Author's Rambling: Crap, this took forever to write... but it looks like my inspiration for this story is returning finally.

Well,m here come the real, big changes. I won't tell you anything except to read, and not to make too many assumptions.

Well, enough with the crap from my side. Enjoy the new chapter.

Oh yes, I remember someone asking me when I'm going to start changing the timeline.. Mwahahaha

Chapter 9 : The Deadline

(23:00, Karakura Town)

"Come back here!" came the loud shout of the Hollow. Sado wasn't nearly foolish enough to agree with that. He didn't get much chance to see the shape of the creature before him until now. Unlike Ichigo, he had carefully listened to Kisuke's long-winded speech about hollows... and according to that, this was the garden variety.

Towering over his prone body at three meters, stood a creature better set against the backdrop of some surreal nightmare. The mask, a horrid, twisted shape that reminded of a cross between a lizard and a dead fish gaped at him with fangs that dripped in bile. The two heavily muscled arms covered in razor-sharp spines nervously twitched, likely at the thought of crushing him between the meaty fingers. The chest, where the large hollow hole was, was covered in small black scales. Truly a thing of nightmares.

Sado twisted and rolled away to avoid a blow that would have easily crushed his spine, before pushing himself off the ground and back onto his feet. He'd been in more than a few street fights as a kid, and even if he had given his promise... instincts died hard.

He raised his hands in a loos guard, turning to show a bare minimum of his body to the beast. Taking the blow was hardly an option this time, as this thing wasn't out for just his blood.

"The little morsel has some skills? All the better." the Hollow spoke in amusement. True, Hollows were creatures of instincts, but any of them that survived for more than a few years learned to reign in at least a part of that instinct and use their intellect. "I am going to enjoy my meal after all"

Sado merely grunted in turn, now ready to fight. He wouldn't be caught off guard again. Quickly remembering the lessons from a few hours ago, he strained himself to feel his own spiritual energy, remembering that he was good for short bursts, perfect for landing strengthened punches. He didn't really know what the thing in front of him was made of, but he sure as hell wasn't going to go down without a fight.

The large thing smirked, the mask twisting to reveal a row of teeth and a smaller mouth beneath, as it lunged forward. Sado dodged to the left, eyes widening when he noticed that the spines from the Hollow's arms had sprayed over the area where it had landed a blow, the long spines sticking out against the short grass. Sado took the opportunity to land a punch to the creature's neck.

One may say a lot of things about Sado Yasutora, but he wasn't a fool. True, he was mostly pacifistic by nature, preferring to avoid fights whenever possible, but this was hardly an option. He understood perfectly that this thing was out for his blood and that of all those he knew. And he'd sooner be damned than let it get to them.

The hollow turned it's face towards him, eyes widening in growing shock as the teen's right fist glowed, right before it slammed into it's neck, piercing straight through and decapitating it, the pulse of energy continuing until it slashed into the concrete beneath.

Sado watched with no small amount of anxiety as the body and head of the hollow disintegrated, it's 'face' still frozen into a look of shock and growing horror as it turned into nothing. The hollow was dead.... and he was the one that killed it.

The growing wave of nausea and disgust was stopped by the sound of hands clapping. His head snapped towards the roof of the building opposite of him, only to spot the smiling figure of Naruto Uzumaki on it

"Nice moves, if I dare say so" Naruto jokingly stated, before jumping down"You need to work on the execution a bit, and the landings were a bit rough, but you have the right idea" he commented on, pointedly ignoring the look on the younger teen's face. He was aware though, and he knew that Sado was having issues coming to grip with the fact that he had taken a life, even that of a hollow. It wasn't the same as it was for him, the Hollow was a personification of hunger and instinct, hell-bent on destroying things he likely held close, sooner or later. At least he wasn't forced to kill a human being, yet.

"Naruto..."Chad started, voice growling with irritation, but stopped when Naruto raised his arm

"Look, I'm not here to spew bullshit about your fighting, you're smart enough to understand that. You're also smart enough to know that you had no choice in killing the Hollow" he continued"It would seem that you and Ichigo have a different perception of things, especially killing and what it signifies. And I yet again, have another... so I might as well help you out a bit" he added, smirking as he walked off, leaving Chad with no choice but to follow.


Rukia sighed tiredly, throwing a last, longing look a the small night cafe across the street. As much as she wanted some rest, it wasn't an option yet. Still, Rukia wasn't a little, inexperienced girl. At the tender young age of 127, she had nearly half a century of experience of living on the streets under her belt.

