A/N: Thanks for the reviews so far. Here is another edition, please enjoy and don't forget to review at the end. BTW, obviously this story is after the defeat of Aizen, but it is also not taking into account what happens at the end of the Manga if you know what I mean (don't want to give it away, message me if you don't know what I mean.)

Interview with a Shinigami

Chapter 5: Scared


Kuchiki Byakuya (Captain, 6th Division):

The order had been made. There was nothing that could be done. It was announced in an urgent Captain's meeting with the Captain Commander that the ryoka, Inoue Orihime was to be captured and then hence forth, killed.

[pause]

Of course not. I would never speak out of turn, despite the fact that the girl was a good friend of Rukia's makes no difference. I am a Captain and therefore, the Captain Commander's orders are law.

[pause - Byakuya shakes his head]

Why would I? I hardly know her.

[pause]

If that were true, then there would be no way to tell if anybody was real or was an imposter. There is no such being that could disguise themselves in what ever form they pleased.

[pause - Byakuya's eyes peirced the interviewer like stone]

Yes, that would be more likely, however doubtful. This is the first time I had ever heard of a soul taking over another soul, much less in Soul Society, and even less a chance of it being in Sereitei and in the Captain Commander himself.

I think you are trying to grasp at straws. Inoue Orihime is a criminal of Soul Society, it was astonishing that she got away. The guard was doubled with both Captains and Lieutenants. No one else would have got through those defenses; it was unforseeable that Kurosaki Ichigo would find out about the exact time she was arrested and where she would be in Soul Society and even so, he should have failed. We had foreseen his interjection and had arranged the Captains accordingly. There was only one thing we didn't account for; his will to protect her and his annoying ability to beat the odds.

That is what I most despise about that boy.

Shinji Hirako (escaped criminal; known Visored): Yes! It is true! Orihime Inoue was in love with me, so I had to let her down gently.

[pause]

Heresy! Ichigo is many things but a fighter for love he is not.

[pause]

Yes, I did hear that the Gotei 13 got a kick in the junk with that incident, despite the fact I didn't think he had the balls to do something like that. But then again, Ichigo was trained in the ways of a Visored by me and my companions, so it isn't so much of a stretch is it?

[pause]

So many questions! So many rumours! First of all, who cares about some historian, they're probably all lies to put fear in those who oppose the Gotei 13, especially the one about Orihime's powers. If that were the case, she would have been locked up by the Captain Commander years ago. I remember a time after the defeat of Aizen. Ichigo began training with us again and it was on a special day.

"Ichigo, lets rest," exclaimed Shinji.

The orange haired Vizored frowned and jumped to the ground gracefully, adjusting his Bankai uniform, allowing it to disperse and he returned to his normal self.

"What the hell? Since when do you want to have a rest? You're training me for gods sake, its not like you're actually doing work! Idiot!" exclaimed Ichigo in a frustrated manner.

Shinji raised his eyebrows in mild surprise. "Is something on your mind, Ichigo?"

Ichigo looked away, placing his sword on his back where it belonged.

"No-" began Ichigo.

"It wouldn't happen to be because of what today is, would it?" asked Shinji, taking a bite of a piece of cake.

They had a selection of things to eat across a table, which was odd. What was the occasion?

"Thank you Orihime-chan!" exclaimed Shinji suddenly.

The orange haired man's eyes widened and as he turned, he saw his good friend placing various cakes and biscuits upon the table with a pink apron on.

Shinji grabbed Orihime's delicate hand and began to caress it in a weird manner.

"Hey bastard, don't do that! Can't you see its making her uncomfortable?" yelled Ichigo with a scowl, whom raced over and grabbed Orihime's shoulders, pulling her away from the idiot Vizored.

"Are you okay, Inoue?" he asked, a bit softer, his face shed of his scowl.

Orihime's eyes were looking up into his chocolate orbs with surprise. She was already embarrassed by the way Shinji had been treating her, but then Ichigo had almost hugged her in the way he pulled her back from the blonde Vizored.

He stood behind her, with his hands still upon her shoulders. Upon realising his continued close proximity, he pulled away, a bit too quickly. As Orihime turned to thank him he had shunpo'd away, back to the middle of the training ground.

