(A/N: Sorry for the delay folks I would've started on this last night, but for some reason my shoulder is killing me. It was really painful last night and it still hurts today. It's sort of a muscles ore. So, despite my pain, I really love writing this enough so that I worked on this chapter. As long as I kept my left arm steady there was no pain at all. It only hurts if I reach or turn my body sharply. It's that aprt of your dorsal area that juts out if you bend your arm behind your back. Yeah, that area there, that hurts like hell. So despite that I wanted to get the first chapter done. Please read the author's notes at the end before you start getting angry, upset or pedantic about stuff going on in this chapter. Thank you).
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or Code Geass
3rd Person pov
Things had returned to normal in Karakura Town once again. Ichigo and nakama had returned from the hell that was Hueco Mundo and were now once again in their fall trimester and things were back to the way they were
okay not really. Ichigo and his nakama, after their return had been given their work by Soifon and been told they didn't have to come to class so long as they got their work done by Monday. She wanted them to rest up and relax. It wasn't fair to Orihime for her to heal all of them, the poor girl would tire herself out so, with the exception of Ichigo, many went back to their residences with bandages, gauze and some restoration from the busty teenager. Before Soifon left to return home the day of everyone's return to Karakura Town she went around handing green slips to everyone, except for Orihime.
Ichigo knew what a green slip meant. He'd got them all throughout the year. "What the hell are we getting detention for? You knew where we were!"
"Oh this isn't for cutting class." Soifon said. "This is for getting your butts so thoroughly."
"You sunnuva" Ichigo got thwacked before he could finish.
"I am very disappointed in all of you. You, especially Hirako." Soifon handed him the infamous green piece of paper.
"Hey, I'm not even a real student what gives?" Shinji asked.
"This is what gives." Soifon said handing him an attendance record. Shinji's name was right in between Higura Mimi and Iaba Tenzuka. "I can't formally force Rukia into the class because her existence gets wiped every time she leaves for the Soul Society, but if you think you can just come and go as you please you are dead wrong. Welcome to living world high school Hirako."
"You are a cold hearted bitch." Hirako said with a glazed look.
Soifon whipped out a clipboard and then handed him another green slip. "Calling the teacher a cold hearted bitch, you really know how to dig your own grave." Soifon said. "By the way did I mention that Commander Tsukabishi is a licensed truant officer?"
Shinji's pupils shrunk and then he smiled goofily. "Yeah
sorry for being inconsiderate."
"You'd better be." Soifon smirked.
Urahara looked at the situation smiling.
However, this was well over a week ago. It had been ten days since the end of the invasion into Hueco Mundo. Things were normal for about a five and then the patrol unit returned once Lelouch informed Yamamoto about what he believed Talbumosuke would do. The patrol unit would stay to watch for any oncoming invasions, but the moment it was believed Talbumosuke would make a move, everyone would retreat to the Soul Society and that included Ichigo and company this time.
Today was Saturday so there were no classes. Even though the winter holidays were coming up, Soifon was not easing up on her students. She was firm in her curriculum. Most teachers would assign less work in the approaching month and then assign an assignment or two over the break. Soifon believed that if all the work was done that her students could earn their break rather than have to worry about an assignment. She knew they would thank them for this when she made the announcement.
Soifon hadn't bothered to change her hair back to the way it was since her return. She kind of liked just letting it hang out and Yoruichi said it made her look cute. If she were a different kind of woman she would've gracefully accepted Kagine-sensei's compliment to her changed appearance. Right now the school teacher was sitting on her couch watching television. On the coffee table were a can of pepsi and a half eaten Pizza Hut pizza box of pepperoni pizza. On the news was a story about the latest news going on in the Britannian Empire. Despite the fact that Japan was currently its own independent nation, the newscasters still covered a lot of stories that went on in Japan. In this case the story was about the second princess Cornelia Li Britannia. The reporter couldn't get anywhere near the li Britannia household, or the military grounds so Cornelia was only shown in pictures, in her uniform, saluting.
The story mentioned that Cornelia would be graduating and becoming the youngest private ever in the Britannian nation to serve in the military. Soifon picked up her pepsi can as she listened to the story.
"The second princess, according to her instructors says that Cornelia's hard work and desire to be in the military were all in dedication to Britannia's ace pilot, Empress Marianne vi Britannia the Knight of Six, also known as Marianne the Flash." The reporter was saying as Soifon started drinking her soda. "The Empress is the mother of the year old, Eleventh Prince, Lelouch vi Britannia and"
The soda went flying out of Soifon's mouth, spraying the table. The news reporter continued to blather on, but Soifon was too wrapped up in her own thoughts to listen.
