Fanfic: A Protectors Pride
A Protector's Pride
is a Bleach Fan Fic
The premise: Ichigo decides to handle his inner hollow like every other problem he faces: fighting it head on instead of running away. Things quickly snowball from a seemingly minor change.
This fic contains examples of the following tropes, in addition to those already present in the source material:
- Action Girl: Unlike canon, Orihime takes a far more active role in defending Karakura.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Ichigo begs for Yamamoto's help after his mother is kidnapped.
- Apologetic Attacker: Some of the togabito will ask their opponent to surrender and apologize for what they ave to do before fighting.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Zangetsu asks Ichigo one when he fears becoming a monster if he embraces his inner hollow.
Zangetsu: "What makes a person a monster?"
- While Momo tries to defend Aizen's actions, Unohana stalls her with this:
Unohana: "If it had been anyone else, say, Kurotsuchi-taicho who had done such things, would you have argued against killing him for treason?
Unohana: "Perhaps, but do the ends justify the means. Where is the limit, Hinamori-chan? Thousands of people? Millions? Billions? How many until it's worth it?
Momo: (falters and quietly whispers) I...I don't know.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: How hollows determine who's in charge.
- The Atoner: Many (if not most) souls in Hell.
- Awful Truth: Hell's zanpakuto forces a person to face the "devastating, unadulterated truth" about themselves.
- Quincy arrows don't erase souls from existence. They send people to Hell.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Ichigo being able to use his hollow's zanpakuto in Shikai is noted as increasing his attack power but decreasing his agility and preventing him from casting kido. In Bankai, however, it compounds the normal effect.
- Dual Wielding both swords during Bankai counts. Twice the power and twice the speed is negated by the damage done to Ichigo's body and him not really used to fighting while Dual Wielding.
- Back from the Dead: Zommari and Grimmjow have both come back as Togabito.
- Badass Boast: Orihime of all people gets one.
Orihime: "This is my power. You may be able to rot away flesh, bone and sinew. You may be able to decompose earth and metal and even dissipate reiatsu. But my technique is based on none of those, nothing but the eternal force of my will to protect! This is my power, Baraggan, Lord of Hueco Mundo! This power that intrudes on Kami's territory! The power to reject and reshape reality! And I reject you and your power! Tsubaki! Koten Zanshun! I reject!"
- Yamamoto gives a brilliant one to Hell.
Yamamoto: "Allow me to tell you exactly whom you are dealing with. My name is Yamamoto Genryusai Shigekuni. I have lived for millennia, in times of war and in times of peace. I have made damning mistakes. I have won impossible victories. I have committed terrible atrocities, ordered and led utter genocide, not once, not twice, but thrice in the name of world balance, in the name of sanity, in the name of the human soul. I am he who conquered Soul Society and united the strongest under my rule! I am he who fought and survived the First Quincy, Yhwach, one thousand years ago, destroying his powers! I have had one thousand years since then to increase my powers, Hell! Now taste the ever-burning flame of my soul! Bankai! Zanka no Tachi. Now... can the fires of Hell compare to me?"
- Batman Gambit: Hell fully expected Zen'i would try to convince Ichigo to reabsorb him. Then Ichigo would be vulnerable to Hell's chains again and made into a general in Hell's army.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ichigo has this to say when looking at Hiyori and Shinji's relationship.
Ichigo: (to Rose) "You know, it sounds like there's a lot of repressed sexual tension between them. Maybe that's why they fight – hoping for some good make-up sex?"
Ichigo: "So quick to deny and you reacted so well in unison. It's like you're in tune with each other. Is anyone else here seeing what I am?"
Lisa: (giggles) "Hey Shinji. You wanna borrow my manga? Might give you some ideas."
Shinji: "No! I'm not into little whiny brats like her!"
Hiyori: "Says the man who makes faces when he knows he's lost a verbal war!"
"Definitely an old married couple
. They know each other way too well, push each other's buttons too easily. If they really hated each other, one of them would have killed the other by now. It's been over a hundred years of living together, for crying out loud. Betcha anything they don't act like that with other people normally."
Rose: "He's got a point."
Love: "What? You only get that pissed off at Shinji, and we all know Shinji does those antics just to get a rise out of you."
- Shinji later turns this back on Ichigo, suggesting he has this situation with Rukia.
- Big Damn Heroes: Gin prevents Soifon from killing Momo.
- Blood Knight: Cazador (Ichigo's inner hollow) of course. He insists Ichigo is as well.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Momo.
