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Word, XXX.
In light of the "XXX," I almost feel that I should make this inappropriate somehow. But a lot of what I write is already inappropriate, so I guess that's a bust. We'll see, though. I haven't written it yet; it might actually be benign.


:: surface

"Same old, same old," Isshin says. "Although I did get a kid last week who was convinced he had a broken ankle."

"So I'm assuming he didn't," Ichigo laughs softly. "Was he asking for a—"

"—A doctor's note?" Isshin snorts, but then his face settles. "No... Actually not. I'm not really sure why—it wasn't even a twisted ankle or a sprain."

"Huh. That's weird."

There's an awkward silence.

"Well... How's your internship going?"

"It's, um... It's good." Ichigo gestures at him. "'Same old, same old,' as you said. Really long hours, and I'm probably drinking way too much coffee, but I'm really enjoying the work.

"...I like helping people," Ichigo adds as an afterthought.

For an irrational second, he's tickled by regret at his addendum, worried that it'd sounded like he was taking a shot at Isshin (as if claims to philanthropy intrinsically offend former criminals).

Pretty unlikely, though. They're both in fairly good moods here.

"That's what I like about it, too," Isshin murmurs, volume almost beneath the very little environmental noise available (as if former criminals can't make claims to philanthropy).

The interaction sort of dead-ends again, because, on tacit agreement, they do not talk about details of his internship at the emergency psychiatric unit of Karakura General.

Just not good conversational hygiene—a fact tested and extremely true.

(Ichigo has made more than enough guilt-trips, on purpose or not.)

"The twins are fine," Ichigo offers, breaking the most recent silence and sparing Isshin the embarrassment of asking. "I haven't had to beat up Yuzu's boyfriend yet," he jokes.

"Ah." Isshin looks wistful.

Ichigo averts his eyes. (Thinking about Isshin's likely loneliness is kinda like thinking about famine in foreign countries.)

"I don't worry as much about Karin. She knows what she wants." He shrugs matter-of-factly.

"She always has," Isshin says—with an inward flinch as he remembers that there was a good half-decade where that wasn't exactly true.

Ichigo kindly lets it slide.

"—Well," Ichigo declares, slapping his knees and standing up. "Anyways, I think I gotta get going, but... It was nice talking to you."

"You too."


Some partially-related and some unrelated things: Can people say "Macintoshes"? Can you do that? Like, for Macintosh apples? My English-ear is shit-and-chips awful. Also, somewhere up there, I said "he's tickled by regret at his addendum." ...Had to totally guess what preposition to put before "his addendum." Is "at" okay? Or should it be "with"? "From"? "On"? "Due to"? No fucking clue. At first, I'd tried to avoid the mystery preposition altogether by rephrasing, but each time, the passage suffered violent death.

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Isshin/Ichigo interaction :D You've just made my morning. At first I thought this was set before the incident in chapter one, but then I quickly realized with the mentions of 'former criminal' and all that. I'm not sure of how long Isshin would have been in prison for, but Ichigo seems fine and now has a job so I'm guessing a good number of years - I don't know what the sentence is. Then again, it's a story :P

Hey, glad to have made a morning. (That's cool.)

I'd poked around the Interpol(?) site at some point, and I think the max penalty Isshin could've received under Japanese law would be seven years. In AGD, I think he serves six years. Maybe a demi-year of parole or something. Dunnae.

This probably takes place several years after Isshin is out of prison. I believe Ichigo's through undergrad—maybe a couple years into tertiary education, if he should be going to his internship through a institutional program. Mid- to late twenties.

Strangely enough, I think Ichigo's the only one who really talks to Isshin. I think Karin may have estranged herself, and I think Yuzu only talks to him maybe once or twice a year (she doesn't have the extra baggage that Karin has, but she certainly doesn't know what to say).

...A STORY INDEED. Hard to remember sometimes, lol. (A little easier in hiatus.)

