Author's acknowledgement to the unknown reviews:
To unknown reviewer known only as 'Bleach fan'
I have no idea if there will be a sequel or not (seeing as I'm not even done with this) but there is a continuation of the story. If that's what you meant than I hope this satisfies you.
To Unknown reviewer known only as 'Bang Bang 22'
I'm glad you enjoyed and here is the update.
To unknown reviewer known only as 'Wut' (I am assuming it's pronounced as 'What?' no disrespect implied.)
First off thanks for reading so far, um as for chapter eight, I admit that would actually be my real world inexperience showing on that. See I've never been in a coma (or known someone who has) so I don't know when your unconscious if you'd just wake up the time later or if you'd be experiencing hellish nightmares or memories.
For the slap, well when I think of the word mother, I usually envision a woman who loving raises a person (usually the kid) and only wants the best for them, so she wouldn't want him to blame himself, since it wasn't his fault and the typical response to correcting behavior that is seen as unwanted or wrong is a slap. There is also the fact of different circumstances.
Canonically Ichigo lost his mom when he was what 5? 6? 7? 8? Early on is my point. He also felt guilt ridden because he was (indirectly) responsible for her death as he went towards the river where Grand Fisher was lying in wait for it's next meal, which Masaki tried and successfully saved her son at the cost of her life, so since he felt that if he didn't do (go near the river to save the girl) that she'd live, he held it against himself which was made worse by the fact that he was smart to know that he took away infant Yuzu's and Karin's mother from them before they got to meet her.
In this case (the FF), Ichigo wasn't anywhere near her so he never got to see her death first hand (which I assume wouldn't be quite AS traumatizing) so he couldn't entire fault himself for it (though he did blame himself by survivor's guilt). Ichigo is also much older and much more mature than back then. He's 16 at the time of her demise and he deals with death all the time (he is a Shinigami) so he subconsciously knows all things die eventually but it was very sudden and he wasn't ready for it entirely, which is why his various friends slowly brought him back into equilibrium (remember Unohana only started it and gave to push to recovery, he still visited those close to him, and after being comatose for three weeks a friendly face must be welcomed.)
If the Chapter seemed rushed then I apologize? I mean I constantly go back and edit, re-read it to make sure it flows and doesn't seem entirely unbelievable (I don't know what you meant by weird so you lost me on that one). If your talking about Ichigo just kind of forgetting about his mom, that's not true and he will have his eyes firmly locked on Grand Fisher should he ever encounter him again.
Anyway that's all for the Author's acknowledgment of the unknown review section, unto the prefic banter
Blackout2010: Well, well, well great people of Fanfiction. I have just finished another chapter which causes the release of this one and I would like to thank-you all for your support.
Ichigo: So now that this chapter is up, what pray tell is the title of the new Arc?
Blackout2010: I'm glad you asked, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Arc 2 of Bleach: The Alternate Tale. The Karakura Arc!
Soifon: So now we're going to see I suppose the 'Shinigami side' of things could have been right?
Blackout2010: You are correct Mrs. Cougar.
Subaru: Cougar. Urban dictionary. A significantly older woman who deems to score with a much younger man. In this case you at the age of &$ and Ichigo at the age of now, 17.
Soifon: YOUR DEAD!
Hanataro: Umm, maybe you guys should just go ahead. Umm, please Soifon-Taicho don't kill the author ahh...
Hanataro: At least he doesn't own anything...so no legal troubles but this is going to be an expensive medical bill
Ch.9 Another year and the rock begins to roll
'10 months, hard to believe that it's almost been a whole year, since the human world mission with Hanataro, the loss of mother…and when Shaolin and I got together.' Ichigo mused about the events that had happened a while ago, as he was once again on his way, to the office of both his Taicho and Girlfriend, Shaolin, for another mission.
The two's relationship had been rather well, despite their occasional fights like any other normal couple, slightly made worse by the fact they had to see each other every day despite any rough waters, though they always did manage to compromise their otherwise unyielding beliefs and forgive the other. They had announced their new found relationship to only a select few namely Shinjiro, Subaru, and Hanataro who would leak it only to Unohana, since she had helped in their hooking up.
Ichigo and Soifon had come to the agreement early in the relationship that they didn't need to flaunt it to anyone, nor did they have to tell anyone, unless it was the Sou-taicho Yamamoto questioning them, which they both prayed would never happen as, romantic interdivision commander-subordinate relationships were frowned upon. Subaru had given her utmost word that Fuka-Taicho Omeada would NOT ever find out as she was well aware of his crush on her sister, while Shinjiro kept a close eye on Fuka-Taicho Matsumoto since he was one barracks over, and her knowing would be the most counter-productive measure conceivable in insuring their underground relationship stayed as such.
Shaolin, Subaru, and Shinjiro had also shared their story of what had happened to his girlfriend so long ago, saying that the former commander of the stealth and punishment force as well as ex-Captain of squad two: Yoruichi Shihoin not only betrayed the trust of them personally but also broke Soul Societies laws by assisting a traitor, who went by the name of Urahara, who supposedly attacked several Shinigami and attempted a coup d'état, escape punishment and fled her position with possible malicious intents. After hearing the story Ichigo agreed wholeheartedly to help them, and they in turn agreed to help avenge Masaki Kurosaki's death at the hands of the Hollow Grand fisher, that they had allowed to escape nearly a year and a half ago.
"It's me, 'Yojimbo'. May I enter?" Ichigo asked using his official squad two codename as he softly knocked on the office door
"Of course." came the cool reply from the Taicho waiting inside
Pushing the door open, he walked inside the room, smiling at seeing Shaolin, sitting back in her chair with her arms folded across her chest, gazing back at him self-assuredly. He closed the door taking his seat ready for another debriefing before every mission. A mission that he'd ensure was a success.
"So who may I ask do you want killed, destroyed or otherwise defeated, Taicho?" he said in a semi-professional tone, since they had agreed to maintain this façade of non-intimacy, for a while longer at least until they were confident no one was listening in or until Ichigo could become skilled enough to be considered for a captain's position as it would remove the commander-subordinate hitch in their relationship.
"Always to the point fourth seat Kurosaki." She said speaking with cold indifference, though Ichigo knew it was only because she was scanning for nearby reiatsu signatures "none the less, there is a mission that I feel is urgent to your application of becoming Fuka-taicho."
Ichigo tilted his head in confusion "'urgent to my application to becoming fuka-taicho'" he quoted, not sure what the problem was this time around since he had fulfilled the going to the human world part of the application and needed to only wait for the central forty-six to sanction the battle for fuka-taicho "What mission would that be exactly?"
Soifon sighed in frustration since this was all because of a stupid technicality "Apparently, the central forty-six has deemed that since I recalled you on your previous mission to the human world, the one you no doubt remember with seventh seat of the fourth division, Hanataro Yamada, they will not condone your activities as a certified mission to the human world. Hence your application to becoming Fuka-Taicho was denied because you didn't meet the required credentials."
"Tsk. What a load of crap." The orange haired Shinigami, complained in a sour tone, unable to believe that they'd say that after he and Hanataro had spent more than ¾ of their scheduled time there, and killed a particularly dangerous hollow with ironically the help of a hollow. Not that they could report the incident since it was unanimously kept off the record, lest investigation and questions be raised for his decision making skills since it went against protocol.
"Rules are rules, Kurosaki. I cannot change them even though I am a Taicho and believe me, I truly wish I could." The frowning woman replied, willing to give her own right arm for him to replace Omeada as the acting Fuka-Taicho
"So do I have to go back to being a 'substitute soul reaper' again? Or can I just go as fourth seat, Ichigo Kurosaki?" he asked, not that he cared about the rank but more for Omeada and whatever he trick he might throw next.
"No, you'll be going as you are, though a limiter will once again be placed on you." She confirmed, as her face soon turned into a vexed scowl having been reminded of the limiter "Though I swear I will never know where or why your power seems to increase, the near two years you've been here and all the work we put into you trying to suppress it just goes up in smoke. Its infuriating." running a hand through her hair, hating the fact that all the work they had actually put into him, was just wasted effort since it spiked after the Masaki incident. Though she knew why, as she had also had a spike occur when 'She' vanished, a spike she called 'Bankai'.
Ichigo's hand reached across her desk and clasped her hand softly, one of the very few acts of affection he was allowed to perform anywhere near the second division barracks, since it could be easily covered up should someone walk in "You don't need to get so upset, Soifon-Taicho. While trying to suppress may have been 'wasted' the ability to control it, hasn't." he raised his other hand up getting her attention
"Look" he said. Slowly whitish-blue reiatsu started to become visible, and rise off of his arm. Soifon felt his spiritual pressure continue to increase more and more, not enough to warrant attention but enough to where she could say without a doubt, he knew what he was doing. He cut off the display, and brought the arm back down to his lap. "See? All our work put together." He smiled
"Anyway" changing the subject, to something more related to the two of them "how is this special form of combat you've been working on going? I'm still eager to see it."
Soifon closed her eyes, feeling again for any foreign spiritual pressure and when she found none, she answered "Believe me, Yojimbo. It's almost done. And when it is you will be the first to see it."
Seeing her give the invisible green light to be casual Ichigo went along "I still say that I really don't mind, defending you as you use your 'corrupt' Bankai, Shaolin. Speaking of which have you been able to figure out the reason yet?"
Soifon cheeks flared pink for a moment having been reminded of his 'guaranteed promise' that he made her when she originally showed him her Bankai. When her cheeks stopped burning she glared at him in annoyance, as it was still a touchy subject for her and her warrior pride "While it is appreciated Ichigo, I adamantly refuse to be some pampered princess, even though I am a noble woman, we both know it's not in me. As for the reason (sigh) while it is still inconclusive, Subaru has been able to determine the polar opposite of what triggered it would be the key to fixing it."
