“Long story short, when the rocks started blazing down, a small army of people were able to plane shift out of there,” Isshin went on. “Kind of an odd bunch, when they finally all got together and took stock. Some elvish folks, one or two giant-bloods, lots of dragonblood sorcerers… but mostly, half-eladrins and their families.” The doctor paused. “And they called the plane they landed on… Tsukikage.”
Ichigo grabbed his chair, sat down. “They were the shinigami?”
“Don’t skip ahead,” Isshin said tolerantly. “Now, celestial blood or not, they were still pretty much raised human. So soon as they got settled so nobody’d starve to death, they started arguing. Came down to two sides. One bunch wanted to stay in Tsukikage, where it was safe, and only send their best warriors back to Earth to fight the Hollows and look for the mind flayers’ secret cities. The other-” Isshin stopped, just long enough to grin at Ishida. “Well, they wanted to move back to Earth permanently, and train all their kids to take out Hollows.”
Ishida stared at him.
“Family fights are always the worst,” Isshin said seriously. “Shinigami and Quincys have been split up so long, most of them don’t have a clue they used to be the same people. But your father knows. I’ll talk to him.”
“…You knew I was a shinigami,” Ichigo managed, looking just as stunned as Ishida felt.
“Since the night Rukia-chan let you borrow her power,” Isshin shrugged. “Soul Society says it’s illegal for Earth natives other than Quincys to know Hollows even exist. That’s why you had to go rescue her, remember? I didn’t want to put you kids in that kind of danger. But if you got back here in one piece, son, you’re official. They might not like you telling your family, but nobody’s going to get executed over it.” A wry, sad grin. “Besides. If there’s enough of a mess in Tsukikage that they let a ryoka stay a shinigami, it’s going to be even worse here. I don’t want you getting hurt because you’re trying to hide what you do. Or who you are.”
“Ichigo’s a shinigami?” Yuzu looked between them both, wide-eyed. “How?”
“You can pester your brother about that while I’m gone,” Isshin said easily. “Shouldn’t take too long to get Ryuuken sloshed… er, talk to him.”
Ishida tried to picture his prim, proper, ex-Quincy physician father drunk. And failed.