Ok, this one is only around six thousand words but I feel like I made a pretty good scene and I hope you all enjoy.

Thank you to Aroneden and Mattock123

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"I thought I was in the right. That protecting my home, my family, my people was the only choice I had. In that last part, I was correct, my birth into the Shiba Family, my skill with a Zanpakuto. In the desperate state of the war, I had no choice."

Ichigo felt reminded of Excalibur Nightmare, it was the same feeling being buried in something between illusion and memory. It differed in that he could vaguely sense his physical body moving. Hear the echo of a familiar crazy laugh, but all of that was smothered by memory.

"I fought as though I was right." He was watching someone who could have been his black-haired twin. One of the first to hold a Zanpakuto, not a Soul Weapon as had been used before, but a true blade, mirrored on the Soul of the user. Soren Shiba did not take up his arms alone, beside him were friends, family, and her. A woman whose face was blurred even in this memory, perhaps her face was too painful even for what this man had become. She was taller than him, a little more muscular too, and like Ichigo, her weapon was huge. A sign that she was not in control of her Spiritual Power. But that did not matter, they needed bodies, the war was raging across the heavens.

Ichigo was moved to the site of a battle where winged women and undying Norsemen had breached the first gate of Soul Society. Soren was first into the battle, green, vulnerable, but driven to insane heights of passion for his home. His opponents were men who had no regard for themselves. If an Einherjar fell, they returned to Valhalla, or at least that had been the case. Now every soldier, every Death God, had a weapon made to sever the very Soul itself. Those who died by these new blades died and were absorbed, taken into the wheel of reincarnation from which Soul Society drew its existence. It was the true death, brought by the green members of that division that caused the Valkyrie to order the retreat. The first taste of victory, a first taste of the death of a comrade. The first training ground that would forge the Soren Shiba into a man that would lay low a god.

How many battlefields flashed before Ichigo's eyes, as the man evolved, his blade work, his Kido, his speed, his strength. All of it hard-won, with every scar, every loss, and there were many losses. Most of their opponents knew to expect death, and the Norse, once they were prepared for the concept, came back with, if anything, even greater fury, stronger joy, its Einherjar seemingly gaining a spark that they had been missing.

It was war and a war that the new Soul Society had no chance of winning. It was only by the fanatical bravery of their people, the raw power of those who were called Captains, and the fact that they had at their Head Captain Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto. The only member of Divisions who could fight gods and win, whose fire had burned Helios himself. Desperation mounted on desperation, Soren awakened his Zanpakuto, his lover did as well and side by side they fought. They fought and fought, against the endless, inevitable tide, with only the slim hope that Central 46, the newest iteration of the council, had a plan, that they were doing something.

Things came to a head when a mighty army led by the most powerful god, the Ashura, assaulted Soul Society itself. The whole outer district ran red with blood, the Gates of Soul Society's Hell were opened and its denizens and monsters let out to fight any close enough to said Gates. Everyone who could hold a weapon, every criminal, monster, and old man who could hold a blade was sent. The fight that flooded Ichigo's mind was an apocalypse, desperation made manifest, as a Pantheon fought to extinguish those who had killed their own god, those who had dared to claim what was not their own.

Things got worse when the Captains were pulled away, all of them, their power required for the last gamble of Soul Society. They were told, they were all told that they had to hold, that if they could then salvation would be at hand. Of course, without the raw power of the greatest fighters, the slaughter began, the demons of the Hindu pantheon, the Ashura at their head, the broken and beaten forces of Soul Society were no match, they could not even come close, but still, they held. Against all odds they held, Ichigo was moved to the direct perspective of the man, as his lover's lifeless body flew by him, its whole upper half-devoured by flames.

He turned to face the Ashura, seeing the single wound across its chest and he screamed, it was all he could do. He could not give voice to a baseless threat of destruction. He could only fight and he charged. Six blades of fire came to meet him and Soren did not dare unleash his Shikai, this thing was far too powerful and as his body blurred with movement, his Zanpakuto deflected just one of the fiery blades. Sorien knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that if he was struck by just two he would be dead.

