It's weird.

It's been over ten years since I last wrote anything like this, but I've been having these persistent dream-thoughts...

This screams to be written down. I hope I can do it. I'll try at least.

What's the worst that can happen? Dissatisfied readers? Finger cramps?
Mad assassins (grins)? Probably nothing I can't deal with or ignore.


Everyone reading this should know the concept of the self-insertion fanfic.

You take your favorite story, be it anime, manga, movie, series, book or other media.

You generally don't own the rights to that property, and neither do I, come to think of it.

You design a character more or less based on you, typically more less, less more (yes, that _was_ supposed to be a pun or something), often some kind of gaming construct with mismatched, unbalanced powers.

You throw that persona in the mix, usually letting it overshadow the original characters with overwhelming skill, power, eloquence, smarts or just raw 'coolness'.

Well, that's not _quite_ what happened to me in ...

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{Bleach is the intellectual property of Tite Kubo and whoever else is involved in making and marketing the manga and anime series. I haven't made any money off this, nor do I intend to, and probably never would even if I wanted.}

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- Awakenings -

Part 1 - Panicked Awakening

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The last thing I remember is going to sleep, the first waking up.
Sounds stupid? Well, imagine how *I* felt then. But I'll elaborate:
The last thing I remember *before waking up elsewhere* is going to sleep *at home*, the first thing I remember *being there* is waking up *somewhere else*.

Actually, the first thing I noticed was the mattress being harder than when I fell asleep. I hadn't fallen out of bed in years, but I vaguely remembered dreams of having to breathe with effort, hectic movements and a falling feeling, so I didn't think much of it. It wasn't unimaginable that I actually *had* rolled out of my bed in my sleep. Then I noticed the brightness.
No, I didn't hover in a white nothingness or something dramatic like that.
It was just that the windows had no blinds lowered.

That's all.

Still, not only did I *distinctly* remember letting down the blinds before going to sleep, the light *felt* wrong - the wrong angle, wrong shadows from outside (no trees or something like that), maybe even the wrong color temperature.


So I felt rather confused when I tried to sort myself out and take a semi-awake look for what actually *was* wrong. Then I noticed some things and started to *really* get confused.

The bed I laid in front of was wrong in type and orientation. Wardrobes were missing but there was at least one door apparently leading to a closet, other doors were in the wrong places, the whole room was wrong. Surprisingly, the desk near to the bed almost matched mine. Almost.

Yeah, it wasn't my room.

Now, I'm *huge*, over six feet and 325+ pounds, so it was rather improbable that someone just carried me somewhere else without me waking up.

Okay, not impossible, just improbable. Especially since I can't imagine anyone having even the slightest reason to, since I'm also a loser, a zero, mostly. No job, no prospects, no fitness, no wealth... Scratch that line of thought, it's painful and doesn't help, either.

Now, why does this room look so familiar, even from down here?
The thought started to gnaw at me.

Then I noticed the room wasn't empty. Someone *did* lie in the bed.
Which made me feel quite uncomfortable, since I tend to sleep, erm, garbed rather lightly, so to say. And now I found myself in an unfamiliar room.
Even if my surroundings still had a weird familiarity to me.

And just as I started to pull the blanket I fortunately still had around me, even if I found myself on the floor, the person in the bed moved and made noises indicative of waking up.

I froze.

Okay, not only the room wasn't mine, there also was a stranger there.
The noises seemed male, okay, so at least I wasn't going to scare some woman or girl to death, I guess I thought another male would deal better with finding an ugly fat nude guy in his room - okay, forget that thought, thinking myself on the other side of that situation *I* would want to bleach my brain.

While I usually feel comfortable with myself I don't have myself as a beauty deal.

Read, I think of myself as rather unattractive (at least unclothed) but can accept that.

Usually, no big deal.

Still, not the best situation to introduce myself to someone I had no idea of.

Okay, time is up, it seems.
Time passed: actually less than a minute, I guess.
Wrap myself in the blanket.
Result: Something between cloak and toga, has to suffice.
Get up, silently.
Seems to work, no one's sitting up quickly just now, whether surprised, scared, agitated or shocked.
Okay, he seems to be still at least half asleep.
Hm, fuzzy strawberry blonde verging on a shock of red hair.
Slim, according to the cover profile.
A stuffed animal - a cartoonish kind of ... lion?

Something twitched within my head, but I couldn't make sense of it.

Look for cover. (I can't remember why, but that *was* my next thought.)
Closest door, seems to be the closet, no matter, maybe more blankets at least.
Okay, not really a walk-in closet, but not small either.
Ah, some more blankets.
Get one.
Some resistance, as if the blankets were weighted down by something.

But there's nothing, except something that looks like an empty balloon...?
Probing touch... What *is* that?
Soft, but still firm... but it's as if my hand were asleep, not really feeling it...
Blanket slips, stop it, open and rewrap...

