It was like running with a whole different person. Li’s face was… cold. Empty.
Scared, Ichigo thought, pushing himself to keep up as Li decided a chain-link fence was a suggestion, not a wall, and bounced up and over it in two hooking steps of worn sneakers. And then the teenager had to side-step and grip and swing, because damn, Li was half-cat, and hadn’t anybody told him roofs weren’t highways?
…Not that Ichigo had any room to throw stones. Nope. Though the last time he’d pelted across Karakura like this, he’d only have fallen if he wanted to.
Or if an Arrancar had punched him in the face. Ow.
He kind of wished he were fighting Grimmjow all over again. Then he’d been scared for his own life, and Rukia’s, and everyone around him. This – being scared for a kid he’d maybe seen once or twice, who was being threatened with a gun instead of a cero-
He couldn’t blame Li for that cold. He wished he could borrow that ice for his own veins. This was going to be ugly. “Cops?” Ichigo suggested between jumps.
Li didn’t look back. “Bad idea.”
“Hate to say it, but he’s right,” Kuno said gruffly. “Locals, guns, kid? They’ll freeze.”
Ichigo swallowed. “But-”
Kuno snorted. “You won’t.”
His heart was in his shoes and there were fanged butterflies trying to claw their way out of his stomach. “How do you know that?”
That earned him a wry laugh. “You’re here, ain’t ya?”
They believed in him. They believed, and they’d asked him to help when a life was at stake.
He hadn’t been part of a team in a long, long time.
“Slowing down,” Kirsi reported. “Stopped. Large house. Abandoned.” A breath. “Moving again. Through the main gate. They had keys.”
And he’d never been part of a team this organized. No wonder Li was hanging onto these two like his life depended on it. It probably had.