Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. I am not a wealthy professional mangaka. I am an amateur writer who has decided to smash Kubo's masterpiece with a baseball bat and rebuild it in my own twisted image with a glue stick and staples, for no reason other than my own amusement.
Good evening, ladies and germs! I, the mighty Cerokun, have arrived, bearing the sequel to "Not Quite as Planned"!
So, sit back, relax, maybe get some tea. Enjoy all that.
Then strap yourself in and prepare to have your mind blown. We're starting this story off with Ichigo vs. Kenpachi!
T-minus ten seconds to epicness…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2½…2¼…2…1…
The desert of Hueco Mundo. A silent world, usually broken only by the roars of the Hollows that populate it.
Hollows cocked their heads in confusion at the sound of thunder. They had reason to be confused. Hueco Mundo's skies were always clear. There were no thunderstorms in the barren world of Hollows. And yet, thunder was echoing across the desert.
In another world, someone might have gotten curious and gone to investigate. But in Hueco Mundo, odd occurrences were things to be avoided. The Hollows hunkered down and waited for the storm to pass.
Curiosity got the cat eaten after all.
Ichigo's blade slammed into Kenpachi's, driving the giant Shinigami back. Kenpachi was quick to start pushing back and the two Zanpakuto sparked as their wielders struggled for dominance.
Ichigo gave ground first, unable to get decent footing on the desert sands. Kenpachi's grin widened and he took the opening, breaking the blade lock and swiping at Ichigo's neck.
Ichigo let himself fall back, Kenpachi's battered blade sailing through empty air inches above his head.
Now it was Ichigo's turn to take advantage of his opponent's opening. The Arrancar kicked, burying his foot in Kenpachi's stomach and sending the Captain skidding back.
Kenpachi rubbed at the slight footprint Ichigo had left in his torso. Then he shrugged it off and stood tall once again, his grin still in place.
A grin that was wiped off his face by a Cero to the kisser.
Ichigo pumped his fist as Kenpachi was sent tumbling ass over teakettle into one of the crystal trees that dotted the landscape.
"Oh that was beautiful! The timing could not have been better!" Ichigo laughed.
Sand exploded and Kenpachi hauled himself to his feet. Ichigo grinned. "First blood goes to me, Kenpachi."
Kenpachi smiled with bloodied lips. "That it does." He pointed his blade at Ichigo. "I plan to draw the last though!"
Kenpachi charged again, whaling on Ichigo's defenses in a never-ending stream of slashes. Ichigo blocked every one.
Then Kenpachi's free hand caught his sleeve.
Kenpachi reeled him in, driving his knee into Ichigo's stomach. "Oof!" The Captain shifted his grip, grabbing the collar of Ichigo's shihakusho. He drew back and slammed his forehead into the Arrancar's nose. "Gah!" Kenpachi pulled back for another headbutt, but Ichigo recovered and met him with a headbutt of his own. Kenpachi and Ichigo staggered back from each other, rubbing their abused skulls.
Ichigo reached up and winced as he felt his flattened nose. "Nod bad…" he admitted. Gritting his teeth, Ichigo cracked his nose back into place. He smirked as it healed and the pain receded. "But not good enough."
Kenpachi threw his head back and laughed. "This is great! I haven't had so much fun in years! Come on! Let's make this last a good, long while!"
The battle continued.
Ikkaku stumbled as Ichigo and Kenpachi's battle shook the ground. "Holy crap! This is nuts! I've never seen anyone able to keep up with the Captain like this!"
Ikkaku glared up at the little girl sitting on his head. "Don't call me that."
"But it's true," Yachiru giggled. "Kenny's having fun. He doesn't want it to end."
Yumichika nodded. "This is still just the warm-up. The real fight will start soon."
Ulquiorra sidestepped a stray Cero that obliterated part of the sand dune he was standing on.
"They are strong. I can't say for sure until I see their full strength, but I would place them around Grimmjow's level."
Ulquiorra nodded. Ichigo Kurosaki. As Lord Aizen said, he is capable of being an Espada.
Arrancar and Zanpakuto continued to watch the battle, waiting to see what the two below could truly do.
Ichigo slipped to the side to avoid Kenpachi's thrust and retaliated with a thrust of his own. Kenpachi tilted his head and let the sword pass by. He grabbed Ichigo's outstretched arm and tried to pull him in for another headbutt.
Ichigo had no intention of becoming reacquainted with Kenpachi's skull though.
Ichigo's uppercut slammed Kenpachi's teeth together and he was pretty sure he felt the giant's jaw crack under the force.
