I do not own any Bleach characters, cities or the like, Tite Kubo is the owner of that.
I write for my own pleasure and yours if you like it ;b. I do not make any money from this or any other fic I own.
Rated M for this and later chapters; Violence, sex, nudity, offensive language, Yaoi/Homosexuality, Drinking...Did I miss anything?
Most of all though...Enjoy~
Btw – Sanbancho = high up judge
Hai = Yes
Gomene = Sorry
Tonkatsu =Deep Fried Pork (mmmm...)
Katsudon = Rice and tonkatsu with a really nice sauce and onions :3 (mmmmm...)
Any other translations gimme a buzz or look it up :)
The alarm clock blared furiously, screaming at the ginger who was still curled up in bed.
"Ugh, already?" Kurosaki Ichigo moaned as he hit the snooze button. It was Thursday morning and it was six thirteen. Ichigo liked to set his alarm for six thirteen because it was an odd number. It made him think in the morning and thinking meant waking up.
Ichigo rolled out of his comfortable double bed and padded out of his room into his the main room of his flat, an open plan room which included; a study, living room and kitchen all rolled into one. Ichigo was twenty five today, he lived alone the way he liked it. He crossed the living area with the cream fabric love seat and wooden coffee table, he walked to his door and collected his post. Gas bill, electricity bill, phone bill, handwritten letter. Ichigo paused and ripped open the pink envelope.
We haven't spoken in years but I'm opening my own club on the 17th of July I'd like to see you there.
Inoue Orihime x
[ ]Attending alone
[ ] Attending +1
[ ]Not attending.
Return to: 88 Green Dragon Way
"Interesting..." Ichigo murmured to himself and found a pen on the end table set by the door. He checked attending alone and opened the drawer under the table, he pulled out a fresh envelope and scribbled the address down before sliding his reply into it and licking the envelope to seal it.
Ichigo padded back towards his room but took a left into his bathroom. His bathroom was of medium size. A small shower stood in the immediate left corner, a large tub took up the right wall and a toilet sat between the two with a sink and mirror to Ichigo's direct right, the room was tiled in black granite on the floor and sandstone slabs lined the wall. He stripped down and slid open the rounded shower door and closed it with a soft thud. He showered quickly and reluctantly stepped out from the warm flow of water. He towelled his face and hair before wrapping his towel around his waist, he glanced at himself in the mirror briefly. His hair was short, back and sides and the longer hair on top spiked upwards defiantly whatever he did with it, he was well muscled still and his brown eyes seemed older, more experienced. Ichigo strolled back into his room to pick out a nice suit, he wore a crisp white shirt and a deep purple tie, he shimmied into a pinstripe suit and threw on some shining leather shoes. He strode into the kitchen area by the door and quickly wolfed down a cereal bar and some juice. He picked up his briefcase, wallet and keys from the door and donned his beige trench coat. He tucked the envelope containing his reply into his coat pocket. He left the flat, locked the door and headed for the elevator.
"Ohayo, Kurosaki-kun!" The old man from across the hall called.
"Ohayo, Jidanbo-senpai." Ichigo returned the greeting and pushed the down button on the control pad. The elevator arrived with a small ping and the metal doors opened smoothly.
"Ohayo, Ichigo." A familiar face stood in the elevator.
"Chad!" Ichigo called, stepping into the elevator to join his friend, "How are you man?"
"Not bad, happy birthday by the way." Chad smiled and put his hand on Ichigo's shoulder. "How's the recent case going?" Chad's voice was sympathetic. Ichigo punched the ground floor button with his free hand and sighed.
"Not great, I know my client is innocent but all of this bullshit evidence, that doesn't even make sense, keeps popping up and stops me dead in my tracks." Ichigo ran his free hand through his flaming head of hair.
"Sounds rough." Chad grunted, "That's why I'm a contractor, I just make the blueprints, tell people what to do and get on with it, much easier." Chad laughed throatily.
"Makes me wish I hadn't wasted my time in law school..." Ichigo grumbled.
"Nah, you're the best lawyer I know, don't give up, not yet." Chad smiled down at Ichigo as the elevator doors slid open. They exited the elevator and both nodded to the doorman as they exited the building.
"Oh Chad," Ichigo called as they turned to go their separate ways, "You going to Orihime's Club opening on Saturday?" Ichigo hoped he would.
