Tite Kubo owns Bleach. I do not. I also do not make money from writting fan fiction. This is something I had beleived was lost forever. A repost.
Chapter 1: Rest
The beeping was what woke her up; the incessant beeping of a heart monitor. She had IVs in her hand one for medicine and one for glycerin. She could no longer keep her food down. She was to weak. Her family was standing around her silently. Ichigo, her dad, Karin, all looked pale and tired. Of all the people in the world they would have never expected this vibrant young woman to fall to this devastating illness.
"Yuzu you're awake," Karin approached her sister to gently take up her frail hand she seated herself next to the hospital bed. Karin forced a smile. Yuzu saw the pain the wracked her sister and ached because of it.
"What did the doctor say about the tests?" Yuzu rasped the barely audible question. It had been six months and she had grown used to the battery of painful and envasive tests. As always they indicated a continued deterioration in her health.
Isshan stepped up and put his palm on her cheek, "You are going to be fine."
'That's a lie, but if it helps them I'll play along,' Yuzu smiled at the thought of her being the strong one despite the circumstances. Ichigo face was ashen, he looked away. Suddenly he and Karin looked out the window. Ichigo scowled. He pulled out something Yuzu had not seen in a couple of years, her old stuffed lion, Bostov. He reached in it's mouth. Yuzu observed this all, it was not the first time she had seen him acting strange. She had grown used to his eccentric behavior regarding that particular toy, amongst other things.
"Here Yuzu, I thought you'd like your old lion to keep you company," He handed Bostov, to her. She pretended everything was normal. 'No now is not the time to shake things up. Just keep the illusion a little longer for their sakes. I have to be strong. I was always the weak one. No! Don't cry Karin! You never cry!' Karin was indeed tearing up. Yuzu removed her hand from her sister's grasp and wiped away the errant tear that had collected on her cheek, "Karin you are to strong for that. I don't want you to be sad on my account."
She turned her attention back to her brother, but now it seemed Ichigo had a twin as well. One Ighigo was whispering something into the other's ear. "Kon," Ichigo in the black Kimono nodded at the new Ichigo. Ichigo number two nodded back. The one in the black robes was the real Ichigo-Yuzu realized this. Yuzu kept her eyes locked on her brother. He turned his eyes on her. They widened in shock as he realized she was looking not out the window, but at him. He frowned then as if it had not happened he looked away. He slid the window open briefly. There was a draft, but the other Ichigo quickly slid the window closed.
Ichigo number two, Karin and Yuzu, even Isshin looked toward the window. There was a loud roar in the distance and Yuzu felt a power she had never felt before, 'That's coming from my brother. Please be careful Ichigo.' Yuzu was feeling the strain of just remaining awake. Her eyes drooped and soon she let sleep take her. Karin and their father exchanged nervous glances. They wondered if she would wake up this time.
Isshin wanted nothing more then to care for his little girl. She was so helpless it hurt him physically. When it all began it seemed like a simple cold. Then the cold grew worse. Medication didn't help much her immune system was already overly taxed. She when developed phenumena he took her to the hospital. Tests were run and it was found that the little fourteen year old had leukemia. The Chemo Therapy left her with out hair and very ill, despite this she was very pretty. She kept a scarf on her head to keep warm. That day she had a pink and yellow scarf with daiseys all over it. She also had dark circles under sunken eyes, but still managed to look angelic.
..."Mr. Kurosaki, I must insist she stay in the hospital. Her prognosis isn't good. She will very likely be leaving you in less then a years time. Her best and only hope is permanent hospitalization"...
The doctor had perhaps been harsh, but the man knew him well enough to realize that Isshin Kurosaki was foolish and stubborn when it came to his loved ones.
..."It's your choice, but you and I both know all we can do is make her as comfortable as possible," The man pushed his glasses up with his middle and index fingers (a habit one of Isshin's own son's friends had). He brushed silver hair out of his face. He was not completely hartless. There was no love lost between the two, given the prejudices the other doctor held. But even this man felt a pang of guilt, and could only imagine the pain a father must be going through watching a child dying slowly and painfully...
