Postcards from the Edge

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
Garahs said:
The only problem I see is Ichigo's thoughts of being vulnerable in his human body. An earlier snippet stated he had the iron skin plus once they got to Hueco Mundo, it shouldn't matter since Nel (presumably) left her gigai and became a purely spiritual entity. Ichigo still has his spiritual pressure, even if he doesn't have access to Zangetsu at that moment.
Ichigo's low-level hierro is the only thing that actaully allowed him to survive being slapped around (if gently) by Nel here. Nel is still in her gigai but she mastered the way of acessing her power and zanpakuto in gigai, the same way Urahara does it. She is an employee of Urahara Shoten, and it comes with more than just salary and a company shirt. Also even if she didn't, spiritaul bodies do indeed damage the physical world. Just look up some fights during the early arancar arc.

Ichigo has spiritual presence, yes - but his powers don't work all that great in his body simply because they were always tuned up for his shinigami spiritual form, so to speak, and now they are even worse off with the aftermatch of his royal decree stunt.

Not to say he can't use them, it is just he never really bothered to develop the skill needed. He had Kon and the badge, so there was no real point. All what he did use was more of a bleed off from his shinigami power set, mostly because he's just so ridiculously powerful and not fully in control of it all, especialy now.

He mentions using vestiges of shunpo in earlier snippets, but they were nothing compared to his normal speed as a shinigami. He went from first, clumsy stages to actual shunpo, if still a fairly slow one, within a few minutes during Nel's little 'training', and that's just from being forced to do so.

That he even has hierro and can do some things without knowing what he's doing stems from the fact he's an immensly powerful being who just vaporised his own control switch/OS for one side of his power completely and then merged them.

His reiatsu and reiryoku can do things like use hierro or fire cero, but without the mask to act act as an on/off switch or some kind of OS, Ichigo himself has no idea how. The power responds eagerly, but Ichigo himself enither notices or knows what to do with it and tries to approach it like he does his shinigami power, which is a blind alley, as Nel had shown.

Also, he did manage to try using garganta once, as he menitons earlier. It is just the result was such a hilarious screw up he decided to actually learn it instead of going by trial and error. There is a reason Ichigo's refusing to tell anyone what went down the first time he tried, even if it wasn't quite an earth shattering catastrophe. The fallout of that will come to haunt him eventually, so to speak.
 

Garahs

Well-Known Member
Fosfor said:
Also even if she didn't, spiritaul bodies do indeed damage the physical world. Just look up some fights during the early arancar arc.
Indeed, and you don't even look that far forward. The first volume has a hollow tearing a chunk out of a building before Ichigo becomes a Shinigami.

As to the rest, I wasn't quite sure it was all considered comparative from Ichigo's PoV. I'd recommend some kind of outside spectator maybe to show that Ichigo is comparing himself to his "normal" Shinigami level of ability and not really as weak as (to me at least) the text seems to imply.

Reads well to me otherwise.
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
Garahs said:
Fosfor said:
Also even if she didn't, spiritaul bodies do indeed damage the physical world. Just look up some fights during the early arancar arc.
Indeed, and you don't even look that far forward. The first volume has a hollow tearing a chunk out of a building before Ichigo becomes a Shinigami.

As to the rest, I wasn't quite sure it was all considered comparative from Ichigo's PoV. I'd recommend some kind of outside spectator maybe to show that Ichigo is comparing himself to his "normal" Shinigami level of ability and not really as weak as (to me at least) the text seems to imply.

Reads well to me otherwise.
What do you need an outside spectator for? It is all from his POV, so when he says he's weak he means it from his perspective. Ichigo started off strong enough to break low-level bakudo from day one, flat out astonished Rukia with level of power he had just moments after becoming a shinigami and then merrily waltzed into the realms of top dogs within months.

For an ordinary mortal, even in his meat shell, Ichigo has flat out superhuman attributes. For the shinigami Ichigo who can cut down entire city blocks with a lazy cut of his zanpakuto that's so laughably weak it doesn't even deserve a mention.

Isn't it sort of obvious Ichigo's perspective is utterly skewed?
 

randombugger

Well-Known Member
Some people have issues with reading the subtext in stories. Hell most of my ability to read subtext comes from reading your stories and then reading others comments before rereading the sections they mention. Even with that I still miss things, less often though now.

