Hollow Justification

Author's Notes:

I got some explaining to do and I shall do it!

Welcome, all! I have not abandoned Salamander (chapter 10 is nearly finished) and will keep working on it, but I wanted another story to write and post and thus this was born! I wanted to do a Bleach story and the Visored have always interested me, but I didn't want to just do an AU where Ichigo stumbles upon their hideout early or something like that. I also wanted to do a zanpakutou other than Zangetsu, even though he is badass (at least Tensa Zangetsu is). So what happens when you want to do a Bleach crossover? You kill Naruto and toss him headfirst into the afterlife!

Now, I sit back and look at the possible zanpakutous for Naruto and I say to myself, "Man, Muramasa fits him pretty fucking good in that weird sort of way! Like how people just love Naruto and Hinata."

Just look at his name! Muramasa – Village-just. Who was unjustly treated by his village, hmm? But wait, there is more!

Now, Naruto sucks at genjutsu while that is sort of what Muramasa is all about (or at least the whole sharingan and Kyuubi, Muramasa and zanpakutou thing); Muramasa has those invisible threads and Kushina had the chakra chains; Muramasa was abandoned and sad and just wanted to be accepted and all that sad jazz, but what really sold me was his Inner World. Go Google 'Muramasa Inner World' then 'Uzushiogakure' and tell me you don't see the similarities. The pillars and the water…it just fits. Same with Harribel, but that is for later, though there will be some romance there and that is all I'm going to say on the matter other than she won't be appearing for some chapters, but it will be before she did in canon. You'll know – if I don't blow the surprise in an AN – when her time has come, I'm sure.

Now, Muramasa is a little OP in my opinion so I'll tone down how Naruto uses it, but I will be adding a few abilities here and there, seeing as I have to give him a Bankai and I already have it figured out, based on the abilities of his we are shown. Forget the Zanpakutou Rebellion arc other than Muramasa's abilities as that will not happen and Muramasa's fate has changed. This opening chapter should shed some light on that, though it doesn't really matter; I'd just thought I would point it out before someone feels the need to say, "That isn't what happened to him, baka!"

Finally, happy 7/11! Go get your free Slurpee before time runs out, children!

Summary: Uzumaki Naruto was unable to fulfill his dream of becoming a Shadow in Life, thus his decision to become a God in Death was hastily made. Too bad the Shinigami of Soul Society wanted him dead and not the service of an abomination. That was just fine, because he was no stranger to injustice or wearing a Mask.

In Love and Death

Walking through the village he felt like a ghost – Grim Reaper to be more precise – but that was beside the point. He knew what he was and what he had to do. It didn't really matter to him that some of the villagers – while not spiritually aware – could sense him to a degree. He was not some ice-cold entity like the young prodigy Hitsugaya Toushirou, but several villagers walking by shivered as he passed them and one old lady had even clutched at her heat.

These Hidden Villages sure are something else, he thought with a smile. He would, after all, be visiting Konoha's greatest treasure after his task was done.

Yes they are, replied a voice in the back of his head. This one has an abundance of greenery as well, it murmured again, just a hint of jealousy coloring its words. I wouldn't mind seeing something similar in here…

Again with that? he thought with a snicker. When I figure it out, I'll make sure to plant something nice for you, he promised.

That is all I ask of you, my friend.

"Whatever," he grumbled out loud, scratching at his face and startling another citizen of Konoha. Still, for a military village centered on deadly ninja, you would think the average citizen would at-least have a backbone.

It is to be expected, the voice replied. I can only assume the soul we are here to help pass was an important figure in this community.

He could only nod, as there was a great many people wearing black and he even spotted several different kinds of ninja, which he admittedly found odd. Just reaching out to sense some of their power – however faint compared to his – he could tell which were of similar nature, like the close-knit group walking through the village with an air of distrust around them. Not that they were intent on betraying anyone, more along the lines of not wanting to be there at all.

They feel like…rock, he commented, receiving what he knew to be a mental nod. As he walked towards the last known coordinates of his target he played a game with the ever-present voice, trying to pick out the different presences and there were many of them. Earth and lightning and fire and water and wind and sand and

I wondered…

His eyes narrowed slightly and snapped to a short, auburn-haired figure walking past him. And that, he thought, fingering the hilt of his zanpakutou, is why we sealed this place away from the rest of the known world.

The boy reeked of a Hollow-like power and he was positive a lesser shinigami might have attacked the child on his instincts alone. He was a lieutenant in the Gotei – a shinigami of lesser rank was not even allowed to enter these parts without the given consent of his superior – and would not act upon his impulses.

With a sigh he removed his hand from the hilt of his zanpakutou and watched the boy and his small group disappeared around a corner. All three of them were giving off waves of sadness and loss though the one not dressed in black – he was wearing a white and green robe to match his unusual eyes, it seemed – hid it fairly well behind a nearly emotionless mask. The only female amongst the group had red-rimmed eyes and the other boy's face was covered with artificial facial markings, likely for the funeral. Why else would he wear make-up?

