Dashita Tichou: Tada! I felt like doing an insert story, so...
Ichigo: Here she, I mean it, is.
Ritsu Kurosaki: Hi!
Karin: Who cares... I'm still in permanent denial
Floating Ghost Nearby: *Ice cubed* S-so c-c-cold...
Ichigo: Just go to the damn story already!
Dashita Tichou: Yeepee! (Don't worry, I'll work on The Road To Remembrence and have a chapter of it up by June 10th. I promise!)
Yuzu: Have fun reading!
"We stand in awe before that which cannot be seen and we respect with every fiber that which cannot be explained."
A young man with bright orange hair and brown eyes was standing in an alleyway with a girl that just had to be his twin. For one thing, she had the exact same shade of hair and for another, she had the same color eye. She had a slimmer build and was only a little shorter than the young man next to her. She spun around to walk backwards as they walked down a main street.
"Hey Ichi-nii! Are we gonna visit the ghost of that little girl again today?" she asked with a very high soft voice and a smile a mile wide. She had on the school uniform of a gray pleated skirt and the accompanied jacket. Ichigo, or Ich-nii, wore the male equivalent with pants instead of a skirt.
"Yeah. We are Rii." Ritsu, or Rii, smiled twice as big.
"Ichigo?" she asked even quieter.
"Yeah Rii?" he responded.
"Why can we see them when no one else can?"
"I don't know Ritsu." he sighed. They had been over this before. "We just can."
Just then, a gang came blasting out of the alley in front of them.
"Dude!" one of them shouted, "Nice rail!" Ichigo just kept walking. When he got to the alley, the gang was walking back down it, skateboards in hand.
"Here we go again..." Ritsu sighed. Ichigo was always getting into fights. He walked up to them when he saw that a vase of flowers had been knocked over.
"Oh no!" Ritsu said. Ichigo grabbed the nearest gangster and punched him in the face. The man in the front turned around with a vein pulsing on his forehead.
"You got a death-wish pal?" he demanded, "No one hurts one of my boys and lives to tell the tale." Ichigo just reached up and scratched the side of his head.
"That's all you got to say pal?" Ichigo didn't answer. "Arrgh!" the guy went to punch Ichigo, but was met by a kick in the face. Ichigo then knocked him to the ground and repeatedly stomped on his back.
"Little Yamma's down!" on of the gangsters said, "We gotta help him!"
"Are you crazy?" another asked.
"No way I'm taking on that physco!" declared the last one.
Ichigo finished of the leader of the gang by smashing his face into the ground with a final kick. Ritsu just turned to the side of the alley and pounded her head against the wall.
"Now listen up you pond-scum!" Ichigo yelled, "Do you see that?" He pointed at the spilled vase of flowers. "First question. What do you think that is? You the one in the middle. Answer!"
"Uhh... What you talkin' to me?" the dude in the middle pointed at himself. "Uhh... I guess somebody left those flowers for some kid who got killed at.
"Correct!" Ichigo rewarded the corect answer by knocking the dude out with a kick to the face.
"Why? Ritsu said as she sat down. She stopped banging her head because she was giving herself a headache.
"Now the next question." Ichigo said as he moved on to the next gangster. "That vase over there. Why is it lying on its side?"
"Uhh.. I guess... one of us knocked it over when we were skateboarding through here?" It was a statement, but with the way the gangster said it, it sounded like a question.
"You guys can't talk fast." Ichigo ninja kicked both of the standing gangsters to the ground.
"Ichi-nii!" Ritsu tried to interupt. It didn't work, he just ignored her. She shook her head and put her chin on her knees.
"NOW GO AND APOLOGIZE OR ELSE THE NEXT TIME THE FLOWERS WILL BE FOR YOU!" Ichigo looked like a demon as he yelled at the gangsters who were wimpering.
"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" the gangsters yelled as they scrambled to get away from him. "WE'RE SORY! WE'RE SORRY! WE'RE SORRY! WE'RE SORRY!" they scrambled off and Ritsu stood up.
"Well, that oughta keep those gangsters from coming around here soon." he turned to face the ghost that appeared over the flowers. "Sorry about that. I'll bring you by some new flowers tomorrow."
Ritsu looked at the small girl ghost.
"I'll make sure they're arranged nicely." she said as she knelt down and ruffled the ghost's hair.
"Thank you for coming to my defense." the ghost said. "I think I'll finally be able to rest peacefully." Ichigo knelt down next to Ritsu and picked up the knocked over flowers.
"No problem." Ichigo said as he started to walk off. "You're dead, so you deserve to rest in peace."
"I hope you find happiness in your afterlife." Ritsu bowed and then ran after Ichigo.
