Chapter Eight.

Las Noches: Aizen's POV

"Lord Aizen, Kurosaki Ichigo has escaped. The repression device was not strong enough to contain his hollowfide spirit energy what should we do?"

He turned to look at the low ranking male Arrancar.

"There is nothing that needs to be done. Everything is going according to plan." He smirked. The Arrancar looked up at him in shock. "You seem surprised Nachi. Did you think I would be caught off guard by a mere child throwing a temper tantrum?"

Nachi shuddered under his glare. His head now lowered in shame and fear as he shook it wildly.

"Of course not My Lord."

"I want to pit his strength against that of the Espada. I want to see how well he has developed."

"Forgive me my Lord Aizen but I do not understand." His Subordinate muttered, his head lifting just enough to look at him in confusion.

He barely managed to stop himself from rolling his eyes. "I didn't expect you would. Do not inform the Espada of what I have just told you."

"Of course my Lord."

Aizen watched with amusement as the Arrancar shook uncontrollably under the weight of his gaze and snorted in disapproval. He was surrounded by weakness.

"You may leave."

Nachi quickly stumbled towards the door, his feet sliding across the stone floor in his haste to retreat.

He let out a long suffering sigh and reclined into his throne, his head tilted lazily towards Kurosaki's enormous hollowfide spiritual pressure. A small smile played across his features. Truly his plan had been worth it. Ichigo being bonded with Byakuya Kuchiki, then brought fourth to Hueco Mundo. Was in fact only the first step of his plan.

He needed the rich Spirit energy of a noble to balance out the dark power Ichigo's inner hollow produced. Now that the two were connected this goal had been achieved.

The second stage was to make Kurosaki not only fear for his own life but for that of another. This would cause him to subconsciously draw upon the energy of Byakuya Kuchiki. Enabling him to survive the process Szayel had preformed upon him earlier. Thus allowing a quick evolution in his powers. Aizen did intend to eventually devour Ichigo's spirit energy; but he was no fool he knew it would take time. He simply wanted to see how fast he could help Ichigo progress to the point where he would be ready. The nobles spirit energy was nothing more than an added bonus.

There were many advantages to having Kurosaki and Kuchiki bond.

If Kurosaki became seriously injured, someone on Kuchiki's end would be able to heal them both whilst only treating one. Also Ichigo would be able to tap into the potent noble spirit energy when his own was exhausted.

This would all allow Ichigo to develop faster than under normal circumstances.

Now he would simply have to sit back and watch as Ichigo battled his Espada and with luck ultimately rise even further up the evolutionary ladder.

All of this tedious preparation, planning and waiting would eventually lead him to stage three and that is where things would get interesting.

"You seem rather pleased with yourself."

Aizen turned his head to look at Gin. The man was smiling widely as usual.

"Indeed." He replied before looking away.

He listened as Ichimaru walked towards him. His feet echoing loudly in the large room.

"That sure is one scary kid. This whole place could fall apart at any minute." The silver haired man half joked. "Wonderweiss is not very happy about all the racket. The poor thing is shaking like a leaf."

"What exactly do you want Gin?" Aizen questioned his gaze once more turning to his subordinate.

"I'm just wondering how long you're going to allow that kid to go on a rampage. We've already lost dozens of Arrancars and Noitra has been in better shape."

"If they can be so easily defeated then what use are they to me?"

"You're so mean Lord Aizen." Gin quipped as he waved his hand dramatically in front of his face.

Aizen ignored Ichimaru in favour of wallowing in the monstrous roars Ichigo's hollow was spewing out. Las Noches was being shook to its very foundations. It was like witnessing the end of the world.

A self satisfied smile graced his lips as he felt Noitra's life come to an abrupt end.

How many more are you going to destroy before you decide to leave? He wondered. Not that it mattered to him. His Espada were nothing more than his pawns in this elaborate game of chess. Sacrifices were necessary to serve both him and his goals.

The pure killing intent that raged across Las Noches from the epicentre of the battle was palpable. He felt Arrancars being slaughtered one after the other as though they were nothing more than ants to the enraged Visored.

An explosion reverberated throughout the palace as yet another sizeable portion of Las Noches was destroyed.

"You do realise that soon there wont be anywhere left for us to live." The ex Captain of squad three moaned.

Sosuke turned to him a malicious glint flashing across his eyes.