"You said that when you first used it, it was the exact same day as when 'She' left. You were definitely angry at her and wanted her dead, so does that mean you need to love her and wish her to be alive?" he asked, trying to solve the Bankai problem literally since to him it was the polar opposite.
"Perhaps, though if that's the case then the obvious outcome will be me being stuck with this abomination forever" she snorted, knowing the chances of things turning out well being virtually non-existent "hence the reason for the technique, to counter balance it and take 'her' down, should I encounter either her or something less pleasant. But that is beside the point, as we are currently discussing you and your mission."
"Right, right." He waved off returning back to the briefing they were in the middle of prior to the detour of conversation
"(Ahem) You'll be scheduled to leave in two days. You will be accompanied by a member of the thirteenth division, Rukia Kuchiki. Since you have previous experience, you will just make sure she can adjust safely before performing you own tour of duty in Karakura; however, should another strong hollow like Screamer or Giant Devil show up you are authorized to assist her." She explained, giving the basic details of the mission "Also please note that I am not giving you authorization of any kind to team up with anymore hollows on this go round, so please deal with them accordingly."
Ichigo rolled his eyes at her dry humor "How long will we both be in the human world for?"
"Exactly one month's time."
'Heh, well it looks like I won't be missing our anniversary then.' He smirked confidently at hearing the time limit "That's not very long, either you have a lot of faith in us or you want me back quicker than ever." He leaned in a bit closer "So which is it Lin-chan?"
Now it was Shaolin's turn to roll her eyes, though she couldn't suppress her smirk "I don't have a clue as to what you're talking about Yojimbo. As I clearly see a fourth rate wash out in front of my desk trying to look pretty." She teased
"I guess I'll just have to try harder than, and not disappoint you." He countered, rising from his chair to leave the woman's office
"See to it that you don't."
As Ichigo turned his back to approach the door, he stopped giving a sparing glance back at the woman "Hey, Shaolin." He called calmly getting her undivided attention "I promise you, that when I come back, you'll be in for the surprise of a lifetime." Smirking slyly, at what he had planned for her
The woman looked at him intrigued by what he said "I understand. I will wait until our next meeting then for this 'surprise', Ichigo. Knowing you I'm sure it will be incredibly something." She then turned back to her desk to finish the paperwork that was left over
"Later, love." Ichigo whispered as he left the room, which was picked up on the ears of the captain, who looked back up as Ichigo had left.
Shaolin looked at the door in unhappiness at seeing him go, though she knew it had to happen, as the rules of Soul Society came before all else, even them. "Farewell lover." She whispered out, knowing he wouldn't hear her.
"Oooh, 'lover' now is it?" came the voice of Subaru as she emerged from the one of the many shadows in the room "Congratulations, sister dearest, you've actually admitted to yourself you care about another."
"Shut it." the captain said tersely, feeling a bit humiliated as Subaru wasn't going to let this new found admittance go anytime soon. What a family.
"Alright, alright, I can tell when someone's snappy." The girl said decisively, taking a reflexive step back, as if the captain was some rabid animal ready to bite her hand for invading her space "I'm just expressing my feelings of approval at seeing you two happy, though I must admit that I am curious about this so called 'surprise' of his."
Soifon glanced back at the spy in curiosity 'She doesn't know? That's a first.'
"Tell me are you honestly saying that you have no clue as to what this surprise is supposed to be?"
Subaru ran her hand through her hair, contemplating how exactly to answer it since a definite yes and definite no, would be lying "All I know is that he told me he had a surprise for you, but he requested that my spies don't keep any tabs on him for a while so as not to spoil it, so yes. I don't know the details of it."
"Don't worry. I'm sure it will be unique. Though I hope you have something to show for on the anniversary as well." The ninja replied coolly, while Soifon's mouth parted in a o as she recalled it was coming up "Which apparently you don't if that horrified look on you face means an 'I can't believe, I forgot.'" She added seeing the surprised look on the girl's face
Soifon after hearing the unneeded commentary scrunched her face up, muttering about bratty sisters and minding your own business "I still have two months." She grumbled out, trying to think of something she could give him for that event
"Actually it's a month and four days to be precise. So when Ichigo gets back it will practically be time." She once again corrected her misguided sister
"So what do you suggest then Genius?"
"You love him correct?" she asked rhetorically
"…" the other girl mumbled something under her breathe
"Yes! Ok? What's your point?" she snapped in embarrassment, hoping nobody else was around to hear her
"Easy, I'm just trying to help." She said calming the flabbergasted woman "Have you" she swallowed the lump in her throat "thought about doing 'it'?"
Soifon moved her eyes away from her sister "I...well, it's crossed my mind. But, I mean I've never thought we would do sex." She sighed "We have gotten along rather well this past two years and I am curious about it, but my duty comes first before…us."
"I see. Well, just remember he cares about you deeply so don't let him go." The shinobi-like third seat said, slowly back stepping into the shadows she had emerged from and disappearing from the office, leaving the Taicho alone again.
"I don't plan to."
Over at the training field, Ichigo was quietly meditating his body while speaking to Zangetsu in his inner world, inquiring about the attack he would supposedly learn from the old man, though it was constantly met with the "You will feel it when the time is right and your heart is set on the duty of battle" or whatever that meant.
"'Ey! Strawberry, wakey-wakey!" the pompous voice of Omeada called out to the meditating man, eager to set the record straight for the strawberry.
Ichigo half-opened his eyes and when he saw the Fuka-Taicho approaching he closed them again seemingly ignoring him, though he was actually doing his best from trying to kill the man at the moment as attacking him without cause or reason would give Omeada and his family a possible chance to hinder his Shinigami career and destroy any chance of being Fuka-Taicho for Shaolin, which was something he wasn't going to allow, since he knew she deserved much better than this guy.
The burly fuka-taicho while he gritted his teeth when the boy didn't respond to him "Hey punk I'm talking to you!"
Ichigo opened his eyes again, a dark scowl appearing on his face as he got up from the ground "Yeah, as much as I don't want to I can hear your big mouth. So what does your fat ass want?"
Omeada's temper flared at his insult as his illustrious self "Shut it commoner! Now you listen, and you listen good, punk." He sneered nastily mistaking the lowering and closeness of Ichigo's eyebrows as a sign of weakness rather than a sign of aggravation "I don't know what you did to Soifon-Taicho to get her to talk to you or give you special attention like you've been getting after every training session for the past year and a half, but I'm telling you right now stay the hell away from her, she's mine you got that." His jealousy going to new heights at having remembered hearing about how Shinjiro, Subaru, and his goddess wasted their time sparring, meditating, even talking with this fool "That also goes for that one girl I saw 'Lyndis' was it?" he added since he had also sent several Shinigami into Rukongai in search of the woman with seemingly little luck
Ichigo rolled his eyes and turned away in such a dismissive way that it pissed off Omeada even more as Ichigo had intended. Since if he put his hands him he was wrong, but if Omeada put his hands on him the gloves were off.
"Listen buddy" saying the word with extreme sarcasm "I honestly don't know why you believe, Soifon-Taicho would even consider going out with a guy like you. Your pathetic, in all aspects of being a Shinigami and only got where you are because of your family's name. Not because of the skill you've miraculously conned yourself into believing you possess, so get over yourself. And even assuming she was desperate enough to consider you, which I know for a fact wouldn't happen, what makes you think she'd even stand the idea of another woman being involved with you as the same time as her? Did you think of that jackass?" The orange haired Shinigami informed disgustedly that this guy thought he could even hope to measure up to Soifon's standards, and then think about bringing another woman in just tore it for the boyfriend. Even though it was still the same person the principle of the matter remained unchanged in Ichigo's mind.
"Ha! That's a riot Strawberry!" the giant laughed evilly finding great amusement in the idiot's thought process since he obviously didn't know the rules of the game "You really know nothing of politics for you see you are merely a commoner. Whereas I!" he announced in a grandiose fashion "Am the number one heir to the Omeada clan and soon to be head, so I can easily purpose an arranged marriage between myself and the Fon clan, which they would accept without a doubt."
"What do you mean?" The bearer of Zangetsu, asked hastily, his mind focusing in on these words that the giant was sputtering out carelessly and sending Hichigo into a mass project of the best way to execute this man 'Shaolin…'
"Simply, since the great Omeada Clan is one of the four major noble clans like the Kuchiki and former Shiba and Shihoin clan, I am higher up in social and political rank than she is." He proclaimed proudly, a wicked smirk on his face "Yes, Strawberry, I know for a fact Soifon-Taicho is the head of the minor clan: the Fon family, and all noble clans be they minor or major always want to move up in the world. That's why when my family proposes a political alliance or in commoner terms a marital agreement between us; she'll have absolutely no choice but to accept."
"That doesn't make any sense, if she's the head, the LEADER, why would she still be forced into it, if she could just decline." The strawberry said, growing more fearful at the abominable look of satisfaction on the man's face. A face he wanted to break more and more, with each passing second.
"Elders." The fat fuka-taicho said smugly, in a single breath, having thoroughly researched the subject before hand and already made a fool-proof plan "All Minor Clan heads are required to have an established council of elders, who not only advise the clan head in family affairs, BUT can also override a clan head's decisions should they feel it's in the best interests of the clan as a whole."
Ichigo's mind started to piece together the information and he came to the conclusion that the fat bastard was obviously implying. It didn't take a genius like Subaru or Toshiro to know how power hungry nobles could be especially if they were just given the opportunity to jump vastly in ranks by getting the current female head married to an interested male heir of one of the four major noble families of Soul Society.
