THE CENTRAL 46 building was surrounded by several Military Police Officers and its gates were guarded. Shunsui stood at the building's entrance, waiting for one of the Military Officials to give him an update on the forensic sweep of the building A Shinigami in a dustcoat walked up to Shunsui.
"What do you have?" Shunsui asked.
"We found miniscule traces of reiatsu all over the building," The Shinigami said, "It was very faint, but we have concluded that the reiatsu's signatures belong to Division 6 Captain, Souske Aizen, Division 6 Lieutenant, Tousen Kaname and Division 3 Captain, Gin Ichimaru,"
"Are you sure?" Shunsui asked.
"Yes," The Shinigami said.
"Really, because that's a pretty big accusation," Shunsui said.
"I know the ramifications of accusing a Captain of crime, especially of kidnapping or murder," The Shinigami said, "I am one hundred percent positive,"
"It doesn't add up, the only one among them who has clearance is Gin," Shunsui said.
"It's possible for clearance to be given to Captains for certain situations," The Shinigami said.
"Yes, but only Yamamoto can do that," Shunsui said, "Where there signs of forced entry?"
"None; we've checked the ID and fingerprint scanners, but Aizen's fingerprints were never scanned either," The Shinigami said.
"So, he didn't force himself in, but he didn't enter using clearance," Shunsui said.
"That's what we've found," The Shinigami said.
"Shunpo?" Shunsui asked.
"Central 46's walls are made of Seki-Seki," The Shinigami said, "They are impenetrable via teleportation and only extremely powerful Shinigami can break them,"
"Well, then we need to find out what's going on here," Shunsui said.
Shunsui walked up to the Chief of Military Police who was talking to a Military Police Officer.
"Bring some officers with you, we're going to Sogyoku Hill," Shunsui said.
"Why?" The Chief asked.
"I can sense Aizen's reiatsu there," Shunsui said.
The Chief nodded and called thirteen Shinigami to his side.
Shunsui was confused and, with the evidence found, was worried that thing would escalate violently. Shunsui hated violence and yet had to face it almost daily. These days made him wonder when diplomacy got thrown out the window entirely.
The Chief of Police walked up to Shunsui with thirteen Shinigami at his side and they all teleported away.
ICHIGO looked at Rukia with shock and surprise. The once petite beauty now looked like a possessed witch with her black, soulless eyes. Ichigo had called out to her many times, but she did not respond at all.
Ichigo turned to Aizen with fury in his eyes. He clenched his Zanpakutou hilt.
"What did you do?" Ichigo asked.
"Sorry for pretending to help," Aizen said blankly, "Force of habit,"
"Heh, tell me about it," Gin said.
"What did you do her!" Ichigo asked once more, clenching his Zanpakutou tighter.
"Impetum," Aizen said.
Rukia grabbed her Zanpakutou hilt. Ichigo turned to Rukia.
"Rukia, what are you doing?" Ichigo asked.
Rukia drew her Zanpakutou and walked toward Ichigo.
"Don't waste your breath," Aizen said.
Ichigo lunged at Aizen with a slash and Rukia cut him off, blocking with her Zanpakutou. Ichigo jumped back, not wanting to attack her. Rukia walked up to Ichigo.
"Cum impetu non miserebitur," Aizen said.
Rukia run up to Ichigo, swinging her Zanpakutou at him. Ichigo weaved through the slashes.
"Rukia, stop," Ichigo said.
Ichigo teleported toward Aizen with a slash and Rukia cut him off again. Ichigo stepped back and Rukia slashed at him. Ichigo dodged and teleported a few feet back. Aizen turned to Ichigo as he avoided Rukia's attacks.
"Are you going to run away again?" Aizen asked.
"Again?" Ichigo asked.
Rukia lunged at Ichigo, locking blades with him. Shunsui, the Chief of Military Police and the thirteen Military Police Officers appeared in the area.
"Aizen, come with us for questioning," Shunsui said.
Aizen simply looked at Shunsui.
"We will not use force unless–" Shunsui tried to say when the Chief interrupted him.
The Chief drew his Zanpakutou and pointed it at Shunsui.
"Put it away, Shunsui," The Chief said.
"What?" Shunsui asked, surprised.
"Put down your Zanpakutou," The Chief said.
