Orihime in Hiding 3 and 4

Ok these chapters are where it starts to pick up so i’m posting both of them…..

Edit: Ok guys, I did not write this story. It was written by Renji’s Girll on fanfiction.net. Please give all the credit to her.

Another Edit: Permission was given.

Chapter 3- Arrivals

Orihime unpacked her two suitcases that afternoon.

Not a uniform in sight. She smiled. No school uniform, and a long summer vacation.

If they stayed that long. No one at Soul Society knew how long she’d be in hiding. The Winter War was approaching quickly, but lines were still being drawn. She and Renji could be in Brooklyn a week, or a month. Who knew?

Aizen knew, she thought.

A chill crept up her spine as she thought back on thoughts she had tried to forget. She’d succeeded at forgetting much; so much, in fact, she couldn’t recall what the Society wanted to know when they’d asked her. Numerous times.

She stood in front of the floor length mirror that was anchored to one of the rose colored walls in her new bedroom. She brushed her yellow and pink skirt of wrinkles and committed a slight bow to her reflection.

“Hello. My name is Inoue Moriyama. I’m an exchange student from…” she paused, frowning. Too Japanese. She began again. “Hello,” she said precisely. “My name is Inoue Moriyama. I’ve just arrived … Hello,” she said slowly.

She frowned and took a few steps toward the mirror. She put her fingers to her hair where her usual barrettes were now replaced by pinch clips shaped like gold fish in blues and purples. She wasn’t the only one who was powerless. Her thoughts grazed over Ishida for a brief moment. Many had given all for Soul Society, and here they were, ready to do battle again.

There were many who thought her kidnapping had been a mere distraction, to draw more shinigami into Aizen’s reach.

To draw out the worst, yet the more powerful, aspects of some of them. Like him.

“Inoue?” Renji called from downstairs, bringing her thoughts back to the bedroom. She heard the back door close. “Inoue?”

“Here!” she returned, pushing her hair back from her face. “Coming!”

She bounded down the stairs, pleased at the roominess of the house, and met him in the kitchen. “Ooh, pizza.”

He set the pizza box and a white bag on the small kitchen table. “Hungry?”

She was already finding plates in the cupboard. “You bet.”

Forty miles away a plane was touching down north of Detroit in a makeshift landing strip, nearly two hours from Brooklyn. Not a commercial plane, but a smaller Piper that had been commissioned privately by a voice over the telephone that had paid handsomely for discretion.

A lone figure emerged into the growing evening as the single engine propeller slowed spinning. He looked carefully around at the tiny landing strip, nodding to the pilot, who remained in the plane.

He walked to the line of hickory trees that separated the grassy region that would soon be turned by a tractor to plant soybeans from a field of winter wheat in the next field. After a long moment two rental cars came up the double lane road.

There was an exchange of greetings, and the two drivers got back in one car and left, heading south. The last figure, who had just flown in, got into the second car, and turned northwest.

That night the town of Brooklyn slowly shut down, two of the three traffic lights going to blinking reds at ten o’clock, and the two full-time police officers making their lazy rounds through the back streets to eventually head to eat stale donuts at the empty middle school parking lot.

Renji watched the squad cars head in that direction now from his perch on the house’s rooftop. He preferred invisibility, as now, in his shinigami robes, to the confines of human form. He’d watched the town close up, quietness settling over it unlike the larger cities he’d seen. Orihime had gotten to her bubble bath in the claw footed tub earlier, and he could smell the peachy bubble bath soap she’d used.

It was an extremely long bath, he’d noticed, and when he heard a sudden yelp from the bathroom window earlier, he assumed she’d fallen asleep and awoke startled.

He sighed. Which brought up this, he thought, looking down at the dangling Hello Kitty lamp pull he held. The little cat was connected to a pink tassel, with a little bell below it, and several beads in assorted pastel colors. Matsumoto’s idea.

He looked back up at the night skies, wondering about the dark haired girl he still ached for. He’d discovered too late the extremes of Byakuya’s determination to follow orders. When they’d left that night for the Kurosaki household, he never thought Rukia’s brother-in-law would resort to such measures.

