A/N: hey guys! Okay, here's chapter 3. Took me awhile to write- hope you like it. I've decided that there will be an Ichigo x Kagome pairing, thus creating tension between Ichigo and Inuyasha as the story progresses. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER. There. Said it. You know what it means- I own nothing. This is solely for my enjoyment and yours.
:hell butterfly message:
'Hollow Ichigo (Shiro) talking'
A black and crimson swallow tail butterfly drifted lazily through the air before settling on the outstretched finger of a tall man with red hair pulled back in a spiky pony tail and extravagant tattoos. Frowning, he listened as it relayed him a message only he could hear.
:Abarai Renji- please report to squad one headquarters at once and await briefing from head captain Yamamoto:
Grinning, he set aside his paperwork and got up from behind his desk.
"I have just received a notification to report imed-" he was interrupted by the stoic captain.
"I know. You may go."
Bowing curtly, the shinigami fukoutaicho hurried through the doors of squad 6's office.
To avoid getting lost in the hopeless maze that was the streets of sereitei, Renji took to the rooftops. Thanks to shunpou, within minutes he had reached the captain commander's headquarters. The guards, having been expecting him, stepped aside and allowed him to enter. To his surprise, he found that he was not alone, for standing facing the captain commander was Rukia, and to her right, a frowning Hitsugaya. They looked up as he entered.
"Ahh. Now that you are all here, let us begin." The head captain didn't wait for interjections as he began to speak. "A while back, one of the hollows that Korutsuchi-taicho keeps for his research escaped into the world of the living. Urahara was asked to investigate, but unfortunatley Kurosaki beat him to the punch. By the time he got to the site, the hollow had been defeated or had gotten away, and Kurosaki's reiatsu had vanished."
"So you are telling us that Ichigo has died then?!" Renji interrupted, rather concerned. Although he didn't like to admit it, he thought of the substitute shinigami as a friend.
"Not died, you idiot- disappeared!" Rukia said, and kicked him in the shin.
"Ow- what was that for?!" Renji exclaimed, turning to glare at Rukia.
"What do you think that was for!"
A tick mark appeared on Toshiro's forehead as the two bickered. They were giving him a migrane, not to mention disrespecting the head captain. "Urusai!" He snapped, a thin sheet of ice spreading across the room. He glared at the two before turning back to Yamamoto. The head captain raised an amused eyebrow before continuing. "Not necessarily. If I am correct, having ones reiatsu dissapear completely does not always mean death. Anyway, Mr. Urahara is, as we speak, awaiting your arrival to help with the investigation. I shall have the senkaimon opened shortly. You may go."
"Very well." The white haired captain bowed before exiting with a swish of his white captain's haori.
Rukia and Renji followed soon after, glaring daggers at one another.
As he walked, Hitsugaya wondered why exactly the head captain chose him for this mission. Rukia and Renji he could understand, as they were close friends of the substitutes, but him? He barley knew the guy for crying out loud! Frowning, he entered his squad's barracks to prepare for departure to the world of the living. He hoped that while he was gone Matsumoto would behave herself. If not, He shuddered to think of the state his squad would be in when he returned. At that moment, said busty strawberry blond came rushing into his office.
"Ah! Taicho!" She exclaimed, pulling him into a tight hug. Due to his shortness, Hitsugaya's face was pressed into her bountiful bosom.
"Matsumoto!" He growled, trying to pull away. When she finally released him, he glared at her and the temperature in the room dropped.
"What did the head captain want?" She asked, unfazed.
"He is sending me, Renji and Rukia to the world of the living to investigate the disappearance of Kurosaki." He summarized.
Matsumoto bounced in delight. "A mission! Good! You haven't been getting out enough recently." She exclaimed. "When are you leaving?"
"Ah! I had better go pack for you then. Bye Taicho!"
"Matsumoto!" Hitsugaya yelled, causing two bypassing shinigami to shudder. However, the fukoutaicho had already disappeared, no doubt spending the squads funds on clothing that would 'suit him.' Hitsugaya sighed, and sank into his chair. He could feel his second migrane of the day coming on.
After he defeated the demon, Ichigo returned to the village. At first the villagers coward in fear of the powerful carrot top, thinking he had come to finish what the bandits had started, but after a while it became obvious that he meant them no harm. On the contrary, he actually seemed worried about their welfare.
