Author's Note: I have had ideas about Bleach time travel fanfiction for many years now, though this is the first time they have warped into something resembing order. I have several chapter already planned out which only need to be written out. I can't promise regular updates because I'm studying at university and may not have the time to regularly write.
English is not my first language and this story is without a beta reader, so all mistakes are mine.
There will be no pairings in this story. Not only because many possible ships that are running wild in the fandom just aren't possible because many of the people just aren't alive yet in this story, but also because I'd like to think that not every story has to have some kind of romance mixed in. So any possible romantic relationships will be minor and play out in the background.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, just the OCs, of which there will be many, so be warned
Ichigo didn't wake with a start. It wasn't as if he gained sudden awareness, his senses kicking in and his consciousness returning. Instead he was drifting on the edge between sleep and wakefulness for quite some time, but just as his consciousness, time was eluding him.
After what could have been minutes, hours, or even days, things kept piercing forth from the hazy mist that clouded his mind.
First was touch. He felt warm, something heavy lying over him. Then there was sound. Soft scraping and light taps on the floor. Soon after there was smell, the scent of wood and tea and fresh air. His throat felt dry and his tongue like he licked an ashtray clean and chugged it with blood, the coppery tang filling his mouth. His head was aching and every bone in his body hurt. Everything was cloudy and unfocused, his thoughts rumbled and mixed together, not making any sense.
When he opened his eyes the light streaming in through the windows was like a shock to his system. There was nothing but brightness for a moment, but that brightness was what brought his memories back to him.
The last thing he remembered was the Soul King, his body cut in two by Ywhach's sword. Energy was set free from one moment to the next, everything covered in a bright flash as the energy, the power of the Soul King that held every existence together, engulfed him. A feeling of crumbling and disintegrating filled him, as if every atom in his body parted from the other, and the last thing he remembered before darkness swallowed him were the eyes of the Soul King meeting his own.
He sat up slowly, groaning as the movement tugged at his sore muscles. He looked around the room he was in. It looked like he was in one of the better homes in Rukongai, probably in one of the better Districts, too. The air was saturated with reiatsu, so he couldn't be in the human world. He hasn't been there for years now. It was saver for his sisters and friends that way.
As he looked down on himself he saw the bandages peeking out from underneath a cream colored yukata. Somebody must have brought him back from the Soul Palace, treated his wounds and changed his clothes. But who? He was alone when he confronted Yhwach (and subsequently failed) and who would have been able to get him away now that the Soul King was dead? For every existing thing to vanish when the King died everything was still surprisingly whole and solid.
Ichigo took a deep breath and closed his eyes before diving into his reiatsu. At once the comforting hum of his zanpakuto came to embrace and reassure him. The unknown tension that has filled him until then fled his body, and he let out a sigh of relief, especially when a little jibe from his hollow side joined in. It seemed that Zangetsu has automatically retreated into his inner world after what happened. It was a little trick he has learned from Yoruichi when she has beaten reiatsu control into his thick head during the war so he could finally add kidou and stealth to his repertoire. So at least whoever has brought him here has not taken his zanpakutos.
The little relaxation and concentration he has fathered since he woke up fled him, though, when he heard somebody come stomping towards his room. He barely had time to reign in his reiatsu to a manageable degree until the door burst open. There was no time left to sense if the person was friend or foe, much less if somebody else was somewhere in the vicinity.
When he saw the intruder he was immediately reminded of Kukaku, only with two arms.
"Hey brat, you finally awake?" the woman asked. She had a crooked grin on her lips and her hands on her hips. She had a presence that filled the entire room, but where Kukaku had a somewhat rough and sometimes violent air around her, this woman looked friendly and boisterous. Otherwise they looked so strikingly similar that they could have been sisters.
At least they would, if Kukaku hadn't died shortly after getting him to the Soul Palace.
