Home Again, Home Again.
: See series introduction for the long version. The short version? Not mine and I’m making no money. Buffy is Joss Whedon's and Bleach is Tite Kubo's.TIME FRAME
: Buffy: After Long Way Home, before No Future for You.
Bleach: Ichigo and company have returned from Hueco Mundo. NOTE
: I am pleased Tatsuki got more screen time, but REALLY? Also, weak explanation for including Chizuru. NOTE THE 2ND
:-Kun can be used to address females but is rare. Again no beta reader. This, in part, explains why updates will take so long. I need to walk away from the chapter for about a week, so I can pick up mistakes. Volunteers are welcome.
It was a scary thought. She hadn’t been gone long, but it felt like she had last walked these familiar streets a lifetime ago.
In a way it had been a lifetime ago. Back then her thoughts revolved around winning fights, chasing her dream of becoming the Vale Tudo champion. She had thought that she could trust her friends to tell her the truth, to come to her with their problems, as they had when they were much younger.
Instead her two best friends, who rarely interacted with each other, became closer, as they involved themselves in something they refused to tell her about, even when she pressed them for answers.
Now, now she had new dreams. They still revolved around fighting, but now she could put her skills to use protecting people, fighting the good fight. With her new dreams came new friends that she could and often did, trust with her life.
Karakura Town was situated above a Hellmouth, one of seven currently active. As such, a larger-than-normal team of Slayers were tasked with protecting it. A usual squad consisted of two slayers, a watcher and a witch on speed dial, covering an area ten times the size of Karakura. Tatsuki’s home town got fifteen slayers, six witches and three watchers.
An apartment complex had been bought to house the team along with all the necessary equipment and resources to keep them fighting fit. Tatsuki could go and visit her parents, but it was considered too dangerous for her and for them, if she moved back in to her childhood home. She was even re-enrolled at her old school, teenagers were a magnet for supernatural attacks.
Orihime had been back for months. Even in Scotland, Tatsuki had sensed her presence as soon as the girl had returned from the nightmare world she had been dragged into. Tatsuki had wanted to get the next flight home, to see her, make sure she was alright, to demand a truthful explanation. But she had quashed her initial impulses. Training came first. Always.
There was no mention of the girl in her parents’ weekly emails. Orihime hadn’t come to her house, asking after the dark haired tomboy. Tatsuki had thought that this would have been one of the first things her friend would do, once the airheaded girl realised that she was no longer attending Karakura High. That was the old Orihime though, the one who trusted Tatsuki. The new one apparently, didn’t care.
There was no news from Ichigo either. Her parents had seen him running about town in a white spandex costume, though that was before Orihime’s presence returned, so it was most likely the imposter. Since the return he hadn’t shown up at her house to mend heavily damaged fences. Did they even realise that she was gone? Tomorrow she would be facing them again.
A voice interrupted her thoughts, “You know, I was thinking. The others’ll be alright, no one knows them. We however, grew up here. People will recognise us if they see us beating ‘people’ up in the street. We should have costumes and codenames. I’ll be called Erotic and you can be...Beast! All the girls will love me and shower me with affection aaaand you can go kill stuff.”
“Chizuru, that has to be the worst idea since Kiego tried to kiss every girl in class and you tried to copy his plan once the ambulance had collected him.” The idiot had gotten a black eye for trying it on her and his jaw broken in three places for trying it on Orihime. Chizuru had kneed him between the legs, one hour later the ambulance had returned to pick her up.
“Anyway, what are you going to do tomorrow?”
Running a hand through her spiky hair, Tatsuki sighed. “Dunno. I suppose I’ll give them a chance to explain and if they lie again, I’m done with them.”
“Huh, does this mean I can make my move on Hime-chan without fear of hospitalisation and/or concussion?” That sentence alone should have annoyed the depressed girl out of brooding and into gleeful violence, but it hadn’t.
“Please, knock yourself out. It’ll save me the trouble.”
Chizuru’s shoulders sagged a bit as she pouted. Tatsuki was no fun when she wasn’t rising to the bait. “Seriously though, what will you say if they ask where you have been?”
“If they tell me the truth, I’ll tell them the truth. If they lie, then I’ve been accepted, on a part-time basis, to a top-notch fighting academy. How about you?”
“Oh, I was whisked away by a beautiful, experienced, rich, older woman, on a cruise of love around the world. But I soon missed my Hime-chan and had to return to Karakura. Or I could say that you’ve always been secretly in love with me and that you used to hit me because you were jealous of the attention I was paying to Hime-Chan. But one day you confessed your true feelings and took me with you to fighting school where we lived happily together and now we’ve returned.” Tatsuki could swear that hearts had appeared in the red head’s eyes as she said this.
“Urgh. I think I’m about to throw up. Or hit you. Maybe both.”
“What’s the matter Tatsu-kun? Don’t you looooove me?” Just a little more pushing and Chizuru’s mission would be accomplished.
“No, now come on we’ve gotta finish patrolling. If I’m lucky you might get killed by a vampire.”
If she were lucky the world might end tonight and she could avoid dealing with tomorrow.