Chapter 16

A Piece Of A Hollow's Mask

Author's Note: Hello everyone and welcome to chapter 16 of Numb! One thing before we get started. I am now a beat-reader! I am betaing Trinity98's story, Troublesome Love. If you like Vegeta/Bulma, go check it out.

Now, on with the show!

Pairings: Hichigo x Ichigo, Unasaki x Urahara, and Byakuya x Renji

Warnings: cussing, OOCness, violence, and yaoi

Disclaimer: I in no way own Bleach or the Linkin Park song "Numb". I do not in any way own the characters from Bleach and am not making a profit off of this fic.


Ichigo's Thoughts

Hichigo's Thoughts

This better work.

Ichigo leaned against the cool bricks of the building and watched the hollow out of the corner of his eye. This one looked like an ape. It had bent knees and long arms. Its hands were clenched at its sides and its mask was huge. It had intricate designs looping and swirling all over the mask. The yellow eyes beneath the mask shined.

Ichigo took a deep breath and looked up. Hichigo stood on top of the building, looking down at the monster of a hollow. He nodded his head and then vanished from Ichigo's sight. His grip on Zangetsu tightened as he waited for Hichigo to strike. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched a shadow swoop down and a glare of light from a blade pierced his vision. The hollow never saw it coming.

The beast let out a long howl of pain and Ichigo saw that Hichigo had cut straight through the mask. Ichigo ran out of the alley he had been waiting in and watched as the giant fell to its knees. With a strike of Zangetsu, Ichigo watched as a piece of its mask fell to the ground. He smiled in victory and grabbed the small shard. Looking it over, he saw that it has half white and half red. I must have cut one of the designs off.

With one last ear-piercing screech, the hollow vanished along with the other pieces of the mask. Ichigo gripped his piece tightly as if he could stop it from disappearing. He waited a few moments before he loosened his grasp. The piece was still there, shining in the moonlight. He shot his arm up in the air to show Hichigo the piece.

"Look!" he cried.

Hichigo wiped some sweat from his face and turned to look at his lover. His bright yellow orbs narrowed in confusion.

"Look at what?"

Immediately, Ichigo's grin faded and he brought his arm down to stare at his now empty palm. [1]

"Dammit! It was right here!"

"Calm down, Ichigo. We'll find a piece."

"We've been looking all night, Hichigo! That was our third hollow! The third piece to vanish!" [2]

"Let's go home and get some rest, okay? We'll look again tomorrow."


Ichigo sighed as he walked into his room and practically jumped into bed. Hichigo came in after him and smiled at his now asleep mate. Hichigo walked over to the closet and looked for a few blankets. They were nestled upon the top shelf and he reached up to grab them. He brought the blankets into his hands and suddenly heard a soft thump behind him. Instantly, his eyes looked over to Ichigo, but he was still sound asleep. Nothing seemed out of place and he shrugged the sound off.

He placed the blankets on the bed and then went back over to the closet; however he stepped on something hard and looked down. Underneath his foot, was a white mask. It had three curved and pointed stripes going across the top. One of the stripes passed through the right eye socket and looked like a scar. Hichigo knelt down and ran his fingers over the smooth surface.

My hollow mask. [3]

He lifted it up and turned it over. Chuckling, he placed it over his face and reminisced for a few moments. Sure, their past had been rough and their future wasn't looking so great at the moment, but they had each other and that was enough for Hichigo. He took the mask off and stood.

I can't wait to wear this again.

He sighed and went to put it up before it hit him.

Maybe I can take a piece of my own mask!

The mask had stayed this whole time even if he wasn't a hollow right now. It couldn't hurt to cut off a piece especially if it meant making Ichigo happy and making him hollow once more. He went to break off a small shard before he stopped himself.

I don't want to mess up the design. I'll have to break it somewhere though…

Hichigo's eyes scanned the mask in his hands. He couldn't cut it in the corner and get rid of the stripes. Those stripes were really the only thing that made his mask unique. He pursed his lips as he looked over the delicate bands. They looked like someone had hand-painted them on. His eyes followed the streak that cut through the eye socket. Golden orbs widened in realization.

I could cut a piece through the other eye socket and make it look like a real scar.

With his mind made up, he took Zangetsu, who had been resting near Ichigo's bed, and cut through his mask. Two small fragments fell to the floor as Hichigo looked over his handiwork.

The other side of the mask now had a real scar through the eye and yes it seemed cool, but it also meant something to Hichigo. It was a symbol for how much the two had struggled. First with the Hollow King and now all of this human mess, but it also gave Hichigo hope that someday soon he would be his old self again. He placed the mask on Ichigo's desk and picked up the mask shards.

He held them for a few minutes to make sure they wouldn't vanish before placing them beside the mask. He climbed into bed with Ichigo and watched as the smaller male curled up to him. Hichigo placed a small kiss on his forehead.

I'll show him what I've done in the morning. Right now, he needs his rest.

[1] Oh God. What happened to it?

[2] He's really pissed now.

[3] And the mask finally comes into play~

Author's Note: I hope everyone enjoyed and I'd like to say one quick thing. If anyone needs a beta-reader I am available. Just PM me. That is all.

RQOTD: Who truly thought about the mask before this chapter?

Basically, which one of you guys is really observant and smart? XD

Leave an answer in a PM or review!

*Tries not to cough as she types this*