Disclaimer: Alright. I don't own Bleach, but I DO own this idea, so please do not steal it. Why? Because this is coming from a book. And not just any book; a book that I've written, and is currently in the process of being sent to an editor. Yes, that's right, folks! If the editors and other people like my story, then Kitsune-242 shall become an official author! Hurrah for me! Anyway, if I DO get the story published at any point in time, I'll tell you all…because I have a feeling this will be winner, if I can just get the stupid thing to work right!

Chapter 1

The Canine and the Master

A woman scrambled down the road with her other friend following, their eyes wide in shock. They looked back to the giant monster that was storming after them, its reptilian tail scraping loudly against the ground. "Please, help us! Please!" The female with flowing red hair shouted, pulling her black-haired friend forward hurriedly. "Help!" She gasped, throwing herself against a window whose blinds were open. The couple behind the window pointed and talked quickly as they spotted the animal following the two, before closing the blinds quickly. The two females shrieked at the sight of the creature, and raced off.

"You wont get away!" The creature yelled, and then laughed openly into the night. "The villagers know not to mess with me; you'll be the sacrifice like every other month!" The two women crowded into an alley, then immediately noticed their mistake. But it was to late. The monster had already descended the stairs, and was in front of them, its scales reflecting the light, and its tail lashing behind it.

"I-I now know what it's like…" The black-haired woman whispered to her friend "…for the others caught outside on this night." The other woman nodded. The creature lunged.

"YOU'RE MINE!" THWACK! "Who did that? WHO DID THAT?" The creature yelled. THWACK!

"Back away from them, you horrid monster." Shouted a voice. The creature spun around, a snarl shooting from its muzzle, as it turned its silver eyes to where the moon cast shadows on the offender, making it look like a single silhouette. By the silhouette's make-up, it was an apparent, short female, with short hair that flared out at the shoulders, and thin arms and legs. In her hand was a third of a cement block; the last of the cement block that remained from the first two throws. Next to the female, crouched like a dog, was what appeared to either be a humanoid creature, or a human itself, with spiked hair, and if the person would stand up, would probably be pretty tall. What looked like a thick chain ran from the person's neck to the girl's right wrist.

"Who are you?" The creature growled in its deep voice.

"Your worst nightmare." The standing person said in her best creepy voice. The thing next to her made a strange scoffing sound, the sound almost resembling the word 'lame'. The girl hit the thing upside the head. A human hand left the ground and rubbed the spot on the thing's head that had been attacked. The lizard creature grinned.

"You know what? I don't care who you are. These two women are mine to devour, and nothing, not even a Hunter, would take my meal away from me!" The monster roared, and lunged to the women. They shrieked and covered each other's eyes. The standing girl sighed as a growl drifted through the air.

"You demons never learn." She muttered. "Sic." She said, and a chain clanking against itself drifted through the air.


All was silent, besides two sets of growls that seemingly fought for dominance. The two girls opened their eyes and gasped. In front of them, was the crouching creature, this time standing nearly straight. The clouds moved out of the way of the moon, casting light on the creature. It indeed was a human. It was a tall male with spiky orange hair. His sclera were black, and his irises were a bright, unnatural yellow. He simply wore tattered brown, baggy pants and no shirt, no shoes, and no socks. Around his throat, was a black metal collar with a thick black chain that ran to the wrist of the girl who still stood on top of the stairs. The boy had a long, deep cut on his left shoulder, blood streaming down his chest, while his hands held back the massive claws of the lizard demon. The lizard sniffed the air, then turned its eyes on the boy, before laughing hysterically.

"That girl's a Hunter, and you're serving her? You're nothing like the almighty race that I've heard about; you're just a little attack puppy! Just roll over and play dead, Fido!" The demon laughed. The orange-haired male growled through clenched fangs, and clenched his clawed hands on the claws that were digging into his hands.

"Don't…" The boy growled, and stepped forward. "Call…" He stepped forward again, this time forcing the Lizard back a few inches. "Me…" The boy's muscles in his arms strained as he gripped the Lizard's right arm, and lifted him clear off the ground. "FIDO!" The boy fell backwards, throwing all his weight back, and slammed the demon's back into the ground with a heavy thud. The boy jumped up, and took on a Karate stance, his eyes flashing in the moonlight.

