Bleach/AMG AU Fic Blessings In Disguise Chapter 6

Wheeljack

Well-Known Member
#1
As many of you know, real life is a bitch. I had this sucker outlined last October with a small start into Nov/Dec, and then January hit...

I can't recall being so busy at work, extending to home being too tired to want to do anything but browse the net... Not to mention other things at that time of year. For those in the know, my sisters wedding went well, thankfully.

And as for this chapter, this was suppossed to be a quick filler chapter before we got back has ended up again being more than what I thought it was going to turn out. Chapter 5's outline was 60 kb in size. Chapter 6 was less than 10!

Aye....

So, without further ado - Chapter 6.

Again, comments and criticism are welcome, and any help with grammer and/or spelling mistakes is very much appreciated.

Also, if you do not see the 'To Be Continued' and the Omake at the end, I haven't finished posting then.

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Disclaimer: Bleach is created by Tite Kubo and is distributed by Weekly Shonen Jump, Shueisha,Studio Pierrot, TV Tokyo, Adult Swim, & Viz Media. Ah My Goddess is created by Kousuke Fujishima and is distributed by Kodansha, Afternoon Magazine, AIC, Tokyo Broadcast Station (TBS), Animeigo, Geneon, Dark Horse Manga, Media Blasters, ADV Films & FUNimation Entertainment. No infringement is intended. Characters created by Ghostface used with permission.

Blessings In Disguise

Book I: Be Careful What You Wish For

Chapter 6

-''Cause Making Up Is Hard To Do~'-

"Uhhhhh", Urd moaned as her vision cleared. With eyes forward, or upward in this case, she saw the roof slowly come into focus before stretching on her futon. She blinked a few times in an effort to wake up and all too soon the memories of the previous night came forth. Whatever rest she had just felt vanished as her blunder came to fore.

Looking around her she looked around the room she was in. It was a bit spacious, she noted, and cleaning it up shouldn't be too much of an issue, catching a bit of visible dust in the corners. There was closet space off to one side and the end of the room was another shouji door, open, and she could see a small area behind it along with a window. Idly she wondered what this had been for, originally. Though the room was spacious with another little section, it was rather bare, and looked to be for light storage. She grumbled as that could apply to herself at the moment.

"Well, we can't have that now", she said to herself, pushing her thoughts aside and bringing her into the now. After Belldandy and Isshin came in from their midnight outing and noticed Urd still awake both of them insisted they stay in one of the guest rooms of their home. After a quick cleaning and a futon dropped they had left her for the night.

Snorting as she remembered that this was going to be her home for the meantime she retook stock of the sizeable guestroom and began making plans for what was going to be her room. Nodding as the claim was made in her head she rose and stretched once more. She rubbed her back and yawned before exiting *her* room.

It was still somewhat early in the morning, from what she could tell. Further out into the living room area she could hear her sister and nieces telling Ichigo to have a good day and she paused, holding back and waited in the hallway as she soon heard the front door shut. She leaned back against the hallway and her head rolled back to come to rest against the cool wall and she closed her eyes.

Nieces...nephews...brother-in-law...

Again she could feel that empty feeling in the pit of her stomach begin to swell and squashed it as best she could. Hearing her sister in what was the kitchen Urd slowly moved onward. Reaching the kitchen entrance she turned and stared at what she saw.

In the kitchen both Belldandy and Yuzu were in aprons, both facing away from her near the sink at the counter while Karin was at the table, head on the table and was also facing away from her.

However what had made her pause was what she was hearing from both mother and daughter and was struck again at the similarities. Yuzu was standing on a stool, making it easier to move her upper body over the counter as she interacted with her mother. She had two eggs in hand and seemed to be slightly swaying back and forth in a type of rhythm, and noticed that Belldandy was doing the same thing.

It was then that she noticed that Belldandy was humming and her niece was singing.

"First we take an egg
And mix it up with love
We'll flavor it together
With blessings from above~"

The last line came mumbled from the table, but Urd stood there continuing to watch how eerily mother and daughter matched as they both stopped to giggle at each other. The giggling soon stopped as Yuzu gasped and Urd realized that it was because she had finally been noticed.

Urd resisted the urge to sigh as she caught the look on Yuzu's face and those all too familiar blue eyes.

"Neesan. Good morning", Belldandy greeted with a smile as she moved to clean her hands.

"Morning", Urd returned, raising an arm in greeting. As Urd stepped fully into the kitchen Belldandy closed the gap between them and hugged her. Momentarily surprised Urd returned the hug, giving her sister a bit of an extra squeeze.

After a moment Belldandy finally pulled away and addressed her. "You must be hungry, we'll have breakfast ready in a moment".

It was then that Urd caught the scent of the rest of breakfast being cooked and her stomach rumbled. "Thank you".

Belldandy smiled and turned back toward the counter. Turning to the table Urd caught a redfaced Karin giving a glare at her before quickly turning to the side, her ponytail whipping to come to rest over the girl's shoulder. Looking back to Yuzu the girl had turned away to resume work on breakfast, now noticeably closer to Belldandy. It was then that Yuzu turned back to glace at her. Giving a soft yelp at being caught she quickly turned her head back.

Urd did sigh this time and turned to walk toward the living room, missing the concerned glance Belldandy gave her. Sitting down on the sofa took the remote control for the tv and turned it on.

-CLICK-

"Miaka".

Tamahome".

"Miaka".

"Tamaho-"

-CLICK-

"Hey Goku! I got some great new training for you! You run as fast as you can into my car while I drive it!

"I dunno King Kai, wouldn't that kind of hurt-"

"Shuddup! Your power level will be hhuuUUGgggee".

"Ok".

-CLICK-

"Tsukune".

"Moka-san".

"Tsukune".

"Moka-"

-CLICK-

Urd sighed, taking several minutes to flip channels a few more times before coming along something that did interest her. Finally getting comfortable she brought her legs up and in. It was soon after she heard the phone ring and the footsteps of her sister as she answered it.

"Neesan", she heard her sister call after a moment. Turning, she saw Belldandy with the phone in her hand. Realizing it was for her, Urd got up and took the phone from her sister and answered, puzzled at who it might be.

"Neesan?", came Isshin's voice.

"Yes?", she answered, curious as to the call.

"Where are you?! You're supposed to have the early shift today!"

"Hah?"

"We're all very happy that you've been reunited with your sister, but that's not an excuse to miss work!"

Urd blinked.

"I'm expecting you in 15 minutes. Don't be late! Oh, give the phone back to Bell? Thank you"

Urd woodenly handed the phone back to Belldandy and after a quick mention of how she was doing bid her husband goodbye and hung up.

"Neesan", she began. "I'll have your breakfast and lunch ready for you in a moment". Seeing Urd stare at her she thought what could be the problem before she understood.

"Isshin's still understaffed at the clinic. Please understand Neesan. Though I may now be fully healed due to my reintegration with Yggsdrasil we still need to maintain appearances. I want to resume my place there but I still need to be here for Keiichi-", she trailed off as Urd rose her hand.

"Say no more", Urd responded and sighed, grimacing all the while before turning back to her room. It wasn't long until she too was out the door, hastily grabbing the boxed breakfast Belldandy had soon brought out.

Within the kitchen both Karin and Yuzu had listened to the conversation, both not having touched either of their breakfast. Hearing their aunt leave both let out a breath they didn't know they had been holding.

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As so the days rolled by.

Though it was not without it's interesting incidents....

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Tatsuki rolled her head back and forth, popping her neck as she walked towards the shrine which held Shi-ichi's home. Today would be the first day back at the dojo with Shi-ichi in some time, and Noriyuki sensei had been rather... interested in hearing Shi-ichi's explanation for some of the rumors that had floated his way from the other students.

She snorted at that, and snorted again as she couldn't shut them up in time. The way they talked about it made it seem like Shi-ichi went out for blood, not to mention his more recent exploits.

What the hell was going on? Yokomura's gang was completely taken out, and word had been that Shi-ichi did the damage, but how?

She turned the corner into the courtyard of Shi-ichi's home, lost in thought. 'There's no way Shi-ichi could do that, and without me? All of them at once? Not a chance'.

Reaching the front door she knocked twice. "Hello!", she called out. "May I come in?". Hearing the footsteps beyond the door she took a step back and prepared to greet whomever opened the door. Karin perhaps? Or maybe Shi-ichi's mom?

The door opened.

"Hell..ooo?", she gawked.

"Yo", came the reply with a wave from a woman she didn't know. A very beautiful woman, tanned skin with hair of a type she had only seen on television. "Welcome to the Kurosaki home. How can I help you?"

"Ah..well, uh...", Tatsuki mumbled, trying to take hold of the situation.

"Do I know you?", Urd asked, leaning forward and now taking a closer look, her eyes moving up and down before recognition set in. Before she could comment rapid footsteps could be heard coming from behind her.

"Tatsuki!", Ichigo's voice called out as he now attempted to quickly skirt around his aunt and get to Tatsuki before she had a chance to jump to conclusions. With his sports bag over his shoulder he made a quick sidestep to avoid hitting Urd. Now blocking Urd's view he was about to suggest that they both leave now so he could begin explaining things to her.

He unfortunately missed his aunt's peeved glare at his actions.

"Shi-ichi?", Tatsuki said, tilting her head at Ichigo and giving him a stare that all but screamed, 'who *is* this'?

Before he could say anything Urd's arms encircled his waist, one high at his chest and one to his lower abdomen and drew him close in an intimate hug. She then rested her chin on his shoulder, freezing him at the act.

"So is this the girl you've mentioned, dear?", she whispered to him yet loud enough that Tatsuki could hear. Her lips were close to his ear, and her tone was sultry.

"Ga-gah-gah", Ichigo mumbled, unable to form a coherent sentence.

Eyes moving back to Tatsuki but not moving from her position Urd addressed her. "I'm sorry, but this boy's currently off the market". She smiled as the girl's face paled further.

'Oh, yes. You have it bad', she thought.

"Shi-shi-shi-SHI-ICHI!", Tatsuki screamed, snapping Ichigo out of his trance.

Ichigo twisted out of his aunt's hold and stood directly in front of Tatsuki, arms now raised in an attempt to calm the near hyperventilating girl. "Tatsuki, it ain't like that!", he nearly screamed. "She's my aunt!", he quickly spat out only to see her eyes narrow dangerously at his answer.

Her head dropped at his answer and he saw her ball her fists.

'Oh shit.'

"Tatsuki-chan! Hello", came Belldandy's voice, capturing everyone's attention and momentarily putting a cap on volcano ready to vent. Walking out the door she came up to Tatsuki, giving her a quick hug. Pulling back, she motioned to Urd. "I see you've met my sister. She's going to be staying with us for awhile".

Tatsuki blinked and looked back and forth between them, now suddenly unsure of herself as she realized that Shi-ichi could really now have been telling the truth. With that she soon found herself comparing the two. After a moment she ventured, "Sister, Mrs. Kurosaki?"

