"Che," a gangly orange haired youth mumbled as he stuffed his hands in the pockets of his open black Mashiba Middle School uniform jacket. He turned and walked with a slight limp that he knew would gone as he continued to make his way home. As he moved on he ignored the group of bodies that laid spread about on the ground behind him as he made his way towards the streets.
Spring was now in full force in the town of Karakura. The temperatures nice and even as it cooled now with the sun setting; the skies an overcast orange and the new school year was in effect. And with the new school year came old problems to this young man. However, as annoying as it was to him it was at least familiar and easy to deal with compared to what new problems had sprung up.
Then again, something that started over a year ago shouldn't really be called new.
He looked up to the sky and scowled, the color reminding him of why the knocked out idiots he was leaving behind attacked him. He grunted again as he made his way forward, slouching a bit more.
Name: Kurosaki Ichigo
Hair Color: Orange
Eye Color: Brown
Occupation: Junior High School student
The boy promptly ignored a pale see through passerby that was waving to him and trying to get his attention as he continued to walk home.
Special Skill: He can see ghosts & spirits.
Now wouldn't that be awesome if that's what this story info would lead into?
He made his way to his home, a combination house and family clinic which his father ran. Going around the Clinic Entrance he took out his keys and unlocked the door and stretched, popping a few kinks in his shoulder.
"I'm home," he called out.
"Welcome home dear," A cheerful voice called out.
His teeth grit as he forced himself not to scowl harder than he was now, his fists balling as the more recent cause of his issues came out of the kitchen, wringing her hands in the apron she wore. She was about his height with light violet hair done up in a high ponytail with bangs that ended just below her eyebrows. Eyes that were the same color shone with welcome as she greeted him. A purple kimono was worn underneath the white apron she had sported, not so white as Ichigo saw splotches of what he guessed was her latest attempt at dinner tonight.
Name: Kurosaki Miya.
Hair Color: Violet
Eye Color: Violet
"Did you have a good day, Ichigo?"
In Association with Wheeljack...
A Veiled Moon What If Scenario...
Part 1 of 2
The eldest Kurosaki son simply grunted non-committedly as he made his way past the new Kurosaki matriarch. As usual, he ignored the disappointed sigh from the lavender-haired woman as he made his way towards his room.
As Miya watched him disappear she called out to him. "Dinner will be ready soon!"
"Thanks," he called back before pausing to glance at his mother's shrine and his face softened before going up the stairs to his room. Reaching his room he tossed his school bag into a corner and took off his black school jacket and tossed it on his desk before flopping onto his bed and looking up at the ceiling and scowled.
How much longer was he gonna keep doing this to himself? To her?
'As long as I can,' a vindictive voice in his head smoothly said before he grumbled and frowned harder and closed his eyes. 'There's nothing wrong with the way you're acting,' it said again. 'She's the interloper after all…'
He looked to the side and noted the calendar on the wall and the date. Almost six months. Six months since Kurosaki Isshin married the woman he had met while he had been off in Teito for some medical seminar for MIB (or was it MBI?) some four months prior. He grit his teeth, still shocked at what happened but at the same time not feeling he could say anything. He was responsible for all of this after all.
He was the one that killed mom and changed everything.
And his alone.
What right did he have to butt his head into his father's business?
'Every right. She shouldn't be here.'
He grit his hands. This was getting old. He had no right to begrudge her and she had been nothing but kind to him and his sisters since the first time she met them.
'But that didn't mean dad had to get re-married!'
He shook his head and stood up and made his way to the door, figuring dinner should be ready now and to get to the table. As he shoved his hands into his pocket he for the millionth time since he realized that his dad would marry that woman thought how did this all happen?
-Ten Months Ago-
"And with this we conclude the first half of our seminar," the speaker said in front of a podium into a microphone. The large screen behind him flashed with an animation logo for MBI. "We will have an hour recess interlude so please enjoy the lunch buffet, courtesy of MBI," the speaker informed to some cheers from the attendees who ad been watching, furiously taking notes on the new technology that this wonder company seemed to making on a daily basis.
"C'mon Ishida, lets get a-going!" One of those cheerful voices shouted as he grabbed a bespectacled white haired man who looked anything but cheerful as he was dragged away.
Above them along the catwalks security was making the rounds with gusto, having two important VIPs among them also making the rounds.
Two of the famed Disciplinary Squad, Numbers One and Five, were among the premises with security now. In actuality the entire Disciplinary Squad was on hand, called from the Director to have them begin more adjusting at the headquarters before sending them back to the island. The others were currently with Asama Takehito and Sahashi Takami going over the latest projections and tests.