Following after them, he silently cursed the one now known as Rikudou Sennin. What had the fool been thinking, coming to the world of living and knowingly spreading his power to humans?

Likely the same thing you are planning on, interrupted the voice.

Shut it, he growled harshly, silencing the voice. I don't want to hear it right now. I really, really don't.

With a sad sigh the voice of his soul slayer wandered back into his Inner World, alone for the time being. He would have to make it up to him and find out how to plant those trees, or maybe summon up some animals for him to play with. Maybe he'd even develop an inner-Hollow for him to talk to and fight with.

Still, thoughts of Hollows and betrayal had brought him back to his task at hand and where it led his thoughts.

Rikudou Sennin had been an exceptional shinigami of untapped potential in the Gotei before abandoning his duty on a mission. Perhaps his intentions had been of the right kind, but betrayal was betrayal and their comrades did not take kindly to that.

Even so, the abrupt appearance of the most powerful Hollow ever on record – the one called Juubi dwarfed the power of a mere Vasto Lorde – was a cause for panic. The destruction of several islands off the eastern coast of Japan was a cause for action and the complete annihilation of over a dozen seated-officers had been a cause for retreat.

He didn't know what power the shinigami had held, but he had managed to stop the beast though he wasn't sure if it was a good thing or not, considering he was sealed away with his own selection of private islands when word got back to the Captain-Commander that he had sealed the Hollow within himself.

That was a big no-no. You were shinigami or you weren't – you didn't dabble with Hollow powers if you wanted to live no matter the cost or consequence. Had the Captain-Commander deemed the situation worthy enough he would have sent captains to deal with the beast or – however unlikely it was – himself to fully silence it.

He didn't blame the man for possibly being bitter, but knowingly taking that kind of power in and then creating your own race of wannabe-shinigami in retaliation was pushing it far. The man was damn lucky – perhaps it was just fear of an undesirable outcome – the barrier hadn't been collapsed on top of him and his people in an attempt to completely vaporize everything within.

The Captain-Commander was not a very kind person when it came to serious business like Hollows and betrayal. When you train someone to be a God only for them to forsake their vows, it hit hard, and the old man wasn't known for holding when he hit back.

Rikudou was lucky he got to live his days out, however short they had been after his defection, but the fact remained to the current age: beyond the barrier was not a normal place to be trifled with.

Once in a while a high-ranked officer would be sent in to deal with the souls of those dead and the monstrosities created, but other than that they had no real contact with the world beyond. They were human, but barely so, always pushing for the next step on the ladder, grasping for more. He was shinigami and knew some of his brethren were as arrogant as they came, but these ninja really thought they were something else.

Plot for immortality here, reviving the dead there, stealing bodies here and throw in a technique to control the world there… After a while it really did get quite ridiculous. Honestly, maybe he was missing something, but had their last war really been over the Moon of all things?

He laughed out loud along with the voice in his head before getting serious again when a passing little gaki suddenly paled and fainted.

Sometimes his captain – who would no doubt scold him for 'harming' a child – said they were just trying to reach what they had once been, like their forefather, but always came up short in their attempts. She had one of the nicer opinions but was also biased, considering the number of times she sent him there to gather herbs and plant-life for her. She was a kind, caring woman and humble enough to admit the items he often collected for her helped make her one of Soul Society's greatest healers.

At least they can do a few things right

Whatever else they were doing they weren't going about it the right way, considering the constant wars and death-rate that hinted at the rapidly-approaching extinction of the already small population. Perhaps it was cruel, but it was the best option left. They would return to the home of their ancestors and a dark chapter in the history of Soul Society would be closed forever.

It had been bad enough hearing about the power Rikudou had given himself, but having to hear he had split it up was downright awful.

And it was a smart move for a cunning man who cared greatly for his people.

Destroy my people and release the horrors within, if you wish.

The threat was crystal-clear.

Of course Rikudou had little clue of what was to come of his people with his death and ascension to Soul Society – constant wars and the actual sealing of Hollow-like creatures within children.

Sometimes he pitied these lands while cursing them at others. Turning children into weapons was nothing short of cruel and disgusting and it was no wonder the place was condemned and damned in the eyes of Soul Society.

There was no hiding, however, what happened to Rikudou – he had met the Soukyoku with a content look on his face while the masses cheered at his death.

He had said nothing his entire time in Soul Society and some feared he was insane from his time with the beast though he showed no signs, not even the lingering presence like the boy in the street. Some thought he would bewitch the Soukyoku and escape at the last moment but they all saw him burn, making no sound and showing no distress at his destruction.

