A/N. Here's episode 12, thanks for the reviews and I hope you guys enjoy the chapter!
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Episode 12: The Invasion Pt. 4
'Something's not right about any of this…' Ichigo thought to herself, expression a dull façade of boredom hiding the rapid amount of ideas and contemplations running rampant inside her head as she walked in silence towards the captain's office of the fifth division. She hadn't seen hide nor hair of her captain since yesterday, and knowing her vice-captain, she'd probably slept in without the constantly smiling there to wake her up. Ultimately, this translated to the older girl being late for the meeting between lieutenants that was supposed to start in just about half an hour, which meant Ichigo probably should walk a bit faster than she was so that the other was at most, just a few minutes late. Releasing an exasperated sigh, Ichigo knelt down low to the ground, seeming to disappear in a burst of speed as she rushed to where the lieutenant was most likely sleeping.
"Momo! Momo!" Ichigo called as she knocked on the door of her captain's office, heaving a sigh of exasperation once again as she proceeded to kick the door in growing frustration. "Hinamori-fukutaicho! Wake up! You're going to be late to the meeting!" she called out loudly, for once showing visible anger as she kicked the sliding door once again. She blinked as the loud noises of something or somebody landing roughly on the ground could be heard from within the room, only further emphasized by the sharp, feminine scream that followed not even seconds afterwards. Listening in stunned silence as the various loud noises of obviously painful bumps and what was probably the cause of a sore foot and a pounding headache later on continued for a few more minutes, before all fell silent and the door flashed open, the lieutenant appearing in a panting heap as she rushed past the younger third seat.
"Oh Ichigo! Why didn't you wake me up sooner?!" the older called as she took off down the hall, joined only seconds later by Ichigo, who had the lieutenant's arm badge in hand as she helped get the lieutenant into a more presentable state while they both shunpoed out of the division.
"Sorry, I honestly thought Aizen-taicho would've woken you up by now!" Ichigo explained as she finally fastened on the badge, continuing to follow the lieutenant as they darted between buildings and rebounded off of walls in half-baked shortcuts that Ichigo knew worked most of the time to get them where they needed to go quickly.
"Don't whine at me! You're the lieutenant here!" Ichigo called out in return, so distracted with the conversation she almost missed the tell-tale scent of blood that permeated the air, only getting stronger the closer they got to the eastern wall. "Wait…" she said, voice drifting off into the air as she came to a slow stop, walking off in the direction she could only guess the scent was coming from, and silently pray that it was just her imagination.
"Ichigo?" Momo questioned as she stopped a few feet ahead of the other, running back to catch up with the now wandering third seat as she walked along the wooden balcony, hopping over a median that usually was in place to cordon off an area or keep someone from entering a certain way, even though it did little to stop those who could just as easily climb or jump over them. "Ichigo-!"
"Oh kami-sama…" Ichigo whispered out, tone dripping with obvious shock at the blood-filled scene that met both lieutenant and third seat, eyes widened in a mixture of disbelief and horror as Ichigo herself barely managed to swallow the bile quickly rising in her throat. "A-A-A…"
Izuru and Hisagi had been sitting patiently, Rangiku not far from them when they had heard the horror-filled scream of a certain lieutenant they all knew fairly well. Eyes widening in shock they all darted out of the room, quickly meeting up with some of the captains as they darted in the direction of the source. Fearing the worst, they all quickly sped up, all landing in a hurried rush as dust and dirt was kicked into the air, eyes widening in shock at the sight that met them. A long trail of blood running up along the once completely white walls, ending or beginning – they weren't sure – at the corpse of the fifth division captain, hanging from the wall by his own sword which had been run through his own stomach. The sight was sickening, and the effect only worsened at the sight of the distraught lieutenant standing right below the mess, screaming and crying out her captain's name in horror and disbelief the very thought that he was in fact dead.
"Aizen-taicho! AIZEN-TAICHO! NOO!" The struggling, hysteric girl was easily pulled back by the younger third seat, who stared pensively at the scene as well, though she was obviously having an easier time controlling herself then her superior was.
"Momo! Momo! Hinamori-fukutaicho! Please calm down! Momo!" The eleven year old pleaded as she frantically tried to calm the other down before something set her off and she did something they both would wind up regretting. "Momo!" she found herself cutting off her own sentence as the familiar voice of the third division captain could be heard, causing everybody present to turn around to face the fox-faced, silver haired man.
"My, my… What's this?" at the nonchalant question and Gin's seemingly easy handling of the sight, Momo seemed to snap, shoving off the third seat as she drew her blade and lunged at the captain, yelling accusations in rage and hysteric anger.
"You… YOU DID IT!" Momo screamed, blade easily stopped, not by the captain himself, but by his lieutenant, Izuru, eyes narrowed as the blonde man tried to reason with the other. "Kira-kun? Why?"
"I'm the third division lieutenant! No matter the reason Hinamori-san, I cannot allow you to point a blade at my captain!" Izuru explained, blade trembling in his hand as Momo continued to subconsciously apply pressure.
