READ ME: Look guys. I'm gonna be straight with you. This story ain't ever getting finished. The motivation and time just isn't there. Especially the time. I'm Active Duty Navy so my free time is scarce to the extreme. The little time I do have for writing is focused solely on my One Piece story which is honestly way better.
However. Rather then just let this story sit incomplete forever and abandoned, as is the fate of so many stories on this site, I should at least do the courtesy of leaving some notes of how it concludes (At least, for the possible ending we were closest to anyway).
So here you go. Read 'em or don't.
Here's the 'Ending Notes'.
The fight with Mayuri proceeds how you would expect it to. With his new power-up he knocks Ichigo around like a rag-doll. At least for a little while. What becomes immediately apparent is that Mayuri's explosive increase began to bleed away the moment he gained it. An unintended side-effect of Mayuri not fully understanding what Ishida's glove did before he modded it to hell and back.
Ichigo quickly realizes that all he needs to is out-last his opponent and makes that the focus of his fight, mostly through relying on his healing abilities. When Mayuri's energy drops to a manageable level Ichigo hits him with a point-blank cero that vaporizes the entire lower half of the captains torso.
In the instant before his rapidly approaching death Mayuri's final fail-safe kicks in and a pre-installed device turns his body into viscous green liquid. This of course being the same trick he employed against Ishida in canon back in the 'Save Rukia Arc.'
Mayuri mocks Ichigo for his failure. Below is an excerpt.
A low raspy chuckle filled the air. "So close Kurosaki. So very close." the voice spoke, seemingly coming from nowhere. "I see now that my preparations were not thorough. I will have to make some special countermeasures for dealing with you in the future."
Ichigo, infuriated at the idea of Mayuri escaping, taps into his unique heritage again and uses a combination of hollow-instincts and quincy-reishi manipulation to freeze Mayuri in place and then gather him in one spot.
Ichigo snarled as he pulled harder. "I'll admit that I don't understand what you've done to yourself. How you can be conscious-let alone still speaking- while in that form completely baffles me." Ichigo's expression turned vicious. "But what I do understand, what I can sense, is that your body is now extremely similar to the raw reishi that makes up this world."
The scattered puddles of muck were suddenly ripped through the air and forcibly congealed into a ball in Ichigo's waiting hand.
"...Which means as a quincy, I have the power to keep you right where I want you!"
Ichigo planted his sword into the ground and raised his second hand to hover over the liquidized captain. With the slightest widening of his eyes in concentration, both of the Lord of Las Noches's palms began to crackle and glow with holllow, shinigami, and quincy energies.
"Let's find out how invulnerable you really are."
"Wait wait! Please! What do you want? Stop!" The disembodied voice shrieked as the transcendent power clamped over him -enveloped him- and steadily began to wipe him from existence.
"I can offer you power! Research! Knowledge! I can revive your friends! STOOOOOP! I STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO D-"
After Mayuri is gone, Ichigo expects to feel victorious. Justified. Or at least cathartic. But instead all he is...is tired. As he looks around at the burning ruins around him all he wants to do is go home. Ichigo unmutes his communicator to order Szayel to start pulling the forces out but one of the Espada's assistants interrupts him to say that Harribel is fighting Yamamoto and that she is losing. Badly.
At this part we scene change to go check in with Hitusgaya. Since the scene is mostly complete I'll just post it below.
'This is going nowhere.' Hitsugaya realized with a frustrated scowl. Every time the elemental serpents clashed all they succeeded in doing was momentarily rending each other apart. Ice would shatter, wind would scatter and none of it would mean anything as the two familiars would immediately reform at the sides of their wielders.
"It's a tricky situation isn't it niño?" Dordoni asked as his wind snakes coiled around him. "If you want to 'flip the script' then you'll at least need to move beyond shikai."
On a certain level, Hitsugaya knew he was right. Without accessing his bankai, his and Hyōrinmaru's strength just wasn't quite enough to close out this fight. He was confident that if he brought out Daiguren Hyōrinmaru then he could overwhelm his opponent...unfortunately there were problems with that solution.
Tōshirō would never admit it aloud to anyone else, but he knew his bankai was incomplete. The time limit of just a few minutes was constricting enough as is, but what wasn't common knowledge was that the time allotted decreased with every subsequent use he summoned it in the same day. In other words, the only time that he would get access to the full time limit in this war would be the first time,
With this in mind, the captain of the 10th division absolutely refused to waste it on this opponent. 'Dordoni Alessandro Del Soccacio. The 11th Arrancar and most powerful Número in the hollow army.' Hitsugaya remembered well how the flamboyant Arrancar introduced himself. From his annoyingly long name to his proud declaration of being the strongest non-Espada in Las Noches.