This was confirmed when he actually went and returned the girl he had met sobbing on the road to her parents' outstretched arms. Her father was by chance, the village leader. As a token of his appreciation, the man said that for as long as he lived, Ichigo would be welcome to stay at the village. Normally, he said, they had a priestess protecting them from such attacks, but at the moment she was away on a trip. He Insisted that Ichigo spend the night, to which the strawberry accepted, for while in spirit form he could go for days on end with out rest, the fight had drained him, and a few hours of sleep would be sufficient to help him regain the energy he had lost.
When morning came, Ichigo offered to help with the restoration of the parts of the village that had been destroyed, but the villagers assured him that they could manage. Somewhat relieved, he parted ways, headed for the neighboring village of Edo, which he was told was about a days walk to the east. The name seemed to ring a bell, though Ichigo couldn't remember why.
The senkaimon gates opened in a small side alley, and the Rukia, Renji, and Hitsugaya stepped out. After a few minutes walk, the trio arrived at Urahara's shop. Renji paused for a moment to greet Ginta and Ururu, who were sweeping the entrance, before he followed Rukia and Hitsugaya through the doors.
Ah hello there!" The shop keeper's cheerful voice greeted them from somewhere among the isles of candy and other goods. A few seconds later the man himself became visible, wearing his typical outfit of green. "The others are waiting in the back. We have a lot to discuss."
-(Five minutes later.)
"Would you like another cup of tea?" Tessai asked, holding the pot out. Everyone sat around the table in the 'dining room' of Urahara's shop. Rukia, Renji, and Hitsugaya had not been surprised to find that Orihime and Chad were in on the case, but the absence of Ishida surprised them. They had thought that although Ishida was a Quincey, and Ichigo was a shinigami, the two were on good terms.
Finally unable to ignore it any longer, Renji asked the question the three had been wondering. "Oi, Urahara, where's the four eyes?"
It was not Urahara, but Orihime who finally replied, "Ishida-kun his visiting his mother and sister in Tokyo." She smiled. "We already called him tell him that Kurosaki-kun has gone missing." Her smile faltered, and a look of worry lit in her eyes. The others looked at her.
"I wasn't aware of the fact that the Quincy had any family beyond his father," Hitsugaya stated.
Orihime opened her mouth to say more, but before she could the door opened and everyone turned their attention to the man who entered.
"Ah, hello Isshin." Greeted Urahara, smiling behind his fan. "You are just in time. Now, lets begin, shall we?"
- (earlier that day)
"Ja-ne!" Kagome called over her shoulder as she closed the door, bounding after Uryu who had already started down the shrine steps. Her mother smiled and waved before she went back to washing the dishes.
"Hey! What happened to 'wait for me'?" She huffed, coming to walk at his side. He smirked down at her.
"You were taking too long."
Kagome rolled her eyes. "Yeah well.." She trailed off. Suddenly she heard a voice call her name.
"Kagome!" Turning, she saw three girls hurrying towards her.
"Eri, Ayumi, Yuka!" She greeted in return. They immediately started bombarding her with questions.
"-Are you better?"
"-what did you have this time?"
"-who is this?" At this question, the three girls turned their attention to Uryu, who, up until that point had been standing at Kagome's side, unnoticed.
"-Is he your boyfriend?"
"-what about Hojo?"
"-I thought you were going out with that delinquent!"
Uryu wasn't sure who Hojo or 'that delinquent' were, but the rapid questioning was giving him a headache. "Urusai!" He snapped.
The girls immediately fell silent, and stared at him as though the didn't realize he could talk.
"Kagome is my sister. I am not going out with her." He said, emphasizing the word sister.
"Sister?" They repeated.
"Twin, actually. I actually didn't know I had a sister until a few weeks ago."
The girls stared at him for a few moments, before squealing and jumping on Kagome. "This is so cool!"
"-Just like in the stories!" The one called Eri sighed, a dreamy look on her face.
"- we should go to McDonald's sometime!" Everyone looked at Ayumi strangely. "N-not on a date!" She stuttered, a blush spreading across her face. "I mean like all of us. We haven't seen you in such a long time, since you are always sick nowadays, and now you have a twin brother!" She said to Kagome. Everyone agreed, even Uryu, surprising himself. Suddenly Kagome interrupted.
"Oh no, we're gonna be late! Come on Uryu, you guys!" Kagome grabbed her brother's wrist and started dragging him down the street, her friends still whispering behind her.