Surely they’d just bring her back — where she belonged — to Soul Society, and reprimand her soundly, and that would be it.

A death sentence? Never. Renji would have bet his life on it.

She shouldn’t have gone to the living as a Soul Reaper at all. Not yet. Not alone. She’d been promoted for familial reasons; not on her abilities. She wasn’t ready.

If he’d handled things differently that night on the street, if he’d realized then that Ichigo was as determined to protect Rukia as he had been, matters would have taken a different turn. They wouldn’t have been at odds for so long.

Maybe I’d still be the one she turned to first, he thought. Playing the role of big brother to Rukia was not what he had in mind. There’d never been a threat like Ichigo before; it had always been just him and Rukia since they were young, taking care of each other. He’d missed his chance before he even knew there was the possibility he could be replaced.

But she’d made her choice, and he was determined to step aside, as a brother would.

He’d heard Orihime practicing her English in the bath tub earlier, her soft voice floating out the open window. Sometimes he thought to prod her a little further, urge her to use her ample feminine wiles to turn Ichigo’s head.

It would only hurt Rukia, Renji knew, if Ichigo did look at Orihime in any romantic manner. Hurting Rukia was not what Renji had in mind, despite how much it tore at him to see her with Kurosaki.

He looked down at the communicator he held. He’d already adjusted the frequency to the channel Soul Society had given him, but it was for emergency use only. He wasn’t sure a car would be their idea of an emergency.

Orihime pushed the button on the coffee maker the next morning and smiled as it began a mechanical breathing sound. In the carafe, hot water began to drip. The view out the kitchen window of her new home was already drenched in sun, tall reedy green plants bobbing just below the window as they lined the outside wall.

But there was still no car at the garage.

She smoothed her mint green pleated skirt that was decorated with lilac flowers. An American style skirt — not a uniform. She’d been careful to match the cable knit purple sweater to the flowers when Matsumoto had taken her shopping for the trip.

And to interrogate her, she knew, in the assistant captain’s female-friendly way.

She frowned. She still couldn’t remember everything about her time with Sôsuke Aizen. She wasn’t sure she wanted to. But she did wish everyone at Soul Society would trust her again. Some more than others. Her train of thought went to him, where it often stayed lately. She’d prove herself loyal, although it may not matter, not since Rukia had become a permanent fixture in his life.

She spun around as Renji came into the kitchen, her skirt flaring out as she did. “Good morning,” she said brightly. “How was your first night?”

He looked at her tolerantly, grunting. He was already dressed, a t-shirt that read something she didn’t want to repeat on the black front, and jeans. No shoes, she noted. She was glad Soul Society hadn’t sent Ikkaku with her. There was no way she could excuse a shoe-less escort.

That was, if anyone ever saw her with Renji. She looked to the ring he wore bearing the Society’s signet on the middle finger of his left hand. Since he had human form this time, but may also need the powers of a shinigami, alterations had been made.

“How was yours?” he asked, settling into a chair at the table.

“Just fine. The beds are so big here.” She found two coffee cups in the overhead cupboard. She was pleased there were some cups, glasses, dishes, and bowls, but there was little silverware, and no chopsticks in the house.

Renji rubbed the back of his neck, eyeing the coffee maker wheezing on the counter. His eyes flicked to Orihime. “You know there’re no coffee grinds in there, right?”

“Uh-huh.” She took the seat across the table from him. “I thought that if I didn’t put coffee in the little basket, but only water, it would make hot water, for tea.” She glanced to the coffee maker and back to him. “See?”

He nodded, a little surprised. “Do we have any tea bags?”

Her eyes got bigger, and she giggled sheepishly. “No. Actually, there’s no coffee, either.”

He sighed. “Oh, well. We’ll get some soon.” He fingered the head rag that he’d positioned so carefully that morning. Damn it. He wasn’t wearing the camouflage unless he absolutely had to. Brooklyn could just get used to tattoos, he thought.

