Chapter 11

Requiem for the Fallen part I

Soul Society -First Division Barracks

The crowd of onlookers were waiting in anticipation for the sparring match between Ichigo and Gabrielle to begin. Even more anxious than they cared to admit were three young women watching the two combatants in trepidation. Rias looked on nervously as Ichigo stared at his opponent who smiled at him pleasantly. The red head reigned in the jealousy that seemed to have gotten its claws on her. Well she couldn't help it! It's not everyday that she has to compete for anyone's attention and Rias knew that she would fight any whore who would dare to take her Ichigo away from her! Every time she works her magic on him, a barrier that he put up especially around his heart was coming down piece by piece. Already he has been very affectionate with her so no complaints there. Rias knew that she was in front of the line and if she played her cards right then she knew that she can win without too much effort in her part...

However this new blond rival came out of no where and it has shaken Rias' confidence as a woman somewhat. Oh she has a suspicion that Akeno and that Fallen Angel bimbo had a thing for him but she can proudly say that she is in the forefront of Ichigo's affections and the strawberry is actually reciprocating her feelings even if he didn't declare them outright to her presence! She knew that Akeno did what she did to tease her. The bitch on the other hand probably does it to piss her the hell off! Rias smiled. It was only a matter of time before all the barriers that he has erected came crashing down and he will be hers at last! Still this new woman caught Ichigo's attention and it was making her heart wrench in jealousy! It was irrational really since technically they weren't even "officially" together at least not yet anyway! So all the effort and energy she invested in this campaign to have Ichigo as boyfriend and perhaps the husband she was looking for would have been a complete waste of her time and energy if she happened to lose him now. The one tangible thing that no one can take away from her was the fact that she loved him more than anything in the world. There was no hesitation on her part, no doubts that plague her conscience and no what ifs about it. As far as she's concerned, the husband search is over and she didn't give a damn what anyone thinks of the matter. Rias WILL make her Ichigo her husband and there's nothing that bastard Riser or even her family can do to stop it! Rias so happened to turned and noticed that Raynare was a little green around the gills. Curiosity got the better of her though and she seized the opportunity to irk her bothersome rival...

"The hell is wrong with you?" Rias asked smirking. "You PMS-ing or something?"

Raynare glared at her and replied...

"Bitch please! Why don't you sit in the corner and respectfully shut the hell up!"

"WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME!"

"Now now kids please be nice to each other." Akeno said smiling.

Her hands glowed with lightning to emphasize her meaning. The two rivals gulped and looked away from the other...

"Fu hu hu, now wasn't that easy?"

"She started it!" Rias said pouting.

"I so did not you bitch!" Raynare replied.

"So what are you gonna do about it?" Rias bit back.

"Slut!"

"Hoe bag!"

Sparks flew as their fierce gazes met and then the two of them suddenly twitched uncontrollably as they got shocked by Akeno who was smiling with glee on the background. The audience all around them sweat dropped….

Meanwhile in the arena….

"Oh my your friends sure are a feisty bunch!" Gabrielle observed.

"Nope, I have no idea who those people are at all!" Ichigo deadpanned. "Anyway did you want to start now right?

"Ichigo why are you being so mean!" Rias pouted.

Ichigo sweat dropped and turned around and faced the beautiful blond woman before him...

"Shall we begin Ichigo-san?" Gabrielle asked smiling as she took up her stance.

"I'm ready whenever you are Gabrielle."

"Good..."

Before Ichigo knew it Gabrielle was in his face. Caught off guard, he instinctively raised his bokken to intercept her downward strike and head surprised at the brutal strength she displayed as his knee buckled. Before his knee touched the wooden floor, he stood his ground and with brute strength of his own, Ichigo leveled his wooden blade so that the two of them were in a blade lock. Ichigo then stepped backward suddenly that made Gabrielle's eyes widen as he made enough room to fully swing his weapon which she blocked easily enough but the crowd gasped as they heard two wooden swords collide and Ichigo's strength pushed her back 10 feet.

"I did well to choose you Ichigo..."

"Aww gee I try."

Gabrielle stifled a giggle as she focused on her opponent. Meanwhile Rias blew out the air that she was unknowingly keeping in her lungs. She couldn't believe it! This woman was actually matching her Ichigo move for move? The next exchange nearly gave her a heart attack as the blond haired girl continued her furious assault. Rias may not know anything about swordplay as that was not a part of her expertise. However even she can tell that Ichigo's opponent was formally trained and exceptionally skilled with the way she held her blade of wood. She was as much a master of the sword as Ichigo was. Rias happened to look at Raynare and noticed that she turned several shades of pale. Her beautiful face contorted into a horrified expression and it seemed that there was some kind of recognition by the way her eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets...

"I can't believe it! What the hell is SHE doing here?" Raynare exclaimed.

"What are you talking about Raynare-san?" Akeno asked curiously.

"Don't you recognize her?" Raynare asked. She turned to Rias. "Well I know at least you have heard of her right?"

"Umm no. Should I know her?"

Rias scrutinized the blond woman more closely but she came up blank…

"That's the Archangel Gabrielle. Umm she's Lord Michael's little sister!" Raynare informed them.

Rias and Akeno looked at each other, then at Raynare, and finally at the newly named Gabrielle and their faces blanched into an unhealthy looking white color. She has heard stories about the Angel Faction's Most Beautiful Woman in Heaven. Gabrielle's name was used by parents to scare and keep unruly Akuma children in line! Her reputation as a master swords-woman and her exploits in the war of the Three Factions has given veteran Fallen Angels and Akuma alike nightmares who witnessed her role during the war! It was said that it was instant death the minute she puts her hand on the pommel of her massive sword. It was considered a good omen if one didn't face her in battle. For those that were unfortunate enough to do so didn't survive long enough to even unsheathe their sword…

"Oh my, she will definitely test Ichigo's own prowess with the sword wouldn't it, Buchou?" Akeno asked.

"Indeed, I have never seen anyone who has kept up with him until today." Rias admitted.

"Who cares, don't you want to see Ichigo-sama beat that Angel's ass?" Raynare asked.

Rias had to admit that she wanted to know as well and from the looks of things Akeno was as curious as all of them were considering the rapt attention that she was giving the spar. The three ladies settled enough that they were able to witness several vicious strikes that Ichigo managed to deflect, dodge, and block with no difficulty. A renewed exchange between them displayed clearly the brute strength that they both possess. After a sequence of sword strikes, Gabrielle was able to retreat and position herself to a drawing stance. Ichigo followed and he artfully dodged a lightning horizontal strike so fast and so strong that he barely dodged the attack and the massive shockwave that the sword generated blew part of the audience away. Not to be outdone, Ichigo immediately countered with an overhand strike at the temporary opening that she gave him but she too gracefully dodged and a second shockwave comically blew the other side of the audience away as well.

