Bleach Loops 4
Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.
I would like to first personally thank all of those reviewing my stories. I enjoy reading your comments, and try to correct the grammatical errors I miss with my final read-through as well as my spell checkers. The suggestions you all make will help make this story better for everyone to enjoy, as well as allow me to fix some plot holes I may unintentionally leave. If you find any, let me know, and I will correct them and repost the chapters.
This group is based on a Groundhog's Day concept, if time was looping, and certain members were aware of this.
These are their insanities.
New Loop #1:
Based on the picture created by Aduah
"Ichigo!" Orihime cried, racing towards the battle to save the man she cared for, hoping to save him from the tanned Arrancar who was about to slaughter him.
However, the one-armed Arrancar saw her and swung his hand around to strike her, the speed too great for her to avoid.
Her eyes open, she spotted her savior, a man wearing a brown cloak, carrying a long katana that had a chain attached to the hilt, one that seemed to wrap around him. His hood, giving her no clues as to what he looked like underneath it, despite being so close, obscured his face as always.
One arm stopped her forward advance, the other holding the katana as tall as he was, blocking the Arrancar's strike.
"You know," the mysterious man said, "striking her doesn't seem right. I had no idea Arrancar were so weak, they could only hit the defenseless."
"Who are you?" growled Yammy Riyalgo.
"Me? I'm just a guy hanging around," said the figure condescendingly. Before Yammy could react, the figure executed a vicious spin kick, sending the Arrancar across the field and into the ground.
Sighing, he turned, looking down on the bloody form of Ichigo. "I warned you, did I not?" he stated. "I told you before this, before the Bount, that you should seek out the Vizard, seek out their teachings to control your inner Hollow.
"And yet here you lay, cowering, broken, because you ignored my advice. Because when they approached you, you shunned them.
"Don't know why, don't care, even if I already know. Pride? Arrogance? Over-confidence in your own strength?
"Doesn't matter," the figure said, picking up the busted Shinigami and tossing him close to Chad. "In the end, it cost you so much, nearly cost this lovely medic her health, trying to save you. I hope it was worth it."
"Ulquiorra!" yelled the Arrancar, standing once again. "I don't care what you say, I'm killing this one!"
The pale Arrancar sighed. "You never listen when you get like this." Glancing across the field, he looked at the cloaked figure. "Who are you?"
"Me?" asked the figure. "I'm an advisor of sorts, making sure this team doesn't get themselves killed.
"But for you to report to Aizen," the figure said, waving a hand before his face and lowering his hood, revealing long orange hair and a mask with four spike-shaped marks stretch, two of them stopping by the forehead, and the other two stretching past the eyes and teeth, "I'm the guy who is about to kill his Number 0 Arrancar."
"Like Hell!" yelled Yammy, charging at the man.
The figure sighed heavily. "You really aren't that smart," he said, grabbing the hilt of his sword and swinging vertically.
"If you were, you would have used your Resurrección before trying to face me."
Yammy cried out as blood surged from a vertical wound ... before his body collapsed into two halves.
Sighing, Ulquiorra opened a Garganta.
"Hey!" the figure cried out, his hood covering his face again and the echo effect of his mask gone. "Make sure Aizen knows that his conscripted soldiers, his own zanpakutō, they will not allow him to win should he force my hand.
"I am quite happy with letting this group try and stop him. However, if he pushes … I shall push back.
"Besides, you should be happy, you just moved up to Number Three," the figure said jovially, as Ulquiorra stepped into the void and vanished.
"Um, excuse me?"
Turning the figure spotted Orihime, the glow of her powers surrounding Ichigo, Chad, and even Tatsuki. "Yes?"
"Who … who are you? Why did you help us? Why won't you fully join us?"
Smiling, the figure backed up slightly, opening his own Garganta. "I'm just an advisor, trying to show you all the paths needed for victory with the least amount of bloodshed.
"Kisuke, I figure you might like Yammy's corpse," he stated, looking towards some bushes. "Until later," he said kindly, as the portal closed, leaving the defenders of the Human World alone.