Some even thought he'd managed to escape without the complete destruction of his soul so he could one day take back his revenge on them when the time was right and they were at their weakest.

Some people really were stupid. And he was – admittedly – one of them.

With a rueful shake of his head, he continued following the trio and eventually came to a stop where a large group of people were gathered in a cemetery. A well-endowed blonde was flanked by several people, standing before a black monument, while a much larger one with several figures carved into the face of a mountain loomed behind them all.

Reaching into his shihakusho, he pulled out the phone all shinigami carried and took a peek at the picture on the screen before glancing back to the monument's fourth face. Could be his older brother, or father. Slowly raking his eyes up the stone face, he peered intently at the blond-haired figure sitting atop the head, staring right back at him.

So young, he thought as he began his ascension to the kid's level. With a grin he eventually landed in front of the kid, wiping nonexistent dust from his clothing as his hand lingered on his trusty zanpakutou.

"What the hell are you?" the blond demanded after staring, wide-eyed for several moments.

Uzumaki Naruto received a wide grin. "If you like, you may refer to me as Shinigami-sama."

The kid gaped for a moment before grinning and managing a snort. "Not likely," he shot back. "If baa-chan never got me to talk properly you sure as hell won't!"

He shook his head, glancing at the chain hanging from the blond's chest. It wasn't in too bad of shape which surprised him. If he didn't know any better he would say he was standing in front of a Hollow.

He scratched at his growing beard for a moment. "That your funeral kind?" he asked, pointing over his shoulder.

The kid – Naruto – got that defeated look about him again. "Yeah," he muttered, unconsciously tugging at his chain like some would run a hand through their hair.

Nodding thoughtfully, he took a seat next to the kid. "You seem to be pretty important," he commented, gaining a wide-smile. "Just how old are you?"

"Seventeen," he replied, his eyes feasting on the ever-gathering group of people. He smiled sadly while raising a hand and pointing. "That's baa-chan," he murmured when his finger landed on the beauty he'd seen earlier. "She's the Hokage and leader of our village. I always wanted to be that person but my dream is dead and gone now."

He sighed and glanced at the kid next to him. This was the worst part of the job. "I told you what I am but not what I do, yeah?" Not waiting for a nod or answer he went on. "I'm a shinigami – Angel, Death God, Soul Reaper, whatever the hell you wanna call me – and my duty is to help souls like you pass on to Soul Society. Your dream may have come to pass, but the journey has only just begun. Don't lose hope just yet, brat."

The kid nodded thoughtfully, his eyes still on the blonde currently talking to the masses about some bridge and androgynous person named Haku. Leaning back, he figured letting the kid listen to the speech wasn't too bad of a move in getting him to come along quietly. Normally, a Plus watching his own funeral was a very bad idea as it only cements their resolve to stay, but it mattered little now as he was already there. He'd send the little gaki to the great beyond whether he wanted to or not and get his thanks later.

Hell, he was barely refraining from drawing his sword just sitting next to the kid and sending him to Soul Society – just not by the way of konsou. He thought the one in the street was bad, but this kid screamed Hollow. He also had a good bit of spiritual pressure leaking out and he had no doubt the kid would make something of himself once he made it to Soul Society, maybe even become a seated-officer one day with a few pushes in the right direction. He'd be the first, and maybe the kid would thank him with a nice bottle of sake one day. Who knew?

"– a fierce friend and protector, willingly going to any length in the hopes of defending his beliefs and those he found precious! He would never settle for second and never leave a comrade behind. Uzumaki Naruto embodied the Will of Fire and he –"

Tuning the speech out somewhat, he turned as the kid gave a little sniffle and tried to play it off like a cough. Amateur, he thought with a small smile, facing the crowd again.

"– was the son every father wanted and young man every mother wanted their daughter to marry," she went on and on, praising the kid next to him like he was the second-coming of his accursed ancestor.

When all was said and done and more than a few tears had been shed, the two stood before the black, memorial tablet that held only one name on it.

"Ready yet, kid?" he asked, drawing his sword.

Naruto eyed the sword worriedly. "You gonna to stab me with that?"

He chuckled, turning it over in his hand and choosing not to mention he had thought about it. "No," he replied. "I'm going to press the end to your forehead and send you to Soul Society before that chain of yours can turn you into a monster."

The kid looked at him like he was stupid for a moment before rubbing his cheek which he just noticed had whiskers on them. "Forgot you aren't from around here," he mumbled with a shrug. "Reminds me, what is it like where I'm going?"

He gave a small shrug. "Soul Society isn't like the heaven some people are hoping for, but it is better than what some think. Not really much different from the real world, I suppose," he admitted and gave Naruto a smirk. "Maybe you'll become a shinigami like me and change it for the better, kid."

Naruto had a wide grin again as his head bobbed up and down excitedly. "Well go on." He stopped and closed his eyes, wincing. "Do it!" he snapped, cracking one open before shutting it again. "Hurry up – get it over with before I lose my nerve!"

