Howya'll doin'?

For starters, I'd like to clean up a few mistakes on my side; I know my spelling sucks...other than that, I'd like to point out that A; the unnamed arrancar that was defeated by Ichigo was the fifth espada. Initially, I wanted to made it the seventh, but as someone correctly pointed out, Hallibel would probably have been able to defeat number seven even without her resurrection. Also, it provided a nice opportunity to show how much Ichigo has improved. Remember how much trouble he had with Nnoitra?

Secondly, Akiko is the third seat, not the lieutenant...My apologies if I messed that up...When I write, my eye for detail seems to evaporate...

Lastly, I guess this Fanfic is now officially A.U. When I started this story, the battle with Aizen had not yet transpired. So I just took a hunch at what could happen. As of now, my story no longer matches the plot line...I will, however, do my best to stay as true to the story as possible, hence the reference to the Karakura battle later on...

that's it folks. Enjoy! (sorry for the Authors note, btw.)

Shark empress seven

"Ye lord! Mask of blood and flesh, all creation, flutter of wings, ye who bears the name of Man! On the wall of blue flame, inscribe a twin lotus. In the abyss of conflagration, wait at the far heavens."

As the last word left his lips, blue energy gathered in Ichigo's hands, forming a crackling sphere of radiant blue energy. Straining to control the ball of blue enery, which seemed to posses a mind of it's own, he brought his hands upwards, and shouted; 'Way of destruction no. 73; Sōren Sōkatsui!'

Then, there was a bright blue flash, a loud 'BANG' and next thing he knew, the squad three captain was lying on his back on the ground, feeling like he had just received a powerful punch to his stomach, and several people looking down on him.

It had been a two weeks since Ichigo had first brought Hallibel to the Seireitei. In the passing time, the both of them had travelled back and forth between the spirit realm, and the earth.

Ichigo had decided to continue on training his kidõ, much to the delight of the majority of the lieutenants, and even some of the captains had come to see how he was doing.

'No, Kurosaki-san, you're doing it all wrong again! You're supposed to concentrate and control your Reiatsu.' Tetsuzaemon said, crying tears of frustration.

'Shaddap. You can't do it yourself. How would you know-' the teen started to reply, but he was cut of by another voice.

'Hate to break it to ya strawberry, but that was undoubtedly the most pathetic display of kidou I've ever seen.' The owner of the voice, Rangiku Matsumoto, twirled her hair around her left index finger, and then looked back at Ichigo.

'I-I think it wasn't that bad. You just need some more practice.' Hinamori spoke timidly.

'Practice more? He can't even perform a kidõ spell which is lieutenant level. Not that it matters. Kidõ is such an ugly art.' Ichigo didn't even have to look to know who said that.

'Never fear Kurosaki-san, for I, the great and talented Omeada shall help you to-'

Meanwhile, the orange haired teen started to get frustrated.

'Why the hell are you guys all here anyways? ' he interrupted the lieutenants gathered around him.

'Quite frankly, watching you fail miserably at kidõ is one of the few entertaining things around here.' Rukia piped up.

'Very funny. Now get the hell out of here so I can continue my practice.'

'Eh? No way, you're the best source of amusement since the chappy series.' Rukia's statement was followed by a murmur of agreement.

'Alright then. Staying is at your own risk.' with that, he closed his eyes, and imitated the stance he had seen Urahara use in the battle of Karakura, and started murmuring inaudible.

'He is not doing what I think he is doing, right? Right!' Omeada asked, his voice an octave higher than normal.

'Well...it does the resemble stance required for Hadõ 91...Senjū... Kōten...Taihō...' Tetsuzaemon's voice faded away.

'OH SHI-' everyone flash stepped away, as they realized what Ichigo was about to do.

When everyone was out of sight, the orange haired teen lowered his hand, and smirked.

'Gotta remember that one.' "No way in hell I'll try that technique anytime soon."

Deciding he was done for today, Ichigo took off towards his office. He imagined Hallibel and Akiko would be back from their patrol by now.

Curiously enough, the arrancar and his third seat had developed a rather close relationship, and as such, they would often be found together.

And indeed, when he entered his office, both women were sitting on his couch. It appeared Akiko was asking Hallibel something, and the Arrancar was shaking her head. Both women stopped talking when they noticed him. He resisted the temptation of asking them what they had been talking about, and instead just sat down behind his desk.