Orihime got up and bent to look in the cupboards, which were mostly bare. What she did find was an unopened bottle of ketchup dangerously close to the expiration date and a box of instant hot chocolate packets. She looked to him triumphantly.

“Cocoa!”

He nodded, watching her place the box on the counter and bring the leftover pizza, still in its box, from the refrigerator. He looked around. No microwave.

She placed the box on the table. “Do you want me to fry a few slices?”

Hell, no, he thought. “No. Cold is fine.” The thought of Orihime in the kitchen cooking anything was scary. Rukia had told him stories.

“Okay.” She brought two plates from the cupboard and set them on the table, and then made the hot chocolate with water from the coffee pot. She placed one cup in front of him. “It’s hot.”

“Thanks. Inoue.”

She sat down with her cup and opened the box. Four pieces left. They both took a piece, tugging as the crust stuck to the box bottom.

He watched her blow on the hot chocolate, and then set it aside. She peeled off a pepperoni from her slice of pizza, and then a mushroom, that broke apart.

“You know what would be good on this?” she asked, eyes on the pizza.

He was afraid to ask. “What?” He bit off half the slice in one bite.

“Raisins.” She popped a pepperoni in her mouth.

He made a face, chewing. “Raisins weren’t an option.”

“They should be. I’ll bet they’d sell like hotcakes.”

He shrugged. “Nice phrase.”

“Why, thank you.” She looked to the ring he wore. “If you’re wearing the ring, why can I see you, Renji?”

He looked to the ring on his hand. “Left hand is human, right hand is shinigami. You won’t see me when it’s on the other hand.”

“Oh.” She nodded, and took a bite of the pizza slice. “You’re not going to be at school with me all day, are you?” she asked guardedly.

He shook his head, finishing the slice. “I’ll hang around the school perimeter the first week. After that, we’ll see.” He reached for another piece of pizza. “The Society picked this place because there’s absolutely nil energy here. Anyone coming in from anywhere will be easy to detect. There’s never been a case of a Hollow showing up here, so that’s not going to be an issue, either.”

Her gaze went to her hot chocolate. “I don’t have any power left, either.”

He watched her mope for a moment, knowing her observation by the Society was still underway. “Well, don’t worry about it.”

She raised her eyes to his, her lips pulled in a pout, her sulking brown eyes giving him pause for a moment.

Now if she looked at Kurosaki like that, he thought, the guy wouldn’t have a chance. He cleared his throat, looking to his coffee mug. “Don’t worry about it, Inoue.” He reached in his pocket and found the lamp pull cord. He set it on the table and slid it to her. “That’s for your door.”

“Oh, Hello Kitty,” she said, smiling. She took the tasseled cord, turning the plastic kitten and beads over, the bell tinkling. “Like the captain’s little bells.”

He grinned. Captain Zaraki would like to have heard that, he thought, watching her hold the dangle up. “It’s for your door –”

“Okay.” She cocked her head, admiring the decoration.

“The outside of your door,” he finished. “Hang it on the outside and shut the door whenever you’re, you know…” He nodded, trying not to focus too pointedly on any part of her body.

Her big brown eyes pegged on him. “When?”

“When you’re, uh, changing. Dressing. So I know not to come in.” The look of horror that welled up suddenly in her face told him she’d understood. “If I’m going to protect you, Inoue, there may come times I won’t be able to knock, and you may not be able to answer. But that doesn’t mean I’m not coming in.” He nodded to the cord, an uncharacteristic blush coming over him. “That’s to rule out mistakes.”

“Oh.”

“Got it?”

“Uh-huh.”

Chapter 4- Below the Radar

It was an uncomfortable position, but at the moment neither of them could think of a viable alternative. At least, not one that Renji was going to resort to. Yet.

Camouflage, or make-up, or whatever the hell he was going to call it was not something he wanted to wear on a daily basis.

