Secrets in My Town
Ichigo slowly wrung out his hair, completely dazed. His life had just gone a complete 360 and he really couldn't even bring himself to be surprised. He could remember seeing things ever since he was a child that no one else could see. They had always looked look flickering images that slowly begin to become more solid over time. When the oranget had realized that no one saw what he saw he had kept the visions of bloodied children on street corners and kind old men to himself; he had enough trouble with bullying as it is.
So was it really a surprise? No, more like he had been patiently waiting for the truth because the ginger had always known he wasn't crazy and hallucinating. Now he couldn't really decide how he felt about it. Ichigo toweled dried his hair as he simultaneously pulled on a pair of black boxer briefs with one hand. He silently mused about how much things were going to change. Now, the oranget would admit to loving the idea of turning into a wolf. They were such elegant creatures and the freedom from all the restrictions in society would be heavenly in that form. The nurse was also happy with the idea of being powerful even if he was a submissive. But every upside had a down. The red head didn't like the idea of having enemies especially demons called Hollows. He shivered...even the name was creeping him out, not to mention the fact that some evil werewolf alpha had been interested in him since he was born. That was what was really grossing the ginger out because by now the man must be so old. Frowning Ichigo pulled on his sweatpants and t-shirt and opened the door to walk into his empty bedroom. Relieved he sat on the edge of his bed and quickly braided his hair.
The red head flopped down with a sigh. It was going to be hard to look the cool and unaffected Kuchiki that he had basically spilled his guts to man. Damn, so embarrassing since the dark haired man (or maybe wolf?) most likely didn't care and didn't want him crying all over the place when the cobalt eyed wolf probably just wanted to have a nap and some peace and quiet. But, no... He had to go and choose that hour to confide his deepest feelings. Sitting up, Ichigo admitted to himself that it was time to face the music.
When he got downstairs Shiro was talking to three people. Byakuya in what looked like Ichigo's dad's very few normal white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and black slacks. The clothes suited the man and the oranget felt his cheeks warm as he studied the perfect picture the cold man made. Rukia was wearing a very familiar sun dress and the red head felt his heart clench painfully as he recognized it as his sister's. Turning away, unable to stand the sight of his deceased family member's clothes being brought out he laughed as he saw that Renji was wearing some of the clothes Chad had forgotten on his last visit; a large hooded sweater and baggy black sweat pants. The amber eyed man thought the thug look suited the other red head perfectly since he had so many tattoos and always looked so upset, but his laugh died out when four pairs of eyes swung his way.
Ichigo nervously scratched the back of his head and gave a little wave that nobody responded to. The albino obviously sensed his discomfort and laughed brightly in his slightly insane way as he stood up from where he was lounging on the couch and bounced over to where the oranget waited at the bottom of the stairs.
"Oi, Ici! Took ya awhile, eh?" The golden eyed man asked lightly before gesturing behind himself at the three other werewolves in the room, "These guys have called some of their pack members to pick them. We'll be going with them since we have ta introduce ourselves ta the pack ta ask for permission ta be on their territory."
The ginger's brow burrowed and his eyes darkened in confusion, "Permission? We have to ask permission to live here?" His tone was dark and angry and incredulous and by the end of his question he was literally shaking in irritation.
How dare they? Who were they to say where he could and could not live? He had lived here his entire life! Since when did he have to ask to live in his own home? Ichigo turned his anger amber eyes toward the other three in the room, Rukia flinched at his gaze while Renji shifted nervously, Byakuya of course didn't react, but simply watched his reaction dispassionately.
Before the ginger could demand they get the hell out of his house his brother had wrapped an arm around his shoulder with an affectionate shake and easy laugh with glowing golden eyes, "No need for ya ta be getting all upset! It's simply a curtsey thang all nomads or lone wolfies have ta do."
The red head crossed his arms but nodded petulantly with reluctance not at looking pleased with how this day was going, "Fine. How does their pack work? From my understanding there can be only one alpha and yet you've mentioned several in relation to this on."
The albino nodded slowly, "That's true. Ya see they don't operate like a normal pack. They're called tha Soul Reapers and consist of thirteen different packs."
"Thirteen?" The ginger repeated astonished. It was in a way incomprehensible because he thought all the varying opinions of the different leaders would end in complete chaos. Not to mention, weren't alpha wolves supposed to be extremely territorial?