"Watashi wa, Lelouch vi Britannia, Fantomu Zero."
Soifon panted, soda still dribbling from her chin. She knew the name could not be a coincidence. The former militia commander had a right mind to go out, find Lelouch and make him talk. Between Lelouch's reluctance to talk about his past, his knowledge of noble families and now the news story, Soifon was starting to put the pieces together. She put her right hand to her face, ring and middle fingertips touching the left and right edges of her lips. Is this the secret Lelouch has been trying to hide from all of us? Does anyone know? I'm certain that the captains must know, Lelouch would've never been let go after being arrested if they didn't know.
"In forty years, you will understand."
Lelouch had said such a thing to Soifon 24 years ago when she was still on the Phantoms of Justice. She knew about the time paradox. Urahara had shared such information with her and Yoruichi. The twisted Shopkeeper always kept the two women in the loop of everything he knew that he considered important information. No doubt he already knew this and just hadn't said anything. Urahara loved keeping certain information to himself if it suited him. If he's a year old now then forty years from the date I was told would put Lelouch's live self at seventeen. But what's to happen close to a couple of decades from now. Lelouch...what don't you want us to know.
Soifon was jarred from her thoughts by a knock on the door. She went over to the door to reveal what appeared to be a slightly troubled Ichigo standing outside her door, looking down upon her. It wouldn't have made sense to look up since Ichigo was about an entire foot taller than Soifon.
"Kurosaki, what are you doing here?" Soifon was surprised to see Ichigo at her residence. Tatsuki visited often, as she adored Soifon and looked up to her, but Ichigo never saw the short in stature physically fit school teacher as any more than an instructor. She figured he might have come over to ask about an assignment, but a phone call or an e-mail would've made more sense if that were the case. All teachers were required to give their students either their home or cell phone number as well as their e-mail address to their students in the case of requiring assistance for such things.
"I want to talk to you about something. It's important." He said.
Soifon leaned aginst the doorway. "I'm listening." She watched in both amusement and shock when Ichigo dropped to his knees and bowed his head to her like he was a subject pleading before a king about to behead him, but Ichigo showed neither cowardice nor fear. His actions were slow and deliberate, not reflexive. His motion was entirely out of respect.
"Please teach me what you can, sensei." Ichigo said.
"Teach you? In what?" Soifon asked.
"All week, whenever I've seen you drilling the girls at school what happened in Hueco Mundo keeps coming back to my mind. I thought my hollowfication and Bankai made me special. It made me feel like I had finally accomplished something, but seeing you able to overpower an enemy that I couldn't even contend with at full strength when she wasn't even using hers made me realize just how weak I really am." Ichigo clenched his fists and became very distraught. "I can't protect those I want to protect if I don't have the power. Sensei, I'm on my knees, begging you, pleading, make me stronger. I have to become stronger. You made Tatsuki able to contend with senior officers and she's gotten stronger since then. Teach me what you know." Ichigo looked at Soifon with that ususal determined scowl of his. "I will soak up everything you tell me."
Soifon looked down at Ichigo both flattered and intrigued at his request. She knew that if Tatsuki saw Ichigo now she'd probably laugh. Ichigo never asked for help from anyone. Ever. Not in this way at least. Ever since the incident at the dojo a little over five years ago, Ichigo had come to understand the value of a team effort. However, he only asked for help when he desperately needed it, like when he needed his powers back or when he had nearly forgotten his father's birthday and he and his sisters had gone around for an entire day to different stores looking for gifts. Also, while Ichigo respected Soifon with the respect and approval that she demanded, never before had he got on his hands and knees and begged her for something like this. Heck, he was a little bit of smart ass to begin with during class at times.
"To have been taught by you as a child, to have had you teach me academically
and then to know you're not only a Soul Reaper, but also captain class...I...it's made me come to respect you all the more. You saved my life back in Hueco Mundo. I don't know what would've happened if you hadn't shown up. So...thank you."
Soifon leaned up off the wall. It was one of the rare times Ichigo was being sincere without a shred of animosity or hostility. His pride had not been wounded, rather its size had been severely cut down by Soifon's timely rescue and showing just how strong she was. She looked at Ichigo sympathetically, sorrowful, but what she had to say. "As much as it pains me to say this. There is nothing I can teach you that you don't alreay know." She told him. "You're at an age and stage now where you would never be able to go through the type of training I went through and the hardships I endured to get where I am. To train you to become like me is something I have not the heart to do, or you the qualifications to become. I am an assassin, trained to protect and eliminate my target in the blink of an eye, I am the only living member of my family as far as I know and the only child left of six children, five other brothers, all dead. You lack the proper basic skill set to become like me." Soifon put a hand up by her chest. "I, personally, cannot train you."
