Ichigo hiked up to his room, trying hard just to keep his spiritual pressure under wraps-which was hard when you had so much.

Closing his bedroom door, he slid down to the floor, just happy to be safe in his room once again. Then he saw the ball on the ground, red seeping from it.

"Kisuke!" he cried out, crawling over to his wardrobe. The writing was still there, his annoying flamboyant message screaming at him and he felt every vein pulse. "I'm going to kill that rat bastard!"

"Ah… Miss Ichinose? Are you okay?"

Ichigo froze in his awkward up-down position on the floor. So his dad had explained the situation then… "N-no I'm fine. I was just uh… I just… tripped," he finished lamely.

Yuzu paused at the doorway. "If you're sure… please tell me if you need anything Miss Ichinose. Dinner will be ready at around four or five."

"Thanks Yuzu," he replied, standing fully. Then he froze again, realising that he was never properly introduced to her. He held his breath, waiting for his sister to rip open the door and cry, "Haha! I know who you are now!" But it never came. She had already left.

Breathing a sigh of relief, he opened up his cupboard, content to find that Rukia wasn't reading there or anything. But where the hell was Kon? He would need to explain the situation to him at least. Or… he could just pretend he didn't see him. Then at least Kon wouldn't bother him.

But what if he wanted to fight hollows? And talking about that, would he look like a woman even when he fought hollows? Because in that case, everyone would know how he looked soon enough.

"Ichigo, I think you're going to need a new light."

Ichigo almost jumped through his roof at the husky sound of Renji's voice and he whirled around to find the scarlet haired soul reaper lowering himself through his ceiling light, dusting himself off calmly.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Ichigo demanded, forgetting momentarily he was meant to be someone else. "You can't just go crawling around in people's rooves!"

"Renji, you should just use the front door like a normal-" Rukia stopped her scolding mid-sentence as she threw the door open, blinking in surprise as she stared at Ichigo. "Person…"

Ichigo shifted awkwardly as the both of them started at him and he rubbed his arm absently. Thank-goodness for him that the pair of them were in their gigai forms. It would be awkward to explain how he knew about soul reapers.

Renji blinked in confusion, staring him up and down before gaping Rukia's way.

Rukia had a similar reaction before her violet eyes narrowed. "Sorry but… who are you?"

Ichigo had the urge to punch Renji and his dumb expression but he managed to get himself together, scowling at the both of them instead. "I'm Satsuki Ichinose, Ichigo's friend."

Renji scratched the side of his face, still looking confused. "Uh… sorry, didn't mean to barge in or anything it's just that…"

"We were expecting Ichigo to be here," Rukia finished.

"Well he isn't," he replied, crossing his arms to stare at them, cursing inwardly when he squished his breasts together.

Rukia frowned and glanced at Renji. "Do you know when he'll be back?"

"Sorry, I don't." Ichigo wished they'd go away already. Controlling his spiritual pressure was hard and Renji seemed to make him angry just by looking at him so keeping his emotions under wraps was hard.

"You… uh… how do you know Ichigo again?" Rukia asked.

Shit… he hadn't thought of that. "Ah… I… I used to go to dojo with him," he replied, thinking furiously about what exactly his lie entailed. Tatsuki would know he wasn't from the dojo. But he could always just tell her she had a bad memory.

Renji's eyes narrowed and he lifted his black bandana slightly as he scratched his head. "Oh well… sorry for just dropping in."

They glanced at each other and Ichigo had the sudden urge to keep them there. In reality, he hadn't seen his friends for quite some time and he missed them-though he'd be dead before he'd admit it. But he wanted to sit down with them and hear what was happening, how they were…

"What did you need Ichigo for?" he asked hesitantly.

Rukia froze before smiling a little. "We were just going to catch up. Though we were hoping he'd come with us to visit… my brother. There's something that he needs to know but… I guess it'll have to wait."

"Wait… did you want me to give him a message?"

Rukia shook her head as she flattened out the creases in her white and blue dress, a hand reaching up to push a strand of hair behind her ear before she bowed. "Thank-you for all your help Miss Ichinose, but we won't need you to give him a message."

Renji bowed as well, before following Rukia out of the room.

"Damn, I was really hoping to see Ichigo today as well," he muttered to her.

Ichigo frowned as he watched them leave. He wanted to see them just as badly… but he could just imagine…

"I-Ichigo?" Renji would ask hesitantly.

"Y-yeah," he'd reply, nervously.

Then Renji and Rukia would glance at each other, grins twitching before they would open their mouths and laugh. Not a little chuckle, not a whole hearted laugh of family togetherness… no. A teasing laugh. A mocking laugh.

Their eyes would twinkle, minds overflowing with thoughts of the various torture that they could now deliver to their female form bound friend.

He shuddered.

