Chapter 3

The Grand Mess Hall of the Gotei 13 was unusually full today, and Enjeru found himself sitting at the end of a row enjoying his lunch. While each squad had its' own kitchen and mess areas, most Soul Reapers used the Grand Mess Hall as a means to catch up with friends in other squads and promote a sense of solidarity. What made today different from other days is that all of the teams deployed to the world of the living had returned for a short reprieve before being rotated out again. At any given time, a substantial number of Soul Reapers were not actually in Soul Society but rather pulling long term deployments all over Japan dealing with hollow invasions.

"Jeez, can't find a seat anywhere today." Enjeru looked up towards the voice to see Taijan take a seat across from him, his tray laden with food. "Still, it's good to see the place like this. Everyone light hearted and talking to each other. It won't be like this for long, will it?"

Enjeru shook his head. "Not likely. The teams returning to Soul Society are bringing disturbing reports back with them."

Taijan stopped eating and looked to Enjeru with a furrowed brow. "Like what?"

"Hollow attacks are becoming more frequent, even in the smaller cities. And they're showing more organization and tactical thinking. Something it happening on the other side of things."

"And that's got everyone on edge." A third voice broke Enjeru's explanation as they pair were joined by a most peculiar Soul Reaper. It wasn't his height or body mass, for both were in the norm for a physically fit man of mid twenty years. It wasn't his brown eyes, and his uniform was no different than any other Soul Reapers. No, what set this man apart was his hair. Deep purple the shade of a ripe eggplant and cut in a bowl that set his bangs slightly past his eyes would have made this man stand out in a crowd in downtown Tokyo could only mean that Raine Hyane had arrived. Without missing a beat the Soul Reaper slid into the seat next to Taijan and nodded to Enjeru who returned the gesture. Raine and Enjeru were in the same class in Soul Academy and graduated together. Unlike Enjeru, Raine graduated in the top five percent of the class and was assigned to Squad 5 before the ink on his application dried. Raine was now the 8th Seat of Squad 5 and led one of the teams dedicated solely to the defense of Tokyo. Regardless of their difference in rank, Raine was one of Enjeru's oldest friends.

Raine took a drink from his glass while Enjeru and Taijan waited for him to continue. "Once we returned, my team started to talk with the others stationed throughout Japan and similarities started popping up. The hollows weren't just hunting souls to feed on. They were deliberately targeting souls in areas we were patrolling, drawing us into a fight. They used attack patterns like you talked about from your studies, Enjeru. They were probing our defenses and looking for weak spots. The casualties were nowhere near as bad as we thought it should have been. And now the captains are meeting to discuss what it all means."

Enjeru finished his plate and pushed it to the side. "It means someone is leading the hollows. Someone or something is starting to organize them. I looked at the reports in Lieutenant Iba's office yesterday. This whole thing stinks, if you ask me. Tomorrow's rotation schedule isn't going to be enough if the next wave of attacks follow the patterns I've seen. Trust me on this."

"I know you read a lot of books Enjeru, but you can't know what's going to happen tomorrow any more than the captains do." Taijan couldn't hide the disbelief in his voice anymore than he could hide the nervous twitch in his hand as he took a drink.

Enjeru smiled at his friend as he dipped his finger in the leftover sauce from his rice and began to draw patterns on the table. "Look at the standard deployment schedule for Tokyo," the blonde Soul Reaper drew a reasonable representation of the city of Tokyo and started marking X's on the map, "These are the way stations in the city manned by Soul Reaper teams. Each one can safely patrol several miles of the city while being within support distance." Enjeru drew circles from the X's to show these areas. "Now, look at the patrol circuits from each station and you can see openings." Enjeru marked these areas. "If I were going to assault Tokyo and inflict maximum damage to the Soul Reapers, given the information I see from these reports I would send forces here, here and here." Enjeru circled three openings in the patrol routes. "These openings would force the teams to expand their patrols and cut enough Soul Reapers off from support to neutralize them. From there it would be too easy to start picking off the remainders and set up for ambushes when relief teams arrive from Soul Society."

Taijan looked open-mouthed at the map Enjeru had drawn. His blue eyes began to widen as he started to realize the hard truth in Enjeru's words. "How can you tell all this just from a night of reading scattered reports?"

Enjeru hung his head low, letting his ponytail drape over a shoulder. "Last night Captain Komamura and Lieutenant Iba called me into a planning session. We went over the reports and brainstormed most of the night and came to this conclusion. The captain was serious enough that he forbade the Lieutenant from drinking the whole night. What we came up with was going to be brought to light at the captain's meeting."

