Kris: Well hi. This is a bit of a spur-of-the-moment thing. Not the story itself, but the fact I am posting the first chapter now xD It was ready and waiting on my computer and thought 'heh, why not.' May as well test the water and see what my readers think before I continue (I have a lot of the story planned out, regardless. Though seeing as I am busy with my last few months of school, this story won't be regularly updated until around November. And then after my Espada Friendship story is complete, this will become my main-focus story for a bit. Oh yes…yes it will ;]
One PiecexBleach really needs more love. They both get plenty of love when crossed with Naruto, but you rarely come across a fic of just the two of them together. Which is one of the reasons I am writing this xD Hopefully this story will kindle a spark in the OpxBleach fandom, because personally, I think its adorable *A* Partial credit goes to my brother, for coming up with some of the ideas behind this~ x3
Chapter One: That awkward moment when you think you're an alien.
A single moment of carelessness. That was all it had taken for Kurosaki Ichigo's life to go spiralling out of the norm even more so from which it already had.
The day had begun like any other; his father's normal wakeup call, the whole school routine, getting rid of a hollow or two with his recently reawakened Shinigami powers and all the usual business. However, upon the arrival of sunset, an ordinary, forgettable day would soon transform into a not-so-ordinary, unforgettable night which would once again change Ichigo's life forever…
Shit…Ichigo thought, glad to be in his Shinigami form at least, What the hell is he doing here?
Fifty feet above Karakura Town stood none other than Grimmjow Jeagerjaques, strolling casually through the air with a smug-ass grin.
"Ichigo," he gloated, striding as though an invisible surface rested beneath his feet, "Long time, no see."
"Why're you here?" Ichigo demanded, recalling an image from the last time he'd seen the former Sexta Espada. He had been bleeding in the sands of Hueco Mundo, his prone form practically begging for any passing Gillian to dunk him in their breakfast cereal, "When I last saw you, you were like…dead or something."
Grimmjow laughed. "Ha! You think that would kill me? I've gotten even stronger over the past two years," he leapt down from his position in the sky, landing firmly on the ground opposite Ichigo, "But that's not why I'm here. I've come to make a compromise with you, Ichigo. But before that…why not a sparring match for old time's sake, hey?"
Ichigo watched as Grimmjow withdrew his Zanpakuto from its sheath.
"I won't be going easy on you, Kurosaki," the Arrancar promised, "Prepare to feel first-hand just how strong I've gotten!"
Ichigo exhaled. Personality-wise, Grimmjow hadn't changed a bit. A sparring match, was it? That sounded easy enough. He needed a good workout after all; all the recent Hollows had been weak, causing him to become lazy in his attacks. He grabbed Zangetsu's hilt from over his shoulder and brandished the massive Zanpakuto before his opponent.
"Your move," he said with a smug grin.
Grimmjow didn't need a second urging. With a flash, the former Espada disappeared momentarily. He reappeared almost at the same instant to Ichigo's right. With his ability to sense the sonido, Ichigo used the microsecond warning he had to swivel through the air to avoid the strike and clash swords with his opponent at the pinnacle moment.
"You've gotten faster," Grimmjow commended him.
"I could say the same thing," Ichigo responded.
The match continued in a series of untraceable flashsteps, kicks, pokes and exchanging of blows. Eventually, Ichigo decided to turn the battle up a notch before Grimmjow could get the chance.
"Getsuga…" he began, readying his Zanpakuto for its powerful death-swing, "Tensh-waaaaah?"
Both Arrancar and Shinigami paused their brawl for a moment to watch as Ichigo's Zanpakuto was oddly flung from its master's hands. In a glorious and spectacular display, it frizbeed through the air and conveniently down into a nearby drain. There was another moment's pause as the two took the time to process what had just occurred.
"Heh…" Ichigo laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck as he failed his attempts to feign dignity, "One moment, please."
"What the…what kind of dumbass is careless enough to let go of their Zanpakuto?" Grimmjow's voice chastised after him, but soon faded with distance as Ichigo chased the path Zangetsu had taken.
