Hi again everybody!

Title: Separated

Summary: Shiro and Ichigo are separated at birth, die, and go to the soul society where they meet for the first time. Of course, they, being the stubborn idiots they are, don't get along. This is the story of how the 2 become Soul Reapers/Shinigami and discover things about their human pasts. No Yaoi. Once again, I apologize for the terrible summary...

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, sadly. Shiro would get more airtime, and Orihime would be banned to a far side of the universe (no offense Orihime fans!)

Separated

A woman's screams had just died down, as the bulk of the pain was over. Her eyes were a viewing window to the pain and exhaustion flowing through her, as she glanced around the hospital room. Her husband was next to her, his own eyes filled with worry for her, and joy at the miracle that had just happened.

''Honey, we have twins!" The man whispered excitedly into her light brown hair.

Her eyes twitched from him to the doctor, who was giving commands to nurses. She could hear wailing, but not just by one voice, but by two small voices. She beamed, but the smile slowly faded as she realized their predicament.

She was unemployed for at least another couple of months, though she knew her husband would insist she be a stay-at-home mom, which was impossible at this point. Her husband's job was just starting to pick up, but they couldn't afford to have 2 children.

They could only keep one…How did she not see this coming? She watched sadly as the nurse spoke to her husband about names. He spun excitedly, but the excitement died at her expression.

"We can't keep both," she spoke, her voice trembling. "You know that, sweetheart.''

The man's eyes narrowed. "Sure we can. I can get another job until mine picks up at a faster pace and then-"

His wife shook her head sharply, cutting off his hopeful, almost pleading sentence. "Be rational. Your regular job takes up enough hours. We can't, honey, we simply can't." Sadness colored her face, and she clutched onto her husband's hand.

The nurse walked up to the opposite side of the bed that the man was on, and spoke softly. "What would you like to name your sons?"

"M-may I see them first," she asked, voice cracking.

Two nurses approached the bed, each holding a bundle in their arms. One nurse handed the bundle in a blue blanket to the woman, and the other nurse gave the other blue bundle to the man.

The wife smiled softly at the baby in her arms. He was sleeping peacefully, tiny hands curled into fists. His hair was a bright orange and his mouth became an 'O' as he yawned and wriggled.

Meanwhile, the man was watching his son open and close his mouth, like he was a little fish. His eyes were open, moving around to look at everything, but normally just staring at his father. They were a brilliant gold color, and seemed deep, like you could almost see to his soul. Even stranger was his white hair, and pale skin color, despite his brother's skin being a few shades darker.

"I've decided on a name for my little orange, here," the wife whispered.

The husband nodded for her to go ahead and tell.

"Ichigo…..Ichigo Kurosaki."

"Strawberry?"

The wife reached out to slap his arm lightly.

"No! 'One who protects.' "

The man considered this and nodded. "But of course, it doesn't help that he has orange hair. I mean look at it! It's like a neon sign!" This earned him another slap on the arm.

"And how about his twin? What shall we name him?"

The husband thought for a moment. "Look at his white hair. Perhaps….Haku?"

The wife mulled it over. She smiled her approval. "Ichigo and Haku."

Then the financial problem slapped her in the face again. "We still can't keep both of them. What are we going to do?"

"Perhaps you should put the stronger one up for adoption." A new voice interrupted them. It belonged to the doctor. He was an older man, his hair graying, his face kind and gentle.

"The weaker one needs his mother. The stronger twin can handle breastfeeding from another woman. This is how the advice I give to anyone in this pickle. May I see them again?"

The couple nodded their approval and the doctor sidled over to the hospital bed to get a closer to the sleeping Ichigo. He felt his pulse and gently felt his arms and limbs. He spun and walked over to Haku, doing the same to him. Haku simply stared at the doctor in the way all babies do, his golden orbs watching the man's every movement.

The doctor sighed. "It appears Haku is much stronger than Ichigo. Those are the twins' names, correct?"

The man nodded.

"I still leave the decision to you, but this is my advice. Please press the nurses' button whenever you have made your decision. Take your time." With those words, he left the couple and twins in silence.

"I think you know what we have to do."

The woman nodded, pushing back tears. "Le…Let me see him. Haku. Please."

The man complied, choking back his own tears as he passed his oldest son to his wife. He immediately regretted it. He felt he needed to protect this child, to hold him close and never release him, no matter what. As he held Ichigo, his lover cooed at Haku.

"Hello, my sweet Haku. Welcome to the world. I love you, my little child. But I must let you go."

At this point the tears broke through the dam and spread across her cheeks, and followed her chin line, to drip on her chest.

Haku simply stared at his mother, watching as she fell apart, whilst saying goodbye to her first son.

"Please don't hate me for this. I would do anything to change it all. I would give the world to my sons, my sweet babies, who've already got me twisted around their little fingers. Never think I wanted to do this. Haku, my snow haired child, my white Christmas, please, I beg you someday forgive me for this."

The tears flowed, as if endless, and one dripped on the child's face. He reached his hand to touch the drop, and then his mother's face. She shifted, holding his hand on her face, gently kissing his face.

