A Flurry of Snow
Current chronological order for Down time is this
When it Rains it Pours
Princess Needs a New Hobby
(Tentative titled - The Cake is a Lie )(Zangetsu meets Sōgyo no Kotowari) - in progress
(unnamed)(Zangetsu meets Katen Kyōkotsu) - unwritten
A Flurry of Snow
Doctors Orders - in progress
Ichigo is talking with zangetsu in his inner world when they have an unexpected visitor, and Ichigo meets the first zanpakotou he ever wielded.
Ichigo hummed softly to himself as he watched the clouds drift down across the sideway landscape of his soul, he had found his way here mostly out of boredom but Zangetsu didn't seem to mind any. The zanpakotou in fact seemed quite happy, as far as Zangetsu showed emotions anyway, to have his wielder here while it was relatively peaceful, their sparing sessions being a relatively new occurrence, the zanpakotou still didn't see too much of the teen.
Zangetsu stood balanced on his flag pole. A silent shadow in the gleaming silver and blue of the sideways city, it may have seemed to Ichigo that the sword spirit was looking off into the distance, but Zangetsu had his attention solely on Ichigo ever since the teen had arrived in his inner world. Contrary to what Ichigo may have thought although Zangetsu certainly knew his wielder far better then anyone else ever could, he had never actually seen him until that day in the shatter shaft. Since then Ichigo had unfortunately kept up his habit of only turning up here when he was about to die. Zan smiled faintly, honestly, the teen was going to give him gray hair. A foreign reiatsu flickering at the edge of his senses brought the sword spirit out of his relaxed state and to full alert in an instant.
After a moment he relaxed a faint smile crossing his face as he recognized the spirit that was intruding on his masters soul. "Ichigo..." He called quietly the teen jumping in surprise before glancing at him.
"What?" He asked confused as Zangetsu stepped down off his pole.
"It would appear we have a visitor." He answered looking off into the distance. Ichigo stared at him for a long moment mystified. This was his soul, and while he knew the zanpakotou could talk to each other how could he have an actual visitor?
"Um...are you sure?" He asked dubiously Zangetsu merely nodded Ichigo blinked bemused before following Zangetsu's line of sight to try and see what he was looking at. Ichigo flinched in surprise an instant later as with a flurry of snow and freezing wind what had to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen appeared a few feet away. She wore a white kimono edged in silver and long white hair was held out of her face by a clip shaped like a light blue snow flake, she smiled faintly at them.
"Hello Kurosaki-san I didn't realize you were visiting Zangetsu-san, its good to meet you in person." She said with a grin Ichigo blinked a bit puzzled.
"Uh..hello? Who are you?"
"You don't remember me?" She asked teasingly Ichigo scowled feeling amusement from Zangetsu.
"Sorry no I don't" He answered she shook her head with a smile still in place and stepped forward taping a finger on his forehead before he could step back. Power flashed through him, very familiar power, Ichigo blinked startled now that he had been felt her power again he could recognize it as different from Zangetsu, but still very familiar. What he now knew to be Rukia's zanpakotou smiled.
"Recognize me now?" She asked he nodded a faint smile replacing his perpetual frown for a moment.
"Yeah. Your Rukia's zanpakotou aren't you?" He asked she smiled nodding.
"Indeed I am my name is Sode no Shirayuki, and I must say it is very nice to meet you in person after having you wield me for several months." She smiled at him Ichigo nodded looking curious.
"I never realized that it wasn't Zangetsu that I was using then." He answered after a moment. Shirayuki raised an eye brow looking unamused at this.
"You didn't?" She asked a dangerous glint in her eyes. Behind Ichigo Zangetsu tensed slightly, he knew that look and was eternally glad that for once it was not being directed at himself, the other zanpakotou delighted in backing others into her verbal traps.
"No. I never really thought about it to be honest, not until Urahara explained that Zangetsu wasn't just a regular sword anyway." He answered Shirayuki nodded.
"Indeed. I suppose my blade wasn't really all that recognizable as the one you had seen Rukia using after your reiatsu inflated my sealed form the way it did was it?" Ichigo nodded and Zangetsu silently bolted beating a hasty retreat and leaving his wielder to face what he knew was coming on his own. Shirayuki's eyes narrowed studying the young shinigami a dangerous glint held in their depths.
"Oh? Is that so?" She asked sweetly Ichigo hesitated not liking that tone in the least bit. A moment later she had her blade in hand and before Ichigo do more then blanch he was buried under several feet of snow. Shirayuki let her blade vanish as Ichigo clawed his way out of the large pile of fluffy snow gasping. "Perhaps in the future you will think before you call me fat, won't you Kurosaki-san?" She asked sweetly he stared at her completely confused.
"Uh...what? I never called you fat!" He argued she rolled her eyes.
"Men" She muttered annoyed as Zangetsu reappeared nearby even as the sky darkened a bit with Ichigo's irritation. Shirayuki sighed annoyed at the turn in the weather as Ichigo glared at Zangetsu.
"Where the hell did you go?" He demanded Zangetsu smirked slightly.
"I'v know Sode no Shirayuki longer then you have Ichigo. I felt a strategic retreat was in order." He answered smoothy Ichigo scowled heavily.
"And why did you share that?" He asked.
"Simple enough Ichigo, she was angry at you why give her a reason to change targets?" He asked Ichigo stared at him for a long moment incredulous. "When it comes to woman your on your own Ichigo." he added after a long moment of silence.
"As entertaining as this is Ichigo can you please control you emotions a bit better? Your going to make it rain and I truly hate being wet!" Shirayuki cut in rather sharply Ichigo winced slightly at that sorry he had subjected her to the rain that tended to plague his inner world, but not too sorry after that avalanche she had dropped on his head.
"Uh yeah sorry about that." He muttered she chuckled waving him off.
"Its alright Zangetsu was nice enough to let me hide out with him so that cloak of his could keep the rain off of both of us." Ichigo nodded thoughtful glancing sideways at Zangetsu and seeing a perfect opportunity to get back at him for abandoning him to Shirayuki's rage.
"So should I be worried about what else you two were getting up to in here before Zangetsu? Last time I checked you don't even let me get that close to you, you must really like her a lot!" He asked innocently Zangetsu went more still then normal and sent him a rather sour look at the implication Ichigo mentally sniggered. Maybe he liked teasing Zangetsu about Shirayuki a bit to much, but it was just too easy sometimes, and the bastard deserved it today.
"Nothing of the sort happened Ichigo so drop it." He growled.
"Oh? I think your denying that a bit much Zan. Should I go have a talk with Rukia about whether or not she needs to worry about anything? Can you even knock Shirayuki up?" With that he bolted Shirayuki who although she couldn't hear what was being said didn't have to guess to much after Zangetsu tore after a laughing Ichigo looking faintly murderous. She shook her head exasperated honestly those two could be quite entertaining when Ichigo started needling Zangetsu, she waited for a few moments to see if they were going to stop their childish antics before sighing and flitting back to Rukia's soul. She would return another time perhaps, Rukia didn't mind her wandering, and she suspected she would worry even less if she knew who it was her zanpakotou was off visiting. That and Rukia would no doubt enjoy hearing about the prank she had played on Kurosaki.