The figure sighed as he exited in a desert region far from Las Noches, and lowered his hood, revealing a blue eye surrounded by white and a yellow eye surrounded by black. "Ranma was right, dealing with a Prime Loop variant is a pain in the ass," Ichigo said, stretching slightly. "Man, can't believe I was ever that dense."
New Loop #2:
Ichigo tried to reign in his joy at being in a Loop not his own. From the window nearby, he could see a sun, hundreds of stars, a nearby nebula, and what he guessed were spaceships—which was odd because he swore at least two looked like they were made of wood.
Shaking his head, he continued walking as the memories of the new him filled his mind.
He was a Captain in something called Galaxy Police. Well, at least he wasn't living at home.
He was now on his way to see the Grand Marshall, Minami Kuramitsu, about a brand new assignment, having just succeeded in busting a major pirate syndicate, so it had to be for the best.
His smile immediately fell as he recalled a good luck charm his grandmother had given him, a charm attached to a chain that he had always worn.
Gulping, he pulled it from his inner shirt and looked at it.
"Shit, you are stalking me, aren't you?" he growled.
It looked exactly like the Hōgyoku, complete with sparkling effect. If he hadn't believed the stories from the eldest Loopers, he would normally doubt that such an object would be essentially stalking him.
Of course, he spoke to a spirit that lived in his soul, manifested as a sword, dealt with people who in reality were simply small pills, so it was very possible, even for him. Hell, even Kisuke didn't know what it was—or why whenever it was within a block of Ichigo, it homed in on him like a missile.
It just did.
"Thank you for disposing of your waste in the proper bin," came the computer's voice as Ichigo immediately sent it to the trash, hoping space-walls—or whatever the hell the station was made of—would keep it from trying to imbed itself into his chest again.
"Not like all my luck in this life was because of that thing," he muttered, continuing.
"Captain Ichigo Kurosaki, reporting as ordered!" he said, saluting.
Grand Marshall Minami Kuramitsu smiled at the man before him. "At ease," he spoke, watching as Ichigo switched positions to reflect a more relaxed state. "I wanted first to congratulate you on that last mission. Over four hundred pirates arrested, a network dismantled, and three sectors of space are breathing a sigh of relief because of you. Hell, at least a fourth of the stolen goods were recovered before they could be sold on the black market. I and they both thank you for a job well done."
"Thank you, sir," Ichigo replied with a smile. Too bad the 'responsible people' in his home universe could never be bothered to say thanks. His friends could say it, Arrancar could say it, but trying to get the Gotei 13 to say thanks was like trying to get a logical decision out of Central 46.
"That said, I was hoping to ask a favor of you."
"Oh?" Ichigo asked, trying to ignore the cold feeling currently going down his spine.
"We have an officer whose work has been … well, slipping from the usual high level it started out at," the Grand Marshall said sadly.
Oddly, this didn't reduce the chill going down Ichigo's spine.
"I was hoping that I could get you to partner up with them, see if you can discover the reason, or even resolve it."
"I would consider this … a personal favor," he added.
The chill doubled as Ichigo considered this. A personal favor from the Grand Marshall was a definite bonus. It could lead to quicker promotions, more high-profile cases—not to mention family connections.
One never knew when you might need a massive power of 'help' to escape a jam or support your hunches.
However, the way the man had phrased it also denoted that 'no' was not an answer he would accept, nor one Ichigo could give … not unless he wanted his career path to take him towards babysitting elites who had their own gravitational pulls either from weight or mass of ego. "I … can give it a try, sir."
"Excellent!" Minami yelled, slapping the desk as he stood up. "I have complete faith in you, son! If anyone can help return her to her top form, it's you!"
"Her?" he asked.
His answer came as the door opened to the office once more, allowing another officer to enter. She was related to the Grand Marshall—which only served to further drive the chill to absolute zero—given her appearance, was about as 'healthy' as Orihime, and for some odd reason, totally engrossed in her Control Cube. It was however enough to click into his mind about a story Ranma told him, about a universe that held 11-D Goddesses … and their offspring.
