Okay I'm like so tired it's not even funny. I pulled an all nighter the night before to finish up chapter two to the way I like it. It took all day to type this up in between moments of family members needing help to getting my math homework done. I meant to get this up sooner today but time was against me. Don't expect any updates until at least Wednesday night if your lucky, if not Wednesday update will most likely be Friday night. Enjoy this chapter.
Disclaimer: I even hired Urahara to find the rights to Bleach on ebay, and still nothing. Plus I think he over charged me.
White Sands and Black Waters
Chapter 2-MIA to Illusions
"Welcome Kurosaki-kun." Aizen's voice rang out in the colossal room.
Quietly without even meaning to Ichigo couldn't help but mutter back "Aizen."
"I have the feeling you are wondering why you are here, Kurosaki-kun?" The lord said as the boy tried to hold back his fear of being in the same room as all the arrancar.
"It may have crossed my mind, for a moment or so." The teen shot back to the man sitting on the throne.
Chuckling he answered the smart remark, "You are here because I wish to not fight you in this upcoming war, I would much rather have you on my side."
"Why even ask, you already know that I will refuse. I will not turn my back on my friends." Ichigo was venomous in his reply, so much so, that if he was a snake the poison would have been struck into the veins already.
"Oh, this little human has a backbone." Remarked an arrancar, causing the others in the room to laugh out, in mockery to Ichigo.
"Enough, my dear arrancar, there is no need to be rude." Though he did scold his army, the entire room could tell he was amused at the arrancar's actions. "My dear child, you seem to think that you have a choice in this matter. I truly have no desire to fight you or your friends, I don't have to be your enemy..."
"That's the thing you are my enemy, from the moment you sent the arrancar to Karakura Town, to kidnapping Inoue. You gave Inoue a threat, the threat to her loved ones, her friends, for her powers. Her powers for our lives!" The orange haired youth exploded.
"So I did." The lord did not deny what he did, but became cold in face and voice. "Kurosaki-kun, have you yet to wonder why all my dear Espada, my dear Arrancar, are here, in this room? How they all are alive, how those you saw killed, are alive?" He watched the face of the human closely to see that Ichigo was curious, " This is the answer you need. You, your friends, and even the shinigami, have never truly met any arrancar, even less one of the Espada, but one. The child's form of Neliel Tu Oderschvank, is the closest any of you have come to the arrancar."
Ichigo's eyes widened, "What?"
"Man, I'll tell you it's great to be back in the human world, especially if it means I'm away from paperwork." Remarked the wild haired shinigami to his friend.
"I know, but please remember Renji, we're here for a reason." Rukia said looking at the cell phone in her hands.
"Ya, ya. We better find Ichigo then and tell him the news. How you think he's going to take it?" Renji wanted to know.
Looking up to her friends face Rukia spoke, "We better, and I really don't want to think about it. By the way do me a favor."
Untrusting of the sly female the red head backed away, "What kind of favor?"
"Nothing like your thinking, I just want you to check your phone for me, I think I'm getting some readings wrong."
Pulling out his phone, he checked, "I'm getting some hollow readings, their weak though. What's so strange about that?"
She pulled her phone back out, "Nothing except more keep popping up and some have been on the radar for more than twenty minutes. It's not like it would take Ichigo more than ten to fifteen minutes to get rid of them all. But I'm not even sensing his reiatsu in town."
"Do you think something could be wrong?"
"I don't know, but I say before we go look for Ichigo, we should take care of all these hollows."
"Sounds good to me." They discharged from their gigai, heading for the skies.
'Such a beautiful day.' Was in the thoughts of Orihime enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze in her hair. "To bad Kurosaki-kun wouldn't join us this afternoon, right Tatsaki-chan?"
The girl with spiked hair scoffed, "He's an idiot, forget about him Orihime."
A girl with glasses pooped out of nowhere, groping the light hairs breast, "Who cares about that moron? As long as I have my sweet Hime-chan's glorious breast, all will be right in the world."
"WHY CAN'T YOU ACT NORMAL FOR ONCE!" yelled Tatsaki, fist flying into Chizuru's face.
