Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. I have mailed two thousand hamsters to Tite Kubo. I have no clue how this will help me gain the rights to Bleach, but I'm sure it can't fail any worse than any of my other schemes.
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. 'Bring It On' has returned! Thank you for your patience. This still isn't my main focus, but canon still hasn't given me all the info I want for SNGaP, and the muse for 'Bring It On' KOed my 'NQaP: The Movie' muse after a vicious battle that caused a massive amount of collateral damage.
On a somewhat related note, make sure your car insurance covers "battles by super-powered, metaphorical entities". Trust me. It's better to have and not need than need and not have…
On the bright side, there is now a very nice crater in my backyard that I'm sure will make a great swimming pool.
You may notice the use of honorifics. This is because I've finally gotten to the point that I don't flinch every time I hear "Kurosaki-kun!".
If you haven't kept up on the manga, BEWARE! Here there be Spoilers!
Her chest hurt. Why could she see her body lying over there? What was with the chain connecting her to it?
And what the hell was that monster?
She couldn't run. She could barely move. Everything felt sore and weak.
Saliva dripped from the beast's fangs as it opened its mouth.
Is this how she was going to die?
Black and white filled her view.
Rukia had to admit that Ishida-san had a very nice house.
Wait. Scratch that.
Ishida-san had a very nice mansion.
The grounds were smaller than the Kuchiki estate but she estimated that the manors were about the same size (though the Ishida dwelling may be larger if she counted the second level).
"Is your family nobility in the Living World, Ishida-san?" Rukia asked as the old man as he poured her a cup of tea as they sat in the very well furnished dining room.
Ishida-san chuckled. "Not technically, Kuchiki-san. The noble class was abolished quite some time ago here in Japan. But we are old money, yes." He poured himself a cup. "Of course, with the hours my son puts in at that hospital of his, you'd think we were in danger of being tossed out on the street at any moment," he said.
Rukia blinked in confusion. Abolished the nobility? How could something like that have happened?
Ishida-san must have noticed her perplexed expression. "I understand that the nobility still holds power in Soul Society?" He took a sip of his tea. "Hmm. Come to think of it… aren't the Kuchiki one of your Four Great Noble families?" He scratched at his moustache. "Oh dear. Please accept my apologies for my rudeness, Kuchiki-sama."
Rukia took a drink of tea to cover up her scowl at the honorific. She had liked Ishida-san speaking to her as an equal.
"There's no need to refer to me so formally, Ishida-san. 'Kuchiki-san' is fine." She smiled. "I hear 'Kuchiki-sama' so much that a change of pace is welcome." Not to mention that it was still uncomfortable for the Rukongai-raised girl to be referred to as such. She doubted she would ever get used to it.
Ishida-san smiled. "If that is what you would prefer, Kuchiki-san."
There was a comfortable silence while the two drank their tea.
Finally, Rukia could hold it in no longer.
"Um, Ishida-san…About the human I fought…"
The comfortable setting immediately evaporated.
Ishida-san set his tea down and fixed her with a stare that made her wish she hadn't said anything.
She was going to tell him that she still had to arrest the carrot-top. He had attacked her and had been hunting Hollows without permission from Soul Society.
Ishida-san's look rapidly made her change her mind. A look she couldn't help but compare to a displeased Head Captain.
Do they have to practice looking that menacing or does it come naturally once you reach a certain physical age?
Self-preservation in mind, Rukia quickly thought of something else.
"Umm…why does he dislike Shinigami so much?"
Mentally, she noted that 'dislike' was a bit of an understatement. He seemed to loathe Shinigami.
But the question had the intended effect. The old man relaxed and picked up his tea again.
"Ichigo has a very personal reason for his displeasure with the Soul Society," Ishida-san said. "I doubt he would like me telling you. Perhaps you could ask him yourself?"
"I'm…not sure that would be a good idea, Ishida-san…"
Actually, Rukia was certain such an action would be very hazardous for her health.
"Nonsense," the human said, waving a hand dismissively. "You can join us for training this weekend. It will give you a chance to ask your questions and Ichigo can apologize for attacking you."