Ichigo seemed disheartened to hear this. Rejection was not unexpected, but certainly not in this form. "I understand." He said getting to his feet.
Soifon however immediately thought of an alternative solution. "However, I do know someone who can." She said to Ichigo.
A quick phone call and car drive later, Ichigo found himself at the ruins of Matsakura Hospital, where he had first met Don Kanonji. Soifon waited around with him until a figure in a black cotton shirt, red jacket, jeans, black hair, violet eyes, and sneakers, came up to them. Ichigo recognized the individual immediately.
"So, you realize the limits of your abilities do you?" Lelouch asked.
"I do." Ichigo admitted. Lelouch looked deep into the Soul Reaper's eyes and saw the vigor and determination within them.
Lelouch nodded slightly at this and looked at Soifon. "Leave him to me."
"All right, good luck Lelouch." Soifon said. Neither on the phone nor in person was Soifon about to prod Lelouch for answers regarding his history. Urahara said that everyone was entitled to their sore spots and unhealed wounds. For someone like Lelouch these sore spots were especially best left untouched. Urahara had said that a simple understanding of who Lelouch was, the decisions he made and the way he acted let the shopkeeper know that whatever Lelouch had gone through that it had been emotionally damaging, but that he felt that the Soul Society had changed him. Urahara said that the captains of the Gotei had to know the complete truth and that if such things were necessary to mention they would come either from Lelouch's or Yamamoto's mouth. Urahara also said that he had a feeling that, given this information, that the one person who probably understood Lelouch, barring Lelouch himself, was probably Unohana. Her expert evaluation of one's psyche probably made her the best person to talk to regarding Lelouch. Of course, Soifon was a better person than that to go prying into someone's private life and she was sure that Unohana would respect Lelouch's privacy enough that, even with as much as she knew, she would not tell Soifon the whole story. Even Rangiku seemed like she knew hardly anything.
"All luck should be given to the student not the teacher for it is the student who must learn what the teacher is teaching. It is a poor student who blames his master for his failures the same way a poor warrior blames his tools." Lelouch stated.
Soifon smirked at Lelouch's analogy. Yeah, she figured, Ichigo will do just fine under Lelouch's guidance. While Soifon herself had not been taught by Lelouch she had heard of his accomplishments from Kukaku and many of the phantoms during her time as one. Although Lelouch and Ichigo's fighting styles were largely differently, Soifon knew that Lelouch could teach just about anything if he set his mind to it. And of course, if he needed an example, there were plenty of experts he could call in on a whim.
Soifon got back in her car and drove away leaving Ichigo with the tenth division captain.
what do we do first?" Ichigo asked.
"First, take your badge and set it aside." Lelouch stated.
"What?" Ichigo hoped he had just heard Lelouch wrong. "How does that help? I don't have Kon with me so..."
"I am the instructor here." Lelouch stated. "If you thought we were going to skip straight to going in head on collisions with each other you can go back to the Vizards or Urahara. I am going to push you and push you and push you until you come out of this either a wreck or a model of my teaching. Do I make myself clear?" Lelouch scowled. He sounded just like a military drill instructor with the way he was talking and the erect way he was standing.
sensei." Ichigo responded, snapping to attention.
"Good now," Lelouch said, "Toss me your badge." Ichigo did so with perfect aim and Lelouch put it in his shirt pocket. "Now, come at me. Pretend I'm just another punk getting on your case because of the color of your hair. Do what you would normally do."
Ichigo charged at Lelouch and punched. Lelouch caught Ichigo's fist with his palm. Ichigo took a sweeping kick under Lelouch's feet, but the division captain merely leapt back and kicked Ichigo in the chest and it hurt a lot more than it should have for a physical attack coming off of Lelouch of all people. When Ichigo finished recoiling, Lelouch spoke.
"Do you know why you were so easily trumped just now?" Lelouch asked. "You telegraph your attacks before you do them without even realizing it. You give such a heads up that even one such as I, not all that very adept in physical combat, can dodge even without the ability I have in Soul Form. Against street brawlers and those with battle instinct like Zaraki Kenpachi and Grimmjow such telegraphing is not an issue especially when you stand on the same level, but for opponents who are slightly more skilled at reading the human body, people like Soifon and that other espada, it won't work."
"But Stefan is a captain of the stealth centered squad, how was I able to beat him?" Ichigo asked.
