One Friday afternoon, a tired Ichigo Kurosaki was walking leisurely home from school. To Ichigo it seemed like ages since he last had a weekend to himself without any immediate worries; Aizen and the bunch had been lying low recently and he didn’t sense any Hollows in the area. As he looked up at the sky, Ichigo gained a profound appreciation for the time one has to relax and simply enjoying life. Before Ichigo knew it, he had reached his street but as he looked ahead, he saw Karin and Yuzu standing in front of their home. Ichigo noticed that both girls had an expression of utter shock on their faces. “What’s wrong”, he asked. Karin slowly raised her hand and pointed towards their house. When he turned to look, the same expression that was across his sister’s faces became noticeably apparent on Ichigo’s. The once splendid Kurosaki household was now the site of a construction project entailing the demolition of a portion of the roof and the building up of what appeared to be a new addition. Still in shock, Isshin Kurosaki appeared out of the blue -- as usual -- behind his three children where he proceeded to elbow slam Ichigo on the head and exclaim “Good Afternooooooon Ichigo!” Neither Karin nor Yuzu even flinched at the newfound presence of their father; even Ichigo barely took notice of his father’s attack and as a result ended up lying face down on the ground. Not acknowledging the obvious concerns his children had with the site before them, Isshin asked them, “So what do you think? I know it’s not finished yet but can’t you just imagine how great it’s going to look”. At this statement Ichigo arose from the ground and both Ichigo and Karin turned around and looked at their father with looks of complete dismay. Yuzu continued to stare but with less shock and more despairingly. “What the hell is this!” yelled Ichigo at his father who apparently was not fazed by his son’s anger replied, “It’s our new addition!” “I can see that!” retorted Ichigo, “What I want to know is why!” “WHY you ask,” Began Isshin, “the reason WHY is because of the letter I received this morning,” and with that he pulled out seemed to be an official legal document. Ichigo took the letter from out of his father’s hand and he and Karin began to skim over the long extremely detailed document, “Dear Mr. Isshin Kurosaki, on behalf of the Shishakaze estate … recent death of Mrs. Shishakaze … legal guardian of Kikyou Shishakaze … WHAT! Legal Guardian!” exclaimed Karin. She looked at her father in shock; even Yuzu came out of her despairing trance at the sound of this news. Ichigo conversely began to examine it closer, staring at the name. Kikyou... he thought to himself. “OK, first of all, who on Earth is Kikyou Shishakaze?” Karin asked grabbing the letter from Ichigo so both she and her sister could get a better look at it. “I mean I don’t think I have ever heard it before,” “me neither,” piped in Yuzu, “what about you Ichi-nii?” At that moment, his sisters finally noticed that his attitude had completely changed and that his face bore quite a thoughtful look. “Um, Ichigo,” Karin concernedly asked. Isshin, as well noticing his son, began to say, “I was surprised to when I read the letter, but this shouldn’t shock you Ichigo. I mean you should have already known what was going to happen.” All three of the Kurosaki children looked up at him in confusion, especially Ichigo. “Yah, I mean she did send you a letter just recently, and she doesn’t normally send them by mail, so it must have said something about her grandparent’s death and what the will said.” Ichigo, being even more confused than ever, said, “What letter?” “I left it on your desk for you last week. I told you about it when you got home. Don’t you remember?” Ichigo suddenly did remember, and he also remembered being completely exhausted that night and not even bothering to look at it and with all that way going on he had completely forgotten about it. And as if he could read Ichigo’s mind, “You forgot didn’t you,” said Isshin. A look of obvious realization came upon Ichigo’s faces and, in a flash, raced up to his room to find the letter. “Well,” began Karin, “that’s all well and good for Ichigo, but do you mind explaining to us who this Kikyou Shishakaze is?” Both girls turned to face their father. “I guess you were both quite young then so you might not remember,” and with that Isshin began into the lengthy explanation as to exactly who Kikyou Shishakaze was.