Ichigo then let the double handed grip on his bokken go and blocked Gabrielle's counter. They exchanged a few more strikes that none of the audience could barely keep up with and just as both of their respective swords met, the resounding crack of two swords breaking could be heard throughout the barracks. The broken piece of Ichigo's sword sailed harmlessly away while Gabrielle's flew and embedded itself on the post where Raynare was standing nearly hitting her but missed her and landed several inches above her head. That harrowing experience nearly made Raynare piss on herself. She glared at the two Akuma who weren't hiding their mirth of her near death experience. The audience was silent for awhile before they all erupted in cheers and roared with enthusiasm…

"I declare this match a draw!"

"Did you still want to continue, Ichigo?" Gabrielle asked.

"Sure why the hell not?" Ichigo replied. "The audience seems to appreciate the show."

Gabrielle smiled and asked for another bokken. Seconds into the match their wooden swords broke. The third time that they tried and they were able to last 5 minutes before they heard a crack and both the pieces of their swords fly off in different directions.

"Damn they don't make wooden swords like they use to!" Ichigo growled.

"Language young man!"

"Yes ma'am!"

The audience murmured and wondered if the spar was going to continue...

"May I suggest an alternative Ichigo?"

"I'm listening..."

"Since our bokken keeps on breaking on us, why not use our zanpakuto instead?

"I see your point but wouldn't it be dangerous?" Ichigo said.

"If we hold back there shouldn't be a problem or even better I'll ask someone to cast a barrier?"

"Alright whatever floats your boat Gabrielle."

Gabrielle then signaled to someone to put the barrier up. Ichigo then signaled to Rias to give him his zanpakuto and murmured to him to be careful. He smiled at her and teased her that she was too young to start being a mother hen on him. She then hit him hard on the shoulder playfully and acted as if she was scandalized but she was giggling all the while. He threatened to get payback once he was done and she countered that she was looking forward to do his worst!

"Daddy please punish me! I've been a very very naughty girl!" Rias said seductively.

The redhead then turned around and teased him by shaking her shapely ass. Without even thinking, Ichigo smirked and slapped her on the bottom! She giggled and was pleased that he would be so bold while Gabrielle found herself blushing furiously for some reason. After they separated, Raynare dragged her back in the crowd while Akeno pushed her Buchou's back towards the crowd. She then caught his eye and she winked at him which caused the strawberry to shake his head. Ichigo returned to the middle of the training ground where Gabrielle was waiting patiently. She quirked an eyebrow and noted the massive cleaver he hefted on his shoulder. She wondered though how he can carry something so cumbersome. The referee then signaled to begin...

"I would like to ask you a favor Ichigo if you don't mind." Gabrielle said.

"Sure what do you want me to do"

"Will you not hold back now that a barrier is up?" Gabrielle requested.

"I don't see the problem with that request." Ichigo said bowing. "Then shall we?"

"Indeed let us begin..."

"Ladies first!"

Gabrielle smiled and she obliged him. Ichigo wasn't prepared when the blond haired girl suddenly stepped back, grabbed the sheathe of her sword and then drew her zanpakuto in a blink of an eye! Her arm moved so fast that the blond woman smoothly unsheathed her sword emitting an arc of blue energy and then sheathe her sword in one motion. To the audience her arm was a blur of motion and by the time that they realized that Gabrielle's arm even made a motion to move, all they saw was that the Angel was motioning to sheathe her sword. Instinct asserted itself and he blocked the lightning strike with the wide part of his blade as sparks flew as the swords grind against the other. However he didn't expect himself to skid along the floor until he smacked into the shield. Gabrielle's sword arm blurred into motion again and Ichigo hastily ducked as the blade made contact with the shield and made an ear piercing grinding noise as sparks showered where the sword traveled along the barrier's surface. Ichigo hastily used shunpo as her sword arm arced downward to split him down length wise. Dust and debris rained down inside the barrier as Gabriel caused a localized explosion with her strength that rattled the shield but it held in place nonetheless. Ichigo then appeared behind her and was surprised that she was already gone...

"Didn't I tell you not to hold back?" Gabrielle whispered.

Ichigo's spine tingled as he felt her breath in his ear and stiffened when he felt her subtle seductive touch on his back. Although the strawberry didn't feel threatened and yet his instincts were screaming to get away and was on high alert. His gut was telling him that he shouldn't underestimate the blonde haired girl and that he needed to be cautious despite her gentle and sweet disposition that she displays to the world. He may only know Gabrielle literally for five minutes but her eyes tells him another story. What he saw in them was an emptiness and an overwhelming sadness that he couldn't hope to comprehend. It almost reminded him of the senseless loss he felt when his own Mother died…

Ichigo countered and he tried to bisect her torso but she was already gone only to reappear and tried to crush him with her zanpakuto. So she really was serious about him not holding back, eh? Then he will oblige her and give her what she wished. As the wide arc of his attack was completed, he twisted his torso and intercepted Gabriel's zanpakuto with his own. Spiritual steel made a resounding clang that could be heard throughout the Seireitei...

"You want it! You got it!"

With brute strength unlike anything that Gabrielle has ever encountered in her long life, she felt her hands go numb and her entire being rattled like a rattle as it was her turn to skid along the length of the training ground. A large plume of dust and debris flew upwards as she attempted to stop on her tracks. She dug her heels on the floor and gouged a trench along its path. When she finally stopped, it was her turn to retreat in shunpo as she found herself suddenly looking at him, a scowl now adorning his handsome features. The intensity of his gaze made her blush for some reason and it was evidently one of the few firsts that happened that day.

Gabrielle felt free and it was exhilarating. This time she didn't feel that deep seeded need to destroy her enemies by summoning her fierce killer instinct. The pride of being in conscious control of her actions was rather quite refreshing. It was the first time that urge to kill and destroy didn't exist and all was left was her enjoying the battle that she craved. She knew it was still inside her but today was especially different. For the first time, she felt peace that she hasn't felt since she was a little girl. Is it because of Ichigo that she felt this way? She never expected someone so exceptionally skilled and as powerful as he was and that excited her for some reason. For the first time she met someone who was powerful enough to withstand her full power and he would not get overwhelmed by it and wither away like all the rest. Gabriel felt that she would be saddened if he became another victim to the monster inside her….