"Stefan enjoys parrying and counterattacking more than dodging. It is his tactics. Also let's not forget that it was the hollow in you that threw him completely off guard. Your change in tactics is what brought him down to your level, otherwise you would've been beaten and I would've had to step in." Lelouch reminded Ichigo. "However, I do not have the type of endurance Stefan or Zaraki have, nor do a lot of Soul Reapers. We cannot take as many hits and so we are accustomed to dodging and reading out opponents. As was the Espada that ruthlessly beat you down. To become stronger your reflexes must sharpen and your skill must as well. By training on weaker levels under strict and harsh conditions I will attempt to break you and build you up. You will become stronger and you will have the power you desire. Every weekend morning, promptly at 8am, you will arrive here to train." Lelouch pointed at the ground. "We will stay here until I say it's time to call it a day or to have something to eat. On school days you will come here right after school. I don't want you here any later than four in the afternoon. Is that understood?"
"Hai, sensei!" Ichigo responded aptly.
"Very good," Lelouch told him, "Now, let us continue onto the next lesson."
Four Days Later
Talbumosuke continued to pour over his notes and formulas. He wasn't as gifted as Szayel, Aizen, Mayuri, Lelouch or Urahara in the intelligence department, but he still had the determination to keep trying and he wasn't about to give up on plans for reallocating the fusion chamber to the proper frequencies to help him revive Mia.
A lot had happened in the last couple of weeks. Besides integrating Spargga and his motley crew into the Espada, Talbumosuke was still having trouble finding two more Espada to fill the 8th and 9th slots. He knew there were definitely more Vasto Lordes out there, he just had to find them. First though, he wanted to revive Mia. He had recovered her body and put it in stasis to keep her physical structure intact. Once he revived Mia, she, Grimmjow and Yammy would be the only Adjuchas in the Espada, but they would be powerful Adjuchas. Grimmjow had taken advantage of the, quite literal, spoils of war, and eaten parts of Zommari and Szayel's flesh and grown stronger as a result. He was going to do the same to Baraggan's fraccion, but Spargga and his team had already claimed rights to the feast.
As Talbumosuke worked he continued to question his own personal standing as the overlord or Las Noches. Aizen had taught him never to trust anyone, that relying on others is for the weak and that the stronger survive best on their own. Aizen had also said that he shouldn't even trust him. Talbumosuke was slowly beginning to change his own game plan as he held onto many philosophies Aizen taught him, but developed his own strategies. Aizen was very good at being omnipotently strong and coming up with ludicrous plans that could change on the fly. As Talbumosuke was a much less gifted thinker, he did something else: he studied. Instead of predicting opponents' behavior, he studied their abilities and worked out his best to know how to fight each individual person.
For example, according to Aizen's notes, Kyoraku Shunsui's Zanpakuto was good at playing games. Irooni and Kageoni were both listed. Tal figured that if he coated himself in his red aura while in Bankai and then attacked at one of the red flowers on Shunsui's rather pink cape, it might serve to help him, though he wondered if battle aura counted as having color on you.
Another thing Talbumosuke thought of is that if it was really a good idea not to have at least some trust in those that followed you. If all you did was crack the whip, then all someone would have to do is show compassion and you would lose a few teammates. It was a sense of what he could offer the Espada that would ultimately secure their loyalty. Talbumosuke knew how to keep each one satisfied to keep them under his wing. Ulquiorra followed him unquestionably, as long as Talbumosuke stayed on target, he could count on the cuarto. Nelliel now owed him a debt, there would be no way she'd betray him now until the debt was repaid. As long as he acted like a gentleman around Hallibel, Talbumosuke was certain he could count on her to be loyal. Grimmjow was difficult to deal with, but Tal knew he would have to pick and choose the times he'd invoke the master's whip on Grimmjow, but extending the leash every once in a while was all that was needed to keep the Sexta satisfied. Spargga was happy just having something to do and Talbumosuke had promised him some good entertainment for being on the Espada. Starrk liked sleeping, the less Talbumosuke called upon him, the happier he was. Yammy just wanted food and fighting, two things easily provided. Mia was possibly in love with him, Talbumosuke thought he might check to see if that were the case. If so he wouldn't have to worry about her loyalty at all.
Really the only person he was worried about was Gin. As a captain Gin made even Byakuya very uneasy and he gave off that ominous aura that he was not to be trusted that he was always waiting at your back ready to put the knife into it. Talbumosuke knew he would have to make certain of Gin's loyalty some way or another, but so far he hadn't come up with any feasible ideas. Blackmailing him with Rangiku would only push the guy into a corner. It would probably only further Gin into disloyalty and he'd look for a way out.
