The heat scolded their skin as they could feel the vibrations in the air from the huge beast that desired their taste. The final roar of anticipation as it neared them was only too frightening, a voice permeated throughout the air as both Tatsuki and Ichigo held on to each other tightly. Both of them opened their eyes to look again since the heat that had been attacking their joined bodies had suddenly dwindled quickly. Ichigo looked over the jagged black hair that was in front of him to see what had happened to save them, Tatsuki dug herself away from Ichigo's hard chest and looked in the same direction as Ichigo.
Before them a sight that had stopped absolutely everyone in their tracks took hold. Tirol stood in the air with his arms by his side, his flaming war-axe hanging limply alongside his body. The huge red body fell to it's knees for no apparent reason, above it's head the flaming inferno between it's horns finally extinguished and revealed a wooden shaft that extended upwards towards a skeletal hand. As the beast fell to it's knees it's maw fell open and revealed a slightly curved blade that curved upwards almost touching the roof of his mouth. Thin black strands began to extend from the blade and eat into the inside of the creature, parts of the creature began to disappear as the black strands began to dig deeper into the body. Both of the arms slowly disappeared and the massive war-axe fell to the ground below causing a massive explosion as it hit the ground.
The red body fell forwards and fell to the ground at a quick pace, finally impacting with the ground causing a huge cloud of dust and mud to be thrown into the air. Traces of a dark spiritual pressure could be felt now that they had impacted with the ground, Ichigo could feel it, it was far more sinister than that of any hollow he had ever faced. It felt so cold, so dark, so…dead. Ichigo alongside Tatsuki were the first to descend towards the huge cloud of dust that had taken up so much space in the surrounding area. They were both silent as they descended downwards toward the dead spiritual pressure. Once they finally touched down on solid ground again after so long in the air they were unaccustomed to the sudden weight they had and stumbled slightly. Ichigo caught Tatsuki's hand as she fell away from him, retrieving a small smile from the black haired woman. Still holding her hand and pulling her up Ichigo looked over to the thickest area of dust where there was some movement.
The dust finally disappeared from the area revealing the remnants of a red clump as the last of it was eaten away by the black threads from the blade that was poised above the body. Finally as the dust completely left allowing Ichigo and Tatsuki a better view, before them a person stood his head bowed a small bit, his hand that he held nothing in was aimed outwards towards the rapidly disappearing body of Tirol as it turned more human like. With one last look at the man Tirol looked like he had finally come to a realisation, with a final tear that rolled down his charcoal face he tried to turn and look at Ichigo. The man could see that Tirol struggled to even do this and placed both of his hands behind Tirol allowing him a clear view of Ichigo.
"Kurosaki, you have my deepest apologies, for years I held a grudge against the one who took Masaki from me, I believed that you had intentionally killed her, yet now I know she died trying to save the one she loved. For what it is worth I am sorry" Tirol struggled to talk but as he finished he looked up to the man who had helped him and nodded his head. The other man took his skeletal right hand and captured Tirol's right hand in it, both men gripped tightly as Tirol's body disintegrated into small orbs that floated away in the breeze.
Finally the man before them stood up straight. His body was covered in a huge cloak with an accompanying hood that at current time covered his entire head and the shadow cast covered his face. His right hand had taken hold of his weapon again, it was a scythe with a wooden shaft that really did look like it had seen better days. The blade itself looked like it was in pristine shape however a complete contrast to it's shaft. The man placed the end of the wooden shaft softly into the ground and raised his left hand which appeared to be fully skinned and had a tanned pigmentation to it, it reached up high enough to grab the hem of the cloaks hood and with a slow motion the hood was lifted from the man's head.
Ichigo stood there in dumb shock as Tatsuki simply giggled at his reaction to the revelation of their saviour. The face was a healthy tan and where the eyes lay a pair of ice-blue eyes shone out towards all people allowing a slight glow to come from the man. The most shocking of things was still to come and was the reason that Ichigo stood dumbstruck and open-mouthed towards the man before them, because on his head lay almost unbelievably… a mop of untidy and spiked, Orange hair.
The man could see the look on Ichigo's face and could not stop himself from letting go of a slight laugh as he shook his slightly long orange hair out of his eyes and looked to both Ichigo and Tatsuki with warmth. He opened his arms wide and smiled almost to himself
"Never did think I'd get to see you to be honest Ichigo" his voice came over so calm but Ichigo could feel the dark and evil presence that surrounded this man and instantly brought up his black Zangetsu and tapped into the power of the earth below them. The man before them noticed this sudden hardening of Ichigo's body and understood it instantly.
"I assure you I mean you no harm my friend" the man assured Ichigo raising his hands up in the surrender position, Ichigo looked to the scythe in the mans hand and raised an eyebrow. The man looked to where he indicated and twisted the wooden staff in his hand a few times, eventually the blade on the staff disappeared and the man placed the wooden staff behind his back and placed his right skeletal hand up again.
