conjure_lass: (Bleach: Uraichi Kiss)
[personal profile] conjure_lass
Author: Conjure Lass!
Title: Guardian Division
Rating: PG
Pairing: Uraichi
Warnings: One cuss word. A bit AU. Mentions of Death.
Summary: Urahara Kisuke, Angel: Guardian Division, was given the task of watching over Kurosaki Ichigo upon the day of his birth. Now, nine years later, when his angelic ward needs him most, Kisuke finds that sitting by watching is no longer in the cards.
Author's Notes: This one-shot was based off a doujinshi I purchased and fell in love with. Since I cannot read it I had to make up my own storyline, but I like to think that if the original author of the doujinshi were to read this that they would appreciate it. This doesn't fall into my Sour Apple storyline and is meant to be taken completely on its own. However, the rest of my fictions can be found here at my fiction index should you wish to read them. Hope you enjoy!



Kurosaki Masaki had never liked flowers.

So it seemed almost insulting that a woman who had always thought that cut flowers were a soulless expression of affection was now draped somewhat garishly in every type of blossom imaginable. One by one the mourners laid their fragrant gifts upon her lifeless body until Ichigo could scarcely see her favorite dress beneath the blanket of blooms. They were nothing compared to his mother’s fading beauty, their vibrant hues inconsequential against the lingering glow of her skin.

He wanted to rush forward and rip them off her, stomp them into the ground, burn them in the trashcan where the men were smoking outside. It was almost as though, in death, everyone had lost their memory of who she really was. Almost as though she was simply a doll lying in box, without personality, without memories, as though she could have been replaced with anyone and no one would have noticed!

He noticed.

It was because he noticed that when his grandmother came up to him and offered a delicate white rose to lay in his mother’s pale hands that he let it drop to the floor, his shiny black dress-shoe coming out a moment later to crush it into dust. The elderly woman stood motionless as she stared at him, walking away silently when he didn’t seem to want to discuss the matter further. There was nothing to discuss. His mother wasn’t coming back, and no amount of pointless weeping, mounds of dying flowers, or hollow well wishes were going to change that.

The funeral dragged on forever, pulling at Ichigo’s desperately frayed nerves, until finally he was released from the living hell of the temple and allowed to go home. Though home, it seemed, was never going to be quite the same again. The hallways echoed with the ghosts of her bright laughter, his footsteps insanely loud as he deposited his shoes in the entryway and trod slowly into the kitchen. The light over the sink, usually on and beaming down on his mother quietly cooking supper, was unlit…why hadn’t anyone turned it on? It wasn’t right for the kitchen to be so empty, so quiet, so lifeless, so out of sorts.

Not knowing what else to do, he pushed one of the kitchenette chairs up to the cabinets and crawled onto them to get at a small jade jar that was placed half behind a stack of cookbooks at the back of the counter. Lifting the tiny lid from the center of the jar, he withdrew a brightly wrapped sucker from the bottom of the container, turning it in his fingers a few times to discover what flavor it was. Lemon. Not necessarily his favorite, but it would do in a pinch. And after all…she’d promised him he could have one when they got home that night after dinner, and his mother never broke her promises…except one…

Ichigo sat quietly on his bed into the tiny hours of the morning, still dressed in his best suit, staring out the window into the night. The moon was perfectly full, illuminating everything it’s rays touched, bathing the entire world in a pallid light that only accented his already dismal mood. He’d find no sleep, of that much he was certain, but that didn’t mean he needed to spend the entire night in his bed.

With that thought in mind, he opened his window with as much stealth as he could manage and crawled out onto the overhang, maneuvering himself carefully up to the top of the roof where he could sit in peace. No one would bother him here; no one would poke their head into his room and ask if he was all right up here, no one would intrude on his solitude. What a stupid question. Was he all right? It was like asking someone who had just had their heart torturously ripped out if they were going to grow another one.

Pulling his knees up, he buried his face in the scratchy fabric of his suit pants, wrapping his small arms around his legs in an effort to closet himself from the world. The evening around him was abuzz with sound, the night insects singing as an early summer breeze blew noisily through the branches of the trees. The wind itself was alive with the smell of pollen and water, settling on his exposed skin and beading up against his clothes. Up here, where no one would ever know, he could allow himself to be as weak as he wanted to be, to be as heavy as his heart felt.

No one would know.

