You're going to notice that the italic paragraphs are in Ichigo's point of view. This is going to happen a lot throughout the story. Lesser when he's fighting and more when he talks about the past. Pay attention to every detail in this story. You'll see why!


"What… what are you saying…?" Ichigo mumbled in his sleep. He rolled onto his side, clenching his pillow tightly in his hand. "What do you mean!?"

"GOOD MORNING ICHIGO~!"

Using natural instinct developed over the past eight years, I was able to dodge my father's morning greeting. My eyes shot open, my hand latching on to Isshin's face, and I used his body weight to pin the middle aged man to the floor.

"You've got some nerve," I growled, making sure to look Isshin in the eye. "Attacking me in my sleep…"

Karakura High School. 10:43 a.m.

Orihime Inoue, a quiet girl with a distant look in her eyes, sat near the window in the girl's change room. The window was open, letting in a gentle calming breeze. The blue curtain was a kite in the wind, soaring steadily through the air. Orihime opened he small mouth wide, yawning rather noticeably.

Tatsuki, another girl at Karakura high, looked nearly the complete opposite of Orihime. She was shorter that Orihime, with dark hair and blue eyes. Unlike Orihime's faded brown eyes, Tatsuki's eyes were filled with strength and determination. They'd surely lead her to greatness someday.

"Ichigo sure is late today…" Orihime sighed.

Tatsuki grinned. "Oh, you were thinking about Ichigo, weren't you?"

Orihime jumped up straight in her chair. "N-No I wasn't!"

Tatsuki made a small grunting noise. She leaned in close to Orihime, and then proceeded to interrogate her. "What about him do you like? He's a jerk, he's cold, he's short tempered… and not to mention just about every gang in the school has him at the top of their hit list…"

Orihime giggled. "I think Ichigo's funny!"

"Eh?"

"That face of his! He's always grinning, and it makes him look so funny! And I can just imagine him with whiskers, an afro, alien antenna, bushy eyebrows… He's really the best!"

"R… Really…" Tatsuki groaned. "Orihime, someone like him doesn't deserve someone like you…"

The bell rung, signaling the end of gym class. The girls shuffled out of the change room, one by one making it out into the crowded blue hallways of Karakura High. Orihime and Tatsuki continued chatting, mostly about Orihime's crush, but also about what lunch they had brought today. When suddenly Orihime crashed to the floor having bumped into something, like a wall, that sent her rebounding backwards.

"I demand you apolo-" Tatsuki froze when she saw the culprit.

Trademark grin on soft pink lips, sparkling piercings in his bottom lip and through his left eyebrow, a delicately applied layer of black eye liner around each eye, and eyes that shone with no regret whatsoever. "My apologies Orihime. I didn't see you when I turned around the corner."

Tatsuki was shocked into silence, Orihime a stuttering mess on the floor.

"I'll be seeing you in history class then, right?" Without waiting for an answer, he stepped over Orihime and continued his way to his locker.

"What an asshole!" Tatsuki nearly screamed.

"N-No… I'm sure he knew I was fine! And he did apologize."

Tatsuki gave a miniature glare to her friend. "Ichigo Kurosaki could drive a stake through your heart and still play it off as an accident. Orihime, there's no way he didn't see you rounding that corner. He's just one big idiot!"


I arrived, late as usual, in history class. I didn't care. The teacher was always ten minutes late anyways, and judging by the clock he'd be here in three minutes. I took my seat to the left of the class, away from the windows, and unfortunately behind Uryu Ishida. Well, it was unfortunate for him anyway.

However, before Ichigo was able to pest his favourite victim, he was tapped on the shoulder. Turning, Ichigo received the third largest shock of his life.

"Hi!" Rukia Kuchiki greeted, extending her hand kindly to Ichigo. "My name's Rukia, Rukia Kuchiki! Nice to meet you~!"

"R-Rukia!?"

Ichigo quickly glanced around the room, now realizing that all eyes were on him. He cleared his throat, narrowing his eyes and giving Rukia the 'cool-boy' smirk he was known for. She opened her palm, written on it were the words "Say something and I kill you."

Ichigo shook her hand in a calm and collective manner. He then spoke with slight venom in his voice, "Welcome to your new school. How long do you think you'll be staying with us?"