"Yeah, biggest pack in tha world. They all have a number though it doesn't necessarily refer ta power. Tha oldest leader of tha First Company makes tha finally decision but it can be countered by another if they have a good enough reason."
"Take Byakuya here for example," Shiro contained easily, "Alpha of that sixth company. Heir to one of the prestigious wolf family nobility, and all around example of tha perfect pure wolf. Then you have Renji. Perfect example of a mutt making it somewhere; tha beta of such a distinguished pack."
The crimson eyed man growled at being referred to as a mutt but didn't comment. Ichigo gazed at the raven haired wolf with interest; it wasn't hard to see him as the obvious leader he was, the older man's whole presence demanded obedience and respect. It was difficult to imagine what the twelve alphas would be like, hopefully not as cold and easier to read. The oranget found being around someone so seemingly emotionless was unnerving since he didn't know how to react to anything the cobalt eyed wolf said or did
A slightly awkward silence issued and even Ichigo's scatterbrained brother had run out of things to say. With a deep sigh the amber eyed man decided to grab a drink and maybe a snack. It wasn't like he had eaten much of anything the albino had brought him earlier when explaining the truth but, before he could even turn towards the kitchen the doorbell ring and he gratefully went in that direction instead.
Expecting to find a few strangers ready to pick up their pack brothers and sister but instead found his own best friends. Orihime smiled widely as she thrust a pastry box in his face, "Hey! HEY! Ichi-berry, congrats on finally Awakening! Yosh! We can have so~o much fun together!"
Chad calmly and lightly prodded the enthusiastic girl to the side so the carton of sweets was no longer pressed against the oranget's face. One of his golden tanned hands reached out to pat the top of Ichigo's head, "You okay, Kurosaki? We were worried about Shiro being the one to perform the ritual but Kisuke assured us that everything would be fine..."
"Heehee! Yeah I did perform tha ritual per~fect~ly!" The golden eyed man gloated as he jumped forward to wrap his arms around the red head's neck and rest his chin on the top of his head. Ichigo could literally feel his twin's thick aura of smugness and stroked ego.
"Nya, nya! We heard, Shi-kun! Good job!" The bubbling strawberry blond threw up her thumbs with a toothy smile and reached behind her to pull forward one grumpy doctor, "Uryu even came to offer celebrate. We thought we should go see Yoruichi 'cause she was really worried. She wanted to be present the night before to make sure that Hichigo didn't mess up!"
Ichigo laughed when he heard the albino's insulted 'Hey!' but crossed his arms as he looked at the dark haired prodigy doctor who was still frowning grumpily at every one in the vicinity and his dark eyes narrowed even further when he caught sight of the wolves currently congregated in his living room.
The oranget cocked a brow, "He doesn't look as happy as you two...Not in a very partying mood, Ishida? Not even for me?"
"Don't get cocky, Kurosaki. I'm only here because Orihime insisted and I wanted to make sure you hadn't turned into a mass murdering werewolf because your stupid brother botched up the job." The glasses wearing man snapped with self-righteous sniff.
Shiro now looking completely distraught let go of the oranget and threw up his hands in defeat, "Does nobody trust me?"
There was a chorus of resolute 'No's' from Ichigo, Orihime, Uryu, and Chad. Although only the half Mexican look even remotely guilty about his opinion and shot the golden eyed man a sympathetic glance. Taking a step back and letting the door swing open further to give is friends some room to come inside. Chad, who was the last to pile past the door frame shut and locked the door.
The amber eyed man shrugged as he tried to process this new particular development and how it would clash with his current plans.
"Well, we were waiting for the Kuchiki's buddies to pick them up and go to formally ask 'permission' to reside in their territory. I'll go see the two of them when we come back." The oranget told his friends while smoothing back his bangs only to have them fall right back into his eyes.
The strawberry blond woman frowned, not at all looking like her usually cheerful. She huffed childishly while crossing her arms with an exaggerated pout, "Oh, pooh! Ichi! Why'd you go and ruin our plans for?!"
The ginger could only raise his hands helplessly with his palms facing upward, "Hey, I literally only woke up a few minutes ago. Shiro was the one making plans without considering any of you."