And yes it is quite obvious that Ichigo's perspective is quite off.
 

Lu_2007

Well-Known Member
Damn! I discover this a month after the last post! And thinking that I was searching for a good Bleach fanfic... Man what a find! And with Nel; Hell, yes!!

Thanks Fosfor (!!) and sorry for those that may think that this is a new piece of the story.

This said; Mugetsu?

It was like Mugetsu all over again, but this time it was all raw emotion, like screaming yourself heoarse in rage.
Did you change the piece that if Ichigo used Mugetsu (becoming Getsuga) he would loose his shinigami/hollow powers?
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
Lu_2007 said:
Damn! I discover this a month after the last post! And thinking that I was searching for a good Bleach fanfic... Man what a find! And with Nel; Hell, yes!!

Thanks Fosfor (!!) and sorry for those that may think that this is a new piece of the story.

This said; Mugetsu?

It was like Mugetsu all over again, but this time it was all raw emotion, like screaming yourself heoarse in rage.
Did you change the piece that if Ichigo used Mugetsu (becoming Getsuga) he would loose his shinigami/hollow powers?
On he did. Only in this fic, it lasted all of a few days, courtesy of being a unique freak of nature. It will be mentioned later on.

Originally I wrote it before Mugetsu happened, but then I decided to add it in since it would essentialy change little, save the fact Fullbringers didn't happen and probably never will in this fic as I'm not sure I want them around considering things I have planned.

The depowering was a cheap move and, honestly, I'm rather amused with Ichigo going 'Limits and common sense are for lesser people - I have guts and overwhelming power, fuck off'. Which is, admittedly, what he had been doing since day one, so not like it changes much.

Also, honestly, him losing 'shinigami and hollow powers' doesn't apply, since he's neither and, like Aizen said, is a transcendent being. He's something Aizen wanted to be but even with Hogyoku didn't manage, while Ichigo clawed there on his own not realizing what he's doing. There is no equivalent to what he is and he's sailing blind, exploring a whole new road.

Not to say he's the most powerful thing out there since he's not, but he's not a shinigami, not a hollow, not a fusion or a hybrid or even human anymore - he's something completely new that just happens to have powers of both Hollow and Shinigami. Mind you, as we saw, none of that comes with a user's manual, so he'll be growing into his new state for quite a while.

Postcards' focus isn't quite on 'power' anyway, more on changes and various hijinks that come with it and the bonds Ichigo and his nakama have, and having fun with them. I'm not a great fan of powerful characters angsting tha they 'just want to be normal' and whining they have kickass powers - this isn't 'powerful people trying to live ordinary lives', more like 'powerful people just living and trying to have fun'. I'm not sure if I acheived it, or will manage to, but that's more or less my goal.

Hence things like Chad and Ichigo puryfing hollows for mundande things like rent, Orihime's current situation (it will be shown the next snippet) Neliel as Urahara Shoten's employee/live advertisement/mascot combo and so on.
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
And now for something completely different.

Raw.

***

5

*

"Chain of command"


*

"Every division of Gotei 13, no matter the role or specialization attributed to it, must be able to field a number of proficient Kido users for support and specialized tasks."

Addendum: "In certain special situations, a very limited number of specialists possessing abilities in line with Division's primary role can fill that role at Captain's discretion."

- Introduction to Gotei 13 combat doctrine, page 17


*

It wasn't a secret that the former ryoka were friendly with 11th division. When Ichigo and Kenpachi clashed in one of their 'friendly spars', the sorroundings tended to be shredded like wet tissue and the fluctuating reiatsu tended to crush onto the vicinity like a lead blanket, people tended to talk. Prime among them was Matsumoto Rangiku, who didn't hesitate to share the dramatic tale of power, heroism and grand battles, even if just collect payments in sake bottles. Oddly enough, most of her clients were women, who also tended to sigh a lot and throw confused Rukia acidic, jealous glances.

Anyway, Rangiku didn't need to pay for her drinks for a very long while.

Which, as it soon appeared, was a bit of a problem.

While Matsumoto wasn't stingy by any means, she also liked her booze. Now that she had, quite literally, more of it than she could drink, her kind and generous nature recieved an incentive to truly shine.

In rare examples of smug spite, Hitsugaya decided to follow Kyoraku's advice - he loosened up, he pondered the problem for a moment and then, with a creepily serene smile that almost made Rangiku wonder if he and Unohana-taicho were somehow related, he let her.