And that was the key thing wasn't it?
If he wasted his best move now then it was the same as signing his own death warrant should he encounter an actual Espada after this battle concluded. This was all without considering the other factors as well. The audience that had tagged along with his opponent.
Hitsugaya's eyes briefly glanced at his watchers again. Three Arrancar, already in their Resurrección's, contentedly observing the fight from the sidelines. To be honest, Hitsugaya wasn't too worried about them. They were obviously of lesser stock than the opponents he'd already put down, their rankings -if he had to guess- were probably in the upper 30's or low 40's. Still, it wouldn't do to completely forget about them. It only takes one well timed cheap shot to utterly ruin your day after all…
Tōshirō shook his head. He was letting himself get distracted. He needed to focus on somehow bringing down Dordoni without his bankai.
As another crystalline dragon of ice roared to life from his blade, Tōshirō Hitsugaya made a solemn vow to himself. Should he survive this day, survive this war, then he would train everyday. Push himself and his partner everyday. His position in life as the weakest, least experienced captain in soul society was, as of this moment, completely and utterly unacceptable.
We scene change again to Unohana who has stumbled upon Ulquiorra -in his Segunda Etapa- standing over an absolutely shredded Zaraki Kenpachi. Unohana fearfully asks if Kenpachi is still alive to which the Espada responds,
"For another minute perhaps." Ulquiorra answered in a lifeless monotone. "The first two times that I thought he died he somehow rallied and came back stronger. It was….frustrating." The word felt odd on the Arrancar's tongue. It was as alien as the emotion it described. "I have sincere doubts that he will manage such a miracle for a third time."
Unohana claims that she is only here as a medic and aks permission to save Zaraki's life. Ulquiorra informs her that him standing aside would not violate 'Lord Kurosaki's orders' of focusing on objectives and leaving the wounded alone. Hope blossoms in Unohana's chest but it quickly turns to ash when Ulquiorra continues,
"But Zaraki Kenpachi has shown unexpected potential." The 2nd Espada continued. "Should that potential be allowed to prosper then Las Noches itself could be threatened. If you wish to save this man's life, you will need to get past me."
"Please." Retsu nearly begged. "He doesn't have time..."
"You misunderstand." Ulquiorra spoke. "You do not have to defeat me. Simply get past me. That is all."
Unohana lets her 'Yachiru' personality take over but despite her best efforts she is just not able to match Ulquiorra in his second-released state. Kenpachi dies while the two are fighting and Unohana suffers a mental breakdown in the aftermath. Mostly fueled by the unique backstory the two captains shared.
Meanwhile, Aaroniero Arruruerie is going on a rampage through the 2nd divisions compound in Seireitei. His power grows and grows as his Resurrección Glotonería literally eats shinigami alive by the dozen.
Suì-Fēng appears overhead and after a brief heated exchange the captain attempts to assassinate Aaroniero with her shikai. Beneath his mask though, the Espada simply grins as his trap is activated. Using one of the thousands of powers he's absorbed in his lifetime, Aaroniero vents acidic purple smoke from Glotonería, injuring Suì-Fēng greatly.
The petite captain immediately fled back into the sky but the damage done was severe. Large patches of her skin had become blistered, red and ugly. Pieces of her clothes had actually began to dissolve and the left half of her face was burned bad enough that she couldn't see out of that eye. "You bastard…." Suí-Fēng snarled as she dropped to one knee. "How are you not dead!"
Aaroniero Arruruerie let loose a satisifed chuckle. "My apologies captain. I think you'll find that technique to be wholly ineffective against me. Lord Aizen theorized that your zanpakutō's ability worked by first analyzing the targets unique reiatsu signature on the initial strike and then delivering a customized poison for that specific reiatsu frequency on the follow up."
Suí-Fēng slipped a small pill out of a hidden pocket in her uniform and crushed the medicine between her teeth. Slowly and painfully she rose back to a fighting position as she glared down hatefully at the Espada. "What's your point?"