Ichigo relaxed as the man put the weapon away, he felt his body become heavier and could feel himself start to waver on his feet. He began to stagger around as the world around him started to shake around, Tatsuki quickly positioned herself beside him ensnaring him in her grip. He was becoming heavy and as he felt the last of his strength leave him and could see the black begin to overcome him.
"ICHIGO!" Tatsuki screamed in panic as Ichigo's full weight fell on to her and almost crushed her under his body, damn he was heavy!
"Don't worry dear Arisawa-san, he is not dead, just exhausted" the man explained to her trying to comfort her, he had moved up to both people as Ichigo had began to fall, and now as he reached both people he placed his human hand onto the woman's shoulder. Tatsuki looked up at him eyes slightly damp from the tears that threatened to spill, his gentle smile offered her the hope that he was being honest but the recent events of that day did not allow her that solace.
"How do I know if you are right and if you are not an enemy?" Tatsuki barely managed to groan out
"For one ma'am, if I was to kill you it would be all too easy so you can relax in that area. He is not dead however, I would almost definitely know if he was" the man finished his hand still resting on Tatsuki's shoulder, he lifted his hand from her shoulder and positioned both hands under Ichigo alleviating his weight from Tatsuki's equally exhausted body. The man looked at Tatsuki and saw that she was fighting to stay awake and felt a surge of caring for the struggling woman
"Come here Arisawa-san, I shall take you and Ichigo somewhere to rest, does that sound ok?" the man asked her gently, so gently she felt almost as if it were the words from a loving father.
The last thing Tatsuki saw was the mans gentle face stooping down as he lifted her from the ground, she was then placed onto the chest of Ichigo where she melted into the warmth that he promised and felt herself falling into a sleep she so desperately required, obviously.
Some Time Later
He felt warm, his body was completely covered in this new and invigorating warmth, where he was now he felt more comfortable than he had in a long time. He opened his left eye slightly to find out exactly where he was, there was when he noticed that he lay on a bed. It was absolutely and utterly soft allowing his body which had ached in the past a chance to relax and enjoy this safe place it was promised.
He closed his eyes again feeling the effects of his fatigued mind trying to make him go to sleep again, he was about to give in to the demands of his body. Attempting to turn onto his left side he found his right arm was trapped under something, turning his head slowly he saw an other body lay on top of his outstretched arm. The persons back was to him but he had a good idea who it was who shared this bed with him. Ichigo leaned in to the back of the long black jagged hair and planted a gentle kiss onto the head of the person who lay at his side. After he placed his tender kiss on their head, said person began to stir and looked in Ichigo's direction. Ichigo was now face to face with the love of his life as she looked at him sleepily he could not think of any other time she looked so beautiful to him, he smiled to himself mostly yet Tatsuki saw it and smiled back at him. His brain put two and two together and he knew something instinctively, he wanted to be with Tatsuki, forever.
Tatsuki slowly brought her face closer in to Ichigo's own face and they shared a short but affectionate kiss, with both people at peace and still drowsy from the sleep they so obviously required they looked intently into each other's eyes. With that last look Tatsuki laced her arm across Ichigo's chest and her leg across Ichigo's right one. Resting her head against his right pectoral, within seconds Ichigo could hear and feel the rhythmic breathing as she walked down her own dreamland. He smiled again before closing his own eyes and going to sleep himself alongside her.
The next time that Ichigo awoke he felt much more rested, looking down to his chest he saw Tatsuki in the same position she was in when they had last fallen asleep, her face looked so content and happy and he could not help but smile slightly, Tatsuki, you really are something special. He raised himself on the bed resting Tatsuki's head on his lap which he had covered over with the blanket, don't want people getting the wrong idea. As he rested into the wall at the head of the bed he looked around the room he was in, it was his own room completely untouched by time, he had never changed anything about his room. Why should he? It was all good for al of those years.
On his examination of his own room his eyes wandered to the person who sat on a chair right next to his bed, which would have usually been used when he done his homework or such on his desk. The persons head was bowed slightly and Ichigo could see the rhythmic rising and ebbing of their shoulders indicating to him that they were dozing also. that's when he moved slightly and noticed that there was yet an other person in a chair behind the first, this caused Ichigo to become slightly more interested and as his vision cleared it finally dawned on him who it was.
"Yuzu, Karin" Ichigo spoke softly to the two girls who slept quietly, after his gentle words had escaped his mouth both of the heads that were slowly bobbing up and down lifted slightly but after a moment it was as if both girls gave up and their heads dropped. Ichigo let loose a slight chuckle, they are obviously too tired to really do anything, I think they'd be better off in their bed though he thought to himself.
