Chapter 7: Training day

Yuzu was worried. Really worried. More worried than she ever been in fact. It had all started two days ago when brother and several of his friends had come home after school.

Rukia was with brother of course. Black was hardly unexpected, since he been visiting a lot since Monday. But when Chad, Orihime, Tatsuki and Uryū had all come in behind them, Yuzu knew something was afoot and knew that something bad. She waited till only brother was still downstairs.

"Ichi-nii, what wrong?" she asked in as sweet and none worried sounding tone as she could, trying not to worry brother more than necessary. He looked down at her with a thoughtful look before speaking.

"Yuzu, I want you to understand something important before I tell you what wrong" he said in a soft tone. "I got to fight, because other people can't and because if I didn't, I wouldn't be me."

Yuzu gulped slightly, but nodded. She knew he meant every word he was saying and any amount of Yuzu pleading with him to stay out of things was a waste of time.

"Today a Bewilder attacked my class." he said in the same soft tone. "A mage who specialises in magic that messes with perceptions and gets inside peoples heads. She nearly killed Rukia and Black and I don't think Chad will be sleeping very well tonight. The thing is Yuzu that she was using magic at a much higher level than Black-san, which means she's easily an Archmage. Which means it going to be up to me and my friends to bring her down."

Yuzu looked at her brother and sighed deeply.

"Just remember to come back Ichi-nii." She said. He nodded in replied and went upstairs to plan with his friends. Yuzu felt her stomach knot up.

Now it was Saturday and it was her twin who was going to war, or training for war to be more precise.

"Right, I be best in my football training gear you think?" Karin asked Yuzu as she looked hastily looked through her wardrobe.

"Doesn't brother normally wear a black kimono?" Yuzu asked.

"Note the lack of one in my wardrobe …dam it!" Karin yelled as she heard a knock on the door from downstairs. "That be Captain Hitsugaya! Yuzu go down and greet him while I get dressed, offer him a drink or something to buy me time!"

With that Yuzu rushed downstairs, went to the front door and opened it

She was suddenly very painfully aware that she was still in her pyjamas, the one with the pink bunnies on.

"Is Karin up yet?" The boy asked. He was really cool with spiky light grey hair and eyes that remind her of glaciers.

"You ok?" he asked her in tone that was so reassuring. Yuzu felt herself blush as she realised that she must have been staring at him.

"Y… yes!" She managed stammered out.

"I'm Captain Hitsugaya Tōshirō by the way" he said while looking so cool, but Yuzu found his words so hard to believe.

"But you look only a bit older than me!" she blurted out. Tōshirō sighed.

"Look I know I'm short, but trust me when I say I'm older than I look." He said seriously. "Much, much older. I mean consider Kuchiki Rukia and me. Both of us are in three digits and she's only older than me by a decade or two and you have no issues with calling her Captain would you?

Something very important clicked in Yuzu head.

"Ichi-nii dating a woman older than dad!" she yelled with alarm. Tōshirō blinked.

"You only just realised this haven't you?" Tōshirō remarked. Yuzu softly nodded. "Don't worry, your brother dating Kuchiki-san is hardly like him dating a middle aged woman or anything. Kuchiki Rukia is basically a teenager, one with a lot of emotional baggage admittedly…"

Yuzu stared at him a while, he was so wise! She then realised that she not introduced herself.

"My name Kurosaki Yuzu by the way Captain Hitsugaya!" she blurted out. Tōshirō smiled slightly in a dignified manner.

"Much more polite than your brother, he's always calling me Tōshirō…." He said with a mutter.

"Well Ichi-nii like that you find Captain Hitsugaya." Said Karin calmly as she walked down the stairs "terrible at talking to people, much better at taking action. He's your typical knuckleheaded type hero basically."

"Good to see your ready Kurosaki-san" he said in a dignified manner in contrast to her more semi serous tones.

"Just call me Karin or I might start calling you Tōs-chan" she said with a smirk. "You called me by my name before and with the number of Kurosaki's about it could get confusing if you just use Kurosaki-san."

Yuzu stared at her sister, what game was she playing? Had she forgot that this wasn't just some random guy, but was a Shinigami Captain!

"Oh have it your way then." He said with slightly annoyed look. "But you best be willing to train hard enough to earn it… Karin."

And with that he turned around, Karin followed him, followed him in her quest to become a warrior. Yuzu's stomach knotted up once again.

Karin followed Tōshirō into the old woods; they walked in silence for ages.

"You know of anyone who comes here at all Karin?" he finally asked as they worked the way truly deep into the woods.

"Actually no one comes here, because they say it haunted." She replied as they finally came to a stop.

"Well it certainly will be this afternoon Karin. "He said with a slight smirk as he pulled out a glove with a skull like symbol on it. "We need privacy for training; last thing I want is some random passably to find your body on the ground with no vital signs"

"What you mean no vital signs?" she said in alarm, just before he punched her in the head.

Then as she fell out her own body, she saw it fall into Tōshirō's arms. He then gently put it down by a tree, a little bit out the way.