Any protests were quickly shot down and Rukia was unable to escape until the wily old man had extracted her solemn promise that she would definitely be there.
"Was that wise?"
Souken watched the Shinigami leap away into the night.
"I believe so. It's easier to hate someone when they are simply some nebulous entity that you have never interacted with. Getting to know this young lady will be good for him."
"If you say so, Grandfather." Uryuu pushed his glasses up and smirked. "And the fact that you can tease Ichigo about him finally showing interest in a girl has nothing to do with it?"
"You wound me, Uryuu. I would never do such a thing. I'll simply inform Isshin and then enjoy the show as he does it for me."
"Good Moooorniiiiiing, Ichigooooooo!"
Ichigo rolled out of bed on reflex, grabbing his pillow and tossing it at his incoming father.
Isshin flicked his bokuto and bisected the pillow with ease. "You'll have to do better than that, Ich – oof!" The pillow had obscured his vision long enough for Ichigo to grab his own bokuto and slam the hilt into Isshin's gut.
The fight didn't last long after that.
Ichigo left his father in a moaning heap, grumbling about "crazy, samurai-movie obsessed old men" as he made his way to the shower.
As soon as the door closed, Isshin climbed to his feet, completely unharmed. "I resent that… I am not obsessed with samurai movies…" the former Shinigami Captain grumbled as he made his way down to breakfast. "See if I hold back on you tomorrow morning…"
"Will you just buzz off already!"
Ichigo arrived in the dining room just in time to see Karin boot a ghost through the front door. She turned to glare at her brother.
"I blame you for this, Ichi-nii."
Ichigo thanked Yuzu as she passed him a piece of toast. "It's not my fault they like you better than me, Karin. It's probably all that bedside manner practice you get in the clinic," he said with a smirk.
Karin chucked an apple at his head in response, which he caught with ease.
"I think you're both lucky," Yuzu pouted. "I only feel a cold spot or see a blurry shape. I wish I could see them clearly."
"Trust me, no you don't," Karin grumbled.
Ichigo agreed. He shuddered at the thought of sweet, innocent Yuzu being able to see the monsters that plagued Karakura. Karin had had nightmares for a week after the first time she ran into a Hollow.
With a final good-bye to Yuzu and Karin (and smacking his dad over the head with his backpack when the man tried for a sneak attack), Ichigo grabbed the pair of bento on the counter and left for school.
"Bye, Ichi-nii! Say hi to Uryuu-nii for me!" Yuzu called after him.
"Good morning, Him – ugh!"
Arisawa Tatsuki lowered the arm she had clotheslined Orihime's stalker with.
"I hate to say it, but I have to give you points for persistence, Chizuru."
The redhead groaned from her place on the classroom floor.
"Ah – are you alright, Chizuru-chan?" Orihime asked.
"Just let me rest my head in your bountiful bosom and I'll be just fine, Hime!"
Tatsuki resisted the urge to punt the crazy lesbian through the classroom's (third story) window. Instead she settled for tossing her to her respective desk (which was thankfully across the room from Orihime's).
"Tatsuki-chan, don't you think you're being too rough on her?"
"Orihime, she's trying to molest you. If anything, I'm being too gentle."
The sound of the door sliding open drew their attention from their dazed classmate.
"Oh! Good morning, Ishida-kun!"
Uryuu nodded in greeting.
Tatsuki blinked as she noticed the distinct lack of orange behind him.
"Hey, Uryuu, where's Ichigo? You two usually show up at the same time."
"He's here. He just had to take care of something."
Ichigo rolled to the side as the Hollow's claws carved a slice out of the sports' equipment shed.
"You're gonna be my breakfast, kid!"
"'Blah blah kill you blah blah swallow your soul'. Say something original."
A black blade split the Hollow's head before it could compose a reply.
The Hollow dealt with, Ichigo looked up and gave a smug grin at the hovering Shinigami before walking toward the school's main entrance.
Rukia scowled as the human entered the building.
"Next chance I get, I'm going to wipe that smirk off his face…"
However, any plans for humiliating him would have to be put on hold, as she sensed another Hollow entering the Living World.
On the bright side, so long as he was stuck in school, any Hollows that showed up were guaranteed to be her kills.