"Really, you looked like shit when we found you," the woman went on, letting herself fall down beside his futon. "Smashed right into our backyard. That was five days ago now. You really have a deep sleep, but your injuries are healing real nice." She reached out to him, her hand brushing the edge of his yukata aside to take a look at his bandages. But in that moments his reflexes kicked in and he swatted her hand away, immediately on guard.
The woman cast him a guarded look before sighing and leaning back to rest on her hands. "No need to be so skittish. If I wanted to harm you I would have done that already."
Ichigo lowered his head in embarrassment. She was right. But he couldn't just brush of those instincts that have saved his life more times than he was comfortable counting. "Sorry," he muttered, looking at the far wall.
She regarded him carefully for a moment before grinning again. "Don't sweat it. I'm Taka by the way. Taka Shiba, head of the Shiba Clan."
Ichigo faltered for a moment. He didn't know exactly much about Soul Society and much less about his father's family, but last he knew Kukaku was the head of the Clan, and the only other members were Ganju, his old man and his sisters. He didn't know anyone called Taka, much less a Shiba.
His fist thought was that somebody was pulling a prank on him. But that woman before him looked one hundred percent sincere, no sign or deceit or mischief in her eyes. Furthermore, although he wasn't the most well versed person in Soul Society, he wasn't completely stupid either. He would never fall for a cheap trick like that.
Just when he was about to open his mouth to call bullshit she kept on talking.
"Man, that was quite some entrance you made there. Scared the hell out of my chicken, too. And your reiatsu! That was something else, really. I've never felt such a strong reiatsu before, but also not one with such a strong fluctuation rate, either. You must have been through quite some stuff. This is also why I wouldn't let the children up here into your room to gawk at you. It would have only added to your pile. They probably would have drawn a moustache on your face or something. Those little shits! You just got to love them!"
While Taka was talking Ichigo used the time to dive into his reiatsu again to catch up on his previous scanning. He spread his senses, not only over the near vicinity but also farther over Seireitei.
Immediately he could feel several familiar signatures. One of the first he felt was the one of Tenjiro Kirinji. After Unohana's death he has taken over some duties of the 4th Division again, establishing another one of his hot spring sets there. But the next signature he felt made him falter.
He didn't recognize it at first because it felt so different than the last time he came in contact with it, but he would recognize Retsu Unohana's reiatsu everywhere. It was strange though, not only because she was supposed to be dead, but also because her reiatsu had a disturbing ting to it that made cold shivers run down his spine.
But what really made him stop short in his advances, though, was the signature of Yamamoto. Ichigo was there when the old man died, has seen how the remains of his body got completely obliterated by Yhwach's powers. There was no way that man was still alive and streaming reiatsu all over Seireitei.
"Hey, you okay?" Taka interrupted his thoughts, and Ichigo immediately snapped his focus back to reality. She was looking at him worriedly and leaning towards him as if she wanted to touch him, but refrained from doing so based on his previous reaction to it. "You look a little pale."
Ichigo swallowed. "Where am I?" he asked back, doing everything to make his voice steady and his face unreadable.
"In the Shiba compound, duh! But from the way you landed and how out of it you were I can't fault you for not knowing where you barged in. I mean, we like visitors like anybody else – we're a pretty sociable bunch, we Shibas – but we like them knocking first before they come in if you know what I mean!" she cackles.
"But – I mean – What about the Quincy? What about the war? The Wandenreich? I mean –" Ichigo stuttered, stumbling over his words. When he noticed that he started babbling in his shock he shut his mouth with a snap.
"Woah! Calm down!" Taka tried to pacify him, again looking like she wanted to touch him, but refrained. She regarded him warily, like she didn't trust him to not go nuts any second. "I don't know what a Quincy is, and I've never heard of a place called Wandenreich, but I know that there was never someone stupid enough to start a war with the Soul Society if you exclude Hollows, and they are by nature not necessarily the brightest candles on the cake." She pursed her lips. "Maybe it was just a bad dream. You hit your head hard enough for it to be a little jumbled."