"Geez, how far is it going?" Ichigo wondered in exasperation, as he continued chasing after the glow of the Zanpakuto, "It's not meant to be a big sewerage syst-aaaaaaaaarrrrrrggghhhhh!"
It seemed the drain-way had suddenly cut-off into a deep, sloping ravine, from which Ichigo was swiftly plummeting.
"Hmmmm…so here it is…"
Urahara Kisuke observed the large garganta he'd constructed in his underground training facility. It was unlike any garganta he'd ever built; rather than leading through the Dangai to the Soul Society or to Hueco Mundo, it led to an entirely different dimension. And it looked pretty, but the main focus was the different dimension, one he'd only ever had glimpses of. Sure, he'd heard about it; he'd studied it. All dreams were connected after all. He'd been working on the physical aspect for months and now it was nearing completion. Yet looking inside of it, all that could be seen was a seemingly endless ocean of deep azure water.
"Well I guess it is predominately ocean," Kisuke admitted, recalling what he'd seen and knew, "Although there're a lot of islands…and a ring of land around one of the diagonal hemispheres…I suppose if I do a few more calculations, I can work something out with him and find an island or somewhere to meet…" He turned from the garganta to look down on the various study notes he'd made over the years. "Maybe if I make a re-evaluation by sometime next week…I'll have to adjust the structure slightly…maybe if I did this…"
The sound of something sharp and metallic whizzing at a fast speed from out of a vent in the ceiling almost entered his thoughts, but he didn't register it. But then…
"…AAARRRGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHH …"
"Hm?" Kisuke straightened up.
The sound had come from up in the ceiling at first, before becoming increasingly louder as whatever was producing it rocketed closer and closer. It reached its loudest point, before fading out once again as it travelled further away, all so quickly Kisuke almost didn't hear it.
"Hmmm...That sounded like Kurosaki-kun just now…" Kisuke muttered. However, upon looking in the direction of the sound, he saw nothing. "I guess I'm getting tired and am starting to hear things…" he yawned to himself, closing the garganta, "Yoruichi said this would probably happen if I stayed up five nights in a row like this…I'll get back to work later."
He turned from his workstation and headed back up the ladder into the shop.
The sun had just set on a perfect day. Monkey D. Luffy had been watching from his usual perch upon the figurehead of the Thousand Sunny as the world around him slowly dimmed with the absence of the sun, and evening descended. He was contemplating going and doing what he did best (bugging Sanji for food), when something caught his eye.
What's that? he wondered at the sight of a figure falling through the sky some 20 metres away, before it splashed into the water.
Luffy abruptly stood from his seat and watched the water ripple outwards. A head emerged from the surface, and submerged once again. Someone was out there.
"Man overboard!" Luffy declared loud enough so that his entire crew (and any marine ship within a five kilometre radius) would be alerted, before diving into the ocean, intent of rescuing the fallen stranger.
Nami swung open the door of her quarters and raced out onto the deck. She'd heard Luffy's shout, but found it odd—who could they find out in the middle of the ocean and far from any island? Well stranger things had happened…unless it was one of their own who'd fallen overboard. She neared the front of the ship, to see Sanji, Zoro and Usopp already there.
"Where's Luffy? Who's overboard?" she asked as Chopper scurried out from the infirmary.
"Don't know," replied Usopp, "We just heard Luffy shout that someone was overboard, but then he disappeared."
"Suppose Luffy is the one who's overboard," suggested Robin, as she descended the stair case and joined them, "He called from over here, but I don't see him. If he fell in, he'll be going straight to the bottom."
"Noooo! Luffy!" Chopper cried out as he sprung up onto the rail and prepared to dive overboard to rescue his captain.
Sanji grabbed him before he could go any further. "Idiot! You're a fruit user, you'd sink too."
"I'll get him," Zoro sighed as he undid his boots and stepped onto the rail, "But it's probably his own fault he's gone overboard."
He was about to dive off the ledge, when the thud of someone swinging up onto the opposite rail sounded.
"Looking for this guy?"
The crew—now joined by Franky and Brook—turned to see a teenage boy standing upon the side of the ship, his orange hair and strange black robes heavy with seawater.
"Luffy!" Chopper cried out.
"That's not Luffy!" Zoro snapped at the reindeer.