"This is what I'm talking about," Raine was looking over the display with a critical eye, making notations. "I keep telling Captain Aizen you should be in Squad 5. You would be invaluable to us since we have more teams in the world of the living than any others. I know I'd feel better with you coordinating us out there."

Enjeru gave a slight smile. "Thanks, but I like it in Squad 7. I don't think I would have achieved the things I have if it wasn't for the Lieutenant. It's become more of a home than I've ever had."

Taijan laughed at Enjeru. "No kidding. Daily training sessions with the Lieutenant? Do you know how many members of the Squad would kill to have that much attention from Iba? How's the training been, anyway? You two have been at it for years."

"It's hit a snag lately, really." Enjeru let a hint of disappointment enter his voice. "We've been training together for so long that I feel we're not making any progress anymore. I can control my Shikaias long as I want while we spar, but there's nothing new in the sessions. We just go through the motions. Sure my spirit acts up every now and then, wanting me to dodge to the side when there is no danger or wanting me to look over my shoulder at something that isn't there, but I think it's just bored."

"Maybe it's time to let someone else help you? You know I'm ready whenever you need me." Taijan gathered his tray and started out of the hall. "Just let me know."

Raine finished his own meal and hastily got up. "I think I hear the captain calling me. See you later!"

Enjeru was suddenly left alone with his diagram of Tokyo in front of him. Looking over the markings he started whispering to himself as he absent-mindedly stroked his goatee. "I hope we're wrong."

"I'm starting to get frustrated. We've been doing it for years now and it's a stalemate now. Which says a lot for the kid's progress. He's gotten a lot tougher and gained a good deal of power. I need help."

Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba was sitting at a table in his favorite bar in the Rukon District having a drink with a friend. He was already into his second bottle of sake and starting to feel loosened up. Pouring a drink, his sleeve rolled up and exposed a blackened patch of skin.

"What the hell is that!?" The tattooed Soul Reaper across from Tetsuzaemon reached over and pulled the sleeve back farther revealing a charred burn on the Lieutenant's arm.

Iba jerked his hand free and rolled the sleeve back down. "A keepsake from this morning. I had a lapse in judgment and let him get close."

Renji Abarai, 6th seat of Squad 11, looked at his friend's arm and winced. "That is from just getting close? And you want me to help you train him? Shouldn't you be talking to Ikkaku about this? He loves a good fight."

Iba downed his sake and reached for the bottle again. "True, but Ikkaku's the 3rd Seat and I don't want to expose Enjeru to that level of violence yet. Besides, Ikkaku is a close range fighter like me and I want to see how Enjeru does fighting a ranged opponent. Zabimaru, while still a melee Zanpakuto, does most of the fighting from a distance. I want to see how Enjeru does controlling his spirit while having to try and close distance and dodge the unpredictability of your style. It's a new level of training and I need your help, and didn't you say something the other day about wanting to get more practice in?"

Renji poured another drink and downed it quickly. "Okay, okay. I should go ahead and say yes now before I get sober and realize what a mistake it is. See you first thing in the morning."

The old training grounds for each Squad resembled old Roman arenas all the way down to the raised seating so that spectators could look down on fighters and cheer their champions on. Most squads hadn't touched their old grounds for years, except Squad 11 which Kenpachi Zaraki ordered be maintained for his personal amusements. Enjeru found it a good thing that these old grounds were isolated and deserted. In the early years of his training with Lieutenant Iba his released shikai had a habit of freaking out under the stress and lashing out randomly at the empty seats. But that was in the past and Enjeru was more assured in his ability to control the spirit of his Zanpakuto during his matches with Tetsuzaemon. Looking around the open air of the ancient forum, he wrapped his left hand around the lacquered scabbard on his hip.

"Deep in thought, or just taking in the sights?" The gruff voice of Tetsuzaemon Iba brought Enjeru back to his senses as the younger Soul Reaper turned to meet his teacher and mentor.

"A little of both, sir. These must have been grand when they were in more frequent use."

"Hai, I bet they were." Lieutenant Iba took a long glance around the training ground and cracked a smile before returning his shaded gaze to Enjeru. "Are you ready to start?"

Enjeru nodded and drew his Zanpakuto with his right hand. Normally the blonde Soul Reaper would settle into a ready stance with his blade held outward. Instead, Enjeru flipped his kodachi into a reverse grip and raised his arms in front of him and crossed them with his blade facing forward.