"Chizuru-san are you okay?" Orihime was worried, she was hit quite hard.
Chizuru jumped back up and started to sprout off romantic sayings about 'her Hime-chan' until collapsing struggling for breath. Tatsaki herself was having problems standing and breathing. Orihime then felt it, the reiatsu of a hollow. She couldn't tell if it was an arrancar or just a Menos, but she was going to find out, as soon as she helped her friends.
'Where are they all coming from? For each one I kill another two come to takes its place. Why can't I feel Kurosaki anywhere? He should be helping to get rid of these hollows.' Ishida gave a quick thought before firing more arrows off at the hollows, that are gathering in force. Suddenly he felt a large reiatsu, "Menos Grande." In the air, arrows flew faster.
A blast and the wall collapsed from a warehouse forming a cloud of dust. As the dust cleared a large boy, some would say man, is revealed. Sado had both Brazo Derecha de Gigante and Brazo Izquierda del Diablo activated. "So far all I have met with are low level hollows, I have yet to feel any..." Sado broke off feeling the much larger reiatsu.
"What's that moron doing? Why's he not out here taking care of these weaklings? We should not be doing this." Hiyori was slightly pissed, but if you knew her well, that was normal.
"I don't feel Ichigo anywhere in town. Something's up, guys, keep a look out for Ichigo's reiatsu. Until then we better get rid of what hollows we can." Shinji called to his fellow Vizard's.
Everyones head shot up. Hiyori called back to Shinji, "How about we take the Menos that just walked into our home town?"
"I've no problem with that."
An explosion came into the sky, because of a destroyed hollow by way of Jinta.
"This is slightly strange, all these hollows and not a trace of Kurosaki-kun's reiatsu? Well, I shouldn't worry that boy will show up at the last moment, like usual." Kisuke was not worried yet.
"Kisuke, a Menos is coming threw. The Vizard are headed that way but so is everyone else." Informed the Shihouin heir to her friend.
Kisuke's smiled faltered for a moment, "That's not good, especially with Kuchiki-san and Freeloader-san here."
"A moment of your time Kisuke."
"Isshin, why have you come to see this humble shopkeeper?" Kisuke asked.
Wearing shinigami robes, Isshin was a sight to see, "I was hoping you could tell me if you have seen Ichigo today, he never came home, usually that's not a problem but this recent development has me worried. I can't find his reiatsu and you know Shinigami parents can always feel their children's reiatsu, as long as they are in the same world."
"No, I haven't but I'll keep an eye out for him." Kisuke frowned now starting to worry, this was not good information to get.
Isshin sighed, "Thanks, Kisuke. I better head back home I left the girls by themselves, and with the town like this I'm not liking being away from them."
Kisuke just nodded before Isshin left by way of shunpo.
"Menos Grande." Rukia said looking at the hollow. "Ready, Renji?"
"You have to ask?" He didn't look at her. "Hoero, Zabimaru!"
"Mae, Sode no Shireyuki!" Both zanpakutou were released upon the Menos. Though neither caused it harm.
An arrow flew to hit the Menos as well still no damage was dealt. "It seems as if you Shinigami are still as worthless as ever."
"So he's not here after all." The Quincy muttered.
A red light filled the air with danger, it shot off toward the three fighting.
"Santen Kesshun!" A shield came up before the three deflecting the Cero. "Is everyone all right?"
Ishida nodded, "Yes, thanks to you, Inoue-san."
Another blast came to hit the Menos, but still no damage was done.
"Sado-san, you made it" Inoue said in greeting.
Sado just nodded back in greeting to everyone else.
"Well, Kurosaki's no where around, and we can't seem to damage this hollow what will we do?" calmly asked Ishida.
"Who cares if Ichigo's no around, I say we can get rid of this Menos if we just try harder." Renji injected.
"It's not that easy Renji. Even if we somehow kill the Menos we still have all the lower level hollows to finish off, but by the time we're done with the Menos we'll most likely be low on reiatsu. There is no way we can do it alone." Rukia told her friend.
