"Ichigo, look. Everything is white." Ichigo had looked from his homework, looking what has excited his hollow. And then he realized it is snowing.
"So it is that time of a year again." Ichigo allowed himself to gain a small smile on his face. He tried to go back to homework, but the hollow jumped on him.
"Ne, ne, Ichigo. What is that white thing, falling from the sky?"
"It is called snow, and if you let me finish my homework, we can get outside after that. It won't just disappear." He seemed satisfied by answer, and went back to observe the outside.
"I have finished." He stretched his arms, and looked back on the other.
"So, we are going now?" Ichigo just nodded and took some things from his closed.
"We would better get dressed warmly." He put a fabrics on the hollow's head, and thrown the bundle on him. The hollow just looked at it.
"This are gloves, and you put them like that." He shoved him, and continued with sweater and so on. After both of them being dressed, they left the room.
They came to the kitchen, seeing Karin sitting at the table. Then Ichigo looked around it, but was interrupted.
"Dad is not here, so you do not have to worry about hiding it." She turned around and looked at him. "Are you going out?"
"Yeah. He wanted to see, what snow is. Want to join?" She did not seemed like she cared, but Yuzu came from the kitchen.
"Can I came as well. It was such a long time since we had played in a snow. Just wait a second, so we can get ready." She left the kitchen in a hurry and Karin had followed her. Ichigo looked at him, now jumping from the excitement, hollow.
"I suppose, it does not snow inside my inner world." He shook his head, jumping around here.
"We are ready, Ichigo." Karin and Yuzu have came prepared, and they had left the house.
They were walking for a while, arguing to go to the park. The hollow had been amazed with the snow and had been playing with it for the whole road.
When coming to the park, there were not many people outside. Ichigo made a ball of snow and trow it at his hollow. He dodged it at looked at Ichigo.
"Why did you do that for?" But he was only looking innocently, not admitting anything.
"So a snow fight for a beginning?" With that words the Karin took a snow in her hand, hitting Ichigo. But he just grinned and went after her with even more snow balls.
"In snow fight, you are trying to hit a person by trowing a snow balls, and you are trying to not get hit by them." She then tried to trow some snow balls at Ichigo and Karin, but they all misted. The hollow smirked and thrown the really big snow ball at Ichigo. It took him by surprise, hitting him on the head. The for against one war had started.
After a while, only Ichigo and his Hollow were still at it. Karin and Yuzu were tired and were sitting on the ground. They also took it to a new level, even sonido was used to avoid getting hit.
Then Ichigo dodged a ball, and looked at his hollow, where he saw surprise. He turned around and saw Ishida, getting rid of his bow to clean snow from his face.
"Ishida, Inoue." Ichigo just stood there, his hollow joining him.
"Kurosaki, I knew you were weird, but to play with the hollow instead of destroying it, I did not expect that."
"I can explain..." He waived his hands, but did not know, where to start explaining.
"But why were they two Kurosakis?" Ishida took a closer look and realised that hollow looked like a really pale Kurosaki. The only seen difference was the colour of a hair and his eyes, being black with gold iris.
"Is it possible, that he is a long lost twin brother of Kurosaki, that died and become the hollow, but then because of a mystical device, he gained a heart and become a normal human?" All of them looked at her, perplex.
"Inoue, I think, that is not the case." Ishida did not know, how else to reply.
"It is Ichigo's inner hollow." Now the two youngest members of a Kurosaki household had came closer. "But do not tell anybody. It is hard enough hiding it from our idiot father as it is."
They only managed to nod.
"But, Kurosaki, would killing him right no get rid of him? So, why having a snow ball fight than killing him." Ichigo showed with his shoulders, that he doesn't really know.
"The more he is in the outside world, the more he just remind me of a small child, and I do nor like fighting children. In guess that is the reason." The grin had appeared on the face of a hollow, and he thrown another snow ball at them.
"Want to join?" Ishida did barley dodged the last one, and he did not believed, but he stated attacking the hollow with snow balls. He would have to work this out latter. It is probably only, that Kurosaki has too much influence over him. The boy in question had just sat down, glad he get a little time out. The went for quite a while, until both ob them patted, not wanting to give up. They both had a smirk on their face.
