Hello all my honeys! I know I'm once again early with my update and it's been split into two parts but this is important. This fic is going to become multi-chaptered because the plot is too complex to keep it tied to a simple two-shot fic. I'm not favouring the requester KrazieKat, she already understands that and she's also agreed to help me with this fic in other ways to compensate me for it so it goes both ways.
Anyways, there are some very important notes for this story! So please listen carefully. This is the second of my request list for KrazieKat and it marks a new multi-chapter fic that based on a Blind!Ichigo and how he learns to cope with his disability and establishes an intimate relationship between Kyōraku Shunsui. It takes place in the Canon timeline before Ichigo left with the Zero Division and he was injured, blinded, in his fight against Juha Bach.
So up until there, it is in Canon. From there on it's going to be changing in both the storyline, the time flow of the original Bleach plot and when I bring in the Vandenreich later, if I will at all. I'm still undecided about that. There are some severe warnings for this fic! I'm going to be listing them now, because it'll include the first chapter that I will be posting in 4-5 days from now.
This is a set pairing between Kyōraku Shunsui x Kurosaki Ichigo, a non-con lime between Juha Bach x Kurosaki Ichigo in chapter 1. It also contains a Blind! Ichigo, Soutaichō Shunsui and is very dark all around with violence, blood and angst. It's probably the most angsty story I will ever have written before so if you're not prepared for all the drama please don't read this. You can expect an emotional rollercoaster from the beginning.
Also the points of view will be changing, although Ichigo's will be the main point of view as we'll see in the next chapter. This is only the prologue, the setting for what's to come and what happened. It'll get into more detail in the next update. It feels a bit incomplete because it is incomplete, only after chapter 1 is posted will this story feel like its going anywhere as I'm establishing my characters and setting.
For now though, I think I covered all that I needed to. I know it's short but you know my prologues are usually only a quarter of the length my full chapters are.
Please enjoy! I'll see you at the end of the chapter.
Prologue: Paralleled Vision
Deep within a haunting, overcast sky; the muffled silvery light of a full moon was reflected despairingly upon the vast planes of Soul Society's most sacred grounds...the Court of Pure Souls. The ruined remains of a Seireitei overrun by an age old enemy a mere week ago, was still smoking sparsely from the lingering after effects the fires of dense reishi the Quincy King and his invading army had left in their wake. Only now however, were they starting to die out in forgotten embers as the all encompassing terror and pain that they had created within this plane was sure to remain for a long time... Left with not only the task of rebuilding the destruction that had swept through the city itself but the entire pillar that had held the Shinigami unified for more than a thousand years, it seemed a near impossible task for the one man that had been forced into accepting the position his sometimes beloved, sometimes far too strict Sensei, had left sorrowfully empty.
Kyōraku Shunsui, the newly instated Soutaichō of Seireitei and the man tasked with carrying the burden of unifying the Shinigami ranks, was jerked awake from his nightly rest in the early hours of the morning by a terrified shout that echoed deafeningly into the depths of his home. Situated a few kilometres away from the Ichibantai offices and within the official mansion of Seireitei's Soutaichō he was forced to occupy by the central government. A single deep grey eye snapped open in surprise at the resounding noise of utter despair that flooded the vast traditional home with an overwhelming push of uncontrolled reiatsu, thick with unbalanced emotion and uncontrolled power. Causing even him to gasp at its climbing intensity, Shunsui was left to try and get used to the torrential pressure that was rising and falling in tandem to its master's uncontainable despair and fear.
Running absent fingertips through waist length, wavy brown locks; a lazy dark grey eye blinked away the heady sleep that still clung to long black lashes as Shunsui pushed himself to sit up abruptly. Accidentally brushing his palm against the black eye patch that was settled across his right eye with four thin black strings connected to its four corners. Two looping around his right temple and below his damaged ear, the other two were a little more visible as they traced across his left cheek, forehead and eventually met the others at the back of his head to keep the patch firmly in place. Tracing the soft edges of the item that displayed his new disadvantage to the world now; a drawn out sigh of exhaustion left parted lips as the former Hachibantai Taichō reluctantly dragged himself to his feet a few chaotic seconds later. Dressed in a simple black yukata that flowed in cool silken folds around his tall frame, the two comforting blades of Katen Kyokotsu resting in his obi for precaution; the gentle pad of his steady footsteps were fairly silent upon the traditional wooden floors as the older being tilted his head to the side to follow the echoing sounds which replaced those terrified screams with several coughs of strain instead.
