As you may have noticed I have changed my pen nameto Anonymous Hijink. This random act has nothing to do with the following story. This is all in Ichigo's POV and I apologise in advance for any grammatical errors. Enjoy! Abd I don't own the Anime and Manga sieries Bleach,I don't even own the cleaning product by the same name.
Sleep. That's all I felt like. I could barely keep my eyes open anymore. My breathing was so painful that I was gritting my teeth just to keep from screaming. I couldn't keep anything down either, just the thought of food was enough to turn my stomach. Each time I separated from my body I became worse, not to mention it hurt like hell. I knew that I didn't have much time left, that I was going to die soon, and, surprisingly, that didn't scare me. Maybe because I'd been involved in the world of the dead for over a year. Maybe because I'd seen so much death. My life was little more than death anyway. Once I think about it, maybe the poison Aizen had injected into my blood was doing me a favour, slowly killing off my body and weakening my soul, and totally untraceable. No one would ever know how it happened, I'd just die like all the normal people. The down side was that people were beginning to notice, they didn't know I was dieing, obviously, but they knew I was sick, really sick.
One month after the end of the Arrancar war…
"GOOOOD MOOORNING ICHIGOOO!" Dad shouted as his foot came flying towards my face. I groaned tiredly and rolled away curling into a tight ball and mumbling something incoherent to my knees. I was still sore from the final fight with Aizen, and he knew it, so why was he attacking me today? Add to that the fact I've got a poison spreading throughout my body and really don't want to deal with him, and you get me in one of my worst moods ever.
"Leave me alone dad, I want to sleep." I grumbled as I uncurled and rolled over again, trying to ignore the pain from my recently received and healed injuries.
"No. Get up Ichigo." He said at the same time I felt something solid connect to stomach area. I swiftly kicked him, hard, and made my way to the bathroom, where I proceeded to throw up everything I'd eaten for the last 24 hours, with a healthy addition of blood. When I was sure nothing else was going to come up I rinsed my mouth out and headed back to my room. Finding it thankfully devoid of crazy lunatics I changed into my school uniform for the first day of the new term. As I headed down the stairs I thought of what Aizen had said to me as he died.
"If you're lucky you'll be killed by a hollow before the poison takes hold." Aizen rasped at me. I glared hatefully back at him, not appreciating the uncomfortable tightness in my chest.
"If I'm lucky?" I asked, laughing humourlessly, "If I was lucky, Aizen, I'd already be dead." I smiled at the man I hated with every fibre of my existence, though it lacked any real emotion. "If I were lucky the poison would have entered my heart or lung instead of missing both."
"Then it sounds like you're dew for some good luck." He laughed before coughing, then he went still, and was dead.
I still had a slight bruise were the poison had been injected into my system, just to the left of my left lung. I had to wonder how Aizen had missed my heart, there were many things the bastard was but unprepared or unfocused were not any of them.
'Maybe he did this on purpose.' I thought.
'Wouldn't put it past him.' I heard Aojiroihansha, Aojiroi for short, grumble from within my inner world. Accompanied by an annoyed grunt from Zangetsu and a soft sigh from Fuyumei.
Fuyumei was a fairly recent addition to my soul. I'd found her after one of my spars with Aojiroi, not that she'd been hiding, I'd just been to stupid to actually notice her. While she could take human form she preferred to spend her time in one of her dragon forms. The smaller, or first, form was slightly taller than a cat, her body was long enough to lay across my shoulders, not including her tail. The second, larger form was roughly as tall as a single story building, and at least as long as a car, again not including her tail. In both dragon forms she had silky black scales, silvery-white wings and ice blue eyes. Her human form I'd only seen once, she had long black hair that hung to her waist, her eyes were still the same shade of ice blue as her dragon forms and she was almost as tall as me. She wore an ice blue shihakusho tied with a black silk ribbon.
"Morning Ichigo." Yuzu said to me as I entered the kitchen. I nodded as I sat down to eat. Both Karin and Yuzu were looking at me with worried expressions on their faces but I ignored them and ate as fast as I could, I wanted to get out of the house as soon as I possibly could.
As soon as I'd finished I was out the door and walking towards the school. The breeze was cool and gentle on my face, it reminded me a lot of Fuyumei, though there were a few degrees difference between Fuyumei's body temperature and the wind.
