Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or Naruto.
Rolling With the Gods!
Cats Are To Be Loved!
Five months felt like five years to the little bundle of joy now living in a highly advanced city. A city, such words felt foreign to the whiskered-faced boy. His own konoha-teammate really was a jerk for defecting from the village of Konohagakure no Sato all in search of power from the creepy snake-man Orochimaru.
How did the boy know it was Sasuke's fault for how things ended up the way they did?
He didn't know, but he'd be damned if he didn't pinpoint the blame onto the lone-wolf of the Uchiha-clan.
He felt it was his duty to bring him back home not just because he was tasked to by the Godaime Hokage, Tsunade-baachan, but also because he promised Sakura-chan he would from the very bottom of his heart. And the blond-ninja kid wasn't one to go back on the promises he made to others, especially to the girl he had been crushing on since he had first saw her in the academy.
Furthermore the kid with an unimaginable source of power sealed in his gut assured his pink haired crush that her black haired crush wouldn't ever rely on a creep like Orochimaru because he was a powerhouse all in his own right.
How wrong was he?
Not about the powerhouse-thing because Sasuke Uchiha was tough as nails, but about the reliance on the hickey-mark he seemingly received from said snake-man whom he was attempting to flee to at the time. The fox-boy never really got the details of how Sasuke had gotten his curse seal of heaven.
He was certainly shocked though, seeing the black-markings covering one half of Sasuke's body, giving his childhood friend a somewhat devilish aura around him as he ironically stood on the statue of Hashirama Senju, the Shodai Hokage while the fox-child stood atop of Madara Uchiha's statue, a traitorous shinobi whom fought against Hashirama Senju at the valley of the end where the boys fought to put an end to it all.
There was all that was divulged on Hashirama and Madara's battle at the valley of the end to the blond boy and Sasuke's knowledge.
If the fox-child thought Sasuke looked kind of devilish with the markings all over his body, then Sasuke transformed into the devil himself once he shifted the level of the curse mark from one to two, making two bat-like hands spout from his back and take up the form of two-wings. His usual pale complexion darkened, his teeth became canines, an X-mark was manifested around his nose-area, his finger-nails sharpened into claws, and his dark spiky hair brightened into light blue hair.
He looked truly evil.
The blond boy was speechless having never before witnessed such a transformation but was still optimistic and determined as ever to bring Sasuke back home.
That was where Sasuke belonged as a fellow member of Konoha's populace.
The fight had raged on all over the valley, and ended up where it had started, on the statues of Hashirama and Madara.
Only this time Naruto was standing atop of Hashirama's one with a red-cloak of chakra blazing around his body, his normally bright cerulean blue eyes were that of crimson red ones, his whisker-marks were thickened and resembled that of a tiger's whiskers, and his own finger-nails had become razor-sharpened fox-claws.
Both shinobis held their ultimate techniques in their hands and glared at each other with defiance. Streaks of red and purple were flowing through the air at the valley of the end to this very day the kid was sure as the boys leapfrogged at each other while roaring each other's names.
Simultaneous shouts of Rasengan and Chidori from Naruto and Sasuke was followed by the collision of their jutsus battling for dominance while the two were in the air. The magnitude of the teenagers' powers caused a spherical ball of black-purplish energy to shroud them and blow up, nuclear-bomb-style!
When Naruto woke up, he couldn't see Sasuke anywhere. In fact he could see neither the statues of the legendary shinobis of Madara and Hashirama anywhere either.
His face had astonishment painted all over it as he glanced at all the strange devices within an area he had never before heard of in his young life. Those big white-things with wings looked like a mechanical bird to Naruto, but passengers were boarding the 'bird'.
He tried to ask the people of this world where he was, but they all just gave him pitiful looks in return. They couldn't understand him despite looking somewhat like Naruto. At that moment dread was filling Naruto's heart as he frantically pulled his hair out with the folks glancing at him strangely.
But things soon looked up for Naruto once they got him someone that could speak his native tongue. She was a pretty 'Japanese' woman that Naruto thought was weird.
What was Japanese?
That was Naruto's thought.
He didn't know.
Still he was delighted when the lady got him some ramen, but understandably felt uncomfortable once she began asking him questions of where he came from and how he managed to wonder so far into the airport.
Naruto just gave the kind woman a shrug of his shoulders. He didn't have a clue. He told her that he was blindfolded upon arriving in the airport and the lady seemed to buy that to some extent.
Perhaps Naruto was raised in the jungle if he didn't even know what airplanes were.
After that Naruto was shipped off to Japan where he had spent the last five months living within a hostel and attending Karakura Middle School. His life had been okay, but that didn't mean he had given up hope of finding a way back to his own world. Naruto Uzumaki was not one to give up. One day, he would make his journey home.
…Because he made a promise to bring Sasuke back!
(Northern Japan – Karakura Town – Naruto)
The doors to the boy's five story hostel opened up, letting him come outside of it in a relaxed-manner while wearing an unzipped orange jacket that had the leaf symbol of Konoha embedded into the corner, something he had asked his care-worker to personally make him to show his (for) everlasting loyalty to Konoha.
Naruto still had the green gem necklace Tsunade-baachan had given him wrapped around his neck and a sack-bag on his shoulder.
A blue muscle t shirt was underneath Naruto's orange jacket that had a picture of Tom and Jerry printed on the front of it. It was something of a gift Naruto had received from one of the few friends he actually managed to make in this strange town. A pair of orange pants with two blue strips running down sides of it and a couple of his old blue sandals that miraculously survived his odd travel to this strange place completed Naruto's appearance.
Ah… So long orange jumpsuit.
Naruto would miss it truly, since it was tattered to pieces once he woke up to find himself in an American airport.
His blond hair was still as spiky as ever and both of his cheeks had three cat-like whisker marks on them.
"Ah! Another-day to try my luck of busting my way home! Ha-ha! I think I'm gonna get lucky this time too!" Naruto shouted with the sun-light penetrating his body, giving him a mesmerizing glow that came off as a golden aura instead.