The fierce battle continued and with every devastating blow that shook the First Division Barracks with a tremor. Rias looked on sweating as she winced perceptively as the Archangel scored blows that would surely instantly kill even the strongest of Akuma with one blow. But Gabrielle was fighting the "Beast" of Hell. She blew a sigh of relief whenever he emerged unscathed but gritted her teeth in annoyance as he continued fearlessly as she has expected of him.

"Oh my, Ichi-kun looks like he's keeping up with her really well, don't you Buchou?" Akeno asked.

"Yes, I'm surprised that he has matched Gabrielle every step of the way." Raynare admitted. "But it is to be expected, Ichigo is no pushover."

"You know that's actually the nicest thing that came out of your mouth." Rias said blandly. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

Raynare looked at her and blushed…

"S-shut up! And you better keep this between the three of us!" Raynare said embarrassed. "I have a reputation to keep!"

Before Rias could reply, she heard a sound and turned pale as there was a hairline crack along the shield's surface that was growing visibly bigger as the battle inside it raged like an unrelenting storm. She looked at her companions and nodded. If they have to keep the barrier up like that fight with Issei then they have no problem erecting their own barrier to reinforce the one already up. They took up their places along the shield and prepared themselves to take over if necessary. Rias looked at those shinigami who erected the barrier and she can see that they were visibly straining and were probably running out of gas. The minute that they all drop off like flies from exhaustion was the signal that they need for them to reestablish the barrier. Kami knows what mischief would happen if they feel the brunt of the two titanic beings' battle. Just as she was afraid of one of the Shinagami fell down and then another. At that point Rias and the others recited the multi-layered spell they used in the fight with Issei...

As for the two combatants, Ichigo didn't remember being hard pressed like this since the war. Gabrielle was as fast as he was and brutally strong as well. Not only that, she was formally trained and it looks like kendo from her stance. He also figured out that she wasn't a one trick pony as she smoothly transitioned to Iaido as she used her supersonic drawing skills to keep him on his toes in more than one occasion. That told him that she knew several more sword styles and that she more than likely mastered them as well. Still even with her calm and disciplined manner there was on occasion where he caught her trying to overwhelm him with her power and that made her sloppy and had plenty of openings that he can exploit. Then she realized what she was doing and thus the blond haired beauty returned to her strictly disciplined demeanor. It was a contrast to his instinctual "on the fly" form of combat. He doesn't know if his sparring partner has already achieved Bankai but he wouldn't be surprised if she has already acquired one with the way she wields her sword. A fierce exchange had them both teleporting all over the training ground. The climax of their spar ended with both of them simultaneously attacked at the same time and they were swallowed with a massive explosion that caused a giant crack along the surface of Rias' and the other's shields which glimmered bright as the sun before it crumbled to the ground. Once the smoke dissipated Ichigo had his blade against Gabrielle's neck. She was down on one knee but her sword was firmly against his abs. It would seem that their match was a draw again...

"Wow, Ichigo-san, you're really strong!"

"And you are a graceful dancer with a sword. I was half tempted just to watch you if it weren't for the fact that you were trying to cut my head off!" Ichigo complimented.

Gabrielle couldn't help but blush…

"T-thank you…" Gabrielle replied with an uncharacteristic shyness.

"You welcome." Ichigo said smiling.

Rias could feel a knot forming on her forehead. Why the hell was he complimenting her for? Is her eyes deceiving her or are they getting rather too close for comfort? With the way the blond was blushing up the storm then surely Ichigo's brand of magic was working on her big time! The red head might love the big idiot with all her heart but dammit there's another damn rival to worry about and sometimes she needs to save him from himself! Let it be known that Rias Gremory will not give up Kurosaki Ichigo without a fight! The Gremory heir straightened herself up and without stomping in an un-lady like manner, walked to the two of them. When she arrived, she immediately claimed an arm and turned to him…

"You were wonderful Ichigo!"

"Uh gee thanks!"

Gabrielle didn't know what to think when the busty redheaded Akuma girl held Ichigo's arm as if it belonged to her and kissed him on the cheek. Her eyebrow quirked and it was somewhat amusing that the girl was being territorial for some reason. Did she think that she wanted Ichigo or something? That was ludicrous! She has only met him today but after stepping back and finally taking stock of the situation; Gabrielle had to admit that Ichigo was an extremely attractive and handsome man and she can figure out why that girl was clinging to him like a barnacle! Any girl who was lucky enough to be Ichigo's significant other will probably be one happy lady. Still she was most excited with the fact that someone was skilled and strong enough to match her blow for blow and actually fight her to a draw and survive the outcome. What's more, she knew that both of them were holding back! Just imagine she and Ichigo using their full power in what surely would be the greatest epic battle in the universe! Thinking about it made her spine tingle most pleasantly….

Not to be accused of being rude, Gabrielle went up to the redhead and held up her hand and introduced herself…

"My name is Gabrielle nice to meet you…"

"Rias Gremory, nice to meet you as well…"

The awkward silence was broken when they heard a ruckus several blocks away. Then Ichigo turned pale as he recognized the voice of the person he dreaded the most…

"IIICCCHHHIIIGGGOOOO! COME HERE AND FIGHT ME! HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!"

"I'm sorry to keep this short Gabrielle but I need to go back to the world of the living! Duty calls and all that you understand?"

"Ichigo is there something wrong?" Rias asked worriedly.

"Yes is there something the matter?" Gabrielle asked as well.

"It was nice meeting you! Akeno, Raynare let's go!"

Ichigo opened the Senkaimon Gate and pushed the three confused women into the portal. Just as the door closed and vanished, Kenpachi fell from the sky and the impact that he made coming from so high wiped the rest of the people and sent them flying. The only one who held her ground was Gabrielle. As the gigantic plume of smoke disappeared. The 11th Division Captain was still looking for signs of the strawberry…

"He already left for the World of the Living, Captain Kenpachi." Gabrielle said emerging from the smoke.

"Aww dammit!"

"Watch your language Captain. There are delicate ladies present…" she admonished him.

Kenpachi looked at her and swallowed the lump on his throat. The blonde apparently reminded him of the "look" Unohona gave him whenever she scolds delinquents….

"Bah, never mind. Come Yachiru…."

"Okay Ken-chan! Bye Gabrielle-chan!"

Gabrielle smiled and waved back. The developments in Soul Society has certainly turned interesting. Perhaps once she finished with her training for today and taken a bath, the blonde needed report to her brother of the developments that unfolded just now. Certainly, an Akuma and Fallen Angels seen together without any signs of conflict between them would be interesting news to her brother indeed. As for Kurosaki Ichigo, the spar between them was exhilarating! It was almost as if she was making love with her destined one! She felt more alive in the 5 minutes the match lasted than in the last 200 years! As far as she knew, he was the second person she feels that she can let everything go and cut loose with reckless abandon because she knew that Ichigo was strong. It was also the first time that she's in control of herself and wasn't in killer mode which was quite refreshing!