- Breaking Speech: Zen'i gives Ichigo one about how for all his power and experience, he has no idea how what to do if he's not fighting.
- Brought Down to Badass: After sealing away a significant portion of his power, Ichigo can still bring captains to their knees.
- Brutal Honesty: When Karin starts developing powers of her own, Kon explicitly tells her that if she tries to fight in the current crisis, she will die. Not might die, will die.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Ichigo and Ishida point out to Orihime that the only reason the Gotei 13 hasn't done anything to them before, is that there was the threat of Aizen to worry about and they needed the help.
- Way earlier in the fic, Hitsugaya accuses Ichigo of distrusting the Gotei 13. Ichigo retorts that if Aizen wasn't the bigger threat, The Gotei 13 would be coming after him and his friends.
Ichigo: "Soul Society might tolerate me long enough to put Aizen down, but guess who'd be next? Especially since I'm just a human being living here. Soul Society might tolerate the existence of a human who could defeat some of their best Shinigami, since we humans live a short time anyway. But a human who could defeat some of their best Shinigami and then have the additional power to push him beyond Taicho (captain) level? They'd assassinate me!
- Chain Pain: While not used as weapons, Ichigo has been shown to have an affinity for chains. To the point that all of his binding kido appear as chains.
- Similarly, Hell's minions can use their chains as weapons or shields.
- Color-Coded Armies: Uryuu makes not of the canon red (Shinigami) and white (ordinary humans and quincies) colorations of spirit ribbons, he also mentions that Hollows appear black and Togabito appear purple.
- Combat Pragmatist: When Orihime is kidnapped, Ichigo makes another deal with Cazador (they fight for control a week early and if Cazador wins, Ichigo won't challenge him again). Unlike their previous fights, Ichigo refuses to banter and immediately goes for the kill.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Zommari's over-reliance on his Amor comes back to bite him when Uryuu uses Gritz to entrap him in stone walls too far away for him to punch then shoots him before he can charge a cero.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Kido Corps are charged with creating a kido to deal with Hell. Their possible solution is so dangerous that they plan to destroy all records of it after it's used along with making the underlying principles forbidden to anyone but the Kido Corps captain.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Cazador and Zen'i are merely parts of Ichigo's soul.
- Deader than Dead: The blue desert in the fourth layer of Hell is made of Togabito that have died permanently or have been killed by Hell (who can also revive them from this state) Shuren was on the receiving end of the latter and has not been revived as of yet.
- Deal with the Devil: Ichigo handles his Hollow by making a deal to fight for control every two weeks with the loser helping the winner until their next fight.
- Also the source of the Quincies powers.
- Death by Adaptation: Grimmjow
- Despair Event Horizon: Aizen of all people seems to go through this shortly before his death.
- According to Ulquiorra, this is the secret to unlocking Segunda Etapa.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Orihime kills Barragan by rejecting his existence.
- Enemy Mine: While not necessarily enemies, Soifon and Ichigo can't stand each other on principle. However, they understand the need to cooperate until the current crisis is over.
- Epic Flail: Ichigo learns to use Zangetsu as one by throwing it while holding onto the cloth/chain.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: After Chad asks Urahara a few questions they realize that Hell has been sending Togabito specifically to be defeated so the reishi left behind would eventually merge the living world and hell.
- Face Death with Dignity: Barragan after seeing that his struggling is pointless, congratulates Orihime for killing him.
- Friendly Enemy: It's theorized that this was Aizen's end goal with Ichigo.
Ichigo: "I believe that what he wanted above all else, was a companion who would stand with him at the top. Maybe he felt that after a century or two, our battles to the death would evolve into rivalry, and then perhaps into a friendship of equals, because who else could we turn to?Touch is such a huge part of human affection. Can you imagine not being able to receive even a simple pat on the shoulder? To play around with your friends? Can you imagine complete physical isolation? To Aizen and I, our evolutions kept us from doing that to any save each other. To us, it would be such an enormous gift to be able to actually touch one another, be it in combat or in friendship. It would be a sign that we are not alone. That was why Aizen made the deal to leave Karakura alone. He didn't want to alienate me completely, I don't think."
- Likewise Zen'i.
- Ichigo and his hollow Cazador. They playfully banter when they fight.
- Heel-Face Turn: Ulquiorra, Harribel, Starrk and Lillynette change loyalties to Ichigo. Tousen and Amagai return their loyalties to Soul Society after realizing they were misguided in turning against it.
- Heroic Neutral: Post-Aizen, Ichigo wants to be this. The machinations of multiple factions prevent it though.
