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The night air was cool and gentle, caressing his form with loving gestures and soft whispers. He heard many of its stories, countless tales that it had stolen, picked up, been entrusted with from the people that dwelled in the area. From it, he heard of several different tales, most mundane but a few worth some measure of interest.
He closed his eyes, throwing his head back to stare at the huge pearl that hung in the sky, surrounded by countless little lights that twinkled merrily in the heavens above. Opening them, the tomoe designs on his eyes began to slowly rotate about the pupil. A sad smile appeared as he stared at the moon, though the tears never appeared.
He had stopped shedding tears after the third century of his new life. Even now, when he stared at the moon, he didn't see the former prison of the Shinju's corpse; it was a cursed beauty, the one thing that always served to remind him of his past and the bonds he once cherished…
Many, if not every person from the Shinobi Age, never knew how the moon had been brought back. The most they knew about the situation was that a villainous shinobi, the leader of the criminal terrorist organization Akatsuki, had somehow managed to remove it from its place among the stars during the Fourth Great Ninja War. They were aware of the fact that a monster had appeared roughly at the same time, tearing through any and everything the Shinobi sent against it, and nearly causing the end of the world as they knew it.
However, at the climax of the War, the monster was vanquished by unknown means. One minute, tremors shook the earth itself throughout the lands, lightning striking down from the skies in its rage and the sea swallowing all that had the unfortunate luck to be near the coast. Several had died as the disasters raged, panic sweeping the lands as huge blasts of energy shot from the borders of Hi no Kuni and Kaminari no Kuni. Then…it disappeared.
And the moon came back to the heavens.
As his eyes stared intensely at the pale lavender orb, reminding him painfully of another person with eyes like that, his mind was envisaging something else entirely. In his mind's eye, all of his friends and his comrades were standing before him, pleasant and supportive expressions decorating their faces.
He didn't smile at them. After all, he was the one who cast their bodies to the skies.
A brief of movement registered in his senses, but he paid no mind to the person standing behind the rooftops of the residential dwelling beside him. "Wow. And here I was thinking you wouldn't show on time." The voice called out, laid-back and friendly as the person stepped out of his hiding spot.
Naruto snorted, still fixated on the moon to acknowledge the man-for the voice made it clear that whoever it was had a dick. "What do you want? I'm only here for a while, so make it quick Kisuke." He said, finally wrenching his gaze from what was essentially the grave of his friends to the most eccentric and suspicious man he had ever been acquainted with.
The man gave him an easy grin, striped dark green and white bucket hat shadowing his eyes. "Now, now, is that really how you treat your best friend Naruto? And here I was, thinking you'd be staying here for some of Masaki's famous potato salad." He was a tall, lean-built man with light skin and gray eyes. His hair was messy and light-blond, with strands framing the sides of the face and hanging between his eyes, and he had chin stubble. He wore a dark coat, which sported a white diamond pattern along its bottom half, with a dark green shirt and pants underneath. He also wore traditional Japanese wooden sandals as footwear, though that didn't inconvenience him during fights.
The blank yet expressive stare Naruto levelled on him made Kisuke chuckle good-naturedly, "Alright, alright. No need to make such a scary face, Naruto-kun."
Naruto turned about his spot on the telephone pole to face him, crossing his arms in the process. "Look Kisuke, if this is one of your stupidly complicated and ridiculous ideas again, then I'd rather stay away from you."
Kisuke's demeanor instantly shifted, losing the goofy and friendly appearance he often projected and revealing a much more serious person underneath. His left eye stared from the shadow of his hat, catching Naruto's attention. It had been a while since he had seen the rogue Shinigami this serious. "I have a favor to ask of you, Naruto-kun. It has something to do with what we discussed the last time we met."
Naruto arched a brow. "Are you comfortable speaking about your project so openly like this?"
A smirk appeared on the other blonde's face. "Knowing such a private guy like yourself, I took my time checking about the area for any of those seals you use whenever you don't want to be found. I didn't destroy them, I just tweaked them to allow myself to enter this sectioned off area." Naruto's raised brow settled. No wonder he had managed to get past the seals, being the genius that he was.
'Still, it would be best to modify my seals in case someone else has the same intelligence and materials as Kisuke.' The golden-haired young man shrugged and hopped off his perch. Landing down on the streets with no sound, he didn't have to wait long before Kisuke was beside him, the noticeable sound of rushing air indicating his use of Shunpo (Flash Step). Palming his pockets, Naruto gestured to get the Shinigami to start talking.
The man proceeded to do just that. "I managed to think of a way to prevent the Hōgyoku from ever falling into the clutches of that particular individual." Rummaging through his shirt for a moment, he pulled out a small, bluish-purple orb that was encased in a transparent shell of energy. "It hit me the other day, when you and Isshin-san went at it down in the basement. I remembered that special ability of yours, the one you call 'Kamui', where you slip through this dimension and enter your own separate, unique pocket dimension."
Naruto's brow once again arched. "You're entrusting this to me? To hide it away in my pocket dimension?" He had a curious gleam in his eyes as the conversation turned towards this particular topic. "I can see why you would go with this plan, but what if you happen to need it someday?"
Kisuke frowned, a brief yet noticeable flash of worry appearing in his eyes. "Has your contact brought any news about Aizen's activities?"
Naruto nodded, taking the small orb and holding it to eye-level. "Yeah, he did. Apparently he's been making regular trips to Hueco Mundo, along with a small group of other Shinigami, and trying to recruit the stronger Hollows into his army." His Sharingan spun wildly as he frowned, recognizing the energy that kept the orb from interacting with anything. "Did you seriously use my chakra as a casing? I thought it'd take you a few more months to do that." He muttered, eyeing the construct with deeper scrutiny.
