One of a Kind
And here we have an update Ladies and Gentleman, a favourite prey for many readers. Quiet now or we might very well scare it away. Ah what the hell dig in and enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any associated intellectual property mentioned within.
As the sun peaked over the horizon and shone into his room, Ichigo took a slow deep breath and swung his legs over to the side of the bed, rubbing the back of his neck as he stood up. After being told where the various facilities in the building were last night, he was ushered to a small room that was bare except for a simple bed over by the window. Considering that he was a stranger to this world though, he was just glad for the simple comfort of having a bed to sleep in. Thanking Rias and bidding her good night, the former substitute fell back onto the bed and was quickly asleep. Sleep provided little comfort for him though, as his dreams caused him to toss about relentlessly, waking him several times during the night as he thought about the fate of his friends and family back in Karakura Town.
Thus with the first rays of light, he roused himself and grabbed the towel that Rias had left for him and headed towards the shower she pointed out in the clubroom, hoping that it would at least provide the comfort that sleep had robbed from him. Disrobing behind the curtain, he set his shihakusho down outside the shower for him to wear again, especially since he had no other clothing to speak off so far and set the shower to a comfortable temperature as he continued to massage his aches and pains.
Unknown to him though, a sleepy heiress was also awake at the crack of dawn, yawning sleepily for a different reason to his own. After informing her father and brother about Ichigo and conveniently withholding his status as a visitor from another world, she went on to explain the strange feeling she got from him and asked them whether they knew of any such creature that he could be. To her disappointment though, they both responded in the negative, but her brother promised to ask the other Satans if they knew of such a creature. Things only became more heated between them as she told them that she had offered him shelter for the time being, causing the two of them to both go into a minor uproar at the dangers of housing an unknown individual. After placating them that he was merely staying, because she offered him the chance and that he had agreed to work back his debt to her, they grumbled their acceptance, on the condition that she would inform them the second something seemed amiss about him. Slipping into bed for a few hours, she soon groaned as her alarm went off announcing the start of another school day.
Therefore it was completely understandable that after getting very little sleep and being a nocturnal creature, she was barely aware of the sound of the shower already running, or the pile of clothes folded neatly just outside the curtain. Slipping out of her pale green nightgown and tossing it to the side, she slipped silently into the shower, blinking owlishly as she was engulfed in a cloud of steam. Staring through it, she could make out Ichigo's still form standing underneath the showerhead, his head bent as the water flowed over his body. Seeing him standing there in the nude, she could see the full extent of his tattoos as the one on his chest was mirrored on his back.
Mesmerised by the simplicity of it and how it seemed to be a part of him more than a mark, she silently slid over to him and ran her slim hands along it. The next moment though, she found herself gasping out loud as her right arm was twisted behind her back and her front was pressed up against the wall of the shower with almost bruising force. Looking over her shoulder at him, she could see a dark, haunted expression on his face, before it quickly flitted to surprise and horror.
"Gremory? What the hell were you doing sneaking up on me?" he growled at her, releasing his hold on her and stepping back a bit.
"I didn't know you were in here and after I got in, I found myself curious about those markings you have," she said as she rubbed at her shoulder, wincing ever so slightly.
Shaking his head at her answer, Ichigo quickly became aware of the fact that he was in fact naked in the shower and a quick glance at Rias proved that she was as well. Blushing the same shade of crimson as her hair, he hastily shut his eyes and turned away from her. "Could you please just…cover up or something!" he half-yelled at her, causing the heiress to look at him in confusion, until she realised that she was as naked as the day she was born and tried to cover herself as best she could. Hearing the curtain being pulled aside, she glimpsed Ichigo wrapping a towel around his waist.
"You don't have to leave just yet!" she called after him. "I'll step out until you're done!"
"I'm already done," he answered her; grabbing his shihakusho and heading back towards his room.
'Well that was interesting,' she thought to herself, before she blushed herself as she remembered catching a glimpse of his member. 'Well I can at least say that, that is his natural hair colour.'
