Okies ^^ Here is the first chapter of 'Lingering Light'. Wish me luck!

Summary: Since he was born, Ichigo Kurosaki has not been able to see his own reflection. Instead, in his place, there is a stranger with white hair and skin, and the most intriguing liquid-gold eyes.

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN BLEACH.

Enjoy =D

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"Mama! Who is that boy in the glass?"

The small boy pointed at the other inquisitively staring back at him from the shop window.

"Why that's your reflection, honey, it's you."

Ichigo cocked his head to the side. Pale skin. White hair. Dark eyes with liquid golden iris'. It couldn't be his own reflection.

That was 11 years ago. For as long as I've known, I have not been able to see my real reflection. Everything's different now, I assure you. My beloved mother has been entrusted to heaven, and it is the eve of my 18th birthday. I'm not excited, because there's nothing to be excited about- my birthdays are only a dark reminder that there is a critical member of our family who should be present. But she isn't. She will never be here again. She left me. She left us. Me, Karin, Yuzu and ol' Goat-face get by just fine without her, but there's an empty space that she left behind that no one could ever fill. Or so I thought.

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The orange –haired teen sighed, stretched his back, and resumed his hunched position over the desk. Stupid fucking school, setting an assignment on the night of his last days of precious childhood! Oh how he couldn't wait to become an adult, when everything would fall into a boring routine. That's all adult life was to Ichi. One big boring, expensive, suffocating routine.

"Urgh! I'm sick of this."

Ichigo tossed his pen to the side and stood up briskly. He needed to get the tension out of his body- a long soak in the shower always fixed this. Slinking to the bathroom in order to avoid an attack from his crazed father, he grabbed a towel and locked the door. Finally he could relax a little; however, this was not to be the case. The teen growled as scorching hot water seared his skin and he jumped out of the cubicle in all his naked glory. A flash of white in the corner of his eye caught Ichigo's attention.

"Shit! You scared me! Stupid reflection!"

Ichi smiled at 'his' reflection; however, the reflection did not smile back.

"I'm not stupid."

His mouth dropped open in utter shock.

"W-what?" Ichigo could hardly believe this. His reflection was talking to him. Not only talking, but climbing out of the mirror frame into Ichigo's bathroom. Naked.

"I said- I'm not stupid."

The teen whimpered a little before completely blacking out. His 'reflection' sweat dropped and rubbed his temples with his pale hands. Being trapped in a mirror for eighteen fucking years and being released to a fainting idiot was not his ideal welcome-home party. Well, he didn't have a home to go to, so he wasn't expecting much anyway. Ah well, at least he might be able to have some fun playing with the teen's mind. He chuckled and returned to his reflected world. For the moment.

When Ichigo woke on the bathroom floor five minutes later, every trace of the 'white' man had gone. He shot up onto his feet to check his reflection. Still there. A few wiggles of his fingers and funny faces later, Ichigo had dismissed the event as a hallucination and continued to shower as normal.

"That was so weird..." The strawberry muttered to himself, scowling. When he had finished showering, he had wrapped himself in a towel and avoided every mirror on the way back to his room. Thankfully he didn't like to look at his reflection in the first place, so there weren't any on his walls. Ever since his mother died, he had kept pretty much to himself too, so he didn't venture into the rest of the house often. Ichigo considered whether or not all this schoolwork was driving him crazy. He hoped not. He wanted to be sane. Maybe it was a genetical thing that you could only inherit from the male side of the Kurosaki family. Goat-face certainly seemed crazy enough.

"Ichigo! Dinner's ready!" Yuzu called from the stairs. Ichigo snapped out of his thought and flew out of the room, unaware of the white reflection that lingered in the window.

The ivory man chuckled to himself. What a strange boy Ichigo was. His bright orange hair was ruffled and messy, and he had chocolate brown eyes that were full of emotion and passion, even though his face was fixed in a constant frown. He really was going to have fun playing with Ichigo. The lithe teen didn't even know he had it coming to him.

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"Man, Yuzu cooks a mean curry." Ichigo contentedly flopped on his bed. The day had been long and tiring, and all he wanted to do now was sleep. Ichi turned onto his side and stared at the picture of his mother on the wall. She was a tall, beautiful woman who had a heart the size of a mountain. Ichigo loved her very much. He still didn't understand why she had to die. Stupid fucking life. All it did was give you a little good then make the rest living hell. The boy tossed over to his other side, staring at the wall. He had a lot to tell his mother, if they were only given one more hour together. If only he hadn't tried to save that girl. Then his mama wouldn't be gone. It was his entire fault and he fucking hated himself for it. He couldn't help when the tears came, so Ichigo closed his eyes and tried to get some sleep.

"Why are ya cryin', Ichi?"

Ichigo's eyes snapped open again. He scrambled onto his feet in a fluster, trying to find the source of the voice.

"I'm over 'ere."

He swung around the window pane to see the 'white' man reflected in his window. He quickly wiped his tears away before scowling.

"Who are you?! Why are you teasing me?"

Ichigo heard the albino chuckle before stepping out of the window and into his room. He straightened up, although he was still a little shorter than the white man.

"Who am I? Why, I'm yer good ol' reflection, Ichi. Now answer m' question. Why were ya crying'?"

"That's none of your business! Get out of my house!"

Another deep chuckled resonated around the room.

"I'm afraid I can't do that Ichi."

"Who ARE you?!!" Ichigo growled angrily, his fist curling into tight balls. When the albino realised he was going to be struck, he raised his hands to calm the teen.

"Alright, alright. M'name's Shirosaki. I've been trapped as yer reflection since ya were born. We grew up together. Real sweet, ne?" Shirosaki grinned in a rather feral way and put his arms down.

Ichigo surveyed the albino with a great interest. He looked into the window pane behind Shirosaki, and saw his own reflection. His eyes flickered back onto the man. White hair and ivory skin. Black eyes with liquid gold iris'. This was his former reflection, he was certain of it.

"Why have you only shown yourself now? What are you going to do?"

Shirosaki's grin grew even wider. Ichigo squirmed under his scrutinizing gaze and looked away, to find the albino within his personal space. Arms wrapped around his and a voice was spoken into his ear.

"I'm gonna have some fun with yer. Tomorrow is our 18th birthday, and I'll be set free at last. I'll be waitin'. Until then, Ichi."

The pale arms withdrew and Ichigo looked up to see his reflection had reverted back to its pale self. The teen shivered and closed the curtains, tucking himself back into his bed with thoughts of Shirosaki swimming around in his mind. Tomorrow was going to be a long, long day. Ichigo could tell.

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SO? What dost thou thinketh? =D

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