"No, he's got Luffy."
Their captain was lying limp over the stranger's shoulder.
"He jumped into the water from your ship, I think he wanted to rescue me or something like that…" the orange-haired teen explained, jumping down onto the deck, where he set Luffy down and Chopper worked to remove to water from his lungs, "But I ended up having to rescue him…he's a total hammer, someone needs to teach him to swim."
"That idiot," Nami commented, as Luffy spluttered up the water he'd been digesting.
"Ah, Sanji!" he said, quickly getting to his feet, "I was just about to go and find you! I'm hungry."
"Dumbass!" Zoro interrupted, bashing Luffy over the head with a katana sheath, "We all heard you shout that someone was overboard. You could have waited for someone who's actually able to swim to dive in and rescue him! Not that he really needed rescuing by the looks of things…"
Nine pairs of eyes (well eight actually, since Brook doesn't really have eyes "Yohohoho, skull joke!") turned to focus on Luffy's unknown rescuer.
"Ahh…" Ichigo looked on at the nine figures whose gazes reflected his own. Was that a tanuki? And a long skeleton?! And that kid he'd just rescued…was he some sort of idiot? Not to mention Ichigo was sure no normal human could stretch the corner of their mouth the way he was currently doing…
"Well are you going to tell us who you are, or not?" asked another member of the crew whom Ichigo had his doubts was human. What kind of human half-machine after all?
"Uhhh…I'm Ichigo Kurosaki..."
"That's a funny name," the kid he'd just rescued commented, as he adjusted his straw hat.
"It's not a funny name!" Ichigo retaliated, "And who are you?"
"I'm Luffy," said the straw-hat kid as he extended a hand to Ichigo.
"Nice to meet you, Luffy. Now where the heck are—WHAT?" It was then that Ichigo realised that seeing as he and Luffy were standing over a metre apart, Luffy was quite literally extending his hand…well, arm at least. Ichigo had found the absent minded mouth stretching weird enough, but an arm extending a metre… "That just can't be human…"
"I'm a rubber man," Luffy grinned as he shook Ichigo's hand. "And I'm gonna be King of Pirates!"
"Right. Of course," said Ichigo, This must be some weird dream I'm having… "Good for you, I guess."
"So where did you come from, Ichigo?" another voice asked him.
Ichigo looked down to the owner of the voice.
"I'm not a tanuki, I'm a reindeer!" the strange creature retorted, suddenly changing form.
"It grew!" Ichigo yelped in surprise at the reindeer's sudden, almost human transformation. "Who the hell are you guys anyway?"
"We're the ones who should be asking you that," stated a girl with lengthily copper hair, "Besides, we're the Straw Hat pirates. Surely you would have heard of us by now."
Ichigo shook his head. "Nope. Sorry to let you down, but I've never heard of you."
"Hmmm…You're not from around here, are you?" asked a tall dark-haired woman.
"Uhh…" Ichigo took in their surroundings to see nothing but ocean, "I guess not."
"He fell from the sky and has weird clothes," observed a muscled boy of about Ichigo's height, though with a long nose, "He must be an alien."
"REALLY?" shrieked the reindeer-like creature, now back in his smaller form.
"He must be. He came from the moon."
"SO COOL!" Luffy cried. "Hey Moon Guy, do ya wanna join us?"
This earned him a thump on the head from a well-built green-haired man, who had three katanas sheathed into his belt.
Why does he need three swords? Ichigo wondered, also noting a scar disabling the man's left eye.
"Idiot!" snapped Three-Swords, "What have I told you about asking strangers to join us? And weird ones from the sky, no less…"
"The moon," corrected Luffy.
"I'm not from the moon…" Ichigo stated.
"Maybe he's from a sky-island," suggested a blond-haired, curly-browed man casually as he puffed a cloud of smoke from his cigarette.
"I agree with you on this one, cook" nodded Three-Swords, "I don't think he's an alien."
"Why don't we just ask him where he's from," the dark-haired woman suggested with a smile.
"Robin-chwan is so smart~~!" Curly-Brow sang as he twisted and twirled, "Where are you from, Ichigo?"