After all this time it wasn't his problem, his budget and his division. For once he wouldn't be the one to pick the pieces and spend sleepeless, frustrated nights in his office trying to understand how the hell did a relatively normal situation turn into the convulted mess he was forced to somehow make sense out of, before giving up and filing it under 'the Rangiku effect'.

As such, Matsumoto Rangiku was allowed to host party. After all, she was a kind and generous soul - why would she keep all that great booze to herself?

How the hell did a party turned into 'the' party, and 'some guests' turned into a list longer than Zaraki was tall no one quite understood. Well, Hitsugaya did - but he just kept smiling in that creepy, serene fashion that freaked anyone in the vicinity, with one notable exception.

When captain Unohana, in a very pretty violet kimono, approached the young captain of 10th, the sheer level of weirdness got cranked up to eleven. Even the drunkest and most rowdy of shinigami decided to stay the hell out of the serene bubble that the two captains seemed to create around themselves with their small smiles, calm manner and sweet summer wine that Retsu brought and somehow managed to convince Hitsugaya to drink.

Aside form that, the party turned out to be a huge sucess - hell, even Ishida (invited alongside Ichigo and the rest of the Winter War allies) popped the collar and got into festive mood.

Amazingly, the first real disturbance wasn't caused by 11th division being drunk and looking for a fight. They weren't even involved in the initial scuffle, to be honest. The fight was, of all things, started by 12th and 4th divisions arguing over kido - mainly, who had better Kido specialists outside of Kido corps.

12th, being connected to the Institute of Technology and often claiming to be 'the thinking warriors', of course claimed supremacy. In a rare example of responding to their pride being stepped on, 4th division's shinigami flat out stated that 12th's kido wasn't anything to write home about, as they were prone to experimenting with stuff they could barely understand or which was well over their capabilities, and hell, 4th had beds with 12th division's 'kido specialists' names on them to prove it.

At this a 3rd Division shinigami present casually remarked that at least 12th Division used their kido for something useful and resembling combat, unlike 4th division floor scrubbers, at which 4th's shinigami spitefully vowed to remember that the next time any 3rd division asshole came back all cut up and crying like a baby after a hollow took a chunk out of their self important ass.

To which both 12th and 3rd shinigami got a mite irritated and stated that if 4th didn't shut up, they were going to get more than enough practice healing thier own assess when they took chunks out of them right then and there.

That the 11th division members present decided to join the prospective brawl wouldn't be all that strange, if not for a fact that Zaraki's thugs unanonimously backed up 4th division's healers, loudly proclaiming that, pansies or not, they did their job well, unlike the creepy faggots of 12th who were more concerned with papers than a real fight, or the emo primadonnas from 3rd who'd sooner run than stand and fight like men. 'Despair', their sorry ass! 11th would give them all a reason to 'despair' soon enough if they didn't shut up!

The brawl was pretty much unavoidable by this point, especially with most captains either drunk, betting on the outcome, or both.

At least until something really fast, really powerful and really inconsiderate decided to cut in.

Like the rest of former Ryoka, Orihime had been invited personally by Matsumoto. Orihime, of course, agreed enthusiastically - she loved parties. She didn't have any problems coming to Seireitei - just like Ichigo's private senkaimon, Gotei 13 turned a blind eye on coming and goings of ex-ryoka, as long as they came through 11th division, which sort of became a 'home away from home' for Ichigo and Inoue. Ichigo because, well, Zaraki wanted him in sight in case they had some time to have a go at it, mostly because he didn't get so damn lost inside his own division, unlike the rest of Soul Society.

As for Inoue, she was a prettty girl, she could stand next to Zaraki and Ichigo going at it and not faint form sheer reiatsu overload and she was a nice girl, always willing to heal the 11th division thugs when they were injured without a hundred of 'don'ts' and 'shouldn't's' they usually got from 4th division doctors.

That and, well, anyone who had the guts to survive Hueco Mundo, face Arancar and lived to tell about it was no pansy, girly girl or not, even if they didn't know all the details of that little excursion.

Needless to say, Orihime had a fanclub in 11th division. A fanclub full of battle crazy thugs, but a fanclub none the less.

