Disclaimer: This man does not own Bleach.
...I'm sorry I was late...
...I was late...
"...late if you don't wake the hell up!"
What a way to start the day, Ichigo Kurosaki mused to himself as something pelted him in the side of his face. Sighing heavily in annoyance, he reached over for the object, which was his roommate's shoe, and threw it as hard as he could at the other teenager's face, sending him into the wall of the medium-sized dorm room.
The loud, distracting sound of an unknown American rock band resonated through his ears, courtesy of his roommate's radio. Yawning loudly, the orange-haired teenager swung his feet to the side of his sky-blue bed and ruffled his spiky locks before slipping his feet into his shower shoes.
When he glanced over at the clock next to his bed, Ichigo rubbed his eyes and did a retake.
'...Eight o' clock...?'
Frowning, he cursed his roommate, who stood to his feet with his face raging red in anger. He shook his fist angrily at Ichigo and yelled, "Damnit, Kurosaki! What the hell was that for!?
Ichigo's eyes narrowed in a deadpan manner as he growled out, "You threw it at me first, Momohara...! Second of all, I don't leave for class for another two hours!"
Tetsuo Momohara's mouth was held agape in embarrassment as he scratched at his head and apologized, "My bad, Kurosaki..."
Tetsuo Momohara was a teenager from Karakura High School who, like himself, went to the University of Kagamino after graduating. He had black hair that waved to the right side of his forehead and a large bandage near his left eyebrow. Considering he's had that bandage since he was in High School, one could only wonder what kind of fashion statement he was trying to make.
Ichigo shook his head and stood to his feet before walking over to his closet. He swung the mahogany wardrobe open and gathered his showering equipment. Giving one last annoyed glare at his roommate, he turned and left the room silently.
Tetsuo scowled and began to mirror Ichigo's actions.
"...Wonder what crawled up his ass and died..."
He then closed the door behind him, never noticing the dark-haired man leaning against their dorm's window with his eyes closed in deep thought.
...I'm sorry I was late, Ichigo...
...Ichigo...? I'm really sorry...
...Please, come back... We're all waiting for you...
Ichigo angrily sighed as he pressed his forehead against the wall of the showers. He lazily moved his hand to the hot water handle and twisted it, wishing that the steaming water would take away all of his weakness.
'...Damnit... Even now, it still pisses me off...'
"Oi, Kurosaki! You in here!?"
Ichigo's eyes snapped open in fear as he heard the voice scream out from the opening of the bathroom. He heard the curtains a few stalls being pulled open before being closed back.
"...Shit... I don't feel like dealing with him now..."
The stall nearest to him was opened, and the angry scream of some other dorm resident echoed off of the walls. Mentally preparing himself with a short sigh, Ichigo turned around and swung his foot as soon as his curtain was opened, his foot colliding with the nose of the intruder and sending him back into the wall with a shout of, "Leave me the hell alone!"
He turned back to wash himself in peace as he listened to the sniffling from the teenager outside of his curtain. He heard the clambering of the intruder as they tried to stand back up. He grumbled to himself in agitation, "...That bastard better not come back..."
As if fate decided to work against him, the footsteps hurried back to his stall and the man tore his curtains open with a determined rage.
"Why do you treat me like this!? I just wanna get to know you better!"
Ichigo's elbow slammed into his nose again. The orange-haired teenager turned around with his towel wrapped around his waist and screamed, "I'm not gay, Ryouseika!"
Daruma Ryouseika was a student from Miyashita Commercial High School and a very proud bisexual who was determined to score with Ichigo Kurosaki before the semester was over. His hair was magenta and long, giving him a very effeminate appearance, and he was dressed in black-and-white pajamas.
'...And I thought Honsho was bad... Now I know how Orihime felt...'
Thinking about the old days caused Ichigo's anger to return, and he decided to step over Daruma's unconscious body before he did something he regretted.
After leaving from the showers, Ichigo had gone to his classes for the day and decided to stop by the school's diner. After he sat down, he thought about the earlier events that happened during his history class.
'...That dark man...that was standing outside of the window and looking right at me... Who the hell is he...?'
As he sat in deep thought, the voice of his roommate rung through his ears as he sat down and quipped, "...So... I heard Ryouseika tried to jump you in showers..."
Ichigo made a face at his bento in response and mumbled, "I don't wanna talk about it."
Tetsuo chuckled at his expression before releasing a false breath of relief and jesting, "I'm just glad he's after you, and not me."
Ichigo's roommate couldn't help but laugh out loud after he pulled another face directed at him. He laughed so much that he wasn't able to comprehend the danger incoming behind him until it was too late. A feminine hip bumped into his back, causing some of his food to spill on his lap.