And so with the practiced ease Ichigo put all the blame on his albino brother. He smiled and had the odd feeling of shock and amused betrayal. Which didn't make any sense to the red head. Why would he be feeling that? The oranget's brow creased as he focused on the feeling and as he focused he realized it felt like it was coming from an imaginary thread that shifted from orange to gold and looked as if was made from pure light. As the ginger mentally tracked the feeling and physically followed it with curious amber eyes, he was mystified to find it led to his brother. The golden eyed man was watching his progress with patience, affection, and a hint of pride and the feelings transferred through the odd bond.
"Finally noticed it, brother?" Shiro's laughing voice echoed in Ichigo's head causing his eyes to widen significantly.
"This has been here the entire time?" The oranget asked out loud, surprised. His eyes flew back to the almost unsubstantial thread and he tried to run his fingers along it only to find his hand went straight through it. Blinking, he tried again but only had the same results. He looked up again when he heard the albino's insane laughter ringing in, but found his twin's mouth stretched into a smirk with no sounds coming out.
"Silly, Ichi! Ya can't touch it; only see it when ya have a bond with someone." The white haired man's voice explained inside his head.
"Ours is a natural and very rare one that occurs between twins since we use ta be one" The voice went on cheerfully before encouraging him brightly.
"Ya should try, Berry. So you don't always look so insane when responding ta me."
Ichigo frowned but was inclined to agree with the obvious question to his sanity. His friends had looked extremely worried when he had randomly burst out about something nobody could see before trying and failing epically to touch it. Rukia and Renji only looked curious about what he was referring to. They probably could guess to what he was talking about. Their interest liked stemmed from the fact that Shiro and his type of bond was very rare. Byakuya was only gazing at him with something akin to approval.
Not ready to try and figure that one out, Ichigo tentatively tried to send his thoughts to his pale brother. "Can you hear me? Am I doing this right?"
"Yay! Lil' bro, ya doing great. I'm hardly surprised thou, ya have always been smart and quick ta learn. No wonder alpha Kuchiki is interested in ya." Shiro's inner bond voice sounded happy and congratulatory but the last statement is what really caught the oranget's attention.
"What do you mean I've caught his attention? How?" The ginger didn't understand how learning about the bond would be something that would interest the unattainable looking dark haired man.
"Ya can't feel it, but ya are omitting a really strong spirit energy brother as ya try ta understand and work the bond thread. At alpha levels. It usually takes months for someone ta properly learn how ta speak back. I only learned because of what Urahara taught me. Don't worry thou 'cause I'll teach ya how ta contain your energy or else or secret talks won't be very secret. Those that can feel it; know what you're doing. You're a prodigy in the making." The albino explained all this proudly as he ruffled the top of the completely stunned Ichigo's head.
"Huh." Was all the ginger could say before shaking his head and turning to face Orihime would looked pretty peeved. He suddenly realized that he could distantly remember her voice calling his name but he hadn't answered too caught up on his inner conversation. Blinking, wearily the amber eyed man jolted forward when his albino twin lightly pats his back with his usual highly insane bark of laughter.
"Don't worry Ichi-berry. I'll teach ya how ta focus on both outer and inner convos so ya don't look like such a complete dope every time."
The oranget only frowned in response before focusing on the strawberry blond woman's words.
"Ichigo, you can't wait until later! Yoru-sensei was really, really, really worried! How could you leave her in suspense any longer?" The bubbly woman complained and scolded him loudly and when the amber eyed man only rolled his eyes she growled in a very un-Orihime fashion before thrusting her cell in his face.
"At least call her." She said in exasperation.
Nodding the oranget took the Iphone encased in a bright case covered in pastries and looked through the contacts until he found his adopted aunt. He didn't have to wait long, after a few rings the yellowed eyed woman's sultry purr sounded through the line, "Hello little sweet Ori-chan. What can I do for you?"
"Sorry, but it's just Ichigo calling. So~o we really need to talk, huh?"
There was only silence for a long time before along yowl of delight, "Oooooh my little, Ichi-berry! Are you okay, hon? How are you feeling well? Did that idiot Shi-shi mess up?"
The series of rapidly fired questions caused him to blink before laughing with bemusement and affection. The usually calm and collected wild cat (which he now knew was literal) Yoruichi sounded hysterical, worried, and completely overjoyed all at once. Ichigo could hear her yelling at someone in the background with barely hidden excitement. "Oh, Urahara darling our little cub is alright! Come let's go see him."
The older woman's voice became clearer as she focused back on him and the phone. "We'll see you in a quick few, okay?"