But at this moment, cero had came from the sky. With that the words of a visored was heard from the sky.
"What are you doing outside. You should have disappeared, Inner hollow of Ichigo."
Ishida and hollow both looked at the air, recognizing Hirako, Hiyori, Masshiro, Kensei and Lisa. Ishida had looked big for a moment.
"Hirako Shinji, what ..."
Ichigo looked at the air, seeing trouble. visored will not take lightly to his hollow being out, he knew that, but he did not expect to see them here. So he went, as quick as his normal body allowed him to stand in front of Ishida and Shiro.
And it was just in time, since Lisa's blade stopped only inches from him.
"No way, just listen first, you can always attack latter." Lisa eyes had narrowed.
"Ichigo, what is the meaning of that? Why are you standing in front of your hollow?"
"Maybe Berry is getting controlled by it?"
"More like, the stupid idiot does not even understand what he is doing." Kensei, who was the only one still quiet that time, just looked prepared to attack.
"I am not getting controlled by it, and I do understand what I am doing." He almost yelled the words at the visored on the sky, that was slowly coming down, and then looked at Lisa.
"Can you remove that sword, it looks dangerous."
They were standing like that for moments. She had put the sword away, but still looked at him suspiciously.
"Start explaining." The group of vizored had made Ichigo uncomfortable, and he scratched his head.
"Well, recently I had figured out, that my hollow did not disappear after a fight. Since I did not want to go through that again, I tried to talk to him." The looked at him, like the wanted to the the mental institution.
"Zangetsu thought it was a good idea as well." His voice was starting to get a little defensing. "So after spending some time inside my inner world with him, I realized he is not so bad. So Zangetsu get the idea, that he should spend some time in the outside world, to teach him self control."
"And are you positive, it..." Lisa tried to point on the hollow, but he was not there anymore. Ishida simply pointed on the right, where Yuzu and Inoue were teaching hollow how to make angels in the snow. The visored just gaped.
"That is a trick, isn't it?" Masshiro got bored with the conversation and went to join them, Kensei following her.
"It is not a trick, Hiyori." With that words he went to join them, seeing that Inoue just gained the idea, the others following them.
"So, Hirako, I you do not mind asking me, who are you?" Hirako turned to quincy, who did not even stop to ask a question.
"I guess you can say, we are the visored."
"So, can I assume that you are the one, that had thought Ichigo how to control his hollow powers?" The yelling he got from Hiyori in return told him the answer and much more.
"So Inoue, what are you so excited about?" Ichigo had came to the group, all talking with one another.
"Brother, we are making the tournament." He looked at her with the eyebrows raised, waiting to continued.
"We are making ice sculptures. The one that makes it the prettiest will win."
"And how are you planing to decide that? Any other rules?"
"Does it even matter. You are just afraid you are going to lose." Hiyori voice had been heard from behind Ichigo. "That one is my win." Ichigo just looked at here, sighing.
"You guy can do anything you want. On the any, we will all decide witch is the prettiest. You are not allowed to vote for your own. Let start."
"Ichigo, I have an idea for a sculpture." Ichigo turned to his hollow, but he looked unsure. He turned to him. "Let's hear it"
The hollow was whispering something in his ear, Ichigo's eyes went wider with every passing second.
"Are you sure, you want to do this?" The hollow nodded, waiting for a affirmative. "Aright, but you better be able to do it." The hollow jumped in the air and screamed from happiness.
"I am counting on you, Ichigo." Ichigo just dropped his head.
At the same time, Karin had talked with Yuzu, coming to the agreement to what to do. On the end, the decided on their work and started. Karin making the big ball of snow to them.
Kensei and Masshiro were arguing to what to do, until Kensei gave up, since Masshiro insistent on her idea. Kensei snicker a little of what kind of face Ichigo will make, seeing the end result. That was going to be fun.
Ishida had decided to make the sculpture himself. In was for the better, since he was using his arrows, to help him make the basic fell to it. Everybody just sweet dropped.
Lisa had said, it is not her type of thing, and she left, god know where.
