So - not Part Three, but this is the Story with the One Shots I mentioned in HBP. So - here's the deal. If there's a scene I didn't write, or someone you want to know more about (you really like the Vizards, and I didn't show enough of them) send me a PM. If you want, you can even write the whole story. I'll just tweak what needs to be tweaked an put it here, with credit going where it is due (that's how that Grimmjow/Nel Omake was done, BTW). The only caveat: it has to fit my storyline, past and present, and what I have planned. In other words - this is YOUR space. Deal?
And as always, I do not own HP or Bleach.
:Inner Hollow Talking:
Ichigo talking to Zangetsu/Hichigo
"Get out of my way!"
The members of Squad Four looked up at the frantic woman who was shoving people left and right as she hurried down the hall, followed by two others who were trying to keep her calm. Those that could dive out of her way did so, those that were unable to, had the misfortune of being slammed into a wall or knocked to the ground.
She finally grabbed hold of one poor unfortunate Soul Reaper and hauled him up by his Shihakusho, causing him to drop his tray with a clatter.
"Where is he?" she demanded to know. "Where is my son?"
"S-son?" he stammered fearfully, baffled by the question.
The second woman pried her hands off of him and stood the trembling Soul Reaper up straight, where she put a comforting hand on his shoulder while her husband managed – for the moment – to restrain their companion.
"Please, we're looking for Ichigo Kurosaki, he was brought in just a short time ago," she explained gently.
He blinked at them, his growing wide with understanding. "Ichigo-san? You're Ichigo-san's mother?"
"Yes," Masaki replied with a great deal of impatience, "Now please, where is he?"
"He's this way – I just came from there. The Captain herself is working on him," he replied, turning and hurrying back the way he had come. "I am Hanataro Yamada –"
He brought the trio directly to the room where Ichigo was being worked on by Captain Unohana, as well as her third and fourth seats. Also in the room, watching quietly was none other than the Head Captain Yamamoto.
"I thought I sensed a ruckus," Captain Unohana said mildly with a brief glance at the woman, "however it is usually the kind of noise I associate with the Eleventh Squad."
Masaki walked forward slowly, her eyes focused on the still, pale form lying on the exam bed in front of her, the top of his robe wide open so they could work on him. The last time she had seen her son he had been nine years old – a child. Now he was grown up – a young man – and a very handsome one, she thought, until she saw the scars that graced his muscled torso. Her hands clenched into fists when she saw them.
"How is he?"
"We are keeping him stable," Unohana replied, "He was hit several times with a very powerful curse…"
"The killing curse has no effect on a Soul Reaper," Masaki interjected.
Unohana shook her head, not moving her gaze from her patient. "This was not the Avada Kedavra," she replied, surprising all except for maybe the Head Captain that she knew the spell – and its effects. "As you know, there are a number of spells that cause death. This feels more like a blasting spell. Your son was able to harden his reiatsu into a very effective shield, which protected him somewhat, but it still did a great deal of damage."
After giving the Captain a long, calculating look – how did she know so much about spells? – she reached out to gently stroke her son's hair. It was soft, still as soft as it was when he was a child, especially for hair that spiked wildly wherever it wanted to. "Can you do anything?"
"We can keep him alive and stable – until Lieutenant Abarai returns from the world of the living."
She gave the Captain a puzzled look.
"Let's just say that there is something there that can save his life," Unohana said with a faint smile. She glanced over at the Head Captain. "Will they be able to get back through the gates?"
Yamamoto nodded. "I sent an escort to the West Gate to wait for them."
"Ikaku – what are you doing here?" Renji asked when he saw the Soul Reaper that was lounging at the Gate with Jidanbo, waiting for him. He had had to come back through Urahara's Gate, not the normal Senkaimon, because of who he had brought with him.
"The Head Captain sent me here to hurry your ass along," was the reply.
"Is he worse?" Renji asked worriedly.
"Well, he ain't getting any better."
"Ah, in that case –" turning to one of the people who had accompanied him, he scooped her up bridal style, and then tossed back over his shoulder, "follow along at your own pace!" and took off at his quickest flash step.