"Here you go. One 'Yuzu Special', just for you," Ichigo said, dropping the bento on the school roof in front of Uryuu.
"I do pack my own lunch, you know, Ichigo," Uryuu sighed.
Ichigo shrugged and glanced at the sandwich and orange that Uryuu had brought. "So you'd rather eat that than Yuzu's cooking?"
"I never said that," Uryuu said defensively, picking up the bento.
Ichigo clapped him on the back. "You might as well accept that Yuzu is going to treat you like family. And that includes making lunch for you."
Uryuu bit down on an octopus shaped hot dog. "I think I can live with that," he said, digging into the food with gusto.
Keigo sobbed. "No fair. I want to eat Yuzu-chan's wonderful cooking too!"
"Unless you can find some way to prove you're secretly related, that's never going to happen," Mizuiro said with a cheerful smile.
"I don't see what you're waiting for, Orihime…" Tatsuki said, looking over at the group of boys.
Chizuru sniffed. "As if my beautiful Hime-chan would ever stoop so low as to ask that barbarian out."
"Ichigo's not that bad," Tatsuki defended her friend.
"Please. With all the fights he gets into? You can't honestly say that a relationship with him would be healthy for Orihime."
Orihime, Michiru, Mahana, and Ryo's heads bounced back and forth like a tennis match as Tatsuki and Chizuru volleyed insults.
"It is kinda weird," Michiru said. "Looking at them, you'd never think Ishida-san and Kurosaki-san were related…"
Ryo nodded. "Ishida-san is polite, well-spoken, and extremely intelligent. And Kurosaki-san is…"
"A bit of a thug," Mahana finished. "Seriously, what do you see in him, Orihime?"
Orihime blanked out for a bit, as her imagination went from Ichigo's scowling face to something completely different. "He's funny," she said at last.
"Victory!" Tatsuki crowed, drawing their attention back to the argument, which had rapidly devolved into a physical conflict. Tatsuki being a National level fighter and Chizuru being… not a fighter at all, the outcome was obvious. "Alright, Orihime, we're taking care of this right now!"
"Huh?" Tatsuki hauled her up and started pulling her over to Ichigo's lunch circle.
Luckily or unluckily, depending on your point of view, Orihime wouldn't have to face her crush, because the bell to end lunch picked that time to ring.
Uryuu watched Ichigo fiddle with his cross as they sat in class. He knew that Ichigo would much rather be hunting Hollows or picking another fight with that Shinigami girl than sitting here. He'd probably be doing just that if Grandfather had not specifically said several years ago that he wouldn't teach Ichigo anymore if he neglected his studies.
Uryuu's eyes narrowed and he glanced toward the window.
A distortion in the air. A small hole in the sky, allowing a small bit of reiatsu to leak out. There was a Hollow watching them.
He glanced back at Ichigo. The carrot-top hadn't noticed it. Of course, Uryuu's sensing abilities were better than Ichigo's.
Uryuu pushed his glasses up his nose. The feeling of being watched vanished before he could decide whether or not to ask for a bathroom break to go take care of it. How odd that it decided to leave instead of attack now. Perhaps it was smarter than the rest of the fodder that came to Karakura?
Well, no loss. He'd let Ichigo know after school, they'd let out a bit more reiatsu than normal, and the Hollow would come running like a moth to a bug zapper. Just like all the others.
And we'll end it there.
Trying to keep Ichigo as Ichigo, and Uryuu as Uryuu, just tweaked a bit due to the circumstances. Is it working?
Yes, Ichigo and Uryuu are related. Ryuuken and Masaki were cousins. How close the relation was is unknown, but considering the Quincies' views on keeping the bloodline pure, they might very well have been first cousins...
There are two polls on my profile. One is regarding the inspiration for Rukia's future battle outfit (so far Mizore's in the lead, with Haku close behind). The other is what I should do about the look of Ichigo's completed Fullbring.
In other news, I finally tracked down a subbed copy of 'All Riders Vs Dai-Shocker' on Youtube. XD I think the scene where every single Rider shows up to kick ass might be the single most epic moment in all of film history.