Orihime, while she got used to Zaraki squad and its rowdy members, never much cared for violence. She could understand why they did what they did, sort of, but she enver quite liked it. Usually she was too nice to really make a fuss about it, nor did she partake in it.

Usually, Orihime wasn't thoroghly drunk and annoyed.

Tsubaki and his Koten Zanshun was the least of Shun Shun Rikka, his offensive abilities blunted by Inoue's own lack of confidence and reluctance to harm any creature, even hollows.

It would be mistake, however, to call Tsubaki weak. He was merely one of six, he stood apart, not working with anyone. He was the odd man out. But he was also the single blade among Orihime's peace-loving soul, a soul that could heal a high-level espada via application of her powers.

And what most people, even ones who knew her and her powers, often missed was that what Koten Kisshun could heal, Koten Zanshun could cut, if conviction and need met in a single point.

Orihime didn't like violence. She didn't like people she considered her friends fighting. She didn't like when nice parties during which people were laughing and drinking were interrupted by petty arguments, name calling and violence.

She also really didn't like when some meanie broke a bottle of sake Rangiku-chan gave her, causing it to spill all over her pretty new yukata she got from Kuchiki-san.

People would later swear that when the golden flash tore through several zanpakuto at once they could hear mad a cackle resounding through the air, though most were too surprised to be really sure. Especially since their swords, their clothes and, coincidnetally, some parts of the roof were falling apart on them in really neat slices resembling confetti.

Orihime blinked.

Then hiccuped, blushing slightly.

"Could you stop fighting?" she asked after a moment, clasping her hands with a smile "Please?"

"Listen up, you bastards!" Tsubaki managed to look fairly intimidating postively glowing with golden reiatsu as he stood on a neatly carved beam, one leg prepped on a shredded zanpakuto arrogantly, his scarf billowing in the wind dramatically "What Orihime-sama means, is that the next asshole who gets to riun the party will get shredded by yours truly! And next time I'm gonna rip out your entrails and arrange them into an example of modern fucking art all over these walls instead of your clothes and pansy-ass swords, get me?!" then the fairy frowned, as if pondering something "Please do. I fucking _dream_ of any of you bitches giving me an excuse." he added after a moment, eereily reminescent of Zaraki save for a slight begging note.

The stupified shinigami just stared at the ridiculous image of a dishelved, obviously quite drunk young woman and her... fairy, standing there, among falling debris, zanpakuto pieces and scraps that used to be clothes one pissed off fairy before.

Orihime hiccuped again, her blush deepening.

"'Scuse me," she smiled cutely, looking around for something for a momnet, before hufffing as she noticed the broken bottle. She pointed at it, Ayame and Shun'o flowing and forming the familar shape. The yellow glow enveloped the broken clay, promptly restoring it to its previous pristine condition, complete with alcohol.

Orihime smiled cheerfully, taking a hearty swing out of it and sqeualed happilly.

"It is soooo good!" she said dreamily, giggling, before turning and waddling into the stupified crowd in search of Rangiku, Tsubaki trailing behind his mistress, his flight almost a swagger full of pride.

"What," asked one of the stupefied shingami "the hell just happened?"

In their corner of creepy serene space, Hitsugaya's smile widened by the tiniest of fractions. It wasn't spite, of course not. He would never lower himself to that.

"More wine, Toshiro-kun?" Unohana asked politely, smiling at the younger captain.

"Yes please." the young man smiled back

"My, aren't they just so... energetic," Retsu said lightly

"Aren't they just," Hitsugaya agreed in the same tone

Yep. No spite here. None whatsoever.


*

The following day, Inoue Orihime, ex-Ryoka, had become the hottest topic among various officers of Gotei 13 and one of the greatest source of dissapointment when they tried to subtly, or not so subtly - the less aid about 12th's incentives, 8th's suspicious, gray area paperwork magic and 6th's outright bribery the better - recruit Orihime for their division, promptly running into a wall. Said wall wasn't even the fact that Orihime was, technically, alive and couldn't be recruited for Gotei 13 yet - Ichigo had proven that certain exlusions and special clauses may appply, as Nanao calmly pointed out.

Rather it was the fact that, according to paperwork, filled out and stamped months in advance, Inoue Orihime was a proud, even though unknowing, member of 11th Division. Sixth seat, to be precise.