His eyes were just beginning to water when he heard something that he could not readily identify, that was not part of the normal symphony of nightly sounds, a pristine music that stood out and drew his attention to its delicate tone. His head snapped up instantly, eyes widening in disbelieving shock as they beheld something that was absolutely too fantastical to be taken seriously.

A man, dressed in robes a deep shade of forest green and wearing a charcoal haori, hovered smiling over Ichigo’s astonished form, blonde hair falling messily over pleasant gray eyes as he pulled the outer robe closer to his body as though cold. Ichigo blinked a few times to make sure he wasn’t imagining things, bottom lip jutting out petulantly when the strange floating man seemed to find his reaction amusing before pinning the stranger with an annoyed stare. He hated when ghosts intruded on his private time, especially when he was so obviously not in the mood for company.

“What are you doing on my roof?”

Urahara Kisuke, Angel: Guardian Division, had been hovering there since somewhere around the third sorrowful sigh, his heart breaking catastrophically each time Ichigo would shift his body in an attempt to get more comfortable, only to shudder with contained misery. It was killing him. As the child’s guardian angel, his duty was supposed to be simply watching over the boy, keeping him as safe as he could manage while allowing Ichigo to make his mistakes; but he found that the longer he was assigned to his angelic ward the more he wanted to take an active role in his happiness. It was almost too cruel, this growing affection; the heartbreaking need to see this perfect child with tangerine locks smile openly again.

So when Kisuke saw the first quiver of Ichigo’s small shoulders as he began to sob, he knew that he couldn’t keep his silence anymore, knew he had to do something, had to calm the storm of despair threatening to drown Ichigo in its massive waves. Yes, there would be consequences to his actions, and no, he probably wouldn’t like them, but anything would be better than standing complacent while his precious dandelion sat alone and weeping on the roof of his house.

The clear resonance of a hundred tiny silver bells signified his transition from one plane of existence to another, stepping down from the angelic realm Ichigo could not see into one that was more familiar. Moonlight clung to his robes, soaking into the very fabric of his clothing as he smiled down at the disbelieving boy, tugging at his haori when he realized how much cooler it was in this plane than in his own. It may have looked the same, may have been right next door (metaphysically speaking) but the difference in temperature was like the jungle to the tip of Mount Everest. Chilly.

“What are you doing on my roof?”

At first he was slightly taken aback, for all his vaunted intelligence unable to come up with something that made even the slightest bit of sense. He’d been so overwhelmed with the need to help his young charge he’d completely neglected to think of what he would do after he revealed himself. How unprofessional. Glancing around, he smiled reassuringly (though whether it was to himself or Ichigo remained unclear) and leaned in closer.

“Well…I’m your guardian angel, of course! I was watching over you and couldn’t help but notice your…unhappiness. I’m here to help!”

Seeming to remain unconvinced, one orange eyebrow rose minimally before Ichigo turned away all together, laying his head on his knees again. Kisuke’s face fell at that, arms hanging loosely at his sides as he tried to think of something else to say that would be more awe-inspiring. He didn’t blame Ichigo for being so unimpressed, as he’d done nothing particularly amazing or radiant since his admittedly impromptu introduction. What kind of guardian angel was he anyway!? He couldn’t even be angelically brilliant right! Ichigo was probably disappointed he’d gotten such a terrible angel to be his protector!

“I don’t believe in angels,” Ichigo said quietly, turning only his brown eyes towards Kisuke. The look in them was more mature, more jaded than the older man had seen before, as though some part of his innocence had been ripped away with his mother’s spirit chain. It wasn’t surprising really, only tragically heartrending. Obviously, Urahara had been there for that as well, watching in helpless grief as Ichigo tried desperately to revive Kurosaki Masaki, his small hands covered with blood, the rain mingling with his frantic tears. Kisuke had been able to do nothing but offer his unwavering presence, wiping away his own tears while wrapping the child in his loving adoration. It wasn’t enough, he had known that, and yet the decisiveness of his inadequacy had eaten at him, made him insanely angry, tore at his heart in every way.

He wanted to do more. To be more for Ichigo. To be able to wrap him in more than his metaphysical existence. To be everything for him. To keep him safe…forever.

“Why not?” Kisuke asked, pointing to himself somewhat lamely. “What else would I be? I’m a floating angel. See?”

