Ichigo wondered once again what the hell he had been thinking when he chose South America as a place to travel in. The weather was hot, the land was vast and full of damn nothing from the dirt to the sun as far as the eye can see. It was blander than what he had expected when he had first arrived at the airport weeks ago.
So far, he had started from a bit north to Ecuador before he finally gave up. Coming here had been stupid of him. Groaning, he squinted under the heat waves that were bearing down on him and was met with not a hint of civilization.
Just like an hour ago.
Sullen, he mentally swatted Shiro upside the head when he heard him snickering, Zangetsu watching with silent amusement at his predicament. Ichigo swore to himself that he would kick the Hollow's ass later the next time they sparred.
Wiping off the sweat that was pouring down his face, he adjusted the cap he had bought at the convenience store. It was white and had 'Hola!' stitched in bright red at the front. The two prime reasons why he was wearing it was to one, to protect his head from the heat and two, to bring less attention to his bright orange hair.
Hiking next to the road, he reflected on his life choices that led him to this point.
Let's see, he could always say it was the Spirit King's fault who had dumped him into this world a couple months after he had defeated Aizen without using Final Getsuga Tenshou. The price, however, had been getting kicked out of his own universe and leaving all his clueless friends behind who doesn't even know that he had left. Well, except Urahara.
Feeling the old scar start to itch, he shook off his bitterness and kept walking.
After checking his watch and seeing that half an hour has passed, he halted in his steps when he spotted something in the distance.
Right there in his line of vision were actual buildings, a semblance of people figures mulling around from where he could see. Inwardly cheering, Ichigo didn't even have to think to start sprinting toward what he could tell was a small town. Months of training his human body paid off as he kept his breathing even, closing the distance steadily. The place was miles away, and he didn't want to waste all his energy.
After about an hour or so, he finally reached the sweet sanctuary, panting a little and more energized than he felt in days. Barely any sweat trickled down his forehead, but his shoulders vaguely ached from carrying the weight of his heavy backpack for hours, straining his neck.
He ignored the odd looks people threw his way, probably wondering where he had so abruptly came from, and dug through his bag until he found his water bottle that was little to worse for wear from running so fast. Hungrily taking a gulp, he barely noticed the water was lukewarm and chugged on. After months of residing in the barren Hueco Mundo, he had gotten used to warm water very quickly. He was just glad he had any in the first place.
After he was done, he glanced around casually, sharp eyes taking in the small buildings and stores. People bustled to their destinations, few briefly faltering when they saw the Japanese before he scowled fiercely at them, prompting them to scamper off.
Scoffing at their reactions, he didn't bother to check the reiatsu level in the area. He had found out very quickly after visiting Japan that reiatsu apparently didn't exist in this world. After his failed attempt at finding Karakura town – which apparently didn't exist either – he had travelled all around Japan in search of anything familiar or different. It didn't take long for him to start panicking when he realized he couldn't feel anything. Not one whiff of anything spiritual brushed his senses, sending him off on a spree to find something, anything strange in his old country in the new realm.
He visited temples on the highest mountains, conversed with shamans, hell, went to more friggin fortune telling booths than he liked to think about.
Zilch. Nada. Absolutely nothing.
After the startling revelation, it had at first been extremely disconcerting, him struggling to accept this sudden change. Even before he even knew about shinigamis and Hollows, he had always been surrounded by the supernatural world. Seeing ghosts float around the streets or even his house was the norm, a constant disturbance in his short life since his mother's death. It rubbed him the wrong way that he couldn't detect any otherworldly manifestations normal people couldn't sense anywhere.
A year ago, he probably would've celebrated at the very idea of being like everyone else. After all, having ghosts follow your trail every time you go home and having weird looks thrown at your way when you seemingly talked to yourself was pretty damn tiring.
But that was before a certain Kuchiki barged in to his life and opened up a whole new world to him. Now, he missed the disorder of his old life and almost craved for a sign of anything unnatural. He felt so out of place, literally an intruder from another dimension.