"Ha ha, very funny." Karin said sarcastically as picked herself of the floor. She looked down at herself and noticed she was still in the same cloths, but in addition there was a chain on her chest that went all the way to well, her other chest.

"That you're Chain of Fate by the way." Tōshirō said as her followed her eyes. "As long as it remains in one piece you can return to your body. If it breaks, one of two things will happen. Either you will corrupt into a Hallow within three days or you will find the power within yourself to become a Shinigami."

Karin gulped as she thought about it. Suddenly she understood why Ichigo had reacted the way he did, Shinigami or Hallow within three days, in seventy two hours she could be a monster!

"So you going to cut it and wait three days to see if I can pull it off?" She asked him somewhat nervously. Tōshirō laughed.

"You're getting way ahead of yourself Karin." He said while smirking somewhat. "While certain people might decide to use hastily and stupidly dangerous methods to become Shinigami, I don't. First I will train you and teach you, so when I do finally bring Hyōrinmaru down on your chain; you will be capable of becoming a Shinigami with ease."

"Right, despite the fact I'm most certainly going to be having nightmares of turning into a monster now, I really do think it time we started training". She said with her hands on her hips.

"Ok let starts with something simple, could you do ten sit-ups for me Karin?" he said in serous tones. Karin rolled her eyes as he spoke

"Oh come on, a mere ten Captain Hitsugaya?" she said as she glared at him. "Do you forget that I'm a keen sportswoman? Ten will be a walk in the park!"

He glared back just as hard.

"Then do them Karin, if it so easy for you." He said in the same serous tone. With a quick tut Karin lay down on the floor and started doing her first sit-up. Trying to do her first sit-up. Trying very hard to do her first sit-up.

"You're starting to see aren't you Karin?" Tōshirō said with a superior look on his face. "Your spiritual body is weak as a kitten."

"No joke!" She yelled as she fell back

"But Karin." He said as he leaned his face close to hers. "All you have to do is ten sit-ups and you can go home."

Karin knew it was going to be a long day.

Tatsuki wandered pretty aimlessly through the library. Orihime was currently looking through the romance section, which frankly bored Tatsuki silly.

She wandered for a bit, looking half heartedly through the biography section until she saw Black in the corner, using a laptop. For lack of something better to do, she went to say hi.

"Hey there Black-san." She asked politely. "What you up too?"

He looked up with a nervous smile.

"Oh I'm just emailing my co-apprentice Chawwi information about what been going off lately." He explained in that nervous but polite tone of his "Our sensei isn't big on computers, so I just trust Chawwi to pass the information on for me when reporting back home."

"Jezzs, so you're the other side of the world and you still have hand in homework to your sensei?" Tatsuki remarked in joking tone.

"But she's my sensei!" he said with a shocked look on his face as he stood up. "It's a great honour to help her. A very great honour! She's beautiful, wise, smart, cunning, knowledgeable and an archmage of the ninth tier! For me, one of her humble apprentices to give one as great as her real help is something to be proud of!"

Tatsuki blinked. She made a mental note to remember that Black was ultrasensitive about anything to do with his sensei.

"Anyway I have been wondering." She spoke after Black seemed to calm down a bit. "Can you read the future with that magic of yours at all?"

He stared at her a while, as if weighing something up.

"Kind of." Black eventually said. "I'm no oracle, but I can certainly show you your Stand of Fate and roughly where it going."

"That sounds neat!" Tatsuki replied with happy interest. Blacked looked around (nervously of course).

"Ok seems no one really paying us any attention… Third Tier Divination, Cards of Fate." He spoke quietly and with that several silver cards appeared in his hands.

"Pick a card, any card." He spoke in tone that attempt to sound showbiz, but just sounded like a nervous American. She took the middle card and turned it around to look at it. The card showed a European styled knight with an elaborately designed golden cup in his hands.

"Let's see…." He spoke as he took the card and placed it on the table. "That the Grail Knight card. Since that's the first card you drawn, that card represents you. I assume you're a protective sort of person with something or someone you are willing to lay your life down for?"

Tatsuki nodded seriously.

"Right I casted the spell right then." He said with a somewhat relived look. "Pick another card."

She pulled out another and was slightly surprised by the picture; it showed her badly beaten with a broken sword in her hand.

"That is your past card" Black went on. "Judging from the imagery I assume you had a lot of fights that didn't go your way in the past?"

Tatsuki nodded, remembering that painful memory of those Espada and the crater

"Time for the next card then." He stated as he offered her the cards again. She pulled out another; this one had a Grim Reaper on it.

"Oh that's an easy read; your near future will be strongly affected by Shinigami."

"I could predict that one easily enough myself, I guess I take another card?" she asked with her fingers hovering over the deck. Black nodded. It was another card with her likeness on, but on it she was spinning around and looked rather dizzy.

"That's Confusion I think." Black stated. "It means in your slightly more distance future you're going have something come up that well and truly confuse you and while it won't drive you literally insane, because that be represented by the Insanity card, it will cause you considerable distress."

"Well least I got a bit of advance warning on it at least" Tatsuki said with a sigh.