- Honor Before Reason: Averted. Ichigo decides that protecting others is more important than his honor or his pride.
- I Gave My Word: Subverted. Ichigo agrees to let Aizen go in exchange for sparing Karakura, but then decides that stopping him is more important than keeping his word.
- I Have Your Mother: How Aizen tries to force Ichigo's compliance. It ends how you'd expect.
- Ignore the Fanservice: Unlike canon, Ichigo is not remotely interested in Rangiku's attempts to let her stay at his place. He even notes that while she could probably give him the night of his life, 1) he's way too tired from training to be interested and 2) he's the son and occasionally assistant of a doctor. She doesn't have anything he hasn't seen before.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Ichigo and friend's excuses when they have to deal with spiritual matters.
- Becomes something of a Brick Joke with his teacher, who comes to believe that Ichigo and Chad are off dealing with an escalating personal war against the criminal underworld of Karakura. So far she believes that Chad was kidnapped and held hostage for days, that Ichigo spent days rescuing him and extracting retribution, and that he was later shot and put into a coma in retaliation for this,all to cover up his increasing absences.
- Instant Expert: Uryuu figures out the basis of firing arrows one-handed after a single fight with his father.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Ichigo is not amused that it's always up to him to save the world.
- Leave Me Alone: Ichigo really wishes the Gotei would.
- Logical Weakness: Zommari needs direct line of sight to use his Amor, can't control inherently immobile objects, and is immobile in resurrecion. So Uryuu puts a barrier between them then shoots Zommari through it.
- Later, Toshiro realizes that Barragan's time dilation field won't work against Tier's water attacks.
- Lonely at the Top: Ichigo believes this is why Aizen manipulated his life to make him as strong as possible.
- Loophole Abuse: Ichigo isn't allowed to attack Seireitei nobles for sending his mother to hell. Byakuya however can hire Ichigo to investigate said noble family.
- Magnetic Hero: Ichigo. Makes Yamamoto very suspicious of Ichigo since he has a Quincy, a human with hollow powers, a girl with Reality Warper powers, the Vizard, Urahara, Yoruichi, Tessai, Ulquoirra, Harribel, Stark, and Lillynette willing to fight for him.
Yamamoto: (thinking) "Is Kurosaki trying to build an army?"
- Marshmallow Hell: While talking to Matsumoto and Rukia, Renji says something that prompts Rukia to Dope Slap him. Unfortunately/Fortunately Rukia applies a bit too much force and Renji stumbles forward head first into (a very amused) Matsumoto who has her chest confidently puffed out at the time.
- Mundane Solution: To keep the Central 46 of Ichigo's back, Kyoraku hands the Central 46, the task of designing and implementing a justice system for every district in Rukongai (all 360 districts) with the justification being that they'll fix the problems that made Aizen want to change Soul Society through any means.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Soifon thinks that Ichigo becoming a captain would insure that he's loyal to Seireitei but Momo's fear of Ichigo prevents it. Her solution: kill Momo; though she doesn't succeed.
- Earlier when she's worried about Ichigo turning on Seireitei, Soifon starts planning way to narrow the gap in their power levels so she could kill him.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ichigo and the other Vaizards kill so many Kushināda that they accidentally revive Hell.
- No Endor Holocaust: Justified given that before Karakura was put to sleep, Ryuuken announced both on the radio and on television that a "contagion would put everyone to sleep for a few hours" and warned everyone to get to a safe place. Squad 4 members were brought in to both heal anyone who was injured anyway, and keep an eye on hospital patients.
- No Hugging, No Kissing: The author has made it very clear that there will be no pairings.
- No Sell: Uryuu's Ransotengai allows him to completely negate Zommari's Amor.
- Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: Unlike his friends, Chad doesn't even try inventing an explanation for why he's running out in the middle of class. He just asks if the teacher really wants to know.
- Not Me This Time: Soifon may be the loudest proponent of acting pre-emptively to prevent Ichigo becoming a threat to Soul Society, but she's not the one who is holding his mother hostage. Her past actions make it very easy to frame her, though.
- Not So Different: Byakuya say this about Ichigo and Yamamoto despite their dislike of each other. Both will fight viciously for their beliefs, goals and True Companions. Byakuya however notes that this must hurt Yamamoto more since Ichigo might remind him of his younger self but years of compromise and dealing with the (corrupt and xenophobic) Central 46 made him Lawful Stupid whereas Ichigo didn't cave in despite Yamamoto acting like a Obstructive Bureaucrat to him.
