In the Cat’s Ear Ch4 Ficbit – Secret Weapon

Damn it, I’m not getting through, why- oh.

Oh. And hell. Hei had said his sister was gone. He hadn’t known she was dead until her ghost left him, which meant….

“I’m going to tell you something my dad told me, once,” Ichigo said quietly. “You couldn’t save her. She chose to protect you. You knew her better than anyone. You think your sister would die for someone who wasn’t worth saving? You were worth everything to her. Don’t you dare think you can stop living now.”

It was wry, but that was definitely a smile on Huang’s face. And that was an amused flick of whiskers, as Mao leaned up against Yin’s arm until she stroked his ears.

Good, Ichigo thought. They want him to get better, too.

Though he could tell right now that coaxing Hei back into it’s okay to be alive was going to take a lot more time. The guy wasn’t walking an empty riverbank, but he’d bet two of Yuzu’s sweets that was mostly because Hei wasn’t a kid anymore. He had responsibilities. He couldn’t fall apart. So he just… wouldn’t let it happen.

Going to have to get through that, too. No way am I letting him get as crazy as Dad.

How was the question. He’d fixed Byakuya with a good bankai-on-bankai clash and a punch in the face. But the very noble head of Kuchiki had gone all self-sacrificing ice prince because of the whole upper-crust tangle around bringing Rukia into the clan in the first place. Once a few of those nobles just plain weren’t around anymore – thank Aizen for inadvertent favors – Byakuya had gradually loosened up to human again. Or, well, shinigami. Close enough.

Hei, though… Hei had gone from witnessing murder to bodyguarding the murderer to child assassin and who knew how much worse. He’d walled himself up in ice just to stay sane.

No wonder the guy thought he was a Contractor.

So. Knuckle sandwich wouldn’t work. Time to bring out the Kurosaki family’s unstoppable secret weapon.

Ichigo thumped Yuzu’s bento down on the table. “Okay! Enough gloom and doom. You’re going to eat, and I’m going to tell you everything Chief Kirihara said.” He grinned at them all. “Because you should have seen her face.”

24 thoughts on “In the Cat’s Ear Ch4 Ficbit – Secret Weapon

  1. Yuzu is the Kurosaki family’s emotional kagemusha. That is utterly awesome. And nice to see that Isshin wasn’t a total failure as a decent sentient. Just as a decent parent…

    Liked by 4 people

      1. He’s a Shiba. They and the concept of “maturity” haven’t been on speaking terms for generations.

        Good thing, then, that Masaki was the true head-of-household.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Thank you.

    Echoing KohakuRyu, it is probably therapeutic for Ichigo to step back and think of his father as a damaged person who became that way as a result of mental health care that was lacking.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The Team appreciates Ichigo’s efforts to help them help Hei counteract his survivor’s guilt . . . and other guilt.

    The double-whammy doesn’t help. It can be hard enough to convince someone who didn’t do the things Hei did that is okay they survived when everyone else didn’t. Their world ended and they didn’t end with it. And maybe Hei feels like all of that violence wasn’t actually worth it since the person he did for died anyway / was already dead.

    Though he could tell right now that coaxing Hei back into it’s okay to be alive was going to take a lot more time

    A lot more time.

    It would be worse if he didn’t have someone else to focus on.

    (Maybe one reason why Season 2 is such as a cluster . . . when one acknowledges that Season 2 exists. It was my impression of the fandom that the answer to questions about Season 2 is “What Season 2?”)

    Hei wasn’t a kid anymore

    Also the sites where Bai disappeared / died are inaccessible and he knows it.

    Byakuya had gradually loosened up to human again.

    Do you think Byakuya maintains his better-than-you attitude toward Ichigo in no small part because it annoys Ichigo? Since Ichigo annoys him in a variety of ways (not least of which is addressing him in such a familiar manner).

    Ichigo’s form of address for people is interesting. He seldom uses honorifics, making the few that he does use them for significant. Might also be interesting to look at who he addressed by first name instead of surname. (Maybe that’s why my bunnies tend to ship Ichigo with Rukia, he addresses Rukia as Rukia. Orihime is Inoue.)

    Time to bring out the Kurosaki family’s unstoppable secret weapon.

    Yuzu’s food is a potent weapon. So far it has worked on everyone it has been tried on.

    Through one day, Ichigo is probably going to be wondering why Chief Kirihara went from sad/intriged by Li to breathing fire about him and muttering dire threats.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hei’s still taking in the fact that his sister is dead. You don’t get that to sink in, in just a couple weeks. Compounded by “I spent 5 years killing people for the Syndicate to find someone who no longer existed” – yes, he’s a mess.

      I have to say that’s my reaction to Season 2. I mentally walled it when I found out there was supposed to be a prophecy from the future written 50 years ago about Yin becoming Izanami and destroying the world… yeah, no. Suspension of disbelief won’t go that far.

      *G* Given Byakuya as a teen was supposedly a hotheaded brat, he’s almost certainly annoying Ichigo on purpose. As a silent “Nyah!”