"Unfortunately not, got a big deal coming up with Seireitei international, they want me to help build their new headquarters outside of town, sorry!" Chad apologized, "See ya round Ichigo." He waved and turned away.
Ichigo turned and headed for the car park, he unlocked his ruby red Audi R8 and slid in. He was lucky to get this car, Keigo Asano had started an import and export business and this car had been designed for Urahara Kisuke himself but the colour was slightly off so Kisuke rejected it. Asano had to get it off his hands cheap and Ichigo needed a car. It set him back 14 000 000 yen but it was worth it.
The engine came to life with a satisfying roar. Ichigo pulled out of the car park and made his way to the court house. It was going to be a long day.
"Mr Granz, isn't it true that you were cheating on your wife with another man?" Ichigo asked the pink haired man with calm authority.
"It is." Szayel responded calmly, slicking back his long hair with his right hand.
"Then may I ask, where were you on the night of the 18th of August 2009 between the times nine thirty six and one sixteen on the 19th August 2009?" Ichigo asked with confidence.
"I was in the run down motel by Urahara Shōten, the main office on third." Szayel smiled.
"With whom?" Ichigo recited the lines he and Szayel had rehearsed last night, this had to go off without a hitch, this had to be the last time they were in court, Ichigo had run out of ideas, run out of evidence.
"Nnoitra Gilga, my lover." Szayel adjusted his glasses with a small smile, amber eyes flashing dangerously.
"Will this man testify?" Ichigo asked calmly, he could see the end of this tedious trial that had lasted almost three years.
"He will." Szayel smirked triumphantly.
"Thank you." Ichigo let himself smile as he turned to the judge, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto looked exceedingly bored. "Sanbancho, I would like to call Nnoitra Gilga to the stand." Ichigo asked quietly.
"Proceed." Genryūsai nodded his head firmly. He believed Szayel to be innocent, he didn't have the guts to kill anyone with his bare hands, Szayel didn't have the backbone.
"So Mr. Gilga, where were you on the night of the 18th of August 2009 between the times of nine thirty six and one sixteen on the 19th August 2009?" Ichigo was tired, this had already dragged on, it was now one thirty in the afternoon.
"'Was in tha run down motel by Urahara Shōten." Nnoitra tried to keep his voice civilized.
"Why were you there?" Ichigo asked, leaning on his desk and staring into Nnoitra's uncovered eye. His dark hair fell past his shoulders and the thick hair fell across his left eye, covering it comletely.
"Szayel and I were fuckin'." Nnoitra responded calmly.
"First warning Mr. Gilga." Genryūsai growled, Ichigo winced at this, he couldn't blow this.
"Whateva, we were there from eight forty that night until ten oh four the next morning." Nnoitra had to smile at the memory of that night.
"Thank you Mr. Gilga." Ichigo turned to Genryūsai, "That is all I have to say." Ichigo smiled.
"You may be seated, Mr. Gilga you may leave." Nnoitra nodded and waltzed back to his seat in the court audience, he took his place in between Tier Harribel and an ecstatic Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck who bounced in her seat. Both of which had wide smiles on their faces.
Ichigo slumped into his seat next to Szayel, he brushed his explosive hair back off of his face, he felt a weight lift off his shoulders. They were in the clear.
"Jury, you may adjourn." Genryūsai called in his soft, commanding voice.
The jury consisted of many bored faces, one man had to postpone his family holiday to be here, his greying hair was slicked back, large squared glasses rested uncomfortably on the bridge of his nose.
Another a mother of a young boy, he was in school right now, his last day before the summer, she just wanted this to be over, she believed the queer to be innocent, she couldn't care less really.
The jury filed out slowly, they had to decide if Szayel Aporro Granz was the murderer of Cirucci Sanderwicci, a woman brutally murdered by gunshot wounds to the head and chest, followed by decapitation and mutilation from what is thought to be a large cleaver or the more unlikely option, a katana.
Ichigo sighed as he scrolled through his phone and tapped the contact for Inoue Orihime. He had come to sit outside the court, resting on the bottom of the ivory marble steps.
He held the phone to his ear as the dial tone sounded, first ring, second ring, third ring.
"Moshi moshi, Inoue Orihime, how can I help?" Orihime's voice was polite and formal.
