This is my blog for both more professional (essays, guides and things) and fanfiction writings. For my personal blog, please visit Eye of the Tiger

Hey, Loverboy! (My Perfect Enemy Challenge)

Don't know if any of you've noticed a trend, but since I can't sleep today, I'm basically entering every fan word challenge.

In another shocking turn of events, I'm writing a Bleach thing NOT about Renji.

Hey Loverboy! Kyouraku-Taicho! Yeah, I'm talkin to you, Shunsui. What's with all the incessant flirting with women you're never gonna see again, huh? Are you that horny? God, you sicken. You're one of the three people that have been around the Soul Society the longest, literally HUNDREDS of years, and you can't get any work done? Good lord, how were you promoted in the first place?

I'd like to say it's your great fighting skill, but WE'VE NEVER SEEN IT. I think I saw a scene that cut to you after you started a battle, but I didn't actually SEE the battle. People just talk about how strong you and your BFF (secretly gay lover, I know), are the strongest people around. But seriously, it's like a legend! No one has actually seen you fight! It's probably because you're always drunk, sleeping, out of the main plot, or hitting on women.

Speaking of women, are you ever gonna tell your vice captain you love her? We can all read the signs. Secretly she loves you back, as well. She'll never admit it though. When you're not gay for your albino boyfriend, you're swooning over her. BE A MAN. She's been your lieutenant for at least a few decades now, that too little time to build up your courage? Stop flirting with other women, and wrap her in your big manly arms. Everyone can see she wants it. You're such an ass, flirting with other women in front of her, too, when you KNOW you love her and she loves you. Are you waiting for her to die, or for you to die first so you don't have to deal with the pain head-on, you coward?

Speaking of cowardice, I heard you're fighting the number 1 Espada. WOOOOOAH, that's a big leap for you, isn't it? Just yesterday you were napping! And you KNOW you can't go easy on him. You didn't even want to draw your sword, you lazy asshole! And I also noticed, right when you were about to start, it cut to good for nothing New Guy, who's not even a real shinigami, just to show him getting his ass kicked, and kicking some ass. DON'T YOU CARE SOME PIMPLY TEENAGER IS STEALING YOUR SPOTLIGHT? Course you don't. It's not your problem. I know you make Ukitake do all the work in your relationship. Grow some balls already and step up to the plate!

(For the record, I do not believe Shunsui and Ukitake are gay for each other. I do believe there are other gay characters in Bleach, just not those two. They're all about the Guy Love. You know it, Broski.)

External Image
He's a little pissed...


Spoilers up through manga chapters 351. This is being written at a time before chapter 352 is published, so I expect it will differentiate from the cannon, but I think it’s a plausible outcome of the current storyline (“The Lust”).

“He…won…” Ishida gasped.

It won, he amended mentally. The-thing-stood triumphantly on Ulquiorra’s chest, looking down with what Ishida could only describe as a predatory stance. Ishida knew that this monster was not Ichigo anymore. Fear gripped him in its icy tendrils, and he found himself unable to move, unable to breathe. The pain from his missing arm was gone, replaced by a terror that consumed from within.

He didn’t hear most of what the Espada said next, only “Do it.” with a cold conviction.

And Ichigo obliged.

Orihime screamed as he wrapped his remaining arm around her, shielding her from the blast. The heat from Ichigo’s sonido washed over him, but it could not melt the horror that still gripped his body.

He knew it would come for them next.

“Orihime,” he whispered as the explosion died down. Blood splattered his lips. She finally looked at him, and another part of him, one long dead, wished that the pain and fear he saw there were for him. But he knew it would never be so. “You have to get out of here,” he imagined his own eyes resembled hers, wide with terror, shock, horror and pain.

“Ichigo,” she breathed. His heart might have broken once at hearing the shinigami’s name instead of his.

He quickly turned to look at the monster, its attention now leaving the burning carcass of his foe and focusing on them instead. “Go!” he moaned, pushing her harshly with his good arm. “He’ll kill you!”

“But…” her eyes and cheeks were drenched with tears. She seemed to be pleading with him. He knew she wouldn’t leave. She loved him too much.

