Before the Journey
I do not own the characters, locations or plots from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer or Bleach. They are the properties of Mr. Whedon and Tite Kubo. This is just a work of fiction so yes I have made (and will make in the future) some changes to the details for each show. In other words, this entire piece is AU. All reviews are welcome.Series:
Occurs after the Lost Agent arc for Bleach and in Season 5 of BtVS.Karakura Town, Japan
Ichigo Kurosaki had to face many things throughout his young life; from losing his mother when he was just a boy to growing up with his sisters and a crazy father to becoming a substitute shinigami, losing his powers during the Winter War against Sosuke Aizen, and then regaining his power once again thanks to a group called Xcution. As he stood over Karakura Town in his revamped shinigami uniform, he closed his eyes as he tried to sense for any hollows.
"Ichigo!" said the raven haired female shinigami who just appeared behind him
"Rukia" said Ichigo as he turned around
"What are you doing?" asked Rukia as she went to stand next to him, looking over the city
"Trying to sense for hollows" said Ichigo as Rukia started to laugh
"You know you suck at that, right?" said Rukia
"Oh shut up" replied Ichigo, "Doesn't mean I can't try right?"
"True" said Rukia smiling
"So what are you doing here Rukia?" said Ichigo, "Inoue asked you to come talk to me?"
"She told me what you are planning to do" said Rukia
"So what did she say?" said Ichigo
"That you're planning to leave Japan soon" said Rukia, "that you got admitted to an American university in a city called Sunnydale"
"That's all true" said Ichigo, "it's something I need to do. Even though my grades in high school are good, I still have to wait until next year before I can reapply to an university. The whole thing with Ginjo kinda made me lose track of what I had to do in the world of the living"
"Work part time then" said Rukia, "plus there are as many hollows in Japan as there are in America, you know"
"I know, I thought about taking part time jobs here" said Ichigo, "but that would mean taking some dead end jobs that I'll be miserable at"
"The truth is" continued Ichigo, "Inoue got into one of the best university's in Japan, and I'll be behind her by a year. I'm just scared that she'll think I'm some sort of a failure"
"Well you are an idiot" said Rukia to a surprised Ichigo, "but not in the way you think. Do you really think that she is that shallow? Do you think that just because you're a year behind that she'll think you're an idiot? I think that she'll think you're an idiot just because you think that"
"What?" said Ichigo confused
"You know what I mean" said Rukia as she looked away, "Idiot"
"I'm leaving tomorrow" said Ichigo quietly
"What?!" shouted Rukia, "does she know?"
"No" said Ichigo
"Oh you are such an idiot" exclaimed Rukia, "how could you?"
"Only my dad and my sisters know" said Ichigo, "well now so do you. I…. I just can't face her.. just to see the disappointment in her eyes. I'll be there for only a year and then I'll come back; and then I'll start fixing this whole mess I made"
"You really are an idiot Ichigo Kurosaki" said Rukia as she flash stepped away "and a jerk"Karakura Airport, the next day, 10:00am.
"Ichigo" said Isshin Kurosaki, Ichigo's father and former Shinigami, as he tilted his head to the left
Ichigo turned to his left to see who else but the friends he was set to leave behind without even a word of goodbye; Inoue, Chad, Tatsuki, Uryu, Mizuiro, Keigo and then came Rukia, Renji and Urahara.
It was Ichigo's childhood friend Tatsuki who walked up to him first, "Ichigo" she said just before giving him a very hard punch on his face, "you idiot"
"Tatsuki Chan" said Inoue as she looked on surprised
"Tatsuki" said Ichigo, "what was that for?"
"Oh you know what that was for you double crossing, moronic idiot" said Tatsuki as Chad and the others tried to hold her back.
"How could you even leave without saying goodbye to your friends?" continued Tatsuki as she calmed down, "not to mention how poor Inoue must be feeling"
"Can I speak to Inoue alone?" said Ichigo as he saw there was no way out of this mess now with all his friends here
"Hey look" said Ichigo's younger sister, Karin, "let's get some snacks… come on guys lets go get Ichi-nii something for the flight. Each person gets something delicious"
Soon everyone had gone leaving just Ichigo and Inoue alone, at least for a few more minutes
"Kurosaki-kun" said Inoue, "Rukia-san told me why you're going to America"
"I kinda guessed that" said Ichigo
"If that's how you really feel, then you should go" said Inoue to a surprised Ichigo, "just know that I would never have thought any less of you"
"I need to do this Inoue" said Ichigo as he stepped forward and held her hands. He ran his hand through her wavy burnt orange hair as he pulled her in for a tight hug.
