Within a room, Tatsuki could be seen looking out of the window at the clear night sky. She had just taken a bath as a towel hung over her neck while she was wearing a normal t-shirt and shorts. Remembering the two guys attacking them and seeing Inoue protect her had somehow caused her to distant herself from her best friend. As a normal human, seeing all of that was surprising nonetheless but she didn't know how she would face the group tomorrow. Ichigo had disappeared to go knows where, she hated the way she left it with Inoue. But she couldn't help it, it was hard for to find out that her closest friends were hiding such a huge secret.
All of a sudden, she felt that they belonged to two different worlds. One was her protecting Inoue from lecherous hand while the other was Inoue protecting her from monsters she hadn't ever seen before. She just curled up into her knees and buried her face. Suddenly her doorbell was heard, and her mother went to open the door. She didn't care who had come but she was sure she heard a familiar voice.
After the small talk, she heard a few footsteps and her door slamming open. The sudden loud sound caused her to shriek only to see her mother looking at her with judgemental eyes. Her mother looked just like an older version of her but with longer hair and an aged face. Her mother just looked at all the sport posters she had while also looking at her with disdain. In respect the two shared a tomboyish personality. Playing with a ladle, she walked in and carefully scanned her daughter, creeping the latter out.
Finishing her check, she sighed lightly,
"I don't know how, but a friend is waiting for you outside."
"A friend? Who?"
"I don't know but he was wearing a Karakura high school uniform. He said you had something important to talk about."
"What's his name?"
"He said you will know who it is, once you see him."
"Muuuum, don't you think that's in any way suspicious."
Hitting her daughter with the ladle, she replied,
"Of course, I thought that, but then I remembered you, why would a boy like that have his sights on you?"
For some reason, Tatsuki felt an arrow pierce her pride. She had always been like this; it was because she was better than most boys athletically and a talent in Karate that got her to become a tomboy. Especially with a mother like hers, her enthusiasm for sports had somehow descended into her. Still, she found it confusing about who was meeting her this late at night.
Her thoughts were broken when her mother's voice entered her ears,
"Make sure you bag him, get some good genes into the Arisawa family."
With that she hurriedly left the room, ignoring the further shouts of her mother.
"Tat-chan! At least…"
Tatsuki's mother heard her daughter running down the stairs,
"…at least wear proper pants."
Tatsuki didn't hear the latter part of her mother as she was already at the door. Opening it she saw a familiar back and a head full of familiar white hair tied up into a ponytail.
Itsuki turned around and his attention was immediately attracted to her long legs that were on display due to shorts. Tatsuki realised where Itsuki was looking and looked down, immediately seeing her bare legs. It took some time for it to click, but with the assistance of it, she immediately realised as her face flushed red and ran back into the house.
Itsuki just heard the sound of running and shouting after Tatsuki closed the door. Remembering her dim-wittedness, Itsuki thought to himself,
'Am I making a mistake?'
Itsuki just shook his head,
'Whatever happens, happens. I've already made up my mind, no point in changing it now.'
Tatsuki came out wearing shorts that showed off her ankles and a jacket over her t-shirt. She looked at Itsuki with a hint of redness, not knowing how to start.
"So, hehe, nice weather…"
Itsuki just looked on with a blank face, while a voice was heard from behind the door,
Tatsuki turned back around with a shy smile as the two heard Tatsuki's mother walk away. Itsuki sighed lightly as he gave a smile,
Without listening to her response, Itsuki started walking leaving to fumble slightly and catch up to Itsuki but stay a few steps behind.
"Um, you said that you had something to talk about."
Acknowledging her without turning around, Itsuki carried on walking. This went on for some time until Itsuki found what he was looking for. A hollow was just idling around picking his nose, but he carried on walking as if he never saw it. Tatsuki on the other hand saw the hollow and shiver went down her spine.
"Umm, Minamoto-san, where are we going?"
"Why do you ask?"
Itsuki continued acting oblivious while a worried expression masked her face.
"It's just, I want to quickly grab a drink there was a vending machine this way."
Pointing in the other direction, Tatsuki called out to Itsuki,
"It doesn't matter, there's one just ahead."
"Yeah, but that one doesn't have my favourite drink."
"You have a favourite drink?"
"Yes! would you please just come with me."
