(A/N: After a miniature hiatus the series is back and better than ever. Enjoy peeps)

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or Tales of the Abyss


3rd Person pov

The next morning there was a knock at Luke and Tear's door before it opened without any consent from either of them. Jade walked in.

"Jade!" Tear shouted, pulling the covers up closer to her.

"Well, well isn't this a surprise," the colonel said trying not to laugh.

"Geez Jade, don't you ever knock?" Luke grumbled.

"Well Luke you're more daring than I gave you credit for. How was it?" Jade chuckled.

"Get lost!" Tear shouted throwing her panties at the inn door. Jade closed it before they even reached him.

Luke let out a frustrated sigh, "Great, he's never gonna let up on this for a second."

"Well it's not like we were trying to hide it," Tear said, getting out of bed, "Let's get dressed. You promised to tell us all about what you've been through as a Soul Reaper."

Luke sighed, "Yeah, I remember."

The pair got dressed and headed down the stairs…well rather Tear headed down the stairs. Luke jumped out the window and waited for everyone on the outskirts of town.

"So Luke I hear you really became a man last night," Guy teased.

"I see they all already know," Luke tapped his foot, while looking directly at Jade.

"I didn't know you were trying to hide it," Jade said.

"I wasn't," Luke answered.

"Then what's the issue?" Jade asked.

Luke sighed, getting the point.

"Anyway you promised us a good explanation," Natalia said, "What. Happened?"

"We might want to sit down, it's a long story, plus there are a few things that…"

"Colonel Curtiss!" A soldier came running up to Jade and the others.

"Yes, what is it?" Jade turned around.

"By request of Emperor Peony you're being asked to depart for Grand Chokmah immediately!" the soldier stated.

"Did something happen?" Jade asked.

The solider nodded, "It's under attack by some form of phantom force. Our soldiers are dying without being able to see the enemy. As someone with a master of the seven fonons we were hoping…"

Jade held up a hand, "Say no more, I'll depart immediately. Everyone stay here! Hold off on the stories until I return."

"No way, I'm coming too. If there's an invisible force then…"

Jade chose his words carefully so as not to make it seem like he was talking to someone the soldier couldn't see, "As much as I might appreciate the help from all of you this is a matter I've been asked to undertake. Stay. Here."

Luke growled and watched Jade and the soldier take off. Luke felt his Soul Pager go off and clicked it open. Sure enough, as he predicted two Arrancar were in the middle of the Grand Chokmah town square. This is bad. He thought to himself. He shook his head. Sorry Jade, but I can't neglect my duties.

Luke made to run off. "Luke, where are you…"

Luke cut Tear off, "Jade may dislike it, but what's out there is my responsibility to take care of. You guys stay here."

"I don't know what's going on, but go give 'em hell Luke," Guy smirked with his hands on his hips.

"Right," Luke nodded and took off.


Camp at Eldrant

Ion woke up to the noise of his Soul Pager. "Asch!" he shouted sticking his head out of his tent, "Trouble!"

"I know," Asch said, already dressed for battle, "I'm headed out. Dreck's in Chesodonia so we're the closest."

"I'll go with you," Ion said going to fetch his Zanpakuto.

"No, stay," Asch told him. "If I run into trouble I'll send a hell butterfly or apply for Gentei Kaijo. Stay here with Nanao and Isane-fukutaicho and protect the encampment."

"Understood," Ion said taking that as a direct order from a superior.

Asch headed out onto the battlefield.


Grand Chokmah

Two figures walked along the floating cities town square tearing up the place. They were both wearing white clothes and black socks. One was seven feet tall with black hair and a spoon shaped hood. He was carrying a large, unique looking weapon on an extendable chain. He had an eyepatch covering his left eye. His partner was considerably shorter and was wearing glasses and had pink hair and had a sword with some the guard shaped like a mound of pus. The tall one looked over to a bunch of townspeople going about their business.

"Is he any of them?" the tall one asked.

"You really ought to use your Pesquisa once in a while, he's none of those. You can kill them," the pink haired figure said.

