This is completely made up fiction.
Disclaimer: "Bleach" is Tite Kubo's work all characters, themes etc. are the owner's © [*Fictional timelines, fictional events. I do not own any of the characters or descriptions of characters or names, dates etc. All descriptions of Bleach belong to the creators of the Manga, Anime and any OVA, films, games etc. I own none of it. [Bleach ©Tite Kubo/Shueisha, TV TOKYO, dentsu, Pierrot, VIZ Media LLC, etc…]
There are only a handful of OC's (my own creations just for the story but most of the story follows the cannon characters from the anime/manga). This takes place in an AU/AT (Set after Aizen Sôsuke's war in the universe that pre-existed that time…Don't be surprised if some of the characters that are dead in anime/manga happen to be alive…(I do realize how that sounds...I'll leave it.). Also movie plotlines/characters may be here as well. You are good if you are at the Fullbring Arc I suppose or you finished watching the Anime…All song titles are the artists property mentioned only there is no songfic here hopefully you can find the songs but it won't hurt if you don't and ©…No © or ™ infringement intended. Any resemblance to any person fictional or nonfictional, alive or dead is coincidental…
Kurosaki Ichigo met a Shinigami named Kuchiki Rukia who changed his whole world. The story is epic and documented well in various Manga chapters. He came to the land of the Shinigami and rescued Rukia from execution. Her whole world changed. Stories went by so now we skip back for a moment only to skip ahead to a future…
Hello My Name Is…
Things were tense around Karakura Town with the arrival of Aizen Sôsuke's Arrancars. In front of the Kurosaki clinic Abarai Renji waited patiently for Kurosaki Ichigo to show up. Renji's intelligence reports mentioned the recent appearance of the enemy known as Visoreds. Ichigo was apparently severely shaken up after losing to one of those Visoreds.
Visoreds were a group of former Captains and Lieutenants from the thirteen court guard. They were Shinigami who have the powers of a Hollow equipped with a mask and Zanpaku-tô. Similarly Ichigo began to relate being human battling his inner Hollow while leaning on the powers from the mask.
Renji had issues of his own to work out when it came to losing in battle. He could certainly understand Ichigo a lot more than the last time he came to the World of the Living.
Respecting the skills of a human did nothing to dampen his belief in his own skills. If anything it made him better. He finally broke through a ceiling that separated him from the Captain of squad six, Kuchiki Byakuya.
Ichigo's compassion made those around him better. In the short time since he knew Ichigo, Renji's world had dramatically changed. He was saved a lot of judgment and pain of knowing that his best friend had died at his hand. He was saved from the pain that Rukia suffered alone all this time feeling responsible for Lieutenant Shiba Kaien's death.
Lost in introspection Renji barely noticed one of Ichigo's human school mates looking right at him. She was walking straight towards him. For a human to see him was odd and for a minute he thought he might be wrong about her status as human.
Just how many of your friends know about us Ichigo, Renji thought. It was a fair question in his mind. Humans were strange and occasionally they did talk to their own shadows.
"Hey aren't you one of Rukia's friends from the other day," the girl asked.
She could definitely see him. So she wasn't talking to herself. Additionally no one else was around for miles. Her Reiatsu didn't seem out of the ordinary. He was positive that she wasn't like the others in Captain Hitsugaya Tôshirô's reports.
"You see me," he asked.
She paused before responding.
"Yes I guess I shouldn't since you are dressed like him," she pointed out.
"I guess not," he said simply.
From the tone in her voice Renji thought that she had limited knowledge about Shinigami. She could see Ichigo in his Shihakushô and now she seemed to be fishing for information rather cleverly.
"I'm always seeing things so what of it," she asked.
"Lieu…Abarai Renji…I'm Renji, you must be a friend of Ichigo's," he introduced himself.
"Lieutenant you say," she said and pointed out his slip almost immediately.
"Just Renji is fine," he replied.
"I'm not as impolite as Ichigo. Abarai-kun, I'm Tatsuki. We've met before…sort of met before. Abarai Renji you were at my school or are you not a student there," she asked.
"Yeah I transferred…Ichigo has something of mine," he quickly replied. It was unclear in that moment why she could remember when Hitsugaya's group followed all rules about human contact. Basically she shouldn't recall a thing sans what they wanted them to.
"You transferred what," she asked then quickly added, "You seem really familiar with Kurosaki-kun."
Nothing getting past her, she purposefully used the polite form of Ichigo's name. She felt odd using such a formality that typically characterized her friend Inoue Orihime.
Renji could easily replace Tatsuki's memories and move on but he wanted answers to questions roaming his mind. An internal battle began in his mind should he go on or stay he was intrigued.
