Disclaimer: Really? After all these years? You STILL think I think I own this? Well I don't think you think what I think you think I think...I think?

Que the music. For I have returned!...After two years...I think...I'M SO SORRY! I LOVE YOU ALL! ~cough. Here is the...12th chapter of "Lost Future" that I'm sure many of you have been waiting for.

Let's see if my writing is any better!


As they wandered down the labyrinth like hallways, Ichigo tried to create a mental map of where the hell he was going. Can anyone say lost cause? Everything looked the same. But then again, the Seireitei was pretty much the same way. Ichigo couldn't have counted how many times he went the wrong way and had to go back to the start of the path he was on.

But this place! There was nothing to make any of the hallways unique, other than the numbers above the doors. Evil. That would have to be the only word to describe whoever built the damn place.

"Where the hell are we!" Ichigo finally shouted out of frustration. He was so confused.

"..." was Kaien's reply.

"You don't have any clue, do you?"

"..."

"...Bastard."

The rest of the trip was silent and Ichigo didn't even try to guess how much time had passed. He wished that he could have practiced how much reiatsu he would release. He was either going to fail miserably or kill them all.

Eventually, they came to a hallway that actually had an end. Shocker. The door it lead to seemed normal enough. Brown, apparently wood, but as they got closer, Ichigo could see that a soft silver light was emanating from its surface.

"What the hell...?" Ichigo muttered.

"Ah..." Kaien grinned. "So you can see it."

Ichigo said nothing. He wasn't sure if that was a question or a statement. He wasn't really willing to ask and make a fool out of himself.

Ichigo went to knock on the door, but Kaien got to it first. But instead of knocking, he just walked right in. Ichigo hoped that whoever was inside would see that as completely impolite and stab him with something. Then, maybe, he wouldn't be as annoying and overprotective.

No such luck.

"Takashi-san. Shiba-sama," a young-ish looking woman greeted them. Afew other people were behind her, nodding to them. Ichigo was surprised that they gave such a high title to Kaien, but then remembered that the Shibas were of a noble family.

"So...how do you guys want to do this?" Kaien asked her, completely ignoring all semblance of formality that Ichigo would have been using if he'd been given a chance to talk.

The woman was completely unaffected by what Kaien said. "One at a time, Shiba-sama first, release all of the reiatsu you can. That's it."

Kaien nodded and motioned for Ichigo to move back. Ichigo did so, even knowing that the reiatsu that Kaien would be releasing wouldn't affect him too much.

Kaien focused raised as much energy as he could before letting it all loose at once. The officials that were in the room immediately fell to the ground gasping for breath. But that didn't surprise Ichigo at all. What did shock him was the fact that the seemingly wooden walls had completely absorbed all of the reiatsu that had been let loose and were now a shocking, glowing silver. Kaien looked unusually pleased with himself as he caught his breath.

He looked at Ichigo with a smirk and said, "Your turn, brat."

Ichigo glared at him, but said nothing.

Instead of following Kaien's example, Ichigo waited until the officials had regained their composure and were good and ready. They quickly wrote down something on their clipboards (most likely Kaien's results) and the walls returned to their normal shimmery brown state. They nodded at him, giving him the go-ahead to gather his reiatsu.

Ichigo was nervous. There was no way he was going to release all of his energy. He'd kill everyone, so he had to focus more than Kaien had. It probably looked like he was having problems. Kaien was giving him that concerned look again. He raised all of the energy he decided he'd need (which he felt wasn't much) and release it. The official and Kaien were thrown against the walls, which had turned a blinding pure white. Ichigo, being the caring person people rarely saw, ran over to the officials hoping that he hadn't killed them. Kaien did the same.

"Are you guys alright? I'm so sorry!" Ichigo felt guilty that he'd allowed so much energy to leave him.

"It's quite alright. No permanent damage was done," The woman told him, softening her tone when she saw how worried the teen was.

"I almost killed you!" Ichigo wasn't going to let it go.

"No, you didn't. This is a very special room. While the blast of energy did shock us quite a bit, the walls absorbed it long before it could do any lasting damage. This is the safest room in the entire school." She informed him with a small smile.

"Geez, kid. You've got quite a bit of power there," Kaien joked, still recovering from his shock. Ichigo was pained to see the bruise on his temple from hitting the wall. He decided not to comment on it.

Ichigo shrugged. Kaien frowned, realizing just how guilty he was feeling.

"Let's get back to class," Kaien suggested as the walls dimmed down again, albeit a little slower that when before. The officials seemed to be okay, even though they were now sporting obvious bruises. They wrote down Ichigo's results while Kaien dragged Ichigo out of the room.

"Not bad, kid. Not bad at all. Where are you hiding all that power? You're a twig!" Kaien seemed pretty happy about Ichigo's results, even if Ichigo didn't feel the same. He did, however, narrow his eyes at being called a twig. But then he remembered that Kaien had never seen him without a shirt and pushed the annoyance to the back of his mind.

Kaien looked at Ichigo when he didn't get a response. He frowned at the grimace on the teen's face. Was he really that worried about what he'd done?

Kaien surprised Ichigo when he said in a serious tone, "Don't worry so much. They should be used to a lot of reiatsu right now. Imagine what Hitsugaya did to them." Ichigo appreciated the joke, but he seriously doubted that Toushiro held back like he had. But he tried to stop brooding abit.

In no time at all, they were back at the classroom. It'd only been a half hour since they'd gone, but it'd felt like hours to Ichigo, but he blamed that on his bad mood.

As soon as Kaien opened the door, all eyes were on them. Ichigo chose to ignore the looks and go straight to his seat and take out paper.

"So? How'd it go?" Zuzuki-sensei asked them, seeming genuinely curious.

Kaien grinned at her and said, "Pretty good. I think I improved since last time."

She seemed happy about his results. Then she looked at Ichigo. He didn't look at her, instead choosing to focus on copying down the notes that were written on the board. "How about you, Takashi-kun?"

"Fine."

"Just fine?" she asked him, confused. Kaien sighed.

"He did a hell of a lot better than I did. He's just a bit upset. When he released his reiatsu, it sent everyone flying. I think he's got a bit of a hero complex," Kaien informed the teacher. He knew Ichigo was glaring at him, but he just found it funny.

Ichigo decided that ignoring them would be best, so he continued writing. Eventually, Zuzuki-sensei continued class, which he was grateful for. The rest of class was uneventful and when they were released, Ichigo was the first to leave, not even bothering to wait for Kaien.

He missed the concerned look Kaien shot him.


A/N: Shorter than I wanted, but I'm getting sleepy. I have school tomorrow and I can't afford to be too tired. I graduate on Thursday :)

I'll have the next chapter up soon. I promise. Feel free to annoy me as much as you want.