Then, a hell butterfly flew in through the window, and made it's way towards his third seat. It proceeded to land on her fingertip, flapped it's wings twice, and dissolved into a black smoke.

'So what did it say?' Ichigo inquired.

The blue haired girl smirked, motioned the arrancar to follow her, and walked towards the door.

When she reached the door frame, she turned around, and told him; 'Just a summons for the S.W.A.* I'm going to introduce them to Hallibel.'

And the door slammed, signaling the departure of both women. Shrugging, the orange haired teen turned back to his desk, and the mountain of papers piled upon it.

Several hours later

Hallibel walked back into the office, with Akiko close behind her. Apparently, the duties of the Shinigami's women association consisted mainly of deciding which male officer was the best looking one, which male officer was most popular among the the students of the Shinigami academy, guessing which male officer was best in bed, drinking sake, planning 'reconnaissance missions' to shopping districts on earth, and coming up with barely-legal plans to fund said missions. None of which were particularly relevant to the Arrancar's interests. But it had been nice to meet the other female officers, despite the constant questions about her and Ichigo being a couple.

To her amazement and, she grudgingly admitted, slight dissapointment, Ichigo was nowhere to be found. Instead there was a small note.

"To Hallibel & Akiko,

My assistance was required in Karakura. Will be back later this evening.


'Well, that explains things. C'mon, let's eat dinner.' Akiko said, and walked towards the small kitchen.

later that day

Closing the door quietly behind him, Ichigo entered his office. He made a mental note to ask the captain-commander, or whoever was in charge of such things, for another bed. Hallibel was occupying his, so he had been sleeping on the couch for two weeks. Not that he minded. But still, a bed was somewhat more comfy than a couch.

He put down Zangetsu on his table, within reach, should something happen. As he lied down on his couch, he pondered the past two weeks. Hallibel had adapted remarkably well. No incidents at all, even though she still didn't speak much. His own squad, wary at first, was gradually opening up to her. Of course the fact that she was close with the third seat helped.

So what now? The captains expected him to somehow get her to tell him what Ichimaru was doing, and, more importantly, where. Provided she knew. Ichigo himself doubted Aizen or Ichimaru had trusted the Espada enough to tell them something like that. In their eyes, they were just expendable soldiers, after all. So what would happen if she didn't know? What if, ultimately, she had to choose between soul society and whatever Ichimaru had to offer? What would she choose? And if, and this was something the orange haired teen didn't like to think about, would he be able to watch her getting killed, or even do it himself?

"Whoa. Deep thoughts. Chill out Ichigo, when did you start worrying about that Arrancar that much anyway? You've only known her for two weeks, remember?" he thought to himself. Deciding it'd be best if he discussed the matter with someone else tomorrow, he shifted his weight, and closed his eyes.

With Hallibel

Hallibel placed Tiburón on the small nightstand. After spending a week travelling between the spirit world and the human world, she felt slightly more at ease. But she still wondered. Even though she hadn't exactly had a warm welcome, there hadn't been any noteable hostile actions against her. Due to the order Ichigo had issued, and the faith the third squat had in their captain, this wasn't such a suprise. But what about the others? Surely there had to be someone who took offense at her mere existence? No, she was being protected from above. And when the high ups protected someone, they usually didn't do so because they thought the someone in question had pretty eyes.

So what could she possibly have that the Shinigami wanted? The answer to that was most likely information. But what kind?

And what would they do if they had the information they needed? Hallibel knew from experience that when someone had fulfilled their role, they were discarded. Like Aizen had done. Like... She pushed the thought from her mind before it could take form.

There were more important matters than dwelling on the past.

For now, she would just watch how things played out. She could always escape when need be.

Trying to push the thoughts about betrayal and fighting Akiko and Ichigo from her mind, she closed her eyes.

That's it for now...

Damn...It must have been months since I last updated...Sorry about that. Also..,I'll be taking somewhat of a break with this story. I won't discontinue it, but my head is just to full of other things right now. In the meantime, I'll try my hand at some songfics, and I'll also start with some actual fiction...meaning I will update my fictionpress account. Might take a while though.

As some of you might have noticed, I haven't exactly made much progress considering the pairing...At first, it was because I did knew where I wanted to end the story, but not how to get there...I think I've figured that out by now. This chapter served mainly as a small break between the battles, and I like to think I that this chapter made Hallibel look somewhat more like a human, instead of a deadly warrior dressed like a stripper -.-'' feedback would be appreciated.