“IT’S NOT ICHIGO ANYMORE!” he screamed. But it was drowned out by the wail of the monster behind them. It was coming.

Ichigo saw it disappear, and knew they would be dead in a millisecond. Orihime couldn’t raise her defenses that fast, much less against Ichigo. He had no way to defend himself, injured as he was. But as he prepared for death, he heard a loud crack from above him as a shadow covered him and Orihime. He looked up to see a giant spine. Zabimaru.


Renji was on one knee, sweating profusely, using the sheer size of his bankai to separate the prone humans from the hallow that was once their comrade.

“Honestly,” he gasped. “That’s no way ta treat…your friends…”

“Abarai,” Ishida whispered. The lieutenant offered no greeting. If he was afraid, he didn’t show it. Perhaps he realized what Ishida did-they would all die.

Renji was terrified. He had only managed to move fast enough to block the thing because of the element of surprise. But he did not doubt it would kill him unless he could reach the real Ichigo.

The humans were paralyzed with fear and pain. He had seen the cero and only had a second to spare for the shock of seeing his friend in his current form before his military training took over and he had acted.

Now, he pushed Zabimaru’s bone hilt forward, propelling Ichigo away from the spinal wall.

“Snap out of it!” he yelled. “You’ve protected your friends! You’ve killed Ulquiorra, you’ve done enough! Save-”

But he didn’t have time to finish.

The hollow didn’t even roar this time before it vanished. Renji was then aware of a shattering sound as Zabimaru exploded around him, raining down pieces of bone, accompanied by pain ripping through his abdomen. He screamed as blood sprayed the broken bone, dying them dark crimson, and he collapsed to the ground.

He knew he would die this time. It was worse than when Aizen had cut him. It was deeper, and he could already feel his organs failing. It wasn’t like when the espada had toyed with them. It was complete shut down.

You have been…a worthy partner… Renji couldn’t even reply to his zanpaktou before he felt its spirit leave him completely, like smoke from a snuffed out candle.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the monster that was his friend once again begin closing in on the others.

“Ichigo,” he whispered, his blood leaving his body and mouth, forming a pool around him. “they’re…your friends…”


Something inside him snapped. He crumpled to the ground, the mask melting away, his wounds healing, and his hair shortening. What had happened? He gingerly felt his chest. It was solid. He sat up quickly, absently noticing the icy breeze on his bare skin. His eyes focused on Orihime and Ishida staring at him, terror etched on their faces. They were trembling. “What…” he found himself unable to finish the thought.

They said nothing.

He turned slowly. At first, he didn’t recognize the figure bathed in his own blood, or the crimson shards around him. But then he noticed the darkening uniform. The red hair that was not the color of blood. His heart seemed to stop, and in that instance he knew why they were afraid of him.

He knew what he had done.

A Bleachy Halloween

Written for TheO Halloween fic contest. Mostly Ichigo & Renji friendship, with elements of horror, action and comedy thrown in. Rukia, Ishida and Chad also make appearances, along with a smidgen of Orihime and Byakuya. This piece is for entertainment only, and I am making no profit.

Renji crumpled up the invitation angrily, and threw it in the wastebasket in his office. He growled a little. Why would that idiot invite him to a Halloween party? Didn’t he know that he had work to do? Renji gritted his teeth, and then walked stiffly over to the wastebasket, cursing himself. If Ichigo was such an idiot, then why was Renji contemplating going?

He reached in, unraveling the tiny orange paper. Under the date and time, there was a hand-written note reading “Rukia will be there”. Damn it! He thought Ichigo wasn’t that perceptive. He sighed, and walked back across the room to where the door leading into Byakuya’s office was. He knocked softly.

“Yes?” came the answer.

Renji awkwardly cleared his throat. “Taicho, I was wondering if I could have the 31st off.” No answer came immediately.

“Abarai-fukutaicho, do you realize that that is Hollow’s End? When we have more trouble with restless spirits than any other night of the year?” The voice was as cold and hard as steel, and Renji immediately regretted asking.

“Um, well, it’s ok, I don’t really-“

“Will you be back the next day?”