Her target, as it were, was a complete unknown to her... she had sensed something when she had woken up earlier, and decided to investigate on an impulse, not really expecting it to be anything dangerous... she knew her reserves were still recovering, and that she wouldn't be able to manifest her Zanpakutō at all yet, so she would have woken the king of scowls to help her out if she thought she needed it.

Pulling the warm coat she had, er, borrowed, closer, she kept on walking down the street, intent on finding this annoying presence, and ensuring that it wasn't a threat.

The street around her was mostly empty, but she was still cautious, it would do her little good to be caught off guard in a vulnerable moment such as this, but it nevertheless gave her time to consider the events of the past days with more clarity. That was it, it was merely a few days had passed sine she had arrived here, but she was aware of how much things had changed, of how much change she herself had brought on.

Ichigo was the closest one to her mind now, followed closely by Naruto, her brother Byakuya and Renji. She had changed, if only slightly. A mere month ago, she wouldn't have had the courage to do half the things she now did without thought.

And yet again, she could only chuckle at how things turned out. Though anyone who knew her would have known that there was no joy in that laugh. This... false life, would soon come to an end, as soon as Soul Society decided she had stayed too long.

Letting out a tired sigh, she kept walking onward, now slowly turning towards Ichigo's home. It was far warmer and more comfortable than that apartment across from Naruto, even if the company was capable of a slightly more intelligent conversation...

She had come to a decision. What happened, happened, she would no longer worry about things beyond her control. For as long as it lasts, she was going to enjoy this 'life', with all it's perks and flaws. Even if it did include a few crazy characters.

With her decision made, her mind slowly relaxed.


There are probably many images that those in the 'know' associate with Shinigami. Among those certainly wasn't the hasty entrance of one Renji Abarai who had just escaped from the Cleaners of the realm between worlds. The now-hunched figure, gasping for air, had only barely landed safely on the ground beneath. His appearance was a mess, and likely a shame for any lieutenant of the Court Guard... still, apart for weird sunglasses on his head, he seemed unconcerned about it.

He was a teen in appearance, of average height, and of lean build, a fine balance between a runner an a fighter. His long red hair was tied to the back in a pineapple-shaped tail, and said sunglasses were raised right over his forehead. Most of his body was covered, as usual by the traditional Shinigami uniform consisting of a black kimono, and the addition of a badge on his arm that served to identify him as a lieutenant.

"I just had to shoot my mouth off" he muttered, angry mostly at his own stupidity. After all, making an already irritated Byakuya Kuchiki even angrier was never a good idea. Of course, he considered himself fortunate the he got away with just an 'accidentally' forgotten Hell Butterfly to guide him to the lands of the living. Therefore, he had to bother with the Cleaners, and he could bet that he had let the information slip to captain Kurotsuchi who likely arranged such a perfect timing. After all, even if no one openly stated it, it was glaringly obvious that the both of them could be as petty, vindictive and downright nasty if they wanted... not to mention that they shared a perfect understanding on said subjects.

Finally catching his breath, he observed the area around him, content that he at least wasn't thrown somewhere unpleasant... that is, until he felt the various spikes. Easily a dozen of them, spread out throughout the area... and he had checked, there were no scheduled patrols tonight, and he was experienced enough to recognize the signs of extended battles that had lasted for a while now. So why wasn't a full detachment here to stop the attacks? Why hadn't there been any rush when he was leaving? It was almost as if... no, he didn't want to consider that possibility. They couldn't and wouldn't have. He wouldn't have let it happen. If there was one thing more certain than the sun rising in the east, it was the fact that Yamamoto Genryusai was a man of duty. He would never allow such a thing to happen... which left him with a question with no visible answers, and a battle he'd best attend to. Sighing in annoyance, and idly thinking how that simply didn't suit someone as young as him, he jumped off in a seemingly random direction, one hand brandishing his sword as he prepared to attack the hollows.


A soft groan was the only indication that no, Yoruichi wasn't sleeping, much to her irritation. And it wasn't because she wasn't trying. The small bedroom that Kisuke always left ready for her was a complete mess since she went to sleep, an hour before Kisuke and Naruto went to handle that mobster. It reminded her of other things, other times... Other identities she had assumed over the century spent here.

The Onmitsukido were assassins, first and foremost, and both she and Urahara had kept their skills very sharp over the years. Even if neither of them showed it, both could still bypass almost any security measure employed by both living and shinigami, and knew numerous ways to disable or kill... Both facts were greatly downplayed to keep themselves alive.