"Did he just basically tell us to 'keep up'?" one of them asked with bemusement.
"Sounds like it."
Jidanbo watched as the group vanished. "Hope the kid's gonna be okay," he said to himself as he settled back down to his job.
The more she stared at the scars on her little boy's body (because no matter how old he got – Ichigo was always going to be her 'little boy'), the angrier Masaki got. It did not help that Yamamoto, Unohana, and that Yamada kid – who appeared to worship the ground Ichigo walked on – were able to name each one and describe in detail how he'd gotten them. The ones that freaked her out the most: the one that crossed his waist, which had nearly cut him in half, which had been given to him by Aizen; the one he had received from Byakuya, which was barely an inch from his heart (if he had missed, or Ichigo had moved…); and there was one along his scalp, which looked like it would have taken off the top of his head had Ichigo not managed to avoid it.
A man with wild, dark red hair suddenly burst into the room, in his arms a teenage girl around her son's age. She had long, auburn hair, large gray eyes and, Masaki noted, a figure that probably had men thinking very indecent thoughts. He put her down gently, and she ran immediately to the bed, and to Masaki's surprise, the Fourth Squad's officers backed out of the way for her, pulling Masaki with them.
"Sōten Kisshun, I reject!"
A golden bubble immediately surrounded Ichigo.
"Thank you for coming, Inoue," Unohana smiled at the girl.
The girl smiled back at them. "Not a problem! As soon as Abarai-kun said that Kurosaki-kun needed my help, I threw my school things at Midori-chan and came with him. Sado-kun came too," she frowned down at her shield. "This is really dark magic, isn't it?"
"Yes – he was facing that Voldy person and a number of his Death Eaters when it happened," Renji explained grimly, "he didn't go down easily though, and the Captain went Bankai in order to give us time to get him and Potter out of there."
"Harry?" a chorus said from another part of the room. Renji turned to look at the couple standing there. "Was he all right? Was he hurt?"
"Nothing that won't heal quickly," Renji replied. He looked over at the Head Captain. "Someone else was killed at the battle, though – we tripped over him on the way over there. The Captain had Kira bring him back here."
Renji glanced back over at the Potters, apologetically, before he answered, "Sirius Black."
"Sirius? He was killed? He's here now?" James Potter exclaimed.
"He's being looked over…"
"Hanataro, please find Black-san and bring his friend to him," Unohana instructed.
"Yes, Captain," Hanataro nodded, and before James left, he and Lily shared a silent look, accompanied by a nod on her part. It would be better for her to stay here, with a rather volatile Masaki… and the pair nearly got run over on their way out the door and had to leap out of the way as three more people entered the room at a run.
"Better late than never," Renji muttered when he saw them.
"It's starting to resemble King's Cross Station in here," Lily started to say, until she saw Masaki striding towards them, a glower on her lovely face.
"Don't Masaki me!" Bam! Her fist connected with Isshin's chin, causing him to drop at Yamamoto's feet. The Head Captain looked down at his grandson and raised an eyebrow, shaking his head. "You blithering idiot! You call yourself a father? Have you seen our son? Have you seen the condition he's in?"
"Ah…" Isshin rubbed his chin as he slowly got up off the ground, noticing that everyone had cleared the space around them. "No."
"Wrong answer!" she snarled, grabbing hold of his hair and swinging him around to throw him into the wall. "What kind of father lets his son nearly get killed time and time again and does nothing? Have you seen how many scars he has? He's not even twenty years old yet and he has more scars than an entire squad of Soul Reapers!"
"She has a point," Chad said in an undertone to Renji, who nodded. The pair had come together to form a shield behind Orihime, who had gone wide-eyed at seeing the fury Ichigo's mother was showing. To try to placate her somewhat, she instructed Shun'o and Ayame to get rid of the scars – which she really should have done a long time ago, and was ashamed she had never thought of it.
"And you, Kisuke Urahara –" she turned on the shopkeeper, "some friend and mentor you are!"
"ME?" Kisuke took a step back, "What did I do?"
