A/N: Well this will be the first chapter of my second fan fiction. I'm still fairly new but I'll try my best. This story is kind of an alternate plot thing, going on the idea of what if Ichigo's final fight with Aizen had ended differently. It was inspired by some other fanfics I've read and a Bleach AMV on youtube called Emptiness. I won't say anything more as I don't want to spoil it. So I hope you like it, and here it is!
Chapter 1: A Hollow Victory
Ichigo looked around at the craters, shattered stone, and the most recent cloud of smoke from Mugetsu covering the area where Aizen had been, and he stood astonished at the level of destruction his battle with Aizen had caused. Seeing this, he was glad that he had decided to take the battle to these rocky fields on the outskirts of town. If they had stayed in Karakura there would probably be nothing left of it by now. A shock of cold went through his body and he collapsed to the ground as his shinigami powers began to fade. As he knelt on his hands and knees panting he thought to himself, My powers are gone. But it's done. It's over. He's dead. He looked into the smoke and rubble caused by his attack thinking, There's no way he could have survived that. But then, to his surprise he saw a figure limp out of the smoke. Most of the form he had been in when Ichigo used Mugetsu had been blown away, but there Aizen stood. Upon seeing this Ichigo immediately though despairingly, No! Dammit! He's still alive! and he tried to rise but he could barely move.
Aizen looked just as he did at the beginning of the fight; his wings and mask gone, and his body back to a human shape. The only differences being that his skin had gone paper white and his coat was burned and frayed around the edges with patches missing on the arms and the lower part of the pants, from the mid shins down, blown away. His right eye had also gone pure white and part of the teeth from his previous form still remained on the right side of his mouth. Aizen's form had still survived Ichigo's final hope of defeating him and he stood before him, worse for wear but still alive, the Hogyoku still set into the center of his chest as he twitched his white blade towards Ichigo's face.
"You've lost Kurosaki Ichigo. I'm getting stronger as we speak. The Hogyoku will never allow me to be beaten by the likes of you!" Ichigo knew that it was just Aizen's arrogance and his God-complex that made him say that. He could tell from the remnants of Aizen's last form and his obvious tiredness and weakened reiatsu that he wasn't getting stronger, but weaker, and that he was actually at the weakest he had been since he fused with the Hogyoku. Whether Aizen knew that too, or whether he was so deluded that he really thought he was getting stronger Ichigo didn't know. But he did know that it didn't matter, and that as weak as he was he could still kill Ichigo as he was now. Then he would get stronger again and go after everyone else. Aizen raised the blade, preparing to bring it down and kill his nemesis once and for all. "Now there is just the matter of killing you, and with you goes the last obstacle stopping me from ruling everything! You're finished, Kurosaki Ichigo!" As he brought the blade down, Ichigo knew with his powers gone there was nothing he could do but wait for the end. He closed his eyes, filled with dread as he anticipated the moment when Aizen's blade would bite into his flesh, ending his life once and for all, and all his efforts would have been for nothing.
But…it didn't come.
He opened his eyes to find himself on his hands and knees on the side of a skyscraper. A light rain fell around him as Ichigo looked around at the once clear blue sky, now filled with dark storm clouds and he slowly realized where he was. My inner world…But I thought with my powers gone I wouldn't be coming here anymore? Just then, to his great surprise he heard footsteps behind him. As he turned to see who it was he stood up and called hesitantly to his surroundings, "Zangetsu?" But the person behind him was not who he was expecting.
Standing there was Ichigo's inner hollow in his newest form. He was wearing an outfit similar to a white version of Ichigo's Bankai but instead of the frayed edges it had neat black trim around the hem and black fur at the collar and cuffs of the jacket. As usual he looked identical to Ichigo other than his perfectly white skin and hair and black eyes. But now he had clawed feet and hands and a long mane of white hair going down his back, along with a black mask with two vertical white stripes and horns covering his face. The low neckline also showed the top of the black markings on his chest. He tilted the mask back, revealing his face looking eerily like Ichigo's but for the sadistic grin and he spoke in his echoing voice, "Yo, Ichigo."