The blow staggered Kenpachi and his grip on Ichigo's wrist loosened. The Arrancar yanked his arm free and struck at Kenpachi's face.
The Captain dodged on reflex, swaying backward to avoid getting his face cut in two. Ichigo cursed as his Zanpakuto merely grazed Kenpachi's face.
Amid a spray of blood, a black eye-patch dropped to the sands of Hueco Mundo.
The Shinigami watching the fight in the 12th Division's monitor room winced in sympathy. Whether the opponent was an Arrancar or not, watching Kenpachi tear into someone full force was never pretty.
"This is going to be painful…" Kyoraku muttered, pulling his hat over his eyes.
Ichigo grunted as Kenpachi's monstrous reiatsu slammed down on him. In a flash, the Captain was in his face, Zanpakuto swinging.
Shit, this is gonna hurt.
Kenpachi swing struck Ichigo's defense…and scattered it to the winds. To say the blow knocked his Zanpakuto aside would be an understatement. Zangetsu was thrown out of the way with such force that Ichigo was dragged several feet sideways.
Then Kenpachi's follow-up hit.
The Arrancar was thrown across the desert like a ragdoll. He hit and bounced several times, tumbling head over heels. By the time he stopped, the sand had stripped quite a bit of skin off his face and arms. He also had sand in some very uncomfortable places.
"Ow…" Ichigo pushed himself up and spat out a mouthful of sand. He blinked at the huge amount of blood soaking the sand beneath him. The Arrancar rolled onto his back and saw the massive gash in his torso. "Huh." Then the pain hit. "Fuck!" He pressed a hand against the wound. "Shit, that hurts!"
The sand behind him shuddered and Ichigo looked up into Kenpachi's disappointed face.
The Captain shouldered his battered blade and shook his head. "Now why'd you have to do that, Ichigo? I was having plenty of fun the way things were." His grin quickly returned though. "But I suppose that was enough fooling around. C'mon. Let's see that Resureccion of yours."
Ichigo laughed, causing him to spasm and cough up blood. "Shit. Ow." He smirked. "So you think it's time to get serious, huh?"
He lifted his bloodstained hand from his chest…revealing the blue Cero he had been charging.
"I couldn't agree more!"
Ulquiorra actually lifted a hand to shield his eyes when the Gran Rey Cero went off.
Murcielago laughed. "That's going to leave a mark…"
"What the hell was that?" Akon yelled, staring at the readings the drone was sending back. "It's reading like a Cero, but I've never even heard of one that powerful!"
Komamura stared at the screen, which was obscured by dust thrown up by the explosion. "Do you think that finished him?"
Soifon snorted. "Kenpachi? Please. It will take far more than that to do that man in."
The monitor suddenly started beeping and Hiyosu checked the data from the camera drone. "The Arrancar's reiatsu is rising rapidly. I believe it's about to utilize its Resureccion."
Kenpachi hauled himself back to his feet. His body was an oozing mess of burns and blood. Still, his grin was the widest it had been through the whole fight. Pain? He was Kenpachi Fucking Zaraki. Pain was just an indication of how much fun he was having.
"This is it…" he chuckled. "This is IT!" The chuckle rose into full blown maniacal laughter. "This is what I've been waiting for all these years!" He snatched up his nameless Zanpakuto from where it had fallen. "Come on, Ichigo! Let's keep going! Show me what you can really do!"
Ichigo grinned as Kenpachi's yell echoed around him.
"Happy to oblige." He lifted Zangetsu.
"Split the Sky! Zangetsu!"
Murcielago was laughing again. "Yes! Can you feel it, Ulquiorra? It's still sleeping, but it's there!"
Ulquiorra didn't answer his Zanpakuto, continuing to watch silently.
Most wouldn't see it. In fact, almost no one would be able to recognize it. But Murcielago knew his wielder better than Ulquiorra knew himself, and he did see it.
The glimmer of eagerness in the Arrancar's emerald eyes.
"What the hell?"
Soifon looked at Akon as he stared at the readings. "What?"
Akon glanced at her then turned his attention back to his terminal. "This doesn't make any sense. The Arrancar's reiatsu levels are about fifteen percent higher than what our sensors registered at the end of his fight with Captain Kurotsuchi."
"And? He finished that battle by eating Kurotsuchi. Of course he's going to be stronger," Hitsugaya pointed out.
"Captain Kurotsuchi had more than fifteen percent of that Arrancar's power. Realistically, we should be seeing a jump closer to eighty or ninety percent," Hiyosu chimed in.
Hinamori voiced the question everyone was thinking. "So…where did the rest of the power go?"