The 9th Espada spread his arms wide. "So it is true! In that case I am the worst possible opponent for you.!" A series of classic red cero's began to glimmer into existence in the space above Glotonería. "Thanks to the unique nature of my Resurrección, my reiatsu frequency is always in flux! I've consumed over 33,000 hollows and shinigami in my lifetime! Each and every one with their own reiatsu signature. Your precious Suzumebachi is worthless here!" Aaroniero swiped his arm out, launching the barrage of cero's at the captain above.
After a minute of Suì-Fēng zipping around the sky, Aaroniero becomes very frustrated that he cannot land a hit on her, no matter what absorbed technique he pulls out of his bag of tricks. Suì-Fēng then releases 'Shunkō' and begins running strafing runs against the giant land-bound Resurrección.
"It occurs to me..." The Captain spoke. "That you never said Suzembachi's ability doesn't work. You just implied that it was pointless to 'kill' one frequency because you have 30,000 to spare."
Suí-Fēng disappeared again and a second trail of black butterflies bloomed across Glotoneria's grisly visage.
"...So what happens if I just keep killing your lives one by one?" She asked from above him.
The 9th Espada brings out more abilities in an attempt to counter but everything he attempts proves ineffective. His moves become frantic whereas Suí-Fēng's only becomes cleaner.
As his 'lives' faded away, whole blocks of memory disappeared from Aaroniero's head. Knowledge became fuzzy. Abilities he'd used in the past were suddenly outside his reach. Piece by piece, the fortress that was Aaroniero Arrurerie began to crumble.
Aaroniero loses all composure and summons a protective carapace to surround himself. The signature ability of a hollow he once swallowed hole. The Espada boasts that, in exchange for sacrificing all offensive power and mobility, his defense can rise so high that not even a 90's level kidō can pierce it.
Suí-Fēng mockingly asks how he plans to defeat her this way and the following scene takes place.
"I'm not." The rumbling voice replied again. "I've lost too much already. Besides, I've realized something important. I don't need to defeat you. I just need to outlast you."
Suí-Fēng narrowed her eyes. "And how do you figure that?"
"Simple deduction. This 'shunko' technique of yours cannot last indefinately. Abilities like that, the ones that push us past our natural limits, always come at a cost. And when the bill comes due and your crash comes, I will leave my shell, hunt you down AND DEVOUR YOU FOR ALL THE PROGRESS YOU'VE STOLEN FROM ME!" the voice thundered from inside.
The 2nd division captains gaze flickered over her shoulder where she realized what the monster claimed was true. Already there were small fluctuations in shunko's power output. A sign that the technique would soon destabilize. The skill was still imperfect and couldn't withstand extended use.
"You're right." Suí-Fēng muttered as she slowly rose higher and higher into the air. "A crash is coming...but before that happens...I'll finish you with something even greater than a 90's level kidō."
"What you speak of is impossible. Outside of Genryūsai Yamamoto and Lord Kurosaki there isn't a being alive who could even scratch my-"
Inside the comforting darkness of his reinforced shelter Aaroniero suppressed the small bout of nervousness that rose in his gut. Aizen's records back in Las Noches did not actually mention the finer details of the woman's bankai. Only a name was listed.
"Jakuhō Raikōben!"a voice boomed from the outside.
"It's fine..."The Arrancar mumbled. His voice low and soft, as though he were trying to convince himself. "It'll be fine. There isn't anything she has that can reach me in h-"
The miniature nuclear warhead collided with the armored sphere and a few micro seconds later its payload detonated. The hellfire that followed could be seen all across the Seireitei. The nearest buildings disintegrated. Walls were broken down to their atomic level. Bodies of fallen soldiers were incinerated and every single iota of the being known as Aaroniero Arrurerie simply ceased to be.
High above the devastation captain Suí-Fēng gasped deep lungfuls of air as her bankai retreated back into its asauchi state. All the exertion and weariness of the day had caught up to her. Shunkō alone would leave her out of breath after its use and a single shot of her bankai consumed over a quarter of her maximum reiatsu to deploy. These combined with the fact that she'd been running around fighting all day and that she was only functional at all right now due to a military grade painkiller certainly didn't help things.
Captain Suí-Fēng was officially running on nothing but fumes and stubborn grit.
She had finally captured her breath when a small glint of light shone at the edges of her peripheral vision. She turned her head to look at it and was unable to do anything as her vision was consumed by white.
