In the Cat’s Ear Ch4 Ficbit – Complicated

“Anyone who wasn’t a Contractor would have died,” Hei said quietly. “But I’m not Bai. The Syndicate needed special particles to destroy the Gate. I… changed them. It’s safe now. At least until another eclipse.”

“Ten years if we’re lucky,” Huang grumbled. “Five if we’re not. You need to stay alive, kid.”

“I’ll try.” Hei met Ichigo’s gaze. “You asked what I am. I don’t know.”

“You don’t? But-” Ichigo shot a look at Ryuuken. Because of course. No wonder the Quincy doctor had tried to throw them together. It made sense. Ichigo had lost his powers, just like Isshin had. But he wasn’t just a shinigami. And if a shinigami like Isshin needed a shinigami’s reiatsu to recover, then- “You didn’t tell them about Arrancar. Did you tell them about Vizards?”

“I know less about Vizards than I do Arrancar,” the doctor said plainly. “In this area, you are the expert.”

Ichigo swallowed, mouth dry. “A Vizard… is what happens when a shinigami gains Hollow powers,” he explained, to way too many intent eyes. “Kind of the inverse of an Arrancar. It messes you up real bad inside. But if you can beat it down, get it to come to terms with you… then you’ve got both sides to draw on.” He drew himself up straight. “A year ago, a Hollow attacked my house. The shinigami fighting it, Rukia – she was hurt. She let me borrow her powers. And then things got… complicated.” He brushed back his hair, and gave the team a shrug, trying to lock down all the fear and hurt and loneliness. “Substitute shinigami and Vizard, Kurosaki Ichigo, kind of attached to the Thirteenth Division of the Gotei Thirteen; the shinigami who’re supposed to keep all the Hollows from eating souls. Karakura used to be my patrol. Only… I can’t anymore. Until – if – I ever get my own powers back.”

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45 thoughts on “In the Cat’s Ear Ch4 Ficbit – Complicated

  1. “I know less about Vizards than I do Arrancar,” the doctor said plainly.

    Not least of which is because they are even LESS common than Arrancar.

    “In this area, you are the expert.”

    Ichigo: And it isn’t THAT a terrifying thought?

    And then things got… complicated.”

    Very complicated.

    Not least of which because of being purposefully smacked into Aizen’s take over the world plot.

    kind of attached to the Thirteenth Division of the Gotei Thirteen

    Officially unoffical?

    Lets Ichigo do what pretty much as he pleased but still gives Ukitake some leeway to protecting Ichigo from the likes of Kurotsuchi (not unlike the sit in Ghost Blade?)

    Of course the UNOFFICIAL part of that is why Yamamoto was stepping out of bounds by trying to order Ichigo around. Problem with always getting absolute obedience, you start forgetting that there are people out there who will tell you no. And expect you to heed it.

    Until – if – I ever get my own powers back.”

    I would bet good money on that IF being more of a WHEN.

    Probably be easier since no one is forgetting the Hollow energies as well as the Shinigami energies in your make-up.

    The Team’s reaction to that introduction should be interesting . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ryuuken agrees with you on “When, not if.” 🙂 And yes, specifically because Ryuuken’s trying to treat a powerless Vizard, not a shinigami. There’s a difference.

      (Which any medical professional ought to know, damn it, Isshin, when you have two comorbid conditions treatment is more complicated than just one, and you call yourself a doctor, argh….)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Isshin’s Doctorhood is kind of limited by being Isshin, really. Aside from that’ – he’s a neighborhood GP, not a long term wound and disease specialist. Isshin is trained to deal with general case, relatively uncomplicated everyday medicine and to be able to -recognize- when he’s out of his depths and refer it to a specialist.

        Problem is as a Shinigami he’s a captain. There /is/ no depths he should be uncomfortable in and no one to refer an issue to as a captain except the other captains, and in this case he can’t. Since this is a Shinigami issue as well as a medical one and he was Shinigami first, it’s that training he falls back on. ‘take personal responsibility as you can and hope for the best’ being the field duty rule and Isshin strikes everyone who meets him as great at feild duty and lousy at formalities and paperwork.