"Come on asshole, lets get on with my training," yelled Ichigo, his body facing the opposite way.

Orihime looked over but couldn't see Ichigo's face. She felt crestfallen and with a sigh, she continued on with her work.

Shinji had asked her to come over out of the blue and to bring some food as it was a special occasion. She smiled and had accepted, she couldn't refuse a friend of Ichigo's. She had spent all morning preparing cakes and biscuits, jelly and cream, sandwiches and savouries; anything that she could think of that was 'normal'.

She had thought of doing something special to give to Ichigo today, but no. It would be too embarrassing and there would be a chance that he would figure out her feelings for him.

Orihime Inoue stood in front of the table and noticed Shinja hadn't moved from his spot. He walked up to her until he was inches apart from her and grabbed her right hand, holding it delicately. He used his free hand and pulled something out of his pocket.

"Here," he said softly, with a small smile. "Something from me. Happy Valentines Day. You can go now if you like, Ichigo and I will be training so not much point staying."

Ichigo had turned around to see what was taking Shinji so long to get over to where he was standing and his eyes widened. Is he giving Inoue a gift? he thought.

And despite the fact that Shinji was helping him and always had, a deep feeling of undesirable and unwanted jealousy began to form. He wasn't jealous damn it! No, it was more of a protective feeling because he knew that Shinji wasn't even serious and would just hurt Orihime's feelings, that's all!

When Shinji returned, the blonde smirked at Ichigo's aura and rieatsu upon his return.

"I gave Orihime-chan a gift," said Shinji, unsheathing his zanpaku-to and placing the blunt end on the back of his neck in a casual manner.

"I noticed," spat Ichigo, with a deep scowl upon his facial features with unwavering distaste. "Don't hurt her, you bastard, or I'll kill you."

And with that comment, his rieatsu spiked to an incredible height as he dashed toward Shinji without signs of backing down. In moments, Shinji was pushed forcefully through some of the rock mountains, landing on his back painfully.

Blood was coming from his mouth, he guessed some of his ribs were fractured and his arm was broken and yet his smirk didn't disappear. I know your secret, Kurosaki Ichigo.

Suddenly Ichigo landed mere metres away from the leader of the Vizareds and held his sword firmly, and as he realised the damage he had done to his friend, his mask began to dissolve. Had he gone too far?

No, not for her. Nothing is too drastic for her.

"A-are you okay, Shinji?" asked Ichigo with a slight pang of regret.

"Yeah. I'll heal quickly but you just proved a point to me. I wouldn't hurt her Ichigo, because I know that you'd kill me."

Anyway, so that's about it. Ichigo never got her anything but I could still tell that he was starting to fall in love with her. He'd never admit it to anyone, especially himself but I could tell.

Soi Fon (Captain 2nd Division): Kurosaki, although an amateur shinigami would always prove useful along with the other Ryoka he associates with. Time after time they seemed to avert the many evils that came their way.

[pause]

Of course Soul Society don't need help from mere Ryoka! They only lended a hand and not because we asked! It was just...adding to our defenses, that's all. However, despite me saying this, we have been ordered that if Kurosaki Ichigo ever became a problem that we would not hesitate to kill him. Not only is he an asset, he is also a threat. After all, he defeated Aizen whom even the Captain Commander could not manage. So yes, I will admit he is powerful but this does not excuse the fact he has now gone against Soul Society! And I can't believe that Yoruichi-sama would go along with this! I can't help but think that if push came to shove, I guess that there would be no choice but one. I am with Yoroichi-sama, but you didn't hear that from me...ARE YOU WRITING THIS DOWN? OH MY GOD! YOU ARE!

"BANKAI!" exclaimed Soi Fon. In a large puff of smoke, emerged the transformed Soi Fon with a large looking zanpaku-to on her arm. She shook her head with fury as she pointed the gold and black rocket looking contraption at the interviewer.

"Now, you are going to delete that last statement...aren't you?"

Kenpachi Zaraki (Captain 11th Division): Yes. It was a pity I wasn't present at the time. Damn that Ichigo, I should have been there! Sometimes as I walk around looking for a fight with someone, I long, no, I dream of fighting Ichigo one on one!