The 12th Arrancar, Gantenbaine Mosqueda, let his lips curve slightly upward as he watched the prone form of the shinigami captain plummet to the ground from where he had, quite literally, shot her out of the sky. "This is Gantenbaine." He reported into his earpiece. "She's down. I'm heading inward to confirm the- URGHGLGH" Gaintenbaine's mouth filled with blood as Suzumebachi lodged through his throat.
The hollow stared down at the shinigami woman in front of him in disbelief. 'That's.. not possib...Drargo's strongest blast...direct hit...'
Something about his expression must have communicated his thoughts because Suí-Fēng snarled a reply. "Well maybe your filthy fucking Resurrección isn't as hot shit as you think it is." In overdramatic fashion the captain jerked her bloodied hand out of the enemy's throat and immediately plunged it back in for her infamous double tap.
Gantenbaine's eyes rolled up into the back of his head and yet another of Hueco Mundo's strongest died.
Suí-Fēng took no time to celebrate. She didn't even check her surroundings. Suí-Fēng's only action was collapsing onto her back right then and there atop the barracks rooftop.
After the blast had struck her she didn't take stock of the damage, she didn't have time. She simply reacted. She had called upon shunkō again; only to have the technique collapse on her after two seconds. Still...that was plentiful time to reach her target and neutralize him with extreme prejudice.
Her vision was darkening now. And there was the strange sensation of warm liquid running down her side. Her right hand slowly reached over to investigate the source and was met with the feeling of actual bone.
'Oh..my ribs are exposed...that's not good.' She thought sluggishly as her breathing slowed. Her blood-caked hand reached for her denreishinki in her shihakusho pocket only to realize the device must have fallen out at some point.
'Guess I'm waiting until a medic finds me…' The captains small hand pressed back onto the gaping hole in her side in an attempt to slow the bleeding. 'Just have to wait a little is all...this isn't the place that I die...someone will come...'
No one did.
The scene shifts again to check in with more secondary characters. This time it's Shawlong who is finishing up a fight against Hinamori. The lieutenant is still mentally unwell from Aizen's betrayal and Shawlong wins the fight without great effort. He decides to spare her at the last minute however as he claims to have no interest in 'killing someone who's both mind and body are broken.'
Finally we move back to Yamamoto vs Harribel and things have not gone well for the water-user. The Espada is scarred, burnt, down an entire arm, and the best she has done is shaved a few hairs off of Yamamoto's beard.
Yamamoto reveals that the only reason she's still alive is to be interrogated and that his patience is running thin. If she wishes to live past the next minute she needs to tell him everything there is to know about Las Noches.
Harribel spat at the mans feet with what little moisture she could gather in her mouth.
The commander inwardly sighed but gave no outward sign. "Very well. I've dallied here for too long anyway. There will be other Arrancar who's wills are not so ironclad."
Yamamoto raised Ryūjin Jakka slightly. Just enough for a clean killing blow, when the spirit of his partner suddenly shrieked.
The commanders eyes darted to his blade. "What's the matter old friend?"
"Oh no! What happened Ms. Three." A childlike voice sounded from beyond the flames. "A few rounds with the old codger and now you're an amputee?"
The sea of fire immediately began to shrivel away as a new Arrancar stepped onto the scene. Blonde haired, incredibly lanky, and clearly already in his released state.
With each passing second the indignation of Ryūjin Jakka grew as the blaze around them faded away until the sword literally began to vibrate in Genryusai's hand. "Who are you?" Yamamoto demanded with slightly narrowed eyes.
"Oh? Did I not introduce myself? That's rather rude. The 5th Espada, Wonderweiss Margela, here to interrupt this little feud."
Then he lunged.
Yamamoto reflexively blocked with his zanpakutō and immediately regretted it. For the moment that the Mod-Arrancar's fingers contacted the steel, all of Ryūjin Jakka's umbrage, it's white hot fury, instantly vanished. The spirit inside went quieter then the grave and for the first time in 1,000 years, Yamamoto's sword has cold in his hands.
A clenched fist rocketed out into Wonderweiss's midesection sending the Espada flying. A shock wave exploded outward from the sheer velocity at which his body ripped through the air.
With the inconvenience dealt with the greatest shinigami of a millennium turned his sights to his partner. 'Ryūjin? Speak to me. What has he done to you?'
The distinctive buzz of sonido sounded from behind him. "Holy fuck old timer..."Wonderweiss ground out as he reappeared, a massive hole in his side currently undergoing rapid regeneration. "Just one punch and you damn near split me in half."