I can't help but find it strange that Ichigo would go and talk to him at all. I know, it's been years here since the incident, and maybe its just my own personal perception, but I would think Ichigo would never speak to him again unless forced to by some life circumstance that was unavoidable. Maybe I'm just an unforgiving person, but I wouldn't. After what he did, there would be no relationship left. I know, Ishin is his father, but what he did killed that claim on 'had to' for me. This kind of incident, to me, is why people become estranged from family members. I just can't get my brain around why Ichigo would go and talk to him at all. I know people will say that Ichigo had to forgive him for his mental health and to move on, but to me, there's a big difference between letting hate and pain go, and social calls and reawakened friendship kind of relationships. Sorry... maybe I'm just a hate filled realist... lol. I would of guessed Ichigo would of been more of a 'get on with life and pretend Ishin never existed' kind of person, but I'm probably just pushing my own personal beliefs onto your characters.

Not personal belief-pushing—that's pretty on target for the majority of humanity.


It's mind-boggling, right?

What you described is probably what happens for most people in that situation. Hell, as I replied to pawpawpaku up above, Karin has probably estranged herself. Wants nothing to do with him. Bam. Relationship gone. No forgiveness.

But here Kubo made this fucking abnormally compassionate character—it's like, if Ichigo's not too busy reacting and being in the moment, he tries to understand everyone, even enemies. The thought "Why the hell would he even give his douchebag father the time of day?" is along the same lines of "Why the hell would he even try to understand Aizen?" Or, for that matter—his hollow. Or everyone else he was originally enemies with.

...I take it that Ichigo's at the far end of the empathy and honor bell curves, that son a bitch. He's nuts. No offense to him. I would have given these people the bird and LEFT, because it takes so much energy to have compassion for people who have betrayed you.

(But of course, even someone like him isn't immune to the trauma-related douche-ification; that's why the time period described in AGD is so fucking PAINFUL.)

Actually, I think you've got a pretty good feel that I'm very NOT a "sparkly, kiss-and-make-up" kind of person, what with the rest of AGD. I'm actually more like you in my thinking—do I think this is likely in real life social psychology? Ninety seven percent NO. But there is that extra three percent, and I think Kubo signed Ichigo up for a membership.

[Deleted what was here, because, why yes, I do take responsibility for my characterizations~! Don't want to convey otherwise.]

[ETA] And who knows. Maybe this is unrealistic, even with Ichigo's superhumanly compassionate personality. But I usually get a little ticker in the back of my mind that says something like "Fuck no, no way" when I start writing something 'out-of-bounds,' so to speak. And that didn't happen while I was writing this.

Maybe it's broken, by my BS detector is really persnickety. It'll pounce unapologetically, even when not entirely warranted—this is why I have a tag called "not sure i like this one." ///Hahaha...

[ETA #2] I wouldn't exactly characterize their relationship as a reawakened friendship. It's more like a... an awkward colleague kind of relationship (in which there's guilt and one-way pity, but a fair amount of civility when carefully managed). And I don't believe these are like... weekly meetings, or anything—it's more like once or twice every four-ish months.

Okay, I need to stop now. Despite all these new "clauses" being added onto this beast, hopefully I don't sound off-the-wall defensive.

Edited at 2012-10-01 03:29 am (UTC)

Re: Not personal belief-pushing—that's pretty on target for the majority of humanity.

I should start by saying that my comment was rather rude I think, now that I've re read it. SORRY! I just woke up and got online, opened the emails and read your story first up. Then mumbled out a response that came out far harsher than I wanted it to. I'm horribly rude when I'm half asleep apparently, so forgive me. I could of worded all of that so much better than I did.

You definately have a point about Ichigo. He is such an empathetic character, something I forget with all the crappy fiction I'm usually reading from the Bleach fandom. Keeping that in mind, this is really not unrealistic for him at all. He is the kind to try and understand by keeping some sort of commication going with Ishin, you are right.

And you didn't actually sound defensive at all... even though I deserved you to do so. lol I'm so sorry again for just blurting shit at you before and thank you for your patient response as I do now understand this piece and where it's coming from.

Hey, you're a really good person.

Oh no no no—there's no "deserve this, deserve that." Or apologies.

You just said what you thought at the time with what you had at your disposal. And I responded by saying what I thought at the time with what I had at my disposal.

No hard feelings. We're all cool here.

