AUTHOR TIME:

I'm alive . . . I'm alive . . .

I'M OK BOOKWORMTIFF!

I'm so sorry for not updating!

As an apology I have written another IchiRuki one-shot (I Want to Change the World), go check it out! Don't forget to review! Flames are appreciated!

DISCLAIMER:

ME: I actually haven't used you yet, not too sure if you're in character or anything!

YORUICHI: Well, it's ok! :D I get bash Kisuke, so I'm happy!

ME: Umm . . . ok! The disclaimer if you please, Yoruichi-san!

YORUICHI: ~meow~

ME: O_O huh? You changed into your cat form?

YORUICHI: (trots away, tail wagging)

ME: ==' I do not own Bleach and the random characters.

Chapter 9: Mirai – The Future

~ It looks so far away; untouchable and precious, glowing with a radiant light. Everyone is trying to reach out and grab it for themselves and everyone will eventually find it – the future . . . ~


"Why?"

The question hung in the air and hit Urahara like a whip as he stepped into the room.

He turned and faced the direction of the voice and gently dipped his head, snapping his fan shut in the process.

"Kisuke . . ."

He didn't reply.

"I'm not going to scold you."

"Why not? You should."

She stepped out and grabbed his wrist firmly.

"It was a mistake, I know that you didn't mean to. But promise me that you'll fix everything up. Promise me."

He didn't say anything back.

"I'm trying . . . I'm trying, Yoruichi."

SLAP

He lifted his hand to his left cheek, where a red mark had appeared.

"Well, try harder. You're destroying all their lives like this. End your stupid battle with him! Stop dragging everyone else into your fight! I helped because i wanted to, but they don't even get a choice. Those poor kids . . . they're just kids!"

He nodded.

"I will need your help again."

She released his wrist and let herself relax and fall into him.

"Then you already know my answer."


Ichigo sat slumped on his bed, his back against the window. His throat hurt and his muscles ached after spending the night searching through the whole town of Karakura for his . . . friend.

No, his best friend.

She was gone.

No trace of any of her reiatsu hung in the air. Not a single thing that had belonged to her had been left behind. It was like she was trying to tell him that she didn't exist in his life at all. No pictures remained; no belongings . . . just the faint trace of her lingering scent that teased his nose occasionally.

How he missed her. He missed her smile, her laugh; the way she would try to brush those stupid bangs out of her face, everything. She had come and pulled him up and made him feel lighter than he ever had. She saved him from the pool of despair that he didn't even know he had fallen into.

"Rukia . . ."

His head slumped lower as he slowly drifted off to sleep.

BAM

Ichigo's head shot up as something sailed through the window and smashed against the wall of his bedroom. It was some kind of balloon he realised as he looked closer. The balloon slid down the wall, leaving a message that looked like it was written in blood.

Come to Urahara Shoten . . . if you want to save Kuchiki-san

Immediately

Then suddenly the balloon hit the ground and several more words were seen.

P.S if you think this message is not funny because it scary, then you have no sense of humour . . .

A vein throbbed on Ichigo's forehead and he raised a trembling fist at the wall.

"SHUT UP URAHARA!"


Gin moved slowly towards the library after the job was done. There was still one last thing he had to take care of . . .

But his mind was foggy and unclear, something that hardly ever, no, never had happened to him before. His thoughts were always clear and strong. But . . . the amount of blood that he had spilled tonight weighed heavily on his mind.

So many people . . .

His sword was trailing behind him in the dust, leaving a little trail of dark blood that dripped off the blade.

All of them were dead.

All 46 of them.

Soul Society is now under control of Aizen.


Hitsugaya moaned.

His head was throbbing like mad after drowning himself in sake last night. Everywhere seemed to hurt; his thoughts were slurred together, or was that his vision? He didn't know anymore.

All he knew now was that he had screwed up; really badly.

Why would Hinamori trust him now?