Shunsui wondered what was going and Military Police Officer suddenly slashed at him from behind. Shunsui teleported out of the way and the Military Police Officers all drew their Zanpakutou.
"So, you're working with him?" Shunsui asked.
The Military Police Officers ran up to Shunsui. Shunsui drew his Zanpakutou and blocked two Military Police Officers' attacks then cut them down. A Military Police Officer tackled Shunsui and another swung at his head. Shunsui flipped out of the way. Part of his hat and hair fell of his head.
Shunsui held his Zanpakutou out in a cross formation.
"Katen Kyōkotsu" Shunsui said
Shunsui's Zanpakutou glowed and he separated the blades. His Zanpakutou stopped glowing and had transformed into huge, black curved blades with sliver edges with red tassels dangling from the ends of their hilts.
"Stay back, no more blood has to be spilt," Shunsui said, though he was in a fighting stance.
The Military Police Officers continued running toward Shunsui and the Chief pulled out a gun.
"Fine," Shunsui said.
The Chief fired energy blasts from the gun at Shunsui multiple times. Shunsui swiftly blocked the blasts while twirling his Zanpakutou. The Military Police Officers surrounded him and Shunsui weaved around their attacks, blocking their Zanpakutou, and the Chief's energy blasts simultaneously. Shunsui moved as if he was dancing, ducking from slashes and weaving through attacks like he had a tune in his head.
Military Police Officers surrounded Shunsui and the Chief circled them, firing a volley of blasts at Shunsui. Shunsui slashed a Military Police Officer to his left. Shunsui stabbed two Military Police Officers' shins and spun them, using their bodies as shields to block the energy blasts. Shunsui sidestepped from an energy blast, letting it hit a Military Police Officer behind him and stabbed another Military Police Officer in the neck with his index and middle fingers. A Military Police Officer slashed at Shunsui and he blocked it with one Zanpakutou. Shunsui sliced the Military Police Officer in the gut with his other Zanpakutou, blocking a slash from another Military Police Officer as he swung it. Shunsui cut down the Military Police Officer and dodged an energy blast. Shunsui slashed downward, cutting a Military Police Officer's torso, dodged an energy blast mid-swing, grazed the ground with his Zanpakutou as he swung and blocked a slash from another Military Police Officer. Shunsui slashed the Military Police Officer and stabbed another one in the gut.
Shunsui ran up to the Chief, sidestepping away from the energy blasts. The Chief dropped the gun and drew his Zanpakutou. Shunsui hit the Chief's Zanpakutou with one Zanpakutou and slashed him in the gut with the other.
Shunsui looked at his dead opponents solemnly and sighed.
"Why do I have to keep doing this?" Shunsui asked himself.
Shunsui turned and looked around the area. Ichigo was blocking Rukia's attacks and Gin looked at Shunsui blankly.
"Hey, I don't know where he is," Gin said, shrugging.
A hand grabbed Shunsui's face, catching him off guard. Aizen slammed Shunsui on the ground, causing it to crack. Shunsui's Zanpakutou reverted to their original form and went unconscious.
Aizen stood up and walked toward Gin.
"I didn't think I'd have to get my hands dirty," Aizen said, sighing.
"What is the point of having the Ryoka fight Rukia?" Gin said, "You're torturing the poor boy. Look at him,"
Aizen turned to Ichigo who dodged Rukia's attacks.
"He's so in love with her it's painful," Gin said, "He's not even fighting back,"
"I have my reasons," Aizen said.
"Well, at least tell him," Gin said, "I'd hate to see him die without knowing why and frankly, I am getting a little lost here,"
"Fine," Aizen groaned.
Aizen walked toward Rukia and Ichigo's fight.
"Ichigo Kurosaki," Aizen said, "I'm sure you are wondering why Rukia here's attacking you,"
Ichigo teleported toward Aizen with a slash and Rukia stood in his way. Ichigo's Zanpakutou was inches away from Rukia's face. Ichigo jumped back, panting heavily, reeling from nearly killing Rukia. Rukia ran toward him.
"Well, since you'll die anyways, I will tell you why," Aizen said.
Ichigo dodged two slashes from Rukia and locked blades with her. Rukia began to overpower him and pushed him back.
"What the hell?" Ichigo said.