The amber eyed man rushed to stop her before she hung up, "Wait, Aunty Yoru!" After hearing her questioning 'hmm?' he hastened to continue now that he knew he still retained her attention, "I'm going to see the big pack now to declare myself a nomad in their territory. I'll come see you after. So there's no need for you and Uncle Ura to come now."
In response the golden skinned woman only laughed boisterously through the phone with sly delight, "My, my no need for that. Kisuke and I shall come along. It'd been over a century since he's seen us."
"A century?" Ichigo repeated dully, not wanting to think how old his perpetually twenty-something looking guardian really was and the new perk or curse that came with his lycan heritage. Did that mean they didn't age or they aged at an extremely slow rate? Whichever it was the amber eyed man knew he would just have to wait until later when he could properly ask relevant questions.
"I'll see you in a few minutes. Give Shiro a kiss for me for successfully not royally fucking up and forcing me to kill him" Yoruchi purred before promptly hanging up and leaving the oranget to hand the phone to his grinning female friend. He knew everyone must have heard his aunt because a)she was always loud on the phone and b) everyone for the most part had some fucking intense hearing if the fact he could hear his tap dripping from all the way upstairs bathroom was any indication. It was actually quite disorienting now that he the oranget realized that all the background noise was coming from stuff happening a block away and outside.
Shrugging Ichigo tugged a piece of his hair while blocking out what didn't concern him and leaned forward to give his cousin/brother a quick kiss on the cheek and a one armed hung with a quick and slightly sarcastic 'congratulations' on not fucking up which was a blessing because the red head didn't want to even think about what would have happened to him if things had not gone A-okay. The albino took the familiar and familiar gesture with supreme pleasure if his smugly insane grin was any clear indication.
"Ah how sweet! I'm finally getting tha thanks and appreciation I deserve from our Auntie!" The white haired man chuckled happily before frowning worriedly, "But why does she always act like your tha only kid she adopted."
This was something the oranget could smile smugly to, "Maybe because I was cuter and not a total playground terrorist like you."
"Nonsense" The golden eyed man said in a tone that brooked no argument before turning to the pack wolves currently occupying Ichigo's living room in their human forms with his trademark mischievously insane grin.
Yoruichi slid on her shirt on easily. It was a sleeveless black turtle that hugged her curvy form tightly, along with her tight spandex pants and white flats she was ready to go.
"Come now, darling. Time to go see our little cubs and help them face old man Yamato." When this didn't excite any response other than a low groan from the scruffy blond the indigo haired woman harshly kicked the lounging man
"Arrgh! I don't want to!" The shaggy mutt she called her husband whined pathetically while pouting with a slow wave of his fan.
The were-cat hissed venomously because for once his light brown puppy dog eyes were not getting to her and when the blond man saw her yellow eyes flash and pupils become slits he jumped up rather quickly and went to find his coat. Satisfied, Yoruichi sheathed her claws and slid on her own orange coat before following the former alpha out of the bedroom.
Stopping at a picture of the four of them; herself, her silly lover, and her two cubs; a memento of their first day together as a family after the death of her dear friends. Ichigo looked heartbroken while the albino hid his grief behind a twisted smirk. They had both lost so much and the trouble wasn't over yet. Her and Urahara had so much work to do and so little time to teach the blooming submissive all he needed to know to survive their world and persistent alphas who might not take 'no' for an answer.
Her face dipped into a scowl and she worried her lip between her teeth. How were they going to protect the precious oranget from that monster and how to tell him that his father and sisters were killed because of him? These questions truly boggled the yellowed eyed woman's mind and with a sigh she rested the picture flat without taking her hands off the frame.
What was she going to say after years of trying to relieve the boy of his guilt only to slam it right back on top of him with all the other crap he was currently being dumped on him. Her heart ached for the boy and she turned to find her husband watching her sadly but with seriousness he rarely revealed.
"We will do what we can and knowing him he will succeed. We can make it easier by not telling him."
She could only laugh bitterly at his patched up solution to the problem and shook her head sadly, wishing it was truly as easy and simple as he implied. Shaking her head she looked him straight in the eye with a hopeless grin, "Why? So he can have a reason to hate us when he finds out the truth. We both know he eventually will and rather than having him furious and overcome with guilt and grief we can try to help him before it gets bad."