The morning was fairly normal. Keigo came running down the hallway, I held out my fist and he ran straight into it, Mizurio said good morning before making sure Keigo hadn't sustained anything worse than a serious headache, I went into the classroom, talked with Uryu, Orihime, Rukia and Chad, class started and the lessons sped by.
It was almost lunch when I started feeling the effects of the poison again, my lungs felt so heavy I could barely breathe. We'd just finished the lesson, which was probably a good thing since I wasn't required to do anything. I heard the bell and chairs moving, but I just stayed sitting, focussed only on keeping my lungs moving at a steady pace.
"Ichigo?" I looked up from my desk as I heard Orihime call me. My lungs were slowly starting to feel normal again.
"Yeah?" I said, seeing the others close to Orihime.
"Are you coming?"
"Yeah, sorry." I stood and followed them up to the roof. When we sat down in our usual place we began to eat, and I could feel the food settle uncomfortably in my stomach, but not to uncomfortably, luckily.
When we'd finished eating we sat there and talked. I began coughing midway through the topic of hollow activity, at my friends concerned expressions I told them I was fine, none of them were really convinced. By the time the bell rang I was coughing uncontrollably, blood flying from my mouth to my hands, staining them a deep red. Rukia had gone for the nurse and to call dad while the others kept an eye on me. I don't know how long Rukia was gone, but I past out before she returned.
When I opened my eyes I was in my sideways inner world with my inner spirits standing around me. None of us said anything, we just stayed there. I could feel a pounding in my head, I couldn't tell where it came from, or what caused it, but I suspected it was the poison. I wasn't sure how long we were silent before Fuyumei spoke.
"How are you feeling?"
"Like I was just thrown through a building after eating Orihime's cooking." I answered with a grumble, putting my left hand up to my head.
"It's the poison Ichigo, we can't hold it back any longer." Zangetsu said with sadness in his voice. Aojiroi was focussed on the window he was standing on, but I knew him well enough to tell that he was angry, and I couldn't figure out if it was the idea of being weak or the idea of dieing that upset him. Fuyumei's eyes were sad as she walked forward and sat on my lap, curled up into a ball like a cat. My unoccupied right hand went to her neck of it's own accord and began stroking her smooth silk scales.
"How long?" I asked and they all knew what I meant, and none of them really wanted to tell me.
"Maybe two months, three at most." Fuyumei finally said, I could feel her tears soaking through my shihakusho.
"Can I get a worst case scenario?" I whispered, not entirely sure I wanted to know the answer.
"No more than a week." Aojiroi said, lifting his head to meet my eyes. I saw the sadness and pain in his eyes, the anger was clearly written on his face.
We were silent again after that, I heard dad calling me so I knew I had to go. Fuyumei flew over to Aojiroi's arms. Aojiroi's face went from white to red in less than five seconds. Zangetsu and I rolled our eyes at his stupidity, he should just tell her he likes her and be done with it.
"One more thing Ichigo." Fuyumei called from her place in Aojiroi's arms. I raised an eyebrow to show I was listening. "Don't come in here unless you need to or we call you. The more you come in here the worse the poison affects you. The same goes for leaving your body." I nodded before I faded from my inner world.
"Ichigo." Dad called again.
"What?" I asked grumpily, coughing some more when I was done.
"Are you alright?" He asked, looking concerned.
"Yeah, it's probably just a cold or something." He seemed to accept that and nodded, sitting back in his chair. I looked around and noticed I was back at the clinic, most likely because of a combination of the school nurse and dad.
"How are you feeling?"
I sighed before answering. "I feel like I was thrown through a building after eating Orihime's cooking." Dad laughed a little at that.
"Well I'll leave you here until you stop feeling like you were thrown through a building." He said as he left.
I sighed quietly to myself as I closed my eyes, trying to get some sleep. Of course that only lasted for about two hours as my friends came charging into the house and demanding, loudly, to see me.
'I take it your headache just got worse.' Fuyumei whispered. I could feel Aojiroi glaring half-heartedly at her, no doubt with a headache as well.
'Quiet.' I told them. Reluctantly sitting up as my friends came through the door, Rukia at the front, Orihime just behind her, then Renji and Chad, Uryu was standing at the door, trying to look like he didn't care. I smiled at them as dad came through the door looking like he'd just been thrown through a wall, and given the ones here it was quite likely. My smile was turned into a grimace as Rukia, Renji and Orihime started shouting questions at me.
"QUIET!" I yelled at the top of my lungs, causing everyone to lean back with their hands covering their ears, Uryu looked extremely pleased with the fact the door was a fair way from my bed. "Now if you want answers you will ask quietly and one at a time." I said glaring at each of them before nodding.