Inoue and Hirako had been making some quiet noises, making a plan, how to do a best sculpture. Hiyori was angry, but since everybody had been doing something, she started, out of boredom, making a big ball of snow.
After about an hour or more, nobody really knew, since they lost a track of time. It was dark outside, but the park was illuminated by the lamps. They all looked at their works, most of them grinning, convinced into a victory. The came on the middle, where the contest had been announced.
"Well, and now the sightseeing of the works had began."
The first one they were seeing was the ice sculpture made by Inoue and Hirako. Everybody just wondered, what was that.
"Inoue, what exactly is that?" Everybody just looked at him, surprised he was be able to speak.
"Glad you asked, Ishida-kun. Well, Hirako wanted to make something on the theme of Godzilla, so then I got an idea, we made an future version of it. It has a motor based tank, it can go up to 200 km/h, and at the same time it can destroy building under it's feat. Then I also made it wear the rocket, that can destroy the city. It has six of them on the back. It also has the injection, filled with deadly poison. It is amazing, isn't it." Everybody sweet dropped. The scary part was, they could recognise the parts of it, when they were introduced to them. Then Ichigo felt the tug on his sleeve.
"So, witch one do you think it's stronger, the future Godzilla or the espada from the last time?"
"It is not real, Inoue and Shinji just made it from ice. We can not exactly figure it out, since it won't become real." After that, everybody make it to the next sculpture.
The next sculpture it was three people with the bow, that everybody assumed, they were quincy. So it become obvious, who's sculpture it was. Three people, an old guy, a kid and a middle aged guy, were standing on the battle field with broken swords.
"What do you think of it? It decrypts the battle between the quincy and the death gods, the victor quite obvious from it. I made sure, the sculptures were perfect."
"But I thought the point of ice sculptures was to be made from ice. And where the hell did you get all these clothing." Only at Karin's words, did everybody else realized, the three ice quincy were dressed in clouding.
"I made it. I thought it would suit them."
"And where did you get the fabrics to sew them? Where did you have the time?" The quincy just pushed up his glasses, "Are you underestimating me, Kurosaki." He just shook his head, hoping the next one would be better.
It was made by Hiyori, and she had a smirk on her face.
"What do you think of it?" The sculpture was a big slipper. It was roughly made, but unlike the future Godzilla, it was at least recognizable on the first look.
"What in the name of ..." Ichigo just stared at it, until he turned to Hiyori.
"You really like that sandals of yours, don't you?" She just smirked.
"It is all Shinji's fault." He sighed yet again, until he realized, Masshiro, his hollow, sisters and Inoue are using Hiyori sculpture as a slide. The smile appeared on his face.
"At least you sculpture was useful." They looked at them for a while, until the people in question got bored.
The moved on the next one, and just seeing it, Ichigo's forehead started twitching.
"How, who's idea was that?" Ichigo's sisters started laughing and nobody could hide a smile. Whoever made it, it have to be brave, to piss Ichigo like that. The sculpture was a mountain of strawberries. His hollow just looked confused.
"What is wrong with these sculpture?" Yuzu giggled as she explained.
"You had never seen strawberries in your life, right ?" The hollow nodded. "Well, the sculpture represent a mountain of them. It is a pun on Ichigo's name, that is why he is angry." He looked in in for a minute, and then wanted answers.
"So, Ichigo name means the one to protect, so he is trying to protect that think called strawberries?" At that everybody but the twin looking pair started laughing even more.
"It is not that." Ichigo really hoped he won't show his anger to his hollow, since he could still feel pain, remembering the last time. "The strawberry and the one to protect are the words, that sound the same, when is spoken language. Is it a pun." Hollow faces the sculpture again.
"I still prefer the original meaning of your name." He caught Ichigo by surprise and he cracked a smile.
"But who made it on the end?" They watched Ishida, since they did not think, somebody would just admitted it. Ichigo could be really scary, when angry.
"Me and Kensei did it." The green haired visored jumped in the air, being happy to admitted it.
"I suggest we get to the next sculpture, before I change my mind of not doing anything."
There were only two sculptures left. The next one was a teddy bear, that was kicking the ball. Inoue, Ishida nad Ichigo could not stop themselves from laughing this time.