The memories of her time within the Seireitei, and of her former standing were bittersweet at best. Those she had been forced to leave behind, those she herself felt she had betrayed... Thoughts she neither wanted nor needed now. The past was done and over with, and no amount of grieving would change it.

Gingerly getting up from the bed, she reminded herself that she was still naked. Sighing, she picked up a bathing robe, dressing herself lightly as she used her feet to pull out a pair of slippers from under her clothes, and walked out. A cup of tea or some milk would be welcome now. And cookies, even back then, Tessai made the finest cookies.

Gracefully striding into the small kitchen, she set a small kettle to boil water, grasping the proverbial cookie jar as she waited. A small smile settled on her sleepy face as she nibbled on the cookies like a little girl, patiently waiting for the water to boil.


"Damn, just why couldn't I pick tonight to go out somewhere and get positively drunk?" Naruto muttered in irritation as memory after memory came flowing into his brain, the influx of information rapidly increasing his awareness of the events that took place.

Hollows were attacking... yet again. Somehow, he got the feeling that this wasn't the usual state of things, but he really didn't care for saving the world at the cost of himself. Once was enough, thank you very much, therefore he let the others fight the battles, intervening only when it was necessary. He was surprised, though, at Sado Yasutora's victory, even if his foe clearly underestimated him.

"Such a tiresome day...sigh... might as well go bug Kisuke or Yoruichi for a game of poker. Wonder if they have the game here" he mused, absently picking up his shirt from the bed, and throwing a small pebble to flick the light switch. He chuckled, realizing just how lazy he was growing, if he couldn't be bothered to walk over. Idly, he rechecked the seals on his palms, the two that held his two swords, ever ready to slice, dice, and generally cut the opposition to pieces. Not that he had found any that were worth it lately. That Puppeteer thing was the worst of them, and even then, it was a pushover.

That thought couldn't stop a laugh from coming.... maybe preparing for Madara really had put him in a whole new category...

"Hey, that means I can be as eccentric as I like!" he stated the realization, a wide grin coming over his face. Maybe the day won't be such a total waste after all...

The grin still present, he took the jacket he recently acquired, before walking out of his apartment, a finger sliding over the control plate to activate all of the wards as he did so.

One of the things he noticed about the shadow clones was that they rarely bothered to transfer subtle details such as the feel of the night air on the skin... likely because they were too focused on the information they were trying to give, but he would have appreciated it nonetheless. The air tonight was pleasantly chilly, and the variety of scents spoke of the coming summer, as well as the various places where one could get food in Karakura town. The glow of the street lamps gave just enough light to make finding your way easy, while still keeping the town quaint and sleepy, as it lacked the glare that downtown Tokyo had. In not so many words, it was a comfortable place to live.

There were still slight fracture marks on the pavement in front of the apartment from the last few nights.' irritating reminder of the constant attacks', he though, but decided against scowling. Ichigo did that well enough for two. And he still had a potential poker night to look forward to.

Of course, Fate was not nearly as merciful as one might hope, he realized, as he saw a distinct something in the shape of a traditional Japanese sliding door appearing in the sky above, it quickly opening and closing, depositing a figure dressed in white and black.

"You really hate me, do you?" Naruto grunted, looking towards the heavens. He could have sworn he heard a 'Yes', carried by the wind.


From far above, Kuchiki Byakuya sensed a distinct presence above that of the numerous hollows that were present. Unlike the seeming void that hollows or Quincy presented, or the pulsing forms of the Shinigami, this one was... simply there, a massive sphere of something with an indeterminable point of origin. A part of him wondered if it was the same thing captain Kurotsuchi's sensors picked up earlier that day.

Unlike the rank and file bellow him, the decorated Captain was far more skilled in the arts of detection, and while said presence didn't posses wasn't there spiritually, it was still something. He could have sworn he had seen a mop of spiky blond hair walking among the streets beneath him, but he dismissed it as inconsequential. No ordinary human could have created a feeling so odd just by being there. If he only knew how right and wrong at the same time he was...

In the distance, he felt the presence of his lieutenant, Renji Abarai, and after wasting a single moment trying to determine what had disturbed him, he moved on, silent as ever. It wasn't that Renji needed help, it was the fact that he needed to know what Renji did.