"Now was it this way? No, wait, it was right three turns…"
"Yes, Grandpa?" she asked, looking at him.
"Work name, dear," he said.
"Huh?" she blinked, looking around, and apparently only now taking notice that she was at headquarters and both were in uniform. "Oh, right!
"First Class Detective Mihoshi Kuramitsu, reporting as ordered, sir!"
Ichigo could only stare, frozen as stone, and trying to figure out why this was happening to him.
"We have not yet located the object, sir, replied one drone, as they continued to search the waste pile that had not yet been recycled.
"Keep looking," he said sourly, rubbing his temples. Why is it when I finally need the damn thing, I can't find it, and it won't come to me? If he was going to survive with his sanity intact, being Mihoshi's partner, he needed every advantage he could get.
This isn't fair! I didn't do anything wrong last Loop! Why did I end up here?
New Loop #3:
Ichigo winced as the sound of books hit the table. Judging by the force, it couldn't have been good.
"This school … sucks," growled Rukia.
"It isn't that bad," muttered Ichigo, studying the book before him. Magic school wasn't that bad. Granted, it could be better, and certainly not Hogwarts, but it did have its charm.
Well, it had its charm.
"Damn it, Naga! Leave me alone!"
"What is that about?" asked Rukia, taking a seat beside Ichigo, trying not to internally seethe about the 'bountiful' student coming their way or how she 'displayed' her bounty.
"Lina's an original Anchor," replied Ichigo. "Basically an Anchor since whatever happened, happened. And for a long time, no one else 'awoke' in her reality." He felt it wasn't pertinent to mention how that might have turned the redhead sorcerer into a Ranma-maniac. "Anyway, they found out it was the Lord of Nightmares holding it back."
"Person running this reality," he offered. "And that woman, Naga, is the first person to come to after Lina."
"So, they're friends?"
"Depends on the amount of food and liquor available," commented Ichigo, as the new duo came by to sit at their table.
"Why do you wear that?" Rukia asked Naga. Granted, she didn't think she could pull it off, but it was nice to know they didn't have to wear a solitary style, like Shinigami.
That and she really hoped to convince the White Serpent to wear something a bit more … concealing. Even Lt. Matsumoto didn't wear stuff that revealing.
"What is wrong with my outfit?" asked Naga.
"The fact you call yourself the White Serpent and the outfit is all black," offered Ichigo.
"The fact that your cape has three times the cloth as it," stated Lina.
Eye twitching, Naga turned back towards Rukia. "I like my outfit the way it is. It is hardly my fault that some people cannot pull it off."
Rukia twitched, clenching her fist.
Lina snorted. "Last I recall, pulling it off wasn't the issue."
"Oh, one time…"
"I'm recalling when Ranma was last here."
"Oh… Well yes, that was the exception that makes the rule."
"Anyway," waved off Lina, "we had a question about a recent image we received from Seyruun."
"Oh?" asked Ichigo, as Lina handed him a scroll.
Unraveling it, he found it to be a garden portrait, two well-dressed females in it. One bore a striking resembles to Naga.
"I-Inoue!" squeaked Rukia.
"So, she's one of yours?" The duo nodded.
"Great, she's now listed as Amelia's cousin, and according to Naga's sources, just as obsessed about justice as her."
"And that's … bad?" asked Rukia.
The group turned as Ichigo slammed his book shut, stood up and began to gather his things.
"And where do you think you're going?" asked Rukia. "We need to make contact with Inoue!"
"Research," Ichigo replied. He knew what was going to happen. Magic Girl Orihime never ended well.
Magic Girl Princess Orihime could only end in intense pain. So much for the quiet, he thought.
New Loop #4:
Ichigo glared at the tanned beauty before him, sitting on the rocks surrounding the healing pool within the secret training grounds under Sōkyoku Hill. He remembered this scene all too well, so he decided to get back at her the one way she never expected.
