Ichigo frowned, cautiously opening the door to Kisuke's shop. He was being as mysterious as always-Kisuke that is. It had only been a little while before when Ichigo had received a rather rude awakening.

The only sound in Ichigo's room was his even breathing and small movements as he shifted in his sleep.

A sudden smashing of glass forced Ichigo up quickly, flying out of bed, poised for attack.

When no-one tried to smash his skull in, Ichigo began to relax, going over to his window, fingers gently fluttering over the hole in it.

Cold air whistled in and Ichigo frowned, glancing around for the object that had been thrown in.

His eyes finally fell upon his wardrobe and the strange red substance that was slowly sliding down it.

Ichigo scowled in realisation. Kisuke Urahara. He was the only one crazy enough to do something so stupid. Plus, he'd done it once before, when they first went to find Rukia.

That man was seriously asking for death.

Narrowing his eyes he approached as words began to appear.

Ichigo! I would like to invite you for tea, tomorrow at ten. I have something really cool to tell you.

P.S. If you still think this looks like a message of someone who is about to die, then it's clear your sense of humour isn't any better.

Ichigo cussed, ripping his pillow from his bed and throwing it at the message. When he got to him, that hat and clogs bastard would die!

Ichigo shuddered in rage at the mere memory of it and he clenched and unclenched his fist. It was going straight into that cocky bastards face as soon as he saw him.

"Ah, Ichigo, you're here."

Speak of the devil. "Kisuke," Ichigo growled out, smiling viciously. "Do you know how long it took me to get the writing off last time?"

Kisuke flicked his fan up, eyes hidden under the brim of his white and green hat but Ichigo could imagine his sweetly innocent expression as he said, "What writing?"

Ichigo elbowed the man in the face as he stalked past, going to the table to wait. "Let's get on with it shall we?"

"Yes," Kisuke moaned out, holding his nose to stem the bleeding. "Let's."

XXX

Settling down, Ichigo placed his hands on his thighs impatiently, scowling when Kisuke sat down. "So, what the hell did you want to talk about?" He continued on in irritation, "And why the hell couldn't you have just called me? Or maybe come and found me?"

Kisuke frowned. "Well, where would be the fun in that?" He grinned when Ichigo's scowl deepened, hiding his enjoyment behind his fan.

"Why you would lower yourself to live in this hovel of a place, I don't know," sounded a dreadfully familiar voice and both Ichigo and Kisuke looked up as Mayuri Kurotsuchi walked through the door, followed by Nemu.

Ichigo's eyes widened and he glanced between Kisuke and Mayuri. "Why are you here?"

Mayuri glared at the boy as he settled down, waving Nemu away. "Still as rude as ever I see, substitute." He heaved a sigh however, and continued, "I wanted to ask you a few questions. For my research you see."

"There's no way I'm answering any questions for you," Ichigo snapped, staring at the painted captain uneasily, hating the way those yellow eyes seemed to be dissecting him. "I don't want to become one of your research subjects."

Mayuri huffed indignantly before snapping out, "Nemu, get me some tea." Content when he saw Nemu springing into action, he settled slightly, taking the time to watch the boy. He opened his mouth to speak before Kisuke spoke up.

"I'm here to make sure nothing happens Ichigo. He only wants to ask some questions, about the Fullbrings," he assured the boy seriously.

Ichigo shifted, glancing at the man before scratching his spikey, orange locks in hesitation. "What about them?"

"How do you use them, what the power felt like, how you developed it, that sort of thing," Mayuri chatted excitedly.

Apprehensive, Ichigo glanced once more at the grey eyed man before nodding to Mayuri. "Fine, ask."

"Here Captain, your tea." Nemu bowed, placing the tea down, closing her green eyes before standing once again and passing some tea to Ichigo and Kisuke and retreating once again.

Mayuri watched Ichigo as he sipped his tea before he asked, "Now Kurosaki, how do you feel?"

Ichigo froze, the cup poised in his hand, almost at caramel lips once again. "What the hell do you mean?" Quickly he thrust the cup away, standing up as he stared down at the spilled liquid.

"What's in that?" Ichigo demanded.

"Yes Mayuri, what is in that tea?"

Mayuri glanced at the deadly calm man, taking in the steel in his tone. "Nothing bad Kisuke. It was only a little something that would-"

Ichigo cried out in pain, doubling over, clutching his stomach before glaring up at Mayuri. "Stop it!"

Mayuri frowned a little, taking Ichigo's cup, holding it to his nose. "Nemu," he roared, throwing the small item at his cowering lieutenant. "You gave him the wrong vial!"

"Well what is it?" Kisuke hissed, striding to Ichigo's side as he writhed on the ground.

Another sniff and Mayuri froze. "Ah dear."

"What do you mean?"

"Well," Mayuri stood as well as he watched Ichigo grind his teeth to keep back his screams. "This should be interesting."