"I'm sorry for being such an idiot" said Ichigo
"You should have told me Kurosaki-kun" whispered Inoue into his ear, "I'd have understood"
"I'll be back in a year" said Ichigo, "I promise"
"Ok" said Inoue as she stepped back smiling
"Hey lovebirds" said Renji
"Renji" said Ichigo as he shook the hands of the head haired Shinigami, "sorry about all this"
"Nah" said Renji, "but you do it again, Rukia said she'll use her Zanpaktou and freeze you solid"
"And then I'll crack the ice with you still in it" said Tatsuki as she and Karin handed him a bag of treats.
"Hey" said Ichigo as he looked inside the bag full of snacks and other treats, "it's not like I'm going to the moon or something"
"Kurosaki-san" said Urahara, "You have your Substitute Shinigami pass with you?"
"Yea" he said
"May I have it?" said Urahara
"OK" replied Ichigo as he reached into his pocket and handed his mentor the pass, "What are you going to do with it?"
"The Soul Society Research division has come up with some sort of universal translator" said Urahara as he stuck what looked like a chip on to the substitute badge before handing it back to Ichigo, "keep the badge on you at all times and it should automatically translate whatever words you hear into your native language"
"Oh that's cool" said Ichigo as he took back the badge from Urahara
"And here's a mobile phone" said Urahara, "the speed dials are all set to your house here, Inoue-San's home, the Soul Society telephone exchange and most importantly, my store. In case of emergencies, you understand"
"Wait Soul Society telephone exchange?" said Ichigo
"In case you need to call Kuchiki-san or Abarai for help" said Urahara
"Nah, what are the odds of something happening in a town with the name Sunnydale?" said Ichigo laughing
"Be very careful Kurosaki-san" said Urahara as he took on a more serious look, "Soul Society has been keeping a watch on that town, but so far nothing world threatening has happened yet. Call us if it's really bad"
"Thanks Urahara-san" said Ichigo as he accepted the mobile phone
Just then came the announcement that Ichigo's flight was ready to be boarded in forty five minutes.
"Goodbye Kurosaki-Kun" said Inoue as she gave the unsuspecting substitute shinigami a kiss which left him red faced and had the others look around into space nervously. Isshin had to cover the eyes of both his younger daughters while the kiss was going on.
"Wow" said Ichigo
"I'll miss you Kurosaki-Kun" said Inoue
"I'll call you once I'm at the dorms" said Ichigo as he looked at both Inoue and his family
"I'll probably meet up with you there sometime" said Renji
"You will?" said Ichigo
"Sure why not?" he replied, "Rukia's got Karakura Town as her sector, maybe I'll request Captain Kuchiki that he post me at Sunnydale for few days or so. I haven't patrolled anywhere in America yet"
"That would be cool Renji" said Ichigo as he went to give Tatsuki a hug
"If you don't call me" she said, "I'll go to Sunnydale and beat you up"
"As if you could" said Ichigo jokingly
"Have you talked to the lady who'll be your host mother while you're there?" said Isshin
"Of course I have" said Ichigo, "Her name is Joyce Summers and she has two daughters; the oldest is named Buffy, and she goes to the same university as me but will be living at home. The youngest is named Dawn and she goes to the High School there"
"What kind of a name is Buffy?" asked Renji
"It's a nice name" said Inoue as she turned back to Ichigo, "Be safe Kurosaki-Kun"
"I will" said Ichigo as he picked up his bags and got ready to go
"Kurosaki" said Uryu, "Don't do anything stupid"
"Thanks for the uplifting speech, Ishida" said Ichigo as he shook Uryu's hand
"The Quincy have also heard legends about this place you're going to" whispered Uryu, "Don't do anything stupid by yourself, that place can be very dangerous"
"Now, I know you're just trying to scare me Ishida" said Ichigo, "and it's not working"
"Ah well" said Uryu, "I did try to warn you"
"If I happen to come across something life threatening" said Ichigo, "I'll call"
"Be well Ichigo" said Chad
"I'll call you soon big guy" said Ichigo as he walked away to fly to a new city on another country