Naruto began his walk toward the school he had enrolled into. He didn't have many friends at all. It seemed like no one could see the illusions Naruto was seeing from time to time. It would usually make him frown. Not only did he have to adjust to glancing at weird rectangle-sized devices with wheels at the bottom of them speeding past him on his saunter to school but he also had to adept to seeing ghosts!
Ghosts! That wasn't fair, because Naruto was terrified of ghosts. They could walk into his little room located in the hostel that he lived in and eat all of his instant ramen-cups! Not to mention the spook the supernatural beings could give him would be enough to cause him to get a heart attack and go into cardiac arrest!
The first time he had seen a ghost the blond had screamed and jolted down the street like someone had put a cap in his rear-end. He told the other kids at school what he had seen and nearly all of them just mocked and laughed at him, telling him that he needed to get his head sorted out, preferably by getting himself admitted into an asylum.
"…School here is just like the academy back in Konoha." Naruto sighed to himself, walking through an alleyway, and taking notice to the doors leading to the backyards of the inhabitations' houses. That was very interesting structure if one asked Naruto.
Back in Konoha one couldn't just walk out of their backyards and into the open world without jumping high up in the sky, but here most could casually saunter out of their gardens and onto the streets.
The blond kept looking around in a somewhat expectant manner.
"Ah. I knew you'd be here. How are ya doin' buddy?" Naruto smiled at the distinctive black golden eyed cat waving its paw at him in a friendly manner. As if cats could do that. Seriously, But it wasn't the first time Naruto had come across that little fur ball of mysteriousness.
Usually if one stumbled upon a black cat more than once it meant bad-luck had befallen them. So the old superstition said. Or it might have said something else. Honestly, Naruto had heard too much folklores to care what the meaning of them meant.
He felt this black cat gave him luck though, because when he had first met it two months ago after he arrived in Karakura Town a ramen-chief ran out of a nearby ramen-shop he had found when he first arrived in town but (he) didn't nearly have enough money to purchase his favourite treat and offered him a free bowl of delicious ramen of his choosing!
When he asked the man why he was doing this, the old man replied that a cute woman had come in and given him the money that covered Naruto's bowl of ramen.
Can someone say jackpot?! Finally, was the thought of Naruto. Someone nice enough had seen how roughed up his life was and offered him a helping hand in his time of need. And it was all because of that black cat.
Ironic really when one thought about it.
Naruto hated cats. To him, they were the devil's minions. It was such a bane of Naruto's when he along with Sakura and Sasuke had to chase that brown fur ball of stress and annoyance around the village when that fat-lady requested the hokage to find her missing cat. The old hag was just lucky that she was married to the Fire Daimyo (Fire Feudal Lord), otherwise the Hokage wouldn't assign any Konoha genin team to give chase to that damned cat.
But it's digressed now.
The busy woman whom paid for Naruto's ramen didn't even have the time to get Naruto's thanks as the old man had informed him she was in quite the rush.
He did try to make her stop, but once he turned around the woman seemed to vanish as if she wasn't even there in the first place. Strange, but Naruto had experienced weirder, like getting thrown in another world for instance.
"I dunno how you keep finding me." Naruto grinned, channelling his chakra to his feet and strolling up the wall to sit by the cat. He abruptly giggled as he patted the cat that purred as if it were approving of his use to come to it. His childlike-innocence adored every minute of seeing the cat's odd look the first time Naruto performed the tree-walking jutsu.
"If ya like that then you'll love my water-walking technique granny cat!" Naruto bragged, missing the hum that came from the cat and as well as the twitching eyebrow from it.
It was a young good looking cat! Not an old wrinkly one damn it!
"Man I'm like a messiah or something in this rectangle-shaped-boxes-speeding world!" Naruto continued to power up his haughtiness, all the while the cat kept on nodding as if it were really processing all of the info Naruto fed it.
Naruto gave the cat one last stroke which earned him a purr and a massage to his shoulder as the happy cat rubbed its head against his arm, "Man! Sometimes I believe you gotta mind of your own buddy," Naruto grinned, hopping off of the wall before getting the chance to see the smirk that crossed the cat's face.
Naruto waved at the fur-ball animal, "Bye, bye wise kitty cat!" After Naruto had sprinted off, the cat let out a laugh as it kept a firm eye and a lock on Naruto's position as if it were assigned to guard over the boy.
'You have no idea shrimp.' A thought of playfulness oddly was processed through the cat's head as it turned its head and glanced at a slowly moving shadow heading its way, revealing a silhouette that made the cat inwardly sigh in relief that Naruto had left before he had gotten to see it.
"Well I ought to get to work then. I don't want goldie locks with the whiskers on his face getting maimed now, do I?" The cryptic cat contemplated in a jesting manner as a blinding azure glow overtook its body, the silhouette and the cat vanishing within a second or a half as the glow that'd obscured the area died down.
"So long kid." A man at an ice cream stand waved goodbye to the fox-child as he rode away on foot with a pink treat in his hand with sprinkles, red sauce, and a chocolate flake on the side to complete it.
"It's like that cat's got the lucky number seven engraved into its body, or something. Every time I see it fortune seems to fall into my lap," Naruto said joyously, licking on a strawberry flavoured ice cream cone after finding some money five minutes after leaving the cat. A lord must've been fond of him.
As Naruto strode on the streets of Karakura Town with the vehicles he had come to know as cars speeding past him every so often, his eyes wondered around the tall buildings of the city. The first time he had seen them back in America where he had come from after getting blasted here, he was in awe at the overly massive rocks built to fit people in and to use it for leisured purposes, like homes, or for business ones like school.
He had never seen buildings so big. The ones in Konoha were smaller, yet more colourful than these ones. For the most part the ones he bared witness to nowadays had bland colours such as grey, like his school for instance.
Naruto frowned. His school-building should've been painted orange. That was a badass colour if one asked Naruto Uzumaki!
He did find himself happily fascinated with the speedy vehicles of this world. He could remember when he was travelling toward his hostel with his care-worker in a cab, hands planting on the window with his eyes scanning the elegance of Karakura Town in all his innocence.
It was night time the day he stepped foot onto his temporally home. The dazzling lights shrouding the city that night in its radiance mesmerized the lost boy all the more and amused the cab-driver and the nice lady that was his care-worker, as she worked in the hostel that was designed for orphaned youths, low-priced teenagers, delinquents, and recently released criminals.