“A floating molester, you mean. Go away.”

“What?! No, no!” Kisuke waved his hands in front of himself as though warding off a blow, taking a step backwards into the night. Why did Ichigo have to be so damn smart for his age? Most people, upon seeing a glowing man dressed in beautiful robes appear before them, would make the obvious jump that they were being visited by some kind of otherworldly apparition. Not Ichigo…ohhhhh noooo…he had to make the less obvious assumption that Kisuke was here to rape him or something! Why, All Mighty, why?!

Ichigo eyed him shrewdly, making Kisuke squirm under his concentrated gaze and brush a lock of his unruly hair away from his face. There was power shimmering beneath those pure brown eyes, enough power to shatter the world, but more than that there was blossoming resolution. An idea was forming in the bowels of Ichigo’s young mind, something that would change everything, that would blanket everyone he knew in security and peace.

Kisuke would have liked to be included in those who got to be warmed beneath that metaphoric bedspread.

“Besides…you don’t have any wings, so you can’t be an angel.”

“Huh?”

“You know…wings. Angels have wings on their backs!” Ichigo rolled his eyes, pointing to his own shoulders with an expression of barely contained frustration. “Why should I trust some floating weirdo without any wings? You‘re probably just some lonely ghost wanting my attention.”

Kisuke could have been knocked over completely with a tiny breeze. Was that all? Was that all it would take to get Ichigo to believe him? If he’d known that it would be that simple he would have pulled out the stops fifteen minutes ago and saved them both the frustration. Of course, it was a Crime: First Class to indulge any human in the revelation of the Angelic Guard by any means, but Urahara figured that since he’d already revealed himself most of the way anyway that he may as well go for gold…why hold back? Besides, he’d known from the first moment he’d begun watching over Ichigo’s mahogany bassinet that his days in the Guard were numbered…

“You are a clever boy,” Urahara winked, cupping his hands in front of himself with a wide smile. “Hold out your hands like this Ichigo, and I’ll give you a surprise!”

Reaching into the soft folds of his robe, he grinned devilishly and pulled out a small glittering feather, running it through his long fingers lovingly like you would a beloved pet. It hummed and shimmered in response to his affection, nearly bouncing in his grasp as he let it drift down gently into Ichigo’s waiting hands. The feather instantly became lifeless in the boy’s mortal grasp, prompting the child to look up at him with an expression that could have killed a weaker man. Obviously he was not impressed. Kisuke could change that.

“Go on! Give it a shake!”

A shake? What was it going to do, explode?

For all his misgivings about this stranger floating around his house, Ichigo couldn’t help but be slightly intrigued, interested despite himself. None of the ghosts he’d met in the past had known his name, nor looked exactly like the odd man appearing before him, dressed so regally and moving so gracefully. Fluidly. Like he had all the time in the world to get from one place to another and simply wasn’t in any hurry to get there. There was simply something about him, something familiar, something comforting.

Ichigo would just have to take his chances with the exploding feather.

Feeling silly, he stood up and slowly began shaking the perfect white plume back and forth, watching in silent amazement as a gleam of light began to spread from the shaft all the way down to the quill, a soft popping sound accompanying each gentle shake. The noise became increasingly louder in volume as he jiggled it around faster, light growing around him and shining so brightly that it began leaking from the tip of the feather, tiny bubbles of energy bursting and twinkling into the night. Inspired by this development, Ichigo shook the thing as hard as he could, raising his hand up to his face to shield his eyes when the light became too much for them.

“Penna! Penna! Penna!” The feather shouted in a miniscule voice, exploding in a shower of brilliance in all directions.

He knew it would explode!

When the explosion had finally died down, Ichigo peeked cautiously between his fingers, only to have his arms fall uselessly to his sides a moment later as he stared at the…there were no words for it. No words at all.

The light had begun to coalesce at the blonde man’s shoulder blades, becoming a molten, living thing as it flowed and sculpted thousands of luminous feathers that unfurled into the night like moonlight breaking through the clouds. Ichigo’s jaw fell slack as the man cast open his eyes that had been previously closed, a deep glow breaking through the irises, smiling at him as though the problems of the world were like nothing but water breaking down the feathers of a blue duck. If he’d had any doubts of the man’s identity this surely put them to rest, and he took a step backwards in his astonishment and slight fear, not wanting to get too close.

Ichigo!!”