If Yamamoto was surprised at the Arrancar's reemergence then he hid it well. "I see that your penchant for rhyming dries up rather quickly when facing near death." The commander sheathed his blade and shrugged off the top half of his shihakusho. "No matter. I have serious doubts you'll be able to take a second strike of that lethality."
"Wonderweiss...run..." Harribel weakly rasped from the ground.
"Don't worry girl. I did my job. I extinguished the pyre. I'll grab you in a second. Neither of us should be here for what's about to transpire."
At which point Ichigo descends from the sky his classic technique of Getsuga Tensho. A move that never really works but it seems like tradition for him to open with it. The Captain-Commander is unfazed by the surprise attack and the two generals begin to converse.
Ichigo explains the origin of Wonderweiss and claims that Yamamoto has no chance of winning without his zanpkutō. He then proposes that both sides standdown and that further bloodshed is pointless.
Yamamoto naturally gets rather angry at this A fight breaks out and well...here's an excerpt,
Ichigo's eyes tracked down fearfully to the twin fists hovering over his chest.
It was in this one instant. This single microsecond in time. That Ichigo realized he had massively underestimated Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto.
And he understood what being strongest in Soul Society really meant.
The fight continues with both fighters throwing out massive attacks as they push each other back and forth. Yamamoto even at one point uses Hado: #97 to summon a small meteor made of pure kidō. Well small for a meteor anyway.
After a point where they've sufficiently smacked each other around a bit the finale arrives.
That's when it crashed down from the heavens.
Both Ichigo's and Yamamoto's vision was replaced with nothing but the titanic white pillar that now separated them. It was massive. Nay...beyond massive...it was brobdingnagian. A shining white edifice that towered over the entire battlefield.
Although no combatant could see him, the High Priest, Ichibē Hyōsube sat cross legged atop the monument. The pupils in his eyes disappeared, his back straightened, and he spread his bulking arms wide as his God spoke through him.
"MY CHILDREN... HEEEEAAAAR ME..."
Everything stopped as they felt his presence. Swords froze in mid-swing. Kidō fizzled away. Birds in the sky paused and even fish in the ponds of the nobles estates stopped swimming. Every living creature in Seireitei had turned its head to the true Voice of the World. The voice of the King of Souls himself.
A phantom rose out of Ichibē's back. A translucent apparition outlined in an orange hue. The entity grew and grew and grew until it was thrice the size of Sōkyoku hill.
"THIS CONFLICT… IS AT AN END…" It decreed. "BOTH SIDES WILL SHEATHE THEIR WEAPONS …AND STEP AWAY…. THE HOLLOWS WILL RETURN TO HUECO MUNDO…. THE SHINIGAMI WILL RESTORE ORDER TO SOUL SOCIETY."
Waves of power washed over the land. Literally. Cascading swathes of orange light spread out from the deity hanging in the sky, bathing all in it's dominion. Weapons clattered to the ground. Shikai were recalled. Resurrecíon's resealed. Those who were moments away from killing each other were now helping their opponents to their feet. Not a single creature able to resist enthrallment to the divine providence that commanded them.
Save for one.
Ichigo stood in awe of what he could only assume was The Soul King. His eyes wide, his breath hitched. He watched in fascination as the pure power of the entity radiated over the landscape and ensorcelled everyone's minds.
He felt that force blanket over him. Soothing. Warming. Calming. Smothering. Telling him that enough was enough. Telling him that he should lay down his weapon and return home. His mission was accomplished wasn't it? He had achieved his objective. Mayuri was dead. He should just go back to Hueco Mundo and stay there forever!
But through the haze of that serenity, that all encompassing calm, a simple harmless observation managed to reach the forefront of his mind.
'This feeling...this...energy….it feels like mine...'
And with that one single realization, the enchantment was shattered. Ichigo flared his reiatsu and dispelled the Soul Kings influence from his soul. His own transcendent power ripping apart the foreign energy like it was paper mâché.
Realizations flew across Ichigo's mind at a thousand miles a minute. Synapses were firing. Dots connecting to each other. Passages in Aizen's journal suddenly making sense with crystal clarity.
And he simply knew.
This being. Entity. Soul King. This 'God' was like him. Only bigger.It's one advantage was that it had been around for longer.
It existed on the same dimension of power as he did. Or rather, he existed on the same one as it.
