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Chapter 7 – Parental Issues

Chapter's music – Love Hurst by Incubus


"So, that's why you came here?" Renji asked, when his daughter told them her real reasons for coming to Karakura Town.

They were silent, looking at the young girl while she played with a lock of her long hair. Saying what she heard out loud, just like the first time she talked with Katsuo, made the threat look so much realer that she had to keep herself from shivering. She wished Katsuo was there to embrace her…

"Urahara talked with the Arrancars with the Commander's approval? Without talking with the captains about that?" Rukia repeated slowly, like the words felt foreign in her tongue. It was clear what her eyes transmitted was much more than anger; it was fury at being kept in the dark at the expense of her friends' safety.

"Yes, according to what Captain Hitsugaya said…" Kaoru confirmed, in a serious tone.

"Well, he was the first one alerting Vice-Captain Hinamori that something might be wrong with Ichimaru Gin…" Renji replied, thoughtful. He was looking at Ichigo, trying to figure out what his friend really thought about the matter, but it was being harder than normal to decipher the man's emotions and that made him curious and worried at the same time.

"Do you think he might be right, once again?" Orihime asked, in a frightened tone.

The auburn haired woman didn't want to tell the couple what frightened her so much, she wanted them to have a clear mind to think about all the possibilities, without being biased with her information. But right now, keeping it from them was looking like a bad idea, so, breathing deeply, she asked if Kaoru could go upstairs and help Katsuo, not wanting to fill the girl's head with her own nightmares. She nodded, getting up and climbing the stairs, two steps at a time. When she felt her reiatsu far enough, Orihime sighed once again and grabbing Ichigo's hand for support, told them all about her fears, so her friends could know what was really going on.


Katsuo, already knowing the reasons that brought Kaoru to them, offered himself to take Hanako to bed. The girl was too excited for her own good. She wanted to stay with the grown-ups, listening to their conversation, but what his girlfriend told him, while they were walking home, was not something he wanted his little sister hearing. He wanted to shield her from their worries, letting her live in a world full of rainbows and dreams.

While she snuggled in her pillow, he patted her head softly, feeling her fine hair under his fingers. He smiled at her peaceful face, until he felt two arms surround his own frame.

"Hey!" she whispered, from behind him.

His smile widen and he turned around to kiss her forehead. She was resting her head right beside his arm, with her cheek pressed against his muscles.

"Your mother asked me to help you, but apparently you have everything under control…" Kaoru said, squeezing him against her body.

Katsuo smiled and, grabbing her hand, guided her, silently, outside the room. The hallway was blinding after the darkness of the room and Katsuo stopped for some moments to adjust his eyes. He sat on the floor, enjoying the silence that enveloped them. Their parents were too far away, so their voices couldn't reach them, it was like they were alone in the house.

"Man, I thought your father was going to castrate me downstairs…" Katsuo confessed when Kaoru sat beside him on the floor. She giggled silently.

"He can be an overprotective jerk…" she sighed. "But he is my overprotective jerkish dad, so that's kind of okay…"

"Well, when we have kids I would protect them just like that…" he said, without realizing his own words. Kaoru looked at him, stunned, and when he replayed his sentence in his mind, mortification took control over him.

"I mean, when in some years, you know, if we are still together… I mean I don't want to break up… but it's no pressure… we are young… but it would be cool, you know… Oh God, why aren't you shutting me up?" Katsuo asked, so red it looked like he had spent hours under the sun.

"It's was fun seeing you squirm like that…" Kaoru said, with a teasing smile. What she didn't say was that her heart was bumping against her chest, sending dreamy visions of their future together into her mind; visions that delighted and embarrassed her at the same time.

"I can't breathe with all the laugher." Katsuo replied, with a scowl in his face.

"You know, you are like you father when you scowl like that, it's really weird. When I look at him it's like I know what you're going to look in a few years…" she said, thoughtfully.

"And do you like what you see?"

"Gross, Katsuo! He is your father!"

"I thought you said he looked like me! Should I be offended by your comment?" he asked, with his eyes twinkling.

"Of course not. In his age you're going to be much more dashing!" Kaoru replied, laughing at Katsuo's smug expression.

"I missed being like this with you…" he sighed, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. She let her head drop over his chest, while intertwining their fingers together.

"Do you think Captain Hitsugaya is right? Do you think that maybe your family is in danger?" Kaoru asked, after some moments of silence. She was whispering, afraid of talking too loud and bring her bad presentiments against them.

She could feel his heart beating against her back. His warm breathe tickled her ear, while his free hand played with the small package she had given him earlier. She could feel his uneasy, how his heart quickened, how his frame moved uncomfortably.

"Is there something you're not telling me?" Kaoru asked, turning around to face him. Katsuo dropped his eyes to the floor, to which the girl frowned her eyebrows.

"You are!" she confirmed, with barely suppressed anguish. "Why are you keeping things from me?" she asked, while backing away from his face and his luring lips.

