A/N: I want to apologize for the delay, instead of whining about what went wrong I would rather tell you that I am very proud of my four year old daughter. She hacked my computer. Meaning she broke my seventeen character Japanese password (she only speaks English and Spanish), she re-formatted my bios, changed my language settings to Thai, removed all of my saved files, and removed my firewall. Three frustrated IT guys and two weeks later I have my computer back, am rewriting the newest chapters, and thinking about how much it will cost to send my little girl to MIT so I can start saving now. Now on with the story…
Chapter 7-2 Sides of Me
Ichigo stood at the mirrored window of his office with his eye twitching in aggravation, the reason for it was the shatei that he had been tasked to teach. Right now Kon was down on the floor causing chaos among the staff and regulars, the reason for the chaos was Kon was virtually Ichigo's identical twin. Even though they were not related there were only subtle differences between the two men, Ichigo was taller and broader by a few inches and Kon was immature, obsessed with tits, and an avid prankster. Ichigo watched as Kon followed Nel around like a love sick fool threatening all of her regulars that were flirting with the buxom woman. Ichigo let out a growl as the intercom buzzed, with a final glare Ichigo turned to his desk.
"What?" he snapped.
"Hey, I ain't done shit to you so don't snap at me!" yelled Karin.
"Sorry, what's up?"
"Um you know that guy that Nel's been seeing? The tall one that Grimm's always with? Well Kon just went after him for grabbing Nel. I think you are about to have a nasty bar fight on your hands, dude thinks Kon is you."
"FUCK! Nnoitra should know that's not me!"
"He's pretty drunk, came in saying something about his family, I don't know but Starrk can't get him to calm down either. Hold on…..Hey Starrk said call Grimmjow and get your ass down here."
"On my way."
Ichigo dialed his blue haired friends number as he hurried to the floor, "Yo berry what's up?" came the gravel laced voice of Grimmjow.
"Hey get your ass to the club and coral Nnoitra, he's about to destroy my place."
"What the hell happened to cause him to flip?"
"Kon and his family apparently."
"FUCK! I'll be there is five tell the bouncers to let me in." The line went dead as Ichigo grabbed Ikkaku on his way.
"Hey tell Yammy that Grimm is on his way, let him through with no questions. Then clear the VIP room so I can try to coral this shit before it gets out of hand." Ikkaku nodded as he ran off to the door to talk to the very large door man.
Ichigo skid to a halt in front of a very pissed off Nnoitra who looked at him in confusion. Nel could be heard beside the irate man sighing in relief and Kon hid behind his double whimpering. "Ichigo and Ichigo? What the fuck man you 'ave a twin?" Nnoitra finally sneered.
Ichigo looked at the man currently drawn up to his almost seven foot height and glaring death at everyone near him, with a sigh he drew himself up, "Nnoi I want you to come with me to the VIP room, I don't need this shit on the floor. Starrk bring Kon along as well, I think that it's time we settled a few things about how he can and cannot behave." He walked away from the group leaving the others to follow him, Nel pushing Nnoitra ahead of her. Ichigo entered the posh VIP lounge as Ikkaku was still trying to evict the currant customers that were giving him a hard time. The bald man gave his boss an apologetic look turning back to the group of drunken patrons.
"Oi that's it, I've asked you to vacate this room nicely now I'll just have to show out." Ikkaku snarled taking a step toward them just as the door was flung open, slamming into the wall, and a very pissed Nnoitra stormed in followed by a wild looking blue haired man and a sleepy looking Starrk forcibly dragging Kon behind him. The inebriated men took a look around eyes growing wide as they took in the insanely tall one eyed Nnoitra who was currently threatening Grimmjow with extensive bodily harm and the blue haired Grimmjow who was growling and glaring at his friend. It was obvious that Grimmjow had come from the gym, he was wearing a black wife beater that was soaked in sweat turning it into a second skin, blue boxing shorts, both his hands and feet were taped and he wore his tennis shoes loose and untied with no socks. Starrk had Kon pinned to the wall holding the violently panicking man with one hand and looking like he was going to fall asleep the entire time.
Ignoring the customers Ichigo's voice rose above the din, "Everyone shut up and sit the fuck down!" His tone garnered no debate and everyone including the still shell shocked customers sat down. "Kon I don't know how many times I've had to tell you since you got here that you have to behave yourself, this is going to be the last time I talk to you about it before I call Oyabun and tell him you are unteachable and a disgrace to the family." Ichigo watched as his customers faces paled as they tried to edge out of the room full of what they figured was Yakuza, Ichigo gave Ikkaku a quick look and the bald man quickly rounded the five outsiders up and took them to Ichigo's office to wait for the orange haired man.