"You should have that mole looked at."
Yoruichi blinked. "Excuse me?"
"That mole on your inner right thigh," he restated. "You should have that looked at."
She blinked again.
"What? Do souls not have skin cancer to worry about?"
"… Let me get this straight," growled Yoruichi. "I just transformed from a cat with a baritone voice, into a hottie, completely nude, basically flashing all she's got up front, and the only thing you can think of is to point out a mole."
"… You were expecting something else?" he asked, shrugging.
"How about a reaction to having a naked lady before you?"
"Meh!?" she yelled.
Ichigo shrugged. "Hey, I've seen better." Oh, she won't like that, he thought, succeeding in fighting off a smirk. She was always fun to rile up. And depending on how and when he did it, Yoruichi could become the ultimate X-factor.
"And just where have you seen better?" she asked with a devilish smirk. "Orihime perhaps?"
Ichigo snorted. "Please, she's a dear friend and I would never risk our friendship just to peep on her."
… He's either dense as Sekkiseki or gay. "What, don't like women?"
"I like them just fine," reported Ichigo. "I would just like to think they are more than some outer wrappings."
"Well then, where have you seen better?"
"It's true," replied Ichigo. "Thanks to Internet Porn, I'm pretty desensitized to the nude female form, pretty much anything sexual. As such, I have moved beyond mere hormones and can appreciate them for who they are and what is on the inside."
"… You're shitting me."
"Nope," replied Ichigo. "What? Did you expect me to develop a massive nosebleed? Freak out that I can see how well you shave? Sputter uncontrollably about the fact a naked woman is sitting before me?
"Sorry, I would like to think I'm better than that." With that, he closed his eyes and leaned back into the water, enjoying the heat and healing properties.
Yoruichi could only blink, unsure what she should do now. "Really?"
"Really," stated Ichigo. "Now, you should finish bathing and relaxing. We do have a rough day of training tomorrow."
Her eyes narrowed, trying to detect some sign that perhaps Kisuke had forewarned him.
But nothing. He had seen her beautiful form … and felt … nothing.
And she could tell, the water was pretty clear.
This isn't over, Ichigo. I'll get the reaction I want somehow…
Ichigo gave a contented sigh. Well, this should give me a few weeks worth of entertainment.
New Loop #5:
"Wow, that late," Ichigo mumbled, looking at the calendar.
He wasn't used to waking up this late within the Loop. Usually it was around the time Rukia showed up, give or take a week. Rarely, he'd awaken early enough to save his mother.
However, never had he awoken so late in a Loop. It felt … disconcerting.
"Beware, Ichigo," Zangetsu said, forming to his side. "We cannot be certain this timeline shares the history we expect it to."
"Yeah," he replied, hearing the doorbell ring.
Making his way downstairs as he heard his sister, Yuzu, call out she was getting it. Let's see… If I remember correctly, this is when I usually meet Rurichiyo Kasumiōji and her retainers… That did bring a smile to his face—not for the little girl, but for the chance to battle the Bakkōtō again. It was usually a short fight—unless the damned things decided to pull an Hōgyoku and chase him—damned parasites going after the largest food source. Nevertheless, it was surprising at times, what their wielders would pull off to try to defeat him.
"Um … Daddy!" called Yuzu.
Blinking his eyes to shake himself out of his thoughts of future fights, Ichigo quickened his pace downstairs, rounding the corner the same time as Karin entered the hallway. The duo then approached the front door, where Ichigo saw the familiar gigai of Rurichiyo Kasumiōji and her two retainers, Ryūsei "Kenryū" Kenzaki and the silent Rusaburō "Enryū" Enkōgawa.
"Yuzu, what's going on?" Karin asked with suspicion.
"Forgive us for coming unannounced," said Kenryū, as he and Enryū bowed deeply. "But we have come on a most urgent matter."
Ichigo blinked. They were asking for help? This early?
"Careful, Ichigo. I sense other factors at work here," Zangetsu said in his mind.