Ichigo cracked his neck. "Ah, no more pain…"
The sand cratered as Ichigo Sonidoed. His white and black cleaver arced through the air, slicing deep into Kenpachi's side. Kenpachi swung his blade to retaliate, but Ichigo was coming from the other side now, slashing at the giant's back.
Kenpachi flared his reiatsu and swung, sending a sickly yellow surge of raw power at the Arrancar. Ichigo vanished again, the attack doing nothing but carving a new canyon in the desert.
A shadow alerted him, and Kenpachi got his Zanpakuto up in time to block Ichigo's downward swing. The two strained against each other, grinning madly.
Ichigo's tail whipped around, snagging Kenpachi's sword arm and yanking it down. Ichigo continued his swing, carving a bloody gash across Kenpachi's torso. His tail flexed, hauling Kenpachi into the air and slamming him down on the ground. The Arrancar drew back and kicked the Captain in the face, launching him across the desert again.
Kenpachi righted himself and hit the ground with all the force of a meteorite impact. Despite his rapidly accumulating injuries, he was still laughing.
"Damn, you're fast! I can't even see you move! This is great!"
"Glad you're enjoying it." Ichigo plowed into Kenpachi again.
But the Demon of Zaraki was ready for him this time. The instant Kenpachi felt Ichigo's blade bite, he twisted out of the way. Again and again, Kenpachi avoided killing blows by the skin of his teeth, taking minor wounds instead of the finishers Ichigo meant them to be.
Finally, he dodged an attack completely, sending Ichigo off balance. "Gotcha!" Kenpachi's sword lashed out, and Ichigo retreated.
The Arrancar clutched at the stump of his left arm. "This is nuts. I'm faster than you by far and you're still keeping up with me. Hell, you said it yourself. You can't even see me. You're dodging entirely on instinct." A new arm grew from the bloody stump. Ichigo flexed it and smirked. "Well, I've got my own counter for that. You ever played a videogame called Fate/Stay Night?"
Kenpachi leaned his sword against his shoulder. "Can't say I have."
"Shame." Ichigo grinned. "So this is going to go completely over your head." The inflection in his voice changed, clearly imitating someone.
"I am the bone of my sword."
Kenpachi jumped as the sand below him erupted in blades.
"That's not good enough!" Ichigo yelled. The blades shot into the air, spearing toward the airborne Captain.
Kenpachi grunted as the blades slammed into him. He dropped out of the sky, avoiding Ichigo's second volley…straight into a field of steel. "Son of a bitch!" More blades pierced him.
"Gotcha," Ichigo echoed.
Yellow reiatsu erupted, turning Ichigo's summoned blades to dust.
"Oh come on. Stupid, brittle, pieces of junk…" Ichigo grumbled. He really needed to do something about that. This was the second time he had fought someone that could break his blades with ease.
Kenpachi stood, covered in blood from his wounds. But his laughter was louder than ever. He reached up and yanked a sword shard out of his shoulder. His reiatsu rose, a towering pillar of yellow light.
Ichigo blinked. Was his reiatsu actually taking the form of a skull? What the hell?
"I think you hit something important," Kenpachi said through his laughter. "My legs don't feel too good. So get ready, Ichigo! This is my last shot!"
Ichigo shielded his eyes as Kenpachi's reiatsu rose even higher. "Holy crap!" The Arrancar lifted his cleaver and started ramping up his own reiatsu. "Alright, Kenpachi! One last clash! Let's see who's the strongest!"
In the skies above the desert, a yellow skull faced off with a blue Hollow mask.
"The drone can't take this! Back it up!" Akon ordered.
"This is insane!" Hiyosu yelled. "These two are monsters!"
The assembled Captains and Vice-Captains watched the screen, transfixed by what they were seeing.
Ulquiorra had to abandon his dune. The rising reiatsu had crushed the desert flat for miles around.
Show me. Show me the extent of your power, Ichigo Kurosaki. Show me you are worthy of my attention.
"Here we go, Ichigo!" Kenpachi roared.
Arrancar and Shinigami charged.
"Go, Kenny!" Yachiru cheered.
"You can do it, Captain!" Ikkaku and Yumichika yelled.
Ichigo and Kenpachi entered sword range.
Their blades swung, arcing toward their target.
Ichigo's grin went from 'excited' to 'shit-eating'.
The look on Kenpachi's face told Ichigo that he had seen the blue glow in his eyes and realized exactly what was about to happen.
The desert exploded.
And we commemorate the first chapter of SNGaP with the return of an old friend. The Evil Cliffhanger! Mwahahahahaha!
What did you think? Epic enough? No, don't answer that. There is never enough epicness.
I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter of "Still Not Going as Planned".