"Does everything meet with your approval, ma'am?!" The head of Security asked the famed Number One, Miya. An utter Goddess in battle; this being, this Sekirei signaled the end of all opposition the moment she took the field. It was something that the others had seen in videos and feeds and could only gape in astonishment of what they witnessed.
No one was about to piss her off during her stay there.
"Everything appears satisfactory, Captain. You may carry on." She said and nodded before resuming her patrol, a break from the testing she and the others had been going through, and more to be honest unsettled as she wanted to go back to the island to shore up their defenses.
Down below Isshin had dragged his victim around the buffet, piling on the food and complimenting the chefs as the aroma had him licking his lips. MBI had spared no expense on the buffet, and it showed.
"You can't ::munchmunch:: tell me ::swallow:: that you aren't ::drink:: enjoying this, right?"
"Would it kill you to wait until we reach the table to start eating?" an exasperated Ishida Ryuuken bit out as they both made their way to a table.
"Quite ::Omnomnom:: possibly."
Why? Why had they both been called to the seminar together?
Finally sitting both men began eating in earnest, Ishida being quiet as he ate slowly while doing his best to ignore the conversation that Isshin had been trying to start. Joke was on him, Isshin would just talk no matter how much he ignored him. And so both of them and the hundreds of other attendees ate, filling their stomachs before wandering around the lobby areas were they were allowed. Both Isshin and Ryuuken followed to walk off the food, Isshin leading the man around to check out the ritzy atmosphere that they found themselves among.
It wouldn't be long before Isshin as he glanced around another corner found the veranda, but it lay among the area that had been set off limits to them.
"Let's go, Isshin, it'll start soon," Ryuuken mumbled, ready to get back.
"It's not gonna start for another twenty-five minutes, we got time. And it looks like a great view."
"Ahh, c'mon man, live a little."
A little bit away security had been watching on video feed.
"We have two near the off areas section in Wing D, send Tsukino and Kamiya to kindly inform them to step away please," the man in front of the feed said into the speaker.
"I'm in the area, leave it to me," a feminine voice replied back over the channel.
The man was about to reply back at being overruled when he recognized the voice and gulped. It wasn't his intention to scare the two that badly. For Miya, the idea that this would be a break in the monotony of the day never so much crossed her mind. Two people were in violation of the rules and she would lay justice onto them swiftly and severely so that they may never again try anything with such stupidity. And if they did...?
Too bad for them.
As she walked she found herself entering Wing D and two voices could be heard, one firm and the other...
Against her better instincts she waited and listened. Miya paused as she could not quite remember hearing anything quite like it. Shaking her head and chiding herself she then briskly stepped forward to make herself known.
"I know this is probably going to be foolish of me to ask," Ryuuken sighed as he followed Isshin. "But must you persist in such idiotic acts? It's one thing in private, but to be like this in public..."
"Oh would you get that stick outta your butt and come on?" Isshin sighed dramatically. "It's not everyday you get a chance to tour a hotel as fancy as this. I can't wait to rub this in Ichigo's face!"
"Yes... well your attempts to poke fun at your son not withstanding, I must ask why, exactly, are we really back here?"
Isshin grinned, "Souvenirs, more food, y'know the usual stuff."
"There's enough of that back in the lobby. Besides, that's not what we came back here for and you know it. Now let's go."
"Eh? But we just started exploring, why you wanna go now?"
"Because I know you. If I do not stop you now, we'll be late."
"If we're late, it'll be fashionable. C'mon man, where's your sense of curiosity? Of adventure? For all you know we could find that MBI's hiding an alien invasion here!"
"My curiosity is as dead as you technically are. Now. Let's. Go."
"So what would you do if that dead curiosity of yours manages to end the world just because you didn't wanna be late to the meeting?" Isshin sighed dramatically, "Where's your sense of responsibility for humanity my friend?"
Ryuuken turned to stare at Isshin blankly before turning back and started to walk off.
"Hey come back here, you're an accomplice in all this!" Isshin shouted back.
Ryuuken stopped and turned. "Knock yourself out." And then continued on.
"Fine, more bragging rights for me!" Isshin huffed. "Some father you are! Won't even take advantage of a situation to tease your stubborn kid!"
Not even acknowledging the man Ryuuken continued onward.
"Go ahead and be a fuddy duddy, Ryuuken!" Isshin yelled out, spreading his legs in a wide stance, leaning back a bit and pointing a righteous finger at Ryuuken. "See if I care! Cuz. I. Dooo~on't!" he called out, lowering his stance and motioning himself in a circle as he bellowed. At that point however Isshin would have continued on his berating tirade were it not for a new, melodic sound reaching his ears. Blinking in surprise, he turned...