Itsuki could sense her fear in that shout as Tatsuki grabbed his hand and dragged him in a different direction. However, that shout allowed Itsuki to get what he wanted. Attracting the hollow's attention, it started moving towards them with a scream. Tatsuki still didn't know how to hide her reiatsu so she was like a beacon of light to the hollow. Tatsuki hadn't even considered the hollow to follow her and show up in front at some distance away.
Seeing the hollow, Tatsuki managed to turn around and drag Itsuki in a different way. Itsuki, still keeping his act up,
"Where are we going now? I thought the vending machine was that way?"
Tatsuki didn't answer until she felt a pressure descend upon her with the origin behind. Looking back, she saw the hollow towering over the two and swung his hand smacking Itsuki.
What happened though was completely out of her expectations. With the hollow smacking Itsuki, she expected see him flung out of her grasp like a sack of potatoes. However, it went contrary to expectation because as soon as the hand made contact with Itsuki, the hollows arm ripped from his body landing onto the side. The hollow had hit Itsuki with such force that it ripped its own arm of.
Tatsuki was there left shock as a stoic look returned to Itsuki. Standing up, Itsuki brushed his clothes as he threw a mod soul pill into his mouth. Instantly, Itsuki came out of his Gigai while rose bloomed around it.
"Go to the side."
The mod soul gave Tatsuki a wink before running to the side.
"It seemed you can see it."
Tatsuki looked at Itsuki only to see the hollow run away. It wasn't the first time she had seen such clothes; she had also seen Ichigo wear them before. But the one in front was different, this one had a white haori draped over.
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"I told you that I was going to tell you important."
Her finger pointed at the fleeing hollow prompting Itsuki to turn around. Sighing lightly, Itsuki swung his sword sending a sword strike, splitting the Hollow in half. Once more Tatsuki, was at a loss of words as her mouth flapped open like a fish. Waiting for her to calm down, Itsuki started to explain about Shinigami, hollows etc.
Tatsuki's world was broadened the more she heard. Once Itsuki had finished explaining, he waited for her to calm down.
"Then, why me?"
"You should know."
"Yeah, but I want to hear it from you."
"Your reiatsu has reached a point where it can't be ignored. Would you rather fight yourself, or let your friends risk their lives protecting you?"
Itsuki didn't tell her that he was secretly boosting he reiatsu, ever so slightly. Tatsuki was muddleheaded for a bit. It was too much for her, the door that separated her world with Ichigo and Inoue's had just opened.
"Here take this address, I'll let you think about it…"
"I would rather fight myself,"
Itsuki smiled lightly before his face turned serious,
"Then remember, you can't tell anyone about this, not even Inoue. Okay?"
Tatsuki nodded in acknowledgement while Itsuki returned to his Gigai.
"Then I'll return you home, and you will be coming to this address tomorrow."
- The next day -
Ichigo woke up in a futon as the memories of yesterday slowly came back. Eyes widening in shock he sat up,
What replied to him was a sandal to the face thrown by Hiyori.
"What was that for?!"
That was when Ichigo looked up to see the group wearing bandages here and there. A serious look covered his face as he looked at everyone. Shinji looked at his book,
"He's gotten stronger."
"That was the first time I met him."
Kensei replied while Lisa chimed in,
"I remember the last time his swordsmanship was on par with Captain Shunsui and Captain Ukitake."
"Uwaaahh, he was suuper strong. He was like dokun, babang, kachink and all of us were defeated. Only Shinji was able to last a few hits with him.
"So, did you find out about his motive."
"He said he came to greet us."
Everyone was surprised by that. It was at that moment that one thought went through everyone's head,
'That was a greeting?!'
Ichigo was there looking at them with a dumbfounded face. Shinji ignored it and continued,
"Anyway, Urahara said not to worry about it."
"Yeah, I guess you shouldn't, from what I know he doesn't seem to be a bad guy."
"What do you mean?"
All of them looked at Ichigo,
"Well, he was against Rukia's execution, he saved Rurichiyo and from what I know he helped Rukia's sister out a lot…"
"Well he did spare all of our lives so there's nothing to worry about."
That was when Hiyori noticed Lisa looking suspicious while hiding something in her book.
"What you got there, Lisa?"
Feeling more suspicious, Hiyori went and snatched her book.
"What?! You got this and you didn't tell me?!"
Holding up a photo she seemed really pissed at Lisa.
At the Urahara store, Itsuki looked up only to see Tatsuki at the entrance looking around for someone.