        Which doesn’t excuse it, but does explain it really. Someone *coughUraharacough* should have recognized that and delt with pointing it out -but Urahara is a research scientist and not /any/ kind of doctor, so he doesn’t.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Despite living as a human and working as a doctor for over a decade, Isshin still probably considered himself to be a shinigami or at least shinketsu. And while he knows and in many ways understand his children are human . . . maybe some part of him thinks of them as shinketsu too?

        Maybe because Isshin isn’t a vizard and probably hasn’t had a lot of contact with Shinji and the others, he doesn’t realize just how intergrated the Hollow IS in a Vizard?

        And I didn’t get the impression that he was a member of the 4th at any point, so the only patients he has ever treated were living humans. Most, likely, not involving spiritual energies. Heck, the clinic seems mostly to do common ailments and light injury – more serious stuff he send to the hospital.

        Ryuuken avoids doing the Quincy stuff whenever possible so likely Ryuuken has not stop long hours with Isshin discussing how the living treat spiritual / soul injuries. Maybe Isshin assumes that anyone living whose spirit or soul gets badly damaged just dies and becomes the Soul Society’s problem and that there is nothing even spiritually aware humans can do.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. It is common in China and Japan for martial arts teachers to double as sports medicine – slash -traditional medicine practitioners, and it used to be common for athletic coaches in the US to treat their charges.

        Isshin is pretty much that, with more years of experience, and some modern stuff slapped on top. He probably gets good results, mostly, but he is set in his ways. If Ichigo were somebody else’s kid, or it were not Shinigami-related, he would probably put more thought into it. But his brain has already categorized everything as horses, even with a zebra standing right in front of him.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Forgot to say that since martial arts styles include a medical side, it is common for martial arts guys on the run, fictionally and historically, to masquerade as itinerant doctors or medicine sellers, and to be good at it and charitable in helping the poor. So Isshin is kinda living the dream.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Actually, at this point I feel canon lost this great opportunity to explore Ichigo’s Quincy side. If canon had truly had this plan in mind for awhile, the time when Ichigo had burned out his Shinigami powers would have been the best time for it. But then he wouldn’t have been desperate enough for Fullbringer. But then Quincy could have been fleshed our more as well as Ryuuken. Geh.

    But that is the fast and dirty version of their lives. And now they can cover each other more efficiently. And cover for each other. M

    Liked by 2 people

      1. >> I only know one series where butterfly antagonist works . . . and that is Miraculous Ladybug.

        I’m glad I wasn’t the only person whose brain went there first at that comment.

        Granted: I’m not personally a fan, but if you like Venture Brothers apparently The Monarch(!) is decently quirky, and I think Busou Renin did fine with both of its butterfly!antagonists.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. >> More protagonisty is Philemon from Persona.

        Philemon never seems to tell the protagonists as much as they need to know, but he is very definitely of the Good, and when compared to other ‘Mysterious Benefactor Who Only Talks in Riddles’ characters Philemon comes off pretty near the top, far as I’m concerned. I mean, he’s now where near as bad as Mab can be (poor Harry).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Even then it’s iffy. Worm up till Levi does a good job of bug control. Jumped the flying Megalodon with the S9 and Pan mess imho.Wildbow takes his worldbuilding from warhammer 40K.(Plot Hole? Add Grimdark!!!!! Possibility of Lighter and Softer…DENIED!!!!! This Is Realistic! That means Nothing Uplifting Will Happen!!!!!)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The Ciaphas Cain books are the only part of WH40K that I could stand much less like. And I’ve tried to enjoy the other bits! It’s just… so depressing.

        Side note: there’s a good Worm crossover fic called Constellations that’s much lighter and softer. It’s also got good plot in between the giggles!

        Liked by 3 people

    1. While I don’t like grimderp (canon Worm is past grimdark into grimderp, where it’s not even realistically “excessively dark”, but instead “given what we’re told about the setting, this makes no sense, and is just there to be stupidly dark even tho it could have been darker simply by being more realistic… yet it’s pretending to be serious instead of crack”), the bigger problem with Worm for me is that Wildbow claimed to be trying to do a “realistic deconstruction” of the superhero genre, and that “everything is ‘scientific’ and ‘explainable'”, when he clearly doesn’t just “not understand scale” (he messes that up regularly enough), he also doesn’t understand a lot of other things (including “what ‘science’ actually _is_”).