My ears.
A sudden piercing pain, as if *very quickly* changing altitude.
*Feels* like standing in front of a powerful high-range loudspeaker, a 'tweeter', but I hear nothing.
Not really.
I just feel it, somehow.

Ouch the second.
My head twists, a stinging pain in my neck, jaw and cheek.
Still, no real feeling of contact.
Just whiplash, pressure and pain.

Oh, and darkness.
Bye-bye. Good night again.

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Time elapsed: one minute thirty seconds or less. That *has* to be some kind of record.

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Part 2 - Painful Awakening

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My face felt like someone had tried to shave me with rubbing alcohol and a flame.

Yes, I once was stupid (or curious) enough to try something like that, but I was careful (and kept it small-scale) enough to get away with not even second-degree burns.
Still, at least I can say honestly I know how that feels. Painful.
And it hurt definitely enough that I felt like I had made some really stupid mistake.

Ouchies, again.

Okay, at least I'm awake again, more or less.
Hm, lying down.
Eyes closed, left side of face still hurting.
Still a ringing in the ears.
So, I probably just blacked out for a moment.
Ah, covered with the blanket, good, not being a complete eyesore.
Just continue playing dead, um, unconscious.
Hm, a voice.
Two voices.
And a rythmic ringing in my other ear.
Or a not-ringing?
How to describe... stop.
Not now.
I have much more important things to take note of: WHO IS TALKING THERE AND WHAT?

Crap, I don't understand anything.
Oh, at least I recognize the language.

Uh oh.

Yes, my first thought *was* anime.
Maybe random, but then I *do* have a quite literal 'random access memory' in my head. You wouldn't believe what leaps of association I'm capable of.
But enough of that.

While I love anime, I'm quite aware of its cliches and the continual repetition of some of the same.
Especially in Spin-offs. Doujinshi.

Uh oh, like I just said.

There were several possibilities.
The most mundane was someone had drugged me, transported me into this room and set up a few japanese talking guys to mess with me.
Occams razor said to me: Highly nonsensical, no one I knew had any motivation
to set up something like that, nor the means or funds.
The next best mundane was I had snapped, flipped or in another way become insane and was hallucinating.
Occam says: Why should I hallucinate in incomprehensible tongues?
Shouldn't voices in my head try to *tell* me something?
Oh, and they're outside my head anyways.
Insanity: improbable.
Theory fails. Next.
Maybe I have been... Stop that, I have to find a focus.

Okay, back to basics.

Either it's real or not.
If it's real whatever I do matter and whatever others do also.
If it's not, nothing matters - Breep! Full stop!

Whether real or not, what I can perceive affects me as long as everything else follows some kind of continuity and causality.
So, the best would probably be to take all around me as solid fact and accept it until I get some real good reasons not to.

That decided, I tried to listen on the japanese voices.
I also tried to look through my eyelashes to get a view of the people, still playing possum.

The guy who had been in bed, most probably.
As I had estimated, slim, with orange-reddish frizzy hair.
No cross-shaped scar. Good?
Well, the room looked rather modern anyway.
Face a bit longish for a real asian, and an expression like he had bitten into a green lemon.
Or swallowed a spoonful of wasabi or whatever it's called.
Young, not a lot over eighteen at most I'd say, even if the sour expression makes him look older.

Who's he talking to?
I don't see anyone else, and where he's looking at doesn't seem to be someone, unless lying in bed...
Uh, did I... interrupt... something?

If I really were in an anime (the guy looked quite real, three-dimensional and not-drawn, so much for that) I'd probably have produced a large sweatdrop when that thought swooped by.

Uh, the other voice, while somewhat whiny and screechy, still seems to be male, too.

Put another BIG sweatdrop on my tab, as that fact met the swooping thought from before.

Weird pause, but still somewhat of a tingling in my ears.

Ah, the guy talks again.
Exasperated palm to the face, understandable.
I expected him to have about as much of a clue about this situation as I had myself.

Still, he looked familiar in a weird way, as if I *should* recognize him - or rather, as if I should recognize *who he was supposed to be*, like in cosplay.

Then I understood a few separate words, identified one or two as names, and it just *clicked*, and it just felt absolutely *right* when I noticed the stuffed toon lion move on the bed and look at me.

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Part 3 - Personal Awakening

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Slightly moaning, I tried to open my eyes fully and finally - and carefully - probed my left face.

Well, whatever had hit me - and suddenly I had a darn good idea what, as well as a mental picture I couldn't decide what mood to be in about - had at least not loosened teeth.
I probably just had a well-defined hand- or fist-print on my cheek.

Out of the corner of my still blinking eyes I noticed Kon - the stuffed lion, of course - smoothly drop besides the pillows, suddenly apparently lifeless, again.