Ichigo quickly ceased glancing questioningly at Curly-Brow's twirling and answered. "Karakura Town."
There was silence.
"It's in Japan."
Tanuki-Deer tilted his head to the side. "What's a Japan?"
"It's one of the most populated countries on Earth…"
"What's an Earth?"
"Maybe he really is an alien," Three-Swords considered with a frown.
"I knew it! I was right! Just as you'd all expect of The Great Captain Usopp!"
If they've never heard of Japan or Earth…thought Ichigo worriedly, as Luffy, Tanuki-Deer, Long-Nose, Curly-Brow, Long-Skeleton and Machine-Speedo-Guy (pretty much everyone but Zoro, Nami and Robin) carried on like a bunch of excited, scared and emotional idiots, Maybe I really AM an alien…
"Wait a moment…" a strange reality dawned on Ichigo, "You guys can see me?"
"Yes. Even though I don't have eyes!" Long-Skeleton supplied.
"Are aliens meant to be invisible or something?" Machine-Speedo-Guy asked, "I suppose if they get invisibility-boosters somehow..."
"He's sooooooo cool!" Luffy shouted, before running over to Three-Swords, "Zoro! Can we keep him? Pleeeeeease, he's so strange!"
"Uhhh…" Ichigo wasn't sure how to react to the unintentional insult.
"Don't ask me. Besides, you and Brook are much stranger."
"Yohoho-Hey!" snapped Long-Skeleton, whom Ichigo guessed was Brook.
He agreed with Three-Swords though.
"Why don't we just drop him off at the next island?" suggested Curly-Brow, "He's probably best off making his own way from there."
Ichigo liked the idea. The sooner he escaped the ship of weirdos, the better.
"But first how did you get here, alien?" asked Long-Nose.
"Well," began Ichigo, realising he once again had the attention of the entire crew. "Maybe it was something to do with that garganta…"
Ichigo went on to explain to the crew how he'd gotten there—the initial fight with Grimmjow, falling through Urahara's training room and garganta, before realising. "Zangetsu!" he almost shouted, climbing up onto the rail.
"Leaving already?" Luffy pouted.
"I have to get my Zanpakuto," Ichigo explained.
"My sword. I was chasing it but got distracted when Luffy fell in. I better get him now."
He was about to jump in, when Machine-Speedo-Guy stopped him.
"Does the sword happen to look like a huge cleaver?"
Ichigo paled, a sick, nagging sensation bugging him from within. "Yeah, why?"
"Well just after the captain shouted about a man being overboard, a Sea King went past just below deck. It had that sword in its mouth, bro!"
"I saw that too," the dark-haired woman realised.
Ichigo wasn't completely sure what a Sea King was, but it didn't sound too good.
"Zangetsu…" he said, dropping to his knees. He could feel the reiatsu of his Zanpakuto though it was far off now, hence the odd feeling that was coming upon him.
The sound of footsteps swiftly approached him, and Ichigo looked up to see Luffy gazing solemnly down at him. "Your sword is your treasure," Luffy began, removing his straw hat and dusting it off, "But you had to stop chasing it so you could save me from the water…and now a Sea King has taken it."
"…" Ichigo wasn't quite sure where this was going.
"To repay you, we won't be dropping you off at any next island. From this moment until you get your treasure back, you're travelling with us!"
There were mixed reactions from the crew.
"I'm indebted to him, so we don't have any choice," Luffy told them, as he re-hatted his head, "Besides, he won't stay with us forever like a Nakama or anything. Just for now," he turned back to Ichigo and smiled. "You're coming with us, Moon guy."
Ichigo wasn't sure if this was a good or bad thing…but was sure he'd find out soon enough. What have I gotten myself into this time?
Next Time: Ichigo quickly learns that life of the Thousand Sunny is not something predictable. The crew disembark on a new island, but what awaits them? And is Ichigo's derpiness any match for Luffy's idiocy?
Kris: Man, I can't wait to focus on this when school is over xD Keep in mind, a lot of this story is still in the developing stage, though the central plot is completely planned. Please review your thoughts! As I said before, OpxBleach needs more love, and support, feedback, criticism, or any review is appreciated :D Chapter two coming before too long~