"I think I heard that name before..." Ichigo said, as the name echoed in his mind.
"Really?!" The girl perked up. "So then you do know her!"
Ichigo scratched his head thinking of the girl, Senna. He remembered seeing her a few days ago. He was walking to school, and she bumped into him. She had dark purple hair and gold eyes, the exact description of what the girl said.
"Well, she bumped into me. And I think I knew her before that," Ichigo guessed. The name sounded so familiar, but he knew none of his friends were named Senna. He decided one of the girls had shouted her names once when he was nearby.
"Ah, t-then can you help us find her?" Senna's friend asked.
"What? What could I do?" Ichigo questioned. Yes, his job was to protect the residents of Karakura Town, but what could he do in this situation? He barely knew Senna, he'd only be a hindrance to their search.
"Because having someone else who at least knows of her would help a lot! We could find her much faster!" Senna's friend stared at Ichigo with pleading eyes. "You have to help us!"
"Oi! But I have to go to school!" Ichigo shouted, but the girl paid no attention, declaring that finding someone was much more important than going to school.
And thus, Ichigo became involved in the case of a runaway he believed he saw prior to her absence. The three high school girls dragged him to several places in a few minutes, seeing the girls ask around random individuals. The girl who brought him into the case was Hanako, then there was Julie, and Michi. As soon as Ichigo learned their names, he had forgotten them, oddly reminding him of Tatsuki's teasing of how he had a short-term memory.
The people they asked had no clue to who and where Senna was. Finally, Ichigo turned to Hanako and asked why Senna ran away in the first place. Her answer didn't surprise him at all: she didn't know. Julie admitted Senna's troubles at home. She'd often stay at their houses to spend time away from her parents. It was unknown if she was being abused or mistreated, they only knew she hated her parents. Michi concluded they should head to places they would usually visit with Senna. The group agreed, and Hanako chose the bakery. Senna liked sweets and the group always talked to a pretty girl with long orange hair.
At the bakery, Julie interrogated the manager, but she hadn't seen her. Their next stop was Downtown Karakura Town, and Ichigo still couldn't believe the girls were so persistent on his staying. He then realized that he wanted to find Senna, a girl he didn't know anything about, except her dark purple hair color and gold-colored eyes. Even in the morning, the Downtown Karakura streets were congested with business people off to work, students on their way to school, and people wanting to shop and tour the area. The group tried to clear through the people, and Ichigo heard loud cheering coming from the center. A comedic show aired and three men engaged in a hot dog eating contest.
One was very large and wearing green overalls, the other was skinny and had black gelled up hair and no shirt on. The last one was bald and wore a gray hoodie. The large man continued eating the hotdogs as the others encouraged him. Ichigo didn't find this fun to watch at all, but their presence reminded him of something.
"Hey, are you listening?!" Michi snapped him back into reality.
The girls came to Downtown Karakura on Sundays and looked at the comedic trio or shopped around. Although it was Saturday, Senna could be there.
"We'll never find her with this many people," Ichigo said.
"I know!" Julie said angrily. "Grr, why do there have to be so many people this early in the morning?! It only makes things harder."
Ichigo was about to sigh, but he stopped, hearing a distinct scream in the sky. A terrifying and hollowed scream.
As if responding to the scream, the combat pass attached to his belt reacted. "Dammit, why now?!" Ichigo cursed.
"Huh? What's wrong?" Hanako asked, unaware of the screeching from the combat pass.
"Sorry, I gotta take care of something," Ichigo said and was about to run off, but Julie stopped him.
"Wait! You can't just leave. We haven't found Senna yet," She pouted.
"Tch, fine," he sighed.
The pass eventually stopped sounding, and Ichigo reached in his pocket, finding a small green pill. He looked away from the girls and popped the pill into his mouth, swallowing it whole. His body leaned back a little, and his Shinigami self split from his human appearance. The Mod Soul, Kon, pressed his hand against his chest, feeling the impact of being in a body.
"Kon, stay with them until I get back," Ichigo ordered.