He briefly snorted to himself as he vividly imagined people's reactions if he ever explained where he came from. Oh, yeah. I'm a dimension hopper and a death god who fights monsters as an occupation. Don't worry, they don't seem to exist here, though I half wish they do. I'm not crazy at all!
Yeah, that would go down so well.
He admits that he had been tempted by the idea to just go with it. To live a normal life, finish high school, and even go to college, but banished the notion immediately from his mind. He had changed far too much to ever live a dull, ordinary life after literally going through hell and back for his loved ones.
He could only imagine what the school psychologist would make of him since he was technically a war veteran, despite it being only one massive bloody battle. He would've pitied the poor bastard who would have that job if he ever really did grace the academic hallways with his ever sunny personality.
Walking down the street vendors, he paused at one of the newspaper stands and saw that the date was March, 2010. He didn't know why, but apparently, this world was eight years ahead of his own. There was no logical reason to it so he had immediately dismissed the detail without much care.
He had also found out quite quickly that the technology here was well ahead of its time, developing at a pace that was almost frightening. Other than that, the differences were subtle but not unbearable to him. He had never been materialistic or current about the news to begin with so it wasn't like it was a humongous change for him.
Though none of the changes affected him too much, he had to admit to himself there was something strange about this place that quite frankly perturbed him. It felt too clean, too normal, enough for it to be unsettling. When he had researched a bit more into this world's history, there had been questionable miniscule changes that had left him mystified.
Some unheard of battles in World War II, an intriguing super soldier in a ridiculous spandex called Captain America – he had chortled for a few minutes at the originality of the title when he had been researching at a library at the time and was still unsure if the 'super soldier' part was simply for propaganda – and a billionaire weapon's dealer whose name escaped him but was evidently pretty damn famous. And a few notable scientific advancements that have been made here that didn't occur in his world.
Apparently at the moment, quite a few countries were at war, some diplomatic crap has hit the fan, and politicians were still douchebags – he took some weird small comfort from this, since he couldn't imagine any universe where that wasn't the case. North Korea had also made some notable advancements over the years, though they were nowhere close to the forgettable American billionaire. The man was impressively pretty much the reason why America was number one in the weapon's industry for the last few decades.
Though his attendance record had slipped during the second half of his first year of high school, making it pretty difficult to be on top of things, he wasn't an idiot. His top marks despite shinigami business getting in the way proved that. Besides, even if that wasn't the case, only a complete imbecile wouldn't notice the obvious holes of information that were missing in between some of this world's historic events.
If he didn't know any better, it was like someone messed with the history records themselves just to match people's perceptions and to ward off any suspicion. Considering Soul Society's past, the first captain's many mistakes and bad decisions along with Aizen's deception, adding to a certain manipulative shopkeeper who Ichigo wanted to punch half the times, he had learned through experience that not everything was what is seemed.
If Shinji was here, he probably would've snarked in displeasure about there probably being another Central 46 in the midst of all this. While Ichigo did not like the sound of such an organization, he couldn't deny this was a high possibility unfortunately.
Shaking off his darkening thoughts, he wandered around a bit more and began to search for a motel. He had been given basic provisions and a few thousand dollars from the Soul King – he thought it was a bit of an overkill but didn't complain – when he first arrived here. He didn't use the money much since he did as many odd jobs he could find every time he stopped by a town to save it up as much as possible. Unlike most stupid teenagers, he was sensible enough not to splurge like an idiot.
After fifteen minutes, he found a satisfactory place.
It was a bit shady, but it was cheap and it wasn't like he couldn't take care of himself. Nodding to the guy at the counter after paying, he trudged up the creaky stairs and went down the hall until he found his room on the third floor.
