Disclaimer : I don't own Bleach
Chapter 1 : Interrogate the light
"Why do hollows always attack at 1 o'clock at night?" Tiredly he kept a close eye on the moon as we were making our way to the hollow's location.
"Why do you always asked that question?" His eyes turned to me realizing I was sarcastic. Yet again.
"Midget" he cursed under his breath, like I wasn't used to it by now. Secretly, I would never admit it, but I liked it when he called me that.
Whenever he called me that I would think back to the time, after the war with Aizen. To a time that my heart wasn't like it should have been.
"You're phasing out again." His smooth voice interrupted my scattered memories. This time our eyes met and I knew that was thinking about that time to.
"Whatever Strawberry… Let's just kill this hollow and get back to bed, I'm wickedly tired… since you started to snore, insomnia keeps knocking on my door."
"Excuse me? Who is the one that wants to sleep in my closet?" Silence crept over us as we continued onwards.
"Alright! I only sleep in your closet because… I… I feel at home there…" My eyes drifted from place to place, but avoided his stare. Did I really just admit that?
"Oh is that right?" I heard the sarcasm in his voice, a refuse to look knowing his face would be plastered with a grin.
The calm night's silence was agitated by the bloody screech of a hollow. Both our eyes flew to the hollow's location… we quickly shun-poed there and found an abnormally high leveled hollow attacking a young woman. The hollow's arm reached to grab the woman when his arm detached and blood splurged all over the ground. His scream filled my ears.
Ichigo was attacking the hollow, when my eyes caught a glimpse of something… that should be happing.
The hollow's arm was regenerating.
"ICHIGO!" My voice doubted my actions.
Grabbing Sode no Shirayuki's hilt I started to attack, but found myself flying across the small space where the hollow had appeared in Karakura Town.
"Rukia… you okay?" regaining my sight and saw Ichigo standing in front of me, looking worried, which wasn't that abnormal in these cases.
"Idiot, why are you looking at me like that?" He quickly changed his facial expression.
"What do you mean Midget… come on, let's just kill this thing and get it over with!"
His voice sounded a little bit annoyed but full-on embarrassed. All he needed was a little blush spread across his cheeks.
I took charge and attacked the hollow slicing his mask in halve. "That was easy, way too easy." Ichigo caught on what I said, because his eyes widened and he grabbed me pulling me to him.
My face was buried into his well formed stomach. He quickly jumped back… and then I felt it, a crushing reiatsu press down on me.
I felt Ichigo's grip loosen around my arms… and then he was gone. Turning around I saw him attack what looked like a…like an arrancar.
"Ichigo Kurosaki, I presume?" the arrancar's voice gave me goose bumps, but not only was his voice something that should be feared, his body was well built and his broken mask was hanging over his right eye in front of his blood red hair, even worse that Renji's. He grabbed his Zanpaktou's hanging from his hip, and started to attack Ichigo furiously.
"Who… the hell… are you?" Ichigo's voice screamed of anger and his eyes was filled with worry.
The arrancar started to laugh, leaving me and Ichigo speechless.
"I'm the one who is going to kill you!" The hollow's eyes grew small and dark. A tugging feeling in my stomach just told me, screamed at me… something about this arrancar was different. He was strong, way too strong, he could be classified as an espada, but I knew that all the espada was eliminated in the Winter War 4 years ago.
"Just you try" The words out of Ichigo's mouth surprised me; it was like he wanted another challenge. Then I was reminded by my orders from the Gotei 13…
"Don't let Kurosaki battle, his powers aren't fully recovered, he could kill himself!"
It echoed in my head. I had to do something… This was Ichigo, my friend, my baka!
So I grabbed my Soul Pager… and dialed the first number programmed into the device.
The screen blinked …
Calling… Urahara Kisuke
"Urahara! Come quick! Here is an Arrancar…and Ichigo is fighting him!" I heard the worry in my own voice; of course I shouldn't have been surprised.
"Don't worry Rukia I'm on my way!"
The line went dead… but it was too late. I saw Ichigo fall to the ground, blood running down his face. I resisted the urge to run to him immediately, but my duties came first!
"Dance Sode no Shirayuki!"
Her power filled my veins, but before I could attack, even before I could think to attack, the arrancar was standing in front of me… looking smug.
"The Ice Princess! Ha…You're the ice princess… oh ple~ase! You can't even move in my presence!" And he was right! My muscles couldn't move at all. He kept coming closer to me, when he finally stopped, he placed his hand on my cheek and lowered his head next to mine and whispered with laughter: "A bitch like you… shouldn't even breathe! That's why I will kill you now…"
Pain spiked in my stomach as his hand dug into me. He was still laughing, when a blue light came from behind him…
From what I could see Ichigo was standing, more like stumbling forward using the motion to keep him upright.
"Stop Ichigo…" I recognized the voice… Urahara!
I gave into the darkness that surrounded me for awhile… faint whispers breached the darkness's barriers… "Ichigo stop… you're not ready!"
"Ban-kai! Tensa …"
It started to fade
Would you believe me if I told you, that was the moment I had to pass out?
"Rukia… how are you feeling?" The voice was from an Angel…an Angel I knew well… Yuroichi! I wanted to answer her, to tell her everything was fine, but the darkness held me in place, my voice was hidden in the blackness…
When I finally found myself, I was lying in my bed in the Kuchiki Manor… I jolted upward… in front of me stood… Me?
"Rukia Kuchiki! You idiot… you promised to protect him! And now, he protected you… again!" 'Me' was shouting at me…?
I was speechless… how could this be… how?
