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Author Topic: Friends Never Say Goodbye (ATLA/BLEACH AU) Rated T CH.3 Up  (Read 821 times)
ThePeacefulGuru
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« on: Jan 16, 2016 03:44 pm »

Summary:Aang and Rukia met when they were both very young and became best friends, now that the war is finally over they've been reunited once more by Aang's role in an attempt to rebuild the honor of the fire nation. But when Zuko accidentally releases a murderer along with the war prisoners he puts Rukia's life, his friendship with Aang, and the future of the fire nation (possibly the world) at risk. Can they still find a way to work together and fix his mistake before everything they've fought for gets ripped to pieces?



Authors Notes: This crossover/fusion takes place in the Avatar World just after the War with the Fire Nation although it does jump around in time and show scenes from Aang's past as well as the past of one of his best friends from the Old Days just after he disappeared. I will post updates once a week. I hope you all enjoy.




                                                                    Chapter 1: The Simple Act of Kindness


Hanging Dog (a poor and tiny village in the southern part of the Fire Nation)
108 years and 6 months ago

Rukia was six years old the day she met him. She had lived in the small village of Hanging Dog for three years at that point, ever since her older brother had abandoned her and left her to starve as a lonely orphan on the streets after their sister’s untimely death.

Her brother had probably expected her to die there… to succumb to hunger and the elements like so many of Hanging Dog’s disturbingly high population of homeless orphans… Still, somehow, though she was just a little girl, she had managed to survive. She’d found food and shelter wherever and whenever she could, some of the kinder adults would occasionally leave trays of food out for the children and she always made sure that she got her hands on at least one.

She didn’t keep all that food for herself though, she shared it, but only with the kids who were even littler than she was. When she had to she fought the bullies who hoarded them and then she would share the spoils out equally with everyone else, this way, they all survived…

The last six months though, had been even more difficult than usual. The weather the previous year had been uncharacteristically harsh and the harvest had failed miserably, which meant that for once even the adults and the children who had families were starving too.  Because of that, there hadn’t been any trays left out for a while… and as a result of that, she and all the other street children had begun to starve once more.

Rukia’s resolve was starting to weaken, she was so hungry that she hadn’t been able to feel how hungry she actually was for weeks now. The longer she had gone without food, the more her body had adjusted to not expecting food. Yet her body had been deprived for too long and she was quickly realizing that water wasn’t enough to keep her alive after all. It was gradually getting harder and harder for her to find the strength to move, much less firebend. She knew just how badly she needed food but she it was becoming increasingly obvious that she was in no condition to fight for it.

So there she was, sitting in the fetal position on the hard dusty ground, against the stone fence that surrounded the property across the dirt street from the abandoned house she’d decided to make her home. Her dark violet yukata, her only garment, was dirty, thin, and ragged-looking. It was torn across the bottom, and the seam that attached her sleeve was popping out. She shivered as a cold burst of wind left over from winter ran right through her, chilling her tiny, emaciated body down to the bone. At this rate, she wasn’t going to last much longer. The thing was though, that she didn’t actually care anymore…

Elsewhere in Hanging Dog, an elderly man in orange robes was traveling with a small child. They had stopped at a local shop to buy food. Just like every other building in this town, the shop was a mess of old, splintered, weathered boards and cracked plaster… the dead trees outside and the dust from the dirt road didn’t help things any. The village itself seemed to be crying out for help.

As the boy peered out the shop door at the unmistakable suffering going on in front of him he was totally overwhelmed by it. Why were these people so poor and hungry? Why was almost everyone wearing thin and tattered clothing not fit for the cold weather outside? More importantly, how in the world could he somehow help them? He was just a little kid but he felt compelled to do something… anything to make someone’s life a little less hard and lonely…

This so consumed the child’s thoughts that he didn’t really even realize it when his elderly guardian leaned down to give the boy his lunch.

“Aang…are you listening to me?” The old man asked kindly.

