Hey there everyone, I know it's been awhile since I updated any bleach stories, or any stories at all. This summer has been kind of nightmarish in regards to my work and personal life, so I've been kind of distracted from writing. But fear not with classes coming up in less than a month I should get more free time and be back too writing in no time. Anyways this is the first chapter to a new story I've been itching to write, but I will be updating Yamada clans hopefully soon. Anyways this story will is kind of a what if story that diverges from when Hanataro was turned into a hostage by Ichigo and Ganju during the Ryoka Invasion, so I'll see what I can do with that. This will be dark. Anyways I hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you think of it. Rated t for violence and language, may change later due to character death.
Those who seek to combat evil should beware, your weapons can turn on you.-Dark Alessa, Silent Hill
Within a darkness blacker than the deepest abyss a single source of light pierced through to illuminate the world. The light exuded from a small ball in the middle of the world, bathing it in a myriad of weak colors while the shadows swayed and danced around it to and fro. Onyx pillars rose towards a graying sky, their darkness swallowing even the shadows of the world. It was beautiful in a morbid way.
However if anyone was to see this world the dark beauty, for while the darkness of this world was nearly absolute, it was not empty. Screams and roars rippled out through the air and from the very earth itself, creating an atmosphere of pain and fear. If one listened closely they would hear what they thought was the sound of running water, only to smell the pungent copper in the air. Horrifying creature battled creature, only to fall and rise again, caught in a maelstrom of violence.
From within this hell only the area closest to the light was devoid of such battle, a single being having claimed it as its own. The being moved as if chained, yet bore no bonds on its body. It stood there longer than it cared to remember, watching and waiting for something to happen.
It watched and it waited as it sensed the coming storm, one that had been in the making for many millennia.
Hanataro ran through the streets, eyes darting left and right as he looked for his squad mates. With the invasion of the Ryoka the 14th relief squad had been mobilized to support the 11th division in the fight. However Hanataro had stopped for a moment to tie his shoe and during that time his squad members had continued on without him.
They probably didn't notice I was even there in the first place. Hanataro thought glumly as he ran along. It was no secret that he was the punching bag of most of the Seireitei, but not many people outside his division knew that he wasn't much more popular in the 4th. He found himself doing the chores and duties of his fellow squad mates more often than he could count. Nor had he missed the numerous snide comments 3rd seat Iemura had said whenever he thought he was out of earshot, useless and waste of a shinigami being some of the more kinder comments.
And as much as Hanataro hated to admit it, he had slowly found himself agreeing with the blonde man. He didn't understand why Captain Unohana had put him at 7th seat, it wasn't like he could fight or anything, nor did he have the respect of anyone. He could only heal and even then his skills were in need of improvement.
Hanataro sighed and shook his head, struggling to shake the doubts out of his mind. This however proved to be easier said than done, as both his thoughts and the fresh bruises courtesy of the 11th division plagued him.
"Oy they went this way, get them!" Hanataro heard a harsh voice yell out, followed by a series of battle cries. Despite his instincts telling him not to head towards the voices his curiosity got the better of them, causing him to jog towards the voices. And unknown to him his destiny.
Within the ball of light the being watched the events in the Seireitei unfold, as shinigami ran in a panic across the Seireitei, there impenetrable walls having failed them for the first time since their creation. Humph to think these frightened little beings have the gall to call themselves "Gods". What nonsense. The being spoke with no voice, and yet it's words seemed to echo across the dead land, sounding both quiet and yet refined at the same time. The being grunted, a pale hand reaching up to move ragged gray hair out of its face as the ball of light shifted scenes in time to see Ishida firing an arrow into his opponent.
Quincy, I thought I arranged the destruction of these little interlopers a century ago? Granted my resources are kind of limited as it is. Still he may be of sooome use. The scene shifted over to Chad who was currently fighting his way through a group of shinigami. He released a blast of energy to send a bunch of them flying back. No humans are no good to me, shame though. This one would have been a strong vessel, but I doubt he'd say yes anyway. This one's soul is to undamaged to be useful.
The scene shifted again, this time to Ichigo and Ganju holding off a group of 11th division members. The spirit watched as Ichigo effortlessly beat down a pair of attackers with his sheathed blade, causing the two to crumple in a crater. Grimacing Ichigo stared down his attackers, warning them to stay back.
