In the Cat’s Ear Ch4 Ficbit – Timing

“It changes everything,” Hei said quietly, feeling that wince in his own soul. “Because then you have to think. As long as they’re all monsters, everything’s easy. Fight and survive. Nothing else matters. But if they’re not? If some of them might not want to fight, if you could just talk? It breaks… everything.” He had to look away. “Why didn’t they just tell me?”

“Ah.” Mao’s voice was very dry. “Haven’t you figured that out? If your files are accurate, you were Bai’s bodyguard. And Amber’s, half the time. It wouldn’t be rational for those two to tell you Contractors could feel. The Black Reaper might hesitate.”

“Cat,” Huang warned.

“No. It makes sense,” Hei admitted. “Bai didn’t trust anyone else to watch over her.”

“Wait a minute,” Ichigo was muttering, elbows propped on the table. “Wait, just – no, this makes no sense. If you’re a Contractor why would anyone have to tell you, and-” He choked. Eyed Ryuuken. “Long-term possession.”

“I don’t know all the details,” the doctor stated. “And what I do know, I will not mention without explicit permission.”

Ichigo swallowed, looking at Hei. “It’s bad?”

What do I tell him? What should I tell him?

…I don’t want to lie.

“Yes,” Hei admitted. “It’s bad.”


 

“My Messier code is BK-201.” Hei pointed up and slightly north, face cold as it’d been hunting the Yakuza. “That one.”

Ichigo craned his head back enough to see the first glimmer through sunset, mind racing. What was it like to feel a star? Or, well, something that at least looked like one.

“If you hear it mentioned by someone besides Section Four, run,” Hei advised. “The people who know that code know it’s one of the early Contractors; the star appeared less than two weeks after the Gates. Ten years of experience means a very dangerous power, or a skilled survivor. Usually both.” He took a breath. “But I’ve only been BK-201 for five years.”

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16 thoughts on “In the Cat’s Ear Ch4 Ficbit – Timing

  1. The Black Reaper might hesitate.”

    And he just might have.

    Because while Hei taught himself to be ruthless . . . he tends to take any opportunty to NOT kill people.

    “Bai didn’t trust anyone else to watch over her.”

    There is also the fact that hestitating to lethally attack with many Contractors would end up with Hei dead.

    And I think Bai wanted to avoid that for not entirely rational reasons.

    Earlier snippet said that she had started regaining some of her ability to give a hoot about someone else before the Gate thing. Hei was that someone else (at least).

    “Yes,” Hei admitted. “It’s bad.”

    And The Understatement of Year goes to . . .

    . . . means a very dangerous power, or a skilled survivor. Usually both.”

    You are both, Hei.

    “But I’ve only been BK-201 for five years.”

    And that probably WOULD make a difference to a Contractor who has ACTUALLY been active for ten years.

    Experience can count for a lot.

    Of course, it wasn’t like you spent the five years before Bai being BK-201 and yourself being BK-201 (technically) doing nothing. Your Badass Normal skill-set counts for a lot. If for no other reason than people might not expect it . . . AND unlike many Contractors, you don’t have Renumeration. So you can just plain practice with your dangerous power a lot more than the average Contractor can.

    Probably also helps that Hei is a combat pragmatist.

    Still, a good idea NOT getting over-confident. Over-confident / Arrogance + Assassin Trying To Kill You = Dead (Usually).

    Liked by 5 people

    1. And that probably WOULD make a difference to a Contractor who has ACTUALLY been active for ten years.

      Experience can count for a lot.

      Of course, it wasn’t like you spent the five years before Bai being BK-201 and yourself being BK-201 (technically) doing nothing. Your Badass Normal skill-set counts for a lot. If for no other reason than people might not expect it . . .

      Second part agreed with wholeheartedly, first part not quite as much.

      Just ask Gaius “Tavar” Octavian.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s an interesting thought.
    The stars are connected to the contractors through some form of spiritual power.
    In theory, a sufficiently skilled Shinigami could sense the star, and the contractor, and walk right up to them, and the contractor would have no idea they are there.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, but someone would have to develop the skill, and figure out how to teach it. Urahara exists, so this could happen, but when you bring Urahara into the picture, all sorts of things become possible.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m not sure it actually is. Ishida could notice that Ichigo was a Shinigami, but when Ichigo physically manifested the ribbons Ruka was shocked. Of course, sensing the power and physically manifesting something are very different.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s why I put “supposed” and “basic” in quotes like that. We’re informed that it is supposed to be taught in the academy (tho if I remember right, that was Urahara saying that…), but it doesn’t match what we’re actually shown. I figure that probably means it’s one of those things that’s on the curriculum but which no one seriously expects to be learned except by geeks and teacher’s pets.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, sometimes when it comes to Shinigami noticing things that are not trying to eat them . . . forgive me if this is a bit crass . . . but they couldn’t get a clue in a field full of clues even when smeared with clue musk and doing the clue mating dance.

        In fairness, things trying to eat you should command a lot of your attention.

        Liked by 1 person

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