It stung his vaunted pride, the fact that it wasn't the Shinigami who held the order, rather, that a bunch of mortals were doing it for them. He would gladly say that it was the Shinigami's duty to rid the world of the living of the Hollows, but just because he was a noble, didn't mean that he was also a hypocrite. It was their failing that they even had to be aware and defend themselves, their failing that there wasn't any cover here tonight, and even a few nights ago, when the gates were locked. If he didn't know better, he'd assume someone was manipulating things to remove someone from the world of the living. 'It wouldn't be the first time something like that happened', he reminded himself, momentarily leaving the high-speed motion of Shunpo to look at the surrounding area. As usual, there were only minimal signs of any occurrences, the faint residue of hollow reiryoku, and the scent of iron, that of shed blood. A battle, or more, had taken place recently, but the victims and survivors were nowhere to be found, as usual.

He wasn't overly surprised when he spotted Renji easily defeating another hollow, it's body quickly breaking down after being decapitated.

"Captain!" Renji quickly saluted his immediate superior.

"What's the situation here lieutenant Abarai?" Byakuya formally returned. It would be a cold day in hell before one would catch him being informal with anyone.

"A bunch of hollows attacking captain, but it's strange..." Renji trailed off

" they picked this night knowing that no one would be here" Byakuya finished for him, with Renji quickly nodding in agreement. "Any traces of Rukia?"

"Nah. No luck on that captain, I didn't have the time" the red-haired youth replied.

"Very well. Let us go find her." what went unsaid was the real reason for Byakuya's concern right now, as a number of scenarios were running through his head, each one more troubling than the last. If there was such a mess out here, there was a distinct chance that his adopted sister didn't have a choice in staying here. Communications between the worlds were spotty at the best of times, and with Hollows roaming around, she might not have been able to do anything.

Funny how harsh irony could be... if it wasn't those close to him being pressed by his superiors it was okay... but if his own family was pressed for crimes that they did not commit. How hypocritical of him, he realized.

Batting away the weary sigh that he had almost released, Kuchiki Byakuya returned to his duties, regal as ever, his cold eyes portraying not a bit of the turmoil he felt inside.


If he wasn't as tired as he was, he'd laugh at this, and call it a good joke.

However, with Uryuu Ishida guarding his back against a total of five rather dangerous hollows, it wasn't exactly a normal situation.

"Just how did we end up in this shit?" Ichigo growled, wondering how a shouting match between the two ended up like this

"Damn me if I know, Kurosaki. But the Hollows aren't giving us much choice. We'll continue our discussion later" Ishida spoke in his usual calm and collected tone. Even under stress, the young man had excellent control over his emotions.

"There's nothing to discuss you idiot." Ichigo growled, noticing that the hollows were preparing to attack. He also noticed that he had managed to piss off Ishida. All the better. "You have problems with your head if you think I'm supposed to be your enemy for something I haven't the faintest about. Now shut up already and let's get rid of these things" he muttered, getting ready.

Uryuu Ishida was peeved. Yes peeved, that was just the word in his mind. This was not how the day was supposed to go. First, his irritating father went somewhere during the day, leaving him once more alone to his studies of arts both martial and scholarly. Then, when he goes out for an evening walk, he runs into Ichigo, in his Shinigami form. Not that he didn't know, Ichigo Kurosaki was often as subtle as a full nuclear blast on open plains. And he just had to let out that snide remark on his lack of skills. Ichigo was always brash and proud, and such an jibe at him was immediately rewarded by a less than flattering remark about his choice of clothes.

Still, when they both realized that they were surrounded by hollows, all discussion stopped. Survival came first, and the Hollows were lately more powerful than those that usually came. Until recently, he fervently believed he could handle whatever the world threw at him, but these last few days had opened his eyes, and shown him just how blind he was. There was no damn contest, but a protracted battle for survival that would only leave those fittest to live. And Ichigo had already proven himself to be 'fit', just as he had. And it was something that he would respect, even if the orange-haired teen behind him was as irritating as possible

"Just don't get killed Kurosaki. I don't think Orihime could handle it" he whispered, purposefully ignoring the surprised look on Ichigo's face. It was a silly thing really, who didn't know that Orihime had the biggest crush on Ichigo? And while he himself didn't socialize much, Orihime was a kind person, one of the few he actually liked. It would have been a shame to see her hurt for one man's stupidity and denseness.

There was no more time for banter though, as the Hollows descended upon them. With a confident smirk, Ishida released a hail of arrows, immediately obliterating the one closest to him, while Ichigo sprung into the air, decapitating another, while slashing through a second and third on the spin-back, giving Ishida enough time to finish of the last one.