Lily hurried forward to try to calm her friend, although inwardly she knew exactly how she felt. Had that been Harry in that bed, instead of Ichigo… they would have had to tie her down and drug her. "Masaki, please, try to calm yourself – this is a hospital…"
Masaki looked around for something to brain the pair of them with, and the only thing available that she could see was a zanpakuto. She picked it up.
"Masaki!" Isshin protested when he saw this.
"That's Ichigo's zanpakuto! You can't use that!"
She narrowed her gaze at him, before her eyes dropped down to look at the blade in her hands. "Really? This is Zangetsu?" she admired the black blade, turning it over and thinking her son had a really pretty blade, before she said, "Actually, are you sure he wouldn't enjoy helping me bash you two over the heads as punishment?"
The two of them stared at her with shock, and even Yamamoto and Unohana were not so sure that given how much Ichigo had loved his mother, Zangetsu would not allow her to wield him, when there was a surge of reiatsu from the blade, almost in response to her statement… and then, to everyone's shock, Masaki was holding the familiar Shikai form of the blade.
"Interesting," Yamamoto murmured, as Isshin and Kisuke gaped as Masaki raised the blade to point it at them.
So not only was Masaki pissed at them, it appeared that Zangetsu was, as well.
However, Lily had been right about one thing – this was a place of healing, and this had gone on long enough. If Masaki wanted to chase her husband around the Seireitei with Zangetsu later, he was sure even Kenpachi would be betting on the outcome of that race. Right now however…
"Enough," he stepped into the fray, placing his hand on Masaki's and forcing it down. "Beat him over the head when you are outside and not in a treatment room. Turn him into a rabbit if you want to. Later." He stressed the word later. He took the zanpakuto from her and stood it against the wall. "And you," he addressed Zangetsu, "Seal yourself." There was a sulky pulse of reiatsu from the zanpakuto, but it remained in its Shikai state. Yamamoto sighed and shared a look with Unohana. Petulant, like its wielder.
"Ahem," Unohana said, "if you are interested…"
Masaki hurried back over, to see that Orihime had taken down her shield, and when she also saw her son was smooth-skinned, the way he should be, she gave the girl a grateful look, before she turned back to look at Ichigo.
His color was better, and he was breathing easier, she saw. She picked up his hand, and noticed how calloused it was from fighting. Someone – she did not know who – brought her a chair so she could stay at his side.
At some point they were joined by Yoruichi, who wanted to know why Zangetsu was sulking. Everyone shushed her, and looked nervously at Masaki. The former head of the Shihoin clan gave her old friend a knowing look, accurately guessing what she had tried to do and also, having met Zangetsu himself, figuring that the zanpakuto would have gone along with it.
Periodically Orihime would work a bit more on Ichigo, not satisfied with her own work – or that he was not waking up.
He finally started to stir after three days, when he entered what Unohana said appeared to be normal sleep. She appeared even more pleased when he rolled over on his right side on his own accord, probably, she theorized, to get the pressure off of his back. This actually allowed Orihime to target the area that had been hit by the curses without disturbing him further.
Ichigo felt the warmth on his back, and knew it for what it was: Orihime's power. He sighed and buried his face into the pillow, too tired and sore to wake up.
:You need to wake up, King.:
Do I have to?
:He is correct this time, Ichigo. Just wake up, once, and then you can go back to sleep.:
Ichigo struggled to open his eyes.
"Ichigo, can you hear me? Come on, open your eyes," a voice pleaded with him.
No, he thought, I'm dreaming, it can't be…
:That's why we tol' ya t' wake up,: Hichigo's smug tone made Ichigo want to go in and smash his face in. Or turn him into a rabbit so he wouldn't have to listen to him.
At first, everything was blurry, but slowly, his vision sharpened and he found himself staring at –
"Mom?" he whispered, not daring to believe it was true.
"Ichigo!" she smiled at him, and the next thing he knew, he was being drawn into her arms and into a tight hug. "Look at you, all grown up," she whispered in his ear.