Rukia smiled back, never releasing Ichigo's hand until their glaring match ended. "I'll be staying until the end of this month. Then I'll be returning to my home, the place I came from."

A few surprised mutters were heard around the room. Just then the teacher entered and everyone jumped into their seats. The teacher, Mr. Ortech (Pronounced Ore-tesh) laid out a map of the world, Canada and Britain highlighted across the paper.

'That's right,' Ichigo confirmed, 'We're still learning about World War One.'

This is gonna suck. So, I took my pencil and tapped Uryu's ear. The student didn't move. I tried it again. Still no reaction. I then slipped a rubber band out of my right pocket, stretched it back as far as it could go, and let it snap into Uryu Ishida's head.

"Sir!" Uryu called.

"Kurosaki. Front. Now." Mr. Ortech demanded.

Ichigo picked up his books, trudged to the front of the class and plopped himself down in his 'reserved' seat. He looked up at the teacher, giving him a chuckle and a look as if to say "Like I give a fuck."

"Office."

"What, no first warnings?" Ichigo asked with a larger grin on his face.

"I'm here to teach, not to put up with your crap," Mr. Ortech retorted. He pointed to the door. "If you're not here to learn you can leave. Mrs. Avocet is probably expecting you."

"Sweet." Ichigo stood from his chair. He collected his books and went towards the hall.

'This guy is a complete idiot!' Rukia thought from her desk. 'How did I get stuck giving my powers to that loser?'

"Oh, there is something I'd like to mention," Ichigo taunted further. "Today was supposed to be the day I helped you with your lessons and shared my homework with the class. I don't suppose I can do this from the office, can I?"

"Go!" The teacher looked about ready to snap.

Ichigo turned away without another word, smirk never leaving his face, a small click from his lips and a wink as he left.

"What an asshole," Tatsuki murmured, barely audible by Orihime.

'I take it back, he's not an idiot,' Rukia commented to herself. 'He's got a brain, obviously he planned this, but he uses his intelligence for the wrong purpose.'

"Well… whose to replace Ichigo?"

Keigo's hand shot up. "Rukia can sir! She's new, and so this can be a way for us to get to know her better! And she can learn how it works!"

Rukia slouched in her seat, dropping her head onto her arm and glaring at the spot Ichigo had just been standing in. 'I hate that idiot.'


Ichigo strut down the hallway, practically flaunting his "I'm better than thou" attitude. He reached the office in little time at all, having memorized the fastest route from anywhere in the school. Ichigo pushed open the door and walked inside. There was a counter just beyond the doors, two desks a little further behind the counter, three rooms off to the right, and three chairs lined up in a small waiting area to Ichigo's left. Ichigo approached the counter where one lady sat. He leaned against it, smirking as he cleared his throat.

Without bothering to look up, the office lady said, "What is this time, Kurosaki?"

"Been sent for shooting an elastic at Uryu Ishida's head. So, where's Avocet today?"

"Miss Avocet has gone home to visit family." The lady shuffled a few papers and tidied up the counter. "Mr. O'Connell is expecting you."

'O'Connell, what an American name...' Ichigo thought to himself dully. He couldn't help but think that every time he heard the temporary Principle's name, it was just so obvious!

"Thanks." As Ichigo turned to enter Mr. O'Connell's office a heavy sensation washed over him. He glanced to his right, catching the eye of a white haired boy standing across the office. They exchanged unintended glares before Ichigo tore his vision away and entered the office.

"Rangiku, report this," the 'boy' ordered the girl beside him. She nodded and wrote down something on the clipboard in her arms.

"So, Ichigo Kurosaki…" Mr. O'Connell sighed. He clicked through several different files on his computer, all of them reports of what Ichigo had done in the past.

"So, Jake O'Connell," Ichigo repeated disrespectfully. He sat down in the chair in front of the Principle's desk, kicking his legs up on a coffee table.

"How many times do I have to tell you-?"

"It's a coffee table, not a foot stool. I know, and I don't care."

"I was going to give you a week's detention, but now you've talked me into two." Mr. O'Connell returned Ichigo's grin, leaning over his desk to stare the student in the eye. "Shall we keep going?"

"No, sir," Ichigo spat.