Ichigo slowly lifted Tatsuki's head and moved the pillow from behind his head and placed it where his body used to be so not to wake Tatsuki unnecessarily. She whined a little as the heat from Ichigo's body disappeared for a second but as it was replaced by the pillow that had accumulated his body heat, she began to rest again. Ichigo lowered himself down and gave her a soft kiss on her cheek before turning around to the sleeping forms of both of his sisters. He stooped down to lift both of his sisters, placing them both gently on top of each of his shoulders and opened his bedroom's door quietly trying not to awaken Tatsuki still. Closing his door quietly he started across the landing to his sister's room, expecting his father to be in his own bed also Ichigo tried to keep silent as he walked across the landing. Opening the door to his sister's room he walked in slowly and placed both girls onto their respective beds gently still, once he had them both onto their beds he worked them until he had them under their covers and softly ruffled both girl's hair. He left just as silently as he had entered allowing them the sleep they required at least now they would be comfortable. He looked into his own room to check up on Tatsuki, finding her in the same position he left her he went down the stairs in order to get a small bite to eat.
As he reached the bottom of the stairs however a leg came hurtling towards his face with a heel of a foot intent on making its presence known to his face. Ichigo quickly leaned back enough to allow the foot to pass overhead and as his body sprang upright again he grabbed the shin of the leg that had recently passed over his head and pulled it closer to himself.
"Well Done My Son!" Isshin called out as Ichigo held onto his outstretched leg
"Don't Expect That To Be All However!" Isshin yelled as he hopped and brought his other foot towards Ichigo's face, Ichigo quickly punched his father in the face and dropped down to his level
"Dad! Tatsuki, Karin and Yuzu are all sleeping! Stop with the noise!" Ichigo hissed at his father who looked sheepish now.
"Your antics were always rather unorthodox, Isshin" came a cool and collected voice from the living room, Ichigo let go of his father and allowed him to get up again and walked into the living room alongside his father.
The first thing that struck Ichigo was the orange that he could see in front of him and he instantly knew that it was the guy who had saved himself and Tatsuki. The man looked different now though he had on regular jeans and a short sleeved black shirt, and he kept his average length orange hair in a pony tail. Ichigo could not resist the temptation to look to his right hand to see if it was still there, he was not disappointed there was still a skeletal hand that held onto a glass of some kind of alcoholic beverage. The man noticed Ichigo's quizzical stare towards his skeletal hand, admittedly he understood even in this gigai he could not get rid of the skeletal hand, the skeletal area started around about the wrist and went down to the fingertips.
"You know, sometimes there are bad side-effects to a very powerful zanpaktou" came the voice of the man sitting down holding the drink, he had Ichigo's attention the second he spoke the man noticed Ichigo's instant interest after he had started to talk and smiled a bit.
"What do you mean?" Ichigo asked already interested
"For example a zanpaktou is a part of your soul and when you call upon it, you harmonise with it and your power increases yes?" the man asked Ichigo who nodded in response
"My zanpaktou is not quite like that however, I am my zanpaktou and it is me. As hard as that is to comprehend I shall enlighten you, this zanpaktou is the first one ever created, only because I manifested it from my own soul, it has no soul of it's own it is but a husk, it draws its power from me." the man looked at Ichigo's confused face and continued on knowing full well he'd probably lose him at some point.
"To put it plain I am the original Death God, would you like to know why?" the man asked Ichigo deciding it better that the boy know now, Ichigo shook his head and the man smiled
"I am Death" the man told him so calmly it was unbelievable
"You're kidding right?" Ichigo asked laughing slightly
"Why is it so hard to comprehend? You accept that there have been two people with the powers of War and Pestilence and I'm sure you know your mother was the owner of Famine" the man finished looking at Ichigo
"Don't talk about my mother like that!" Ichigo shouted regretting it after he had done so
"I would never speak ill of your mother, I mean no brother should ever speak ill of their sister should they?" the man asked a now shocked Ichigo, Ichigo instantly turned to his father who looked at him and nodded indicating that what the man said was indeed true.
"what is your name? Tirol told me that the wielder of Death was dead, killed by my mother on his own zanpaktou" Ichigo instantly questioned the man
"Tyormaku Linder Death incarnate" Tyormaku answered Ichigo pointing his thumb to his chest
"You're supposed to be dead!" Ichigo yelled again
"Yet I am not, I cannot be killed I am death, for me to be killed at all is illogical, I no longer wanted to be a part of that group and with the one person who I trusted, your mother. I had her stab me with what I had everyone believe to be my zanpaktou" Tyormaku finished looking up at Ichigo who's head had drooped and the overgrown white hair covered his face
"If you really are Death then that means you took my mother and your own sister!" Ichigo roared at the man sitting down before him
"I cannot choose who's life I take or not, if I was to do so that would disrupt the balance of all things" Tyormaku answered him trying not to sound cruel, Ichigo had no idea how it had hurt to take his very own sister away from her beloved children. Tyormaku had no time to react as the orange haired man before him charged at him and landed a punch to the side of his face causing him and the chair he sat in to tumble sideways. Ichigo went to go and finish him off when he felt a hand stopping him from going any further, turning around he expected to see his father and was going to roar at him for trying to defend the man who took his beloved mother away.