"No shit, Captain Obvious!" came the reply from Ichigo's Hollow-side. "Here's more breaking news: Rukia barely qualifies for a training bra and Chizuru wants Orihime!"
"We have come to see Lord Kurosaki," stated Rurichiyo in her usual tone.
Ichigo blinked. "Me?" he asked, though he was used to only Arrancar calling him that.
"Forgive us," replied Kenryū. "We mean your father, Lord Isshin Kurosaki."
"Can we ask why?" inquired Karin.
"It is about an agreement made between Lord Kurosaki and the Kasumiōji Royal Family," the retainer replied.
Ichigo just palmed his face. His father made an agreement with the Kasumiōji family?
"Run, Forest! Run!" came the cackle from his Hollow.
Isshin Kurosaki, former Captain within the Gotei 13, father of three, doctor, and pillar of the community, did whatever man would do when a family from the past showed up, requesting him to honor an old agreement.
That was one of the many reasons he was now tied up to a chair at the dining room table, struggling to get free.
"We find this most odd," stated Rurichiyo, as she sipped the tea Yuzu had provided.
"Okay, old man," stated Ichigo, glaring at his father, "exactly what agreement did you make with the Kasumiōji family?"
"The who?" asked Isshin.
"Is this … normal?" asked Kenryū.
Karin nodded sadly.
"Gotei 13, former captain, Shinigami; anything ringing a bell?" asked Ichigo.
"I didn't say anything!" bellowed Kon, nervously hiding behind the corner.
"Eek!" squealed Yuzu. "Bostov! You can talk!"
"Help!" screamed the lion plushie, as he took off, Yuzu hot on his tail.
"Well, now that she's gone," sighed Karin, "Ichigo, does this have to do with you running around in that black cloak?"
Ichigo nodded. "Might as well come clean, old man. I know, Karin has hints, and Yuzu…
"I'm really not sure about her half the time, but sooner or later, she'll know too."
Seeing that further denials were useless, the goofy expression fell from the man's face. "How long have you known, Ichigo?"
"Long enough," said teen replied, hoping to avoid a lengthy discussion about exactly when he learned of his father's past. "Now, the agreement?"
Sighing and to the astonishment of most of those at the table, the ropes slid off him, allowing him to place his arms on the table. "Long ago, before I left Soul Society for your mother, I saved the royal family of the Kasumiōji from a Hollow attack while they were traveling out of Soul Society and through District 2. As such, they invited me to their home and offered to adopt me into their clan."
"It was a glorious tale!" cried Kenryū, Enryū mimicking his movements, tears flowing from their eyes.
"Later," waved off Ichigo, knowing his father would use anything to delay finishing their chat.
"Anyway," restarted Isshin, glaring at his son, "I was unable to accept at the time, fearful it would slow my plans to win your mother's heart, so an alternative was reached."
"Still time to run, King."
Ichigo was beginning to see the wisdom in that idea. "And that was?"
Here, Kenryū stepped in. "The agreement was that should Lord Kurosaki have a child of opposite gender, that of the Kasumiōji Royal Family, the two would be betrothed to be wed, uniting them."
Ichigo blinked … and blinked … and blinked.
"… You engaged Ichigo before he was even born?" asked Karin.
"WHAT?" yelled Yuzu, peeking around the corner with Kon in her arms—the plushie now wearing a sailor fuku. "Big brother is getting married?
Everyone turned, spotting Ichigo had collapsed onto the table. NO! Not another loli! he thought, tempted to start banging his head on the table.
My old man pulled a Genma. He should have listened to his inner spirits and made a run for it.
"We are wondering when the wedding will take place?" asked Rurichiyo.
Her two retainers looked nervous, not wanting to inform their charge about the rumors among the clan heads, especially Kumoi.
"Oh! Can I be the flower girl?" asked Yuzu.
"Is this even legal?" asked Karin. "She can't be older than us!"
"Royal families do things differently," stated Isshin, before his usual goofy personality reappeared. "WAH! I'LL HAVE A NEW DAUGHTER SOON!"