Ichigo went into his Bankai state, but it made no difference as Rukia continued to push him back.
"I sent Rukia to your College that day because I knew she'd end up being defeated by a Hollow and end up bunking with you," Aizen said, "And I did that so that she can drain you of your reiatsu,"
Rukia swung her Zanpakutou at Ichigo and he tried to block it, barely holding her off.
"You son of a –" Ichigo tried to say when Rukia pushed him back.
"The time you've spent with her allowed her to absorb your reiatsu gradually and weaken you," Aizen said.
Ichigo put in all his strength to push Rukia back.
"Her defeating you will be the final step towards sapping your reiatsu," Aizen said.
Rukia pushed Ichigo back, knocking him off his feet. Ichigo rolled out of the way and dodged another slash. Gin waited for Aizen to speak, but he did not continue.
"And?" Gin asked.
"I need not tell him more" Aizen asked, "He'll be too dead to remember it all"
Ichigo blocked another slash from Rukia and she pushed him back, sending him falling some feet back and crashing on the ground.
SOIFON walked out of the 12th Division Barracks after receiving treatment. Soifon was amazed at how quickly Captain Unohana treated her arm. She felt like she never had a fight to begin with.
Soifon could not marvel at Unohana's feat for long because she had a bone to pick with Yoruichi.
KUUKAKU helped Yoruichi get on her feet.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Kuukaku asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Yoruichi said, "Just got a killer headache,"
Kuukaku let Yoruichi stand on her own.
"Guess I was wrong about the captains," Yoruichi said, "Gin Ichimaru mopped the floor with me in under a minute. I don't even know where he hit me because the second I entered the forest, I was out cold,"
"You're just a little rusty's all," Kuukaku said.
"Yeah, I guess," Yoruichi said, "But still, Gin was scary strong,"
Soifon appeared behind Kuukaku, lunging at her to stab her with her stinger gauntlet. Yoruichi grabbed Kuukaku and teleported with her out of the way in a split second. Soifon landed on the ground and rolled to her feet.
"What are you doing?" Yoruichi asked.
"Yoruichi, step away from her," Soifon said.
Yoruichi looked at Kuukaku then back at Soifon.
"Why?" Yoruichi asked.
"The assassins that attacked me are from the Shiba clan," Soifon said.
Yoruichi stepped away from Kuukaku, shocked.
"Kuukaku …" Yoruichi said, unable to believe what she just heard.
"The men all had the Shiba clan emblem tattooed on their chests," Soifon said.
"Kuukaku, tell me this isn't true," Yoruichi said.
Kuukaku stepped back with a worried expression on her face.
"No," Yoruichi said, "How could you?"
"Well, what else did you expect?" Kuukaku asked with a desperate expression on her face.
"You said you wouldn't attack any of my friends," Yoruichi said.
"And you said you'd help me invade the Kuchiki grounds," Kuukaku said, "But then you want me to help you save a Kuchiki,"
Yoruichi looked away from Kuukaku, ashamed for tricking a close friend. Yoruichi sighed and tried reasoning with her.
"Taking revenge won't bring Kaien back," Yoruichi said, "It's time to let it go,"
"I'm sorry, Yoruichi," Kuukaku said.
Kuukaku pressed a button on her earpiece and ran away from the two. Soifon and Yoruichi chased after her when 8 Stealth Force Shinigami appeared, surrounding them. Yoruichi dived forward, teleporting around while doing a roll. The Stealth Force Shinigami all fell to the ground, dead. Yoruichi and Soifon stopped running when Kuukaku suddenly disappeared. Yoruichi and Soifon looked around.
"Where'd she go?" Yoruichi asked.
"I don't know," Soifon said, "I can't sense her reiatsu anywhere,"
ICHIGO stepped back, exhausted and breathing heavily. Rukia stood before him, clenching her Zanpakutou. Ichigo looked her in the eyes, failing to see her in them.
Ichigo wondered what to do because the tables had turned. At first as he had the upper hand, he decided to think of the most painless way to knock her out, but now, he was weaker than she was. Ichigo asked himself if this was the same Rukia he had met in Karakura town and if what Aizen said was true. If Rukia was truly a sleeper just waiting for Aizen's order to strike, was Rukia truly his ally in the first place? Ichigo began to remember the time he'd spent with her and realized how fond he'd become with her. None of that mattered now because his next move would mean life or death. Retreat or try to finish her off with a Getsugatenshou.