And suddenly found it hard to breath for the first time in years.
They continued to stare... Until finally...
"Ufufu...," a hand came quickly to her mouth.
What was this?
"Fufufu...mmmn... fufu." For a moment she seemed to convulse with trying to decide what to do, to let what wanted... what needed to be let out or hold it in.
Giggling won out.
Isshin stared at the woman, dressed in a dark hakama with a black skirt that showed off toned and powerful legs began to giggle uncontrollably before started to calm down to look the instigator in the eye as best she could and smiled. Isshin, still stuck in his pose could only find himself seeing only her.
And smiled back.
Dinner was subdued affair.
At least, to one Kurosaki Ichigo it was. Around him the table was bustling with conversation, mostly between his dad and step-mom with bits and pieces of words from his young sisters added in. Or at least he had thought so as he wasn't really paying much attention to it as he picked his food and slowly ate and tried to block out the world as he attempted to concentrate on things such as homework
"So how was your day Ichigo?" Miya asked as she picked up her chopsticks.
The Eldest Kurosaki child shrugged, "'Bout the same as always. Had class, came home. Not much of nuttin'."
Miya's smile only slightly faltered but pressed on. "Is everything okay? You had a slight limp when you walked in earlier."
"I'm fine," he grunted. "'S nothing."
"Ichi-nii..." Yuzu said as looked at her elder brother in concern.
Ichigo said nothing as he grasped the udon noodles in his bowl with his chopsticks. As he ate the meal, his eyes widened in surprise slightly. "Oy... this is kinda good. Did you order out or somethin'?"
"Ichi-nii," Karin said somewhat surprised. "Miya-kaasan cooked this."
"She did?!" Ichigo then internally winced, not quite having meant it to come out like that.
"Ow! What the hell dad?!" Ichigo cried out, rubbing his head slightly.
"Ichigo," Isshin said gruffly and gave him a skewed look as he tilted his head towards Miya but still semi-glaring at him.
Ichigo gave his father a slight glare but turned to his... step-mother and bowed his head slightly, "...Sorry."
"Oh, my," Miya responded with a bit of a blush. "I know what I started with hasn't really been that good, but Yuzu has been helping me a lot and we've been learning together." As she finished she turned to look at the youngest of the Kurosaki's and Yuzu smiled back in return.
"Miya-kassan's a quick learner." Yuzu complemented. "And it's been a lot of fun cooking together!"
Ichigo looked on as his sister and Miya shared a smile and rubbed his head. He had known about Yuzu having needed to help the woman but didn't realize just how far she had come. Now in regards to his father, who he had turned back to face and glare at was now pointedly ignoring him in favor of his food.
That was normal, but the bop before...
Not that they hadn't traded blows before in the name of training, but Isshin himself had changed a bit since his... marriage.
Dad was acting like... like...
Like he had when mom was still alive.
Ichigo scowled a bit harder.
-A Few Weeks Later-
Ichigo and Tatsuki found themselves walking home together, Tatsuki's club being off for the day and Ichigo not so much as interested in attending today. Due to this, it was still midday and the sun high overhead and the heat just making itself known for late spring. Ichigo walked along, slightly slouching with carrying his school bag in hand flipped over his right shoulder.
"So what's up with you Ichigo?" Asked Tatsuki, her own book bag slung over her shoulder. "Everything ok with that lady your dad married?"
Ichigo grunted and the right side of his mouth dipped a bit. "It's fine."
Tatsuki raised an eyebrow at his expression, "Is it now?"
"Yeah. Why do you ask?" He inquired, curious to what brought this on.
"Oh I dunno," Tatsuki shrugged. "Ever since she showed up you've just been... I dunno... actin' a bit funny. Like you don't know how to deal with it."
Ichigo paused and Tatsuki stopped a few feet ahead of him and waited. "Does it really seem that way?" He asked her.
"Kinda," Tatsuki shrugged. "I'm not a shrink but... I dunno... it's like... she confuses you too much y'know?"
Ichigo grunted and then started walking again. Tatsuki shook her head and resumed her pace as she fell in step with Ichigo, "So how's Chad doin'?"
Ichigo blinked and felt a weight lift from his shoulders. Finally something to get off that topic. "Seems okay. Looks like he made a promise to not fight though."
"He did? To who?"
"His abobo or something. I think it means grandfather."
"I see," Tatsuki smirked. "Abobo huh?"
Ichigo shrugged. "It was spanish I think."