Alas he turned and saw Tatsuki with concern written all over her face
"Don't Ichigo, things cant be changed now, what is done is done" she softly told him as she snaked her arms around his waist and hugged into his chest. He seemed to calm down intensely as soon as he was in her embrace and turned around to Tyormaku who had picked himself up off the ground. He had a bloodied nose and was getting help from Isshin to get up from the ground, he looked into the eyes of Ichigo's seeing his own almost perfectly reflected in every way.
"Ichigo there is one thing I can do for you, for all souls that I have taken I can grant one communication with that soul to anyone who wishes it" Tyormaku explained knowing how much this would mean to Ichigo
"What you mean I can talk to her again?" Ichigo asked suddenly elated
"We could all talk to her if we wanted to" Tyormaku answered him happy also since he would be able to see his sister again and apologise, after he had said that Ichigo raced upstairs, after a few seconds he was dragging two tired sisters behind him.
Tyormaku stood and channelled his spiritual pressure into one area in the centre of the living room and on top of the table an orb of light began to build up in strength. It started to make a low humming noise that over time began to get louder and caused the magazines and papers lying on the table to be blown off. Eventually the orb began to clear inside and a green field could be seen where many random people were either lying on the grass or sitting by the pond or laughing amongst themselves and having a good time.
"What is that place?" Ichigo asked wondering if this was a luxury area in Rukongai
"I am not sure but it is not of the three realms we know, believe me I have looked tirelessly for her before" Tyormaku answered dashing Ichigo's hopes before they got to form
"I am sorry but there is no other way than this to see your mother" Tyormaku explained to Ichigo who simply nodded his head.
"Almost there" Tyormaku indicated to the whole group, both Karin and Yuzu still sleepy got up and stood in front of Ichigo, Tatsuki, Isshin and Tyormaku. Tatsuki grabbed Ichigo's hand and held it tight, giving it a little squeeze to remind him that she was there for him. He looked down to her and received a smile from the ex-tomboy, he smiled back and received a small peck on the cheek from Tatsuki. With that all of them looked back into the orb of light which had found it's target.
Masaki Kurosaki lay on the grass looking idly towards the distance with a small smile on her face, she did not look any older than the last time any of the people present had remembered her. Tatsuki felt Ichigo tighten next to her and squeezed his hand again reassuring him that it was all ok, both of the twins were instantly awake as they saw their mother on the screen and both men looked on to her face lovingly as brother and husband would.
Masaki finally came to realise that she was being watched and looked into the orb in front of her and a smile spread across her face as she was presented to her family again.
"My, my I never thought I would get to see any of your beautiful faces again" Masaki spoke gently with a smile all people present took deep inhale of breath, it was true she was right there before them.
"Karin, Yuzu, you are both so much older than the last time I saw you, I am so sorry I was not there to help you as you grew up, know always that I love you though as long as you hold me dear in your heart I am never gone" Masaki told them with a smile and a hand across her chest.
She then looked up to the face of her husband who just stood there staring at her lovingly, Masaki giggled at the attention she was receiving from her husband
"You never used to be so quiet Isshin, I used to think you were cool when you talked as much as you did" Masaki again giggled and held a hand up to her mouth. She looked up to Isshin who had lowered down onto one knee in front of her
"Masaki, I am so sorry I could not save you, I have spent many nights hating myself for my weakness and I've struggled all this time knowing that now I have the powers I could have used to save you back then" Isshin finished tears dropping from his face
"Isshin my love, we both gave up much in order to have our family, no-one is to blame, and I must say well done for bringing up both of the girls quite so well" Masaki finished blowing a kiss his way to which Isshin wiped the last of his tears away and hugged into both of his daughters in front of him. In this one rare occasion Karin accepted the embrace of her father happily alongside Yuzu.
Masaki looked to the next person in line and saw the person who she had known the longest
"Nii-sama!" she exclaimed happily at seeing her older brother before her with her family
"Hey sis, I'm sorry for… for… what I had to do to.. To…" Tyormaku couldn't finish
"Nii-sama, it's alright I understand you cannot help what just had to happen I do not blame you in any way shape or form for what happened to me" Tyormaku looked to the face of his smiling little sister and was amazed at her kindness, anyone else would have hated him but not Masaki, she had a heart of gold always did have.
"Also didn't know you'd actually go through with that name for your child" Tyormaku laughed then smiled to his little sister and received one back holding his hand over his chest he bowed to her and then stood back into his position.