'Such terror in a single cry, Ichigo-kun. Just what did that man do to you?' Shunsui whispered to himself mournfully. Resting his back against the hallway wall outside of the room next to his, the brown haired Shinigami leaned his head back for several seconds as he allowed his strictly controlled reiatsu to spill into the hallways to announce his approaching presence to the being that was present on the other side of that door. It was just as well that he had been having unpleasant dreams, Shunsui thought to himself absently. That was the second time that night that he had been awoken by his guest's frightful screams and uncontained reiatsu. As it was now; with the unfamiliar press of a black patch across his right eye, the mourning cries of an innocent's terror and the lingering scent of scorched death that still clung in Seireitei's air...they all remained a stark reminder of the events that had unfolded a mere week prior in a sickening rush of harsh reality. But more than that...it was a reminder that the uncontrolled and traumatized reiatsu from a mere child in suffering was only the beginning of the ruined aftermath that every single Shinigami was experiencing when Yamamoto Genryūsai had died at the hands of an avenging Quincy King.
Seireitei had been left in tatters; Shunsui himself having lost an eye in a battle against an unnamed opponent and there was nothing but sadness left within him at the sheer damage that had been wrought upon the one brave soul that had stood up to Juha Bach in a last-ditch effort to protect everyone in Soul Society. Kurosaki Ichigo, the single Substitute Shinigami that had stood against the man that had mercilessly murdered the Soutaichō of the Gotei-13 with a mere swing of his sword, had not left that collision of power without a slew of serious injuries himself. In fact, even when it was not a fatal injury or as bad as many of those that had been totally overpowered by the enemy...young Ichigo had suffered what was perhaps the most psychologically damaging and sense crippling injury of them all. It was heartbreaking as Shunsui thought of it now. For a young life to be shattered so completely from something they should have protected him from instead. It wasn't right. Ichigo did not deserve what had happened to him and on top of that, there was also the unknown element that the orangette simply refused to talk to anyone about.
For those with a trained eye in the psychological workings of a mind; a few could see that something else, besides the devastating loss of his sight, had happened. Ichigo's traumatized and despondent form, his shuttered away personality, uncontrollable reiatsu and violent reaction to anyone approaching him he did not trust or didn't announce their presence first spoke volumes of his new found fears from something that Shunsui was sure had nothing to do with the loss of his sight. But he too may be reading into things too much; the loss of something that defines one's entire perception of the world was traumatizing enough. Especially for one so young. It must have felt to Ichigo like the world was ending and with his unusual temperament in shutting others out that were close to him before, it must have made it just a little worse for his weary soul. There were so few people that he allowed close to him now without violently pushing them back with an overwhelming flood of defensively lashing reiatsu. Another indicator to the brown haired Shinigami that something else was straining the orange haired teen's mind and body along with his devastating injury.
Shunsui was one of three people he seemed to trust now, Ukitake the other and Unohana Retsu. But her, he suspected was more out of a necessity than anything else. It was strange, the newly instated Soutaichō had never been really close to the boy but he seemed genuinely calmed by his presence. He just couldn't seem to figure out why Ichigo would react to his presence in such a way when they had barely shared a few minutes of true conversation before all this had happened. But did it really matter who and what he found comfort in? Ichigo had been through enough as it was. As long as Shunsui could offer him a little reprieve from his pain and fears then that was alright. Ichigo needed someone he could rely on in his time of need and with many of his friends injured themselves and dealing with their own problems, Shunsui would gladly become the pillar for the child's consolation.
At the echo of a pained cough spiralling into the air around him though, the brown haired Shinigami snapped himself from his thoughtful daze as he stepped towards the closed door decisively. With his knock resounding against the wooden frame of the shoji door before he eventually slid it open with the warning call of his voice, Shunsui prepared himself for what he would find on the other side. He absolutely hated the sound of such pain and suffering, especially when it came from one so young and vulnerable. This really should not have happened, Shunsui thought harshly. They should never have become so weak as to rely on an innocent to protect them...it should have been the other way around. He should have protected Ichigo when he had faced that monster all by himself. Not for them to only have found Ichigo in the aftermath, covered in blood and a torn cloak-like kosode.