So recklessly he expended his power, hardly daring to pause in his use of the Flash Step. "Little man, is running all you can do?" The Ashura taunted.

"Your woman was much more of a man than you."

Soren did not bother to even consider the words, did not give any room in his head for the taunt, He went low under a swing just as a wave of his people surged to overtake the Demi-god, with its other swords engaged, he let out a breathless cry and slashed his blade deep into the creature's wrist. Blue blood flowed and one blade of flame winked out, there was a terrible sound as dozens died, cooked alive by the terrible crimson fire. Suddenly he, Soren Shiba, was the only thing that mattered to the Ashura. Seeing a chance, a small one, he led the creature up and away from the battle. Leaving its minions leaderless, utterly overwhelming, but undirected.

His people saw the opening, forming their ranks for one last stand. However, he was not faster than the Ashura, not by a long shot and it caught up to him in the sky above the Seireitei. No longer were the other blades occupied, Soren could feel his vast power dwindling as he made such a use of Flash Step, that in another time he might have been called the God of the Flash if only for this moment of his life.

A second cut was made across the Ashura's shoulder, a third so close to his neck it still drew blood, Soren was caught off guard by the limp hand he had almost severed, a surprise attack from the newly regenerated hand, a simple punch which blasted him into a destroyed section of the Outer District, making him slam into the ground hard enough to leave a crater.

Soren remembered hearing vague words coming from the Ashura as it streaked after him, all six of its swords blazing. He had only one last gamble, something that only the Captains had managed to do. I looked up at the god and snarled the words. "Bankai."

A Soul Chain flashed and rammed itself into the Ashura, and from that power flowed, a power so vast it made his own reserves of Spiritual Power seem like drops in an ocean. The difference between himself and the godling was so vast that to even it out, his whole body seemed to be made of living flame. "What is this?" The Ashura asked. "What have you done, little man?"

Soren said nothing, he just stood up and met the god with his sword, now backed by a strength that could shatter mountains, with a speed he had never known. Blade met Blades, and for the first time Soren held his own, at last able to block directly, his blade was a blur of steel. Flashes of sparks and a roar of effort. The Ashura stumbled back as the wound on its chest, the same one inflicted by Soren's lover, was reopened and this time it did not heal. Not when the blade was powered by the same crimson fire which brought ruin to all who were touched. The battle had changed for the mighty demigod, suddenly it was mortal, suddenly it was vulnerable, and it could not run.

Its own power turned against it, the Ashura unleashed all its fury, a flurry of blows so fast space itself seemed to twist, a blade of fire erupted out of Soren's back, and even as a scream of pain erupted from his mouth, the blade of his Zanpakuto severed the hand holding the fire. It winked out and with a mighty effort, another hand flew off. The agony was transcendent, almost as all-consuming as the pain in Soren's heart. The sight of his lover burned into his memory, it drove him forward as the demi-god howled his pain. Its own power, keeping Soren alive, keeping him moving even as the hole in his chest refused to heal.

Suddenly it was four blades on one, Soren dancing through their flashes, his sword moving like poetry. Blocking, dodging, step by step driving the thing back, making it cry with every cut. He saw the fear in the godling's eyes, saw its hesitation, its suddenly immortal life brought to a halt as an ant began to tear it to pieces. It stopped speaking, it stopped wasting time, two of its fiery swords winked out as it took two-handed grips on the last, that was when the carnage really began. Broken houses, bloody bodies, began to fly as blade clashed with blade. Smoke rising only to be blasted apart by the titanic forces unleashed. Both of them began to breathe heavily, both could feel the power fading as it was expended without care. Every second weakened the both of them, yet one knew how to deal with that and the other did not.

Soren had been covered in blood by the battle, his chest had a blistered burn hole through it and yet blue blood flowed unending from the Ashura as its breathing started to labor. Exhaustion must have been a new thing for the godling, but it was an old friend for Soren. As both their blades cut and slashed, as the power he was stealing waned into nothing, as his own death approached the moment the battle ended, Soren only felt Resolve. The Resolve to protect his home, that if his whole life had been spent to buy it just a single extra second. A single moment in which his world would continue, even without him. His cry joined with that of the Ashura as they ran their blades through each other. Neither moved after that, as the power that kept them alive began to flicker. That was when a pillar of light shot into the air: Reishi so dense, so powerful, it could have only belonged to that of a god.

