Wait. Is that snow falling sideways?
Oh shit, Loki had told him it was weird in here-
Ichigo fell, a shameless scream trailing him as he sailed past the darkness of snow-dusted glass. Because if there was any ground around here it was so far down it wasn’t funny….
Think! Air-walking, moron. Use it!
Fingers and feet clawed at empty space, catching hold by sheer stubbornness. Ichigo gasped for breath wind had torn out of him, pulling himself through air a molasses-slow inch at a time until he could reach out and touch frost-sparkling windows.
Chill. Reflective. Solid.
“Okay, that works,” Ichigo muttered under his breath, trying to brace his toes against the slimmest of window-ledges. “If I can stand on this, maybe I can get a look around….”
He spun around, one hand slipping along icy glass before he flailed enough to catch on the chill steel framing it.
Nothing there. Just branches and an empty flagpole, singing in the wind.
“Guess that’s the forest,” Ichigo murmured.
When he got back, he had to prank Loki. For sheer audacious understatement, if nothing else. Forest did not do justice to trees whose height rivaled skyscrapers.
And the trees were growing sideways too. Weird.
Ichigo took another careful look around, and groaned. Snow everywhere. Where was he supposed to start looking for a-
“There you are. Thief.”
Tall where the shrimp was short. Snow-white hair, dusted with stars, instead of raven blue-black. But the same air of noble elegance, like a flame against the storm.
Yuki-onna. With a sword. “Not a thief,” Ichigo said firmly. “Ma’am.”
Cold as midnight, her eyes narrowed. “You took me without asking. What would you call it?”
“Accidental kidnapping,” Ichigo snapped back. “And I’m sorry. I didn’t know what you were. I didn’t know what I was doing.” He gave her glare for glare. “But I’m not sorry I saved my family.”
Stay calm. Loki said poking around here was a bad idea. So starting a fight would probably be a worse idea.
Ichigo took a breath, let it sigh out. “My brother thinks if we can manifest you, we can get you back into Rukia.” He held out a hand. “Want to go home?”