"You are interesting Kurosaki Ichigo!" Gabrielle mused. "I pray that we will meet again someday!"

Gabrielle straightened herself up, secured Lucina in the harness behind her and walked off to her dormitory wondering what the future might bring her this time, listening to her zanpakuto's chatter all the while…

Karakura Town - Yesterday morning

Chad uncharacteristically struggled to stay awake in class and it took all his will power to not nod off. The reason for his recent sleepless night has been simple really. He couldn't let go of the feeling that he has doomed an innocent girl to her death. That church seemed to have been abandoned for years and it didn't sit well with him that Asia was staying in such a run down place. It didn't help that it had an unusual spiritual pressure that in his suspicion was trying too hard to avoid being detected. When the bell rang they all gathered at their usual spot on the roof started eating.

"What's wrong Sado-kun?" Orihime asked.

So he told them the tale...

"Interesting but did you think it was a Hollow?" Someone said.

They all turned and was surprised that Ichigo was standing there watching them...

"Yo..."

"IIICCHHIIGGGOOO I MISSED YOU!"

Ichigo automatically clothes lined the hapless Keigo as he spun around in place before hitting the fence and slid down like wet noodle….

"Sup Keigo." Ichigo said blandly.

"Ichigo where the hell have you been?" Tatsuki growled.

"That's not important right now." Ichigo said turning to Chad. "So Chad about that church, what did you sense there? Was it a Hollow?"

"No I don't think so…it felt malicious if that makes sense…"

"Hmm, I'll look into to it. Oh coincidentally, I needed to talk to you guys about something and since all of you are here this will makes things easier."

"What is it Ichigo?" Mizuiro asked.

"Just to be careful and watch your back…"

"Why would we need to do that Kurosaki-kun?" Orihime asked.

"Ah dammit how do I explain this?"

Ichigo's friends gawked at him for a minute before the strawberry continued…

"Let's just say that my "disreputable reputation" has ruffled a lot of feathers and in order to get to me they may try to come after you guys…"

"Well isn't that a surprise!" Uryu said grinning.

"Shut it Ishida!" Ichigo growled. "I'm serious people, they are dangerous."

"Who are "they" exactly?" Tatsuki asked. "You're going to have to elaborate more instead of trying to be vague!"

Ichigo sighed. He figured they wouldn't have taken his word for it. So he explained the matter to them and when he was finished he gauged their reaction...

"Fallen Angels huh? Well damn you should have said so instead of trying to go around the issue!" Tatsuki said.

"Uh, are they cute?" Keigo asked.

"Those "cute" Fallen Angels would sooner gut you than go out with you just so you know." Ichigo deadpanned.

A dark cloud of depression appeared above Keigo's head and the color literally drained out of him…

"Hmm, interesting. I guess I'll just go home after clubs then until you can sort this out..." Mizuiro said.

Ichigo was stunned at their responses but then again he wasn't surprised since their harrowing experience with Aizen in Karakura Town those many months ago. If it wasn't for the fact that he suddenly left for reasons unknown then they all would have been doomed. After that little incident Tatsuki and the others were more understanding of his situation. Though he didn't anticipate that they would all accept the idea more readily. He knew that Chad, Orihime, and Uryu are already in the loop and simply understood. As far as he's concerned the only friends he needed to worry about were Tatsuki, Keigo, and Muzuiro...

"Wait you guys ain't worried?"

"Nah. I mean compared to that butterfly guy awhile back, Fallen Angels should be a piece of cake!" Tatsuki said. "We've seen the worst so what can they do to top that, know what I mean?"

Ichigo had to admit that Tatsuki was right. Still it didn't sit well with him that he has to worry about them too...

"I know that look Kurosaki. You worry too much. If it eases your mind we're going to pair up with them until this blows over. You happy now?" Uryu said.

"Yay, I can get to walk home with Tatsuki-chan!" Orihime cheered.

"Umm, I already do walk with you all time…" Tatsuki replied blandly.

Everyone stopped and waved at the new arrival….

"There you are, I've been looking for you Ichigo!"

"Hey Rukia, what's up?"

"The Captain-General has requested your presence in Soul Society. He needed your account of the Hollow incident that happened a few weeks ago." Rukia replied.

"What the hell, like I would remember every detail that happened that long ago. Gramps should have said something and asked earlier. So you know it's like fresh in my mind?" Ichigo said sarcastically.

"Don't be such a baby! The Gotei 13 is busy trying to rebuild and didn't have the time to address the issue at the time!"

"Dammit, fine. I'll see you guys later then!"

"Bye Kurosaki-kun...say hi to Rangiku-chan for me if you see her, 'kay?" Orihime said.

"Sure I will..." Ichigo replied. He then turned around to Rukia and said. "Well common midget, let's go. We're not getting any younger you know!"

A large tick mark appeared above Rukia'a head and as the gate closed they all heard someone screamed and they all sweat dropped. Chad recovered and he could have sworn something moved in the shadows and entered the gate. He shook his head again and rubbed his eyes but he couldn't find the energy signature again...

"Chad you alright?" Uryu asked.

"Yeah, there's nothing to worry about..." Chad rumbled.

The bell rang and everyone started shuffling towards the door. Chad scanned the roof top one more time before he turned around and followed his friends back to class. As soon as the door closed, the shadows became agitated and Venelana Gremory emerged from the darkness. The Gremory Matriarch was looking for Ichigo to observe him some more but she ended up listening in on their conversation. So the Fallen has threatened her future son-in-law's friends now did they? Her eyes narrowed…

"They can try…"

Venelana then sensed Rias and Akeno in the area and witnessed them stealthily enter as that strange portal closed. She tried to leave but that giant seem to have sensed her. She stayed put until the group left. She knew that his friends were spiritually aware and three of them were especially strong for humans. The giant, the auburn haired girl, and the boy with glasses - she knew that she didn't need to worry about them. The others however were a different matter. She'll just have to assign one of her peerage to each of them for extra insurance. Why is she doing this? It was her thanks for what Ichigo-kun has done for her little girl - for saving her life countless of times without no concern for his own safety. Venelana paused. Perhaps that issue - although admirable - was something she will need to address with him. It will not do if she and especially Rias worry about him half to death every time he sets foot in the battlefield and whether he'll come back unharmed! Why she would get grey hairs trying constantly worrying about that boy! She stopped for a moment and realized what she was doing…

"Don't be silly Venelana. Ichigo-kun isn't even your son-in-law yet and you're worrying about him already!" she laughed.