"-his name is Uryu?"
"-that's so cute!"
"I can hear you know."
'There.' Uryu set down his pencil, and leaned back in his desk. He was the first one finished. He saw Kagome sitting in the back, her brow furrowed as she worked on her test. 'I hope she does ok,' He thought, concerned for his sister.
Sighing, he closed his eyes, only to give a startled jump as his soul pager, which Urahara had given to him before he left so he could communicate with his friends back home, began vibrating and playing the tune to - was that Happy People? he groaned. Leave it to Urahara to come up with the strangest ring tones. He was suddenly thankful the others in the room couldn't hear it. Standing up, he made to exit the room.
"Young man, where do you think you are going?"
"Just to the bathroom, Sensei." He lied smoothly.
The teacher nodded before going back to her book. Relieved, Uryu rushed out of the room. Once he was certain he wouldn't be over heard, he pulled the phone like device, which was still ringing loudly, from his pocket. "Hello?"
"Ah, Ishida-kun, how are you?"
"I am fine, Urahara. I might remind you though, that it is a school day."
"Is it? My bad my bad." The shopkeeper appologized, but Uryu detected his insincerity.
"What do you want?"
"Mah, mah, no need to be so rude." Urahara's tone suddenly switched from playful to serious. "It's Kurosaki. He has disappeared."
"..." Uryu didn't reply. Ichigo had disappeared? Without a trace?
"I began looking for an answer, and what I found was quite disturbing. About two weeks ago, a hollow that Mayuri Korutsuchi had been conducting expirements on escaped from his lab and entered the world of the living. Mayuri immediately contacted me and asked me to try and track it down. Knowing the captain of squad twelve, I decided that it must be pretty important for the scientist to drop his pride and ask me of all people for help, so I immediately started tracking it. However, Ichigo beat me to the punch and found it first. Not knowing any better, he went straight out and defeated it. However, something went wrong. As the hollow died, its reiatsu changed. Instead of thinning out and dissipating as it is supposed to so the soul can move on to the rukongai, it imploded inwards on itself. I am afraid to say that I believe that it tried to send itself back to it's original form, thus creating a passage way into the past. Unfortunatley, as we know, no soul can be reborn into the same body twice, so it was destroyed. However, as it destroyed, part of its original intent stayed, which was to transport one soul back into time. coincidentally, Ichigo was standing near to the hollow as its soul imploded on itself, and being in soul-form he instead was sucked back to the days of the hollows existence as a human."
Uryu let the information sink in. Could this possibly be the fate that had befallen his friend? And if so, would he ever see Ichigo again?
Uryu returned to the class room, his expression troubled. Lost in thought, he did not notice the worried looks Kagome was sending his way. When the bell rang, he gathered his belongings and hurried out the door.
Kagome frowned. She was betting that his sudden change of attitude was due to the phone call he had just recieved. Speaking of which, although the volume was on loud, no one else seemed to have noticed the ringing, even though they were in the middle of a test and the sound had cut through the silent air like a knife through butter. Even her teacher, who had an extremely low tollerance for phones ringing in class had not event flinched. Something was defently going on, and she was going to get to the bottom of it.
That decided, Kagome handed in her test and left the room, hoping to catch up with her twin before he got home.
"Uryu! Hey Uryu! Wait up!" She cried, sprinting to reach him. He turned to look at her when she appeared at his side. "What happened?"
He stared at her. "What do you mean?"
"Don't play dumb! You know what I mean! I want to know why after that phone call you looked so worried!"
"You know about that? The phone call, I mean."
"Why wouldn't I have? Your phone was on high! I'd have been surprised if a deff person missed it, especially in the middle of such a quiet class!"
Uryu stared at her. She had heard his soul pager? Of course! He mentally face palmed, realizing that he had forgotten how much reiatsu she possessed.
"So? Are you going tho answer me?" She demanded.
Uryu pushed his glasses up his nose. "If you really must know, my, ah, old Sensei, called to tell me that one of my friends has gone missing." He snapped.
"Ah. Soka. I'm sorry." sounding embarassed, she looked down at her feet.
"Well, lets get going now. Jii-chan promised to show me around the shrine a bit." Uryu easily changed the subject and the two
walked in silence back to their house.
"Inuyasha!" Shippo ran towards the hanyou. "Aren't you going to go get Kagome-chan? She's been gone for two days now."