Surprised by the appearance of his hollow Ichigo panicked and took a few steps back. "What are you doing here? Where's Zangetsu? I thought I lost my powers!"
"Didn't you listen to what that kid Zangetsu said?" Hichigo drawled. [A/N: Starting now I'm calling his hollow Hichigo for convenience by the way] "If you use the Final Getsuga Tensho you will lose your shinigami powers. He never mentioned what would happen to me did he? He said the thing he wanted to protect was you and that's why he didn't want to teach you the technique. But it wasn't just so you could fight. He also wanted to protect you from me!"
Cautiously, Ichigo said back, "But why are you here now?"
Hichigo spread his arms wide, gesturing at Ichigo's inner world. "The power balance has shifted Kingy! I can't just let you get killed by this guy. So now…" He paused and stretched his clawed hands. "…we fight for supremacy! And this time, Zangetsu isn't going to stop me. C'mon King, use the last dregs of your shinigami powers before they disappear! Come at me with everything you got, and I'll destroy it!" With that he charged at Ichigo.
Ichigo instinctively brought up his sword to block the clawed hand striking towards his chest. It was only then he saw what Hichigo said was true. His power was fading but he did still have some left. He was still wearing his Bankai jacket. Although, all that was left of it was a strip hanging his right shoulder, and his hakama going down to just past his knees. Not just that, but he was holding his zanpakutou still. He barely managed to block the blow, but when he saw the mask spreading in a sinister smile he realised the hollow hadn't put much force into it. Hichigo's inch-long claws screeched against the flat of the blade as he pushed forward and forced Ichigo back into the wall of the skyscraper across from where they had been. He's so strong! Ichigo charged forward and swung at Hichigo, but he just dodged it and kicked Ichigo into the wall. With my powers almost gone I can barely survive his attacks, let alone fight back! He's just toying with me now!
"C'mon Ichigo! Is that all you got! And you thought you could beat a God?" Hichigo shouted; grinning as he caught Ichigo's sword swing and swung him into another building. As the other tried to pull himself from the wreckage, he leaned forward, taking aim as a crimson light began building between the horns that adorned the mask. Seeing the charging cero, Ichigo's eyes widened as he redoubled his attempts, kicking and pushing fragments of stone aside. He managed to clear away enough stone and through himself out of the way just in time to dodge the incoming ray of destructive energy that screamed past him. He glanced back and saw that the sheer force of it had razed and utterly obliterated not only where he had been seconds before but also several of the buildings behind him. Hichigo turned to him and laughed.
Ichigo looked at him in fear. He's a monster! Is this really what I became when I beat Ulquiorra? He gripped his sword tighter, regaining some confidence. I can't let him win! I can't let him control me! I can't let him out! Ichigo roared with sword raised and charged forward again. Hichigo easily batted the sword to the side, but Ichigo turned and slashed upwards causing Hichigo to jump backwards to dodge it.
"That's more like it Kingy! Fight!" he roared and leapt towards Ichigo, a bala forming in the palm of his fist as it flew toward his unprotected chest. Ichigo tried to twist out of the way but Hichigo opened his hand and fired the bala from his palm into Ichigo's left shoulder, launching him into another building.
When he stood up again he gasped as a sharp pain went through his shoulder and he realized it was broken and he couldn't move his left arm. I can't beat him like this. He's too strong. He looked over at Hichigo who stood still in midair as the rain fell, dripping off the mask as he held it to side showing the psycotic grin stretching across his face. He's a berserker, and he's even more reckless a fighter than me. Maybe I can use that to my advantage. "Stop toying with me. If you're going to kill me, do it already!"