Some cursed Zaraki for being so shrewd, some protested, some filled official complaints to 1st division, only to be overruled by an amused Yamamoto. After all, he had been on Zaraki's case for years, trying to get a Kido specialist assigned to 11th, even if just to follow the regulations. Not that he was entirely happy with a human without a zanpakuto in the ranks, but at the very least it was a step in the right direction. A lot of stuff with Zaraki had to be done by baby steps, unfortuantely. Besides, there were plenty of asauchi in the forges and it wasn't like that Yasutora boy didn't set a precedence.

And to be honest, Kuchiki Byakuya waging a guerilla campaign of bribery for a 11th division member to be assigned to his squad was just too amusing to pass up.

There was so much irony there, though Yamamoto doubted that Byakuya would stop even if he noticed that little fact. The Kuchiki was way too concered with his personal pride - he was still a kid, after all, and over a century old or not, prone to throwing his versions of childish tantrums sometimes.

Yamamoto smiled slightly, stroking his beard.

He had to pick the right moment to step in and 'put a stop' to the more overt practices, though with care not to scare them too badly. Some healthy competition would be good for them, would keep them on their toes politically and he'd make sure that it would be harmless enough.

Now, how to make sure Unohana didn't stop this little side show too early...?


***

I did warn you that it will jump around a bit, didn't I?

Anyway, here she is, first Orihime-centric Postcard. They might focus on Ichigo, but some chaacters will get their own, like Orihime here. Not just a single one either. Also, I have to admit the less straight-laced and stern side to Yamamoto does amuse me quite a bit.

Next in line, cohabitation, maids and club work. Ichigo's life just keeps on getting more and more interesting.
 

scotch

Well-Known Member
This has made my day Fosfor, :yay:
 

trevelyan1983

Well-Known Member
It's always kind of weird to see the Shinigami in peacetime, when they've let their hair down and have a tipple. We see bits of it after the Soul Society arc, but even that is overshadowed by Aizen's trolling.

Very amusing to see Drunk!Hime too. And the rest of the Gotei realizing that Ichigo's friends are all talented new blood with lots of potential is nice, too.
 

da_fox2279

California Crackpot
And to be honest, Kuchiki Byakuya waging a guerilla campaign of bribery for a 11th division member to be assigned to his squad was just too amusing to pass up.

There was so much irony there, though Yamamoto doubted that Byakuya would stop even if he noticed that little fact. The Kuchiki was way too concered with his personal pride - he was still a kid, after all, and over a century old or not, prone to throwing his versions of childish tantrums sometimes.
... *falls over giggling*

*wipes away tear* Ah, that was good. As datenchi said: Drunk!Orihime is epic.

Good stuff, boss.
 

Spectral

Well-Known Member
I think you need to incorporate some Serious Sam elements in this story. ^ ^
 

tigros40208

Well-Known Member
Damn I had been kind of ignoring the Bleach section. Didn't seem to update much. Got to come back to it more often. This was another brilliant scene.
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
Well, this was supposed to be out a while back, but I've been too ill for that, so it gets to be posted now.

Postcards from the Edge #6 is here and, once again, jumping all over.

Raw.

***

6

*

"Appleseed."

*


The sand was shifting under his feet, fine and white, and he knew he was dreaming.

His dreams were not fickle things, but instead much like him - solid and constant, in form and in nature.

And as his feet slid over the bone white dust, he knew he was dreaming. Dreaming of Hueco Mundo. Again.

Even as he slid over the bone white sand he cocked back his fist, El Directo scattering the swarming hollows with a dull roar. Yet it was not enough - it never was. Wheter they merely got up or was it another wave, he had never any time to check. They came all the same. They came and they fell, his fists making a short work of any dumb enough to come close, while El Directo handled the unlucky few who decided he'd be an easy prey for a cero.

It was not a nightmare. Not really.

There was no fear involved, no sense of desperation or urgency. It felt hollow. Blank. Like digging a hole or sweeping dust - tedioious, repetitive and tiresome. This was not a memory, this was not an old wound or defeat at Nnoitra's hands he was reliving. No. The hollows were faceless, if one could call them that. Featurless. Just humanoid blurbs of black and grey, with uniformly bland masks. No sound beyond the shuiffling of dust, no scream beyond the dull roar of blue.

Merely this sensless, repetitive slugfest.

