Alright peoples. After reading Bleach fanfiction for about three months straight and suffering through sleep deprivation because of it, I decided to make a Bleach story of my own! Because this idea was a rather spontaneous thought, so please pardon me if I come off as a subpar writer... .


Aizen turned around ever so slightly, with a look of disinterest upon his face.

I had arrived, landing on the ground hard enough to utterly destroy the concrete. The chain of Tensa Zangetsu was wrapped around my right arm. I was no longer afraid because I had finally mastered my zanpakuto. Perhaps a long time ago, I once feared. Now, my eyes hold fear no longer as I behold my enemy.

I felt something akin to pity for Aizen. This... thing in front of me could no longer be called a human or shinigami. His eyes were black and beetle-like. His face lost all semblance to the kind, caring face of Captain of the Fifth Division. Wings sprouted from his shoulder blades giving him the ironic appearance of a delicate butterfly. And yet he stood over a dying Ichimaru and a weeping Matsumoto. He was so monstrously indifferent, as if the world could burn for all he cared. A hole emblazoned his chest, with the Hogyoku secured in the middle. It pulsed steadily with a purple light.

"Let's go somewhere else. I don't want to fight here."

"Those are the words of someone who has the strength to fight me."

"... Impossible... By strength alone..."

"I'll end this in an instant."

"You should despair."

"If I wanted to, I could shatter your blade in one blow!"

"Hado #90! Kurohitsugi!"

"I am stronger than you are now."

"Why do you distance yourself?"

"Do not get above yourself, human!"

"Now I am the transcendent one and you will die by my hand."

"Is this all you've got?"

"I will show you the Final Getsuga Tensho."

"It isn't possible! A mere human could never surpass me!"


"You lose, Kurosaki Ichigo."

"The Hogyoku has decided I no longer need a zanpakuto!

"Urahara Kisuke!"

"Maybe Aizen lost his powers because that's what he wanted."

"And there was nothing in his sword but loneliness."


Ichigo awoke with a start. He was breathing heavily and his heartbeat was erratic.

"Damn," he swore, wiping the sweat off of his face.

Ichigo had continuously had these dreams every night, ever since he lost his powers by using the Final Getsuga Tensho. Fragments of memories and mists of thought floated about his mind as he tried to dispel the vivid yet incomplete images of his battle against Aizen. For seventeen months, he would wake up in the same disheveled and shaken manner, cursing his dreams.

'Why will they not leave of alone?' he thought torturously with his face buried in his hands. 'Is it not enough that I lost all of my powers? Or that no one has come to with thanks for saving the world?'

Ichigo sat up in his bed scowling. Only when he lost the power that was so precious to him, did he realize how much he had taken for granted. He missed the running out of class to defeat a hollow, laughing as his friends caught up after the hollow had already disintegrated with his zanpakuto buried in its mask. He missed comforting the souls of people who still lingered in the living world. Heck, he even missed Rukia kicking his shins after insulting her. Rukia... She never did come to visit him. Every day he waited for her and every night he went to sleep disappointed, with only his nightmares to greet him. He had to live his plain, ordinary, powerless life uncomplainingly, to prevent others from worrying about him. Now, he sat in class as his friends made lame excuses to leave class to fight a hollow and he watched enviously as they came back slightly out of breath and grinning at each other. He walked back to his house alone each day and thought it extremely disconcerting to not see a single soul on the way home. But most of all, he wanted to see the fire in Rukia's icy eyes. Sometimes, he would even insult Rukia when he was by himself, just to see if she would appear and start beating him. It never happened.

In his desperation, Ichigo even swallowed his pride and begged for Urahara to help him regain his powers. Urahara agreed without complaint, but both of them knew that Ichigo was merely being humored. The reiatsu exercises that Ichigo performed would not help him for another few years at least.

To protect. Was it even worth it anymore? The ones who protected were no longer him; Chad, Ishida, and Orihime had taken up that role, and he would never be able claim to be the protector of the people he loved ever again. What did he live for? Nothing. Well, that was besides his family, and he could not protect them anyway. What did he gain from living? Nothing, besides the terrible nightmares of the day he lost his powers for people who didn't care about him.

Ichigo clenched his teeth and scowled even harder. He punched the wall in anger, only to quickly retract his throbbing fist and swear again. He glared at the offending wall, which mocked his weakness. Oh, how he wished he never lost his powers. The wall would have a huge hole punched though it for its impudence.

Ichigo reclined in his bed once more. Now that he thought about it, he hadn't heard from his inner hollow or Zangetsu for seventeen months. His head was much quieter without the obscenities spewing from the hollow's mouth. But he did miss the advice that Zangetsu used to give him. The old man was like another father to him. Ichigo smiled, remembering that Zangetsu was unfailingly standing on the same flagpole every time Ichigo visited his inner world and that the zanpakuto spirit could not even talk without a dramatic breeze blowing past his cloak.