"Something's not right about that boy." The black-haired woman whispered to her friend as the boy and Lizard battled it out; the Lizard lunging and slashing, and the boy using his smaller and thinner body to twist out of the way, only getting cut by long claws and sharp scales every so often, when he couldn't slide out of the attack's path.

"What do you mean?" The other woman whispered.

"Just look at him! The way he moves, his eyes, and his looks altogether! It cant be natural!" The first woman hissed.

"Hurry up, you dog!" Shouted the female on the steps, and while the boy turned a snarl on the girl, the demon lunged, and cut a long gash on the boy's chest, blood splattering the ground as he flew back and skid on the ground. "Is there nothing you can do right?" The girl spat at the orange-haired boy on the ground. The boy, in turn, opened his eyes, which began to glow.

"You know…" His rough voice called, a low growl rumbling in his throat. "…I don't see you doing this crap. And you're the Hunter, not me. I'm not your familiar, so back the hell off, you midget bitch!" The boy snarled. He climbed to his bare, scarred feet, a scowl on his face. The boy looked down to his chest to where the gash was, and his eye twitched as he noticed that the injury went right over a crescent moon with a paw print in the middle of the crescent, in the center of his chest. "…you bastard." The boy sighed, looking up at the lizard. "You know what this was?" The boy's body began to take a strange look to it, making it look more…animalistic. "It was part of my Clan Mark, you idiot!" With a loud crack and a flash as bright as lightning, the boy was gone. And in his place, was a wolf the size of a horse. The wolf was almost completely black, except for its legs and underbelly, along with his throat and bottom jaw, and the bottom half of his tail, which were all tan-white. The wolf had a spiky main of orange fur, with bangs falling over and around its eyes, and ran down its neck, becoming thinner and to a point down its back, until connecting with the end of its tail. Around the wolf's throat, over the metal collar, was a red-chain collar. His long, black claws stuck out of his massive paws, and his long tail lashed. The crescent-paw mark that had been on his chest, was now on his hind leg near where it joined with his body. The two women gasped.

"Wolf demon!" They said in unison. The wolf snarled, and stomped a foot. The Lizard Demon cowered under the giant shadow of the wolf.

"Please, I just wanted a meal! You understand bloodlust, don't you? You're a demon to! You understand, right?" The demon begged. The Wolf's black and yellow eyes narrowed. Yet he didn't move.

"Dog, if you don't kill that thing now, then you're going to be the demon lying dead in the dirt!" The girl barked from the stairs. The wolf glowered at the girl, but turned back to the other demon.

"Sorry." He said, his voice morphed horribly from before, his voice coming out as a guttural growl. "But I cant die yet." The wolf lifted an arm, and then slashed down, his long claws passing right through the demon, turning said demon to dust in the wind. The wolf narrowed his eyes, and in another crack and flash, he stood as a human again. But this time, he had his black wolf ears in his orange hair, and his black and tan tail coming from his spine. The orange-haired boy turned with a saddened expression to the pile of dust that had once been the demon. "Sorry, Lizard-san. But I still have unfinished business." The boy turned his eyes turned the two cowering girls. "You alright?" He asked. The black-haired woman slid shakily in front of the other.

"S-stay a-away from u-us." She stuttered. The boy rolled his eyes, but soon found his eyes rolling again as he was slapped across the face roughly by the girl that he was chained to. The boy slid on his back a few feet away from the girl, but didn't get back up. He just fixed his hard eyes on the girl, and a growl rumbled from his throat.

"I'm sorry if the Dog frightened you; he's still in obedience training." The girl said. "I'm Kuchiki Rukia; I'm a Demon Hunter. What're your names?"

"Tatsuki." The black-haired woman responded.

"Orihime." The other said.

"Well then. I'm sorry you had to get mixed up in this. Demons are a tricky business." Rukia said.

"If you don't mind me asking…if you're a Demon Hunter, then why're you marching around with a Wolf?" Tatsuki asked. Rukia looked over to the boy, who still lay on the ground, his blood turning the dirt under him maroon, with evident disdain.

"He owes me his life." Rukia answered. "What better way then help me with exterminating vermin?"

"What? I do not owe you my life! You just thought it'd be funny to drag me around on a chain as use me as a Slaving Weapon!" The boy yelled with anger lacing his words.

