Chapter 1: A Pirate's Life!
Disclaimer: Needless to say, I do not own the rights to Bleach or One Piece. This story is made solely for fun, not profit.
Introduction: This story is a crossover involving several characters from Bleach. Ever wonder what it would be like if they were born into a different world? Well here's the chance to find out! Born into the zany and unpredictable world of One Piece, the characters of Bleach live different lives, but their overall dispositions and personalities remain similar to their counterparts from the Bleach manga. There will be several references to Bleach, although they are in the One Piece world, so readers can expect to see more One Piece characters later on in the story! Now without further ado, let the fun begin!
NOTE: Several Bleach characters have their sizes changed to match the One Piece world. I initially put the story in the Bleach section because it stars the Bleach cast like an alternate universe fic, but I will probably move it to the crossover section or One Piece section soon if the story strays too far from them.
OUR TALE BEGINS…
Twenty years ago, the great pirate Gol D. Roger and his crew conquered the harsh trials of the Grand Line and obtained everything the world has to offer. The wealth, fame, and power he possessed at journey's end had earned him the title of Pirate King and the respect of many who sailed the seas, while many more considered him to be a monster beyond compare for his crimes against the world. There was no doubt that his life had left an impact on the world, but even in death, his memory continues to live on through the new era his actions had created.
During his execution in the East Blue, the very same place where his crew had first departed on their long journey, Roger stood upon the execution platform overlooking the masses. On that day he announced to the world that anyone who wanted his treasure for themselves could take it, all they had to do was find it first. With these dying words, countless men and woman from the farthest reaches of the world took to the seas in search of the Pirate King's fabled treasure. Even twenty years after Roger's death, the Great Age of Piracy continues to plague the world.
There were a variety of pirates that sail the oceans of the world, but do not mistake for a second that all of them are simply thieves and murderers. Naturally such unsavory types do exist on the high seas, and unfortunately enough it is a rather common archetype among the individuals who go into the profession, but of course this stereotype is not always accurate. Some pirates are more along the lines of treasure hunters, others driven by pure greed, adventurers seeking thrills, some want freedom, and others companionship.
Of course, some pirates might have mixed purposes for embarking on a journey, or a combination of reasons. Such is the case for a young man with bright orange hair living in the South Blue. In comparison to the fearsome Grand Line, this particular ocean wasn't known for producing fearsome pirates, but there are several exceptions in each of the four other oceans. Most notably the Pirate King himself who came from the most peaceful of the seas, but that is neither here nor there… This tale of adventure and excitement begins with three friends from a small town in the central quadrants of South Blue.
Present Day… Somewhere on the Ocean
A certain orange-haired man lay snoozing in the captain's cabin of his ship as the wooden vessel skated across the gentle waves. It was a small older model originally used for fishing in his former hometown, but this didn't bother him much in the least. The sails were small and they weren't moving at a particularly fast pace, but considering his friends had taken the parts from a junkyard and restored it to the best of their abilities, he never expected it to be anything special.
Kurosaki Ichigo was a normal-sized man standing roughly six feet tall. He usually wore a deep scowl, but those who knew him best had long realized that this was simply the way he held himself most of the time. In addition to his spiky orange hair and grim expression, the young pirate had a slightly toned physique showing a certain amount of muscle due to physical activity and intense training. He wore a sleeveless vest revealing his arms and chest, a pair of jeans, a sash, a blue bandana that covered the majority of his hair, and a small golden artifact hung from the silver chain around his neck.
The captain's quarters of the small boat were small, holding only a twin-sized bed and podium that was used for drawing and reading sea charts. The dying ember sitting atop a candle stub was the only source of light in the dingy cabin, but it hardly made a difference to him, as he was currently taking a nap in the chair, his head resting against the surface of the table like a large pillow.
Kurosaki Ichigo stirred slightly as the door opened, revealing a petite woman who barely stood taller than five feet with large violet eyes and short black hair, her body portraying a relatively straight figure. Her garb consisted of a pair of puffy red knickers and a loose-fitting white blouse, and she wore a sheathed katana at her hip with an ice blue hilt and rectangular guard. She also had a long purple vest over her shirt, a pair of golden earrings, and a pair of elegant black boots.
Due to her style of dress, the dark-headed pirate appeared both tomboyish and aristocratic at the same time, although her reaction to seeing her captain asleep soon proved at odds with her appearance. She couldn't help but smile at his resting form with a sense of nostalgia, having seen him doze off like that when they were kids. This expression quickly gave way to rage as she remembered why she had come to begin with, causing a large vein to pulse on her forehead.
Raising her leg into the air, she kicked over the chair he was sitting in, toppling her captain onto the floor. "Wake up, you idiot!"
The man landed face first onto the hard floor of his cabin, his swearing muffled by the wood for a second. Scrambling into a standing position, Ichigo turned on his guest with equal ferocity. "Was that really necessary? Can't a guy get take a moment to rest?"
Her eyes scanned the room, wildly, settling on the small ember beside his bottle of ink. "You moron! What kind of fool dozes off on a wooden vessel with an exposed flame still burning?"
Ichigo yawned with a sense of indifference. "Look… I'm sorry about that, but I doubt that a little flicker could ignite this entire ship." He gestured towards the stub that was almost completely gone. "I mean, seriously… Give me a break."
"Our crew didn't nail this bucket back together so we could risk burning it to smithereens a few weeks after we set sail."
"Will you stop it already?" the captain retorted with a grim expression. "I'm sorry about that, but there's no need to blow a gasket. I was tired and just happened to fall asleep while working the navigation. Is that a crime?"