      Yuzu/Li cooking contest. *Halo*

      *Snicker* I think Ichigo already has a clue why Kirihara flip-flopped like that. He’s seen Li’s act. 🙂 And he can guess that since Hei’s a criminal, Kirihara never got to see it was an act until bam, Black Reaper.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Suspension of disbelief won’t go that far

        Nope . . . just that description was enough to make my suspense of disbelief chew through the straps and take off running at high speed, shouting something along the lines that staying in the Bunny Pen is better than putting up with that . . .

        As a silent “Nyah!”

        *grins* Might be nice to see Byakuya and Ichigo team-up to troll Yoruichi . . . as pay back for all the times she annoyed / embarrassed them while teaching them flash-steps . . . Yoruichi paid them back but both considered it totally worth it. There is debate about wheather or not they actually got Yoruichi . . . or if she allowed herself to be snared in order to have an excuse to start an Gotei 13 prank war. Complaints about said war are meant with the remark that it is good for morale and is a team-building exercise.

        Yuzu/Li cooking contest.

        Everyone: “I am definitely going to need bigger pants.”

        I think Ichigo already has a clue why Kirihara flip-flopped like that. He’s seen Li’s act.

        Plus he’s familiar with that kind of fire-breathing. Rukia does it to him all the time. Knowing Ichigo’s luck, either when they are reunited or some time after ward, he going to do something to bring out that fire-breathing side . . . on the plus side, the resulting argument / shouting / name-calling contest got the two of them to stop being so awkward around each other and go back to normal.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Yuzu/Li cooking contest. *Halo*

        And then they were accused of creating highly addictive substances.

        Charges were never placed, however, only because everyone (cops included) was terrified at the idea of not getting a second helping.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Ichigo went and made a friend for life, once again-this time with Hei and his team, through his understanding and help, and the many similarities between himself and Hei.

    A fic once mentioned, that Ichigo’s greatest power was not his strength, but his ability to attract others to his cause, and turn foe into friend- he fought the shinigami when he invaded to save Rukia, but got friends after the matter was resolved and he was sent back home. He invaded Hueco Mundo for Orihime, and met and befriended Nell.
    Even the Vizards seem to consider him one of their own.

    I think you demonstrated it once again here.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Defeat Equals Friendship is a shounen anime staple . . . but it doesn’t seem as tripe when Ichigo does it.

        Maybe because they aren’t immediately BBFs with each other. I mean neither is trying to kill each other anymore but they still aren’t warm and cozy like that fight and the REASON for it is a minor footnote. Like how Ichigo and Ishida were still snippy with each other after the Hollow Bait incident (okay, they are STILL snippy with each other – because Ishida does have good reasons not to like Shinigami and Ichigo is probably still annoyed that Ishida’s stunt endangered several of Ichigo’s precious people – a big no-no – plus Ichigo’s general charming reaction to people having an attitude toward him for something he has no control over, regardless of why they have that attitude in the first place).

        Or maybe because there is a reason for the fight for both sides? Most weren’t fighting just because. For example, the Rescue Arc – Ichigo had clear goals (get Rukia, go home, survive), so did the Gotei 13 (uphold their laws, stop the invaders), those goals conflicted. (And then got complicated by the fact that legal and other systems of the Gotei 13 was being jerked around by Aizen).

        Liked by 3 people

    1. (Just a bit of snark)

      Whaddya mean ‘after the matter was resolved’?

      During the Rescue Rukia arc Ichigo made several friends amongst the Shinigami who outright switched sides before anything about Aizen’s manipulations were even revealed!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Purgatory is probably the best word. It’s not a destination for yo9u to stay in (unless you have significant spiritual power, where significant means even rank and file Shinigami). You die, you wake up in soul society and forget the real world, and then you are reincarnated, again without memories. It’s a holding pattern, not a destination.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Granted: “It’s a Holding Pattern, not a Destination” could be an accurate description of several cosmologies and religious belief systems which have reincarnation as a major cornerstone of their worldview.

        I tend to think of a conversation I had with a good friend of mine who is agnostic about what sort of ‘afterlife’ they’d prefer and why, and the reason they picked reincarnation was because it meant this world and this life weren’t just tests. With reincarnation no matter how many lifetimes pass this world is all you’ve got, so it’s everyone’s job to work together to make certain that the world is a good place for everyone no matter how much time passes, because who knows where or as who or as what you’ll end up next.

        (There are also plenty of religions with reincarnation that claim that actually the whole point is refinement of self and soul over lifetimes to eventually reach a specific destination beyond this world, but that’s not really important to the point I’m trying to make.)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooo, I just had a fun thought! Hei needs to practice his power, right? Someplace where it won’t catch attention. Although,I guess that isn’t as much a problem as it was before. And as much as I don’t want Hei anywhere near Sandle-hat, he does have that huge underground cavern and can probably come up with a few ways to hide Hei’s star reacting. Sooo, someone would have to sit on Sandle-hat to keep him away, and Ichigo and Hei could spar. Hmmm. Out of body or in? I wonder how Hei’s star would react with his spirit out of body? Whatever idea Ishida was working on is probably a better option, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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