Stepping out of the portal, the demon looked around, smiling cruelly. It had been surprisingly difficult to tame this particular shinigami, but demons were not Seireitei's normal enemies, and thus, the shinigami had not known how to fight him off. The takeover had been swift and brutal, the demon rifling through the shinigami's thoughts and memories, hunting for anything of interest. The female was no fun, weak and soft as she was. The man's captain was of some minor interest…perhaps one day he'd challenge the other man and see which of them won. After all, the demon hardly cared if he lost this host body. Surely he could find another.

People and battles had been sorted through quickly, none of them really catching the demon's eye, until he had seen the boy with the bright orange hair and the angry brown eyes. Now here was an interesting specimen. A human who had stolen a shinigami's powers as a temporary solution, and never lost them. A part-time substitute shinigami who was also part Hollow, and had so much more spiritual power than even he realized he had. Rarely had the demon ever seen anybody who only got stronger and more powerful with every fight. The teenager, thin and lanky, could easily prove a challenge even for the shinigami division captains, and for the Arrancar as well.

And here he was, in the human world, in a small town called Karakura, hunting for this boy's rather unique spiritual signature. No doubt the boy's soul would be positively delicious, but that's not what the demon was here for. He would much, much prefer to have the boy's pain over his soul. He was relatively certain that the boy would not break easily, and it would be fun to play with him until he did. And when the boy was broken and useless, the demon would devour his soul and hunt out his next prey.

Tilting his head slightly, the demon sifted through the myriad of souls held in this town, noting with glee that there was a lot of spiritual energy around, which would provide for an excellent feeding ground for a demon. But the brightest thread by far struck him with a soundless alarm, and the demon grinned wickedly. He had found his prey!

Loping easily down the hill in his strong new body, the demon ignored the hollering in his head, ordering him to leave Ichigo and h is hometown alone. Like there was a chance of that happening! Following the spiritual thread on silent feet, the demon noticed that the distance was being covered remarkably fast, and then realized that Ichigo was no doubt heading directly towards him, probably wondering what this particular shinigami was doing in his town.

Chuckling, the demon's eyes gleamed as he closed in on his prey. When he was close enough, the demon slowed down and waited patiently. A few seconds later, the boy that the demon had seen in the shinigami's head turned the corner of the playground, and sauntered up to him, not looking particularly alarmed as he raised a hand in greeting.

"Yo, Renji! What's up? More Hollow?" he queried, not looking particularly concerned. Adjusting his stance to be more casual, the demon shook his head, letting Renji's familiar smirk slide across his face.

"Nah," he drawled, enjoying the way that his tone purred from the slender throat that he now possessed. "I just wanted a small vacation from Seireitei . It's no fun there if there's nobody to fight." And it was true, for both shinigami and demon; without an opponent, things were rather boring in the shinigami's homeworld.

He noticed Ichigo staring at him through narrow eyes. "What is it, Kurosaki?" he demanded, his tone brash. "You got a problem with that?"

Ichigo shook his head. "No, not really," he responded honestly. "But I'm surprised that Rukia isn't with you," he admitted. The demon did his best to conceal the shudder that the thought of that girl, but he must not have succeeded entirely, because Ichigo was staring at him oddly. The demon just stared back calmly, waiting to see if the other boy would realize what was wrong.

Shrugging, Ichigo turned around with a, "Whatever," muttered under his breath. "You coming to my place, then?" he asked sourly, and the demon remembered that it was a regular occurrence for shinigami to use the Kurosaki residence for any meetings or get-togethers that happened in the real world, when they weren't gathering information in Kisuke Urahara's shop.

"Of course," the demon drawled, moving after Ichigo. That had actually been very easy, he thought, amused. Ichigo was very loyal to his friends, and would never actually believe that one of them could betray him of their own free will. Well, from what the demon had seen in Abarai Renji's head, all of Ichigo's friends shared that same loyalty. Which meant that the demon would have to force Ichigo to keep the others at bay, or risk the demon slaughtering them all.

Grinning manically at the new ideas that this gave him, the demon chuckled again, then paused, watching Ichigo. The other boy didn't seem to have heard him, though, or had simply disregarded it, so the demon started after him again, keeping up easily. The entire time, the voice in the back of his head ranted and raved and threatened. The demon just tuned out Renji's furious, scared voice, and followed Ichigo into his home and up to his bedroom.

Nobody appeared to be home at this time of day, which was perfect, because it probably meant that they were all at school, another concept the demon had learned from Renji's memories. Ichigo was either playing hooky, or had left the school when he felt the shinigami's presence in his town.