Renji started. “Uh, yes! Absolutely!”

“See that you are.” Renji took that as his cue for dismissal.

He couldn’t believe it! He paced back and forth excitedly. Rukia must have already told him, and Byakuya just wanted to give Renji a hard time and make him feel guilty. Renji grinned wickedly. Well, he wouldn’t feel guilty! He was resolved to have a great time at this party, Kuchiki-Taicho be damned!


Three days later, Renji was somewhat sorry he had attended. The party was at Orihime’s apartment, and the only people attending were Orihime, Ichigo, Chad, Ishida and Rukia. The room had had the lights dimmed, and was covered in plastic skeletons and electric jack-o-lanterns. Some rubber bats hung from the ceiling.

Rukia and Orihime were chatting away in a corner excitedly, Orihime dressed as a princess, and Rukia dressed as a bunny. No, not a hot bunny girl (which Renji regretted more than anything else), but in a bunny suit, white, with big paw boots and a hood covering her head with floppy ears. Chad was dressed as the grim reaper, meaning he just had on a cloak that was too short for him, so Renji could see about half a meter of leg sticking out from under it. Ishida had come in some elaborate Victorian dress that Renji had no doubt he had sewn himself, given the resentment he showed when someone was in danger of brushing against it. Ichigo was dressed in some sort of superhero costume, red and blue and yellow and very garish, in Renji’s opinion.

Renji hadn’t come dressed as anything, and was wearing his normal shinigami regalia. Ichigo had seemed pretty pissed when he knocked on the door.

“What are you supposed to be?”

“A shinigami,” Renji had said, brushing past him and making his way to the drinks. He had then found out there was no sake or alcohol of any kind, to which Orihime had blushed and replied they were only 15. Renji then apologized. No wonder Ikkaku hadn’t wanted to come even though he and Yumichika had been invited.

Which is now why Renji was sitting on the couch, munching on candy corn, as Rukia and Orihime giggled away in one corner and the other three boys stood deathly still in another corner staring at the girls.

Ichigo came over and slumped down on the couch next to him. Renji groaned inwardly. “I didn’t think you were gonna come,” Ichigo said in all seriousness.

“Yeah, well, I skipped work for this.” Renji waved his hand around the room. Ishida and Chad were now trying to awkwardly bounce to the music.

“What’s that supposed to mean? Me ‘n Orihime worked really hard to put this together!” Ichigo yelled.

“Orihime and I,” Renji mumbled.

“What’s that?”

“Orihime and I, no wonder you never go to school, you don’t learn anything.” Renji crossed his arms and closed his eyes, refusing to look at Ichigo.

Ichigo was nearly furious at this point. He poked Renji pointedly in the chest. “You wanna take this outside, I’m there.”

Renji opened one eye to peer at him lazily. “It’s hard to take anyone wearing spandex seriously.”

Renji was in rare form tonight, not letting Ichigo bait him into a furor. Ichigo however was not showing the same poise. He stood up so fast he knocked over the basket of candy corn. Orihime and Rukia abruptly stopped chatting, and all eyes focused on him.

“Ichigo, can you please not make such a mess? Orihime worked so hard.” Rukia said, crossing her arms.

Ichigo sputtered and then pointed at Renji. “It was this punk!” Then, looking for something else to accuse Renji of, blurted “He didn’t even wear a costume!”

Renji was starting to lose his temper. “No one asked me to! Besides, I don’t want to look like an idiot!” Renji and Ichigo were glaring now. Orihime looked like she was about to cry. Rukia stomped over, her bunny feet making loud pats on the carpet. She grabbed both the taller men by the front of their clothes, gritting her teeth.

“If you two are going to fight, TAKE IT OUTSIDE. You are ruining this party!” She then dragged them over to the door, and threw them outside, slamming it shut in their face. Renji got up, and walked down to the street, angry at Ichigo, and angry at himself for losing his temper. Ichigo stomped after him. They both sat down on opposite ends of a bus stop bench, neither looking at each other. A few minutes later, Chad and Ishida joined them.