"Yes, my elder sister".

"I..uh, really? W-wow...", was what she could manage. Again taking a look at Urd she found herself concluding that she looked way too good to be older than Shi-ichi's mom.

Meanwhile Ichigo, now having said thanks to whatever deity had spared him was now more interested in getting a move on. "Tatsuki", he said getting her attention. Once gained, he motioned towards the gate with his head.

"Tatsuki-chan, could you wait a moment", Belldandy asked.

"Yes?", Tatsuki replied, returning her attention to Shi-ichi's mom.

"Will you be joining us again this year? We'd love to have you over."

"Hmm?", Tatsuki muttered confused before realizing what she meant. "Oh...OH. Yes, if it wouldn't be too much of a problem", she said, now blushing a bit.

Both Urd and Ichigo watched, confused at this turnaround.

"It's never a problem", Belldandy said. "Have you found anything yet?", Belldandy asked. Understanding what she meant, Tatsuki found herself discovering that the ground had an interesting viewpoint.

"No, uh, not yet. Hopefully soon", she said, resisting the urge to toe the ground.

"That's good."

"Tatsuki", Ichigo mentioned again. Turning her head to acknowledge him she turned back to Belldandy.

"I'm looking forward to it. Thank you so much Mrs Kurosaki". Bowing to his mother, she turned and joined Ichigo, both jogging off.

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"What was that about?", Ichigo asked as they exited the gate of the courtyard, legs pumping as both held a steady pace down the hill.

She turned to him and gave him a disbelieving look. "Don't be thick Shi-ichi, think about it for a moment".

Still jogging nothing came to mind. Sighing Tatsuki shook her head. "Our birthdays are coming up, genius. Your mom wants to have both of us together to share it again".

"Again?", Ichigo asked confused.

"Yeah, is there a problem", she asked, trying to hide a strange twist in her stomach as they continued on their pace.

"No, no problem", Ichigo mentioned, his eyes a bit glazed as his thoughts were now miles away. "So, uh, this year again, huh?"

"Seems like it", she smiled, though her lips not quite curving as they should have. Shi-ichi's answer sounded rather...distant.

Shaking her head to rid herself of those thoughts she then sped up a bit.

"Hey! Wait up!", Ichigo shouted, now pumping his legs faster to catch up to her. "What's up?", he asked once he was aside her again.

"Nothin', just can't wait to kick your ass in practice later", she said, speeding up once more.

"Hey! Wait up!", Ichigo yelled, speeding up again.

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-A few moments earlier-

"What was that about", Urd asked, watching them both take off.

"Hm?", Belldandy turned to look at her. "Oh, that's right. Both Ichigo and Tatsuki's birthdays are coming up; Ichigo on the 15th and Tatsuki on the 17th. Because they're so close it's more enjoyable to share them together."

Urd raised an eyebrow at Belldandy's choice of words but kept quiet as her sister continued.

"We've had them together for the last two years, and every so often since they've known each other."

"How long", Urd asked. Isshin had given her some info at the clinic when she offered to 'help' his son, now her nephew, but nothing complete.

"They've known each other since they were four". At that Urd did whistle, causing Belldandy to raise an eyebrow at her.

"So", Urd said ignoring her sister's questioning look and coming up to her. "Tell me what you have planned."

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"HI-YAH!"

"AGAIN!"

"HI-YAH!"

"AGAIN!"

And so it went, with Ichigo and a mass of other students letting out a strong kiai as they were midway through their sets. For Ichigo, the workout helped set aside his talk with Noriyuki-sensei.

After changing into his gi he had been called aside by his teacher. In his 60s, Kesuke Noriyuki stood only slightly shorter than his student, however his brown eyes were still sharp and had worn an expression that Ichigo's own scowl could not yet match. His salt and pepper colored moustache and goatee matched his hair, still full and flayed slightly at the sides it only helped enhance his glare.

Ichigo had walked out of his office slightly frayed himself as he had been grilled on what had happened recently. Somehow or another, word of his recent exploits had spread to the point of catching his teacher's ear, who had with no lack of interest had questioned him about it and the aftermath.

Satisfied, or at least giving the impression of being satisfied with Ichigo's hasty explanations he had given a quick congratulations on the new addition to his family and well wishes to his mother. He had let out a large breath as he exited, feeling far more worn out than he liked. Arguing with his father about this hadn't been nearly as exhausting.

As the students finished they then moved to sit in a U-Shape line up around the mat for sparring. Each student sat looking forward with their back straight and their arms resting in their lap.

"Arisawa! Kurosaki! You're up!", called out Noriyuki's assistant, Hibiki Morita. "Best of 5!", he proclaimed. Ichigo raised an eyebrow before turning to Tatsuki.

Tatsuki smiled, waiting for this chance. Hopping to her feet she practically skipped to her place at the center of the mat; all the while stretching her neck side to side and cracked her knuckles, grinning all the while. It was time to let out a little frustration at Shi-ichi for earlier, not to mention that little mishap in class awhile ago.

Ichigo rose and rolled his shoulders, eyeing Tatsuki as he walked to his place on the mat. A part of him felt rather strange doing this, not having had to fight Tatsuki in quite some time. The other part, the part of him that kept surprising him with the emotions and revelations in this new world felt within him his blood begin to burn at another chance to show Tatsuki who was on the top of the food chain. He blinked and shook his head at how forceful that second feeling caught him, the awkwardness rising within him.

Tatsuki was and is a great fighter in both memories. However, his dominant ones from his previous life remembered not wanting to fight her anymore, having once given in and sparred with her that had ended up with him tagging her good. After that he couldn't do it anymore, realizing he was growing and outpacing her.

'I'll take it easy', he thought, pushing down the familiar feeling of a fight brewing within him. Coming to a halt on his side of mat he calmly looked at Tatsuki as she took slight hops up and down before snapping into her stance.

Watching from the sidelines Noriyuki resisted the urge to roll his eyes as these two matched up again. However something had caught his eye before turning away to his office and he stopped. Studying Ichigo, he frowned as the boy took his stance. He stood there, calm, almost with a resigned look on his face where in the past he had normally returned Tatsuki's enthusiasm with equal fervor.

Tatsuki found her eyebrow twitching, also noticing the change in Shi-ichi as he took his stance. 'What the hell, Shi-ichi?', she thought, beginning to grow more irritated as Shi-ichi slowly began moving in his stance, keeping him loose. Suddenly the thoughts and rumors that the others had been talking about came to mind. 'Maybe there's some truth to them after all but that doesn't give you the right to act all cocky Shi-ichi'!

Ichigo blew out a breath as he began to focus on Tatsuki, noting in the back of his head that she seemed to be getting angry, but at what he couldn't tell. 'She'll probably take it out on me', he thought, opening and closing his fists, knuckles popping.

Holding position a little off to the side but between him and Tatsuki was Morita-sensei, arm now rising and pausing as it reached it's apex, as when he brought it down would signal the start of the match.

Tatsuki snorted as bounced back and forth, eyes completely focused in on Ichigo.

The students that sat at the side of the mat began to murmur. Watching Tatsuki and Ichigo had always been in some parts fun and in many ways frustrating. Fun because they always got a decent fight out of it and frustrating because it was a reminder that they still weren't at that level yet.

However...

However they could sense something was...

...different.

"FIGHT", Morita shouted bringing his arm down and quickly stepping back.

Tatsuki immediately dashed a few steps forward, throwing off several straight punches, putting Ichigo on the defensive. Quickly taking a step back in response Ichigo brought his arms up, deflecting a few of Tatsuki's punches.

Tatsuki continued to press her attack with a few more combinations directed to Ichigo's upper body and head area. Satisfied that she felt he would think she would continue to concentrate on his upper body she suddenly stopped in mid motion and Ichigo froze for a second with his arms up. Smirking she used this opportunity to grab his arms to hold them in position she drew her right leg back and quickly lunged forward shooting her knee up towards Ichigo's sternum.

Realizing what she was doing he swiftly brought his own leg up to block, her knee crashing just below his. Both hissed at the sharp pain that coursed threw them at the impact. Tatsuki recovered first as she then dropped into a crouching position and with the leg she had attacked with shot out. With Ichigo still on one foot she twisted into a sweep, catching Ichigo behind his knee and he fell. As his body hit the bat she lunged to tag him in the upper body for the first point.

Ichigo landed with a thud that was dulled by the mat and brought in his arms and legs, blocking and catching Tatsuki's attack. With his foot at her stomach he pushed forward, tossing her off him. Kip-upping to his feet he saw Tatsuki rise with a snarl. Bringing his arms up he moved around her to a position closer to the center of the mat and waited.

Tatsuki was momentarily put off at this, normally he'd press his attack but opted to hang back and wait for her. 'Oh you are NOT thinking you are so high and mighty that you can hold back', she thought, anger taking hold. She then suddenly dashed toward him again using a different combination of punches, now putting an emphasis of speed.

Again he continued to block but she felt a bit of satisfaction as he began to weave side to side a bit but found her frustration quickly returning at his lack of counterattacking. With a quick combination she suddenly shot her fight fist out, passing his defenses causing him to weave to his right, her fist a few inches from his face. In that instant her hand opened with her palm open facing his face and with her body twisting her hand snapped towards his face and slapped him.

Ichigo's face snapped to the side as he staggered before quickly regaining his balance. He then brought a hand up to his stinging cheek and stared wide-eyed at Tatsuki who looked upon him furiously.

"Arisawa", yelled Morita. "One warning, to both of you", he bellowed. "One more and it ends, keep it clean!"

"I don't know what hell's gotten into you", she growled menacingly. "I don't know what's been happening recently to make you act like this, but dammit, you will NOT embarrass me like this here." She snapped into her stance again. "Now FIGHT ME!"

Ichigo rubbed his cheek, blinking. 'What...what the hell?', he thought. 'Tatsuki could get pissed off, yeah, but this?' The Tatsuki he remembered got plenty pissed when he wouldn't fight her anymore but she stewed silently. This one... This one was going to outright murder him if he didn't try.

'I'm better than she is', that voice in the back of his head chimed in again, and for the second time he felt within him the urge to prove it. To desperately prove it, he realized as he felt a wave of frustration wash over him.

Though he wouldn't say it it almost matched what his old man made him feel time to time.

He growled as he tried to force those feelings down again, things were-no, are different. They are. He brought himself into a stance once more and waited. He almost winced at seeing a very visible twitch from Tatsuki's eyebrow.

Once more Tatsuki rushed him with a flurry of punches aimed from his head to his chest once more. Again he blocked, now trying to move back and forth across the mat as she continued her attack. Suddenly she switched positions and he felt a stinging sensation in his shin and his balance fail him as he began to tilt towards his left. Quickly bringing her foot back she grabbed his arm and in one motion turned and threw him over her shoulder into the mat.

Ichigo had no time to think as the world spun before he felt the air being punched out of his lungs as he landed on his back. No chance to catch his breath as he felt her forearm bury itself in her chest before she stood up and stepped back, glaring at him all the while.