"If you are so disturbed by this situation Gin then I am more than happy to allow you to subdue Kurosaki yourself."

Gin opened his piercing blue eyes to look at Aizen seriously.

"I don't have a death wish." he said seriously as he rested his hands inside his sleeves and cast his gaze to the floor.

"Is that so?"

Aizen raised an eyebrow as he studied Ichimaru's face and not for the first time wondered how long this silly game of his was going to continue.

Las Noches Byakuya's POV

Byakuya quickly turned on his heel to prevent a burly Arrancar from attacking his sister. He raised his hand and directed the thousands of razor petals under his command to attack. It stumbled about comically before falling under the onslaught and was quickly dispatched.

Damn Isshin and his pigheadedness! He thought venomously as he flash stepped towards Rukia. After he had felt his son engaged in battle with an Espada the man had run off without so much as a backwards glance. It seemed to be an hereditary trait of the Kurosaki family.

It wasn't long afterwards that he also found himself within the huge innards of Las Noches. There were Arrancar everywhere. None of them could so much as stop to catch their breath without being bombarded by a battalion of the white clad, mask wearing psychos.

He stepped to the side quickly to avoid being hit by Renji who had been flung across the room by a particularly ugly looking enemy. He winced slightly as he heard his lieutenants head crack sickeningly on a pile of wreckage.

He directed Senbonzakura towards the beast with precise movements. Yuroichi quickly backed away giving his Zanpakutou the room it needed to operate. The Brutish hollow was able to avoid most of his attacks using Sonido. Noticing this Shihoin re-entered the fight and concentrated her efforts on helping to contain it within a confined space. She used a quick combination of kicks and punches to drive it back towards a corner where the ceiling had caved in.

Renji meanwhile had stumbled out of the rubble and launched his Zabimaru across the room towards the Arrancar. At the moment the hollow was blocking Renji's Zanpakutou, Byakuya stuck, bringing the pink wave up from behind and crashing it down upon its head. Their combined attacks quickly overwhelmed the creature leaving it dead.

He waited for Rukia as she ran over to the group and began to use Kidou to heal Renji's head wound.

"We should continue forward." He said after a while had passed and gestured towards the direction of Ichigo's monstrous spiritual pressure.

His sister nodded and reluctantly broke the healing spell. The four of them moved nimbly through a crumbling hallway trying their best to avoid falling bits of mortar along the way.

Las Noches didn't look much like a palace any more. Byakuya thought as he viewed the carnage that surrounded them. The white structure was literally falling to pieces. The closer they drew towards the epicentre the more sluggish their progress became. In several places the ceiling had completely collapsed leaving no other alternative but to blast paths through with carefully aimed Kidou.

At least there weren't any more low ranking Arrancar around. It seemed that they had vacated the area in favour of more hospitable terrain. Which Byakuya was silently thankful for this, as he couldn't be bothered to deal with any more of the irksome creatures. He needed to keep his focus in case they were to encounter an Espada or worse Aizen himself.

The small group slowed to a near snails pace as they surveyed their surroundings more alertly. They were close enough now that the heat from cero sprung fires could be felt upon their skin and Ichigo's hollowfide roars caused Byakuya's teeth to rattle inside his skull.

Up ahead his saw Isshin crouched behind a fallen pillar. Using a quick bout of flash step he quickly appeared at the doctors side.

"What were you thinking running off like that?" Byakuya demanded angrily. "You could have gotten us all killed you ignorant fool!"

Isshin looked at him in bemusement.

"And what would you have me do Kuchiki? Sit in a dune twiddling my thumbs whilst my Son fights an army of Espada?" The doctors brown eyes studied his own intently awaiting an answer.

"No of course not." Byakuya sighed in defeat, his anger quickly evaporating. "You could have waited for our assistance however."

"I didn't think you'd come, even if I asked."

"Well we're here aren't we?" Rukia interrupted as she flattened herself between the two of them.

Isshin smiled at her quickly; before as a group they turned to peer over their makeshift barricade. The sight that greeted them was awe inspiring as well as utterly terrifying. Ichigo was without a doubt completely hollowfide. Long angular horns jutted protrusively from a menacing red and white death mask. His entire body was pure white save for the blood red markings that ran from his bottom, bone clad jaw to the dark hole that passed through his chest. His orange hair surrounded his body like a fiery halo. He truly was the vision of a nightmare. His clawed hands and feet slashed as fearsomely as his Zanpakutou at the hollows that surrounded him.

