“So how do you find your zanpakutou’s name?”
“It takes time. Patience. Quiet meditation. Much like finding your power in the first place.” Rukia narrowed her eyes at him. “How did you find it?”
“Went into my soul and got into a fight?” Ichigo offered.
Rukia clapped a hand to her forehead in disbelief.
“What?” Ichigo muttered.
“I’m not going to fight Rukia!”
:But I miss her….:
“He misses Sode no Shirayuki,” Ichigo answered Rukia’s dubious look. “So he wants to fight her. Is that even normal?”
Rukia blinked. “It’s not unheard of,” she said at last. “Zanpakutou are our resolve. Our will to fight. When my captain – Captain Ukitake – is well, he and Captain Kyouraku often spar. They are great friends.” She looked at the haze of city sky, glowing through dark steel bones. “But sparring that way, particularly if we raise our reiatsu to avoid being cut… it tends to draw attention.”
Oh. Yeah. Darn it – wait. “So we go wake up Sandal-Hat,” Ichigo smirked.
An evil grin spread over the midget’s face. “You think you can afford it?”
Ichigo gave her a sidelong look. He didn’t exactly want to bring this up, but… oh heck, if she could put up with weird looks for not knowing how to open a juice box, he could do this. “Did anybody tell you about Yoruichi and the youkai fleas?”
“Youkai – oh, no!” Rukia shielded her mouth with a hand, shoulders shaking with laughter.
“Oh yeah,” Ichigo said ruefully. “Did you know ice-wolves are warmer than cats?”
“No. Why does that-” Violet eyes went round. “She didn’t!”
“She did,” Ichigo admitted. “I never, ever want to get flea-dipped again.” He shifted from foot to foot; really not his most heroic day ever. But if he could use it to their advantage now? Yeah. “Bottom line? They owe me one.”