It was upon this retreat that Ichigo felt his footing suddenly become unstable, not able to stop himself before he tumbled backwards with his arms spinning wildly around him, a shuddering gasp the only sound produced as he fell from the roof and into the humid summer air. He couldn’t see the ground rising up to meet him, only able to watch as the stars spun crazily in the sky above, barely able to comprehend anything other than the dizzying burst of his own fear and the rush of wind that accompanied his vision becoming filled with magnificent white and his body being snatched from the air.

Before he knew what had happened he found himself cradled in a tender embrace, nestled securely against cloth that was impossibly soft and supple. Looking up slowly, as though uncertain as to why he wasn’t going splat on the ground, he blinked in wonderment as the blonde man gazed down at him with a mix of concern and affection, a bit of pride mixed in at the tail end as well. He knew that look, those eyes, that strange mix of emotions hidden partially behind a jovial smile. Where had he seen it before? He couldn’t remember…

“You…” Ichigo whispered, reaching both small hands out towards the angel’s cheeks to bring him closer, wanting to get a better look at his face before rubbing their foreheads together slowly, feeling the blonde man smile warmly into the touch. There seemed to be something important about remembering this…something he didn’t want to forget…something he’d already forgotten a long time ago. There was something lost here, something he wanted to find…

His angel smelled like clothes that had been hung outside to dry…fresh…like he’d been dipped in sunshine.

“Can’t let anything happen to my favorite dandelion, now can I? I’m your guardian angel after all…at least for tonight…”

That statement quickly got Ichigo’s attention, snapping his head back to make eye contact while his mind worked a mile a minute.

“What do you mean? Are you leaving?”

“I don’t think I’ll have much choice after tonight Ichigo,” the blonde man whispered sadly, his long white wings curling around Ichigo’s body as though enveloping him in a protective hug. “We’ll see each other again though, don’t worry.”

Shaking his head in denial, Ichigo struggled to reach into his jacket pocket and tug out the lollipop that he’d gotten from the kitchen earlier, holding it out to the blonde resolutely. What on earth was he doing this for?! He cocked his head to the side in confusion, not knowing what else to do, but wanting to give the man some kind of token of his appreciation, a forget-me-not of sorts. He’d never really liked lemon anyway, though if the sucker had been green apple he might have rethought it and given him something else.

“Here!” Ichigo pushed the lollipop into his hand, feeling his cheeks heat up a bit in shy embarrassment, though he was unclear as to why he felt that way.

Raising a pale eyebrow, the angel chuckled softly and tapped the end of Ichigo’s nose, pushing his tongue into the side of his cheek. “Kurosaki Ichigo, you can‘t fool me; I‘ve known you your whole life long. You don’t even like lemon. Should I be insulted?”

Mortally embarrassed, Ichigo’s eyes narrowed, attempting to cover up the humiliation of being caught with anger. He shook his fist towards the blonde’s head, squirming agitatedly in an attempt to get at the older man only to find himself completely restrained. He hated being embarrassed! “You shouldn’t make fun of my present! Any time you get a gift you should be grateful no matter what!”

“I am, and I‘ll give you something in return.” The angel reached up a soft hand and cupped Ichigo’s cheek as though to calm him, a strange mix of despair and sweetness overtaking his features. Ichigo felt himself becoming instantly groggy, jostling his head to try to make the sensation dissipate, but finding his body was becoming too heavy to move, as though his limbs were burdened down with a hundred tiny weights. A pulsing heat was radiating just beneath his skin, filling him with affection and care, and he wasn’t sure it was from the hand rubbing pleasantly against his cheek or his own strange, uncanny happiness.

Either way he could feel sleep dragging him under its inky folds, and he tried desperately to keep his eyes open long enough to get one last look at the angel…his angel. But nothing was coming easily now, and it took everything he had to hear the last fading whispers delivered into his ear before the world became soft and black around him, the warm arms he dozed in clutching at his body almost possessively before he remembered nothing more…

“I‘m going to miss you so much Ichigo…I wish you could remember me.”

Kisuke watched Ichigo’s dark window for a long time that night from a nearby rooftop, knowing that they’d soon be coming to pick him up and not wanting to leave his charge’s side until he absolutely had to. He was still a Guardian after all, still bound to watch over the well being of the one he’d been assigned to, and he’d keep that vow until the very last moment. The fact that he’d found his soul inexorably bound to the spirit of the young boy sleeping peacefully in his bed was just a painful and unfair side note.