They had a little laugh that night when Naruto asked could he drive the cab, and his care-worker told him when he was older he could take his driving test and become a driver.
But at least it was something to look forward to, depending how long it took him to hunt for a way home.
Maybe life here weren't such a bad thing?
"Hey, American-boy?" But then again, it had its negative points. Particularly the gang of delinquent boys wearing the uniform of Karakura High School all standing before him with smirks on their faces, their shirts unbuttoned and not properly tucked in to let the world know they were indeed hoodlums.
"What's an American doing here in Japan anyway? What, come here ghost-busting?" The older boy mocked him, making a scowl appear on Naruto's face that got the accuser and his friends to laugh loudly at the blond's misfortune.
He beat up many kids in school for the sole reason that they ridiculed him for seeing ghosts like the children back in Konohagakure no Sato did due to the encouragement of their parents. Only this time he was strong enough to do something about it. Or it could be divulged to the fact that no kid in school used chakra or were super-powered in any way.
So they got humiliated by the strong ninja.
But some humans had siblings or other relatives they could call upon if a kid utterly outclassed and mopped the playground with them all!
And that was how Naruto found himself a new job, sweeping the pavements with older kids heading on a one way ticket to jail once they become of age, or hell if they were lucky, since jail could be considered an even worse torture period than living an eternality in the flames of the underworld!
Probably because some thought dying was easier than having to deal with the stress of life.
The suicide was blessed for some.
"Awww. Is the wannabe ninja gonna cry now?" Another older boy teased at the deadpanned Naruto.
"Gah, same old, same old, the daily routine never ends. I ought to get myself one of those uniforms the trash-men wear, since I seem to be finding myself taking out the garbage a lot." Naruto sighed, "Guess I'm just an up-standing citizen, right lads-? I mean rubbish." The kids snarled at Naruto, getting him to grin innocently as he threw his cream cone at one of them and watched feverishly as it connected with his face resoundingly, knocking him to the ground with a loud thud.
The others just stared on with open mouths and wide eyes to depict their shocks at seeing one of the members of their crew of twenty fifteen year old teenagers bulldozed to the ground by a mere cream cone. They already thought Naruto was a weirdo due to the fact that he called himself a badass ninja and had those marks that resembled a cat's whiskers on his face.
This just solidified their belief that Naruto was anything but normal.
And thus he must be bullied.
"Let's fuck him up!" They raged simultaneously, making the noise of an elephant stampede echo through the tunnel Naruto had walked under to get to school.
A blur shot upward from Naruto's position, his school-bag no longer on his shoulder.
Naruto cracked his knuckles, an eager grin engraving itself onto his face at the prospect of taking the trash to the dump yard, "Hey, maybe this job's not so bad." And maybe it was, since Naruto found that he over did it on the 'clean-up' part, which would often leave him running late for school.
Oh who cared!
He hated that place of education anyway.
Naruto bent down on his knee the moment the raging boys huddled around him and immediately began laying into him with wild kicks and punches with absolutely no style or flow to their blows whatsoever. Once the blond-boy rose up, left fist clenched and frozen upward as if he was saluting his surrogate grandmother, the hokage, the culprits were all blown upward while screaming in pain.
Naruto gracefully landed on his feet with his eyes closed and a goofy grin on his features. Damn it felt so cool to be the strongest kid around the block. It beat being knocked around like he used to be back when he lived in Konoha. Or still did since he was going to find a way home. And one could count on that.
The usual detention group Naruto had given a one way ride to the sky had fallen onto the floor with hard crashes for all. The casual moan and twitches of the limbs were seen while some even cried 'I want my mommy/momma.'
"And that's the end of that chapter," Naruto dusted his hands off with a wide grin on his whisker-marked face. "Let that teach ya a lesson… that I'm not sure what it is yet." Naruto cupped his chin with a pensive look washing over his chubby (baby fat) face. He would've kept thinking what that lesson he taught the rude-boys was if he hadn't realized he had to be in class in the next five minutes.
A combination of waking up (on purpose), and stuffing his face full of instant ramen cups left him short of time to get to school.
"Wah! I gotta get myself to school! Ya know what, just don't bother me again, dattebayo!" Naruto concluded with a huff, making the downed boys moan excruciatingly. That was the lesson he was attempting to divulge from his mind anyway. How could they lose to such a simple-minded kid?
As if the gods were painting Naruto's undeveloped mind a thud landed onto his head that felt like a brick of sorts, as it immediately put him on guard. Flashing a kunai out of his hidden compartment within his new orange jacket, Naruto frantically shifted his head from side to side with a pout of annoyance on his face.
"Who's there?" Naruto asked demandingly, slowly lowering his guard once no one was brave enough to speak up, and question his sanity, "Whoever that was, just knock it off, okay?" Naruto put the kunai back into his jacket and bent down to lift his sack bag up after it landed onto his head and onto the ground.
The blond boy skipped off to school while humming happily, completely forgetting the fact that he had to be in class within the next five minutes.
(Karakura Middle School)
The quiet atmosphere of a classroom full of young kids ranging from age eleven to twelve year olds sitting by four rows of twenty desks was broken by the noise of a thunderous thump. All heads rotated themselves almost instinctually while the brown haired teacher sighed exasperatedly, as she was in the middle of calling out the names on the register she held in her hands.
One little girl smiled at the sight of the mini rascal while the other kids regarded him with indifference.
"Yay, Medachitagariya de Igaisei Nanbā Wan no Dotabata Ninja (The Show-Off, Number One Unpredictable, Noisy Ninja) Naruto Uzumaki is in da house!" The responses he got were a slight giggle from the aforementioned smiling girl while another one merely rolled her eyes at him and his childish behaviour. Their fellow classmates just stared at him strangely, "I'm right on the money, right obaa-san?"
The kids winced at the audacity of Naruto to call their teacher an old lady, even the two girls that had nothing against him let out a slight wince.
The bespectacled woman's eyes narrowed at Naruto before she whipped off her glasses and unfurled her long brown hair that was done up in a single bun with chopsticks in it. Her coffee brown hair flowed down to her upper back and emphasized her elegance. A radiant glow was around her tanned-skin and her attire consisted of a medium red blouse top, a long brown skirt falling to her ankles, black leggings, and black-high heels on her feet.