"It's Ichigo, how are you?" Ichigo couldn't help but smile at the tone of her voice.
"Kurosaki-kun!" Orihime's voice was surprised but pleasantly so, "What's up? I'm kind of busy."
"Nothing, I was just calling for a catch up, I'll see you Saturday." Ichigo retorted flatly.
"You're coming?" Orihime exploded, the clashing of cutlery and plates resounded from the speaker,
"Itai!" Orihime squealed, "I'm happy that you're coming, post the invite ASAP, I've got an emergency, BYE!" Click.
"Bye..." Ichigo muttered into the phone.
"Kurosaki! The jury have made their decision, come on!" A court official called from the top of the steps.
"Hai!" Ichigo called, jumping to his feet and dashing up the stairs two at a time, he hurtled into the court room and muttered apologies as he took his seat next to Szayel.
"Sanbancho, the jury has made their decision," The older man adjusted his squared glasses, "Through thorough debate and deliberation we have come to the conclusion that Szayel Granz is..." A pregnant pause followed. Ichigo began to feel increasingly nervous.
"Not guilty." Ichigo had to battle to remain calm, he wanted to leap up, scream and run around. He had finally won.
"I hereby release Szayel Aporro Granz from the suspicion of his wife's murder." Genryūsai struck his gavel down and finalized the decision.
Ichigo's heart lightened and he let out a sigh of relief. They had won.
Ichigo flopped down on his sofa and kicked off his shoes. He flicked his T.v on and pulled open his can of Dr. Pepper Ichigo hated drinking on his own, there was no one around to stop him. He loosened his tie, flicked on the local news station and watched as his high school friend Kojima Mizuiro presented the daily news bulletin. His dark hair fell to his shoulders and his dark eyes full of a false light. Ichigo knew Mizuiro hated his job, he would meet with Mizuiro on a weekly basis and drink. A habit they had recently ceased, Mizuiro was getting married soon and had stopped drinking for her. Ichigo smiled, it was nice to see the commitment of others, though he had no intention of settling down, ever. Ichigo switched to Tokyo T.v and mindlessly watched whatever was on.
"Breaking news!" Matsumoto Rangiku's voice called out, interrupting a report about the local environment. "Nnoitra Gilga has been found dead in his lover's studio apartment, Szayel Aporro Granz, his supposed lover had recently..." Ichigo had tuned out, he no longer heard the woman's voice. Gilga was dead, the only witness, Ichigo was glad in the back of his mind that he had testified before he was killed.
"Nnoitra Gilga was known to have been with Granz earlier this evening, though Szayel's whereabouts now are unknown." Ichigo tuned in again at the mention of Gilga's name.
"Police are suspecting Granz as the murderer, Gilga was murdered in the same style as Granz' wife, gun shot wounds and decapitation, the killer is believed to be the same person."
Ichigo crushed the can he held in his hands so violently that the edges cut his fingertips.
"God dammnit!" Ichigo bellowed and threw his can on the floor. Szayel had been a good client and had paid Ichigo copious amounts of money but he was actually a nice guy.
Ichigo's phone rang.
"Moshi moshi." Ichigo snarled, trying to remain calm.
"Kurosaki!" Szayel's voice was frantic.
"Szayel?" Ichigo breathed calmly.
"Listen, I didn't do it, I went to the store, came back and he was dead." Szayel practically screamed down the phone.
"Calm down, look can you make it to my apartment?" Ichigo sighed, he was getting sucked straight back into it all.
"Sure, I'll be over in twenty minutes." Click.
Ichigo sighed and padded over to the kitchen, he pulled out two onions, two sprigs of mitsuba, two pork loins, flour, three eggs, bread crumbs, dashi, soy sauce, hon-mirin, sugar, fresh rice and cooking oil. Ichigo began to prepare Katsudon. Immediately Ichigo did both the sauce and Tonkatsu at once, flipping between sauce and deep-frying quickly, He let the rice steam as he was doing so, having a large range was handy for one person, he had a large saucepan for the sauce, a deep one for the rice and two frying pans for the Tonkatsu. A knock at the door interrupted his flow and he almost dropped the pan containing the Tonkatsu-sauce mixture. Ichigo put the heat on low and sprinted to the door. He opened it on the latch and saw a terrified Szayel at his doorstep.