"Strike from the heavens, Kaminari no Ikari!"

The blade of Enjeru's Zanpakuto began to emit a bluish white glow and began to slowly lose its form for a moment before flowing onto the Soul Reaper's forearm and spreading from his right arm across the connected skin to his left. As the glow subsided a pair or metal vambraces covered his forearms. The white tint of the metal was emblazoned with blue engraved patterns resembling lightning bolts that continued to emit a light glow even as the Zanpakuto itself finished it's transformation. Uncrossing his arms, Enjeru rolled his shoulders and settled into a fighting stance facing Tetsuzaemon who had already released his own sword and stood ready with the straight bladed chopper already in an offensive stance.

Enjeru could feel the energy coursing though his body as his Zanpakuto started to flood his mind with images of attack plans ranging from flash-stepping forward and delivering a knee to the gut to sitting back and blasting the other man with blasts of electric kido all the way into the absurd notion of just flat out charging forward and howling like a banshee in the hopes of stunning the Lieutenant into not blocking the massive haymaker that would be offered to the flat topped Lieutenant's face. Enjeru didn't let these last long as he knew by now the spirit was just having a bit of fun before the real match started.

Not waiting for the more experienced man to make the first move, Enjeru decided to take Kami's advice and flash-stepped towards Tetsuzaemon. Enjeru could feel the exhilaration in the back of his mind as Kaminari no Ikari was thrilled that his partner had decided to heed his advice, only to be replaced with a tinge of sorrow once Enjeru decided to stop the shunpo short and threw his right palm, wreathed in electric blue energy, outward and releasing a blast of charged kido.

Tetsuzaemon knew this feint well and flash-stepped to the left, knowing Enjeru was right handed and appeared closer to his opponent's strong arm so that he couldn't get a fully cocked a committed right hand to the jaw. Enjeru could feel the energy around Tetsuzaemon shifting and expected the flash step and raised his left leg and spun on his right, sending a spinning wheel kick to where he was sure Iba would materialize. Halfway through the spin, Enjeru felt a buzzing on the back of his neck and was filled with a sudden urge to stop the attack and duck. Enjeru decided to fight the urge and continued his arc which would end with landing a solid blow to the Lieutenant's…


Pain exploded in Enjeru's skull as his head was snapped around the opposite way his body was turning which sent him spiraling to the ground. The shock of the blow and the disorienting of his fall hurt Enjeru more than the actual punch itself. His Zanpakuto spirit was reeling in surprise and was trying to reach out and strike at anything near the pair, but Enjeru was able to calm himself and reassure his spirit that everything was fine. The constant buzz in the back of Enjeru's mind let him know his partner had backed off but was still annoyed. Mirroring it's feelings, Enjeru quickly climbed to his feet and spun to meet his attacker. A Soul Reaper with bright red hair done up to resemble what could only be a pineapple in Enjeru's mind and whose head was decorated in black tribal tattoos was standing next to Lieutenant Iba, shaking his right hand.

"Dammit, Iba! You didn't tell me his jaw was made of iron! Geez that smarts."

Lieutenant Iba just laughed and clapped the newcomer on the shoulder. "I can't tell you everything about him, can I? How else are you supposed to learn from each other."

Enjeru cautiously slid into a fighting pose and started to channel his spiritual energy into his hands. "Lieutenant, what's going on here?"

"The next step in your training," Tetsuzaemon stepped away from the other Soul Reaper and leaned against a nearby wall. "This is Renji Abarai, 6th Seat of Squad 11 and a friend of mine. He's here to see how well you can hold you Zanpakuto in check while adapting to different fighting styles. Once you're comfortable sparring with him, we move on to two on one sparring. Are you ready?"

Enjeru clenched his fists, letting his knuckles pop before opening them up. "Ready!"

Renji smiled and drew his Zanpakuto and ran the flat of his own palm down the blade.

"Roar, Zabimaru!"

The tattooed Soul Reaper's blade began to glow and morph into a weirdly designed blade. To Enjeru the blade seemed to be made of 6 sections, each bigger than the last as it rose from the hilt and each section bearing a massive pick or fang-like extension. Enjeru's mind started to process the situation as he took in Renji's released blade.

A melee type Zanpakuto, typical of Squad 11. I can close the distance easily enough and take the size of the weapon out of the equation.