Renji blew up, "Then what are we supposed to do?"
"What do you mean that none of us have met a true arrancar before?" The disbelief shone through Ichigo's voice.
"It means, Kurosaki-kun, this whole time you, your friends, and the Shinigami have been fighting low level hollow hidden in illusions by me." Ichigo was answered.
"Illusions? We were fighting illusions? All our injures, Inoue's kidnapping, was..." Ichigo trailed off as the reality of the statement meant.
"No, Inoue Orihime was never kidnapped by us, she came here willingly. Though in a way, I guess this means she really did betray you all." Aizen revealed to the stunned youth, "You see even though I sent illusions of my arrancar to fight you I made sure each had a sixteenth of that arrancar's strength. All numbers were reported true as well, I want Soul Society to know. Even though I kept their strength somewhat hidden, just think, the Shinigami and your friends as well as you could blearily defeat them then. Do you think the you all could win now?"
Ichigo was breathing hard, thoughts flying, 'Unbelievable, only a sixteenth, Inoue... Each fight was worthless, in the end we'll be killed.' "How do I know this right here is not only an illusion, to throw me off?"
Laughter bubbled up from Gin's throat, "Aizen-taichou, this one's smart. We're keeping him, right?"
"He may just be worth the effort, Aizen-sama." Tousen spoke up for once.
The Arrancar's interest were pecked as they studied the little human, because of both his outburst and the two generals of Aizen were happy with him.
"True, this could only be illusion, but even my zanpakutou and I have limits. Yes, I can create illusions but thanks to the human brain, which you and most Shinigami have, can only see one illusion at a time." Aizen paused, "Kurosaki-kun say this is an illusion you are under, and right beside you Inoue-san is also under an illusion. This is what your seeing, but I have Inoue-san seeing someone confessing their eternal love to her. To make you see what she is seeing, or vise versa, I'd have to pull one of you out of the illusion they were in, and stick them into the other. Are you following so far?" The lord mocked, "I can only put one illusion into the brain at a time, so if this was an illusion, this would not work."
"Not work, what would not..." Ichigo saw Aizen's zanpakutou unsheathed.
"Kudakero, Kyouka Suigetsu!"
"Nake!" the attack of reiatsu shot toward the Menos, finally damage was dealt to the hollow. "Hello, you all seem to need some help."
"Urahara-san." Rukia gave a sigh of relief.
"Well, we best do our jobs and kill this hollow, since Kurosaki-kun is, busy elsewhere." The shopkeeper said, not showing his face.
Inoue stepped forward, "Urahara-san, have you seen Kurosaki-kun today, he did say he was headed to you shop after classes?"
"He was coming to the Shoten?" the man muttered before looking into Inoue's eyes, "I'm afraid that I haven't seen Kurosaki-kun since last week."
Renji moved between them both, "I know you're worried about Ichigo, hell I'm even worried, but right now we have other matters to attend to."
"He's right, Kisuke, that Menos is a pressing matter; that if we don't get rid of soon we'll be in trouble." Yoruichi said arriving next to the man.
The Shinigami and humans rushed back into battle with the Menos.
"The Vizard are taking out all the lower levels because they can't get to close to the Shinigami. Hiyori was not happy at all." The purple haired women told the blond haired man.
Urahara nodded, pleased.
Ichigo, time to wake up, you'll be late for school otherwise." A female voice lured the sleeping teen up from a dream.
"M'up, M'up." he spoke with sleep laced into his voice.
"Well, good, hurry up and ready, silly. I'll be in the kitchen." The owner of the voice moved down the stairs.
Getting ready the boy thought of his dream, 'That was such a weird dream. Shinigami, real, please. Me being one, even more so 'get real' as if that would really happen. Last, mom dead. HA, never going to happen.'
Downstairs Ichigo was greeted, "GOOD MORNING, ICHIGO!" He dodged.
"Morning, Yuzu, Karin. Good morning, Kaa-san." he greeted the women that he loved with all his heart. Bending down touching the small round in his mother's stomach, he said, "Morning to you too, little one." Standing upright, he had little warning to the fist in his left cheek. Spinning around he snarled, "WHY did you do that, moron?"