Hichigo ginned back and said, "If you insist King! I'll try and make it slow!" Then he dove at Ichigo almost faster than Ichigo's eyes could follow, his clawed hand extended before him. Ichigo tried to move and the clawed hand buried itself in wrist deep into his gut. "Looks like I win King. You were able to move so it's not fatal, but you're still not going to be able to keep fighting like this. And I thought you could have dodged that too. You must be even weaker than I thought. How disappointing." He pouted for a second before laughing loudly, as he began twisting his hand deeper.
Aizen watched in joy as his sword swung down, relishing his final triumph over the one person who almost killed him. The one person who could have killed him. A wide smile spread across his face as he swung. I'm going to enjoy this! But at the last second, and to his great surprise, a hand shot up and caught his sword. But his powers are gone! He's finished! This is impossible! Then he noticed the fingers on the hand gripping the sword were turning white and growing claws. He looked down at his nemesis and saw his head still hanging, his hair covering his face. Bu Aizen could see black reiatsu gathering on Ichigo's face, and as he looked up at Aizen, he saw the reiatsu form into a white hollow mask with two black vertical stripes and horns. Aizen jumped back a few meters, tearing his sword out of the creature's grip. He looked at the dark red reiatsu surrounding Ichigo and watched as his orange hair grew out into a mane and his skin turned white with three black lines radiating up from the center of his chest and said, "Ah. I see. In your weakened state you're no longer able to hold that creature at bay. You have lost yourself." He gave a smug smile; satisfied that he had solved this mystery.
The creature stood before disappearing with a resounding boom and reappeared behind Aizen. Before he could raise a sword to defend himself the creature thrust its clawed hand into his back and out through his chest, grasping the Hogyoku between its bloodied claws and ripping it out through his back. Aizen coughed up a large glob of blood and clutched at the hole in his chest, turning with a horrified look to see his opponent. He started raising his hand to call the Hogyoku back when to his surprise the creature squeezed it in its hand…and the Hogyoku shattered. Aizen's eyes went wide and he stared in disbelief. His life's work…the thing which gave him the power of a god…the thing that made him unbeatable… and this creature just broke it in its hand. What power!... What… INSOLENCE! Aizen roared in anger as the hole in his chest began regenerating.
But before Aizen could do anything there was another soft boom as the creature used sonido and tackled Aizen into a cliff face. With one hand the creature pinned Aizen to the cliff face as its other hand came up to point a clawed finger at Aizen's face, a massive red cero charging at the tip. The last thing Aizen heard before the cero obliterated him and the cliff face behind him was an echoing voice saying, "Who said I lost."
Ichigo coughed up blood and looked up at his hollow, who was standing before him laughing with his hand buried in Ichigo's stomach. But the laughter died off almost immediately when he saw Ichigo grin, blood still dripping from his mouth. "I'm sorry, but I can't lose to you. I won't let you hurt anyone else." Before Hichigo could react Ichigo drove his sword up under his ribs and out his spine at the base of his neck. Hichigo just had time to croak out, "Ah dammit," before Ichigo summoned up what was left of his shinigami powers and shouted at the top of his voice for what he knew would be the last time, "GETSUGA TENSHOU!"
The black and red reiatsu that burst from Ichigo's sword tore away the bottom part of his inner hollows body leaving only his upper torso, head, and right arm floating in the air. As what was left of him began turning into white spirit particles and drifting away Hichigo spoke calmly. "Well played King. You'll be needing that brutality if you want to use my power." His head beginning to dissolve, Hichigo spoke louder; not in fear or to hold off the dissolution, but to emphasize his enthusiasm. "It's just me and you now King! And without Zangetsu here to hold me back you'll be seeing a lot more of me! I won't give up this easily! See you soon Kingy!" His last words were spoken as the last few particles drifted away in the wind leaving Ichigo standing alone on the side of the skyscraper.
Ichigo looked up at the sky, no longer feeling his wounds. After all it's his inner world and the fight was over. He thought about the look he thought he'd seen cross his hollows face for a moment as he spoke. It had looked almost like…pride? As if his hollow hadn't really wanted to win, but was just pushing Ichigo to fight back? To pull out his brutality in order to win? Ichigo looked down and shook his head. He must have been imagining it. Either way he put it out of his mind for them moment. He had another fight to finish.