With a wide grin of his own he pressed the butt of his zanpakutou against the kid's forehead and stepped back to watch him disappear.

Another job well

Only the kid didn't disappear.

And he was not supposed to be screaming in anguish and his chain was definitely not supposed to be eroding.

He could do nothing as the kid collapsed, hands digging into his stomach and clutching in unbearable pain as he screamed and sobbed and wept and wailed.

Prepare yourself, the voice warned, readying its power for battle.

With another curse at the forsaken-shinigami he drew his blade and readied himself. He would cleanse the kid before he even knew what happened or had a chance to harm any villagers – he owed him that much after hearing the life he'd lived. Hell, maybe he'd even forget about the village that had tormented him and accepted him when it was all but too late and get a real chance to move on with his life.

"Stop, stop," he wept, pounding on his stomach with weak blows as his chain neared an end and his body arched for a moment before stiffening.

Amazingly, the chain's momentum slowed down to a near-halt.

"What in the –"

"Yes!" he screamed out loud, answering an unknown question. "Whatever it takes!" he choked out. "Together – all of us," he gasped.

And then, Naruto was gone in the blink of an eye, dissolving like so many others he had sent to Soul Society.

He didn't know whether that was a good thing or not, for Soul Society or Uzumaki Naruto.

"I'm getting too old for this shit." He sheathed his sword and left the deathly-quiet cemetery.

What now? came the hesitant voice of his partner-in-crime.

What do you think? he replied, cutting across a group of mourning ninja and ducking into an alley. With a grimace on his face he pulled a syringe from another pocket inside his shihakusho and plunged it into his leg without hesitation. "Gah," he muttered out loud as the content inside began to take its toll on his body. In a minute or so his body would be visible without the aid of a gigai, though it came with a price.

I will see you when it wears off…

"Farewell for now," he murmured back, sadness coloring his words. He was sad to lose the connection to his zanpakutou, but he would be back and some things in life were worth the risk.

He was supposed to deal with the kid and any wandering souls, spending no more than forty-eight hours in the village. He'd likely be able to squeeze a few more hours in if he gathered something for Unohana-taichou, but asking for a gigai would have blown his cover or at least raised some brows. You didn't need a gigai for purifying a soul or picking some grass. They'd likely think he was shopping in the human world something else frivolous, but he didn't need extra eyes on him regardless.

Placing his sword and the rest of his shinigami attire inside of a well-hidden basket, he pulled out the clothes within and hoped his intended wouldn't mention he had been wearing the same clothes during his last visit. He'd have to get some more regular attire if he planned on keeping a pattern.

"Oh well," he said cheerfully as he put on the plain kimono and sandals. It didn't smell too bad – the smell of tobacco overrode any stink it may have had – and it was clean. The sandals weren't his cup of tea but they were the local flavor.

Wasting no time he appeared back in the streets and was making his way through them with a wide smile on his face, a large contrast to everyone else moping around him. Some even shot him glares like he had been the one to kill the kid! Still his cheerfulness did not die down – nothing could bring it down at a time like this.

In no time he was knocking excitedly on an apartment door that soon flung open to reveal a beautiful, young woman with light-brown hair and eyes to match. With a squeal of joy she threw the book from her hands and glomped onto him, pulling him inside and slamming the door shut before her mouth eagerly claimed his.

"Help!" he shouted when they broke free, giving no resistance as she began dragging him towards her bedroom. "Somebody please help! The beautiful and lovely Masaki is going to take me by force and I could not bear the shame of being deflowered before a union was made! Oh the shame!" he cried as her bedroom door was pushed open.

With a grin she tossed him onto the mattress and straddled his waist. "You are just too silly, Kurosaki-kun!"

Isshin could have died a happy man.

Of course that was if he wasn't already dead.


Author's Notes:

This was just a little prologue to the madness that comes once Naruto reaches Soul Society.

The whole Sage being a shinigami thing was just a little twist I put on the situation to tie the two worlds and this story together a little bit more. Konoha is not Karakura town and this story will take place in the world of Bleach. Yes, Naruto was sent to Soul Society and not Hueco Mundo or somewhere else; feel free to try and figure out why what happened did. And no, the Kyuubi or Kurama is not a complete answer.

Let me just say this: the Kyuubi was not a Hollow and is still inside of Naruto as of Isshin (Ichigo's father for anyone who didn't know; Masaki, the girl, is his mother) sending him to Soul Society.

Next chapter will be Naruto's POV while in Soul Society, for anyone wondering.

Also, is it Visored, Vaizard or Vizard? I always thought that Visored was the group and Vaizard was the individual, but I'm confused. Any insight is appreciated.

Feel free to review or message me if any questions need answering. Bye-bye ^_^