"Sweet," the tall individual stuck out his long tongue, with the number 5 tattooed onto it, and fired a blast of golden energy at the townspeople causing several casualties. Or so he thought. A barrier had protected a majority of the civilians. After it was dispelled, from out of the dust walked a man with brown hair, red eyes, glasses, and a Malkuth army uniform. "Is he the target?"

"No, but it appears he can see us, let me do the talking," the pink haired individual stated. "Hello there, we're looking for a man by the name of Asch Fon Fabre, have you seen him?"

"Asch?" the man scratched his chin. He put his hand up near his shoulder, palm facing the ground, "About yay high," he put his hand down, "red hair, green eyes, biting attitude?"

"You know him?" the pink haired arrancar pushed in his glasses.

"Never heard of him," the soldier flicked his hair.

"Why you…" the tall figure got angry.

"Nnoitra stop," the pink haired figure put out his arm. "Mr…"

"Curtiss, Jade Curtiss," Jade said.

"Mr. Curtiss," the pink haired individual said, "I don't know what games you're trying to play, but if you don't bring Asch Fon Fabre straight to us we'll have to demolish this whole city."

Jade pushed in his glasses, "Well unfortunately for you, you're about 3 years too late if you're trying to find Asch. Dead men tell no tales after all."

"Think we're any different?" Nnoitra smirked.

"I see," Jade commented. Yes. Indeed. Luke knew more than he was going to let on. So Asch is involved in all this too it seems. How very interesting. "I'm sorry, but if you want to go about demolishing this city you're going to have to go through me to do it. I've been contracted by his royal highness to eliminate you both."

"You think we're gonna get creamed by a pansy looking shmuck like you?" Nnoitra asked.

A magic field appeared beneath Jade, "If that's what you think of me. You'll find this rather shocking. I who stand in the full light of the heavens command thee…"

"It's an incantation," the pink haired individual told Nnoitra, who leapt straight at Jade.

Jade took a giant leap back and continued, "…who opens the gates of hell. Come forth divine lighting." Just as Nnoitra looked up to see that he missed, Jade shouted, "This ends now, Indignation!" A tear opened up in the sky and a large blast of lightning rained down engulfing both Nnoitra and his partner in its wake. Both were scorched and covered in burns.

"Damn it," Nnoitra got up, groaning, "Szayel, we're getting out of here!"

"Right, we need to report this to Aizen-sama," Szayel said opening up a garganta.

"You two aren't going anywhere," Jade said and attacked Nnoitra with his lance, but he was blocked. Jade knew by the time he finished he incantation to another spell the enemy would escape so he was going to try and hold off for as long as possible. He knew Luke wouldn't listen to him not to follow him. After all it was Luke's job to defeat creatures such as these. If he could just hold out until Luke arrived…

"Flash! Chikaminari!" A flash of red lightning came charging down at Nnoitra and Jade. Both jumped back. A new individual arrived on the scene, sporting a haori with the Kanji for the number 9 on the back of it.

That's not Luke…who…Jade thought to himself as he saw the back of the coat, but when he saw red hair was pleasantly surprised. "Speak of the devil…"

The individual stood and turned to face Nnoitra. Szayel scowled, "Damn, now he decides to show up."

"Szayel, is that him?" Nnoitra asked.

"Yes, but we should get going, Aizen-sama…"

"Can kiss my ass!" Nnoitra finished Szayel's sentence for him, "I don't leave a job half done." The enraged Arrancar charged right at Asch only for Lightning to come out of the pauldrons on Asch's shoulders, but the 5th Espada's hierro was tough enough to take such a graze and he continued his charge. Asch then met Nnoitra's weapon with his blade.

Szayel frowned, why doesn't Nnoitra understand that we need to regroup. He looked over at Jade. That man has power enough to damage us to such an extent. Nnoitra, you can't fight our target after such a battering. Suddenly someone tapped him on the shoulder. Szayel turned and Jade shanked him through the chest with his lance.

Nnoitra turned, "Damn it!"

"Pay attention to who you're fighting!" Asch shouted and came down from above and cut into Nnoitra's shoulder, but was unable to draw blood because of the Espada's thick skin. What the hell? As Asch fell towards the ground Nnoitra kicked him. Asch recovered from being sent hurtling through the air and landed on his feet, crouching down. Nnoitra ran over to Jade who removed Szayel from his lance and took a giant step back to avoid being hit. Nnoi threw Szayel over his shoulder and retreated into the Garganta.