      I can excuse a lot in fiction, so long as self-consistency is maintained, and the author doesn’t claim something he can’t back up. But when an author tries to claim “this is realistic”, _especially_ if when trying to use it to “show how it should be” in comparison to something that he is claiming is “unrealistic”, then I’m going to hold the story to the standard the author claims.

      And that’s ignoring the fact that Wildbow’s also a troll, and that many of the grimderp parts were added just because Wildbow didn’t like the state of his fandom.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Heh, before I read that last line, I was going to suggest that the problem was someone not liking the answers they got– and all aspects are judged by “I like that answer.”

        Sort of like how people have to build their own fandom for Batman because there’s too many conflicts/aus.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. “In this area, you are the expert.”

    The funny thing is, he kinda is.

    I don’t think the other Vizards ever got to his level of control over their hollow sides. And that was before he went through some kind of spiritual enlightenment to learn the Final Getsuga Tenshō.

    Ichigo is legitimately brilliant at getting to the state of mind and the soul searching required to reach the core of his power. Using said power with more finesse than the bare minimum, not so much.

    Which might be why people underestimate him as a dumb brute so often.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. There is overkill. “That amount of kill that is both more than the minimum necessary to kill the target, and a large enough drain on ammo to hinder the ability to kill other targets.”

        If it doesn’t kill the target, it’s not overkill. If you’ve got plenty of ammo for all other targets too, then it’s not overkill. But if you run out of ammo for later targets because you wasted unnecessary ammo on the first target after killing it, then that is definitely overkill.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Oh, definitely. It’s just that I’ve seen the old saw repeated so frequently as an excuse to not even attempt to estimate it ahead of time. “Why should I care about accuracy or conserving ammo? There’s no such thing as overkill. Spray and pray, and laugh like a madman.”

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Heh, reminds me of stat assignment in recent White Wolf tabletop games.

      You have your Abilities (what a lot of other systems call skills) that represent specific categories your character was actively trained in, even if that training was self-taught practice.

      Then you have your Attributes (hilariously, DnD refers to these as Abilities) which are broader built in characteristics – they can be focused on and trained, but everyone has at least a minimum amount – things like Strength and Charisma fall under this.

      Recent editions of White Wolf games have moved to quantifying Attributes into 9 specific ones based on where they fall in two separate spectrums. The first spectrum asks: are they Physical, Social, or Mental? The second spectrum is Force, Finesse, and Resistance.

      So your Physical+Force is Strength, while Physical+Finesse is Dexterity, and Physical+Resistance is Stamina. The Social and Mental categories are less consistent on keeping the names the same between games, but Social+Force is often something like Presence or Charisma, whereas Social+Finesse is frequently Manipulation.

      For Ichigo… Ichigo’s Mental+Force – Intelligence – is actually pretty good… but his Mental+Finesse (Wits is pretty common here) could maybe use some work.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Which is just poor planning. I mean- Spot, Search, and Listen/Perception (depending on Edition) go off of WIS. Using that as your dump stat is just asking to be ambushed. I don’t care how high your AC is or how many Hit Points you’ve got, it’s still a bad day when the fight opens with the enemies getting a full surprise round of sneak attacks.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. The way I see it, Ichigo is talented and powerful but doesn’t have much technique. Ichigo went into the deep end to the source of his power, unlocking greater forms of power, and mastering a few good force multiplier techniques like Shunpo along the way.

        Other Shinigami spend their time practicing and perfecting countless odd spells and techniques like Hakuda, Zanjutsu, Kidō, Hohō and so on. Because they got the time to do it, and because doing the soul searching for accessing the deeper parts of their spirit power is really hard. all those techniques don’t seem to do much to improve spiritual power/pressure, but they are very good force multipliers for what they got.

        But Ichigo is not Kenpachi. Ichigo is not just all power in a straight line, he is skilled enough to keep up with people on his level.

        Ichigo is the guy who practiced one kick a thousand times. okay a little more than just one “kick”, but you get the idea.

        Liked by 2 people

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