"Have you forgotten that there's only three of us around to man the ship?" the small woman shot back angrily. "There's a lot of chores to be done and here you are sleeping in the cabin while the rest of us handle all of the work!"
The orange-haired man placed a hand on her head bent slightly as if looking down on his petite friend. "Don't forget who's captain of this leaky crate."
"Don't give me any of that crap!" She grit her teeth angrily and punched him in the jaw, sending her so-called superior reeling from the pain.
"Damn you Rukia!" he snapped his mouth back into position with a poisoned expression.
"There's more where that came from if you don't get your sorry ass in line." The small woman exhaled, her fury cooling to reveal a more serene expression while leaving no sign that she had been angry to begin with. "Look Ichigo." She began in a serious but civil tone. "Don't forget that the rest of us left the safety of our homes and followed you to the seas because we were your friends. Do not take that for granted."
The pair locked eyes for a moment and a mutual understanding seemed to pass between them. Although his expression remained impassible, the orange-haired man walked past his friend and threw the door open, silently basking in the sun for a second before proceeding onto the deck.
Kuchiki Rukia followed after him with a half-smile before tossing a mop and bucket at her captain, which he caught effortlessly. "All right, now get to work."
"Yeah, yeah…" he grumbled with a good-natured expression, silently returning her sentiment.
As the so-called captain swabbed the deck of their shoddy watercraft, a large dark-skinned man leapt down from the crow's nest, landing between his two crewmates with a loud thud. His crewmates looked up in surprise at his sudden entrance as they eyed the telescope in his hand. Needless to say that Yasutora Sado usually served as the trio's helmsman and occasionally acted as the lookout while they sailed at the mercy of the tides.
He was well over seven feet tall and extremely broad shouldered, his clothing consisting of a red and white striped t-shirt and a pair of jeans, his large toned muscles visible even through his clothing. The man's skin was dark and a wavy curtain of brown hair covered one side of his face.
Ichigo greeted him with a nonchalant wave, his gaze automatically shifting upwards at the much taller figure. "Oh, hey Chad… Have you seen any islands where we can stop for supplies yet?"
"Nope, but there were some ships heading to the west." The other man replied in a surprisingly reserved tone belying his monstrous appearance. "I figured we might be able too…"
The orange-haired captain tossed aside his bucket and placed a hand to his forehead as if trying to see where the targets were. "Looks like this might be a good opportunity for us to show the world what we're made of."
"You moron… What if it's just a merchant vessel? We may be pirates, but that doesn't mean we have to be mindless thugs." Rukia placed her left hand on her hip disapprovingly.
"I didn't say anything about hurting anyone, but we haven't had anything to eat in three days now. I say we just stick with stealing some supplies and getting the Hell out of here before the Marines show up!"
Chad placed the spyglass to his eye. "I can see the Jolly Roger… It looks like our prey is another pirate ship."
"Good, that means we can have a little fun, then!" Ichigo replied with a sense of anticipation. After a moment his expression became much serious and he assumed a much more authoritative stance, causing his crewmates to straighten up. "All right, then… Hoist the sails and prepare for battle! We've got a ship to catch!"
Chad gave his friend a quick salute and began preparing a cannon while Ichigo ran to the helm to adjust the angle of their ship towards the enemy vessel. Using his immense physical strength, the larger man loaded the cannon and changed the trajectory, using his telescope to get a better look at the enemy flag.
"Hey Sado, Do you recognize the Jolly Roger?" Rukia called at her friends from the main deck.
"It doesn't look like anybody we've ever seen before, and I don't recognize the symbol from any government wanted posters."
Their captain let out an indifferent sigh. "Must be a bunch of nobodies if we never heard of 'em before. Right now, all I really care about is whether or not they've got some food and money for us to swipe once we sink their boat."
Rukia scampered up the central pole. She displayed surprising strength and agility for a girl of her small stature, easily scaling the wooden structure in a matter of seconds without even using a rope or ladder for support. The petite fighter kicked against the wooden structure and grabbed onto the next part of the mast shuffled across and the beam, releasing the sails by cutting through though rope with a knife she kept hidden in her sleeve.
With a movement of her wrist, the sails came free. "All right, let's get this started!"
"All right, Chad! You heard the midget… Full speed ahead!"
Their orange-haired leader looked just in time to see a boot-covered foot come flying through the air, receiving a kick to the cheek as his best friend came swinging down on the rope hanging from the main structure. He went spiraling backwards through the door leading into the ship's cabin, a loud crash reverberating from within as his body smashed into the table and toppled onto the floor again.
Ichigo stumbled through the entryway unhurt, but slightly sore from the incident. "Are you nuts? What the Hell was that for?"
"That's what you get for making fun of a lady." The raven-haired girl crossed her arms and frowned. "Make another crack about my height, and the next time I'll toss you overboard."
He cringed slightly at the thought, shaking his head to clear it from his mind. "For the love of God, you never did know how to take a joke?"
Rukia steamed slightly. "Well you could at least apologize for what you said!"
"Well maybe if acted more like a lady instead of flying off the handle, I would…"
"Don't start up with me now, especially when we have work to do!" she retorted with a steamed expression, her cheeks turning red with annoyance as she struggled to keep her tone as civil as possible. Unfortunately it had the opposite affect.
The captain blinked with a flabbergasted expression. "Are you completely insane? You were the one who started this by kicking me in the face!"