"Asch! Jade!" Luke showed up, all out of breath.

"You're late dreck," Asch told him, "the enemy is already gone."

"Hey I got here as fast as I could. You try crossing the ocean using Shunpo and see how long it takes you. There's less spirit energy over the water," Luke complained.

"Not my problem," Asch shot back.

"Asch, is that really you or am I hallucinating?" Jade asked him.

"Ah crap," Asch sighed and pulled out a memory replacement device. Luke stepped in front of him.

"Hey hold on a minute there Asch, this is Jade whose memory your about to wipe. What do you think you're doing?" Luke asked.

"He knows too much now Luke, we can't let the others get involved," Asch said.

"Oh it's far too late for that Asch," Jade said, and he was not in a joking matter in the least. "Take a look around. Your enemies caused quite the damage and civilian casualties to the city and I was contracted to investigate by the Emperor himself. Not to mention those two creatures were targeting you as per their orders."

"They what?" Asch growled.

"Aizen must've known you would come here with me," Luke said realizing what was going on.

"Damn it!" Asch grit his teeth.

"Aizen?" Jade questioned.

"Long story," Luke stated.

"Of which we're not explaining," Asch huffed.

"Oh yes we are," Luke argued, "The others are involved now. I was there when Jade was asked to investigate this."

"They're not involved because if I go back to Soul Society Aizen has no reason to attack this place," Asch defended. "This vacation is over. Pack up you're things, we're going back."

"Hey hold on now, I'm in charge of this outpost," Luke shot back, "I've got the authority to make decisions so long as we're here."

"I know and I'm trying to stop you from making a foolish one. If we involve the living you could lose your rank as a captain. You'd be exiled by the Gotei 13 and put under watchful eye in the Soul Society is that what you want?" Asch explained to his replica. Luke shied back and understood. "Good, it seems you understand, now move aside."

Luke shook his head and took half a step forward, determined with his new choice, "No, let's go back to camp and contact the Head Captain and see what he thinks. We'll take Jade with us as a precaution."

Asch sealed his Shikai and put away his sword, "Now that's an order worthy of a Soul Reaper captain. I'll comply with that."

"Good," Luke nodded, pleased. He turned towards Jade. "Sorry about this."

"Well we are all good soldiers here. Let's play nice and see what the good general has to say," Jade responded. The three then made their way towards the camp Asch and Luke had set up.


Hueco Mundo

Nnoitra and Szayel returned to Aizen in the same room that Ulquiorra and Yammy had entered when they came back from investigating Ichigo. Tesla took one look at Nnoitra's battered state and ran towards him. "Nnoitra-sama!" Nnoitra backhand bitch slapped him.

"I'm fine Tesla, I don't need you to worry about me," Nnoitra grumbled as he and Szayel walked into the room.

"I take it you both failed," Aizen said as he sat upon his throne.

"A thousand pardons Aizen-sama," Szayel bent down on the ground, "but we were attacked by an unknown individual. If it were not for him the plan would've gone on without a hitch." Szayel opened up his palm and a hollow fly flew towards Aizen. "All the data is recorded there." Aizen hooked up the fly to the projector and everyone watched the events of a giant lightning attack completely overpowering Nnoitra and Szayel and Asch entering just before they were going to leave. "I see, so Auldrant is filled with still living extraordinary individuals. How intriguing."

"I can't believe you!" Nnoitra and Szayel looked over to Grimmjow.

"Grimmjow," Szayel said contemptuously.

"If kill Asch was part of the order and he finally showed up why didn't you just use your release forms and kill him?" Grimmjow snarled.

"I agree," Arietta stated, "that man, Jade Curtiss, is not unbeatable. Had you used your release forms you would've stood a fighting chance."

"You know him Arietta?" Aizen asked her.

"Hai Aizen-sama," she said, "He is a living ally of Luke Fon Fabre and Asch. He is a colonel in the Malkuth army and I don't think I have to explain how powerful he is."