Mentally, I chuckled a bit. I often had the impression most story and movie characters had the perception of a myopic goose with cotton in ears, and if Kon really expected to have gone 'toy' quickly enough, either I was much more aware than the average, or my impression was quite close to truth.

Then I looked up at Ichigo - who else? Besides, I thought I remembered Kon say his name ("Ichigo-kun") - and scraped together my scraps of Japanese, while feverishly thinking about what to actually *do* here in whatsitsname - Karakura 'township', right? - while he started confronting me verbally in rapid Japanese.

"Gomen nasai," I clumsily excused myself, slowly sitting up and rewrapping the blanket(s) around me, not intending to flash Rukia (probably) again.

"Gomen," I repeated.
"Um, doitsu-jin des, Ichigo-san... Sprichst Du Deutsch? Or, how good is your English?"

I tried to worm myself through the japanese reserve - which Ichigo should not have been a prime example of, anyway - by not adressing him as 'Kurosaki-san'.

My being obviously more than double his age, with a somewhat scraggly, but dense short beard, might even help with that.

But maybe I didn't actually think that much about it at all, and just adressed him that way, because I felt so much that I actually knew him already.

Okay, one more of the risks almost nobody thinks about when writing about dropping in an anime series.

Ichigo flinched and blinked a bit in surprise, but answered, not too agitated.
"Ara... I can speaku Enrishe, I thinke..." he stumbled a bit, then recovered.
"I do know some Engr-lish, and... ain bisu-chen Doitsu au-chu."
He shook himself.

Hmm, it seemed what I was told in university was true, German was a rather common second (or third?) foreign language taught in japanese schools.

"Okay, who you are and wha... how you getting here? Um, how did you get here, I mean?" he asked, with much better pronounciation than when surprised by my question.

"Actually, I have no idea," I dropped casually.

Okay, whatever this was, it was *not* an anime world, at least not with the classic overblown reactions.
Ichigo winced, but in no way performed a classic - and seen in the series - facefall, facefault or faceplant, whichever description you favor.

"How I got here, I mean. But apparently I had no choice in where or when I got here, or my current state of... attire," I elaborated.

Ichigo seemed to stumble through the English and made me repeat myself, in German also, while apparently re-translating for comprehension.

But he wasn't kidding me.

He was supposed to have quite good notes in school, and his first sentences *were* quite fluid, much better than most mutated engrish sentences heard in anime.
He was most likely translating for Rukia, who probably was standing just beside him in front of me and I presumed she had not much experience with English or German, at least if the times and ages stated in Bleach were true.

What was it, eight hundred years ago? Ah no, she wasn't that old, but had died - came to soul society - as a baby.
Good enough a reason.

I was quite disappointed that I was unable to see - or hear, apparently - her as a shinigami, but on the other hand not much of my experience awakening here had been quite 'typical' or 'as expected'.
When I felt the weird tingling in my ears again, the 'not-quite-sound' I had heard before, I guessed *that* was the only way I could 'perceive' the speech of a shinigami.
If my senses hadn't been over-sensitive due to the still throbbing 'shinigami slap', I probably wouldn't have noticed anything.
Or maybe it was her 'touch' itself that sensitized me to the non-sensations.
Anyways, it seems that shinigami, while invisible to normal people in their soul-forms, may be tangible and everything, as shown in the series, but still in their special way mostly imperceptible.
I *tried* to 'see' her, but couldn't see even the slightest shimmer.

Oh well, no matter.

"And I can only apologize again, I never would have wanted to embarrass either of you or myself that way. Oh, and my name is..." I tried to pronounce it in a way the native japanese speakers could 'encode'.

"Wei-fe-ru Yo-ha-chin?" He repeated slowly.

"Close enough. The family name means 'piper', 'whistler' or 'flutist', and the personal name 'founded by god' or something like that. But 'Yoh' will suffice,"
I grinned, "Oh, and you *are* Kurosaki Ichigo-san, so des ka?"
Just to make certain.
He slowly nodded. "And you know that... how?"


"Well, *there* it becomes difficult to explain or believe... But," I decided to be blunt, "I probably know more about you that I should; depending on your experiences up to now, even more than you yourselves..."

Ichigo's face darkened notably. I guess he also finally picked up on my using plural forms before when talking to 'him'.

"Oops again. Gomen, don't kill me, please." I suddenly was quite aware again of sitting in the room of a complete stranger, at least half a world away from any even remotely familiar surroundings, with no money, no papers and not even clothes, just a thin blanket wrapped around me as my sole material possession - maybe.
And with at least one invisible professional evil-souls-killer in the room with me who possibly had not many compunctions to hurt me. Badly.

*And* I was about to fall into the trap of becoming an annoying know-it-all and trying to use - or abuse - my anime/manga knowledge to entrench myself in this world. And I wasn't even one hour here yet.

What to do now, and what not to do...?

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To be continued...