Ichigo just nods at her suggestion, staring at the wall again. He could still feel the familiar signatures at the edge of his awareness, signatures that shouldn't exist anymore. But nobody could fake a reiatsu signature. Nobody. So did that mean Yamamoto and Unohana were still alive? But how? It just wasn't possible. He saw at least one of them die right in front of his eyes.
Taka sat beside him for a while and observed him. He could feel her gaze running over him from top to bottom, but he disregarded her. Instead he tried to make sense of what he came to know in the last few minutes.
With a sigh she slowly stood up, probably not to startle him, and made her way to leave the room. When she stood in the door she turned back to him again for just a moment. "By the way, what's your name?"
Ichigo contemplated if he should tell her, but in the end he thought it couldn't hurt. Taka was right, if she wanted to hurt him she would have had ample opportunity to do so already. "Ichigo Kurosaki," he answered, observing his counterpart.
There was no recognition in her eyes, no sign that she knew who he was or what that name meant. Instead she nodded and bestowed him with another crooked grin. "Despite the circumstances I'm happy to make your acquaintance. If you get hungry or need company you can just come down whenever you feel like it. I will instruct the servants to take care of you." And with those last words she left him alone.
Ichigo laid back and stared at the ceiling, his mind racing.
Of course the first thought that shot through his head was Aizen. If the bastard managed to break out of the painstakingly protected prison they especially made for him, then that would be a total disaster (more so than it already was).
But the fault in that thought was that he has never seen Aizen's zanpakuto in action. He couldn't be caught in one of his illusions.
And what would it bring Aizen to construct an illusion he would doubt in the first second? His illusions were all about deception, about showing your subject something they think is real instead of the true reality. Aizen was smarter than showing him something unbelievable. He wouldn't make the mistake of letting signatures of dead people be included in his illusions, and he much less would have let him live when he had him at his mercy.
It can't be some evil plot of the Quincy's either. If they ever did something to make him falter in his perception of reality they wouldn't make such a grievous mistake of reviving Unohana and Yamamoto, either. If they were ever able to alter his perception they would do more something like, you know, kill him on the spot as soon as he was caught in whatever trap they constructed.
It couldn't be a prank either, as much as it would be in bad taste. The Shinigami simply didn't have time for those. They were at war, a war they were almost certain of losing. Their struggling was desperate at best. Or, it would be, if Yhwach hadn't made it into the King's Realm already and killed the Soul King. It was pointless now anyways.
But everything came back to those reiatsu signatures. Those were impossible to fake. Suppress, yes, but not creating them superficially. It should be absolutely impossible for him to feel Yamamoto and Unohana, and yet he did. It just didn't get into his head how that was supposed to be possible.
Sighing wearily Ichigo rubbed a hand over his face and let his senses spread out once again. There were the familiar pressures of Yamamoto (stronger than he remembered, though he was the first to admit that he didn't know the old man very well), Unohana (still as creepy and… off), and Kirinji (thankfully the way he remembered). When he fine tuned his senses he could even feel Ukitake (also impossible, he was dead, too) and Shunsui. Both of them felt off, too, less refined and not as strong as they should be, like a shadow of themselves. He could feel no trace of Rukia, Renji, Shuuhei, Matsumoto, Urahara, Byakuya, Kenpachi, Shinji, Kensei or anyone else he knew. Nothing.
When he honed in to his close surroundings he could feel the people in the house with him. There were so many people. When the Quincys took over Seireitei with their Wandenreich the Shinigami have retreated to the Rukongai Districts. The people in those Districts were evacuated, at least those who were still alive and haven't been caught in the crossfire. But now he could feel those Districts bustling with life once again.
Ichigo groaned and sat up. This situation was giving him a headache. And his stomach was demanding to be fed in the most unpleasant way now, too. For now he could neither feel any Quincys, nor any killing intent in his close vicinity, so for now he was relatively safe. He would use this temporary tranquility to figure out what the hell was going on.