Masaki looked at the next person with some surprise, she had not seen this little girl since she was… well little. Now she was a woman
"Arisawa-san, how wonderful it is to see you here!" Masaki said with happiness in her voice
"Hello Mrs Kurosaki" Tatsuki answered her with just as much enthusiasm
"My, you have grown beautiful over the years I must say, now you cant lie to me tell some man has been intelligent enough to notice your beauty" Masaki joked with a wink of her right eye
"Well, Mrs Kurosaki I already have you see" Tatsuki answered her laughing a little
"Oh, would it be someone I know?" Masaki asked keeping the joke going with a soft smile
"You may know them very well, in fact I think you do" Tatsuki answered Masaki with a smile that seemed to radiate her pride in her love
"Well come now dear who is it?" Masaki asked laughing at this little joke she had got to have with her sons best friend
"It's me" came the short but tender reply, Masaki turned her head slowly to the person who she knew would almost definitely be there
"You guys took your time to realise it" Masaki joked to her son, she could see the moisture that began to build up in his eyes and felt the moisture in her own
"I'm sorry mom, I didn't mean for any of this to happen" Ichigo barely managed to choke out, he knew he was the cause for his mothers death and was never able to live it down.
"Ichigo, I loved you, no, I love you I would have put myself in harms way a thousand times over rather than see you hurt" Masaki told her son lovingly, Ichigo's head bowed slightly
"Come here Ichigo" Masaki asked her son, Ichigo looked up confused this was supposed to only be a window. However he watched as his mother's arms came through the window and then eventually the top half of her body came though.
"Not much was ever able to stop you bending things your way sis" Tyormaku laughed slightly
"Well this ultimately does, this is the limit to how much I can come through" Masaki answered with a soft smile.
All of the family members save Ichigo and Tatsuki instantly rushed in and hugged and kissed at the Masaki who had half managed to come through the window. After they had all done Ichigo and Tatsuki stood in place simply watching
"Arisawa-san, Ichigo please come and give me a hug before I have to go back" Masaki asked them both kindly
Ichigo allowed Tatsuki to go first, he had something he wanted to ask his mother but had a feeling he'd have to do it back on her side, after Tatsuki and Masaki had shared their hug Tatsuki and Masaki both giggled about something, Ichigo figured he'd find out later.
"Okay Ichigo you're the last one then I got to go home I'm sorry to say" Masaki told him sadly
"You belong here though" Ichigo insisted quickly
"I know, I know, but this is the way things have to be now love" Masaki finished as Ichigo closed in on her and wrapped his arms around his mother and felt warmth explode through himself. Eventually however she had to go and he had to let go
"Everyone I love you all and I hope you live on through your lives happily in the knowledge that I am proud of you and that I love you all, goodbye" Masaki said as se began to move backwards into the window again, as her hand was the last thing to go through Ichigo quickly grabbed it and pulled himself up to his waist through the window into his mothers world. Just as he had thought this was a spiritual realm and his white coat came through with him.
"Ichigo! What are you doing? You could get hurt" Masaki asked him worried about his safety
"Mom, I have one last thing I wanted to ask you" Ichigo quickly told her digging around in his coats chest area
"Would it not have been better showing me it over the window?" Masaki asked still concerned
"No I wanted you to see and get your approval" Ichigo told her quickly after a second or two of rummaging Ichigo pulled out what he had been searching for. The crystal that he had stored in his coat during his battle with Tirol. Masaki looked down at it with slight surprise
"You think that would look good on a ring?" Ichigo asked his mother earnestly, Masaki's eyes widened and her smile lengthened
"Oh yes I do think it would!" she answered him honestly
"Actually I'll do it for you right now!" she exclaimed. Masaki opened her hand out and the crystal in Ichigo's hand floated over to hers, as it floated in midair Masaki brought Gold from the thin air and caused it to weave in and out of the crystal eventually making a hoop on which the crystal sat on top. Masaki looked at her work and smiled to her son who was going to make the biggest request of his life
"Take care Ichigo, I love you" Masaki told Ichigo as she grasped him with her free arm and hugged him which he done back to her
"Yeah, I love you too mom" Ichigo told her with a smile before being pulled back into his own house.
Ichigo landed on his backside as he finally came back to the world of the living, rubbing the back of his head and laughing stupidly for a moment he finally looked into the window and saw the reassuring nod from his mother. He gripped the ring tightly and got up into a kneeling position in front of Tatsuki with a slight chuckle he prepared himself. He cleared his throat so that Tatsuki looked at him instead of the window in front of them, that action did however catch everyone's attention
"Is he…" Isshin started but was interrupted when Yuzu and Karin shoved their hands over his mouth.
