Firstly, I have only seen the anime version of bleach so I apologize if something doesn't come up because it's only in the manga. I am going to try to keep characters in character; I am not very good at this so feel free to offer advice or point out something that would be horribly ooc.

One other note, this is the first time I've written ANYTHING that is not a school assignment so please, while I welcome critique, be nice about it. No reviews then no updates btw… so R&R

Disclaimer: As much as I wish I owned BLEACH, sadly I do not.

'thoughts' "speech" 'ichigo's inner hollow'

By the way, does anyone know where Ichigo's Hollow is named? I've seen in other fanfics that he's mostly called Shiro/Shirosaki/Hichigo but have no idea of where the name acual came from…my guess is the manga since I haven't read it but I don't hear a name mentioned in the anime so was just wondering.


Chapter 1 - Suprise


Ichigo was lying on his bed trying to finish the last of his homework for that weekend. The war with Aizen was over, the zanpakuto rebellion squashed and life had pretty much returned to normal for the shinigami.

'Now, if only Kon would shut up and let me work' Ichigo thought as the stuffed lion kept yelling about Rukia being gone so long to Soul Society and how underappreciated he was by the world in general….on and on and on he went about it.

"Shut up Kon!"

"How much lo-o-onger until Rukia-a-a comes back?" The toy whined.

Ichigo turned to the window, ignoring Kon. "You're finally back." He said

Kon stopped, complaining and dived at the short black-haired shinigami. "Ru-ki-a!" His yellow body went flying though as Ichigo, this time, punched him and sent him flying in a different direction. "Owwww" He groaned from where he had landed crumpled into the wall.

"Yes, I am back for now." Rukia said, "It seems you're getting a bit better at sensing other people's Reitsu, Ichigo"

Ichigo ignored the teasing comment; it wasn't exactly a secret that he sucked at detecting spiritual pressure. "Would it kill you to use the door?"He replied.

Rukia only gave him that look. The one she gave him whenever he'd done something particularly stupid.

"Where is everyone tonight?" She asked innocently.

'A little too innocently eh King? I wonder what she's been up to…' Ichigo's Hollow said mockingly, echoing his own thoughts.

"Dad and Yuzu are at some movie. Karin is staying at a friend's house with the rest of her soccer team. Something to do about a big game tomorrow" Ichigo said warily. 'What is she up to?' He thought to himself.

"Oh, that's good then." Rukia said, "Makes things a lot easier then."

"Makes what easier exactly?" Ichigo said, even more cautious now that he knew she was indeed planning something.

The sound of someone knocking on the door interrupted him, "who the hell is that?" He wondered aloud as he went to answer it. He stopped when he heard all too familiar voices.

"Ohhhh Ichigooooo" Someone called from behind the door. A very annoying someone though he secretly did respect the man, not that he would ever admit it to Kisuke's face.

"Shut up" Another voice yelled.

That one too, was familiar. It belonged to the Fukutaicho of Squad 6, Abarai Renji.

"What the hell, what are they doing here?" Ichigo yelled at Rukia who had followed him downstairs. He knew that somehow this must be her doing.

"We know you're in there, Ichigo" Kisuke called completely ignoring Renji.

Somehow he just knew Kisuke had his fan out in front of his face. With a sigh, thankful at least that his family was out, he opened the door. Sure enough Kisuke had his fan out and Renji looked like he would love the chance to kill something. What surprised him more was the fact that they weren't the only people there.

Ukitake-Taicho, Izuru Kira-Fukutaicho, Matsumoto Rangiku and her captain all stood out there. Ichigo sweat dropped, moving aside and waving everyone inside. The last thing he needed was someone to see this particular group outside his front door.

"Hey Toushiro" Ichigo called

"it's Hitsugaya-Taicho" The white haired boy corrected automatically.

"I assume that there's a reason you're all here? In the living world. In. My. House." Ichigo asked, sighing when Kon tumbled down the stairs; to see what was going on no doubt.

"Rukia hasn't told you yet?" Ukitake asked surprised.

"I just got here, I haven't had a chance to," Rukia said and was ignored by almost everyone.

"Well," Kisuke said in a tone that started to sound alarms off in poor Ichigo's head. That tone never boded anything except trouble. He was cut off as yet another someone pounded on his door.

Renji opened it for him, a good thing since Ichigo didn't really want to be anywhere near the Squad 6 Taicho.

Kisuke chuckled, knowing full well how uncomfortable Byakuya Kuchiki made Ichigo. "Well, we're all here now, so tell the boy Ukitake- Taicho." He said in that falsely cheerful voice.

Ukitake shot a look at Kisuke, who had never called him by Taicho. He sighed, "Well, because of Aizen we are currently short 3 captains and the zanpakuto rebellion has caused further chaos among the squads. We need help."

Byakuya frowned even more, he hadn't wanted to come here at all. Ichhigo glared at him before refocusing his attention on Ukitake.

"So what are 3 Taichos and 3 Fukutaichos doing at my door?" Ichigo asked, not liking where this was already going.

Renji smirked, "4 Taichos" He corrected. "I'm Squad 9 Taicho now."

Rukia rolled her eyes, she had heard this all before. Over and over and over again from Renji.

"Congrats then, I guess." Ichigo said surprised.

"Anyway." Byakuya cut in, "We would like for you to take the position of Taicho for Squad 3." His voice making it less a request and much more of an order, with a not vocalized 'or else' on the end.

'sounds like this could be an opportunity for some fun' the hollow inside him cackled manically.

"You will of course need guidance, "Kisuke added, "and since all the other Taichos have their own problems right now I have convinced Shinji Hirako to help. You remember him don't you?"

*FLASHBACK*

"What do you want Kisuke?" The blond man said, staring with a bored expression on his face. He knew Kisuke too well to ever believe he wasn't up to something.

"Whatever do I want hmm? Well, I need your help with Ichigo again." Kisuke said grinning.

"He already has control over his hollow what else could you want my help with?" He asked now glaring at the man. "Whatever it is find someone else, I'm through with you Shinigami remember?"

"Well I would except all the other Taichos are busy. I of course can't enter Soul Society." Kisuke said pointedly.

"No"

"Then I guess I'll just have to tell Hiyori why you we really helping Ichigo. She still believes you were going to help her recruit him doesn't she? Or did you tell her that you were just doing a favor for an old friend?" Kisuke's grinned widened at Shinji's expression, "I guess you didn't tell her the truth then."

Shinji paled. He really didn't want Hiyori to find out he had helped the Shinigami. "That's Blackmail," He finally said.

"So it is."

"I'll help then, It's not like I have a choice do I?" Shinji said, knowing better then to try to fight.

*END FLASHBACK*

"Of course I remember Shinji. How could he help though?" Ichigo said confused.

Kisuke smiled, he always enjoyed suprises. He had thought Ichigo might already know but apperantly Shinji had never seen fit to tell him. "Why Ichigo, didn't you know that Shinji Hirako was once Taicho of Squad 5 before Aizen's first betrayal and his hollowfication?"