“He felt her die.” Isshin sighed. My poor son. “It’s not his fault.” He had to say it. Until he believed it. “It could’ve happened to anyone.”
Well. Not anyone. There weren’t that many sensitive people in the world.
:There may be one more, now.:
Isshin caught that hint of bemused interest. Felt carefully, very carefully, at the ravaged ice and rainbows of Loki’s power.
Ice, and rainbows… and a streak of black lightning, like all the joy of storm.
:A gift, to another soul in pain,: Engetsu observed. :I wonder how he’ll take seeing ghosts?:
Reluctantly, Isshin grinned. Well. He couldn’t just kick the kid out now. Not until after Hollows 101, or What To Do When You See A Big Ugly, Besides Die.
Breakfast was going to be interesting.
Eggs, Loki thought, sniffing air that had the indefinable scent of a cleansing dawn. Rice. And… pickles?
Pickles, indeed; vegetables in brine were an unmistakable tang drifting past, though they didn’t quite smell like anything he remembered from Asgard. The timing was all off, for one. Who had pickles with breakfast?
“Aha!” Isshin boomed, far too nearby. “I knew it! Teenagers can sleep through the Apocalypse, but not my precious daughter’s cooking!”
Warily, Loki pried an eye open.
He blinked fast, but not fast enough to block out the memory of red and orange flowers on a livid yellow shirt. Augh.
Small fingers poked his arm, like a kitten pouncing. “You’re not blue.”
Eyes snapping open, Loki glared. And had to revise the angle of his glare downward, to meet determined brown eyes. “Does no one in this household have any sense of self-preservation whatsoever?”
“Dad’s got us all eating Yuzu’s cooking,” a thin little black-haired girl safely behind Ichigo said dourly. “You tell me.”
“Karin,” Ichigo frowned, as the little blonde behind them both bit her lip, covered basket swaying in her hands.
“What?” Dark eyes glanced at her sister, and Karin winced. “It’s not like any of us know how to cook….”
“Don’t you worry, Yuzu.” Isshin hugged her, slipping the basket out of her grasp and onto a bedside table. “One bite, and they’ll see the error of their ways!” Picking her up off the ground, he grinned at Loki, and gestured from eldest to youngest. “Loki, this is Ichigo, Karin, and Yuzu. Kids, Loki. He’s going to be here until he’s in a few less pieces.”
“I thought the clinic was closed,” Karin grumbled, crossing her arms.
And her pointed look was so much like Sif’s, waiting for the inevitable twist of fate that dogged Loki’s footsteps like Garm would a strayed shade. Here was someone who didn’t know him, didn’t trust him, and was expecting the worst until proved otherwise. He was almost relieved.
“Well, it was,” Isshin admitted. “But he… well, kind of landed on us.”