My Protector Chapter Six

"I don't think the Soul Society knows I'm here...yet" Rukia said out of the blue as she sat on the end of Ichigo's bed.

"What makes you say that?" Ichigo queried looking up from his homework.

"Well, we haven't seen anyone come looking for me" she stated.

"Why would they be looking for you? I thought you were exiled" he replied confused.

"To be exiled in the Soul Society isn't exactly as it sounds..." she met his eyes.

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"There is a special prison where people who have committed the most serious of crimes are placed into isolation. Some say it is worse than being executed." Rukia shuddered.

"So you're saying that you were meant to be put into this prison?!" Ichigo demanded angrily.

"I've been thinking it over and I've come to the conclusion that Nii-sama must have interfered in some way and smuggled me out. I don't know how he pulled the wool over their eyes, but I imagine they will find out I am missing soon enough..."

Ichigo mulled this over. If that were true Rukia was soon to be in serious danger. Again. Ichigo also knew that when they realised she was gone the first place they would look would be his house.

His thoughts were interrupted "Ichigo?" he looked into Rukia's deeply troubled eyes. "I need to get my Shinigami powers back" and Ichigo nodded. Ichigo knew there was only one person to see regarding this matter.

"Let's go see Urahara."

The two teens entered the Urahara Shoten filled with a sense of determination.

"Ah Kurosaki-san, Kuchiki-san. Welcome! I was expecting you sooner..." Urahara's expression changed from cheerful to serious.

"So you know what's happened then?" Ichigo asked.

"My boy, I know everything" Urahara stated.

"So then you know how I can get my Shinigami powers back?" Rukia asked.

Urahara hesitated. "There is a way but it is extremely risky.... You could die."

"It's a risk I'm willing to take" she said fiercely.

"Rukia maybe this isn't such a good idea, you don't have to risk your life, I'm here to protect you anyway-" Ichigo began but she cut him off.

"No Ichigo, you can't run around protecting me forever. What about your family? Your friends? School? Your life?!" she demanded. "I would rather die than have you lose everything you have for me. I've made my decision no matter the consequences. I will get my powers back." Rukia held his gaze in her fierce violet eyes. Ichigo stared back at her for a long time. He knew how stubborn she was and that her decision was final but he was somewhat hurt that she didn't think he could protect her forever. 'I will' he decided internally. 'I will protect her forever, even if it means going to hell and beyond' he swore in his head then added 'even if the short idiot thinks otherwise.'

"Fine" he said "there's no stopping you I suppose, I guess I'll just have to support your decision."

"Thankyou, Ichigo" she said softly.

"Very well then!" Urahara chimed in "if you would both please follow me."

Rukia and Ichigo followed Urahara down the enormous ladder to the underground cavern where Tessai, Ururu and Jinta were waiting.

"This process" Urahara explained "is somewhat similar to when you retrieved you Shinigami powers Kurosaki." At this statement Ichigo paled and shot a worried glance at Rukia who was standing calmly. "This is a bit experimental because Kuchiki-san is not really a human, however I have found a way in which to infuse your soul with that of a still living human" he produce a small pill from his pocket that was glowing slightly bluish silver. "This pill has absorbed a maximum amount of human energy".

"Where did you get this energy from?" Rukia asked curiously.

Urahara smirked "from Kurosaki-san of course, his reiatsu leaks all over the place and so does his human energy, it was the best source for this experiment."

"What?! Who said you could do that?!" Ichigo glowered only to be wacked in the face with a broom handle by Jinta.

"Shut up and listen" he said.

"Anyway," Urahara continued "you basically become part human, understand?" Rukia nodded. "Of course this is only the first step in regaining your Shinigami powers..."

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Ichigo asked Rukia.

"Yes" she replied steadily.

"Well let's begin" Urahara said. "Let me help you out of that Gigai" he smiled and poked Rukia's forehead with his walking stick. Rukia's Gigai fell to the ground and Urahara handed Rukia the pill. Ururu presented Rukia with a glass of water so that Rukia could swallow it. Rukia accepted the glass took a deep breath and popped the pill in her mouth and washed it down.

"What happens now?" Ichigo asked.

"We wait, I'm not sure how long it will take as I have never done this before" Urahara explained.

"That's reassuring" Ichigo muttered.

The moment Rukia had swallowed the pill her body had started tingling. Subtly at first but gradually intensifying until it felt like high voltage electricity was coursing through her body and tearing up her insides. Her vision went and couldn't hear Ichigo call out to her when she collapsed. She wanted to scream but couldn't all she could do was feel her insides being torn up violently by these electric shocks. It was like being electrocuted over and over, like lightning zapping her a thousand times a second. She couldn't think all she could do was feel the electricity frying the very fibre of her being.

Ichigo had caught Rukia as she fell and examined her unconscious form.

"Is she alright?" he asked Urahara.

"Well she's not dead" he replied simply.

Suddenly Ichigo was flung back by an electric shock emitted from Rukia's body. "What the-?!" He stopped short as Rukia's began to glow in a bluish-silver light. The light grew consistently stronger until he was blinded and could no longer look directly at it. Then it disappeared completely and he heard Rukia gasp as she regained consciousness.

"Rukia!" Ichigo scrambled over to her and was shocked to see a broken chain hanging from her chest.

"C-can't breathe" Rukia gasped looking up at him frantically.

"It's okay Rukia, just calm down a bit" Ichigo said as he helped her up.

"Of course you'd have trouble breathing, now that you a normal Konpaku" Urahara stated "but you must overcome that because we do not have much time" he said looking at the chain on her chest. "Ururu, you're up."

"Yes" the small girl said. She bowed towards Rukia "nice working with you."

"Now Kuchiki-san please fight with her, and make it quick we really have less time than expected. The fight will end when either one of you can no longer move" Urahara said.

"What? But-!" Rukia jumped backwards as Ururu launched a powerful kick at her, smashing the ground her foot came into contact with. Rukia had no time to ask any questions as Ururu steadily attacked her throwing an assortment of punches and kicks. Ichigo stared at the familiar scene a little weirded out by what was happening and uncomfortable that Rukia was on the receiving end of possibly life-ending power attacks.

Rukia knew that if one of these attacks connected full force it would be over for her. As she was evading the attacks she realised that she was faster than Ururu, the girl was powerful but not as speedy. 'Here's my chance!'As Ururu approached aiming another punch Rukia quickly ducked under it and knocked the girl's legs out from under her with a low sweeping kick. Rukia did not expect the girl to retaliate so quickly and her eyes widened in shock as she saw a punch go directly for her head. She was knocked off her feet not by the punch but by a different force. Ichigo had pushed her out of the way and was now lying on top of her. Rukia looked up and saw that Urahara had intercepted Ururu's punch. She turned her attention back to Ichigo who had put his hands on the ground either side of her head and had partially lifted himself of her. Though they didn't realise it, from everyone else's perspective they were in a very awkward position.

"That was close..." Ichigo breathed relieved. His face was hovering not too far from Rukia's.

She stared up into his relieved face "ah... thanks for that" she then laughed and Ichigo laughed too. Their eyes met for a moment.

"Ahem! "Cough! Cough!" Urahara interrupted and they both realised the position they were in and scrambled apart. "Stage two is now complete; let the final stage begin..."

To Be Continued.....

A/N: If you like, please review...