Nnoitra was glaring at Kon wondering how this idiot had come to be here, and if he was really sent by the old man. "Ichigo, this man is part of the family?"
"Yes unfortunately, jii-san sent him to be trained by Zangetsu and Shiro and has me trying to teach him how to run a club because this idiot thinks he can do it. Now Kon, I will give you the rules one more time, you are to follow me until I send you to follow Starrk, Ikkaku, Shinji, or Renji. You will listen to everything you are told to do and you will be on your best behavior. If you cause even one more disturbance I will hand you over to Nnoitra to dispose of. Now this includes how you will behave around women, you will not follow my staff around like a dog in heat, you will show them respect and abide by their wishes not to be hit on, same goes for my customers. If you fail to learn how to behave like a normal human around women I will have you sent to Retsu for sensitivity training." The men in the room all paled at the mention of the older woman, she was jii-san's on again off again lover and she was scarier than a room full of armed men.
"I'll do better, I promise just don't send me to that woman!" cried Kon.
"I think that I will leave you here with Nnoitra, Nel, and Grimmjow for the rest of the night or until they release you. Now I have to go deal with those drunken idiots who probably think that the Yakuza just killed someone in here." Ichigo snarled as he and Starrk walked out leaving a trembling Kon looking at the two larger men he had been forced to stay with.
Ichigo stormed into his office sending the now sober men scrambling to the far side of the room, "Sit down." Ichigo snapped and they rushed to the seats Ichigo indicated. "I don't care what you think you witnessed tonight, I don't care who you run your mouth to, but I want you to think about it before you do. If you saw what you think you did then you'd be really stupid to say anything but if you didn't see what you thought you did and you said you did you could get in trouble for filing a false report or if you avoid the authorities you might still draw the attention of other undesirable individuals who want to know what you saw and won't be as nice as me. Now get out." Ichigo watched the men rush out of the office and kept going until they were out the front door, he turned back to Ikkaku. "You got their names and shit right?"
"Of course, I used the scanner and got all their information. I'll send it to more discrete kyodai to have them taken care of."
"I want them watched for a bit; I don't need them showing up dead so soon after being seen in my club during a fight and running scared from my office. Ask Ukitake to handle it, I need to ensure they don't talk." Ikkaku nodded and left the room. Turning to Starrk who appeared to be asleep on the couch Ichigo let a small smile grace his face as he walked over to straddle the man's lap. A smirk spread across his face as Starrk's hands began to travel up Ichigo's back sliding under his shirt. Ichigo leaned in for a kiss when a loud knock suddenly sounded; Ichigo growled lowly before calling out, "Who is it?"
"Ichigo get off of Starrk I'm coming in," yelled Karin. Ichigo slid off of his comfortable perch on Starrk's lap to sit beside him as Karin walked in. "Ichigo there is a man at the bar who says he needs to speak to you, something about family business or some bull shit." Ichigo got up and Karin pointed him out through the mirror.
Ichigo looked over at Starrk as he joined them, "Hey isn't that the idiot from a few months ago? Ryo or something like that?" Starrk nodded and moved to sit back on the couch pulling out his phone. Ichigo heard his voice rumbling low as he talked to whoever he had called. Ichigo and Karin watched the man for a few more seconds before Ichigo looked at his sister, "Karin go ahead back to the bar, tell him I'm busy at the moment but he should wait I'll see him in just a bit." Karin nodded before leaving the office just as Starrk hung up his phone. "So what does Zan have to say about the guy?"
"How did you know I called him? Doesn't matter, Zan said that the kid is a punk already on his way out before he ever really had a chance to get in. he's been running his mouth about you and the club since the incident even though he was told by Zan to drop it and Shiro actually beat the shit out of him for saying he was gonna try to take you out. It seems that you have a problem on your hands dealing with that boy."
Ichigo sighed as he thought about what to do with the boy sitting at his bar, "I'm gonna have Karin send him up and see what he has to say, stick around." Ichigo called to the bar and watched Karin turn to speak to the surly looking boy, before he stood and made his way toward the back office. Starrk was sending a text message to the two men still in the VIP lounge before leaning back and closing his eyes apparently going back to sleep. There was a knock on the door before Ichigo had a chance to comment to his lover about being a lazy bastard. "Come."