"Three to two, Ishida. Looks like I beat ya." Kurosaki prodded, curious at the fact that both he and Uryuu were not even slightly tired from the fight, but nevertheless, enjoying to irritate the fancy dresser. He had to admit though, for a guy who looked silly half the time, Uryuu Ishida wasn't nearly as frail or helpless as he appeared. Hell, those toothpick-thin arms of his seemed to have some wiry muscle on them as well. Not to mention the crazy-ass energy bow.

"Three and four" Ishida calmly counted off as two arrows flew right behind Ichigo, hitting two hollows that were sneaking up on him straight in their masks. "You were saying?" he snidely returned, a look of satisfaction at putting Ichigo in his place on his features. Said teen merely growled, as the two of them walked off in search of more hollows, unaware of yet another clone standing watch over them finally dropping his guard.

The two of them kept running forward, unaware that two other groups were doing the same. Sado, as well as the Naruto-clone with him, who were going towards Urahara's shop from one direction, and Renji and Byakuya from the other, while Rukia herself was approaching from the third. Not that anyone apart from Naruto was aware of that.

"Sado, something's about to happen." the clone quietly stated to his companion "I can't afford to be seen by some of those who will be present."

Sado merely raised a curious eyebrow at that.

"Who is it?" he shortly asked

"Other Shinigami." was his answer"I don't recognize them, and I'm quite sure that we'd all be better off if they didn't know I was here. You should be just fine, though."

"Alright. I'll go then. But what are you going to do?" Sado asked, taking the first few steps forward.

"Me? I'm just a clone. I'll go 'poof'. And Sado, we'll talk later" Naruto explained and did so, startling Sado slightly as a cloud of smoke surrounded the place where Naruto was just a few moments ago. Well, not like Naruto wasn't known for doing weird stuff. Dusting himself off once more, he broke into a run, going in the direction that Naruto pointed out. There was safety in numbers.

The maze that were the small streets of Karakura quickly guided him to a slightly larger intersection, one near a small park. This was likely the place, he thought as he stopped, noticing the distant figures belonging to Ichigo and Uryuu.

"Chad!" Ichigo shouted at him, while Uryuu merely shook his head at his loud companion.

"Ichigo, Ishida. What happened? Were you attacked as well?" he asked, not even slightly winded from his long run

"Yeah, a bunch of hollows came out of nowhere and swarmed us. Don't tell me you were attacked as well?" Uryuu shortly explained, while Ichigo kept his eyes about, as if expecting someone to come out. And he certainly wasn't disappointed as a small figure crashed into him, falling from the raised park nearby.

"Rukia, could you please give some warning when you decide to crash on me?" Ichigo muttered from his place on the floor, Rukia currently sprawled atop him. Surprisingly, he wasn't in the least disturbed that a girl crashed atop him, in a position that might be considered intimate by some. More likely, he didn't give a damn as he was too pissed off by the day's events. He also pointedly ignored the barely heard snicker coming from Ishida. All jokes stopped when a the sound of a loud cough came from the side.

Sado was the only one not surprised at the event, as he had been warned ahead of time, but Ichigo, Ishida and Rukia were. Enough so, that only Rukia managed to mouth something.

"Nii-sama, Renji" she whispered as she locked gazes with the man that was her adoptive brother.

"Hello Rukia." he greeted formally, while on his side, Renji remained conspicuously silent. The air had become chilly, as all of them stood still, and the growing tension kept them all nervous.

"Ehm, who exactly are you?" Ichigo tried, helping Rukia get up from her spot on the ground. Byakuya turned a cold, calculative gaze at him, one that seemingly bore into his very soul.

"I am Kuchiki Byakuya, Captain of the Sixth Division of the Thirteen Court Guards of Soul Society." he spoke in a formal, if a bit condescending tone. "And who are you?"

"Kurosaki Ichigo." the orange haired teen responded. Byakuya took stock of the young man's answer, and turned towards his sister

"I see. And just what are you doing here Rukia? Why haven't you returned to Soul Society?" he asked in his most authoritative voice. Under normal circumstances, Byakuya Kuchiki was not a man to be trifled with. During times of war, he could be ruthless, harsh, emotionless to his foes. But family... that was the one subject that always pulled at his heartstrings, not that he'd let anyone know.

To his surprise, however, Rukia glared at him. He had seen that glare pointed at many people, but never at him, and it told him one simple thing: she was angry at him. And even he knew that angry women were something to steer clear of. One only had to remember the name Shihoin Yoruichi. Still, he was a man of dignity and pride, no petulant glare would force him to cow.