"That's why I'm telling you this, so you don't get any funny ideas with my future-fiancé and wife. Who knows strawberry maybe, if I get to like you enough, I might just invite you to be my best man at the wedding ceremony or maybe be the one to give the bride away." He said going into a mock thinking pose "Nah! I'll just send you a video recording. Gyahahaha!"
'So you plan to fuck up her life just to have your way with her. You're dead.' Ichigo scowled fiercely, at the man for his unbeknownst insults to himself and his girlfriend. Ichigo released a low threatening growl from his throat because he knew that he couldn't touch him unless…
An evil smirk came on his face when a good idea graced him courtesy of Hichigo "Ifyouwannasparsaywhat." He said quickly, clenching his fist tightly at his sides
"What?" the giant said dumbly, not catching what the man had said to him
"Good!" he announced hearing an imaginary fight bell ring in his head, ready to deliver a painful and flawless victory (1)
Ichigo launched his fist forward at startling speed eager to do as much damage as possible to the bastard. The blow slammed into the gut of the fuka-taicho, knocking the wind out of him and sending him several feet away, his body dragging and rolling across the floor the whole time and throwing up a cloud of dust.
Omeada hacked and coughed from the staggering blow, his hand clutching his stomach from the pain, as he desperately tried to pull himself off the ground. By the time Omeada could get back to his feet and turn at his opponent, Ichigo had already drawn Zangetsu from it's cloth and started swinging wildly about in near blind fury, the Zanpaktou expertly and easily slashing most of the clothes off the man while simultaneously giving him a number of shallow cuts mixed with occasional deep cuts all over his chest and arms, as he tried to defend himself from the savage onslaught by his rival.
"Damn bastard!" Omeada roared throwing a desperate back hand at his assailant, as blood started to seep out from a few of the slices on his arm.
The hate-filled Ichigo leaned back casually avoiding it as it passed harmlessly in front of him, and then retaliated by quickly spinning around and throwing a heel kick into the man stomach, trying to make the man kneel over in pain and humiliation. When the clan heir didn't fall to the ground from the attack as expected, Ichigo then pulled his leg after it connected and relaunched it again this time aiming at his self-proclaimed immaculate face, breaking Omeada's nose in the process.
The blow knocked Omeada backward, who twirled around in pain as he back stepped a couple of feet. With the distance between them, the damaged man touched his face with his hand and saw the blood, his blood on it. "You…" the bleeding man fumed at being touched, wounded by HIM of all people "I'll kill you!" he screamed as he grabbed the hilt of his Zanpaktou ready to pull it out and release, which Ichigo let him as he was more than ready to break him and his blade "Crush!"
"ENOUGH!" roared Shinjiro taiga arriving on the scene between the two fighters, his spiritual pressure on full burst, making it harder for the two men to move, from the intense strength mixed with what Ichigo though he heard rage, and for Omeada to breathe. "Either you two desist your petty squabble immediately or I will put you down." twisting his hand that contained his unsheathed katana for reference, in case they really didn't get his point the first time around.
He turned his eyes over at Ichigo "Fourth seat Ichigo Kurosaki, while this was a sanctioned battle and I can't reprimand you because of it, I will not allow this to continue any further, regardless of reason since your opponent was disarmed and unready for such intense combat."
Ichigo dropped his head, knowing his temper had gotten the better of him. Omeada smirked seeing the display. "As for you, Omeada." The smaller man said bitterly turning more of his concentrated pressure on him "Since you are my superior, I can't reprimand you, however taunting and ridiculing another officer is forbidden and I will inform your Taicho of you dishonorable behavior on the job, unless you apologize as you had started it first."
"I don't care!" he snapped angrily, his pressure flaring again at Omeada causing him to flinch "I know the both of you have bad blood between you, and while I won't ask you to like each other you WILL respect each other, regardless of how unsavory the other maybe." Silently indicating to the pair he indeed heard Omeada's boastful statement "Now both of you apologize to the other."
Ichigo while still upset squared his eyes directly unto Omeada's bloody face "Sorry." He spat out, saying the word with all the venom in his being
"Tsk. My mistake." He uttered, in disdain for having to apologize to this loser
'You bet your ass it was!' Ichigo thought snidely
"Good, now return to your duties, and I don't want to see you two disturbing the peace any more especially you Ichigo." He said authoritatively, though Ichigo knew he was just trying to be fair about the matter, and prevent him from losing his chance at being Fuka-Taicho.
Though bloodied, Omeada put an arrogant grin on his face for being able to at least verbally rub his status in strawberry's face and get him in trouble, which while small was still a victory in his books. "See ya 'round." and disappeared with a flash step presumably to the fourth division for the night or two if he wanted to shirk his duties again
Once the man was gone Ichigo turned back to the slowly calming down Shinjiro who was sheathing his sword "Shinjiro, I need to find Subaru immediately." said the carrot top completely focused on his new goal, not wanting to waste another moment in preventing Omeada from making a move on Shaolin.
"I already heard enough on it to know what you're going to do. I'm just wondering if you think you'd be able to do anything within twenty-four hours." wondered Shinjiro, as he came down from his anger high to more peaceful territory
"I'll prove it."
Shinjiro shrugged unusually calm about the situation, which unnerved Ichigo as he felt he would be more assertive about the future well being of his sister "If you wanna find Subaru she'd probably be out in the forest right now, training."
Giving a quick thanks, Ichigo started to flash step to the forest, looking for the spy who was hard at work training under its lush covering. As Ichigo reached the forest he started to feel for her spiritual pressure, since searching the forest would take forever and waste time he didn't have. 'Got it. Hmm? Two signatures?' he thought wondering who the other's was, since he assumed the smaller of the two was Subaru's since she could cloak herself, though the second felt familiar.
Deciding to just see who it was, Ichigo ran through the forest as quickly as he could trying to meet up with her but it seemed like she was intentionally making it difficult for him. As whenever he got moderately close to Subaru's signature it would suddenly move towards another section of the forest. After another ten minutes of chasing, he finally caught up with her and she wasn't alone.
"Hi Ichi-chan!" the pink haired Fuka-Taicho of the eleventh called out in her overly cheery fashion
'So this must have been the other pressure I felt earlier' he pondered silently with straight face "Hey ahh, Yachiru was it?"
A bright smile broke on the girl's face "That's right! I'm glad you remembered!"
Ichigo couldn't help but give a crooked smirk at her energy, since it almost reminded him of his mother. He turned his head back to Subaru "So why did you keep running off like that? Every time I got close to you, you'd leave."
"Oh, sorry about that. You see-
"We were playing tag!" the tiny girl answered interrupting her S.W.A. bodyguard's explanation of what they were doing
"By tag…you don't mean…" The man let his voice trail off, having remembered the flash tag they played with him, the ones that involved deadly weaponry and him being the one to run away from them until the time limit was up
…or die trying.
"No, just the regular variety tag Ichigo." Said Subaru already knowing where his mind wandered to when the word tag was mentioned "We're not sadistic Ichigo."
"Huh? Is there another 'tag'?" The bubble-gum storm questioned, after seeing Ichigo sigh in relief it made her even more curious about the 'other' tag that they were talking about
"Yes, the…adult version. The one children don't like to play." said Subaru trying to make it sound like a boring game for her, out of concern for her safety and the safety of everyone she decided to play the game with.
"Then maybe you can teach Ken-chan! He's a grown-up!" the image of her grinning adoptive father popping in her head, since he was good at finding people…after crashing through a bunch of walls to locate them that is.
"Perhaps later." 'The later after never that is' the third seat thought smarmily, knowing how deadly he would be if he played it with others, especially people like Hanataro, who while getting better was still tender at heart
"I'll hold you to it Dark-chan." Yachiru declared, nodding her head to further emphasize they had an agreement between them that she couldn't go back on now, not even if she tried to bribe her with cotton candy.
"Dark-chan?" questioned Ichigo, a weird smile on his face at the strange nickname the S.W.A president gave to the intelligent third seat of two
"My codename in the organization, A.K.A squad two, is 'Shadow', hence when I explained this to Yachiru one day. She just started calling me 'Dark-chan' as Sha-chan or Dow-chan didn't seem to work, and I had already explicitly asked her not to call me Su-chan as that is reserved for one person…off duty at least." The dark purple haired girl explained to her friend the origins of the nickname from her codename
"Kissy-Kissy." Yachiru poked fun at her bodyguard, smacking her lips in a air smooch a few times like she had seen baldy do whenever her dad and friends went and saw people kissing, which got a snicker from Ichigo
"It never ends…" the third seat whispered out as her hand slowly greeted her forehead, unable to believe that she was getting humiliated by Yachiru of all people. 'Perhaps Karma does exist despite Norn's visions. Maybe I should treat Shaolin a bit better so my luck can turn around.'
"Please stop…" she asked politely since she didn't want to hurt her feeling by yelling at her or speaking loudly
"Ok, ok Dark-chan." The giggling girl promised as she rubbed her eyes getting rid of a tear of mirth. When she removed her finger a sudden bright idea hit the young girl that was so great she started to jump up and down repeatedly "Ya wanna play with us, Ichi-chan!" asked the girl, eager to have another partner in the game as only two people got boring after a while.
"Nah, I really-"
"NononononoNO! Come on please, pretty please!" the girl cried out letting loose a waterfall of tears, as if she was the most pitiable creature in existence and was being unjustly denied by the taller man.
Ichigo cringed at the sight, feeling like a total jerk about denying her request. He looked over to hoping for some help from Subaru and instead saw the androgynous woman with a frown on her face. Her eyes silently expressing a 'look at what you did now jerk' message to him further adding to his guilt.
'I suppose Shaolin can take of herself for a few minutes' he reassured himself to ease his conscious "Alright, we'll play! But, first I need to talk with Subaru real quick alright?"