"Final card Arisawa-san" Black said while offering her the deck once more. She pulled out a card and on it was a simple heart on a blank silver background. Black looked down at it quiet surprised.

"Well you don't see that one very often!" he said with a smile. "That is the Soulmate card. It means that you will find your soulmate not terrible long after you overcome whatever causing you confusion."

Tatsuki looked down at the card, it such a simple one really, yet it meant soulmate…

"Don't suppose there any way of discovering the whom is there?" Tatsuki asked probingly.

"Not unless you can find an Archmage level Diviner specialist." Black said as he picked up the cards and made them disappear.

Tatsuki sighed.

"Anyway I best find Orihime." She said as she stood up. "You keep safe Black-san."

It was early evening when Karin finally got back to her home. Tōshirō helped her walk along.

"Why do I feel like I been repeatedly wacked with a large hammer to the stomach Captain Hitsugaya?" she asked as she pushed open the door.

"Torn stomach muscle tissues from training" he spoke softly, his voice quiet close to her ear. "wounds in spiritual form manifest on your mortal body when you return to it."

"Fun to know." She said as the two of them walked into the living room to find the whole family waiting for her.

"Where have you been till this time young lady!" yelled her father . "And who…is… this?"

His word slowed down at he turned round to get a good look at a suddenly wide eyed Tōshirō.

"Captain Shiba…" were the words that fell from his mouth. Rukia's eyes went wide.

"Oh great, why does everyone in this family keep secrets from each other?" was the best response Karin could think up on the fly.

Who is Tatsuki's soulmate!

*Enter Orihime in a big fancy green dress on a stage with lot of fancy lights about it, including the words 'Who is Tatsuki's soulmate?!' with lots of love hearts around it*

Orihime: Good evening everyone! Tonight were going to play a game 'Who is Tatsuki's soulmate?!'

*Crowd cheers*

Orihime: And here is the lucky girl herself!

*Enter slightly awkward looking Tatsuki is a more modest dress*

Orihime: Welcome Tatsuki! How you feel about your chances of finding your soulmate today?

Tatsuki: Aren't I supposed to go through a fair bit of confusion first?

*Orihime giggles*

Orihime: Of course hence… the Lights of Confused Hearts!

*Four big pink love heart shaped door are illuminated and soppy music is played*

Orihime: Ta da! Are you willing to play…. 'Who is Tatsuki's soulmate?!'

Tatsuki: Erm, I guess.

*Soppy music plays once again*

Orihime: Your first would be suitor is a man of courage with a deep respect for all life. He been showed to even risk his own life for those who shown him cruelty in the past!

Optimistic Tatsuki: Now that's the kind of guy I like to meet!

Orihime: Everyone say a big hello to…. Kaizō Konpaku!

*Big pink love heart number one opens up to show Kon in a suit with flowers in his hands*

Kon: Hello reasonable big breasted beauty!

*Tatsuki glares then run and kicks Kon right out the studio*

Tatsuki: Perverted stuffed toys, not my taste Orihime.

Orihime: Aww but he's so alone… oh well time to move to our second would be suitor! This man is deeply devoted to his loved ones, well educated and is really exotic and polite! Everyone give Timmy a big warm welcome!

*Big pink love heart number two opens up to show a nervous Black in a suit, also with flowers and wearing his shades*

Orihime: You be able to take him on lovely date to your Karate class and show him just how you got that black belt of yours!

Black: Black… belt….

*run away screaming like a little girl*

Orihime: Oh dear I think Timmy might be little bit scared of you Tatsuki!

Tatsuki: I think he's a lot scared of me…

Orihime: Oh well, let introduce you to would be suitor number three! This man hold a position of respect amongst his peers and is highly skilled warrior whose coolness is only matched by his honourable conduct! Everyone say hello to Tōshirō!

*Fangirls scream as big pink love heart number three opens up to show a small letter on the floor*

Tatsuki: Huh?

* Tatsuki goes up and picks up the letter*

*reads*

Dear Tatsuki

Tragically we both realised that there was no way that Tōshirō could be your soulmate because he was suddenly and urgently needed elsewhere We get back to you when we figured out where this is exactly.

Yours Faithfully

Kurosaki Karin and Yuzu

Tatsuki: Gah, He sounded fun too!

Orihime: Never fear there still door number four left!

Tatsuki: Can't be any worse than the last three…

Orihime: You known suitor number four a long time, in fact you have playful fights with them all the time!

Tatsuki: Finally someone who doesn't mind that I'm actually a warrior at heart!

Orihime: Say hello to our forth brave suitor Chizuru!

*Big pink love heart number four opens up to show Chizuru in a beautiful and rather sexy looking red dress*

Angry and clearly very surprised Tatsuki: I'm not a lesbian Orihime!!!

Orihime: But Chizuru seemed so enthusiastic about it all…

Chizuru: Oh dear it seem I got all dressed up for nothing then... but oh wait there Orihime all alone on a night like…

*Sound of Tatsuki fist connecting with Chizuru's head*