“It will hold, for now,” Zangetsu judged. “But he will wound her again, if he continues to tear at his own soul.”
Shyly, Ichigo tugged up her torn robes, then scrambled away with a blush as she leveled a haughty glare at him. “Is that what’s happening? He’s hurting you, ’cause he thinks he ought to hurt himself?”
Her gaze flickered, and she looked away.
Not quite the truth, Zangetsu judged, and felt from the shift of Ichigo’s attention that he knew it too. But she wishes us to think it is. Why?
Then again, this was Ishida’s partner they were dealing with. The boy hid his motives. Even from himself.
“Yeah. Fine.” Ichigo brushed off his knees, and dusted off his hands, determination settling on his face. “C’mon, old man. We’ve got a Quincy ass to kick.”
Her eyes snapped to him, sharp as ice rain.
“Whoa! Not going to hurt him. Much. Just – you know. Get his attention.”
The chill eased. Slightly. With relief, Zangetsu noted that the crackling static seeping through the air also died down, leaving his hair tossed by wind once more. “Venturing into another’s mindscape is dangerous,” he reminded his wielder.
Indeed. Zangetsu inclined his head, and bowed formally to the storm-spirit. “Gracious lady. May we escort you home?”