Ren-sama's Note;

OTL. I really thank everyone who continues to support this fict. Thank you for your continuous reviews and encouraging comments! Please enjoy this chapter! ˆoˆ



Chapter 8

"I'll show him! I'll show him!" Ichigo shouted as he clashed his zanpakutou against Shiro's. "I'll show him what this Rukongai dog is capable of!"

'Calm down, King.' Shiro smirked. 'You've been fuming for two weeks now. How about you try and fight that guy Kenpachi?'

Ichigo looked up at him, immediately thinking of the percentage where he'd get out of that battle alive. "Well, there's that…"

'I think Shiro is right, Ichigo.' Zangetsu materialized beside them. 'Even though you've been fighting us for almost two weeks now, your physical body is still at rest so you're still restless after the fight.'

'Yes, a real fight will be good.' Shiro grinned, eyes gleaming in excitement at the prospect of a fight.

Ichigo thought about it for a while. Maybe Renji could spar with him? But that guy was that guy's fukutaichou. Not that he resented Renji for ever working under Byakuya. He just felt that anything he might achieve from sparring with Renji may as well have come from Byakuya since he was using the man's subordinate to train. And of course there's Kenpachi…

Kenpachi was fine, but the man's excitement alone might kill Ichigo. The teen sighed. "I think I'll ask Kenpachi to spar with me then."

'Speaking of which.' Shiro smirked before Ichigo's vision turned to that of the dojo inside his house. Kenpachi's reiatsu was as enthusiastic as ever. The man was tremendously strong, though it seemed he was not that good at controlling his reiatsu. He now wondered if Kenpachi even knew how to perform a kidou.

The door to the dojo was smashed after some seconds, revealing the maniacally grinning huge Captain of 11th Squad Division, and for once, Ichigo didn't run. "Yo, Kenpachi!" He greeted.

"Hoh? You're willing to be caught right now?" Kenpachi's reiatsu radiated so much excitement. Not the usual fluffy happiness, though, but the happiness barely concealing the tremendous killing intent. Not that Kenpachi really wanted to kill Ichigo. He just wanted to spar, which could end up killing the teen anyway.

"Ichi! Kenny and I have been looking for you for some time now!" Yachiru spoke from Kenpachi's shoulder. "I told you, Kenny. Ichi's here right now."

"You know why I'm here, Ichigo." Kenpachi said. "I like to have a match with you."

"Alright." Ichigo answered as he slowly stood and dusted himself off. "But you better pay for that door. Chichi will get a heart attack if he saw the door, together with some part of the wall, smashed to smithereens. He'll think I did it. And another thing, I don't want to fight here in Seireitei. Do you mind going to some forested area in Rukongai?"

Kenpachi's grin widened. "Yeah, yeah. I'll pay for the door and the wall. And in return, you lead the way to that forested area. I don't want to go leading and then find out that you're not following anymore."

Ichigo chuckled before he shunpo'd towards the gates of Seireitei in a matter of minutes. He stopped for a while to make sure Kenpachi was following him, though he didn't wait long because it seemed the taichou was quite fast despite his huge built. He shunpo'd again and found himself several minutes later in his old training ground with Kaien. It was a large clearing encircled by thick bushes and trees.

He closed his eyes as he inhaled the air. Memories of the time he and Kaien sparred, trained, and even slept in this place returned to him like a waterfall. It was overwhelming. He had not visited this place since Kaien's death and he could feel himself getting far too sentimental for his liking.

"Oy, are we going to fight or are you just going to admire Mother Nature there?" Kenpachi exclaimed from behind him. Ichigo inhaled once more before he opened his eyes again. When he turned around, he was more than ready to face the man.

Kenpachi's excitement only escalated at Ichigo's expression. "I like your expression, Ichigo." He voiced as he unsheathed his sword and swung it over his shoulder. Yachiru jumped off his shoulder and shunpo'd towards one of the trees and sat on its branch comfortably as she watched.