Oh look, a brave hero worthy of the glory and fame that will... Blah Blah Blah he's worthless to me. Wait what's that?
The figure waved a hand over the sphere, causing a grey tint to fall over the scene. From the different shinigami their different spiritual make ups appeared. All of them showed a slight blue tint of spiritual pressure, well all except Ichigo. His power was almost blinding in comparison with the others. From within the center of his power however a black energy sat, occasionally sending the occasional ripple through his pressure.
Damn I thought the boy might have potential, but he's already occupied. Won't be long till it tries to eat the kid from the inside out. And by then the kid will be either too strong to influence or dead.
It slammed it's foot on the ground, grinding it's teeth in frustration. It didn't notice it's action caused the sphere image to shift again The middle of a freaking war and not a single soul to set my plan in motion. it's been nearly 6,000 years since I got shoved in this hole, how much longer until I...I..
The being stopped ranting as a young teenager made his way towards the scene. the dark haired little shinigami was weak, weaker in fact than most souls it had ever seen. That wasn't what drew it's attention though was the lack of energy being exhibited from the shinigami. In comparison with the people he was heading towards he came up on the sphere as a grey blotch.
It...It can't be. None of them survived. None. The being willed the sphere to enlarge the image, the sight of Hanataro heading over. While the energy continued to remain non-existent the grey aura was still manifested around the boy. And within the boy himself an emptiness was the best way to describe it sat, almost encompassing the shinigami's whole body.
That boy...is a vessel. An actual living breathing vessel. I must claim him for my purposes, when will he be suitable for habitation?
The creature spun the orb in the air, watching as the scene played itself out through the most likely of situations. It watched as Hanataro was taken hostage by Ichigo and Ganju, then watched as the three made their way through the Soul Society through impossible odds and fights. He watched as the young shinigami grew in determination and eventual power, and saw the bright future for all those connected to the orange haired ryoka. Such a sight would have been motivating to even the most apathetic person.
The being however only stared at the scene with a glare, teeth grinding in frustration. No No this will not do, not at all. I need the boy desperate, not growing stronger in willpower.
The being raised a hand to its head, and from its mouth blew a black energy into it. Raising its hand it swirled it into the sphere, cackling as the black strand wove itself in.
Time to take matters in my own hands.
"Come on guys he can't have gotten far!" A group of shinigami yelled as they ran down one of the corridors. Looking down from the top of the corridor Chad watched as the shinigami ran by, unseen from his vantage point. Breathing slightly he straightened from where he had been crouching. He looked behind where the mob of troops had been running to stare at those he had beaten down before he had to flee.
It wasn't that he had to run, given enough time he could have beaten the mob of troops without a sweat. But doing it without killing anyone took too much time, and he had to keep moving in order to stay out of the reach of the more powerful fighters. He had been fortunate to avoid them, but he could sense them ever getting closer.
His thoughts on this however were taken away when he sensed Ichigo and Ganju's spiritual pressure drawing closer, swarmed by several others following the two of them. "Ichigo." The tall man said, taking off without a moment's hesitation. He hadn't been able to sense any of his friends since arriving in the Seireitei, and had to meet up with them before he lost them again.
"PYAAAAAGH!" Chad almost fell in half step as a massive scream ripped through the air. Turning to the left he saw the air rippling and crunching in the air, before splitting open in the air.
From the universal split a black cloud of smoke blasted out, shooting past Chad and down into his lungs. Chad began hacking and coughing, hands going to his mouth as his lungs were racked with pain. Eye's tearing up he fell to his hands and knees struggling to keep his eyes open for his attacker.
"You're still conscious, impressive for one of your species." Looking to the source of the sound Chad felt his heart freeze in terror, although it was hard for him to show it in his current condition.
Standing in the closing rift what appeared to be a man watched him. The figure was skinny with lean muscles, long arms and long fingers with a bald head that almost glowed. It's legs were covered in a black pants and grey sash, while its upper body was bare. It's face was rigid and from a distance a person might make the mistake of calling the being handsome.