"Point, Arisawa!", Morita proclaimed.

Ichigo gasped for breath, coughing a few times as he laid stunned. His vision now refocusing he saw Tatsuki walking toward her side of the mat and glared at him over her shoulder. Getting up he walked back towards his side and Morita again stood close, arm again rising. He retook his stance and eyed Tatsuki a bit more warily.

"FIGHT!"

Taking the initiative this time he caught Tatsuki halfway through her charge, connecting with her shoulder to shoulder and using his weight to press her back. Quickly hopping on one foot backwards, almost skipping at that speed, she swiftly retook her stance as he began his own combination of punches, keeping them quick lest Tatsuki take hold of them once more.

Quickly he brought his leading foot up from an attempted sweep and he suddenly snapped forward, palm shooting out and nearly caught her in the face. So close was her last minute dodge he felt the sweat on her hair on his forearm as he nearly grazed her.

Blinking he nearly gasped that he almost hit her when he heard a loud kiai and his breath was forced out of his mouth again as he staggered back. Looking up he caught Tatsuki with her arm outstretched in a straight punch.

"Point, Arisawa!"

Rubbing his chest he looked at her once more, anew. The girl he knew was no slouch, but seeing her now, feeling what she was doing to him now brought it home again that things were different. The look she was giving him now was one he'd never seen her give him before and felt his stomach churn.

"Another loss, again", he heard someone mutter.

"Can't say I'm surprised", another commented almost disappointingly.

Taking a few more breaths he realized that he was on the verge of losing. 'AGAIN', something within him screamed, and that wave of frustration followed by embarrassment enveloped him once more. The girl that he almost hurt back home was now going to drive the point home that she was NOT the same girl with humiliating results.

He snorted, thinking about what just happened. Two quick points, and with one more he'd be toast. His lips curled as his current mood was beginning to match the echo of what his life once was in this world. 'I am not going down', he thought.

Taking his spot at the mat he came into another stance, this one a facing towards his opponent more and brought his arms up. Taking a deep breath he blew from his nose and focused on Tatsuki seriously.

Tatsuki kept the same stance as she had earlier, though there was a ghost a smile that flickered on her.

"FIGHT!"

Instead of charging one another this time both started to circle each other. Every few steps brought one closer to the other with the other slightly pulling back, keeping the distance between them equal. After the umpteenth time both stopped and stared.

Suddenly Ichigo charged forward and when in range snapped a few low kicks, causing Tatsuki to back off. With her nearing the edge of the mat he pressed on, having switched to punches which she blocked. Trying another tactic he again pressed forward, trying to get in close.

Throwing a right punch he continued moving forward as Tatsuki blocked and grabbed her gi near the top of her left shoulder. With his grip he pulled her toward him to throw her on her back as she had did him.

That had been the plan when suddenly she grabbed gi and hopped onto him, wrapping her legs around his waist and threw herself backward. Caught by surprise and the unexpected weight pulling him he had no choice but to follow through and roll.

His back hit the mat and he attempted to push his body into a roll when he stopped midway, Tatsuki's weight and grip holding on to him as she suddenly pulled backward. He was nearly pinned.

'NO!', he mentally panicked. He had severely underestimated her, even when thinking that he could take even her despite acknowledging the memories of the person he had been here. Pushing mightly against the mat, he suddenly broke her hold before she could score the final point and hopped to his feet and took a step or two back, gasping for breath at coming out of his pin.

Tatsuki snorted and grinned as she got up, the twinkle in her eyes telling him all he needed to know. With her forehead damp with a sheen of sweat she used her gi's forearm to wipe herself. With two wipes she pulled back into her stance.

'She's really, really good', Ichigo thought, somewhat admiringly now. 'Of course she is', he felt, again being reminded that through thick and thin here, she always had his back. For a second a vision of his father laughing at him came to him and he grimaced. He shook his head and snorted, now a bit angry at himself, not just for being on the verge of losing in an embarrassing way, but not giving his best friend any credit at the start. 'I'm sorry', he communicated to her mentally.

With that he charged forward again. She met him halfway again, throwing a kick which he block and twisted, causing her momentum to take her to far to the side when she regained control as that foot came down and twisted with another kick with her other foot. Ichigo dropped to the floor with both legs outstretched and slightly spread and suddenly scissored them.

Caught at the calf she tripped, grimacaing as her lower leg stun. She hit the mat facefirst next to Ichigo and felt an arm and elbow strike her exposed back.

"Point, Kurosaki!"

Getting up she breifly glared at him as she walked back to her part of the mat. Ichigo glared back at her, resuming his place. 'Can't think of her as a friend here. Can't think about holding back anymore, she's already pissed about that. I have to treat her as a real opponent'.

Holding his stance his eyes caught Tatsuki's and they held each other's gaze that was broken only with the arm of the Morita coming down, signaling the start.

"FIGHT!"

Both began circling each other again, mixing their direction up a few times to gauge how the other would react. Tatsuki then charged in, snapping her foot high with a swift kick to Ichigo's head. Ichigo brought up both arms in a block and sucked in a breath as his forearms stung from the quick hit.

With his vision blocked and arms high she closed the distance to his exposed stomach. She launched a straight punch forward when she saw his waist twist and stars filled her vision. "Wha-what the..", she mumbled as she blinked away the stars and realized that she was staring at the ceiling.

"Point, Kurosaki!"

There was a lot of murmuring among the students now. That had been different. Not in Ichigo scoring a point, but in that how swift that palm strike had come out and hit Tatsuki's forehead. Tatsuki was just delivering the blow to end the match when Ichigo hand suddenly twisted and his left arm snapped forward.

Tatsuki got up, rubbing her head. 'Ok, teach me for being cocky myself', she thought. She reran that last couple seconds in her mind and fought to keep a smile off her face. 'He finally took me seriously. No stupid countermove or safe but precise hit for a point, but a real strike against me'.

Ichigo on the other hand gulped. That last one had been all reflex, as at the last second he had experienced deja vu with his father trying the same thing and he had responsed accordingly. Remembering all too quickly that Tatsuki was not his father he pulled back just in time.

'I hope she's not pissed off about that', he thought as she saw her get up and head back to her place of the mat, rubbing her head. Waiting for her to turn around his mouth nearly dropped at seeing the last expression he was expecting.

She was grinning at him with what some would describe as a million watt smile as she hopped up and down, suddenly feeling energized. He blinked a few times when she then stuck her tongue out at him and pointed to where he was supposed to be.

'Maybe I tagged her too hard...', he thought. Getting back to his side he retook his stance and looked at her as she did likewise. She held his eyes and smiled again, and with realization he let out a snort and found himself smiling back at her. He'd seen the look on her face before but what was odd was why it was happening now and not after the match.

Ah well, it didn't matter. There was one more point to go, and he was determined to take it. No games, just show her that he could do it. His eyes opened slightly as he viewed Tatsuki. She was still hopping up and down, her bangs bouncing with each hop, beads of sweat flying from them as they snapped up and down. It was infectious as he felt the smile on his face widen and she suddenly tilted her head at him, still grinning.

'Wait, she isn't- aw hell, she is', he thought. 'Hell, why not', he thought, hopping up and down as well to rev himself up.

At the side Noriyuki watched both intently. He had noticed Ichigo's slight change in his fighting, but for what reasons he could not answer. The boy had also for some reason foolishly attempted to hold back against Arisawa, something he had never done before. It seemed only after Arisawa's two consecutive points he got his head out from whereever it was buried and gave a better showing. Curious to how it would end he caught Arisawa's head tilt and Kurosaki's smiled reply and resisted the sudden urge to palm his face and instead closed his eyes and sighed.

"FIGHT!"

Both Ichigo and Tatsuki, grinning at each other like madmen rushed each other with both fists reared.

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Ichigo waited outside the dojo, bag in hand and looked at his watch. Before he could complain about Tatsuki taking her time she suddenly walked out, still smiling but not quite as intense as it had been at the end of the match.

Stretching her arms forward she brought them back and looked at Ichigo. "Just remember it was one match, and you can't get cocky".

He rolled his eyes and began to walk away from the dojo with Tatsuki at his side. "The only reason you won", she continued, "was because your reach was longer". She emphasized that with a straight punch forward.

"Still", she said tilting her head up to look at him. "Just what were you thinking when you decided to sandbag me back there?"

He blew out a breath and grimaced, "Nothin'".

"Nothing my ass. You only woke up after I decided to beat the crap outta you".

"And I got back in it, I get it. It won't happen again, ok?"

"I hope not, those last minutes were fun. At least now I can look forward to you actually try to hit me".

They turned the corner into the street, the summer day starting to wind down. As they walked down the street Tatsuki looked up at Ichigo and recalled what happened earlier.

"Say, Shi-ichi?"

"Hmm"?

"What...what do you want for you're birthday?"

He was silent for a moment, realizing again how close his and her birthdays were. What did he want?

"To be honest, I don't know".

Tatsuki raised an eyebrow at him. "You sure? Last year you were talking non-stop about that game and I was certain you wanted another."

A game? Oh, that's right. That was fun, from what his alt's memories told him, but he didn't really feel into any games at the moment.

Tatsuki saw his eyes wander and snickered after a minute. "And Shi-ichi grows up before our eyes", she mocked, her hands turning upward and shoulders rising a bit in a I-don't-know gesture. "Yuuya'll be devastated to see his online buddy go".

Ichigo rolled his eyes and fought down a sudden urge to think of a game to go play. "What about you?", he asked, deflecting the question back at her.

"Me?"

"Yeah, what do you want"?

"What do I want", she repeated looking at him. After a moment of looking at him she turned away, fighting down her own sudden thoughts and blush. "Dunno", she said, looking away with a scowl.

"You dunno", he repeated.

"Yeah", she insisted.

"What", he mocked, suddenly remembering last year. "You don't want another set of-"

"SHUT UP!", she yelled, red as a tomato. "Not that I don't appreciate what your mom got for me, but I'll take a game any day".

"I dunno", Ichigo started again, liking the turnaround. "It's not like-"

"So that was your aunt this morning", Tatsuki blurted out, using the special move tactic Change-Topic-no-Jutsu.

Ichigo grinned for another moment, trying to hold down last year's memory and the look she had on her face.

"Well?", she demanded, trying to force down her embarrassment before she forced her fist down his throat.

Finally calming down and thinking over recent events Ichigo blew a breath. "Yeah, she is".

"I thought your mom was an only child. Why'd you never mention her before?"

"I didn't know about her", he replied honestly.

"And she's actually older than your mom?"

"Yeah. Wild, isn't it", he said. Though to be thoroughly honest 'wild' was far too tame a word.

"It's just...", she said, searching for the right word. "Weird", she finally said, shaking her head slightly. "And she looks so young too", she mouthed, remembering how pretty she was, just like his mother.

'Oh yeah', he thought with his eyes widening resigned, knowing the reason's for that.

