aoife_hime: ([bleach] tatsuki chilling)
aoife_hime ([personal profile] aoife_hime) wrote on October 1st, 2007 at 01:13 pm
Part two of my Bleach fic. And now I really do need to eat something before my stomach implodes...

Title: Push Comes To Shove - Interlude
Author: [ profile] aoife_hime
Fandom: Bleach
Rating: Teen (overall)
Word Count: 729
Summary: Unlike Ichigo, other members of the Kurosaki family aren't nearly so oblivious to the goings on in the spiritual realm.
Notes: Story picks up in the middle of Chapter 239 of the manga (roughly where the anime is at currently, I think... I haven't been following it closely so I'm not entirely sure), so beware of spoilers. This is part two of four.

Link to Part I

Push Comes To Shove
- Interlude -

“Oh, it’s you Tatsuki-chan. What are you doing here this early?” Kurosaki Karin grumbles as she opens the door to the clinic. The sun has barely risen; the sky is a fiery mix of orange and red and the night’s frost still clings to some of the shaded edges of nearby windows.

“I, uh, need to get this looked at,” Tatsuki replies, almost nervously, pulling back her coat and the collar of her button down shirt. Somehow, she managed to hide the large gash from her mother this morning, but blood is starting to seep through the bandages she scrounged up when she arrived back home in the early hours of the morning and she’s fairly certain she is going to need stitches. She could have easily gone to the hospital, but she knows the Kurosaki clinic better and knows that, despite his exceedingly eccentric ways, Kurosaki Isshin is bound to be far more understanding than any hospital doctor. With any luck, he won’t press how she received the wound in the first place.

“Whoa!” exclaims Karin, her eyes suddenly wide and all remaining vestiges of sleep thrown off. “How’d you get that?” The younger girl ushers Tatsuki inside and guides her towards one of the rooms with exam tables inside.

Tatsuki scratches the back of her head with her good hand. “I was clumsy. Got caught on something.”

Karin’s eyes narrow at the excuse, not believing it for a second but thankfully not pressing the issue. The look of disbelief is suddenly replaced with another, more far-off look as if she is trying to remember something from long ago. “You seem… different,” she finally says, and Tatsuki’s stomach twists a little, uncomfortably. She’s not sure why, but she doesn’t want to tell anyone about what she’s been doing in the mornings since Ichigo and Orihime and the others left. Whatever the reason, her exercises are her thing, something not fit for sharing with even the closest of her friends.

But she never thought before that someone would be able to tell just by being around her that she’s been working on becoming not-weak. It scares her, makes her want to look in a mirror and make sure that the person staring back is really Arisawa Tatsuki and not some strange mutant. “No, I’m still me,” she covers, a little gruffly. Karin looks at her discerningly, still trying to pick out what exactly she thinks is different, but gives up after a few moments when the answer doesn’t come to her.

“Dad! You’re needed!” she yells, and goes off to the kitchen to start making her breakfast.

Kurosaki Isshin sweeps into the exam room a few minutes later, his excessive energy and booming voice nearly bowling Tatsuki over. His exaggerated antics when he sees her self-patched wound make her roll her eyes, but she waits patiently while he looks it over and cleans it. He decides she needs a few stitches, and he numbs the skin while he sews it together, talking about absolutely nothing the entire time. When he’s done, Tatsuki’s shoulder feels sore but properly put together. She’s about to grab her bag and head off to do some easy focusing exercises before class, but he stops her with a hand on her good shoulder.

“Take care, now,” he says seriously. “Hollows can be pretty nasty.”

She doesn’t ask what ‘hollows’ are, doesn’t really need to because her mind automatically conjures up images of the beast from the park this morning. An icy fear pools in her belly as she meets his eye: he knows her secret, though she has absolutely no idea how he figured it out. She’s afraid he’ll tell her parents, then tell her to stop this nonsense altogether. But his glance is anything but stern. Serious, certainly, but still warm and somehow approving.

“You don’t have to worry about me,” she replies, though the way she has to shrug her coat on awkwardly attests to the fact that maybe he should worry about her. She leaves before he has a chance to change his mind.

Isshin watches the figure of one of his son’s closest and oldest friends as it retreats down the street. She’s alone today, but someday soon she won’t be. At least, that’s what he prays for.

“I can’t help it; I worry about all you kids.”
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