Clicking the key and twisting it, he entered in a fairly small, dingy room that had his eyes watering when the dust hit. Wiping away the film of liquid over his vision, he took note of the single bed and wooden chair and table, a bathroom next to him. Shutting the door behind him, he immediately flopped his whole body onto the bed and closed his eyes, sighing with a bit of contentment as he rested. The mattress was a bit hard but not unbearable. After sleeping on desert sand for months, he has become pretty quick to adapting to his surroundings, among other things.
Without his permission, his mind started to drift as the sound of bustling crowds outside his window lulled him to sleep. Tired from the run and the minimum sleep he got from the constant travelling of the past few days, everything went black.
Staring and beckoning, looking to the stars for answers in his house for the first time in months since training with the Vaizards, feeling dejected and frustrated. His head was pounding with a headache and he felt like brooding after dishing it out with that damn blue haired bastard.
Soon, he's going off to war. He's going to fight for his friends, his family, his home. Failure is unacceptable. Failure means death to thousands if you count Soul Society and his home town put together.
He can't beat Aizen. Not like this. He's not strong enough, and he doesn't have time. There's never enough damn time. Shit, he had to save everyone. He doesn't care what it takes. Nothing can be worse than all of them dead. Absolutely nothing-
"Then let me give you an opportunity, Kurosaki Ichigo."
A voice. Soft yet powerful, commanding respect and is serene as a pool of untouched water. Then the words register.
Hope flares like the burning sun.
"Careful now. Don't be hasty. You will regret this if you agree so rashly."
Don't care don't care. Everyone depends on him. Everyone is trying their best to get stronger. He had to get stronger, to protect them, before it's too late-
"So, do we have an agreement?"
'Heh. Do you even have to ask that?'
"Remember the price. Remember, this is your choice."
'You talk too much. Are you gonna help me or not?'
-he doesn't regret his choice. He can't. He won't. Aizen lost. They won. Everyone is alive. That's all that mattered to him.
But damn it, they're gone to him now. They're alive but they might as well be dead to him. He didn't exist. He was replaced. Forgotten. A savior a mystery a relic-
Ichigo's brown eyes snapped open in alarm, body bolting up as his hand flew to cover his face, heart wildly thumping. Shutting his eyes, he shook his head to stave off the nightmare, panic residing as old frustration took place instead, causing him to scowl.
Damn, this was getting old really fast. It's been months for fuck sake. He lost enough already; he didn't need his sanity to go along with it. Sighing heavily, he rubbed his hair out of his face to wipe off the cold sweat that trickled down his forehead. Glancing outside, he cursed mentally when he saw that it was pitch black. He didn't even have to look at his watch to know that it was late in the night.
This was what he got for falling asleep in the middle of the day. Though, to be fair, he never sleeps for long because of the nightmares. He brushes it off easily enough, berating himself every time that he has to get it over with and deal with the fact that this was his reality now.
Yeah, easier said than done.
Suddenly, he realized that there was something odd in the air. Hand freezing, he felt a niggling, small pull that he hadn't felt since he had arrived to this world. He automatically seized the dagger he had in his pants side pocket, tuning in on to the feeling he hadn't felt in painful months. He realized wryly to himself that he had unconsciously started to search for threats the moment he woke up.
Tilting his head, his eyes narrowed as he concentrated.
It was reiatsu.
But there was something… odd about it. Now that he was making a conscious effort, he felt uneasy by the threatening, raging emotion he could feel just from here. It was powerful and uncontrollable, but thankfully, it didn't feel malicious.
Some of his wariness let up a notch from this observation, but none of his trepidation. He berated himself for ignoring something that could be potentially dangerous simply because he had just a bit underestimated this world.
And, much to his surprise, the presence was quite close.
Leaping off the bed lithely like a cat, he quickly threw the door open and stealthily shut it before he went down the stairs with a certain grace that would make Yoruichi proud. Tracing the disturbing reiatsu, he found himself in front of a door on the second floor, the piece of wood nondescript and hiding a possible threat.
Narrowing his eyes, he steeled himself before promptly kicking down the door with his foot, not really caring at all what the possibly dangerous occupant would think of it. He'll handle that scenario later after he knew what he was dealing with.
