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A Hero's Call @babykitsune_9
Chapter 36

"Oh god Ichigo you scared the hell out of me when you just up and vanished like that." Chad muttered into her hair as he gave her a very small squeeze. "I was so worried that you weren't going to make it."

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare anyone Chad but Rukia-" She faltered in explaining the rest to him when he pulled back a little bit and stared at her.

He pressed one last kiss to her cheek and then heaved a sigh before muttering, "I know. I saw what was happening. You did good getting her as far away as possible, baby girl."

"She still didn't make it." Ichigo said with a ragged sob as she leaned in to press her face against his shoulder. "I tried to even use the Souten Kisshun to save her, but...they refused because I was already dying from my injuries."

Chad didn't tighten his grip on her, though he certainly wanted to. He'd seen Ichigo die a number of times already and had always feared that the next time would be the last one. The final one.

So naturally, hearing that she had come to this new place dying, again, was terrifying to him. What if she hadn't made it? What if this time had really been the last?

He would have spent the rest of his life searching for her and never finding her. And that was pretty damned terrifying to him too. The not knowing whether she was alive or dead or if he would or wouldn't ever find her again would have fucking killed him. Especially once he finally realized that there was no hope at all of finding her alive and well.

Rubbing his cheek along the soft hair on top of her head, he thought carefully about what to say to her next since he knew that not being able to save Rukia had taken a heavy toll on her emotionally.

Finally, he decided on something simple, but no less heartfelt.

"I'm not going to leave you ever again Ichigo." She sniffled and turned her head a little bit as he tacked on, "Where you go, I go. Always." He felt, rather than saw her smile a little bit and knew that that had been the right thing to say to her. The assurance that she wouldn't be alone again would go a long way towards helping her in the long run.

Turning his head a little bit, he saw everyone looking at them with a strange mixture of relief, awe, curiosity and...well, the big blond guy standing by the little chimera looked like he was torn between tearing his head off and being happy about something.

Which was weirdly uncomfortable for Chad since he didn't know if the guy was having some sort of mental breakdown of some kind or not. In fact his expression was so freaky that he was beginning to make him think that he'd just suffered some sort of psychotic break. And he was now waiting for him to put Ichigo down so that he could kill him.

"Hey, Ichigo is there anything that you want to tell me?" He asked as he and the blond guy locked eyes.

"Hn?" She said unintelligibly as she lifted her head from his shoulder and looked around to see what he was talking about. And squeaked as soon as she caught her guardian's eyes and felt her face flush with embarrassment. "O-Oh right."

In all honesty she had sort of temporarily forgotten that her guardian and anyone else was even there. So naturally now that she recalled they were there, she would have to introduce Chad to them.

Chad didn't even bother to set her on her feet. Not with how rough she looked at the moment. Especially not after seeing the huge assed crater that she'd made killing an Espada.

Using that much energy to kill someone that dangerous was usually very physically exhausting. But he knew that she had a fast rebound ability that would have her up and on her feet again within a few hours as long as she took it easy.

Walking over to where the blond guy was, he stopped well outside of the guy's reach just in case he got any funny ideas and he wound up having to defend not only himself, but Ichigo too. And waited patiently for her to introduce him to the man and the others.

Chad expected something weird from her since she rarely took occasions like this very seriously.

As a matter of fact the first time he'd ever met her dad face to face she'd told him to 'fluff his man boobs up' and use their awesomeness to distract her dad while she snuck out of the bedroom window.

She actually left him staring down her dad while she escaped the house, internally freaking out over the whole man boobs comment. He'd been nearly convinced when he left for home that day that he needed to go buy himself a bra of some kind.

Of course he'd been fourteen at the time and didn't have a very good grasp of certain specifics when it came to being male or female. So that was really the only defense he had then to explain his behavior after that incident.

"Uh, t-this is Chad Sado." She started out as she slowly let her arms slip from around his neck so that she could address her guardian and the others. "He's my best friend from back home."

Her guardian's expression shifted a little bit away from the slightly maddened look that he'd been sporting to one of understanding and then happiness?

Wait! Was it normal for a guardian to be happy about a long lost friend showing up? She didn't know. But she suddenly felt very worried when her guardian stepped forward a little bit and started to lift a hand. Her eyes zeroed in on it and she started rambling so quickly that Chad was probably the only one who caught much of anything she said.

"Oh my god Chad, I think he's going to kill you. Quick! Distract him with your man boobs!"

Chad, god bless him, was used to some of her nonsensical jabbering whenever she panicked. So he didn't do anything but snort quietly when the words finally left her mouth, and then moved a hand up to cover her face in an effort to stop her from talking anymore nonsense as he smiled at the man.


"Ah," The blond looked at Ichigo who was flailing her arms around and continuing to ramble barely audible words in a panicked manner. Finally glancing away from his young charge, Toshinori focused on the young man again and gave a friendly, if slightly awkward smile. "Hello. Sado, was it?"


"I'm Toshinori Yagi, Ichigo's legal guardian." The blond said. Chad smiled at him and smooshed Ichigo's face against his shoulder so that he could shake the man's hand.

The two of them nearly crushed each others hands while they were shaking them. Not that Chad minded any, he liked the small display of aggression from the man. It meant that he cared about Ichigo enough to risk her displeasure.

Yagi however, looked more than a little bit startled by the fact that Chad could easily break his bones and was quick to retract his hand as soon as possible while letting out a nervous sounding laugh. "My, what a strong grip you have! You could crush bones to a fine powder with that grip. Do you play sports of some kind?"

Chad flashed his teeth at him. "I have the best arm wrestling buddy in the world." He let Ichigo go enough for her to raise her head and shriek at him.

"The next time we arm wrestle you'll be lucky if I don't rip your arm off and beat you with it!"

Chad didn't react to the threat at all like most people would have. Or at all like Toshinori would have expected him too.

He merely grinned wider, displaying his straight white teeth in a parody of a feral grin as Ichigo shrieked at him a bit more while he chortled at her totally unperturbed by her creative threats of bodily harm.

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