"It's just so strange to hear about her now", Tatsuki continued. She looked downward for a moment in thought before bringing them back up. "Were there family problems?"

Ichigo looked at her oddly.

"Well", she said, catching his confusion. "They look so different. Maybe something happened with your grandpa..."

His eyebrows rose. Funny, he didn't really think about the difference until she pointed it out. 'Are all goddesses different like that', he wondered. There was something at the back of his head, something important, but he couldn't seem to remember. Something about what mom had said...

"It's just a thought", she suddenly said, concerned that he had gone quiet.

He shrugged his shoulders. "Whatever it was, it doesn't really matter" he said. "She's going to be with us for awhile now".

"Really?"

"Yeah", he said, blowing out another breath knowing that he was responsible.

Tatsuki looked at him, concerned now at his change of mood. Looking ahead she smiled at what was coming up and took hold of his arm and pulled.

"Hey!?"

"C'mon, Shi-ichi. I let you have it easy today, but I won't give it to you easy here!", she said and then dragged him into the arcade.

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Karin gaped at what she saw and gulped. Her mom had asked her to get her aunt for dinner and after much hemming and hawing and stalling had finally relented.

What was going to be a swift open the door and shout to come to dinner run-by she had stood frozen as there was nothing left that remotely looked like the sparse room that had been there before.

She walked in, mesmerized by what she saw. The room was spectacularly clean now, with shelves and books and tables and all sorts of things that she had only glimpsed in some chemistry book, if she remembered right. The shelves and table were both wood with a clean finish, giving off a both new and lovingly used look.

There were some rugs on the floor now as well, and curtains at the window if she guessed right, however she just continued to gawk at the equipment on the table. She turned her gaze and noticed that the other shelves held many jars and bottles as well. This was beginning to look like an old movie she saw once.

"She's a witch", she murmured to herself. "She really is a witch", she said again in both wonder and dawning horror. She gazed downward and her thoughts turned to both her mother and aunt, two opposites if she ever knew one. Her mother's image appeared before her, smiling, calm, her angel-like wings outstretched to be balanced by Urd's snarling appearance, bat-like wings outstretched, her hair blowing in the wind, ready and all too willing to condemn all who-

"And just who gave you permission to enter", a voice said next to her ear and a finger chillingly caressed her face.

Karin screeched as she then snapped to life, twisting to the side and bolting, hampered only by her slip and fall to the ground. In an instant she was up and out the door, screaming for dear life.

Urd giggled to herself. That had been a little more fun that she thought. Though it would not help with the healing process between her and her nieces, she did need to drive it into them that playing in here was *not* a good thing.

And now that that was over other matters returned and she sighed. 'Just a birthday party', she lamented with a whine. After both Tatsuki and Ichigo left Bell had given her the details of the upcoming plans for them.

'How boring', she thought.

No fireworks, no grand music, no sex and most important of all, no booze. How was a growing boy to learn about the finer things in life? If this were Heaven at his age he'd-

"Neesan", Belldandy said from the door, slowly sliding it open.

Turning around she saw Belldandy enter and close the door. "Yes?"

"What happened with Karin?"

"I caught her in my room".

"You didn't need to scare her."

Urd sighed. "You know how dangerous my equipment and potions can be if in the wrong hands, Bell. If anything, she does know now to keep out now. Yuzu will too, if I guess right. It is for their own safety, after all".

"Still, you didn't need to do that quite like that".

Urd raised an eyebrow. To be honest, the glint in Karin's eyes from what little she had seen so far had reminded her of herself. Best to have nipped this in the bud. "Well, what's done is done", she said, brushing it off.

Looking at Belldandy again, she noticed her walking around, glancing about.

"Bell?"

"Hmm? Oh, I was just taking everything in, it really does look like your old room, doesn't it?"

"Not as big though", stating the obvious. "I only put up my best stuff".

"I see", Belldandy said, a small smile on her face as she continued to look around, slowly walking by each shelf and book, taking the time to touch and caress a few. Urd's good mood vanished, seeing the look of nostalgia on her sister's face. After a moment, Belldandy brought herself back to the present and walked to the door.

"Dinner is ready, and we don't want it to go cold".

"Of course", Urd replied. "Bell?"

Her sister turned.

"You know I didn't mean anything with Karin, but both the girls could be in trouble if they snuck in here when they're not supposed to. What I did was no different than what I do with Skuld.

"I know", she said, wistfully thinking of her other sister. "But you also realize that it'll be tougher on you with them, right?"

"It'll all work out, you'll see", she said, waving the concerns away.

"That's good to hear", Belldandy replied with a smile as they both walked out.

Urd smiled back but her thoughts turned towards their younger sister. Knowing Skuld she wouldn't stay behind for long.

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Wheeljack

Well-Known Member
#2
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Speaking of Skuld...

Skuld sneered and wiped her brow for the umpteenth time that day, and perhaps for several thousandth or so time that week. Lifting up her reader she scanned the section she was in.

So far - Clear.

With that, she crawled back out from under the terminal she was working on. Once out she rubbed herself clean as much as possible, inadvertently smudging her uniform even more. Taking notice, she grimaced in disdain and plopped herself on her rear and whined.

"Stupid Urd", she moaned, too tired to put the proper venom into it. Closing her eyes, she tried to get a little bit of rest that eluded her. Belldandy was now missing for over a week, and the nightmares, loneliness and apprehension of it all along with everything dumped on her in Urd's absence had taken its toll on her.

She stared at the ceiling, the floor feeling oddly comfortable at that moment, and raised her hand. After a moment her hand came down to rest on her forehead, but not before she wiped her eyes.

Though she was loathe to admit it, she had found herself lonely without Urd. As she was wont to do, Urd had galloped off on her own after she found the slightest hint to their sister's whereabouts and had not bothered to check in with any updates.

And then the bottom fell out.

Something had happened. Stupid Urd. It wasn't serious enough for her to actually worry about her eldest sister, but it was enough to irritate her in that she knew her sister had screwed up somehow.

And she still had not returned.

The load she had now was bad enough, but now to take on Urd and Belldandy loads full time along with her own, not to mention all the other issues others brought to her, was enough to make her scream.

Oh, why oh why did she have to be such a genius, she would lament.

System updates, debugging, maintenance, etc, etc, etc...

Her eyes twitched. The debugging had been bad enough after the crash, but after whatever Urd did set off another big round that had been giving everyone headaches on how to plug not one, but several holes, some of which still had not been located yet.

What had worried her was that some of it was working into some of the work Belldandy had been responsible for. Looking into it it seemed to center on it a bit, and everytime she thought she solved it another issue with it seemed to pop up.

Oh, where was her Oneesama to help her with this?!

She growled at though it was affecting her sister's systems, it hadn't worked into whatever wish that stupid mortal had made, whatever it was... And she would keep it so, remembering how much her sister loved to tell her how much she liked seeing the smiles of those who had their wishes granted. With that, she would do what she can to keep it clean.

But she'd need Belldandy to go through it in order to fix it completely...

She grimaced again as she knew she would have to restart soon and remembering again that it meant that the majority of the current shifts went to her as well as pulling double duty with the absence of both Urd and Belldandy. And she had cleaned Yggsdrasil's stores of ice cream a few days ago.

She blinked away a few tears that had threatened to spill out and moved to sit up.

"Skuld"?

Stopping in mid motion, she turned and saw that it was Ere that had called her. So exhausted was she that completely missed how Ere fidgeted along with the apprehensive look on her fellow goddesses' face.

"What now", Skuld asked.

"It's, um. It's, uh, um", she then gulped. "It's about Urd".

Briefly concern filled Skuld. "What about Urd"?

Ere squirmed a bit, but managed to get out, "Well, she is ok".

"Then...?", Skuld said, beginning to feel irritated.

Swallowing, Ere steeled herself. "There's been an incident. Urd's ok, but she won't be coming back for awhile. That...that with the last major malfunction she's been... she's been... she'sbeengivenatemporaryleaveaspunishment", she blurted out.

Skuld blinked a few times and processed that. She then paused in her thinking and her face contorted and tilted, realizing what that meant exactly. She took an audible breath through her nose and gave Ere a tight smile. Her head then dropped down and slowly rolled to her other shoulder facing the terminal.

"Skuld?"

-THUD-

"Skuld!"

Ere rushed to where Skuld had fell back on and held her shoulders. "Skuld! Skuld!" She shook Skuld gently, trying to wake her.

"Eeaahhuuuooo", Skuld mumbled incohenrently, her head tilting back and forth with Ere's gentle shakes. Seeing a bit of drool make it's way out her mouth Ere set her back down and dried her mouth with a cloth.

"Poor thing, you've been working so hard just trying to keep your mind off things", Ere whispered. Her head suddenly moved downward as some weight had been placed there. She then closed her eyes and sighed as she lifted her head and eyes and saw a bit of the bug that decided to use her head as a resting place.

"And I can imagine all the stress these have been putting on you as well", she said, seeing the whiskers of the bug twitch as it stayed on its spot on her head. Sighing in defeat she then gently rubbed Skuld's head with her thumb. "I'm sorry Skuld for bringing some bad news, but I had other news as well."

Seeing Skuld not move she took a small breath and felt sorry for the young goddess once more. "I knew I should have begun with the news about Belldandy first, but I -ERK!"

"ONEESAMA!!", Skuld cried, suddenly in front of Ere gripping the goddess's shoulders. "WHAT ABOUT MY ONEESAMA!!", she cried, punctuating each word with a firm shake, causing the bug to quickly hop off Ere's head lest it be slammed into the ground by the force of the shakes.

Ere's vision cleared to find Skuld near face to face with her and held firm by the young goddess's hands on her shoulders. She saw in Skuld's eyes all weariness gone as they glowed with hope for the first time in awhile.

Catching her breath she began, "Urd left some detail's just after her punishment, but Belldandy's been found, and - Skuld? Skuld!"

Skuld, as she had heard those words hopped to her feet and bounded to where her mallet laid and scooped it up. Twisting she ran for the exit, twirling the mallet and swinging it in a low arc like a polo stick, catching and launching the bug away to splatter itself and pop on the wall.

"S-Skuld", a frazzled Ere whispered, barely catching the blur that had zoomed past her.

Skuld herself was sprinting towards the main control room with a hop in her step that others were noticing had not been there for awhile. 'Oneesama!', she thought. 'News on Oneesama! She's been found!' So caught up in those thoughts she practically skipped and hopped through the entrance.

"Skuld?", Chrono muttered as she witnessed the young goddess nearly trample a few others on the way to the terminal that Urd usually worked at. Hopping into it, her hands flew across the keyscreens. She eagerly waited for the info, and when it popped up reviewed it instantly.

She blinked. "Hah?" Slowly, she reread what had come up.

"Uh...uh...", shaking, she looked at it once more.

"NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

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"It's the mooo~st wonderful time of the year~!"