"Good job Ichi-nii!" she said with a smile. "I think you do a good deed every time you help one of those ghosts."
"Yeah?" said Ichigo, "Well, you're not so bad at it yourself."
We're both only fifteen, but we already do so much good in high school and for the dearly departed. Ritsu thought. I guess it's even better because Dad runs the medical clinic. Ritsu smiled again and switched to forward walking as they got to their home. Ichigo opened the door and went in first.
"We're home!" he called. He was greeted by getting kicked across the room by their dad.
HE turned to Ritsu and she joined Ichigo in learning how to fly. She turned and grabbed their dad's foot and smashing him into the wall in front of her.
He peeled himself off of the wall and sent Ritsu crashing into Ichigo as he was just standing up.
"OoOoO..." they both groaned.
"You let your guard down!" he said. "Always be on guard when you enter a room and you're late for dinner again."
"COME ON!" they yelled. Ichigo turned on their dad.
"IS THAT ANY WAY TO WELCOME YOUR ELDEST CHILDREN HOME AFTER THEY JUST RISKED THEIR LIVES TO HELP A SPIRIT FIND PEACE?" Ichigo was up in his face and Ritsu was standing next to him.
"YEAH YOU BIG FAT BAKA!" she joined in the yelling. She was a big airhead, but when it came to their father, she was deadly skilled. "I COULD'VE BEEN KILLED BY SOME RANDOM ASS-HOLE, BUT INSTEAD OF A TEARY EYED WELCOME, I GET A FOOT IN THE FACE AAND A PUNCH IN THE GUT!" Having had her say, she went to get dinner, but their dad grabbed a handful of her long orange locks and pulled her back into the argument. After a few minutes, in which one of the younger twins tried to stop the fight and the other just ate their food, Ritsu ended the fight by kicking their dad, and Ichigo by mistake, below the belt rather harshly.
"Sorry Yuzu," she said to the twin who had cooked and tried to stop the fighting, "I'm not hungry anymore. I'm going to bed." Ritsu turned and walked up the stairs with Ichigo very sorely climbing up after her. Ichigo took a lot longer to come up, so by the time he made it to their room, Ritsu was already through her super speed shower and in her pjs.
"Ichi-nii?" she said as he dragged himself through the doorway to their shared room, "Have you been seeing a lot more spirits recently?"
"Yeah." he answered, "What of it?"
"Nothing. I was just curious." Ritsu rolled over in her bed and yawned.
Their room had bare walls and only one window and closet. Ichigo's bed was on the right as you came into the room and Ritsu's was on the left with the head of her bed at the window. At the foot of Ichigo's bed was their shared closet which was currently empty. At the foot of Ritsu's bed was her dresser and Ichigo's dresser was nest to his headboard beside the window. In the next room over was their desks and school stuff.
"G'night Ichi-nii." Ritsu said.
"Good night Rii. See you in the morning."
Ritsu closed her eyes and snuggled under her blankets.
The next morning, Ritsu's alarm clock went off at six am. She stood up, yawned, and went to take a shower.
"Ichi-nii!" she said as she shook her brother awake, "It's 6:15! You have to get up!" Ichigo opened his eyes and his face turned bright red as he threw his blankets over his head.
"PUT SOME CLOTHES ON YOU STUPID GIRL!" he shouted. He had been looking at Ritsu's towel clad chest area when he opened his eyes. Ritsu looked down and then hitched her towel a little higher.
"Sorry Ichi-nii! But I want to be at school early today so I can talk to Orihime-chan! Please get up!"
"Not until you get some God-damn clothes on!" he shouted back. The commotion attracted the attention of their father.
"Good morning my dearly beloved childr-" he stopped talking as he saw Ritsu without a towel as she was pulling her school shirt over her head. He saw her pink undies and got a glimpse of her matching bra.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!" Ritsu screamed. "GET OUT YOU PERVERT OF A FATHER!" When he didn't move, Ritsu picked her towel off of her bed and threw it straight into his face.
"Isshin!" she commanded, "If you don't get out right now, I'll kick you so hard you'll be unconscious till next Saturday!" Isshin, their dad, backed out of the door when Ritsu threw one of her dresser drawers at him.
"AND STAY OUT YOU PERVERT!" Since this was a normal occurrence in the Kurosaki house-hold, neighbors didn't bother to set an alarm and just woke up to the yelling and sound of things being thrown.
Ritsu finished getting dressed and then dragged her pj clad twin out of bed.
"Come on Ichi-nii!" she wined, "I'm dressed now!" Ichigo got up wearily and ran through the shower quickly so Ritsu could still get there early enough to chat with Orihime before class.