"So, do you two know, what is supposed to be so funny on that sculpture." Yuzu just shook her head. Ichigo was still on the ground, his hollow next to him, but even he was smiling. There was a word 'Kon' heard in the mist of that.
"We just combined the Bostov and Karin's love for football. But I remember, that I could find sometimes Bostov in the brother's room. I wonder if it has any connection." The visored had enough.
"You you three please tell me, what is so funny?" They just shook their head, still smiling.
"So, then the last one is Ichigo's. I can wait to see his." At that moment the hollow's face get a grin.
"The design was my idea, so it might not be by Ichigo's standards." Since they knew, what Ichigo's inner hollow represent, the could not hide their smile.
The last sculpture looked like a building,, but it was turned sideways. On the top, or sideways of the building, there was a lake, but it was small. Around the lake, there was trees and there were animals around. You could see cats and dogs under the trees, and even the birds on the trees. They all just looked at the absurd of the picture. But fore some reason, there was a pole between the trees, and all looked like, they wanted the explanation. Ichigo just looked at it.
"Just trying to make a wish came true." He had a small smile painted on his lips. The visored looked from one to another, and them smiled, realizing what he meant.
"But, Kurosaki, why a pole?"
Ichigo looked at his hollow and then at Ishida. "For standing on a pole." Ishida looked unsatisfied with the answer, but did not push forward.
"It is really beautiful." Everybody nodded at Inoue's words. And then Yuzu coughed.
"We had probably stayed outside for too long. Why don't we get somewhere to get a hot cocoa?" The visoreds, Inoue and Ishida had excused themselves. So the only one left were the Kurosaki household.
The took the path through the city, amazing the hollow even more. He just looked at them, not believing how pretty it was, illuminated like that.. Karin and Yuzu even started to explain, how all of that worked and why they do it. The hollow listen intently, but at the same time, he did not want to miss anything. Since their father won't be coming back for days, Ichigo had promised him, to take him in the city to see lights tomorrow evening. Yuzu wanted to go with them, and they agreed. They had finally came to their house.
Ichigo immediately made their sisters take a bath, while he got changed and went to prepare hot coco. The hollow just looked at him.
"Can I help you with something?" Ichigo shook his head while taking four cups out of a drawer.
"It is ready already." He took the for cups, and placing them in the living room, his sisters just coming downstairs. They all sat in front of a TV, sipping their drink, and watching some weird movie. Ichigo could not even remember, what it was about. It was too lame to pay attention to it, so he just watched the passive face of Karin and the face of his hollow and Yuzu, watching it with interest. He smiled at himself, getting lost in thoughts.
About an hour latter, his sisters were already sleeping, and he tugged his hollow. After seeing their sleeping face, he helped him carried them to their room. After tucking them under the pillows, they had quietly made their way to Ichigo's room. Ichigo had thrown himself on top of a bed, and hollow sat on the chair by the table.
"Thank you." Ichigo looked at his white counterpart, but he was not looking at him.
"You are welcome, not like I did anything." The hollow shook his head, looking at Ichigo.
"You have given me a chance. I doubt most death gods would had let their inner hollow have such fun with them." Ichigo now turned to the wall.
"That is why, they prefer to hide inside their soul that to show themselves. Even you did not came willingly, but was forced by Urahara's training."
"I am glad it did. We might not have started on the right foot, but I am glad, it ended as it did."
"So, how did our plan worked?" Ichigo was a little skeptical, but the hollow laughed. Not on insane way, it was a pleasant sound after all.
"Zangetsu said, that no animals came, but the lake and the trees did. They are just frozen right now. But I am shore, even to that place, the snow and ice will eventually disappear."
"You mean the spring will come, right?" The hollow looked at him, wanting the answers, but Ichigo still did not looked at him.
"Spring is a next season, when the snow disappears, and all of the greenery came back to life. There are flowers everywhere. If we came through the winter war fine, I will show it to you. And make the same replica inside my inner world as well."
The hollow smiled and and started disintegrating. Ichigo could only heard 'It is a promise', before he disappeared from the room. Ichigo closed his eyes, trying to listen to his inner world. He still had trouble with that, but the happy feeling, that came from it, made him smile.