After a few minutes of a good laugh, Venelana straightened herself and the royal demeanor befitting a Gremory Matriarch returned. Her mind has been made up! She and her peerage will guard Ichigo-kun's friends until he has taken care of the Fallen Angels trying to harm them or she will personally exterminate them herself -which ever comes first! No one will harm a hair on her son-in-law's friends while on her watch. It was a decent thing to do and it was payback for Ichigo taking such good care of Rias. Any grateful mother would do so otherwise. She needed to get back to the manor as she can imagine she had a lot of explaining to do to her peerage on their mission. Venelana drew a magic circle and vanished…

Later that day.

Uryu and the others hung around the more defenseless individuals in the group and walked them home until it was him, Orihime, and Chad were left.

"Well, guys it's been fun but this is where we separate and I'll see you guys tomorrow." Uryu said.

"Are you sure? What if they attack when you least expect it?" Chad asked. "From what Ichigo says about them, it's exactly what they will do if we separate now."

"Come on Chad, between the three of us, we could probably take a couple of them down. We are more than capable of taking care of ourselves. Don't forget that we're a couple of Winter War veterans too you know."

"But what if Sado-kun is right Uryu-kun? What if we separate, those Fallen Angels attack us? That or the aliens from the fifth dimension will swoop in and save us but we're going have to end up fighting them too because they want to abduct us or something. But then in reality, the aliens were looking for Earthlings to marry in order to get their dwindling population up because of this strange disease that spread from their planet. Oh my I'm too young to marry an alien prince. What of my dream of becoming a killer robot that would run rampant in the streets of Tokyo?"

Chad and Uryu looked at Orihime and sweat dropped…

"Orihime, I love you like a sister but I'm going to have to seriously cut you off the bean paste ok?" Uryu said blandly.

"Aww Uryu-kun you're so mean!" Orihime pouted.

Chad chuckled. They continued to walk a few more blocks before Uryu did leave. Chad decided that he was going to walk Orihime to her apartment since it was on the way. When he left, Chad went immediately home. Since he was the only one left, his senses were on high alert. He didn't like the fact that he jumped at every noise and was so paranoid about everything that he nearly annihilated the cat that jumped down from the wall and walked away.

"You gotta relax Chad…" he said sighing.

"Yes indeed you should. I hear that being stressed out is bad for your health."

A woman with shoulder length blue hair in a tight red dress seemingly emerged from the shadows...

"Good Evening..." Chad said.

"So polite of you." The strange woman said.

The woman gave Chad the creeps! He really can't compare the feeling to Hollows though because the evil spirits were a strait forward enemy that can be confronted and therefore defeated as he has done so along side Ichigo for the better part of the year. However, the threat that this woman exuded was subtle and yet he knew that she was dangerous somehow. Underneath the outward appearance of innocence was a malice that made even hungry Hollows pale into comparison. Her seeming pleasant smile -although sweet - was mocking and condescending. Her beautiful body was alluring but there was something ugly lurking inside. What's more, Chad's senses went in overdrive and screamed for him to prepare for battle. Still he stayed his hand. Better he keep his head cool and observe this strange woman before jumping to conclusions. He walked by murmuring his good byes while keeping an eye on her. When she smiled at him he went past her in a pace fast enough that he didn't seem like he was running away from her but he didn't even make it to 10 feet when Kalawarner ignited one of her lances of light and hurled it strait at him…

The park- present

"Oh common Rias, don't be like that!" Ichigo said.

"Hmph!"

Rias annoyed beyond belief simply ignored Ichigo and started walking towards the bench and sat down. Her arms were crossed underneath her breasts and she had her head turned to side looking up while she closed her eyes. Ichigo rolled his eyes. Seriously he didn't understand what the hell she's so upset about. All he did was spar with Gabrielle and anything before that was rather too boring and irritating to recall! Considering the day he had, he didn't need this shit from her because he had other things to worry about.

"So are you going to tell me what's got up your butt or do I have to pry it out of you?" Ichigo asked.

"First of all there's nothing up my butt and why were you looking you pervert!" Rias replied.

"Oh I don't know, you were shaking it rather vigorously a few moments ago if I recall correctly."

Rias opened her eyes in shock and hit him on the shoulder…hard.

"What the hell was that for?"

"For being such an idiot!"

Ichigo looked at her and this was probably the first time that the two of them had a serious argument over something that he has yet to fathom what the hell it was about! He suppose that the so called "honeymoon" in their relationship was over. The strawberry was taken aback for a moment. Since when did they become a couple if he didn't really asked her out? In fact, Ichigo was confused with this "thing" they have. Any idiot worth his salt would figure out that Rias likes him. Actually he wasn't so sure but since they started hanging around nearly every night hunting Hollows and talking about anything and everything in the sun, she certainly hinted that she might have feelings for him. Well with the way the red head teases and flirts with him relentlessly was any indication even a retarded rock would have noticed. It is safe to say that she might have a crush on him but most importantly what about his feelings? How does HE feel about Rias Gremory?

It was an interesting quandary to say the least. Ichigo had to admit that he has a lot of fun hanging around with her. Every night was a different adventure with Rias being the epicenter like the eye of a hurricane! The stupid shit that happened to them - well mostly to him now that he thought about it - were memorable and it always made them smile whenever someone mentioned an event. For example on one particularly slow night, Rias convinced him to play truth or dare. The red head being as bold and shameless as she was has chosen a dare on their first session. Ichigo who thought nothing of it dared her to go streaking naked for an entire city block. The strawberry's eyes widened when she immediately started undressing and was too speechless to protest he beheld perfection right before him! He was too dumbfounded that he didn't seem to mind that he got smacked on the side of the head with the unmentionables that she teasingly threw at his face! Well dammit, he thought that she wouldn't take him seriously but now he knows better than to provoke her because she WILL do it! He ended up following her as she ran in all her naked glory in the dark empty streets of downtown Karakura! She even upped the ante and started ringing several doorbells and dared to observe his reaction while she did it. When Ichigo saw a patrol car coming, that's when he realized that she WILL run past the cops and she wouldn't care less if she got arrested or not! To save her the trouble of going to jail for indecent exposure in public, Ichigo snatched her from behind and vanished in shunpo. They reappeared on the highest rooftop of the building where he gave her back the clothes he was carrying and told her to get dressed. She teased him so much that she ended up taking care of him from the massive nosebleed he suffered as she slowly and sensually dressed up for his benefit. Needless to say, truth or dare was an off limit topic ever since…

One thing's for certain, Ichigo did miss her when he was training and that he felt happy when he saw the red head again. He was used to being on his toes with Rias around and her absence during that time made everything drag to a standstill. Never was it more apparent when he expected the Gremory Heiress to ambush him out of nowhere and only to find no one there to bury his face in her buxom breasts. It's not that he anticipates being suffocated by boobs but in fact it was a genuine desire for her company. As funny as it sounds, her absence was like a void in his heart that didn't feel right at all. He realized then that somehow she managed to worm her way into his heart without even realizing it. Needless to say, Ichigo was confused and he didn't know what to do with this "thing" he has for her. The notion that he might like her and having these weird emotions scared the hell out of him! Quite frankly, he'd rather face Aizen in a death match, face the Espada, and fight an army of Hollows than to confront his feelings for Rias! Nonetheless no matter how he denied that both of them were only friends, he gotta admit that he was attracted to the outrageous red head whether he likes it or not! So going back to the question of how he feels about Rias? He didn't have an answer at this time but surely he can find it sooner or later….