If he could ward off its power, then he could fight it. If he could fight it, then he could hurt it. If he could hurt it, then maybe...just maybe...he could defeat it….
….but not today.
Even with his mind clear Ichigo could admit that the Soul King's voice had a point. Kurotsuchi Mayuri was dead. His friends had been avenged. Soul Society had learned that they could not walk over others with impunity.
Ichigo let his zanpakutō dissipate and his bankai cloak vanished as he powered down. There was no need to resist "God's" proclamation for the time being. He'd take the Arrancar back to Hueco Mundo. Soul Society would have their peace.
But the next time he encountered this 'Soul King'….
He'd be ready.
Six Years Later, Karakura Town
The now ex-10th Espada, Dávalos Rasgaddo, audibly growled as he stepped out of the garganta and into the living realm.
"Who does that stupid 'Lord' think he is?" The Arrancar spat with venom filling his voice. "How dare he kick me off the Espada! I'm not the one with an 'attitude problem'! He is! And if he thinks for one second that I'll accept this humiliation lying down then he is sorely mistaken! It was bad enough when that goody-two-shoes Shawlong achieved Segunda Etapa and stole my number nine spot!"
The Arrancar started shaking as he worked himself up into a rage. "I'll show him! I'll make him see what happens when he screws with me! Let's find out what he thinks of my 'attitude' when I turn his beloved hometown into a pile of smoking rubble!" he screeched.
Two chocolate brown cero's began to coalesce in the hollows palms. With an ugly sneer the man thrust his hands together, fusing them into one massive sphere of energy.
"Let's start with that precious fucking school he's always reminiscing about!" Dávalos thundered with a psychotic gleam in his eye.
The dark brown cero exploded outward towards Karakura High and it's caster howled with laughter as it made contact. A great cloud of dust spewed into the sky from the detonation leaving the hollow with an immense smirk of catharsis.
"OH COME ON!" A feminine voice rang out from inside the dust cloud. "IT IS TOO DAMN EARLY FOR THIS CRAP!"
Dávalos scowled as the dust cleared away to reveal a 17 year old Yuzu Kurosaki dressed in a high school uniform standing behind a translucent kidō barrier. The building behind her entirely unscathed.
"You must be the sister..." Dávalos muttered angrily before several sharp jolts of pain shot through his body.
"Both sisters." A voice from behind corrected him.
Dávalos turned his head around to see five glowing blue arrows lodged deep into his back. Hovering in the sky behind him, a teenage Karin Kurosaki switched out her quincy bow for a katana.
"Honestly." The black haired girl mumbled irritably. "Next time I see Ichigo I'm going to slap him. I should not have to be cleaning up his messes."
Hueco Mundo, Las Noches, 28 Minutes Later
Ichigo subconsciously twiddled Aizen's old pocketbook in one hand as he faded in and out of listening to the skirmish report. Twirling it about as he once more contemplated its cryptic writings and the final words of its author.
The Lord of Las Noches momentarily turned his focus back onto his faithful lieutenant Ulquiorra Cifer.
"….after which Dávalos was then killed." The 2nd Espada continued to report. "We do not yet know if Soul Society is aware of the incident but Szayel predicts with a 97% certainty that they are. It is expected that they will..."
Ichigo faded back out and returned to his thoughts on the notebook that spoke of souls and kings. A notebook that could make sense on one page and hold seemingly nonsense on the next. Scribbles and half-sentences about a left leg sleeping in the moon and a right leg buried in hell.
Neliel let loose a tired sigh as she realized her husband wasn't listening."That's enough Ulquiorra. Thank you. You may go." she announced from the throne seated adjacent to Ichigo's.
The Queen of Las Noches turned to her spouse and spoke worriedly. "This is the fourth incident this year and it's barely June. Reports of restlessness in Soul Society are growing by the week. Just how much longer do you think this peace can really last?"
Ichigo re-pocketed the book and turned to his pregnant wife with a comforting smile. One hand reached out for hers and began tracing soothing circles over her skin. In the corner of the room Ichigo's eyes caught the image of his daughter playing a childish game with Mila-Rose while Chad stood watch nearby. His best friend laughing heartily as the mans own son sat on his fathers shoulder and fiddled with his hair.
The Lord of Las Noches took in the happy scene before finally answering his wife's question.
"As long as it can."
So there you go. Admittedly the sappiest of possible endings but at least it is one.
Hope you have a pleasant day