"Soul Reapers? Hollow? Arrancar?"

Her head spun from all the information she'd been forced to absorb. Kisuke assured her that it was a lot to take in at once, but rest assured, he'd swore he'd answered all her questions to the best of his ability.

Urahara neglected to mention that he'd carefully avoided answering a damned thing about Ichigo, or his whereabouts.

In an angry huff, she slammed the door open...

And ran smack dab into said strawberry.

Why is HE here?!

Her eyes narrowed sto slits as she burst out of the door. He'd been standing there, about to enter, and clearly her prescence had startled him badly, judging by the way he winced under her harsh stare.

But she didn't have time to chat, she had places to be. Taking the pack over her shoulder, she shot him a heated glare, as if to make clear just how much he'd hurt her.

When confusion flickered in his eyes, she forced herself to walk away.

She didn't get far.


She'd been halfway home, waiting for the crosswalk signal to change when the attack came. Out of the blue an arm suddenly encircled her waist, sharply yanking her aside, just as the light turned green.

Briefly she struggled, kicking at her unseen assailant, reptively, and where it would surely hurt. He was male, she could tell by the way he grunted in pain against her blows, but now matter how hard she kicked him there, he didn't let go.

At last, the voice whispered into her ear.

"M'lady. I would greatly appreciate it if you would remove your knee from my groin. You are causing me a great deal of pain."

"Nani?" The voice sounded familair. It just didn't have the same wheezy rasp to it. Daring to look into the face of her attacker, her eyes narrowed slightly at the green cloak he wore to hide his face.

"Ecchi!" She hissed, slapping the hand away from her waist. "Let go!"

"My sincerest apologies." The man bowed with a sly grin, bringing an arm to his chest in a broad, sweeping movement, and at the same time, reaching to his hood to pull it away. "I did not mean to startle you."

Ryo Kunieda normally didn't think much of the opposite sex. Boys were the epitome of sexist arrogange. They were stupid, they were filthy, stubborn, lecherous, rude, and more often then not, they thought with their crotch, not their brain.

It wasn't that she was a lesbian either, no, sometimes girls' could be just as bad as boys, perhaps even more so. With their naturally spiteful nature, refusal to take no for an answer, and on rare occasion, irritatingly optimistic idea's, they weren't exactly ideal lover material either.

Maybe she had high standards, or perhaps she was just better than everyone else. Regardless, Ryo did not want, and even if she did, she did not she have time for a relationship in her busy schedule.

Yet despite herself, Ryo was slightly startled, and embarrased, all at once at this particular boy, one she now recognized by his distinctive golden black eyes. But the face was unfamilair, though hard and chiseled, it gave the impression its owner was a laid back person, judging by the way a smile seemed permanently affixed to his face.

"You?!" She recognized him now.

Amidio had made good on his promise to return in a more acceptable guise, and then some. Gone were the rotted teeth, replaced by bright pearly whites, the pale filthy, grungy condition of his skin had been wiped clean, replaced by a healthy tan, that contrasted bright silverly hair, falling just around his shoulders.

He stood tall, topping the six foot mark with ease. His attire was a drastic change compared to his hideous rags of before. Around his thick neck rested a spiked choker, the kind you'd expect a goth kid to wear. Fair enough, she thought to herself, recognizing the black shirt emblazoned with a white skull, dark levi's halting just above the ankle, and a pair of, you guessed it, black leather boots.

"Does this body please you, m'lady?" That sounded a bit too innocent. Surely he knew that he'd stick out like a sore thumb, or was this another elaborate ploy to irritate her,

"Goth." The word escaped her lips before she could take it back. "You look like some emo goth punk."

He winced, turned aside, and crossed his arms in a pout.

"I...believe this fashion is quite acceptable for one such as myself."

"Well it isn't." She countered, taking some small pride in her words as they got back on track. "Now, I have some questions, and you're going to answer every last one of them-

"Would this be more appropriate then?" He interrupted suddenly. Before she could ask just what he meant by appropriate, Amidio waved a hand across his face, blocking it from sight for as it was hid in the cowl for but a moment.