"Dammit woman! If you would stop being so stubborn and just explain to me what the hell you're on about instead of going around in circles and abusing me!" Ichigo growled.

A tick mark appeared above Rias' head. She never realized that her Ichigo - as much as she loves him - was so damn dense! In almost half a year that they've been hanging around and seeing each other, this was the first time that they actually butted heads and she didn't like it one bit! Yes she liked ambushing him and burying his head in her ample bosom! By golly, she loves teasing the hell out of him! And she loves being with him everyday because the magic she felt now was as strong as when she first met him back in Hell. This confrontation was entirely new and it came to light other layers of Ichigo's personality that she has not seen yet. Namely, his stubbornness was a big pain in the ass! He was as stubborn as his limitless tenacity in battle. If he made the effort to just go along with her desires then they would have been together in a far shorter time than the snail's pace that their relationship was going through now! Perhaps because of her impatience and stress over her betrothal to Riser has come to boil and she's using her jealousy of that blonde haired woman as an excuse to take her frustrations on Ichigo. It was wrong she knew but the strawberry was nigh invincible! She's sure that he can take a few lumps for a very annoyed Gremory Heiress! They went back and forth a few times…

"You want me to spell it out for you, fine you cheater!"

"How the hell did I cheat on you?"

"With that blonde haired bimbo! I saw how you look at her! It didn't matter to you that I was there because you were too busy being "wowed" by that woman!" Rias said.

"Are you shitting me? I don't even know her!" Ichigo protested. "Besides who are you with right now?" Ichigo asked.

"You..."

"Why do you think I'm here right now?"

"Because you think I'm cute and you adore me a lot?"

"There you go! Geebus woman, Gabrielle is nice and all but I rather be with you than anybody else!"

Rias felt her cheeks burn...

"Humph you're just saying that so I won't get mad at you!"

"Are you seriously that jealous of her?" Ichigo sighed. "What can I do to convince you otherwise..."

Ichigo didn't like how her gorgeous blue eyes glint in mischief...

"I suppose I can let you off this time if you come here and hug me..." Rias suggested nonchalantly.

The strawberry doubted that it would be that easy but he figures that anything that might mend the fence with her was too good to pass up. He might as well brace himself for the inevitable onslaught of shenanigans that she is surely cooking up in that beautiful mind of hers….

"Really it's that easy?" Ichigo asked skeptically.

"Yes!" Rias replied rather innocently. "Well now that you mentioned it, maybe you could…"

That figured, it never was easy reading Rias and her motivations….

"What is it you want Rias?"

"How about you come here give me a hug and a big fat kiss and I'll consider you forgiven?" Rias said. "Is that not a fair trade?"

Ichigo looked at her suspiciously and Rias countered his intense gaze batting her eye lashes at him….

"I guess…"

Ichigo rolled his eyes but he proceeded nonetheless into the red head's open arms and gave her a warm embrace. He held her tightly - enjoying the moment - as he felt her silky tresses brush his face which tickled in a way. The strawberry savored the sweet smell of her perfume and embraced her a little tighter. When he kissed her on the cheek, both of them blushed and suddenly she grabbed his head with her hands and said to him...

"What was that? You don't expect me to accept that peck you call a kiss do you Kurosaki Ichigo?"

"Well you didn't specify exactly where you wanted me to kiss you Rias Gremory. You're going to have be clear about your requests next time..." Ichigo replied.

"Oh you don't have to worry about that because I already know what I want…"

"Is that right? So tell me. WHAT does the great Heiress of the Gremory clan want the most?" Ichigo asked.

"You already know the answer Ichigo but I'll keep you in the dark for a little while longer. It wouldn't do for me to tell a girl's secret now do you?" Rias replied. "But I do believe you owe me a kiss good sir!"

Rias angled her head and puckered her lips while Ichigo looked at her in astonishment. When he realized that she was serious, the strawberry shrugged and ended up getting caught in the moment...again. He leaned in slowly and chuckled as she looked at him with irritation. Nevertheless their lips ever got closer. Inevitably. It was only a matter of time before their lips met and kissed for the first time. The redhead wondered what Ichigo's lips would taste like? She heard from Akeno that first kisses tasted like lemons! Like her Vice President kissed anyone before in her life! Then again she had de ja vu that she was so close to achieving her goal before something or rather someone interrupted them! Well she prepared this time and made sure she sent Akeno away on several errands with the rest of her peerage. Rias was rather proud of herself for her foresight granted that she didn't expect for an opportunity to kiss her Ichigo so soon. This time she will get her wish and she sees no one will interfere...

Ichigo saw the massive energy projectile barreling towards them and reacted quickly by grabbing the protesting Rias by the waist and turning her around and took the brunt of the assault on his broad back. A large explosion echoed through the night and Dohnaseek showed himself with a smug grin on his face. So that was the infamous Kurosaki Ichigo? How he fell to his power so easily! And it would seem that he has taken out the Gremory Clan's Heiress as well! Good riddance he says as there would be less Akuma scum to deal with although he might have accidentally shattered the peace between the Factions. Oh well, perhaps now that this Ichigo was gone Raynare will be back to normal as she had been acting strange lately. As much as he doesn't like her all that much; the plan will not succeed without Raynare's involvement. So she is a necessary cog to their machinations and if killing the distraction will help his fellow conspirator focus on the task at hand then perhaps he's doing Raynare a favor!

He barely dodged the counter attack that followed after. His eyes widened as the black projectile blew the smoke away only to find his targets alive and unscathed...

"Rias, you have to calm your heart dear!"

Ichigo managed to blush as Rias cursed in a scathing language that he didn't understand. Then as if for his benefit, the redhead switched back to Japanese...

"Stupid ass mother fu -BLEEP...UGH!"

"Are you ok?"