Kon eyed the girls and grinned to himself. He then gave a thumbs up, saying a grateful "No problem", while his owner winced at the bizarre incidents that could occur because of the Mod Soul.
Ichigo jumped over the crowd and landed on a building, using shunpo to reach the hollow's residence. Back in his Shinigami self put Ichigo at ease again. His attire somewhat changed, now x-shaped crosses covered his neck and wrists, and his Zanpakut? curved inwards, similar to a trench knife.
He headed blocks east, beginning to see a bulbous head in the heart of adjacent buildings. The creature looked behind itself, showing its white mask, small black eyes, and large carnivorous teeth. Its body was enormous, huge red hands mounded into fists and a black hole in its chest. Without hesitation, Ichigo sliced the creature the Shinigami called a hollow in half, killing the monstrosity immediately.
He dropped to the ground, done with his work, but a series of depressing cries distracted him. He wandered toward the cries and stopped at an open alleyway. A young boy cried desperately, while a young girl laid scratched and unconscious. The boy opens his eyes to see Ichigo's face and begs him to help the girl. He does so, bending down and leaning in close. His eyes widen. Her reiatsu had a bit of spirit energy, but she was a human, wearing a school uniform and her hair was dark purple. She had a backpack on her, a sign of a runaway.
"P-Please save her!" The young boy rubbed his eyes and sobbed. He seemed to be 8 or 9 years old, and according to his reiatsu, he was a spirit or a Plus. "S-She, hic, tried to fight that monster, but it was too strong and it got her! I-I think she's dead!"
Ichigo knew this girl wasn't an ordinary human. For a human to see a hollow, a being of the spirit realm, decided this. Her attempting to attack the hollow also determined how strange she was, a regular person would run at the sight of it.
"Why did this, hic, have to happen?! She never did anything!" The boy wept more. "S-She came to see me everyday. She'd always, hic, bring flowers and toys. She'd play with me and tell me about her family and her friends, and then she'd listen to me talk about my family and friends. A-And now she's dead! All because of me! Waaahhhh!"
She gave him flowers and toys. That's just like me. Ichigo thought to himself and reminisced. The first day he met Rukia, he had been visiting a little girl. He gave her presents to console her for her death. He stopped his memories and took matters into his hand. The girl was still breathing, but her wounds were too serious to ignore. Suddenly, a hand clutched Ichigo's robe leg.
"Please, mister, don't take her to the hospital!" The young boy yelled.
"What?! Why not?! She's-"
"Before she closed her eyes, s-she said to not take her there, or she'd get really mad."
"The hell?! How did she-" He began, but knew it was pointless to continue. "*sigh* Nevermind. I'll just take her to my place."
"Your place?" The boy said with both eyes open and his tears gone.
"Yeah. She'll get better there," Ichigo said. He picked the girl up, holding her weight in his arms. When he touched her, he remembered having a similar feeling. She started to wake up, becoming aware of the difference between the ground and someone's body. Ichigo gazed at the sleeping girl and he knew this was Senna. The obvious hints before had told him, but now he was certain. His heart told him, but he couldn't comprehend the emotion she gave him, lying there in his arms.
"Are you sure you can save her?" The boy questioned, shifting Ichigo's focal point.
"Of course! She'll be back to normal in no time!" Ichigo gave a small smile. "And kid, make sure you hide from those monsters so they won't find you."
The boy nodded and crept into the alleyway as Ichigo jumped into the air.
While using shunpo on his way home, Ichigo thought about Senna and her abilities. She had a reiatsu or spiritual pressure, but he never sensed her reiatsu before. She couldn't be a Shinigami or a Substitute, since she didn't have a Zanpakut? and black robes. She also couldn't defeat a hollow, but she could see one. Orihime and Chad came to his mind. Over 2 years ago, the two obtained their powers by fighting hollows. Chad's were explained to be his Fullbring, but Orihime's abilities were still a mystery. She's neither a Shinigami or a Fullbringer, but she could see hollows and Shinigami, had spirit energy, and her own unique ability was equivalent to a Zanpakut?'s. Perhaps Senna's spirit energy, like his other friends, activated because of his release of reiatsu, Ichigo assumed. However, this assumption didn't confirm why Senna could see the hollow before his arrival. Then, there was the feeling of remembrance Ichigo had with this girl. He realized he wouldn't have his answer anytime soon if he kept thinking himself. He needed to talk to his dad, Isshin.
