Welcome! It's literally been forever since my last anything but I just finished watching and reading like ALL the Bleach everything. Gah, my heart! Curse you Tite Kubo for being so cruel and amazing!
Needless to say it was in my brain. This is apparently bad for it because my brain is a dark and terrible place.
Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen all of Season 15 or read though the decide Arc.
Rated M for violence, swearing and sexual situations. I suck at writing violence so anything too terrible in the future will likely happen off-screen probably.
No beta here all mistakes are mine. Constructive criticism is more than welcome. Heck I'd go so far as to say its super welcome.
(ಠXಠ)Grumpy Cat Disclaimer: I tried owning things once. It was terrible.
I don't own Bleach, its characters, its overarching concepts or philosophies or anything else for that matter.
I do own a pretty kick ass Bleach wall scroll and would like to own an Ichigo huggy pillow but that is neither here nor there.
Ichigo Kurosaki didn't know why he was in a packed night club alone on a school night. He didn't even really like clubs. He couldn't drink, not that he would. He didn't dance much and never did so alone. Yet there he was standing in a darkened corner of a too loud, too crowded night club.
It had been a little more than a year and a half since the end of the Winter War. He'd had trouble sleeping since. He had trouble falling asleep and even when he did mange that much he would inevitably wake up in the middle of the night. If there where dreams he never remembered them. His dad had said that it was normal for what he had been through. He had prescribed sleeping medication but Ichigo rarely took it. They made him drowsy during school and he was having enough trouble catching up as it was.
He'd often wondered if the others were having similar problems but he never brought it up. Then they saw each other so rarely outside of class now that he'd never had the chance. They all still had lunch together along with all of their other friends but it wasn't the same. Uyruu and Ichigo had precious little in common when they'd first starting fighting together and now that Ichigo could no longer fight it seemed they didn't really have much to talk about anymore. He knew that Uyruu still hunted Hollows and that Orihime and Chad helped him occasionally but it was a topic everyone avoided when Ichigo was around.
Chad had never been much of a talker and he hardly had any free time anymore with all of his part-time jobs. Orihime for her part remained as talkative and strange as ever. A few months after they'd gotten back she had finally gotten the courage to tell Ichigo how she felt. Ichigo had been caught off guard by the confession but he wasn't really surprised. The problem wasn't that he didn't share her feelings, quite the opposite actually. You don't get a hole blown in your chest, twice and turn into a psychotic rage beast for a girl you don't care about.
But after losing so much in the fight against Aizen, after losing a large part of his soul, of who he was he knew he couldn't be the man he felt she deserved. Orihime had been more than understanding. She had given him those sad doe eyes and said she'd wait for him to be ready even after he told her not to. He'd tried to avoid spending time with her alone afterwards. There was too much potential in that and he didn't want to seem like lead her on.
He'd done his best to move on, to come to terms with normal. To most it would seem his efforts had paid off but even now after so many months he still felt broken. The truth was he'd just gotten better at hiding it. He had to. Everyone was so careful around him those first few months, treating him like he was about to break. It just made him feel even worse. It made him feel weak and he hated it. So he focused on work and school because if he'd had to be normal than he'd might as well exceed at being normal.
But then there were those quiet moments alone he couldn't hide from it. There was the silence. For so long he had lived with the constant presence of Zangetsu. Before all he had to do was listen and he could hear his sword's spirit. Now there was nothing. Nights for Ichigo had become something to dread. The thought of lying alone, in his quiet darkened room made him feel claustrophobic and it wasn't long before he'd decided to start taking walks.
He'd never had a destination in mind. Where would he go at two in the morning? Often his walks lead him to the riverbank. But he always got the sense that his feet were searching for something, like if he let them lead he'd find something important.
Maybe he's find out why he still felt the loss of his powers so acutely when everyone told him it would get easier with time. Why sometimes it felt like someone had scooped out a piece of his chest and left a hole so black and cold he felt like it would swallow him whole. Why there were still times he felt cavernously empty, times he felt… hollow.
When that thought passed though his head his ever-present scowl deepened. If there was anything to be grateful for after his powers had gone it was that his inner hollow had gone too, his inner demon that lived to kill and consume. Even after he'd defeated it and becoming a Vizored he knew the moment he slipped up it would come back and rip him to shreds taking out anyone he cared about in the process.
His mouth soured at the thought. Ichigo sipped at the overpriced soda growing warm in his hand. He decided to focus instead on the writhed crowd of bodies before him. The club was loud. Part of the reason he came inside was that the music was so loud he could hear it a block away while he was on what had become his nightly insomnia induced stroll.