Kisuke's frown deepened. He had suspected that Aizen had already been dabbling in the highly controversial Hollowfication process as he had, but the fact that Aizen was seeking out Hollows, strong ones as well, most likely Vasto Lordes, was a curveball he hadn't been prepared for. What was the cause of this? "It was hard, more difficult because of the inclusion of the physical energy in its creation. It took me a lot longer than I would've liked, but I finally managed to replicate the energy after several touch-and-go situations. Unfortunately it's not nearly ready for any serious battle applications yet, but I'll get working on it soon."
Naruto nodded, still studying the orb casing. "That would be a good idea. But my question remains, what if you ever need this in the future? Whilst I can certainly stay in Karakura for a while, I can't be the only line of defense there is." Sharingan tomoe met narrowed grey ones. "What if you used it to empower Shinji and the others when Aizen comes knocking? Or anyone else who shows signs of being able to contribute to defending this place, like Yoru-chan?"
The air seemed to freeze in that instant. Kisuke stared at him with glacial eyes, though he said nothing.
Naruto smiled. It was noticeably more sinister than the ones Kisuke had seen. "It was only a suggestion, one you should start putting some thought into as well. In a war like this, with all the odds stacked against you and very little time to mobilize enough strength to oppose his army, that should certainly be one of your top priorities." The swirling tomoe morphed and shifted, transcending to a strange design. "After all, Aizen isn't the only enemy you're expecting to fight…right?"
Kisuke smirked, though his mind reeled. "Ah…that increasingly annoying omniscience you display makes me so jealous. If I had that, I'd be able to tell the color of women's underwear without any hassle." How had he known? When had he managed to find out about that secret, one which he hadn't even told Tessai and Yoruichi yet?!
Naruto cocked his head, his strange eyes glinting in the streetlights. "Don't worry, I won't tell the others. Shinji and his group are already suspicious of them, so it won't take much from you to convince them to help you out. Whilst I can't guarantee that they will be willing to fight, they can be useful in many other ways."
He rolled his eyes at the frown Kisuke displayed. "Oh, hush you. If I remember correctly, you were planning on using that Shinigami girl who's arriving two days from now in your flawed plan to erase this little glass ball." Tossing the orb into the air, he caught it deftly and took one last look at it. "Kamui."
The orb disappeared, a swirling distortion opening a void into the other dimension and sucking the item in. Nodding in satisfaction, Naruto turned back to the moon. "I'll be leaving for a while, but will be back long before the month is over. Until then, keep this place safe for them."
Kisuke retracted the fan he always carried, positioning it over his face and obscuring most of it. "Oh? Do you mind if I ask where you're headed?" Naruto shrugged, not really offering an answer. In a flash of black light, he disappeared from the area. Kisuke frowned. "Tch, showoff."
Kisuke sighed as he strolled down the street, already dreading what would happen should he propose his plan to those two. His sandals made loud 'clap, clap' sounds as he strolled towards the Kurosaki Clinic, a privately owned medical clinic in the area. It was run by Isshin Kurosaki and was often assisted by his two daughters (Yuzu Kurosaki and Karin Kurosaki) as acting nurses, as well as sometimes by his son, Ichigo Kurosaki.
His eyes dimmed as his thoughts turned once again to the words Naruto had said. Whilst the enigmatic being had a point, Kisuke believed that Naruto was a little too at ease with manipulating people and looking at them as chess pieces; even if the Kurosaki family had the potential and promise to become invested in the defense of Karakura, it would all be for nothing if they didn't want to live a life that revolved around fighting.
Plus, he wasn't too keen on exposing the children to the affairs of the dead, since that would bring them under the attention of the Soul Society…something that would be very bad for their lives. He knew Isshin and Masaki would do their best to protect them-and maybe Naruto, but he was constantly travelling around the world in search of some things-yet they could only do so much.
He shook his head, banishing those thoughts.
Stepping up to the sliding doors, he rapped his knuckle against the metal doors. By now, Isshin should be done with his work and spending time with his family. A few moments later, the sound of the lock opening met his ears and the doors slid open to reveal the man he was looking for.
He was a tall, muscular man with spiky black hair and brown eyes. He has thin facial hair around his mouth and on his cheeks. He usually wore a white lab coat over his otherwise more casual shirt and trousers. He had the appearance of a man in forties, as noted by his daughter, Karin. Grinning wildly, he opened the doors and threw his hands in the air. "Urahara, you beautiful bastard! Gimme a hug!"
Before he could make a move though, Kisuke smacked his face with his cane, sending the man crying to the floor. Staring down at the downed man, furiously rubbing his face, Kisuke had to wonder how anyone was supposed to take him seriously, let alone his own children.
Shooting up from the ground, Isshin glared at Kisuke with angry eyes. "What the hell was that for?!"
Kisuke sighed, preparing himself for the inevitable argument he knew would happen before the night was over. "We need to talk."
A/N: Yes, short chapter again. I have my reasons, though the most important one is that I finally have some inspiration for this fic again. I'd like to thank TV Tropes especially for their contribution (WhatAnIdiot and Wallbanger sections are surprisingly good at prodding my imagination).
I'm going to focus on this fic for a bit, this and Immortal Maelstrom, for roughly a month. I'd like to point out that this school term is an exam one, so I won't be updating from the end of May to the end of June.
So, anyone else think Kishimoto read a few Bleach chapters, liked the whole Aizen thing Kubo gave us and decided to use it as well? (I can totally see Madara in Aizen's costume as a DLC for Naruto Storm Revolution)
Read and review,
NOTE: I just took another look at my syllabus, and I will unfortunately have to take back what I said; the last chapter until the end of June will be Chapter 4 of 'Winds of Change'. I'll work as fast as I can on it, so it should be ready for you guys by the 16th. Sixth form is so much work...troublesome.