Ichigo took Tatsuki's left hand in his right hand and looked up to her with as much love as he could possibly muster, with his own left hand he took the ring into his index finger and thumb and readied himself. Letting out a breath he didn't even know he had been holding, he was ready. Tatsuki was getting all excited now she was wondering what Ichigo was going to do and was hoping it was what she and Masaki had talked about. Finally Ichigo plucked up the courage and looked into her eyes.
"Tatsuki Arisawa, will you marry me?" Ichigo asked her so sincerely Tatsuki could have sworn she saw small blue flames in his eyes, he placed the ring slowly onto her ring finger. After the moment of brief shock Tatsuki was over the moon Ichigo had asked her to marry him, her. She was going to spend the rest of her life with him, they had only been together for a few days but she knew that this had to have happened, it was just at least twenty years in the making but here she was faced with the biggest decision of her life and she could not believe how easy this answer was going to be for her.
"YES!" she literally screamed as she ploughed into him and sent them both crashing to the ground where she laughed so much that she didn't think she had ever been any happier in her life.
The laughter from the other five people only made the occasion much happier and in Ichigo's ears his mother's was the most important to him, as he heard her voice fade away for once he was happy, he was going to start his own family with the girl he loved, and nothing could possibly spoil the moment.
The Next Day
Tatsuki awoke from her slumber still feeling drowsy, she had just had one of the weirdest and most wonderful dreams she ever remembered. She remembered waking up in her dream and walking down the stairs of Ichigo's house after hearing his raised voice shouting at someone. When she had descended the stairs she was met with Ichigo punching a strange man in his living room and Tatsuki had to do her best to stop him and calm him down.
Then after that the man a told them that they could see Ichigo's mom one last time in order for some closure she guessed. After they had all said their individual goodbyes and such she and Masaki had joked around for a while about her love life, whereupon Ichigo finally spoke up to his mother. As she left though Ichigo dove in after her with his legs still firmly planted on the floor and his waist upwards through the window. She remembered screaming his name and trying to grab him only to have her hand apprehended by the stranger in the group. He looked to her and smiled kindly
"He has one last thing he wishes to tell her" Tyormaku explained moisture clear in his eyes.
Tatsuki merely nodded and withdrew her hand, she knew now that this man was Ichigo's uncle now and therefore would have his best intentions at hand.
The best bit about her dream was next though, her stomach done flips in anticipation of what happened next, for an ex-tomboy she really wasn't showing her old ways very well right now. She remembered how Ichigo had fallen through the window again and when Tatsuki had looked at his mother she saw a slight nod from the woman, afterwards she heard Ichigo clearing his throat. As she and everyone else turned around she remembered the expression on his face, the look in his eyes the smile he was barely holding back. Then he said those wonderful words 'will you marry me', she felt her heart explode for a moment then after she had gotten over it she dove on him screaming yes and laughing so happily.
She sat up from her sleeping position and noticed to her astonishment that she was in fact in Ichigo's bed, she drew the covers away and saw the impressions of another body to her left. A blush rose to her cheeks as she came to a realisation, she had slept in the same bed as Ichigo. Raising her hand up to her cheek she felt the heat coming from it and smiled a little, oh how she wished that she knew she was sleeping with Ichigo, she would have definitely taken the opportunity. As her cheeks began to cool down she let out a sigh of disappointment.
"That was such a good dream, why can't it be reality?" Tatsuki asked out loud intending only to hear herself speaking those words
"Why can't what be a reality?" came a voice from the window to her right
She jumped up at the sound of the voice and scooted over to her left into the vacant spot left by Ichigo, as she eventually moved too far left she fell off the bed she finally looked up over the bed to see who had startled her. There in front of her perched on the window frame stood none other than Ichigo smiling at her.
"Idiot why did you scare me?" Tatsuki fumed to the white haired man before her
"To see if it was possible" Ichigo joked back
"Well it is" Tatsuki answered turning around whilst pouting.
Tatsuki noticed that there was a wonderful aroma coming from her left and turned around to find the scent coming from the desk in Ichigo's room. Standing up she looked upon a plate of food almost exactly the same as the last time Ichigo had made her breakfast for her. She turned to him and saw him looking at her with a smile, this wasn't one of those special smiles any longer though. This was a passive smile one that Tatsuki had not seen in a long time, it made her feel happy to know that Ichigo seemed to be happy also.