Ichigo through open the front door and dashed up the stairs, tuning out the noise from the construction above. Entering his room, Ichigo looked immediately to the right where his desk stood and upon it laid the forgotten letter. Moving a book and a few papers aside, he picked it up, taking notice of the carefully printed characters in the centre and the eloquently written letters on the top right. Kikyou, he thought, so much has happened recently I had completely forgotten about you ... it seems as though it was a life time ago ... Ichigo proceeded to thoughtfully open the letter. He read the letter and it indeed described how only a few weeks ago her grandmother had died and how she would be returning to Karakura town and living with them as according to her parent’s wishes, but what stood out for him was the last line:
Even though we’ve kept in contact all of these years, it’s just not the same as seeing you face to face. I know it won’t exactly be like old times but I do hope that all we had together hasn’t completely vanished. See you soon Ichi-tan.
- Love, Kikyou
Ichigo’s eyes lingered on her name. Kikyou, how could I have even forgotten … My dad had been friends with a man, named Hansuke Shishakaze, ever since they were both kids. Hansuke married a woman named Setsuna and they had a daughter, a year younger than me, whom they named Kikyou. Seeing as we lived in the same town and were both young families, our two families would always be getting together. Naturally, with their only being a one year age difference and considering how much time we spent together, Kikyou and I grew quite close as well. We would always be running around, playing and laughing. Other than my own family, Kikyou was the only person I felt truly at ease with. Back then she was much more outgoing and daring than I was and most of the time she would be the one who decided what we would play and would always be telling me what I was to do, but I didn’t mind it coming from her; something in the way she would say it made you want to do it for her, to make her smile. After my mother died, things changed. Kikyou tried to tell me that my mother would have wanted me to smile but I wouldn’t listen. A few months later though, her parents died … The three of them were walking down a street at night when a nearby driver had a heart attack and crashed into them. Both of her parents died but, miraculously, she survived. Although she did hit her head pretty badly and as a result, even to this day, she doesn’t remember what happened and only knows what my dad told her. The ambulance that arrived on the scene brought them to my dad’s clinic but the two of them were already on site so he had them taken to the local hospital. My dad healed Kikyou and when she woke up that night he told her everything that had happened. I somehow slept through all of this. The next morning, my dad told me and my sisters what had happened and that Kikyou would be staying with us until arrangements were made for her with her grandparents in New York. During that time, Kikyou barely spoke, never saying more than two words at a time. She hardly ate, slept, or even moved. I tried to comfort her but before I could say anything, I always wimped out. After two weeks she was scheduled to fly out to New York. Just before she left though, she smiled … the same familiar smile. She spent the past 6 years living in New York but we still kept in contact. At first we would send each other a letter about every month but with the growing popularity of the internet we began to e-mail each other every week or so and even chatting on-line once in a while (it was hard considering we were in such different time zones)… At least that is until I got wrapped up in the whole soul society thing. Ichigo folded the letter back up and placed both it and the envelope into his pocket. He headed out of his room and back down the stairs. As he exited his house and headed over to where his sisters were standing around their father he could hear him say, “…And that is the story behind Kikyou Shishakaze.” Yuzu was the first of the two girls to start talking, “Oh, I see,” while Karin said, “Well that’s fine, but … YOU STILL COULD HAVE TOLD US BEFORE YOU STARTED DEMOLISHING OUR HOME!” and with that Karin took her backpack and used it to hit her father up-side the head. “I didn’t have time,” their father remarked, “after all she is arriving tomorrow.” “Tomorrow!” both Yuzu and Ichigo exclaimed. Karin conversely looked sceptical, “you mean to tell me that a professional lawyer sent you a letter that you are to become someone’s guardian and that she is suppose to living with you only the day before she arrives.” With this conjecture, both Ichigo’s and Yuzu’s expressions change to that of scepticisms matching Karin’s. “Well … they may have called me last week …” Isshin said admittedly. “AHHHGGG!” Karin yelled, “Your impossible dad!”