"See? I pulled you away from a devilish life, and gave you a better existence." Rukia said. The boy's eyes narrowed, but he didn't say anything.

"So then what's the Wolf's name?" Orihime asked, trying not to sound afraid.

"Name? Demons don't have names, Orihime-san. I just call him Mutt or Dog. It doesn't matter." Rukia said, waving her hand in dismissal. She jerked on the chain, wrenching the boy forward on the ground. He grunted, but took the hint, and stood up, slouching lightly, and his tail twitching in angry submission. "Well, I'd better be off. Be careful around demons. Mutt! Respect your superiors." Rukia growled, kicking the boy's ankle. He grunted and stumbled, but turned to Orihime and Tatsuki, and bowed deeply, bending at his waist. He straightened and lurched forward as Rukia jerked on the chain again. He turned his hard, angry eyes to the two girls, and his gaze softened. He mouthed:

"Sorry for getting you mixed up in this."

He then stumbled off behind Rukia, blood still rolling from his wounds.

:::In the Forest:::

Rukia sighed happily from inside her thick tent, a fire casting shadows on the walls as it poured outside. Inside the tent, was a blazing fire, a roasting boar, and comfortable bedding. And where was the Wolf Demon during all this, as the rain fell like ice-hard needles? He was outside, chained to a tree with only three feet to move in any direction. He lay on the cold ground, his tail wrapped tightly around his waist to try and give him some form of warmth. His pants were already drenched, and his orange hair was plastered to his head. His blood, mixing with the rain, dripped down from his body, and ran into all the puddles around him red with blood, making the water unfit to drink, leaving him with nothing to wet his dry throat. His eyes were closed as he was curled in a ball, trying to preserve some heat within his body. The fur on his tail and ears were drenched, further stealing heat from his body. How the hell did I get mixed up in all this shit? Stupid Hunter… The boy thought as a thick drop of water dropped on his face. No food, no water, freezing, drenched, and injured; it wasn't a new thing, but it wasn't something he exactly enjoyed, either.

Suddenly, shocking warmth drooped over his body. It was so sudden, in fact, that the boy yelped with shock, and jumped, only to hiss in pain as a rock dug into an open wound on his right arm. The boy reached up, and grabbed the object that had offered him dryness and warmth. "A blanket?" He muttered, and sat up. He looked behind him, to where Tatsuki and Orihime stood under two umbrellas. Orihime was shifting her feet nervously, and Tatsuki looked apprehensive. He held up part of the blanket. "What's this?" He asked.

"A blanket. I thought you would already know that. Or was Kuchiki-san right when she stated that demons are dumb?" Tatsuki asked. The boy shot her a glare, but soon faltered, and sighed.

"No, we're not idiots. I was just asking why you gave it to me." The boy said.

"Because. Even if you are a demon, you still saved our lives. We took pity on you, nothing more." Tatsuki said. The boy glowered at Tatsuki.

"I don't need your pity." He snarled.

"And yet here you are, gripping the blanket for your life." Tatsuki said. The boy blinked with shock, and looked at his hands, whose claws had punctured the thick yellow cloth.

"Oh. Sorry." He muttered. He lifted the blanket back towards the two. "But I don't need you to pity me. I'm perfectly happy out here." Tatsuki raised an eyebrow.

"And you're shivering with joy, then?" She questioned. The boy blinked, and turned away, crossing his arms stubbornly across his chest.

"Shut up." He growled. "Why are you even out here? I thought that after that Lizard Demon attacked you, you two would have headed back to your homes." Orihime and Tatsuki shuffled nervously on their feet.

"Well…we…kinda liked what we saw you do…and…we wanted to become Demon Hunters to." Orihime responded. The boy scowled.

"That's just what we demons need. More Hunters to go around killing us off." He sighed. "Well, it's not like I care. We all gotta die eventually. If you want to be a Hunter, ask the Midget Bitch what the hell you need to do. I don't know any of the shit." Suddenly, the rain stopped drilling into the top of his head, making the boy look up with squinted eyes. Orihime stood over him, holding the umbrella over his head and smiling cheerfully.

"You seem nicer then what I thought demons would be." Orihime crouched down, still holding the umbrella. The orange-haired Wolf raised an eyebrow.