As he stared incredulously at the offending area, Ichigo pointed and laughed at him, causing the nearby students to chuckle slightly at his misfortune. The very same female sat at their table and casually asked, "What are you two so happy about?"
The boys turned their heads as Ryo Kunieda, dressed in her track uniform, sat down at their table with her trademarked book in her hand. Her book, like her very own body, was drenched in her sweat from her early running...something that every male in the vicinity happened to notice.
Ichigo looked down at his fruit drink to keep focus before dropping it in front of her with a shake of his head.
"Just to make sure you don't pass out on me... Don't want everyone around here to get the wrong idea."
Ryo rolled her eyes and thanked him for the drink before quickly downing it and throwing it behind her into a trash can without looking. Both of the boys blinked at the display of skill before deciding to ignore it and continue eating. With Ryo, it was smarter to not ask questions.
Ryo Kunieda, like Tetsuo and Ichigo, was one of the few students that graduated from Karakura High and moved to Kagamino City. Just like in High School, she continued to excel in track, being one of the best in Tokyo. After high school, she had cut her dark hair shorter, allowing it to simply weave over her shoulders, and the beauty mark under her eye seemed even more pronounced.
As she flipped through the pages of her book, she spared a glance towards the boys and asked, "I take it you guys are ready for track practice later on, huh? I definitely can't wait. You know we have our last meet during the finals week."
Ichigo stared incredulously and questioned, "How in the hell are you ready for practice...when you look like that...?"
She offhandedly sized him up before waving him off and replying, "This? This is nothing...! Just a little warm-up before practice...!"
Suddenly, with her eyes wide, she slammed her book closed, which alerted everyone around them and shocking Ichigo and Tetsuo. She stood up and quickly placed it in her back pocket and began to run in place as she got ready to leave.
"I just remembered! I have to meet with Satoda in a few minutes! I'll catch the both of you later, alright?"
And then she suddenly took off into a rapid sprint, leaving behind a stunned pair of roommates. Ichigo raised an eyebrow and turned to his roommate, who answered his unasked question.
"Her boyfriend, as far as I'm concerned... I guess the track star and the soccer star would go great together..."
Ichigo nodded and prepared to dig into his bento before a cold shiver ran up his spine, almost like the feeling of...
He stopped his train of though and looked around the area outside of the resting area before locking eyes with a dark figure across the plaza. The person grinned before fading into the darkness of the alley.
"...You spotted a girl or somethin', Kurosaki? You seem a little tense."
Ichigo gazed back at his friend before denying, "No... I thought I saw something... It's not important..."
All throughout the practice, Ichigo still felt like he was being watched. Along with Ryo and Tetsuo, he walked around Kagamino City silently, trying to find a new restaurant to visit. The girl's face was planted in a book, leaving the boys to follow behind her.
"...I still don't understand how she isn't tired..."
The girl called out, "It's because you lack skill, Momohara. Maybe if you were more dedicated, like Satoda, you'd do better."
At the girl's response, he frowned and huffed before turning back to Ichigo, whom he noticed was paying attention to something else.
"Are you like, being stalked or something? Ever since lunch, you've been on edge."
Ryo finally closed her book and allowed them to catch up to her. When they finally began walking next to her, she commented, "...I noticed you weren't as focused during practice... Is something wrong, Ichigo?"
He wanted to reply with a positive, but he knew that whoever was watching him wanted him alone. Therefore, he had to get rid of his friends as fast as possible.
"No... I'm fine... Just tired..."
The other two blinked at Ichigo's uncharacteristic mannerisms and looked at each other. Tetsuo shrugged while Ryo glanced back at her friend. Her eyebrows raised as if she had suddenly remembered something.
"...Well... Anyway, Michiru called me earlier before practice, going on about some party that Mizuiro was throwing. Orihime told her to tell me to ask you if you wanted to go? If we take the train in a few minutes, we could be back in Karakura by eight, just in time for the party..."
Upon hearing her words, Ichigo froze up, and the memories began to replay in his head...along with another warning from that man as the cold feeling washed over him again.
...Ichigo...? I'm really sorry...
...Please, come back... We're all waiting for you...
He turned away from Ryo and shortly replied, "No. You can go back if you want. I'm going somewhere else... I'll see you two later."
The two friends watched worriedly as Ichigo stormed off elsewhere, leaving them behind.
...Please, come back...
Ichigo sped quickly through the empty streets of Kagamino City, glancing around him as he waited for the being to appear. He knew that the stalker was getting closer and closer, as the street lights began flickering.
"...You're quite lucky, Ichigo Kurosaki...that you can no longer sense Hollows... You wouldn't have dared to pass through so many before."
