Note to Readers:
I started this fan fiction soon after the anime arc was disrupted by the filler arc of the Zanpakutou. Also, in the manga, battle after battle commenced. I just started thinking up what might happen after Aizen left and tried to focus on the lesser characters. I expected it to be a small piece, but it is much bigger than that. There will be some ulquihime, but it won't be the only couple in the story. Due to schoolwork, I had to put this story up, and during that time, the manga revealed some key surprises. I will stay true to some and not to others. Wait and see.
Enjoy and comment.
Another Face of Fate
Another Face of Fate
Bleach Fan Fiction
1. Baka-foolish, stupid
1. Baka-foolish, stupid
2. Irashaimasen- polite, humble greeting to costumers
As the four captains and Kurosaki’s friends entered the portal Urahara opened in the Real World, no one took note of the boy who stumbled in with them. As they exchanged greetings or jaded insults, he collapsed in a bush sleep the only thing on his mind…
Chapter One: Reminiscing
Orihime Inoue’s purse slipped from her fingers.
This wasn’t possible, but . . .
In front of her, a youth with unusually long dark hair, cut at his shoulders, finished descending the stairs. Hands buried in a white sweatshirt, he turned a walked under the bridge. A calm, even, and calculated pace echoed into her ears again. Orihime’s heart pounded. It was the same coming down the landing, and it was very much like that unhurried stroll, one she knew and once feared. The youth stopped in the shadows. Smoothly halting, he tilted his head in the direction of the river.
“Ulqui…” Orihime’s voice cracked.
He resumed his walk.
“Ulquiorra!” Orihime shouted.
The youth paused in the light on the other side of the bridge. Orihime’s hands flew to her mouth, too shocked to speak. His cascading black hair gleamed against the sun. It was too much like the last moment before he disappeared, faded into dust, ashes scattered to the grey wind.
A bead of water ghosted over her fingers. She gulped and took a couple steps towards him. “Um…I…”
The boy turned and with velvet dark eyes stared blankly at her.
Orihime’s eyes widened. His penetrating gaze of twin stunning emerald pools was not there. In their place, mere curiosity blinked back at her.
She quickly composed herself, hiding her hands behind her back. She clasped her right wrist with her left hand. “Oh, I’m sorry you looked like…someone I knew, someone gone.” A tear slid past her chin. Sputtering, “Excuse me,” she bowed. Spinning around, Orihime seized her bag and ran headlong up the stairs, blinking away idiotic tears.
Behind her, the youth watched, eyebrow raised.
Why? Everywhere she went she still thought of him. After a whole season, he continued to visit her dreams.
Her peaceful dreams about getting though school were always interrupted. The hot pink confetti and huge flag vanished. She was left in darkness. Then, light filled the other side. Ulquiorra was there, barely visible, nearly gone.
His last words echoed out as his pale hand reached for her. “I see.”
Why? He was dead. He was the enemy.
Orhime skidded to a halt, falling into a nearby bench. Ulquiorra Schiffer might have been the enemy, but he had been different than the rest of the Espada and Fraccion. He didn’t look at her in fear, sneer at her supposed importance, or ignore her. His deep green eyes held no hesitation. With an iron will, he upheld his promise to Aizen. Voice painfully neutral, he kept her alive. Then, in the end, when she had mentioned her heart, Ulquiorra’s voice altered first, not his gaze. His blunt tone became laced with sarcasm but hinted in a different…something… that she could not place. She couldn’t figure out where the barest whispered reply from her mind came from, either.
Orihime sighed and lifted her arm. Tugging the sweater sleeve back, she stared at the slim bracelet. Eyes stinging, she brushed its smooth, glass-like surface. She doubted anyone knew she still had this, the bracelet that symbolized the beginning of her captivity. She slipped it back under her sweater. It had no power now, but before leaving Los Noches, she snatched it up, almost desperately. It rarely left her arm.
“Why?” she whispered. Why had Ulquiorra in his last moments seemed sad but ever a little relieved? Had she, when dust filled her grasp, seen a light flashing in his bleak eyes?
A chestnut lock of hair fell into her lowered face. She recalled the beast Kurosaki had become and his torn scream afterwards. “What are you worrying about, silly girl?” she murmured. It wasn’t Kurosaki’s fault.
Orihime started. She leapt up. “Sorry, Tatsuki, I was . . .” She stopped. “Ishida-kun?”
Uryu Ishida refrained from shaking his head but narrowed his eyes behind his bright spectacles. She’s at it again. Out loud, he asked, “What are you doing here? Weren’t you going to a movie with Arisawa-san?”
He caught Inoue blinking her eyes as she quickly bent over her large purse. “That’s right,” she chattered, “I came out here to take a picture of the sunset for Tatsuki-chan.” She stood straight once more and held out a small camera before her. “Now, how do you use this again?”
Releasing a long sigh, Uryu stepped closer. “Let me see it.”
“Um . . . thank you, Ishida-kun.” She giggled, “Sorry,” and hurriedly pressed it into his hand, scratching her head with her face turned aside.
Uryu fiddled with the instrument. He pretended mild confusion, even wrinkling his brow, as a ploy to watch Inoue. Her eyes were red again but less than yesterday. However, the turmoil in her misty eyes had increased. She had been like this since this week began, no, if he admitted it was the same cause, ever since Aizen’s retreat last summer.
Not that she’d talk to me about it, he noted, tiredly.