The memory seemed to glitch, and fragment before Ichigo saw what came next. "Sorry about this," A voice said, "There is just not much of me left anymore, at least not of the man I was."

Ichigo turned and faced his black-haired double. "Soren?" He said.

"What's left of the man who fought for Soul Society until his last breath. The little that has hidden away from the Hollow that I have become."

Ichigo felt it now, he could break free of these memories, but his Hollow seemed to have things in hand. "I envy you, envy you in the fact that you seem to have come to an understanding with your Hollow. I did not have the will left after the Great Separation, I just hoped to die fully."

"I get that," Ichigo said, "If all my loved ones died…I don't know what I would do, I do not know what I am going to do to Soul Society for causing this." The words were harsh, filled with a rage so dark it could swallow the sun. "I have not had time to think, I only know that they attacked my sisters, they almost killed them, their people have brought ruin to my home."

"I know," Soren said, "I got to live through your memories too. The Hollow was looking for weakness, but I just wanted to understand. I beg you to at least listen to your woman, the one who came here for you. If you will at least do that, then I will give you everything I have left, my memories, my training, everything so long as it might buy my home a single second."

Ichigo bared his teeth, the smoldering fire in his soul. "What do you know that I don't?"

"Nothing, I just know that Rukia, while clearly more loyal to you, loves her home as well. Will you listen to her?"

"I would have done that anyway."

"Then I beg you, hold in your mind those who you know are your friends, those who would have never gone along with what has happened. Listen to her story, whatever it may be, do not destroy my world in wrath. If you must do so, do it cold. Do it when you know exactly what you are doing."

Ichigo clenched his fist. "And how could your memories be worth that much, for me to deny what I feel, what burns in my heart?"

"Because they are the memories of a Protector, and you, of all people, respect that."

Ichigo trembled, once, when his eyes opened they were burning yellow. "I promise as one Protector to another, if I do what I wish, it will be cold, it will be with thought."

Soren Shiba, his distant ancestor, reached out his hand. "Thank you, Grandson."

He had no reply to that as he gripped the memory's hand and it flooded into him, his body reacted as if it had been trained in a deadly war, a dozen Kido, some nameless, some not in existence anymore, planted themselves in his head. But most of all, what Soren could do with the Bankai, its final power, and the Vasto Lorde's trump card.

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When Ichigo opened his eyes and took back control of his body, the transition was seamless, he did not know how they were on top of a building right now, but it did not matter. The Vasto Lorde was standing across from him, a wound so deep it had almost cut him in half bubbling with that white substance, that same white gunk was bubbling out of Ichigo's neck where it had been slashed. His overall power was dropping, as the Vasto Lorde's Bankai forced them to be in balance. "Join me." The man was saying.

"Pretty sure he told you to go fuck yourself." Ichigo replied.

The creature who called itself Soren tilted its head. "You're back." Ichigo felt memories try to flood into his mind, but now that he knew what to look for, It was a simple matter to brush them away. He took up his two-handed stance and something in his lack of tension seemed to set the Vasto Lorde on edge. Ichigo let out a breath, now far away from the volcano of his deepest emotions. Sure he hated the creature before him, hated him for existing and bringing his monsters to Karakura. But they would have never been there in the first place if it had not been for the black-clad asshats and it did not matter. The creature Soren had become had to die, "Take a breath and relax your mind," Ichigo whispered, "Position yourself, leave everything you have behind." He pulled in a breath, and with his exhale white power streamed from his breath. "Feel the strength building inside." His body tensed, his breath coming in a way it never had before, natural, easy, as if it was how he had always done it.