As Talbumosuke took a break from his formula he cracked open Aizen's field journal. Before the invasion began Talbumosuke had helped move a lot of Aizen's things from Soul Society to Hueco Mundo. Aizen's field journal was one of these things and Talbumosuke had used it to get a better idea of what his master was up to when he designed the Hogyoku. Through it he had learned the Hogyoku's true purpose, though he was hesitant to use it as such. The Hogyoku was a tool to Talbumosuke. He would use it as necessary to take out any X-factor from an equation. He believed merging with something that could grant desires could be catastrophic if those desires accidentally changed. If the Hogyoku was a sentient object then it would have to be used sparingly and only when necessary.
Talbumosuke opened to a random page on the field journal, early on in it, where Aizen talked about the various souls he had collected and fed to the Hogyoku to help awaken it. Aizen was a paranoid individual so he wrote his journal in hexadecimal rather than an actual language. The early portions were written using ASCII, but later changed to UNICODE as the journal became more recent. It had taken Talbumosuke a while to be able to decipher the journal, but thankfully technology being what it was he had quickly learned how to read it. He read down what appeared to be a list of the names of Souls that Aizen had absorbed. Talbumosuke read through the list until he came down to an arrangement of 16 pairs of characters. The date signified that this was an ASCII entry. The entry was surname first as the other entries ascertained so when he read the entry "4D 61 74 73 75 6D 6F 74 6F 2C 20 52 61 6E 67 69 6B 75" (Hexadecimal for "Matsumoto, Rangiku") his eyes turned wide and he shut the journal and made his way to the monitor room to find Gin. Putting pieces together he now understood Gin's motives and now was the time to strike, before he could be struck.
He slowly opened the door to the monitor room, taking glances to make sure no one else was around to see Gin sitting in his seat looking at the monitors and eating some dried persimmons. Gin noticed Talbumosuke immediately and spun around in his chair. "Well, hey there Tally, what's up?"
Talbumosuke walked in and shut the door behind him, standing in front of it, hand on his Zanpakuto. "I know about Rangiku, Gin." He said.
"Quite the gal ain't she?" Gin asked, playing dumb.
"You know I don't mean it like that." Talbumosuke said, continuing to be serious.
Gin rose to his feet, smiling. "I had hoped we could avoid this Tally, workin with ya was kinda fun. Never thought you'd come down ta take care a lil old me like dis."
"On the contrary, I didn't come down here to get rid of you. In fact, I'd like to propose a deal." If this works I can secure Gin's loyalty and won't have to worry about being stabbed in the back from any of my subordinates.
"What kinda deal?" Gin wanted to know.
"Simple, you want the Hogyoku to give back Rangiku what was stolen from her, yes?" Talbumosuke asked. "Once I have secured power I will no longer have any use for the Hogyoku, and if you follow me loyally up to that point you may have it to give Rangiku back what was taken from her. I'll even send out a wide order that she can be defeated, but not killed or left for dead. That wouldn't be a problem with you now would it?"
Oooh, crafty. I wasn't expectin dis. Tally's pretty interestin as a boss. "So lemme get dis straight you promise dat you'll let Ran-chan live through de upcoming war, den give me da Hogyoku on de grounds dat I stay loyal to you throughout so that I can help Ran-chan?"
"The only other option is that we convince her to join us, but she's far too closely connected to Lelouch for me to properly count on that kind of plan, and she would she ever betray the Soul Society simply for you." Talbumosuke stated.
"Heh, you got a better head on yer shoulders den I gave ya credit for. What happens if I say no?" Gin asked.
Talbumosuke clicked Jikan Kami out of its sheath about an inch. "I think you know."
"So I'd wind up jus like ol' bony eh? Well, far be it from me to turn down dis offer, though I only got one more request." Gin said.
"Speak up." Talbumosuke encouraged.
"Mind lettin Ran-chan and I have a high rising place in yer world?" Gin asked.
"I believe that could be arranged." Talbumosuke told him. "Provided you remain faithful to me of course."
"Heh, I gotta hand it to ya Tally, yer pretty crafty. Aizen-taicho woulda let me simmer, waiting for me to strike and den taken me out when I did, but you see right through my clever little ploy and come down here to break it wide open and rather den take me out ya decide to use my weakness ta yer favor, knowing dat I like being on da bad side." Gin laughed a few creepy laughs. "Sounds good ta me Tally, provided you ain't lying."
"Only a fool lies to the king of liars, lest he be out-lied." Talbumosuke said, tapping his index finger to his forehead.