Yasutora Sado watched as they argued for several minutes, having grown used to this type of thing due to the several years they had all known each other. He discreetly attempted to tune them out and turned back to steering the ship, but as his eyes began moving towards the enemy ship, he felt a twinge if surprise. Instead of trying to escape, the opposing vessel had turned around and was coming closer to them by the second, making for a collision course.
"Brace for impact!" Chad bellowed, the uncharacteristic tone of his voice causing both of them to stop their bickering mid-sentence.
They looked up as the their ship came close to colliding with the enemy vessel, all three members of the crew looking at the deck of the larger craft. It was nothing special as far as pirate ships went, but the actual structure was easily over ten times the size of their small fishing boat. A series of cannons and portholes adorned the side of the newcomer's boat, and it was decorated with red-symbols depicting the kanji for obscene phrases and gestures. The flag swaying high above their heads had the symbol of a large skull with missing teeth and demonic horns, although even up close it was still not familiar to the trio.
Without warning, several thuggish-looking men with harpoon guns rose up along the side of the deck of the enemy ship and open fired. Large curved speed-like projectiles attached to metal cords quickly splintered the side of the trio's own vessel, several more of these grappling hooks ripping through the sails was they seized the smaller ship.
"What do these bastards think they're doing?" Ichigo screamed to nobody in particular.
The enemy pirates didn't bother to answer as more hooks and steel cables continued to bind the small fishing boat, a loud creaking noise rebating through the area as the wood began splintering under the strain. Several of them attached the cables to a large winch and in a matter of seconds they began reeling in their prey like a hoard of fish trapped in a net.
"They're trying to capture our ship!" Rukia chastised her so-called leader for asking such a dumb question. "Don't just stand there like an idiot, do something!"
Ichigo ignored her yelling and instead addressed the dark-skinned man standing on the upper deck. "Hey Chad! We've got a situation here!" he turned back to the woman standing behind him. "You both know what to do!"
"I'm on it…" the larger man replied in his usual calm tone, giving his captain a quick nod.
Leaping from the helm, he ducked into a trap door that lead to the lower decks. Rukia turned and ran into the door leading back into the captain's cabin, emerging a second later carrying a weapon that when placed on it's tip and held horizontally, would easily be taller than her. It was a large blade with a dark hue, shaped like an elegant cleaver, and decorated with a series of white bandages that wrapped tightly around hilt. Seeing that the enemy pirates were beginning to seize
"Catch!" She tossed the blade to her captain, who instinctively seized it with his right hand.
"Thanks Rukia!" he shot back at her before refocusing his attention on their opponents.
One of the thugs pointed at him. "That big-mouthed carrot-top must be the leader. Kill him!"
Several of the opposing men took out firearms of all different types and began shooting at the orange-haired man, howling with excitement and tossing insults as they poured on the barrage of bullets. A cloud of smoke obscured the target, causing the gunmen to pause their attack for a second to see if the target had been killed, but were shocked to see him standing on the deck completely unharmed with several stray bullets littering the floor.
"That's it… That's all you got?" Ichigo shouted challenging, his eyes narrowing and a look of amusement gracing his lips.
Their enemies fired an iron ball directly at him using one of their cannons, the feat made simple by the close proximity of their ships. Kurosaki Ichigo sliced through the projectile with a single movement of his wrist, causing the two halves of it to fall harmlessly into the water on the other side of his ship. Rukia smiled with a satisfied expression as she saw the shocked expression of their enemies, most of them having never seen anyone rip through steel with a sword.
Just then, a tall skinny man shoved on of the pirates into the water. He was a slimly built individual with a long thin mustache, tiny sunken eyes, and short blue hair that was slicked back as if he had applied some kind of hair gel. Although he was missing an eye, the man was rather well dressed in comparison to his crewmates, sporting an overly stylish red coat with golden buttons and long cuffed sleeves with fancy embroidery. The black sash held a scabbard and sword, although surprisingly he did not draw the weapon.
The foppish man clapped his hands lightly before addressing his victims. "Very impressive, to think someone so young has already attained such a high-level of swordsmanship." He glanced down at the girl and boy standing on the deck of the opposing ship.
Rukia glared up at their attacker and his crew, her eyes watching carefully in case they decided to resume the strike. "Who are you, and what do you want with us?" she hissed dangerously.
"I am Patros… overseer and deputy captain of the Raging Bull Pirates. Surely as fellow denizens of this quadrant, you must have heard of us?"
Ichigo exchanged a glance with his first mate before shaking his head. "Up until recently my crew and I spent our entire lives living in one of the biggest port towns in South Blue, fighting off pirates that threatened our friends and family."
"In all that time, we never heard of a man named Patros, or the Raging Bull Pirates." The petite girl added with a shrug. "You must be a real small-time pest if we never saw a wanted poster issued by the Marines."
Patros flinched violently as he heard this, coming seconds from falling overboard only to be saved by his crewmates. "Wh-what do you mean by that!" he stammered in an angry frenzy, drops of spit flying from his mouth. "How dare you little brats make fun of me. I'm a powerful pirate worth twenty million berries!"
"Only twenty million… If that's the case than those government guys at Marine Headquarters must really be lowering their standards." Ichigo replied coldly, a sense of indifference lingering in the air.
"Here I was going to ask you and your friends to join my crew, but now that I think about it, a disrespectful bastard like you only deserves death!" the opposing captain declared confidently. He snapped his fingers once, causing his subordinates to raise their weapons. "Do you two have any last words?"
The carrot top heard a pair of knocks issuing from beneath the deck and grinned cockily at the enemy leader. "Yeah… … … I wouldn't stand there if I were you."
