Part 13 Give Your Heart a Break

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 Ichigo stalked through his house, his back bowed with exhaustion; who knew his reitsu could hurt as much as his physical body? Now he knew for sure why he and Lucy never used their hollowification while training. He didn't see how Kisuke thought it would be a good idea for two soul reapers who were practically at captain level to use their hollowifications against each other. That whole suggestions had BAD IDEA written all over it.

Why did they have to be the ones cleaning the ensuing mess? It wasn't like the idea came from them! Both himself and Lucy had tried talking sense into Kisuke and Isshin yet nothing worked, they were too focused on seeing them go all out.

They went all out alright. Over three-quarters of training grounds destroyed in less time, it took for Lucy to demolish five loaded plates of food. Which brought him to his next thought; dinner. The duo hadn't had any sustenance beyond their shared-read: stolen-bowl of ramen which had long since burned off. His dad did mention him taking the blond out for a meal something about treating her right.

Isshin placed his hand on his son's shoulders guiding him to a corner far enough away from the former dragon slayers to not be overheard. Ichigo wanted to protest but kept his mouth shut at the look in his fathers matching brown eyes. This was serious business. Ichigo schooled his wayward expression into one of matching level with his fathers.

"Look, Ichigo, I want you to take Lucy out for dinner tonight. Don't worry about us, be teenagers for once. I get that training is important but so is acting young, something you haven't done since you saved Rukia from Soul Society."

Ichigo opened his mouth to protest-yeah he knew he hadn't been acting like a typical sixteen year but who honestly had the time after facing off against various foes-but shut it as his dad squeezed his shoulder.

"I know I don't really involve myself in yours-or Lucy's-decisions but I think it's time you do something nice for her. She's hardly been at home this past week and spent half of it not even at the house, I do not know what she does but I'm sure it has something to do with Natsu's client; maybe she's in a secret relationship with him."

Isshin added carefully, thoroughly studying his son's expression as those words left his lips. His son's brown eyes darkened and his jaw clenched, he doubted Ichigo consciously knew how he was reacting to that sentence. Almost immediately Ichigo's expression cleared as did Isshin's suspicion.

In many ways Ichigo was like Isshin, he just hoped his son wouldn't realize his feelings for her after almost losing her. Though he acted the fool Isshin was far from it, how could he be when he was the former captain of Squad Ten all those years ago?

Ichigo's feelings for Lucy didn't start appearing in subtle ways of course; his son never expressed such loving emotions easily-until she was a month into living with them. Subconsciously his eyes would soften once she entered the room, or he'd hold the door open for her when she walked passed him, hell Isshin even caught his only son doing her chores when she was too tired-even going as far as washing her clothes for her.

Really, Ichigo was sweet on her, just like he himself was with Masaki after he was banished. Or before, it might have been before since he was always soft on her. Maybe it was right after he saved her from Black all that time ago. Sounds about right.

"Take her for dinner alright? Have some fun, though not too much fun." Isshin winked. Just because he was serious did not mean he wasn't the goofball Masaki formed him into and loved.

Ichigo nodded his head and his father lifted his hand from his son's shoulder. Ichigo stepped back and left.

The orange idiot opened the door to his room, withholding a sigh as he saw the very same blond he was coming to tell to get ready for their night out, face first on his pillow dead to the world. This woman...he growled in annoyance.

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