Beneath him on the floor was a pile of wasted bodies growing larger by the second. Byakuya watched almost mesmerized as Ichigo engaged a hollow who within seconds had taken on an almost bat like form.

"That's Ulquiorra." Yuroichi informed them. "He's one of the two Arrancar that we encountered in the world of the living. He's an Espada."

Byakuya looked on as Ulquiorra launched a green bolt of energy at Ichigo, who in turn dipped his head and charged an orb of crimson cero between his monstrous horns and fired. The power from the two blasts was so intense that Byakuya could actually taste the energy of it in his mouth. The air smelt like hot metal and barely a second later the shock and heat from the blast had knocked all of them backwards.

This was a battle between titans. Byakuya soon realised and as such held no room for them.

"We should retreat!" He shouted over the blaring noise.

"I'm not leaving my son!" Isshin yelled back stubbornly.

"I am not suggesting that you do Kurosaki. I am only saying we should move to a safer location, we could be caught in the cross fire. You are of no use to your son dead!" .

Isshin hesitated then nodded. They quickly hurried further back. After being knocked to the ground several more times they managed to find harbour in a reasonably steady area sheltered from most of the debris and shock waves by a large segment of fallen wall. The battle between Hollows continued undisturbed by them only proving how trivial their presence was to the two combatants. Neither being had noticed them as they continued to disembowel what was left of Las Noches.

"I can't believe that's really Ichigo." Renji spoke numbly. His eyes trained intently on the battle. "I mean I know it's him but it''s just so hard to believe. He's beating that Espada into paste."

Byakuya also found it hard to reconcile the two distinctly separate sides of Ichigo. One side was a stubborn teen with a hero complex and the other an unstoppable killing machine. The roars that escaped Ichigo's hollow side sent shivers down Byakuya's spine. They sounded almost pained, as though Ichigo were crying out for help.

For close to half an hour they watched as the battle raged. It didn't seem soon enough however when Ulquiorra was finally thrown to the ground and did not get up again. The group watched with bated breath as the hollowfide Ichigo made his way to where the Espada had fallen.

Byakuya groaned as his chest filled with pain, and not of the physical kind. He felt emptiness, fear, and panic swell up inside him like a balloon about to burst. Again Ichigo emitted a long low roar and Byakuya knew for sure this time that is was; like it sounded, full of misery.

Without a seconds hesitation he leapt to his feet and began racing towards the Visored.

He was vaguely aware of his comrades screaming his name. A part of him knew that running towards Ichigo in his current condition was pretty much an act of suicide, but he couldn't stand the pain, the loneliness nor the fear any longer.

He reached out a hand and grabbed Ichigo's shoulder. The Hollow turned his fiery golden gaze towards him.

"B...Byakuya.." He spoke shakily in a guttural voice. "Must escape.."

"You already have Kurosaki." Byakuya gasped as the pain within his chest grew more profound.

Ichigo became rigid, his entire body seizing up making him for a moment appear to be some kind of macabre statue. The Bone mask began to crack and chip away. He quickly reached forward and grabbed the teen as he fell forward, the last of the mask shattering as his face impacted against Byakuya's shoulder.

Byakuya watched dazedly as Ichigo's amber eyes turned brown and closed. Hands quickly appeared relieving him of his burden. Isshin and Yuroichi quickly began to preform healing Kidou on Ichigo. Whilst Rukia and Renji tried to talk to him.

He raised a hand to his chest expecting a hole to be where his breastbone was. The world had unexpectedly become surreal and the people around him seemed to be no more than figments of a dream. A low buzzing noise began to ring in his ears and the world seem to shift from technicolor to grey scale. Deep down in the pit of his stomach a burning sensation began to spread, first it rushed to his legs, then his arms and then engulfed his torso. As the warmth grew the feelings of pain began to subside.

Byakuya jerked his head up to look at Ichigo's prone body. The Whiteness of his skin seemed to be moving. The pale white shifted and gave way to the healthy tones of pink flesh. The white soon became a watery energy that lifted from Kurosaki's body and hovered above him like a spectre for a moment then descended back to his torso with lightening fast speed. There was a brilliant flash of light as the strange substance impacted with the teens flesh and where once had been a hollow hole now there were only perfect unmarked plains of skin.