When she could see it again, her heart nearly stopped at the sight of his now amber eyes, and spikey orange hair. Now staring back at her was a very, very familair face, one that she'd seenly less than an hour ago.

"A-Amidio!" She cursed herself for letting his name slip in her amazement. "W-What did you just do?!"

"Me? I didn't do a thing, m'lady." Ichigo's voice answered snarkily, the corners of his lips twisting up into a sly grin that he never ever used. "So, is this better?" He leaned forward slightly, and the grin stretched further across his face. "Is it more to your...liking?"

Well...I think he'd look better in-wait, what am I SAYING?!

"N-No! N-Not at all!" She sputtered finally, her cheeks flushed, slapping at him to which he jerked away, laughing at her cried of: "Just change back whatever you did! Change back damnit!"

"Well, I can change my form and shape as I please." Was the answer, and with a wave of his hand, Ichigo's visage had dissappeared entirely. Of course I have to see the person first, and there are other limit-" There was a small trace of pride in Amidio's voice as he rattled on about his abilities, but Ryo felt nothing but revulsion at the use of such an arcane art, and therefore did not pay heed to any of it.

"See?" A new voice asked suddenly, yanking her from her thoughts. "But the only problem is-

"Ah!" Ryo now found herself face to face with, well, herself, but in the goth clothing of before. The clone actually smiled, fiddling with the back of her hair as if it were a plaything, then sharpily hoisting the levi's back up when they nearly fell down.

"Cut that out!" Ryo hissed, grabbing Amidio by the collar, lest someone happen to walk by the alleyway and discover their antics. "For the last time, stop doing that!"

"As you wish, m'lady." With a grin, his features swirled, and he resumed his normal shape.

"Here." From the satchel worn around his shoulders, he extended a cloth wrapped bundle to her. "You'll be needing this."Amidio slid back half a pace, allowing her to continue forward, as he himself melted away into the shadows.


"You seem tense, Ryo Kunieda."

She whirled, and found someone standing in the shadows.

"How did you know me?"

The shadowy figure permitted her a small smile as he stepped into the light.

"I know many things." He countered, adjusting his spectacles with one hand, and brandishing his blade with the other. "And I know a great deal about you, Ryo Kunieda." Some small sense of warning told her to move, but she could not, so stricken was she by fear. He paused now, recognizing the space he'd occupied was little more than shattered stone. Still he continued.

"Tell me, how has Kurosaki been? I take he and that Shihoin wench are getting along well?"


"Oh?" He seemed genuinely perplexed by this sudden turn of events. "You don't know?"

"Know what?" A terrible sense of dread filled her stomach. "Who the hell are you?"

"Sosuke Aizen. And I'd like to show you this."

Holding his sword, he uttered one word.


The blade seemingly burst into trillions of fragments, spraying fluroscent light everywhere. Slowly, they formed an image, a picture, as if she were watching an actual scene from a movie.

As the image was displayed before her eyes, she gasped, angry tears springing to her eyes. Then she frowned, scowled, refusing to believe, refusing to acknowledge the incriminating image of Ichigo tongue wrestling with some busty tan woman.


With a shriek, she threw herself towards him. Steel met steel as she flew by, drawing blood.

"Marvelous." Aizen commended her, tossing the torn sleeve aside, revealing a thin cut barely above the elbow were she'd initially struck him with her newly acquired sword. "Just what I'd expect from a Kanshisha."

Ryo couldn't answer, she was too busy gasping for air. This guy was unreal, and he was fast. By the grace of god, she'd managed to keep away from his sword, but it was just that, barely, and it didn't help that she was horribly unskilled with a katana, let alone a long ass nodachi like this one. That last hit had been just that, a fluke, a lucky hit that wasn't going to happen again.

