Mr. 96: Okay, today I am wiping my slate clean! I have realized that "Ultimately Annihilated," my flagship story, has lost some of its earlier flair. People prefer to read the first chapter of it more than anything, not paying attention to its later chapters, and with good reason because the story was just too damn confusing. So, as of now I am starting the entire fic over, with no Nigo, with no missing Zangetsu, and no Higurashi characters, starting from chapter 2! *Ahem*….It takes place after chapter 2, assuming the rest of Ultimately Annihilated did not happen. Also, I bumped up the point in time this takes place one or two episodes. The original took place after Shakugan no Shana episode 5 with some continuity changes, this one right in the middle of episode 6. Disclaimer: See Ultimately Annihilated.

Recap:

Ichigo: "I am a Soul Reaper. A god of death, a guardian of the afterlife. My duty is to maintain the balance between life and death by sending spirits to the Soul Society. When I took a trip to Misaki City, I met a boy named Yuji and a girl named Shana. The girl was a Flame Haze, which I guess you could say made her similar to me-she also protected order between this world and what she called the "Crimson Realm". But she created Torches, which were replacements for people eaten by monsters called Crimson Denizens, and then treated them like they were just objects that didn't matter. I was angered at her disposition towards such an idea, and made up my mind to take matters with the Crimson Realm into my own hands."

Prologue

A brown-haired man smiled. This was the only way to make things right-he knew that from the start. He took a knife, and slit his own throat. He could feel time crumbling around him, as his life was erased for thirty years…

Ichigo sighed. After deciding to personally protect Misaki City all by himself from both Hollows and Crimson Denizens, he had worn himself out. He wanted to take a little downtime at the hotel, so he had come home to take a nap.

"Come on, Ichigo! Don't you want to look around some more?" Yuzu asked. "I hear there's some stage play of that American musical "Class Noir" that's a real sell-out!"

"You mean the one based on that movie directed by Samantha Watson?" Ichigo asked. "Sorry, Yuzu, but I'm really tired today. I don't think I can make it."

Yuzu looked disappointed. "But Ichigo! You didn't do anything today!"

Isshin and Karin both patted her on the shoulder. "Come on, Yuzu," Karin said, "I don't know why, but Ichigo needs some time alone."

"Don't worry, Yuzu!" Isshin shouted, "Even without Ichigo, you'll still have a great time with Daddy!"

"But Daddy-" Yuzu was cut off as Isshin dragged her out of the room.

Karin sighed. Yuzu was right about one thing: Ichigo didn't do too many things today, so why was he tired….?

After they left, Ichigo sat up, suddenly refreshed. As he did, the doorbell rang. He walked over to the door, and opened it.

The person there was Yuji. "Mr. Kurosaki….I need you for something…..it's urgent!"

Ichigo looked at him strangely. He barely knew Yuji, and already he was asking for help? "What is it?"

Yuji panted for breath. "It's Shana….she needs your help!"

"So what makes you think I'll help out?" Ichigo asked, "If you'll recall, Shana and I didn't exactly meet on too friendly circumstances, you know."

"I do remember that," Yuji asked, "Still, you're the only one who can help her out in a time like this!"

Ichigo growled. He knew he couldn't turn down a request for help. But dammit, why did it have to be from Shana…..?

Ichigo and Yuji arrived at the latter's house. "Shana's in my room," Yuji said, "If you don't mind, I'd like to stay outside….."

"Are you crazy? You think she'll accept help from me?" Ichigo asked, taking a step back, "I wouldn't accept help from her!"

"I know," Yuji said, "Still, you're the only one I know who she could accept help from. She won't tell me about it…"

When Ichigo heard this, his eyes widened, and then he sighed. "You're sure about this?" he asked. Yuji simply nodded

Ichigo turned the doorknob, and entered the room. Shana was sitting on the bed there-well, more like laying on the bed-and got up.

"What are you doing here?" she asked, her eyes narrowing.

"You know, I've been asking myself that all day. Maybe it's because some dumbass Torch thought it was a good idea for me to talk to you because you've apparently had a falling out with him?" Ichigo retorted.

"He's nothing but a Torch. I don't care if he dies or anything," Shana said.

Then, after a long pause, she couldn't take it anymore. "Well? Aren't you going to berate me for talking about someone like that?" she asked, quite sure that Ichigo should have taken offense at something she said.

"I'm not even going to bother. Way I figure it is, we both have a lot of opinions that the other one of us doesn't like."

Shana smiled. "Okay, granted that's true. You're hotheaded, and you're a little too much of a goody-two-shoes for my taste."

"Ow," Ichigo said, "And you're nothing but a brat who doesn't seem to recognize other people's feelings, and you have some issues with morality."

"That's necessary to being a Flame Haze," Alastor spoke up, "Shana does what's necessary. Even killing Yuji at this point may fall under that category."

"You wanna explain that?" Ichigo asked.

"Simple. The Mystes is distracting us whenever we get into a fight. With him around, we're at a liability," Alastor finished.

"I really don't want to go through with it either, strawberry bastard," Shana said, "But don't tell Yuji I said that."

"The part about killing him, or the part about you not wanting to?"

"Both," Shana and Alastor answered at the same time.