Ichigo was never more grateful when his badge went off, alerting him to a nearby Hollow.
New Loop #6:
Ichigo stood there, looking before him, cursing his luck sometimes.
Rukia was there in her energy-dampening gigai, Renji and Byakuya there to 'arrest' her, Uryū on the ground. Yep, he was back to before they went to Soul Society.
More importantly—in Ichigo's mind, so it was really what counted—was that they were before he had unlocked Zangetsu, which meant he would have to use the release phrase.
Saying, "Chase away the rain" again in front of these people was not something he wanted to do again. They always found a way to rib him about it.
Luckily, after the last Loop, he didn't have that issue. The fact he could use it to mess with Byakuya was just icing on the cake—really. "You guys aren't really bright, you know that."
"Excuse me?" growled Renji.
"Just an observation," Ichigo replied, kneeling beside Uryū. "From what I've learned, from what they did to the Bount, the Quincy, the Vizards, just about anything really, Soul Society is run by a bunch of morons, bullies, and incompetents.
"Honestly, I'm more surprised that the coup already underway took so long to make a public move like this."
"Coup?" asked Renji, pointing his zanpakutō at Ichigo.
"Ask Aizen, Gin, and Tōsen when you get back," replied Ichigo, reaching into his hakama and withdrew a second zanpakutō, one other than the oversized blade on his back. This zanpakutō took the form of a katana with a dull red sheath, purple hilt-wrapping and a guard in a shape similar to the Kidō Corps' emblem, consisting of a circle with a pentagon-like shape in the center and three points protruding from the edges evenly spaced apart. "I figure Little Byakuya might recognize this one."
"Explain," the Kuchiki Head.
Ichigo smirked. "I guess you could say I'm special, I can sync with any zanpakutō spirit. And this one finds me a lot better than his old Master—namely because I'm not psycho and believe myself to be all-powerful."
"That's impossible!" yelled Renji.
Ichigo just smirked. "Not my fault you aren't able to harmonize with Zabimaru, let alone other zanpakutō," replied Ichigo, giving the Lieutenant a pitying glare.
"What you say is impossible, and taboo," replied Byakuya.
Sighing, Ichigo let his power flow into the zanpakutō, even as he felt Zangetsu become slightly miffed that Ichigo wasn't using him. "Here, I'll make it simple.
"Whisper, Muramasa," he replied, as the zanpakutō spirit materialized next to Ichigo.
The spirit snorted lightly. "You know, this is quite ironic. Truly, I am glad I joined with you, despite Zangetsu's … displeasure."
"Yeah, he gets like that," replied Ichigo. "Go ahead."
Renji smartly concluded that waiting for whatever the empowered soul had in mind was probably a bad idea. Zanpakutō drawn, he prepared to strike down the man who he viewed as responsible for Rukia being arrested.
He didn't count on his strike being blocked by a new arrival.
"My, my, Renji," said the deep female voice, holding an eerily familiar zanpakutō that was blocking his, "now you show some spirit."
"Hey, Chimpette, my turn!" cried a boy with a snake-themed outfit, launching into the air as the named Chimpette forced Renji back. In a flash, the girl's zanpakutō vanished, only to reappear in the snake-themed boy's hands as he struck Renji.
"Nice move, Snakey."
Eyes wide, Byakuya turned around, spotting a masked samurai holding a zanpakutō, which was quickly coming apart into vibrant sakura-like petals.
"What-what is going on?" gasped Rukia.
Ichigo just smiled. "You know, I've always wanted to lead a revolution."
New Loop #7:
Ichigo just sighed happily, as he followed the other students of the Shinōreijutsuin made their way towards the courtyard. Opening ceremonies were a day off, but now they were to meet their fellow students, get their schedules, and dorm assignments.
Not that he minded much. This was something new, so he could spend time having unique and original experiences before. Sure, he'd spent some time in the Shinōreijutsuin during his Loops. However, this was in the past, beyond even when Ranma and Naruto had arrived. The Gotei 13 had some different captains, different teachers—oddly, even the current Kuchiki head was mellow compared to Byakuya and his grandfather.