Shutting the door behind him and locking it, Ichigo dumped his shihakusho on the bed and sat down next to it, cradling his head in his hands. 'I can't believe I attacked her like that,' he thought to himself.
"You're kidding right? How stupid can you get King? She sneaks up on you, after probably enjoying a look of your naked ass, and thinks she can just have her way with you? She got off lightly if you ask me, even if you did get a free look at her," his hollow commented from his inner world, his tone showing how agitated he was.
'It was still wrong to attack her though. I should have been more aware of my surroundings, hell I can't afford to space out like that when I don't even know much of this world.'
"Yet again I find myself agreeing with the hollow. Your mind is unsettled and coupled with your exhaustion is causing you to act less rationally than normal. You merely need to put this aside and concentrate on not letting it happen again," Senbonzakura added, causing Ichigo to sigh.
'That sounds like an excuse a weaker person would make,' he grumbled, starting to get dressed in order to keep his mind busy for the moment. 'If things were that simple, then maybe I would agree with you. As it stands she is the one…friend I have here at the moment and I can't afford to push her away.
"Have it your way then…King, but don't go bending over backwards to stay 'friends' with her. Now then on to more important matters…you know I'd say that Gremory has a larger rack than Inoue," he cackled with a sinister grin.
"I…must agree that she would probably rival Lieutenant Matsumoto in that regard, not an insignificant feat considering how young she looks," Senbonzakura added, his composure slipping ever so slightly.
'Would the two of you just shut up!' Ichigo shouted inwardly, his face acquiring a light blush again as images of the three woman filled his mind.
Hearing a knock at his door ten minutes later, Ichigo opened it to find Rias dressed in her school uniform. As her eyes quickly looked him over, he felt a surge of annoyance since she was probably undressing him with her eyes, a thought that was dispelled a moment later as she frowned at him.
"You're not going to wear that every day are you?" she asked with a raised eyebrow, while Ichigo looked down at himself.
"Probably, it's not like I have much choice really," he answered with a shrug of his shoulders.
"But I'm sure we can find you something…more this century," she said with a smile, making him sigh at her persistence.
"Look just trust me on this, it's better if I stay in it." In his mind this was a perfectly valid comeback since normal humans shouldn't be able to see him and wearing normal clothing would probably seem strange if it was fitted around a seemingly invisible individual.
"Fine have it your way then," she said with a pout. "I was wondering what you were going to do with yourself today? My friends have already left to make it for class so you can meet them later, but otherwise you'll be alone for most of the day."
"Uh I hadn't really thought about it," he muttered, rubbing the back of his neck as he frowned. "I don't suppose you have a library with more information on devils, angels and fallen angels do you?"
As it turns out, they had something like that. Walking back to the clubroom, she pointed out a row of books that would be of interest to him, detailing everything from the various races history to their basic physiology. Finding out that female devils could alter their age depending on their preference, left him wondering how old Rias truly was. After delving back into the social hierarchy of devils in particular, he could at least hazard a guess that Rias was at the very least a High-class devil.
'Although the fact that she attends a human school and spends most of her time in the human world makes me think that she's an heiress, since the others would need to deal with the headache that is managing their affairs,' he thought with a frown, setting the last book away and looking out at the midday sun. 'I think it's time we went out exploring for a bit, we've been cooped up in here long enough.'
Opening one of the large windows, he leapt out into the open air, vanishing with a whisper as he flash stepped away. Running through the sky and finding some familiar locations, he stopped on the roof of a nearby skyscraper and looked down at the hustle and bustle below. 'It's so similar to life back home,' he mused with a solemn expression, sitting down on the edge.