"I'll say it again, you got a better head on yer shoulders den I gave ya credit for." Gin said.
"So," Talbumosuke said and extended his hand, "do we have a deal?"
Gin grinned and shook Talbumosuke's hand. "Ya got yerself a deal."
"Good," Talbumosuke said, letting go of Gin's hand, "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a fusion chamber to reformat."
Gin watched him go, then sat back down in his chair and returned to looking at the monitors. Ya drive a hard bargain Tally, I must say things are looking pretty good working on dis side. What about you Lelouch, what's yer counteroffer? Which one of you is worthy ta have lil old me as dere aide? Can ya counter Tally's offer Lelouch? Can ya convince me ta join back ta yer side despite what I've done. Do ya even want to? Gin grinned. "I guess we'll see."
Four Days Later
Ichigo arrived at Matsakura Hospital early that morning only to find that Lelouch was standing by a parked car, leaning against it as if waiting for him.
"There's no way this is yours." Ichigo said walking up to him.
"I borrowed it from Hirako-san, hop in." Lelouch told him.
"Sure, but where are we going?" Ichigo asked.
"I have important business to take care of. You're coming with me."
"Couldn't you have called me to tell me that?" Ichigo asked.
"No because I'm making it routine for you to walk out here every single morning of every sigle weekend. Besides our destination is close to where you live." Lelouch told him.
Ichigo silently got into the car only for Lelouch to tell him to get into the back left seat. Lelouch drove all the way to Orihime's apartment complex.
"Huh? This is Inoue's apartment. What are we doing here?" Ichigo asked.
"Just be silent and pay attention." Lelouch said and beckoned Ichigo to follow him to the front door. He knocked on the door and Ichigo only remembered then that Susanna and Rangiku were staying with Orihime when the former of the two Soul Reapers answered the door.
"You ready to go?" Lelouch asked.
"Ah, yes." Susanna said and looked inside. "Orihime-chan, Kurosaki and Lelouch-dono are here." She called.
"Ah, coming." The tangerine haired teen ran to the front door.
"Hey Inoue." Ichigo greeted.
"Morning Kurosaki-kun." Orihime said cheerfully.
"Right, let's head out to the car then." Lelouch said.
Susanna got in the front passenger seat and Orihime got in the back with Ichigo. Lelouch adjusted the rear view mirror so that he could see not only through the back window, but the tension spreading between Ichigo and Orihime. He turned the car on and drove northwest.
"Thanks for coming with me Orihime, I really appreciate this." Susanna stated, turning her head to the backseat.
"Oh it's no problem," Orihime held up her hands, waving them back and forth across her face. "I
I understand how stressful this is for you. I'd certainly want a friend I trusted coming along with me if I was in your situation."
Susanna smiled and turned back around.
"You know what's going on?" Ichigo asked.
"Huh? Didn't Lamperouge-kun tell you?" Orihime asked him.
"No, he just said get in." Ichigo said.
"Ah, well the short version then. Susanna-chan's pregnant and Lelouch is the father." Orihime said.
The words reached Ichigo's ears rather normally, but as his brain processed the information the hamster running on the wheel that stimulated his brain suddenly caught a cramp and stopped.
"Say what?" Ichigo was surprised and leaned forward.
"Control yourself while the car is in motion." Lelouch said sternly.
"When did this happen? How come I wasn't told?" Ichigo asked.
"Why did you need to know? I was planning to tell you once we reached the hospital. In case you haven't forgotten Susanna and I aren't married or openly going steady, but we're trying to make this work." Lelouch told Ichigo. "She's only two and a half months along so there's no need for us to panic at the moment."
"Even so..." Ichigo was just having a hard time picturing Lelouch as a father. The guy was as responsible as responsible gets, but he didn't look that much older than Ichigo.
Lelouch and Susanna had decided that until Susanna began to show that they didn't want it spreading through like wildfire that she was knocked up. Thanks to some strings Lelouch pulled they managed to get Uryu's father, Ryuken, to see them. He may not have been a gynocolist specialist, but he knew almost everything there was to know about working in a hospital from sewing up stitches to being the bearer of bad news about terminal cancer. He wouldn't have made director otherwise.
While Lelouch and Susanna were in the exam room together, Orihime and Ichigo waited outside. The clock began ticking. Orihime sat in the seat next to Ichigo with a red face. Her hero, her crush, was sitting right next to her. She could reach out and grab him if she wanted. She could say something. It was the perfect opportunity, but all she could do was sit in her seat with a gigantic blush on her face.