Ishida pushed his glasses up his nose. “I was getting somewhat bored anyway.” Chad grunted in agreement.

“They’re not gonna let us in for hours,” Ichigo groaned. “What do you guys want to do in the meantime? Hunt ghosts?”

“That’s not very funny, Ichigo,” Chad said quietly, “as that’s what we do normally.”

Renji laughed, until Chad turned to him, dead serious, and Renji’s fits of laughter died down rather quickly.

“It is Halloween,” Ishida observed, “Abarai-kun, if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t that mean there are more supernatural things the Soul Society have to deal with anyway,”

“Um, yeah…” Renji said. He was really not in the mood to work though.

“Then perhaps we can lend a hand.”

Ichigo stood up. “That’s a great idea! Let’s go!”

“Go where?” Renji asked skeptically, leaning his elbows on his knees.

Ichigo stopped. “Um,” he said scratching his head.

Ishida pushed his glasses higher up on his nose. “There has been some strange reiatsu popping up around town for the past few minutes.” Everyone stilled. Renji reached out with his own reiatsu, and sure enough felt it a moment later. Damn, that Quincy was observant.

“Is it Hollows?” Ichigo asked.

“No, it does not feel like reiatsu of shinigami or hallows.” Renji agreed. It felt…off.

“Kurosaki, why don’t you take Abarai-kun and follow the trail to the West, and I will take Chad and go to the East?”

Ichigo visibly paled. “Why do I have to take Pineapple-head?”

Renji jabbed a finger into his chest. “You’re not taking me anywhere!”

Ishida looked at them stoically. “Because, of the four of us, Abarai-san and I can trace reiatsu the best.”

“Oh. Well, why don’t we bring the girls then?” Ichigo seemed nearly to plead.

“I think it would be best not to bother them. Or are you afraid you can’t handle this alone Kurosaki?” Ishida peered at Ichigo condescendingly over the top of his glasses.

“Of course not!” Ichigo shouted. He reached down into his boot where he had been keeping his Substitute Soul Reaper badge, and left his body. Chad pulled it back inside for him.

Ichigo didn’t wait for an invitation before bounding over rooftops in a Westerly direction. “Keep in touch,” Renji shouted at Ishida before bounding off after him.

“Wait, idiot, I’m the one who can track this stuff!” Renji shouted at the minuscule form of Ichigo in the distance.

Ichigo didn’t respond, and disappeared down between two buildings.

“Of all the stupid,” Renji mumbled. As a military officer, he acknowledged the importance of going in with plenty of backup in unknown situations. Sure, he was one of the more hot-headed members of the Soul Society, but sometimes he had nothing on Ichigo.

Renji landed lightly on the pavement between the buildings, his fingers touching the ground to balance his landing. “Ichigo!” he shouted. He glanced around the alley. It was dark, but Renji could make out the faint outlines of dumpsters and other trash. He didn’t see the outline of his companion however. “Listen, idiot, you better not be trying to pull some lame Halloween prank on me!” He stood up, making sure Zabimaru was loose in his scabbard. Then he chastised himself. He was letting a stupid holiday put him on edge.

He walked over to the dumpster to see if Ichigo was hiding in it. He angrily threw open the top, ready to yell at Ichigo. But he wasn’t in there. “Ichigo, stop being a nut job!” he shouted. “We actually have work to do!” Now he was just angry. Ichigo usually wasn’t one to delay a mission so he could do something stupid. That was the sort of thing he expected from Rangiku.

He heard a crash, like something metal falling over, and quickly spun around, heart beating wildly in his chest. His eyes immediately fell on a door that was slightly ajar. He stepped cautiously towards it, this time drawing Zabimaru. He cursed at himself for being so nervous, but the more rational, military part of his mind told him he was being prepared. Zabimaru whispered softly in his hand, eager for battle.

Renji pushed the door gently. It groaned as it slowly swung inwards. “Ichigo?” he whispered. He had no idea why he was whispering. His eyes caught movement in a far corner of the room. He could also feel the foul reiatsu emanating from that direction. Renji could hardly make out anything, so he probed cautiously with each foot before taking a full step. As his eyes adjusted, he could make out a figure crouched in the darkness.