His punishment began slowly, the radiance of his wings dwindling fractionally with each passing moment until the feathers themselves broke off and blew away in the summer breeze, the last of them giving a tiny pop before disappearing into nothingness. His own ethereal light began to pass into nonexistence shortly afterwards, his skin breaking out into a pained sweat as he felt his legs shudder and give way beneath him, sending him sprawling on the rooftop. Where the luminosity of his divine soul yeilded to gaping holes, the transience of mortality filled each of them to the very brim, a drowning fear growing within him that he’d never experienced in all his long life. This was the end…he was going to die. He was going to die without seeing Ichigo again. He had given up his angelic life to be able to give that boy every imaginable happiness and he was going to be denied that one simple wish.

Goddamn it.

Long minutes passed as he lay panting and shivering on the rooftop near Ichigo’s home, trying without success to calm his raging terror even as it threatened to overwhelm him. There was white dancing along the edges of his vision as he felt himself embraced in strong arms, blinking blurry eyes up at a face he’d known for years, though was surprised to see at the present moment. Moonlight glittered off his visitor’s large glasses, obscuring his eyes as brown hair fell messily onto his forehead and he smiled down at Kisuke warmly. Kisuke tried to smile back but to no avail, his body was growing too weak, too frail to respond even when a big hand covered his eyes and a deep voice spoke to him quietly.

“You shall be sent back, but forget for now. All will be well.”

A lifetime later Urahara Kisuke (ex-captain) awoke to the sound of children passing by his bedroom window, rolling over so that the morning sunlight could warm his face and wake him up more fully. What an odd dream he’d had. He’d never thought of himself as particularly angelic, but in this dream he’d pulled it off rather well. It wasn’t as though it was the first time he’d ever had such a dream, though this one had been particularly detailed and emotional. In reality, it felt more like a distant memory than a dream, but who was he to question the power of the dreaming unconscious mind?

A pile of boxes was waiting for him when he went out into the Shoten, mocking his attempts to have a lazy day off and generally annoying him with their presence. Their only saving grace was that perched in the center of them, sucking casually on a rather bright lollipop, was one Kurosaki Ichigo. He didn’t seem to notice Kisuke at all as he continued his search through one of the bigger boxes, pulling out a gleaming silver container with a toxic label on the side. The younger man shook his head and placed the case on the floor before glancing up at him.

“Good morning,” Ichigo yawned around his mouthful, reaching into his back pocket to grab at something before holding it out for Kisuke’s inspection. “Here!”

Sitting himself down, Kisuke pulled the brightly wrapped candy from Ichigo’s fingertips and brought it close to his face. Lemon. Ichigo hated lemon.

“I know you’re only giving me this because you don‘t like the flavor…I’m not sure if I should be insulted or not.”

“Don’t be an ungrateful wretch!” Ichigo spat, pulling his sucker from his mouth to lean forward and poke Kisuke’s nose affectionately. “You’re lucky I ever give you anything at all.”

“I am, I admit it.”

The younger man’s soft laughter drew his attention to the fact that the distance between them had been closed and there was currently a very youthful, very supple body pressed deliciously against his own. Ichigo’s arms draped around his neck possessively, and he shivered when the redhead’s nose nuzzled into the dip of his collarbone, wishing they were alone so that he could make love to him properly right there in the middle of the Shoten.

“You smell like sunshine,” Ichigo whispered, his voice small and far away, as though in a dream.

“And you smell…like green apple!” Urahara laughed brightly and tugged the sucker out of Ichigo’s unresisting hand, shoving it into his mouth with a triumphant grin. It was a good piece of candy, probably handmade, positively delicious. “Mine now!”

“Kisuke!”

With that he ran swiftly out of the room, the redhead hot on his heels as they tumbled into the bedroom together, all thoughts of candy and odd dreams forgotten.

And outside the Shoten, perched on top of a telephone pole, a tall man with big glasses disappeared in a flurry of feathers and light, knowing his presence as an Angel: Guardian Division was no longer required.

Case Closed.



I, of course, took some liberties with the plot of Bleach. However, it does eventually merge back into the main storyline, so I like to call it "Semi-AU". Hope you like it! I think its pretty good!

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Cherry!
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