He could feel his heartbeat speed up as his adrenaline began to kick into overdrive. The voice came from behind him. Due to the man's words, he now had confirmation that what he felt before was Spiritual Pressure, and that this being was from the afterlife.
Taking a chance, Ichigo rolled away from the deep voice and turned around quickly to identify his stalker. A tall man in white military clothing, along with a dark cloak, stood across from him. He had long, dark hair and well-kept mutton chops connected to a mustache.
The dimmed light of the street lamps created an eerie shadow over the man's face, giving him an expression of pure evil. The lazy smirk also didn't help to ease his nerves.
"...Why didn't you come when I called out to you, Ichigo Kurosaki? I know you felt my presence, even without your abilities."
Ichigo's eyes narrowed and he replied, "My mother always told me to never follow strangers into a dark alley... That's an unhappy ending."
The man's smirk grew wider and he chuckled slightly.
"There's no need to be on edge...but it's good that your reflexes haven't dulled..."
The teenager scowled and asked, "Are you here to kill me for something? Is it because I know too much about the afterlife?"
The man's eyes narrowed and he gritted his teeth in slight annoyance as he commented, "Did you just compare me to a Soul Reaper? Ichigo Kurosaki, that is simply unforgivable."
"...Then what are-?"
He was abruptly cut off as the man raised his hand to a badge his chest, allowing a bright, blue bow to appear in his hand. Ichigo's eyes widened in shock as the memory hit him with a force that was unforgettable.
Uryu Ishida's hands went to the cross on his side and he held it out, creating a bow made of Reishi.
"I see you understand what I am, Ichigo Kurosaki... That makes this easier for me to explain. This is the basic bow that all Quincy initially uses... It is known as the 'Kojaku'... Sadly, it's not as small as I'd like... It takes too much effort to even shrink my powers down to this size."
If he wasn't scared before, Ichigo definitely was now. The man's power had to be...unreal! That bow was nearly taller than he was, and he's holding it with a single hand! Ishida's was barely larger than his arm!
"...And what are you going to do with that?"
The man blankly stared at him and replied, "...I'm going to kill you with it."
Tetsuo frowned and absentmindedly scratched his cheek as he listened to Ryo argue with a friend from Karakura. It was somewhat exciting, considering the train ride back was really boring without Ichigo.
"...He said he wasn't coming... Whaddya mean, 'Make him come'!? I can't force Ichigo to go somewhere he doesn't want to, Michiru! I know his friends would like to see him, you don't have to keep telling me! It would be better if you all come to see him!"
Off to the side, Tetsuo shook his head and commented, "That won't work, Kunieda. One of his friends, Chad I think, called his phone and I answered it for him. When I told Ichigo that he was here, the guy ran off for the day while the poor guy waited... Kinda sad, really..."
Ryo sighed as she hung up her phone to rid herself of Michiru's begging as they rode the train back to Karakura. The boy anxiously shuffled around in the empty car as the two embraced the silence of the ride.
"...I wonder what happened..."
He looked over at the girl as she spoke aloud from behind her book ("When the hell did she pull that out?") and asked, "Come again?"
"...I mean, Ichigo used to be super tight with Ishida, Yasutora, and Inoue... Then, he stopped talking to them close to the end of the year, and then ran off from his family and friends to go to Kagamino... And he hasn't come back to Karakura since he came here."
Tetsuo raised an eyebrow and commented, "Sure he has... During the summer break, he went..."
"Where? I never saw him on the train... I searched high and low for him... He wasn't there."
The other occupant raised an eyebrow before humming to himself and agreed, "You have a point..."
"I know... I just wonder...what could cause such a rift between him and his friends...?"
Ichigo sped through the alleyways of Kagamino as arrows upon arrows were fired at the heels of his feet. It seemed that the man's aim was getting better, as they appeared to move closer to his body. One of them even scraped his calf muscle as he moved around a corner.
"I've never known you to run, Ichigo Kurosaki. You can't protect anything while you're running."
He ignored all of his taunts as he used his impressive athletic skills to swiftly traverse over trash canisters, fences, and cars to escape the bright arrows. He swiftly slid past the next corner before coming upon a dead-end. He turned and saw the shadow of the creeping man on the brick wall, which motivated him to find another way,
Looking to his left, he noticed a broken ladder. He charged to it, running up the wall and latching on to the bottom pole and quickly pulling himself up to dodge the arrow.
"...You can only run for so long, Ichigo Kurosaki!"
He climbed over the small wall to the roof and began a full sprint across the buildings, hopping along the nearest rooftops available for him to jump to. He felt another arrow sear over his shoulder, causing him to duck down to avoid the next volley of shots fired overhead. A golden, bright light signaled an open window, causing him to run faster in the hopes of breaking his pursuer.