- Likewise, Ichigo realizes this about both Cazador and Zen'i
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Yamamoto is this to Ichigo and causes the very thing he wished to avoid: reviving Hell and causing a new war.
- Person of Mass Destruction: In Ichigo's words, he doesn't have to beat Yamamoto do destroy Soul Society. A fight between the two of them would accomplish that just fine.
- Poor Communication Kills: Yamamoto's refusal to tell Ichigo why he won't help him break into Hell to rescue his mother and sisters results in Ichigo gathering allies and doing it anyways, without realizing that killing many Kushināda in close succession may result in reviving Hell.
- As in canon, Amagai is working to kill Yamamoto for killing his father because Yamamoto never explained that they had been investigating the Kasumiōji clan against Central 46 orders and he'd been forced to Mercy Kill him when he'd been taken over by a Bakkōtō. Luckily, Yamamoto unknowingly tries to recruit Amagai for the exact same mission as his father and the truth comes out on both sides before things can get any worse.
- Rape as Drama: Played with. Aizen makes Hinamori think Ichigo threatened to keep Aizen's head as a trophy and rape her in front of it daily.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Chad is not happy when he finds out his grandfather has been tortured.
- Ichigo threatens this when Seireitei nobles kidnap his mother.
- Ichigo when Aizen reveals he had Ichigo's mother killed to push him to get stronger.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Ulquiorra leaves as soon as he decides that Ichigo will defeat him and thus has a chance against Aizen.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: As it turns out Hell is both a dimension and the name of it's ruler that was sealed away there.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Ichigo. His dad tells him to unwind after "The Winter War" saying he's only 15 or he might go insane. He proves his point by pointing Ichigo's posture is always in a defensive stance.
- Spanner in the Works: Kenpachi almost ruins Unohana's attempts to keep Ichigo from becoming a captain when they decide to fight.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Gin, Tousen, Ulquiorra, Harribel, Starrk and Lilynette.
- Stating the Simple Solution: Uryuu regains his powers after Ichigo wonders if Orihime could reject him ever losing them.
- When Retsu is worrying about how to keep Ichigo from becoming a captain, Gin suggests simply asking him to decline.
- Stealth Mentor: Zen'i seems to be one.
- Take Care Of My Sisters: Kon explains to Karin that when Ichigo rescued Rukia from Soul Society, he was trusting Kon to take care of her and Yuzu if he died.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Averted. Uryuu snipes Harribel's fraccion while they argue.
- The Tease: Nelliel.
Nelliel: (After Ichigo binds her with reiatsu chains) "I've got no problem with it, but people are going to wonder about you if you keep chaining me up in public."
- Title Drop: "My life's purpose has been to protect. I have thrown away a protector's pride. My humanity compels me."
- To the Pain: Chad's description of what he'll do to the thugs that tortured his grandfather.
- Took a Level in Badass: Everyone.
- Tranquil Fury: Often the only way to tell Ichigo is thoroughly pissed is his reiatsu driving captain class fighters to their knees.
- True Sight: Karin develops this ability.
- The Unfettered: Zen'i will do anything to protect those he cares about.
- Warrior Therapist: Ichigo uses a shinigami's ability to read each others hearts through their zanpakutou to convince Hinamori he's not a threat to her.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ichigo thinks Aizen might have been one before developing a god complex.
- Wham Line: Zen'i was Ichigo's desire to protect.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Yamamoto calls out Ichigo for trying to go to Hell to save the soul of his mother and sisters saying he's placing three people over the safety of the world.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: Ichigo learns different methods of using Getsuga Tenshou. Namely, spinning Zangetsu by its cloth to increase it's charge or by not unleashing it and instead throwing Zangetsu to increase it's penetrating power.
- Worf Had The Flu: When Ichigo beats Renji's bankai using just his shikai, he quickly learns that as they're in the living world Renji is wearing his limiter (which seals away 80% of his power)
- Worthy Opponent: Barragan refers to Orihime, who killed him, as a fellow Kami, making her the only person in existence he respects as an equal.
- Xanatos Gambit: Hell sending Togabito to Karakura turns out to be this. If they kill the defenders, he can more easily invade. If they don't, the reishi left behind will eventually let him merge hell and the living world.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: Though Ichigo kills him after rather than before, during his first fight with Cazador, Ichigo claims his hollow's zanpakutou as his own.
- Later, Ichigo becomes the king of Hueco Mundo after killing Aizen. He then has to fight a lot of Hollows to prove his strength so other contenders won't attack him in the human world and cause a lot of collateral damage while trying to become king themselves