"A multi-linguist you ain't Ichigo," Tatsuki chuckled.
Ichigo smiled himself. "So it seems. So it..." he trailed off as he came to a stop, looking into the distance to see if he was seeing things right and his mouth parted slightly.
Tatsuki paused, looking up at her childhood friend, "What's wrong Ichigo?"
Ichigo didn't answer as he then sprinted off before he lost sight of them.
"Hey!" Tatsuki cried as she gave chase. "What the hell Ichigo?!"
If Ichigo had heard her he gave no indication as he ran across the street as the light signal began to turn yellow. 'Was that Yuzu and Karin?' he thought wondering why they were out here. 'And who were they with?!' There was someone with them holding a hand that he didn't recognize. He continued his run and increased his speed, now reaching the corner of the next block and turning, sure that he had seen Yuzu. Looking down the new street he paused and blinked, wondering if he was seeing things right.
Up ahead were his sisters and... Miya?
Yes, it was her but she was wearing... wearing...
Normal clothes. In public.
He shook his head; thinking that while she hadn't always worn her kimono he could count the number of times he had seen her in something else in one hand. She was wearing a long sleeve casual white blouse and dark slacks. On her feet were black flat heeled shoes and the whole ensemble caused Miya to have a classical aura about her the likes of which Ichigo had never thought possible. He just shook his head in stunned silence as he turned to see that Karin was indeed with them and carrying... a bokken? Since when did she have that?
"Hey!" he called out to them and ran forward to catch them.
Karin and Miya turned to the voice, surprised looks on both their faces. "Ichi-nii? What're you doin' here?"
"'What I am doing here?' What are you doing here? And why do you have that bokken, Karin?"
"I'm goin' to class that's what I'm doing," Karin replied as Ichigo and Tatsuki caught up to them.
"And since when do you take kendo lessons?" Tatsuki asked before Ichigo could blurt it out as she huffed a bit.
"For the past few months," Karin replied confused. She then turned to Ichigo. "You didn't know, Ichi-nii?"
Ichigo looked down at her and the confusion and small look of hurt tore at him a bit. No, he didn't know. 'That's because you haven't wanted to deal with reality for some time now,' his conscious mentioned.
The rise and fall of Ichigo's shoulders slowed as he continued to catch his breath. "No," he admitted. "I didn't know. I saw you all in the distance and thought someone was taking you away somewhere." He then looked at Miya. "And this is new."
"Ichi-nii," Yuzu then piped up. "Miya-okaasan usually dresses like this when she picks us up or takes Karin to practice."
Ichigo then turned to gape at her at this news. Just how much had he ignored?
Tatsuki frowned at her friend's reaction, "Are you sure everything's ok Ichigo?"
Ichigo just blinked, not sure how to respond.
Miya just looked upon him with sympathy and the uncertainty of how to approach him on this.
Ichigo frowned as he neared his home, idly popping his jaw and let out a sigh of irritation. That Yoko idiot's gang gave it a good go around. Still, those dumbasses were nothing compared to what probably awaited him now. "Hnnn... might as well get it over with," he grumbled irritably as he neared the doorknob.
Opening the door, Ichigo took a cautious look around. Okay the coast was clear. Entering his home, he carefully and quietly took off his shoes. He frowned and looked around for a moment again, and saw no one in the room. 'Now if I can just make it upstairs,' he thought. Silently he crept to the stairs. He managed to make it up halfway across the living room and was getting closer to being in the clear. Just a few more steps and then...
"Ara, Ichigo is that you?"
"Uh... y-yeah it's me," Ichigo grumbled as he paused and then grumbled out another curse to himself.
"Ichigo, why didn't you-Ichigo!" she exclaimed as she saw his sorry state. His school uniform was torn and caked with dirt and she could see the bruises on his face and disheveled hair. "Ichigo, what happened?" She asked as she quickly stepped up to him to get a better look and reached out to touch him.
Ichigo turned away from her hand, hiding the dark look that crossed his features. "Nothin' happened."
"Ichigo," Miya's voice dropped a bit stunning him. He had never heard this tone before. "What happened? Who did this?"
"I told you nothin' happened," Ichigo responded, his own tone dropping a bit. "I'm gonna go lay down fer a bit 'k?"
The angry look in Miya's eye vanished as his rebuttal and confusion and sorrow briefly came to her face before she managed to school it. She took a breath and steeled herself for a conversation she had known was coming. "Ichigo... why won't you let me help you? Why are you pushing me away? Someone hurt you; I want to help you." Her voice then lowered an octave, "And I want to make it a point for them not to do it again."
