Disclaimer: don't own it

White Moon, Black Sun




"Getsuga Tenshou!" Ichigo yelled, letting the blue crescent of destructive power fly harmlessly into the sky.

"Control it, Ichigo! It is not a bludgeon, but a blade, capable of far more than what you are doing!" Zangetsu rebuked. "Your reiatsu no longer blinds you. Feel and see the energy in the attack. It will obey your commands, if only you command it! You are like a child, swinging with abandon, destroying without knowing what you are doing."

Angry at himself for disappointing Zangetsu, he tried to 'feel' around him, concentrating on his actions. Slowly and deliberately, he lifted his sword.

"Getsuga Tenshou," he said, voice firm. He 'reached' for the crescent, trying to compact it. It readily shrank into a painfully bright sphere the size of a tennis ball, and surprised, he flung it away from himself. With his sudden lack of concentration, it lost its shape and exploded into a dazzling mini-supernova, leaving steaming, blackened craters in the buildings closest to it. Even from a two-hundred feet away, Ichigo felt its blistering heat and winced.

"Better," Zangetsu said dryly. Ichigo sighed, lifting his sword to try again.


Ichigo leisurely walked toward Kurosaki Clinic, bag slung over his shoulder. School had been dull, as always, but at least the day was warm and sunny, a pleasant breeze ruffling the tops of trees.

A wave of distressed reiatsu passed over him. He frowned. It was Orihime.

He pinpointed the source, then ran towards it, getting faster as the reiatsu became more and more frightened.

"Stop it!" he heard her scream, and he quickly sprinted into the alley he knew she was in. She was surrounded by five men around their age, all from their high school. A sixth lay unconscious near her, a large, red bump on his forehead. They had her trapped in a corner. Orihime had her hands to her temples, clearly not wanting to use her last resort, but not seeing any way out.

"Come on, bitch, show 'em," one of the men said, leering at Orihime. Ichigo felt hot anger boil in his veins. Before the punk even knew he was there, Ichigo had kicked his face, throwing him several feet away and into the air, only to crash into a brick building. He did not get up.

"Get him!" yelled the leader. They ran at him.

"Kurosaki-kun!" Orihime shrieked.

Ichigo felt as though the punks were moving slow-motion. It was almost laughable how easy it would be to knock them out. He effortlessly dodged the first strike, bringing his fist up to connect squarely with the guy's jaw. He fell backward, teeth clinking on the concrete. Ichigo blocked the second man's fist, elbowing him in the ribs. The guy staggered back, moaning in pain. He ran from the alley, almost falling in his haste. Ichigo let him go, spinning around and sweeping the third's feet out from under him. His head hit the sidewalk with a sick thump.

One man was missing. Ichigo turned around, cursing. The leader held Orihime by the hair, one hand over her mouth.

"Let her go, you bastard!" Ichigo growled, furious that he had let his guard down.

"Make me," he said, giving Orihime's hair a tug. Involuntary tears of pain welled in her eyes.

Ichigo cursed again. He knew what he was about to do wouldn't agree with his human body. Nevertheless, he flash-stepped to the man, carefully removed his fingers from Orihime's hair, then threw him into the nearest wall. The whole process took less than a second.

"You—you're a demon!" The man gasped, staring at him fearfully and clutching his ribs. Some seemed to have broken. Coughing, the punk stood up and ran, limping heavily but not looking back.

Orhime took a gasping breath, massaging her scalp. "Kurosaki-kun! I'm so sorry you had to come save me! Thank you so much!"

Ichigo shrugged, then winced. Every bone in his body felt like it had been stretched and warped.

"It's fine, Inoue. Be more careful," he said, trying not to move too much.

"Kurosaki!" Ishida ran into the alley. Chad followed him in. They stared at the unconscious men lying on the floor. "Inoue, are you okay?"

"Mm, I'm fine," Orihime said. She turned to Ichigo, concerned. "But you're hurt." She put her hands to her clips.

"It's nothing," Ichigo said dismissingly. Orihime frowned at him, but said nothing more.