"Go, Kenny! Go, Ichi!" She cheered happily. She was glad that Kenpachi looked so happy.

Kenpachi and his sword radiated so much killing intent that his reiatsu was utterly incredible and suffocating for anyone else other than his opponent at hand. His eyes had changed color, mirroring his reiatsu, and had turned gold.

"Let's start." Ichigo voiced as he brought Zangetsu over his shoulder. He remembered Shiro's words not too long ago.

'Remember, King. What's necessary in a fight isn't fear. Nothing can be born from that. If you dodge, "I won't let them cut me." If you protect someone, "I won't let them die." If you attack, "I'll cut them."'

And before he knew it, his eyes turned a glowing blue and Zangetsu was calling out for bloodshed. Kenpachi smirked, obviously delighted at the sudden surge of killing intent from Ichigo.

Without a word, Kenpachi launched an attack. He never even asked Ichigo to cut him anymore, like how he usually started a fight. No, he was sure Ichigo would've cut him this time, what with all those immense reiatsu coming from the teen.

The two started clashing their swords against one another. It's power versus power alone. Ichigo didn't even think of using kidou on the guy. He would win this using his and Zangetsu's power alone.

Yachiru watched as the clearing started to turn dusty because of the swirling and clashing reiatsus of the two combatants. Normal eyes wouldn't even begin to see the fight, but she was a fukutaichou and she was used to Kenpachi's speed. The thing that she was amazed at, however, was the fact that Ichigo was able to top her Captain's speed. He watched as Kenpachi swung his ragged sword towards the orange-haired Shinigami only for it to come in contact with dirt, for Ichigo had already spun his body in that split second and appeared behind the huge Captain. And with one swing, his sword came in contact with Kenpachi's back.

Kenpachi immediately turned around and the two of them stared at one another for some seconds. Blood was dripping from the huge man's back and on Ichigo's sword. The younger male's training kimono had rifts and his skin had shallow cuts but none that looked dangerous.

The huge man's face didn't look like he was in pain at all. Kenpachi, if ever, looked even happier and was manically grinning. "How can you be so strong, Ichigo? You didn't have any special training in the Academy, and you don't have much experience."

Ichigo smiled. "I have lots and lots of experience from a very talented Shinigami, Kenpachi. And besides, Zangetsu and Shiro fight with me so I'm not afraid that I will lose."

Kenpachi looked thoughtful for a while. "So which is the name of your zanpakutou among those two? And who is the other one?" As far as he could see, Ichigo only had one zanpakutou.

"Zangetsu's is my zanpakutou. Shiro is…" Ichigo trailed off, not really wanting to open up yet, though he knew Kenpachi was not the type for gossip, or even ostracizing. "Shiro is my other half."

Kenpachi arched an eyebrow at that, though he didn't ask anymore. "Sorry, Ichigo. I don't know the name of my zanpakutou so I can only rely on myself." He then grinned. "I think I can go all out with you." He removed the eye patch that covered one of his eyes and his immense reiatsu immediately doubled. "This eye patch is made by the Twelfth Division, a kind of self-handicap. It continuously eats my reiatsu just so it'll stay relatively lower." Ichigo smirked. He didn't know that the immensity of Kenpachi's reiatsu was actually just half of his whole power.

"I guess I don't have to hold back either." Ichigo said before he let his full force all out. It's the first time he did it because Kaien had always told him to keep his reiatsu hidden. It always attracted Hollows and, on top of that, might injure an ordinary soul because of its intensity. Aside from that, he had no way of letting it all out because he always had to hold back with Kaien, not that the older male minded. And he was a little amazed at how far his reiatsu had grown. It almost equaled Kenpachi's. Almost being the key word because Ichigo knew this was pure Shinigami powers. His Hollow power remained out of his reach for now because Shiro said that he could only use it when he's ready.

"Shall we continue?" Kenpachi looked even more excited at the prospect of going all out. He licked his lips as he grinned.