Ichigo Gasped his eyes flying open and leaped into a crouching position. At the same time Byakuya felt as though he had been given the breath of life.

Everyone watched stunned for a moment then quickly surrounded the substitute all trying to get word in edgeways over each other.

Byakuya was the first to rouse the group reminding them of where they were. Just because Ichigo's Hollow had disappeared did not mean that the danger was gone. The were still in Aizen's territory, not a good place to be for any longer than absolutely necessary.

With Yuroichi's help he quickly began to open a Garganta to the world of the living.

After a loud and obnoxious argument with his father Ichigo had finally convinced the group that he was well enough to travel without aid. Byakuya of course knew this to be true. Whatever high speed regeneration Ichigo had gone through had not only healed his hollowfication it had also removed any evidence of scarring Ichigo had, had before even going to Heuco Mundo. In fact whatever had happened to Ichigo Byakuya was certain it had also affected him. He felt better that he had in years.

Karakura Town Ichigo's POV

Ichigo sat impatiently as Kisuke examined him. Orihime, Chad and Uryuu had been waiting for them as they arrived back in the world of the living

Between the others and himself they informed the others of what had transpired during their time Heuco Mundo.

"It seems strange that you were able to escape without encountering Aizen." Uryuu finally said what they had all been thinking. "It seems to me that he let you leave."

"What are you yapping about!" Renji yelled. "You weren't there, getting out wasn't exactly a walk in the park!"

"Actually Renji I think Uryuu's right." Ichigo muttered. "It does seem like part of a bigger plan."

"Well plan or no plan, you're back and for the moment that's good enough for me." His dad said as he playfully whacked him on the back.

Ichigo smiled weakly at his father. Although he was putting on a show of bravado Ichigo could tell that he was just as worried as he was.

"What's going to happen now?" Orihime asked no one in particular. "Ichigo's body has been destroyed he'll need a Gigai now won't he?"

Ichigo looked over at Kisuke. "Yeah I suppose I will."

"Eventually yes. However for the time being I think it safer if you were to retire to the Soul Society for a while." Mr Hat and Clogs said as he began to pack away his examination tools. "Whatever plans Aizen has for you will be harder for him to execute if you are in the Seireitei. I've already re-programmed Karin and Yuzu's memories. As far as they are concerned you have been excepted on an exchange program and wont be returning to Karakura for some time."

"What! Don't I get a say in this?" Ichigo demanded hotly as he leapt to his feet. He felt like his life was no longer under his control. So many things were happening and so fast. Did everyone just expect him to roll over and go along with whatever they said?

"At the moment no you don't. Ichigo don't you realise how serious this situation is?" Yuroichi asked her golden eyes flashing dangerously.

"Of course I do. I'm not stupid!"

"Well you could've fooled me!" She snapped. Her face immediately softened and she seemed to regret her harsh comment. "Ichigo, you need to go to the Soul Society. Don't forget that on top of all of this business with Aizen you also have the issue between Byakuya and yourself to address."

Ichigo sat back down and shot a glance over at the quiet Noble. Byakuya had not uttered a word since they had entered the Garganta. His dark eyes were trained firmly on the tea table in front of him.

"I know." He conceded unhappily . "So when do I have to go?"

"Very soon I'm afraid." Kisuke answered. "Tessai has already sent word to the soul society. They have informed us that a pathway will be made ready for you all as soon as possible."

"What am I supposed to do in the soul society?" Ichigo asked. "I could be there for months for all we know!"

"You can stay with us at the kuchiki manor. I'm sure Brother wont mind will you?" Rukia said.

Byakuya jerked his head up and looked around at everyone for a moment before replying.

"That is acceptable." He then returned his gaze the tea table.

Ichigo cocked an eyebrow at the raven haired noble. The man seemed shaken up. Not that Ichigo could blame him, being exposed to the monster that he had hiding inside his soul was something he would not wish on anyone 'except Aizen of course.'

"Well then that's settled, I think we should give Ichigo some time with his father and friends. It may be a while before they see each other again." Everyone save his father, Chad, Uryuu and Orihime got to their feet and left the room.

"Don't worry about your sisters Ichigo, They'll be fine." His father said as he quickly embraced his son in a warm and loving hug. Ichigo returned it with equal emotion. It wasn't often that his Dad initiated physical contact without a side order of violence . He wanted so badly to question him about his secret soul reaper side, but decided against it. This was neither the place nor the time for that discussion. His dad let go of him with obvious reluctance and stepped away so that Ichigo could say goodbye to the rest of his friends.