Rukia ran toward Ichigo, ready to swing.
"I'm not gonna fight you," Ichigo said.
Ichigo dropped his Zanpakutou on the ground. His Zanpakutou disappeared.
"I –" Ichigo tried to say.
"Oh, oh," Gin said unconcernedly.
Ichigo began to suffocate and he fell on one knee. Blue energy erupted from him and entered Rukia's. Ichigo's attire slowly changed into his normal clothes and he began to cough badly. Ichigo strained to look at Rukia who's eyes had turned back to normal.
Rukia had come back to her senses and was met with the rudest shock of her life.
"Ichigo!" Rukia gasped.
Rukia ran up to Ichigo and Aizen grabbed her by her collar like a doll and kicked Ichigo away. Ichigo stopped breathing and he rolled off the edge of the cliff.
"Ichigo!" Rukia screamed.
Ichigo's limp body fell off the cliff and bounced off several rocks until it reached the bottom where it landed badly.
Aizen strangled Rukia who dropped her Zanpakutou. Rukia's Zanpakutou disappeared.
"Let me go!" Rukia yelled.
Aizen pulled out a pen-shaped device from his jacket pocket and he pressed button on it. Veins pulsated around Rukia's face and black energy exuded slowly from her eyes. White energy exuded from her mouth at the same rate and both energies swirled and moved toward the device Aizen held.
The energy moved around Aizen's device and drained out of Rukia completely. The energy shrank down around the device and formed into a purple hexagonal glowing orb with a black flame burning within it.
YAMAMOTO'S eyes shot open and he looked around in shock.
"What is that?" Yamamoto said to himself.
YORUICHI and Soifon looked at Sogyoku Hill, which was visible from the forest.
"It's coming from Sogyoku Hill," Soifon said as she pointed at it.
AIZEN pocketed the orb and reached for his Zanpakutou. Rukia was slowly becoming unconscious. Ichigo's body still laid motionless at the bottom of the cliff.
Aizen placed his hand on his Zanpakutou hilt and began to pull it out.
Byakuya Kuchiki suddenly appeared in front of Aizen, stabbing at his head with his Zanpakutou. Aizen jumped back, letting go of Rukia. Byakuya caught Rukia as she fell.
"Byakuya," Rukia said weakly.
A large Captain with a wooden mask appeared behind Aizen. The Captain swung his Zanpakutou at him and Aizen held out his index and middle fingers.
"Hado 90, Kurohitsugi," Aizen said.
Black energy swirled around the Captain and formed into a large coffin that encased him. The energy coffin formed out spikes at the top and dissipated. The Captain's body was badly lacerated and he fell over and died.
"Bravo, sir," Gin said, "You're able to control Hado of the 90s level and above now,"
"No," Aizen said, "I only managed to summon a small portion of its power,"
Byakuya squinted as he looked around. Byakuya could not see Aizen anywhere, but he could hear his voice. He could not pinpoint its location and began to feel like he was in a daze.
A Shinigami with purple dreadlocks and a sleeveless kimono appeared beside Gin.
"Oh, good, Tousen, you're here," Aizen said, "Is everything ready?"
"Excellent, now we can – " Aizen tried to say when Yamamoto interrupted him.
"Stop right there, Aizen," Yamamoto said.
Yamamoto, the Captain of Division 7, their Lieutenants, Soifon and Yoruichi appeared in the area. Shunsui came to and struggled to sit up.
"Heh, it's time," Aizen said.
A portal opened in the sky and three yellow rectangular tractor beams appeared from it and encompassed Aizen, Tousen and Gin. The ground within the tractor beams radius were pulled up into the portal.
"What have you done, Aizen?" Yamamoto asked.
"I have began a journey in search of greatness," Aizen said, "There has been a vacancy in Heaven and no one has sat on the throne. I will stand in Heaven,"
"And you think you are God?" Yamamoto asked.
"No, I know that I am," Aizen said.
The tractor beams pulled Aizen, Tousen and Gin into the portal and it closed.
The Shinigami were at a loss for words. A white portal opened nearby and the Shinigami turned to it. Everyone anticipated who would come out of it and the 7th Division Captain reached for his Zanpakutou.