"Come in," Ichigo unlatched the door and opened it fully, "Hungry?" Ichigo asked, heading back to the kitchen.
"Sure." Szayel whimpered, closing the door shakily behind him.
"Like Katsudon?" Ichigo called as Szayel came to sit on the island counter that Ichigo was working on.
"Mmn." Szayel nodded, "Thank you Ichigo."
"No problem, I won't be able to represent you if consider me a friend." Ichigo commented absently as he took two bowls and two pairs of chopsticks out of his cupboard below his work surfaces.
"How did you?" Szayel asked confused.
"I could tell by your facial expression." Ichigo smiled, plating up the Katsudon and placed a bowl and a pair of black chopsticks in front of Szayel.
"I just wish..." Szayel began but trailed off.
"I know, just eat, it'll make you feel better." Ichigo smiled and began to pick at his meal. Ichigo looked up to see Szayel's bowl virtually empty. He eyed the man with a faint smile, at least he could still eat. Ichigo finished his meal and swivelled to look Szayel in the eye.
"What happened?" Ichigo became serious, he couldn't have a murderer on his hands.
"Nnoitra and I were fooling around but we realised..." He paused, his pale cheeks reddening, Ichigo simply waited for him to continue, Szayel continued after a few seconds, "Nnoitra had run out of lube, I don't like...receiving...without lube." Szayel was blushing so hard.
"Right, so you went to the store?" Ichigo prompted, he had begun taking notes in a small notebook and pencil he kept in his trouser pocket.
"Yeah, at about-"
"No about, precise." Ichigo interjected.
Szayel shook his head, adjusting his glasses, "At eight fifteen I took the elevator from the penthouse to the ground floor, it would've taken fifteen minutes to get to the shop and back because it was eight thirty when I found him." Szayel's amber eyes wavered as tears welled in his eyes.
"Calm down, take a breather," Ichigo touched his shoulder for comfort.
"Thanks Ichigo, I really appreciate-"
"No, I am not doing you any favours, I am putting up a client for the night on strictly business."
"Right." Szayel's amber eyes hardened, "I'm sorry Kurosaki."
"Better, right you get the spare room, excuse the mess." Ichigo stood and took Szayel's bowl and his own to the dishwasher. "Follow." Ichigo called, walking towards his room. He stopped by his door and Szayel bumped into him.
"Gomene..." Szayel apologized absently.
"It's fine," Ichigo nodded, walking into his room, he grabbed a spare pair of jogging pants, Szayel was taller than Ichigo but only by an inch or two, "Here, the spare room is small but the bed's comfy, g'night." Ichigo turned and closed his door. Ichigo immediately stripped off, got into a fresh pair of boxers and slid into bed. He would have to go to the office tomorrow, Szayel needed to go to the police and Ichigo knew he would get pulled in again. He set his alarm, plugged his iPod in and shuffled his playlist. Build God Then We'll Talk – Panic! At the Disco came on and Ichigo smiled.
"On strictly business."
Ichigo's alarm blared at exactly six thirteen. Ichigo rolled out of bed to see the bathroom door closed with a towel hanging on the door handle. Ichigo smiled at the idea, it would've been awkward if he'd walked in on a showering Szayel. Ichigo grabbed the instant pancake mix and made a batch of fifteen pancakes, set them on the side and went to check his mail. A single brown envelope protruded from the mail slot. It was hand addressed and simply read; Kurosaki Ichigo, in thin, spidery handwriting. Ichigo tore open the envelope and scanned the spindly handwriting.
You have proven to be a competent solicitor and a dedicated one at that, we at Seireitei international would like you to join our team as a fully fledged solicitor, we will offer you a starting salary of 1 000 000 yen a month. If this offer seems unsatisfactory then please we will be honoured to meet your demands. Our team includes Sanbancho Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and he is our director in chief. Other well known barristers and solicitors include Ukitake Juushiro, Kuchiki Byakuya, Sui Feng, Unohana Retsu, the list goes on. Your offer is of course deniable and your decision will in no way be influenced by us, we await your reply.
Ichigo stood dumbfounded, Seireitei international was the biggest law firm in Japan and they wanted him?
"Shit." Was all Ichigo could muster.
"What's up Kurosaki-kun?" Szayel had changed back into his clothes from the night before, blue jeans and a white tank top, his glasses perched on the bridge of his nose.