Orihime ran tearfully towards him. She slung her slender arms around his neck and practically throttled him in the process. Huge tears welled up in her large brown eyes and her lips quivered as she spluttered our a tearful farewell.

"I'm going to miss you!" She gasped. "I'll try to visit you if I can! And I'll bring you some of my home made food if I do! And I'll record all of your favourite TV shows and I'll buy all of your favourite weekly manga so you don't miss anything!"

"Thank you Orihime." Ichigo smiled as he patted her on the back.

"Take care of yourself Ichigo." Chad said quietly.

"Yeah, you too."

Uryuu simply nodded icily in Ichigo's direction before leaving the room. Ichigo barely managed to bite back an insult at the Quincys retreating form.

The next several minutes were taken up by Orihime's tear filled chatter. Then all to soon, Renji entered the room informing him it was time to leave.

Ichigo stood before the gateway leading to Seireitei. How long would it be before he would once again rejoin his friends in the human world? He chuckled quietly to himself, only a couple of days ago he had been making up excuses to get into the Soul Society now he was desperately trying yo think of a reason to stay out of it.

With one last look at his friends, He stepped over the boundary between worlds the sound of the spirit doors closing echoing emptily in his ears as he and his fellow Soul reapers made their way towards Seireitei.

The sight that greeted them all as the arrived in the Soul society was quite impressive to say the least. A large crowed of souls reapers had gathered around in anticipation of their arrival. Ichigo half expected the crowd to begin attacking them at any second but was pleasantly surprised if not slightly embarrassed when they began cheering instead.

The group began to make their way through their unexpected welcoming comity.

"Why are they so happy?" Ichigo asked Renji. "I thought you said they would be pissed with you guys?"

Renji smirked at Ichigo smugly. "Well I guess the fact that we just strong armed you out of enemy territory has earned us a place in the pantheon of forgiveness."

"You're so full of yourself." Ichigo muttered jokingly.

"Hey! I'll have you know that there aren't many who'd risk Heuco Mundo not matter what was at stake!" Renji barked at him angrily.

"I know, thank you Renji." Ichigo smiled at his friend appreciatively, who now seemed a little lost for words.

"Uh, You're welcome." The red head said sheepishly.

"So what's the plan now then?" Ichigo asked.

"We need to report to the first squad Captain and receive any punishment that he has prepared for us." Rukia answered sounding a little worried by the thought of facing the commander of the thirteen divisions.

Ichigo hung his head guiltily. If it weren't for him then they wouldn't even have had to go to Hueco Mundo let alone face Yamamoto.

"Kurosaki your self loathing is giving me a headache please desist this instance." Byakuya said, speaking for the first time in hours.

"Sorry." Ichigo muttered as his cheeks flushed red with embarrassment. It was so weird being connected to someone in this way.

The meeting with the head Captain had gone better than any of them could have predicted. Yamamoto had yelled at them for close to an hour before letting them leave with only a stern warning as punishment. Although as far as Renji was concerned the hand written report that had to be handed in by the next morning was torture enough.

Renji had bid them farewell as they passed by his home on the way. Leaving Ichigo alone with the kuchiki siblings, who began the trek back to their own home.

Rukia was companionable the whole way, chattering animatedly about the things Ichigo could do during his most likely long stay in the Soul Society. Byakuya however was even more withdrawn than usual and Ichigo kept sensing a strange feeling almost like anxiety radiating from the older man.

Perhaps he's worried about me spending too much time near him. Ichigo pondered as he watched the nobles white clad back thoughtfully.

But I can't see how the bond can get any more powerful than it already has. We could still sense each other whilst worlds apart so I don't see what difference living on top of each other is going to make. Although I do supposed it could get embarrassing for both of us at some point. Maybe I should go back and see if Renji feels up to having a room mate.

He was about to raise this with Byakuya when the older man opened the gates to the kuchiki manor and stood to the side waiting for Ichigo to pass by. Ichigo was so taken aback by the sudden civility of the older mans actions that he stepped into the Kuchiki property without a second thought.

A short balding man in a purple kimono bearing the Kuchiki clans insignia quickly shuffled over to Byakuya and bowed deeply.

