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08 June 2008 @ 11:52 pm
24 Chips - 18  
Theme: 17:00
Title: Consequences
Fandom: Bleach
Character: Hirako Shinji and Sarugaki Hiyori
Category: Romantic
Rating: PG
Warnings: Other than the TBTP arc, mostly just language, really bc of Hiyori. And as always, I'm making up their past before the TBTP arc because we don't know about their childhood/academy days/etc.
Disclaimer: Bleach =/= mine, or we'd see way more Vaizard love.
Summary: Part 18 of my 24-piece series of memorable "firsts" for these two.

The first time that Hirako Shinji wanted to kill someone on behalf of Hiyori, he hadn’t expected it to be someone that would likely become their comrade. The boy was strong, he had to give him that, but that strength was wasted, splashed around and unfocused like a child swinging an oversized bat to try and hit a fly. And his attitude left a good deal to be desired. Brash, rude, outspoken. A demanding little punk who had the gall to assume he was going to somehow use them for his own means while keeping everything on his own terms.

Shinji actually had to admit he admired that a little.

And when the kid – after he’d so rudely declined Shinji’s rather pleasant invitation – showed up at their place ready to fight, he’d had to fight to keep the smirk off of his face. He was ballsy, at least. Reminded him of Hiyori, in a way. Stubborn and straightforward and bull-headed to the core. But there was also that fear. He could see it in Ichigo’s eyes as they fought, could feel it in the way the youth held back, unwilling to fight at full power for fear that the darkness inside him would claw it’s way back out and take control again. Scared to death that he would once again be the instrument of injury to someone who didn’t deserve it.

He had to give the kid a little bit of leeway for that, honestly. They’d all been like that once, scared and nervous about the shadows in their souls, about whether they could overcome the hand they’d been dealt. And they had all managed it and truthfully he didn’t have a doubt that Ichigo would too. He’d seen what the kid could do, what he was capable of. And now it was just a matter of waiting until Ichigo was ready.

Or… it had been that way until he’d found himself battered out of the way by an irritable and impatient Hiyori and her sandal. Getting to his feet and wiping the blood from his nose, he shook his head slightly. He should have figured it would end this way. His future bride – though he wasn’t about to admit he was going to hold her to that – was never one to be content with slow and steady. She wanted everything now, and she’d see to it that she got things her way even if she had to beat them that way.

Watching as she spoke to him, he had to admit that her words were right. It wasn’t Ichigo’s choice, not by a long shot. Being a Vaizard wasn’t like being a doctor or a taxi driver. It wasn’t something you could just turn and walk away from, or ignore. There was no going back, only forward. And of the two options presented before the kid, he was relatively sure that becoming a hollow wasn’t the one Ichigo would have preferred.

As Hiyori pulled her mask, he shook his head with a sigh. So impulsive, that one. She’d drag Ichigo’s hollow out by force if she had to, and Shinji was relatively sure that she’d manage it. Even if it was only out of sheer belligerence. Stepping back, he hooked thumbs through the beltloops on his pants and just watched as Hiyori began to systematically wipe the floor with Ichigo. Really, the kid needed to realize how serious she was or he really was going to die.

And then suddenly, something changed as Ichigo’s hollow broke free with an unearthly howl, one clawed hand reaching out to clench thick fingers around Hiyori’s small throat, her body slamming back against the wall with a sickening crack as fingers tightened further, crushing her windpipe against it.

Shinji could feel the others tense up, just as he knew he had, at this monster that dared to lay a hand on one of theirs, that dared to threaten the life of the one they all knew was the heart of the group. Their youngest member, almost like the child they cared for, though she’d have beaten any of them for insinuating it. Their eyes were on him, hands on hilts, waiting for his signal. Waiting for him to do something, to stop this.

Stopping it was what he wanted to do, to dart in and remove Kurosaki of the offending hand that dared to threaten thusly. But despite the rage that seethed through him – not only towards Ichigo but towards himself for allowing this – he couldn’t. If only because Hiyori would never have forgiven any of them for it had they interfered. And so he waited, watching with clenched teeth and roiling reiatsu as the black began to recede from her eyes, her hollow crushed down back into her soul where it’s strength was out of her reach.

That was all it took for him to nod his head and in a flash Ichigo was on the ground, pinned by foot and sword as they glared stone-faced down at the one who had been possessing of the audacity to harm one of them. Shinji took a deep breath, mentally steeling himself against the reflex to just cut Ichigo’s throat right there as he chipped the mask off of the boy’s face. Now he could see. Now he’d understand that they were right.

Closing his eyes for a moment, he glanced up to where Hiyori sat backed up against the wall, breathing hard, frightened tears just barely shining at the corners of her eyes. It was a bit cheap, but he couldn’t help himself from asking whether she was satisfied. A bit of chiding, but hopefully it would sink in and she wouldn’t do something so stupid again.

They’d released Ichigo at her nodded assertion, acted as though bygones were bygones, but he knew that Risa – she was probably the most perceptive of them all – knew better. He could tell by the look she shot him as they walked off back to their perches, the look that told him that while she wasn’t going to interfere if he chose to take revenge, that he’d find his own throat slit should he let something like this happen again.

But it hadn’t been those thoughts that had occupied his mind as he’d dropped to one knee beside Ichigo’s prone form, leaning down to whisper to the boy quietly enough that the others wouldn’t hear.

“Touch her again, and it’ll be the last thing that you ever do, in this life and the next. I hope we understand each other.”

He knew they understood each other, could tell it by the way Ichigo’s brown eyes widened as Shinji pushed himself back to his feet, shoving hands in his pockets and loping off to see for himself that she was fine. The killing urge had been suppressed, but he couldn’t promise that he’d suppress it again should a “next time” present itself.
Psyche: lethargiclethargic
twosentwosen on June 10th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Shinji, your 'mamoru' streak's showing again.