Besides, he had a gut feeling that if he knocked, the person would run away from him the moment he or she heard the sound.
The first thing that caught his attention when he entered was how utterly dark the room was. He wrinkled his nose when the strong stench of something chemical and herblike lingering in the air hit his senses. Squinting, he deduced that the place was the same size of his own room and had the same accommodations too. He internally thanked his lucky stars that his eyes were able to adjust to the dark easily due to being used to Hueco Mundo's constant darkness with the moon as the realm's only source of light.
Brown intent eyes swept over the meticulously clean room, as if the person staying here was ready to leave at any moment. There wasn't a hint or hair of the renter and that instantly made Ichigo suspicious. Every part of his body was screaming at him in warning, keeping him on his guard. The presence had spiked when he had barged in, signifying that it was still in the room.
Suddenly, he noticed that the bathroom door was closed shut. Without hesitation, he banged his fists to the door.
He paused for a second.
His jaw clenching a bit now in annoyance, he kicked down the door again.
He thought idly to himself for a brief second over how much the owner was probably going to demand payment for all the damage he was making. Seeing how he was young, the guy would probably try to rip him off – not like he'll let him anyways.
The moment he did this action, what met his sights were… unexpected to say the least.
Instead of a spirit or some supernatural creature he had half anticipated, it was a middle aged man with curly black hair who sat on the dirty bathroom floor, brown eyes wide with dread and weariness that made him look older than he already seemed. The small washroom was bare, a single shaver and a lonely toothbrush resting on the sink while a towel was hazardously tossed on top of it.
What caught Ichigo's attention the most though was the small, gleaming handgun that the man was clenching onto with white knuckles.
And it was pointed. At Ichigo.
Ichigo resisted the urge to sigh. Sometimes, he really hated the type of situations he got himself into. Especially if he stumbled in those situations on his own free will or stupidity.
Deciding to start on a friendly note since it looked like things were going to end on a bad one, he gave a short, somewhat sarcastic wave at the armed man with a neutral expression.
"Yo. What the hell are you doing?"
Okay, maybe not that friendly. He was used to being brisk since it cut down the bullshit faster. He also used his heavily accented English since it was more commonly understood.
The man blinked stupidly in shock.
"You-Wha-They sent a kid?" the man spluttered out back in the same language with something close to hysterical laughter choking his throat, seconds away from breaking down.
Ichigo scowled at the incredulous tone and straightened his back. Geez, he thought he had at least gotten away from that type of reaction. Everyone in Soul Society had treated him with awe for his power or disbelief when they find out he's human and only a teenager. He fought in a damn war and age didn't matter then!
His eyes narrowed slightly when he caught the comment. Who were they? Judging from how unsettlingly empty the motel room was, it was quite obvious that the man was used to constantly moving places. Ichigo did the same thing due to his own paranoia.
They… Judging from his rather hostile response, he must be some kind of fugitive. There was no doubt that it was because of his rather strange reiatsu.
A rather twitchy, trigger happy fugitive.
And the guy thinks Ichigo works for his chaser.
He bit back a scalding remark at the man's response and forced his shoulders to relax until he looked less intimidating. "I don't know who 'they' are, but I sure as hell ain't whoever you're thinking of."
Uncertainty practically vibrated off the man, his hand wavering but still locked on to Ichigo. Slightly eyeballing the grey bathroom ceiling in exasperation, the orange headed teen raised his hands in a universal peace gesture and took a large step back away from the entrance of the bathroom. The action seemed to put the man more at ease as he slowly but surely lowered the gun until it clacked onto the floor, much to Ichigo's relief. Things could've gone messy if he hadn't done this right.
Cautiously, the man jerked his head in a nod and vaguely gestured in his direction. Now that the immediate danger has passed, Ichigo couldn't help but notice how shabby the guy looked. His navy collar shirt looked years old and the state of his pants and shoes looked worn out and faded. If there were any doubts about the guy being a fugitive, it was all but erased by now.