"Yay! Alright Ichi-chan, go ahead but run quickly because Dark-chan is it!" the girl warned since it was only fair he knew who was it before they started the next round
"Fine! Fine!" He waved off her words and watched in interested amazement her taking off into the forest at startling speed. Still facing the direction the girl fled, Ichigo moved his eye to the corner to the far right corner and address Subaru "Listen Subaru, can you grant me access to both the Fon family and Omeada family residences?"
Subaru looked at him her face a mixture of worry about what would make him ask that and wonder for why he would ask that of all things. "That's a rather big request, Ichigo." She spoke in complete honesty, since she was an outsider by all intents in purposes but could blackmail his way in "Assuming, I say yes, I would need to know the reasons why for security purposes."
"The problem involves your sister. Omeada said some things today that really bothered me, so I just want to make sure she stays safe. I know she can take care of herself but I don't want to leave anything to chance."
"Bother you how exactly?" she inquired into the development, already knowing the bad blood between Ichigo and Omeada from their numerous encounters and various reports she had of their clashing personalities but shared interest in Shaolin
Ichigo sighed as placed a hand behind his neck "He was thinking of making a semi-forced arranged marriage with himself and Shaolin."
"'Semi-forced'? I don't understand either it is or it isn't." said Subaru with her eye brow raised questioningly, since either someone would do something of their own volition or wouldn't do it at all unless otherwise convinced. So to be semi-forced seemed impossible to her.
"He's gonna propose it to the clan and is counting on the elders to overrule her decision when she does decline, saying her action would be for the betterment of the clan or some BS like that."
"Ah, I see. You wish to prevent such an occurrence. That's very noble of you." The surrogate sister said in full understanding of the whole picture now "I wouldn't really get too worked up in it, but seeing as how you look so determined, I'll grant you permission to enter the Fon family estate as it is within my power; however you're on your own when it comes to the entering of the Omeada estate."
"Thanks" he said semi-appreciative, wondering why the two were so lax about this when typically anything concerning their sister's happiness was on top of their priority list
'Maybe it's because they've recognize you're the man in the relationship, and know that you're gonna have to step up for your woman if you want to keep her!' His inner hollow bragged about his suggestion, since it was only natural instinct the Alpha male gets the Alpha female by working for it
"Anyway you'd best move." recommended the woman, as a golden arrow suddenly materialized in the air next to her and was sent flying towards him
Ichigo back flipped to dodge the projectile and when he hit the ground again immediately rolled to the side when two more arrows were sent at his crouched position by from what he guessed Subaru. "Hey why are you attacking me!" he exclaimed quickly leaning back to dodge another arrow
"Simple. I wish to keep you on your toes and constantly aware of your surroundings." She replied, willing even more arrows to materialize at her side, forming a sparse protective circle behind her, while the arrows turned slightly to point at the man. "And I'm It." saying the last part as if it suddenly justified everything she was doing and/or about to do.
"Give me a break!" he yelled to dissuade her, but when it didn't work he jumped into the nearby branches when three more arrows embedded itself in the tree behind where he once stood, and raced off through the tree line
"If you can't show me your speed, you'll never successfully infiltrate the Omeada residence." She informed the launched arrows once again being restored to the maximum of 8 "Now let the hunt begin."
Ichigo made a bee line through the forest tree tops, all the while dodging any incoming arrows, which were few in number but were also very quick and precise in their accuracy. He kept jumping from tree to tree, cursing his luck as he couldn't sense her spiritual pressure at all. 'Where is she?' he questioned to himself, as he glanced over his shoulder, knowing it was a bit moot since she was quicker than him and could very well be in front of him waiting for his arrival into another volley.
Ichigo's instinct kicked in as he jumped into the air as two arrows came from below, the branch he was just on. His eyes widened when they curved around the branch avoiding the collision, while not veering off course enough to be rendered useless 'Shit!'
Ichigo flash stepped past them and landed on another tree only to find three more arrows hurling towards him from the front, while the two from behind adjusted themselves again, locking on to their target. 'Alright this getting old'
Ichigo moved both his arms away from his body ready to launch a spell from both hands to take out the approaching bombardment "Hadou 33: Soukatsui!" he yelled, sending the fireballs out from his hands. The fireballs collided and overwhelmed the narrow streaks of light causing them to dissipate into nothing. Ichigo sighed in relief from the temporary reprieve the kido bought him 'What's Subaru thinking releasing her Zanpaktou like that? She's going to get in serious trouble.'
Ichigo was taken from his thoughts again as he heard the whistling of more arrows inbound on his position, he turned his head back around to see the leisurely approaching form of Subaru, feeling no real need to show off her speed, launching another barrage of arrows at her sister's Yojimbo. Ichigo flash stepped again, to get away from his pursuer.
'Hmph. Run all you want Ichigo, I'm only toying with you.' thought the huntress ready to continue her game of deadly flash tag. She flash stepped into the next area following Ichigo's spiritual trail, when she arrived she didn't see Ichigo at all. She cautiously took a step further onto the branch beside her, scanning the area with her eyes to try and spot the man not relying on her ability to pick up spiritual pressure as the whole area was covered in his power making it a pointless endeavor.
"You didn't think you could ambush me did you?" she said turning around to stare back into the face of Ichigo, who had Zangetsu drawn and with a few more steps be ready to press it against her neck to end the game between them.
"Honestly, yeah I kind of did." He admitted his intentions to the woman, who smiled gently at his naivety at believing she'd fall for such an amateurish trick
"So foolish." She said before disappearing in a burst of speed behind him and delivered a quick kick which was followed up by a launching of arrows.
Ichigo while knocked into the air, as he couldn't dodge her kick swung Zangetsu to break the arrows that collided against its blade. As Ichigo landed on another branch he loosened his grip on the blade itself and let it fall down, while roughly grabbing the cloth before it was completely out of his reach.
Subaru stopped her assault and looked on in confusion 'What's he doing?'
Ichigo started to swing the sword in a windmill motion, with each revolution getting faster and faster than the last, until it looked like a giant round buzz saw. Ichigo with a confident smirk tilted his shoulder back and launched Zangetsu at his target.
Subaru was stunned at the display; she had never seen or heard of a fighting style that relied on using you blade like harpoon or flail. She quickly jumped away from the tree she was at, watching it collide full force into and ripping completely off the ground. She slowly got up and surveyed the damage. 'Incredible. If that had hit me, I might not have been able to get up from it, at least not as I am.' She turned back to Ichigo for her answers to his tremendous display of precision and power "Have you been doing some kind of secret training when my spies haven't been watching you?"
"Well just a little bit." He said, giving a small tug to call back Zangetsu and once again starting up its spin cycle, also not admitting the training he did with Hichigo for something big "But I spent most of it on your sister" he admitted
"I see. Well no point in continuing this bout." She said, letting her guard drop down again as she jumped over to Ichigo's branch, while he stopped spinning Zangetsu and looked at her in confusion. Since he was almost sure that this was a deadly flash tag game. "I don't wish to die because you decided to impale me on your released Zanpaktou. I'm a spy not a warrior. I can't take that kind of punishment readily like you can Ichigo."
Ichigo rolled his eyes at her excuse "Tsk. Whatever 'Mrs. I'll release my Zanpaktou and turn my sister's boyfriend into a bull's-eye target'."
"Release?" she said turning a questioning look, that showed how genuinely confused she was "What are you talking about? Fourth seat and up are forbidden from releasing their Zanpaktou unless dire emergencies have been called to order you should know this better than anyone 'Mr. Exception'."
"Don't play dumb!" He shouted in annoyance "I'm talking about those golden arrows you tried to put in my ass this whole time." His arm shaking violently as he pointed to about dozen or so stuck into the nearby foliage
The woman turned to where he was pointing towards, her eyes taking in the sight before comfortably returning back to the exasperated man "Oh that? It's just kido." She said casually, barely giving the arrows another thought in the conversation
"Kido?" he asked incredulously, his skeptism evident from her unconcerned remark "How the hell did you do that without at least saying the name?" wanting to know the secret behind that since saying the kido name was from what he knew at least necessary to perform the art
"Simple, over the course of my studies and supplemented time given to me during my thieving days, I had read over much of kido spells at the library, and restricted areas. I had sought to put them or rather one spell in particular into practical use to serve as distraction during my thieving days at least before Shaolin took me in. That particular spell I learned was a level 65 Hadou, named Isukumeru hantei (Impaling Judgement), Shaolin, Shinjiro and Yachiru simply call it my 'Arrow Trick'." She elaborated
"Hold up. If that was a level 65 Hadou why wasn't it huge or something. My unchanted Soukatsui was bigger and stronger than that." Ichigo commented, since everyone knew higher number meant more destructive capability which in turn meant to bigger size, in fact if he remembered correctly the next Hadou after that Raikoho was supposed to call down heavenly lightning
"Ichigo you know that when you skip the incantation of a Hadou the spell itself falls to about twenty percent power correct?" When Ichigo nodded his head in confirmation to that information she continued "I have come to master that spell to such a degree that I can mentally say the command and it will appear, unfortunately a side effect of it is that, it cuts the power down another one-fifth. So as long as I mentally command the spell, it only has four percent of its true power. Hence it serves more as a training tactic for those slow on their feet, distraction tactic which is what I had intended for it, or intimidation tactic to be surround by seemingly infinite barrage, though it would be effective against far weaker opponents than myself."
Ichigo let the information soak into his head, and filed some of it away as it could prove useful one day to be able to launch a spell at the drop of a hat without any warning for the enemy, and Subaru would only really explain such an in depth mechanic if it was worth it.
When Ichigo glanced at the woman again he suddenly noticed something odd "Hey, Subaru I have to ask, how come you don't ever carry your Zanpaktou?" his curiosity getting the better of him since the woman had never shown her Zanpaktou to him before, unlike Shinjiro who at least released one part of his dual release Zanpaktou in combat, and kind of wanted to know why the spy barely ever had it with her "I mean Shaolin is always complaining that you never bring it with you, so what's the deal?"