Beneath the deck, Yasutora Sado had rigged several cannons to go off at the same time and rigged them to target certain locations on the enemy ship while his captain distracted the pirates. Pulling the release mechanism, he fired off several cannonballs. The enemy pirates ran for cover as the starboard side of their ship was smashed full of holes, causing the overconfident captain to squeal and dive onto the deck as a second barrage came seconds from taking off his head.
"Now's your chance! Do it, Ichigo!" Rukia ordered with a sense of urgency.
Ichigo raised his sword and cut through one of the steel cables that their opponents had used to immobilize their ship, quickly moving onto the next in an attempt to free his own vessel from their clutches. A few of the enemy pirates began to recover and started returning fire in an attempt to gun down the orange-haired captain but their bullets were intercepted as his first mate leapt into action.
The petite woman held a pair of dueling pistols in her hands, her own shots having collided with the enemy bullets in mid-air. Her considerable skill had rendered the gunmen shocked for a second, allowing her to retaliate. With a few loud cracks, the enemy snipers fell dead on the floor, the first man's heart having pierced by one shot, while his companion had taken one between the eyes. More pirates emerged to open fire on Ichigo's ship, but Rukia danced around their sloppy shots with surprising grace and rhythm.
"We've under attack, captain!" one of the thugs screamed frantically.
"I can see that, you fatuous imbecile!" Patros responded in an angry drawl, his hands shaking violently. Drawing his blade from its sheath, he impaled his own crewmate out of frustration before realizing that the enemy was beginning to sail away. "After them, you fools! We can't allow those rookies to humiliate us in our own territory! The boss would be furious if he found out about this!"
As they gave chase to the smaller ship, Ichigo's crew struggled to keep their distance. Due to the size of the craft not only were they a small target on the wide-open sea, but also factoring in the trio's skills they were able to maneuver around the enemy's cannon blasts without much trouble. While Ichigo went to the helm and began steering the ship away from their pursuers, Chad emerged from below deck. He had repositioned the cannons and had just finished removing the hooks from the side of their ship with his bare hands.
"It's not a permanent solution, but I patched up some of the holes they made in the lower levels with those harpoons." The dark-skinned man explained in his deep, quiet tone.
"That's fine… We'll have to stop once we ditch these guys to make some repairs." Rukia nodded her approval and returned her attention to their captain. "If I recall, it was your bright idea to pick a fight with a better equipped enemy."
"We're running low on supplies, and we're in the middle of ocean! If you ask me, I say we should turn this crate around and finish what we started before those weasels sink us."
"Maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea right now." Chad agreed with a tiny nod, his finger pointing behind them. "It looks like they plan on chasing us no matter how far we manage to go.
Ichigo's trademark scowl reappeared. "Yeah, and we didn't become pirates just so we could run from guys like that." He glared at the enemy vessel with a bitter expression before turning back to his friends. "There was nothing more for us back home, and out here we're finally free to do whatever we want. I'd burn in Hell before letting thugs like them get away with pushing us around!"
The group's sole female looked between her friends and then sighed in defeat, having realized the truth behind their sentiments. Back in their hometown they were all essentially orphans and had spent years playing together due to their similar backgrounds. The port island where they had grown up was filled with unsavory types and received regular visits from pirates in addition to the local merchants.
Naturally the Marines were unable to police the entire city since most of the branches of their organization were situated in the Grand Line to deal with much bigger problems. This resulted in several pockets of organized crime in the town, and the local law enforcement was often paid off by these criminal groups to ignore any incidents that might occur. Having grown up in this kind of environment, ravaged by pirates and thugs, had shaped Ichigo and his two friends into what they had become.
When they were older, the trio had grown tired of living in constant fear and practiced with weapons. They quickly began fighting off pirates that attacked the port and developed their fighting skills through countless endeavors. Their vigilante activities had also made them the enemies of the law, until one night they decided to leave home and find a new life on the high seas. Inspired by the idea of attaining wealth and freedom like Roger the Pirate King, the trio fixed an old boat and left together, none of them looking back.
"Hey, you still in there?" Ichigo wave a hand I front of her violet eyes.
Snapping out of her small flashback, the petite woman seized her captain by the wrist and shoved his hand away from her face. "Guys…" she began with a dark expression. "Prepare for battle!"
Kurosaki Ichigo groaned and ran a hand through his spiky orange locks. "Too late for that! Chad already started while you were standing there like a statue, but I guess we should be grateful for the permission anyway."
"Maybe I should be the captain, then?" Rukia placed her hands on her hips.
"Last time I checked, you weren't exactly the most intimidating person on this boat. We would never be taken seriously with you as the boss."
"And the last time I checked, people weren't particularly afraid of loud-mouthed, skinny, overbearing carrot-tops, either!"
He opened his mouth to argue, but the sound of a cannonball whizzing by and splashing in an incredibly close proximity of the ship forced them to reassess the situation again. For the second time they realized that the enemy was within inches of getting them, only this time they changed strategies. Another cannonball came towards them at point blank range, but Chad used his immense strength to catch the weapon and lob it back at their adversaries with even greater force, effectively smashing a giant hole in the hull of the opposing boat.
The enemy vessel fired several more rounds, but the result was the same, with Chad using the close range to his advantage. He caught the cannonballs to protect their own boat and used them to punch holes in the enemy's ship, Ichigo joining him on the main deck to intercept the rest with his sword in case his friend was unable to stop them from hitting. By this time, Rukia had taken the helm, but she was forced to drive with on hand on the wheel while using her remaining hand to wield a pistol. Several more minutes passed like wildfire as the battle continued in much the same manner.