"Are there any others like him?" Aizen asked her.

"Luke had a few more allies besides Colonel Curtiss. Of those he travelled with there are four more that should still be alive," Arietta answered.

"I see. I find it interesting that you left Asch out of the picture. You mentioned Luke as opposed to him," Aizen stated.

"Because they are Luke and Fon Master Ion's companions that's why," Arietta answered, "Asch only helped when it was convenient for him."

"I see, so there would be no point in attacking them to get a rise out of Asch," Aizen stated.

"Actually there is one you could eliminate to get his attention Aizen-sama," Arietta stated.

"Oh?" Aizen questioned.

"Yes, her name is Natalia Kimlasca Lanvaldear. If you want to get Asch's attention then kill her," Arietta stated.

"That does bode with some ingenuity, I'll think about how I will arrange that," Aizen smirked.

"Indeed, a frontal assault doesn't seem like it will work with Auldrant," Ulquiorra said from the sidelines.

"Bullshit," Grimmjow disregarded, "You can beat anyone if you're strong enough."

"Are you volunteering to face off against the enemy in large numbers Grimmjow? Need I remind you what happened last time?" Aizen asked him.

Grimmjow growled and backed off. Arietta propped herself on his arm and looked out over onto the crowd. "It seems even beasts know when to give up," Tosen chided.

"Can it Tosen!" Grimmjow growled.

"Now, now let's all play nice shall we?" Aizen requested. Grimmjow just sneered and turned his head back in Aizen's direction. "I shall decide what we shall do about Asch, after all I still defeated him at Sokyoku hill and unlike Kurosaki Ichigo he doesn't hold the necessary potential to grow stronger from there."

"Are you saying we're ignoring him?" Szayel inquired.

"I'm saying he's not as much of an issue as the main objective. Do not forget that what's important here are Karakura Town and the Oken. Asch is just a small miniscule gnat in comparison to the bigger picture," Aizen stated. "Now then, you are all dismissed."


Late afternoon

Camp at Eldrant

"I can't believe we had to walk all the way here," Luke huffed, putting his hands on his knees.

"Quit complaining Dreck," Asch mulled over, "Given the circumstances we couldn't use Shunpo to get here. He looked at Jade, "How are you holding up?"

"Not too bad, better than Luke that's for sure," Luke gave a dazed look. Jade looked at the campsite, "Quite the strategic move to put your campsite in a place nobody would bother coming to."

"Well we do have to keep ourselves hidden," Luke stated. Jade just nodded in compliance. The group moved closer towards the campsite and the three went into Luke's tent. Luke grabbed a pair of odd looking trail markers and stuck them in the ground. He then grabbed a remote and a projector built itself on the inside of his tent.

"How very fancy," Jade commented.

"The Research Bureau's come a long way now that it's under new management," Luke stated.

Jade pushed in his glasses, "And here I thought Soul Reapers were simply a military organization."

"Even the best organizations need to keep up with the times," Luke said.

"Both of you quit your jabbering the signal's coming through," Asch urged. The image of the Head Captain appeared on screen.

"Captain Fon Fabre Luke, Captain Fon Fabre Asch and…who is that?" Yamamoto looked at Jade.

"Head Captain, there's been an incident just as you predicted," Luke stated, "Asch was targeted."

"Wait, you knew!" Asch shouted at Luke. Luke held up a hand to get Asch to remain quiet. Asch just growled.

"I see, this is indeed serious, Captain Fon Fabre Asch, I apologize for not telling you, but I authorized Captain Fon Fabre Luke's outpost because I believed Aizen may attempt to attack your homeland as an attempt to eliminate you. Whether you were around or not I felt innocent blood would be spilled," Yamamoto explained.

"Why wasn't I told?" Asch griped.

"What difference would it have made?" Luke asked. "Aizen would've attacked Auldrant whether you came or not."

"It's the fact that I'm being targeted that makes this an issue. He's making this personal!" Asch scowled.

"Captain Fon Fabre Asch control yourself!" Yamamoto scolded.

"Yes sir," Asch quickly composed himself.

"Before we discuss things any further I would like to know who that is standing behind you," Yamamoto stated.