Tatsuki sighed as she laid her head against the door to her room before finally closing it, resigned to hear her father's god awful singing as she was about to attempt to leave her home. Walking to the living room she braced herself; as if there was one downside to her birthday, it was how he handled it.

It would be bad enough if he simply smothered her on the annual day of her birth. She would be embarrassed and irritated, but could live with it. That's normal. At least, she thought it was normal. But no, the man had to act like it was a holiday even more joyous than Christmas itself.

Her father turned around with a snap with his arms wide open and gave his daughter a goofy grin. "Well, hey there Tat-chan!"

"Hey dad," she muttered. The look on her face was completely lost on her old man.

"It's hard to imagine we're so close to celebrating the day the Arisawa clan grew even stronger than before, you know?", he said, burying his face into his right forearm, his shoulders quivering.

"Fifteen years ago...", he said suddenly snapping open and looking towards the heavens, or would be if the ceiling weren't in the way. "The Arisawa clan was thought that it could not get even stronger than it already was. And for fifteen years, you've continue to prove that false! As the years pass, you will bring the Arisawa family to new hights that it has never seen before! I'm prowwwowd of you... my dearest Tat-chan! Bwahahaha!!!"

He twirled once more and began walking in a small circle, circling his daughter and running his mout-er, speaking all the while. "This year's celebration is sure to go down in the annals of Arisawa history!" her father continued, stopping and folding his arms to himself. He then nodded, his pose of confidence on full display. "This year, It will be glorious!" He bellowed out, "And it will be just the beginning of the five-day Tat-chan celebration!"

His daughter paused, the front door now suddenly feeling miles away.

"A what to the what now?" Tatsuki responded, dreading the answer.

Her father just laughed at his daughters confusion, "Now, now my daughter. I know it's a lot to take in, but it's the least I can do to celebrate the day you brought our clan to prominence."

"Tatsuki-chan."

Tatsuki and her father turned to spot the matriarch of the Arisawa family smiling at her daughter, now suddenly with them and not in the kitchen as she was not a second before.

"Tomo-chaaAAAAAAannnnNNNN~!!!!" He let off a cry of pain as a sharp tug on his ear prevented him from going any further, "To-To-To-Tomo-chan!! That hurts!"

"Shuya," Tomoyo began in a gentle tone, her fingers still tightly gripping her husbands ear. "As lovely as it is that you're so enthusiastic about celebrating our child's birth, I belive there may be a slight problem to your plans", she said, now letting him go.

"Owowowow... what problem? What do you mean my Tomo-chan?", he said, now holding his ear.

Tomoyo turned to smile at her daughter, "I believe you should hear it from the birthday girl herself."

Tatsuki paled slightly as her father grasped her shoulders to bring her face to face with him and gave her a gaze that was hopeful and fearful all at once, "What is the problem, Tat-chan? Did you plan a multiple day feast? Please tell daddy you planned a great feast", he questioned with a pouting face and quivering lip.

Tatsuki let off a sigh and pried her father's hands off her shoulders, "No dad. I was invited to celebrate my birthday with Shi-ichi and the Kurosaki's by Mrs. Kurosaki."

A pause.

A trembling voice attempted to speak but all that came was the quick audible sucking of air. "Whu-Whuuuut?" Shuya whispered at last, now white.

"Ah, what a wonderful idea," Tomoyo squealed. "I suppose I should have expected that from Bell-chan." Shuya's head woodenly turned to gaze in disbelief at his wife before snapping back to his daughter.

"You.... you mean we're putting off the festival... again!?" Shuya cried.

"You say that like it was going to happen in the first place," Tomoyo responded, waving her hand at him before turning thoughtful.

"I suppose that means.... HE will be there, will it?" Shuya growled out.

Tatsuki sighed, knowing who her father was refusing to acknowledge, and against her better judgment responded. "Weren't you listening to me? Of Course Shi-ichi's gonna be there. It's his house and his party too."

"But Taaa~t-chhhan!" he whined. "Why didn't you say no?!? You know daddy's been planning this event since last year!"

Tatsuki sighed, "Stop it dad. Please", she pleaded, almost whining herself.

"Besides," he continued, now turning away from both of them. "You were there last year! Why do you have to do it agaaaaaain? In any case, two parties are two too many!", he said, lowering his head to shake it. Tatsuki rolled her eyes before catching her mother making a silent shooing motion to her. Tatsuki smiled at her in thanks. "As the head of this clan, I forbid this from happening", Shuya roared, turning back to his wife and wayward daughter.

He blinked as he saw his only his wife, who was waving good-bye. He turned and spotted his daughter near the shoewell, putting on her shoes. "And just where are you going, Tat-chan?"

"Shopping." She curtly replied.

"For what?"

"For things."

"For.... HIM?!?"

"Oh come off it dad," Tatsuki huffed. "I don't know what your problem is with Shi-ichi, but you need to let it go. It's getting old."

He snorted, "It won't be old until you are-"

POW

Shuya rubbed the growing bruise on his head from where his wife had smacked him. "I'm leaving now, mama!", he heard his daughter call.

"Don't be too long Tatsuki-chan. Dinner will be ready in a couple of hours."

The door closed and Shuya turned to his wife with a river of tears falling from his eyes. "To-To-To-Tomo-chaaa~n!! How could you side with... with... HIM!?!"

His wife gave him a sidelong glance before sighing as she walked back to the kitchen to prepare dinner, "Honestly, I don't know what to do with you. They're not even going out and you're acting like it's the end of the world."

She sighed again as her husband looked as if he was half dead due to her comments, "You.... you... you accept... that boy?!? How... how could... you... you do that... to me?"

"Yes I do accept him", she said through half-lidden eyes. "And she can take care of herself. She is your daughter after all." She paused as opened the refrigerator. "Still", she continued as she began to pull out ingredients, "she's coming into that age where she does start noticing boys. And at least we know this one is a good one."

"But he's not good enough for her!" He moaned, tittering into the kitchen behind her.

"Well he's good enough for me. And our child seems to think he's good enough for her, even if she doesn't know it yet. So you're outvoted." She then made way to the counter but turned to face him. "Now you can go and do something useful, like clean up your gym or something. Go on, shoo."

Shuya dumbly nodded as he slowly turned away from her, kicking some invisible dust as he moped his was to his gym area.

'I will accept this defeat for now, crybaby.' Shuya thought, "But if you ever get a single idea in your weak, little head of yours about my Tat-chan... I will destroy you utterly!'

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-Several days after-

"Karin-nee, we don't need to be in here", Yuzu nearly whined, nervous.

"It's fine, and we should be safe here", Karin responded.

"But she's not even home yet, she's still with dad at work. We can talk in our rooms".

"It doesn't matter, it's not safe there! We'll be fine here".

By here, Karin had meant the actual Buddha shrine. Though not in use, both their parents had insisted on maintaining it, and her mom had spent time in here every so often.

This place had to be safe.

"But Karin-nee-"

"Yuzu, listen to me! You haven't noticed some of the strange things that have happened?"

Yuzu shook her head, nervously looking around. She had never quite got over her fear of being alone in the shrine, and each small sound had her head darting around, looking for what may come out of shadows. "Y-y-you were the one that had to peek in her room. Maybe you started something?"

Karin paled at that, the thought never having come to her. Just being in that room, seeing all of those things, those jars, vats and god knows what else a witch needs. Maybe she did trigger something.

She gulped and looked at Yuzu again. "You sure you haven't seen anything strange?"

Again Yuzu shook her head.

"I can't be going crazy", she mumbled, her fists clenching.

"What's been happening", Yuzu asked.

"Well", Karin began and paused, trying to think of way to explain the weirdness she had experienced. "It's like... things aren't where they are or what they're supposed to be".

Yuzu looked at her blankly.

Eyes rolling upward she barely resisted tugging on her ponytail as she sucked in a frustrated breath. "Things have disappeared! And I had grabbed a cup of milk that ended up being into some sludge!"

"Did it go bad?"

"No! It was black! The milk was good and white when I poured it!"

Yuzu gave her a funny look and she tilted her head.

"I swear I'm not making this up! I double checked the milk and it was fine! And there's nothing in the fridge that has that in it!" Seeing her sister almost not paying attention and grabbed her by the shoulders. "Yuzu, the bag that you gave me today with my soccer gear ended up having our laundry!"

"But I packed it-"

"I know", Karin emphasized. Again Yuzu turned away, lost in thought.

"You know..."

"Yeah?!", Karin eagerly asked.

"The other day Ichi-ni fell in his room the other day.

"Huh?"

He didn't say anything but there was a bump in his room. Later on after he went out and when he came inside he had his chair. When I asked him about it he just said he found it outside-"

"See!See!See! She's definitely cursing us!"

"Bu-bu-bu-but why?", Yuzu replied, the fear of that first night coming back. Their aunt had actually been nice over the last week, and for a little while the fear had begun to fade, but with this new development and what Karin had seen; not to mention what happened to oniisama...

What if she was just playing nice?

A gust of wind blew over the shrine, and both could hear the trees outside moving with the wind. The gust had also caused a reverb in the almost empty area of the shrine there were in and Yuzu jumped.

"Here you to are", Urd's voice came from the entrance. Yuzu and Karin paled, Karin even more and both held their breath. "You're mother's been looking for you." She stepped further inside and stopped to gaze at the Buddha statue. Looking back at the girls she raised an eyebrow at them. "Well?"

With that Karin gulped and grabbed Yuzu's arm. "Norealreasonwe'llgonowgottafindmombye!", she yelled running off as fast as she could with her sister in tow.

Urd just watched them take off and shook her head.

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"Yuzu? Yuzu, what's wrong?", Belldandy asked, finding her youngest daughter in her room. Both girls had been on edge during dinner with Karin quickly finding an excuse to leave and Yuzu staying near her mother with the clean up. Ichigo and Isshin had been in the living room, playing with Keiichi, and Urd had gone off to her room.

Once finished her daughter left, and Belldandy noticed how stiffly she had gone. Following Yuzu to her room, her concern had turned up a notch as she saw Yuzu sitting on her bed with her blanket wrapped around her.

Quickly Belldandy joined her and brought her arms around her and immediately Yuzu turned into her, almost as if she was trying to get even closer, resting her head her mother's chest. She held onto her daughter, making cooing sounds and rubbing her back, and her daughter's shaking soon subsided.

A moment after Yuzu stopped shaking her mother prodded her again. "What's wrong, Yuzu".

"Mama, mama, what are we going to do?", she said softly, her face still lying on her mother's chest.

"About what?", Belldandy asked, her concern evident in her voice.

"About Auntie Urd".

"About Urd?"

"She going to get us, mama", she said fearfully.

"Oh, Yuzu", Belldandy replied, holding her daughter closer again. "It'll be ok. She's not going to do anything".

"But..but..she's going to curse us?"

"What?", Belldandy asked, surprised.

"Karin says that she's going to curse us, and then she'll..she'll,,,", she sniffed.

