Chapter 16: Confrontations

As Ichigo was taking his walk, he noticed that he was once again being watched by prying eyes. These eyes being somewhat familiar to him. One was clearly captain class while the other three were lieutenant class. There was a woman as well. One that he had effected with his Yuwaku Shimasu in the past. What most people didn't know about Ichigo's powers that he did was that he could feel who he had used it on and has a perfect memory of their energy and form. Orenji had told him of how this particular skill would come in handy in the future, and he was right. That smug smile on his face was going to get on Ichigo's nerves in the future.

Ichigo did continue to walk on, trying to ignore the ones following him, but it was pretty hard to do when they just continued to persist. Eventually, Ichigo just stopped and turned around to where he knew where they were.

"Ya'll can come out now." Ichigo spoke up in an annoyed tone as he crossed his arms over his chest. To a certain orange haired lieutenant, she thought it was the cutest thing ever.

Speaking of which, said woman along with three familiar guys appeared right in front of Ichigo. He recognized the white haired boy from back then along with baldy and the weird guy he thought was a girl. He also remembered the woman and how he had affected her with his speed beforehand. He could feel her energy being mixed up, and saw how much she was rubbing her thighs without the others seeing it for now.

"I always wondered why Mila-Rose and Neliel sometimes did." Ichigo thought to himself, wishing that his young mind knew what these things meant. He shook his head of those thoughts and spoke to the group. "Why are ya'll following me? Don't you have more important things to worry about other than me?"

"A precaution." Toshiro answered with no emotion in his voice. He didn't like the boy, not one bit. Especially after what he did helping Aizen escape not too long ago.

"Well you can stop with your 'precaution'." Ichigo said while putting air quotes around the word. "I'm not helping either side in this war and really don't want to anyway." The boy pouted which caused Rangiku to blush a bit and look away quickly.

"Be that as it may kid." Ikkaku started, his sword arm twitching a bit in anticipation. "You're still in deep shit no matter what the end result of the war goes, so I wouldn't get too comfortable just yet boy."

"At least I have my hair baldy." Ichigo retorted back.

"What d'you say, brat!?" Ikkaku yelled out at the insult.

Ichigo stuck out his tongue in response to the bald soul reaper. This enticed a slight laugh from Rangiku who covered her mouth with her hand. Ikkaku got in Ichigo's face, which was hard to do since he had to bend down to do so, and they both stared each other down.

"Enough Ikkaku." Toshiro ordered the man. Ikkaku backed off, but saw the smug grin on Ichigo's face when he did. "Just know that we will be watching you regardless if you'll be an asset or an obstacle." Toshiro gave one last glare at the chibi and then turned to leave.

The others did the same, only Rangiku looked back to him with a face full of concern. Ichigo noticed the look she had on her and gave a reassuring smile to her. Rangiku sighed a bit and then quickly caught up with the others. Ichigo kept his smile as she ran off and then turned on his heels to continue his walk. Unfortunately for said chibi, Toshiro's words stuck to him. What would he do when the war gets to him and his family and friends? He would protect them, that was obvious, but would he fight for the soul society if he had to do that?

Twenty minutes later, Kurosaki house

Ichigo finally went back to his home and wasn't all that surprised when he saw that everyone inside was on edge at the new spirit energies appearing in the city. Of coarse Masaki went straight to her son knelt down to hug him, overjoyed that he was fine. After he explained to her and everyone else there that the new spirit energies were there to watch him and also be a first response to Aizen.

"So, what does that mean for us then?" Meiko asked with concern in her voice.

"I don't really know." Masaki spoke up. "But I have a horrible feeling that this war will come to us. And unfortunately, we'll have to fight it."

Ichigo sighed as he knew his mother was right. Both sides of this war saw him, his friends and family as a threat that would need to be put down at some point. What better time to do that than during a war. Ichigo knew that this wasn't going to end well for anyone here. The girls, Wonderweiss, Meiko and Keiji, Thomas, his family, they were all at risk here and he felt that it was his fault. The bald guy was right. Ichigo was the main reason Aizen escaped all that time ago. He really was in deep shit for that.

"Then if that's the case," Yuzu started, getting everyone's attention. "Then we'll just have to get ready for when that happens."

Karin, Masaki and Ichigo smiled at her optimism, even some of the others did. If this was going to be a war they were all gonna be dragged into, then they might as well prepare for it the best they can.

Kisuke's shop

Kisuke was fuming right now. After what he saw earlier with Yoruichi hugging that little brat, he went straight back to the shop to vent his anger in the training grounds. He didn't know what Ichigo had done to her, but he was hating every second of it. The frustrating part of it all was the fact that she was training harder than ever before and even had her zanpakuto back as well. How she had it back was a complete mystery to the former captain, but he had a very good idea it had to do with Ichigo and whatever his Yuwaku Shimasu did. Whatever it was or whatever it did was unlike anything he had ever seen before, and it irritated him to no end.

After he had successfully destroyed most of his own training grounds, Kisuke went back up to the shop to continue working on the defenses for the Winter War. He was also working on something to subdue the chibi that hadn't been cooperative through this whole thing. That was when Yoruichi came back drenched in sweat, hair down and untied, and breathing heavily.

"Yoruichi?" Tessai spoke to her as he went to the entrance to greet her. "Are you alright?"

Yoruichi slowed her breathing and nodded then walked past him to take a long and hot bath. Munraitokyatto had run her ragged today. Worked on her speed, her shikai, her zanjutsu, her fighting style, and even her Bankai. All in all, Yoruichi was dead on her feet, but very much pleased with the training. She had let herself go when it came to actually training, but now with the war and getting her zanpakuto back, she had her confidence back. Hell, she would even say she felt like her old self again.

Then next chapter will have a fight to it. Who will be against? You'll just have to wait and see.