Urahara. Is. A bastard, Ichigo thought grumpily, checking over his nakama with a quick glance as they all scrambled up onto one of the sturdier Rukongai roofs. In Karakura, height could be life. He wasn’t going to bet on that not holding true here. Even if shinigami could walk on air.
Maybe even especially if. They know they control the sky. Intruders wouldn’t dare be there.
Loki was up and crouched behind the shadow of the ridgeline, hair neat and elegant as ever despite their mad dash, Yoruichi perched in furry smugness on his shoulder. Ishida was back a bit farther, cross dropped to swing free of his sleeve, ready to summon his bow. Chad and Orihime were helping each other up; he’d lifted their flutterby sorceress, and now her fairies wrapped a gold glow of strength around her, letting her serve as an immovable anchor as Chad pulled himself up as well.
We made it, Ichigo thought in relief. We’re here. And thank the gods he and his brother between them had teased, argued, and flustered Ishida into finally dumping the Quincy cape a year ago. If he wanted to slap shinigami sensibilities in the face with white and blue Quincy crosses, sure, knock yourself out. But no cape.
We made it, Ichigo thought again, surprised how much it hurt. But not all of us are here.
Rukia. Damn closet-stealing midget….
:She must be terrified,: Zangetsu murmured.
I know. For days, Ichigo hadn’t been able to think about much else. Besides getting pounded into the ground by Loki, Urahara, Yoruichi, or all of them at once. We’re going to fix that.
“Ichigo.” Loki’s raised brow held a hint of brotherly warning.
Right. He senses power better than anyone. And there was really only one spell Ichigo could pull off just by thinking hard enough. “They’re going to execute her,” Ichigo bit out; half an argument, half a plea. “They’ve got her locked up somewhere without her sword, they’ll cut her off from her own zanpakutou, it’s got to be like having a hole in your heart, and they’ve got her waiting to die. And she thinks nobody’s going to be coming for her.”