Looking at the demolished cliff face where Aizen had been moments earlier Ichigo thought with relief, Now it's done. Now it's finally over.
Then he heard a echoing and normally mocking voice filled with surprising admiration coming from the back of his mind, Nice job King! I didn't think you could be that brutal. Well you were in that last fight with me, but I thought that was just me! Hichigo laughed psychotically.
It was the only way to beat him. He wouldn't have stopped until he was dead, and the only way to kill him was to destroy him completely. Ichigo thought back sadly. Then, suddenly realizing it, he added in puzzlement, I didn't know you could talk to me in my head.
In a jokingly seductive voice Hichigo said, Now that its just me and you in here were much closer. Then he laughed and continued in a more normal tone. But really, with Zangetsu not here to provide balance I have much more influence. Although I am only able to talk to you when your using my power to this extent, or by putting in some serious effort. In fact my influence could be where this new found brutality of yours comes from!
You have that much influence on me!
Well the more you draw on my powers, the stronger I am. Although, even when you aren't using my powers at all, like I said Zangetsu's not here to give balance, so you'll be a little bit more…oh what's the word…bestial. Ichigo could hear the grin as Hichigo said that word, and he shivered at the thought of his hollow affecting his mind.
Just then a voice pulled him from his thoughts, "Ichigo?" He recognized Rukia's voice instantly and turned to see her standing some distance away with Renji, Ishida, Sado, Orihime and Urahara. All of them but Orihime and Urahara seemed to be sporting some injury. Rukia and Renji wore so much bandages over their torsos it formed shirts. Rukia also had her right arm in a sling. Renji wore his torn kosode as a cloak while Rukia had hers draped over her right shoulder. Sado had bandages around his forehead and covering his left arm and a crutch under his right arm. Ishida only had bandages on his left forearm and some visible on his stomach through a tear in his shirt. It was only after he had finished taking in their injuries that Ichigo saw their expressions. Orihime seemed outright afraid and was already taking a few steps back. Ishida and Urahara just seemed sad. Sado was mostly impassive, but he did seem a little surprised. Renji was looking at Rukia, seeming surprised by what she had just said. Rukia just seemed wary, curious, and a little worried.
Ichigo heard Urahara mutter, "I was too late…" and Orihime say falteringly, "K..Kuro..saki..-kun?"
What's wrong? Why are they acting like that? It's like they think I'm dead. Ichigo thought wonderingly.
Hey idiot! You're still using my powers.Hichigo replied scornfully.
They're afraid of you.
A/N: oooh…Dun Dun Dun. Sorry about that.
Anyways so what do you think? Like I said it's my second Fanfic, and since I haven't really got any feedback on my first other than one review, a favourite and my friend's opinion I'm not sure whether I'm doing good or not so any feedback would be much appreciated. Even if it's along the lines of, "You suck at writing and you should delete this story before going outside and hanging yourself." If you hadn't yet got the message from my pen name or the story you probably got it from that line. I'm a fairly dark person.
I might change the story summary and/or genres later, but it'll do for now. M rating for heavy violence, swearing, and the occasional adult theme that might pop up. No lemons but shit happens, and I don't know what my tick people off so better safe than sorry. You've been warned.
I also have to thank my new Beta MisplacedSanity for her help in editing this chapter, and for all her tips and ideas for improvement. It was a great help…and lots of fun. I recommend you all check out some of her stories. Not just to pay her back for her help but because they're quite good, and if you enjoyed this you might enjoy her's too.
So yeah, tell me what you think about the story. Where you think it might be going, any suggestions, mistakes I missed, etc. And feel free to check out my other story too. I could use some more feedback. Hope to hear from ya! Until next time then.
P.S: Almost forgot. I don't own bleach or any of it's characters or etc. If I did things would go a little differently. However this story and everything in it does belong to me. It's all mine, muahahahahah…ha…haha…*cough*…Right then…Bye