Despite the fact that the young man didn't answer to his inquiry, Nezu would have been a fool not to take a chance at gathering what information he could about Toshinori's troubled young ward while he could. And if there was one thing that he absolutely wasn't- it was a fool.
Letting his eyes flicker to the photo's in the young man's wallet one last time, he noted how close the two in the pictures seemed to be. There was something more than simple friendship there. He could tell from the pictures and how the two were posed together. It wasn't quite anything romantic in nature, but it was definitely a kinship of some sort.
It had to be a very deep one too for the young man to have come all this way after searching for Ichigo for so long.
"Very well, I concede that you know and are in some way close to Ichigo." Nezu said as he slowly closed the wallet and held it out to Aizawa so that he could take it from him and hand it back to...Chad, was it?
Such a strange name for someone with japanese blood in him. I wonder where his name got it's origin. He wondered to himself as the young man carefully took his wallet from Aizawa's outstretched hand and stuffed it into his jacket pocket.
"Now that that's been established, might I ask some more questions? Your friend's appearance here has been a topic of much speculation. And sadly, we don't have very many answers."
Chad narrowed his dark eyes at the chimera for a moment. A calculating expression flitted across his face for a moment as he carefully weighed the pros and cons of telling him and his friends anything at all. After all, he didn't know what they would do with any of the information.
What if they tried to use it against Ichigo and himself?
"I'll answer your questions if you and your friends sign a non disclosure agreement. And a contract stating that nothing will ever be used against her in any way." Chad said.
Nezu was quiet for a moment as he mulled over the young man's words while someone hissed out in an outraged tone, "Why would we do that? Was she into something illegal?"
Chad shook his head no.
"They're just simple questions Mr. Sado, you needn't worry that anyone will do anything untoward with the information." Chiyo assured him.
But he merely said, "While you may say that ma'am, Ichigo and I have both been betrayed far too many times to simply take your word for it. It's far too easy for people to lie."
"I understand that Mr. Sado. But everyone in this room is a Pro-hero-" Nezu started to say when the young man cut him off.
"The only hero- pro or otherwise, that I will ever trust implicitly is Ichigo. I've followed that girl to hell and back more than once. She's all that matters to me at the moment and I will not have any of you becoming a threat to her. I absolutely cannot risk losing her again."
Nezu didn't need to ask anything else for the moment since the young man's words told him more than Sado was probably aware of. He could tell that Aizawa and some of the others caught the young man's slip up too from the way that everyone had gone utterly silent, and smiled.
If he were playing a game of chess, then this is what would be called, Check.
A few hours later-
She kept feeling something slither along her senses, somewhere in the back of her subconscious mind. And it was beginning to get a little bit annoying as she and her guardian and their companions finished cleaning up the leftovers to the dinner that she had helped to make.
Despite her soup being overcooked and turning into some sort of unappetizing mush- and winding up braining her guardian with a rock the size of a small flower pot for his negligence.
Dinner had gone amazingly well.
The food was nice. And the company was even more nice.
Everyone seemed to have a great time. Including the elder.
Whom after seeing her brain her guardian had managed to put two and two together and figured out that she was responsible for his near death experiences on this trip. And had decided that it was probably in his best interest to tone down his terrible personality and become a frigging joy to have around otherwise he might never make it home in one piece.
His words, not hers. Though he was more than a little bit right about that. With her nausea returning and with so little rest- not to mention whatever the hell was teasing her senses- her temper was a lot shorter than it should be. So...she really would kill the old man if he irked her anymore than he already had on this trip.
Would she feel good about it. Maybe. For about five to ten minutes or so. Would she be proud of it? Only if he turned out to be a Nazi or something.
Otherwise it would be business as usual.
That being said, now that the kitchen was all cleaned up. And the food was put away, there was only one thing left for all of them to do. So naturally she wasn't really sure what to do with herself when she wound up being grabbed by her guardian, and placed in the living room. Right next to the Christmas tree. Where she had to stay- her guardian instructed her not to move in a very firm tone- while everyone else slowly migrated into the room and picked out a spot to sit.
While her guardian began to systematically go through the shit ton of presents underneath and around the tree and hand them all out. And once he was done, everyone had their gifts.
She especially had hers.
The damned things outnumbered her so much that she was reminded of those ball-pit thingys that kids tended to get lost in when they were really young. There were just so many boxes and brightly colorful bags that she was practically swimming in them.
And at the first sign of one tipping over to fall on her, she let out the most god awful girly shriek she could muster in an effort to call for help. Which only made her companions laugh at her. The bloody savages! She thought in annoyance as her guardian finally took pity on her and sat down on the floor next to her and put her in his lap so that she could at least be seen again and picked up a gift and held it out to her.
"Sorry. I guess I really did go a bit overboard, huh?" He said softly. She gave him a dirty look and snatched the gift from his large hand and then scowled down at it thinking that he hadn't just gone overboard a little bit.
He'd bought a mountain! A literal and proverbial mountain.
"How did all of this stuff even fit in the back of the car?" Was all that she could manage to say. And since she wasn't even looking at him, she missed the grin that curved his lips before he replied to her flabbergasted question.
"Oh that? I shipped some over to the cabin using a very trusted shipping company-"
The look that she gave him next cut made him quickly fall silent. Honestly, aside from Gran Torino and on occasion Shota and Recovery Girl, he'd never seen anyone who looked so displeased with him before.
Automatically holding another gift up as if it would shield him from her ire, he watched as she began to tear into the wrapping paper of the gift in her hand.
She had an odd way of unwrapping something, he noted in amusement. Instead of just tearing the paper off, she carefully removed it. Seemingly trying to keep the brightly colored paper from tearing apart so that she could set it aside and check the inside of the gift out.
Once she felt that she had 'aww'ed over the item enough, she set it aside and then let him hand her the next one. This went on and on and on for quite a while. Probably more than an hour if the uncomfortable way that his legs began to go numb were any indication at all.
Even so, he couldn't find it in himself to move away from her and leave her to open her gifts alone. Call him crazy but he'd never seen anyone freak out so much over how many gifts they got. He'd never seen anybody irked enough to complain about them either.
It simply wasn't done.
Seeing her take her latest gift and remove the colorful bow from it and place it on her head- or in her hair rather, was a incredibly wonderful sight for him though. It was so wonderful that it made his heart flutter in his chest and a huge smile curve his lips.
She just looked so cute that he could barely contain himself.
"I-Is it alright if I kiss you on the cheek?" He asked quietly. She stopped messing with the gift in her hands and turned her head to look at him for a second. Seeming to mull over his request before finally sighing and tapping her cheek with her index finger and saying softly.
"Make it fast. And don't make it weird."
She gave him a pointed look to emphasize her point. And he grinned at her and waited for her to turn her head again before pressing his lips to her cheek affectionately. His heart fluttering that much faster in his chest as he thought, I got to kiss her cheek just like a dad!
He couldn't wait to tell Shota when they got back from their trip, he would be so jealous!