“Oh, Monk Gyatso… yeah…I was listening…I just… this place seems so different from everywhere else we visit. Everyone here seems so sad, I want to help them but… I don’t know how…” he admitted.

“You will find that the greatest help can come from the smallest deeds... Perhaps if you explore a bit more, you will find a way…” He replied to his young pupil, handing the boy a loaf of bread. “Now, go on and play…”

“OK…” The little boy replied happily. Then he ran off to explore the village. It wasn’t long after that, that he spotted her for the very first time. There she was, a little girl probably not much older than he was, sitting by the side of the road. He saw that she was incredibly thin and there was a sad, worn out look in her dark blue eyes. Her black hair was dull and stringy. For reasons neither of them understood until much later, more than anyone else in that entire village… she was the one who screamed the loudest as she cried out for help, without saying a single word. So he went over and sat down beside her.

At first, she didn’t acknowledge that he was there… he thought for a second and decided what to do. “Here…” he told her, holding the bread out in front of her. “I want you to have this…” he offered. “Take it…”

“No thank you…” she replied.

Aang was bewildered, it didn’t look like this girl had eaten a decent meal in a very long time, so why on earth would she refuse? Then he saw the look in her eyes… it had changed from a look of despair to the look of someone who was holding back. She wanted the bread, but something in her wouldn’t allow her to accept it. Maybe she didn’t like the thought of taking charity, maybe she thought he was only offering out of pity instead of real kindness, or maybe she just didn’t want to rob a kid who was even younger and smaller than she was of his lunch…  either way… this was going to be a little harder than he’d first thought.

“What if we shared it?” He asked, ripping the loaf into two equal halves and handing her one.

Her eyes lit up immediately with a mix of joy and surprise. It was then that she finally looked at him directly. “You…you’d really share your lunch with me?!” she asked in shock.

“Of course…why wouldn’t I?” he asked.

“Nobody around here would ever do that, not that I’ve met anyway…” she explained, taking a bite of the bread.

Once Aang was sure that she was really going to eat it, he started chowing down on his portion as well.

“You’re not from around here, are you Kid?” she asked.

“Nope…” he replied.

“Well then what in the world are you doing here? We don’t get many visitors in this town and I can’t think of a single reason why anybody would ever wanna come here…” she told him.

“My guardian, he’s kinda like my father, brought me here because he came to visit his friend who lives here…” Aang explained. Then he stood up and took just one step away from her. “I’m Aang, what’s your name?” he asked.

“My name is Rukia…” she replied.

“Well Rukia, do you wanna play?” he asked happily.

“Sure…” she said with the first genuine smile to cross her face in a long time.
« Last Edit: Feb 20, 2016 05:15 am by Icy_Ashford » Logged

"The heart of the fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart" - Ben Franklin
ThePeacefulGuru
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 23, 2016 07:53 pm »

I promised weekly updates so here's chapter 2. This is really more of a gateway chapter but it's needed

Chapter 2:  MIA or Dead?

 

Katakura Town (not far from the Fire Nation Capital)

1 week before the Day of Black Sun (approximately 8 months ago)

 

Renji and Ichigo were standing at the bottom of a grassy hill, it was right at sunset and they just stood there in their matching black kimonos staring out at the crystal blue water of the river in front of them. They had decided to come in their Shinigami forms so that most passers by wouldn’t be able to see or hear them. Which was a good thing, since neither one of them exactly blended into a crowd very well, Ichigo’s bright orange hair and Renji’s massive red ponytail tended to draw the attention of whoever was nearby. People who saw them for the first time always stared. This way that wasn’t likely to cause any trouble, afterall, this conversation involved some…sensitive…information. They couldn’t afford to be overheard. The two old friends were silent and didn’t look at each other. Ichigo knew that Renji had asked to meet here for a reason and he also had a pretty good guess as to what that was. There was only one topic he could possibly want to talk about that would require that they meet in Shinigami form so they wouldn’t be heard or seen. Finally, after a few more minutes, he got tired of waiting for Renji to speak.