What I'd really loathe is for you to water down what you think on my account, half-asleep or not. And you're really in good company—there are many times when I am not the most sensitive and tactful person in the world. I'm really blunt in person (best intentions aside), and it's kind of a miracle more people don't have me-related blunt force trauma. lol

I just found this story, and I am absolutely hooked. It is SO gripping! However, I noticed that there are references here and there to chapter ten, second hospitalization, etc, but that chapter doesn't appear to have been posted. Are you still working on it? Again, just found this, so it's quite likely you've answered this question before. But wow, the writing is really well put together. The tone, the dynamics, the turn of phrase -- all very compelling. And the story itself is heartbreaking, and I do love some good Ichigo!whump!



There's this life thing that happens every so often, so really, I haven't touched this story since fall of last year... Great to see people have still been reading it during my general hiatus. (I do intend to come back to this at some point.)

My blog header/title is actually indicative of where I am in writing AGD. The number in parentheses adjacent to I do stuff occasionally, surprisingly enough, is not arbitrary—it's the Chapter In Progress. Furthermore, my general Kakashi icon with the HP-esque percentage bar has another surprisingly un-arbitrary number—Just How Much Progress. (And, when I change this icon, it pretty much changes recursively everywhere-ish.)

...No, I don't really expect that people would gather this on their own. It's obscure as hell. It's mostly there for me as a mini-reward system for getting my work done. Like, ooh, I just finished x amount of writing; aww yeah, I can go change my icon, now! But I guess it has utility for the reader, too. NOW YOU KNOW. (And I really oughta post this explanation someplace.)

In a similar fashion, I've also been super obscure about the second hospitalization. Although two snippets of it have been public (via the Word Series), it is mostly something slovenly that lives in my head and doesn't leave. It'll probably become a Second Hospitalization Arc, but that's jumping waaaay ahead, because the Until Tuesday Arc is a fucking monster, and there may be one or two "regular," widely anachronistic chapters sandwiched between them.

While it's not entirely set in stone that the second hospitalization will even take place, I think it's a likely route in order to realistically bridge the gap between the dynamics I've written, say, two-five years later and the dynamical shitfest of Sept. 2006. It's friggin' hard to fix a toxic dynamic from within the toxic dynamic; it's like being stranded on a boat and trying to drink saltwater to hydrate, or perhaps trying to figure out how to purify your own piss. Once Ichigo hits rock bottom enough to be self-aware of his bitterness and whatnot, he'll be able to recover some of his innate protectiveness and desire not to hurt others. And there we go—suddenly, self-correcting in an environment away from his severely damaged relationships makes some sense, you know?

Okay, I swear, I'll stop jabbering. But the important thing to know is something like... I'm more or less habitually vague because I am nearly as in the dark about what's going to happen as the reader. Think of my writing as artsy fartsy journalism. It's not like journalists plan the conflicts they write about. It's more like... investigation and recounting. They write about what happened or what's happening as it happens. Kubo already created these people who have personalities—they make their own conflicts without much of my help. The only thing I did was write the whumpy, rape-y premise (Chapter 1 & Chapter 2), and then the characters ran and took off with it, and the whole thing turned into a strangely humanistic piece that you'd think I would've planned, but... not especially.

Fuck, talking about this is bringing back some AGD mojo that I probably don't have time to have. Cool/SHIT!



What would be even better would be if every time you made progress on your icon, the sheet came down a little more from Kakashi's face, and we could eventually see what he actually looks like under there. :-) The best part of that scene was Naruto trying to surreptitiously sneak a peak under the sheet.
And hoo boy, do I understand the life thing. I've been working on a multichapter fic for six years now, and people keep popping up to remind me they love it and that I need to keep going, but it's so hard to pull good fiction from thin air. And then there's life that likes to interfere at every turn...

Also, I'm writing you a little one-shot based on one of your chapters, partly because I wanted to try the writing style, and partly because I wanted to see more of the scene. I'll post it on my journal and make it so only you can read it (if that's possible, and you'd have to be my FRIEND first...) Anyway, hopefully it will inspire you further rather than make you curl up in a little ball thinking "why? why she mess with my STORY???"

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