It was still a mystery as to how Ichigo survived the encounter however, when Juha Bach was known for his absolute cruelty. But even now, Shunsui couldn't be more grateful that the teen did manage to stubbornly cling onto his life and will to survive whatever it was that that man had decided to force him to endure. If Shunsui were to have been responsible for the loss of another valuable, precious, life...he didn't know what he would have done. Not with the entirety of Soul Society in the state it was now and their enemies having disappeared just as quickly as they had come.
'Ichigo-kun? Are you alright?' Shunsui called concernedly, his single grey eye softening sympathetically as he observed the moonlit bathed form that was sitting haphazardly up in his futon. Dishevelled and messy orange locks were feathering across a stretch of white bandages, descending darkly into bound eyes as the air was stained irrevocably with strained gasps for breath and the ragged rise and fall of his white yukata clad chest could be seen from the few meters that separated them. One of his injured hands, only partially healed by Unohana because of the overwhelming reiatsu present in the wounds itself, was laid across a parted mouth to still a ragging cough valiantly whilst the other twisted white sheets despairingly between tanned fingertips.
The single through-and-through cut descending through both of Ichigo's palms at different angles clearly suggested that the orangette had been pinned down by a sword at some point. But when he had been asked about it, the Substitute Shinigami had gone deathly pale and simply refused to say anything more about it. Just as he refused to say how he had been blinded in the first place. It was not surprising though, Shunsui thought absently. To talk about something so traumatizing was difficult, even though it concerned him greatly the moment he had glimpsed the myriad of scars that drew across Ichigo's temples and eyelids when he had been present at Unohana's visit earlier that day. And when those eyes had been revealed for the first time, stained milky white and sightless...the brown haired Shinigami had felt his heart shattering a little.
There was no trace left of the beautiful chocolate brown orbs that had been so expressive with emotion and compassion, no trace of the previous uncontained strength in those eyes. It was just a blank mirror, reflecting nothing but its own array of despair and utter terror back to the world. Something that the older being constantly sought to soothe away now, needed to comfort because it was so achingly painful to see Ichigo like this. Especially when he knew the damage could never be reversed. Juha Bach's reiatsu was too strong to heal the wounds properly, to even reject them with Inoue Orihime's power. They could not be mended when the damage extended to such a devastating extent. Damn it! Shunsui should never have―.
'S-Shunsui-san? Is that you?' A tentative tenor called frightfully; successfully dragging the Soutaichō out of his all encompassing thoughts as the brown haired Shinigami called a notable affirmation. The shoji doors slid shut behind him softly, Shunsui deliberately allowing his footsteps to be heard as he transversed the room until he could come to a halt right next to a white futon. Ichigo's head was tilting to the side, instinctively following the small sounds Shunsui made as the orangette's upset became much more noticeable when the dulled moonlight ignited across his form from an open window. Bathing tanned skin hauntingly in a muffled silvery light; the older being shifted his wavering attention to the paled features that were turned halfway towards him curiously. There was a deep scowl furrowing tangerine brows, showing up in the blood stained white bandages that were wound securely across two sightless eyes before a small shuddering breath of distress echoed in the air around them.
'It's just me, Ichigo.' Shunsui assured several seconds later, seeking to soothe away the subtle panic he could see encircling the orangette's form in a climbing response of rising reiatsu and uncontrolled lashes of power. His upset had not completely faded, even after Shunsui had confirmed his identity. But at least those headily tensed shoulders seemed to relax a little more now that the older being was pouring his own, very recognizable, reiatsu into the room as a catalyst to calm Ichigo uncontrolled emotions. When Shunsui knelt beside the orange haired teen's sitting form, after having placed Katen Kyokotsu next to the shattered form of Zangetsu close to Ichigo's side, the long brown haired Taichō reached forward softly to pull an injured hand from the teen's mouth before laying it against the soft fabric of the futon comfortingly. He tried very hard to ignore the subtle flinch he detected the moment his skin came into contact with Ichigo's, pushing it into the back of his mind to think about later before he rested his palm against a pale forehead tenderly.
'I-I'm sorry...did I wake you? I didn't―.'
