Prologue

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He inhaled and exhaled in erratic gasps like a drowning man, desperately drawing oxygen into his constricting lungs. They felt much smaller and so squeezed as if forcefully compressed into a tiny box. It resembled the sensation of being smothered with a pillow and the aggressor was so much stronger, he just couldn't throw him off.

In the back of his mind, he understood now what his father had once tried to explain to him: he was hyperventilating.

His heart pounded rapidly in his chest to the point it conveyed the impression of pain and he couldn't breath. Black and white spots danced in his vision and how had he not passed out yet?

A metallic and rusty scent lingered in the air that even the cascading rain could not wash away.

It was cold.

Green lush grass pressed into his back, as did that little pinching stone. Even loosened up the ground was not comfortable. His usually vibrant orange hair was wet and muddied with dirt, making it appear flecked with dull brown.

He took no notice of this.

Breath was expelled in short pants, which reminded more of struggling sobs and choking, and his cramping fingers were clawed into the soft earth on which he was laying, mind as numb as the swiftly cooling body covering him.

Empty (Oh, Ichigo, you have my eyes. Mommy is so proud!) eyes stared into his. He couldn't look away.

Her wonderful, pretty hair, now tousled and dirtied, wound around him, strands covering thin parts of his face and the ground. The woman's face still displayed the shock and horror she had felt shortly upon her death, fearing for her precious son's safety.

A mother's first priority was assuring her child's wellbeing.

She had done what was expected from her and protected her son, but who would shield him now - after her sacrifice?

Now- when her life essence colored her boy's pale form a vivid red?

He could feel it trickling and flowing out of her veins; it was still warm, the only substance of any warmth on his icy skin.

In a morbid way, it was like bathing; if it hadn't been for the cold and the rain and the blood and the monster and his mother.

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He didn't know how long he laid there, just breathing, when even that failed him.

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So, yeah, I wrote this on a total whim and actually it's nothing more than a bit of practice, so don't expect too much- I've got no idea how long the wave of inspiration will hold me.

And btw, I've written this as a slight crossover with another anime, sooo maybe you'll recognize which one in later chapters.

Thanks for reading and please review, I need the critique. -whiskedaway