Sadly, he had yet to get to the Living World to find a calendar to learn just how far back he was. Soul Society seemed to run on a different calendar system than any he had ever heard of before—making him wonder if Rukia was really as old as she said she was.
Nevertheless, for now, it was perfect—schooling aside. No Hōgyoku had been made yet, so no loli-arrancar to chase after him, no cursed stone seeking him out like Chizuru to Orihime, no Vizards, no women chasing him what so ever, no grand destiny before him.
Now, in this world, he was simply Ichigo Kurosaki, new admittance to the Shinōreijutsuin, ready to begin his first year—and soon to be honor student. After all, how many came into the Shinigami Academy knowing a good bit of for Zanjutsu, Hakuda, Hohō, and Kidō, with Bankai and Shikai, and he had an ace in the hole with his Inner Hollow.
If only he could change that damned Shikai Release phrase.
Oh well, he'd worry about that later—and continue his quest to see if he could bribe the old man to finally change it to something kick-ass. For now, he had new people, no old friends about, and a new experience to get to.
"Wow, poor bastard got placed close to the showers," stated one guy, as Ichigo approached the room assignment board.
"So what, we got close to the best girls' dorm!"
Ichigo smirked. The idiots didn't realize the other half of that argument. The best female dorm was usually filled with the ladies from royal families or those that were high up in Soul Society, thus they'd have the best security, and peepers would be more likely to be 'damaged' when caught.
Well, not too bad, I guess, he mused, seeing that like the soon-to-be missing guys before him, he too was in the men's dorm closest to the high-class girls' dorm. Just have to hope none of the guys near me are royal idiots here to party and avoid Daddy's orders.
He was about to turn away and head to pick up his schedule when he caught sight of the name of his roommate. He paled, fear growing in him as he heard his Inner Hollow cackle with glee.
"Hey, Yoruichi, I got the dorm right next to yours!" he heard an all-too familiar voice.
"Kisuke, my retainers are following us. What did I tell you about that?"
"Keep the celebratory sake out of sight?" asked the man.
The tanned girl nodded in agreement. "Aside from that?"
"Find out how much liquor my roommate can hold for poker night?"
"Aside from that?"
"If this is about homework issues and—"
"Damn it, Kisuke; I was referring to proper protocol, lest they go tell my parents that I'm not acting as befitting the future heiress of the Shihōin clan.
"Now, let's see who are roommates are."
Ignoring them, Ichigo trudged towards the schedule pick-up area. "I can't win," he muttered. "Deep in the past, they're still haunting me." Maybe he could see if when those two perverts in front of him were killed for peeking on royal ladies, he could get their room. Had to be better than rooming with Kisuke.
New Loop #8:
"Just stop already!" called out Ichigo, exasperated over Rukia's mumblings.
"But don't you see, Ichigo; the rare opportunity we have!" she stated, slamming her hand into her palm. "We could master Zanjutsu, Hakuda, Hohō, and Kidō! We could achieve the ultimate expression of our zanpakutō! Who knows how strong we could be when this is over, what we could do?"
"… You're still pissed about Aaroniero Arruruerie and Yammy Riyalgo, aren't you?" he asked, eying her.
"What? No! Of course, not!" she stated angrily. "I am simply approaching this in a calm and rational method," Rukia stated, adopting a pose reflecting that.
"…Right," muttered Ichigo.
"Rukia, you're petting Sode no Shirayuki and going, 'Soon, my precious'."
The Shinigami blushed, putting her zanpakutō behind her back. "Just a pep talk, that's all. Sode no Shirayuki is very upset about all this."
Ichigo just gave her a hooded glare. Normal, he might be more accepting of her eccentric actions—maybe even a little afraid of what she might do if she ever recalled some of the things he did to her during the Loops.
However, given that Rukia helped get a reality-altering bauble imbedded in his body in less than a day after the Loop started, he felt it was okay to be—no pun intended—short to her.