Belldandy sighed, knowing Karin's imagination had got the best of her after her little foray into her sister's room. "Yuzu. Urd is NOT going to do anything like that. Yes, she does like to experiment with her potions but she is not going to do anything like that to us."

"But..but..."

"Yuzu", she said softly. "Urd can be scary at times but you have nothing to fear from her. The way she's been this week is how she normally is. And you had started to get along, right?"

Yuzu nodded lightly but continued. "But Karin...Karin said that..."

"Karin is overreacting again", Belldandy softly chided. "It'll be ok, Yuzu, you'll see". She then kissed her daughters forehead and stayed that way for a few more moments, moving again only when she realized Yuzu had fallen asleep.

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-And finally, D-Day-

It was early evening, and the guests were now just starting to arrive. Ichigo looked around, feeling kinda nervous as he saw two of his friends at the door; Yuuya with Hideo in tow.

Despite his memories giving him an idea of what happened last year and years prior, this was *his* first party in a long time. Sure, his dad and sisters always did try to make him feel special on this day but the last actual party he had had with guests was completely orchestrated by Masaki many years ago.

He moved forward to greet them and his gaze again took in the surroundings of the living room, with streamers and signs put up announcing his birthday and fought down the feeling of his face turning red and making a break for it. Yeah, this as an 8 year old he could put up with, but he was 15 now dammit!

His growing feelings of mortification soon died to be replaced by new reason to be embarrassed. A reason that had now been in either of his lives until now. At the front at the genkan stood his aunt Urd in a purple sleeveless top, a gold necklace that dipped into a valley of cleavage that he couldn't believe she'd sport in front of other people (though in the coming months he'd realize how foolish that thought was to be). With her tight blue jeans both Yuuya and Hideo eyes traveled south to north with shit-eating grins that wouldn't leave them for the rest of the night. Though she greeted them with her own flair he could tell that they were not really listening.

Practically grabbing both their arms Ichigo dragged them away only to find himself in a headlock and looking into the face of Yuuya still sporting said shit-eating grin.

"Oh, this isn't fair man", Yuuya crowed, holding the lapels to Ichigo's shirt.

"Yeah, weren't you going to introduce us", Hideo continued, noogying his pal. "You can't keep them to yourself, you already have Arisawa and Inoue, and now this one too?"

"Oh, get off it", Ichigo replied, breaking free. Fixing his hair, he glared at both of them to no avail. "She's my aunt", he explained.

"No way", Hideo gawked.

"Get out", Yuuya added, turning back to admire how 'form fitting' those jeans were.

"Yeah, she's my mom's-", Ichigo stopped as he saw his aunt greet the next two guests to arrive and felt his cheeks flush again. Separating from Yuuya and Hideo he rushed to the front door to grab a near slobbering Keigo and Mizuiro, who had his cell phone out. Not caring why he dragged both protesting boys away and gave his aunt a stare, only to blink as she winked at him.

As nice as it was to have a party, the way things were shaping up he soon fervorently hoped that this would be the last.

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Evening had finally come, and the summer sky was at last beginning to dim, the sun now past the horizon. The air was still warm, but cool enough that the doors and windows to the Kurosaki home were open; allowing the summer breeze to roll by.

Within the home, the birthday party was finally reaching its apex, as a red-face Ichigo was gently being prodded by his mother to take what would be center stage for receiving his gifts.

Urd smiled, enjoying the discomfort her nephew was broadcasting to one and all, and from the sounds of his friends, they were as well. Not to mention family, as both Isshin and Karin were making noises and catcalls as well. Yuzu sat by embarrassed holding Keiichi on her lap, who was looking around wide-eyed at the commotion.

With enough cajoling Ichigo finally took his seat on the sofa with a red-faced scowl, with everyone gathered or gathering around him. His mother and Karin were placing some of the gifts beside him or in front of him.

Urd brought a fork to her mouth and chewed on what was left of her slice of cake, or one of the cakes, this one made by Belldandy. Yes, much better than...that...other...- She concentrated on the taste, happy at once again tasting her sister's handmade sweets. Another small commotion arose and brought her out of her thoughts as she saw her sister now gently pulling Tatsuki from her sitting place.

Turning red-faced herself, Tatsuki could not deny request and gentle pulling of Ichigo's mother, and soon she was sitting next to the birthday boy, with Karin placing the few gifts they bought for her close by. Tatsuki turned to glance at Ichigo and the caught him looking at her puzzled and she swiftly turned away, subduing her embarrassment.

Urd raised an eyebrow at that and watched the two as they sat side by side. Seeing Tatsuki nearly forget herself as she sat on the couch with her nephew she took stock on how the two looked together, noting body size, hair color, the way they were talking to each other. Up until Tatsuki sat down she had mentally jotted down that they seemed really relaxed around each other, as they had been in the clinic and outside before they had left for their karate class that day.

'They do look good together', she thought as both seemed to be trying to not be the first one to open a gift and passing it off to the other, earning jeers from those around them. One corner of her mouth turned up as she remembered Tatsuki's arrival.

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Not long after Ichigo had dragged his friends away she had remained at the door. While not normally one to be at the forefront it did allow her to observe and take note of the people arriving, and perhaps gain more info on her quarry. It was at that time she heard what she thought were shouts in the distance. As the Kurosaki home was a bit out of the way she strolled out, wondering if she would deal out 'punishment' for any possible crashers.

Reaching the front gates and hearing the shouting rise audibly with each step the cause of this left her momentarily wide-eyed.

Parked next to the sidewalk but with it's engine still running was an oddly decorated...vehicle with what was it's passenger now leaning into the rolled down passenger window and yelling at the driver.

The vehicle in question was a rather small car, and while that in itself was not unusual considering this was in Japan, the way it looked...

It was a shade of orange she could not remember seeing during her visits to Midgard, both now and in its past. For a moment she wondered if she had ever seen such a shade in the Heavens and found herself coming up with a blank. That was nothing to say about the flashy flame and star decals that were attached to the sides of the vehicle, running from the front of the back and growing in size as it reached the rear, the flame decals 'bursting' as it reached the ends.

Tearing her eyes away from the all too eye capturing colors she brought them to bear on the actual source of the disturbance. From the back and sound of the voice she could now see that it was Tatsuki Arisawa, the girl who left with Ichigo for karate practice and had and all too repressed feelings for her nephew. At this moment though the phrase 'repressed feelings' seemed anything but as she could see the girl heaving from having just given what is her father an earful.

In the drivers seat Shuya all too calmly blew an ear out as he finished rubbing his earhole with his pinking, plucking it out and giving an interested look to what his pinky nail managed to pull out.

"Did you even hear me!?", his daughter nearly shrieked.

Flicking his pinky finger away to toss off the gunk he looked at his daughter and nodded. "Yeah, yeah, I heard you", he lied. "Now, my dear Tat-chan, I'm expecting you to be on your best behavior", he said, his voice nearly cracking as he struggled to finish the sentence without grimacing. "Do you understand?"

Tatsuki had since squeezed her eyes shut as her father spoke, her arms coming up in complete frustration knowing her father had tuned her out. Opening them and placing her hands over the fully open door-window frame she looked at her father imploringly. "I know dad, but you could at least be polite and come say hi".

Her father tilted his head at her as he restudied his pinky. "To whom", he asked.

Tatsuki's lower jaw moved forward beyond her top teeth and she growled at her too stupid stubborn father. With half lidded eyes her jaw reset itself and her mouth tightened into a small, thin line as she began to grind her teeth. After a moment it widened again to give her answer, "Oh, I don't know....", she began sarcastically. "To maybe Mrs Kurosaki, who mom did want *us* to give her regards to?"

Shuya shrugged. "I can always do that later. Your papa is a very busy man after all, as I have several things I need to get done once you go".

Tatsuki took a deep breath through her nose and blew it out through her mouth before frowning. "Or you could at *least* say to Shi-ichi hap-"

"NEEEEEEHHHHHHVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!" cried her father. "I will never bow my head to that weakling crybaby who has ruined my Tatsuki fest!!!"

Tatsuki growned at her father, "You're still going on about that?"

"OF COURSE!" her father cried. "It was set up to be the greatest celebration in the history of Japan... no, *THE WORLD*! The crybaby has ruined your chance to enter the history books, and for that your papa will never forgive him!"

Tatsuki's head hit the door-window frame. "I can't believe you're still going on about that..." Her head shot up, just missing the top of the window frame. "You're being stupid, dad, It wasn't going to happen anyway! And anyways, didn't I already tell you that Shi-ichi's aunt is living with them now! You should at least introduce yourself to her!"

Shuya blinked in confusion, "Why would you ask me to do that my daughter? That would be dangerous."

Tatsuki knew she would regret this, but asked, "...How would that be dangerous?"

Shuya grinned, "Isn't it obvious my Tat-chan? She would take one look at my glorious body and fall deeply in love with me. And that would piss your mama off and we don't want that now do we?"

"...........I'm leaving now."

"Remember Tat-chan, don't let the crybaby touch you! He could have crybaby cooties!"

Tatsuki palmed her face, "GOODBYE DAD", she yelled as she stepped back and watched with no small amount of relief and embarrassment as the car suddenly came to life and revved up loudly. With a good amount of exhaust being expelled and the sound of spinning tires the orange pinto took off. Coughing as the smoke cleared she turned around to find Shi-ichi's aunt watching from the gate.

"Uh..uh..I..", Tatsuki said as mortification began to set in.

"And here I thought Isshin was a few screws loose..."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Urd laughed to herself at the look Tatsuki had given her as she escorted the girl in. The short trip from the gate to the house had been one of Tatsuki doing her best to convince her that it was simply a bad time and apologizing for whatever she may have heard, all while juggling what she had in hand for the evening.

Another round of cheers and catcalling brought Urd out of her thoughts as she saw Ichigo laughing pretty hard before being smacked up the head by Tatsuki who quickly rewrapped her gift. In one motion she smiled brightly and thanked Ichigo's family before turning and giving Ichigo a look which held death should he open his mouth.

Rubbing the back of his head Ichigo turned as he heard his name being called. Turning to see Orihime stand up with a package she walked up to Ichigo. "Happy Birthday, Ichigo-kun", she said, holding out her gift.

Blinking, Ichigo thanked her before he noticed that her outstretched hands were trembling. "Are you ok", he asked, concerned as he took the gift from her.

With her face turning red, she brought back both of her hands together and clasped them in front her her. "I'm-I'm ok, Ichigo-kun, I really hope you like your gift she said", not looking at him as she stared at the ground below her, a bit grateful that some of her hair had fallen, hiding a bit of her face.

"Thank you", he replied.

Urd's mouth opened as her head tilted at the byplay. Ichigo soon turned to open his gift and she looked at him askewed. 'How did he miss *that*', her mind screamed. Though before she could continue her thoughts she stepped back as she felt anger radiating from the boys in front of her.

She looked at Ichigo who was thanking Orihime for his gift, smiling and completey oblivious to the smoldering rage several feet in front of him. Orihime in turned laughed as she backed away to sit back down. Neither of them nor Tatsuki noticed the scene in front of them. Urd turned and even caught Karin closing her mouth at the end of the that.