Uryu focused the camera on the river. “Now, I see.” Golden ripples splashed against molten tides of uncut grass. “It’s a sight,” he whispered. Slowly, he turned the view to Inoue. Her fiery long hair played with the breeze but did nothing to hide the thoughtful jut of her chin. Fine eyebrows, traced with a touch a bronze, framed her hazy grey eyes. “It’s a wonder it’s unknown.” He clicked.
Inoue turned to him. “Did you figure it out?”
He handed it back to her. “Yeah.” He turned away. Pushing his glasses up, he commented, “The movie starts in ten minutes.”
Uryu flashed a rare smile. “So you still have time.”
Inoue stared at him for a long minute then blinked. “That’s right,” she squeaked. She dipped a bow. “The picture’s done, and I can go the store afterwards . . .” she slipped the camera back in her purse, “Bye!” Inoue darted up the path. Uryu turned the other way, intent on taking the opposite direction from hers.
“Ishida-kun?” He turned his head. Inoue was staring at her feet a couple feet away.
Uryu turned around. What?”
Inoue jumped then met his gaze hesitatingly. “Thank you,” she whispered.
Uryu turned his head aside, jerking his glasses up. “There’s no need to thank me, Inoue.”
Behind him, her giggles broke the silence. “Ahahah. Of course not, I’m being silly. Baka, Baka Inoue.” She grinned, running up the trail once more.
Her eyes gleamed too brightly from unshed tears, yet she hadn’t denied their presence. Had she noticed his first picture? A smile forming, he murmured, “Your welcome.”
The white cross on his left wrist pulsed, tugging in the direction of his enemy. A Hollow was nearby. The Quincy pushed his glasses up, serious once more. This time he would beat Kurosaki or that stupid Shinigami guard. He focused his reiatsu and vanished, running along by Hirenkyaku.
After Inoue had shouted out the name Ulquiorra and fled, the boy had remained in the shadows. Leaning against the cold cement, he stood out from the long shadows. He glanced to the side when he felt the Quincy take off but made no other motion. The reiatsu drifted away in the other direction. Shards of light peaking over the horizon, the sunset reached its peak of color. He walked out of the darkness.
The light danced through his ebony waves of hair and fire darted along his blank eyes. Slowly, the fire dipped underneath the horizon and the landscape dimmed to an intense blue. In the twilight, the youth’s skin seemed almost fair. He pulled the hood of his sweatshirt up.
Before leaving, he turned for one last glance at the scenery. “Interesting view,” he assessed aloud and walked away.
Hands deep in his pockets, the boy meandered through the park. Noting the smiles that changed to neutral expressions or frowns towards strangers, he entered the more crowded streets. High-strung teenagers embraced in the darkness surrounding shops. A few jokes blared in his ears and more than a few jarring giggles. His face remained a neutral mask. Nothing was amusing enough to warrant his attention. His mind stayed firmly on his goal. The sky deepened to black and a few stars winked out from the oblivion beyond.
With the first signs of annoyance furrowing his brow, the youth halted at an alley. Startled by the tall shadow, two boys stopped pushing around a younger kid and backed up. Confident, he stared at them. Silently. People here were too easy to figure out. He took a step forward, and one cue, one winced. He paused. Unable to meet his gaze any longer, they left. He didn’t watch them. It was a waste of his time. Below him, the little boy picked himself off the ground and looked at him, eyes filling with tears.
Wordlessly, the youth bent down. Eyes narrowing at the scrapes and scratches on the kid’s cheeks, he brushed away his tears. The boy hiccupped. A memory flashed in the youth’s mind of another hand doing the same for another child.
He stood. “Go home, kid,” he murmured, voice without emotion. The boy sniffed and left the alley. The youth returned his hands to his jacket and walked on.
He passed a family setting up a barbeque. Blocking out the mother’s commands, the smoking meat still wafted over to him, invading his senses until he turned the corner. A father called out to his sons and tossed a ball high. He spun around a tall tree in that park. A couple snuggled on a shaded bench. A breeze drifted with the tuffs of grey clouds.
The path of reiatsu was nearing its end. A thin sarcastic smile twisted his lips. He doubted the girl knew the bracelet would lead him to her even now. By keeping it whole, its main purpose, to reveal her location, still held. The buzz of activities quieted as the stars carpeted the heavens above.
He turned around a final corner and made a smooth halt. In front of him, across the street, a two-story house stood. A light filled the top window. He pushed his hood back. In the darkness, his eyes morphed back to warn green orbs as recalled the incident earlier.
The woman had begun to cry as she fled from his gaze. He hair whipped out behind her like a wild firebrand. That more than the choked scream had led him to follow after her. However, it was unnecessary. A Quincy could comfort her better than he, a stranger, could. Still, he had walked over to the house.
His eyes dulled to dark, cold mirages. To check on her, and that was all. He whirled around, tracking another trail of reiatsu. He caught it and strode forward.
He paused. “How did you know me, woman?” he asked aloud. Crickets hissed in the bushes next to him and the light went out in the window. He moved on.
After an hour walk, he found himself at the back entrance to a small, square, undecorated house. Traditional paper doors hid the dark interior of the infamous shop from his view. The steps of the doors were bare. He stepped forward.
A voice, feigning detachment, moved through the silence. “This is an unusual visitor, if I do say so myself.” Gravel clattered and a tall man in sandals, wearing a green and white top hat, emerged from the shadows. A fan flashed in front of his face, hiding all except his charged eyes.” “Irashaimasen.”
“Good evening, Kisuke Urahara.”
......end of chapter one.....