Isshin made a dorky stance, "Because you should have not dodged at all, earlier, my first born."
They started to bicker with one another through out breakfast.
"Isshin, dear, leave Ichigo alone, so he can finish." Commanded Masaki, nicely.
"BUT, MASAKI." Isshin whined, which caused all the girls to giggle.
'Whoa, just a moment ago I felt as if something was wrong but what?' Ichigo thought, staring at Karin.
"Well, we're out of here Kaa-san, see you after school. Bye, Ichigo, Tou-san." the twin called out.
'No Ichi-nii, no Goat Face, huh?'
"I better be going as well, Masaki, I'm needed at the hospital. See you later, love. Bye my first born!" Isshin disappeared.
'Goat Face, hates hospitals, not to mention what about the clinic?' Ichigo felt realization dawn on him.
"Hurry up Ichigo, you don't want to be late now." His mother, no not his mother, just the image of her, said.
Ichigo grabbed her hand, "This is an illusion, is it not?"
The image sighed, "Yes, this is an illusion." Suddenly everything became clear.
Ichigo lowered his head, "You win, I believe you Aizen. You can stop now." He took one last look at his mother's image. She was smiling sadly.
A scream was the end of the Menos. All but the exiles were panting and low on reiatsu. With help they headed back to the Shoten.
All injures healed and reiatsu being recharged, they could no longer avoid it.
"So you didn't see him at all today Urahara-san?" Rukia's question broke the tense silence.
"No, I have not. I sent Yoruichi out to look for Kurosaki-kun's body, maybe it will lead us somewhere." He said, fan covering his face.
"Good idea, even if we can't find him, if Kon has his body, Kon's likely to know something." Realized Ishida.
"Well, do you want the good news or the bad news first?" a cat walked in.
"Good news please." Kisuke hoped for the best.
"Good news, I found Kon." the cat said.
Inoue jumped up, "He knows where Kurosaki-kun is?"
"Bad news, he's still in his plushie form, not Ichigo's body." The cat changed back into a women in the next room, before coming back into the room they were all in, "Which means Ichigo is missing. I looked everywhere, not a drop of reiatsu anywhere."
"No where?" Rukia looked shocked.
The former cat moved her head side to side in negative.
"We'll have to report this to the sou-taichou, Rukia." Renji said to the other Shinigami.
Rukia's head shot up, "But Ichigo's family!"
"I'll deal with Kurosaki-kun's father, Kuchiki-san." Urahara spoke up, "Now it'll be best if you head home." Seeing Inoue and Sado going to say something he raised his hand and in a pleading voice said, "Please."
The teens nodded and quietly started to head out. The two Shinigami made a Senkaimon to Soul Society.
Kisuke fell limp and Yoruchi had to ask, "What are you going to tell Isshin?"
"Don't know. Any suggestions on how to tell one of you best friends their own son, my godson, is missing?" He was going to need a very hard drink or six.
His senses returned to fast for his human body to handle.
"Perhaps we've overdone it today Kurosaki-kun." Aizen's eyes held regret in them, maybe for using the image his mother. "We will finish this conversation tomorrow, until then I will have you stay with one of my Espada and their fracción." Aizen's eyes looked over each of the Espada and realized he really only had two choices, Halibel or Stark. Decision made he addressed the Espada of choice, "Stark, I would like you to watch over our guest for the time being, if it is all right with you?"
The Espada looked down from his perch to the human with board eyes, measuring him up, "Sure, why not, doesn't sound too hard."
Aizen smiled, "Good, well then, everyone is dismissed."
All the arrancar moved toward the door chatting with each other, about what happened. Ichigo didn't move, he stayed where he was on his knees.
"Niño, you may want to stand, it makes walking easier, I've heard." The Espada's hand rested on top of his head.
"Ya, it really does. Also helps to put one foot in front of the other." Ichigo said tonelessly.
Stark laughed, "I have a feeling we will get along."
Strangely enough, so did Ichigo.
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