"Who are you then kid?" the rumpled looking man demanded.
Ichigo noted the bone-tiring exhaustion that colored his tone and felt some of his irritation fall down from it, despite being called a kid. It's hard to stay mad at someone who looked ready to collapse at any moment.
"Kurosaki Ichigo. Or Ichigo Kurosaki to be more precise." He corrected offhandedly, remembering how Americans put their first names before their family names. Without moving from his spot, Ichigo jerked his head with an inquiring raised eyebrow. "You?"
The curly haired man's eyes sparked briefly at the Japanese name before quickly darting to the floor. For a long moment, he just fidgeted shiftily before slowly getting up, stumbling a bit as if his legs had fallen asleep, and hesitantly regarded him with a wary countenance.
"Bruce." He said shortly. Ichigo bypassed the fact he didn't give his last name and simply nodded sharply. The man squirmed under Ichigo's intense gaze and glanced around the room and stopped at the open door.
"How did you get in here?" Bruce questioned with rigid tension. Ichigo couldn't help but uncomfortably rub the back of his head.
"I kicked the door open."
The distrustful look was back. Shit. Maybe breaking the door hadn't been a good idea.
Ichigo coughed into his fist. "I had a bad feeling and I followed it." He said truthfully.
The unconvinced expression he received made him mentally wince. Yeah, even to him that sounded farfetched.
"A bad feeling." Bruce repeated with deadpan skepticism.
"Yeah. I heard something in here, got suspicious, and investigated." Ichigo waved at him vaguely. "Don't worry, I'll pay for the damages."
Bruce looked ready to argue. Ichigo cut in before he could, saying the first question that popped in his mind.
"So, mind telling me why the hell you were in a bathroom with a gun?"
Bruce paled at the abrupt question, instantly sending a sense of wrongness in Ichigo's gut. There was fear and something close to panicked guilt and shame on his face. This puzzled Ichigo for a moment before it clicked.
The gun. The dark room. The privacy of the bathroom and the melancholy vibe and guilt that had been spiking the man's reiatsu at being caught-
"Were you going to commit suicide? Are you an idiot?!" he blurted out, unable to keep the incredulity from layering his tone.
Bruce gawked at his atypical reaction. Ichigo didn't honestly care.
He wasn't trying to be insensitive, but such a choice has never even been thought of as a possibility to Ichigo. Even at his lowest point in life, he had never contemplated ending his own life. He had seen what that could do to a soul when they passed on. It twisted a person, made them lose sight of themselves and the hope for tomorrow. Giving up has never been an option to him before, and it never will be for as long as he lived. Maybe he didn't know what to do with himself now, but that didn't mean he wasn't going to keep trying until he found something to do. Life was precious and to throw it away was both cowardly and just plain insulting to the likes of him who fought so hard for other people's lives and his own.
Shaking his head, he couldn't help but feel relieved that he had diverted someone from such a path. Putting away his whirling thoughts, he outright glowered now that he knew at least part of the situation. Sympathy has fled and his temper has returned.
"Seriously, what shit hit your fan to get you to this point? Your answer to it seems pretty stupid if you ask me." He growled. Bruce looked completely floored by this point and stared at him like he was the one with suicidal tendencies.
"Do you always tend to be this-this forward?" Bruce stuttered. Ichigo grunted.
"It cuts to the chase, doesn't it?" he shot back. A startled snort escaped out of the other man before he gave him an assessing stare, like he didn't know what to make of him.
"Well, most people wouldn't react the way you do." He said wryly.
The orange haired teen shrugged.
"I'm not most people." he said dismissively. Since the tension has disappeared at this point, Ichigo felt himself relax more in the man's presence. Other than the rather unusual reiatsu the man had, he didn't seem like a bad person. Suicidal, yes, but whatever. It's not like he hasn't seen that trait before.
