I have to say, writing new chapters are taking a very long time. Instead, I'll just feed you guys this oneshot for now.
This is part of the Turn Off the Lights AU story. Just to prove that yes, I'm working on it.
For those that didn't read that story, all you need to know is that due to certain events, Ichigo is in Aizen's hands and has his memories removed. Ichigo also has a thing for chocolate (read: he's obsessed with chocolate) at this point of the story. The Arrancar War is entering it's second year when this oneshot takes place. Ichigo's hollow has a body of its own and Ichigo likes to call it Eien. Ichigo's human friends have fully developed powers that Kubo seemed to have been hinting at during the Decide Arc. This is set during Ichigo and Eien's first mission to the World of the Living.
Disclaimer: Why do we do this? It's a fiction written by a fan. Hence the name.
This was probably a bad idea.
Not that Ichigo minded too much. It cleared his mind of its normal clutter of hazy blankness that was a symptom of Ichigo's general amnesia.
Besides, he finally escaped from Eien's persistent watch. He could take care of himself fine, thank you very much! He didn't need someone to be keeping him "in line," Ichigo never would mess up anything, especially not on his first trip to the World of the Living.
But thinking is boring; that's what Ichimaru-san always told Ichigo. Then Aizen-sama would add that Ichigo had better be thinking when he's on the battlefield against the shinigami. In a more polite way of course. Aizen-sama was just the picture of cold politeness.
Eien always said that he just had a stick up his ass.
Ichigo would tell the ex-inner hollow to shut up.
Not that Eien ever does. It's just a routine that Ichigo clings to as he flounders for his lost memories.
Zangetsu doesn't say anything; he can't, he's blocked. Ichigo doesn't know why, but he knows better than to ask why.
Regardless, back to the original topic: this was probably a bad idea. Running a hand through the faux body's hair – it's black and feels weird when he looks in the mirror – Ichigo munches on a bar of chocolate he snagged with the change left over from Keshin and Adam's shopping trip of hell that Ichigo was blackmailed into doing. Said shopping trip forced Ichigo to travel far from the hotel that he and Eien were living in to some little town that Ichigo can't remember the name of. All that was important was that it had the last ingredients that the two cooks needed and some pretty damn good chocolate.
The river flowing through it was a nice addition.
Starting its trek down to the horizon, the sun was barely starting its journey to sunset. The water sparkled in the light and Ichigo simply sat on the grassy bank, trying not to think of how cold it was on this winter evening. Previously, he was walking around the town, getting his blood flowing as wind blew down the streets. Then he had found the river.
Taking another bite from the rapidly shrinking chocolate bar, Ichigo warily casts out his senses one more time, just to confirm how wacked up this area was. It only takes one second, but even one second is too long for Ichigo considering how this town could very well be the battlefield of the war, if the much higher than normal amount of people with high reiatsu levels were to go by. About twenty foreign individuals were present.
Ichigo took care to stuff his reiatsu back down into control. Too late.
Someone had noticed and was moving closer at a slightly alarming pace.
Licking the smudges of chocolate that had melted between his fingers, Ichigo laid down, resigned and even colder. At least it wasn't Eien. The albino would beat Ichigo into a pulp if he found him outside of their jurisdiction.
(But wasn't he supposed to be somewhere hunting humans?)
Ichigo tugged at the scarf that was probably Eien's over his mouth. The thick cloth was a pleasing, familiar color for Ichigo; such a faint purple, like the sand of Los Noches lit by one of those dim artificial lights that glittered everywhere in the busy city. It wrapped itself snuggly around his neck, capturing the heat from his breath.
The sound of someone's shoes stepping on stiff yellowing grass didn't escape Ichigo's notice, Aizen-sama trained him too well for something like that to go undetected. Ichigo closed his eyes, covering up the dark green irises. The ticking of his faux watch sounded even louder than normal. Whoever had rushed here didn't approach any further from its position a few feet from Ichigo's head.
The sun was now lower in the sky.
"Who are you?" a boy's voice asks.
Ichigo remains silent, enjoying the lapping of the river on its banks and the minuscule warmth from the setting sun. Nor does he open his eyes. He probably wouldn't need to to be able to take down this male.
"Hey," the voice sounds young compared to the voices of nearly everyone Ichigo knows, "I know you're alive. But what are you doing here? I've never seen you around these parts."
He said what, not who. Huh.
Ichigo cracks open an eye now. He doesn't see who was addressing him yet, but a simple tip of his head grants him a view of the slightly feminine looking black haired boy. He wasn't paying much attention to Ichigo, instead he's concentrating on the phone in his palm with a slight frown. Said phone begins to hum a tune that seems to frustrate the boy even more.
Apparently someone was calling him. Ichigo still didn't say a word.
"Hello Asano-san…Yeah….Okay….Uh, I'm by the river…yes, yes I know, I have WOPR…I can handle myself Asano-san, thanks for the concern...Okay fine, I'll be over for dinner…Later, I have someone to interrogate here…Yes! That!...Hm, bye."
The call ends with a chime.
Ichigo finally greets the boy – in a way. "Interrogate?"
The boy's face becomes calmer as he walks over to Ichigo's side. Ichigo's eyes never leave him and notice how he never sees the back of the other boy. There's a tiny limp in his step, barely noticeable and certainly not enough to drastically effect a short brawl. He's also smiling slightly.
"Ah yes. WOPR felt that little spike of reiatsu coming from this area just now. So you're not a normal human, despite you're appearance. Probably not a normal shinigami either, WORP can easily recognize them. So what are you?"
Ichigo glances at the phone in the boy's hands. A smartphone then, maybe even an AI. This boy was also well acquainted with the other side. Ichigo would have to choose his words with the careful precession that Tosen-sama taught him.
"Just someone passing by for some chocolate." Ichigo waves one of his still slightly smeared fingers for emphases. At the same time he glances at his watch. Grinning his own smile, even though the boy probably couldn't really see it, Ichigo stands up. He's been hanging around this river for over an hour now, he should probably head back before Eien starts worrying. Standing on his black boots, Ichigo starts to leave.
"Have a good day," he calls out to the boy.
Mizuiro watches the other black haired boy leave. Lifting WOPR to eye level, Mizuiro activates it's intelligence program, letting it try to gather all the data it can on the mysterious chocolate seeker.
It's been over two years since Ichigo went MIA. The Team would need all the data it could get.
The next time the two meet it's on the final battlefield as Ichigo and Eien are carrying out their orders to kill everyone that Aizen instructed them to.
By then Ichigo had already given up on reclaiming his memories, it had been a hopeless wish he had been chasing after for far too many months. It's war, not a time to trying to reclaim the past. The only memories that Ichigo has are of the constant blood and fights with an occasional laugh from his arrancar allies.
By then Mizuiro and the Team had realized what happened to their old friend and ally much too late.
Ichigo has been reformed into an obedient war machine. A war machine that needed all of Ichigo's former human friends and family pulling off their strongest moves at once to subdue for just a few hours before he was up and running again.
Just to prove that I have decided on how Turn Off the Lights will end.
Have a good day and salut!