"Stop, you slugs! At this rate you're just giving them ammunition to use against us!" Patros shouted as he felt his own ship beginning to sink under the redirected bombardment. The angry pirate drew his sword and signaled for his crewmates to attack. "Go at 'em head on! We'll board their vessel and take it by force!"
With a loud chorus of battle cries, about two-dozen members Raging Bull pirates leapt from their ship and onto the much smaller boat, most of them wielding swords, knives, guns, rifles, and just about any types of weapon that they could get their hands on. Realizing that they would soon be completely overwhelmed, Ichigo and his two friends stood together and prepared to face off against the enemies boarding their ship.
Rukia backed into her captain as they stood trapped in a corner surrounded by enemies. "I think we can take them."
The orange-haired man smirked with a sense of boundless confidence. "Let's see which one of us can kill the most." He nudged the large man standing to his left. "What do you say, Chad?"
Sado let out a small grunt to affirm his agreement before the trio shot in three different directions, each of them attacking the angry mob that had intruded on their ship. The dark-skinned man smashed one man's face in with a barehanded punch, kicking another pirate so hard that he crashed into a group of his crewmates, all of whom landed in the water. Chad was skilled at tending to a ship, but even better at fighting in hand-to-hand combat.
Ichigo parried a strike from one of the enemy pirates, using his sword to behead his opponent while killing off another with the same slash. Several more enemies came at him, but they were obviously no match for his superior skill and monstrous strength. In a matter of seconds, he had disabled about six men without dealing any fatal blows. Despite his gruff exterior and desire to prove his own strength against tough opponents, the carrot top preferred to spill as little blood as possible when dealing with his enemies.
"Having fun, Rukia?" he called over his shoulder to the petite woman.
"A blast…" she replied, subconsciously rolling her eyes in response to his question.
The sole female of their group was less merciless but more rational, and as such she was less keen to get into a fight, she more willing to finish the job once they began. Using a knife and pistol, she fatally injured about a dozen men, killing the ones who refused to fall by slashing them with the dagger in her opposite hand. They attempted to return fire, but Rukia was too agile to be caught off guard by thugs of their level.
With the rest of the mob down for the count, one last man lunged desperately at Ichigo with his sword, but the orange-haired captain stopped him without even using his own sword to counter the strike. Seizing his enemy by the wrist, he lifted the struggling pirate over his head and tossed him overboard without so much as a backwards glance, looking rather annoyed by his lackluster attempt to kill.
"Looks like we showed those jerks a thing or two…" Ichigo cracked his knuckles and stabbed his sword into the deck of his ship to rest.
Rukia sighed wearily in response. "Don't get to cocky yet… The fight's not over until we take down everyone on the enemy's ship."
"What about him…" Chad pointed to the deck of the enemy ship where the familiar sound of mocking applause was emanating from.
Patros looked almost impressed by the display, but his benevolent expression quickly vanished to reveal look of pure malice. Although he glared down at the trio standing on the smaller ship, the fearsome expression on his face did little to intimidate his prey. He drew out his sword in an attempt to intimidate them, but they stared directly back at him without so much as twinge of fear, completely impassive in the face of his killing intent.
Ichigo snapped his neck back into place with the side of his hand before wrapping his fingers around the hilt of his sword. "So are you ready to give up or do are you gonna drag this fight out even longer?"
The older pirate captain place a finger to his lip and whistled very loudly, summoning the remaining two members of his crew. A tall bulky man with brown spiky hair popped up from behind his captain. He had a thick square-set jaw and small lines of age running down his face. He wore a dark jacket and ragged jeans.
A second man also appeared behind Patros, this one with a much younger appearance, looking much closer to the age of Ichigo and his friends. He had spiky red hair, piercing amber eyes, and wore a blue ascot. His outfit consisted of a baggy pants and a white top exposing the lower half of his stomach, giving him a more effeminate appearance when compared to the lower level thugs of the crew.
"You called, captain…" the stocky pirate greeted in a deep, hoarse voice.
"What do ya need, boss man? Is there someone we gotta kill? Please tell me there's someone we gotta kill!" his partner added in a hyperactive tone, silently licking his lips with an unnerving sense of bloodlust.
Patros looked from one to the other as if sizing them up before making a gesture towards their intended adversaries. "Eliminate the big guy and the midget. The orange haired freak belongs to me! You got that?"
The two men saluted briefly before turning their attention towards Ichigo's ship, both landing on the side of the deck across from Ichigo and his friends. They drew their swords and savagely charged at the trio with animalistic ferocity, only to be stopped by Chad and Rukia. The dark-skinned man looked down at his opponent with a look of surprise, having gotten the smaller man as his adversary while Rukia found herself facing off against the larger enemy.
While it looked a little bit strange at first, the two pairs hadn't chosen their opponents out of size, but rather because of their personal abilities. The bigger man had attempted to strike them down with a large broadsword, forcing the petite woman to parry with her katana. She preferred not to have to use her most powerful weapon most of the time, but due to her enemy's superior size and strength she saw little other choice in the matter. Meanwhile, Chad had locked arms with his opponent, the smaller man having managed to block his fist with a kick.
"So, would you gentleman care to introduce yourselves?" Rukia asked with a sense or courtesy.
The bullish man jumped away from her to break the deadlock. "Never met a pirate with manners before, but I guess we can oblige." He commented with a confused expression. "They call me Aldegor, and I'm the right hand of Commander Patros!"
His opponent took a fighting stance, her expression becoming cold and icy. "I am known as Kuchiki Rukia… It will be a pleasure to cut you down."
