Ichigo looked out off the balcony overlooking the Soul Society. He smiled in reminiscence.
It's been so long. Too long…I should visit Karakura again, but when is there time?
The railing in front of him didn't matter all that much to Soul Reapers as they could stand in mid air using their spirit energy to give them solid footing. Ichigo placed a hand on the railing and hopped over to sit with his feet dangling over the edge.
It's been a while now. No, more than a while. Years…dozens…and yet it feels like it was only yesterday that I met Rukia. That I first became a Soul Reaper.
He gazed up at the clouds and smiled again.
"Of course what would I have done with a normal life? Now that I think about it, it's hard to remember a time without being a Soul Reaper. Without knowing that there really was a Heaven and Hell, even Hollows," he commented to the air around him.
He could still remember all the times he fought. All the times he had grown stronger. Even when he had lost it all somehow he had managed to get it all back.
"Heh, and now I've really got it all…"
The crowds stood silently as he walked forward towards raised platform where the other Captains with Head Captain Yamamoto standing in the center. Behind each Captain their Lieutenant stood. There wasn't a single sound except for the slight movement of a Soul Reaper now and again waiting for what they all knew was coming…
He felt the two spiritual pressures come to his door. They didn't hesitate to open and enter the room. He turned to the two. One was much taller than the other, had bright, spiky, red hair up in a pony tail and tattoos printed across his skin. The other was shorter with short black hair that smoothly shaped around her head.
Both stood proudly and both wore the white Captain's Haoris.
"Ichigo…" Rukia said.
He smiled at his two friends. "Ya, I know. Everyone's gathered."
He swung himself back over the railing to land lightly on the floor his white haori silently coming down around him.
Rukia and Renji waited for him to pass before following behind him.
" You have protected the Soul Society since before becoming a part of our community."
They walked down the hall together in silence.
" And soon after you did you were chosen to become a Captain of the 13 Court Guard Squads. You have served faithfully."
Ichigo stopped at an outlook of the Soul Society just before the double doors to the meeting and looked out at the area around them proudly.
"We are proud to call you our friend and honor you with this title…"
He stepped forward to the door and pushed both doors open. The two rows of Captains lying in wait just beyond.
"I Head Captain Genriyuusai now declare Captain Kurosaki Ichigo as the Head Captain of the 13 Court Guard Squads."
Rukia and Renji stopped in their places in the rows and stood at attention with the rest of the Captains.
Ichigo walked proudly between the rows to stand with his back to the others with the black Squad 1 symbol on his back. He turned to face the Captains.
Since the day he met Rukia to the day he lost his Soul Reaper Powers, then got them back he never imagined that he would be entrusted with this important position. Never did he suspect that even after finding out the truth behind the first Substitute Soul Reaper did he think the Head Captain would step down and hand over his job and duties to Ichigo.
Genriyuusai shrugged off his haori. He took it in his hand and looked at it for a moment.
"With this haori, I pass on my duties as the Captain of Squad 1 and the Head Captain of the 13 Court Guard Squads. Captain Kurosaki, I place you in charge of the Soul Society and give you the duty of protecting the souls that live here."
He flung the haori around Ichigo's shoulders with his right hand and let them drift down to rest upon Ichigo's shoulders.
Ichigo looked to the Ex Head Captain.
Genriyuusai whispered to him, "Turn, so the Court Guard Squads may greet their new Head Captain, Ichigo."
"Am I ready?" Ichigo asked. "Will I ever feel ready?"
Genriyuusai's eyes opened to squint at Ichigo. "Over time you will know the answer to that question."
Ichigo nodded confirming that he was ready to face the Soul Reapers as the new Head Captain. He took a deep breath and slowly turned to face the mass behind him.
He wasn't ready for the breathtaking cheering he received. All the Soul Reapers there were cheering madly for him. And off to the side the souls of his friends stood. Some wore Soul reaper uniforms others wore ordinary clothing. And Ishida, the Quincy that he was, wore his Quincy uniform with the ridiculous cape attached.
Head Captain Ichigo raised his head proudly and smiled. He drew his sword from its wrappings upon his back and held it high in the air.
Ichigo felt the familiar weight of Zangetsu slip off his back as he set him to the side of the chair, even centuries later he still had not managed to make his Zanpaktou come out of Shikai into its sealed form.
His friends all joked that when he passed on his title to someone that he would become a legend. As the only Head Captain to not have his sword ever sealed and in its sheath.
He only smiled and shook his head at them and much to their astonishment replied, "I understand why the Old Man was so reluctant to pass his duties onto me…We both want to make sure nothing ever destroys the balance of these worlds and to do that we must be willing to protect it even if it means surviving when others have not. It must have been hard for him when he believed the remaining Captains to be dead while I was losing my Spiritual Pressure."
The others would only look at him shocked before saying they would all stand at his side a thousand times over before falling to any enemy.
But he would only smile in response
Author's Note: Sorry if it's somewhat choppy. It was a onetime inspiration and I can't really tell if it came out like I thought it would. But anyways, please review! :)