"You cant honestly say that you're not the least bit afraid of me." He said.

"…no, I cant. I am afraid of you, but that's human instinct; to fear that which is the slightest bit different, and stand in awe before that which can not be explained(…yup…a line from the first Bleach episode EVER! To bad it was Rukia who first said it…). And having a bit of childhood trauma with demons doesn't help either; you see, when I was a little girl, and I lived on a farm with only my family, a pack of demons rushed onto the fields when my mother, father, and older brother were working on them. The demons slaughtered my family, and would have killed me to, if it wasn't for Tatsuki's family scaring the demons off. So yes, I am afraid of you, but you're different then other demons I've seen, and heard, about. It makes me proud to know a kind demon." Orihime said. The wolf scoffed.

"Kind. Pft. I can be…when I want to be." He muttered. "Anyway, since I already know your guys's names, and it appears we're going to be traveling together for a while, it only seems fit that you know my name as well."

"We already know your name. It's-" Tatsuki began, but was cut off.

"That's not my name!" The demon snapped, his ears flattening to his drenched head, and a scowl turned in her direction. "It's just the name that the Midget gave me because she thinks she's all high-and-mighty because she's a damn noble that became a Demon Hunter without having to buy her way in! My name's not Mutt or Dog, it's Kuro-" The boy cut himself off, and then changed the word he was initially speaking. "-Palak Ichigo of the Northern Territory."

"Oh? So demons do have names?" Tatsuki asked, looking intrigued.

"Most do." The Wolf, Ichigo, muttered. "You two had better head into the tent; this forest is teeming with demons that would happily eat you." Tatsuki grinned down at the chained demon.

"Like you?" She asked. Ichigo glared, his eyes narrowing, but a small amount of mirth hidden within his wolfish eyes.

"Oh hah hah." He drawled. "You guys are sooo funny." Tatsuki continued to grin, while Orihime giggled lightly. "But I'm serious. There's plenty of demons out here."

"Awe. Is the big bad wolf worrying about two humans?" Called a voice. Ichigo looked over to Rukia, who had pulled aside a flap on her tent, and was grinning smugly at the orange-haired Wolf. Ichigo's eyes narrowed at Rukia, but his ears flattened to his soaked hair, and he lowered his body slightly, his eyes narrowing further. His hands clenched on the saturated dirt, his claws slicing right through the mud with almost no resistance. A sudden feral grin spread across his face, and Rukia faltered, if only for a second.

"Nah." He said in a low, growling, gruff voice. "But I'm a demon, aren't I? If they were to get attacked, and I were still chained to this tree, then I wouldn't get any food either, would I?" Rukia scowled at the Demon, and then kicked a large rock at him, hitting him square in the forehead. He lurched back, an inhuman, wolf-like yelp escaping his throat involuntarily as his head shot back and hit the tree behind him. Blood leaked from the two new cuts on his head; one on his forehead, and one on the back of his head. Ichigo slumped to the ground, his eyes swimming from the sudden, shocking pain, and at the prospect of losing all his blood. And that blood prospect was extremely likely. "Ow." Ichigo deadpanned, his voice hidden behind a ruff growl. Rukia grinned with superiority, and turned to Tatsuki and Orihime.

"Why don't you two come into my tent? If you really want to be Demon Hunters, you have to travel with an experienced one to see what its like and get first-hand experience. We can travel to an outpost of the Hunters and get you some proper weapons and such. Come! I'm sure you don't want to stand outside in the freezing rain!" Rukia said cheerfully with a friendly smile. Orihime looked to Ichigo, who was rubbing his forehead while grumbling to himself.

"But what about-"

"The Mutt?" Rukia asked, a frown creasing her once-smiling face. "He's a Demon! He's used to being outside when it rains! After all, he did grow up and animal." She sneered.

"Don't worry." Ichigo called from the tree that he was bound to. "The blanket is more then enough." Rukia stormed forward, and snatched the blanket away from Ichigo.

"Demons don't get to use blankets." She growled, and carefully folded the blanket back up, and handed it to Tatsuki. "I'm sorry, he must have stolen it." Rukia turned a smug smile to Ichigo. "Besides, the demon doesn't deserve to be warm." Ichigo grinned slyly at her, and the sound of cracking came from within his body. With a flash of light, Ichigo sat as a giant wolf, once again easily being bigger then a large horse.