Her breasts were a modest size of CC-cup.
"Do I look old to you boy?" There was a hint of warning in her imprudent words.
"But you are ol-." Naruto attempted to defend himself, but a sharp glare from the no-tolerance woman silenced him with a gulp, "Hehe. Sorry, Tukiyo-sensei," Naruto apologised, rubbing the back of his head in a sheepish manner.
"Apology accepted. Now go sit down." The now identified Tukiyo-sensei commanded, picking up her chopsticks she used as hairpins to retied her hair back into its usual bun. Naruto nodded, moving toward his seat with a white tail trailing behind him. The source of it was stuffed into Naruto's blue sandal. Tukiyo wouldn't have noticed it if it weren't for the fact Naruto didn't have his usual holder for his belongings with him on his shoulder.
"Where's your school bag?"
"It's right on my shou-." Naruto started to confidently tell her it was right on his shoulder, only to stop when he realized it weren't there, "Aw man! I must've left it in the bathroom again!" Naruto panicked, spinning around to sprint into the bathroom before tripping over the toilet paper sticking out of his sandal.
"Who put this in there?" Naruto demanded, making the majority of the class laugh at the class-clown while the two girls and Tukiyo-sensei just sighed. Naruto was so clumsy, and forgettable it was untrue.
After Naruto had retrieved his bag from the bathroom, he strode into the classroom while taking in a breath of relief. Tukiyo gave him a chiding look that said 'Are you done with your antics, young Uzumaki-san'. This'd Naruto grinning bashfully before he jogged on over to his desk.
Naruto tucked himself into his desk like a good little boy and breathed in and out in something of a leisured manner. A curious expression found its way to Naruto's face once he felt a tug on his sleeve, making him look over to the side to see the girl that had giggled innocently when he first showed up in class and made a clown out of himself.
It was just like he always did.
"Are you okay, Naru-kun? You're not hurt are you after that fall?" The girl fretted over Naruto. Her short brown hair that reached just past her shoulders was so light it could be considered dark blonde. A bang of her hair covered the right side of her pretty face with a strawberry-style hairclip on the left side of her face just above her ear. Her brown eyes filled with innocence crinkled with a bit of concern for Naruto's wellbeing.
She wore a green hooded dress that reached past her knees with a big yellow button on it and a pair of shoes was on her feet. She had a black handbag which she used as a makeshift schoolbag.
"Of course I am Yuzu-chan! Notta rubbish too stinky to be left around is gonna keep me stalled for long! Haha!" Naruto declared boisterously, grinning like a loon. His dearest friend to date frowned at his words. In short she'd known him since he first enrolled in school. She took pity on him when the other kids ridiculed him during and after the days of his declaration that he could see dead people.
Naruto was to be eternally known as Ghost-boy, given to him for his insane antics three months ago.
Naruto did cheer up instantaneously when Yuzu told him that she and her family could see spirits and Karin confirmed that fact also. Well in Yuzu's case she could only just barely see ghosts, but see them nonetheless. Yuzu wholeheartedly informed Naruto of her decision to divulge her weirdly foresight to witness the spirits of the otherworld slightly to their classmates, and Karin stood by her sister, and was also more willing to attempt to clear up Naruto's 'insanity'. But the boy was stubborn, telling the twins that he didn't want them to be shunned among their peels like he was.
His sense of honour was quite high even if he did have himself a little cry once he thought the girls weren't looking.
When did he become so noble huh?
He missed the slight tinge of pink that shrouded Yuzu's face as the girl really liked how noble he was, especially considering the fact that she had neglected to realize the consequences of letting their classmates know that she could see ghosts in blurry fashion.
Yuzu had friends. She certainly wouldn't want to lose them.
Although she did suppressed the urge to sigh 'oh Naru-kun' since his loud shout brought the kids' attentions onto them and the chiding stare of Tukiyo-sensei as the brunette kept her hands firmly on her hour-glass figure.
"Keep it until after class you two." Tukiyo sternly commanded.
"Sorry, couldn't help myself, ya know," Naruto chuckled slightly, finding it relaxing to massage the back of his head that got Tukiyo to sigh, Yuzu to smile, and Karin to smirk.
Does the cat-faced boy ever feel down?
(Some ways away from Karakura Middle School)
"MWHAHAHAHA!" A gorgeous girl feigned a maniacal laugh in cheery fashion with her arms crossed over her chest in an X-shape. Her long orange burnt hair fell to her upper back with two blue hairpins on either side of her face. She wore a white dress shirt with a red ribbon bowtie around her neck. A grey short skirt fell to her knees with white socks stretching up to her knees, and a pair of brown shoes completed her appearance.
Her hips were curvaceous, very womanly for a girl of only fifteen years of age. And her breasts were FF-cup, publicity was blessed for some. In all her elegance the girl opened up her dark eyes to reveal the happiness just over-flooding them to depict her chirpiness to the world.
It didn't fade upon seeing the somewhat disturbed look of her fellow orange haired classmate a bit.
"C'mon Ichigo, don't you know what this is!" The orange haired beauty laughed in mocked malice. For a highly intelligent girl whom scored the second highest on the school exams, she could sometimes be a bit of a ditz.
"Uhh. Spirit Hunter," The orange spiky haired boy guessed, straightening up and tucking his hands into his pockets. He was a tall boy with a very well built body, not too muscular but not too skinny either. A pair of blue headphones were around his neck while he wore a white dress shirt tucked into his grey school trousers, only he didn't have on the school bowtie and opted to leave the first three buttons of his shirt undone. A couple of black shoes were on his feet and a bag was over his shoulder, looking like the ones where some people carried their laptops in.
The girl clapped her hands together, "Yeah! Isn't that show just the bested show ever?" Her arms went gracefully up in the air, "C'mon then Ichigo, join in with me." She proceeded to chant the annual laugh of the show before finding her arms ensnared by two equally feminine hands, but still had quite a solid grip on her.