Footsteps sounded as the Vasto Lorde closed the distance, Ichigo moved his blade in a series of simple blocks and deflects, after all, he knew the creature's blade work as well as his own. Flashes of gold and red sparks fell around them as he countered, taking the creature's eye, blocked a powerful swing, and lashed out with a simple punch to knock the creature back, and a follow-up attack before he could fully heal. It was simple really, it had just required him to have a lifetime of, well, being the creature. Every hard fight was a lesson, the agonizing feeling of an exhausted body that still moved, still fought.

Arc's of white followed his blade like ink, and while their power and strength was equal, their skill differed, and Ichigo had the Breath, that and one other trump card. A weak one, but a direct attack would have been pointless with it anyway, it was based on his imagination, what he could do with small, but usable power. "What is this?" The Hollow whispered as his blows were foiled each in their turn, no matter how fast, or how tricky. "You shoved me into your memories of a war, what the hell did you expect?"

That seemed to catch the monster off guard and Ichigo took his arm off at the shoulder, his blade sliding through the Vasto Lorde's Hierro like it was butter. The Hollow hissed and his blade flew through the air to his other hand as he unleashed a series of brutal strikes, none of which found their mark. Where his arm was, a mass of white foam had replaced it, his regeneration was desperately trying to grow a new arm in seconds. Ichigo shattered it with a slash. Keeping the pressure as they both stepped off the building and plummeted to the ground. Ichigo made sure to break the arm each time it tried to reform. Soren fought two-handed, he had to to fight the creatures he had faced in the war which meant in turn that one-handing a weapon just did not have the same skill.

Ichigo kept moving forward, unstoppable, implacable, his paper white face a mask of calm, his yellow eyes seeming to glow only dimly. He left his opponent with no choice, no options, no way of victory. At least not in the current state of things, he hoped it was enough, that the Hollow would play his Bankai's trump card before he ran out of enough power to do what was needed next.

Both felt it when another one of the Vasto Lordes vanished, both felt the creature tear its way into the void, fleeing from those about to kill it. His heart lurched as he felt Koneko follow it. "NO!" He shouted, but he was too far away, as the void closed. His distraction cost him as the Lorde was able to finish regrowing his arm, to grasp both hands onto his sword. At the same time, a new power made itself manifest, the power of a Hollow mixed with something far different and with the new memories in his head Ichigo recognized it.

"How?" He whispered, staring at the creature that had been Soren. "Ah, it looks like Ashura is taking this seriously, I had not thought that possible." Ichigo could see its grin. "I guess you saw him in my memories, we were connected when the worlds were split, now he belongs in none of them and is my monster to control."

Their blades collided and while Ichigo could still see through his moves, the creature had grown wiser, no more all-out attacks, both of them fighting as if they had mirrored each other a million times. But even here Ichigo was pulling ahead, his Breath keeping him focused while his mind screamed he had to go and help. They needed him...even if the ones fighting the Ashura were some of the most powerful people he knew. At what point did a Protector need to trust others to protect themselves?

He had to trust in Sona and her people, in Serafall, in his Father, it was his only choice. He needed this fight to end, he needed it to end now. He saw a chance as they approached and passed a car, it had been abandoned, riven by some creature with claws. A trickle of gasoline flowed out from under it, Ichigo locked blades with Soren and forced him back, trusting in his memories of the man. In how he acted, in how he fought, as they broke apart both leaped back to the limit of the chain. A simple way of resetting, it put Soren's back against the car and Ichigo whispered a simple word. A small white circle of power flashed above the trickle of gas, letting out a single spark. The world went red as the car erupted, not doing any damage, but blasting Soren forward, Ichigo had already started his movement before the spark had fallen. His body lowered, the white ink following his sword as he moved forward with all the speed he had. Soren saw it coming, but he was helpless, the blade flashing for his neck and he did the only thing he could have done. "Sukēru-jō no yubi (Finger on the Scale)."

It was a last-ditch cheat, the chains sucking energy from both of them and mixing the powers until they exploded. The explosion, of course, started on his side and most of a full block of Karakura vanished as the chain, at last, came free and he was blown through whatever was left standing. It hurt, it really did, and even though his power was diminished it still healed him. But for the Vasto Lorde, he healed faster, appearing before Ichigo in his full aspect of power, the Hollow mask, the sewn hole. Ichigo was barely able to get his blade in the way before he was blasted into the sky.