Believing it to be a lost soul, he cautiously crept up behind it. “Time to send you on,” he whispered, turning his sword around so the blade reached over his shoulder. The figure groaned in front of him, but didn’t turn around. “C’mon, don’t be like that,” he said. Renji put his hand on its shoulder, but instantly recoiled. It had felt wet and slimy and very cold. The figure quickly turned around, snarling, and Renji fell backwards, horrified at what he saw.

It looked like a man, but from what he could tell in the dark, its eyes had been sewn shut, and its face was oozing all sorts of fluids. Its mouth pulled back into a lipless grin to reveal rows of sharp teeth, like a shark. It lunged on all fours towards the shinigami.

“Gah!” he yelled, and swung Zabimaru upwards, cutting it from navel to throat. It began spitting and hissing viciously as something that Renji didn’t think was blood began running from the cut. Renji scrambled backwards out the door. He stood up, slamming the door behind him, breathing hard. He was somewhat angry to notice he was trembling. He quickly found an old pipe and jammed it into the door handle, pushing against the frame, so the…thing…couldn’t open it.

He didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t a hollow, that was for sure. Maybe some new creature Aizen had invented. Renji had been unnerved to say the least, and angry that it had frightened him. God, he was going to kill Ichigo when he found him.

He dared not call out for the other shinigami again, for fear more of the creatures were around. Instead he backed up, Zabimaru held in front of him, keeping his eyes on the door, but it didn’t budge. He jumped a foot in the air when a hand landed on his shoulder.

He spun around with a yell poised to cut whatever it was, but a firm hand grabbed his wrist with a “Woah!” It took Renji a moment to realize it was Ichigo. “Jeez, what’s your problem? You almost stabbed me!” Getting a better look at Renji, Ichigo cocked his head. “What’s wrong with you? You’re sweating like you just ran a marathon.”

Renji wrenched his wrist free of Ichigo’s hold, turning away. “There’s nothing wrong. You shouldn’t sneak up on people like that, you could be killed,” he growled. “And where have you been?” he spun back to face him, his fear momentarily forgotten as it was replaced by anger. “You never leave your teammates behind in an unknown situation!” he yelled.

A smug grin crossed Ichigo’s face. “Sure you just weren’t too slow?”

Renji punched him in the shoulder. “This isn’t funny, you idiot! What if one of us had been attacked? The other would have had no idea what happened!”

Ichigo’s expression turned serious. “Usually you’re all for going it alone. What’s going on?” He had become concerned about his friend, he rarely saw him this frazzled.

“There was…something…in there,” Renji said quietly, pointing to the door he had shoved the pipe through.

“Something? What do you mean by that?” Ichigo asked confusedly. “Like a hollow?”

“No! It wasn’t a hollow, dumbass, or I would have said that, wouldn’t I?” he yelled. He didn’t want to admit it to himself, but he felt more confident with Ichigo there. Which is why he was yelling instead of whispering. Renji stomped over to the door, making sure Ichigo was following him. “When I went in here, there was this…I dunno, some kinda zombie-”

Ichigo’s snort cut him off. “Zombies?” he asked incredulously.

Renji’s face turned red. “Well, not like a zombie…I dunno, it was dark! It was slimy, and spitty, and was oozing puss or somethin’,” he finished in a defeated tone. Ichigo continued to snicker. “It was freaky, okay?” Renji sighed. His anger had returned, and with it his courage. He yanked the pipe out of the door handle and kicked the door in, Zabimaru in front of him. There was nothing there.

Ichigo peered over his shoulder into the darkness. “I don’t see anything. You sure you didn’t imagine it?”

Renji turned around, growling. “No, I didn’t imagine, it was right here!” He pointed to the spot on the floor where he had cut it earlier. “Look, you can see the puddle of ooze it left!” Ichigo squinted at the spot.

“How do you know that’s not just a spot?”

“Cause it’s not, ok?” Renji rubbed his hand over his face, the intense emotions he had experienced in the past twenty minutes were beginning to wear him down.