Upon closer inspection though this opinion would change fairly quickly. The stranger was unnaturally pale, seeming as if he had been carved from chalk. Across his skin and most prominently his head a series of archaic tattoos crissed and crossed over his skin, and if Chad hadn't been coughing his lungs out he'd notice the tattoo's never seemed to stay the same. They always seemed to shift like snakes moving through sand.
The worst feature was the eyes though, whatever the being was its eyes were nothing but sunken holes, emanating a darkness that simply seemed...merciless.
"La...La Muerte..." Was all Chad could mutter before he collapsed to the ground, sinking into unconsciousness. The figure sighed as the rip closed itself back again, sealing the dimensions off. Well my die is cast, now it is up to the skeins of fate to determine the future.
Meanwhile back with Ichigo and Ganju...
"HEY MAKE WAY!" Ganju yelled as he hauled Hanataro up, securing him in front of himself and Ichigo. Said redhead for his drew Zangetsu out, laying the blade near his neck. "YEAH IF YOU DON'T WANT YOUR FRIEND TO DIE BACK OFF!" Hanataro for his part let out a yell and struggled to get out of their grip for a moment, before stopping at the sound of silence.
The division members simply stood their ground with deadpan stares pointed at the trio. For a minute the two sides simply stared at each other, before the 11th divisioner's began walking towards them again, nasty grins stretched on their faces.
"Wait, stay back or we'll hurt him. I mean it." One of the 11th members strode in front of the rest, his scarred face leering at Ichigo threateningly. "You think we care about some 4th division piece of dirt, especially that one? We've used him as a punching bag so long he doesn't even try to stop us. People like him are useless to us, and to the Seireitei as a whole. So go ahead, slit his throat!"
The other division members began yelling out their own taunts and jeers, some of them even offering to do the deed themselves. Ichigo and Ganju could only look on in disgust as the division members got closer. Hanataro for his part only looked down, the words useless playing itself over and over in his head.
Ichigo began pulling his blade away from Hanataro's neck, panic setting in. "You...You guys are really so monstrous you'd put your own comrade at risk?" The 11th division member who had first spoken smiled and pulled out his sword. "Here let me show you."
Rushing forward he caught Ichigo off guard, swinging his blade down in a vicious chop, sending Zangetsu back down blade first.
SHUNK! Ichigo looked down in horror as his blade cut its way into Hanataro's chest. Blood began spraying out of it immediately as Ichigo watched the medic in slow motion fall from his blade and to the ground. He and Ganju were so caught by the horror of the scene that they didn't notice a thin black energy flow out of Ichigo's blade and down into Hanataro's body.
Hanataro for his part felt numb, the blood pooling around his body as his limbs grew cold. My, my arms, I can't move them. I can't even feel them. A small drop of blood made its way down his cheek as his vision began to blur and the light began to fade. What's happening to me, where am I going?
Just before he blacked out a voice whispered to him, as if a wind rustling through the trees. That child, is entirely dependent on you.
Shaken Ichigo looked up at the man who had attacked him, anger starting to seep into his body. ""You bastards, he was your comrade, he diDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG!" Ichigo's voice raised to a yell as he pulled his blade up, his rage held in check by a mere thread. The man simply grinned at him, leaning to the left on his drawn blade. "Don't look at me, it's your blade that's covered in his blood."
With a roar Ichigo leapt forward, fully intent on burying his blade in the smug bastards face. Or he would have if Ganju hadn't grabbed him and pulled him along, rushing through a pair of the scum in order to run. They made to chase after them but stopped as a pair of Shiba fireworks set off in front of them, covering their escape.
"DAMN IT GANJU LET ME GO, LET ME KILL THAT BASTARD!" Ganju shook his head, running as the sound of the fireworks began to die off. "Sorry kid, no can do. We stay in one place for too long and they'll box us in. We have to keep moving." Ichigo shook his head, struggling harder to break free. "FUCK THAT, WE CAN'T LEAVE THAT GUY WITH THEM, THEY'LL KILL HIM!"
Ganju stopped running, grabbing Ichigo by his shirt and slamming him against a corridor wall. "HE'S ALREADY DEAD ICHIGO!" Ganju yelled in the stunned teenagers face. "He's dead Ichigo, I've seen those kinds of wounds in the Rukongai. If he wasn't killed instantly he's probably bleeding out as we speak. I'm sorry but you can't save him, but getting yourself captured isn't going to save your friend. Now let's go."