A few meters away, Yasutora Sado attempted to crush his opponent by swinging his fist, but the smaller man somersaulted backwards and landed out of his range. The dark-skinned fighter took a minute to breath as he rounded on the more agile man. "So… Care to tell me your name?"
"What a stupid question!" his opponent cackled with glee, the laughter stopping a few seconds later as if someone had pressed a switch. The animalistic man looked upon his larger adversary with killing intent. "I'm Menis, the left hand of Commander Patros, but now that you know my name, I have no choice but to kill you!"
His opponent said nothing as the feral man scampered towards him like an enraged monkey, delivering a series of swift punches and kicks to every place that he could hit. Sado struggled as Menis continued to increase the speed and intensity of his strikes, rendering him unable to counterattack. The larger man struggled to defend himself as best he could from the onslaught, but was unable to so much as aim a punch of his own.
As he struggled against his opponent, Rukia found herself grateful that she had picked the larger enemy. His sword swings had a lot of power behind them and he was no slouch when it came time to fighting, but she could tell that her opponent was far from being a master swordsman. She moved away from his swings by ducking and jumping, carefully watching his movements so that she would not be caught off guard. While she found his swings easy to avoid, she had not taken into account the terrain and felt herself bump into a wooden rail, indicating that they had reached the edge of the ship.
"Now I got ya!" he screamed, bringing his blade down onto his smaller prey.
"We'll see about that!" Rukia raised her katana in a vertical parry to block the swing.
Although she stopped him from cleaving her in half, the force of the strike sent her reeling, allowing Aldegor to strike again when he guard was dropped. She reacted quickly and ducked as the blade came inches from her head, slicing off less than a centimeter off her hair as it narrowly missed her face. The stocky man's blade became stuck in the mast for a second, allowing her to create some distance between them.
As Rukia and Sado continued fighting with their opponents, their captain was having some troubles of his own. Ichigo stood on the upper portion of the deck where the helm was, directly across from his opponent. The arrogant Patros stood undaunted as the sea breeze tousled his hair, calmly drawing a long, thin rapier from his belt. The weapon had a yellow handle and round golden-colored guard. A mutual sense of annoyance lingered between the two leaders. They moved in a circle like two predators prepared to strike.
"You think you can beat me with that stick-shaped piece of crap." Ichigo commented.
The enemy's serious expression melted away instantly. "H-How can you say that?" he shouted with a sense of outrage. "This weapon is worth more than you could possibly imagine! Do you have any idea how much I paid for it on the black market?"
"Shut up!" Ichigo screamed, his eyes flashing dangerously as he exhaled a held breath. "I think you're missing point."
"Eh, w-what are you talking about now?" Patros stuttered with an odd expression.
"If you had decided to surrender your supplies and leave us alone, I might have let this go." The orange-haired pirate heaved his own sword onto his shoulder and sighed, his face tightening into an angry glare as he watched his friends fighting below. "But nobody attacks my friends and gets away with it! I'm gonna kick your ass and feed it to the sharks!"
"We will see!" the taller man screamed, his serious composure returning immediately.
Patros aimed a slash, but his opponent blocked it with a parry and thrust his own weapon forward them into a lock. They both pushed in an attempt to end the draw, but in the end Ichigo proved to be the stronger of the two and managed to shove his enemy backwards. He charged in with a powerful swing, but the older pirate slide the side of his weapon against the giant cleaver and pushed upwards to throw his adversary off balance, and retaliated with a swift kick to Ichigo's midsection.
"Damn, you fight dirty!" he scowled in annoyance.
"In a battle of pirates, anything goes…" Patros screamed as he tossed a knife that had been hidden in his sleeve, the tiny weapon planting itself in his opponent's shoulder. "Take the pain of loss as a lesson!"
The exchange continued between the leaders, but down below the fights were just as fierce. Rukia continued to use her superior speed to stay out of her enemy's path, this time factoring in the battlefield. Since they were on her ship, she certainly had the advantage in this particular situation, and had been taking advantage of it by ducking in and out of small spaces and scampering up poles and ropes as her opponent chased after her.
The young pirate was still glad to have chosen the big guy as her enemy rather than his partner, although at this point in the fight his endurance was getting annoying. She had struck him several times, stabbed him twice in the leg, dealt him a deep cut across the face, and once in the wrist, and yet it was still not enough to make him fall.
"Come back here and die like a man… uh, girl!" the stocky man corrected, his sword meeting empty air as his opponent slid between his legs to avoid the slash.
"Like I would let myself be killed by an idiot like you." Rukia reached into her pouch and withdrew a pistol, using it to shoot him in the butt.
Aldegor leapt in the air and yelped in pain, allowing her to trip him with a sweep of her leg. She ran back onto the deck with her enemy in hot pursuit, noticing now that he was moving slower than before. Rukia took this opportunity to head to the upper deck, knowing that he would be following her any second. The sound of footsteps quickly made her aware that she was correct, and in a matter of moments they began another clash of steel.
The petite girl was not above fighting dirty and kicked over the bucket of soapy water that he captain had been using to mop earlier. Aldegor slid on the wet floor and went careening over the side of the boat, landing in the water with a loud splash. Aldegor shook waded back towards he boat, but his opponent was prepared for this. Rukia heaved a stray cannon ball over the edge of the ship and dropped it on his head, knocking him out cold as he sunk beneath the waves.
"C'mon and fight back already?" Menis screamed as he continued to attack.