"That aside, I really don't think it's necessary anymore," Shana said, "At first he was nothing to me, but…..something happened that made me change my mind….."

"What was that?" Ichigo asked.

"You," Shana said, "Your stupid mindset of protecting others and being more heroic eventually got to me. I don't even think of Torches as things anymore, thanks to you."

Ichigo's eyes widened. "So, I take it you'll tell me what I want to know, then?" he asked, "First, why are you and Yuji not talking to each other, and second, what's this trouble he was talking about?"

Shana sighed. "He was probably talking about that time I appeared injured to him and didn't want his help. That was when I ran into another Flame Haze, named Margery Daw."

"Wait," Ichigo said, "Another Flame Haze? Shouldn't you work together?"

"Unfortunately, each Flame Haze operates independently," Alastor said, "and not all of them get along with each other. Each has different methods: Some are like you, taking the role of protector to a higher moral extreme, while others are simply in it to kill Denizens."

"What's the big deal? That's how you Soul Reapers operate too, isn't it?" Shana asked.

"Not really," Ichigo said, "Actually, I'm the only independent Soul Reaper there is. All of the others report to the Thirteen Court Guard Squads. The reason I don't is because I was a human before becoming a Soul Reaper."

"Anyway, after that me and Yuji got into an argument," Shana said, "But more importantly, Margery is getting in out way. You think maybe you could take care of her for us?"

"So, that's how it's going to be, is it?" Ichigo said, smiling, "Alright, I guess I will help you!"

Ichigo and Shana jumped from rooftops. "So, how do we know where to find her?" Ichigo asked.

"Using this," Shana said, creating a Fuzetsu. "Only Mystes, Crimson Denizens, and Flame Hazes can move around in one of these," she said, "This is the biggest area I can manage. If she's not here, then…."

Suddenly, a big-breasted blonde girl wearing glasses appeared. This was Margery Daw, the Chanter of Elegies, and her Crimson Lord, Marchosias.

"Red-haired, blazing-eyed hunter. I thought I taught you a lesson the last time we met," she said, "stay out of my way!" She took out a book, and began chanting some sort of incantation, which turned her into a purple werewolf/Tasmanian devil thing. She leaped at Shana, only to be blocked by a gigantic sword.

Ichigo appeared in front of Shana. He looked at Margery. "Are you the one who's been causing all of this trouble?" he asked.

Margery looked stunned. "Orange hair…..Black coat…." she mumbled to herself.

"Haha! No doubt about it, that's him! The King of Black and White!" Marchosias said.

"Wait a minute….. 'King of Black and White'?" Ichigo asked, stunned.

"It's your title. Everyone who gets involved in the Crimson Realm eventually gets one," Shana explained.

"I would imagine you got the name 'King of Black and White' because of your sword and your mask," Alastor said.

"Heh! You're joking, stupid Marco! There's no way this snot-nosed brat could be the King of Black and White!" Margery shouted.

"First you call me 'The King of Black and White', then you say I'm not good enough to be that….." Ichigo said, "But I'm going to show you right now what 'black and white' really means."

He raised his sword. " GETSUGA TENSHO!" he shouted, and shot his familiar shockwave at Margery.

Margery changed back into her normal form and dodged the attack. "Is that the best you can get?" she asked, laughing.

"Not hardly," Ichigo said, pulling down his Hollow mask. Shana took note of this, reinding herself that she really didn't like this, and tapped Ichigo on the shoulder.

"I'll be going right now, okay?" she said, "I…need to finish some business of my own." Ichigo nodded, and as she left he turned to face Margery.

"I don't really need to do it this way," he said, "But since you need to be taught a lesson, I think I should do you a favor and make it a short, sharp one!"

He shot another Getsuga Tensho at Margery, who took the hit this time.

Margery staggered a little bit. "Alright, that does it!" she said, "Focus on….." she started chanting.

But Ichigo did not give her a chance to finish her incantation, as he rushed up to her, and shouted, "Sweet dreams! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!" and slammed her head down into the pavement. He took his mask off, reminding himself never to do that again, and jumped away as the Fuzetsu disappeared.

Later, he went back to Yuji's place, and met up with Yuji and Shana. The two were busy fighting a Denizen named Friagne, and had defeated him. Ichigo smiled.

"So, I take it you don't need me for much anymore, am I right?" Ichigo asked, turning to leave. He walked outside, wanting to go home, but he heard footsteps behind him.

"So, why did you help Shana if you didn't like her?" Yuji asked, appearing behind Ichigo.

"It was nothing personal. I just…..wanted to get my mission over with," Ichigo said, not even turning to look at Yuji.

Yuji giggled a little at this. "You know," he said, "You say you don't much like Shana, and you come off a little bullheaded, but I think you're actually a bit more respectful to everyone than you admit. I really think that the reason you and Shana don't get along so well is because you two are so alike."

"Shut up, shut up, shut up!" Ichigo shouted, not bothering to look at Yuji. "I don't have anything in common with that little brat!"

"Okay, have it your way, but I really think you should help us out more often!" Yuji said.

Ichigo growled under his breath. This was the last time he ever wanted to get involved with Flame Hazes….!