When Ichigo spoke, she almost popped out of her seat. "So..." he began, "Why did you come along and not Rangiku-san?" Ichigo found the situation just as awkward. Any other guy in his class, and Chizuru, would kill to be in his position right now. Heck, ALL the male student body would envy him right now. He was alone, in a casual setting, with Inoue Orihime. Ichigo didn't know whether he should feel lucky or cursed considering his personality.
Of course the way Orihime interpreted that was Ichigo may not want her here. Still, she responded to his querey and was talking rather fast, "Oh well you see, Rangiku-san wanted to sleep and Susanna-chan was freaking out because she didn't want to be all alone with Lamperouge-kun. So she called Kukaku-san, but Kukaku-san was busy so I volunteered to come along. I'm just surprised you're here Kurosaki-kun. I mean I know you've been going to see Lamperouge-kun after class, because Fong-sensei told Tatsuki-chan you were and she told me so I just assumed you wouldn't be here today, but I'm kind of glad you am. Er, I mean
what I mean is
at least I have someone to talk to and well
I won't be bored." Orihime's mouth was moving faster than her brain. Her heart was racing. Why couldn't she say something a little more sentimental, something that could show her feelings? But the more she thought about such an idea all it did was make her blush harder than she already was.
Ichigo got annoyed in typical Ichigo fashion, wishing he could be trading blows with Lelouch rather than sitting here in a hospital, but then again he was kind of sore from Lelouch's rigorous training regime, so he figured this must be Lelouch's idea of a break. "I just wish I knew I was coming here. I mean he could've just gone to my house and done this." Ichigo then thought about what his dad might do if he had to examine a woman for this sort of thing. "Then...again..."
The teen pair was broken from their thoughts when Ryuken opened the door to the exam room. Both could see Lelouch cradling Susanna as she sat there in a hospital gown clutching to his shirt and jacket. She appeared to be crying. Both couldn't begin to wonder what was going on. Both however, figured that something had to be wrong with the pregnancy.
"It's going to be okay Susanna." Lelouch soothed, rubbing her back.
"But I wanted this." Susanna sobbed. "I...r-really wanted this."
"I know, I know." Lelouch said with a sympathetic gaze.
Scowling, fist tightening, Ichigo stomped down the hall to get some answers. "Ah, Kurosaki-kun." Orihime trotted after him. Ichigo found Ryuken and stuck his foot in the elevator just before the door closed. Ryuken held the button open so he and Ichigo could chat.
"I'd drop the anger if I were you." Ryuken said to Ichigo with a stare.
"I just want to know what's going on." Ichigo said.
"It's simple, but tragic." Ryuken said. "The fetus died." Orihime clasped her hands to her mouth. Ichigo was slightly shocked. "It's nothing I did. It's nothing anyone did. It's just the nature of life."
"That's so horrible. Poor Susanna-chan." Orihime said with sad eyes.
Ichigo looked down. "Sorry for stopping you." He said.
"Apology accepted." Ryuken said and Ichigo watched as the elevator door closed.
When the quartet of Ichigo, Susanna, Orihime and Lelouch got back in the car, things were very quiet on the drive back to Orihime's. Susanna had calmed down, but she was still upset. She had been looking forward to giving birth to Lelouch's child. They were going to call it Yuna. Lelouch, despite his worry and stress, had actually been looking forward to being a father.
When the car stopped in front of Orihime's apartment Susanna was reluctant to get out. "Lelouch-dono, could I just talk to you for a bit, alone?"
"Weren't we just talking at the hospital?" he asked, averting her gaze.
"There were things I forgot to mention." Susanna said doing the same.
"Fine." Lelouch said. "Ichigo, Orihime, out." The teens complied and sat across the street on a public bench while Lelouch and Susanna talked inside the car. They could've gone inside the house, but Orihime wanted to wait for Susanna.
where does this leave us?" Susanna asked.
"Back before the night this all began I suppose." Lelouch said. "Unless of course," he rolled his head to look at her, "You want things to be different."
Susanna looked away. "No...not now anyway. It's...it's too dangerous now. The war with Talbumosuke is coming. I can't have you stressing over me. And
and I don't want
I don't want any attention right now...it'll just be a reminder of what could've been."
Lelouch unbuckled his seatbelt and gave Susanna a hug. "I'm sorry it turned out like this. I really was looking forward to it, despite how I acted."
"Lelouch-dono," Susanna blinked out two tears and her eyes began to swell up again. She unbuckled her own seatbelt and sobbed once again into Lelouch's arms. Lelouch soothed her until her eyes were dry.