"Hey, hey! No getting mopey King, it's starting to get cloudy in here!" his hollow shouted at him, causing him to grit his teeth in irritation. Before he could snap back though, he was startled by a gasp from behind him. Looking over his shoulder, he could see a man with his mouth hanging open, a hand holding a lighter while a cigarette rolled around on the floor at his feet. Confused as to what had surprised him, Ichigo felt his eyes widen at the fact that he was the only other one up there.
"Okay kid just back away from the edge now okay," the man said, edging closer to Ichigo as if afraid that he would jump. Of course, he could if he wanted to since he could slow his fall or stop it completely if he needed to. "Let's just talk about how you got up here in the first place. Do your parents work here or something?"
'Oh great just what I need, of all the people to find me, it just had to be someone with enough reiatsu to see me,' he grumbled to himself, barely listening as the man asked him even more questions.
"I do not believe that, that is the case Kurosaki," Senbonzakura interjected, surprising Ichigo again. "I don't sense a shred of reiatsu within this man, nor did I sense anything from Rias Gremory. It could be that you are simply visible to everyone in this world."
"You've got to be kidding me," Ichigo mumbled under his breath, seeing the man just over two feet away from him now. "Look just do yourself a favour and forget you ever saw me," he told the man, before pushing himself over the edge and flash stepping away.
Shouting out in vain as he tried to grab Ichigo, the would-be Samaritan's eyes widened in shock as he found himself staring at nothing. No screaming teenager, no gruesome impact on the street below. Absolutely nothing. 'Oh fuck this!' he thought, pulling out his pack of cigarettes and crushing them under his heel. 'These things have got me hallucinating now too!'
Following his impromptu meeting with the man on the roof, Ichigo found himself constantly running as he sped through the sky above Tokyo. As it turned out, Senbonzakura had been right and every living being within this world could see him, an inconvenience when young children looked up at him and shouted excitedly at their parents, or when adults simply gaped at him like a fish out of water. Therefore when he finally made it back to the Occult Research Club without a tail, he breathed a sigh of relief and entered through the window.
"Rough day?" a feminine voice asked him, causing him to jerk in fright as he spun around to face her, before relaxing as he saw it was just Rias seated behind her desk.
"You have no idea," he muttered as he closed his eyes and collapsed onto the couch, frowning as he felt like he was being watched. Cracking an eye open, he found himself staring back at a trio teens. Well two teens and one kid he corrected himself as he opened his eyes fully and blinked at them.
"Allow me to introduce you," Rias said as she stood up from her desk and walked over to the middle of the room. "These are my friends, Akeno Himejima," an equally buxom woman like Rias herself, with long black hair and violet eyes; "Yuuto Kiba," a blonde guy with grey eyes that reminded him of Ukitake with his kind and compassionate look; "and Koneko Toujou," the girl with white hair and light brown eyes, that he might've confused for a kid if he didn't see her in the high school's uniform. Thinking on it for a moment, he chuckled inwardly at the idea of her and Toshiro meeting, both clearly older than their appearance suggested.
"Yo, Ichigo Kurosaki," he said casually as he waved at them, causing the three of them to stare at him in surprise, while Rias chuckled in the background. "Are they part of your peerage then?" he asked her, silencing her chuckles as she gave him a surprised look.
"You've certainly learnt quite a bit since this morning haven't you," she said with a smile as he scowled half-heartedly at the implied jab. "Yes they are indeed. Akeno is my 'Queen', Yuuto is my 'Knight' and Koneko-chan is my 'Rook'. And of course you've already met my 'Pawn', Issei Hyoudou."
Thinking about it for a moment, his mind flashed back to the kid he helped her carry home. "The brown haired guy? Why isn't he here then?" he queried, looking around.
"Well, he doesn't exactly know what he is at the moment. I'll tell him sooner or later and then introduce you to him," she replied, walking back to her desk. "So what did you do today other than read the books I gave you?"
"I spent my time running from people that could see me," he grumbled, leaning his head back on the couch. "Honestly, I never realised how annoying it would be if people could see me."
"Um, excuse me Kurosaki-san," Akeno said, drawing his gaze to her, "but why would you be surprised that people could see you?"
