I was hoping to have this updated by December but some tragedies in my family have kept me from being in the mood to write. Sorry for the long wait, I can't believe five months have gone by, it's ridiculous. \*A*/
Note: A lot of you have PM-ed me, please continue. I like hearing more personal feedback, I love hearing from everyone!
~Where to now?~
Precious little Ichigo, don't worry I'm here.
Why are you crying? Don't cry, it makes it dark and cold here.
Why aren't you listening?
Why don't you understand?
Don't worry though, I'll destroy those who make you weak—that make it dark here.
Ha ha, it will be so much fun Ichigo I promise.
Have you ever seen the blood drain out of their bodies? The smell is delicious. Have you ever tasted it?
Don't misunderstand me; yours always tastes the best Ichigo. I love the look of blood on you; it makes you look so much more appetizing. Sometimes I can't help myself but to try to take a bite out of you.
Did you know your soul is also delicious? It's so soft and light compared to your rich blood. You are just perfect for me.
Don't look at me like that.
You made me remember?
It's okay if you don't remember, I'll forgive you this time. We'll meet again soon, I can't wait. Ha ha! Won't that be great Ichigo? I'll take care of you unlike the others, if you just give me your body you won't have to worry about anything, little Ichigo. I'll handle everything and you won't have to be sad anymore, I'll make the darkness go away.
But why does he get to go out and not me? Why is he special? Don't worry, I'll show you how special I am Ichigo. You just forgot didn't you? Perhaps you'll let me out too? It'll be so much fun Ichigo! We can even paint.
You need to come see me again Ichigo. We get lonely here without you.
Come to me Ichigo. I promise I'll keep you safe.
"Hah..gah!" Ichigo sat bolt upright, in a cold sweat. He looked around quickly, however no one was there. He grasped his forehead trying to wash the murderous thoughts out of his head. "T-that definitely wasn't Shiro…I-I think…" Ichigo got out of the bed and went into the bathroom to wash his face a few times. The edge from earlier hadn't disappeared yet. He couldn't help the shiver that ran down his back when he glanced up into the mirror. His eyes were black again just like his counterparts. Except this time, it didn't seem so strange; He didn't feel like Shiro was trying to take over. But something wasn't right.
Not right at all.
"Yer in a good mood." Gin spoke as he lazed in a large white wingback chair. His head was draped back over the arm of the chair. Aizen hummed as he entered the room, somewhat acknowledging Gin. He was feeling giddy, even though his cool exterior didn't show it. Ichigo was progressing quite nicely; it seemed the boy was doing most of the work himself. But Aizen didn't want to rush anything, he wasn't a fool. The boy didn't trust him at all, but he couldn't find any fault with that. However the espada still answered to him, that wouldn't change no matter how they wavered because in the end their lives were in his hands. He gave them power and he could just as easily take it away.
Aizen knew that some of the espada were wary of him but didn't have the mind to question him or to not follow orders. He only wished Ichigo was as easy to deal with. But he had other matters to attend to. There was no doubt in his mind that either Abarai Renji or Kuchiki Rukia would begin to squirm back in the Seireite. They had a close friendship with the boy. He knew they would plan a heroic rescue, probably with some of the other Shinigami that were close to Ichigo. But Aizen thought nothing more of them other than as flies. They were annoying pests really, but the time would soon come that he could exterminate them.
And he had the perfect tool in mind.
"I must say, I'm a little disappointed." Urahara remarked as he unveiled his fan in front of his face. The oh-so-honest shopkeeper tipped his striped hat toward Rukia who was sitting in his living room. The young woman steeled her face. She knew she carried some blame but in reality the guilt was hitting her hard. Renji who was propped up on a nearby wall turned his head away. Urahara hummed and looked towards Tessai who was walking in with some tea. He kneeled after placing the hot tea on the low table. Urahara took a small sip, the tense feeling in the air increasing.
Rukia didn't dare pick up the cup placed in front of her. "So, I'm assuming you're here to use my gate, correct?" Rukia nodded feverishly.
"Even if we go against the commanders orders…we at least want to do it as discreetly as possible." Renji stood to the side nodding in agreement.