Subaru laughed merrily at the question and mentally applauded him for picking up on that little trend "Sorry, Ichigo. Her 'complaining' as you so put it is really just our thing, so you don't have to take it quite so seriously. She knows that when my blade is required of or for her, it will be one of if not the very first drawn, even if it is seemingly against her from time to time." She alluded mysteriously, which made Ichigo roll his eyes as she always, always, had to sound mysterious. Though Shinjiro constantly said she was like that, even going so far as to talk in third person which he only broke just prior to their meeting of Shaolin, and always took her words seriously.
'Then again him being a samurai and all as well as her husband, he probably has to take nearly everything seriously.' Ichigo thought off-handedly since the man at times came off as strange for his complete and utter seriousness and devotion to certain things, Subaru being one of them.
"Oh by the way." She said taking a small step closer to him and tapped him lightly on the shoulder with the back of her hand "Tag. You're it Ichigo."
Ichigo's jaw immediately dropped, at what she did, to which she smirked confidently having easily pulled the wool over his eyes "I told you I'm an actress and that my arrows were merely for distraction, so as to complete my objective which was to capture you. From now on please pay attention to the details people give you of things as it could save your life, or in this case win a game." the unusually hyper-competitive third seat stated
Ichigo let out an annoyed groan at her antics before the pair went off in search of Yachiru, and when they found her, they played a few more rounds before it became too dark for the bubblegum haired fuka-taicho to see. Ichigo was going to walk her home out of courtesy, but Subaru's heated denial of his going anywhere near the place she was going stopped him from pursuing the matter, though he saw Subaru's heart wretch when she refused Yachiru to allow Ichigo to take her back and see the captain and company, despite her begging which made Ichigo come to believe the third seat had a soft spot for the energy ball.
Ichigo returned back to the barracks alone, and after visiting his girlfriend to wish her a good night while not mentioning his visit to both her and Omeada's homes, so as not to worry her with unneeded stress, went to bed early eager to bring Omeada's world crumbling down. One dream at a time.
As soon as the sun broke across the horizon, Ichigo was already out of the Seireitei heading straight for the Omeada residence having remembered the way from his occasional visit by the S.W.A meetings he might have to fill in for when they were held there. Taking a page from the way Subaru was always dressed, he had dawned his stealth and punishment force uniform that he rarely used since they didn't provide much battle protection that his Hakama did marginally better. It was an all black gear, that covered him from head to toe his face mask pulled down to allow breathing until he entered and a black bandanna to cover his head and hair, having been reminded to cover it at seeing a picture of Shaolin when she was younger, and he quietly admitted a bit cuter, cover her hair with the bandanna as she sat next to the woman who he had learned was 'her'.
The marital saboteur, reached the Omeada residence as quickly as he could, and stealthily entered the building through one of the windows, careful in not making any sounds. As Ichigo closed the window he entered from silently, he pulled up his mask and slowly walked through the hallways, his footsteps not making any noise as they quietly pressed against the floor with each step he took, since running would cause his steps to echo and be audible to those nearby and might make them investigate why someone was running inside the house.
Hearing the rustling of the door he just passed, Ichigo kneeled down quickly to gather some strength and reiatsu and jumped up towards the rafter and held on for dear life. When he had secured himself, he turned his head and saw the head butler Vincent, muttering about food for the lord, so he assumed he was going to the kitchen to bring food to the masters he was indentured to.
'What a job. My heart goes out to you Vincent-san.' The strawberry ninja silently giving his condolences to the hard working butler as he dropped back down from his elevated hiding spot. He turned around since the way he was going was obviously not the right way and more than likely the servants were on this floor, meaning the masters were no doubt above them literally. He quickly walked down the hallway and went up the flight of stairs two at a time to lessen his exposure time on the staircase. Reaching the top he pressed his body against the walls hugging it to minimize his presence, while he kept a firm grip on his spiritual pressure, so as not to be a danger to the habitants.
He shimmied closer to the edge of the corridor and peered down the hallway momentarily before getting off the wall and quickly running down it. His eyes taking note of his surroundings and any foreign movements.
"Hey Maru, how ya been man? Sleep well?" a voice from the corridor up ahead called out to another, causing Ichigo to freeze in his place. Steadying his breaths he started to inch his way back, keeping his eyes fixed on the next corridor at the floor in case he saw their approaching shadows, to find another way around when he heard some voices approaching from behind, coming towards him trapping him in between the two groups of passing servants.
He silently panicked as the ceiling was much closer to the ground so he'd be much more easily spotted in the early morning light. He turned his head and with a mental gamble opened the nearest door next to him, and as quietly as possible closed the door, praying against hope that the people wouldn't take too long and just pass by.
"Hey who are you?" an unknown voice asked a hint of arrogance in it. Ichigo started to sweat bullets at being caught so quickly in his mission. He turned around ready to knock out his target, when he saw a red headed girl in her bed barely sitting up. Her eyes were squinting while she peered in his direction, as she was trying to make out his image to no avail. "Hey, I'm talking to you." She asked again, a little louder this time
"Oh, ahh just a servant your ladyship." He lied, hoping she was too out of it, and mistake him for a servant instead of a home invader, since it was extremely early for regular souls to be awake.
"Oh okay." She replied tiredly, giving a yawn while turning back around in her bed so her back faced the 'servant' "can you put my glasses over on night stand there then when you leave?" lazily poking her arm past her side and over in the general vicinity of the night stand
Ichigo looked over at the bed side table. "Sure." He replied as he started to look for her glasses, finding them by the book shelf across the room. Seeing that his close call was over, he tip-toed back to the door and pressed his ear against the door, and hearing no noise from the other side exited the room.
When he reentered the hallway, thankful that its previous occupants were long gone, he proceeded further into the building stopping once or twice for the patrols of servants on their way to do their assigned morning tasks. He came to the third floor, the top floor since the building was much wider than taller. He proceeded quietly, using his spiritual detection honed in the second division to find, the room that had the most remnant particles of Omeada, since that was more than likely where he stayed when he was at home.
Coming to the door, the home invader opened it slowly, lest he might wake the occupant that might be inside. Once the door was about half-way open Ichigo saw that the bed was empty, so he quickly entered the room, throwing caution to the winds with a smirk at his outstanding luck so far.
"Alright, I made it." he whispered to himself. Ichigo walked over to the book shelves, looking for any clues or handmade blue prints for Omeada's plan, maybe even a small journal that might have a small bragging in it. His eyes slowly going over each book in the line, before quitting seeing as most were for 'get rich quick schemes' or some variation of 'how to woo a woman'. He turned back around to face the rest of the room and walked quickly to the nightstand he spotted and roughly opened it, and smiled when he saw a make shift plan to con the Fon family into a political marriage.
Ichigo crouched down against the floor reading the 'document', his eyes looking over every detail and account of his 'master plan', which documented many incidents and encounters between himself and Shaolin, all of which ended badly for the idiot.
'That fat bastard!' Ichigo snarled slamming his fist into the floor. His rage started to smolder within him, when he learned that Omeada intentionally allowed Soifon to beat on him, just so he could have it documented and report it as an abuse of her power and authority. So as to bring not only shame on the family but also force compensation from the leader: her.
Ichigo got back up pocketing the documents in a small envelope. It seemed the only silver lining in all of this was that this plan was apparently plan B, which the fourth seat assumed that Omeada asking Shaolin or the Fon family straight up for the marriage between the two of them as plan A. Ichigo brushed past the giant desk that was near the foot board of the bed, as he readied to exit the estate and return to his room, to change and prepare for his meeting with the Fon family of assassins.
"Excuse me, master Omeada are you in there?" Vincent called out from the other side of the door, that Ichigo was about to head towards.
"Shit." Ichigo whispered as he quickly looked around for a place to hide, and saw it.
The butler waited a second and heard some kind of soft scuffling noise perking his interest "I'm coming in sir!" the butler announced slowly turning the door knob, in case the master was indeed inside but not decent.
When Vincent walked in he saw that the room was empty, much to his surprise since he would have sworn he heard a banging sound emit from the room earlier and a brushing sound a moment before. "Hmm?" the butler mused seeing the drawer to the night stand was open. He walked over his footsteps making Ichigo's heart rate jump with each step as he hid underneath the leg opening of the desk diagonally in front of the bed and across from the night stand, his back against the thin wood the only thing protecting him from the butler's line of sight.
Vincent closed the opening with an audible creak before turning to do the master's bed. Honestly he hated his life from time to time, but it was his lot in life. When Vincent was satisfied with his work he turned to leave and stopped when out of the corner of his eye he saw that book lying shamelessly on his master's desk. He walked over and picked it up with much distaste "Deplorable." He wrinkled his nose "Why he writes and draws this kind of literature I will never know. I'd best put it out of sight."
'Especially since S.W.A comes through here on occasion particularly certain members.'
Ichigo's breath softened significantly so as not to alert the butler, who placed the book on the chair barely two feet away. The book slipped off it and crashed down to the ground. "Whoops, seems I placed it too close to the edge."
'Too close to the edge is right Vincent-san!'
Ichigo held his breath and closed his eyes, when he saw Vincent's hand lean down to pick up the fallen tome and replace it back on the chair, which then got pushed dangerously close to Ichigo forcing him to curl his body up to avoid making contact with it and giving away his position.
Ichigo continued to hold his breath until he heard the footsteps of Vincent retreat out of the room. With a sigh of relief, he slowly pushed the chair back to give him some much needed elbow room so he could crawl out of his hiding space. As soon as he got out from under the wooden cover, his curiosity got the better of him, and he picked up the book that Vincent was willing to call "deplorable".