Katsuo didn't return her question. He got up, leaving her alone on the floor and headed to the stairs, without looking back at least once. Kaoru watched him go, with her heart clawed by some irrational fear. There was something bad, something he thought was awful enough not to tell her, something that he was also afraid of: she could see it by the tension in his shoulders, how his eyes held some unidentified emotion all day, that she could now name as dread, how, before start descending the stairs, he stopped for some seconds, like he was weighting his next actions. And it felt even worse that he choose to take those steps away from her.


"Are you really sure, Orihime?" he could hear his aunt's worried voice through the closed door of the living room.

"I wish I wasn't, but I couldn't make a mistake like that. Not after everything…" his mother chocked on her own words and the boy ran, headed to the room. If his mother needed his help he would be beside her in a second.

He burst through the door, leaving the adults inside looking at him, surprised.

"You really shouldn't burst like that. Someday you're going to destroy the door…" Ichigo advised in a light tone. He looked around, searching for his mother's face and saw how pale she was.

"Mom, are you alright?" he asked, kneeling beside her.

"Of course, honey! Why shouldn't I?" she replied, in a chirpy voice. The same chirpy voice she used to hide her tears whenever his father would come home with some injury that he couldn't heal with his next to nothing power to perform kiddo.

"Where is Kaoru?" Renji asked, when his daughter didn't follow the orange-haired teenager.

"Here, where else should I be?" Kaoru asked, entering the room with a smile on her lips. A smile that made Katsuo's insides squirm: it was the kind of smile that said: "You're so fucked up with me!"

"Well, we should be going back…" Renji suggested, eyeing his daughter with apprehension: he also knew that look and was afraid he might be the target this time.

"That's a good idea!" Kaoru agreed whole-heartedly. And without waiting for her parents, she headed to the front door.

Katsuo jumped to his feet and ran behind her. He caught her only outside of the house, when she sat in the garden bench to wait for her parents.

"Are you mad at me?"

"Is there any reason to be mad at you?"

Katsuo swore under his breath and kicked the bench. He turned his back on her and started to walk home, but then, rethinking his actions, he turned around and quickly closed the distance between them.

"I love you so much, please, you have to know that! If I'm not telling you something is not because I don't trust you, it's because I don't know how to explain!" he grabbed her face between his hands and brought her face to his. He could feel her cool breathe over his nose. "I-I… please, trust me! I'm going to tell you, I swear, it's just..."

"Not again! What did I tell you?" Renji's voice boomed through the night air.

Kaoru felt Katsuo's finger drop from her face and in a bolding action grabbed his neck and kissed him full on the lips, in front of her father. She could feel his words pouring into his lips, like he wanted to show her just how much he loved her, and she was all too willing to receive those feelings.

"I think you should stop before your father has a heart failure…" her mother's voice came from far away and she felt Katsuo's lips back away from hers.

"I trust you!" she said, fervently, while her father grabbed her arm and almost dragged her behind him.

"I LOVE YOU!" she screamed, when the senkaimon started closing and Katsuo fisted her gift between his fingers. The metal was cold to the touch but his weight felt good in his fingers.

"Let's get back home before the neighbors start complaining…" Orihime advised, framing her son's shoulders with her arm.

"Mom, what are you scared of?" Katsuo asked, when they started walking back home. He noticed how her shoulders tensed for some seconds, and them relaxed when her husband's reiatsu envolved them like a blanket.

"Of losing you and you sister…" she said, with a sad smile and when Ichigo joined them they locked eyes and Katsuo felt like he was intruding in an incredible private moment. He wondered if when he looked at Kaoru other people felt like that… and he thought that it probably didn't happen... he loved her more than his own life, but what his parents had was something else, something he couldn't explain, something he believed was unique, just like them...


Latter, when the boy was already in his bed, he grabbed, once again, the gift from his bedside table. He heard the metal clink when he brought it close to his eyes, so he could read the kanji. He could feel the word under his finger when he touched the surface of the stone's necklace, the stone that had the same color that Kaoru's hair. Hero, it said. Her hero, she complemented, making him blush madly, when she gave it to him in their way home.

"It's part of your name, and part of who you are" she said, before he opened his house's door and knowing that her mother was right on the other side of the door was the only thing that kept him from ravishing her lips.

I just hope you keep thinking like that... for my sake... for our sake…

Poor Katsuo, life isn't easy for him and his parents...

What do you think? Please review!
Chapter 7
jylener22 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
It's really good and I liked the whole reconciliation scene there at the end between Kaoru and Katsuo. Also, Renji's storming away was priceless while Rukia simply tries to comment about them breaking up. That was really funny.

So, what is Orihime so afraid of? I want to find out what's going on there!!
FreakingOutGirl Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
I really like that last scene too, even if sometimes the darker scenes are easier to write, I really enjoy my comic ones. And I can't tell you what is really going on, it's something that will put everything they fought for in peril...
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