"But you're not using your full powers, are you?" Sosuke replied calmly, blurring forward, forcing her back half a step. "No, I didn't think so." Now a full step, as he struck again and again, Kyouka Suigetsu little more than a blur. "In your current state, you're no serious threat, however...

With sharp crack, his reiatsu jumped, slamming Ryo to her knees. The air rushed from her lungs, bleeding from a thick gash that ran across his right shoulder and down the back. Dim surprise reflected in those cold black eyes, her body falling to the ground...

Only to be grabbed by the collar.

"Why?" she gasped, glaring at the man with smoldering fury, trying to buy time until her strength returned.

"Why?" Aizen blinked in a rare moment of surprise. "As I've already said before, you are an important piece of the puzzle. To bring you here. Obviously I would be under suspicion if I were to suddenly appear in the real world without explanation, hence this untraceable gigai. Therefore, it was child's play to bring you to me."

With scream, she grabbed him by the shoulders, and heaved him bodily forward.

But Aizen twirled, landing gracefully on his feet, reflecting complete and utter serenity, even as she, pushing off the back of her heel, lashed out at him again in reckless abandon.


There was a loud cracking sound, and Ryo was gone, vanishing into nothingness, kicking up the dirt from the sudden burst of speed. No sooner had she left his eye, then something hard cracked into his face, surprising him as his glasses, shades he'd bought to further his disguise, shattered under the spirtual pressure.

At this sudden development, wickeed revolutionary that he was, Sosuke Aizen could not help but be intrigued, even as he rubbed his sore jaw, numbed from the blow. This wasn't shunpo, it didn't have the distinctive swishing sound. It couldn't be Sonido, the sound didn't fit either.

And it certainly wasn't Hireyanku, the Quincy equivalent of the flash step.

That left only one answer.

"Jinsoku Kage-Sochi. Rapid shadow step." He wasn't at all surprised by the sudden speed clone that leapt out of her shadow, swinging its heel down with the murderous intent of breaking his face.

He saw her coming, sidestepping at the very last second, and her sword struck the earth instead, the dark afterimage vanished as his sword raked it down the middle. "Impressive. I didn't think you'd proggressed that far, Ms. Kunieda, to remember your own signature technique."

She growled, landing delicately on her left heel, whirling to plant her right shoe firmly into the captain's stomach.

With a startled grunt, he lurched back, only to vanish into thin air once more. She blinked in surprise as he reappeared to her left, entirely unscathed, unfazed by her attack.

"As I said, I am not an enemy."

Ryo shrieked with frustration, seizing the hilt of her sword and shoving it deeper into the soil. The words leapt to her mind, unbidden, as if she'd known them all along, and just forgotten them.

"Tear apart!"

The long nodachi, still embedded in the soil pulsed a sinister red as it lengthened off into a large ornamental scythe with a blinking eye in its center handgrip. Extending from the eye, a set of black chains wrapped themselves about her left arm and waist, suggesting it could be used as a ranged weapon.


The weapon itself was easily twice her size, but with a flick of her wrist, she twirled, pulling it out, spinning the reaper about her as if it were a waist high halo.

Sosuke arched an eyebrow.

"Interesting choice of weaponry."

A small smirk as she squeezed the pommel, and its wicked edge became hedged in serated spikes. "Then how about this?!" Unbidden, the chain extended, its slick edges encircling the shinigami, lacerating his hollow's throat as if his skin were made of paper. Then massive frame swung around one more time, ending with a decapitation.

Calling the reaper back to her, Ryo sneered down at her victim, the blood soaking the streets, his mouth open in a silent 0. With a swift thrust of her heel, she stamped on his chest, kicking the corpse into the nearby street.


Cold steel suddennly rested upon her throat.

"Am I?" Sosuke Aizen still very much alive, whispered in her ear. "Does a fool tell the truth and offer peace?" His free hand seized her by the hair, dragging her to him.

