell did we get dragged here, Chimpette?"

"Does it look like I know?" Chimpette turned around, her back to Snakey. "Anyway, I don't like it here, I say we leave."

"I'm with ya on that."

However, scarcely had they taken five steps in the opposite direction, then they ran smack into....

A wall.

"Itei!" Snakey yelped, rubbing at the space between his eyes. "My nose!"

"You don't have a nose." Chimpette sighed wearily.

"I do too!" Snakey whined angrily. "See? It's right here!"

"Well, then its too small for me to see it! If I can't see it, then you don't have one!"

"Do not!"

"Do too!"

"Do not!"

"DO TOO!"

"O-Oi!"

"WHAT?!" They both snarled, before realizing there was someone else in here with then,

Startled, the pair whipped around, to find themselves confronted with an orange haired youth. He looked just as surprised to see them, as they were to see him. For a moment, everyone was just too dumbstruck to speak, but the silence had to be broken sooner or later.

Snakey was the one to do the honors.

"Oi, yourself dumbass! Who in the hell are you?!"

The youth sputtered furiously for a moment, before his chestnut brown eyes narrowed dangerously. Chimpette arched an eyebrow as he stalked right up to them, and grabbed Snakey by his collar.

"I could ask you the same thing, snake boy."

"NANI?!

"Do I need to repeat myself?" Ichigo countered with a scowl, his face dangerously close to the little hebi's.

Amused, Chimpette snickered quietly.

"Seriously, what's your name, gaki?"

"Kurosaki Ichigo." The youth replied warily, turning his gaze towards back towards her as he release Snakey. "And like I said before, who in the hell're you guys? A ghost or something?"

Snakey and Chimpette exchanged an irritated glance.

"What the hell."

"He's just a human. It's not like he'll be able to hear it anyway."

"Fine."

They exchanged a nod.

"We're the zanpakutou Zabimaru. We're supposed to be a soul reapers blade."

Ichigo blinked, then nodded.

"Zabimaru, huh? Nice to meetcha. I guess you're my sword then."

Snakey hissed in surprise, and Chimpette gaped in open disbelief as right then and there, Ichigo Kurosaki simply performed an about face, and began to walk in the opposite direction. He'd just heard their name, and now, he was on his way out to boot. The two stared after his retreating form for a moment longer, until he vanished, before finally recovering their senses.

"So, Chimpette," Snakey grinned, "You still think he's a dumbass?"

Her fist to his face answered in reply.

"OW! I SAID STOP THAT!"

--

Ichigo opened his eyes and appraised the approaching hollow quietly. It appeared confused by his sudden transformation, its head cocked slightly to the side, much like a sparrow would. However, the sword the boy now wielded did little to intimidate it, as the hollow immediately surged forward seconds later.

"Howl." Ichigo hissed, gripping the bright red hilt, unlocking his sword with a small click. Pointing his katana forward, running his index and pointer finger, then the entirety of his palm across the flat of the blade, a red glow filled and consumed the blade.

"Zabimaru."

Unaware of its impending demise, the ghoul rushed forward, eager to claim what it thought would be a relatively easy meal. Imagine its surprise when it instead toppled forward into the street, missing both its legs, as well as its right arm.

Ichigo now loomed over the creature, sporting a large blade with several pick like protusions on its edge. Before the hollow could even consider the possibility of lashing out with its remaining arm, the blade buried itself deep within the creature's skull.

Ichigo remained silent, but didn't hesitate. No sooner had the pike pegged blade sunk into the white porcelain mask, then he yanked it free, the segments conjoining once more to bifurcate the beast in two.

Purified, the beast began to dissolve.

Ha! Now that's more like it. It took him a few heartbeats to realize that he could now hear the two voices of Zabimaru inside his head. Ichigo watched it go for a moment, before quietly sheathing his blade.

"Well, that takes care of that."

Sorry if Ichigo was a little, OOC there, but it'll be explained next chapter. Next time: Baka Yarou.