Ryo entered the office and looked around noticing the sleeping man on the couch with a smirk. Turning to Ichigo again he glared at the orange head, "You know that you've caused me nothing but problems since I met you?"
"You brought your own shit down on your own head; I washed my hands of you when you walked out my door. You apparently are the one who couldn't drop it. You do know that coming after me is not a smart idea, don't you? Oyabun Yamamoto is not forgiving."
"You are mine, I don't care if you think your insignificant ass is important to the head of our family, I can guarantee it's not." Ryo said not noticing the office door sliding open and the three men entering. "You are full of shit, I researched the name Kurosaki and there has never been a Kurosaki in the family, so why would you think that the family will protect you?"
"He is protected because we said he is," growled out a very pissed looking Grimmjow. "None of us are members of Yamamoto's family."
Ryo looked at the men standing behind him and glared, "I figured that out for myself, I couldn't find any information on any of you freaks. Old man Zangetsu and his freak of a son are protecting you and I want to know why."
"Kon call Shu-chan and tell him what's going on, Starrk call the old perv and find out what he wants me to do, and Nnoi I need you and Grimm to go to the floor and make sure this fucktard didn't bring anyone with him to start shit. Ryo you might as well sit down because I won't be doing anything for a few minutes, I have rules that I follow in order to preserve disciple and honor. You should learn what discipline and honor is if you plan to embrace the life."
"Hey Ichi, Shuhei wants to talk to you," Kon said walking up to his double. Ichigo took the phone and stared at Ryo while he spoke briefly to the man on the other line. After a few comments and mumbled responses Ichigo hung up with a smirk on his face. He looked over as Starrk got up moving to speak quietly to Ichigo.
"Hey Urahara said that they are ready to move anytime you are just send word." Ichigo nodded and turned back to Ryo.
"You want me it looks like you have me. You will meet me tonight after hours," Ichigo scribbled on a piece of paper, "Meet me here at this time, I won't tell you to come alone because you don't possess the honor to face me like a man or the balls either. Now you and your friends will leave my club and not return." Ryo stood up and made a move toward Ichigo only to be stopped by Starrk and Kon, the two men removing the irate young man forcibly. A few moments later Karin came storming into the office.
"Ichigo you Idiot! Do you know who is down at the bar right now? Are you crazy getting involved further with THOSE people? I know that dad was with them forever but why do you have to join them?"
"Karin, you don't understand. It's a lot more complicated than you or Yuzu understand dad wasn't just a part of them; he was their leader, the head of their family. When he died his second stepped up but the title in all reality is mine now, I only have to step in and assume my position. You and Yuzu are also in the family if only because you are dads children and my sisters. You can assume a more active role if you so choose but I would like you to live a normal life. I have been groomed for this since I was 12, this is the life I was destined to live. Now go back to the bar and do your job, I will be leaving you to close up tonight so that I can take care of this kid and his over inflated ego. Oh, who's at the bar?"
"That woman." Ichigo flinched as Karin stormed out. Ichigo followed behind her after a second to go great his guest.
"Yoruichi what are you doing here?" Ichigo asked as he reached the dark skinned woman.
She gave Ichigo a huge smile before she launched herself at him wrapping her arms around him in a death grip earning a glare from the dark haired girl behind the bar. "Ichigo how have you been?"
Ichigo wrestled out of the tight grip and escorted the woman away from his glaring sister and into his office. "I was sent to make sure that nothing happens before the time set. We have a lot of info on this Ryo kid and don't trust him. You do know that calling us in to help means that you've declared your intent to step into your roll finally."
"Yeah I know I've been talking it over with Starrk a lot lately and figured that it was time for me to do what dad has trained me for. You are aware that I plan to finish the integration of the late Aizen's men into the fold, it was something that dad was adamant about and I want to honor his wishes."
"We've been working with his lieutenants and they won't budge on the merger unless the heir assumes the throne." She said with a smirk and a mock bow.
"I'll have Starrk call them and arrange a meeting. Stay away from Karin and keep an eye on the place I'll meet you in a bit when it's time to go."
"I wish I knew why she was so hostile towards me," Yoruichi said looking at the smaller woman, "I don't think that I've ever done anything to her to deserve it."
"It's complicated so just drop it for now," Ichigo sighed.