When he got downstairs, Ritsu was in tears by the T-V with a foam cup of coffee in one hand.
"What's wrong?" he asked her.
"The... the... the people... I can... see... the ghosts..." she sobbed. She ran into Ichigo's arms and hugged her twin. He looked over to see the news report of the explosions. He saw the ghosts too, but what disturbed him more was where it was.
"That's near here..." he muttered. Yuzu came over with a piece of toast for Ichigo and a tissue for Ritsu.
"It's okay nee-san!" Yuzu said as she handed Ritsu the tissues. Ritsu smiled at Yuzu and took the tissues.
"Thank you Yuzu-chan." she said quietly. She wiped up her tears and took a sip of coffee. She was feeling a little better already. She let go of Ichigo and then walked out the door. Ichigo followed after her after double checking that he still had the flowers for the ghost of the little girl.
Ichigo quickly walked in front of Ritsu and he led the way to the alleyway they had been in yesterday.
"Hey!" Ichigo called when they got there. There was no answer.
"Are you here?" Ritsu called out in a worried tone. "Where could she-" She was interupted by the sound of an explosion nearby. Ichigo took off with Ritsu right behind him.
"What is it?" she asked.
"I don't know." he answered. They got to the scene of the explosion from that morning in time to see another explosion. The only difference was that there wasn't really an explosion. Ritsu stared in horror as the dust cleared. They dust cleared for them to see the ghost of the little girl chasing.
"Oni-san! Nee-san!" she called out to them.
"Run!" Ichigo yelled to her. Behind her was an enormous praying mantis with a skull musk over its face.
"Oh no..." Ritsu whispered. She was rooted to the spot. Ichigo sent the ghost of the little girl ahead and ran back to grab Ritsu by the back of her shirt.
"Run you idiot!" he yelled as he started dragging her bodily. Ritsu got a hold of herself and started running as the monster caught up. It yanked Ritsu away from Ichigo with one of its enormous claws.
"Ichigo!" she yelled in fear. Suddenly, a figure dressed in black robes came out of nowhere. It cut off the claw holding Ritsu and then slashed the monster right down the center of its mask.
"W- who're you?" Ritsu stammered. The figure turned out to be a petite young woman with violet eyes and raven black hair. A stray bang hung down the center of her face. She sheathed her sword and then disappeared Ichigo ran up to Ritsu and pulled her off. She dusted herself off and fixed her skirt.
"You okay?" he asked her with concern.
"Y-yeah..." she stammered, "W-what was th-that thing?"
"I have no clue." Ichigo answered. Ritsu turned to start to walk to school, but she tripped over her own two feet.
"Are you sure you're okay to go to school today?" he asked with concern in his voice.
"I have to!" she answered earnestly, "I promised Orihime-chan that I would talk to her this morning!"
"Okay, but you have to promise to tell me if you don't feel well, got it?"
"Yeah." They headed to school, but Ichigo kept a close eye on Ritsu through all of their morning classes. Since she sat right next to him, it was a simple enough task.
When lunch time rolled around, Ichigo pulled Ritsu up to the roof to eat with him and his friends, but not before Orihime spotted them.
"Where are you going Ritsu-kun?" she asked with concern.
"Well," Ritsu answered, "I was crying this morning because of that huge explosion near the station and Ichigo was worried about me coming to school today and I think that he really just wants to make sure I don't start crying again. Will you come with me to eat?"
"Sure!" Orihime answered with a huge smile. "Maybe I can share my terriaki with honey and mustard!"
"Umm..." Ritsu's face went really green at the mention of such an atrocity of food. "N-no thanks... I have my own lunch..." Ichigo looked back at the two.
"Hurry up Ritsu, Inue!" Ichigo started to walk up the stairs.
"Come on Orihime-chan!" Ritsu started to race after Ichigo and Orihime chased after her.
When Ritsu got to the roof, she plopped down between her brother and Keigo and Orihime sat down next to Keigo and Ritsu. She felt a little nervous with such a big group of tough guys. She only felt nervous that is, until Keigo tried to lift up her skirt.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" she shrieked.
"Keigo you little perv!" the Kurosaki twins shouted at the same time.
"Keigo," Ritsu began to threaten, "If you touch Orihime-chan one more time, I will kick you so hard that you will never ever enjoy sexually harassing another woman even just by looking up her skirt because every time that you try that, you'll think of the pain I inflicted on you." Ritsu sounded and looked just like always, but Keigo only saw Hell's greatest demon scorching him with flames.
"Yes ma'am. Yes Miss Kurosaki-san!" he squeaked out. He suddenly disappeared from the roof with his lunch and his play boy buddy Muizura.
Orihime scooted away a little from her second best friend.