Sado's expression changed as he finally put the pieces of the puzzle together in his mind. After taking so much punishment during this battle he had come to an interesting revelation. While the enemy was faster, Menis had very little variation in his movements, and that was his weakness. Now that he had seen every form multiple times, stopping the next strike would be all too easy so long as he recognized the movement and acted at the right time.
"Take this!" The feral combatant took a familiar stance and thrust his fist forward.
A knowing smile graced Sado's exotic features as he read the movement, grabbing his enemy by the hand and crushing the bones in his fingers with his superior power. The smaller fighter cried out in pain as he attempted to recoil his fist, but his opponent refused to let him go no matter how much he struggled and fought. Lifting him over his head with relative ease, Chad ignored the pain caused by his opponent's strikes and seized him by the skull, smashing the smaller man's face headfirst through the wooden floor.
Menis saw the room below the deck and realized what had happened, but his attempts to free himself were in vain. Yasutora Sado raised his foot and kicked the struggling man with as much force as he could muster, freeing him from his previous predicament by sending him flying into the sky above the battle. Menis waved his arms in a goofy manner as if trying to delay his fall before plummeting to his doom in the ocean below, but was struck again by the larger man's fist before he could even hit the ground.
Chad watched with a weary expression as his opponent's limp form went spiraling into the distance, a small sigh escaping his lips. "You were too arrogant, and that is why you lost this fight." He mused in a nonchalant tone.
As the two crewmates concluded their own battles, their captain was still finishing off his own. Patros lunged again, and although Ichigo dodged, the blade had grazed his face, leaving behind a small cut on his left cheek. The orange-haired fighter ignored the pain knowing that the recoil might cost him a fight and recovered just in time to block another slash. They locked blades again, but this time Ichigo had grown tired to the battle was prepared to end it.
With a loud roar, Ichigo slammed his own head into Patros' skull, causing him to howl in pain and stumble around in pain as he attempted to gain his footing. The younger pirate then took his chance and aimed a large slash at the other man's wrist, slicing off his sword hand and leaving a gigantic gash across his chest. Blood spewed everywhere as the older combatant fell to the floor, his blood seeping through the freshly made wound.
Sado and Rukia ascended the small set of stairs leading to the helm, but the orange-haired captain took a moment to disarm the unconscious man and bind his hands and feet with rope before addressing his crewmates. Once he had gagged the enemy with a dirty washcloth and muffled his mouth, Ichigo straightened up and smiled at his crewmates.
"See, that wasn't so tough. Here I was hoping we would run into some bigger names on the sea, but it looks like this scum just couldn't compete with us." Ichigo replied with his gruff smile, causing his crewmates to groan in response. The group's female kicked him in the shin, eliciting a small hiss from the captain. "What was that for?"
She glanced around at the damage to their craft and messaged her temples. "I agree that they weren't all that strong, but our ship sustained as lot of damage in the battle."
"So what! It doesn't look nearly as bad as what we did to them."
"That's not the point!" Rukia snapped, making both of her friends jump a little. The petite woman took a deep breath to soothe her nerves, and slowly regained her composure before speaking again. "For now we should really find a place to dock and make some repairs."
Ichigo discarded his bandana, gently running his other hand through his vibrant hair. He glanced around at the holes littering their ship and the damaged railing, his eyes moving towards several of the unmoving bodies while also taking notice of shoddy repairs that Chad had done while the enemy was bombarding them with harpoon.
"All right, I guess that wouldn't be a bad idea." He stuck a thumb over his shoulder at the enemy ship behind them. "First thing to do before we worry about that is to loot that eyesore and get some supplies. I swear if I don't get something to eat soon, I'm gonna keep over."
The three immediately agreed to this statement and quickly began to work, Rukia taking this time to restrain any of the surviving enemies while disposing of the deceased. The petite girl looked upon them with a sense of pity, as she was very respectful of the dead no matter who it was. As such she was very careful not to further damage the remains, as she gave them a burial at sea.
Meanwhile, her friends boarded the other vessel and returned with several boxes. After twenty minutes of moving back and forth between the two boats, they had nabbed everything worth of value from the enemy vessel. Two small piles of crates and boxes had collected on the deck of their ship by the time her friends made their last raid.
"Ichigo and I found plenty of food and supplies for the journey." Sado gestured towards the first stack of crates closest to him.
The raven-haired woman joined her friends. "We should get these spoils to the lower deck and place them in storage." Rukia walked over to inspect the fruits of their labor, but her attempt to life one the boxes resulted in a look of surprise. "Strange… This pile feels a little heavier than I was expecting."
Their captain wrestled the box from her and plopped it onto the floor, using the side of his sword to pry it open. Rukia's face lit up in surprise as she caught sight of the contents, her face bathed in the glow as the sunlight cast it's reflection off of the gold coins within. The petite woman slid her hand through the chest, carefully fingering the treasure with a look of pleasant surprise. It was all real, and there had to have been over a million worth of treasure in that one box alone.
"Pretty impressive, huh?" Ichigo snapped the chest shut, refocusing the group's attention back onto himself. "Good thing Chad and I decided to loot the enemy's treasury while we were on board, or else we might've missed out on some quality treasure."
They took turns opening another box in the treasury pile, each one producing more valuable treasures with each trip. The trio was ecstatic by their discovery, seeing how they were only rookie pirates and had just stolen at least ten million berries worth of valuables and money during their first raid. After a few minutes of searching through the mess, Yasutora Sado found an unusually small box among the stolen treasure, and was immediately curious by it's size and shape. When he opened it, the larger man wasn't sure what to make of it's contents.