A bright and happy blonde maid hummed a tune to herself as she swept her broom across the floor. Her boyfriend had just announced to her that he had come upon a nice sum of money, and the two were planning on leaving their families behind, which meant she could finally quit this crappy job! All she had to do was finish up this floor and she was done for life! She could hardly wai-
She snapped her head towards the open window as a flower vase crashed to the floor. A handsome young man with bright orange hair, as odd as it was, rolled into the window to his feet and continued to charge through the hallway in a hurried manner. She screamed as he slid past her and apologized before breaking through the other window onto the rooftop. Shards and dirty footprints littered the once beautiful floor, causing the woman to sigh out, "...Fuck my life..."
Ichigo feet stormed across the next set of buildings in a rapid motion. He turned around to see if the man was still following him before he collided into what seemed like a wall...
...He was just staring ahead a few moments ago...there was no wall...
After rebounding off of the man's chest, Ichigo shook his head threw a wild jab at him. The man's arm quickly raised to block. The teenager anticipated that, as he used the force to plant his hands onto the concrete bottom and launch a kick to the stranger's head.
The kick, which Ichigo had hoped would have snapped his neck and ended it quickly, simply slammed into the side of the man's neck with enough force to do so, though the man showed no visible signs of that attack even phasing him.
"...That probably would have killed an average human... Your former training has definitely paid off, hasn't it? Too bad I'm not a normal human."
He quickly grabbed Ichigo's leg and slammed his back into a brick wall, the pain from it jolting through Ichigo's spine. His breath hitched in his throat, preventing him from screaming out in pain.
"Disappointingly weak, Ichigo Kurosaki... But that was to be expected."
He offhandedly tossed Ichigo a slight distance away from him. Ichigo struggled to pick himself up, regurgitating blood in the process as he fell back onto the ground...
...It's no use... This is goodbye...Ichigo Kurosaki...
Ichigo clawed at the ground as he again tried to pick himself up. His fingernails scraped at a pair of military boots.
...I'm sorry I was late, Ichigo...
He felt the stranger's hands grab at the collar of his track jersey, easily lifting him with a single hand.
...Ichigo, you don't have to go...! Please don't go...! What about your sisters!? Are you just going to leave them behind!?
The next thing Ichigo knew, he was being thrown off the rooftop. He glanced one last time at the man, who slowly lifted his finger up and pointed directly at him, creating a flash of light at the end of it.
...It wasn't our fault, Ichigo... It wasn't yours either... Please...please just come home...
The last thing Ichigo felt and saw was a beam of light piercing through his heart, and he knew immediately that it was all over...that he was going to Soul Society... Maybe he'd become a Soul Reaper, like his dad... Hopefully, he'd get his powers back...
...Please...? Can't you just move on, Ichigo...!? What's done is done...!
He didn't even feel any pain when he collided hard with the cement below, though he did hear voices emerging from the door in front of him...and he did see the dark form standing over him with an umbrella, looking down on him.
He had long passed out as the figure whispered in his ear, "Don't think of this as the end... It's just the beginning..."
Please... Come back home, Ichigo...
-Maybe... Maybe one day... I'll be able to start a Bleach story without Ichigo dying or suffering... But the struggle makes the man, so whatever.
-Tetsuo Momohara is a Canon Character in the Bleach Manga. He's the one who replaces Rukia after she's taken back to Soul Society, and is slightly mad when Ichigo doesn't recognize him. The reason I selected him is because Ichigo is friends with all of the male Main Characters(Uryu, Chad, Keigo, and Mizuiro). The other guys in Karakura are rarely shown, albeit their names, and there are three shown: Tetsuo Momohara, Satoda, and Shinji. Tetsuo had a full name and a picture, so I picked him as a friend, and picked Satoda as Ryo's boyfriend (He's the guy that recruits Ichigo as Goalkeeper in the Fullbring Arc).
-Ryo Kunieda (The track star that reads all the time and has the beauty mark under her eye) functions as Ichigo's female friend in college. Chizuru, Mahana, Michiru, and Ryo are the females that weren't Ichigo's friends (Orihime and Tatsuki), so I picked from those four. Chizuru was a hell no, Michiru is afraid of Ichigo, and Mahana has no true character, so Ryo was selected. She's not a love interest, by the way.
-Ryouseika is Japanese for 'Androgynous or Bisexual Flower'. Daruma is a reference to the Daruma(Dharma) Doll based on Bodhidharma. The word is also a reference to prostitutes in the Edo period because the doll was said to be able to 'raise one spirits'. The high school Daruma hails from (Miyashita) is the same one Moe Shishigawara is from.
-Kagamino City (Japanese for Mirror Field City) is the city 22km next to Karakura, where Saido Ekichiro was assigned.