Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to Bleach in any way, shape, or form.

-- TwinShadows

Daddy's Little Girl: Chapter 4

Snapping out of her stupor, Tatsuki started trying to make sense of the situation. "O-okay, let's keep calm." Turning to Soifon, she asked, "Now, how old are you Soifon?"

"I'm dis many," Soifon said cutely, going through the paces again.

Sighing in relief, Tatsuki smile, secretly glad things were falling into place. "And do you know how old Ichigo is?"

"Noooo," she replied, blinking and tilting her head to the side. 'Now that I think of it, I know nothing about this boy.'

Grabbing Ichigo's free hand, Tatsuki put it alongside both of hers with all fingers extended on the three hands. "He's this many Soifon, same as me, Mizurio and Keigo."

"How come she said my name last?" Keigo whimpered, but he was ignored.

"So, 'Daddy' is just how she sees him," Mizurio chuckled nervously, sweat dripping on his temple.

"Well duh," Tatsuki proclaimed, looking at him. "That would mean Ichigo did um," she pause to glance at the "innocent child" her friend was holding, "became a parent when he was 11. That's just impossible."

'Yeah, like I don't know what she's implying,' thought both Soifon and Ichigo.

"Admit it, Tatsuki. You were just as freaked as--" Keigo groaned as he was punched in the face by the black belt.

"You really shouldn't antagonize her, Mr. Asano," Mizurio commented, dragging Keigo away by his feet, the downed boy muttering, "Why do you call me that?"

"Is he bwain-dead or someting?" Soifon asked with a frown, this time forgetting to act cutesy. Ichigo just shrugged at her question.

"Well, maybe I'll see you two around," Tatsuki said before ruffling Soifon's hair. "Bye-bye, Kiddo." Then, turning to look at Ichigo, she said, "Try not to corrupt her too much, okay?" With that she turned on her heel and walked off, ignoring the glare sent to her back. When she was out of sight, Ichigo placed Soifon down and stared angrily at her.

"What was that, Soifon?" he asked, getting to the point.

"Don't deny it," she replied, crossing her arms. "Yo' fwiend is a dumb--"

"That's not it and you know it!" he cut her off. "I'm referring to freaking them out by calling me Daddy!" At this she smirked superiorly, eyes dancing with mischief.

"Well, dat's what you deserve fo' tweating me wike a child," she replied smartly.

"You are a child; what's so difficult to understand about that?"

"Da idea dat you tink you can lecture me!!" she yelled. "I am ova 200 years old and you tink dat, just because I got shrunk, you getta tell me what ta do." Ichigo blinked at that. He had completely forgotten that Soifon was a Soul Reaper, due to the fact that the only Soul Reaper at that size was Yachiru. Naturally, he fell into the notion of dealing with Soifon as the little girl he saw her as, so he would concede that, in a way, he did deserve the act she put on.

"Look," he sighed, scratching his head and squatting down to meet her at eye-level, "I'll admit, I stopped thinking that you were older than me, but you gotta get it through your head that, while you are still a child, you're my responsibility and I need to treat you like you're a child because, since you don't understand a lot of the things in my world, in a way you are a child; and I'm gonna be the one to teach you about this stuff so you won't need me to do those things for you. So until you're grown up again, we're both gonna have to be a little more tolerant of each other. Understand?"

"…Only if ya agree to carry me wong disdances," Soifon said, glancing off to the side. "And I'd wike a black cat plushy to take home wit me too."

"Why do you like black cats so much?" Ichigo asked, raising an eyebrow. Soifon's cheeks started to get warm.

"Because I tink Lady Yoruichi is da best," she muttered. Looking back, she saw Ichigo stare blankly at her before shrugging and reaching out to pick her up.

"Well then, let's go get you your cat," he said with a smile and placing her on top of his shoulders. "Just keep your hands on my head so you don't fall backwards, all right?"

Soifon grinned at the idea at getting her plush toy. "OK!" 'Well, not as comfortable as his shoulder or his chest, but at least I get to say I'm taller than he is.'

"Over dere!" Soifon called out excitedly, patting Ichigo's head and pointing to one of the game stands. Nodding, he walked over to take a look. The game was a game of ring toss. Fortunately, among the prizes was a plush black cat. Unfortunately, it was on the top shelf of the prizes shelf where you had to get all the rings on the bottles to claim it.

"You get three rings," the guy at the stand said after Ichigo paid him the money. "The more rings you land on the bottle necks, the better the prize you'll receive. Good luck." Ichigo took one of the rings and started lining up the shot before he felt Soifon tapping him on the top of his head. Looking up, he saw his cargo looking back, their noses touching.

"I do it," she said firmly, making sure there wasn't any room for arguments. Sighing, he put the rings down and lifted her off his shoulders and onto the countertop. This got a chuckle from the man who was leaning off to the side to watch.

"Well man I gotta say, you ain't the first one to let a kid try to win a prize," he said with a grin right until he saw Soifon shoot all three rings onto the bottles perfectly, "But you are the first with a kid to land the big prize on her own," he added, a stunned look on his face. Clearing his throat, he continued. "Now, little lady, what would you like?"

"The bwack kitty pwease," she said, pointing. The cat toy was leaning on the side of another plushy: a tiger curled up on its side. So when he brought both stuffed animals down and put them in Soifon's arms, she was confused. "Tank you, but I jus' wanted dis kitty, mister."

"Actually," he explained, "They're one. It's a strange pair but somehow, they just seem to say, 'Daddy and Baby'; even though they don't come from the same world, they just work together."

