A/N: This is about a week after Hei and co. meet Ryuuken.
The girder rang under his feet as Ichigo breathed in the summer wind. Karakura looked so small from up here.
Not as small as it used to.
The afternoon sun was shifting his spot of shadow. Ichigo glanced at steel, and stepped back into the patch where people on the ground would have to work to see him. Carefully. Very careful steps.
Nothing like visiting Rukongai to make you not want to die anytime soon.
All he really wanted was some quiet. Away from people. Strangers made him twitchy; made him want to size them up and reach for a blade that wasn’t there, because he couldn’t sense their spirit energy and the last person he couldn’t sense had been Aizen. And people who weren’t strangers-
I can’t stand it anymore. I just – can’t. Not today.
Orihime, Chad, Uryuu – they’d each jumped at unheard noises and pled bathroom breaks through the day. From the way Keigo had paled and Mizuiro had carefully ignored the chaos, Ichigo knew exactly what they’d gone out after each time. But no one would tell him anything.
Why should they? They know I know the Hollows are out there. And I can’t do anything to stop them. I can’t even see ghosts.
Glass half full, right? At least he didn’t have spectral salarymen grabbing him with clammy fingers and whining about missing out on the stock market anymore. No ghosts, no monsters; plenty of time to do his homework without getting nagged by a midget shinigami hiding in his closet….
Maybe I’ll just stay up here a little longer.
Though not much longer. The wind seemed to be picking up. At least the girders were ringing more than they had been-
“Wow.” Someone took a deep breath; steel vibrated underfoot, as if a weight had shifted. “This is… really high up.”