However on the inside Renji was absolutely steaming. He had not been enlightened about the situation until after the fact. Aizen had used him and his Capitan—framed them. And against Ichigo no less. Even if the sixth division Capitan didn't necessarily like Ichigo, Renji could tell that he was upset. They both had had their honor soiled. Renji didn't honestly know what to expect when they went to Las Noches, but he definitely was going to punch in Aizen's face.
When he had first heard about what he "supposedly" had done to Ichigo, his heart sank. Friendship wise, Rukia and himself were his closest friends that he could confide in and not be judged unlike the rest of the Seireite would undoubtedly do. He was actually afraid. What if Ichigo wouldn't even look at him? Could he ever forgive him even though the "Renji" that attacked him was a fake? Renji didn't know but he hoped that he would be able to explain himself to Ichigo at least, if nothing else. Besides that problem there was the uneasiness of what Aizen could be doing to Ichigo at the moment. Hell by the time they organize and get to Las Noches would Ichigo even…
Renji tried to rid himself of the dark thoughts that plagued him. He knew that Rukia was also feeling the same way. Rukia always felt as if she had a debt to repay Ichigo for saving her life, even though Ichigo always laughed it off. But now with the current situation that wound had deepened again. Renji glaced toward Urahara as Rukia rubbed her forehead into the tatami mat below her.
Rukia bowed deeply while speaking, "Please, Urahara let us use the gate!" Rukia's voice elevated with her obvious desperation.
"Hmmm, suppose I let you go. What would you even be able to accomplish by yourselves? You may make the situation worse." Rukia lifted her head to retort as the sliding door that Tessai had come through was harshly opened causing it to rapt against the wall loudly.
"They aren't alone, old friend."
Urahara smiled behind his fan though no one could see. Rukia turned to see the intruders.
"Ukitake Taichou!" Rukia stood up surprised. As she looked around him there was also, Zaraki, Ikkaku, and Unohana Taichou. Rukia was shocked to say the least as was Renji.
"Urahara Kisuke, it has been awhile." Ukitake came into the room and sat next to Rukia along with Unohana taichou. Ukitake smiled at Rukia while rubbing her shoulder in comfort. However as he faced Urahara again his face became serious. Zaraki and Ikkaku stood back on the wall next to Renji.
"So, Urahara-san?" Ukitake sat upright waiting for the shopkeepers reply. At some point during the discussion Yoruichi had joined in as an observer.
Suddenly Urahara's fan clicked shut, while his head dipped slightly to hide just his eyes. His smile widened into a full in smirk and Yoruichi couldn't help but follow along with the gesture. "I must say your plan is quite through however, what of Yamamoto? Do you believe he is not expecting something like this to happen?" Urahara sipped from his tea again. Yoruichi scoffed at Kisuke's teasing.
"I was hoping to have some fun." Yoruichi flipped her hair over her shoulder as she passed by Kisuke. "Even if some of your reasons aren't necessarily correct for what is going to happen, I can't say I blame you. Might as well kill two birds with one stone."
Urahara glanced at Yoruichi and sighed, "I agree to the conditions, however," Urahara's mood darkened getting everyone's attention. "There are some things you need to know about the Hyougyoku and what I believe Aizen is planning to do with it."
Rukia couldn't be happier with the given the circumstances but somehow she knew that the upcoming battle was going to be unlike any of the others that they had encountered before. This one held finality to it and everyone in the room knew it.
This would be the last time they would fight Aizen.
They would make sure of it.
However Rukia knew that her part of the battle was only half way done there was still the problem of confronting Ichigo's father.
Alright some explanation:
I cut the conversation with Urahara short because I'm assuming most of you reading this fanfic have either read the manga or watched the anime and I didn't really want to be scripting everything. I wanted you guys to have some imagination with it. With that said next chapter is the "end all be all" with the Seireitei and Aizen. What I'm looking at now is the next chapter being in four parts since I have so much to cover plus the epilogue too.
So with that said, there are only 5 chapters left!
Question of the day: Who could possibly be haunting Ichigo's mind? It may not be who you think…