“Would you just spit it out already? I know what you want to ask me…” He blurted out.

“Is…is Rukia alright? I mean…she’s seemed pretty distant the last couple of days…” Renji asked worriedly. “I’ve asked her about it but I didn’t have any luck, seeing as how she seems to be more open than with you than she is with me I thought you might know what’s going on with her…” he admitted.

“I thought that might be it… anyway… the truth is that she felt his spiritual pressure again… and she didn’t want to tell you because…” Ichigo stopped mid-sentence, Renji could be kind of a hot head, and he wasn't sure how to say it without making him defensive.

“Because why?” Renji demanded.

So much for not making him defensive… Ichigo thought. When is he gonna figure out that he brings this on himself? If he’d just have shut up while he was ahead she wouldn’t be keeping it from him, but no, he had to open his big mouth and make a jackass fool of himself. Now I’m stuck playing the middle man…

“Probably because she’s a little tired of being told that she’s crazy…” Ichigo snapped.

“I don’t think she’s crazy… I think her heart and mind want so desperately for him to be alive that she’s sensing a presence that isn’t there… I mean… you were there, she felt him leave, his spiritual pressure was extinguished and it was enough to make Rukia double over in pain and collapse… they announced his death the minute the prince and the princess got home…” Renji told him, remembering what happened.

“I know that… and it was right around then, a few weeks after his supposed death, that Rukia picked up on his spiritual pressure for the first time since that day…” Ichigo reminded him.

“Because the grief she was feeling recreated it, it was her mind trying to protect itself from what we all wish wasn’t true…” Renji proposed.

“Maybe not… what if it’s true? What if he is alive out there someplace?” Ichigo wondered out loud.

“What in the world makes you think that’s a possibility?” Renji asked, giving him a confused look.

“What if he was injured badly enough that his spiritual pressure was undetectable but still survived the attack?”

“Normally I’d say you could be right, but I don’t think that explains Rukia’s violent physical reaction, his spiritual pressure would have had to have been extinguished for that… Don’t you think?”

“Probably, but the truth is that lately I’ve begun to sense him too… and it’s getting stronger, which if we knew for sure he was alive would mean he was getting closer, heading toward us. Rukia picked up on it first partly because they were so tight in the old days and because his spiritual pressure is actually pretty similar to hers…”

“Or there’s another explanation to all this, maybe his soul is lingering instead of going to the soul society and he’s hanging around near us for some reason…” Renji proposed.

“I asked Kisuke about that… he told me that it wasn’t possible, that because he’s the avatar, he’d be reborn immediately and never enter the Soul Society. Plus, if that were true wouldn’t someone have been dispatched to perform a konso on him?” Ichigo asked.

“Probably, a Hallow with spiritual pressure as strong as Aang’s could do a lot of damage, someone probably would’ve been sent out immediately to ensure that didn’t happen…” Renji conceded. “The fact is that she’s not going to make her peace with this until we find out what actually happened and whether he’s alive or dead…”

“I know that…” Ichigo replied. “Either way, something tells me that we’ll get our answer soon…”

“I hope so, this is tearing her apart… who knows? Maybe she’s picking up on his successor without realizing it’s a different person…” Renji theorized.

“Kisuke also said that there’s no way that she’d be sensing the next avatar either, because while the strength of the spiritual pressure comes from his being the avatar, its exact signature is determined by the soul of the individual…”

“Well that rules that out of the realm of possibilities…”

“Yeah…it does…” Ichigo agreed.

“So what do we do? Renji asked.