Rather than calling upon his Spiritual Power, he reached for his Devil side and let his wings erupt. Of course, they were the weird semi-Quincy wings made of blue energy pinions, but they arrested his motion saving him from the effort of stopping himself with power he needed. There was the sound of static and the howl of a Hollow as the Vasto Lorde appeared before him to bring down his Bone blade like a club. Ichigo made a simple turn, letting the blow flow past him and bringing up his blade from a low guard to an upward slash. He misjudged his own exhaustion and rather than cutting the creature in half only a leg flew off, drawing out a scream of pain and another blur of motion, taking the Hollow a hundred yards in a single moment. Ichigo looked at his leg, which bubbled with white, but did not heal anywhere near as fast in fact it looked like it would take at least an hour.

But Ichigo did not allow himself a taunt or words, he knew what was about to come, when or if this creature felt backed into a corner. Both of them were breathing, each sucking in great gasps of air. "Looks like you have him on the ropes master." Mori appeared at his side, her clothing was a little ripped and she was covered in blood. Ichigo blinked and risked a glance down to see Rukia dispatching several black-clad attackers, her blade burning with a purple fire that seared the very Soul.

"Get back," He whispered, "It's not over."

The maid smiled and raised a delicate finger, and hundreds of Kunai just appeared, all around him, hundreds and hundreds of them, each one glowing with differing elements. "I did not come to fight, my master, I came to clean up the mess."

Soren looked around him bearing his teeth and threw himself forward, Ichigo felt a spark of a new power surge as one of his bonds came into direct danger and met the Vasto Lorde locking blades once more. Mori made a gesture with her finger and a dozen Kunai flashed forward, zig-zagging, twisting, and not at all following Newtonian physics. Soren tried to use him as a shield and stayed close, but whatever Mori was doing she was accurate down to the millimeter. The Kunai clashed against the Hollow's iron skin and he laughed as they did nothing. That was until they started to spin like little drills. "I hate Devils." Soren hissed as he threw Ichigo back and unleashed a series of small red Bala blasts. Mori effortlessly avoided them all, moving like a ninja rather than a Maid.

Ichigo did not let him get any further, taking advantage of his missing leg to drive him back, trying to land a killing blow. Behind him and supporting him, was his personal maid, using the hundreds of Kunai like they were sewing needles. Furthermore, Rukia was almost done with her work and once she joined in…He moved to surge forward when they both felt it. He at least knew what it was, but the raw power...It was Orihime on a scale he had never experienced before, the power that perhaps for even a moment, went so high he stopped being able to sense it.

A moment later it was gone, but so too was the Ashura Vasto Lorde, he turned to look at that creature who had once been Soren. "That's everyone I think," He said, "Even your last ally has left, time for you to leave too. I won't chase you…"

For a moment he hoped it would work, he did not know if he had the power to stop what came next. The creature did not respond, save for the blur of static. "FUCK!" He snarled and hurled himself upward, driven by his wings, by his power, as he hurled skyward. "Fuck, Fuck."

He saw the Vasto Lorde with his finger raised to the sky, and all the power, all the energy in the air, all the Reishi of the slain, the exhausted, every fragment of power Ichigo himself had expended and lost. It all gathered to the Vasto Lorde, leaving the air almost scorched with its lack of Spiritual Pressure. Ichigo gathered what was left of his power in response as a large orb of darkness gathered above his enemy, it began to shrink down as it hungrily devoured all the power with endless hunger. It was perhaps the most terrifying ability Ichigo had ever seen, seeming as if to be unstoppable.

In a way, it was only as dangerous as the combatants themselves, but with himself, Rukia, the Five Vasto Lordes, his Father, Kisuke, Yoruichi, Orihime, and Tatsuki of all people. With all the power everyone had been outputting, the Almighty Cero, the greatest creation of the Creature that had been Soren Shiba lived up to its name. The black sphere turned into the crimson star taking on a horrendous perverse aspect of Divinity. It also flickered with gold lighting, just like his power had, a hint of his power stolen and yet making the attack far more than the sum of its parts.