Urahara walked out of the portal and looked around. He realized what happened.
"Well, it seems like that will have to wait," Urahara said to himself.
"Urahara –" Yamamoto tried to say when Urahara interrupted him.
Urahara walked up to Yamamoto and the 7th Divison Captain sheathed his Zanpakutou.
"I will explain everything to you," Urahara said, "I'm not going anywhere,"
Urahara teleported away. The 7th Division Captain walked up to Yamamoto.
"Aren't you going after him?" The Captain asked.
"He's not going anywhere," Yamamoto said.
URAHARA appeared beside Ichigo and looked at him concernedly.
Urahara was confused; since Ichigo was in his human form, he should be dead, but he could still sense his reiatsu. Urahara reached toward Ichigo but then withdrew when Ichigo's body surged. Red energy erupted from Ichigo's body and he transformed into his Shinigami form. Ichigo's Zanpakutou and sheath appeared on Ichigo's back.
Ichigo was still unconscious.
"What the …"
Urahara hesitated but lifted Ichigo's body anyway. Urahara teleported away.
URAHARA stood before Yamamoto in his office.
"You have to release them," Urahara said.
"I will not release the Ryoka, Rukia or Yoruichi until you tell me what is going on," Yamamoto said, "Why are you here? What is Aizen doing?"
"Before we spend time talking, you know about Kuukaku?" Urahara asked.
"How do you know?" Yamamoto asked.
"Yoruichi told me," Urahara said.
"Yes, we found her in the 11th Division barracks. She is in a high-level security prison now," Yamamoto said, "She won't be going anywhere. Now, explain to me what is going on,"
"Aizen has a device called the Hogyoku, the Crumbling Treasure, a device that can modify the reiatsu structure of a Shinigami, thereby enhancing one into a higher form. It needs enough concentrated reiatsu for it to activate," Urahara said, "Aizen placed it in Rukia in order to absorb the energy of Ichigo Kurosaki. With it in Aizen's possession, it is a sure sign of danger,"
"So you don't know exactly what he is planning?" Yamamoto asked.
"Not exactly," Urahara said, "But it will obviously be the Hollowfication of a Shinigami, like he tried when the Vizards came about,"
"No, that was your doing, Urahara," Yamamoto said, "We forbade you to experiment with Hollow's, but you refused to heed our warning. You know what he is going to do, so tell me the whole truth,"
Urahara remained silent and Yamamoto grew angry.
"Your withholding information means that you're an accomplice," Yamamoto said.
"No, I am not," Urahara said.
Yamamoto studied Urahara, but failed to guess what he was thinking.
"Listen to me, Yamamoto," Urahara said sternly, "I can't tell you everything I know right now, but I will offer my services in taking down Aizen only if you release Yoruichi and Ichigo,"
Urahara looked Yamamoto in the eye and the two stared down.
"You can throw me in prison and let my knowledge slip away from your fingers or we can help each other take down the enemy we have now," Urahara said.
Yamamoto sat back in his chair.
BYAKUYA and Renji sat at Rukia's bedside in a Division 12 medical room. Rukia woke up and took in her surroundings.
"Renji?" Rukia said.
"Good to see you're alive," Renji said, "I was getting worried,"
Rukia sat up and looked at Byakuya angrily.
"What are you doing here?" Rukia asked, "Is the great leader of the Kuchiki clan free today or something? Or are you simply here to pass the time?"
"Look, Rukia, I have something I need to say to you," Byakuya said.
"What is it?
"It's about the clan," Byakuya said.
"So you're here to scold me about shaming the clan name by losing my powers?" Rukia asked, too angry to listen to him properly.
"Hear me out, this is important," Byakuya said, "You are not a true member of the Kuchiki clan,"
"What do you mean?" Rukia asked, now paying attention to Byakuya.
"My father married two women, one from the Shiba Clan – my mother – and one from the Rukon district – your mother," Byakuya said, "My mother died when I was fourteen and he remarried, bringing you into the clan. After my father's death, my grandfather plotted to have you killed to prevent people from knowing that a non-royal was a part of the clan. I stood up for you and my grandfather decided to let you live, but by doing so, I broke the law. The treaty of the royal clans involved vowing not to break any law to sustain peace, but I did so to save your life. In order to keep what I did secret and sustain the treaty, I vowed before my parents graves not to transgress any law from that day forward"
"I made a foolish mistake because that vow put your life and the lives of others on the line should you be unjustly accused of a crime," Byakuya said, "I was unsure of what to do when you were sentenced to death and had to make a tough decision; uphold my vow to keep peace among the clans or break my vow and save your life,"
Rukia's anger lifted as Byakuya explained. She realized her brother's predicament and understood his despair.