The young girl looked to her left at the sound of her best friend's voice to see her black spiky hair and onyx coloured eyes staring at her. She wore the same uniform as Orihime with the only difference being in the girls' breast size. Publicity wasn't blessed to all now. The black haired girl's ones wasn't nearly as big as orange haired beauty's ones, and her body wasn't nearly as shaped in an elegant manner as the orange haired girl's, but she was cute and pretty in her all own fearsome glory.
"Oh, hey, Tatsuki-chan, what's up?" The orange haired girl asked gently.
"Come on Orihime, move it." The now identified Tatsuki ordered to the now known Orihime as she began easing her best friend in the direction of their seats, "You can 'mwhahahaha' with me." Orihime visibly winced as she wanted to do that with Ichigo.
Ichigo Kurosaki watched them go off with a strange look on his face. He was slightly thankful to his long time childhood friend Tatsuki Arisawa was removing Orihime from his presence even if he didn't outright admit it. Orihime was okay, though Orihime and Ichigo weren't that close but occasionally seen each other around town from time to time since Tatsuki was good friends with both of them, but a long-time friend of Ichigo's.
They used to attend karate together. Tatsuki fondly reminisced the days where she used to lay Ichigo down for the count and the orange haired boy would cry his eyes out until his beautiful mother would come to pick him up, making him stop bawling just at the graceful appearance of her.
Ichigo used to be a goofy, happy boy back then… six years ago.
But ever since that day, the boy was happy no more… He was a shell of his former self. Nowadays whenever Tatsuki would see Ichigo, he'd always appear nonchalant as if he was never going to die and had fully accepted the fact that all of his family members would die before him with him living for an eternity.
A few random bursts of anger would occasionally come from Ichigo to let Tatsuki know he was still human to an extent in the form of a cranky expression on his face.
"Yo Ichigo," Ichigo turned an uninterested eye onto the one that had called him to see three of his school friends. They all had their arms crossed over their chests while two of them did the annual malevolent laugh in cheery fashion. The tallest one's face was frozen on impassive mode, "Keigo here."
The tallest one merely hummed.
Ichigo sighed with a twitching eyebrow at the three of them. The one in the middle was so tall that even Ichigo, (who wasn't short by any means), came just past his shoulder. His skin was dark tanned and very masculine, making him look like a twenty five year old man instead of the fifteen year old boy that he was. He had a gold chain wrapped around his neck given to him by his grandpa whom convinced him that he shouldn't use his fists for fighting but to protect the ones closest to him. His white dress shirt was also unbuttoned like Ichigo's, and tucked into his grey pants with a pair of black shoes finishing off his appearance.
The hulking boy was Yasutora Sado, but he was given the nickname 'Chad' by his good friend Ichigo.
Chad was born in Japan but taken to Mexico by his parents at a young age. After their deaths, Chad was adopted by Oscar Joaquín de la Rosa, a man believed to be Chad's grandfather since Chad referred to him as grandpa but in Mexican. Oscar's attempts to turn the once violent youth into a somewhat decent boy were futile until a certain day.
The kids Chad beat up out of anger because they miffed him in some way told their fathers and they came looking for Chad to punish the boy for knocking out their children. Oscar came between the fathers and Chad and took the beating for his grandson. That was the stroke of inspirational for Chad to change his ways and become a decent person.
The chain around Chad's neck was a memento given to him by his now deceased grandpa.
After Oscar's death, Chad moved back to Japan and enrolled into Karakura High School.
He met Ichigo once he found the boy being attacked by thugs. He stoically took their punches and they fled out of fear. The same thugs came back for Chad and managed to subdue him by smashing a brick into his head. They dragged Chad underneath a bridge before tying him to a chair.
Luckily for Chad, Ichigo showed up and battered the thugs after they had taken Chad's medallion. Ichigo handed the medallion back to Chad and told him that they should stick together and have each other's backs. Chad agreed and ever since then the two had the closest thing to a best friend in one another.
A brother-in-arms sort of thing, sometimes people had to stick together.
The hyperactive boy with brown hair and dark eyes wearing the school uniform except he had a tie around his neck and his shirt not tucked into his trousers along with the black haired boy with green eyes and black hair with a strand of his hair falling between his eyes also wearing the school uniform like his dear friend Keigo, Mizuiro, met Chad and Ichigo when the powerful tall lads protected them from a couple of bullies.
"I'm not going." Ichigo deadpanned.
"What? Whaddya mean you're not going?" Keigo gasped exaggeratingly, "It's the best TV show in Japan dude. And it's gonna be broadcasted right here in Karakura Town! You gotta go! You'd have to be dead to miss it dude!"
"Guess that makes me a living zombie then." The smart-mouthed orange haired man groused crudely, "Now get lost." He made the shooing motion to Keigo.
Keigo recoiled with fake tears in his eyes, "But I already went to the trouble of asking Rukia to go." He squeaked, pointing to the petite black haired girl holding the edges of her short skirt in a pleasant manner, causing Ichigo to sweat drop at her feigned mannerisms.
"Hi Ichigo," Rukia greeted brightly, no one but Ichigo knew she was a woman centuries of years old. Her black hair fell to her shoulders with a strand of her hair hanging between her eyes and her purple tinged orbs danced with pleasant mirth at the boy whom she surrendered her powers to so he could rescue his family. She played the part of innocent school girl well wearing the Karakura High School uniform for girls and all.
Keigo strode over to Rukia with his arms shaped over his chest in an X-shape, "You know you wanna do it Rukia. 'Mwhahahahaha'."
"No." Rukia replied as if she were a princess, placing her hand on her cheek and feigning a blush on her cheeks, "I'll be too embarrassed to do it."
"Come on Rukia. It's not hard. I'll show you!" Keigo insisted and proceeded to laugh loudly while Rukia swayed her hips from side to side as she cutely shook her head.
Ichigo watched with a deep scowl of annoyance and a twitching eyebrow on his features, 'Geez. She's become quite the little actress.' She had the whole class thinking she was this innocent transfer student when in reality she was a shinigami who came from a place rich of spirits and gods known as the Soul Society.
Ichigo knew this well since the woman snuck into his home around four months ago looking for a hollow. He booted her in the rear-end thinking that she was a burglar. She was surprised that he could see her, and Ichigo thought that she was crazy until his father ran into the room and told him to be quiet.