"Of course." Ichigo answered before the two of them became a blur of fighting combatants again.

When they stopped after several minutes, Ichigo had a huge gash from his left shoulder to his middle torso, his kimono was partly ripped off, and his forehead was bleeding. Kenpachi, on the other hand, had a huge gash on his middle torso and one on his right shoulder, not to mention the one on his back, which were already two. They might have been equal in power but Ichigo was way faster than Kenpachi in his mastery of shunpo so his attacks almost always made contact while many of Kenpachi's were blocked or dodged.

"So, if you're this strong, why are you so afraid of four-eyes?" Kenpachi asked as he panted, grin still plastered on his face.

Ichigo's head tipped on one side, obviously thinking who four eyes was. And then it hit him. "Aizen?"

Kenpachi's grin widened, whether it's because of Ichigo's insolence or his immediate recognition of the nickname, the strawberry didn't know. "I saw Aizen once when I was nine. It was my third day in Soul Society." Ichigo didn't know why he was saying it, but like he said earlier, Kenpachi was someone he didn't have to put up his barriers from. The man was just amazingly strong, the embodiment of brash power and muscled strength, not to mention fighting instincts.

"And?" Kenpachi was obliviously curious. Yachiru sensed that the fight was almost over so she immediately hopped from the tree and onto Kenpachi's shoulder with just two steps, not minding the blood on the Taichou's body at all.

Ichigo scratched his nape. "I saw how he killed a fellow Shinigami in order to hide a secret. It wasn't brutal or anything. I was a kid back then, but the fact that Aizen killed a comrade while smiling has unsettled me, and kind of…"

When Ichigo looked at Kenpachi again, however, he saw that the man wasn't smiling anymore. He initially thought that he did the wrong thing, but then Kenpachi voiced, "Have you told this to anyone?"

Ichigo shook his head. "I don't think they'll believe me anyway. From what I see, Aizen is seen as the God of Kindness and Tolerance here. And they might think that my eyes, as a mere child, might be playing tricks on me. And besides, I have no evidence but my memory, and it happened over sixteen years ago."

Kenpachi's eyebros furrowed. "Anyway, don't talk about this to anyone yet, Ichigo. It might bring you trouble, or danger."

Ichigo nodded before he smiled, glad that Kenpachi didn't laugh at him, or worse attack him for saying something like that to his comrade. "You believe me, Kenpachi?" He couldn't help but ask.

"Just like you said, it might have been a trick on your eyes as a child or on the part of the killer just to frame Aizen. But I'll try to observe things for a while." Kenpachi voiced.

Yachiru smiled at Ichigo. "Kenny and I will do some investigation!"

"Let's end this fight for now." Kenpachi's grin was back and Ichigo couldn't help but think Kenpachi's grin was more appropriate to see on the man's face than a frown or a serious expression. "I had a good fight, no, a great one." And the two of them already shunpo'd towards Seireitei.

"You won't talk about it to anyone, right?" Ichigo asked as Kenpachi turned to the corner where the 11th Squad Barracks was located. Kenpachi waved a hand but didn't answer nor did he turn back. And that was enough for Ichigo.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Really, what were you thinking, accepting Kenpachi's challenge like that?" Juushirou asked worriedly as he treated Ichigo's wounds. His son merely chuckled.

"We had a great time, Chichi. Kenpachi is a fight-loving freak, but he's kind." He answered, remembering how Kenpachi warned him to not do anything that would cause trouble or danger to himself.

Juushirou couldn't help but sigh. The last thing he wanted was for Ichigo to idolize Kenpachi, or any part of the 11th Squad Division for that matter. He immediately rushed home when he found out that Kenpachi fought against Ichigo and the huge guy was currently being treated by Unohana-taichou despite the taichou's insistence that he was fine. He wanted to storm inside the 4th Division Barracks earlier and punch the daylights out of Kenpachi for fighting his son, but now that he saw how Ichigo looked happy, he was starting to quietly forgive the brash taichou. No, what he wanted to do now was question Ichigo's sanity for actually taking a liking to that ruffian, not that it was impossible for Ichigo to be fond of other people. It's just that everyone who actually wanted to follow Kenpachi's footsteps were ruffians themselves.