Ichigo felt his eyes sting with tears as his arms went around Masaki. "Mom – how…"
"Yamamoto," she explained, making him lay back down, "he sent out notices, looking for Lily, James and myself. So of course we had to come looking out of curiosity…" she quickly explained to him how they had run into Soifon, and had been escorted back to the Seireitei.
"Renji never said…" he whispered, not taking his eyes off of her. She hadn't changed, not one bit from how he remembered her.
"I think everyone wanted to surprise you," Masaki replied, reaching out to brush his hair back. "My little boy, all grown up," she said again, making Ichigo blush.
"Mom," he protested half-heartedly.
"Look at you, though – so handsome," she teased him, enjoying the blush on his cheeks after seeing him so pale, "the girls must be going crazy over you."
Ichigo winced, thinking about the problems he'd had all year with girls. "That's something I don't want to talk about."
"Why not?" she frowned playfully at him. "You don't think your mom can give you advice about girls?"
"Not unless it's how to get rid of them," he moaned, rolling his eyes.
This puzzled her; was her son gay? "Don't you like girls?"
"I like one girl – I'd like the rest to go somewhere else and leave me alone," he muttered.
Now puzzled even more, Masaki poked gently at him. "Tell me," she ordered.
Ichigo squirmed, and she only gave up when he yawned. "Later," she said leaning over to kiss his forehead, "I want all the details. For now you can sleep."
Over the next few days, Ichigo continued to sleep a great deal while his reiatsu recovered. Every time he woke, his mother was there, fluffing his pillows, making sure he was comfortable, he was getting plenty of liquids. In general, she was being a mother.
Hanataro was in charge of restoring his reiatsu, so the Seventh Seat alternated with Orihime in working on him. At one point while he was lying on his side he noticed Zangetsu standing in the corner. He propped himself up on his elbow. "Um," he blinked at his zanpakuto, "Why is -"
"What, Kurosaki-kun?" Orihime asked.
"Why is Zangetsu in his Shikai state?"
For a moment there was dead silence, and then everyone started talking at once - including Zangetsu and Hichigo. Between the clamor in his head, Chad's hemming, Renji and Orihime trying to talk over each other, it started to give him a headache.
"Whoa, whoa," he said, "One at a time!"
Slowly and with some input from Zangetsu, the story came out.
"Mom?" Ichigo said with some shock.
"Silly boy," Yoruichi said from the doorway, "You remember your mother the way a nine year old child would. She was the center of your universe - a child's universe. You need to see your mother as an adult - a very strong willed woman. She would have to be to handle your father, and keep him serious."
Ichigo stared at her, his eyes wide.
"You forget, I knew your mother - a different side of her - than you did," Yoruichi continued, "Whenever your father got too wacky, she would smack him back into line."
"Uh..." he didn't know quite what to say.
Yoruichi sauntered over to reach out and muss his hair, which elicited a growl from him. She grinned down at him. "Don't worry so much about it," she said, "You just need to get to know her, adult to adult."
"I think he needs some rest," Chad said helpfully, getting up to leave.
"I do have to get back - I'm on my lunch break," Renji nodded at them before following him out.
"I'll come back and work on you some more later," Orihime said as she followed the others out. Yoruichi started to follow them out when Ichigo stopped her.
"Yoruichi - what happened after I lost consciousness?"
"You mean between the time you got hit, and Voldemort made his escape?"
"Was it bad?"
"Well," Yoruichi drawled, "You're lucky you didn't hear all the names Rukia was calling you. She was really freaking out. Momo and Harry weren't far behind her in panic-level..."
Ichigo winced. Ouch, he thought.
"Mm, Byakuya had to shield us with his Bankai so we could get you out of there, and Dumbledore could create a port key to get the rest of the kids back to Hogwarts. After that..." she gave him a toothy grin. "The fun really began. I had a real blast with Malfoy Senior, running rings around him. And I think we can say with one hundred percent certainty - Voldemort does not like the color pink. Or flower petals."
Ichigo choked back a laugh - he could imagine how much of a nuisance Byakuya had made himself. Since he knew very well what it was like to fight the Sixth Squad Captain's Bankai, so he amused himself with the image of Old Moldy trying to fight Byakuya Kuchiki - and finally running like a scared rabbit.
