A/N: Don’t make Yuzu sad. You wouldn’t like what happens when she’s sad….
“Ukitake-taichou?” Ichigo blurted out, standing so he was between the shinigami captain and the other three in the room. “What’s going on?”
And he calls me captain, when he doesn’t do that for anyone else, Jyuushirou noted, adding that to his growing store of odd observations about the ryoka who’d turned Soul Society upside-down. Though at the moment he was more concerned with what he could sense in this room: not one soul steeped in shadow magic, but four. And Ishida Uryuu’s shadow-ribbon, instead of the powerless, tattered white shred it had been before they’d left Tsukikage, was- Oh dear. “I visit the quarters of every member of my division, Ichigo-kun.”
Worse than I thought, Jyuushirou thought ruefully, meeting the black-haired girl’s defiant look with a smile. I’m glad I spoke with Rukia. “Can all of you see me?”
“He’s not a Hollow, is he?” The little blonde said hesitantly, clinging to Ishida. “He doesn’t feel like… like the graveyard. But he doesn’t feel like a ghost, either.”
Well. That answered that. Jyuushirou touched his amulet, shifting to corporeal form. “Hello.” He bowed to the girls. “I am Ukitake Jyuushirou, leader of the Thirteenth Division of the Royal Court Guards of Tsukikage. Your brother’s captain.”
“I’m Karin,” the black-haired girl said warily.
“Yuzu,” the blonde said shyly. “How did you know we were sisters? Ichigo said shinigami don’t have kids.”
“Most purified souls can’t,” Jyuushirou acknowledged, crouching slightly to meet their gaze. “Our noble families can.” And the lesser nobility, like his own clan, were quick to adopt any shinigami who showed enough control of magic to be fertile. He was rather looking forward to watching the furor over the young Kurosaki, once Soul Society got over its collective shock. “I’m the oldest of eight. I have five younger brothers,” he smiled warmly, “and two sisters.”
“Only child,” Ishida said awkwardly.
“Oh?” That won’t go well, then. “I always felt lucky to be an older brother. My parents told me I was born first-”
“-To protect the little ones who came after,” Ichigo finished.
Jyuushirou controlled his start, tucking that tidbit in with the growing pile. He wouldn’t have gotten that from Kisuke. Lady Shihouin, perhaps-
And his white captain’s haori was being soaked with tears, from a sniffling blonde who had missed her big brother, she’d been so worried, and somebody her idiot brother would actually listen to had better tell her that he was never, ever going to do this again….