"No...I mean yes!" Rias replied. Then she noticed that he was confused and continued to elaborate. "Yes I'm ok but I'm just pissed!"

"Umm ok..."

Dohnaseek couldn't believe it they were still alive after all the magic he put on that last spell? He was about to weave another one before he forgot that he has already exhausted his magic pool. The Fallen one saw Rias Gremory pointing at his direction and suddenly he saw an arc of blue light coming towards him. Alarmed he again barely dodged the energy projectile only to come face to face with another one. As soon as Ichigo released the Getsuga Tensho, the red head unleashed The Power of Destruction. Dohnaseek had no choice but to make a strategic retreat.

"And GOOD RIDDANCE!" Rias shouted.

"Did anybody tell you that you're so hot when you get mad?" Ichigo chuckled.

Rias' bad mood soon evaporated and she giggled as she sought his embrace again which Ichigo didn't seem to mind. She looked lovingly at him and rested her head at the crook of his shoulder and sighed contentedly.

"So are we good?"

"Hmm?" Rias replied dreamily.

"I said, are we good?"

"Yes."

"So you're not mad at me anymore?" Ichigo pressed.

Rias looked at him and nodded.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm not mad anymore."

"Are you really sure?" Ichigo asked.

"YES, NOW SHUT THE HELL UP AND JUST EMBRACE ME DAMMIT" Rias said exasperatedly.

"Dammit woman, what are you shouting for? You're going to disturb the neighbors! Such a troublemaker!" Ichigo replied.

Though he said that in a strait face, it was obvious that he was holding back his mirth. After hitting him a few times, she too started laughing…

"Well, what about you? Are we good as you say?" Rias asked.

There was a reluctance in her voice that made her look so vulnerable. Ichigo let her go for a bit and cupped her face in his hands gently.

"Look, Gabrielle seems to be a nice person and all but she's not you. I don't know where this jealousy comes from but rest assured that you're the only one I want…"

"Kurosaki Ichigo are you trying to worm your way out of my wrath using those honeyed words?"

"Dammit Rias Gremory, how did you know of my diabolical scheme?" Ichigo replied. "Well, is it working?"

"Hmm, let me see…" Rias answered pensively. "Perhaps you're going to have to give me more motivation?"

Ichigo smiled at her. Rias' heart always melted to putty whenever he did that. He was about to kiss her again when his Shinigami badge's eyes started glowing and started announcing a Hollow present. The strawberry still went through with the kiss however, he planted his lips on her forehead instead. Trying not to look disappointed, she smiled at him and waved him off. Then before he could vanish, she called out to him again….

"Oh Ichigo by the way, there will be dinner at the Manor tomorrow and I would like you to come. My Mother especially is looking forward to meeting you." Rias said.

"You told your mom about me?" Ichigo asked.

"All the gritty details…" Rias replied impishly.

"And that's suppose to make me feel better?"

"Come on it will be fun!"

Ichigo rubbed the back of his neck in frustration. He didn't know why anybody's parents would want to meet him but he supposes that if it was important enough to Rias then he will oblige her.

"Yeah sure, why the hell not. What time tomorrow?" Ichigo asked.

"It's at 7pm. Meet me at my office at The Occult Research Club about an hour prior and I'll take you with me."

"At 6pm? Why an hour before?" Ichigo asked.

"You're such an idiot. I want you to myself for an hour before I throw you to the wolves silly!"

"Gee thanks, you're swell!" Ichigo growled.

"Ain't I though?" Rias replied innocently.

"Ha, ha. You're funny!"

The badge interrupted them again and both of them sighed…

"Well, I gotta go. Duty calls and all that…"

"I know, you be careful you hear me?"

"Yes ma'am…"

"Now come here and give me a hug again."

"Wasn't I holding you the entire time?"

"I'm having withdrawals from you being so close. I need my recharge!"

Ichigo looked at her half lidded. Nonetheless, she got her hug regardless….

"We should argue more often…." Rias began.

"And why do you say that?"

"Because making up is -oh-so-sweet!" she replied seductively.

"Yeah I see your point…"

They heard another bout of "Hollow," "Hollow," from the badge.

"Rias I really gotta go." Ichigo said. "I'll see you tomorrow ok?"

"I guess…" Rias said pouting. "I suppose if I let you go now the faster it will be for me to see you again…"

"Rias, you can let me go now…"

"Oh sorry…"

Ichigo kissed her again on the forehead and before she can do anything he already vanished. Rias however was in cloud nine and started jumping up and down with excitement. After a few moments of silliness she remembered who she was and stopped. Looking left and right to see if anyone noticed, she straightened the pleats of her skirts and straightened her uniform to a semblance of order. She looked herself over and was satisfied of her work…

"That was really clever of you for distracting me with all those errands. You're so mean Buchou!"

Rias wasn't surprised that Akeno caught on and followed her….

"Whatever are you talking about Akeno?" Rias replied innocently.

Akeno appeared right before her and started walking beside her master. She smiled and replied.

"You know what I mean. Though I have to admit you had me on a loop for several hours before realizing your duplicity."

"I'm sorry, Akeno. I just needed to spend time with him."

"Oh hogwash! You spend time with him every night! It's not fair that you're hogging Ichi-kun to yourself Buchou!"

The two young women giggled…

"Do you really like him that much Akeno?"

Akeno tilted her lovely head pensively and touched her forefinger on the side of her lip. She turned to Rias and said.

"He might be a tad dense and a little slow on the pickup but I know regardless of how I feel about him, Ichi-kun has already chosen who he wants to be with."

Rias looked at her best friend and wondered if this was some sort of confession…

"I see…"

"I know that he's important to you Buchou and I will only concede this to you if I can tease the hell out of him in exchange!" Akeno said smiling.

"You got yourself a deal!"

The two young women shook hands and started giggling. After awhile they stopped and continued walking. Akeno broke the silence however….

"You know that you have to tell Ichi-kun about Riser eventually right?"

Rias also knew this and she dreaded how will he react to her engagement…

"I know Akeno, I know…"

Soul Society-Shino Academy

Michael again walked the halls of Shino Academy for the first time in millennia. Nostalgia swept through him as he remembered his time here with his sister although he only stayed for two years while Gabrielle continued with her education and training for the full six years. The reason why he dropped out was lost through time but he enjoyed his short tenure in the school especially with his sister there for company. The Father continued his training instead and thus his knowledge and the the way he fights was influenced by Him.