"This man was requested by this world's army to investigate 'an invisible enemy attacking civilians'," Luke stated. "He's also an old friend."

"Head Captain," Asch stated, "this man's involvement was simply by chance. While he, and possibly a few others, can see and hear us it will only cause a problem. I don't believe we need to involve them in all this."

"I however," Luke picked up, "Happen to disagree. The Malkuth army made the call to have this man, Colonel Jade Curtiss, investigate the enemy and Jade's already come into contact with the enemy and supposedly managed to hold them off on his own until Asch arrived later at the scene where upon the enemy was driven off shortly before I even arrived at all. I would like to know how we should proceed from here. Personally I'd like for us to ally ourselves with my comrades, but I don't want to let protocol get in the way," Luke stated.

"I see, Mr. Curtiss please step out for a moment so that I may discuss things with these two." Yamamoto demanded.

"Of course," Jade walked outside the tent and out into the field and waited to be notified about where things stood.

"Now then," Yamamoto returned his attention to Luke and Asch, "While your friend may have been able to drive off the Espada, we simply cannot involve the living in our affairs. Captain Fon Fabre Asch already made it quite clear that Aizen seems to be making this personal to him. If it was you Aizen was interested in Captain Fon Fabre Luke things may be different."

Luke wasn't about to give up, "But wait, Kurosaki Ichigo's friends are alive and they're involved in this whole mess."

"They put themselves into it when they tried to rescue Rukia Kuchiki from her execution. Furthermore Karakura Town is the chosen location from which Aizen plans to utilize his objective," Yamamoto thundered.

"True objective?" Luke questioned.

Yamamoto nodded, "We believe Aizen is attempting to create an Oken."

"Oken?" Luke questioned.

"It's a key that opens the Royal Dimension, where the Spirit King resides," Yamamoto stated.

"Spirit King? Royal Dimension? How come we've never heard of this before?" Asch inquired.

"It is a matter of the utmost scrutiny to the point where the Oken's locatin is only known by the Captain Commander of the Gotei and no written record of the Oken's location is kept," Yamamoto stated.

"Is Aizen trying to get his hands on it?" Luke questioned.

"No," Yamamoto stated, "He found a way around that."

"Typical," Asch muttered to himself.

"Aizen found that he can create an Oken by sacrificing 100,000 souls and a half a mile radius long spirit enriched land. The land of which is currently Karakura Town, home of Substitute Soul Reaper Kurosaki Ichigo," Yamamoto informed.

"If that's true, why authorize us to come here?" Asch questioned.

"I think I have an idea," Luke said, "Aizen may be using Karakura Town as a decoy and try to utilize Auldrant in some way. If he's investigating Asch he may find some easier way of substituting Auldrant's spiritual energies for the land in Karakura Town right?"

"Indeed," Yamamoto agreed, "However that is merely a possibility, there is no way of knowing for certain," he looked in Asch's direction, "or if he simply plans to try and dispose of you before the upcoming war."

"If there's a war then shouldn't we try and band together with the locals. We could really use Jade and my friend's help," Luke pleaded.

"I cannot authorize the open assistance of living humans into this affair. Auldrant currently has no abnormalities and no ties to the Soul Society other than through you and Asch. That is where things stand," Yamamoto stated.

"I…"

"Dreck I know what you're going to say. I'd prefer if you didn't," Asch stated.

"Captian Fon Fabre Asch?"

"Luke here was about to wonder if you'd change your mind if the individuals in question deliberately decided to add their assistance to our cause. However, for them to want to, we would have to tell them what's going on and that's something we can't do," Asch made clear to his replica.

"Indeed and even more so seeing as how there is an armed militia to deal with if word got to them that the possibility of a 'phantom terrorist' was after 100,000 of their people innocent blood would be shed in the form of soldiers. We cannot have that," Yamamoto enforced.

"I could swear them to secrecy," Luke pleaded.

"Dreck, just stop, you're not going to win this argument," Asch told him.

"Captain Fon Fabre Luke I understand your desire to cooperate with old comrades, but if you truly wish to protect them you will keep them from becoming involved in the situation," Yamamoto told him.

