“So who did it look like?” the captain persisted.
“More like a what.” Ichigo grimaced, putting together one of the fastest verbal tap-dances he’d had to use since the first time he’d helped Chad out of trouble. Why was it no one would believe a half-orc kid didn’t start a fight? “It was big. Maybe twelve feet tall. Kind of striped, with a fish-face and a fin on its head. And teeth. Big teeth. Sort of reminded me of something in Miss Ochi’s Current Events class… sahaugin, maybe?”
“Sahaugins don’t come twelve feet tall,” the captain said dryly.
Ichigo rolled his eyes. “Tell the ghost that.”
“What drove it off?” the priest asked sharply.
Damn. Rukia – or somebody – had fixed a lot; his family just looked tired and shaken, not broken and bleeding. But tearing up the house like that had obviously been heard for blocks, and with the priest around like a living ghost-trace detector-
And why couldn’t he think straight? It was like something kept poking cool fingers into his memories, shuffling them like a stack of tarot cards.
Cool. Pitiless. Like the breath of a winter wolf down his neck. Panicking now….
Focus, chill commanded.
“I don’t know,” Ichigo got out. “I didn’t see much.” I was a little busy trying to stay alive. “I was trying to get it away from Yuzu and Karin, and….”
Snow brushed his thoughts, leaving an image behind.
“…He was kind of tall,” Ichigo stated, relieved and unsettled at once. “Bright red hair, funky black tattoos on his face, black clothes. He went after the-” Hollow “-ghost, and – I’m not really sure what happened next.” Ichigo shrugged. “Next thing I know, you guys are grabbing me.” And who the heck had he just fingered? Not shrimpy, black-haired Rukia, at least.
Cool amusement, touched with annoyance. Not his. Definitely not his.
Which felt right and wrong at the same time. Oh man, what had he gotten himself into?