"You know, many members of the 11th Squad will actually gawk at you for fighting on par with their Taichou." Juushirou said as they drank tea, just after Ichigo was bandaged.

His son sighed. "Well, think what they like. I couldn't care less." By now, he already knew what specialization and characteristics each Squad had. Renji made sure to tell him everything once in a while whenever he trained in the forested area near the cliff of Sokyouku Hill. And he couldn't care less if many members of the 11th Squad went for his head, what with them all-brawl no brain fighters as what Renji told him. The other Squads were a little frightful to be enemy with, but the 11th Squad only had the Captain up to the fifth seat as talented individuals – in fighting of course.

"Anyway, I must go back to my Barracks now." Juushirou smiled as he finished his tea and stood up. "You better stay away from any more fighting, Ichigo-kun." Ichigo nodded, but Juushirou doubted his son would really just run away from a fight, except when it concerned Kenpachi.

Just as the 13th Division Captain was about to go out, Renji immediately came and invited Ichigo to a bar. Juushirou narrowed his eyes at the fukutaichou but Renji immediately said that there would be no drinking. By now they all knew that Juushirou forbid Ichigo to drink any alcoholic beverage for a reason they didn't know. The two left and Juushirou sighed again as he shunpo'd towards his office. Well, at least his son was not a solitary soul anymore, training day and night just to forget everything.

"So, where are we going?" Ichigo asked as they shunpo'd towards the 11th Division Barracks.

Renji grinned. "Ikkaku-san and Ayasegawa-san want to know how the duel went. Zaraki-taichou is too happy to actually talk about it and Yachiru's version is way too cheery and biased." Ichigo sighed. He didn't think he'd be interrogated about it just after he received his treatment.

When they arrived, however the scene was more like a mini version of that one in the pub in Rukongai, though more subdued. Many Shinigamis from other divisions were there, drinking sake in the middle of the afternoon.

Ikkaku and Yumichika both waved at them when they arrived and the two males sat with them. Rangiku and a grumpy Toshirou also joined after some minutes of idle chat. The other Shinigamis just continued drinking, not even noticing their presence. Ichigo was starting to think now these people just used him as an excuse to drink alcohol and have a party.

"Heh, Hitsugaya-taichou is here too, I see." Renji beamed at the sight of the small Captain growling from under Rangiku's suffocating bosom hug.

"Oh, Toshirou, I didn't think taichous get to have free time too." Ichigo said, earning a glare from the small taichou.

"That's Hitsugaya-taichou for you, Kurosaki." He voiced before Rangiku smacked him "lightly" on the back.

"Oh, don't be so grumpy, Taichou!" Rangiku used her usual flirty voice. "Ichigo here is just happy that you finally have time for yourself!" By now, most of the Shinigamis close to Ichigo already knew that he preferred to have his original surname and they now called him by that, though some of them couldn't help but still call him Ukitake.

"You only dragged me here, Matsumoto!" Toshirou barked, though everyone knew that if he really wanted it, he could just leave and no one would be able to stop him.

They all settled into a light conversation while drinking sake. Toshirou was as grumpy as always, but he also shared in some of the jokes – wearing a scowl which almost always ruins its fun. Of course, Ikkaku and Renji, and Rangiku, did most of the talking while Ichigo and Toshirou mostly listened. Ikkaku almost always offered Ichigo some sake, even Renji did, but the teen always politely refused.

"Come on, Ukitake-taichou isn't here! He won't know you drank. We promise not to tell him, Ichigo!" Rangiku pouted when she too was turned down.