Instead of answering her immediately though, Ichigo turned his gaze to Rias again. "How much have you told them?" he asked, seeing her shake her head in the negative.
"I thought you might like to explain it to them yourself, especially since I don't know what you are either." 'Other than the guy in most girls' wet dreams,' she added to herself, missing his nod.
"Well since the only guy that can get pissed off at me for revealing their existence is in a completely different dimension to us, I guess I can explain it to you. You should probably get comfortable, cause this is going to take a long time."
True to his word, it took Ichigo just over an hour to give a brief overview of what a soul reaper was and their various duties, not to mention the basic outline of their powers and the variance in strength between unseated, seated and the upper echelons of the Gotei 13.
"So your sword is…'alive'?" Kiba asked curiously, his eyes drawn to the blade sheathed at Ichigo's waist.
"Not in the traditional sense, but yes they each have their own opinions, likes and dislikes and they are our partners in life and death."
"You said that you recently regained your powers Kurosaki-san, are you stronger than you were before, or less so?" Akeno asked this time, noticing Rias pursing her lips out of the corner of her eye.
"I…I'm not actually sure Himejima-san. In a way I have more reiryoku than my body can actually handle, but my ability to use that power is no greater than before."
"Ichigo…you mentioned that they are the guardians of the afterlife… does that mean that you're dead too?" Rias asked him, while he shook his head in the negative.
"Nope, but then again I'm a bit of an enigma myself," he said with a hollow chuckle. "My father is, or was a soul reaper at some point in his life and with the use of a gigai, or false body, they can interact with normal human beings. Long story short, but he met my mother and as a result of that I just happen to be a human with the powers of a soul reaper."
"Strange…" Koneko murmured in the background, drawing Ichigo's gaze, while the others still continued to digest his words.
As a strange feeling settled over Rias though, she frowned and pursed her lips, drawing Akeno's attention.
"Is there something wrong Buchou?"
"Hmm? Oh no it's just…Issei seems to have encountered another fallen angel and is running from him at the moment. I'll be heading there now to deal with it." Standing up from the couch, she was unsurprised to see Akeno, Kiba and Koneko rise with her. "Thanks for the support everyone, but I think I'll only need Ichigo's help with this," she said with a smile. "Follow at a distance and watch him from afar. I think you might find it very interesting watching him," she whispered into Akeno's ear, seeing her 'Queen' nod her head in understanding. "Well come on Ichigo, we've got places to be," she said cheerily, dragging the surprised soul reaper to his feet and disappearing with a flash.
In the same park where he seemed to remember being stabbed before, Issei stared down at the fountain with a dejected look on his face, his mind so sure that his date with Yuma-chan had happened, yet no one seemed to remember her at all. Even her number on his phone seemed to have never existed. All this combined with his sensory overload made him wonder if he was in fact going insane. As a shiver of fear ran down his spine, he stood up straight and looked over at the silhouette of a man shrouded in the shadows.
"It seems I'm in luck tonight," the stranger murmured to himself as he stepped out into the light slightly. He wore a long brown trench coat over a white shirt and what seemed like black pants, with black gloves on his hands, while a fedora hid his eyes from view.
'What's this strange feeling? Why am I shaking like this?!' Issei thought, flinching as he met the stranger's eyes. Taking a step back, he gasped in surprise as he leapt back over ten feet with a single step. 'What the hell is happening to me?!'
"Are you going to run?" the stranger asked, bringing Issei back to his current problem.
"I don't know what I'm doing!" Issei shouted at the stranger, before turning on the spot and running as fast as his legs could take him. As black feathers started to fall around him, he looked up and was stunned to see the stranger flying past him with ease, landing in front of him and blocking his path.
"You don't seem to be marked in anyway, nor are you trying to use any type of magic. It would seem to me that you're nothing but a stray and thus I'm free to kill you," the stranger commented, summoning a similar looking lance to the one Yuma used to stab him with.