Not wanting to stand up the whole time for this depressing conversation, Ichigo pulled up the wooden chair next to the bed and casually slumped into it. Might as well get comfortable.
Bruce looked dubious at his actions before quietly going to the door and closing it, lock broken and room dark before he flipped on the lights. With the dim shadows playing from the faulty lighting, the illumination only seemed to deepen the shadows of Bruce's stress lines, causing him to look more bone-weary. Ichigo couldn't help but feel a pang of empathy. He must really have a rough life to have almost fallen off the cliff.
Ichigo gave him an almost expectant stare. Bruce's eyebrows furrowed at the look, obviously not knowing what he was waiting for. Rolling his eyes at this, Ichigo threw a hand in the air in impatience.
"So? You never answered the question you know." He said bluntly. Bruce shook his head, bemused, before he sighed.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"You'd be surprised." He retorted back. "Does it have anything to do with your little freak out when I interrupted you almost kicking the bucket?"
Bruce went rimrod straight, instantly guarded.
"You don't need to know."
Ichigo didn't even blink at being stonewalled and rolled his eyes. "Fine. But I have to say, suicide is a crappy way to go so don't try it again."
Bruce lifted one shoulder lopsidedly. "I'll keep that in mind." He said loftily with an edge of sarcasm.
Ichigo couldn't help but slightly smirk at the sound of it.
So the man did have a backbone. That was good to know.
Bruce looked curiously at him long and hard. Ichigo noticed the intelligent gleam in his eyes, calculative but not manipulative as some people he knew, thank the gods.
"So," Ichigo straightened at Bruce's voluntary start of conversation. "what is a teenager doing in the middle of South America and not in school?"
There was a challenge in his voice that pleasantly surprised Ichigo. A hard question for a question, his tone seemed to say. It almost made the teenager want to smirk.
"Exploring." Ichigo answered shortly. Bruce did not for a second look like he believed him. Seeing this, Ichigo sighed.
"My parents aren't… here anymore," his voice traitorously hitched a bit at the thought of his goofy, clueless old man and his mother who was buried ten feet underground. Her death only instigated a tiny pang in his chest though, so that was an improvement. "I took the liberty to quit school. A lot of events happened too fast and the next thing you know, my whole life's been flipped upside down."
He humorously quirked up the end of his mouth at the half-truths that were spouting out of his mouth. Urahara would be proud.
Bruce looked less ready to interrogate him and just a bit guilty, falling immediately for the deliberate misinterpretation. "I'm sorry for your loss."
Ichigo snorted. "Hey, it's fine. I'll get over it eventually." He said, talking about an entirely different matter altogether.
The man nodded understandingly. Ichigo shrewdly narrowed his eyes but didn't push. There was a story there.
"So I guess you're soul-searching then." He sounded far more comfortable than before from Ichigo's voluntary reveal of his past.
Ichigo barked out a laugh. "Yeah, I guess you're right. But things'll turn out fine."
Bruce gave him a sideways look of surprise. "Sounds oddly positive of you. Not that I would know seeing how we've only just met and all." He added drolly with a sardonic twist to the mouth.
That startled out a bark of laughter from Ichigo at this ironic statement, the sound making the other man jolt as if he wasn't used to the sound. At the back of his mind, the Japanese wondered just how long it's been since Bruce has conversed with anyone. It was a depressing thought.
"I'm not being positive but practical. Because no matter how bad it looks now, it can only get better or worse. If you choose to believe there's no point in hoping… Well, then I can guess why you would want to take your own life so easily. Simple."
"Simple." Bruce huffed out a humorless chuckle. "Yes, I suppose it is."
"And you?" Ichigo swept his arm around the room, showcasing the man's current lifestyle. "Why are you here?"
Bruce quieted at this question, none of the previous humor present as if seriously contemplating how to answer. When he spoke, there was an edge of bitterness and regret to his words that was far too familiar for Ichigo's liking.