"What happened?" Chad asked. Ichigo scowled.

"These bastards had Inoue surrounded when I got here."

Ishida grimaced, understanding what Ichigo left unsaid. Who knows what they would have done. . . Chills went down his spine.

"I'll be going, then," Ichigo said, feeling uncomfortable. He started to walk out of the alley, but lost his balance, falling to his knees. He groaned and got back to his feet.

"See! You aren't fine." Orihime's clips winked and a glowing orange shield appeared over Ichigo. He frowned, but allowed her to heal him. "You shouldn't flash-step in your human body."

"Thanks," he said when she was finished, then dusted off his pants. He waved goodbye and walked away.


A star. . . a disk. . . a spike. . .

Ichigo shifted the blue energy into a variety of shapes, reinforcing the edges with sheer will. He returned it to crescent shape and made it fly in a spiral shape around a building. He made the energy into a rose, then a shower of blue-hot sparks that whizzed around in every direction.

"Good, Ichigo," Zangetsu said. Ichigo basked in his praise. "You are ready for the next step."

Zangetsu materialized his sword in his hand. "Getsuga Tenshou," he said softly. The crescent morphed into a glowing blue katana that he plucked out of the air with his left hand. Ichigo stared wide-mouthed in amazement as the implications hit him. A sword that could change shape by will, that could become anything and go in any direction—he felt like an idiot for not having thought of it.

"Prepare yourself, Ichigo," Zangetsu ordered. Ichigo brought the sparks of his own Getsuga Tenshou to his hand, copying Zangetsu's katana. He brought it up in time to block Zangetsu's first attack, then sprung backwards into the air and extended his 'energy sword' into a whip. He lashed it toward Zangetsu, who easily knocked it away, then retaliated with several energy spikes. Ichigo hissed as one imbedded itself into his shoulder, but managed to dodge the rest. The spike withdrew, rejoining Zangetsu's katana. The puncture wound dripped onto the skyscraper below.

Ichigo found it almost natural to have such a versatile weapon on hand, but was quickly remided of Zangetsu's original sword's dangers when the man almost beheaded him with it. He blocked just in time with his own meat-cleaver like sword, then struck with his left. A piece of black cloak was cut away, and Ichigo caught a glimpse of a pale shoulder and a thin, scratch-like wound. Then he jumped backwards to dodge another attack, twisting to avoid being cut into pieces by several spinning energy disks.

Ichigo heard a high-pitched ringing sound. It was at first faint, but soon grew louder. The boy and the sword ceased to fight.

"My alarm clock," Ichigo muttered. He frowned, disappointed. "Sorry, ossan. Got to go."

Zangetsu nodded. "We will continue when you return."

"Aa," Ichigo agreed. He reabsorbed the Getsuga Tenshou blade, then lifted himself out of his inner world. He opened his eyes, slamming his hand down on the alarm clock's snooze.


Ichigo yawned and rolled out of his bed, sidestepping his father's attack. Isshin crashed into the far wall.

"I'm so proud!" he wailed, tears in his eyes.

"What do you want?" Ichigo muttered, irritated. If he hadn't known that his father was centuries old, he would have wondered who exactly was the mature one of the two.

"I just wanted to say good morning!" the man insisted. Ichigo scowled.

"Cut the act, Goat-Face."

Isshin sighed, then stood up and dusted off his clothes. "Go to Urahara Shouten after school."

Ichigo frowned, confused. "What's going on?"

Isshin shook his head. "Soul Society has reached a decision over you. Kisuke says that he can't tell me, but that it's nothing bad."

Ichigo's frown deepened, but he nodded. Isshin patted his shoulder, then left the room.

"Nothing bad, according to Urahara," Ichigo murmured as he dressed for school. "Knowing him, it's probably worse than what I imagine."


"Oi! Sandal-hat!" called Ichigo, entering Urahara Shouten. Urahara appeared by the cash register.

"Ah, Kurosaki-san, good to see you," he said. "Please, do come in!"