"I just have to talk to him," he said ignoring her questions.
"So do I," she said relaxing her questioning mind a bit she added, "He made up an excuse at school saying he'd be right back and I haven't seen him since."
Renji had no reason to involve himself in human affairs. Ichigo was quite another story as he was deputized as a Shinigami. He decided to do the only thing that was reasonable and leave. It was someone else's problem that the girl seemed to know so much about Shinigami. He'd make his report and expect follow-up but something told him that this girl was no ordinary girl.
"He isn't here yet so I guess I'll just come back later. Nice to meet you Tatsuki-chan," he said.
"My family name is Arisawa. Ichigo practically lives next door to me anyway so maybe I'll just come back latter too," she said as she followed along him as he started to walk away.
She wasn't letting him just walk off without finding out more. This guy seemed to have answers that she couldn't get from Ichigo. Either way he was hiding something she decided.
"I have other responsibilities to check on," he said almost warning her to stay away.
Tatsuki stopped following and began lecturing herself for getting involved in other people's business. She watched as the man dressed in black walked on. He confirmed several things to her just by his actions alone. One thing she knew for certain not everyone could see these people in black.
She wondered if the costume somehow hid their presence; quickly discounted that as nonsense. Then there was the man on TV that started hanging around the Kurosaki household. There were so many holes in her memory. A man shows up today who could give her some answers and even he slipped away.
Waiting around wasn't in her plans but she wanted some answers from Ichigo. He was acting so strange lately and she wanted to know more about this strange costume she saw him running around with.
She had no plan she just figured that he might open up to her if she waited around. Leaning against the wall she waited. If anyone could drag the truth from Ichigo she believed it was her.
Waiting around her mind jumped from one subject to the next she thought to herself:
…At the same time Orihime seemed unfazed and even in on whatever Ichigo was involved in. I'm sure that Keigo and Mizuiro don't know…but I've known him longer than any of them. Then there was Uryû who didn't seem to get along with him at all…
Renji quickly recovered his Gigai. Soul Reapers used Gigai when they needed to interact with the human world; equipped with one they could be seen by ordinary humans. He had no plan but something drew him to Tatsuki. He wanted to know why she could see him. He wanted to know why she wasn't one of the humans to come to the Soul Society if she and Ichigo were supposedly close.
She had pretty brown eyes and an attitude he found appealing. That wasn't all he noticed. She was in stunning shape but he had a feeling she was oblivious to this. He stopped at that as he noticed that she still stood leaning against the wall as he walked up the street.
"Still here," he asked.
Tatsuki shrugged in response and stood away from the wall. She was a bit embarrassed to feel his eyes on her. He had a charm about him too. All the crazy tattoos and red hair only made him more interesting.
"Thrift shop," Tatsuki asked noticing his clothes, "you have such a retro style."
Renji nodded because it was true. She didn't seem bothered by it she just noticed. It was more important to him to have nice meals than blow all his money on expensive clothes anyhow.
"He's still not here," Renji asked to spark conversation knowing the answer as he didn't sense Ichigo's presence near them.
"No. I think I'll wait about ten minutes and leave but why did you come back," Tatsuki asked.
He noticed how her foot tapped the ground. She was musical as well as energetic. He figured her to be a tomboy from her clothing and an artist by her style. His mind quickly sought out a response to her question as she patiently waited.
"I didn't want you to look strange standing out here by yourself," he said.
"Thanks… for that. I guess," she said.
She was sure he was checking her out now. Self-conscious she looked away. Strange to think someone would come back just to hang out with her. Normally she would bite back with some defense but she could think of none. She was too mesmerized by the reality of his appearance; after all this was the guy who she kept thinking about.
No one in the neighborhood would think it was strange for her to be hanging out around the Kurosaki's. On the other hand it was unusual for her to be hanging out with him. After all her classmates even made it a big deal that he had tattoos.
The fact that not one of her schoolmates brought up the subject of their visitors again just pointed to the fact that she was somehow different. Keigo and Mizuiro just ignored it while Orihime and Ichigo denied it and of course there was Chad…well he never said much to her anyhow.
Renji didn't look like a proper High School kid with that ominous look; a delinquent maybe. But she knew better than to judge a person on looks alone. She could see that broad mindedness didn't apply to everyone who walked by the clinic.
What was up with the bright hair color anyway? She thought.
The silence started to become uncomfortable with him leaning against the wall now and her pacing the walkway.
"I guess I see how the two of you can relate to each other," she said.
"Oh yeah how," he asked.
"You both have the bright hair the scary intense look. Is that just your shield to keep people at a distance or do I look that challenging to you," she asked.