Something about the pulsating beat and the ever-changing lights that spilled out on to the darkened sidewalk pulled him in. Now that he was inside the music was loud enough that his ears felt numb from it. It vibrated though the floors and out from the walls, like a giant heart beat. It was noticeably warmer inside, all the body heat made the air so thick it was almost oppressive. The air smell like sweat and other people with an undertone of spilled booze that lingered in all bars.
It was the heat and noise that made this place seem more alive, like some great beast. It was so different from the cool sleepy streets just outside. Something inside of him craved that energy so different from what his had become.
And then he saw her. His gaze snapped to hers like a magnet to steel. The instant their eyes met Ichigo felt his mouth go dry. She seemed unreal she was so beautiful. She wore a short denim skirt and a low-cut top of light catching sliver fabric. She had thick dark hair that fell in waves just past her shoulder. Her eyes looked dark and huge in the dim lights but he knew without a doubt they were focused on him. He had never had a woman look at him like that before, like she would eat him alive and make him love every minute of it.
Something stirred in him then. Before he had made the conscious decision he found himself face to face with her on the dance floor. Up close he saw that she was tall for a woman, but she was still shorter than Ichigo. She pulled him in close, gliding her fingers through his hair and said with her lips against his ear "You looked a little lonely."
Her breath smelled like alcohol and chewing gum. He felt his face flush and his scalp tingled where her nails had been. He wanted to ask her name. He wanted to ask her anything but before he could speak she kissed him. It was a quick kiss but it was anything but chaste. He stood stunned until it was over, completely passive as her tongue explored his mouth. The girl turned and began to dance against him...if you could call it dancing. She moved against him slow and sweet. For the first few second he just stood there. He'd never done this before. She turned her head to speak and he leaned down to hear. She spoke one word. Just one.
"Move." She said.
It was a simple command and he obeyed. Usually he was equal parts shy and respectful towards women. He had two younger sisters after all. But right then, right there it was the last thing on his mind. That one word and that heated gaze undid him in a matter of moments. There was nothing left to think about just skin and touch.
This was it. What he'd wanted. He felt like if he pulled her a little closer, held a little tighter against her warmth that cold empty thing that was weighing on his chest would finally go away, if only for a little while and it was enough.
He didn't know how long they danced before they're started kissing again. He had never really kissed a girl before. Between saving the world and trying not to flunk out of high school he'd had his hands full. The kiss was a sloppy desperate thing, full of teeth and searching tongue. He did his best to give as much as he got, trying to match every nip and caress. She was probably too drunk to care.
They had made their way out the back into an alley way. He couldn't really remember how. She's said something about privacy and he gladly followed. He'd follow her wherever as long as he could keep touching her like this. The alley way reeked of trash and the recent rain but neither seemed to care. He was pressed so close to her the only thing he could smell was her perfume and warm skin.
He pressed her roughly against the brick of the building. She gave a small cry of protest but didn't stop. His hands slipped around one thigh and lifted. The girl obliged following his train of thought she made room for him.
He growled as a hunger stirred inside of him unlike anything he'd ever felt. It demanded more. More skin more kisses more heat. He needed to fill this emptiness before it swallowed him whole. He pressed into her. She cried out and using her leg pulled him harder against her. He kissed her again, hard and demanding. It felt so incredibly good and he knew this couldn't last for much longer.
He broke off the kiss gasping for air, remembering that he needed to breathe. The woman let out a soft sigh against his face. As he took a deep breath preparing to go back for more he noticed something. Suddenly the air tasted different. It was almost impossible to describe and impossibly…good. It was like the air was suddenly filled with something so intoxicatingly vital it made his head spin.
He hadn't realized until that moment that his eyes had been closed. There was a soft light pressed against his eyelids. He opened them to see what it was and froze. A few inches in front of his face hung a small orb of pale white blue light.
It was roughly the size of a baseball and it was surrounded by tendrils of light only a shade darker than the sphere itself. It was like a small flame but it wasn't hot. It was so close that he could feel the warmth that flowed from it. As he sucked in an awe-struck breath the wisps of pale light flowed into him. He shuddered. It was the sweetest thing he'd ever tasted. Just that small taste sent a pleasure like he'd never felt before shot through his veins. Before he could stop it a small sound escaped his lips.
He pressed a hand to his mouth to keep anymore of that delicious light from flowing in and to keep himself from screaming, because in that instant he knew exactly what it was.
