Sleight of Hand @babykitsune_9
Chapter 26

They were in the middle of talking about how they would hunt down the ex-Avenger's when Bruce practically came stomping up behind Ichigo and suddenly shouted at her, interrupting her and her friends in mid conversation.

"You killed that guy!"

Ichigo, for all her years of experience as a substitute Soul Reaper, didn't so much as flinch at the green hued man shouting at her. Though she probably should have anticipated him becoming upset by seeing her cut down Kurotsuchi without any warning at all.

But despite the fact that her new friend was pretty pissed- no scratch that- he looked utterly rabid to her when she cast a glance at him from over her shoulder.

The fact that his voice had taken on the booming sound of the 'Hulks' meant little to her. Period.

She'd seen and heard much more terrifying things than the good doctor turning into a rage monster. So she was fairly certain that she could handle anything that Banner's alter ego could throw at her.

Though the sound certainly made several of the others flinch a little, startled by the sudden sound of his voice.

Sighing because the conversation was likely to involve a giant rage monster making an appearance, she took a moment to wave the others off before they wound up as collateral damage.

She should have anticipated Rukia, Chad, Kisuke, Orihime, Renji, and Uryu continuing to hang around. After all, they were always with her when she got herself into something. Sometimes whether they wanted too or not. But she had been hoping that the lot of them would listen to her for once in their lives.

It was turning out to be a futile hope.

If the doc absolutely had to smash someone then she'd call Kenpachi to help out since he was the most smashable person there at the moment. Plus smashing him would provide a good way for the doc to work his rage out.

So maybe she should go ahead and call him over?

"Do you have anything at all to say for yourself?!" Bruce growled at her as he stepped into her personal space. She blinked at him and cast a quick glance past him to see what Thor and Loki were doing.

Both men were eying doctor Banner like they expected him to go ahead and turn green and explode in a weird display of glitter?

"Well?" The doc growled at her again, causing her to shift her attention back to him.

"Well for starters," She reached out and settled her hands on his shoulders, and tried to ignore the way that they felt like they were starting to reshape themselves underneath her hands as she gave him a small push back away from her and then dropped them back to her sides before then saying, "One, Kurotsuchi isn't dead. Two, if I hadn't have cut him in half- he would have started a new conflict by going after yourself, Loki and Thor. Three, have you ever been dissected? While alive? It isn't fun and I personally wouldn't recommend it. It tends to hurt like a motherfucker. Ya know?"

Bruce literally went chalk white for several moments. So did Thor and Loki from where they were standing behind the doc.

She gave them all a grim yet sad looking smile and then reached out and placed one of her hands against Bruce's cheek and idly stroked it with her thumb. "I'm sorry that I upset you, doc. But...Kurotsuchi is dangerous even amongst his allies. I couldn't let him think that it's okay to go after your three. You'd know no end of torment at his hands."

Bruce sputtered for several heartbeats before finally seeming to get his mind working again enough to roar, "Have you been dissected before?!"

She dropped her hand away from his face and looked at him in slight alarm.

Okay, she hadn't meant to indicate that she'd suffered something as horrifying as dissection before to the man and his friends. Even if it was technically true. That had been a traumatizing event and she was trying to put it behind her.

She opened her mouth to deny it. Even though it would mean lying to them, however Kisuke cut her off with an unhelpful. "Of course she's been dissected before. You should have seen her too! She was a mess! Almost half of her internal organs had been torn out and-"

He was suddenly silenced by Renji, Rukia, Chad, and Uryu all pouncing on him at once and putting various hands over his mouth while some of the others put him in a choke hold.

Bruce looked so furious right then that he was practically vibrating. And she was beginning to think that calling Kenpachi over to help him work out his rage was looking better and better by the second.

As she chimed in with a squeaked out, "I got better!"

A demonic sounding growl escaped the man, and she took an automatic step back. Finally admitting to herself that yes, Banner was just a tad bit intimidating like this. And no, she did not want to be smashed by his large, green counter part.

Luckily, both Thor and Loki had decided to step in and firmly place themselves between her and the doc. However, unluckily, Loki managed to ask her what had happened to the person who had hurt her like that. Was he amongst the people in either of the groups present at the moment?

She took a moment to think and then did the only thing that she could do. She threw Chad under the bus since he'd killed the bastard that had dissected her.

"He's dead! Chad killed him!" She said automatically, totally ignoring the slightly disappointed look that her best friend shot her way before he settled on huffing quietly and grumbling 'traitor' underneath his breath. While Rukia and the others sniggered in amusement.

After all, it wasn't very often- if at all- that she was ever freaked out/intimidated enough to even turn on someone. Aside from Renji and Uryu that is.

But that was generally because they didn't get along all the time and she liked to mess with their heads a little bit.

After that admission, Bruce clamed down. A little bit. But only just so. And once he had his head on a bit straighter, he took her aside to chastise her for resorting to violence against the evil clown guy.

Of course even she wasn't so naive as to think that the calm would last. Which was why she had flagged down Captain Unohana to give him a tranquilizer with enough medicine in it to take down an entire army of elephants.

And once the doc was in a nice warm and fuzzy head space, she turned back to the task of finding the ex-Avengers while Thor and Loki decided to spend some time getting to know some of her friends.

Which left her alone to do her work on a computer that she'd managed to get a hold of, thanks to Kisuke. After he had souped it up to handle hacking various government security protocols and programs.

It took her less than an hour to find the ex-Avengers current location. Which spoke entirely of just how determined she was to actually find them. After all, how many people would dare to hack a super computer in Wakanda and go up against it's security?

No one. Obviously.

And yet she had managed by diverting several of it's different security programs to other locations and frying a few other computers and such. It was sad. But a small price to pay for the pursuit of the knowledge she was seeking.

"Guys!" She called out once she had everything figured out. Everyone went quiet and turned their heads to look at her. Even some of the other people- from the large group- wandered over to see what she was hollering about. "I got their location!"

There was a small chorus of, "Really?"

"Already?"

"Yay! You found them!"

"Are we going to turn them in for the bounties on their heads?" That one led to someone- Renji, she thought- being smacked.

She felt Ukitake move behind her and saw him peer over her shoulder at the computer screen before smiling at her and straightening himself back up to his full height again and asked, "What's the plan now?"

"Now? We make a small group to send to Wakanda and collect our scout," She paused for a moment to frown before slowly tacking on, "If he's amendable to the idea of helping us."

"You mean that Soldier guy?" Kisuke asked as he came wandering over. "What makes you think he'll help us?"

"He will because he hates Hydra. So he'll like the idea of squashing them out of existence once and for all." She said with a grin.

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