He cocked his fist again, this time slamming it down, the wave of reiatsu exploding and flooding the nearby hollows, erasing them from existence. The man stood up, wiping the dust off his lips, his breathing heavy.

This wasn't going to hold them off for long, he knew, but still, it was something.

"Now that's rather unpleasant."

Chad blinked, as the falling dust revealed the source of the voice.

She was dark grey and massive. Not as huge as some hollows he had seen, but there was a sense of raw, unaduleterated power in every inch of that lupine form resting on the stone outcropping.

She frowned, in that way dogs and wolves sometmies do, snorting out and shaking off the dust that settled on her fur.

"Most unpleasant indeed," the wolf muttered, eying her fur with undisguised irritation, before turning to look at Chad "Why are you here?"

The young man straightened out, dusting off his shirt with a grunt.

"I can't go anywhere else," he said simply.

"This is your dream," she pointed out, cocking her head to the side "What's stopping you?"

Chad blinked.

"I... don't know." he said after a moment.

"All the more reason to find out, you know," the she-wolf said amtter of factly, before shaking again, another wave of dust falling off her fur "Ugh. Nasty place."

"Then why are you here?" he asked, looking at her curiously.

"I couldn't sleep," she shrugged.

"Ah," Chad nodded slowly, before pausing.

The sand shifted, spilling to the sides as a hollow crawled out of it, a first of many, Chad knew.

"I wonder, is that edible?" the wolf asked curiously, peering at the ungaingly form.

Chad turned and stared at the animal.

"...I don't know."

"Well, time to find out, then," she said, jumping off the ledge and landing next to the monster. The hollow pasued, looking up, before trying to take a swing as it got up. The wolf merely slid away and to the side, before nimbly ripping out the beast's tendons, bringing it down. The mask opened, as if to howl in pain, but no sound came out as the large maw closed on its neck. The dark blod splattered on the white sand, causing Chad to take a step back in surprise. he had seen brutal but this was just... raw. Primal. Matter-of-fact, with mere hint of viciousness, but as natural as grabbing an afternoon takoyaki on way back from school.

The wolf chewed for a moment, before swallowing.

"Bland," she decided with a dissapointed sigh "There goes one possible use for this place I guess." she trotted away from the corpse and lookd at Chad "Well, that clinches it. It is boring, dusty and the locals taste awful. Let's get out of here."

Chad raised an eyebrow. He had looked for an exit once or twice, but there was only a desert for miles. On the other hand, this _was_ a dream and she had to come from somwhere. Though he was really curious where she came from, to be honest - the last National Georaphic special had nothing about hollow-eating wolves.

Still, it was a change of pace, he decided, and a quite a welcome one either way.

He paused mid-step as the sand started shifting again, the hollows rising from it. This time, he paid enough attenn to see the grains not so much sliding away, mroe like sliding inside...

'...no wonder they seemed endless,' Chad thought looking as the dust flowed together, forming another wave of monsters.

He raised his hand, Brazo Derecha de Giante sparking, the shoulder plate opeing and spitting a jet of reiatsu.

The wolf stopped, turning with a frown.

"Well?" she said impatiently.

He srhugged, pointing at the hollows, El Directo already coming to life in his hand.

"Oh. Them." she snorted "Don't worry, they won't bother us any more."

Chad frowned, turning to the hollows again, only to pause.

The beasts were rising but they were just... standing there. No, he decided, not quite standing - some of them were pacing, shuffiling in obvious agitation, but they never came closer, as if there was an invisible wall between them and the group.

He turned to his wolfish companion curiously.

"Why?"

"Why?" she opened her maw with a chuckle, the golden eyes almost burnign with the reflected moonlight "Because there is always a bigger fish, boy," she said smugly, walking away without a backward glance.

Chad turned to look at the hollows, agitated and restless, but not making a step forward, before nodding slowly and following.


*

"Now then," the wolf sad with satisfaction, her eyes twitching "Much prettier than some desrt, no?"

Chad nodded.

It was a forest - or rather what looked to be as a part of one, stretching farther than he could see, with tree-covered peaks, tops of which were hiding in the mist. It looked ancient, but nothing quite stood out. It was as if it was so old, so huge it didn't need to impress anyone with anything specific - its mere presence stood as a silent symbol of tmeless endurance of life. Calm and solid, extending like two sure hands, enveloping the swatch of land they were stanidng in protectively.