Renji grinned this wouldn't be the first time someone mentioned their similarities. It was what she said about looking like a challenge that rang true to him.
The challenge she presented an air of defiance about her was intriguing to him. He figured honesty was the best approach with her. He wondered if she had powers like Orihime, Chad or Uryû. If so why would they leave her out of the efforts to rescue Rukia?
"You watched me take down Hollows the other day…I'm starting to remember you," he said.
"Those monster creatures…so that's what they are called," she asked and he nodded.
Now she had a name for the bad spirits or evil spirits that haunted her thoughts.
"I'm glad I made an impact," she said.
Up close like this he really thought her to be beautiful. She wasn't a cutesy type or the designer label type; this girl was a comfort type.
"So you have the ability to recognize those creatures," he asked.
It's her eyes, he thought.
"Sometimes but lately it seems to be a regular occurrence. I think you are the first person who isn't trying to steer me away from the truth. Thank you Renji," she said.
"So I'm just Renji now and we're on a first name basis already," he asked.
She blushed and looked away again wondering just what came over her this wasn't like her at all. After mentally punching herself she forced her eyes back to him and said, "Well at least I remember names."
"Ichigo likely forgets on purpose," he said.
"It has always been comical but I don't think he means anything by it," she said.
Truthfully it didn't bother Renji. He wasn't raised with the best manners himself. Commoners like him would never fit in at the level of royalty. He shrugged it off as long as none of his subordinates forgot to address him as Lieutenant what did it matter that his friends called him by his name.
"You have an energy that attracts them, the Hollows. I'm surprised that idiot Ichigo hasn't recognized it. Has he told you anything," Renji asked.
"Nothing at all," she answered.
In her mind she ran through all the times she could have asked him. The blurred images of something attacking Orihime and the cold feeling she had thinking of Sora, Orihime's late brother. All those times when she clearly saw Ichigo things continued on as if nothing happened between them. To remember almost nothing at all when so much seemed to have happened to her drove this inquisitive state of mind.
"Then it really isn't my place to change that," he said.
"I can respect that," she said.
Renji and Tatsuki talked for a while as they waited for Ichigo to return. Tatsuki figured that if Ichigo were to tell her anything he'd tell her himself. She actually preferred things that way. Their conversation turned more towards her interests than anything.
Renji took an interest in her karate competitions which she described in spectacular details. They talked about her relationship to Ichigo the friend who lived very close to her. Finally she went on about growing up here in Karakura.
After they walked around the neighborhood for a while something just felt right between them. Her only regret was ending their conversation knowing almost nothing about him.
Returning to the clinic they were greeted by Kurosaki Yuzu who informed them that her brother Ichigo was upstairs. Yuzu's twin Karin was the one who yelled at Ichigo to come down.
All the nagging questions Tatsuki forgot while talking to Renji jumped into her mind.
Ichigo came downstairs a couple of seconds later.
"Hey Tatsuki and Renji," Ichigo greeted more of a question than an actual greeting.
Tatsuki followed up on Yuzu's offer of refreshment as Renji and Ichigo talked somewhere outside of her vision or hearing. It didn't make sense for Ichigo to suddenly be so close to someone after a short summer break. She marveled that Ichigo could tell his secrets to Renji; just how far had she fallen as his best friend.
"I should go," Renji said waving from the entrance.
"Thanks for waiting with me and nice to meet you Renji," she called out.
"Sure I guess I'll see you around Tatsuki," he said.
Ichigo wasn't sure what went on but he got the feeling that those two had something going on.
"Renji wait…weren't you staying for dinner," Ichigo asked.
"I guess I could," Renji said.
Dinner at Ichigo's place would be better than dinner at Urahara Shop where Jinta constantly rode him for being a freeloader. Renji didn't need too much coaxing as he gladly accepted the invite.
Ichigo noticed the light in Tatsuki's eyes she seemed to really like Renji. He couldn't remember seeing her look like that before. He felt almost like he needed to watch this development to shield her from all the danger in his world.
Simply put he needed to make sure that nothing was going on between Renji and his best friend. The last thing he needed was for one more of his friends to end up hurt because they tried to defend him. There was no reason his decision to become a Shinigami should change her life.
They all shuffled into the house and headed up to Ichigo's room to wait for dinner. It was nice to reconnect if only for a moment Tatsuki thought. Too much time had passed since she ate here at the Kurosaki house. No matter how close she was to Ichigo in the past she felt closer to this new friend, Renji and that saddened her.
Ichigo is abnormally observant this day about Tatsuki's feelings. Tatsuki opened up more than she normally would.