It was her soul. It was then he realized the woman had gone completely limp in his arms. He had seen enough death to know without needing to check that she was dead. Her head lulled back against the cold wet brick. Her arms that had only moments before where pulling him so desperately close now hung lifelessly at her sides. The only reasons she had yet to fall were the wall behind her and the arm he still had wound around her waist.
Oh god! Oh god! What had he done?! This was wrong. So fucking wrong!
The hunger inside of him raged. It howled for him to take it, to swallow the thing whole, to make the ache that was growing steadily worse stop. He pressed his hand harder against his mouth willing himself not to. His nails dug into the flesh of his cheeks.
It was wrong.
He'd kill her.
She was already dead.
He needed it.
It was so fucking good!
Another shiver ran though him. He had to get out of there but he couldn't just leave her.
He set her down as gently as he could. It was difficult because he did his best to keep his face as far away from the floating soul as possible. He knew enough about souls and ghosts to know that the longer it stayed out the more danger the girl would be in. He had to put it back somehow.
He wondered if he could even touch the thing. He knew he had to try. He pushed the orb gently with two fingers. All he felt was a tingling sensation that made his fingers twitch but it moved. He pushed it down towards the unconscious girl slowly, terrified that if he moved to quickly it would dissipate. When it reached her lips the ball of light swirled and then shot through her still parted lips.
Seconds ticked by. A minute. Two.
Fuck! Why wasn't she breathing?
He popped up frantically trying to think of his next move. Should he call an ambulance? Urahara? Inoue?
He was pulling out his cell phone with trembling fingers when he heard the sound of rasping breath from the girl on the ground. The relief that shot through him was so potent his knees wobbled and he had to lean against a trash bin to keep from joining her on the ground. She was alive! He sent a silent prayer to every god he could think of. He hadn't killed her.
He had bent down to check her pulse just to be sure when he heard someone coming out of the backdoor of the club.
"Hey!" a masculine voice called out. "What are you doing? You're not supposed to be back there."
Ichigo swore under his breath. He glanced behind him and saw one of the club's security guys headed straight for him. As the man approached he saw the girl on the ground passed out, her skirt bunched up around her waist and put two and two together.
Ichigo knew what it looked like. He also knew he could probably take the guy in a fight if he had to but he was in enough trouble as it was. Ichigo was in enough shadow that he was sure the bouncer couldn't get that good of a look at him but with his telltale orange hair he would be easy enough to identify later. He needed to get away and fast.
He felt like crap leaving the girl there but he didn't have much choice. He got up and dashed out of the other end of the alley, knocking over trash cans as he went. He heard the other man shouting him to stop and prayed he wouldn't chase him. He ran until he could no longer hear the throbbing bass of dance music. He did his best to confuse his trail, taking every twisting darkened path he knew. He stopped when he reached the familiar banks of the river that flowed through town.
He fell to one knee, exhausted. He was almost deaf from the sound of his own blood pounding in his ears. His breath wheezed inside chest. He felt terrible. The adrenaline had begun to fade away leaving only fear and disgust in its wake. His tired breaths turned to desperate sobs.
What the hell was happening to him? He was supposed to be normal now. He had spent over a year finally coming to terms with being just average. He was finally, finally starting to really be able to deal with it. He'd almost killed that girl. He had sucked out her freaking soul! What was worse was how much he'd wanted to. The way it had tasted and the way it had felt, it was beyond anything he'd ever dreamt. He felt himself grow hard at the remembering and a shiver ran through him. That hunger he had felt before rose up in him again, so hard and fast it hurt.
He doubled over in pain. He let out a choked gasp of pain before heaving and vomiting up everything he'd eaten that day. He dry heaved until he was sure his head would explode from the pressure. It was like his insides where ripping themselves to shreds.
It was all too much. He felt his vision fade, growing dark around the edges. He knew he was about to pass out and as his arms gave out he tried his best not to collapse in his own sick.
I was supposed to be normal. Normal people didn't try to eat other people's souls…
/But Hollows do. /
There was a quiet huff of cold high laughter. Recognition sent a heart stopping chill though Ichigo's veins.
No, he though desperately Please. Please no.
/Che. I thought you'd be happier to hear from me, King./
More of that harsh laughter rang in Ichigo's ears as he fell into complete cold darkness.
Gahhh! I'm a horrible person! Why would I do that to him?! And it's going to get worse if things go as planned. I woke up this morning feeling super crappy. I blame that. This is my first real attempt at a chaptered story. I really hope I totally don't fail.
I haven't set a schedule for my post because I know myself well enough that I know I'd miss it. Next week-ish is my tentative goal.