"Look." Ichigo muttered before pouring himself some orange juice and slapping a few pancakes on his plate.
"Shiiiiiiit." Szayel breathed, "This is good!" He cried, "Why do you seem down?"
"Because," Ichigo swallowed his mouthful and gulped down some juice, "I started my law career only four years ago, there's gotta be a catch!" Ichigo shovelled another pancake into his mouth.
"I think any catch is worth a million yen a month Kurosaki-kun, and they're willing to raise it!" Szayel couldn't reason why Ichigo was down, it was an amazing opportunity.
"I suppose," Ichigo mulled it over while chewing on his last pancake, "I might just take it." Ichigo mused.
"Go for it, I'm going to see the police, what time did I arrive here?" Szayel asked cautiously.
"Eight fifty six, on the dot." Ichigo called without turning and closed the door to the bathroom shut behind him.
"Thank you Kurosaki-kun!" Szayel called, leaving the apartment and heading into the elevator. A large Mexican man nodded to him as the doors closed with a soft hiss.
Ichigo showered quickly and threw on a plain black suit, a white shirt and a black and red striped tie. He grabbed his briefcase and an umbrella and donned his trench coat, the weather had turned sour overnight. Ichigo strolled into the elevator after locking his apartment door and waving to Jidanbo on his way out. He climbed into his car and headed for the Seireitei international headquarters.
"Hello, I'm here to see Kyoraku Shunsui." Ichigo enquired politely to the young woman at reception.
"Ah yes, Kurosaki Ichigo I presume?" Her violet eyes sparkled from behind her oval glasses.
"Hai!" Ichigo smiled, the building was brightly lit and had lots of plants, everywhere.
"One moment." She held up her left hand and pressed a button on her headset before speaking politely to the other end. "Kyoraku-Taichou, Kurosaki Ichigo to see you." A slight pause. "Hai, he's here right now, Taichou." Another pause before she removed her hand from the headset, "He'll be here to see you now, I warn you he can be rather...flamboyant." The girl at the desk smiled. "Nanao Ise by the way, hajimemashite." Her eyes sincere.
"Hajimemashite, Kurosaki Ichigo, dozo yoroshiku." Ichigo smiled and held his hand out to shake, she took his hand shook once and released, a formal handshake indeed.
The elevator doors to Ichigo's right opened with a ding, Ichigo turned and smiled. Kyoraku Shunsui was a tall man with broad shoulders, he had long mahogany hair that was tied back aside from a lock of hair that fell against his chiselled face, he was unshaven but neatly so his grey eyes shone with intelligence. He wore a grey suit, a salmon tie and white shirt, pretty normal. Over the top of said suit though hung a long, flowing, floral pink kimono.
"Kurosaki Ichigo!" Kyoraku leant out and took the young man's hand in a tight handshake.
"Hajimemashit-" Ichigo was interrupted.
"Don't be so formal, I know who you are, I am Kyoraku Shunsui, you can call me Shunsui." The older man smiled.
"Gomenasai, I would like to take the job." Ichigo said firmly, wanting to get to the point.
"Ah I'm glad to hear that, have you notified Espada inc. yet?" Shunsui inquired.
"Not yet, I wanted to inform you first and then I was going to resign." Ichigo explained confidently.
Nanao watched this exchange closely, Shunsui may be flamboyant and approachable but this man excelled in speaking his mind, he was going to do well here.
"That's fine, we don't expect you to start work until Monday so if you come back I will show you around, and so on." Shunsui finished with an enthusiastic smile.
"Thank you Sir." Ichigo smiled brightly.
"No problem, also, we do not believe in freelancing here, if you need to take a case run it by Sanbancho and he's more than likely to say yes, but always, always ask first." Shunsui's tone became serious.
"No problem than you Sir." Ichigo shook his hand again.
"Don't mention it, by the way, us," Shunsui made the air quote gesture with his hands, "'Higher ups' are referred to as 'Taichou', I'm not fussy but the others can be." Shunsui warned kindly.
"Thank you, Taichou." Ichigo smiled and turned to leave.
"Oh and Ichigo." Shunsui called.
"Hai?" Ichigo turned to face the older man.
A.N – Whaddya think? :D Pairings will come into it in full force throughout the next chapter or two so don't fret! :b – Esuta ~^-^ x