And when, precisely, did sit down become sit on me? Loki thought wryly, using Isshin’s arm to slump back into bed with small, warm bodies all around him.
“A long time ago, before I ever met your mother, I used to see monsters,” Isshin started. “And I knew… people who dealt with them.”
“You knew superheroes?” Karin blurted, eyes wide.
“Nah. Just guys with a really, really weird job,” Isshin replied. “Nothing like the guys in costumes you see on TV. These guys… well, they don’t like to be seen. Ever. But they do a good job, and they take care of the monsters. Most of the time.” He sighed, looking serious. “But once in a while – once in a long, long while – one of them goes bad.”
Truth. Loki tried not to hold his breath.
“Like the cops that work for the yakuza?” Ichigo said solemnly.
“Kind of, yeah.” Isshin shook his head. “Well. There is a bad guy, and… I kind of caught him at it. And then things got really, really messy.”
Not the first guy to go splat in Karakura, Loki thought. He was telling the truth.
“So for a long time, I couldn’t see the monsters anymore,” Isshin finished. “That only came back… well, pretty much today.” He grinned at the kids. “Don’t worry. No more monsters today.”
If you have to reach through that phone and drag Kisuke here by the scruff of the neck to handle them, Loki thought. That will do for today. What about tomorrow?
…Damn. He was thinking about tomorrow, and a boy the Hollows wanted to eat, and eyes that didn’t see him as a monster.
I’ll stay until I can outrun Kisuke. It’s only sensible.
Surely a few days would be enough to teach Ichigo how to tell the living from the dead. Beyond that, the boy should be able to look after himself.
Just a few days. Then….
He didn’t know.