"I haven't returned because I had to give my powers to a mortal human." she started off sweetly "Because the damned patrols were nowhere during a damned hollow attack with over three dozen creatures. And attacks kept coming, while no reinforcements or as much as a peep from Soul Society came. What the hell were you people doing?" she finished, nearly screaming at him. She panted, having ran out of breath, while her face slowly shifted from rage to simple worry as she realized that her older brother had no idea what had happened. She had gotten decent at reading his expressions (or lack thereof) over the years, and surprise was one of the few she managed to recognize with some certainty.

Now that tidbit of information left Byakuya shocked. There had been no reports of any hollow attacks for the past few days, and apart for that wave of reiatsu and the sighting of a single, Adjuchas level hollow that seemed to have be there for a while now, things had apparently been calm. And curiously, there had been no attempts at communication from the world of the living. There were a few patrols that were scheduled to report in, but hell butterflies delivered said reports in their stead. Something was terribly wrong, and he had no idea what, but as the information slowly trickled in, he couldn't help but worry.

"How long do you need to recover?" he asked in a far quieter voice, the first signs of true concern visible on his face, even to Ichigo.

"I...I should be fine in about five days or so." Rukia responded, slightly put of by the show of concern.

"Lieutenant Abarai!" he called, making Renji snap at attention "You will remain here to watch over the unusual levels of hollow activity during the past week. Your stay here will last exactly one week, after that you are to return and report your findings either to me or captain Ukitake." Byakuya ordered, before turning to Rukia. 'Please understand that I can't give you more time' he thought, hoping that the worried, caring look he gave her would convey his thoughts. This truly was the best he could do for her. After seeing her nod, he fought back the smile that almost came out. The image had to be maintained, unfortunately. Before leaving though, he had one last thing to do. He put a hand, gently, on Ichigo's shoulder, momentarily turning him away from the others.

"Kurosaki-san," he spoke in a hushed tone "from what I see you have some relation to my sister. If as much as a hair is out of place when she returns..." he trailed off, putting out an ever so slight amount of spiritual pressure. Unfortunately, being in the world of the living, meant that he didn't have his fierce reputation, so he would rely on diplomacy to make sure. Once more, to his surprise, Ichigo merely smiled before he whispered, conspiratorially.

"I'll watch over her" he said.

Now, Byakuya Kuchiki was a man for formality, and things such as addressing people as proper, but right now, such a thing wasn't an option, and he understood as much. It would be even more rude of him to demand respect from a mortal than the fact that Ichigo Kurosaki treated him here as practically an equal. For once, for the sake of his sister, he would let it go. It wasn't like he would see the mortal again. The powers Rukia had given him would fade over the next few days anyway.

"Remember, seven days" he calmly stated before he turned away, vanishing into Shunpo, and leaving behind a very confused crowd, and a very interested clone overseeing them all.

Author's notes: So, a few things you didn't expect probably happened. I've been having one long, continuous headache with this chapter and trying to finish it, but it's finally done, and to be honest, I'm not overly pleased with how it came out in the end. But after roughly twenty redraws of said chapter, that's about as much as I can go without breaking... and roughly half the chapter came out today, with a new burst of inspiration leading me.

In all honesty, I'm trying as hard as hell not to rush straight to the Soul Society arc, as the majority of the crazy ideas I head were meant for that part of the story, and well, people are waiting for it.

Now, for some details. The reason why Yoruichi, Naruto and Tessai aren't doing anything is because they don't have to. As long as there's someone to hold the fort, they'll keep a low profile. And no, I'm not saying where Kisuke is... yet.

Also, I wanted to give Ichigo and Uryuu a slightly different perspective of each other, and while they will still be at each others throats half the time, they will have a modicum of respect behind it. Also, a few details about Byakuya as well. From what I gather, he cares about his adoptive sister quite a bit, even if he doesn't go around showing it, and I believe that if he was fully aware of the circumstances of what happened, he would have reacted differently in cannon, hence a drastically different reaction here. Keep in mind that this man is the head of a noble family who has lived for over a century. He's a politician by default, so finding loopholes in orders or laws is no issue to him. It's merely a mater of preference. However, he can be very stubborn when it's a matter of pride.

And for those who are wondering just what the hell is going on, and why Soul Society isn't reacting to daily hollow attacks, well, that will be answered later on. I have a reason for what I'm doing.

It will be another week in the story before the Soul Society arc begins.

Yah, well, enough with the bs from me. I hope you enjoyed the chapter. Read and Review folks. And expect entertaining things to happen next chapter.