Ichigo hammered his father into his stomach and shouted right back at him that he should be quiet. Isshin only gave his son a blank stare in return when Ichigo pointed at Rukia. He couldn't see her. Ichigo was shocked at that and Rukia went on to explain that normal humans couldn't see spirits, but humans with high amounts of reiryoku could, like Ichigo for instance.
She briefed him on her duties as a shinigami with her horrendous drawings. They were so terrible they looked more like bunny rabbits rather than scary monsters known as hollows that had white masks on their faces and went around stalking the streets of the world of the living looking for snacks (humans) to fill the holes in their chests where their hearts used to be.
Their inconvenient get together was cut short when they heard a primal roar followed by the sounds of a bulldozer crashing into someone's house and a bloodcurdling scream. It didn't take long before Ichigo's sister, Yuzu, tremblingly walked into his room and informed him that something had Karin and how he must run to safety.
Ichigo wasn't going to do that and didn't.
Not when his family was in danger.
After overpowering Rukia's kido spell, leaving the small lady in shock how a human could bust out of her spell like it was nothing; Ichigo grabbed a baseball bat and heroically charged downstairs like a man on a mission.
At first, he was furious when he noticed the huge hole in his home, but then he was overcome by fear at the cause of it. It was sort of like looking at a mixture of a blackish ogre fused with a demon with a milky white mask covering its face with a hole in its chest where its heart should've been.
Its eyes were like two black voids with two sun yellow colours within them.
Then that fear was crushed and replaced by sheer determination when he seen his sister Karin in the creature's hand. He ran in front of it and told it that it should eat him instead. The hollow greedily accepted the brave boy's offer and began to stalk Ichigo, ready to devour him.
Rukia rushed in front of Ichigo and blocked the hollow's attempt to devour him, causing it to drop Karin to which Ichigo caught her in his arms. Rukia berated him on his reckless actions, telling him the hollow would not stop absorbing souls even if it absorbed Ichigo's one into his being.
But the time was telling off was not upon them with the hollow still hungry, and needing to feast on some souls.
Rukia was hurt and could not cleanse the hollow.
Faced with the possibility of death or becoming one with the devilish hollow, Ichigo chose death or the inevitability of transforming himself into a powerful Death God when he shoved Rukia's Zanpakuto through his gut. He defeated the hollow effortlessly after emerging from a blinding light as a new man, no, warrior.
He was an ascended samurai.
He thought that was a dream since the next day neither Yuzu, Karin nor his father could remember the events that led to the hole in their home. They thought that a truck crashed through the house and miraculously left them alive.
It wasn't until Ichigo made it to school that day that he discovered it wasn't a dream and in all actuality Rukia had surrendered her powers to him that night and now she must rely on him to do her job, giving her enough time to regain her powers so she could return to the Soul Society.
That was four months ago. Ichigo had learnt a lot of what it meant to be a shinigami and made some… perverted comrades. He discovered that hollows were in reality earth bound spirits that held some resentment to a certain place in the world of the living and couldn't pass on, resulting in either their chains disappearing or hollows coming to them to fest on their souls, the end result was the same.
They would become hollows.
That happened to Orihime's older brother, bless him. Ichigo only recently figured out that the orange haired girl crying in his family clinic 4 or 3 years ago was her. Her hollow-transformed brother came back for her because according to Rukia, Hollows will go for the ones they loved the most when they were alive in a bid to fill the emptiness within their hearts.
Ichigo rescued Orihime and her brother that night by watching Orihime's brother, Sora, cleanse his own soul after the orange haired man had freed him from his possessed state by cracking his mask. That was the first time Ichigo realized he was actually helping hollows by hacking through their masks like a hot knife through butter.
He felt a sense of pride swell up inside of his chest and a heavy amount of responsibility fall onto his shoulders.
This was something he had to do. He just had to.
…Because if he didn't do it then no one else would.
(Two Hours Later)
Class had finished and Naruto had to stop behind to wait for Tukiyo, which got secretive whispers and small gossips from the other kids except for Karin and Yuzu. Most of them just concluded it to the fact that Naruto was a boy of many fights, and tardiness, there probably wasn't a day where he didn't get himself into a tussle before turning up late for school.
But it wasn't that.
Naruto had brought along a cup of instant ramen and needed Tukiyo to take him to the teachers' lounge so he could get some boiling hot water from the kettle to make it. Despite her strictness with Naruto, Tukiyo really did adore Naruto, because round about four months ago, Tukiyo was in an abusive marriage. She kept coming into work trying to conceal her bruises by leaving her hair down and trying to put a smile on her beautiful face to hide her sadness.
But Naruto could see it was a fake smile since many times had the boy did the same thing. It was how he coped with the pain of loneliness knowing that barely a soul wanted anything to do with him back in the day, for something he did not ask for. The blond confronted Tukiyo after school-hours were over, and more or less demanded to know what was bugging her.
At first she was understandably miffed that a student was talking to her in such a way, until she caught a glimpse of sadness in his usual happy filled ocean blue eyes, and then the passion of his voice was heard by the woman as Naruto spoke how wrong it was that someone would put one's hands on her.
He was even more furious once she confessed that it was her husband and responded by flinging the woman over his shoulder, and charging through the door. It took a full thirty minutes of Tukiyo's screaming and sputtering to get Naruto to stop running around town like a headless chicken stupidly looking for a place he had no idea was at.
She would've taken him home but after the strength Naruto displayed in his little body by effortlessly carrying her around the city halted any rebuttal she might've had and she hopefully, but also begrudgingly, showed the boy to the home of her and her husband.
She wasn't disappointed upon seeing Naruto stomp her ex-husband a new one once he heard the first line that came out of the abusive man's mouth.
"You stupid bitch, don't expect me to feed that kid." Were the poor son of a bitch's words as Naruto turned him black and blue. And to the blond's credit he downplayed the significance of his own win after he threatened the man to never come near Tukiyo again. He never did as he didn't want neither his friends nor family finding out the fact he was taken to the cleaners by a small boy more than half his size.
Bullies were truly weak.
And Naruto had gotten himself a precious person.