"Let's see you take away this blanket, you Midget Bitch." Ichigo said in his guttural voice. Rukia scowled at the demon, but marched away, and into her tent. Ichigo curled up under the cover of the tree, his tail coming to a rest near his nose, and his large paws and long legs curled beneath him. His ears lay flat on his head as he closed his eyes, and his breathing slowly evened. Tatsuki and Orihime slowly edged their way past the giant wolf, and slid into the shelter of the tent.

:::The Next Day:::

After being rudely kicked awake(by Rukia), Ichigo was forced to start the fire(by Rukia), clean up the campsite(by Rukia), cook the food(by Rukia), and then kicked four times for the food being one degree to warm and 'burning' her tongue(by Rukia). And, of course, he was forced to saddle an albino Thoroughbred horse named Shirayuki. But he didn't exactly seem to hate this. In fact, he was smiling light as he pet the powerful horse's neck. Every time Shirayuki would snort, neigh, or do any type of sound, Ichigo would respond. And this intrigued Orihime and Tatsuki greatly.

Shirayuki snorted, and bucked her head. "Yeah, I guess…not that much fun, but at least you got a type of crude shelter!" Ichigo protested as he worked on doing a buckle for Shirayuki's saddle that went around her underbelly. The horse twitched an ear and breathed out heavily. Ichigo's ears, in turn, swiveled around backwards in his orange hair. "Yeah, well it was cold! Even my fur didn't stop me from feeling that." Ichigo mumbled. Shirayuki swished her tail loudly. "Well, I beg to differ! Hail does hurt! A lot!" Ichigo said, recoiling. Shirayuki seemed to raise an eyebrow, and neighed lightly. "Have you ever had to sleep on the cold ground while being pelted with hail the size of my fist?" Ichigo asked, holding up a clenched fist for a demonstration. Shirayuki looked away and clicked her large, rectangular teeth together without opening her mouth, giving the sound a hollow feel to it. "I thought not." Ichigo laughed, and then jumped back lightly, putting his hands on his hips. "There. They to tight?" Ichigo asked. Shirayuki shifted on her paws, and then snorted, looking down to the base of her neck, where a strap was drawn across her chest. "Really? Okay." Ichigo said, and walked forward. His hands fumbled with the straps. "They're almost completely undone already!" A sly grin spread across Ichigo's face. "Maybe you're just gettin' fat." Shirayuki suddenly pent down, and clamped her teeth on Ichigo's left wolf ear, and pulled. "Ow ow ow ow ow! Alright alright! You're not fat! Let go of my ear!" Shirayuki parted her large lips and neighed loudly. "Alright! I'll talk to the Midget Bitch and see if you can get a new saddle and reins! Now let go!" Ichigo said. Shirayuki opened her mouth, letting Ichigo fall back and rub his ear. The white horse just bobbed her head happily, and went back to grazing. "Stupid horse." Shirayuki looked over to Ichigo with her blue eyes. Her ears lay flat against the back of her head. "Nothing!" Ichigo quickly said, and backed as far as the chain would allow him to go from the tree he was currently chained to.

Orihime and Tatsuki carefully approached the grumbling demon, and Tatsuki cleared her throat. Ichigo looked up to her, the permanent scowl on his face softening slightly. "There something you need?" He asked. Tatsuki shook her head, smiling slightly.

"We were just wondering if…uh…if you could…um…speaktohorses." She said quickly at the end. Ichigo raised an eyebrow, and thought for a couple of seconds, before finally separating the words and understanding. He nodded.

"Well, yeah. Shirayuki and I have been traveling together for a long time, and I picked up on the language. It's not that hard to speak, and she understands Wolf tongue and Japanese to, so its no big deal." Shirayuki stomped a hoof where she was grazing, causing Ichigo to look over to her and nod. "She says that her Wolf tongue is still a little rusty, since the language of any demon is hard to comprehend for a normal animal, but it's enough to be able to hold a short conversation with one."

"What is…um…Wolf tongue?" Orihime asked. Ichigo raised an eyebrow at the other question.