Construction on the new addition continued though the night. With all of the resulting noise, the Kuroskai children were barely able to get any sleep. The next morning, the three of them were dead on their feet but, to their amazement, their father was so energetic and upbeat that it seemed as though he had gotten one of the best sleeps of his life. “Must be the adrenalin,” Karin indifferently commented. “Well, look on the bright side,” said Yuzu, “at least now we can get some peace and quiet.” And at that moment, Yuzu, Karin and Ichigo we all extremely started by what sounded like the horn of a truck. “What the…?” cried Ichigo. “Ah that should be the furniture,” said his dad enthusiastically. Ichigo, looking at his father, said “Furnature?” “Yes,” he replied, “I decided to take some of the furniture from Kikyou’s old house from out of storage and to have it brought here so that it can be used in her room.” With that, Isshin left the table and headed out side so he could instruct the delivery people as to where to place the furniture. When he came inside, Karin asked, “Hey dad, where are we getting the money for all of this?” “Ah you don’t need to worry about that,” he reassured his daughter, “it’s all been taken care of.” Despite his intent, though, Karin was not reassured in the least and in fact was even more concerned than before. After about three hours, the movers left and about two hours after that, Ichigo and Isshin left to pick Kikyou up from the airport. They arrived half-an-hour before her plane was scheduled to land. In that time the pair decided to sit in the departure lounge and wait for her. Ichigo was quick to fall asleep, despite how hard and uncomfortable the seats were. 45 minutes had passed before Ichigo began to awake. As he slowly parted his eyelids he noticed a girl with platinum blond hair and blue-green eyes standing and inch from his face. “Good morning Ichi-tan,” the girl said in a cheerful voice. Ichigo in surprise, confusion, and exhausted state yelled, jumping up and falling backward over the seats and hitting his head on the hard, tile floor. The girl began to laugh. “Ha! I didn’t thing you would be that easily rattled,” remarked his father. Ichigo, sarcastically, replied, “Yah, yah, yah … nice to see you too Kikyou.”
With various suitcases and boxes in tow, Ichigo, Isshin, and Kikyou rode to the place that all three of them would now call home. Unloading the luggage from the taxi in front of the Kurosaki, Kikyou noticed a section at the top that didn’t seem to quite fit with the rest of the house. “Umm, that room up there, is it new? I don’t … remember it,” she commented. “Do you like it,” Isshin said in a prod manner, “cause that’s your new room!” “What!” Kikyou exclaimed, turning around on the spot to face him, “you mean to say you had this room build specifically for me!” “That’s right,” Isshin replied. “But you only found out last week,” she said panicking, “… so, so you’ve been working on it for only a week?” “Nope. Since yesterday,” he said with a broad smile across his face. “WHAT! Since Yesterday! Oh-no, you shouldn’t have! This is far too much! You shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble just for me!” He placed his hand on Kikyou’s shoulder, “You don’t have to worry, first of all I paid people to build this and I’m sure you can cover it, right…” he said winking. “Oh yes of course!” she said eagerly. “Wait a minute,” interjected Ichigo. During the entire conversation, Ichigo was listening while he helped the taxi driver unload all of the boxes and luggage. Up until now he figured that he would let the two of them sort it out, but at the last statement Ichigo decided to step in to make sure that his dad didn’t pressure Kikyou into anything. “What the hell are you talking about? You can’t seriously be making her pay for something that you did without telling her first” “It’s alright Ichigo,” she said trying to sooth him, “It’s not a problem for me.” “I know your grandparents were wealthy and probably left you with a lot, but shouldn’t you be saving that money for more important things than to indulge my dad’s insanity” “Oh it’s much more than that…” Isshin began before Kikyou interrupted by saying, “Just forget about it, alright. Come on, we still need to unload,” as she pushed Ichigo back towards the taxi.
- *This chapter is not quite complete yet, but hopefully soon!