"How do you feel Ichigo?" Rukia asked.
"Asides from my headache, fine." I said with a shrug, they all looked a little guilty.
"Do you know what's wrong?" Uryu asked locking his eyes with mine.
"No." I replied, glaring at him, channelling a little of Fuyumei's powers at him, causing him to shiver slightly.
"If you don't need anything Ichigo we should probably go. The homework the teachers gave us needs to be done by tomorrow." Orihime said brightly. They all started to leave, I knew Uryu would want answers so I decided to just tell him.
"Hey Uryu!" I called waiting until he'd turned before continuing. "Could I borrow your notes?" He nodded before turning again. "Now."
"Fine." He grumbled walking over to my bed. As soon as the others had left and dad had gone to annoy Karin, Uryu spoke again. "This has nothing to do with school does it?"
I smirked as I answered. "No, it doesn't, though your notes would help."
Uryu snorted as he withdrew a copy of notes from his bag. "Then you had better answer my question."
"Yes, I do know what's wrong. If I tell you, you have to promise not to tell anyone."
Uryu nodded to show he agreed before handing over the notes and closing the door. "Now what's happened?" He asked me in a whisper as he took a seat beside my bed.
I sighed before going into a whispered explanation of my fight with Aizen, how he'd stabbed me with some syringe and injected some sort of poison into my system and how I'd had to use my strongest release to defeat him, giving a minor explanation of Fuyumei. "We don't know exactly what'll happen yet other than I'll die in three months at the most."
"And the shortest amount of time?" He asked hesitantly.
"A week." I heard Uryu gasp in shock at the fact that I could die before the end of the week.
"Are you sure?" He asked weakly. My nod was answer enough. "There's nothing we can do to get it out of your system?"
"No." I thought of back when I'd asked Zangetsu the same thing, the way he'd told me that it wasn't possible, since Aizen had made it himself and wouldn't have been stupid enough to leave a way to remove it just lying around. I'd searched Las Noches a couple of times, killed several Arrancars, but no cure for this damn poison. I sighed before returning to my conversation. "I probably won't be at school very often. No real point anyway."
"I understand. Do you have any idea what might happen to your soul when your body dies?" He asked curiously as he started writing in his notebook.
"Not really." I answered as I started looking over the notes I'd been given. "I'll probably either wind up in Hueco Mundo or just vanish. Even Urahara doesn't know what happens when a Vizard dies, he doesn't even have a theory for when they die from semi-natural causes." It was quiet then, both of us sitting there doing our homework.
Around seven Yuzu brought our dinner in, dad had told her we could eat in the clinic instead of at the table. Once we'd finished eating we returned to our homework, Uryu on his geometry and I started on my English assignment. 'Define the meaning of life and death? How suitable.' I thought as I wrote.
When dad came back to check on me around eleven I was half asleep working on the English assignment, Uryu had fallen asleep in his chair about an hour ago using his notebook as a pillow. I wasn't really sure why he stayed but didn't really care either, I needed the company. It took a lot of convincing to keep dad from taking my homework from me as a way to get me to sleep but I somehow pulled it off. And half an hour later I was reading over my English assignment. I nodded to myself as I finished reading it. Then letting out a long yawn I fell asleep.
I woke at six a.m., took a shower and had breakfast before leaving for school, only feeling minor symptoms from the poison. I was earlier than most to school, Uryu had arrived ten minutes earlier and none of the others were around, we nodded a greeting to each other but didn't say anything. The rest of the class poured in slowly, and the day went on as usual.
The few days were fairly normal, until gym came around anyway. The teacher, a rather unfair man, yelled for the girls to play baseball and the boys to run track. I sighed and caught Uryu's worried glance in my direction, I shook my head as I took my place between Keigo and Mizurio.
I could feel my lungs giving out about halfway through the first lap. It wasn't until I made it three-quarters of the way that I collapsed into a coughing fit.
I could faintly hear the screaming of the students as I started coughing up blood.
I somehow managed to get back to my feet and over to the stairs where I sat and continued to cough feebly. The nurse had been called and arrived to make sure I was alright. She told me to go home and rest, Chad said he'd make sure I got home. So I got up and followed him home, stopping briefly at the locker rooms to change.