"Welcome home my lord." The man spoke in a raspy voice.

"Thank you Katou. " Byakuya said, "Ichigo Kurosaki is to be a guest here at the mansion for the foreseeable future, Could you please see him to a guest room."

"Of course my Lord. Will you be dining tonight?"

"Yes, Thank you." With that said Byakuya quickly turned and disappeared into the house.

"Well I think that I'll go have a nice hot bath." Rukia grinned as she rolled her shoulders in anticipation of the hot water that was yet to come. "I think I brought half of Hueco Mundo back with me in the fold of my clothes alone." She joked. "I'll see you at dinner."

Ichigo nodded not to sure what to say and feeling uncomfortable now that he was out of is element. Rukia turned and ran into the house without a backward glance.

Katou stood next to Ichigo, a kind and understanding smile playing across his ancient features.

"Do not fret young man. The mansion is not as foreboding as you may believe. Now if you are ready I can show you to the guest quarters."

Ichigo Nodded dumbly, "Uh thanks that would be good."

Ichigo Kicked off his shoes at the door and followed Katou through the ornately carved hallways of the kuchiki manor. Ichigo had never actually set foot inside the building until now. Looking at it from outside was one thing but to be looking at it from inside was another. The place was for lack of a better word Beautiful. He had expected the interior to be grandiloquent and full of antiquities that screamed 'look how rich we are.'

But to his surprise it was nothing like that. The place was almost modest,The floors and walls were decorative but their colours were meek and subdued. So far the purpose of this building seemed to be to calm rather than awe.

Soon Ichigo was shown into the rooms that would for the time being be his. They were spacious but thankfully not overly so. There was a bedroom, Study come day room and a bathroom. The walls were light creams painted with simple bamboo scenes and a side door led to the gardens outside.

"If you are planning to bathe before dinner, I can see to it that fresh clothes are provided for you." Katou said.

"Uh if that isn't too much of a bother. It was short notice me coming here and I didn't have any time to get clothes or anything really and I don't know where to buy any either, not that I have any soul reaper money, I'm from the human world."

"I understand." Katou replied pleasantly. "The clothes shall be waiting when you are finished." The man then excused himself leaving Ichigo to his own devices.

After standing lost for a few minutes Ichigo decided a bath was indeed a good idea. Soon enough the large porcelain tub was filled with hot water. Ichigo stripped out of his ruined Shihakusho and stepped into the warm water and for the first time in days allowed himself to relax. So much had happened. He and Byakuya had developed this weird bond, their inner worlds had converged, Aizen had made his true intentions known and he was to stay in the soul society separated from his friends and family for the foreseeable future

It felt as though a years worth of events had been condensed into a few days. And Ichigo felt guilty that Byakuya had to experience it all. Sure the Captain could be a ass but he was a good man at heart and sadly had to suffer because Ichigo had been too busy sticking his nose in where it did not belong.

"I'm such an idiot!" Ichigo hissed to himself. Again the nagging feeling akin to anxiety that he'd felt from Byakuya earlier tugged at his gut. Ichigo shook his head and pushed all thoughts of bonds and crazy cannibals from his mind as he proceeded to clean the grime of Heuco Mundo from his skin.

Byakuya POV

Byakuya sat in his bath staring at the waters barely rippling surface deep in contemplation.

Ever since he had seen Ichigo's healed form lying prone on the sands of Hueco Mundo fully healed, he couldn't get the thought out of his head that it was all a little too good to be true. The others had raised this point during their brief interaction in Kisuke Urahara's home. Yet Byakuya could not help but feel that there was more to it than they were seeing. Something was not right. Yes it had all been too easy, and Aizen had obviously let them escape but for what reason? Surely the bond wasn't created between Ichigo and he for the sole purpose of draining him of his spirit energy.

Byakuya sighed and ran a hand across what was now the unfamiliar skin of his forearms. When Ichigo had undergone his rapid healing it had affected him also. Every scar that once marred his pale body was gone leaving the plains of his flesh now flawless.

How did a hollow power give Ichigo the ability to heal himself in such a way?

He felt a pang of self loathing, but quickly identified the source to be Kurosaki.

Byakuya sat still for a moment then concentrated on blocking out the feelings Ichigo was broadcasting. After a few seconds it seemed to work and a calm settled over their bond.

Sorry for the wait, (Works hard and I suspect my manager may in fact be the devil.)