"Well, what have you been doing?" demanded Rukia. "Have you asked the Gotei 13 to help solve this? Have you mastered your abilities? Have you refined the ability to use spiritual energy?"
"… No, I've just been using it to sleep with every girl I've known or will know," he said dully.
"… WHAT?" Rukia yelled.
"Can I remove the gag? Or will you keep overreacting to a joke?" he asked the bound Kuchiki.
She just glared at him, eye narrowed
"You really should calm down, Mistress," Sode no Shirayuki stated calmly. "It was just a joke."
Nodding, Ichigo hid any trace of smugness or satisfaction. It hadn't totally a joke. There was after all, only so much one could do to alleviate boredom. Attempting to repeat the Loop where he had ended up drunk and sleeping with Orihime and Tatsuki still occupied his time.
He'd have memories to go with that, so help him! He didn't want that beating and spending the rest of that Loop confined to an intensive care ward, to be for nothing!
Huffing in her gag, Rukia nodded.
Removing it, Ichigo knelt beside her. "You ready to discuss this civilly?" he asked.
"Depends," Rukia growled. "Did you sleep with anyone? And was I one of those people?"
Giving her a stare that would have made Ryūken Ishida impressed, he replaced her gag. "Sorry, that secret is something you aren't ready for."
He wasn't surprised when her struggles doubled. This is going to be one of those Loops the others warned me about, I just know it, he thought sadly.
"By all rights, I should attack you now and free her," stated Sode no Shirayuki.
"Son, I don't mean to pry," spoke Isshin, "but why do you have two women tied up in your room?"
"Magic tricks for a talent show," Ichigo replied, looking at the paper. "They said they could escape those ropes in no time.
"That was over an hour ago."
"Shouldn't you let them loose?" asked Karin.
"Then they'd never learn," replied Ichigo.
"Big brother is tying up women?" asked Yuzu.
"Well, son, explain it to your sister," stated Isshin.
"He taught me," Ichigo instantly replied, pointing at his father.
"WHAT?" yelled Isshin, as Yuzu turned her puppy-dog eyes on her father to find out why she was teaching her brother to do such perverted things.
Taking the distraction for what it was worth, he slipped away. Eventually, Sode no Shirayuki would simply freeze the ropes, shatter them, and then help Rukia escape.
Never underestimate the power of a strategic retreat with an excellent head start.
"Head start over with," he stated quickly, wondering if he could hide out at Chizuru's until Rukia calmed down. She'd never suspect him there … hopefully.
New Loop #9:
"Well, has it been done?"
"As you commanded, Mistress," stated Aizen, glasses on denoting he was still playing the loyal Captain, bowing on the screen before his apparent leader. "Central 46 has been eliminated. We are moving onto the next stage."
"Excellent," the female stated, cackling quietly. "You shall be rewarded!"
"Mistress is too kind."
"Just remember, I do not take disappointment nor failure well, as your two partners can attest to," she finished coldly.
Aizen actually gulped audibly, before nodding. "I understand, Mistress."
"And that's where the footage ends," stated Kisuke.
Ichigo opened his mouth to respond, before shutting it with a click.
Rukia just blinked in shock. "Is she …?"
"No, she's not possessed, under any control, or being coerced in any way," Kisuke responded. "She is doing that of her own volition."
Ichigo finally found his voice. "Do you … do you think she was always like this?"
"Doubtful," Kisuke replied. "Truthfully, I believe this is simply one of those occasional hiccups the Loops get."
"Well, we hope," replied Rukia. "Maybe I can stay with Orihime now."
"Wait, what about me?" asked Ichigo.
"That would be improper. See if Ishida or Chad will let you crash at their places."
Twitching, Ichigo turned towards Kisuke.
"Sorry, no room, what with all the freeloaders I'll be getting in a few weeks."
Letting out a heavy breath, Ichigo returned to staring at the scream.
Yuzu, secretly was controlling Aizen and his group. That and the look of sheer evil in her eyes were wrong on so many levels.