So Sunday morning Orihime found herself escorted into town with an unseen shinigami. She walked the sidewalk running along the street, the warm sun stretching before her, intermittent with shade from the tall maple trees in some of the residential yards they passed.

She smiled at the old woman sitting on one of the porches, rocking slowly back in forth in a chair, holding a fat orange tabby cat. The woman returned the wave, still stroking the cat.

“I wish I could at least hear you, Renji,” she said in a low tone.

So did he. Communication while he was a shinigami was still a problem, but it was one he found less difficult than taking on human form. He walked at her side, eyes alert to any disturbance in the spiritual energy fields that would indicate a presence needing his attention.

There weren’t any. Nothing. Brooklyn was a great void of any spiritual pressures at all. The only tweak of anything he got was when they’d saw a funeral in progress at the church two blocks back, and that had only been a whimper of passing.

Orihime crossed the street a block before the main intersection of town, her attention going to the two youths at the fence near an alley. Both teen boys were tall, even for Americans, and straightened their crooked postures when she neared, their eyes following her. She moved to the edge of the sidewalk, away from them as a leer came to the blond one’s face. His darker haired friend chuckled, muttering something she didn’t hear.

“Woo-hoo, baby,” the blond called, tossing his cigarette to the side to give her more attention. “Haven’t seen you in school.”

Orihime quickened her step, a flicker of a smile on her face. “I haven’t started — Yipe!” She flinched as Renji’s hand grabbed her elbow.

“What the hell are you doing?” he snapped before he realized she couldn’t hear him. He pushed her on ahead of him as the blond guy fell into step beside them.

“So, you’re going to school here?” The blond guy moved a little closer as she withdrew on the sidewalk.

“Uh, well …”

“I could show you around.” His bloodshot eyes fell over her in sneer. “I got lots I could show — Uhh!”

The blond guy found himself rendered into a heap near the concrete, holding his stomach from a punch he never saw coming, a puff of cigarette smoke emitting as he gasped. He curled into a ball like a caterpillar as Orihime scooted quicker down the walk.

“Thanks, Renji,” she breathed, glimpsing back to where the second teen was hovering over his fallen comrade.

“I didn’t even see her move, man,” he said. “Wicked elbow, eh?”

Renji’s grip tightened on Orihime as she lagged. “You can’t just talk to anyone, Inoue. You’ve got to think.” He groaned, knowing it was useless trying to convey anything at the moment. He considered ducking down the alley to change forms, but when he saw the little boy on the tricycle with two other children he decided against it. No sense in scarring them for life yet.

They reached the corner of the sidewalk where the intersection crossed and he nudged Orihime to the left. He didn’t have to indicate the signs above the stores as they passed. She saw the cakes in the window.

“Ooh, you’re right. They do look good. That was the best cupcake I ever had,” she said, smiling at thoughts of the cupcakes he’d brought home the day before. “We’re going in, right?”

She felt a prod on her shoulder and they went in.

Mrs. Simon looked up from tending the counter in the cake shop, returning the smile of the girl who came through the door. A very well-endowed girl. Mrs. Simon’s large form filled out her burgundy apron and pale pink skirt and blouse, and her hands had seen thirty years of cakes and pastries.

“Hello. What can I get you, honey?”

Orihime looked into the first display counter. “Hmm. I’m not sure yet.”

Renji stood at one side of the shop where a four foot high wedding cake was on display with a sign reading “Please do not touch” on it. Finger marks at the back of the cake showed where some of the white icing had been removed by small fingers. He glanced around the shop, then looked closer at the back room where a long window divided the rooms. Behind it he could see the brunette girl and another man, both working at tables.

He looked to where Orihime was investigating each and every pastry under the counter, and stepped to the back room’s doorway. At one table was Leah, leaning over a row of long bare donuts on a tray. Near the window was the baker, a lean man in his mid thirties with powerful arms and wearing a baseball cap.

Renji paused in the doorway, fruity and sweet smells coming from the back room.

“You better not be smelling like onions,” Sam said as he rolled out a big ball of dough on the floured table.