'Yare, yare but you are a difficult child, Ichigo-kun.' Shunsui breathed exasperatedly. His forefinger pressing against the tip of a nose playfully when the orangette tried to pull away from him but leant into his touch simultaneously as well. Just like a child that was starved for attention and comfort but was too afraid to take part in it, was prone to do. 'I've told you that it's alright if you wake me. You are injured, Ichigo, and I'm here to help you. If you cannot control your power then simply let it out, you cannot hurt me. This home is surrounded by a very powerful barrier; no one can sense you here or feel your uncontrolled responses. It's natural for one's reiatsu to fluctuate and intensify as a response to emotions; something you haven't felt completely because you tend to return to your body to seal it off before it can get really overwhelming.' Ruffling warm fingertips through silky soft strands of orange locks, Shunsui smiled softly to himself as his words seemed to have a calming effect on both Ichigo's uncontrolled power and his trembling form. The orangette still seemed fairly out of it though, his mind perhaps not entirely tethered to consciousness as a soft sigh left his parted petal pink lips and his tightened shoulders sagged abruptly.
'Still...I shouldn't...it should not be this bad. It's never been this bad before. I could always calm it with Zangetsu and―.' Sealing Ichigo's words by pressing a finger across soft lips, the brown haired Shinigami hummed thoughtfully as he shifted back a bit. Soothing the orangette's startled cry when he tenderly pushed trembling shoulders down and guided a warm temple to rest against his thigh, Shunsui returned carding fingertips to messy orange locks softly. Pulling the warm covers over Ichigo's trembling form and resting a supporting hand against his shoulder constantly. The wavy brown haired male sought to establish a constant physical connection between them to reassure the orange haired Substitute Shinigami that he was not alone in the eternal darkness that his world was now bathed in irrevocably.
'It's alright, Ichi-kun. Listen to me very carefully, okay? It has only been a week since you've been injured, five days since you've woken up to your entire world being changed. No one is going to hold it against you for losing yourself and losing control of your emotions. We're all here to help you; I'm here to help you. You are not alone in this, no matter how long it'll take for you to gain some semblance of control over yourself and adjust to this change. You burden yourself far too much, Ichigo.' Shunsui breathed tenderly. 'This time it's our turn to protect you, don't you think? It's only fair after all.' When the older being received no answer to his words or any formal acknowledgement, Shunsui still kept his fingertips carding through soft orange locks. He said nothing at the feeling of several warm drops of water staining his yukata where Ichigo was laying against his thigh...
'Thank you.' Resting his hand against an overly warm forehead, the brown haired Soutaichō saturated the tips of his fingers in Kaidō to chase away the physical pain Ichigo must have been feeling at his stress and pained emotions. It wasn't long after that however, that Shunsui noticed Ichigo's hitched breaths evening out into a much more natural rhythm and he curled closer to the inherent warmth that Shunsui's sitting form presented him with so comfortingly. Leaving the older Shinigami to smile indulgently at the sight; he merely allowed a soft silence to surround them as Ichigo's more controlled reiatsu retreated back into him and finally seemed to settle down into a proper rest.
'Hush now, Ichigo-kun. Just get some rest, alright? I know that dreams have been unpleasant as of late, but I'll watch over you. I'll wake you if you have another nightmare. Retsu-san will be here again in the morning and you do feel a little warm, so try and get some sleep and just focus on healing right now. No one is going anywhere; no one is going to leave you because of this. We're all here and I'll say it as many times as it takes for you to believe me. You are important to all of us, to me, to Ukitake to everyone here. We'd mourn the day that you decide to give up because it's simply not in your nature.' With that said, Shunsui close his own grey eye absently as he hummed soothingly. He just hoped that those words would be enough to soothe a little of Ichigo's fears because he was feeling their press just as much as Ichigo was. And it was wrenching painfully at the depths of his heart.
Tomorrow would be another day they could face together and tonight, he'd keep the little orangette company even if it meant he had to lose another night of sleep.
Thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate it. It'll be about 4-5 days until I post Chapter 1, so please be patient as I work out the full update to this story. For now though, I cannot say much more as I think I covered everything in the first author's note.
You may PM me any questions you may have, all flames will be removed and I'd be very happy if I could receive a little review for my work. But other than that, I can only thank you for reading.
I'm off for something cold and sweet before starting on the rest of the Chapter.