Ichigo put a hand on his shoulder, more gently this time. “Look, I’m sorry I doubted you. And that I ran off.”

Renji just sighed, and Ichigo took the lack of backlash as an apology accepted.

“It was the thing with the weird reiatsu, right?” Renji nodded. “Well, just track it again, and we’ll find it.” He slapped Renji on the back.

Renji concentrated, and felt out with his reiatsu. He could feel a faint trail, like the zombie had run off. “It went this way,” Renji growled, walking off. Ichigo followed.

They had run about three blocks, when Renji slowed down. “It’s stronger in here,” he said to Ichigo, pointing to an old apartment building.

“Yeah, I can feel it too,” Ichigo said, unslinging Zangetsu from his back. Renji waited for him to make a move. When he didn’t, the red-head asked,

“Aren’t you going in there?” Ichigo turned to look at him.

“Are you kidding? If it is a building full of zombies, I’m not going in there first!”

A smug smile now crossed Renji’s face. “Are you afraid?”

“Are you?”

“Well…” Renji seemed to think about it. “No.”

“Well, fine,” Ichigo said. “Let’s go in together then.”

“Fine,” agreed Renji. With his blade held in front of him, Renji kicked down the door.

There was nothing in the front hall. “Well, this is a bit anti-climactic,” said Ichigo, glancing around. Renji peered back at him suspiciously. “See, I do go to school,” Ichigo mumbled.

Renji put one foot on the narrow staircase in the hallway. “Wait, should we split up?” Renji turned back to look at him.

“Uh, no?” Ichigo shrugged and followed Renji up the stairs. Renji walked slowly along to the end of the hallway, where there was a door. Renji could feel the foul reiatsu behind it. “Ready?” Renji turned to face Ichigo who wasn’t there.


Ichigo had been following Renji when everything blacked out around him. The next thing he knew, he was in a dark room, by himself, on his back. He sat up, groaning. Dim moonlight seeped in through the one window in the room. “Renji?” he called. He heard a low moan from across the room. “Is that you?” The moan turned into a snarling, and Ichigo stood up slowly, extending Zangetsu in front of him. “You’re not Renji, are you?” The thing began moving slowly towards him on all fours. As it crept into the moonlight, Ichigo could see that what skin it had was gray and peeling, leaving green, rotting flesh underneath. Drool poured from in between the teeth in its mouth. Even though its eyelids were sewn shut, it still looked at Ichigo with hunger.

“Well, that is the last time I ever doubt Renji,” Ichigo mumbled. He lunged at the thing, but it skittered sideways, hissing. He roared as he swung in a wild arc, but the thing leapt on the ceiling. A cracking noise issued from its mouth, sounding like it was laughing. Then it melted through the ceiling, still making the noise. “Come back and fight, you bastard!” Ichigo screamed. When it didn’t come back, he slashed through the door…

…into an identical room.

“What?” Ichigo stood there puzzled for a second, before he kicked through the next door. He wasn’t really surprised to find himself in another room looking the same as the first two. “Damn it!” He turned, slashing through the wall. It was the same room. He sat down in the middle of the floor, exasperated. How was he supposed to beat something he couldn’t fight?

He tried to feel out with his reiatsu, as he had been taught to. It just stayed in a muddled cloud around him, not extending beyond a few meters. He stood up and pounded his fists against the wall. He stood there for a moment, then slowly backed up into the middle of the room. Closing his eyes, he focused solely on Renji’s reiatsu. A scream tore from his throat.



“Ichigo! You bastard, where did you run off to?” Renji whispered fiercely. Half of him wanted to find his misplaced friend, but the other half of him wanted to find and kill whatever was causing this. What “this” was, Renji still wasn’t exactly sure. “Howl, Zabimaru!” Renji released his shikai and tore through not only the door, but the wall in front of him.

He was greeted with a hissing and cracking noise, and saw four of the zombie creatures in the room. He yelled swinging Zabimaru like a whip, but the creatures just cackled and dodged. One got behind him, and before he could turn around, leaped on his back and bit down deep into his shoulder. Renji growled and grabbed the thing’s arm, slamming it into the wall. He hissed as his wound began to bleed, and swung his sword into the zombie while it was still stunned. It screamed as Zabimaru tore it to pieces.