Standing up from his futon he had to wait a moment when dizziness overcame him. Obviously he wasn't in peak condition yet. Shaking his head to regain his senses he made his way towards the door. Carefully he looked up and down the corridor, but nobody was there. He didn't know which way to go, so he just chose to go right, hoping that it would lead him somewhere.
After a while the corridor led him towards an inner courtyard filled with bushes, trees and flowers. He has once been to Byakuya's house and he has had such a garden as well, but it has looked nothing like that. This one looked wild compared to the Kuchikis'.
He could hear giggling from one of the bushes. Stepping a little closer Ichigo could see a little girl hiding within. A boy he hasn't seen until now roamed the garden, obviously searching something or someone. He, too, has heard the giggle, and with a mischievous grin on his face he sneaked up and then pounced on the girl. With a delighted shriek the girl ran away, the boy hot on her heels.
It was such innocent scene, something that Ichigo hasn't seen for almost two years now. It was actually the first time he has seen children at all in the same amount of time. Something warm started tingling in his chest, and he watched the two little rascals for a short while longer, just reveling in their glee and laughter. Happiness has been such a rare good nowadays.
When his stomach growled again he continued on his way. Now he encountered some more people. Most of them looked distinctive like Shibas. Just like the Kuchikis had that certain look about them that identified them as family the same was true for the Shibas. This mischievous glint in their eyes, the grin, the facial structure, all of this were indicators that told Ichigo who he was facing. All of them looked remotely relative to Kukaku, Ganju, his father and himself (and he guessed Kaien, too. He almost couldn't hear it anymore how much they looked alike). Some people he met looked different, but he guessed those were the spouses or friends. But all of them greeted and smiled at him, though he could see that they were curious about him as well. When what Taka said was true and he suddenly crashed into their compound than he couldn't blame them. He, too, would probably want to know who crashed into his backyard.
"Kurosaki-sama?" somebody said from behind. Turning around he saw a middle aged man walking up to him. He had a diminutive air around him, so Ichigo guessed he was some kind of servant. Ichigo nodded and the man smiled. "Kurosaki-sama, Shiba-dono has instructed us to take care of you if the need arises. Just ask us if you need anything," he said. He pointed towards an insignia on his chest that looked like the mix of a swirl and a fishhook, the Shiba family symbol. It must be a sign to identify the servants from the other residents.
"Well," Ichigo said, rubbing the back of his head. "I'm kinda hungry." He didn't want it to sound like an order, so he rather formulated it like a statement. I just made him uncomfortable to order anybody around (outside of the battlefield of course. There he demanded obedience).
The servant smiled and nodded. He slid a door to his right open and pointed to the room. "Please take a seat. I will bring something by shortly."
Nodding and mumbling a thank you Ichigo entered, letting himself fall down on one of the various cushions around the room. It seemed to be some kind of living room. The door stayed open, and he had a good view on the garden. It was a peaceful sight, and slowly he started to relax for the first time since he woke up, taking in the fresh air and the children's laughter.
Therefore it was a pity when he minutely turned his head and almost got a heart attack.
In a corner of the room sat an old woman. Her hair was entirely gray and her skin more winked than anybody else's Ichigo has ever seen. Her milky gray eyes were fixed on him, and even when Ichigo moved a little to the side they followed him unerringly.
The most disturbing thing was that Ichigo hasn't even noticed she was in the room to begin with. He cursed under his breath. He has let his guard down for a moment, and now somebody has snuck up on him (not really, but he has still not known she was there, so same difference). If this was a trap or an illusion or whatever, then he has walked right into it.
He let his guard down, let himself become vulnerable in an unknown situation. It was a stupid mistake. As if the last few years of war haven't happened, haven't taught him anything.
He almost got another heart attack when Taka stomped into the room, closely followed by the servant from before. He was carrying a dinner tray with him and set it down in front of Ichigo, not caring about his shocked expression, before leaving the room again.
"I see you are feeling better, though still a little pale," Taka commented before sitting down on a cushion beside him. She frowned in confusion when Ichigo didn't touch his food and his eyes kept darting between her and the old woman.
