He’d probably broken several speed laws getting here, Loki registered dimly, racing up the stairs. He’d certainly shattered a few laws of physics.
But using magic didn’t matter now. Nothing mattered, except the protective spells shrieking that Ichigo was dying-
Nothing, except the white-coated man standing as a living barrier outside Ichigo’s door; eyes narrowed, shoulders tense with anticipation.
Damn. Roadblock. “Isshin, move. He’s-”
“I know.” Anticipation sharpened. “Wait.”
“Wait?” Levin-bolt crackling in one hand, Loki lunged for the door. Straight into Isshin’s blocking grip. “Isshin – Father-”
“He died the first night Rukia stabbed him.” Isshin didn’t let go, even with lightning crackling near his eyebrows. “I promise. I promise, everything will be okay. Believe in him, son. Wait.”
Wait. When he could all but feel a beloved heart faltering to a….
It rolled over him like thunder, ozone sharp on his tongue. Wild and joyous and free, laughing at anything as frail as mortal flesh and bone-
Grinning, Isshin kicked in the door.
Orange hair, twice, Loki realized. One on the bed, scrabbling back to the wall with the wide-eyed surprise and babbling that could only be Kon. The other….
Black robes. Breathing hard. Down on one knee, sword in hand, harness over his shoulder. But not the monstrosity he’d carried with Rukia’s powers. This was a proper Asgardian longsword, meant to cleave a snow bear’s skull in one blow.
Or a Hollow’s mask. “Ichigo?”
“Did it,” Ichigo breathed, power surging back to him like a retreating tide. “Figured out your riddle, old man. I know what you are! I did it….” He blinked, focusing on them. “Bro? Dad?”
“He’s not supposed to be a shinigami anymore!” Kon yelped, as close to the wall as the mod-soul could get without actually going through it. “He gave Rukia her powers back, and – what the hell is going on?”
Ichigo rubbed his chest over his heart, wincing a little as he grinned. “Looks like you’ve got a job again.” Brown eyes were shining. “Dad. I did it!”
“That’s my baby boy!” Isshin grinned, grabbed, hugged-
Got a good grip, and tossed.
“You maniac!” Tumbling head over heels through the night sky, Ichigo finally skidded to a stop over the street. Several feet over the street. “What the hell was that for?”
“That was for making us all worry!” Leaning out the bedroom window, Isshin’s grin could have scared a piranha into vegetarianism. “Out! Shoo! And don’t come back until you take it all out on the Hollows!”
“Damn it, Goat-chin-!”
The window’s slam cut off the indignant yell.