Calm Before The Storm

Chapter 4

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"AMBUSH!!!"

The scream resounded in the depths of Ichigo's mind.

Near. Far. Everywhere.

As he registered it, time itself seemed to slow down to a complete standstill.

He was no longer in the snowy outskirts of Karakura but in a black space. Frozen.

'That voice...'

Near. Far. Everywhere.

Resounding.

Ambush!

'That voice..it...'

Ambush!

Frozen in the black space, Ichigo's pupils contracted drastically as the realization finally set in.

'That voice...it belongs to...!'

Ambush!

The black space shattered, giving way to the frosty battlefield. To reality.

In less than a second Ichigo set off like lightening toward the rear of the army and called out at the top of his lungs.

"RUKIA!!!!"


All hell had broken loose.

Arrancar vs. Shinigami.

There was pandemonium on the battlefield.

Rukia grunted, trying to hold under the pressure of the arrancar's sword on hers.

Putting her free hand on the blade of her zanpaktou, she pushed forward, managing to deflect the enemy's blade and jumping a good distance away from him.

"Mai, Sode No Shiryakui!"

The arrancar, unfazed, prepared to attack again. A sadistic grin plastered on his face.

He was going to enjoy this.

"Some No Mai: Tsuki Shiro!"

With an elegant swing of her sword, Rukia froze the ground around them completely and along with it, the lower half of the unsuspecting arrancar's body.

Shaking off his initial surprise, the arrancar easily broke free, suspended in the sky, cackling and ready to gloat.

'Perfect...' thought Rukia, though her impassive face did not betray it.

"Is that all you can do, Shinigami?!" hollered the arrancar, cocky and amused. Completely oblivious to the white icy circle glowing beneath him.

Two other arrancar decided to add to the two person party.

"How about the three of us have some fun with this one?" suggested one of the new arrivals.

All three grinned ominously.

Rukia sighed and closed her eyes. Grinning inwardly.

T he three arrancar dashed excitedly at the petite shinigami.

Rukia's eyes snapped opened.

And the three villains instantly got trapped in a vertical white column of ice. Completely frozen.

Rukia could see their excited expressions clearly.

They didn't even have time to be surprised. It all happened that fast.

The pillar collapsed, destroying both itself and the arrancar imprisoned within.

Rukia held her sword limply at the side.

"Everything in the circle, both land and sky, is within Sode No Shirayuki's frozen domain. I thought you already knew that...Ichigo."

She turned around to face the wide eyed Shinigami Representative.

"R-Rukia...!...You...I...How did-"

"Baka!" she interrupted. "I sensed your behemoth reiatsu approacing!"

Ichigo just stared at her, speechless and wide-eyed.

"Why did you abandon your rank!?"

Though she spoke normally, it sounded like an order.

"Huh?..I...you...I just..."

"I told you already,Ichigo! I'm capable of taking care of myself!"

His eyes softened at this and he tore his gaze away from hers, looking at the ground, somewhat apologetically.

"I know...I just.."he stopped and sighed. "Gomen, Rukia...."

She sighed as well, turning her head away.

"Baka..." she scolded gently. "You don't have to apologize..."

She turned back towards Ichigo.

"And you don't have to worry about me either..." She looked straight into his eyes with her own hard violet ones, startling Ichigo slightly. "You need to focus, Ichigo. You are an important asset to the shinigami and we need you at 100%. Do you understand.?"

Ichigo's eyes softened again and he pressed his slightly parted lips together as the curved slightly at the edges.

Rukia had done it again.

She had put him back on the track, the way only she knows how.

He felt a warmth spreading in his chest, despite the cold.

'Rukia...'

WHAM!!

Ichigo doubled over in pain as Rukia promptly kneed him in the gut.

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR!!!??" He shouted, simultaneously angry and incredulous.

"WHAT WAS THAT SAPPY LOOK FOR HUH???!! Didn't I just tell you to focus,Idiot!!!???"

She turned her back to him.

"Why you little..." he twitched, hands itching to strangle a certain midget before him.

"Oh, and one last thing, Ichigo..."

His homicidal fantasies had to wait.

He straightened up.

"What is it?"

She faced him, but with her eyes averted to the ground.

He blinked and his eyebrows shot up.

'Was she blushing???'

She finally moved her gaze to meet his, whispering something gently and almost inaudibly.

His eyes widened slightly.

At this point three more arrancar decided to drop in, but they were weak enough to be destroyed with a single swing of Ichigo's zanpaktou and a blast of his Getsuga Tenshou.

Ichigo looked over his shoulder, back at Rukia.

Despite the interruption, he was able to make out what she had said..

"Don't worry about me, Rukia." He moved Zangetsu to rest on his shoulder.

"I don't plan on dying in this war..." he finished.

Rukia looked up at Ichigo, with watery violent pools for eyes, while Ichigo looked back, his own eyes, a fiery topaz, hard with determination.

After a few seconds of staring, she closed her eyes and chuckled slightly, allowing herself a small smile.

"Ah . Good luck,Ichigo."

He nodded once and turned his head straight, heading off towards the front lines, where he was needed.

"You too, Rukia."

As Ichigo ran forward, he could still imagine Rukia, blushing, with liquidized purple eyes averted to the ground before looking back at him and whispering ever so gently...

"Please, don't die..."


Author's Note:

Ugh. Ok. I'm sorry. I know its been a VERY long time but...I had been very caught up in a lot of things. This is the incomplete version of this chapter, but I figured I might as well have this up. Reviews would be loved...maybe then i'll actually be motivated to write *sighs*.