Having set himself on a strategy, Enjeru used a flash step to close the distance. Renji never moved from his spot but merely flicked his wrist and revealed the true nature of Zabimaru. The sections of his blade began to separate and shoot forward, each connected by a wide, thin tether forming a type of bladed whip. Enjeru never had time to react as the lead blade slammed into his chest. Enjeru felt the wind knocked from his chest as the opposing forces of inertia met, canceled each other out and dropped the Soul Reaper to the dirt. Looking up, Enjeru could see the whip-like blade retract and slither it's way to the hilt Renji still held. The red-headed man smiled and let a single chuckle escape.

"Oh, come on. That can't be your best shot. Let's see what you're made of."

Enjeru struggled to his feet and dusted himself off before setting himself back into a fighting stance and nodding to his opponent.

"You got it."

The buzzing in Enjeru's mind was beginning to get restless, wanting to take it to this upstart man who injured them. Enjeru sent back a wave of agreement but still remained cautious of Renji on his odd Zanpakuto. Kido flowed through Enjeru's body, focusing through his vambraces and causing the blue sapphires set in them to glow brightly and emit a slight crackling sound. Throwing his right hand out, Enjeru released some of his charged kido in a bolt aimed straight at Renji. As the bolt streaked towards its' target it let out a roar that sounded to the startled Soul Reaper like a great cat and the bolt began to form itself into the open mouthed visage of said great cat. Renji caught himself staring at the elegant let deadly attack so long he nearly forgot to flash-step out of its' way. Once the tattooed Soul Reaper was safely away from the bolt of energy he directed his attention back to Enjeru, only to see a second bolt roaring its way toward him. Renji barely got out an "Oh Shit!" before jumping into the air to avoid the attack. Hovering in the air, Renji could see Enjeru below him, energy crackling in his hands.

"Nice attack. How many of those have you got?"

Enjeru held up his armored forearms, each one contained six sapphires, one on each arm was no longer glowing. "About ten more before I have to recharge."

Renji nodded in acknowledgement. "How long do you need to recharge?"

"About a minute per bolt. Think you can dodge until I run out?"

Not really. "We might find out soon enough."

Renji decided staying at long range with Enjeru would not end well for him, since the other man was clearly comfortable sitting back and throwing bombs and Renji himself was not the best with kido spells, being from Squad 11 not helping that fact. Not wanting to spend any more time than he needed to being a stationary target, Renji started to rapidly flash step around the arena, not stopping long enough for Enjeru to get a lock on him and throw another blast at him. Enjeru, for his part, was trying to keep track of Renji but found it only irritated him and his partner, who was more than willing to loose the ten bolts they had in reserve in different directions and hope to hit. Enjeru was close to agreeing with his partner when he suddenly felt that he needed to be anywhere but where he was currently standing. Deciding not to fight his partner this time, Enjeru flash-stepped left just in time to see Renji appear where he had been standing and bury a knee in the sand. What Enjeru didn't see until it was too late was that Zabimaru was extended. Suddenly pain shot through Enjeru's left shoulder. Swinging his head around, Enjeru saw one of the pick-like blades embedded in his shoulder. White hot pain gave way to molten fury as Enjeru felt his hold on Kaminari no Ikari slipping, and the spirit wanted nothing more than to destroy the one who hurt his partner.

Renji smirked to himself as his feint worked and he delivered first blood to Enjeru in their match. Tetsuzaemon mentioned the Soul Reaper had to keep a mental hold on his Zanpakuto which slowed his reactions at times, and Renji decided to use that to his advantage. Feeling the match was over, Renji recalled Zabimaru, sealing it and sheathed the now normal sword before turning to Enjeru. "You're fast Masamune, I'll give you that. Given some more time and practice you could really be a hand full at any range…" Renji was cut short by the sight he found when he found Enjeru. The blonde man was kneeling on the ground, his shoulder cut deep and seeping blood. His Zanpakuto had yet to seal itself away, which meant to Renji that Enjeru wasn't near death even if the wound looked horrendous.

Did I really do that to him? I wasn't aiming to hurt him THAT bad…

It had to be done, Renji. That man's Zanpakuto is dangerous. We wouldn't fair well in an extended fight with him.

It wasn't a fight, you baboon! It was a sparring match!

Renji's internal fight Zabimaru was cut short when the red haired Soul Reaper noticed the vambraces on Enjeru's arms had changed. The gleaming white metal had become tarnished, and the sapphires were now blood rubies. Also, the bluish white energy that had coursed around Enjeru had become a bright crimson.

Renji suddenly felt the pit of his stomach fall into his feet. "What's going on, Enjeru?"