Ichigo's home, the Karakura Clinic remained open 24/7 for emergency calls and check-ups. Isshin stayed at home, filing work documents, calling other hospitals for supplies and tending to the victims that come in. Ichigo called for Isshin, but no one responded. The one day he needed his dad, and of course, he wasn't there.
Ichigo brought Senna to the Clinic room, setting her on the medical table. The years of being behind the family Clinic slowly surfacing in his mind. Senna had scratch marks on her left cheek and right leg, having a swollen bruise on her left leg. In the nick of time, the door opened and Isshin came in carrying supplies.
"Oyaji!" Ichigo shouted, glad to see him.
"Ichigo, what are you doing here and dressed like that?" Isshin asked shocked.
"It's a long story, but I found this girl. She was injured by a hollow."
"A hollow? So she can see them? Interesting," Isshin eyed the girl as if he was searching for something. He set the supplies down on a table and went to examine Senna. "She charged at a hollow and only came out with a few injuries like these? She's a strong girl."
Once he saw Senna, Isshin became serious, showing how important his patients and his career were to him.
"She has spirit energy, but I hadn't noticed before. I did after I defeated the hollow though." Ichigo said.
"Must be your doing, just like with your friends," Isshin grabbed a cloth and held it under rushing water from the sink, then he began to pat her cheek gently to clean her wound. "I should have her cleaned up and fully examined in about a half-hour."
Ichigo realized he was no longer needed and that was his cue to leave. He stood outside for half an hour as Isshin said, and he was called back in shortly after.
"Her wounds will heal in a short amount of time, but she does have a concussion. So she needs to stay stable and rest for a while." Isshin announced. "Now about this girl, how did you meet her?"
"I'd usually see her and her friends on my way to school. Today, they came up to me and told me to help them find her. I found her by this little boy—he's a spirit—and he told me she always came to give him gifts."
"So she's been talking to Pluses..." Isshin said, rubbing his hand on his chin, deep in thought.
"Yeah, that's kinda like how I was before. And then there's-" Ichigo trailed off.
"And there's what?"
"I feel like... I know her." He stared to the right of him, unsure of himself. He only knew that she was a runaway who could see hollows, had spirit energy and rarely got along with her parents. But, that wasn't all he knew about her. Unfortunately, he didn't know what else he knew about her. "It's a weird feeling, but I know I've met her before."
"Well, you can't talk to her until she wakes up. She should be up by late tonight or early tomorrow." Isshin replied. "She's not a Shinigami, that's for sure, but she may be similar to Inoue. Too bad, we don't know if she has any abilities. Then again, if you say you've met her before, then your reiatsu may have affected her. ...No, you said you just noticed it now."
"*sigh* I don't get it," Ichigo gave up. "We'll just have to talk to her later."
Isshin agreed and Ichigo thanked him for treating Senna.
"You know, son, if you hadn't had came when you did, she'd be dead." Isshin then joked, reverting to his usual comical self, and patted Ichigo on the back, slightly irritating him. "Haha, I gotta say, even though you just got your powers back, you haven't lost a beat have you."
"Hmm," Senna muttered in her sleep, and Ichigo looked at her. "M-Mom, dad..." She whispered.
Ichigo stared at her closed eyes. He still didn't understand the feeling this girl, Senna gave him, but he was thankful that she was safe.
At that second, Ichigo remembered he had left Kon with Senna's friends. He had been gone for a while, and no one could tell what the pervert Kon's intentions were, especially when he was surrounded by three high school girls. Sadly, Ichigo knew... he was having too much fun in his body.
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