"Renji made me realize what was most important; you Rukia, royal or not, you are my sister and family comes first," Byakuya said.
Rukia began to tear up because it was the first time Byakuya actually said that they were family. Since she was a child, Byakuya was distant and she wondered if he hated her. Rukia was glad.
"I am sorry, Rukia," Byakuya said.
Rukia hugged Byakuya and he hugged her back. Renji smiled warmly. Renji got up from his seat and headed out the door.
Renji did not want to be rude, but he could not stand mushy moments like those.
ICHIGO, Urahara and Yoruichi stood before a white portal in the middle of a dusty field.
"It's about time we got going," Urahara said.
Ichigo walked toward the portal when he heard footsteps behind him. Rukia ran up to Ichigo and he was elated.
"Rukia, you've recovered already?" Ichigo asked.
"Yeah," Rukia said.
"They told me that you were in shock so I chose not to wake you," Ichigo said.
"We Shinigami recover quicker than you humans," Rukia said in a her classic condescending tone, "There are some things you won't understand,"
Ichigo chuckled. There she was, the Rukia he met back in Karakura. He didn't realize how important she'd become to him until he realized that he'd nearly lost her. Ichigo nearly started drifting into a montage of thoughts when he realized something.
"Hey, have you guys seen Chad anywhere?" Ichigo asked.
Urahara and Yoruichi exchanged looks and Urahara walked up to Ichigo. Urahara sighed solemnly.
"Ichigo, I'm sorry," Urahara said, "I got word from the 12th Division ... Chad did not make it,"
"What do you mean?" Ichigo asked.
"He was killed by a Captain," Urahara said.
"What!" Ichigo yelled angrily, "Which one?"
"I don't know I just –" Urahara tried to say when Ichigo reached for his Zanpakutou hilt.
Urahara grabbed Ichigo's hand and struggled to keep him from drawing his Zanpakutou.
"No, Ichigo, don't do it," Urahara said.
"Let go of me!" Ichigo yelled.
"This won't solve anything," Urahara said.
"Well, what am I supposed to do?" Ichigo asked as he pushed Urahara away from him.
"Look, I have lost a lot of friends along the way, but I would have lost a lot more if I acted without thinking," Urahara said.
"So you want me to just let them get away with it?" Ichigo asked.
"I want you to think," Urahara said, "You managed to save one life today, but it would be pointless if you lose your own,"
Ichigo held the back of his neck angrily.
"Look, I understand how you feel, but fighting won't make things better," Urahara said, "Those Captains overpowered you and you're lucky to be alive. You would have been in jail, but were lucky enough to be released. Cherish what you have now because fighting for what's lost will only lead to you losing more,"
Ichigo fought back tears and groaned angrily. Ichigo looked at Rukia who looked back at him concernedly.
"Think about your family," Yoruichi said, "They need you back home with them; you have a long life ahead of you,"
Ichigo considered what Urahara and Yoruichi said.
"Fine," Ichigo said as he looked at Rukia, "Let's go home,"
Ichigo and Rukia walked toward the portal and Urahara cut them off.
"Whoa, whoa, hold on there," Urahara said, "Remember, the portals will close the second we get in and we're not all running in at the same time. I'll enter this portal with Yoruichi and you open one for you and Rukia,"
"Sure," Ichigo said.
"See you soon, Ichigo," Urahara said.
"Bye," Yoruichi said.
"Yeah," Ichigo said.
Yoruichi and Urahara entered the portal. The portal closed and Ichigo drew his Zanpakutou. Ichigo held out his Zanpakutou then turned it clockwise like a key.
"Unlock," Ichigo said.
A white portal opened and Ichigo and Rukia looked at each other. They held hands and walked into the portal.
A WHITE portal opened in the sky and loud screams escaped from the portal. Ichigo and Rukia hastily ran out of the portal, nearly tripping. Ichigo looked at the portal and a light shone out of it.