"There's nothing I wouldn't do for you, little Haku. I have a present to give you, so you may not forget us, your family."

She reached over onto the nightstand and picked up her gold locket. It was the size of a quarter, and hung from a thin gold chain. There was a heart engraved on it, with small flowing lines circling around it. There was nothing on the inside, so she simply opened it and kissed it, closing it quickly.

"My kiss is forever inside this locket, so whenever you feel angry, open this, and feel my love for you."

She cuddled up to her child before reaching over to the nurses' button. She hesitated before hitting it, considering not giving up her snow-haired child, but she knew it couldn't be done. She didn't want to put him and his brother through a life of poverty. Better that he live with a family capable of caring for him.

She tapped the button, and moments later, a nurse walked in. She was young, with black hair in a ponytail, light blue eyes sadly watching the scene.

"Yes?"

"We…..We have made…the decision."

The nurse nodded.

"Haku is to have a home of a caring family, with endless love, who will keep him close. Can you promise me this?" The woman spoke desperately.

The nurse smiled gently. "I will oversee his adoption myself, ma'am."

The woman sighed in relief, and gave her husband the time to say goodbye to Haku. He handed Haku to the nurse, the hesitation and grief written on his face, and reflected in the movement of his limbs. He released his child and folded into himself and collapsed into a chair, his sobs obvious by the shaking of his shoulders.

Another nurse came to take Ichigo in for another check up on how he was doing, and the woman joined her husband in grief.

'Haku….I'm so sorry.' This thought passed through her mind many times before finally exhaustion overcame her and she shut her eyes and slipped gratefully into unconsciousness.

Several Years Later

A young man was driving to visit an old friend. His wife and daughter were home, snuggled under the covers, watching The Little Mermaid. It was after dinnertime, about 7-ish, because the man's wife made his favorite meal.

It was pouring, and the windshield wipers were on high, trying to push the waterfall off the windshield, a pointless gesture. It was pitch black outside and lightning continued to flash across the sky. It was almost always followed by loud claps of thunder, enough to rattle the small, black, 4-door car.

'Perhaps tonight wasn't a good night to leave…But I'm already halfway there. I might as well keep going...'

He flicked the knob to turn on his high beams, but even they couldn't penetrate the thick cloak of the rain. The 2 lane highway was busy, like every Friday night, and the man's eyes drifted off to the right of the road. What he saw made his mouth drop.

It looked like a huge monster, but before his mind could process any more than that, he heard a loud, low pitched blare of a horn. He jerked his head up, right into the headlights of an 18-wheeler. And then, there was only blackness, and a snail-paced pounding in his ears.


Around the same time, another young man was in his apartment, in the United States. He was on the 3rd story, on his balcony, smoking a cigarette.

Wind blew through his white hair, ruffling it, and he got a bad feeling in his gut. This happened from time to time, but he didn't understand why this dread would suddenly twist like a knife in him. Yet here it was, doing it again.

He sighed, taking one last drag and flicked the cigarette off the balcony, turning and walking back into his 2 bedroom apartment. It was nice place to live, at least for now, until his girlfriend's modeling career picked up. Anya had insisted they move to Los Angeles from Japan a year ago, and here they were, breathing in the smog of death. Anya was still at some party, that the man had refused to go to, thinking it would probably be a bunch of druggies.

The man took notice of a quiet, far away sounding beeping, but ignored it, thinking it was one of the 1st floor idiots again, or perhaps a trickster out trying to annoy people in the town at 3 in the morning. 'Morons. Some people have lives..'

He stripped down to his boxers and climbed into bed and snuggled into the covers. He shut his eyes, drifting towards his dream land.

He slipped into unconsciousness, just before the sinister grey smoke began to pour in through the air vents.


Man that first part almost killed me. I knew I would get kinda emotional while I was writing it, but I didn't expect it to be THAT hard!

Sorry about not using names; I was trying to be kind of vague. I'm trying out this type of intro, because I'm normally pretty straightforward. Tell me what you think, reviews are always welcome here!

Oh, and according to that handy thing we call the internet, Haku can mean 'Snow', 'White', and 'Pure'. I personally thought it was a pretty good choice, but you people who actually KNOW Japanese, correct me if I'm wrong, and actually giving Shiro a completely embarassing name!

And if you didn't catch the hints in the separate parts, the first part is Ichigo and Shiro's birth (I'm going to refer to 'Haku' as Shiro for the rest of the story), the 2nd part is Ichigo, and the 3rd part is Shiro.

I'm not sure how often I'm gonna update, but i'll try to keep this story going!

Shiro: Oi, will ya shaddap and let 'em go already?

Me: Oh, leave me alone. I'm still the one writing this story, so you really shouldn't piss me off.

Shiro: YA A'READY KILLED ME! WHAT ELSE CAN YA DO?

Me: Kill you again. Except this time, it'll be worse than simply breathing in the smoke from a fire.

Shiro: -growls- Fine then.

Me: Alright people, i'm finally done! So-

Shiro: Finally

Me: -slap- AS I WAS SAYING, Go ahead and review! Thanks so much for reading!