Behind him Leah frowned, filling a hopper with Bavarian cream. “I don’t smell like onions anymore, Sam.” She held the metal bowl over the hopper reservoir and used a spatula to push it in. “Eighteen custard and eighteen cream?”

Sam nodded, rolling a large wooden dowel over the lump of dough until it flattened. “Yup. Moneybags.”

Renji crossed his arms, watching Leah put the top on the hopper and take a long donut in each hand. The hopper’s double jets protruded from the front, above two levers. She inserted a donut end into each jet and pushed the levers simultaneously with the back of her hands, unaware of Renji’s presence.

“Hey, I want a car by the end of the summer.”

Sam flipped over the dough, glancing up, and then up again, as he saw Orihime moving to another case of pastries out the window. He whistled lowly. “Now, that’s a looker.”

Renji’s attention went to Sam, his mind already deciding how many ways the baker could be beaten with the rolling pin.

Leah looked to Orihime momentarily, then switched ends of the donuts and filled the other side with cream. “In your dreams, Sam. In your dreams.”

The baker looked back down at his work. “Six hours of cooking this morning and six hours here today? You need a life, girl.”

Leah shrugged, placing the filled donuts on another paper-lined tray. “I’ll get a life when I get a car. Besides, prep cook really isn’t cooking.”

“Why don’t you just use Brad’s car?”

She filled two more donuts. “He took it to college last holiday break. That way he can bring home more dirty laundry,” she grumbled.

Renji watched her fill the donuts. She didn’t smell like onions to him. More like raspberries. He looked to the jelly-filled powdered donuts sitting on another tray near her. When he looked back to Orihime in the front room she still leaning over the counter. The shop owner was still with her, nodding. Two little boys came in from the street door and began looking into the cases, fingers plastered to the glass, mouths nearly drooling. Renji glanced back to Leah momentarily as she continued filling the donuts, and then he joined Orihime at the counter.

“Well,” she was saying, stalling, “I’m not sure what else I want.”

He watched the small boys make their rounds, looking into the cases, and then going to the wedding cake on display.

“Cool,” one said, eyes gleaming at the icing.

Old enough to read, Renji knew, about seven or eight years-old. The second boy nodded, and then dragged a finger across the back of the cake.

Renji smacked the boy’s knuckles. He withdrew his hand, shoving the other boy.

“Stop it,” he said, reaching for the icing again.

“I didn’t do it!” the other boy retaliated.

The first boy put two fingers to the cake, and Renji smacked the back of his hand. This time the boy backed away.

“Forget it,” he said, eyes growing large as he looked around. “Come on.”

When the boys left the shop, Renji went back to the counter and looked to the box of six donuts Orihime had already picked out.

“What else do I want?” Orihime said aloud, hintingly. “Let me think.” She looked at the chocolate cake donuts for the third time. “Maybe, maybe a — Yip!” She smiled quickly, startled when Renji tugged at the back of her hair.

Mrs. Simon looked at her with confusion. “You okay, honey?”

“Yup.” Orihime chirped, wishing she could give Renji a dirty look, but instead she felt her hand moving awkwardly of its own accord to the tray of blueberry cake donuts in the case. Her flaccid hand gracelessly made a tap on the glass, followed by feeling two of his fingers pressed into her palm. “Two of the blueberry?”

Mrs. Simon nodded slowly. “You want two blueberry cake donuts?”

“Yes. I think so.”

Renji rolled his eyes. They weren’t doing this again. Not this way. It was like a demon possessed mime trying to communicate with a blind person. After choosing two more lemon-filled vanilla frosted pastries as if she was working an invisible Ouija board, he decided they had enough donuts.

Orihime looked down as her purse edge to the counter, apparently of its own. She grabbed it hastily, smiling at the shop owner. She sorted through the few contents inside until she found her wallet.

They were back on the sidewalk in two minutes, Orihime carrying the white pastry box. She didn’t see Renji look back into the cake shop, his eyes briefly settling on Leah still in finishing donuts.