"Oh, crap!" Ichigo yelled as he crossed his arms before his face.
The portal closed and Ichigo gave a sigh of relief.
"Damn, I hate that thing," Ichigo said.
"I know, right?" Rukia said.
"Yeah," Ichigo said.
Ichigo looked around and realized that he was in mid air. Ichigo panicked then realized that he and Rukia were hovering.
"Huh, I kinda thought I'd fall," Ichigo said.
"Shinigami who can fly hover subconsciously when in midair," Rukia said, "Unless they are hurled, then there is no way to balance yourself,"
Ichigo stretched his arms and sighed again.
"Damn, why is that thing always chasing us?" Ichigo asked.
"Dunno, but I like it," Rukia said.
"I thought you said you didn't like it," Ichigo said.
Rukia shrugged and Ichigo frowned. Ichigo and Rukia descending onto a rooftop. Ichigo looked around and it was evening.
"Great, this isn't my place," Ichigo said.
"Well, in that case," Rukia said.
Rukia jumped on Ichigo's back and he instinctively piggybacked her.
"Get moving," Rukia yelled.
Ichigo ran onward.
ICHIGO opened his bedroom window and Rukia climbed into the room. Ichigo climbed in after her and closed the window. Rukia looked around the room and it was aligned in a way similar to his room in College, just excluding the bathroom. The wardrobe was even similar in size to the one in College.
Ichigo must have a very rigid sense of room alignment, Rukia thought.
"Huh, thought it would be bigger," Rukia said.
"What, it's too small?" Ichigo asked, "You're the one who decided to leave that fancy Sereitei place of yours,"
"Yeah, I knew what I was getting into when I tagged along," Rukia said.
Ichigo turned into his human form and so did Rukia. She wore a vest and skirt with flip flops.
"Wait, how'd you do that?" Ichigo asked.
"Urahara invented these when he worked in the Sereitei," Rukia said.
Rukia lowered her collar, revealing a patch on her neck.
"He calls it a Gigai," Rukia said, "It allows Shinigami to turn into humans temporarily for undercover missions in the human world. If it's taken off when the Shinigami is human, they will remain human permanently and it would cause several biological problems,"
"Like what?" Ichigo asked.
"No one knows; no one's been dumb enough to remove their patch when they're human," Rukia said.
Rukia walked up to the wardrobe and opened it.
"What're you doing?" Ichigo asked.
"I'm gonna sleep in the wardrobe" Rukia said.
"I can get an extra bed if you want," Ichigo said.
"No, I like it in here, it's cosy." Rukia said.
"Well then," Ichigo said, "Let me get put the mattress in the wardrobe like last time,"
Ichigo walked toward the wardrobe and pulled a mattress out of it.
ICHIGO slept uneasily beside Rukia. He tossed and turned and sweated heavily. Ichigo turned and lay flat on his back and breathed heavily, nearly hyperventilating.
A hand burst out of Ichigo's chest grabbed the bed sheets beside him. Ichigo woke up, too afraid to scream as an entire arm emerged from his chest. Its skin was white as snow and it had black fingernails. It wore a white kimono with a black under uniform. Despite this, Ichigo did not bleed at all, but he felt unbearable pain.
Another arm emerged from Ichigo's chest gabbed the sheets on his other side. The arms straightened up as a faceless Shinigami emerged from Ichigo's chest. The Shinigami flew out of Ichigo and landed on his gut with so much force that his bed was smashed to pieces. Rukia's limp body fell on the ground and she was still asleep.
The Shinigami bended over and looked Ichigo in the eye. The Shinigami wore a white kimono and black belt and under uniform – a Shinigami's kimono in inverted colours. Its face was completely devoid of features and had white skin, same as its arms.
"Ichigo," The Shinigami spoke in the same unearthly voice Ichigo spoke in when he fought Byakuya, "I'm coming for you,"
The Shinigami's face began to bulge, twist and turn. Cheekbones, a nose and eyes formed out. A mouth, grinning with black teeth, formed out as well. The Shinigami was identical to Ichigo.
"When I come, I will be the king and you'll be the horse," The Shinigami said.
For info about the sequel, please check the Guide To The RealDone Universe. Thank you for reading.
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