She looked at Orihime taking her seat, noting her hair, just passed her shoulders swayed around her as she turned to sit. The girl was extremely pretty, and an early bloomer as well as Urd had seen earlier.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Ichigo had been quick to relieve her of Tatsuki as they both entered the Kurosaki home and due to being called over by Belldandy to help with some of the refreshments had missed the arrival of Orihime. Orihime had been a bit oblivious to everything else when she had been in the kitchen; setting down an assortment of snacks and food she had brought herself, however Urd had not been able to talk to her at that moment.

Later on during the party, with Orihime along with Tatsuki and Ichigo's friends huddled off to the side near the television she had felt herself being poked in the arm.

Turning around she saw Karin next to her holding a slice of cake with a fork and a twitching mouth. "Here you go, auntie", Karin said, handing her the plate. Urd took the plate, confused as dinner was going to be served soon but paid it no mind, as sweets were sweets.

"Hope you like it", Karin said, smiling before she hurriedly ran off towards the closest exit.

Blinking at her niece's departure she took the fork and taking a piece placed it in her mouth and chewed-

-URK-

Eyes instantly watering, Urd suddenly went into a coughing fit as she quickly put the plate down at the nearest table and hurridly made way to the kitchen. Rushing past Belldandy she began coughing and spitting into the sink; turning on the faucet and letting the water flow she began cupping some of it to bring to her mouth. Swishing the water in her mouth a few times she quickly spit it into the sink and spent the next few seconds catching her breath. In concern Belldandy began rubbing her back and helped support her.

Panting hard enough that her shoulders rose and fell she gripped the sides of the sink and growled. 'Poison, eh', she thought. 'Top marks on presentation kid, but your dealing with a pro-'

"What happened Nee-san".

Finally catching her breath, Urd turned to look at her sister. "Just the opening salvo of a war. Don't worry, I won't hurt her too badly".

"What did Karin do?", Belldandy asked, knowing exactly who the instigator was.

"Kid tried to poison me", she said, shuddering as a piece of cake came loose from within her mouth and touched her tongue, giving her another unintended taste.

Belldandy looked at her now with worry. "Poisoned? How?" Karin and Yuzu had been pretty upset, but for Karin to go this far...

"Hid it in the cake", Urd replied, again taking a swig of water to gargle any remains of cake out of her mouth. Spitting into the sink she again looked toward her sister. "Evidence is on the first table out of the kitchen", she said, and quickly both Belldandy and Urd left to see the cake in question.

Seeing the slice of cake on the table Belldandy picked up the plate to inspect it.

"Got to hand it to her, that was very underhanded and smart of her", Urd mumbled, seeing Ichigo and the group around the tv laughing and not paying attention to her attempted assassination.

"Now, as for what we- Belldandy what are you doing!", she hissed in shock and concern as Belldandy took the fork to take a bite and was chewing on another piece.

Chewing slowly Belldandy turned to look at Urd. In astonishment Urd watched her sister calmly eat a poisoned product and swallowed without a bit of discomfort. Wondering if she should haul her sister into a room to suck out the offending treat out of her body Belldandy smiled at her.

"I'm so relieved", Belldandy said, her own heart at ease. "Karin was being nice after all".

"Eh?"

"She gave you a piece of the cake that Orihime brought over".

"Haaah?"

"She tries so hard, and she's very creative in the kitchen."

Wide eyed and in shock, Urd could only say, "She is?"

"Why yes", Belldandy replied, now taking another bite. Swallowing, she had a thoughtful look as she and Urd returned to the kitchen. "Vanilla...orange cream, a hint of broccoli and carrots with macaroni for texture." With a thoughtful look Belldandy returned to the living room.

Urd, with no small amount of bewilderment watched her sister leave. Turning around she approached the kitchen table and looked at the two cakes. One multilayered chocolate cake, no doubt her sisters, and the other one, smaller, white with a slice already taken away. She pursed her lips and shook her head. They both appeared to look fine.

"Neesan", she heard, breaking her from her thoughts.

"Yes", she replied and turned, and found Belldandy along with another girl, Orihime, who was looking at her wide-eyed.

Quickly regaining her composure she greeted Orihime, introducing herself as Belldandy's older sister. Eyes widening further she looked at Belldandy in surprise. Smiling at Orihime, Belldandy nodded in confirmation. Orihime's face brightened and she bowed and introduced herself.

Urd smiled in return, all the while taking stock of the girl. For being so young she was quite impressed, as Orihime had a figure that most mortals would gladly kill each other over; and if she guessed right the girl was still growing and softening in all the right places. She smiled, thinking of her nephew. 'Ah, he'll never know what'll hit him'.

Then her face lost some of it's composure as she remembered Ichigo's own actions and lack of awareness.

"Oh, so you had some of the cake?", she heard and brought herself back into the present. Orihime had walked near her by the table and saw that a slice of her cake had been taken and was on a plate nearby. "I really tried hard on it", she said. "How did you like it", she asked Urd.

Urd looked at her with a neutral expression. "It was...different".

"This was much improved over your last one", Belldandy supplied, and it took Urd all her restraint not to gag.

"Really?", came a hopeful reply.

"Yes, I'm sure Yuzu will say that as well.

At that, Urd did cough.

Catching herself, Urd smiled as best she could at Orihime. "Yes, keep trying your best".

Orihime smiled brightly. "I will!", she said, emphasizing it with bringing her arms in determined pose.

"Orihime-neesama!", a voice cried.

Bundling into the kitchen was Yuzu. Stopping as she saw who was in the kitchen her eyes flickered to and away from her aunt. Quickly bounding to Orihime she grabbed her arms and began pulling her away.

"Yu-yuzu-chan!"

"Come on, Orihime-neesama! The show is starting!", Yuzu said emphatically, again glancing at her aunt and redoubled her efforts at getting her Oneesama safe.

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With the gifts now opened, the party was beginning to wind down with guests beginning to leave, though for Urd things were not quite done as of yet. She had watched her nephew and his interactions with his friends and the girls, and for the life of her she held back wanting to throttle her thickheaded nephew. Case in point now.

"Thank you for coming", Ichigo was saying to Orihime, who along with Tatsuki were at the door putting thier shoes on.

"I was happy to be here", Orihime replied, smiling. "I really hope you liked how everything came out".

"It was fine", he said, waving it off. Turning to Tatsuki, his smile widened a bit. "And thank you for coming too, Tatsuki".

Tatsuki mirrored Ichigo's wave and answer. "It was fine, and like I told your mom, it was great to be here." She then sighed. "And I'm sorry my pops was such an ass that he wouldn't come say hi".

"Eh, it's ok", Ichigo said, and involuntary shudder coursing through him. Something about Tatsuki's dad in the back of his mind was screaming at him, but he shoved it down.

Urd watched the trio and rolled her eyes at her earlier near run in with Tatsuki's father. It was at that point a loud melodic noise echoed thoughout the air and Tatsuki stiffened suddenly.

"That isn't..."

"Yeah. Shut up".

"New horn?", he asked carefully.

"He ordered it from a magazine, now shut up", she said, her face now beet-red.

"La Cucaraaachaaa, la cucaraaachaaaa~!", all four turned to see Isshin dancing and hopping around the living room, swaying a giggling Yuzu around and singing out the lyrics. "....ya no puede caminar~."

"Not a word", Ichigo growled.

"I didn't know your father knew spanish", Orihime remarked in awe.

Urd at this time was staggering back to her feet only to fall again.

"Heh", Tatsuki laughed and looked at her sidekick again. "You know how it goes, now -"

The horn blared again, louder this time.

"Porque no tieneeeee, porque le faltaaaaaa~", came from the living room.

"Let's go, Orihime", Tatsuki deadpanned, eager to go slug her parent.

"Thank you", Ichigo said again suddenly to both. Both paused as they stepped out the door and turned.

Tatsuki gave him a thumbs up. "Looking forward to next year!"

Orihime bowed. "I'm grateful to be a part of it all. Thank you".

With that, both walked off to the gates were Tatsuki's father waited impatiently.

Ichigo watched him both, suddenly a bit melancholic that he didn't notice another presence beside them until she spoke.

"Not going to follow escort them out".

"They'll be ok".

A smacking sound made him turn towards his aunt, who held her facepalm gesture a few moments longer.

"Besides, something tells me I don't want to be there for her pops to see me".

Urd gave him that. However... "So what's with the sudden turnaround", she asked, bringing up his mood.

He took a breath, "Just...", he began softly, so his father wouldn't hear. "Just hit me again how long it's been for me for one of these".

Urd was silent, knowing he meant his older life. She waited for him to continue.

After a moment he did. "It's been so long, and it was fun", he said still in those soft tones. "And both Tatsuki and Orihime, they've really been a huge part of my life here".

Urd nodded at that.

"I'm really lucky to have them as friends".

-SNAP-

Ichigo then closed the door and walked into the living room, glaring at his old man who was still dancing. Before he could shout at his father two arms enveloped him.

Isshin stopped to look while both Karin and Yuzu tensed. Urd had hugged Ichigo however she wasn't simply standing behind him but floating behind him.

"We need to talk", she said. "Your room?"

Ichigo paused, his aunts divine nature brought to fore once more. Funny, he had momentarily forgot about that.

Unsure of what else to say, he replied. "Sure".

With that she let him go, still floating in mid-air and followed behind him as he walked to his room.

As they both went out of sight, both Karin and Yuzu hopped to her feet.

"Karin, Yuzu". Isshin said.

"But, but-but", Yuzu cried.

"We can't leave him alone with her!", Karin cried out.

Isshin rolled his eyes. "And why not? It's not like he'll be all over his own aunt", he supplied.

That was enough for both of them to stop for a few seconds. Recovering first, Karin yelled out. "She's a witch! Have you seen her room!?"

"Pretty awesome, wasn't it?"

"SHE'S GONNA EAT HIM!", Karin yelled back.

"ONIISAAMAAA!", Yuzu wailed, not having thought that.

"I'm gonna-", Karin stopped as she felt her father hold her back.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

In his room Urd set both her feet down and looked at her nephew. Holding his gaze she began to slowly walk around him.

Unsure of himself Ichigo simply watched, wondering if he should be on guard, but not knowing why.

"You know, I've been doing a lot of thinking", she began.

Ichigo was silent, waiting for her to continue.

"It's funny", she began again, stopping in front of him, only a foot away. "I've been here for several weeks now but we really haven't gotten much chance to talk".

"The clinic-", he began before she cut him off.

"Yes, my brother-in-law has been keeping me quite busy", she huffed. "But that will end up changing sooner or later", she supplied.

"For the record, I'm still mad with you", she emphasized with her finger poking his chest.

He gulped, knowing exactly what she meant.

"But", she brought her finger up, "I'm happy that Bell's happy".

He nodded slowly.