"Hey guys… I found something weird in one of these treasure boxes." He murmured in his deep monotone.
Ichigo and Rukia looked up from the crates of gold to see what he was talking about, their eyes settling on the gray, unappetizing fruit in his hand. It was about the size of a pineapple and had strange swirly black markings on the surface of the skin. The group's captain made a face at the strange plant as if the mere sight of it repulsed him, but his first mate's expression was one of mingled shock and awe.
"Why would someone keep a rotten fruit inside a treasure chest?" Ichigo made a gagging gesture. He was surprised when the woman standing beside him jumped over one of the boxes and tore it from the larger man's grip, her violet eyes widening in even greater surprised as she turned it over between her fingers. "What's up with you?"
"Morons, do you even know what this is?" she shoved the fruit in his face.
The captain scowled before pushing it away. "It's ugly and it stinks, that much is obvious."
"Maybe, but I recognize these markings from a book I read years ago. This isn't an ordinary piece of food… This is a Devil Fruit!"
The largest member of the crew scratched his head. "I have, but I thought they were just a legend from the Grand Line."
"Never heard of it!" Ichigo griped with a puzzled expression. "Since you guys seem to know so much about it, maybe someone would care to explain."
Rukia stuck her tongue out at her so-called leader, although her mannerisms became much more serious as she prepared to explain. "A Devil Fruit when eaten grants the person some type of superpower the likes of which most people can hardly comprehend. They are known as the Fruit of the Sea Devil, and because of this the person who devours one and gains its magnificent power lives a cursed life."
The orange-haired captain shrugged. "Say for a second I buy this story… What kind of curse are you talking about?"
"The Devil Fruit user can never swim again, meaning that falling into the water would result in certain death if it is used." She finished with a solemn expression.
"No… Stop!" Patros had spit out his gag and managed to squirm towards them from the upper deck despite his hands being tied. "That treasure is of grave importance to my master, you can't take it from me!"
Ichigo seized the man by his throat and lifted him into standing position so that they were facing each other. "We'll do whatever we want…" he hissed menacingly, causing the man's face to pale considerably. "To Hell with you and your boss!"
"Wait, you don't understand…" the enemy captain sputtered.
Without a second thought, he tossed upwards onto the deck of his ruined ship, at least having the mercy of sparing his life. The foul-tempered captain made a quick gesture towards the remaining enemy survivors, and Chad lifted them up and followed his friend's example. Once their captured enemies were back on their own ship, the orange-haired man ordered his crew to set sail, and they were off once again.
The group traveled for several hours, the weather remaining peaceful and calm as their small ship quietly skated over the gentle waves. It would appear that good fortune had smiled on their motley crew today, and they were eager to take advantage of it. They had placed every last bit of treasure and all of their supplies below deck. Chad had gone below deck to survey the damage more closely, while his two friends stayed above to guide the ship.
Kurosaki Ichigo looked out towards the horizon with a feeling of accomplishment at having finished his first major operation with success, and all doubts he had about choosing this life on the sea had begun to fade away. To be a pirate wasn't simply about stealing and fighting, but about learning to rely on friends and developing a closer bond through adventure. Of course, this rough life on the high seas was quite appealing to three discarded misfits like them who never really had much to return to at home. Of course it hadn't always been this way…
The young pirate captain fingered the key-shaped charm around his neck as these thoughts floated through his mind and smiled. It was the last gift his mother had given him before her death, and she had told him that it was a family heirloom handed down through generations on her side of the family. He kept it close and treasured the necklace not because of its value, but because it was the last piece of her that he had.
"Thinking about the good old days, Ichigo?" a female voice questioned. The orange-haired man looked up to see Rukia sitting on the railing beside him, her expression calm and her eyes focused on the horizon.
He almost frowned, but instead chose to brush off the comment. "Yeah, I guess you caught me."
She let out a pleasant laugh. "Sorry, I won't pry…" the girl paused a moment before raising another topic. Reaching into her pocket, she withdrew the Devil Fruit. "If the stories about these things are true, then what should we do with this thing. I heard once before that they sell for over a hundred million berries on the black market."
"I've actually been thinking about that." Ichigo took the fruit from her and looked at the markings, making a face at its unappetizing appearance before speaking. "Maybe if I eat this nasty old thing, I can become stronger."
Rukia jumped slightly, looking surprised by his words. "You can't be serious…" she crossed her arms with disapproving look. "We don't even know what kind of power this Devil Fruit possesses, and even if we did, there's still the curse of the sea to consider. At least consider the risks before you take a bite of that thing."
"We took a lot of risks leaving home, and the longer we spend out here, the worse it's gonna get. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." Her old friend held the fruit up without a single sign of fear in his eyes. "This is just one more to add to the list…"
Note to Readers:This has to be one of my biggest experiments in fanfiction yet, trying to make a crossover between two very different series, both of which I like very much. I plan on working hard to use the characters in a way that does them justice. Ichigo and his friends are from South Blue, so they won't be encountering any One Piece characters until later on in the story. Ichigo's group may encounter the Straw Hats eventually, but that's a long way off!
A cookie for anyone who realized that Patros, Menis, and Aldegor were a trio of annoying Arrancar that appeared briefly in the Bleach filler arcs. Since they basically had no personalities, I gave them goofy and somewhat menacing characterizations reminiscent of One Piece villains in this story.
I hope you enjoyed what I wrote so far… Not sure if I will write any more. It really depends on how much support I get for this story. If anyone has any ideas for the story, I am open to suggestions. Please review and tell me what you liked or would like to see in my story! Support really helps a writer.