Yuzu was peaceful, she smiled ever so slightly in her sleep. Karin guessed her sister was dreaming. Yuzu opened her eyes it was dark outside. She found that Karin was sleeping in an uncomfortable position. Curled up in a tight ball on the hard chair. She had refused to leave again as she did most nights. Karin had even given up soccer. Yuzu hated that Karin was making so many sacrifices for her.
Yuzu wanted to wake up her sister or at least put a blanket on the girl. Karin was shivering. Yuzu was helpless trapped in her small three by six prison cell. She sighed and allowed sleep to claim her once again.
...The sound of running water. Gently lapping at the shore of a small creek. A beautiful meadow bathed in the light of the full moon. "The moon is so big!"
"We know," tiny voices call out playfully.
Yuzu took off into the field of sweet smelling grasses and wild flowers. "It smells so good, not at all like the hospital," She gasped, "Where am I?
"This place belongs to you," a thousand faint voices sang to create an audible one.
"I feel so good, and no itchy IVs," Yuzu giggled and held out her hand a firefly landed on her finger. She could almost feel the pulsating warmth as it flashed it's lights, "I'm not stuck in that bed anymore." She brushed her fingers through her hair, eyes widened then melted into a warming smile, "I have my hair back," she gasped.
"We are happy for you mistress," the voices sang.
"Where are you little voices?" She giggles again.
"We are with you mistress," the voices seem to be coming from everywhere.
"Can I see you?" Yuzu spun around trying to catch a glimpse of her new friend or friends. All she could see were the fireflies.
We are here, but we can take on a different form if you wish mistress,the fireflies began to congregate in the center of the field. They were swarming violently. It frightened Yusu until they seem to meld into a shape. A rather large looking hummingbird made of light it whizzed past her head. She turned around the see a great tiger made of light approaching. It warmly rubbed it's form against it's mistress in a very cat like fashion. She gasped in surprised laughter, "You are very talented little fireflies. Do you have names?"
A glowing hand touched her shoulder from behind she looked back to see the figure of a beautiful woman made of light, We have but one name, the colony shares it, because we are one living thing.
"I didn't know fireflies lived in colonies."
"We are not ordinary insects, just as you are not an ordinary human," they explained, "you will be leaving very soon make your goodbyes to your family now."
Yuzu fought a battle with gravity to open her heavy eyelids. She looked around the room. In the room it was dark though the sun outside was bright. The blinds were pulled for her comfort.
"Good morning everybody," Yuzu rasped painfully. Her breathing had grown ragged and painful during the night. Tears pooled in her eyes, she managed to squeak out their names, "Dad, Ichigo, Karin?" She cried for a brief time she didn't know how long. Ichigo and Karin were on either side of her bed trying to comfort her. Isshin left the room, broken sobs could be heard and he walked away.
"Ichigo, Karin, take care of Dad, I know he goes overboard, but not all of those tears are faked. He still misses Mom. I'm not going to be there to make sure you guys eat the right stuff, please make sure you take care of yourselves as well," Yuzu paused to catch her breath she wheezed and rasped.
"Don't talk nonsense, Yuzu," Ichigo had tear tracks on his cheeks.
Yuzu heaved her chest and whispered, "I'm dying, my time's run out."
"Shut up! You are not gonna die! Ever!" Karin had lost her composure. Her eyes were read and her cheeks streaked with wet tear tracks.
"Do you hear how silly that sounds Karin," Yuzu coughed and laughed at the same time. The sound was gruesome, and she couldn't stop coughing. Ichigo called for a nurse.
They helped her to sit up and attempted to give her some water which she sprayed as the coughing worsened. The siblings watched in horror as the delicate girl coughed up blood. The onduty nurse ran into the room. The nurse tried to comfort her, but the only thing that they could do was sedate her.
"No! I'm-not-go-nna-be-here to wake up!" Yuzu finally mastered the coughing fit.