Then they would take several deep breaths because they would have run out of air from laughing so hard, only to continued laughing. Rukia would slap Renji on the arm and Renji would hug his stomach, slapping his knee as he blinked back tears.

Then Rukia would smile at him and give a snide remark like, "Oh, so nice to meet you Miss Kurosaki."

Visibly shaking, Ichigo shook his head. Those sorts of thought would get him nowhere. His head was up in a moment when he heard a hollow screech.

"Shit!" He scrambled around searching for anything that could help him get into his soul form. Kon was sure to be running around somewhere and that left only his substitute soul reaper badge or… Rukia.

He had no idea where he'd left his badge anyway so that only left Rukia… or Urahara!

Sprinting down the stairs, he almost tripped when he saw Renji and Rukia still in his house.

Screw worrying about them, Ichigo thought to himself as he scrambled out the door. Though if Rukia was right there… Surely she'd have soul candy on her.

He twirled around as they also exited the front door.

"Hit me," he demanded.

Rukia and Renji stopped dead, glancing around in concern. The hollow was rather close and if they weren't quick, it would undoubtedly eat someone's soul before they reached it.

"I'm sorry Miss Ichinose but we've got to go."

"Rukia," he growled, approaching her. "Hit me with that glove thing."

She blinked in surprise and Renji lowered himself into a defensive stance.

"Who they hell are you?"

Ichigo ran a hand along his face before holding out his hand. "Rukia just give me some soul candy or something. Before I get pissed."

Rukia dutifully handed it over. Not because she was scared, though his aura was fairly intimidating. It was because he had allowed his spiritual pressure to flare, making it clear to the both of them who he actually was.

Without answering the questions that were clearly reflected in his eyes, he swallowed a piece of soul candy. He felt that same strange sensation as his soul pulled away from his body, making him shudder a little as he finally stepped out.

Glancing down at himself, he cursed aloud. It seems he was still a woman, annoyingly enough.

Almost shrugging to himself, he pressed his toes into the ground before launching himself forward, flash stepping to the hollow, feeling Rukia and Renji also catching up.

"You could of told us, you big idiot," Rukia scolded him, head to head with him now.

Ichigo girt his teeth. "Oh come on, like I'd want too. If it wasn't for the hollow you'd both be laug-"

Renji also caught up, almost crying he was laughing so hard. "How the hell did that happen?"

Scowling viciously, Ichigo came to a stop above the tall, thin hollow. Long arms reached out for the small body of a young ghost, snake like tongue licking out as it growled in pleasure.

"Let's just focus on work, okay?"

Renji wiped away a tear as he unsheathed Zabimaru, launching himself at the hollow. "Sure thing princess."

Ichigo shook in anger as both Rukia and Renji laughed, descending on the hollow. "I'm going to kill you! Both of you!" he cried as he joined them, spiritual pressure flaring to obscene heights as embarrassment and irritation flowed. "You pair of yellow bellied bastards!"

XXX

Ichigo growled, shooting a glare at Renji who was currently engaged in poking Ichigo's side, marvelling at the soft curves. Rukia on the other hand was running her small hands through his hair, talking about all the things they could do as girl best-friends that they couldn't have done before.

"You better not bloody tell anyone," he threatened, glaring holes into the Renji's head.

"We wouldn't dream of it!" Rukia exclaimed dramatically, clasping Ichigo's shoulders reassuringly.

Ichigo stared at her uncertainly.

Smiling in reply, she leaned down a little. "We should go shopping."

Renji laughed so hard, Ichigo was convinced he'd choke… maybe that was just wishful thinking.

"I'm not going shopping," Ichigo snapped, huffing as they continued to use him like a doll. "I'll just wear my clothes."

"And have people ask weird questions? No way! It would be best to go shopping and get some clothes that actually fit you. A bra would be a good start."

Renji grinned lecherously.

"Ah fuck my life," Ichigo moaned, rubbing his eyes wearily.

"If it's a problem," Rukia began innocently, one finger poised above her lips in thought before she grinned evilly. "You could always get Ishida to make your clothes."

Ichigo's mind immediately filled with images of the altered clothes Chad, Rukia and Orihime were given after they rescued Rukia-in particular, the cute little additions he made to Orihime's clothes. On top of that, he remembered when he brought Kon to him… the powered wig, the full skirt and frilly bodice… it made him cringe just thinking about it. There was no way he was trusting Uryū with his outfits.

"You think I do pink and frilly?" Ichigo demanded.

Rukia smirked. "It'll go with your beautiful hair."

Renji clapped his back, grinning in what was, Ichigo was sure, meant to be a reassuring smile. Instead, it ended up looking like poorly hidden amusement. "Don't worry Ichi, I think you make a hot woman."

Ichigo flushed slightly, bristling. "That doesn't make me feel any better."

"Enough chit chat!" Rukia exclaimed. "We're going shopping and that's that!"