"Nah, She'll be allright." Inuyasha said, though Miroku and Sango, who had been following the kit, saw the sideways glance he gave the well.
"Come on Shippo, lets not bother Inuyasha right now. He wants to go through after Kagome but is to embarrassed to do so in front of us." Sango smirked at the hanyou's expression as she grabbed Shippo's hand and led him and Miroku back towards lady Kaede's village.
Inuyasha waited until they were gone before jumping into the well and dissapearing in a flash of light.
Ichigo arrived at the village of Edo sometime in the late afternoon. It was peaceful opposed to the village he had come from. Drawing closer, he couldn't help but notice how similar its appearance was to the the villages in the rukongai districts of soul society.
"Can I help ye?"
Ichigo jumped as voice spoke behind him. He turned and came face to face with an old woman dressed in what he recognized from his text books as a traditional priestess getup, omplete with a bow and quiver of arrows. Over her right eye was an eyepatch. 'What is with these people and their ability to see me?" He wondered. It was strange how everyone he had met so far could see him, even though he was in spirit form.
"Yeah, an' wassup with their clothes? Where are we, da feudal ages?" Shiro commented. Ichigo stifled a snicker. It was true. Everyone he had seen so far had been wearing clothes that looked like they could have come straight out of the textbooks.
"I was wondering if you have a place for me to stay for the night."
"And what is thy name?" the old woman asked, looking suspicious.
"Ah, Kurosaki Ichigo." He said, bowing.
"I am Kaede, the priestess of this village." Her gaze softened. "Now, If ye'll follow me, I can find ye a place to stay. Then I'll be interested to hear thy story." She said, taking in his strange appearence.
Disregarding anything his parents had ever said about not trusting strangers, Ichigo followed the priestess as she started shuffling through the streets of the city.
As they passed through the streets, the villagers bowed to their priestess as she passed, and murmured among themselves about the strange young man that was with her.
"-look at his hair!"
"-is it natural?"
"-get a load of that sword!"
"-it's bigger than Inuyashas!"
"-Do you think he's a samurai?"
"-Probably, but he feels powerful. Maybe a hanyou?"
Ichigo blocked out their comments, though he heard Shiro laughing his head off at some of the assumptions.
"Half demon? Really? Please!" He chortled. Ichigo grudgingly agreed.
Finally, Kaede stepped into a small hut on the edge of the village. "Ye may come in," she said, seeing his hesitance to enter.
"Arigatou. I appreciate your hospitality." He said and gave a small bow before kicking off his sandals and following her in, pulling Zangetsu off his back and leaning him against the door frame before sitting down across from Kaede and accepting the cup of tea she offered him.
'An odd boy indeed...' The elderly priestess mused to herself as she watched him settle down. She couldn't help but notice the pure power that emanated from him. His aura , too was powerful, and felt almost like that of a hanyou. 'I wonder who he is? He is obviously human, but there is something a little off..."
Suddenly the curtain swung open and a man dressed in purple in black staggered in, clutching red mark that looked suspiciously like a hand print on his cheek. A second later, a little boy followed him "...I warned you Miroku." he muttered, shaking his ginger head. Ichigo stared at the two, not sure how to react. The boy was obviously a youkai of sorts, probably fox judging from his fluffy tail and paws. The man, Miroku appeared to be a monk. "But, it is just so luscious..." He trailed off, finally noticing the orange haired newcomer. "Ah, Hello," he said politely. "Who are you?"
Ichigo scowled. "Kurosaki Ichigo." He replied.
The monk nodded. "I am Miroku, and this is Shippo." He gestured to the little boy, who smiled. Then the curtain opened once again, and a young woman dressed in a green and pink kimono entered. Ichigo heard a low whistle come from Shiro as he noticed the huge boomerang slung across her back. He had to agree with his hollow- It was impressive. The thing must way a ton, yet she lifted it as though it weighed nothing. Sango glared at Miroku and seemed about to say something when the he interrupted her. "And this fine young lady is Sango." Noticing Ichigo, she turned and smiled. "Who are you?" Ichigo once again introduced himself.
A/N: Okay, I apologize for how long it took to update. This was my hardest chapter yet. I meant to get it up on Saturday, but never got around to it because I kept getting annoyed and having to take a break. I must appologize for leaving off at such a bad place, but I was beginning to realize that this chapter could end up going on forever. Please review- I all ways appreciate notes on what you guys think of my work. Thanks again!