Contrary to the rest of the landscape, the place wasn't covered in trees but rather in...

"...wheat?" Chad leaned down, grabbing one of the swaying plants. Sure enough it was young wheat, still short and green, far from harvest. he stood up, looking around. The field, while far smaller than the forest was still huge, though it didn't swallow all of the valiable space like the forest, leaving enough room for a large lake and-

He blinked, looking into the distance.

Sure enough there was what seemed to be like a... village?

'Yes,' he decided after a moment as the wind brought a faint smell of smoke and food 'Definetely a village.'

"Now, enough gawking. You still stink of that desert," the wolf decided and Chad's eyes widened as the large head slammed into him. "Wha-" he gurgled as the water closed over him.

'...lake? How?' he thought, floating in the crystal clear water for a while, too dumbfounded to do anything else. '...oh. right. A dream.' he thought feeling like an idiot, before swimming up to the surface. The water was clear and although it carried a slight chill, it wasn't unpleasant.

When was the last time he had an opportunity to swim anyway?

'Not since that beach trip with Ichigo and Shinigami Women's Association.' he realized with surprise. It was years ago, but he still rememebred taht ridiculous watermelon monster... and maybe the very atrractive women in the swimsuits as well. Maybe.

"So, how was it?" the wolf asked with a chuckle "For a moment thee I thought you were going to drown, boya."

"No problem," Chad answered, unbottining his shirt, only to pause as he noticed the sand-turned-mud on it. "Hm."

"Yes, unpelasant, isn't it? It gets everywhere." she said with a grimace "Come to think of it," she peered at her fur, before looking at the lake.

Chad blinked.

'For something so large, she can move really fast,' he decided as the large lupine descended.

"GERONIMO!"


*

He sat back, his hair still dripping even as the sun was slowly drying the rest of him. The stones around the lake were pleasantly warm and the tightly wrapped bundle of hay the wolf dragged from the field made for a very comfortable pillow.

The she-wolf herself was laying next to him, catching as much sun as she possibly could, her thick fur still damp from the long swim, but now clean and shiny as it dried slowly.

She made him clean her, refusing to sit still - payment for setrvices rendered, she said - but he had to admit it wasn't unpleasant. He always liked to swim and the dream water was as good as any, he supposed.

Besides, even with her size, combing that fur was easy. It felt right. Natural.

He looked at the large lupine curiously.

"You are my zanpakuto, aren't you?"

The large ears twitched, before she leaned so that that her damper side was more exposed to the sun.

"Smart child," she murmured with amusement. "Indeed, that I am."

"You didn't tell me your name," Chad said throughtfully, looking at the she wolf.

"Should I?" she shrugged lazily.

He frowned.

"Wasn't it why you came?" he asked in confusion.

"I told you why I came," she opened one golden eye, peering at him "I couldn't sleep."

Chad pondered the answer, before nodding.

"So you aren't going to tell me?"

"It isn't like you need me, boya." she snorted, prodding one of his hands with her nose pointedly.

"I thought all zanpakuto wanted to." he said carefully.

"Why should I?" she yanwed "You are getting by just fine and I have the fields to run through, the forest to hunt in, the water to drink," she frowned "Well... aside from apples. It's been ages since I had one." the she-wolf prodded him again "Next time you're here, bring me some."

"Apples." Chad raised an eyebrow.

"Nice, juicy ones." she said dreamly "Red, sweet and juicy..."

"I'll try," he said after a momement.

"See that you do," she said with satisfaction, before closing her eyes again, dreaming of apples and wheat.


*

"Apples," Ichigo blinked.

Chad shrugged.

"Wow. That's... pretty weird." the orange haired shinigami admitted "I don't really see how, but if that's what she wants..."

Chad nodded.

"Huh," Ichigo scratched his head "Gotta tell you Zangetsu was never like that - and I don't mean craving for apples either. She really doesn't want to tell you her name?" he asked curiously.

Chad nodded again.

"Weird, really werid." the substitute leaned back "Look, I'd like to give you some advice but... one thing I learned working with Zangetsu is that no one can really tell you how to master a zanpakuto, or learn its name. The only one who can do that is her. But one thing I never doubted about Zangetsu was that he really wanted to work with me. Every snag, every bump in the read, that was all me." he frowned thoughtfully "Well, aside from one time, but that's a different matter altogether." he sighed "Look, bottom line is, you really should ask her."

