Title: Second Life

Author's note: If you have ever read my other story, "Cero, Ichigo," you know that it is a light-hearted story; tons of pathos. This, on the other hand, is not. It has a very deep plot behind it and builds relationships from roots. Isshin is forced by Soul Society to kill Ichigo because they realize that Ichigo's hollow is his weak point now. Aizen is returning and targeting the weak point. If Ichigo gets killed by the hands of any other, he was going to be forced to wander as an aimless soul.

Warnings: A little OOC. Ichigo's past. A lot of pathos. Eventual relationships: only father-son in this chapter.


That day… that day that should have never came…

"Dad, what are you-," Ichigo gripped the blade in front of him as he gasped for another breath, "Hahhhh… doing to me…?"

The strong Zanpakutō, much like his own, had run through him in the hands of none other than his father. The orange-haired boy couldn't believe it. Was he to die in the hands of the man whom he inherited his powers from? Was he to be a sacrifice? Ichigo's heart was now nothing more than a hole that his father had made on purpose. His eyes were wide because he was gripping onto dear life. There was no escaping the harsh reality.

"Dad…" Ichigo looked up with life barely in his eyes. He did something that he had done only once before after getting his shinigami powers back in the last three years; he cried. "Hah, why, dad?"

Ichigo looked at his father as if he was the bane of his existence. This wasn't true to the slightest. It was almost cheating. The hit he had taken was a terrible hit. It was sneaky and not brave or how a death god should fight.

Ichigo gathered up whatever life he could find inside, "Dad… Look me in the eyes, and tell me w-why you did this!" Ichigo was on the ground, hands pressing against the hard floor of his room. The blood from the puncture dripped down Engetsu and tainted Isshin's Zanpakutō. Isshin looked down to see those determined amber orbs that Masaki had. He dropped. There was no way he could take this. The father wrapped his arms around his dying son.

"Ichigo… I didn't," Isshin broke into tears, "They said you have to go and if y-y-you don't, Aizen will figure out your weakness… That hollow that you've been suppressing. I-I… Your mother… Masaki will never forgive me."

Before Isshin could finish his thought, his son died. Kurosaki Ichigo left. Without a trace, he vanished right in his father's arms. The body was there… Ichigo wasn't.

"Ichigo!" Isshin cried, he grabbed at his son, "My only son… My pride, my joy, my light, where did you go?! Why did I agree to do this?!" Isshin pulled the sword out of his son.

"This… this blade, it's tainted." The dark-haired man threw Engetsu across the room where it hit the wall. "I won't use it… I won't use it until I see you again."

Isshin held his son closer than he ever had and kissed his forehead, brushing away Ichigo's striking orange hair. "Masaki… What are you going to say to me?"

And he was left there. In the midst of the darkness of the night, there was a bright moon that peaked through the flowing, red curtains. It shone through the window right onto Ichigo's body as it disintegrated along with his soul right upwards.

Once, it was completely gone and Isshin wasn't holding anything, he fell forwards, weeping for his son to come back.

"I would have given anything to save you and Masaki, Ichigo," Isshin spoke, "Anything! Even my life… Why… Why did you give up your life? You were the only, the only thing I had left. Who's going to protect everyone now?"

Isshin stood up. "You will come back, my son! You will be so strong," Isshin took a deep breath, "For now…"

A stray tear found itself. "I will share every grief that you do."

Author's Note: This was just the prologue. What do you guys think? Please review, follow, and favorite. I will reveal everything. There is an entire back story as to why Ichigo had to be killed. He's going to find himself in the ideal place to do some bonding with his hollow. And some other characters who are building themselves up as well after Aizen's death.