The blond wolf nodded before stretching out his hand which the cat took with a small smile at the loving and equally as sad look in her lover's eyes.
They would get through this somehow. They always did.
Shiro grinned happily as he shuffled Ichigo's friends inside and held in a bark of laughter as he watched his adorable twin go all nurse mode and politely (with the perfect amount of detachment) ask if the werewolves lounging on his sofa if they would like anything to eat or drink. Although the albino heard an unusual snap in the calm oranget's voice; poor Ichi-berry was probably still upset about having to declare his status and the golden eyed man could hardly blame him. When Yoruichi and Kisuke had adopted him and the golden eyed wolf had to move all the way down from Tokyo, his two new guardians had drowned him in new rules to avoid him messing up and having a pack wolf find him. It had been exhausting always covering up his sent and having to go away for week long vacations every full moon to let out his wolfie without running into any of the Reapers enjoying the blood frenzy too.
The albino pouted at the memory. The distance had always stretched the bond with Ichigo very thin and it had made him anxious to feel the faint echos of the oranget's emotions. When Shiro would leave he always had nightmares and feeling Ichigo's fear or pain too late and coming back to find only a corpse waiting for him and no more beautiful amber eyes smiling happily back at him every day. It had always pained the white haired man that he had never really known his mother or father or his two little sisters and had been trying to make up for all the lost time without his family by always being there for the oranget currently stomping towards the kitchen to get the pack wolves whatever they had asked for.
It brought back memories of leaving his warm bed in the dead of night at the waves of loneliness to either go to his twin's room when they had still been in high school and then long trek to the family home when the amber eyed man had moved back in. The red head would act annoyed and huff but would always in the end welcome the pale man with open and thankful arms. Shiro knew his younger brother relied on him to overcome his guilt and being alone but the golden eyed man sometimes wondered if Ichigo knew how much he needed the feisty red head.
Shiro grinned insanely as he was pulled from his rather surprising deep thoughts at the sight of Orihime casually chatted with the werewolves as if she had known them forever while offering the cake and sweets from her box of goodies. Flipping her long strawberry blond hair elegantly she gestured for the albino over. But, before he could even finish taking one step, (very hungrily eying the strawberry cheesecake that nobody had snatched yet) there was a loud bang. His loud mouth guardian bounced through the door she had just violently kicked open, luckily after Kisuke had unlocked the door. The shaggy blond wolf looked tiredly after his wife who had already begun to strut inside the house with her hips swaying provocatively and lowered his hand after retrieving is key from the swinging door.
Her long indigo tinted hair swung widely as she scanned the room with sharp yellow eyes and a vicious smirk that bared her fangs as her eyes settled on the wolves.
"If it isn't little Lord Kuchiki." She purred wickedly as she eyed the cool and collected dark haired man, who's brow only arched challengingly back at the dark skinned woman.
Yoruichi continued after a moment in a smooth drawl as she dragged a nail across her plump bottom lip in a mocking reminiscent gesture, "I remember when you use to just reach up to my shoulders. Ah...How long ago was that now? One hundred or two hundred years ago?"
"I'm sure I recall that was around two hundred and ten years ago. Your old age must be affecting your memory Lady Shihouin." Byakuya replied smoothly with ice dripping from his voice and his shard like cobalt eyes eyed her form coldly.
The cat women laughed boldly with a hand moving seductively down her body, "Come on! Six hundred isn't that old!" She stressed the last word while wrapping her arms around Kisukes's dangling limb. The blond wolf glanced at her from under his hat as she looked up at him with a falsely bright smile, "Right, hon?"
"Um...We are kinda getting..."
"Right?!" Her grip tightening dangerously while her pupils slitted viciously causing the blond wolf to wince and nod lazily, not even able to round up the effort to really argue.
"Holy...Six hundred!" Shiro turned to see Ichigo staring bug eyed at the very young looking yellow eyed woman who developed a Cheshire like grin and threw herself away from her husband to snuggle the oranget happily. Ichigo wobbled dangerously as he tried to balance the tray of drinks in his hands with wide amber eyes.
"Well yes Ichigo, around six hundred give or take a few years. I'll explain later how our aging works but for now let's get your territorial rights." Yoruichi said happily while giving the very lost looking newly awakened wolf a quick squeeze and endearing nuzzle.
IM SORRRY T.T
I promise to update this at least once a month no matter what.
Forgive me all who waited