Ichigo smiled. "Sorry, I can't. Chichi will immediately know that I drank, and will be here in mere seconds." Of course, he didn't have to say that it was actually because his reiatsu would flare incredibly high the moment he lost control that Juushirou would be the least of his problems if that happened. "We wouldn't want that, don't we?"

Renji smirked. "Well, anyway, let's begin the storytelling. Zaraki-taichou doesn't want to say anything. It seems he's still neck-deep in his happiness for the day."

Ikkaku laughed. "Of course," he looked at Ichigo then. "If you're really that good, Ichigo, expect that Zaraki-taichou will always be on your tail. And I might want to spar with you sometimes too. I want to know what made our taichou so happy that he can't even talk about it."

"Ichi!" A cheery voice called from across the room and now all head turned to Ichigo's direction and back to the little pink-haired fukutaichou. "Kenny said not to leave until he's seen you!" Ichigo only nodded and Yachiru vanished again.

"Well?" Yumichika asked after a while, arching an eyebrow. Even he could see that the boy in front of them was gorgeous, way too gorgeous if he dared say. Ichigo's hair was bright orange, spiky and yet soft-looking at the same time. It made many people want to at least run their hands on it. And then there were those bright chocolate eyes that beheld warmth and innocence and yet held so much power and deadliness at the same time. Ichigo had tanned-skin, mouth-watering and delicious. Not to mention that the boy was sex on legs, totally cool to gaze at because he had the personality that was neither too cheery nor too cold. And his body was slender, delightfully muscled because of training and yet naturally slim enough to look charming.

Yumichika had always fancied beauty and he knew it when he saw one.

Ichigo could feel himself having hives at the intense gaze Yumichika was throwing him. Renji and Ikkaku both arched an eyebrow at the beautiful male Shinigami but Yumichika merely shrugged.

"Well," Ichigo started, not really knowing how to tell the fight without sounding way too eager or too arrogant.

'Just tell them how you kicked that muscled guy's ass, King. They'd like that.'

"Shut up. Do you want my ass to get kicked next for being totally arrogant?" He answered inside his head. He looked at their expectant faces and retold the story in the briefest, mostly report-like way, and saw their faces fell.

"Ichigo, I know that you're one of the most boring guy in existence, but please don't let it show up now." Renji almost whined. Rangiku poured their cups, including Ichigo's, more sake before speaking up.

"But Ichigo, I thought you'd tell us how you kicked Zaraki-taichou's ass!"

"Matsumoto, I suggest you speak only when needed." Toshirou said as he felt extremely annoyed at his fukutaichou's insolence. Kenpachi was still basically a taichou even if he rarely, if ever, acted like one.

"Hitsugaya-taichou is sooooo awful to meee." She said in her usual whiny, but still flirty, voice. Yumichika sighed as he drank the sake in his cup.

And just then, from another table, a brawl broke out. They all turned their heads as unseated officers tried to cheer for the two opponents and Toshirou looked like he wanted to just die than be at the place. Yumichika muttered something sounding like 'ugly' under his breath just as Ikkaku stood up. Ichigo initially thought that Ikkaku was on his way to stop the two, but the guy even volunteered to be the referee.

"Don't worry, this thing is normal in the 11th Division." Renji said beside him. "There's not a day that they don't get into fights with one another. This is just that kind of Division after all. For them, fighting is everything." Ichigo didn't know what to answer so he merely nodded.

"This is totally pathetic." Toshirou muttered under his breath before he decided that enough is enough. He might have been initially interested in Ichigo's story about his duel with Kenpachi earlier, which was actually the real reason why he let Rangiku have her way against him, but the no-brain Shinigamis didn't even consider his presence as a Taichou and just broke out a brawl.

Just then, Ichigo saw Toshirou vanish, probably leaving for good. Rangiku tried to cheer too just as the two fighting Shinigamis drew out their swords and started clashing against each other. He watched as they both tried to intimidate one another with their measly reiatsu but both with little success.