"Good." Mr. O'Connell leaned back. "I understand you were in Mr. Ortech's class? That means you were picking on Uryu Ishida again, correct?"

Ichigo nodded.

"How many times do we have to go through this before you understand? Ichigo, your grades are at the top of the school's, you have a great talent for all arts, yet you spoil it all with a record so disrespectful there's no word to describe it! How can one bright young man like yourself spoil his entire future?"

"With a disrespectful record…" Ichigo grumbled.

Before yelling again, Mr. O'Connell took in a heavy breath then released it to calm his nerves. "Ichigo, we know that it was difficult for you to adapt after your mother died, but I think it's time that you-"

Ichigo jumped up from his chair and slammed his fists down on Mr. O'Connell's desk. I snapped. "Don't you fucking dare tell me to move on! Masaki was everything to me, yet even she betrayed me with lies! I will not seek help from the counsellors, a physiatrist or someone among the likes of you! I don't need any help! I don't act the way I do because I was too weak to cope with her death!"

The Principle glowered at Ichigo. "Three weeks detention. And starting tomorrow you have five days to write an apology letter to Uryu Ishida."

Ichigo said nothing as he tore away from Mr. O'Connell, slamming the door as he left.

He marched out of the office, not noticing that everyone was staring, and broke out into a run as he tracked down the nearest bathroom. Once there, he locked the bathroom door and ran to the sink. Tears had begun to form in his eyes, but he was able to lightly flick them away. The rest he held back with years of practice.

"Ichigo, I thought we were stronger than this."

I willed my sorrow further back into my mind. Taking a few, deep breaths, I stared myself down in the mirror and replied, "I k-know… just, what he said…"

Soothingly chilled hands ghosted over my shoulders. I sighed deeply at the sedative feeling, my shoulders and higher back going numb with pins and needles. "Don't listen to him. He doesn't know anything. If he could understand… if he could know the things we do…"

"He wouldn't have said what he did."

"That's right."

I reached for the mirror, fingers connecting. As the smooth glass surface met my fingertips, the image I saw started to change. My reflection's fingernails turned black and tendrils took away all color. My school uniform dissolved into a white Shihakusho. His grin replaced my quivering lips, and I watched in awe as black stole the white from his eyes and gold devoured my brown.

"Can I see a smile from my King?"

"Why do you call me that?" Ichigo asked slowly.

"Maybe one day I'll tell you." Crooked grin remained on pale grey lips. Ichigo had long since been able to suppress the shudder that'd crawl up his back when coming face to face with that smile.

"You never answer that question. For everything I ask you always have an answer. Just not that."

"Keep thinking about it. This is not a lesson, but a meaning. You have to discover that meaning for yourself, my King. Now, can we manage a smile?" Ichigo sighed, but smiled nonetheless. There was something, just something, about this being that made Ichigo feel good. It was unexplainable.

"ICHI-NII!"

Ichigo hadn't heard Yuzu scream like that for a very long time. His head whipped to the bathroom door, the mirror shattering where his fingers still touched. The figure faded, and Ichigo bolted for the door.

It flung open with incredible speed, enough to shatter the lock. When Ichigo made it into the hallway, Yuzu had already ran past, but Karin was still a little ways behind. She sprinted up to Ichigo, hardly panting as she blurted out, "Dad's missing and we need you now!"

Ichigo looked away from Karin. His eyes followed the reiatsu trail left by Yuzu then, after spotting her, he shouted, "Yuzu! I'm back here!"

Yuzu turned around, paused to register what she'd just heard, and then bolted towards Ichigo and Karin. Yuzu was panting heavily, looking as if she was going to pass out.

Ichigo picked her up in his arms and questioned, "What's going on? Why are you here?"

"Orihime's been hit by a car!"

"What?" Ichigo started running for the doors that led outside, Yuzu still in his arms and Karin following right behind. 'She was just in class! It's nothing like Orihime to skip. What in the world was she thinking?'


DUN. DUN. DUUUUUUUUN!

I'll spoil a not secret.

The figure Ichigo's talking to? Ichigo's mentor, his sensei, his master, his whatever…

Yeah. That's Hollow Ichigo.

;-)

Oh, and yes, whilst following the Bleach manga plot, this story will also have a few detours.