Ichigo covered his nose to prevent a nosebleed from coming out at seeing a half-naked woman on the front. 'No wonder Vincent reacted so badly to it!' he thought his eyes then shifting down to the author's name and they nearly fell out of his head when he saw the name 'Marechiyo Omeada' written in cursive at the bottom right.
"That guy is something else." The white demon of his mindscape said in disbelief, that he thought he could score a girl like the one on the front. His eyes then narrowed when he saw a book mark in the thing, that his host missed from shock "Hey Ichigo why don't you see what that fat ass felt was important enough to leave a book mark in!"
'I'm afraid to know.' He replied as he shifted to the book mark, and when he reached the page he felt his spiritual pressure spike to a level he never knew he was capable of. What he saw in the picture was HIS Soifon, HIS Shaolin down on HER hands and knees, in submission giving apparently him judging from the speech bubbles a blowjob, calling him Goshujin-sama like she was some cheap hooker or sex slave (2).
Ichigo's spiritual pressure rose so high, from imagining that fate befalling her if this marriage were to happen, that he woke up everyone in the house, and pinned them to the floor or bed, while he disintegrated some of the smaller objects in the room he was in. He quickly went out through the door almost removing it from it's hinges, book and plans in hand and saw that Vincent had passed out from being so close to the epicenter of the incredibly strong spiritual force. He continued through the building, power on full blast passing by unconscious servants until he eventually left the residency and reigned in his anger and his power, before taking off to the barracks again and then head to his real destination, not seeing or sensing the person who watched the spectacle with a smirk on his face at having found his target.
Ichigo returned to the barrack, for a very cold shower to counter balance his heated anger, and quick change of clothing back into his normal Shinigami attire and headed back out this time towards the 15th eastern Rukongai district, with documents and doujinshi in hand, while he thought about how he would really explain things to the Fon family.
As Ichigo approached the hillside entrance way to the Fon family home direction courteous of Subaru, he was stopped by about a dozen or so guards from the punishment force appearing from seemingly thin air, in a typical surrounding formation
"State your business or leave immediately Shinigami. We will not ask twice" one of the guards demanded, his arms folded behind his back like his associates
"I'm here on business to see the elders of house Fon. You can verify it by third seat of the second division Subaru Kujo, as she was the one to grant me a meeting with them."
"Did she now?" the apparent leader questioned in belittlement "Unfortunately for you she doesn't have all that much say as to who gets to enter and exit the compound. Nor do people just request to see the elders and get it granted."
Ichigo looked at the man, before lowering his head in thought before shrugging since he really didn't have anything to lose if it wasn't him "Hey, is your name Yahiko?" Ichigo asked the scout squad captain, ready to kick their ass if it wasn't and he still denied him entrance.
"Yes, what of it?" Yahiko confirmed in a cocky tone
"Subaru said that if I did meet you, I should say: 8, 27, 5, 3, P, R12. (3)" He recited what the pale beauty had told him to say should he encounter the man
The leader opened and closed his mouth at a loss for words. "Grrr…Fine, you may enter but we have our eyes on you." He gritted out apparent embarrassment and frustration at being reminded by something that strange password meant, though his other teams mates looked at each other in confusion but complied with the command of Yahiko. The shinobi-like Shinigami's disappeared from sight, no longer obstructing Ichigo's path, though he could still sense them nearby.
"It seems they want to keep their promise to watch me and try to bring me down if I come off as a threat." said the carrot top, as he trudged onward to the home of Shaolin Fon
'Heh. Fat chance of that! Cause unfortunately for those fucks I'm not ready to die quite yet.'
Ichigo continued up the hill passing under various shrine like archways, in the distance he heard the fleeting footsteps of others, no doubt alerted to his presence. As he got to the top of the hill he saw a giant walled enclosure, with a massive gate, with two spear wielding guardsman standing straight expecting his arrival.
"We have already heard from the advance scout party, you may enter." One of them commented as Ichigo approached, both of the spearmen tapping the butt of their spears twice the signal to allow the gates to open. "Go straight down all the way to the back of the complex, the council's chamber is there. Make no detours and no delays or we will kill you for trespassing."
'Yeah, just like you killed that chick Subaru who also robbed your asses.' The monster commented snidely, remembering that she apparently managed to go in and out of this place like an everyday thing
Ichigo rolled his eyes at the unheard commentary "Whatever, I won't be long hopefully."
Ichigo walked past them, and looked back when he heard the large gate creaking as it closed behind him. He turned his head back around and saw a lot of eastern temple like structures, as well as guards posted on the balconies above him with bows drawn. The archers watching, waiting, for him to make a move so as to get rid of him all the quicker. He removed his gaze from the possible death from above and glanced over to see another temple though this one stood out the most. It seemed eerily morbid, like it's annals was just riddled with sadness and tragedy. The wood had easily a few layer of dust on it from being unkempt or abandoned.
Ichigo took a step forward, wanting to get away from the dreary place, and started down the main entrance way. As he walked down the path he started to pass by the Fon Family sparring grounds and training field, which conveniently bisected the grounds into a left and right half and was filled with easily forty or fifty martial artist clan's men practicing their moves against each other or against some training dummies.
'Probably to intimidate others, by subconsciously letting them know there's only one way in and one way out, two I suppose if you count in a body bag.' Ichigo noted as he saw one of the fighters round house kick one of the dummies in the head, severely bashing the head in and possibly giving a concussion if it was a real target. Ichigo turned away from the intentional demonstration unimpressed, knowing that if the man couldn't use his strength and focus his reiatsu enough to completely destroy the head of the dummy how could he take out a moving target like an intruder, much less a hollow or traitorous Shinigami. 'I guess Lin-chan and the second division train better than these guys.' A smug smirk worked it's way onto his face from remembering all the training he did from the first year alone and their occasional after training sparring as he began to leave the fields 'At least she worked me harder.'
Finally reaching the end he was let into the hall of the elders by two more guards, apparently since they let him keep Zangetsu at his side they must have been extremely confident that he either didn't have the balls to attack the elders in their chamber or wouldn't be able to leave the compound alive if he was ballsy.
The Council chamber was set like a traditional Japanese throne room hall. Each of the elders were sitting upon their knees on top of a small pillow, in a line that was curved like a crescent moon with two empty pillows, one in the middle of the room presumable for their audience and one at the far end of the hall directly in front of it.
"Approach the center and state your name." one of the various council men instructed to their guest who had just arrived before them
The ever frowning Ichigo calmly walked over to the center of the room towards the pillow, casting quick glances left and right to see if any weapons were hidden on them and confirmed they were indeed unarmed. "Kurosaki Ichigo." He stated as he dropped down to sit upon his knees, carefully removing Zangetsu from his back and placing it at his side just in case they might try something, after all he was in a entire compound full of assassins and Soifon always told him to question strange things and view everything as a possibility, no matter how impossible it might seem.
"What is your business with us, Kurosaki-san?" The council man to the direct right of the empty pillow asked, his voice soft perhaps do to his age, as he seemed to be in his upper forties in appearance which meant a lot in Soul Society, since people aged very, very slowly
"My business with you all involves your clan." replied Ichigo, speaking much more politely at old man Zangetsu's request since they might be more understanding.
"Don't waste our time. You would not have shown up if it did not concern us. Speak your message and leave" the councilman on the far left hand side said hotly
Ichigo wasn't going to dignify it with a response since he wouldn't trust his mouth. Thankfully the previous speaker addressed the sudden outburst "O-mone. That's enough. There is no need to be rude to our guest so let him speak." He turned back to Ichigo "Forgive his outburst Kurosaki-san. But we are very busy men, if you would please."
Ichigo quirked an eye brow 'At least he's sensible'
"Sure. It has recently come to my attention that the current head of the Fon family, Soifon-Taicho, might be 'targeted' by another individual." He said trying to pick his words carefully since he didn't want to create any false premises for them "By 'targeted' I mean that she is being pinned after by a man named Marechiyo Omeada." He elaborated, to show she wasn't in any mortal danger for the moment at least
"You speak of the Omeada clan's first son of the current head, and current number one heir to clan leadership, do you not?"
Ichigo nodded "While that may seem all well and good on the surface, it has just recently come to my attention that he intends to blackmail your clan, into forcing a political marriage between both him and your clan leader Soifon-Taicho."
The councilman Ichigo was speaking to, tilted his head to the side and stroked his chin while his eyes narrowed in thought "Blackmail us how exactly?"
"As usually punishment in the second division under Soifon-Taicho's command you pay with your body. Every error, every flaw, and every mistake you make you receive corporal punishment for it, so as to prevent it from occurring in the future as when you're out on missions against hollows a single error or clumsy mistake can result in the loss of good, competent, men and women, or worse the loss of a pivotal battle post."
The council men unanimously nodded their heads in agreement as it was only common sense to them, since they actively instilled that thought process within their clansmen as it had been done to them by their fathers and mothers "Unfortunately since Omeada is a clan heir and possible clan head who got his position in the second division because of his family, he holds some level of sway over Soul Society politics. He has also recorded every violent outburst that Soifon-Taicho has committed against him for his own incompetency, and was going to use his families influence to force your clan to lose it's nobility status and power in Soul Society."
The council men started to talk amongst each other discussing the ideas of being kicked out of power, the justification of their leader's actions, and the possibility that it was a conspiracy set up by the Shinigami before them. The Councilman who had been speaking with Ichigo raised his hand to silence those around him, his cold grey eyes staring right through Ichigo. "I have heard your words, as has our leader." Ichigo perked up slightly, not knowing that Shaolin was actually here "She will speak on your words before we make any decisions."