End of Chapter 68
(A/N: All of you who were looking forward to Susanna giving birth probably want to kill me right about now for ducking out on it like this. Let me be honest though, this outcome was penned the MOMENT I decided to make her pregnant. Call me any words you want to, but it is what it is. Anyway, I have some bonus content for you all to brighten up this melodramatic mood, courtesy once again of Greatkingrat88 aka Blekmedelninjan. Please enjoy the absurdity of the omake. Quit groaning at the fact that we have another Yuricentric piece. It's what we do and we like it. We can be non-pervs, but pervyness is a little funnier [and more sophomoric]. Also let the OOCness be chalked up to add to the absurdity of the omake).
Chapter 50.85 Get Out of the Army Free
Mila Rose and Apache were, for once, talking quietly together, in council. They had both realized that they were going to fight in a war, and...wars got people killed. Neither were very enthusiastic about the idea.
"We need a plan." Mila Rose said.
The two sat in silence for a few minutes, their brains fruitlessly searching for an answer.
"Isn't there a 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy in Las Noches? I mean, Lord Barckus of Bama got rid of it, but Talbumosuke is one of those typically conservative Evil Overlords, so it's probably back."
"Apache, do you have any idea what you are talking about?"
"Okay, works for me."
And so, they hatched a brilliant scheme. It ought to be added that while the two of them were very loyal, neither had been blessed with a mind as brilliant as they thought it was.
Later that night, the two of them stood in a hallway where Espada were known to pass occasionally. As they sensed a strong reiatsu source coming, the two of them got ready. So far, the plan had failed on Barragan, Stark and Nelliel, and although they thought it had worked on Grimmjow, it seemed like it hadn't had the desired effect.
"Okay, remember the plan?" Apache said.
"Yes, you explained it five times so far. Why are you repeating yourself?"
"Sssh! Someone's coming!"
And on que, the two of them locked in a passionate embrace, kissing deeply, long and hard.
"Look how gay we are!" Apache explained. "We're so gay! Clearly we aren't fit to be army material!"
"Yeah! I'm so lesbian, with my lesbian-ness!" Mila Rose added, in a little less convincing tone of voice.
"Room for one more?" A seductive, low voice came. There was no mistaking it- the gothic dress, the whip... it was Cirucci.
"Hell yeah!" Apache exclaimed cheerfully.
Socking her in the gut, Mila Rose spat: "You said you weren't enjoying this!"
"Umm... so maybe I lied."
Mila Rose would have replied, but she had noticed a predatory look in Cirucci's eyes. "Um... we'll just be going now
"Oh, but we haven't even gotten started yet." Cirucci purred, snapping her whip, entangling the two female arrancar.
One scene change later, the two of them found themselves handcuffed to one bed each, in what looked suspiciously like a bondage dungeon.
"This is all your fault." Mila Rose said, growling in anger.
"NO YOU!" Apache shouted.
"Girls, girls..." Cirucci's voice came. "You'll have plenty of time to scream later, so save your breath." She grabbed a strange device, and Apache hoped it wasn't what she thought it was. As she approached her, Apache cursed herself for thinking of yet another "brilliant" idea. It never ended well!
But suddenly, the door opened, a dark-skinned, blonde shape filling the opening.
"H-halibel-sama!" Cirucci exclaimed.
"Yes." Halibel said. "And I have to ask you, Cirucci..."
"Please, mistress!" Cirucci begged. "I wasn't going to hurt them! I just wanted some fun!"
"What have I told you about using my bitches as bondage slaves, Cirucci?" Halibel said calmly.
"Um... don't do it?"
"Exactly. Now go handcuff yourself to my bed like a good uke, and we'll talk about this over some good old BDSM in a couple of hours." Halibel said, pointing to the door.
"Yesmistress..." Cirucci said, walking out the door, defeated.
"Halibel-sama! I knew you would save us!" Mila Rose exclaimed.
"I almost got a little nervous there." Apache admitted. "Now, would you mind, um, helping us out?"
"Actually..." Halibel said, practically purring, "you look good the way you are. A little too clothed, perhaps."
"...what?" the two said simultaneously
"Destroy, Tiburon." As Halibel's sword released, her face became uncovered. "Now... let's have a little fun. Sun-sun?"
In came the third of Halibel's servants, dressed in a very revealing leather outfit. "Yes, mistress?"
"Have you got the lubricant, the whips, the sensual oils and the cream?"
"Yes, mistress." The satisfaction in Sun-sun's voice was undeniable.
"Just as planned." Halibel purred.
Lying back, Mila Rose groaned. "Not again."
End of chapter 50.85