"Did you make this for me?" Tatsuki asked her love with a smile
" 'Course, you looked so sleepy felt I might as well make your breakfast for you" Ichigo answered shrugging his shoulders
"Thanks" she told him walking over to him and hugging her arms around his back
"No problem, love" Ichigo answered wrapping his own arms around her almost as tightly
"So anyway what was the dream that you had?" Ichigo asked her still rather curious to what was so good in her dream
"Can't tell you that, it's my own little paradise now, and it's a bit embarrassing" Tatsuki admitted finally blushing a bit
"Embarrassing how?" Ichigo asked her even more interested now
"Still not going to tell you" Tatsuki answered with a wink
"Well that just aint fair, but very well I shall leave you alone then, there are some clothes for you on the bed, come down whenever you are ready" Ichigo told her almost ready to jump out the window again, before he turned around and looked into his room quizzically
"Why did I jump into my own room through this window?" Ichigo asked himself quietly, jumping onto the floor of his room he walked over to his door and opened it, feeling an immense weight fall through the doorway he remembered now
"Damn You Old Man!" Ichigo yelled at his father, kicking him in the face and sending him against the opposite wall
"Ah your hits have become much stronger over the years, I'm so proud of you my son!, also with our new addition to our family how can I help but want to see her more?" Isshin commented after Ichigo stomped his foot onto his fathers face to stop him talking. Tatsuki laughed slightly at the show of affection between the two men, it may have seemed a little brutal but that was just the way that they showed their love for each other, yet at the mention of an addition to the family she became interested.
"Ichigo, what does he mean by a new addition to the family?" Tatsuki asked wondering if her dream meant more than she knew, the look Ichigo gave her made her think very deeply about her dream now. He had a smile of disbelief on his face, yet after a moment he realised something and with a curt nod he clicked his fingers and from the desk behind her something floated to her and started to tap her on the back. Turning around she almost fainted, yep tomboyness is gone. There before her a diamond encrusted ring with a crystal of varying colours on top was floating towards her and finally easily slipped over her ring finger.
"Remember now?" Ichigo asked with a smile.
Tatsuki just stood there unable to move, unable to even register what had just happened, it was her dream it had to be. She hadn't woken up yet that was it, as much as she hated to admit it she knew this was far too good to be true. She felt a small sharp pain to her head and opened her eyes to look at Ichigo again, noticing a small shine glinting just below her eyesight.
"This is real Tatsuki, just in case you thought otherwise" Ichigo commented before winking and finally exiting the room, at the same time picking up his father to allow his fiancé the chance to change in peace, fiancé, I like that Ichigo thought to himself.
The smile that came to her face could only be described as beautiful, to every sense of the word. It was real, it was all real, what she had believed to be a dream was all real! If only her other dreams had the same kind of effect. If so maybe she could have been the Japanese Woman's Karate Champion by now, but such is the way of fate, and really right now Tatsuki would pick Ichigo over Karate, as shocking as it sounded.
Finally awakening from her daze Tatsuki realised that she was still in her night clothes and would really not want anyone to see her look this. Quickly taking off her clothes she was down to no clothes covered by a thin blanket that she held around herself, preferring to cover over her embarrassing bits quickly Tatsuki grabbed the bra and underwear from the end of Ichigo's bed, only now realising that these were in fact her own clothes, how did he get these? After a moment of thinking she shrugged her shoulders and continued to get changed.
After finally putting on her clothes which had consisted of a tank-top and a pair of three quarter length trousers, both black. She opened the door of Ichigo's room and stepped out into the hallway leading to the stairs. As she reached the bottom of the stairs she was met with the sight of all of her friends sitting in the Kurosaki living room along with the Kurosaki family, as she entered they all turned to look at her happily. Even Isshin the family idiot, for this moment looked like instead of a goofy smile or such had a warm smile. The only one who did not seem to smile or even be there for that matter was Ichigo.
"Where is Ichigo?" Tatsuki asked loudly to the smiling people
"He is away with his uncle I think, he said something about Nel-chan and Tyoka-chan" Orihime answered her best friend
"Oh, ok" Tatsuki answered back slightly crestfallen that Ichigo wasn't there, she quickly hid the ring, she wanted them both to announce it together. Her stomach had butterflies just at the thought of it, Mrs Tatsuki Kurosaki.
Ichigo sped after the man who he had just found out to be his uncle, even if he was one of the most powerful beings of any dimension, that aside he followed the man until they reached their destination of the site of the battle between the shinigami and Arrancar.
"So many casualties, and over what?" Ichigo asked aloud as they reached their destination, Tyormaku lifted his head and looked at Ichigo and could plainly see the guilt he felt.
"Well I do believe I know, it was to protect your new fiancé was it not?" Tyormaku asked looking serious
"How did you know?" Ichigo asked almost surprised the man could have guessed it
"You're my sister's son and my nephew, I believe I'd have a good idea that I know you" Tyormaku asserted quickly
"If that is the case then can you help me understand what is wrong with me now?" Ichigo asked suddenly darker than before and stopping abruptly, Tyormaku also stopped and walked back over to Ichigo
"Yes I do believe I know" Tyormaku answered placing a hand onto Ichigo's shoulder
"You watched people important to you die, you had to watch your mother die, but you managed to get closure on that, but these people who have recently died, you feel partly responsible?" Tyormaku now asked looking into Ichigo's eyes, he saw how Ichigo's eyes faltered slightly and took that as a yes
"Death is never an easy thing to accept, I should know it is me. But what I mean is that accepting that one is dead is hard, to accept you will never talk to them again, see them again embrace them again. It's hard, I understand" Tyormaku counselled Ichigo, after his speech Ichigo's head dropped in resignation as if he had finally given up hope on whatever he may have believed a possibility.