"Mainly just barks, howls, yelps, yips, tail-twitching and ear-turning. That type of crap. Horses have snorts and neighs, stomping and teeth-clicking…oh, and tail-swishing and ear movements." Ichigo responded.

"Do you know any other types of languages?" Tatsuki asked, crouching down near the sitting Wolf.

"Animal or Human?" Ichigo asked.

"Animal." Tatsuki confirmed.

"Well…almost all Demon languages…then Horse, Fox, Bird, Deer, Rat, Mice, Fish, Dog, Cat, Rabbit…and a few others that I cant remember. Cow is one of them, I think." Ichigo replied, counting off on his fingers. "It's easier to tell what you can speak when you're actually facing speaking it." Orihime began to jump up and down, clapping excitedly, causing the Wolf to recoil with wide eyes.

"Do you think you can teach me how to speak a few of the languages? Please? Please please please please please?" Orihime said. Ichigo blinked rapidly, and stood up.

"Um…maybe a little bit from a few of them…it's harder for Humans to learn how to speak different Animalistic Languages. It's all based on looking at the animal, seeing how they behave, and paying attention to others who can speak that language." Ichigo looked over to the albino horse. "Oi, Shirayuki! What do you think? Should I teach them how to speak to horses?" Shirayuki snorted and tossed hear head. "Well excuse me for wanting your opinion! They're going to be talking to you to, you know! You're the only horse here!" Shirayuki swished her tail, her ears twisting sideways. "Yeah but you'll still be there! It doesn't matter if they're there as well!" Ichigo protested. Shirayuki twitched her left shoulder. "…that's it, I'm done talking to you! I'm teaching them and you're gonna be happy having two more people to talk t- …you were planning on that, werent you." Shirayuki bobbed her head, a type of grin going across her face. "…man…yeah, Shirayuki agrees that I should teach you to speak to horses, since you're going to be riding around on one a lot."

"Mutt! Is Shirayuki saddled up?" Rukia called as she walked into the clearing, a bag slung over her shoulder.

"Yeah." Ichigo growled, and muttered a string of curses under his breath afterwards. She threw the bag at the Wolf, who just managed to keep it from hitting the ground.

"Put that on her back." She ordered. As Ichigo secured the pack to Shirayuki's back, Rukia turned to the two human women. "You two are going to have to ride on Shirayuki behind me. Is that okay?" Rukia asked.

"Yeah…but where's he gonna sit?" Orihime asked, pointing to Ichigo, who appeared to be deeply engrossed in a conversation with Shirayuki about different styles of saddles, and the one that she would favor the most.

"Who, the Mutt? He's going to run alongside us; he's not allowed to have the luxury of riding on a Horse. Especially not one as good as Shirayuki." Rukia replied, crossing her arms over her chest.

"He's not as bad as you keep making him out to be, you know; he's really nice." Orihime said softly. Rukia narrowed her eyes in Ichigo's direction.

"That's just what he wants you to think. He's horrible, and you're just going to have to figure that out that hard way." Rukia muttered. She suddenly smiled cheerfully. "Well, let's not keep the others at the outpost waiting!" Rukia jogged over to Shirayuki with the other two following, and swung herself on. She nudged Shirayuki forwards, and undid the cuff that usually went around her wrist, which was holding the chain securely to a tree, and snapped it back around her wrist. She yanked on the chain, causing Ichigo to stumble. "Come on, Dog." She called, and spurred Shirayuki into a fast-paced gallop, with Ichigo keeping up right alongside them.

That was the length of the actual chapter. It was around 13 pages, I think, and has 27,526 words in it. I hope that's enough for the first chapter. If you guys liked it, review or do something and tell me that you did, and I'll work on updating this while I work on Vulpes Alveus and whatnot. Thanks for reading this far! Oh, and before I forget! On my DeviantArt profile, I have a picture of what I Ichigo looks like in Wolf Form. My profile name is Kitsune-242(Everything is on EVERYTHING I do!), and the picture has a 'creative' name. Kurosaki Ichigo. Yeah, aint that creative? Here's the link, though. ?q=Kurosaki%20Ichigo%20Wolf&order=9&offset=72/d2tfkkk If you put that in your web address bar, it should bring you right to the picture. I worked a while on the pic, and I apologize if it turned out funky, but people said it was good. Go take a look if you want!