"Please… Move aside Kira…"
"WHAT PART OF 'MOVE ASIDE' DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?!" Momo finally snapped out, now consciously applying pressure to the blade as she tried to forcibly move Izuru out of her way. Izuru easily countered, applying just as much force as he held her back, not willing to move an inch despite the fierceness the other was showing at the moment.
"WHAT PART OF 'I CAN'T' DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?!" he snapped back just as easily. His response only encouraged the out-of-control lieutenant further, other hand coming up to grip at her zanpakutō as she glared at the other.
"WHAT-?!" the bridge they were standing on lit up in a bright, fiery explosion, Momo gliding back easily as the others cried out for her to stop and think about what she was doing. Kira slid back on hands and knees, clothes partially singed but otherwise fine as the smoke finally cleared, a dark spot now apparent on the wooden surface as the two continued glare each other down.
"How dare you release your zanpakutō here! Hinamori-san! THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING!" she ignored him, instead concentrating her reiatsu close to the hilt of her sword, a fiery ball of condensed energy appearing as she flung it at Izuru, who jumped in the air to dodge. "If you insist on acting like this Hinamori-san, then I'm afraid I'm going to have to treat you… As an enemy. Raise your head, Wabisuke!" he called out, his zanpakutō transforming as he prepared to bring it down on the other's head. The whole of the people gathered fell silent, both lieutenants staring in shock as an sealed blade came into contact with Izuru's, easily holding off the newly released blade as they both stared at the owner. "K-Kurosaki-san? Why are you…?"
"I'm sorry…" the eleven year old apologized, voice seeming to crack as she suddenly forced the other back with more power than third seat should actually have. Standing up from her kneeled position in front of the lieutenant of her division, she allowed her blade to drop at her side for a moment as she took a deep calming breath, closed eyes opening to reveal a newfound determination as she raised her blade again in full preparation and resolve to cause harm if Izuru attempted to lay a hand on Momo again.
"Kurosaki-san… Why are you trying to stop me? You need to be helping to calm your lieutenant down, not trying to stop everybody who tries to help!" Izuru questioned,
"I'm sorry Kira… But if you insist on trying to harm Momo, then I must insist on getting in the way… Just as you must get in the way if she raises her blade against your captain, I have to do the same for the exact same reason!" Ichigo explained, shifting her weight and center of gravity around as she prepared to release one of her most powerful attacks if the lieutenant, or anybody else decided to try something while she was still standing in the way herself.
"PLEASE!" Ichigo suddenly cut Izuru off, tears shedding from her eyes as she stared at the other, a silent plea clearly seen in her eyes that left many that were present reeling in shock. "Don't make me fight you Kira… I can promise you won't be walking away safely… Don't make me raise this blade against you."
"Kurosaki-san…" Izuru gasped out, staring at the other in shock, before his expression went serious, "Move."
"I won't move! HYAAAHH!" she yelled out as she swung her blade wide, a giant wave of energy surging forward and nearly taking out the whole of the bridge and everybody on it that stood in front of her.
"Damn it!" Izuru swore as he jumped into the air, barely managing to dodge the surge of condensed reiatsu just in time as he took a position standing in the middle of the air. His eyes widened as the smoke cleared and he saw the true extent of the damage the attack from what was supposed to be a third seat had caused. "What the hell?" He found himself not having enough time to even breath as he was forced to dodge yet another attack from that same, normally so level headed eleven year old, only winding up further away from the initial battlefield. 'What is she trying to…No way…' He gasped under his breath as he noticed how much distance was actually between himself and the other captains and lieutenants present, and the third seat and Momo. The gap was huge now, not easily covered unless one knew shunpo or had enough speed that they could clear the distance in under a second, but what really threw him and the others for a loop and a half, was that Ichigo rose from her battle stance, sword now hanging in passiveness once they were standing a certain distance away.
Izuru finally understood what exactly the other was going for. She didn't want to fight them, though she had no hesitation in attacking, she was not exactly aiming to hit anything. Instead she was purposely pushing them farther back, creating as large a gap between the two groups as possible. As legit a plan as this seemed, and well thought it must've been for such a short amount of time, this would not keep Momo from coming after his captain, and it only showed when Momo stepped forward, a hand landing on the younger's shoulder as she made the other turn to face her.
"Ichigo, what are you doing?" Momo asked, knowing that the others were too far away to completely hear the conversation. She hadn't wanted to get the other involved and had been praying somewhere in the back of her mind that she would stay out of it. She hadn't wanted to make the other step in and use a power that she had been present to hear her get forbidden from using the full-extent of by their captain. To make her go back on such an order, she only felt like she was betraying Aizen's faith in her as the lieutenant. But still, Gin Ichimaru, the captain of the third division, needed to pay for killing Aizen. He needed to suffer for what he had done.
