Disclaimer - I do not own Bleach
Chapter Five - Innocent Child
As she watched the young white haired captain walk away, his shoulders slumped in defeat, Yuzu couldn't keep the tears from forming in her eyes. She gazed down at the infant that he had so trustingly placed in her care and vowed, to both him and the child, that she would raise Tenshi as though the baby were her own child.
She would never lack for love.
"Yuzu," Ichigo said in a quiet voice, placing his hand gently on his sister's shoulder. "Where are you and Tenshi going to live?"
As he spoke these words to his sister Ichigo sent a meaningful gaze in his wife's direction. Rukia nodded, understanding his need for the knowledge. They would have to take measures to make sure that both Yuzu and the baby were safe, from Hollow and from Shinigami.
Yuzu held a thoughtful expression on her face for a few minutes before replying, "I think that it would be best if Tenshi and I remain here. That way, should any Shinigami come to the Clinic looking for you they won't come into contact with Tenshi."
"That's a good idea Yuzu-chan," Rukia said as she gave her own daughter a loving hug. "After all, the similarities between Tenshi and Captain Hitsugaya are already noticable and I have the feeling that the family resemblance is only going to become more noticable the more the baby grows. It would be better for all concerned if no one from Soul Society ever saw her."
"Right," Ichigo said.
"So I think I'm going to go over to dad's place and collect my things," Yuzu said in a quiet voice. "And then return here."
"We'll help," Rukia said, volunteering both herself and her husband for the moving job. "I'm sure we can get Isshin-san to watch the babies."
"We gonna go see Grandpa Isshin?" Hisana asked, her amber eyes growing wide with excitement over the prospect. Her grandpa was fun and she always enjoyed spending time with him.
Rukia nodded. "Yea Hisana-chan, we're going to go and visit Grandpa Isshin."
So, with their course of action decided upon, the group departed the small house that Yuzu and Tenshi were going to call home and traveled the short distance to the Kurosaki Clinic. Ichigo led the way and when they arrived at the clinic that his family had called home for years Ichigo opened the door and stepped inside.
Having known that something like this was bound to happen Ichigo was expecting the attack and he grabbed his dad's leg in mid kick and used it to pull the man forcibly to the ground. The elder Kurosaki hit the ground face first and lay on the ground crying dramatically.
That is until he noticed the bundle that his daughter held in her arms.
The tears disappeared immediately as Isshin jumped to his feet and made his way over to the spot where Yuzu was standing, holding Tenshi protectively in her arms. There was a questioning look in the man's eyes as he gazed at his daughter and Yuzu offered her father a tentative smile.
"Dad," she began in a quiet voice. "I just came by to let you know that I'm moving out. Immediately."
This statement served to renew the waterworks and Isshin immediately fled to a huge poster of a woman that was hanging on the wall in the den. Throwing out his arms he embraced the poster as he wailed, "Oh Masaki, our daughter is leaving me! Have I done something to gain her displeasure or. . . has she found a man?"
Shaking his head in disgust Ichigo walked over to his father and hit the man in the head with his fist. "Calm down old man, it's nothing like that. And you'd know that if you'd let Yuzu finish."
Isshin once again forced a serious expression onto his face and then returned to the spot where Yuzu was standing. Gazing down at his youngest he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder as he said, "So tell me, what happened?"
Tears once again appeared in Yuzu's eyes as she recalled the horror of the day. And for the first time she was struck by the fact that her best friend was gone and wasn't going to come back. "Shiori was attacked by a Hollow and. . . and killed."
Isshin instantly became serious on a level that his children had rarely seen as he pulled his daughter into his embrace. "I'm so sorry Yuzu."
"Thanks," Yuzu whispered as she placed her head on her dad's chest and allowed her tears to fall. This was the first opportunity that she'd had to really mourn the loss of her friend and everyone was silent as the young woman cried.
"So the baby," Isshin said once Yuzu had regained most of her composure.
"The baby belongs to Shiori and Toushirou," Ichigo supplied, giving his father a meaningful look.
"I understand," Isshin said, realizing from the look on his son's face that Soul Society didn't know anything about the infant. "So the child's mother is gone and her father. . ."
"Toushirou-kun wanted to leave Soul Society to care for the baby," Yuzu said in a quiet voice. "But we all told him that it was a bad idea since they would most certainly come looking for him and if they found him then they would find the baby. So I offered to take care of Tenshi."
Yuzu paused at this point, waiting to see what her father's reaction would be.
"I'm proud of you Yuzu," Isshin said, his eyes shining with pride as he gazed at his daughter. "You have grown into a fine young woman and I'm sure that Tenshi will benefit greatly from your care."
"Then you aren't angry?" Yuzu asked, having feared that her dad wouldn't understand the reasons behind her decision.
"Of course not," Isshin said. His daughter had always been a generous, caring soul and it didn't surprise him in the least that she was willing to take in the child of her best friend, both to help the child and to help the young Shinigami who was the father. It was simply in Yuzu's nature and quite honestly Isshin would have been shocked if she hadn't offered to help. And there was absolutely no way that he could ever be angry at his daughter over making such a sacrifice.
Yuzu smiled brightly as she once again embraced her father. "I love you Dad."
"I love you too sweetheart," Isshin whispered.
"Alright," Yuzu said brightly a few moment's later. "We should get to work. Dad would you mind watching the girls while Onii-chan, Rukia and I move some of my things over to Shiori's house?"
"Of course not," Isshin said, a broad smile spreading across his face. "I always love to spend time with my precious granddaughter and this new little lovely shall be my second granddaughter from this day forth."
This said Isshin gently took the infant from Yuzu's arms.
Together Yuzu, Ichigo and Rukia gathered up the belongings that Yuzu wished to take with her and moved them to the house that belonged to Shiori. Then, once the task had been completed, they returned for the two children who had been left in Isshin's care.
As usual Hisana was talking non stop to her grandfather and Tenshi was sleeping peacefully in an old bassinet that Isshin had brought down from the basement. Yuzu smiled softly as she gently picked up the sleeping infant and settled the child into the crook of her arm.
"Are you ready to begin our new lives together Angel Baby?" she whispered in a voice meant only for the child.
As though in response to the question Tenshi opened her bright teal eyes and gazed up into Yuzu's face. After a moment the infant smiled and reached her tiny hand up, seeking the comfort of her new caregiver. Yuzu held out one finger, which Tenshi immediately grasped.
"I promise that I will always be here for you Tenshi-chan," Yuzu murmured, brushing a gentle kiss across the infant's forehead.
Tenshi simply smiled.
"Let's go Yuzu," Ichigo called out, walking toward the door. "We still have some work to do before the house will be safe for you and Tenshi after all."
"Right," Yuzu said, hurrying to catch up with her brother.
"What do you mean we?" Rukia asked as she took hold of her daughter's hand. "You know as well as I do that I'm going to be the only one doing this since you can't even perform the most basic of kidou moves."
Ichigo shrugged. "What can I say? I still don't see the need for me to learn. I mean, it's not like I would use it even if I could so why waste my time?"
Rukia growled low in her throat and Yuzu couldn't help but laugh. It was obvious that her brother and his wife loved one another with all of their hearts however it always amused her to watch the way in which they showed their affection for one another.
She had the weirdest family ever.
A/N - and that's the end of the first half of this story. The continuation will be posted under the title Innocence Lost and will continue the story of Hitsugaya and his precious little Tenshi. Hope you enjoyed this chapter, please leave a review and tell me what you thought. Hitsu-taichou