"Bakudo #63! Sajo Sabaku!" Chains made of golden light appeared and wrapped themselves around Enjeru, binding his arms to his body and making him scream in pain as the chains further injured his arm. Renji looked to the source of the chains to find Tetsuzaemon Iba closing his fist, finishing the spell.

"Quickly! Knock him out!"

Renji wasted no time and delivered a blow to the back of the restrained Soul Reaper's neck with all the force he could muster. Enjeru's eyes rolled back into his head and the man collapsed, his Zanpakuto sealing itself away into its' kodachi form.

Tetsuzaemon Iba rushed to Enjeru's side and hoisted the unconscious man over his shoulder. "We have to get him to Squad 4 now!"


Enjeru slowly opened his eyes after feeling like he spent an eternity asleep. As his eyes began to focus he realized he was in the Squad 4 Infirmary. More to the point, he was in one of the emergency treatment room. Gingerly he sat up and felt a slight numbness in his left arm. Looking over he saw his uniform had been torn at the shoulder and revealed the disappearing scar that was likely the wound he received in his fight with Renji.

"Good, you're awake. I was starting to worry."

From across the room Enjeru heard the gruff voice of his Lieutenant and looked over to find that Tetsuzaemon Iba was indeed there, sitting in a chair with Renji standing next to him, showing obvious signs of relief.

"Yeah, I was starting to worry too. But I think I was more afraid of what Tetsuzaemon would have done to me if I had accidentally killed a member of his squad in what was supposed to be a friendly sparring match."

Remembering the last few seconds of the match and the pain that Enjeru felt before passing out, his anger started to return. "Yeah, about that. What the blue hell did you do that to me for?! You could have killed me!" The buzzing of Kaminari no Ikari in the back of Enjeru's mind was fully of the mindset that Renji should burn for hurting them like that, but Enjeru held back the violent thoughts. At least until Renji could explain himself. Renji, for his part seemed to catch on and held his hands up in peace.

"Hey man, that wasn't my idea. I was just going to draw first blood and call it done. But something made Zabimaru think you were a threat and added a touch more force than I wanted. And while we're on the subject of 'what the fuck', you went kinda loopy there at the end before we got you subdued. Care to explain?"

Enjeru's eyebrows creased in question. "What happened?"

Renji explained in detail about the change in Enjeru's Shikai and the energy that he was letting out. Lieutenant Iba confirmed everything Renji said about the episode.

"I've never seen anything like that before. It was like you became a completely different person. Your aura got seriously screwed up."

Enjeru hung his head low and began to shake. "I don't know. I just felt the pain in my shoulder and was filled with a sudden flash of hate. My partner was just as angry. And then it was like we were one mind, driven to the same goal. That's when I heard you, Lieutenant. And then everything went black."

Lieutenant Iba stroked his chin in thought for several moments before coming to a conclusion. "If I had to guess, I would say it was the lapse in your control allowed your Zanpakuto to exert more control over your abilities than usual. That's just the kind of thing we need to know about. Now we've seen it and have something to work for. I imagine we'll go a little slower on this particular level of your training. But we made progress. That's a positive note for the evening." Lieutenant Iba smiled and brought his sunglasses down his nose to give Enjeru a wink. "And it might not be the only one."

Before Enjeru could ask what he meant, the treatment room door opened and Enjeru could feel his smile widen enough to touch both of his ears as Kisutera Yishona walked into the room with his medical folder in hand.

"Good to see you up and moving finally. You gave us quite a scare for an hour or so. Thankfully the Lieutenant got you here in short order and I was able to fix the damage without difficulty."

Enjeru gave Kisutera a questioning look. "You?"

"What? You don't want to be treated by me?" Kisutera smiled and mockingly gave a look of being hurt.

Enjeru immediately blushed and found his jaw was hanging open. "No! Not at all. I'm glad you were the one to treat me."

The buzz in Enjeru's head sent several images of things IT would like have done by her, which Enjeru mentally agreed with wholeheartedly.

Kisutera put a hand over her face to hide the smile and the fact her own face was starting to flush before clearing her throat and trying to get back into professional mode. "It was Lieutenant Iba who asked for me. He mentioned since you had already been treated by me over the years I would be able to work on you easier than another medic, which is actually sound thinking to be honest. Since I already know the wavelengths your Spiritual Energy operates on, I was able to stabilize you faster and mend your tear in a jiffy."

Lieutenant Iba stood up and smoothed his uniform out before heading for the door. "Well, seeing you're in good hands and all, I think it's time to go for a drink. Come on, Renji."