"They won't be ok with that," Luke argued, "If go to Jade and tell him that he and the others are to stay out of Soul Society's business, he may tolerate it, but the others won't. Not to mention if we use memory replacement, the others are going to know what happened. When Jade shows up without a clear picture of the situation they'll know something's up."

"You talk as if…"

"Yes, I already met up with them," Luke looked at the Head Captain with fierce passionate determination, "I became a Soul Reaper so that I could see my friends again. I promised them that I would return. It's been the only thing driving me this whole time. I didn't want them involved I had every intention of keeping things scrutinized, but Jade caught onto things all on his own. They aren't going to just sit on the sidelines when they know I'm out there throwing my life on the line. If I go back there now and tell them not to worry about it they're not going to have it. I travelled with them for a long time Head Captain. These are people we can trust."

"Captain Fon Fabre Luke," Yamamoto seemed rather unnerved by Luke's rather defiant stance.

"I know we don't know for certain if innocent blood won't be spilled, that the army won't become involved. I'm certain I can convince everyone to remain secretive about this whole thing, but if that just won't cut it then allow me to say this. If it comes to the point where innocent blood will be spilled or things deviate beyond your control and your held responsible I grant you permission to denounce me as a Captain of the Gotei, stripped of my title as a Soul Reaper, have my Zanpakuto confiscated and forced out into Rukongai never to return. I will take full responsibility!"

"You're willing to go that far?" Yamamoto questioned.

"I am," Luke answered confidently.

"You put that much faith in these people?" Yamamoto questioned further.

"I do," Luke responded proudly with the same unwavering conviction. "If you can't trust me to make this much of a judgment, then why did you allow me to become a captain?"

"Captain Fon Fabre Asch do you have anything to say?" Yamamoto asked him.

"I don't care either way. Auldrant is my home and I'd rather not see it marred by scum like Aizen, but I believe the Gotei is capable of handling itself. Nevertheless I will respect your decision of higher authority," Asch stated.

"Very well. My decision is as follows. Captain Fon Fabre Luke if you truly believe these people can be trusted then they are your responsibility and yours alone. Any involvement between them and Soul Society is your responsibility to bear. Acts of treason, vandalism, murder and other crimes will fall to you as per blame. Whatever decisions you make or they make as per the well-being of Soul Society it is you alone who will be held accountable. Am I clear?"

Luke saluted with a beaming expression, "Sir! Head Captain sir!"

"Good, you are both hereby dismissed," the screen shut off. Luke started doing a small victory dance.

"You're lucky, if I was in charge I wouldn't have been so lenient," Asch said.

"Well it's good you're not in charge then," Luke joked, "Besides you call that lenient? I have to bear the responsibility now of Tear, Jade, Guy, Natalia and Anise during their involvement. As if Rukia wasn't bad enough, if they die it's my head."

"Hey you were the one vehement about letting them become a part of this mess," Asch stated.

"Only because I knew what would happen if I didn't. Tear would hate me and/or beg Jade to find a way to Soul Society, they'd 'invade' just to talk to me and I'd be scrutinized for associating with criminals/Ryoka," Luke responded.

"I didn't know you thought things through this much," Asch commented.

"I can get pretty deep into things when I want to thank you very much," Luke frowned.

"Anyway, what matters now is informing them all on the situation," Asch stated.

"I'll send Jade to get the others and we'll talk to them tomorrow. As long as we're cooperating it'd be bad of me to withhold any information," Luke explained.

"Well whatever, like the Head Captain said, this is all on you," Asch told him.

Luke nodded and Asch left the room. Luke clenched his fist and beamed as he looked up at the ceiling of his tent. I did it, they're aligned with us. I've got a large burden to bear, but it's one I'm willing to undergo. Luke smirked. Aizen…you had better watch out.

To be continued…


(A/N: Luke's undertaken a heavy burden with deciding to put all his faith in his friends and making their actions his responsibility. But who cares about that? GO JADE! I mean really using Indignation to fry Szayel and Nnoitra was just awesome. And hey we even got a little bit of the bad guys thrown into the chapter to boot. So anyhow I don't know how long this run of inspiration will continue, but I'm going to hold onto it as long as I can. Alright see ya.)