When he heard that Gabrielle was back after her self imposed exile, Michael was rather ecstatic to say the least. His lovely prodigal sister has come home at last and he would have celebrated her return if not for the news that she has retrieved her zanpakuto and went to Soul Society instead. Dulio -the first and last person to see her - reported that she herself told him that she needed to retrain her skills with her zanpakuto and she needed a secluded hideaway where she can unleash her full power without being a bother to anyone. Gabrielle was caring person at heart and Michael wasn't surprised that she chose Shino Academy to retrain her skills. After hearing that she went to Soul Society, he decided to visit. He delegated the tasks to his people confident that they will do a fine job in his absence. After visiting and spending a few hours catching up with Captain -General Yamamoto, the old man granted him special privileges to visit Shino Academy and see his sister. Michael graciously bowed, gave his thanks, and apologized for the short notice visit. Yamamoto nodded and understood. The old man then shooed him away and continued with his paper work.

"She is right this way, Michael-sama."

Michael nodded and followed his guide. They both entered a vast training ground and if he remembered correctly this facility had a multi-used purpose as all the disciplines converged here for live training. The blonde haired man smiled at his guide and thanked her who blushed for some reason. She bowed and left the mysterious blonde man alone. Michael slowly made his way into the training ground until he gazed upon his sister's gracefully elegant sword dance whom he had not seen for 2 centuries. It seemed that she looked rather well and he noted that Gabrielle had smile that he has not seen since they were but children. He wondered what could have happened that could have changed her so? Was it because she has reconnected with her zanpakuto once more? Gabrielle told him once when she parted with her zanpakuto that she felt as if half her being was ripped apart from her and all there was inside was a vast void. He understood that the sword's spirit came from a part of the wielder's soul and that the zanpakuto spirit will have a will of it's own. He can only imagine what his sister has gone through considering the tragedies that has already befallen her. What was a brother to do but to try to understand something that he can only visualize and accept at face value only because his sister was going through the ordeal. So he wondered was she "whole" again?

Gabrielle sensed him as soon as he entered the training ground. Her usually strict discipline broke down and she ran to him crying. Michael smiled and held his arms wide and welcoming. He caught his sister and wrapped her protectively as she sobbed on his chest. Michael did his best to calm her down and comfort her. He smiled. Didn't he use to do this when they were children? Old habits are hard to break it seemed. When she finally stopped she murmured something that Michael could hardly hear…

"I'm sorry…."

"What do you need to apologize for?" Michael asked.

"For causing you so much trouble brother!"

"You are my sister Gabriel. You will never cause me any trouble."

Tears ran anew and Michael wiped them away…

"So how goes your training?"

"I have reconnected with Lucina at last."

Michael frowned. He didn't recall Gabrielle naming her zanpakuto "Lucina." It was so long though that he didn't remember as it was so long ago. He ignored that nagging feeling. Gabrielle must have a good reason for it and let it go.

"That is good sister…"

Gabrielle beamed at him and smiled…

"Do you wanna see?" Gabrielle asked suddenly. "I think I never showed you before…"

"You mean…." Michael said stunned. "You have already progressed that far?"

"Yes…"

"Then show me sister…"

Gabrielle walked a several feet away and unsheathed her massive zanpakuto. She then held the sword horizontally and had her left palm pressed at it's collar. Her hand then slid along the blade and where her palm passed, that part glowed brightly and when she was finished she said the words…

"Bankai…"

The last thing Michael saw was a flash of white light as he instinctively erected a barrier to fend off the massive shockwave coming his way….

One hour later.

Michael saw Gabrielle collapse to her knees as her grip on her Bankai was shattered and her zanpakuto returned back to normal. He was stunned. He didn't know that his sister possessed such power. The blonde haired man looked around at the devastation she wrought as she demonstrated to him what her Bankai could do. But most of all the initial activation was so powerful and violent that it created a massive crater in it's wake. This power unleashed in the world would be a catastrophe…

"Gabrielle, listen to me. I hereby forbid you to use Bankai unless it is absolutely necessary, do you understand?"

"Why?"

"The initial activation alone caused massive catastrophic damage! If it wasn't for the several layers of spells in this facility, you probably would have wiped out half of the Seireitei and taken out several districts as well. Imagine unleashing this power in the World?"

Gabrielle looked at her brother and realization dawned at her. She paled as she imagined wiping out cities as large as Tokyo to rubble as she released her Bankai. Such devastation was unacceptable…

"I understand brother…" Gabrielle replied soberly.

"I know you mean well sister…"

"I will heed your request brother but when the Winter War comes once again. I will not hold back!"

"What do you mean?"

Gabrielle explained to him her visions of the future and her plans to ally with Soul Society should Aizen threatened to return. Michael remembered the first Winter War and sighed. All the casualties lost in that conflict and he could not do a thing about it! Out of all the Factions, The Angels were at a disadvantage considering that they have lost The Father and Heaven's forces were still in disarray. Still if what his sister telling the truth then he needs to organize Heaven's hosts to prevent a second tragedy. He will not sit idly by while innocents are mindlessly slaughtered! At least not this time. Now that he has Gabrielle's sword back and this newly discovered power that she has, then perhaps he will be able to assist Soul Society this time around.

"I have been talking with Grandpa about Heaven assisting Soul Society should that traitor Aizen comes back again. I hope I have not overstepped my authority brother." Gabrielle said as she sheathed her zanpakuto.

"An alliance with Soul Society? That is brilliant sister."

"Yes, but even with our combined might. I don't know if we can win…"

Michael knew what she was talking about. Reports of several Captain defections after Aizen's initial treachery and the devastation in the Gotei 13's ranks has depleted Soul Society's forces. Heaven was in the same boat unfortunately but Michael was determined to see this through. He will not let that mad man have his way again!

"But there is hope yet brother…"

Michael looked at his sister in puzzlement. There was that brilliant smile again….

"Hidden among the ranks of the Gotei 13 is a young man whose power rivals my own. I think he may be the key to our victory…"

For someone to match his sister - who was a prodigy with a sword - and actually keep up with her was rather impressive….

"And who is this young man you speak of?"

"His name is Kurosaki Ichigo."

To be continued...

A/N Sorry for the delay. Just got back from vacation. Anyway we are approaching the end of the first novel. Everything should be finished by the next chapter. And after that who knows. Either I go to book 2 or I do an original arc about Winter War 2...What do you guys think...

-And now Gabrielle -yes it is a change from Gabriel because it was rather awkward writing an obvious female with a dude's name...lol

-Anyway, how do you like the spar between Gabrielle and Ichigo obviously they were both holding back considering that they haven't used bankai and speaking of bankai I know I was teasing you guys with hers I know...Ain't I so evil...lol...All will be revealed once Winter War 2 comes...

-So what do you guys think...Read and Review as usual

-Well anyway that's it for now kiddies until next time