He had underestimated how powerful that attack would be, but that did not change what he had to do. Raising his hand he unleashed his power, everything he had left and in the sky above Karakura as a shield of gold formed, a huge circle, Angelic Runes, Devilish Script, Kido marks, the center formed the mixed symbol of the Quincy Cross, the Gremory Rose, and the Sitri necklace.

Soren did not say anything, he did not even name his attack, he just pointed down with an orb the size of a marble, a molten drop of crimson flame, and let it fall. He did not have to arm it, he did not have to even make it fast, anyone within its range would not be getting out of it. Ichigo reached into the very depths of his Soul, taking those last sparks and pouring it into the shield.

The moment the drop impacted it felt like he very well could have died from the shock as a star of fire many times larger than Karakura itself erupted, anything beyond the bounds of his shield was scorched to glass. His mind exploded into stars, as the worst pain he had ever felt wracked his body as he screamed and held the shield. He felt others around the city adding to it, shields of ice and water, of Ruin and power, all taking a tiny fraction of the burden off of him, but it had just been three seconds and his body was starting to smolder. He let loose his pained howl to the stars above, he felt it when Mori appeared at his side, adding what little power she could, but he could not hold, he could not hold!

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Rukia did not know what had happened, as the last of the Death Guard fell off her blade, the sky turned into fire. She took it all in, the sight of her Ichigo holding it back, the sense of how empty he was, all his vast, seemingly endless, power gone, expended in this stupid fight. She should have been panicking, but perhaps her weeks of moping, the pain she had borne for her betrayal, it hardened her will. And while perhaps what came to mind was not the best idea by a certain standard, if you trusted in the power of a boy who had overcome everything else before him…it was a simple thing.

She hurled herself upward, to him, to where she needed to be, to where she wanted to be, his body was smoking, seeming about to come apart. She had no idea how he was holding the shield now, with no more power to send to it. She grabbed a hold of him, not caring that his skin seemed like molten lead. "Ichigo," she whispered, "You have to fight, you need to do what you have always done, I know you can. You're not just fighting for all of us, there is one more person you are fighting for here, today." She opened the small container, the one keeping anyone from being able to sense what was inside.

She felt him stiffen, his eyes go wide with shock, she opened her mouth to speak again, but there was no need, his body shook with a scream so primal it was as if his mind had just snapped. There was a horrible second where nothing seemed to come from his body, but then like a dam had burst, power flooded up from a wellspring gone dry. As she had seen him do a hundred times, he grew in power, his Soul grew larger. It echoed from his scream in the blazing sky as his body stopped smoldering. But what worried her now was that she knew this power, and it did not belong to Kurosaki Ichigo.

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Aizen Sousuke felt it when Ichigo Kurosaki bonded with him. It was a small, simple thing, though the location of the mark was...rather interesting. He was tempted to just try and escape right then, pull a Kurosaki, and activate the power blindly to see what happened. But no, even changed as he was, and that bond was proof of that, he was still Aizen Sousuke. He had made the boy his friend, a feeling that had to go both ways. So he closed his eyes and focused on that bond, taking in all the information he could within a heartbeat of it happening. He sensed the danger, he sensed the pain, the fear, the will that had driven the boy right to the edge of the abyss. He was holding back a vast weight and reaching for power, bonding with anyone he could, as his instincts took over. Aizen smiled. "Do not worry my friend." The guards around him stirred uneasily at his garbled words, but they did not matter. His friend could hear them and that was all that was necessary.

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In the vaults of Ichigo's mind as everything was locked into a terror, fear, hope, of what he had sensed, what he was defending, fearing that once again he would lose. That he would be the one responsible for a second death, words echoed, not his own. "Do not worry my friend, I am with you, take my power, take it all."