[pause]

And you think I care about why or how? Or about some stupid story about that human? Although, Yachiru seems to like her for what ever reason. I don't care. But I am going to speak to the Captain Commander about me being the one to force him to give up the girl.

Ikkaku Madarame (Third Seat, 11th Division): Tch. Are you serious? You want me to comment about that bastard? I don't know what he's done this time, but the Captain Commander isn't going to go easy on him which means he has no hope.

[pause - Madarame looks to the interviewer with a furious glint in his eye]

What was that? Speak up, I didn't hear you...I thought you actually said that I was afraid of what will happen and afraid that Ichigo might be more powerful than me which isn't going to happen.

[pause]

Truthfully, I admire the guy. Despite all the comments about my perfectly rounded bald head, and underneath all the insults and fights he is everything I hoped that we could be. Everything we do up here is to protect the land of the living and our friends, our family and to survive. The orange haired girl is nice and everything but I just don't see the point of trying to hide her from us, I just don't get what he's thinking. But then again, I don't understand why she was sentenced to death either. She's been kind and has healed many of our people in our previous battles. Ichigo seems to be protective of all his friends but you know what? I reckon he's a dumb ass anyway, so what does it matter? And there's also the fact he thought my warm up dance was stupid, which I've gotta say is INSANE! So no! I don't give a shit!

[pause]

Before you go, I did hear a rumour, however I had dismissed it since one, I don't care and two, it was from a resident in some back water town in Rukongai. Some powerful people in some of the towns have gone missing and I don't know why. I guess we'll wait and see.


"Inoue, where did you go?" asked a concerned voice.

Grey orbs focused on his brown ones as she smiled and placed a brown paper bag on the table.

"I just wanted to get some things for dinner, Kurosaki-kun."

The orange haired man sighed with frustration. "I told you not to do that. Do you actually want to die?"

Inoue shook her head, and walked over to the man. His eyes were indifferent and sad looking all of a sudden as if he were thinking bad thoughts. She placed a soft, slender hand on his upper arm and continued to shake her head. Her eyes showing a sadness she had been holding back since the whole ordeal.

"You shouldn't be doing this, Kurosaki-kun. You should let this happen."

The man felt enraged and upset at the same time. He pushed her hand away from him and looked at her with anger. "Don't ever say that, you idiot."

The girl was taken aback and frowned. She regretted saying it, but it was what she felt was the right thing to do. He was putting himself in harms way to protect her and she couldn't allow it any longer. No one should ever risk their lives for her sake again, she had promised herself that she wouldn't be the one needing to be saved again. He had a future, he had friends and family and those he cared about to protect.

But her thoughts seemed to make her even more sad and this time she couldn't stop her tears from falling. She stood there silently, wishing she could have kept her thoughts happy and that she hadn't enraged the one man she loved with her whole being.

"Inoue," he said with a softer tone this time. "Please, don't say that ever again."

The girl nodded and made a smile that didn't reach her eyes. He walked over to her and hugged her awkwardly. Maybe he was too harsh, but he didn't want her to say things like that. He could never allow a friend to die for nothing...for something she didn't deserve. In fact, he couldn't bare to think of her as dead or gone.

He didn't know why he felt this way and there was something within him that couldn't help thinking that if she did die, he wouldn't hold back, he would rather go back to being the 'horse' than let her die. Was that wrong? Just what the hell was wrong with him?

He rested his chin on top of her small, yet hard head as his thoughts began to scare him. His brown orbs were riddled with confusion and feeling he wasn't familiar with. She wrapped her arms around his stomach and her tears began to soak his shirt.

The feeling was like nothing he had ever experienced and what scared him even more was that he enjoyed her wrapping her arms around him like he was her hero, like she was was with him.

At this, he pulled away awkwardly and looked into her eyes.

"Inoue, I'm sorry."


A/N: Well that's it for now, just thought I'd give everyone an insight on what they're up to. Please read and review. The next chapter is going to get more into why they actually are going to sentence Orihime to death.

Bullet2tm