"Oh, okay. Tank you," Soifon said as Ichigo picked her up and placed her back on his shoulders before putting the combo plush under his arm and both waved as they left. Once they were away from the stand, Soifon asked, "Is gettin' dis a good ting?"

"Yeah, it's called a 'two-for-one' deal so you know it's good," he explained. "So, what else would ya like to see?" Before she could answer, Soifon's stomach grumbled and being so close to Ichigo's ears, he couldn't miss it. "Sounds like we're getting you something to eat."

"No meat," came the immediate response.

"No meat, what Soifon?" Ichigo asked, nudging her side gently.

"No meat please," she corrected herself.

"That's right," he said, smiling as he headed to the food stands. "Now, I think it's time that you learned about pizza. And don't worry; I'll get you the plain cheese."

'Pizza? Well…I guess if it doesn't have meat...'

Looking down, Soifon examined the weird triangle on the paper plate in front of her. It appeared to be melted cheese on a red sauce all on top of a slice of bread. The whole thing looked like it was leaking grease. "Dis is what humans eat?" she asked Ichigo incredulously while he ate his own slice of pizza.

"Don't knock it until you try it," he replied coolly after he finished his mouthful. "It actually tastes pretty good, if you put it in your mouth before it gets cold."

Looking back at the pizza slice skeptically, she picked it up and took a bite. The cheese stretched as she pulled away before a piece tore from the rest and hung from her mouth as she chewed thoughtfully. Sucking in the hanging bit before chewing the rest and swallowing her bite, she blinked before turning back to him. "Pwetty good, but it feels gweasy."

"Yeah, that's part of the appeal," Ichigo smiled before giving Soifon a napkin. "Wipe your chin. You've got pizza sauce there." She pouted as she wiped her face quickly but carefully. "Oh, and kids don't wipe their faces like that; they really just rub the area hard until it's gone."

"You don't espect me ta stay dis way foreva', do you?" she asked, frowning at him.

Glancing back at her, he shrugged. "I don't get what the big deal is. I'm just treating you the way I'd treat my kid if I have one when I'm older and married. Didn't you get treated like this when you were originally this young?" He was surprised when Soifon looked down sadly.

"Tings fo' my famiwy isn't like yours, Ichigo," she said slowly. "The Fon famiwy has always served in a Stealth Force under da Shihoin Clan for as wong as da Soul Society has existed. And, if we failed to enter da Stealth Force, we were to be exiled fwom da famiwy." She lifted her head to look at him in the eyes, her eyes starting to water. "All of us know it from we are vewy young."

Ichigo was shocked to hear this. He knew things were definitely wacked in the Soul Society, but to do something like threatening someone that they'd kick them out of the family just for not doing something, especially to a young child, was horrific. 'I guess if Byakuya could let Rukia be executed, I shouldn't be surprised about little kids being threatened with abandonment if they didn't please their parents.'

"But you know what?" she continue, shaking her head to get rid of the strange urge to cry. "Dat's ancient histowy. I made it in da Stealth Force, met Wady Yoruichi, and now, 'm a captain, so it all--" she stopped when Ichigo stood up to kneel in front of her, placed his hands on her shoulders and stared hard into her eyes.

"Is that the reason you like Yoruichi?" He said seriously. "Because she treated you like you were more than a soldier; that you felt like you were wanted as a person?"

When he said that question, Soifon realized just how personal the two of them were getting if she made him feel like he could ask her about details of her life. 'Why am I telling this to him of all people? He doesn't get to probe into my psyche just because he has spent one day with me!' This thought made her angry at the man- 'No, boy!' she reminded herself- in front of her.

"I DON'T HAFTA ANSWER YOU, ICHIGO!!" she screamed before hopping down and kicking him in both shins and sprinting off. Ichigo, rubbing his shins to stop the pain, stared after her before grabbing the toy she forgot and started going after her.

'Man,' he thought, 'For a shorty, she sure can run. But why did she run off like that to begin with?'

'If I have to spend another minute with that meathead, I'm going to lose my mind!' Soifon thought as she ran through the crowd. She didn't know where she was going and she didn't care. All she wanted to do was go somewhere and hide from the fool who was doing everything she had been raised not to be. That in itself was strange, since Soifon couldn't remember ever running away from anything. Even some of the hollows she had faced had been monstrous and she'd faced them down without breaking a sweat.

Yet here she was, trying to get as far away from one guy who had asked her a question and threatened her understanding of how the world works. She looked up to see where she was and found a small building with the sign, "Fun House," in front.

"Perfect," she said, panting. "Ichigo looks wike someone who hates fun." With that, she snuck in through the door and went inside.

"Come on, come on," Ichigo muttered to himself, running and dodging other people. "Where is she? I just had her in my sights."

He'd tried to catch up to her so he could get a clue to what he had done wrong so he could make up for it, but because she was so small, he'd lost her in the crowds. 'Man, I shouldn't have pushed her with the questions. She's just a little…well a short girl anyway.'

Then, he saw a little girl with Soifon's braids going into the fun house attraction. 'Oh, that's just great. The security here sucks if a 4 year old can sneak into anyplace.' He started picking up the pace to try and get her before she went in too deep.

Hope you enjoy this. I'm gonna try to get the next chapter done as soon as I can. Also, just so that people will know, I'm not going to make this a romantic IchigoxSoifon fic; it's gonna be a father-daughter relationship.

-- TwinShadows