And from his body, his newest bond power erupted with enough force to fill his Soul to the brim, suddenly he could see in his mind's eye Aizen Sousuke standing next to him, his hand raised, sharing the burden with him. Aizen felt his emotions, and because he was his friend, he gave, he gave willingly, everything of himself, because that was what Ichigo Kurosaki would do for a friend.

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Every person in Karakura felt that new power, and those who knew it, those who had fought it, shivered in fear. Because at that moment they felt where it came from and who it was flowing out of.

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Ichigo unleashed everything and more, he and Aizen, their powers united, they held, they held against a power that could have broken a continent. They both screamed and the shield morphed once more as words of Kido wove their way into its substance, each one creating a small new layer of defense. Above them, the world shook, the fabric of reality torn asunder to the Void, but nothing could come out of it as the crimson fire flowed into those cracks. That was the first sign they were winning, as power from the attack bled away. This was not Hueco Mundo, the world had not been made to hold under that kind of power. Around Karakura the destruction spread, as the power of Cero Almighty was blunted, fragments sent flying into the land, glassing whole areas, killing who knew how many.

Ichigo screamed, Aizen screamed, and something new appeared on the crimson star, lines of blue light traveling up it from the shield, infecting it and dissipating it. The burden became lighter and lighter as the power lost its shape and flowed down and over the shield like a river of lava, not one drop entering Karakua, but by the time it was over, a mile of land around the city had been turned to glass.

As the power vanished so did the shield, as did his vision of Aizen. Ichigo just hovered there, any movement would have had him fall. Hell, without Rukia holding him up that would have been it. "R-Rukia," He gasped, his words sounding as if coming from a burnt throat, "H-how?"

"No time," she whispered, pointing up, "It's not over."

Ichigo looked up to see Soren hovering there, staring at them, at him, in disbelief as if unable to comprehend what had just happened. Aizen's power still burned within him, the air around him felt scorched and clean of any power, meaning Soren could not use that trick again. However, he just could not make his body move.

There was the sound of a Flash Step, a blur in the air, Ichigo blinked and found himself staring at a broad back. His father Isshin Kurosaki did not say anything, he merely looked at the bag Rukia had opened. "Its containment, she is inside it."

Isshin nodded, once, his body trembling for a moment, his Spiritual Pressure growing as he struggled to keep his emotions under control. "Son," He said at last, "Let this old man handle one of these burdens." Ichigo let out a ragged breath, all he was able to do was nod his head.

Isshin Kurosaki looked up at the Vasto Lorde, blasting down towards him. The man, the Father, looked at the monster, his son, his daughters, his wife behind him. All vulnerable, it could not be allowed, it would not be allowed. He spoke the only word that would matter, the only one he could.

"Bankai."

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Oh that felt good to write, been waiting for a while to do this for awhile. Also thank you all for your concern. I am better now and am trying to keep writing.

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Comments of the Week.

Iceflame55

You know, the thought occurs to me that if Soul Society WANTED to declare war on Ichigo and the Three Factions, they really COULDN'T have picked a better way to do it. Let's list here:

1. Using Ichigo's MOTHER as a Weapon.

2. Attacking Rukia for doing the Right Thing.

3. Putting Ichigo's SISTERS in danger not only of assassination, but HOLLOW ATTACK.

4. Put Ichigo's Peerage mates and his Friends in severe danger, again by Hollow Attack, not to mention the Living World.

5. Using Ichigo's Mother as a WEAPON. (This bears repeating because this IS Ichigo)

But it gets better. We have Gabriel as Witness to this. We have the Peerages related BY BLOOD to not one, but TWO of the Four Maou. And they're acknowledged as the TWO STRONGEST. I mean it's going to be generating a veritable Conga Line of Asskickers. And the one person who might, JUST MIGHT be able to stop it? HE'S the one THEY PISSED OFF. I think I'm going to need a semi-truck of popcorn and snacks, and a snack stand. I could spend what's left of my credit, and then sell for just a SMALL markup and be as rich as Risa's family after it's all tallied!

Well, you make a lot of good points, Rukia is going to have her work cut out for her.

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There were so many comments about people wishing for my betterment, they would take up pages. Thank you all for your support, and I am glad I am better now