Renji bade Ikkaku goodbye and Ichigo immediately followed, knowing that he wouldn't be able to keep his promise to Kenpachi. The two of them went to the woods beside the cliff of the Sokyouku Hills and sat on one of the trees.

Ichigo watched as Renji's reiatsu slowly and gradually became filled with concern and quiet grief. "What's wrong, Renji?"

Renji, just realizing that his reiatsu was surging with unease, immediately tucked it under control again. "Nothing… I'm just… worried."

"Yes, I can feel that." Ichigo arched an eyebrow. "What I'm asking is, what's wrong? What makes you feel like that?"

Renji sighed. He didn't want to make Ichigo worried too but he guessed his, no, their, orange-haired friend had the right to know. "Well, it's Rukia." Ichigo watched as Renji tried to form the words, obviously struggling. "You see, it's already over a month since she left… She should have come back this week. But there's still no news about her."

Ichigo couldn't help but feel sad, both for Rukia and for Renji, though his sadness was only felt by him since he was good at hiding his reiatsu and almost unconsciously keeping it in check even in his bad days. "Renji, Rukia is strong. Let's believe in her." Renji nodded before the redhead smiled.

"Thanks, Ichigo." He said before he stood up and looked at Ichigo with full determination. "Do you mind sparring with me tomorrow afternoon? Just to get my mind off of things for a little bit."

Ichigo didn't know how to answer first, but then he agreed. "Sure, outside Seireitei though. I don't want to alarm Chichi when he sensed my reiatsu in fighting mode."

"Of course." Renji was about to leave when he turned around once again. "At our usual place?" Ichigo grinned before he nodded. He hadn't come back to that place either after Renji and Rukia left. "See you tomorrow then. Kuchiki-taichou will kill me if he knew I'm running away from paperwork again." He grinned before he disappeared using shunpo.

Ichigo scowled at the mention of the name but his friend was thankfully already gone to even see it. He didn't know how that guy could manage to annoy him even in his absence. Just the mention of the name was enough to make him want to punch a wall or something. He was that irritated at the stoic, stuck up captain of the 6th Division.

"I heard you defeated Zaraki-taichou?" A voice from behind him made him turn around, and much to his annoyance, it was the one more person who could make his blood boil even in his absence. Aizen. A grinning Gin was behind him.

"It's not a defeat. We didn't continue our fight." Ichigo merely answered. He cursed under his breath when he realized he forgot Zangetsu in his house. No, Zangetsu wasn't anywhere else, but inside him.

'I see you're learning, King.' Shiro's voice inside his head rang. The Hollow was obviously smirking. 'And just so you know. Not only Zangetsu, but I too am here, if only you'll accept it… my power.'

"Thanks, Shiro. But I think I want to concentrate on the problem at hand." Ichigo said inside his mind as he looked at the two Taichous about four meters away from him. He didn't feel their presence at all, and that said something because Kaien made sure that he felt others' reiatsu even faintly to not be surprised in case there was an attack. Of course, now that he had a good look at them, he could already faintly feel their hidden reiatsu, but other than that, there was nothing to feel.

Aizen stepped closer and Ichigo had to clenched his fists and let his fingernails bite through his skin just to prevent himself from stepping back. He knew it was ridiculous to act all tough especially when there were two Taichous in front of him, but he also knew that to show weakness was like admitting defeat. He wouldn't let Aizen even feel any victory.

Gin smirked at the way Ichigo acted tough in front of Aizen, not realizing that perhaps only the soutaichou held the power to stop the brunette. The two of them both talked about Ichigo a lot, though no one knew of that of course.

"Gin, what do you think of Ukitake-taichou's son?" Aizen asked as he sat in his office.

"You mean the one who cower in front of you two weeks ago?" Gin grinned. "The one you harassed in the middle of the street where Kuchiki-taichou saw you?"

Aizen narrowed his eyes when Gin uttered the second question, not knowing that Gin was also there at the time, but he was amused. "Yes, that one, Gin."