The other three had stopped cackling now, and instead clung to the walls and ceiling watching him. Renji’s arms felt weak, and he couldn’t swing his sword. His vision began to blur as he sunk to one knee. Damn it, now he was going to turn into a zombie or something. He chastised himself for letting Ichigo show him too many horror movies. His vision was turning completely black, but he could feel the creatures approaching him.

“BANKAI!” Renji felt, rather than heard, the blade of energy smash through the wall, followed by what he could only describe as an explosion of reiatsu. He heard more screaming from the creatures. Damn it, had his ass saved by Ichigo. Again.

“Renji! Damn it Renji, this is no time for a nap!” Renji felt Ichigo shaking him, but could not reply. He was effectively paralyzed except for his hearing and sense of touch.

The rational part of his mind held admiration for the perfect way of terrorizing prey. But Renji was not impressed. He felt Ichigo swing him up on his shoulder. God, he’d never live this down. Renji felt Ichigo’s shoulder jab repeatedly into his abdomen as he ran. “I’m sick of saving your ass,” he said.

Renji could feel some of the paralysis wearing off. “Least I…didn…hafta use…bankai…” he slurred.

Ichigo took a particularly big step, jarring Renji very hard.

“Ass’ole,” he murmured. He then felt his stomach reacting violently, probably to whatever that zombie had pumped into him. With the feeling returned to his fingers, he gripped the back of Ichigo’s gi tightly. “Gonna be…sick…”

“WHAT?” Ichigo stopped suddenly and put Renji on the ground as quickly as he could without hurting him. Seeing that Renji could still not hold all his weight, held him by his shoulders firmly.

When he was done, Renji rolled weakly onto his back. “At least you didn’t turn into a zombie,” Ichigo quipped. Renji moved to swat at him, but Ichigo dodged easily.

“They all…dead?” Renji asked.

Ichigo plopped down next to him, releasing his bankai. “As far as I know. Man, those things were gross, no wonder you were so scared.”

“Was not,” Renji mumbled.

“Were too!” Ichigo accused. “You were shaking all over!”

A new voice cut in. “What are you two, 12?” Ichigo turned around and Renji’s eyes rolled back in his head so he could look above him. Rukia was standing there (out of costume), along with Orihime, Chad and Ishida.

“Bout time you showed up,” Ichigo said, aimed directly at Ishida. Renji was glad to have his annoying accusations focused on someone else. “We were fighting zombies!” Rukia laughed, and the other three looked uncomfortable.

“Weren’t…weren’t you? With the weird reiatsu?” Ichigo asked Ishida, confused.

Ishida pushed his glasses up higher on his nose. “We did not find anything and when we couldn’t find either of you two, we got the girls. We didn’t sense your reiatsu until about five minutes ago,” Ishida glanced at the puddle Renji had made on the street and grimaced.

“That’s cause we were in the House of Horrors over th-”

Ichigo turned to point at the building, but instead of an apartment building they had just run out of, there was a park.

Everyone else turned to look, unimpressed.

“There was…we were…I mean…” Ichigo trailed off, finally at a loss for words.

“Kurosaki-kun, you are horrible at pranks. The next time you and Abarai-kun want to sneak off to go drinking, just tell us.” Ishida, Chad, and Rukia stalked off, followed by Orihime who threw an apologetic look over her shoulder at them.

Ichigo looked at Renji questioningly. Renji just shrugged.

“I hate Halloween.”


Well, I hope I entertained you for a few minutes.

Renji: Bleach's Lovable Loser

Please note that this essay contains spoilers for Bleach up through chapters 300+ in the manga, and episode 160+ in the anime. However, the spoilers are primarily related to Abarai Renji and I will not be discussing spoilers r...

Read the full post »

Hollowed Night

This is a Ukitake-Shunsui friendship fic, dating back to their academy days. Author's note at the end. Ukitake Jyuushirou stepped through the portal into the real world. It would have been nice, he thought, except for the fact that...

Read the full post »