Glancing at the other occupant in the room Taka grinned again. "Ah, I see you have met Granny Bishuji. She's not just my grandma but everybody's grandma. Sometimes I think she is older than Soul Society itself, but nobody knows anymore."
Not knowing what to say to that Ichigo just nodded and instead directed his focus onto his food.
"So," Taka eventually said after a few minutes of silence," I asked around a bit about those Quincys you mentioned."
Swallowing the mouthful of rice Ichigo looked at her. "And?" He felt strangely hopeful.
Taka took a deep breath. "Nobody has the slightest idea what you are talking about."
Ichigo scowled at her. "You make it sound like I'm dimwitted or delusional."
"When the shoe fits," Taka smirked, and Ichigo had to refrain himself from fighting her over that comment.
And that old woman was still staring at him!
"And what is her problem anyways?" he asked Taka, pointing at her grandmother with his chopsticks.
Taka pursed her lips. "How about you ask her?" She cleared her throat. "Hey, Granny! Why are you staring? Is it his hair color?" Again Ichigo wanted to hit her.
The old woman kept on staring, but then her eyes narrowed. Her loud "Kyaa!" startled both Ichigo and Taka. Granny raised her hand and pointed it at Ichigo. "He is a Shiba!"
Ichigo's eyes widened at the exclamation. There was no way that old hag could possibly be able to know that. Taka just raised her eyebrows and gave Ichigo another once over. "Huh, I'll be damned. Now that she says it I can see it."
Ichigo's eyebrow twitched. "Are you people stupid or something? How should she know something like that?"
"Granny has the Eye," Taka says as if that one sentence was self explanatory. His vacant expression must have been reaction enough for her to continue. "You see, granny has made many foretelling and predictions over the centuries, and there still has to be one case where she has to be proven false. If Granny says you are a Shiba then you are a Shiba. You know, some of us have moved out to be with their lovers or spouses or just because they want to see something of the world. So there is very real possibility that you have Shiba blood in you. Except for the hair color you look very much like one of us. We usually adopt those people back into the family if they want to."
"How do you know those people don't just want to rip you off?"
"Granny has the EYE! Don't you listen to me?!" Taka shouted and hit him over the head with another cushion. Suddenly her eyes widened in realization. "You know, maybe Granny can help you. Hey, Granny! Do you know what a Quincy is?"
Again Granny's eyes narrowed. Her hand raised into the air, her fingers shaking and her breath stopping. From one moment to the others her eyes widened and her movements froze. Both Ichigo and Taka looked at her in anticipation. "His hair color is natural!" she exclaimed.
"Well, no more useful predictions for today," Taka sighed and stood up. "Don't feel too disheartened about this Quincy thing." Her face brightened again. "But you know what may cheer you up? Becoming part of the Shiba Clan!"
"How do you know I am not going to rip you off? I mean, I showed up at your compound under dubious circumstances. I could be some mass murderer or something. Did nobody ever teach you not to invite strangers into your home?"
Taka just blew a raspberry and waved off his concerns. "You're one of us now. You're family, not a stranger." But then suddenly her expression darkened, and for the first time Ichigo felt threatened or intimidated by that woman. He had to raise his reiatsu slightly to compensate hers. "And if you are here to harm us," she continued, a menacing glint in her eyes," then I would like to see you try."
A shudder travelled down Ichigo's spine, and he just nodded silently in understanding. As soon as he did the atmosphere became light again, and Taka was smiling happily once more. "Granny has never been wrong before – she has the EYE! – and until now all of us Shibas are good people when it gets down to it. So I'm not so worried about you to be honest."
"This entire family is completely mad," Ichigo muttered, eyes wide with disbelief.
Taka laughs. "Yeah, maybe, but at least we don't have a stick up our asses like the Kushikis." She clapped her hands together. "So! I'm willing to let you think about joining up, but until then: how about I show you around the compound?"