As he turned to try and run away again, Issei had only taken a few steps before he gasped and doubled over in pain, seeing the blue lance impaled through his stomach.
"It didn't hurt this badly last time," he muttered to himself, wrapping his hand around the lance, only to wince and let go just as quickly.
"It hurts doesn't it? It should considering that Light is a poison to creatures such as yourself," the stranger chuckled as the lance disappeared and allowed the wound to bleed freely. "I must say you were more resilient than I thought, but it's over for you now." Summoning a second lance to his hand, Issei continued to tremble in fear.
"This is hopeless; I just can't get away from him. Please, just please someone save me!' he shouted out in his mind as the stranger threw the lance at him. As it was inches from impaling him again though, a low guttural roar was head and a black energy blast with a crimson tint, destroyed the lance.
"What now?" the stranger grumbled aloud, while he and Issei turned towards the red light that appeared near them.
"Don't you dare touch that boy," Rias said as she stepped out of the magic circle and smirked at the fallen angel in front of her.
"Who the hell are you?" the fallen angel demanded, summoning a new spear and hurling it at Rias, only to watch as it was deflected by a red shield. "Tch," he growled, before grabbing the spear and charging straight at her. When he was just a foot away from her though, he was brought to a complete stop as a hand reached out and wrapped around the spear of Light. Looking to his left, he could see a tall teenager with orange-hair and a fearsome scowl on his face, clutching the spear as if it was nothing.
Growing annoyed with the man in front of him and the slight burn from his hand, Ichigo began to squeeze the spear in his hand, shattering it into countless fragments and surprising both Rias and the fallen angel.
"What?!" the fallen angel said stupidly, while Ichigo casually backhanded him away, sending him skidding across the dirt.
From their position in the trees, Akeno, Kiba and Koneko looked on in shock at the sight in front of them. While most Devils were susceptible to Light-based weaponry, Ichigo had just proved that he could handle it effortlessly and destroy it with ease.
"Akeno-san…is it even possible for a human to be this strong?" Kiba asked in awe, wondering what further surprises Ichigo had in store for them, especially since he had yet to draw his sword.
"I don't know Kiba-kun, but can you feel his aura? It reacted slightly when he shattered the spear and for a moment I felt a sensation of complete ecstasy as it washed over me. I certainly hope he shows us more."
Back with Ichigo and Rias, the former clenched and unclenched his hand experimentally, making sure that grabbing the spear had not caused him any permanent damage, whilst the latter walked over to Issei's bleeding form. While Rias had warned the fallen angel, Dohnaseek if he remembered correctly, to never lay a finger on Issei again, his mind was on how he had done nothing more than crush an energy attack. Whilst Light was supposed to be deadly to creatures other than angels, his own reiatsu had overwhelmed it and left it nothing more than an annoyance to him.
"Ichigo could you carry him for a moment," Rias called out to him, breaking his reverie.
"Yeah sure," he replied, walking over and lifting the unconscious boy. He grimaced as his blood started to stain his shihakusho, but was blinded as he was swallowed up by the familiar red light of Rias' magic circle. Seeing that they were in Issei's room yet again, he deposited the teen on his bed and stepped back. "So how do you plan to heal him?" he asked, turning back to face her. Almost immediately though he clapped his hands to his eyes and his face turned a wonderful shade of red. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" he hissed out through clenched teeth, hearing her continuing to strip of her clothing.
"Healing him of course," she said as if it was obvious, before the sound of more clothes being stripped was heard. "You may want to leave now, I don't think you'd enjoy what I'm about to do next," she said in an amused tone, while he caught a glimpse of her pressing her naked body up against Issei's own.
"For the love off…do you get off on molesting guys," he grumbled under his breath, heading to the window and opening it, her chuckles echoing in his ears as he leapt out of it and headed back towards the school.
Well another day, another update. See ya next time guys and girls.