"I've been trying." Chad said simply, shaking his head "The dream doesn't come."

"Yeah, well, there is another way." Ichigo grinned "I just hope your legs don't cramp easily."

Chad blinked.

*

The large man sat down on the floor, holding his sheathed asauchi.

The whole thing seemed simple, almost deceptively so, but then it wasn't that much different from any other meditation technique he had heard about.

Chad pulled off the sheath, carefully placing the sharp sword on his lap and closing his eyes.

He sat still for a moment, before opening his eyes and frowning. Putting the sword away, he wandered out of the room, before returning with a large paper bag which he put next to him as he sat down in jinzen position again.

Placing the sword back on his lap, he reached into the bag and pulled a large, red apple which he carefully put on the blade, before closing his eyes with a small smile.

After all, his grandfather always told him to keep his word.

As he slumped forward, falling into the trance, the apple gleamed in the afternoon sun, before a large bite vanished from it with a loud crunch.



***



Well, this is first of several Chad-centric Postcards, though the next one returns to Ichigo. Still, this isn't the last time we see Chad and his the wolf fond of apples. And yes, I know exactly what I ripped off. Call it a homage to one of my all-time favourites.
 

~NGD OMEGA~

Well-Known Member
Chad with a Giant Wolf in his soul. Is it Christmas already? Because I think Santa just delivered everything I ever wanted.
 

Watashiwa

Administrator
Staff member
There's making a tribute and there's being blatant about it. Not complaining, but it's not really in good taste. -_-

Unnecessary crossover aside, yay Chad. I think he gets even less respect in the fandom than he does in the main continuity.
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
Watashiwa said:
There's making a tribute and there's being blatant about it.? Not complaining, but it's not really in good taste.? -_-

Unnecessary crossover aside, yay Chad.? I think he gets even less respect in the fandom than he does in the main continuity.
Oh ye of little faith.

There's no crossover involved whatsoever. Does the spirit have some qirks based on Horo? Yes. Is she Horo? No, which should be really damn obvious the first time she wants to, you know, eat the hollow and is damn vicious about it.

The apple thing is a homage, but that quirk and a bit of inspiration is about it. I didn't even pick the wolf spirit because I wanted Horo, I picked it because I made Chad's shikai an axe, which is connected with things like protection and harvest rites, which in turn is tied with some wolf mythos. On which, by the way, Horo herself is based on.

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

And, seriously, no respect? Chad is going to be pretty damn awesome in Postcards, and I'd like to think I more than give him justice in any of my Bleach fics.
 

Knyght

The Collector
I prefer the tiger over the wolf but it was an interesting piece.

EDIT: An axe? I can dig it. B)
 
Honestly, even if you basically reused the character (and from what I can see you didn't), it hardly matters one way or the other; happens enough in professional writing at any rate. That said, I'm having a hard time seeing the wolf as Chad's zanpakuto, though to be fair I can't really see anything else doing a better job: he's just Chad. Anyway, we didn't really get to see much of her - it's hard to form a good opinion of her character.
 

Fosfor

Well-Known Member
violetshadows said:
Honestly, even if you basically reused the character (and from what I can see you didn't), it hardly matters one way or the other; happens enough in professional writing at any rate. That said, I'm having a hard time seeing the wolf as Chad's zanpakuto, though to be fair I can't really see anything else doing a better job: he's just Chad. Anyway, we didn't really get to see much of her - it's hard to form a good opinion of her character.
Wolf is a pack animal and also, from mythological point of view, a protector and silent watcher. The reason why Chad's inner world is a wheat field with a village sorrounded by forst also ties into that meaning - on one hand, peace and companionship - village and wheat, with lake added; on the other, enduring strength and violence inherent in the forest.

What I have planned for Chad and his zanpakuto is her spending a lot of time simply refusing to come out, sometimes taunting him as 'fangless', but overall being a pleasant sort. I wanted that little glimpse to set the mood of that whole relationship.

Note that for all her stubborness, she still came by when Chad had a nightmare. She just thinks he is too stubborn and set in his ways to accept her yet, given the shikai is an axe - something outright oriented for, seemingly, maximum violence. Hence the dichotomy.

I'm having way more fun with it than I should, really.
 
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