How he wished to go back to the days where the biggest worry of the day was whether they would get home on time, so they wouldn't be scolded by grandma. Things had gotten so complicated, so fast. He picked himself up and managed to walk slowly back to his division before collapsing on the sofa, not caring if anyone saw him now.

He drifted off and let himself sink into the welcoming black emptiness.


"What the hell-!"

Matsumoto lifted up the sheet of paper with shaking hands and re-read it again to confirm exactly what her eyes told her the first time.

"T-this is . . ."

BAM

The door of the library closed, leaving Matsumoto alone in the dim lights that surrounded the walls.

"This is a surprise ain't it . . . Ran-chan?"


"SPILL, URAHARA!"

"Must you yell so late in the night? You're waking up all the neighbours . . . do you really want them see some random black figured, orange haired guy in the middle of the night yelling about going to the world of death?"

"Shut it, four eyes!"

"Perhaps you would think more about shutting up, Traffic light. Your hair screams louder than your voice and that's saying something. . ."

"What did you just say you little-"

Orihime winced as Ichigo tackled Ishida over and they started rolling on the ground, not letting their throats rest for a second. Beside her Chad stood silently like usual observing the commotion with no great interest.

"U-uh . . . Urahara-san is ready to meet you now."

The paired turned to see a meek little girl with two pigtails, hiding behind her serving plate.

"T-the tea is ready . . . so would you like to sit first?"

She gestured towards inside and flinched slightly when she heard a particularly loud thud from behind Chad.

"Don't worry about them, they won't actually kill each other . . . I hope, ha-ha."

From inside the voice laughed and a slight swishing of a fan could be heard.

"Why don't you come in, Inoue-san? Sado-kun? We can leave those two to sort out their problems while you two can tell me all about your training with Yoruichi."

Orihime smiled.

"Then, if you don't mind."


Hitsugaya's eyes shot open as he suddenly sat up from the sofa.

"Urgh . . ."

His vision was still blurry and his muscles felt like jelly. The young captain placed a hand to his forehead in a vain attempt to stop the headache.

Why had he woken up?

Nothing had happened, yet he still had the nagging feeling something was wrong. All he wanted to do was fall back into sleep but his senses wouldn't let him. He looked around the room, blinking vigorously to clear his sight. Nothing seemed out of place, the room was perfectly quiet.

The moonlight, which had been hiding behind clouds before, began to creep out, shining through the window and gently illuminating the Captain's desk and chair. Hitsugaya stared at the light for a moment before his eyes widened. Ignoring the pain that seemed to pierce him from everywhere, he stood up and grabbed Hyorinmaru while trying to maintain his balance.

Maybe it was just a little coincidence or maybe he was just being paranoid; but, she had always been there to make sure he got home on time. So where was she now?

He reached out for Matsumoto's reiatsu signature and found it at the library. It was faint and flicking, something that should never happen to souls in Soul Society. Slowly, he slid open the door with great difficultly and stumbled out into the corridor.

"Matsumoto . . ."


Matsumoto's fingers were itching to grab her sword but her heart kept on whispering to her about how he would never hurt her.

"What are you doing here, Gin?"

Gin stopped.

"Nothin' much. What are ya doing, Ran-chan?"

The question suddenly drove Matsumoto's mind away from the fact that Gin was in front of her and forced her to remember the pieces of paper in her hands. She quickly folded the papers quietly behind her back.

"Just . . . looking for something."

"Oh? Is tha' so? Perhaps I could help ya."

Gin started to move closer again.

Matsumoto quickly stuffed the papers in her back pocket and hesitantly drew her sword.

"Wha' is it Ran-chan? Nervous? Ya don't need ta pull out ya zanpakuto ya know . . . I won't hurt ya."

She swallowed once to calm her nerves then gripped her sword more firmly to hide her shaking hands.

"You know what's on those papers don't you?"

Gin just kept on smiling at her.

"Why are you doing this? There's no purpose!"

Still no reply.

"Gin . . . GIN! Tell me! What's going on?"

"Shoot for the kill . . ."

Matsumoto frowned.

"Speak up, I can't hear you."