"The Minister and the Aurors finally arrived - and it was an eye opener for them, to realize that Voldemort was really back. It was a moment of true vindication for Harry and Dumbledore, and those people who believed in them."
"Finally," Ichigo murmured, laying back in the bed. "Finally."
Masaki peeked into her son's room, to see him sitting up in bed, his eyes closed, his zanpakuto across his lap. She stood there and watched him quietly, knowing that he was talking to Zangetsu, and did not want to interrupt. There was a shimmer of reiatsu around the blade, and the meat cleaver shrank back down into its sealed state, after which Ichigo slumped wearily back against his pillow.
His mother hurried forward, taking Zangetsu from him and putting it on the table next to the bed. "Enough," she said, "Don't push yourself."
"I don't understand," he said, looking down at his shaking hand, "It's never taken me this long to recover before."
Masaki turned to look at him curiously. "What do you mean?"
"I've had holes blasted through me and bounced right back..." he shook his head, not seeing the shocked look on his mother's face.
Ichigo jumped and looked at her, his eyes wide. "Um..."
"Just how big were these 'holes'?"
"Ichigo..." her voice dropped low, "What kind of 'holes' are we talking about?"
Ichigo winced, wishing he'd never opened his mouth.
"Spill it, young man. NOW."
Ichigo gulped, seeing the angry look on his mother's face, and finally told her about Ulquiorra.
:Damn, King, you better reassure her somehow - she looks like she's about to faint...:
"Mom - really - I'm fine..."
"Fine? You were DEAD."
"Well - not really..."
"Not REALLY?" Masaki was quickly approaching hysterics.
"Well... I had Hichigo - Instant Regeneration..."
"Is that supposed to reassure me?"
Masaki gave him a furious look, which had Ichigo slumping back down in the bed.
"Mom - please -" Ichigo pleaded with his mother, "It over two years ago. And - I never told Rukia about it..."
Thankfully, that got her mind off Ulquiorra. She had been trying to pin him down about the girl that he liked, but he'd been very slippery about who she was. She'd been able to tell that Orihime had liked Ichigo; but her son had been very - casual - in his dealing with her. She had wondered if it had been Tatsuke, remembering how close they had been as children, but there had been no response at that line of questioning either. She had tried grilling Yoruichi, but - that woman was too fast for her, and an expert at getting out of situations, just like a cat.
"My girlfriend," her son admitted with a faint blush. "Rukia Kuchiki."
Now Masaki knew where she had heard the name from. Soifon had told her how Soul Society had found out about Ichigo - and how he had initially gotten his Soul Reaper powers: Rukia Kuchiki. So, she mused, it appeared as if the time they had spent together had deepened into something else.
"So," she said, sitting down, deciding to give him a pass on the other subject, "tell me about her."
As Ichigo told his mother about Rukia, describing her in quite a bit of detail, she realized something.
Her son was very much in love with this Rukia of his. She could tell, from the way he talked about the color of her eyes, and the way she moved when she fought...
Outside the room, two Captains stood, listening quietly.
"Do you think he is ready to return?" Head Captain Yamamoto asked.
"As long as he does not exert himself overly much; he should be fine. I am wondering how much of his reluctance to leave is because of his mother," Captain Unohana replied.
The Head Captain nodded, and pulled a butterfly out of his sleeve. "I believe it is time for Albus to come fetch my grandson."
"Are you ever going to tell him?" Unohana asked, watching the butterfly flutter off.
"Some day; I've been waiting for his father to tell him." he saw the look she gave him and harumphed. "You are correct; Ichigo will probably figure it out himself, before Isshin ever gets around to it." he gave her an identical look. "Will you ever reveal your secret to Dumbledore?"
Unohana smiled serenely. "I'm waiting to see how observant he is," was her demure reply.
The old man snorted. "I am afraid we may both be left waiting."
"Perhaps. Perhaps not," Unohana replied, turning to enter the room.
Yamamoto watched her go before he followed her, thinking that secrets sometimes had teeth.
It was best to be careful that they not turn around and bite you.