"Actually, I think I'm gonna stick around and make sure…ACK!" Renji started to protest before Iba grabbed him by the front of his jacket and yanked him out, swinging the door shut behind him.

Kisutera watched the two men leave and waited for the door to shut before letting her posture slip a little into a more lax setting and setting her eyes on Enjeru. "So…alone at last"

Enjeru looked deep into Kisutera's eyes, starting to get lost in the twin flecks of jade and feeling his weariness fade as adrenaline started to flood his body. Coming to his senses, Enjeru blinked several times to clear the fog from his mind and coughed slightly. "Thank you for treating me, Miss Yishona. Perhaps I could buy you drink to properly thank you?"

Kisutera, also lost in the deep gaze with Enjeru, had to suddenly turn her own head to break the connection before returning her sight to the blonde Soul Reaper and waving a finger at him. "You know I don't date patients."

Enjeru pulled the torn sleeve of his uniform over his shoulder and stood up, allowing him to raise himself over Kisutera's petite yet fit frame. "I'm not a patient anymore."

Kisutera placed a hand on Enjeru's chest and pushed him back to arms' length. "You're not going to give up, are you?"

Enjeru shook his head. In the years since first meeting her, He had made it a note keep tabs on the deployment schedules, always making note of when Kisutera was in Soul Society. Taijan and Iba had jokingly accused him of stalking her, but he never made an obvious move on her when he knew she was in Soul Society. However, if he were to get injured training with the Lieutenant or during a mission he would try and make sure he at least got a chance to see his Raven Beauty and try to ask her out. Always it was the same "No patients" excuse to which Enjeru would reply that he was no longer a patient. Their little game had only recently advanced past that particular roadblock.

"Not yet. I still haven't gotten a yes from you."

Kisutera chuckled and shook her head and continued their verbal sparring match of flirtation. "You won't get a yes until you aren't a patient. And you are still a patient until you are discharged from the infirmary. Now if you will excuse me, I have some more patients to see before I am relieved of duty in Two Hours."

And with that, Kisutera winked at Enjeru and left the room. Leaving Enjeru alone and muttering to himself, "Two hours…"


It was the longest shift Kisutera had worked in years. Silently she reminded herself not to volunteer for infirmary duty the day patrols returned from the world of the living. Soul Society was big enough and the Gotei 13 grounds vast enough for every member to comfortably exist with each other with no problems. However, there always seemed to be old rivalries or new ones or simply brawls over who got the best table at a particular bar to keep the infirmary filled to capacity during the 2 day cycle. The cycle used to be 5 days but too much property was damaged over that time and the Head-Captain decided to lower the overlay which instantly lowered repair costs and wait times all over the Seireitei.

Admit it, girl. Tonight dragged on forever because you were waiting those two hours so you could get the hell out of there and see if The Clueless Wonder finally got the hint.

There were times when being partnered with a Zanpakuto was a curse. Especially when you were paired with one that was constantly nosing itself into personal matters.

The hell it's personal. Your lack of companionship also puts a crimp in my existence too, you know? When you get depressed, I get depressed. When you and this dense as a concrete block Soul Reaper start flirting and you leave him a wide open invitation, which he then doesn't get and you start to count the days until you get rotated back in and you hope to see him and give him another chance, I get left high and dry too. How many more years are you going to wait until you finally take the initiative and ask him yourself!?

"I know, I know. And you're right. If he doesn't get a clue this time I may have to just find wherever he trains and beat some understanding into his thick skull."

That's the spirit! You haven't gotten into a good scrap in a while. Maybe that's the best way to get him to catch a hint. Are you sure he isn't one of Squad 11's Neanderthals?

Kisutera stopped her walk and looked down at her Zanpakuto. "Eww! How dare you even make a joke like that!?"

Kisutera's partner just started laughing hysterically as she finally left the infirmary.

"Am I interrupting something?"

The voice knocked Kisutera out of her daydream conversation and snapped her back into reality. Spinning around she found Enjeru leaning up against the wall of the Squad 4 infirmary.

"Just a little spat with a wiseass know it all." Kisutera ignored her spirit's retort as she looked over Enjeru. He had changed his uniform, which Kisutera appreciated.

At least he has some common sense.

Enjeru smiled and walked up next to Kisutera and offered her his arm. "So, now that I'm not a patient and you're not on the clock, how about a drink?"

Kisutera didn't miss a beat slipping her arm into his and leaning her head on his shoulder. "About damned time!"