Don’t laugh, Isshin told himself firmly, fighting to keep a straight face as Loki dropped into a chair at the dining room table. Don’t laugh. He’s had a bad day.
:A crispy one,: Engetsu giggled.
Isshin smothered a snicker, eyes dancing. Normally immaculate, Loki’s black hair now stood up at all angles, still trailing smoke. His clothes were charred as if he’d been attacked by flaming moths. And the less said about his shoes, the better. “So. How’d today’s lessons go?”
Still smoldering, Loki gave him a look that fell short of murderous only because someone had slipped a banana peel under its foot. “You knew.”
Isshin blinked. “Who, me?”
“Well… maybe?” Isshin scratched the back of his neck, Engetsu cackling in the heart of his soul. “They could have all taken after their mother. Well, except Uryuu – though he could have taken after his mother-” Catching the way green eyes narrowed, Isshin grinned. “So. How’d it go?”
Loki’s jaw worked a moment, as if he were chewing his words into less pungent phrases. “Yuzu managed a few sparks.”
“Good,” Isshin nodded. “That’ll give the next preschool idiot who calls her a gaijin something to think about. And?”
“Karin grasps the basic principles of a levin-bolt well,” Loki stated. “She needs practice, but she can already put enough power into it to startle a Hollow.”
“My older girl likes to hit things,” Isshin observed. “And?”
“Uryuu needs to learn to tap his own power as well as his surroundings, but he has very good control,” Loki observed. “He’s doubtful a levin-bolt is preferable to a Quincy bow; and at the moment, at least, he’s right to be. It will take a far more powerful bolt than a nine-year-old can ordinarily manage to deter a Hollow.”
Ooo, this was getting good. “Any son of Ryuuken’s knows about control,” Isshin said lightly. “And?”
“…I could really get to hate what you don’t say, Isshin.”
“Old habit,” Isshin claimed shamelessly. “Learn by being cut, my teachers always said. You had to know what you were up against.”
Loki arched a charred brow.
Isshin shrugged. “If I’d told you, would you have believed me?”
“Possibly not,” Loki admitted. “Does this run in the family?”
Isshin grinned. “Don’t know, if you don’t tell me.”
“The other three may practice anywhere they like,” Loki said at last. “They’re careful, and they’re not using a great deal of power. At worst, Uryuu might take out a wall. Nothing more.”
Wait for it, Isshin thought, almost bouncing. Wait….
“Ichigo is not to even think about using a levin-bolt unless he’s under my direct supervision. And I’ve had the chance to get at least a hundred yards away.”