Both men headed back towards the Kurosaki household, Ichigo had not spoken a word ever since his and Tyormaku's conversation. As they neared the house Ichigo could hear the jubilant voices of his family and friends and knew that he would have to put on a happy face. Thinking to himself about the night before, his final words with his mother and his proposal he felt his features starting to become brighter. As both he and Tyormaku landed on the ground again outside the household Ichigo heard a jubilant voice he hadn't heard that happy in a long time.
Letting curiosity take the better of him he quickly pulled at the door handle and burst into the living room of his house, coming straight into the centre of everyone's attention. Ichigo looked around and tried to find the source of the happy voice and laughter. Finally his eyes found what he was looking for as they finally caught the shine of neon blue hair and he turned in that direction. There stood Grimmjow his body held tightly to another body which was much thinner in size and had blazing green hair.. No it couldn't be, could it?
When said person turned around Ichigo was almost blown off his feet, there before him stood one of the most important hollow-like beings he had ever came across, Nelliel Tu Odelshvank. As soon as Grimmjow saw Ichigo he released Nel and indicated over to Ichigo's shocked direction, once she had saw Ichigo she sped to his direction tightly grabbing him into a tight embrace, hugging him almost as if her life depended on it. Ichigo hugged her back and could not help the smile that came to his face, after a few seconds he felt an other body slam into his and Nel's and with a clump of white hair with black streaks through it, he knew that this must be Tyoka. They were both ok, Ichigo felt a sense of relief, his battle sisters were fine and well.
"You were lucky dear nephew, had Tirol not been the hot-headed individual he was he may have realised that concealing their spiritual pressure within themselves, especially at that level of power, would take them a much longer space of time to expire" Tyormaku's voice came from behind him and as Ichigo turned away from both of the women who he had feared dead he saw the smile on Tyormaku's face
"I was able to reverse the effects on these two just not too long ago after finding them in a cave not far from where you fought Tirol" Tyormaku finished to his shocked nephew.
Ichigo could not believe this the results of the battle he had with the shinigami had been so much better than he had originally imagined, and as both women eventually left him, Nel went over to Grimmjow and wrapped her arm around his waist, Ichigo raised his eyebrow at the motion but just let out a chuckle, he wondered when Nel would finally tell him. Maybe near death experiences were good for such things. Then he saw Tyoka going over to a man and this is where Ichigo was slightly surprised thought not too much, running over to the smartest mind in the whole of Hueco Mundo Tyoka laced her own arm around the waist of Xeruk and planted a kiss on his cheek.
"Anyone mind telling me when this all happened?" Ichigo half asked half joked raising both his hands indicating Grimmjow and Nel and Xeruk and Tyoka
"Mind telling us when that happened king?" Grimmjow countered indicating the ring on Tatsuki's hand as she held it up for all to see, Ichigo laughed to himself
"All in good time Grimmjow, all in good time" Ichigo answered with a smile.
Ichigo walked over to Tatsuki and grabbed her into one of their own embraces, they both held on to each other tightly. As they finally pulled away from each other they looked out onto the many different faces of the smiling people amongst them. Ichigo smiled to his family, now including Tyormaku, he then looked to all of his friends including Sado, Ishida and Inoue. His attention then went to his battle brothers and sisters all looking towards him happily to their right Ichigo saw the huge figure that was Zaraki and the smaller one on his shoulder who was Yachiru standing silently in the kitchen. Both of them were smiling as well, now was however one of Zaraki's happy smiles not insane ones. Ichigo looked amongst all of his allies and friends and knew that these were the people who he cold rely on, the people he could trust, the ones he would protect with his life. Then looking down to Tatsuki again he re-adjusted that train of thought, he would do all of that and more for this woman, for she was his other half and he dared anyone to try and take her away from him. Ichigo brought his face closer to Tatsuki's and as they shared a passionate kiss both felt entirely the same, The Future Aint What It's Supposed To Be, It's way better.
To all of you who have stuck with me all of this time I thank you, I apologise for the lateness of this chapter but due to illness I have been rather behind on everything. Anyway I am sorry to say but that is the end of this story if you are a little disappointed with the ending i apologise, as I am sure some of you may have noticed I didn't fill in all of the holes about the shinigami reaction and such, this is because I plan to make a sequel if enough of you ask for it,however until then I thank you for reading this up to this point and hope you have enjoyed it, your author - Varrukh