“Easy, we be there for her… whether Aang’s alive or dead, Rukia’s gonna need us more than ever. If he’s dead, we have to show her that it still doesn’t mean that she’s alone again. If he’s alive, she’ll want to go after him the first chance she has once we have concrete proof, when that day comes we need to support her… but the one thing we can’t do… is try to force or rush her into accepting his death anymore. Not until we know for sure that he’s really gone. There’s no point in torturing her over nothing.”
« Last Edit: Jan 24, 2016 03:04 am by ThePeacefulGuru » Logged

"The heart of the fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart" - Ben Franklin
dogsbody
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #2 on: Feb 19, 2016 10:29 am »

Aah aang is so cute! You wrote him really well, what a sweetheart.

((I love the name 'Hanging Dog', by the way. very cool  Cool))

I'd almost forgotten how much I love Bleach, thanks for reminding me. The good thing about Bleach is that the canon is so shaky there's a lot of wiggle-room, which is why I love reading fanfiction about it. It's really interesting that Rukia interacted with Aang while she was still alive, that's really cool and not a lot of fanfiction does that.

I'm really glad you made this a fusion crossover rather than a traditional crossover. It'd be really fun to see how soul eaters would affect a world already so folkloric. Can hollows be seen in this world, or are they just spirits? Either way, awesome.

I may be wrong, but I doubt many other people on this forum have seen Bleach. Idk. It'd be a real shame if this good a story didn't get the love it deserves. Maybe stick it up on http://archiveofourown.org/ ? you'll probably reach a lot more bleach/atla fans.
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ThePeacefulGuru
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« Reply #3 on: Feb 20, 2016 03:28 am »

Chapter 3: For the Honor of a Nation

The Fire Nation Capital
4 Months Post-War (approximately 6 weeks ago)

Four months had passed since Aang had defeated Fire Lord Ozai and he, Katara, Sokka, and Toph, along with Suki and the rest of the Kyoshi warriors, had spent the majority of that time trying to help the Earth King restore order to his kingdom. However, Aang had received and urgent message from Zuko summoning him back to the Fire Nation Capital on the grounds that he needed his help for something very important. However, since they weren’t even close to done stabilizing the territory that the Earth Kingdom had either retained or gotten back in the final months of the war, he had left the others to continue things there and gone to the fire nation alone.

As he flew toward the capital city, he noticed that several of the cities closest to it were surrounded by walls reminiscent of the walls surrounding Ba Sing Se which hadn’t been there before.

Huh, I wonder what that’s about… He thought to himself.

He noticed without even looking very hard, that one of the newly walled cities below him was Katakura Town, which had been his main stomping grounds as far as the Fire Nation was concerned back in the Old Days. All except one of his many friends in the Fire Nation had lived there when the war started. Flying over it without stopping felt odd, instinct and habit compelled him to land there but he resisted and kept flying. That wasn’t his destination this time, and besides, even looking at the place from above filled him with mixed emotions. He had absolutely no idea what had become of the friends he’d known there and besides, even if some or all of them were still alive, he was pretty sure they would be angry with him for the way he’d disappeared a hundred years previously. He hated all the pain, fear, and worry he knew he must have caused them. He would return there one day soon, perhaps before he left again to rejoin the others in the Earth Kingdom, and when that day came he’d try his best to make things right if possible, but right now there were more pressing matters at hand. Zuko wouldn’t have asked him to come without a really good reason.

He and Appa landed just in front of the palace gates. Though the area had nearly been burnt to the ground in the fire duel between Zuko and his sister, the former princess Azula, now it was completely rebuilt, a few scorch marks on the stone-laden streets and a few of the more durable buildings were the only evidence left that anything had even happened there.

The palace was a huge V-shaped building with tall towers on its three points, a paved courtyad with a fountain out front and a large gate protecting it. It wasn’t long before a man Aang had never seen before who wore long, bright red robes and a pointed red hat came out and opened the gate, beckoning Aang in as he did so.

“Come… Fire Lord Zuko is expecting you…” the robed man told him as he led Aang to the thrown room.

