Finally it is finished. This is the sequel to Poisoned so you'll probably want to go check that out before reading this if you haven't all ready.
I don't own Bleach, of any varity.
Isshin Kurosaki's head snapped up from the pile of papers that he was reading through as he felt the spiritual pressure of his son disappear. A word of denial slipped passed his lips as he ran up the stairs to his son's bedroom, ignoring the quiet crash of his chair as it tumbled to the floor.
He threw open the door and ran a single step into the room before he collapsed to his knees, a wordless scream of grief tearing the air apart as it left his throat.
Kon had just opened the closet door, tears still running down his face; when Ichigo's father slammed the door open. The man's scream of grief had the mod soul sobbing loudly as he retrieved the folded piece of paper Ichigo had given him almost two days previously.
"Isshin?" Kon asked with a sob.
The black haired soul reaper lifted his head from where it had fallen into his hands as he cried, tears still streaming down his face relentlessly.
Kon swallowed another sob as he held the folded paper out to the black haired father of his friend.
The man slowly reached forward to take the folded note with shaking hands, from the tilt of the writing Isshin guessed that his son's hand had been shaking when the note ad been written.
Orihime, Rukia, Renji, Chad, Uryu, Yoruichi, Urahara, Vizard and Dad,
I've written this for when I'm no longer able to tell you what happened, because either I'm dead or my voice disappeared.
During my fight against Aizen, he injected some sort of experimental poison into my system. All attempts to counter it have failed. I'm sure that I'll see you all again, after all, you've all been to the Soul Society before.
Tell Yuzu and Karin everything.
Goodbye and take care,
Isshin broke into renewed sobs as he clutched tightly to his son's last words.
All over town, people were noticing an absence in the air, a lack of something so fundamental to their existence, though few were able to identify what it was that they subconsciously noticed was lacking in the air around them. One such person was Uryu Ishida, his father Ryuken another. Both were at the hospital, Uryu having sprained his wrist just the day before when he pulled Ichigo away from a Hollow intent on killing him, the orange haired reaper had been struck by a coughing fit, blood flying from his mouth and staining his pale skin, his tan never quite returning, that covered his hand and lips a deadly red, their friends had been worried when he returned from taking Ichigo back to the Clinic, Uryu had refused to answer any of their questions.
Even though Uryu knew that Ichigo was dieing, it did not ease the pain at the fact that his friend was now gone. Tears welled in the teenagers eyes, and the young Quincy made no effort to stop them from falling, his head dipped in a silent gesture of mourning. He would visit the Kurosaki residence after school, he promised himself silently.
Ryuken stood just outside his son's room, feeling the heavy air of mourning that emanated from within and inclined his head slightly in acknowledgment of his friend's sons and his son's friends passing.
As the sun rose fully over the horizon Orihime Inoue noticed the lack of comforting pressure from Ichigo and drew conclusions as crazy as the substitute having been abducted by aliens and falling into another dimension before finally realising the truth. Ichigo Kurosaki was dead and this time it was permanent.
She cried then, not even bothering with going to school as she grieved. A concerned Rangiku and Rukia would later find her.
Sado 'Chad' Yasutora, a large and quiet Mexican teen, stared unseeingly at the cup of tea that he held on the counter of his small kitchen. While dressed in his school uniform minus the grey jacket, which hung over the chair next to him, the tall teen had no intention of going to school today.
Despite being one of the worst in their small group at sensing spiritual signatures, even he could feel the lack of a certain powerful orange haired Reaper's energy.
There was a sharp rap on a nearby window that Chad ignored, lost in his thoughts of the implications of his friends energy disappearing so thoroughly. The rap came again, more insistent this time, and Chad stood and moved over to the thin glass panel, only slightly surprised to see Renji Abarai perched rather precariously on the outer ledge.
Closing his eyes resignedly, Chad opened the window to allow the Reaper inside.
The instant Renji's sandaled feet hit the floor the redhead was pinning Chad with a surprisingly gentle expression. "You felt it?"
Chad merely nodded, walking back to the kitchen counter to empty the cold tea down the drain, not interested in drinking the beverage anymore.
"He's dead." Renji managed to get out in a reasonably steady voice, though it was noticeably strained, the two men ignored it.
Without exchanging any more words, Chad closed the widow, grabbed a coat and left via the front door with the redhead only half a step behind him.
Within Seireitei, the captains were in the middle of a meeting, attempting to decide who should fill the empty positions that still remained after the war. Two names had just been put foreword when a messenger collapsed through the double doors of the meeting hall. Curious at what this man had had to say, all sound ceased within the large chamber.
"Urgent message from the Living Realm." The Reaper gasped out breathlessly, the face pale. "Ichigo Kurosaki, Substitute Soul Reaper, is…dead." The last word of the short missive was barely whispered yet in the silence it rang through the room loudly, cutting sharply at the stunned Captains.
"Dead?" A voice whispered out. Nobody was entirely sure which direction it came from originally as the single word echoed around the room in numerous voices.
"Silence." Head Captain Genryusai Shigikune Yamamoto uttered quietly and silence immediately fell upon the other occupants of the hall save for the messengers heavy breathing. "Captain Hitsugaya travel to the Substitutes residence to ascertain the validity of this report."
Toshiro Hitsugaya, Captain of squad ten nodded briskly and disappeared in a flurry of flash steps, hearing the silent immediately that accompanied the Head Captain's words.
A heavy silence fell over the remaining members of the Court Guard Squads at their fellow's departure, worriedly awaiting Hitsugaya's return, and the news that he would bring back. They each prayed silently that it was the opposite of what the messenger had brought for them.
Toshiro Hitsugaya passed through the Dangai as swiftly as was possible, though a part of him wished to slow down, to never arrive at his destination, the larger part of his being was pushing for him to go faster, to discover the truth of the matter for himself. Gritting his teeth irritably, the youngest of the Captains of Seireitei flickered through the gate into the air above Karakura town, pausing only to ascertain his current location in relation to where he remembered the Kurosaki Clinic was located before disappearing with just as much speed as he arrived with.
Five minutes after arriving in the Living Realm, the white haired captain was sitting, he would have simply crouched had the news he had just confirmed not been such an emotional shock, on the window sill of Ichigo Kurosaki's bedroom, staring in shock at the man and group of teens and Soul Reaper's that were gathered within. "It's true?" He managed to gasp out at Isshin Kurosaki, who had still been a captain at the time that Toshiro had begun active duty as a Reaper. At the mans resigned nod Toshiro turned desperate teal eyes over the other occupants of the room, receiving the same response from each.
Slipping off the sill, Toshiro collapsed to the floor of his friend's room, his eyes catching the lack of shock on the Quincy's face. "You knew." The short captain accused tiredly, the morning and disturbing revelations having drained him of what energy he had.
Uryu sighed heavily as all eyes focussed on him, accusing and hurt; only Kon had any sympathy for the young man. "Yes." He eventually acknowledged. "He told me when we came to see how he was after he collapsed that day on the roof."
Toshiro, sighing heavily, hauled himself to his feet, nodding briefly at the other Reaper's. "I need to get back to the Seireitei. Rangiku?"
The auburn haired woman shook head, her arm wrapped around Orihime's shaking shoulders. Respecting his Lt.'s decision, the tenth squad captain flickered out of the window and into a senkaimon.
As the doors closed behind him Toshiro turned to stare up into the sky, feeling suddenly vulnerable. "Thankyou, Ichigo." He whispered as he started on his way again, not looking foreword to delivering the confirmation of Ichigo's death.
Well there you have it. Death Guide, the second sequal to Poisoned, can be found on my profile.
See you all next time.