"No I will not drop it, that girl has treated me like I killed her puppy for as long as I can remember."
"She thinks that you and dad had something going on right after mom died. She saw you coming out of his room the morning after mom's funeral. She refuses to believe that nothing happened, dad told me the entire story but he made me swear that I wouldn't tell the girls."
"Yeah I don't think the girls need to hear that your dad tried to kill himself," Yoruichi said sadly.
"Well for now go down to the floor, we'll be leaving soon. Send Starrk up if you could." Yoruichi nodded and made her way back out.
Ichigo looked at the group around him, finally settling on the blond haired man in front of him.
"So Ichi you are finally taking over?"
"Yeah Kisuke, I'm finally ready to step up into dad's shoes. Tonight is an annoyance but the kid needs to learn his place." Ichigo sighed. He watched Kisuke reach for a box and handed it to Ichigo.
"Well Ichigo I am proud to present you with the mask your father had made for you," Kisuke watched as Ichigo pulled out a white mask with red markings. "I am honored to serve under you as your second in command. Ichigo may I present your family, the Vizards." A large part of the group bowed.
"Thank you," Ichigo said sliding his mask on, "tonight we are joined by members of the Espada by my invitation. Soon I will enter into negotiations with Tousen-san to bring them into the family. We are all aware of the rules; no one is to know your identity. We are the masked soldiers those we face tonight are members of Yamamoto's family, even though we are under his employ. Be ready for anything, the kid has no honor."
Ichigo sat on a crate in the middle of the floor waiting for Ryo to arrive at the warehouse. The Vizards were already in place around the large space; their orders were to stay hidden unless otherwise instructed. If Ryo decided to face him one on one there would be no need for the others. Ichigo looked up at the sound of the door sliding open and watched Ryo enter followed by a dozen other young men, most looked no more than children. Ichigo stood as Ryo approached him with a smirk.
"So you came alone?" sneered Ryo, "You really are a fool."
"I gave you the chance to prove you have honor, by arriving with these men and armed you have shown me that there is no honor in you. This is a conflict between individuals and you choose to bring an army, I will answer your show of force with one of my own. You lead your men like lambs to the slaughter by not knowing your enemy."
"Okay carrot top when did you get all Zen? You will not walk out of here tonight I will personally end your life. Men subdue him." Ryo's men chuckled as they started to move forward.
Ichigo shook his head sadly and raised his hand halting the advancing men, "You had your chance." Ichigo reached behind him pulling his mask over his face, before the movement had a chance to register the menacing group found themselves at a clear disadvantage. The Vizards had moved out of hiding and had taken down the dozen men that Ryo brought with him. "Ryo you have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting. Any last words?"
"What the hell! Who are you that you have the masked ones at your command?"
"So you know who we are?" Ryo nodded. "Good then you know that you will not leave here. You were given the chance to save yourself but ignored the orders of your elders and betters now you have two choices, die by my blade with honor or die by your own as a coward."
"I would rather go out fighting," Ryo said through clenched teeth. He knew he was fucked but he was going to go out fighting.
Ichigo smiled behind his mask as he moved into his fighting stance, "Then show me that you are worth an honorable end." Ryo watched the orange haired man move smoothly across the floor as he circled looking for an opening. Ichigo gave him none so he moved in slowly to try to catch him off guard. Ichigo blocked the fist that flew at him, swatting it away as if it was nothing more than a fly. Ryo tried to follow up with a round house kick, Ichigo let out a mirthless chuckle as he allowed the blow to land before wrapping his arm around his leg and backhanding Ryo across the face. Using his grip on the leg Ichigo hip threw Ryo to the ground before bringing his fist down to connect with the stunned man's face. Ichigo stood looking at the now unconscious man and growled.
"Kisuke, I want you to tie all of them up and have them left on Kuchiki's doorstep with a note, 'A gift of the dishonored from the masked army'. I'll call Zan and Oyabun Yama to let them know that we left them alive but judged and in Byakuya's hands."
"Very well Ichigo, I will do as you command. Tomorrow I will come by the club so we can talk."
"Very good, see you then. I am taking the Espada with me; until they are fully joined I will keep them from knowing the location of our family." Kisuke nodded and Ichigo left with Starrk, Grimmjow, Nnoitra, and Ulquiorra.
Ichigo and Starrk fell through the front door still wrapped around each other, after the unsatisfactory fight earlier they both had some pent up aggression that they were more than willing to take out on each other's bodies.