"Relax, you're not going crazy… this is a dream. Well sort of…"
"Who are you?" finally my voice broke the barriers.
She started to laugh… "I'm you… well I'm your conscious … really?"
My eyes bore into her… "Me?"
"Yes… you. You want me to draw you a picture."
"Uhm no…" then I remembered the battle "What happen to Ichigo, where is he?"
"Well no thanks to you… he is fine…for now."
"What do you mean?" She had me… I needed to know what would happen to my Strawberry.
"You need to protect him; his powers aren't what they used to be. You know that. He can't even use Getsuga Tenso even once and he's out of breath. And now he went Bankai! For us… well you!"
"I'm sorry, but… but" I couldn't stop and started to doubt my own emotions "-why won't he let me protect him?"
"You just need to try harder!"
Our eyes met… and I felt ashamed… ashamed that I didn't try harder.
"Rukia… you need to promise me, yourself, that you would protect him…"
"I… I promise"
"It's the only way we can protect our heart…" she looked almost sad.
Heart? She was confusing me…
"Fine! Yours!" her sadness was replaced by annoyance.
"What do you mean?"
"Hello! You should know that…don't you?"
I shook my head. Her violet eyes grew… my eyes grew.
"Rukia, for once, figure it yourself…" with that and a small grin. She, I, disappeared.
"Rukia?" a worried voice asked beside me…
I sat up and immediately pain shot across my torso. "Ichigo?" my voice begged.
"Don't! Lay back… he… he's fine" Urahara's voice worried me.
"Urahara? What happen?" his face turned away from me, as if to hide from me.
"Don't worry Rukia, he is fine… but he is in the Soul Society…"
"What!?" I didn't know how to react.
"I couldn't heal him… completely and Orihime wasn't here, so Yuroichi took him to Unohana." Relieve filled me, but I still felt worried… I knew he was fine… but… what was happening with him now?
"Rukia?" An emotionless voice filled my ears and I turned my head to the door.
My brother stood in the door frame looking at me…and deep inside his eyes, if you knew where to look, you could se he was worried.
"Urahara… is she strong enough to go to the Soul Society?"
"Yes, but she shouldn't walk right now" Urahara's voice felt stern, like he was giving my brother an order. An hour later… I was in Byakuya's arms running through the Senkaimon into the Dangai Precipice World. We didn't exchange words until we reached the gates. "Don't ever scare me like that again…" Then nothing. Byakuya was definitely a man of little words. I didn't know how to responded, but I didn't have to, because a Pineapple head interrupted us.
"Rukia! Rukia, are you okay? Captain is she okay?"
"Calm down Renji!"I screamed and my brother only looked, more like sternly glared, at him and he went quiet.
"Rukia…we are going to a meeting with Head captain Yamamoto, can you hold up for another hour or so… then we can go to the 4 Division's barracks?" Byakuya's eyes were harder than when I saw him at Urahara's, but I could still see that he was worried.
"Yeah, I can… but why do I have to be present at the meeting?"
He didn't say a word. Only shun-poed to the meeting hall with Renji at his heels.
The doors swung open and inside I could see all the Captains and their Lieutenants standing in a row. Byakuya gentle put me down; awkwardly I was standing in the middle of the two rows. Byakuya went to stand at his spot with Renji right behind him.
"Rukia Kuchiki" the head captain's voice boomed thought the room. I felt scared at his presence.
"Yes Head captain."
"Maybe you can shed some light on the current situation?"
"Is this about the new arrancar, sir?"
"Yes and Ichigo Kurosaki." His eyes bore into me and it felt like I was on trail.
"Sir, we were fighting a high leveled hollow with regenerating powers… when we finally destroyed it, Ichi… The substitute Shinigami Ichigo Kurosaki pulled me away when a crushing reiatsu came from nowhere. The arrancar was strong, probably an Espada, but something was different, and he knew who Ichigo and I were. He called Ichigo by the name…and me by" I doubted if I should say anything, but "the name, the Ice Princess"
I fell silent for a moment and the continued "He was really strong, Head captain. I couldn't move in his presence…"
"Thank you Kuchiki…" his eyes wondered around the room and the back at me… he opened his mouth to say something, but just then all the captains turned to the South wall and drew their Zanpaktou's. I reached for Sode no Shirayuki, but I remembered I didn't have her with me, no room for a Zanpaktou in a recovery uniform.
The wall burst open and a light filled the room. It then crashed into the floor in front of the Head Captain.
Once the dust settled down, we saw two figures crouched in the rumble. A boy and a girl, both young, maybe a bit older looking than Captain Hitsugaya. If they were human, I'd probably say they were 17 or 18.
"You idiot, couldn't you do that softer" The sound escaped the girl's mouth. She had dark brown hair, which on her looked fake, and violet eyes. She was looking at the boy whose hair was blacker than hers, but his eyes were Amber brown, both of them wearing Shinigami robes. (Hers was just customized with lime green strips of cloth around her waist and stomach and his with no sleeves and a logo on his back that I have never seen before.)
"You try to open a portal to the past! It isn't that easy!" He snapped back.
"Well maybe if you listen to… to…" she became quiet when she realized all the Shinigami in the room staring at them, Zanpaktou's drawn.
"Oh shit…" they said in chores.
"Who are you?" The head captain demanded.
"Uhm… Captain Yamamoto! Sir… Uhm… well… Uhm… you see… Uhm" the girl stuttered trying to explain
"I'm Yu… Yumida and this is my bother Tamaki… and we are, well we are…"
"… from the future Sir" Tamaki finished her sentence.