"How?" She gasped, the thin trickle of blood running down the creamy alabaster skin of her neck, gazing down at the Aizen Sosuke that was suppsed to be dead.

"This is the power of my zanpaktou. Kyouka Suigetsu."

"I-She wormed out of his grip, trying to suppress the flush that fled from her neck to her cheeks- I have no interest in peace."

"I find that difficult to believe." The bespectacled captain countered with a small smile, his words, which normally had an almost hypnotic effect on humans and shinigami alike, seemingly losing their charm when spoken to her.

She was wary, this one, and for good reason.

"You hate him, don't you?" The taunt was so sudden that she froze, utterly unable to speak. "Yet you love him, but don't want to hurt him." The former captain gave a small, careless sigh. "My my, I'd say it's a Catch twenty two."

The fire burst into her throat and choked her.

"Shut up!"

"It's a shame really, you're not very pleasing to the eyes, not when you're so cold." He gave her an appreciable glance for emphasis, his zanpaktou at work, breaking down the barriers of her mind with chilling efficency. "You act harsh, you throw up a facade to push him away...

"Teme!" She choked out, trying to keep the image from her mind, and failing miserably.

A thick spiritual pressure cut off what he might have said.

"Aizen Sosuke." Much to her shock, Amidio now stepped out of the wall, its surface rippling behind him as his boots cleared the pavement. He'd walked right through the brick, she realized, and now he landed in the mud with a soft squelching sound. "Step away from my charge."

"Oh?" The man arched an eyebrow at the sudden transparency act. "And who might you be, arrancar? I'm fairly certain I haven't seen you before, I always remember the faces of my allies."


"I am no ally of yours." Cecillio all but spit back.

Amidio had changed a bit, Ryou realized. There looked like the remains of a plaster mask on his head, running down, parting his hair, to for a section of sharp, ridged teeth hanging around his chin as if it were necklace of sorts, but it was conneced at the neck itself.

There was something about his personality as well. Gone was the playful, childish demeanor that irritated her so, now it was replaced by barely contained rage, smoldering fury, as he clenched a trembling hand into a fist around the long cloth wrapped hilt of a sword, strapped to his hip.

A sword that wasn't there before.

"I am Amidio Cecillio." Never once did he take his eyes off Aizen, who had resheathed his sword, and now drew it once more. "Guardian of the Kanshisha, and humble servant of Los Gran Councilio ante vacuo." To Ryou, that spanish phrase roughly translated to 'The grand council of hollow?'

Blinking, she shook her head.

What the hell does that mean?

It was a short sword he drew, a wazikashi, with a simple oval guard, and white hilt. But the interesting aspect of the blade was in the long chain that dangled from a triangular hook at its edge.

Following the length of chain with her eyes, Ryo was vaguely surprise to see another wazikashi in a seperate sheathe, this one connected by a similair chain, and drawn as well.

Giving his weapon a quick twist, the arrancar placed himself firmly between the two, the chain acting as a shielf, spun at a dizzying velocity, ready to be thrown at a moment's notice.

"And you, shall not lay so much as a finger on her, so long as I draw breath."

"Then breathe no longer."

"I should say the same to you, Shinigami!"This sentence was punctuated by a sudden buzz of sonido, and by then, the arrancar was on him, a brillaint indigo orb dancing from the tip of the left blade.

Aizen's smile shattered like glass, eyes widening in anger, visage twisting itself into a frown as the reaitsu surged upon him. He swung his blade with gusto, cutting the flamethrower like blast in half, where it collided harmlessly into a nearby store.

Amidio, visibly surprised by this, whirled, but Aizen was already there, a dark arc of energy forming between his two upraised fingers. Amidio, realizing he wasn't going to get away in time, stabbed both wazikashi into the ground, slapping his hands together as if he were performing some odd ritual.

Whatever it was, he didn't have the time to finish it.

"Hado #90: Kurohitsugi."

The black coffin swallowed him whole.

Hopefully that translated right. I really suck at Spanish. Next time: Bitter