"That's not needed," Ichigo growled. "I can take care of myself just fine. Jus' call me when dinner's ready ok?"
"Ichigo, please. Let me help you. I want to help you," she reiterated before pausing. "Have I done something?"
"Jus' leave me alone..." Ichigo growled. "I'm done with talkin'."
"Ichigo," Miya got out softly as he head lowered and he turned to move off. "I... I don't know what to do. Your sisters were hesitant too in the beginning... yet we... we've made great strides but you... you just keep pushing me away. I do not want that. I want us to be able to talk Ichigo but I never get the chance to really be with you." She shook her head softly. "I don't know what to do about you Ichigo but I want to help."
"If you really wanna help than leave me alone," Ichigo answered. "I don't got a thing to say to you."
Miya's eyes closed and sighed sadly as she brought a hand to her heart. "I... I'm not comfortable with saying this but I talked to Isshin about what this could be about and..." she trailed off, the butterflies in her stomach rising to what she was about to say. "Ichigo I... I never wanted to replace your mother."
Ichigo turned around, his face contorted with barely controlled rage. "You... you'd bring her into this?!"
"Well let me make it real easy for you to understand, Miya-san... No you ain't a replacement for my mother. But that damn sure-"
Ichigo paused and brought in a breath at being interrupted like that however before he could continue-
"Ah, gawdammit all," he growled out as he turned back and winced before making his way to the door with Miya following behind him.
"HOLD ON!" he shouted back, in no mood for anything and ready to take his anger on anyone and anything. Finally he made it to the door and grabbed the doorknob, turned and pulled open. "NOW WHAT-!?" he stopped as he saw two people in front of him.
Two women with generous curves were at the door, however that was not what was on his mind. Both women were bruised and their clothes torn and cut with streaks and patches of blood visible. Hair disheveled they looked at him with rising and falling shoulders which embellished how they had made their way here.
One of the women was wearing...well; he wasn't sure what she was wearing or if she had lost most of it running from whatever it was that put her in this state. Torn and what he figured was once white clothes seemed to wrap around her upper torso, exposing much of her upper body and cleavage while wearing a daring skirt (surmising that was white too) with white boots. Chocolate brown hair fell from her head with her bangs matted to her sweating forehead which almost hid wide brown eyes.
The other woman was wearing a tattered brown coat with a hood. What rust-colored hair she had that was visible spilled out over her shoulders over the opening to her coat and she clenched at something in her fists, what he wasn't certain. She looked at him with wide eyes behind large glasses.
The first one spoke. "Is Miya here?"
"What is-" Miya asked as she made her way past Ichigo. "Matsu?"
'Matsu', the one with the glasses giggled as best she could. "Ha-hi Miya-tan. Long time no see," she then giggled again in a tone that Miya knew she had done something horribly wrong.
"Matsu and...," she turned to look at the other girl.
"Uzume, Number Ten," she said leaving Ichigo to wonder what the number was about as he stepped back to let the two in.
"Uzume," Miya repeated. "Both of you, come in now."
Ichigo stepped further back, the conversation/argument he had with his step-mother now a memory as the mystery duo and their current state of health now firmly on his mind. "I'll go get some bandages," he said and hurried off.
Miya turned to thank him but he was already gone. Glancing at the hall he disappeared to she turned back to Uzume and Matsu. "Matsu," she began in a tone that left no room for argument. A tone that would have stopped Ichigo cold a few moments ago had she used it. "Matsu, what happened?"
"Ah, Miya-tan, well, you see... Matsu did a no-no..."
"I'm back!" Ichigo shouted carrying several tape bandages in hand with some antiseptic and cleaning clothes.
"One moment, Ichigo," Miya said in that same tone and Ichigo did stop to stare at her. "Matsu," she prodded again.
"Ehhehehe," Matsu giggled guiltily with a wince and brought out her hands and opened them. In her open palms was a three dimensional heptadecagon consisting of an eight sided pyramidal shape with the addition of an extra eight sides between the arch and the base with what appeared to be a black sphere in the middle. Within the sphere was the numerical number sign eight.
Ichigo stared, never seeing anything quite like it. A solemn sigh broke his mind away from the object as he turned to the source. Miya slowly let her breath out, her eyes closed before slowly opening them to stare at Matsu. "Come in and get cleaned up. Both of you. I want to hear everything".
Seeing his step-mother acting completely different in her stance and tone Ichigo found himself wondering what the hell was going on.
If he only knew...
To be continued?
Quick Author's Note: There will be another part to this posted. After it's posted, it will be free for anyone inspired to continue on with it.