“Well, that was strange,” Orihime said lowly, unsure where he was. “Are you there, Renji?” She felt a hand on her arm and was moved into the alley as they reached it. She shrieked when he suddenly materialized at her side.

Renji took the box as she sidestepped into a garbage can. “Never again, Orihime.” One hand went to the black head rag at his forehead, and she gave him a glowering look.

“It wasn’t my idea,” she grumbled. From down the alley there was a crash of a tricycle, and the three year-old boy screamed at them. “You’re scaring people, Renji.”

“Let’s go.”

They emerged back on the sidewalk as the little boy ran for his backyard.

Leah had heard the scream, but when she looked out the back door of the cake shop, all she saw was little Josh dashing into his yard that backed up to the alley. Probably got stung by a bee, she thought, going back into the shop.

She wiped her hands on the burgundy apron and looked to Sam cutting circles out of the dough he’d rolled on the table. “Just little Josh.”

He nodded. “Rose is getting ready to take the order over to the firehouse, so you’ve got the counter.” He glanced at her briefly. “You looked like you rolled in jelly, Leah. Grab another apron.”

Leah scowled at him, but did go to the back corner of the shop near the back door where they usually took their breaks. She found a clean apron and exchanged hers for it. When she got back to the work room, Mrs. Simon was already there.

“You’ve got the counter,” the owner told her. “I’m running that order over to the station.”

Leah nodded.

The dark blue Ford F150 pick-up parked at the street cautiously, having made two passes through the surrounding blocks of the intersection already. Tôshirô Hitsugaya put the truck into park, and looked at the address written on the paper in his hand. In a town the size of Brooklyn, he thought the address would be easy to find.

Even the town had been hard to find.

He waited for the traffic to clear and got out of the truck and looked up at the shop signs over the sidewalk. He went in.

Leah looked up at the boy who came through the door, smiling, and then suppressing a giggle at the tall spiky mound of silvery hair the boy wore. She watched as he approached the counter with all seriousness, his eyes especially watchful of the shop. She leaned over the counter slightly, smiling.

“Hey, there. Can I help you?”

“Yes, I’m looking for an address,” Hitsugaya said, pushing the paper with the address across the counter.

Ooh, so serious, she thought, looking at the paper. She read the address, nodding. “This is close.” She glanced to the pick-up parked outside the shop at the street, but didn’t see a driver. A walker, she decided. “You go right at the light up here, and this address should be about four or five blocks, on your right.”

Hitsugaya took the paper she handed back. “Thanks.”

“Anything else?”

He looked around the shop without interest. “No. Thank you.”

So formal, Leah thought as he left. To her surprise she saw him get into the blue truck at the curb, and drive off. She got to the front window in time to see him make a right turn at the light, according to her directions.

Well, someone was out for a joyride, she thought, cute kid; unaware she was looking at the captain of the Tenth Division of Soul Society.

Orihime had almost finished a lemon-filled donut by the time Renji had eaten two of the pastries. They’d only been back home for ten minutes — after their trip to town — and they were already looking through the small phone book for restaurant options. They were tentatively thinking about the Manic Groove for lunch, the back entrance which they’d seen down an opposite alley on the way home after Josh had went crying for his mother.

“Specializing in American cuisine for family and friends,” Orihime read from the restaurant listings, one whole page from the telephone directory as they sat in the kitchen.

Renji swallowed the last of the second donut, watching her lick the lemon pudding from the donut.

She nodded. “What do you think of that place for lunch?”

His attention went to the back door as sounds of a car in the driveway reached him. “Stay here,” he said, getting up and going outside.

By the time he reached the driveway, Hitsugaya was stepping down from the truck. Renji was surprised to see him, and made a slight bow, conscious of the neighbor mowing the grass over the nearest hedge.

“Captain Hitsugaya.”

“Yeah, well, stop with the formalities, Renji.” Hitsugaya threw a look at the noise of the lawn mower over the tall greenery. “I’m just checking in on you two and dropping off your transportation.”

Renji looked to the truck, nodding. “Not a car.”