Ichigo followed him into a back room. A low table laden with tea took up the middle of the room. Ichigo was unsurprised to see Yoruichi, but was startled to see that Ukitake and Rukia were also seated around the table.

Ichigo settled next to Rukia. Urahara sat and covered his face with his fan.

"Ukitake-san, is everything alright?" Ichigo asked, worried. The pale man smiled.

"No one is hurt, Kurosaki-san. Rather, Soul Society has finally reached a decision on what to do with you. Your status as substitute shinigami was only temporary, after all. The new Central 46 Chambers has decided you should be allowed to live your life as a human, but still be a part of the Gotei 13. You are assigned to my division, the thirteenth, and have a rank similar to lieutenant. You are to be stationed here in Karakura Town until further notice, and are its official guardian.

"This means you must not only sublime any hollows that appear, but perform Konsou on any free-wandering souls. You must record the number of hollows and souls sent to Soul Society, and make your report to myself or Rukia every two months."

Ichigo nodded. "So, basically it's the same, but with more paperwork."

Ukitake laughed. "Aa. However, Central 46 also decided you must be formally taught Zankensoki. Urahara-san and Yoruichi-san have both taught you some, especially Zanjutsu, and you seem to have picked up Hohou quite quickly, but learning Kidou and Hakuda will be good for you. By the way, congratulations on having succeeded in suppressing your reiatsu."

"Thank you," Ichigo said.

"One more thing," Ukitake said. "the Gotei 13 is setting aside your wages for you for when you come to make reports, and, of course, for when you come to join us permanently."

Ichigo nodded. "I didn't know shinigami got wages," he said.

Ukitake chuckled. "Perhaps your instructor can tell you more about Soul Society as well as Zankensoki."

"Who will be teaching me?" Ichigo asked, curious.

"Me," said Yoruichi, smiling predatorily. Ichigo gulped.

No wonder he had a bad feeling about this.


"Hold your arms out straight, Ichigo!"

"I am!" he said irritably, trying to ignore Yoruichi, who was circling around him. "I still don't get why you have to instruct me naked!"

She laughed, and Ichigo pointedly looked anywhere but at her jiggling breasts. "You have to concentrate, even when there are distractions," she said, amused. "Pour some reiatsu into your arms and hands. The more you use, the more power the spell has, and the more difficult it is to control. Try a small amount at first."

Ichigo pushed a little reiatsu into his palms. They tingled strangely.

"Good. Now, incant! Focus on your target and the effect you want to achieve!"

"Ye lord! Mask of blood and flesh, all creation, flutter of wings, ye who bears the name of Man! Repel the unworthy from your deadly gaze. Scatter the dust of their bones in the blood of morning light! Hadou no Ichi, Shou!"

To Ichigo's delight, the target boulder flew back a few hundred feet, tumbling over itself and digging craters into the ground. Yoruichi raised an eyebrow.

"Not bad. Not bad at all, for a first try."


Ichigo made his way into Urahara Shoten, just as he had for the past week for training. He went into the back room, where Urahara lounged, sipping tea.

"Ano, Urahara-san?"

"Hai, Kurosaki-san?"

Ichigo sat down, scratching the back of his neck. "I was wondering. . . back when Muramasa was releasing zanpakutou, Zangetsu mentioned that he wanted a garden. Is it possible to change your inner world?"

Urahara leaned back, his shadowed eyes on Ichigo. "Well, theoretically, yes. It does require you to make some personal changes." He rubbed his unshaven chin thoughtfully. "For example, if you want to make a flower grow, you'd have to first think of what you want that flower to represent. Happiness, creativity, anything really, but the flower has to have meaning. Then, because you are bringing this to the forefront of your soul, you have to exhibit what the flower stands for, or it will disappear." He fanned himself idly. "Changing yourself isn't easy, Kurosaki-san."

Ichigo nodded solemnly.

Urahara took another sip of his tea. "Now, is that all you wanted?"

Ichigo began to say yes, but stopped himself. He hesitated.

"Well, there is one more thing. . ."