"Karin, Please go get dad," Another slight cough, more blood tinged her lips. The nurse wipped it off with a wet cloth, "Ichigo please stay with me. I don't wanna go to sleep just yet." Yuzu spoke carefully and slowly, but smiling still, "You guys are going to have to hire a maid too."
Ichigo choked out a halfhearted laugh. Yuzu's labored breathing slowed to an agonizing pace. Her eyes started to cloud over, "Ke-keep me a-awake big brother." Ichigo took her hand and squeezed it gently and wiped sweat off her brow. Yuzu looked past her brother she tried to smile. Karin had brought their old man back. His eyes were red and puffy, but he was smiling. Yuzu tried to indicate that she wanted everyone as close as possible. She tried to sit up when a second round of coughing started. It was not nearly as bad as the first, but it sent waves of agony across her frail body. She regained calm. The heart monitor's incessant beeps started to slow. Her breathing slowed as well. Then the annoying beeps turned into one long beep. Karin closed her eyes and put her hands on her ears.
"Ichigo get your sister out of here!" Isshin roared as a crash cart was rolled in. Isshin stood back and watched helpless to save or even comfort his littlest, most frail child. He watched intently. Ichigo tried to restrain Karin but she broke free and ran back in. Before she could do any damage Isshin grabbed her held her back. Ichigo watched as Karin was losing a battle within herself. Isshin lowered himself and gave the desperate girl as much comfort as he could. He wrapped his arms around her and shushed her while stroking her hair. She quivered the gave up the fight. She let peace win out this time.
Yuzu was watching in amazement as the doctors tried to restore her to life. There was a chain attached to her chest. It was still attached to her body for the moment, "Hey! Ichigo! Karin! Dad! Can you see me. Look!" She waved, "Stop being stupid I know you can see me." She blew a raspberry. Ichigo and Karin looked up. Isshin looked up briefly, then went back to comforting his distraught child.
"Ichigo why don't you change to that other you? I think You owe me an explanation. Bostov you can get up too I know you can, or should I call you Kon? I heard you when you thought I was asleep. Since I got sicker I have been able to see things pretty clearly." Ichigo nodded he grabbed Kon off the visitor's seat he retrieved the spirit candy and popped it in his mouth. Ichigo stepped out Kon stepped in.
"Yuzu I didn't mean to keep anything from you, I'm sorry," Ichigo lowered his head. Yuzu jumped off the bed right through one of the doctors trying to save her life.
"Ichigo, Kon tell them to stop. I'm not going to survive. I don't feel the pain anymore." Kon shook his head he wasn't about to give such an order. Isshin looked up he seemed to look at Yuzu then through her to the doctor's trying to save her body, "P-please stop! Her body is to weak she wont survive. Just- just let her rest." The efforts ceased the doctors and nurses staring at the Father of their young patient.
The heart monitor ceased, soon brain function stopped as well. Yuzu was dead. Yuzu's chain of life finally snapped leaving only a few short links. Ichigo bent down and hugged his sister fiercely.
"I'll miss you Ichi." She smiled through her tears.
"I love you Yuzu," he cried, "I have to send you away to the soul society. I will come look for you I promise."
"I'll look for you too," Yuzu smiled at the promises. His smile faltered he didn't want to shatter her small fragment of happiness. He knew his little sister would not remember him or her family and life here. "I love you Ichigo. Karin I love you too!" Karin nodded.
"Daddy! I will always love you! I'm gonna look for Mom when I get there too." There was a hint of a smile in his eyes, but then he resumed his attention to Karin. He made no hint that he saw and heard her even then trying to protect them from his secret.
"Y-yeah," Ichigo left the truth by the wayside, "I'm going to perform a Konsou. It will send you to the soul-society." Ichigo brought the hilt of his sword to the girl's forehead it was glowing blue that light was transferred to the girl. She turned into a brilliant blue orb of light and floated off to the heavens. Her loved ones were left to mourn.