Hitsugaya shrugged. “Soul Society thinks everyone in American drives trucks, so, here it is.” He twisted the ring on his left finger, still an alien feeling to him. He glanced at the house. “Everything going okay?”

Renji nodded. “Come on in.”

Orihime immediately popped up from her seat at the table when they entered the kitchen. “Captain Hitsugaya,” she said with a bow.

“Are you all settled in, Orihime?” he asked as Renji pulled the back door shut.

“Hai — Yes, thank you.” She caught herself from bowing again “I deeply appreciate the Soul Society’s protection and interest in my welfare.” She bit her lower lip at her last statement, eyes going to the shorter figure.

“You know we still have questions about your time with Aizen,” Hitsugaya said.

She nodded. “I will do my best to answer.”

Hitsugaya nodded, and then Orihime’s hostess traits kicked in.

“We have donuts and hot cocoa,” she said in her best English. “Would you like some?”

Hitsugaya shook his head, but sat down at the table, followed by Orihime and Renji.

“Have you started school yet?” he asked her.

“No. Tomorrow,” she said.

Hitsugaya looked to Renji and tossed the truck keys across the table to him. “Any problems?”

“None.”

“What about Homeland Security?”

Renji tried not to laugh. “It’s a joke.”

Hitsugaya nodded. “That’s what I thought.” He looked to Orihime for a moment. “We have a few Society issues,” he said leadingly.

She leaned forward on the table. “Anything I can tell you, I will.”

“Uh, yeah, well, this is a different matter.” Hitsugaya returned her attention for a moment, before she sat up straighter.

“Oh. I see.” She laughed a little, glancing to Renji. “I’ll pick out clothes for tomorrow, for school.” She jumped up from the table and bowed twice to them, and then dashed up the stairs down the hall.

Hitsugaya looked to Renji, who shrugged.

“Now,” Hitsugaya said, “what’s she been like?”

Renji shook his head. “Nothing different. She’s acted no differently than how I’ve always seen her.” The next words left a foul taste in his mouth. “I’m not the expert on Orihime Inoue. Kurosaki would know much more than I.”

Hitsugaya nodded. “She’s still powerless?”

“As far as I can tell, yes.” He sighed. “She’d do anything to help Soul Society, in my opinion.”

Hitsugaya looked around the kitchen for a moment. “Do you two have everything you need?”

Renji nodded. “So far, no problem. Any changes in Soul Society?”

This time Hitsugaya nodded. “The damage by Aizen is much deeper than we first expected. There was an attempted abduction of Karin Kurosaki.”

“Ichigo’s little sister?” Renji asked, truly surprised.

Hitsugaya’s eyes flicked to the hall. “Soul Society has moved her and Yuzu to a hidden location, like Orihime, and there may be more we’ll have to move, such as Tatsuki Arisawa. Uryû Ishida has also disappeared.”

“Abducted?” Renji asked, frowning.

“We’re not sure yet. But precautions are being taken. You’re being advised not to take shinigami form unless necessary. Any spiritual pressure registering here will show up, since there’s nothing around to cloud it.”

“About Karin Kurosaki,” Renji said slowly, “who was sent? Gin?”

Hitsugaya shook his head. “Aizen is using humans this time. We can’t detect them, and it’s impossible to determine who is suspect. Everyone is a prospect.”

“Bounts?”

“We don’t think so.”

Renji sat back in the chair. Hitsugaya nodded.

“He’s recruiting humans, and so far, whatever alterations he’s making in them, if any, have been imperceptible,” Hitsugaya said.

“Just mercenaries?”

“Looks like it.” Hitsugaya stood up. “You’re below the spiritual radar, Abarai. Stay there.”

Next Chapter

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~ by Miranda on October 31, 2009.

4 Responses to “Orihime in Hiding 3 and 4”

  1. excellent, i’m enjoying what your doing with these characters.

  2. Second!

  3. 3RD!!!
    Great Chapters Mandi. Keep it up!

  4. Better.

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