"Though that should be enough, I can't quite let it go completely unpunished. Oh, don't worry", she said, seeing his face tense. "I'm not going to harm you. In fact, I've actually been enjoying myself here with my family", she said, emphasizing the word 'family'.

"But I've been watching you, and you have a way about yourself that needs a lot of work".

"Huh?"

"And for what you need will coincide with what will appease me, ironically enough, for you are indeed your mother's son."

Totally confused now, Ichigo took a step back as Urd suddenly floated up to him and embraced him from behind once more, positioning herself so that her head nearly rested on his right shoulder so she would be able to whisper into his ear.

"You may not have meant it, and I see it now, but...", she let it drag a bit before continuing, feeling him tense. "You robbed me". You. Robbed. Me".

Though the words were quiet, they held the weight and silent fury of Mt Fuji behind them. Ichigo gulped and turned his head slightly towards his aunt to get a better look at her.

"My vengeance on you, my dear nephew", she said, louder now as she slightly pulled away from his ear. "Will be to help you, for you are need it of it desperately."

"What? Help?"

"Yes. With women. Particularly those two", she said, emphasizing the word 'two'.

"What-"

Before he could answer she then kissed him on his cheek. "Happy Birthday, my dear Berry-tan".

"HHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The door suddenly slammed to the side fully open to show Isshin holding Karin under his arm with Yuzu to his side in shock holding two glass cups.

Urd smiled as she floated away and Isshin stormed in.

"MY SON!", he said grabbing Ichigo into a bear hug.

"GACK", cried Karin, gasping for air as Isshin had not let her go to embrace his boy, whom she was now pressed into.

"MY BOY WILL BE CURED! DAAAAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!"

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Urd slid open the door and found her sister slowly moving around her room, cradling a restless Keiichi in her arms. She cooed at him and gently swayed back and forth as attempted to calm him down.

Seeing her sister in the room Belldandy supplied the answer to Urd's unasked question. "The sound woke him up. Is everyone ok?"

Urd walked toward the two and noticed Keiichi now beginning to calm down, and Belldandy continued to coo and rock him as she placed him on her shoulder. As he calmed Belldandy turned to look at Urd, who was now standing by her.

"Bell", Urd whispered, "I'll look after him, you should get back in there".

"Neesan-", Belldandy softly protested before being cut off.

"It's ok Bell, it's kinda my fault".

Seeing Bell's inquisitive face she continued. "I to have my fun", she smiled wryly, remembering the gaping look on Ichigo's face. "Besides, you probably should go control your husband before Ichigo tosses him through a wall". Even now both could hear a combination of yelling and laughter.

"Also", Urd continued, "I want some time with my other nephew".

Gently smiling at the confession Belldandy nodded and slowly moved Keiichi towards Urd. Keiichi, somewhat awake sleepily gazed at his mother as her warmth left him began to mewl before being cradled once more.

"Shh", Urd crooned as she rocked her nephew and made way toward the rocking chair. Gently taking her seat she placed Keiichi's head over her heart, the rhythmic beating also taking part in calming her nephew. Looking up she saw Belldandy at the door, smiling as she closed it behind her.

"It's ok", she continued, rocking her nephew as he now calmed completely. She closed her eyes as she rocked back in forth, taking in her nephews newborn scent and warmth. After a moment she opened and found Keiichi's tiny face looking at her.

"You know", she said a bit conspiring, "I think the first part went well. Your older brother's life is going to get a lot more interesting, I have so much make up time for him and your sisters". At that her face briefly fell as she sighed. "Still a bit more work with those two, unfortunately".

She looked up at the roof and sighed once more. "Too much time lost", she lamented.

"But", she looked back down to Keiichi's slowly closing eyes, "we're going to have a lot of fun, you and I, just you wait. I will have more time coming and we will get some more time together. I unfairly missed this chance with your brother and sisters, but I'm in time for you, little one". She slowly lowered her face and softly kissed his forehead.

"Nothing will keep me away from you and my family. I promise", she whispered as Keiichi drifted away. As she continued to rock him, she began to doze as well, and soon both aunt and nephew were slumbering.

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In the hallways of heaven people made way for the terror that was making her way through them. Determination fueled her as she practically stomped towards her destination in a huff, her bangs bouncing with each step.

Arriving at the closed chambers she pressed a button, letting those inside know that she had come.

'Oneesama, I'm coming', Skuld thought as the gates in front of her opened.

-To Be Continued

-Omake-

Urd yawned loudly as she staggered out of her room. It was still early in the morning, and she stumbled along as she made way to the bathroom.

Reaching the midpoint of the hallway she saw her nieces and nephews out in the living room. All were watching television and Ichigo had Keiichi on his lap. The baby was making happy noises as his brother held him up by his shoulders and swayed him up and down and back and forth. Yuzu was also playing with them and Karin took some time from commercials to join.

Blinking, she concentrated and could not hear nor smell anything from the kitchen.

"Hey", she said groggily, gaining their attention. Karin looked miffed and Yuzu got closer to Ichigo. Ichigo however was still playing with Keiichi and turned his head to gaze at his aunt.

"Morning".

"Morning, yeah. Where's your mother?"

"They're still in their room", Karin quickly snapped out.

"Hmm?"

"Um", Yuzu softly piped up. "Mama came out earlier to give us Keiichi to play with a bit."

Urd looked at them, confused as that wasn't really an answer.

"It's Sunday", Ichigo supplied and scowled.

"What?"

"It's Sunday", Ichigo repeated and she noticed his ears turn red as he concentrated on his brother.

Urd thought about it for a moment. Bell bringing Keiichi out, still in bed...

...with Isshin...

"Oh", was the only word she could intelligently manage.

"Yeah", she heard Ichigo agree.

"They must be pretty tired", Yuzu wondered aloud.

Urd opened her mouth and then shut it.

"I'm going to the bathroom now", was the last thing they heard.

--------------------------------------------------------

Next Time....



Thanks Tahu!!!
 

Wheeljack

Well-Known Member
#4
nick012000 said:
LOL. So will Murder-Kun be introduced to Engetsu?
To be honest, at the end after 'To Be Continued' I wanted a picture with Skuld and Murder Kun along with a "Next Time" before it.

Unfortunately, not only could I not find any picture to borrow, all the season 2 episodes have been removed from the net to do a quick print screen bit.

Eh, next time I guess...
 

azereath

Well-Known Member
#5
it lives, IT LIVES!!!!!! awsome chapter and is all the weird stuff hapening to the kids really urd or is it their own divine powers manifesting?
 

autobot314

Well-Known Member
#7
Hey Wheeljack, just so I know, what's your ff.net account name? I kinda want to know so I can favorite you and this story when it comes out there. Sorry if I disturbed anybody.
 

tahu1809

Well-Known Member
#8
Wheeljack said:
nick012000 said:
LOL. So will Murder-Kun be introduced to Engetsu?
To be honest, at the end after 'To Be Continued' I wanted a picture with Skuld and Murder Kun along with a "Next Time" before it.

Unfortunately, not only could I not find any picture to borrow, all the season 2 episodes have been removed from the net to do a quick print screen bit.

Eh, next time I guess...
You mean some thing like THIS!
 

holyknight

Well-Known Member
#9
tahu1809 said:
Wheeljack said:
nick012000 said:
LOL. So will Murder-Kun be introduced to Engetsu?
To be honest, at the end after 'To Be Continued' I wanted a picture with Skuld and Murder Kun along with a "Next Time" before it.

Unfortunately, not only could I not find any picture to borrow, all the season 2 episodes have been removed from the net to do a quick print screen bit.

Eh, next time I guess...
You mean some thing like THIS!
.....Methinks that Skuld will switch to Murder-Kun, as Karin will more than often "borrow" Hammer-Kun to either whack Isshin, or later on the future, Toshiro when each its being an idiot.....
 

Wheeljack

Well-Known Member
#10
tahu1809 said:
Wheeljack said:
nick012000 said:
LOL. So will Murder-Kun be introduced to Engetsu?
To be honest, at the end after 'To Be Continued' I wanted a picture with Skuld and Murder Kun along with a "Next Time" before it.

Unfortunately, not only could I not find any picture to borrow, all the season 2 episodes have been removed from the net to do a quick print screen bit.

Eh, next time I guess...
You mean some thing like THIS!
YES, that's the picture I wanted. :yay:

autobot314 said:
Hey Wheeljack, just so I know, what's your ff.net account name? I kinda want to know so I can favorite you and this story when it comes out there. Sorry if I disturbed anybody.
My account name on both ff.net and mediaminer is Windrave. Nothing there at ff.net at the moment than an old old profile.
 

GaelicDragon

Well-Known Member
#11
You know, for a few minutes I thought that you were going to have Don Kanonji as Tatsuki's father.
 

autobot314

Well-Known Member
#12
You now, after re-reading the latest chapters, I honestly wonder what would happen if Ichigo used the Final Getsuga Teshou in this world. Would Belldandy approve, especially if he has some godly abillities? I could somehow see Skuld trying to help him regain his powers.
 

Draveziovas

Well-Known Member
#14
autobot314 said:
You now, after re-reading the latest chapters, I honestly wonder what would happen if Ichigo used the Final Getsuga Teshou in this world. Would Belldandy approve, especially if he has some godly abillities? I could somehow see Skuld trying to help him regain his powers.
Dear god man! THe last goddamn post was in JULY! Why the motherfuck would you bump it?! WHY?!
 

kitsuneb

Well-Known Member
#15
autobot314 said:
You now, after re-reading the latest chapters, I honestly wonder what would happen if Ichigo used the Final Getsuga Teshou in this world. Would Belldandy approve, especially if he has some godly abillities? I could somehow see Skuld trying to help him regain his powers.
We will find you and we will hurt you...badly.
 

DeathGod666

Well-Known Member
#16
You guys should be smart enough to know there won't be anymore snippets in this chapter....He doesn't post partial chapters...

Grow up
 

digitalstorm

Well-Known Member
#17
And you should be smart enough to realize that the full name of the thread isn't shown in the last post section.
 

CatOnFire

Well-Known Member
#18
digitalstorm said:
And you should be smart enough to realize that the full name of the thread isn't shown in the last post section.
Yes the last post for me appeared as:

Nov 22 2010, 01:05 PM
In: Bleach/AMG AU Fic Blessings...
By: digitalstorm

It is quite frustating because when you take a closer look you realize it is only chapter 6 instead of the upcoming chapter 7 thus I've become dissappointed.

It would be best if no one nercoed this chapter agian and would only send comments via PMs.
 

007

Well-Known Member
#19
Has anyone heard from Wheeljack?
 

Wheeljack

Well-Known Member
#22
I am very much alive, and no, the fic is not dead. Hiatus, yes (blame Veiled Moon, as that has pretty much eaten all of our time the last year and a half), but not dead.
 

007

Well-Known Member
#25
Zeebee1, if I'm the one you want dead, it took me reviving this for Wheeljack to reply.
 
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