That was why she had leniency with Naruto, and tried to do the best she could for him since he lived on his own.
Right now the boy contently hopped up the stairs to his favourite place in the whole school yard after leaving the teachers' lounge in a hurry, because Tukiyo told him that eating ramen all the time would stunt his growth and that he must eat horrible greens to grow a few inches. Who was she all of a sudden? His momma?
She was the ramen-lady, enabling him to cook his instant ramen cups in the lounge for the senseis of the school.
Now Naruto could dig into the hot steamy ramen he was miraculously carrying with no hands as he had his hands stabbed into his pockets.
That didn't sound right.
"Wait just a minute." Naruto said pensively, opening the door to the rooftop upon reaching the top floor of the building, "Shouldn't I be holding my delicious ramen in my hand right now? Unless I've got lev-."
"Naru-kun!" Yuzu remarked brightly, pulling Naruto from his thoughts to see the girls sitting on their knees in the middle of the rooftop with their lunch boxes placed in front of them.
Naruto walked in, grinning widely, "Hi Yuzu-chan! Sup, Karin! Whatcha girls doin' here? Shouldn't you be down stairs with em girl-chums of yours?"
"Really, we still have to go through this every time we eat lunch with you?" Karin asked dryly, her dark eyes staring at Naruto, making him chortle. Karin Kurosaki was cool whereas Yuzu Kurosaki was a sweetheart. Naruto found it interesting that they were twins, but yet didn't look like each other and had different personalities. It made them unique to Naruto.
Karin's sarcasm and dry humour made him laugh unless her remarks were about him and his intelligence which usually put a smirk on the black haired girl's face seeing Naruto pout like a child. Yuzu's innocence was always win-win for Naruto, because he liked to be around nice people. The sweet ones like Yuzu kind of gave him a purpose as he felt like he had to protect the girl from anyone brave enough to bully her.
What Haku said about being needed really hit the nail on the head?
God bless her soul.
"Don't be silly, Naru-kun. You're our chum too, ya know," Yuzu chirped.
"Yay, I guess so." Naruto laughed, walking forward to the girls to take his seat that made Yuzu raise her eyebrow.
"Guess you couldna waited until you made it up here to stuff your face full of noodles, eh Naruto," Karin remarked sardonically.
"What?" Naruto blinked. What was that her sarcasm? "I ain't eaten ramen yet." The deadpanned look from Karin and the sigh from Yuzu's mouth made Naruto widen his eyes as he grabbed his hair, "Damn it! I left it in the lounge again!" The golden haired retard stood up, and thunderously blasted through the door leading to the rooftops, getting bizarre looks from the two females at his almost unnatural display of pace before a loud crashing noise sounded out from the direction of the stairs.
"Ouchy," Naruto groaned.
"Oh no, Naru-kun!" Yuzu gasped, "I hope he's not hurt." Yuzu went on as she prepared to stand up, and check on the 50th or something accident Naruto had had.
"Don't worry, Yuzu. He's fine." Karin assured her twin sister in calm indifference to which Yuzu gave her a bit of a tentative hum in return, "It's not the first time Naruto has fallen down the stairs, and it won't be the last time I am sure of it." Karin reminded her, making her settle down and sit back on her knees.
"I guess you're right. He gets hurt a lot like daddy does," Yuzu spoke, opening up her lunch box to take out her apple juice.
"It's why the old man and Naruto get along so well." Karin said nonchalantly, receiving a nod and a hum from Yuzu who pried open her apple juice by sticking the straw into it and taking a sip from it. Isshin Kurosaki and Naruto Uzumaki got along swimmingly well when the old man would come around to his place to collect Yuzu who more often than not found herself at the home of Naruto to tend to the boy's needs like making him some food or bringing him some if there was enough left-over from the dinner she'd prepared for herself, her sister, her brother, and her father.
Yuzu did a lot for the boy whose incompetence was so high it even made Isshin feel pity for him. Naruto clearly hadn't had any parents during his childhood years, even if he didn't outright confess such; it was too obvious not to know. He had no manners and lacked the skills necessary for taking care of himself, such as cooking skills, cleaning skills, and how to pay his own bills.
You name it Naruto lacked it.
Naruto was the definition of an orphaned child.
Of course there was a little heated blood when Isshin first met Naruto, as overprotective father mode blazed powerfully around Isshin's body, but he quickly seen the boy's naivety, and instantaneously encouraged Yuzu and Naruto's friendship to stay strong.
Simple-minded boys like Naruto shouldn't be left on their own to fend for themselves.
He might burn down the hostel he lived in if he was left alone.
"You think onii-chan would like Naru-kun?" Yuzu asked. Ichigo more or less blanked his little sister every time she brought Naruto up to him. He would tell her it was nice that she'd friends to care for in a lackadaisical voice and stroll past her, leaving Yuzu pouting at her older brother's lack of interest in her social life.
Karin offered her twin sister a shrug of her shoulders, "Meh. Probably, you never know with Ichi-nii."
"Why don't we introduce them?" Yuzu suggested with a smile on her face.
"How?" Karin asked before thinking pensively, "You're thinking of bringing Naruto to that Spirit Hunter festival aren't you?"
"Yep!" Yuzu chirped before crossing her arms over her chest and laughing in good spirits, "I think Naru-kun would like it. He's not a stuck in the mud like you or onii-chan." Yuzu pouted in a good-natured manner at her twin sister Karin, making Karin roll her eyes.
"Or he might think it's a waste of time since he can see spirits perfectly well." Karin said, a bored look on her face while Yuzu puffed her left cheek out cutely.
"Well I guess there's only one way to find out then." Yuzu smiled optimistically, making Karin sigh. Why did Yuzu and Isshin have to like that cheesy event of some man claiming to see spirits? It was so lame to Karin and Ichigo it was untrue. Worse of all Isshin was going to drag her along for the ride and maybe Ichigo if he could.
"That would be your best bet I suppose." Karin mumbled and Yuzu nodded in agreement with Karin.
The speedster ran into the teachers' lounge to see the patiently waiting form of his teacher standing by the microwave while tapping her foot on the ground and looking at her watch.
