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Aftermath

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Urahara rarely forgot things. Sometimes, he wished he could. To him, the idea of forgetting details was one that made no sense. The few times he did was usually due to massive injury or perhaps exposure to some chemical or another.

That meant he never forgot some of the choices he made in his life that were much more dubious than others.

Really, if it hadn’t been for Yoruichi finding him when she did, he’d probably have been quite the monster himself. She brought him to her home, and he grew up there with her and Tessai. That got him something that resembled a moral compass. It worked well enough, even if Urahara sometimes forgot what he should be acting like.

He was generally a calm person, and he tried to take into consideration people's feelings. Only partly because it made it easier to predict them. How and why people did things was half the fun of experimenting with them.

Though once he had ended up in the living world, things changed. He was here with an urge for vengeance and a group of people who desperately needed his help.

Nobody had needed him like that before.

It was what started the change, and as he grew into the person he was now, Urahara realized that there was something wrong with the way he acted before.

Sometimes, the images of what he had done in the past came back to him. He wondered if what he did was...not wrong. But excessive.

He was nowhere as bad as Mayuri, Urahara knew that. But, then, few people were. Even Aizen was not as bad as Mayuri in regards to his testing.

As he realized that what he did might not have been the best, Urahara could see some of them. His test subjects, the ideas he had worked out on them.

Especially when he worked at the Nest of Maggots. Plenty of test subjects there.

It ended up turning into a gnawing curl of guilt in his stomach. Something Urahara just accepted he was going to have to live with. Especially as he came up with more ideas on how to defeat Aizen. Even if it was for a good cause, he still saw how some of his tests turned out. Not all of them were pretty.

That didn’t stop him, and Urahara came up with plenty of ideas. Some more horrible than others.

Then, one of those idea’s forgave him.

When Ichigo had settled down next to him, after the Winter War, after the Fullbringers, after the Quincy, Urahara had not expected much. Just the pair of them recovering after the latest hard fight.

Urahara still couldn’t see. He had been told Orihime would get to him when she could. They were all fairly sure that she could repair his eyes, rejecting away the damage that had destroyed them. But there were plenty of others who needed healing that would not survive unless looked at immediately. He would survive without eyes for much longer than a person bleeding out somewhere.

That was for the future, though. After the really injured were healed. Urahara could wait for now, his senses sharp enough to compensate for the lack of sight. Right now, he felt Ichigo’s power as the teen sat next to him. Caught the scent of sweat, blood, and ozone that equaled Ichigo. The other was always getting himself into fights.

A warm weight leaned against his shoulder. “Urahara-san,” said a soft voice. Ichigo sounded tired, and Urahara shifted so the other could rest against him comfortably.

“Ah, Kurosaki-san. It sounds as if you are in one piece.”

“Better than you are.”

The younger man sounded aggravated. Urahara just chuckled. “Yes, I’m sure I am a sorry sight. But not for long.” He hoped, at least.

They were quiet for a moment, listening to the bustle of people around them. “You should stop trying to set me up with Orihime,” Ichigo said softly. “It gives people the wrong idea. Her, too.”

That was not what Urahara expected. “I’m...sorry?” he said after a moment.

A rub of a cheek against his shoulder. “Go to dinner with me sometime, Urahara-san?”

Urahara was silent for a minute. He felt Ichigo tense next to him.

“And don’t start any crap about you being too old or a bad person. You are both at times, but I like you when you act like the pervy shopkeeper you keep claiming to be.”

“Handsome, perverted shopkeeper,” he clarified automatically. That got him a laugh.

“Maybe with a shave, you’ll be doing better.” A sniff. “And a shower.” Ichigo leaned harder against Urahara. “You are a jerk. But you care enough to try to make all of us happy, even if you pretend otherwise.”

“I think you’d be better off,” Urahara started, unsure about the suddenness of all of this. Ichigo was also so very off about him. Urahara was horrible at trying to make anyone happy.

“-I- think,” Ichigo stressed. “That I can ask out who I want. You can say yes, or no. Just don’t use your past or your age as your reason.”

Well, what was he supposed to do in response to that. “I think it would be interesting to see how this goes,” Urahara said cheerfully. “Before your father kills me.”

“Goat-face can learn to suck it up,” Ichigo muttered. “You should be more concerned with what I want if we’re going to try going out.”

“I suppose I should.”

He was still a horrible person, with many stains on his hands. But maybe he wasn’t quite as bad as he used to be.