Once in Ichigo's room, the teen turned around and headed back for the door. "Okay, make yourself comfortable. I gotta go let the others know there's no Hollow in the area," he waved casually, which answered the demon's question. Ichigo had left school. Well, since he had already left, there was really no point in him going back, now was there.

The demon took only a moment to decide on his immediate course of action. Normally, he'd tackle his prey and give him a chance to fight back. However, he was far too impatient to wait for his prey to fall in battle, and there was the slightest chance that he might, just might, not actually win the fight. There would be plenty of time for a good fight later on, he supposed.

Summoning up the shinigami's magic, the demon fueled it with his own power, and skipped the incantation all together. A blue burst of power flew at Kurosaki, who felt it coming and dodged out of the way…right into the path of the demon's true spell. Ichigo's own shadow snapped up and grabbed him, binding him more strongly than chains would have done.

With a grunt, Ichigo was thrown to the ground, dragged there by the shadow chains wrapped around his arms and legs. Rapidly, wasting no time, more shadows climbed over him, weighing him down, so that soon, he grew tired of struggling under their mass.

When Ichigo lay still, even if only for a few moments, the demon smiled cruelly. "Oh, you're good," he praised lightly. "I rather believer I'm going to enjoy myself. Perhaps," he chuckled, "we both will. After all, Renji does consider you to be one of his closest friends."

A sudden jerk, and the demon watched in satisfaction as Ichigo renewed his struggles, his spiritual powers flaring and his brown eyes snapping with fury. Oh, this was going to be so much fun. Not only could he use the humans against Ichigo, but he could use the shinigami as well.

The smile was wiped abruptly off his face as the shadow chains started to crack under Ichigo's reiatsu. Dammit! He shouldn't be able to break a demon's spell with sheer willpower, like he could break a shinigami's attack. Snarling, he moved forward and delivered a swift kick to the boy's temple, temporarily stunning him. Gesturing again, the demon called forth more chains to bind him, so many that they were no doubt starting to bruise and tear his captive's skin.

"Continue struggling, human, and you'll find out exactly what I can do to, and with, this body," he snarled furiously. "And don't even think about calling out your Hollow self. He can't get you out of this," he assured the teen. Of course, Ichigo was mostly powerless while trapped within his completely human body, but just to make sure, the demon used the shadows to remove the pendant that Ichigo kept with him, that would allow him to transform into a shinigami at any time. There would be time to play with that power later.

The struggles had stilled at the threat to his friends, and Ichigo glared up at him. "Touch any one of my friends, and you won't live long enough to regret it," he swore, and the demon believed him. Or, at least, he would have believed him, if they were on equal standings. Which, obviously, they were not, for the demon had taken him down with relative ease. Still, the boy had put up a decent fight for a mere human. His shinigami form would no doubt prove more fun, and the Hollow form would probably be an absolute delight. But the demon wasn't interested in seeing Ichigo's other forms right now.

No, right now, it was all about his pleasure…and perhaps Renji's. The shinigami, catching a stray thought as it passed through the demon's mind, snapped, struggling mightily and causing a huge ruckus inside the demon's skull. Closing his eyes, the demon sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "I can see that this might take a while, but I promise, we'll all enjoy this…eventually," he chuckled, leering down at Ichigo, who continued to glare at him defiantly.

Shrugging, the demon ignored the boy chained on the ground and wandered around the small room, taking note of everything. Hmm…this wouldn't be a good place for them to stay, since it was apparent that shinigami walked in and out of this house almost at will. So they'd need to relocate, as it were.

Snickering to himself, the demon turned back to Ichigo, still wearing Renji's casual smirk, and bent down next to the prone body. "As much as I'd love to talk with you some more, we've got to move now, and I can't have you making this more difficult for me. So go ahead and sleep now. There will plenty of time for playing when you're awake again," he told the other boy in a falsely reassuring tone. Holding his palm in front of the teen's chest, the demon gathered his power, then blasted it straight at Ichigo.

Ichigo went flying, despite the heavy chains that weighed him down, and crashed into the far wall of his bedroom. His head snapped back against the wall, and then he tumbled to the ground, unconscious. A dent and a smear of blood from an apparent head wound now decorated the young man's room, and the demon smiled happily. Anyone who saw this would no doubt try and track Ichigo down, and Ichigo would have no choice but to hold them at bay, or even to fight them himself, if he wanted them to stay alive.

Sauntering over to the other boy, the demon picked him up and tossed him over his shoulder before darting out of the bedroom window. He never even noticed the little stuffed lion that had been watching him silently from the bed. Shuddering, Kon slipped to the floor and ran as fast as his stuffed legs would take him, heading straight for Urahara's shop. He had to let the other shinigami know what was going on!