With that Ganju let him go and began running again, heading towards the Tower of Penitence. Ichigo hesitated for a minute looking back at where they had run from, before giving out a defeated sigh and continuing on his way.
Hanataro's Inner World
The inner world of every shinigami is unique in and of itself, no to worlds are ever alike. Ichigo's world is a city of horizontal sky scrapers, with the weather being an indication of his emotions. Rukia's on the other hand would most likely be a colder world, shaped after the abilities of her zanpakuto, and yet would never be mistaken for Hitsugaiya's. An inner world is a reflection of the soul, both in its past as well as its present state.
Hanataro's world was once a simple small village, with a red well sitting in the center of it. Once it might have been called beautiful but now, now it was dying. The grass was shriveling up, growing brown as the buildings were slowly collapsing on itself. As for the well, red liquid was swishing to and fro, as if cast by an angry wind. Any moment now it looked like it would overflow the edges.
No sooner had Hanataro slipped into unconsciousness than he felt something prodding his shoulder, urging him to wake. Eyes opening wearily he saw a little toy robot at his side, one eye in a circle while the other was in a gauge.
"Hisagomaru...what am I doing here? Am I dreaming?" The little robot shook it's head, prodding him in the side again. At this Hanataro sat up, hands wringing themselves together as he looked around the village "No master, I'm afraid you're not. Have you already forgotten what happened to you?"
The sword gouging into his chest suddenly whirled through his mind, and he felt the urge to vomit as he bent over in pain. "Th-They cut me a-and I fell. Hisagomaru, am I...?" Hisagomaru stood up to his full height, placing his hands on him and helping him up.
"No but you are dying, the blow struck your there isn't much time. You need to go." Hanataro looked in despair at his Zanpakuto, "G-Go. I-I'm dying Hisagomaru wh-where can I possibly go?" The robot sighed pointing a limb to its left. Hanataro followed the direction expecting to see a small sakura tree.
What had split the tree in two and now stood tall was a black door, standing eerily still in the turmoil of his world. The door was covered in a number of sigils, the sigils glowing and changing weak colors in the light. Fearfully Hanataro approached the door, Hisagomaru following behind him, his small footsteps making plopping sounds as they approached the door. Finally they stood outside it, Hanataro gulping as the door seemed to loom over him.
"We-We have to go into there? Where d-does it g-go?" Hisagomaru shrugged his shoulders as he jumped up and latched onto the handle, doing his best to work it. "I can't say where this door leads, it's not my place as a spirit, but it leads somewhere dark. Not evil but...oh there we go." Twisting itself it managed to get the door open, the path before it illuminated only by a distant light.
Hanataro looked through the door, the unknown causing his heart to pound in his chest. "Is...Is it dangerous?" Nodding to itself Hisagomaru dropped down and began ushering Hanataro towards the door. "Yes but not this time, for this trip you will be safe. Even if it wasn't this is the only way you may survive what is to come."
Hanataro gulped and was about to cross the threshold when he thought about the spirits words. "W-Wait y-you're not coming with me?" Hisagomaru shook his head and gestured to his body where it had begun to crack and fade away. Hanataro moved to help him only for Hisagomaru to push him over the threshold onto his knees..
"As this world crumbles so do I with it. I was able to keep the world intact while you transitioned here, but the last of my energy is spent in opening the way. I'm afraid this is goodbye" Hanataro, tears running down his face reached to grab the little spirit that had comforted him for so many years, only to watch as the robot leaned against the door, what little of it was left pushing it shut.
"Goodbye master, I was always so proud to be your spirit." With that the door swung shut leaving Hanataro surrounded by the darkness. Hanataro rushed towards the door, pulling it open with all his might.
All that waited for him on the other side was darkness, the door leading nowhere but where he was. Grief overwhelming him he sat down on the ground, tears held back after so many years of hardship and abuse finally spilling forward. For the first time in his life, he was truly alone.
And that is chapter one, a little short I know but I'm hoping this would be a good prologue to where the main story line will branch off from. And hopefully Hanataro will find his way to a brighter future, anyways I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and I should be updating this or one of my other stories soon. Thanks for reading and let me know what you thought of it.