Part One: Nightmare

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One month after the battle over Karakura Town not much had changed in the Kurosaki household; besides Ichigo often waking up with two other bedmates despite each having their own bed and futon. That morning was slightly different than the new norm.
Ichigo blearily open his eyes as his alarm trilled loudly at him. His right arm swatted the annoying machine into the wall of his closet causing Rukia to throw...how had she found his strawberry stamped boxers?!...his supposed to be burned boxers at his face. Ichigo swallowed a groan of dismay, swatting apparent fire proof underwear away from him. This morning could not get any worse. Ichigo inwardly moaned. Think again, King. Hichigo oh-so-helpfully threw in with a sadistic chuckle that rang through his head.
How could it get worse? He questioned the hollow in his head. His only response being a second, deeper chuckle. Looks like someone wasn't a morning person. Or happy they didn't get control. Again.
A movement at his side drew his attention. Instantly coffee brown eyes locked on golden locks of his second bed-and roommate-she had rolled over to lay curled against his left side, boxers lay against the joint.
In an instant he went through memories of last night, trying to remember if the blond had gone to bed with clothes on. Sometimes the teen forgot to wear them or she chose not to; either or with Lucy. Most of the time, though, she went to sleep-on her own futon-with them on only to take them off before she climbed into bed with him an hour later. They had gotten bored after the war with Aizen so they timed Lucy for a whole week, without fail the blond had climbed into his bed an hour later. All done while asleep of course.
After scanning his memory-last night she had been clothed in his old shirt and boxers-he sighed at having to wake her. It was a weekday morning, he had school at eight. Unfortunately Lucy still carried the Natsu and Grey effect; she ate and slept like Natsu, stripped like Grey. Which meant she was impossible to wake up unless presented with one of her two vices; salt and vinegar chips soaked in habanero hot sauce or a strawberry shake.
Since he had neither on hand-half his pay check went to stocking up on chips and sauce-he had to shake her awake. What a drag. He set to waking the stubborn blond.
Lucy stood in front of Jackal, Aquarius clutched between her hands tears streaming down her face as she glared at the cheetah faced demon. Her top lip lifted in a snarl, she was going to murder that man for his hand in her sacrifice of Aquarius. Nothing could or would stop her from getting her pound of flesh. She could almost taste his blood in her mouth.
Suddenly Lucy reached for a skull shaped key on her ring. Wordlessly forming the keys summoning. Unlike her other keys gates this one shone a navy blue around her body.
Once the glow faded Lucy was clad in a white hakama and too small jacket, the same clothes loaned off of Ulquiorra in Hueco Mundo. Her face felt hot as she exhaled, the breath leaving in a hiss. That was the only clue she needed to know she was hollowified. Her hand moved to clasp the hilt of her zanpaktou, drawing Akuma from his sheath. Once the blade was out she activated her-Mukai's-bankai.
Her jacket slowly closed over her breasts, coming together at the zip. Her zanpaktou gained some width, shortening to a broad wakizashi with a gold and navy tsukamaki trailing into a yellow ribbon dangling from the pommel. Akuma was hers to use, no doubt about that.
The look on Jackal's face brought a cruel smirk to Lucy's own; he didn't expect the useless, spineless crybaby celestial mage of Fairy Tail to present herself in such a way. In fact Jackal's legs almost buckled underneath him, her presence was so immense he could barely breath; it felt like there was a two hundred pound cement block on his chest. Sweat dribbled down his body, soon breaking out in cold sweat. He was scared.
No he was terrified, Lucy could practically smell his terror; the scent had her smiling with glee, she raised Akuma ready to end Jackals life. She flash stepped behind him, blade lunging forward-tip almost piercing-
Lucy jolted upright, a warm hand resting upon her shoulder; her soul reaper training kicking in Lucy brought her hand to the one invading her person. With one motion the invader sprawled across her lap her spare palm pressed against the persons jugular.
Lucy,still stuck in the throes of her dream-nightmare her mind supplies her-added pressure to her palm while the other dances along the bed trying to find a blade she had hidden amongst Ichigo's mattress. Ichigo didn't know about it though he definitely slept on it.
Once finding the blade-a broken blade from one of Isshin's old razors-curled her fingers around it, blood dripping from where unprotected blade met skin. Not today Jackal.
While Lucy was lost in her thoughts Ichigo began to panic, he could hardly breathe. Unknowingly her hand had tightened until he was practically hyperventilating. He tried to lift his arms but didn't want to hurt the blond so he tried calling her name.
"...Lu...cy..." He wheezed. Damn the girl had a strong grip! Nothing changed. He tried again only louder this time.
"...Lu!...Cy!..."
No, Jackal, I won't let you take anything or anyone else away from me! Her hand brought the blade into her captives line of sight. Now her victim moved in earnest.
The door to the closet slammed open-finally! Ichigo's oxygen deprived mind called out-Rukia thundered out after hearing Ichigo's rather weak words. Her violet eyes took in her friend predicament, Lucy's palm closed around his throat and small blade in the blonds free hand.
In less than a second Rukia was beside Ichigo throwing herself at the blond in an effort to relieve Ichigo from the pressure. The instant all pressure was alleviated from his throat the carrot top bolted away from his bed to gasp precious lungfuls of air, slightly sputtering.
Over on the bed Rukia had managed to disarm Lucy, her forearm placed over the blonds throat, cutting off her air supply. Lucy's mouth opened in a silent gasp, her hands enclosing around Rukia's arm. Why am I still not strong enough to beat him?! Am I still so weak on my own?!
"Lucy!" Ichigo called once he had caught his breath. "Lucy, snap out of it! It's just a dream! It's not real!" If only Ichigo knew how real it was to Lucy.
Slowly Lucy became conscious of her surroundings m, Jackal was in a completely different universe, also dead, than her. There was no literal way for him to be brought back much less to Karakura.
Rukia lifted her arm once clarity had returned to Lucy's chocolate eyes. Lucy sat up in the bed, her back braces against the headboard m. Ichigo moves to sit on the edge while Rukia perched in the middle.
"What was the dream about Lucy?" Ichigo's normally gruff tone-not unlike Grey's own-was uncharacteristically gentle-as if he didn't want to startle her. Lucy didn't understand why until she remembered choking Jackal and saw faint already fading-inner hollows and soul reapers had accelerated healing-bruises around Ichigo's neck. Her head turned towards his window;ashamed. No wonder he was being so gentle.
She didn't know how to feel about Ichigo treated her like Natsu at his most deadly. Definitely prideful and horrified; she was never strong enough to fear I'm like three quarters of her team, she also didn't want to be treated like a loose cannon, quite a conundrum if you ask her. She turned her focus to Ichigo's question an away from her thoughts.
"To me he wasn't a dream, he is-was-as real as Ulquiorra. He was one of the strongest opponents I have ever faced on my own, he was a handful for even Natsu. He was a demon with curse magic, anything that touched him would explode, and he could send out explosives. He was how I ended up in Karakura Town because of the sacrifice I made to save my friends.
"In the dream I had activated my hollowification and bankai, I could smell his fear and it spurred me on. I was prepared-anxious-to kill him. Is that normal?" Frankly her actions in the dream frightened her. Why did she act that way?

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