She didn't give Ichigo a real choice in the matter, though. She just grabbed his arm and pulled him along with her down the hallway, Grandma Bishuji tagging along behind them.
But for some reason Taka was introducing him wrong to the people mingling around.
"Don't introduce me as Ichigo Shiba all the time. I haven't agreed to join yet."
"Semantics," she brushed off, continuing as if he hasn't said anything and introducing him as Ichigo Shiba to the next guy coming along.
"Don't go around spreading lies!" Ichigo shouted, but expectantly he was ignored.
"Granny says you're a Shiba so you're a Shiba. Get used to it." Ichigo slowly thought they were sounding like a broken record (even if she wasn't particularly wrong - he was a Shiba after all - that didn't make it any less annoying, though).
They passed the Main Gate to the compound. A relatively big crowd has gathered there, all mingling around one young man who looked quite proud of himself. They were patting him on his shoulder and congratulating him happily. "What's up with that?" Ichigo asked.
"What, that?" Taka pointed towards the group. "He just came back from his entry exam at the Academy. We try to have one of us in every year since the Gotei 13 was founded."
A snort from Granny made Ichigo stop short in his tracks. When he turned around he could practically see the lightning shooting form her eyes. "I guess you don't have such a good opinion of the Gotei 13, huh?" he inquired.
"Oh, please don't get her started," Taka moaned, but it was already too late.
"I'm old enough to know a time where there wasn't even a Shin'o Academy, much less a Gotei 13! I know exactly who founded the Gotei, and I tell you, they are all nothing but a ragtag group of lowly thugs!" Granny began to rage, shaking her fist in the air. "The Divisions exist for only a hundred years now, and yet most of those… those criminals have already killed each other off! They are pimps, murderers and mafiosi! And that god forsaken Yamamoto is the worst of the entire bunch!"
Ichigo's eyebrows rose up to his hairline. Who would have guessed that in a woman so old could be that much life. But he also kind of feared she was working herself into a stroke or something.
Taka sighed in exasperation. "Though Granny isn't particularly wrong she is also hugely exaggerating. Yes, the founding members of the Gotei 13 were the most vicious and dangerous fighters of Soul Society. And yes, most of them were criminals, but just like Granny said, they kind of couldn't let the feuds they had with each other rest and kind of killed each other. But now only around four Captains are also founders anymore and thus subsequently criminals."
"And those are the worst of the entire litter!" Granny shouted. People in the halls and courtyard were already looking at her and shaking their heads, but kept marching on. It was obviously typical for Bishuji to lose herself in such a rant - her family wasn't even surprised about it anymore.
Ichigo just saw a prime opportunity to press some information out of his hosts. "And which Captain's are those?"
That got Granny really going. "There is this Yamamoto to begin with! He is a real monster! He killed so many people that you could probably populate a couple dozen Rukon Districts with them, and he has burned down just as many Districts! I really don't know why he founded that Shinigami Academy, and I don't care, either! For me a monster like that can never redeem all the things he has done!
"Right after that fool comes that dreadful woman people call Kenpachi Yachiru Unohana!" That got Ichigo's attention. The thought that the gentle, caring Retsu Unohana may have been a savage murderer and fighter was foreign to him. But the shared name Unohana couldn't be a coincident, could it? "Right after Yamamoto she is the most horrible person you could ever imagine! She was roaming through the landscape searching for fighters, but in reality those were just new victims to her bloodlust. She is just a merciless killer!
"Then there is Ginzou Akuma. He is a thug who terrorized the Southern Districts, pressing money out of the people there with his lackeys. And Kaori Ryuzaki collaborated with him. That woman held the greatest prostitution and sex slavery ring in the entire Soul Society! Those four are the worst individuals you can possibly imagine! And now you expect me to believe they founded and joined an organization with the purpose of protecting the Soul Society when all they ever did until then was destroy it and murder its people?! Pah!" Granny really worked herself up into a frenzy. Ichigo could see and feel the disdain, disgust and downright hatred she radiated while Taka tried to calm her down.