"I'm stopping you and keeping them from hurting you." Ichigo explained, looking at the other as if silently asking her, no definitely pleading with her to stop and let it go for now. Momo blinked for a few seconds, contemplating it, truly thinking and considering making the choice of resealing her sword, but her thoughts were cut off as Izuru lunged forward, sword coming up as she stepped around the younger to block his attack.
"Izuru… Move aside… Don't make me hurt you… Don't make Ichigo defy our captain…" she ordered slowly, suddenly seeming a whole lot stronger then she had before. Izuru's eyes only widened further at the last part, wondering about what part of what was currently going on had to with Ichigo defying an order from the now deceased Sosuke Aizen apparently.
"Defy Aizen-taicho… What do you mean?"
"Stand down Izuru, and move aside!" Momo ordered, completely ignoring the question as she continued to push back with growing strength, causing the other to take an involuntary step back. "Do NOT get in my way."
"Ichigo… Don't get involved any longer." The eleven year old went quiet, zanpakutō almost falling from her grip as Momo looked back at her out of the corner of her eye, expression serious as for once in both of their lives, she gave the younger an order. Izuru took advantage of what seemed like a perfect moment of distraction, raising his blade in hopes of disarming the other. He was stopped however as Ichigo disobeyed the order she had been given, bringing her own blade up to counter his own. Vacantly, he wondered how she could continue to carry her sword when she had blocked his twice already.
"I cannot Hinamori-fukutaicho. I also promised Aizen-taicho I would watch out for you." She gave the girl a smile, before allowing her blade to sink under the others weight, easily tossing him back and skidding across the almost completely destroyed bridge now. "Slice the moon, Zangetsu!" she called out, disappearing from view in a surge of reiatsu, the now quiet air suddenly singing as it cleared. Multiple eyes widened at the sight of a long sword, almost as tall as Ichigo herself, swinging through the air by the long length of ribbon held tightly in said third seat's hands, energy seeming to pulse off of the elegant cleaver in waves as she continued to spin it around by the white cloth as if it were a flail.
From behind her, Momo shifted to the side, zanpakutō still drawn and ready as she prepared to fling another fireball at Izuru.
"I see." All three shinigami lunged at each other, blades drawn and at the ready to carve into one another when they clashed with something unexpected, the three owners eyes widening in sock as two blades crisscrossed in between what would've no doubt been a messy clashing of metal against metal.
"All three of you stand down." The all too familiar voice of Hisagi Shuuhei ordered, blade trembling under the combined weight of all three released zanpakutō. Opposite of him stood Toshiro, foot standing on both zanpakutōs in order to help Shuuhei keep Momo's blade down while his own zanpakutō kept Ichigo's and Izuru's from clashing at the moment, though the third seat wasn't close by a long shot, the cloth allowing for her to keep her distance while she used her blade like a giant flail. He almost tripped over himself when the blade was drawn back, landing in its owners hands easily in its sealed form as the third seat jumped from her position standing in the air. She immediately went about restraining Izuru, her gaze apologetic as she stared at both the tenth division and third division captains.
"Don't move, help Kurosaki restrain them. Kurosaki, we'll talk later concerning how you handled this situation."
"Hai, Hitsugaya-taicho." She said as she continued to successfully keep Izuru pinned under her surprisingly strong grip. Vaguely, the blonde remembered the time when he had first met the third seat, back when she still lived in Rukongai and how she was able to easily flip the giant man five times her own weight at the least. He did not resist when Hisagi withdrew his blade, arms coming up under his own to help as Ichigo took his zanpakutō away from him, Rangiku and Iba coming around to restrain Momo themselves. He also barely missed the visible flinch the captain of the tenth division gave when she called him by such a formal name, only vacantly managing to also remember the many times both Momo and Rangiku had complained about the obvious crushes both third seat and captain held for each other and how neither would admit it.
"Kurosaki-san… Tell him…" He found himself whispering out as he allowed himself to be dragged away by Shuuhei, leaving the third seat to stand there wide eyed on the bridge with the white haired captain as the other two lieutenants dragged away Momo, arms wrapped tightly around Wabisuke as Zangetsu now lay unused from her hip.
"Come on, you'll be staying in my division until this is all sorted out. We'll have to wait for the Sou-taicho to figure out whether you should or should not be punished for your actions, though you don't have to worry. At most they'll just get a short time in a cell to think about their actions. Right now is a shaky time, especially since we're being invaded." Toshiro said, interrupting the other as he reached over to gently take her hand, tugging her along as he went back to his division. "I'll have to report this to the commander later…"
"O-Ok." Ichigo replied slowly, following the other as she gave a sidelong glance back to the still pinned corpse on the wall. Faintly, she couldn't help but notice something odd about the corpse, something that didn't sit right with her, though she couldn't put her finger on it quite yet. Eyes narrowing, she couldn't help but be suspicious suddenly, and more than a little angry. 'What in the world is going on here?'
For once, Ichigo didn't know what to think or what to say.
A/N. I hope you guys enjoyed the chapter and thanks for reading! Please remember to review and tell me what you think! See ya!