"Guess I'm trying to find myself too. I... There's not much left for me from where I came from." He wrung his hands as he said this and wasn't quite looking at Ichigo in the eye.
Both fell silent, not really wanting to talk. Ichigo thought over how their situations paralleled one another.
Both were running away from something.
Ichigo rolled his shoulders, thoughtful. The American – he assumed he was American from his accent, but he could be wrong – was pretty interesting. And though his good deed was done, he was reluctant to make his exit, especially when the man could be potentially dangerous with his ever-fluctuating reiatsu. His gut told him to stick around while his head steadfastly told him that getting involved was a bad idea.
'But isn't this what you wanted?' Some part of him whispered. 'To find something to do with yourself?'
He grinded his teeth. But getting involved meant probably getting unwanted attention. From the looks of it, somebody was searching for Bruce and to stick close to such a person will inevitably have Ichigo found out. And if that happened, he'll probably be looked up, only for people to find absolutely nothing about him.
Which'll bring curiosity, and prodding, and maybe even getting experimented on. He had quite enough from Kurotsuchi's previous dogged attempts to do so.
After a long internal debate, he finally sighed in resignation.
Screw this. There's no way he could leave. The very notion of the action rubbed him the wrong way, especially since it meant abandoning someone who clearly was in trouble. His natural need to protect people wouldn't allow him to do so.
He deftly ignored how Shiro whooped and pumped a fist in the air at finally doing something other than sightseeing while Zangetsu was a lot more subdued, though his hum of approval still rang true, his pleasure evident.
Blast himself and those idiots.
Arching off the chair he had been leaning on, he rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, you wanna grab some grub? I'm starving."
The man looked taken aback by his rather abrupt invitation.
"You do realize we've just met, right?" Bruce managed out, expression flummoxed. Ichigo scoffed and crossed his arms.
"Isn't it always like that when you meet new people?" he retorted back.
The end of Bruce's lip quirked up into a harsh line, eyes dark with something close to sinking despair. "Trust me, it's smarter to just pretend you never met me. Seriously."
That made Ichigo's metaphorical hackles rise, his resolve steeling itself at the self-deprecating words.
"Shut up." Bruce startled, eyes wide at the immediate response. "I've never taken the smart course before and I'm not going to start now. I'm hungry and you're not bad company. So suck it up because I am not gonna leave, whether you like it or not. Besides, I have to pay for the doors I broke down so it's not like you're going to be able to get rid of me so easily."
The curly haired man stared at him for a long while before snorting out a laugh. To Ichigo's pleasure, Bruce stood up and slowly began to shake his head.
"You may be the strangest person I've ever met." He stated with bemusement. Ichigo smirked in victory.
"Or I'm just stubborn."
Ichigo's smirk widened into a crooked smile that hadn't made an appearance in ages as they walked out of the room.
Maybe this wasn't entirely such a bad idea.
Unbeknownst to the shinigami's knowledge, a man of middle build and height who was holding a large satellite dish along with some equipment heard every word of the exchange. Hiding in another building that was a long distance away from the motel, the agent immediately took out his phone and called up his employer. One beep barely went through on the line before it was immediately picked up.
"What happened?" The man's deep, commanding voice demanded without preamble.
"An unknown has initiated contact to the target."
"… Who is he?"
"I don't know sir. He said his name was Ichigo Kurosaki."
"Is he a threat?"
"I don't know sir. But he does seem suspicious."
"… Trail them. Report to me when you find out anything more."
Note: Well, I just signed up for this site that one of my fans recommended doing. I'm kind of nervous how people will react to this story here and whether or not crossovers are even allowed. (I have no idea how this all works so just be patient with me.) I hope that this works out. If it doesn't, I'll just delete and act like this never ever happened. Okay? Okay. I got the first five chapters all set up already, and am working on the sixth currently. Might take a while. Reviewers out there, if you prefer if I just put all my updates in one go, tell me. If not, I won't. Thanks, and I hope this works out.