The sound of the soft tapping of shoes came from behind Ichigo, who forced himself to not wheel around and greet the woman or apologize for not telling her. The tapping came closer and closer until Ichigo saw the form of Soifon, brush past him without so much as a second glance, her Haori and twin bands billowing behind her, she kept walking forward past her nervously sitting boyfriend before turning around swiftly and sat down on the pillow directly ahead. Her eyes hardened in her typical business-like demeanor.
"Thank-you councilman Fon." She said coolly to the councilman beside her, she then turned her head back to Ichigo ready to conduct her business as the current leader of the Fon family. "Now then Kurosaki-san, I have heard more than enough to understand what is going on here. My question to you is this: How do you know this information and do you have any proof to back up such a claim? As slandering the name of another will not be tolerated in the slightest."
Ichigo quickly got up from his pillow, and pulled out the envelope he had kept the make-shift plans safe in, so as to walk over and hand the documentation to her and prove his claim true, when he was suddenly completely surrounded by multiple members of the Special Forces, who had their weapons pointed at various sections of his body.
"No sudden movements, Kurosaki-san or we will be forced to eliminate you." The Taicho said getting up from her seat, and began walking back towards him to retrieve the envelope clutched in his hand. Once she was close enough, she maneuvered her hand throw the mine field of weapons and took the envelope away and gave a quick signal for the enforcers to retake their posts, leaving Ichigo still standing but this time alone in the center while she returned back to her spot for some light reading.
Ichigo very slowly sat back down lest the assassins he didn't sense come out again, while Shaolin read over the documents and then with a frown on her face handed it over to council man beside her. "I see. So this does confirm some of your theory." She said methodically slightly disturbed by such unexpected occurrence, while her fellow elders were busy reading it over and handing it to the next one in the line some with intrigued looks others with anger or sadness at how this turn of events came unearthed
"Yeah, that's why I felt the need to inform you all, as it concerns you and your leadership, Soifon-Taicho." He said his subtle hint not lost on her, which might have gotten a weak smile if not for the need of professionalism
"Hmph. Well the way I see it this is our chance to move up in the world." One of the other councilmen spoke up, giving his view point on this discovery
"Yes, I agree. If Soifon were to marry this man, the Fon families honor and prestige would be raised to even greater heights." Another councilman agreed, as he felt having a female leader was a sign of weakness even if the woman was a captain in the Gotei 13 "Perhaps now we might have another heir."
"Don't be foolish. If our leader married off then it would be the end of the Fon clan as there would be no more legitiment heirs or heiress, unless she bore two children, one for each clan." Someone objected
"That can be easily arranged since this fellow already wishes to marry our leader and seems eager in 'that' endeavor. Surely she is capable in…womanly affairs" The previous speaker countered
The councilman two pillows away to the immediate left of Soifon spoke up "We shouldn't rush into anything. I believe our leader does have a say, since it pertains to her." He contested, trying to protect the leader's rights
The room soon erupted into an endless stream of what should be done, shouldn't be done, what was for the best interest of the clan, and what not. Ichigo would have made a move to hurt some of the guys but didn't dare as he knew Soifon would directly oppose him for both his disrespect but also to ensure his survival, so he sat still trying very hard in keeping his emotions in check but had a very displeased scowl on his face at the way these people were discussing things.
"Enough." The stoic Soifon commanded to the group effectively silencing them "It seems that nearly everyone here has their own goals and objectives, with the exception of Councilman Fon right next to me and Kurosaki-san before me. Now I will address the issue myself." She got up from her seat and stood over all of them getting their undivided attention, her eyes scanning over all of them before opening her mouth to speak again "I have personally seen one Fuka-Taicho Marechiyo Omeada's professional work habits-" she inwardly smirked after hearing Ichigo stifle a cough "-and leisure habits. The man has absolutely no sense of pride or honor and puts no effort into his assigned tasks and duties, hence the reason for my 'direct approach' to fixing the problem."
She closed her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest "As for me having a political marriage with him, I am against it personally. Yes, I'm well aware that some of you don't like me being leader, courtesy of my surrogate sister informing me, and while you all may think it would be beneficial for the clan, I tell you now it would not be. The man has no talent or the abilities required to be a leader, and would only serve to bring dishonor to the clan name."
She paused to let the information sink into the council. After waiting a sufficient amount of moments she continued to place more nails into the coffin before setting up to burying the issue forever "Furthermore should you all go against my wishes and have the marriage happen anyway, there is no guarantee, I would live long enough to produce an heir or have any wish to produce an heir with the man, which doesn't even put into consideration that the man's pathetic ability would only hinder the child overall, so he or she would unfortunately not survive the training required of a Fon, and would be subsequently disowned. Once again leaving an Heir crisis, and leading to a break in the family over a petty succession crisis. However this is all assuming I am even capable of bearing children as some women are born infertile, and before this issue my..." she turned her head away from Ichigo's direction so he wouldn't fully see her face when she said the next part, partially out of embarrassment "abilities were never once called into question, so I would have no way of knowing."
Ichigo's eyes widened at what she said about the disowning. 'They still do the disowning. Even if it's just a kid? Man, this families more fucked than I thought. No wonder Shaolin doesn't like to talk about them very much.' He thought incredulously at the audacity these people had in throwing someone away when they weren't supposedly 'good enough'.
"That is why; I am against and have acted the way I have towards Omeada. So my vote towards the issue is against the future proposed marriage between myself and the blundering idiot. I'd sooner marry that Shinigami in the center of the room before Omeada." She finished tired of explain the whole situation to the vastly uninformed councilmen, while Ichigo smiled at her undertone which was noticed by councilman Fon who otherwise remained silent
The room soon went a buzz with murmurs, agreements, disagreements, theories, and suggestions. Finally Councilman Fon stood up to give the final addressment to the assembled mass "Gentleman, the general consensus has agreed upon what Kurosaki-san and Soifon-sama has brought up on the matter. While we do feel that marriage to the Omeada clan does have its obvious pros it has very severe cons as well. We have concluded to keep the option open and we will implement it should we feel that the necessity arrives" the councilman stated, which Ichigo growled in dislike which Soifon heard but didn't otherwise give an indication to her knowing "However! Should Omeada or his clan actively bring this up we will merely say we will consider it. That is all."
Soifon while displeased with result nodded her head "Since that is all the meeting is adjourned and the council is dismissed."
Slowly the men of the room got up from their pillows and began filing out, passing by Ichigo without a second glance or thought. Ichigo got up from his pillow and looked back at the retreating form of the men with a look of contempt, having to sit through and hear how they were simply going to use another person to increase their own power left him less than pleased at the attitude most noble seemed to have when it came to politics. The only ones who remained neutral or supportive of Ichigo's plight were Shaolin and Councilman Fon, her seemingly soft spoken right-hand.
Ichigo started walking over to Shaolin who along with Councilman also began to close the distance between him, when he felt something hard in his pocket, and began digging into the pocket with his hand while his mind recalled the piece of 'literature' Omeada made as he felt the books shape. The carrot top mentally cursed himself for forgetting about it, though old man Zangetsu pointed out that it may have been for the best, as it could have garnered more support for the marriage. "Soifon-Taicho, I just remembered a piece of evidence that you probably won't want to see, but I think you should look at." He said. His face bearing a depressive scowl, really hating what was about to happen next, already expecting the oncoming storm
Soifon had a visibly concerned look on her face since her back was to Councilman Fon so he wouldn't see her expression, as her mind wondered what could have Ichigo so upset "And that would be what exactly?" she asked, her tone trying to maintain the conversation on a professional level until they would be alone
"This." He handed over the H-doujinshi to the small bluenette, who gave a 'what the hell?' look to Ichigo when she saw the half naked woman on the cover. Feeling her temper start to boil over from receiving this of all things from her boyfriend no less she was just about to snap in anger and break Ichigo in half for giving her this pornography so shamelessly, until she happen to see and read the authors name in the corner of the book and her ire soon turned to Fuka-Taicho Marechiyo Omeada.
"Open the book mark and you'll really see." Ichigo commented extremely coldly, to his clandestine girlfriend who was looking ready to tear something to shreds or better put someone. When she pushed the book open to where the book mark rested her eyes widened and her mouth parted in a horrified O. Soifon almost unknowingly started to read the text within the speech bubbles, her eyes darting between the words and pencil sketched 'drawings' and 'pictures' and unconsciously started barring her teeth with a very pissed and very disgusted look on her face, her body shaking in unimaginable anger even more so than 'her'.
"Son of a bitch!" she yelled throwing the book to the nearby wall at blistering speeds leaving a book sized indention with small spider cracks into it while the manuscript dropped to the ground in a near broken heap, the spine clearly broken. The only reason that she hadn't quickly followed it up by launching a fire Hadou on it was because it was evidence. Evidence that she and the good Councilman next to her could use to their advantage, though once that role was over it would be straight to the furnace with that book.
"That fat bastard is dead! You hear me dead!" She yelled angrily releasing a ton of killing intent into the room, which Ichigo was surprised to find that the councilman was seemingly tolerating just as well as he was.
"Soifon-Taicho, please calm down." Ichigo pleaded to the understandably infuriated woman, knowing it wouldn't be good for anyone else minus himself, if she released all of her spiritual pressure at the compound with so many weaker souls nearby
Soifon turned her sights on him letting him truly see the hatred in them until she closed her eyes and took several deep breaths. Silently willing herself to calm down very slowly, as Suzumebachi was no doubt caught in the middle of a tornado of anger in her soul scape desperately holding on to anything nailed down as she was ferverently trying to not get blown away.
"Thank-you Kurosaki-san." She said gratefully trying to cool her jets, since it would no doubt leave a bad impression of the Fon family in the councilman's case and over the course of their relationship she was always telling Ichigo to be calm and collected not that he would all the time and her being hypocritical would no doubt put holes in her arguments, though Ichigo did suggest that she be more emotional since if she kept in her system for too long something bad might become of it, to which she albeit silently and reluctantly did agree but 'her' still remained "Now if you have no other business here, I will personally escort you out."