"You remembered to come back for your food in two minutes this time." Tukiyo said and Naruto chuckled sheepishly, pushing his index fingers together.
"You know me well Tukiyo-sensei!" Naruto chirped while Tukiyo took his ramen from the microwave after reheating Naruto's instant ramen as it got a little cold after being left on the side by Naruto who was in rush to get away from her.
"Just like I know how you don't like anything green." Tukiyo confirmed matter-of-factly, making Naruto wince as a look of dread came over his face, "…How do you expect to grow if you don't eat your greens young man." She sighed, walking over to Naruto to hand him his ramen-cup which he gratefully took from her grasp.
"C'mon obaa-san, I'm not that short!" Naruto frowned, causing Tukiyo to cringe at the nickname.
"Tell you what if you stop calling me that I'll stop pestering you about eating ramen." The forty-five year old woman offered.
"DEAL!" Naruto agreed cheerfully, pivoting on his heels, "And I won't tell the others your true age of forty-five either Tukiyo-sensei!" Naruto assured her loudly, receiving an angry shake of the fist from his teacher who had flames emitting around her form that made Naruto scream as he paced out of the lounge while being mindful not to spill any of his hot steamy broth.
"He'll be back." Tukiyo stated with her arms crossed over her chest. "In one, two, three, four,-" She cut herself off as the blond's feet were quietly heard coming toward her direction before Naruto smiled sheepishly at her.
"…Uhhh. I left my chopsticks here." The forgetful boy told her.
The woman shook her head with a smile on her face as she reached to the side of the microwave and picked up a pair of chopsticks before dropping them in Naruto's ramen cup, "Try to be more aware of your surroundings, Naruto-san."
"You bet boss lady!" Naruto grinned toothily at her before walking out of the lounge with his mind already having forgotten why he stormed out in the first place. Good grief, it was of no wonder why he was so forgiving. He couldn't remember a damn thing. But despite all that Tukiyo was still fond of him.
"Naruto-san's a good boy…"
The boy made his way upstairs and onto the rooftop once again where he found his two lady friends still sitting on their knees waiting for him to arrive.
"Hey, how is it going you two? What brings ya here? Watching the clouds or something?" Naruto asked. Karin's stare of dryness reminded him what they were doing on the rooftop, "…Oh yeah. Never mind then. Hahahahahaha." Naruto chortled as he sat in between Yuzu and Karin.
"Good grief, you're so forgetful. You'll probably forget your own marriage or leave your wife at the airport if you ever get one." Karin said, opening her lunch box to eat her lunch now that Naruto was here to eat his.
A confused expression was on Naruto's face, "I have a wife?" He turned his head to look at Karin who recoiled in suppressed fury.
"Why are you looking at me for, idiot?!" Karin shouted and Naruto chuckled while a cringle of jealousy hit Yuzu's heart, but she didn't understand it. She just thought that Naruto should realistically think she was his wife as she logically done a lot for him that Naruto took for granted as he was too oblivious to see the importance of Yuzu's work for him.
"Haha! You're funny, Karin!" Naruto giggled before he settled down to dig into his ramen.
"Funny, or are you just insane whack-job?" Karin groused and got a nudge in her arm from Yuzu. Naruto missed the glare from Karin aimed at Yuzu as he contently started slurping his noodles.
"Oh, yeah, have you ever heard of a show called Spirit Hunter before Naru-kun?" Yuzu asked excitedly, receiving a groan from Karin that she ignored as Naruto turned his head to her with noodles trailing from his mouth. She abruptly giggled. He looked so adorable when he was eating.
Naruto tried to speak but his words came out muffled.
"Swallow before you speak Naruto." Karin told him and Naruto did just that.
"I was trying to say that sounds pretty cool. Do they like send spirits to heaven or something?" Naruto asked after taking in a huge breath of air.
"Yes, Naru-kun!" Yuzu confirmed enthusiastically, "Don-Kanonji defends the people by sending the spirits over to the other side. Isn't that amazing?"
"Badass!" Naruto cheered alongside Yuzu while Karin watched the two like they had grown second heads.
"My onii-chan will be there too. It'll be the perfect time for you to meet him." Yuzu smiled.
Naruto cupped his chin, "Oh yeah. You told me about that guy. How is he anyway? You girls didn't come into school last week." Yuzu had a sad look on her face.
"Yeah. Onii-chan's doing alright. Though, sometimes he can be a bit aloof." Yuzu said with Naruto hearing the sadness in her voice.
"Is everything okay? Does it have something to do with why you girls weren't here last week?" Naruto asked curiously.
"Oh it's nothing Naru-kun." Yuzu tried to brush it off with a forced smile on her face but Naruto was not to be fooled. He didn't pry into the matter anymore than that since it wasn't any of his business to know, "Anyway, Spirit Hunter will be performing right here in Karakura Town tonight. So Karin-chan and I figured you might want to come along and meet Ichigo-oniichan."
Naruto smiled hugely, "Alrighty! Sure! I'll come with you two and meet this strawberry-guy!" Karin cringed at that. Ichigo would kill him if he heard the boy calling him by the meaning of his name instead of his actual name.
"Wonderful!" Yuzu clapped her hands together, "I'm positive that you'll enjoy Spirit Hunter as much as daddy and myself do, Naru-kun." Naruto nodded and looked at Karin to see if she liked Spirit Hunter and she merely waved her hand dismissively that told Naruto not to ask. Naruto obliged and the three ate their lunches peacefully.
(Karakura High School – Rooftop – Ichigo – Chad – Keigo – Mizuiro – Rukia - Tatsuki - Orihime)
The friends of Ichigo turned to him as he sneezed absently while they all were enjoying their lunches on the rooftop of Karakura High School.
"Bless you Kurosaki-kun." Orihime said helpfully, making Ichigo grunt.
"Yeah. Thanks." Ichigo thanked her languidly, getting a smile from her as she resumed eating her lunch as normal while Ichigo attempted to divulge why he had the urge to stomp on a fishcake. 'Weird. I feel like I never want to so much as see another fishcake again.' It was probably just his instincts since he hated fishcakes anyway, 'Yeah. That's probably it.'
Little did Ichigo know he would be meeting a certain rowdy fishcake very soon.