“Thanks…” Aang replied, as he the robed man came to the end of the palace’s main hallway, it was enormous with a huge ceiling that must have been three stories high, with columns flanking the rock way and a long red, gold-trimmed carpet covering black, volcanic stone tiles so as to create a walkway leading visitors to the the massive and ornate double doors at the end of the hall.
The man nodded in acknowledgment of Aang’s thanks but still didn’t speak, he removed a single wall tile from beside the doors and firebent into the lock. As soon as he had done this, the doors opened.

Aang took a few steps inside and found Zuko sitting on his thrown at the head of the room reading a scroll he held in front of him. As soon as Zuko heard the doors swing closed again, he looked up from what he was reading.

“Hi Aang, glad you’re here. Thanks for coming…” he told him.

“You’re welcome, now what was it you wanted to see me about?” Aang asked.

Zuko got down from his throws and walked over to where Aang was standing. “Before the war started, did you know about something called ‘The Executive Advisory Council’?” he asked.

“Sort of…not really, Fire Lord Sozin disbanded it even before I was born… why what exactly was it?”

“The Executive Advisory Council, or just the Advisory Council was a group made up mostly by the heads of high ranking noble families but also academics and diplomats, although from what I’ve gathered there seems to have been a lot of overlap back in the day… their purpose was to make sure that the needs of the citizens came before any given Fire Lord’s personal ambitions. In particular they had the power to prevent war. It used to require a majority vote from the advisory council in order to mobilize the armed forces outside of the Fire Nation. It’s easy to see why my great-grandfather got rid of them, but I think it’s time we put the council back in place.” Zuko explained.

“So you want to reassemble it?” Aang asked.

“If I can… I’m working hard to repair the damage my people have done to the world in the last hundred years and to restore the nation’s honor, but this is going to take a long, long time… probably longer than I’ll be on the thrown or even alive. Rebuilding the council will prevent future fire lords from leading us back down the path of unjustified and unprovoked war. Not to mention, it wouldn’t hurt to have some insight from people who actually know what they’re talking about. The noble families have limited regional domains in which they have almost complete control. The highest two clans only answer to me, but more importantly they also currently have the Earth Kingdom Colonies under their control. They would know what’s going on there better than I would and might have ideas about what to do with them.”

“I gotta say Zuko, this is definitely one of your better ideas; but where do I fit in?” Aang asked.

“The specific families who would hold council seats if it existed right now, have quite a few reasons to hate the royal family and diplomacy isn’t really my strong suit… I was hoping you’d help me talk to them and get them to understand what I’m trying to do…” Zuko explained.

“Ok, I can do that…who specifically do we need to talk to?”

“The current heads of all the noble families who currently manage territories that include earth kingdom colonies. I’d suggest we start in Katakura town by talking to the head of the Kuchiki clan.” Zuko proposed.

At his friend’s words Aang’s eyes went wide and his jaw dropped in surprise.

“What is it?” Zuko asked.

“Did you just say the Kuchiki clan?” Aang asked.

“Yeah… although currently there’s only one Kuchiki left, actually you might have heard of her since Lady Kuchiki has been the head, and only surviving member of her family for over a hundred years…why? Oh wait, you have heard of her haven’t you?” Zuko asked.

Only one member of the Kuchiki clan left, the same one for over a hundred years… could it be? Was that even possible? If what Zuko was saying was really accurate, then of course he’d heard of her… it’d be kind of impossible to not know anything about your best friend on the planet…

“Yeah I’ve heard of her… if what you’re saying is true than I actually knew her back in the old days…” Aang told him.

“Was she a friend of yours or something?” he asked.

“Yeah…one of the best friends I’ve ever had…”

“That’s fantastic, that means that with you helping me she’s bound to listen to what we have to say!” Zuko exclaimed with a big, excited smile on his face. That was a rare sight indeed.

“I don’t really know about that Zuko, after all… it’s been over a hundred years since I’ve seen or heard from her… a lot can change in all that time…” Aang replied sullenly. He left it at that, and luckily Zuko didn’t press the issue just then.
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"The heart of the fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart" - Ben Franklin
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