The lone councilman tilted his head curious as to why the leader would see a guest out personally when she could just have a servant do the task, but chose to not voice his opinion as he did concede that she lived in Seireitei as well so would be going the same way. Ichigo quickly picked up Zangetsu and returned it to it's usual spot as the pair exited the chambers proceeded down the long path to the exit. They walked in silence, for about five minutes each one not sure what to say to the other.
Finally having enough of the silence, Ichigo spoke up about two feet behind her on her right hand side trying to break the proverbial ice between them "Hey Soifon"
"Taicho" she quickly corrected before he said anything else, since they were still on the grounds and only now coming unto the sparing fields she had practiced in when she was a child in order to protect 'her'
"Right Taicho." He affirmed catching her implyment of professionalism and began reworking his words in order to continue it's replication for the time being "I want to say sorry. Sorry for not telling you yesterday in your office."
Still walking the woman turned her head sideways, just enough to see his face through her peripherals "Saying 'you're sorry' is an admission of guilt. I have found no fault of your own on the matter, so you should bear no guilt." She turned her head back with a cool smirk, and spoke low enough so only he could hear her "besides, you're the one who originally found no fault in me for some strange reason. I suppose I could make an exception and do the same for you."
Ichigo shook his head in bemusement, at her reference to his dearly departed mother Masaki. "You're impossible." He joked; glad to see she too was also still holding up after nearly one year since the loss, though they did lean on the other in the beginning and still did on occasion.
"And you're difficult." She countered
"What a pair we make huh?" he said and then chuckled, hearing and seeing Soifon scoff at his words and shake her head in amusement.
"Oh, by the way" The Yojimbo, having remembered that one councilman, mused to his Lin-chan, as they exited the front gates and were now going down the hill side to Rukongai "How come that Councilman Fon guy stayed behind when most of his buddies left, when you gave the ok?"
Shaolin stopped dead in her tracks, which made Ichigo halt too. She sighed and turned around to Ichigo, her hand pushing the bangs of her hair out of her tired face "That man Councilman Fon, the current right hand advisor for the leader as well as one of the oldest Fon members to still be alive…is my father."
"Ooohhh." He responded with a low groan feeling awkward with hints of shame mixed in, now that he was capable of looking back on the whole situation in calm understanding, since he literally just handed her, the man's daughter, a porno book right to both of their faces, plus given his moderately close proximity, he might have overheard most of things they said to each other. He at least managed to see her throw aside her usual cold emotionless demeanor, in a moment of passion.
'Smooth king. Real smooth.' The hollow said dryly, ready to chalk this up as one huge colossal step backwards in terms of getting into her pants sooner
'Eh, at least you got to meet your future father-in-law.'
"Let's just go." suggested Shaolin willing her body to move forward unknowingly breaking the man from his hidden daze. The pair continued to walk in silence, all the way back to the second division not a single word was spoken. By the time they entered the complex it was dark out and all the other Shinigami were asleep, so as to be prepared for any training or mission they would need to do the following morning.
"Well here's your stop Ichigo." Shaolin finally spoke up saying the first few words in the previous three hours of walking.
"I'll go to bed after I walk you to your office Taicho. I would be a horrible bodyguard, if I left your side." He added the last part quickly, to prevent her from complaining
"You're an idiot." She ridiculed, but none-the-less walked onward to her office, with said idiot by her side
They reached the Taicho's office less than a minute later since he was moved to the fourth seats room which was on the floor below them. Soifon pulled out the keys to her door and unlocked it, pushing the door open gently. "Ichigo" she whispered to her boyfriend "Since you are here why don't you come inside for a moment. I want talk to you briefly as I might not get the chance."
Soundlessly Ichigo entered and closed the door behind him, as Soifon walked across the room removing her Haori and Zanpaktou, placing it on the coat rack and desk respectively. When Ichigo turned back around, he saw Soifon slide open the balcony door and nudged her head indicating her wanting to speak outside.
As soon as Ichigo stepped outside, he let out an exhalation of air from the unusually cold air of the night. He moved over next to his captain and leaned against the railing with his arms crossed, waiting for her to say what she wanted to talk about.
The woman gazed over the starry night sky briefly then turned her head to her 'Yojimbo', not wanting to keep him up since he had a very big day tomorrow that would extend all the way till next month. "Ichigo, I do want to thank-you for what you did today even though it was unnecessary. I say unnecessary because, while I truly did not know of this incident, Subaru has more than enough access to blackmail material to force the councilmen's agreement or stave them off a decision and Shinjiro asked me to make it a bi-law that my fiancé would need to be approved by him before a marriage agreement can be met which most of the fools on the council tend to forget." She elaborated to her aficionado
'I guess that explains why they were so laid-back. It was well thought up before I even entered the picture.' He thought with a huge sweat drop, while his inner hollow was laughing his ass off saying this was entirely BS. "I feel like such a spaz that you wouldn't believe it."
Soifon looked at him amusedly and spoke in a warmer tone "Yes, you are, but you're my spaz."
Ichigo rolled his eyes "Gee, thanks."
"You're welcome." She returned the gratitude with a childish smile much to his annoyance "But, in all seriousness. I do thank-you for warning me about the…marriage." saying the word with utter disdain since the association brought back the mental image of the book and Omeada's grinning face, which could give anyone nightmares
"Heh." The strawberry blond carefully pushed himself off the railing, standing straight as he looked directly at the short woman "Don't thank me. I wanted to do it."
Soifon looked back at the man and slowly returned her gaze back over the view of the night filled Seireitei. "You know I'll miss you." She said somberly, silently wishing she could go with him to the human world to at least keep an eye on him…for just a little longer
Seeing her distress he took a few steps closer to her "And I you." He replied placing his hand on top of hers, while his other reached her other shoulder pulling her in softly. Once she was close enough he removed his hand and placed it against her cheek, drawing her attention back towards him.
'A parting gift' Ichigo thought, as he leaned down and kissed her on the lips, sending a jolt of electricity up her spine. Soifon gazed back at him eye-lids half open, as she deepened the kiss allowing his tongue to enter her mouth to play with her own. The appendages battling over dominance, before the pair broke away hot and bothered.
The strawberry buried his head into her neck kissing and sucking on it gentle, forcing Soifon to fight back a moan of pleasure from the exquisite treatment, her fist tightening against the man's uniform as she pulled him in to return the favor, giving a small love bite at the base of his neck, both to their much needed satisfactions.
Ichigo moved in and kissed her again, but when his hand moved to help assist her take of her uniform she stopped him. "No. Not yet Ichigo." She panted slightly in between breaths "I'm…I don't think. I'm ready yet." She reluctantly admitted, knowing that she shouldn't have allowed it to go this far, and suddenly call it quits. 'No doubt he's mad…' she thought grimly since any hormonal man would be rather put off at being denied sex at the very last minute
To her surprise Ichigo leaned in and kissed her on the forehead "I understand. It can wait, till your ready. Take all the time in the world" he stated, knowing she had a choice in what she did and didn't want to do and he promised himself to respect that about her
'Hey don't tell her that king!' Hichigo yelled out in defiance, hoping to get the king to change his wording at least. He then let out a frustrated grown when he appeared to be sticking by his iron hard commitment to the woman 'This shit suck! This close, This fucking close and then zilch." The creature turned and kicked some dust off the side of the buildings in the inner world, to try and vent to no avail "(Sigh) I'm gonna go see if the other me's got the porno channel or something'
Back in the afterlife, the blushing woman looked away from her boyfriend "I'll be prepared next time. I assure you." She said meekly, her inexperience being used to help fortify her next attempt so as not to lead the poor man on again
He leaned in and kissed her on the lips again "I know you will." He said taking a step back to leave the balcony and once again return to the world of humanity the following morning. When he was in the doorway he turned back to face her "I love you Shaolin." He called, and started to turn back when Soifon grabbed his hand, a rare shy expression on her face
"I love you too Ichigo. G-good night."
(1) Most won't understand but I do like to fulfill certain request every now and then, though I do have to apologize for no giant voice screaming it…
(2) I know I'm big on originality but I'm not making this shit this time. There really is one out there and since it's M you can ask me and I'll give you the name if you desire to Google search it to confirm it.
(3) Breaking the code 8, 27, 5, 3, P, R12. = 8/27/2005 3 PM Room 12.
(Omake: Author's lament)
Hanataro: What's wrong?
Omeada: Yeah boss?
Blackout2010 (turning gaze to them): It's you two. I really intended for the both of you to get significantly better and well...I only really partially succeeded with Hanataro, you were a total failure Omeada.
Omeada: What do you mean?
Blackout2010: Originally you were supposed to be suspicious about the two in chapter six and figuring everything out back in this chaper, again originally. I really don't know how it turned into this. I mean I know I hate your guts but I never intended to make you out to be so evil, it just happened and unfortunately it fulfill the requirements for plot advancement, so sorry.
Hanataro: What about me?
Blackout2010: Well, unlike your canon counter-part who probably would have pissed his pant and fainted after seeing a hollow, you've become a graduated combat medic, though I do give you props that you stood up to Byakuya in canon as that takes guts. Unfortunately in either case due to my inexperience I highly doubt I can have more than one romance going on at any one time, so despite getting better you'll probably still end up alone. Sadly.
(Omake: Author's Lament end)
Blackout2010: So ends chapter 9.
Subaru: How exactly does this constitute as part of the Karakura Arc?
Blackout2010: Simply, it introduces and leads into the major to unfold.
Shinjiro: I see. I guess we'll need to wait for the next stage before things pick up.