Ichigo had to admit, he didn't know much about old man Yamamoto's and Unohana's past, and even less about the circumstances in which the Gotei 13 was founded, but he would have never guessed that it was this bad.
If it was true what Granny said about Unohana then at least he knew why even Kenpachi Zaraki feared her. But he still couldn't conciliate that murderer with the woman who refused to fight because her duty was to heal people, not hurt them. "And what about the other ones? The other Captains I mean. Are they just as bad?" Ichigo asked curiously.
Granny scoffed. "Some of them are some kind of thug or the other, but a few of them aren't half bad." She looked reluctant to admit even that.
"You see," Taka butted in, "us noble families try to get our members into the Gotei 13 in hopes of lifting the ethical code. We try to gain high positions and through that influence we want to change the Gotei for the better. The Kuchikis and Shihoins are moderately successful, but they are more concerned with political matters. We Shibas have the most people inside, but only one in a higher position of power."
Her eyes lit up again in a manner Ichigo slowly came to associate with an idea she thought was brilliant but was not so good for Ichigo. "You could join the Academy! Your reiatsu is certainly high enough. I bet you could make Captain one day. Just imagine it! Captain Shiba! It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?"
"I'm not a Shiba god dammit!" Predictably he was ignored once again.
"The Academy is holding entry exams for the rest of the week still. You could take it and join up."
"I will think about it," Ichigo mumbled. But as far as he could see, Taka didn't really care about what he thought. She would probably sign him up either way.
It was already dark when Ichigo was able to weasel his way out of the party the Shibas have thrown for him in honor of their newest family member. ("…You know what? I give up, do whatever you want," he has said. The glint in Taka's eyes told him that this may have been her plan all along. She immediately whips out all the legal documents they needed to make it official).
He sits down on the roof and let his gaze wander over the landscape and over towards Seireitei. He could see no sign of destruction, no sign of the Wandenreich, although what he could see looked slightly different to what he remembered (he was not so good with names and the faces that went with them, but his sense of direction and his memory of places wasn't half bad). It was strangely peaceful.
That sight was that made him remember what Ichibe Hyosube has told him once, that the Soul King was the center of everything in existence. If Yhwach ever managed to kill him than the entire structure of existence would collapse. It has been Ywhach's intention to replace the Soul King and reform reality to his liking. He would kill the King, absorb the energy that would be set free and then take his place with his new powers.
The wave of energy that engulfed him when the Soul King died, could it have done something to him? If the life of the Soul King has held time and space in place, then his death made it break down. And in the split second where Yhwach had to absorb his energy it could have been that he may have landed himself in a different place and a – dare he say it – different time.
What did Sherlock Holmes say? Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth. It couldn't be Aizen, it couldn't be the Quincys, and it wasn't some stupid prank. The stability of the space-time continuum depended on the Soul King, and the King has died. It could very well be that that has sent him to god knows where. Or pore specifically, god knows when.
But what about his friends? Where they send back, too, or was it just him? He was the one closest to the King after all when the energy was set free. Did his appearance here now created a parallel dimension? If that were the case, could he switch dimensions? Or did his appearance here erase the future he came from altogether? If the death of the Soul King sent him here, then maybe the death of the Soul King could send him back, but that would kind of defeat the purpose of the war he has fought in for the last couple of years, so that was out of the question.
The entire thing was giving him a headache. Sighing he let himself fall back down onto the roof, staring at the dark night sky. He could hear the laughter from the party below. His family sounded like they were having fun. God, those people were probably his ancestors. Time travel, and wasn't that a crazy thought.
There was nothing he could think of that would help him go back to where he came from as of now. So for now all he could do was make the best of the situation.
Bunking with the Shiba Clan wasn't that bad of an idea, really. And joining the Academy and the Gotei 13 would at least give him something to do until he knew how to handle the situation.
Ichigo has leaned a long time ago to roll with the punches fate and the universe threw at him.
A/N: Sooooo, any thoughts?