Gin feigned thoughtfulness on the matter before he answered. "I think he's delicious, innocently delicious. He's beautiful too, and very, very young. Not to mention that he had a slender body and a tight ass."

Aizen chuckled. "Oh, I don't mean my question like that. I mean, what do you think of his soul? His power?"

Gin mused aloud. "Well, I think he's pretty powerful, if I'm not mistaken. It seems he's so used to having his reiatsu in check that he doesn't do it consciously anymore. That, or he doesn't have much reiatsu to start with, which I doubt since he's able to stay in a room with the soutaichou for over five minutes."

Aizen grinned, not unlike his usual kind and warm grin but a cold and sadistic one. "I want to have that power."

"Aizen, you meanie." Gin teased. "I thought you have your eyes on Isshin Kurosaki's daughter now? I mean, she's really incredible and her reiatsu is so powerful."

"Why, Gin? You want Ichigo all to yourself?" He smiled.

Ichigo's eyes narrowed as Aizen padded towards him. He wanted to leave the place, to run, to hide. But he knew that Shiro would kill him if he did.

'It's good that you know, King.' Shiro said. 'I can beat him for you if you want. I'll take over for a while, but only if you want. Zangetsu will kill me if I take over forcefully.'

Ichigo felt incredible surge of ease at the voice that kept him company, even if that voice wouldn't actually lay a finger even if a battle ensues. Zangetsu had always been strict on Shiro. The old man knew that Shiro would lash out if he ever came out and he told Ichigo not to let the Hollow out except when truly needed, not that Shiro was actually bored inside his inner world. The Hollow was lazy even though he was strong so he just liked watching from the sidelines or battling Zangetsu, but not controlling a stiff body of a teen who refused to even openly smile.

"Please don't be nervous, Ichigo." Aizen voiced as he immediately closed the distance between him and the boy. He cupped Ichigo's chin and felt the teen flinched at his touch. "Why is it that you fear me so?" Gin smirked at that. Of course, anyone who knew Aizen's real identity would fear him, not that the boy knew of course. Maybe Ichigo could just feel unease when it came to Aizen.

"Stop harassing me, Aizen." Ichigo finally said as he step back to slip away from Aizen's touch. "I'm just feeling unease because of our last meeting."

Aizen smiled. "Ah. I apologize if I ever displease you, Ichigo. But my Division is still waiting for your answer."

Ichigo thought for a moment before he remembered what Aizen was supposed to be saying. "I believe that if ever I want to join a Squad, I would like it to be in the 13th Division, where Chichi is. It's nothing personal, Aizen. I just feel like I want to help Chichi's division more than anyone's." His voice was steady and his eyes never left the brunette's. Well, he was actually saying the truth so there was no way he was lying.

Aizen was about to say more when they all felt the sudden surge of reiatsu and Ichigo was never more thankful to feel it.

"There you are, Ichigo!" Kenpachi blurted, grinning manically at the sight of his now favorite sparring partner. "I believe you owe me one for ditching me earlier though you said you'd wait for me." And then he acted like he just saw Aizen. "Oh? Aizen-taichou? What might you be doing here?"

"I believe I was just admiring the view here, and admiring having Ichigo in my Division in the future. That's all." Aizen smiled, in a way that suggested it was kind. By now, though, both Kenpachi and Ichigo knew that it was merely a fake. "Ichimaru-taichou and I will be leaving for now. Ichigo, please do consider my proposal." He tipped his head towards the two before he left with Gin.

"That one is a little stubborn, Ichigo." Kenpachi voiced just as the teen turned around and looked at him.

"Kenpachi, thank you for finding me here." Ichigo smiled. "I thought he'd harass me again."

Kenpachi grinned. "And in return, you owe me a spar."




Ren-sama's Note:

I know, I know. This is supposed to be a ByaIchi fict and yet there is still no such thing here. But I also want it to have a story other than romance between the two. And besides, it's fun to have their love blossom from hate, right? Please review!