Dad was busy in the clinic when we got there but he felt our spiritual pressure as I headed towards the stairs, stumbling slightly as my vision began to blur. I could hear Chad explaining to dad that the nurse had ordered me home as I made my way upstairs to my room. My mind was silent as I collapsed onto my bed, not even bothering to change.
"Ichigo?" Kon asked quietly as he came over to my bed. I turned my head to look at the mod soul tiredly.
"What is it Kon?" I managed to mumble as my vision began to blur again.
Kon gulped as he jumped up to my side. "Are you feeling alright?"
I laughed a little at that, though there was nothing even remotely funny about my situation. Even though I could hardly see at that point I knew that Kon was glaring at me. "I'm okay for now Kon. Just don't tell anyone what I'm about to tell you." Kon gave a startled squeak as I rolled over onto my side and coughed feebly. I got a nod out of the lion plushie that we kept Kon in. "I'm dieing, have been since the end of war."
Kon was silent as he took it in, and sometime in that silence, I fell asleep.
When I woke up I felt like I'd never slept at all, even though there was a faint light outside of my window, signifying that it was dawn. I frowned as that fact registered in my mind. If it was dawn then it was around four a.m. and I'd fallen asleep at around two p.m. so that meant I'd slept for roughly fourteen hours. Blinking quickly I slowly sat up, stifling a yawn as I went. My orange hair was messier than usual and fell into my eyes as I made my way to my desk , were Kon sat watching me. As my steps became unsteady I reached out to the wall before dropping into my desk chair.
I cursed quietly to myself before a round of coughing began.
"Should I go get your dad?" Kon asked worriedly.
Still coughing, I simply shook my head, reaching towards a small pile of papers. The papers were half dragged, half pushed until they rested in front of me, a pen was placed nearby by Kon.
My hand was shaking slightly as I penned a short letter. My eyes locked with Kon's for a moment as I handed the letter, folded in to a small square, to Kon. The mod soul gave a determined nod before taking the folded paper and hopped over to the closet that he'd claimed ever since Rukia had moved in with Orihime when she was in the world of the living.
Another feeble cough left me as I heard my badge go off. Remembering Fuyumei's warning about leaving my body I threw my spiritual senses out, searching for the reason my badge had gone off. What I felt made my already pale skin lose another shade.
My voice was weak as I called for Kon. "Stay here. There's at least seven Gillian rank hollows just outside of town." Kon nodded as I pressed my badge to my chest as gently as could. I gritted my teeth as pain flared through the whole of my body, the pain died down to a dull ache after a moment or two. I paused to pant for a moment before I flash stepped in the direction of the hollows.
I could faintly feel the spiritual signatures of my friends, minus Renji, already at the site, the red haired soul reaper was heading in my direction, likely to make sure I was heading there. I caught sight of the older soul reaper a few blocks from the others, I nodded once before we flickered into our next flash step.
Renji arrived before I did. Like I knew he would. I began working my way through the small group of hollows. Between all of us we had the hollows killed before the sun rose fully. A quick gesture in the direction of my home, directed at Uryu, and a nod from the Quincy later and I was moving at just below flash step speed towards my bedroom.
I was back in my room before the early morning light filled the sky. I suffered through the pain of re-entering my body before making my way back to my bed, where I collapsed, completely unconscious.
It took dad shaking my shoulder roughly and almost yelling to bring me back to consciousness. My grumbling could have been 'Go away, I'm tiered.' or 'I'm not getting up so get lost.'.
I swatted weekly at dad's arm and curled back into my blankets. The faint sound of Kon timidly suggesting that I be left to sleep was the last thing I heard as my mind drew me to unconsciousness again. I could feel that I would die soon. By my guess I only had another day or two, the silence from my inner world conformed my thoughts better than a vocal response ever could.
1 Day 20 Hours Later…
My eyes fluttered opened weekly, a strangled cry of pain forced it's way up my throat and past my lips, the pain originated somewhere in my lungs. The decreasing amount of oxygen making it's way into and out of my lungs would explain why I had woken from my sleep and now felt light headed. Every muscle felt like lead as I reached my arm out to prod at Kon, who had taken to sleeping on my desk ever since I'd told him that I was dieing. When the mod soul had woken enough to formulate a coherent sentence my expression was the only answer he needed.
"Goodbye." I whispered, my voice barely audible to my own ears but the choked sob from the lion plushy on my desk told me that Kon had heard me.
The mod souls 'goodbye' was the last thing I heard as my life left me and I knew no more.
There is a second piece to this story that I'm working on and hope to have up sometime this year.