Ichimaru finally dropped his smile and mouthed something to her before pulling out his zanpakuto. Matsumoto only registered the fact that he had mouthed "sorry" to her when it was too late.

"Shinso!"


Ichigo looked on in amazement as he saw the powers Orihime and Chad had gained from the battle he had with Ishida. The amount of spiritual pressure released at that time must have been huge.

The battle had happened just before . . . . before Rukia's disappearance.

His friends had gotten stronger . . .

Yet, he was still like this.

"Ya, Ichigo, when are you going to get Nee-san back?"

A little lion plushie crawled out from Orihime's bag.

"I miss Nee-san you know! Even if you're not going, I will go and rescue Nee-san!"

Ichigo's face twisted into his usual glare.

"Shut up Kon!"

Ichigo emphasized his point by promptly squishing the toy's face under his foot.

"Calm down Kurosaki-kun! There's no need to damage the perfectly good soul."

Ichigo immediately turned his scowl towards Urahara who was watching him with eyes filled with amusement. Urahara sighed and picked up his cup to a take a sip.

"So why are all of us here, Urahara-san?"

Inoue asked, hoping to ease the tension a little.

Urahara finished the cup and put it down before opening his fan.

"Isn't obvious? We need a plan to crash Soul Society, of course."


Hitsugaya was breathing heavily, one hand leaning on the wall for support as he tried to make his way down to the library. His head still hurt and since he started walking, the pain had only increased. The white haired captain cursed himself for drinking so many in one go; he had never done that before and now his body was paying for it. The only thought that kept him moving now was the fact that Matsumoto was trouble. He had sensed her reiatsu spike up and down, a sign of panic and danger.

Matsumoto knew something, Hitsugaya was sure.

The only problem was the fact that he couldn't remember why he knew that.

He just knew.

His sword felt a ton of bricks on his back, the iciness biting into him, trying to force his legs to stop. The wind felt like it was going to blow his head away from all the noise it was making. Something's wrong.

Definitely.

A hangover headache would never feel like this unless . . .

Water suddenly started to pour down on him, soaking him right through his captain's cloak. He numbly held out a hand; it was raining, all down his face. It felt cold and wet but suddenly for a second, his mind was clear.

A hangover headache would never feel like this unless. . .

Unless someone had spiked his drinks.


CLANG!

The sound of two zanpakutos echoed in the big library, highlighting the fact that they were completely alone.

CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

He never stopped advancing and Matsumoto furiously tried to keep up with his attacks.

"Why . . ."

She managed to spit out through gritted teeth. The force behind each blow was heavier than he had ever dealt to her and it still surprised her.

"Why Gin . . . why do you-argh- never . . . tell me!"

Matsumoto decided that she had to try to defeat him; just defending would never make sure she would get to her Captain to tell him the news.

"Take this: Growl, HAINEKO!"

Her zanpakuto burst into a mess of grey ash which floated everywhere obscuring Gin's vision.

"Don't try ta hide Ran-chan . . . I just need a lit'le somethin' from ya. Come on . . ."

There was no answer.

Gin frowned and then sighed.

"If ya must continue to be like this . . . I'm gonna have to . . ."

He turned around and quickly flicked his zanpakuto forward. A slicing sound was heard before all the ash retreated back to form the zanpakuto which clattered onto the ground.

Gently, Gin walked over to the unconscious body of Matsumoto and shook his head.

"Don't ya remember?"

He bent down and brushed her hair away from her face.

"I always win at hide and seek, ya know."


~ "It sounds ridiculous when they say to believe because you know there's no use. But maybe if you tried believing for a second, just a second, it might just begin to make things better . . . ~


AUTHOR NOTE: I APOLOGIZE!

THE REASON WHY I UPDATED SO LATE WAS BECAUSE . . .

For a period of time, I dunno why, I was just so depressed and unmotivated. . .

BUT I AM BACK AND UPDATES WILL BECOME MORE REGULAR SO PLEASE SUPPORT AND READ!

AND REVIEW!

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