Ichigo almost chuckled at his nostalgic thoughts, but he grew grim once more as he remembered his powerlessness and Zangetsu's absence. He thought of his question once more, and after a few minutes he came to the conclusion that there was no other significant reason that he was alive right now other than the fact the Soul Society wished it. He snorted. 'I'll show them,' he thought, "When I die, I'll gain my powers again and blow everyone away. They'll be sorry they gave me the cold shoulder.'

Content with his promise and finding that he could not sleep anymore, Ichigo decided to take a walk. The fact that there was still school tomorrow did not matter to him; he needed sometime to think. He slowly crept past his sisters' room, careful not to wake them. He was suddenly struck by how fragile a life was. A Hollow could burst into the house right now, and he would be powerless to stop it. He could do nothing as the Hollow devoured his sisters, and it was all because he was so weak. Ichigo's vision suddenly blurred, and he quickly swept the moisture away. No matter how weak he felt, he could to allow himself to show it. His weakness was his burden only.

The moon above shone brightly as Ichigo walked under its luminescence. It was a half moon tonight, looking like Zangetsu had cut it cleanly in half. Ichigo was once again reminded of the absence of his zanpakuto. How foolish he was to have thought that everything would be fine, even though he lost his powers. His friends could protect Karakura town. Soul Society would continue protect people from Hollows.

Ichigo snarled softly and kicked at the ground. Once again, he was reminded of the betrayal of Soul Society. He had lost everything, given up his role as the protector in order to protect the spirit world, and the thanks he received was a whole truckload of the cold shoulder. The worst part was that he could not even do anything about it. He was, after all, powerless, useless now to the world.

Ichigo stopped. Useless... He was useless. Did he have any reason to live anymore? No, he did not. Why not just end it all? He would go to Soul Society as a true soul, and Soul Society would never be able to cast him away like a broken marionette with cut strings. He could die. No one would even miss him. He could end it all...

And the moment that thought latched on to Ichigo's mind, he knew that he could never shake it off. Yet he felt a grim sort of satisfaction because he knew that if he died, he would definitely have the power to protect, the captains would not have the power to dispose of him. Yes. That was what he would do for regain his power. He, Kurosaki Ichigo, was going to end his own life.


Ichigo sat on the edge of the bridge that crossed the Onose River [1]. He looked upon his beloved hometown and marveled at the lights that flickered in the houses. A single car stopped next to him, but soon sped on, the driver no doubt unwilling to burden himself by helping this young man about to kill himself. But Ichigo did not care. It was better this way; he did not want to deal with someone trying to stop him. The cool wind ruffled his hair and he had a serene look on his face. This was the calmest he had felt for a long time, and he wanted to savor the peace before he left. He closed his eyes and smiled, happy that he would finally be able to become strong once more. He let go on the railing he had been holding on to and leaned forward.


Ichigo faltered, startled by the disembodied voice that rang about him.

Do not.

"Who are you?" Ichigo scowled. He had never heard this voice before. It was all around him, and he could not even discern the gender of the person the voice belonged.

Who am I? Who are you?

Ichigo swiveled his head left and right, but he could see no one. He was rapidly losing his temper because the voice had broken his concentration, and now he was not so sure about his decision to end his own life. However, he still inched forward a bit to see if the voice would speak again.

You fool.

Ichigo jerked backward from the ledge. He began to sweat slightly, despite the chilly air. His resolve was broken beyond repair because right then, he swore he heard Rukia's voice.

You fool, the voice repeated. Why are you doing this?

Ichigo knew that he could not possibly be hearing Rukia, but he could not bring himself to ignore the aching in his heart. "Rukia?"

The voice paused for a moment, contemplating. Then it said something that made Ichigo visibly flinch.

The things that you wish to protect are not the things that I want to protect.

Ichigo's eyes widened. "How do you know what Zangetsu said?"

The voice deliberately said, You should know me. I am...

Ichigo waited and, when no further comment was forthcoming, repeated his question. The voice finally responded, with a hint of sadness, You will soon know that what Zangetsu said is not only true of him.

"What do you mean by that?" exclaimed Ichigo. However the voice fell silent. And Ichigo was left with an intense curiosity. He glanced half-heartedly down at the hungry waters.

"You better mean what you said," Ichigo mumbled tiredly.

The only reply was the caress of the wind upon his face.

[1] I dearly hope that this is the correct river. There are two in Karakura, and i was going for the one that used to lead into the Valley of Screams. If this is the wrong river, then... leave me a review and tell me! xD

Also, guess who the voice is? Even if it is blatantly obvious in more than one way? -.-

Alright peoples. Review, tell me what you think (even if just to make a comment about my grammar or spelling). Make me proud! Because when the author is happy, more stories shall be forthcoming! :D