"It's okay Orihime-chan! I only wanted to protect you!" Ritsu assured her. Still, Orihime didn't scoot any closer.
Unfortunately, or fortunately for Orihime, she had never seen Ritsu carry out one of her death-threats. She had seen the after-effects though and she paled when she thought of what might happen to the little brown haired pervert.
After lunch, everyone finished up classes and started to head home. Since it was four o'clock, Ritsu didn't want to go straight home.
"Ichi-nii?" she asked, "Can we go to the park first?"
"Sorry Rii," he answered, "Not right now, maybe tomorrow." They finished their walk home in silence.
When they got there, Ritsu went straight up to their desk room to draw. She set up her sketch station and immediately started to draw. She started out with a single rose laying on a bed. When she started to color it, other flowers seemed to come out of nowhere onto the parchment. Still, the rose was the prettiest flower on it. She added a few hughes of gold around the petals so it could stand out even more. When she was finished, it was dinner time. She grabbed her easel and put the picture in a frame before heading down.
Ritsu walked down the stairs to find her father fly straight into her painting. It was completely ruined. She just stood there while her father came at her again. She fell to her knees with tears forming in her eyes. Isshin stopped, sensing something was wrong.
"Ritsu-chan?" he asked her hesitantly.
"Don't ever call me that again." she said quietly.
"Eh?" was all he could say.
"I said, 'Don't ever call me that again." she said loudly. "From now on, you can refer to me as Ritsu Masaki!" Isshin looked at her drawing in horror, finally seeing what he had done wrong.
"But Ritsu-cha-" Ritsu stood up and did a spin kick to his head.
"I TOLD YOU TO NOT CALL ME THAT AGAIN!" she yelled. "I'm moving out." she said in the deathly silence. She went back up the stairs and started to pack her stuff haphazardly into a suit case. A moment later, Ichigo came running into their room.
"Ritsu! You can't move out!" he said to her.
"You wanna bet?" her tone was deadly. Ichigo flinched and then moved back a few steps.
"At least stay until morning and sleep on it!" he begged her.
"Fine." she said in that same deadly tone. She kept packing her things.
For an air-head, she can be a killer when she wants to. It's like she has a split personality... Ichigo went back down stairs and cleaned up the glass and what remained of her beautiful artwork. He started tapping pieces together until he noticed words along the edge.
Mother fair and mother near, help to find what is most dear. Keep me close and let me stay warm while I try with all my heart to go on. Still I yearn to be tucked in goodnight. Still I yearn for you to hold me tight. Why you're gone I know quite well. If only I hadn't went and fell...
Ichigo felt tears welling up in his eyes. Now he knew why Ritsu was so upset. He went into his dad's office.
"Dad," he started, "We need to talk about what happened with Ritsu earlier."
"What about it?" Isshin asked. Ichigo tossed the picture that Ritsu had drawn and then pointed at the words on the edges. Then he walked out.
He headed back up stairs to where Ritsu was asleep in bed.
"Sorry air-head." he said quietly. He pulled Ritsu's blankets higher over her, changed into his pjs, and he laid down on his bed.
"I'm not an air-head." Ritsu's voice was so quiet that Ichigo almost didn't hear her.
"What?" he asked, only a little louder.
"I'm not an air-head." Ichigo looked to see that Ritsu hadn't moved. "Everybody always assumes that I'm super-tough because I'm your twin or that I'm a wimp. There's no middle ground." Ritsu sat up and leaned against her wall, facing Ichigo.
"Sure there is." Ichigo said, "Inue doesn't think you're super-tough although she knows you can beat the snot out of people when you have a reason and she treats you like you're smart. Just like you treat her as an equal." Ritsu shook her head.
"That's not what I meant. I don't mean Orihime-chan. Orihime-chan treats me that way because she actually knows me and she's known me since before..." Ritsu's voice became choked up.
"Hey, it's okay." Ichigo got out of his bed and gave his twin sister a hug. "It's okay." Ritsu hugged him back really fast and then pulled out of his hug.
"I'm still moving out though. I'm gonna see if Orihime-chan will let me live at her apartment. I guess I'll have to get a part time job..." Ritsu put her chin on her knees and brushed a lock of her orange hair out off her face.
Ichigo sat next to her on her bed for quite a while before going to lay down on his own bed.
Dashita Tichou: So, what'd ya think? Please review! *Puppy dog eyes*
Ritsu: If you didn't catch it, Masaki is the name of our mom.
Dashita Tichou: I didn't know what Masaki's maiden name was (If she has one) so I went with her first name!
Ritsu: You mean I did.
Dashita Tichou: Yeah, yeah, yeah...
Hit the Button!
You know you want to!
It's right there!