Careless Wonder

A girl with strange light red hair, borderline pink, appears out of nowhere from Ichigo's past and demands that she speaks with his father... and why is Urahara looking for her? Ichigo/oc

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4. Chapter Four: Entering Soul Society

Careless Wonder

Chapter Four: Entering Soul Society

"Ichigo…" No response. "Ichigo…" Again, no response. "ICHIGO!"

A slap reverberated through the closed off bedroom walls soon followed by a scream. Ichigo flew off his bed and fell to the ground with a rather loud and painful thud. His face was the first thing to hit the floor and his butt sticking up in the air in a rather embarrassing position. He turned his head up, tears in the corner of his eyes as he stared grumpily at the person who decided to slap him while he was sleeping.

Aria hovered over him crouched low to his level while pivoting on her tiptoes. She gave him a rather bored expression, her eyes half lidded, her pupil and iris (the colored part of the eye), constricted to small black dots, and her mouth barely bigger than the size of an eraser.

Ichigo picked himself up and sat back against his bed with hurry as he glared at Aria. "What the hell!"

"Told you that would wake him up." The little plush lion appeared above Aria's head as he grinned mischievously down at the teary eye boy.

"That would wake anyone up you idiot!" He grabbed the plush lion, gripping it around the throat and began to strangle the poor toy.

"Didn't know you slept in your underwear, Ichigo." Her expression didn't change as her eyes were plastered to the general area of his underwear.

Ichigo let out a squeak (Which actually surprised Aria), and dropped Kon to grab a pillow to cover up his crotch area. His eyes narrowed at the intruding woman. "Why the hell are you in my room and why did you slap me to wake me up?" His finger pointed at her accusingly, his face still bright red. When she stood up Ichigo instantly noticed that she didn't have her signature hoodie on, rather… "Is that my shirt…?" she had on Ichigo's favorite shirt which sported the number fifteen.

She looked down at her shirt and shrugged. "Oh, yeah. I didn't like any of the clothes your dad got me and seeing as my own hoodie is being washed I decided to raid your closet." Then, she pulled up something in front of her she's been clutching in her hand that whole time, much to Ichigo's demise. "Do you really wear these?" In her hand was a pair of briefs that had red hearts scattered across them facing every which angle and the words sexy man stitched to the butt area in sparkling red English letters.

She didn't think his face could get any redder than what it already was. It contrasted nicely with his orange hair. Her lip twitched, almost like she was going to smile but thought better of it, her eyes narrowing at the teen boy ready to tease him further. "Didn't know you were into kinky things such as this. My total perspective of you has totally gone downhill…"

Ichigo suddenly appeared in front of her and snatched the underwear from her hand, dropping the pillow without much realization on his part. "My dad got those for my birthday! I never even wore them!" He tried to make up an excuse but slowly realized that his attempt was futile as she only raised an eyebrow at him.

"Whatever. What you wear isn't any of my business." Her eyes glanced down again at his boxers, they started to sparkle.

Ichigo, for the third time, turned bright red as he grabbed her shoulders and turned her around to push her out of his bedroom door. Once she was fully out he slammed the door as loud as he could and turned around to lean on the hard wood surface, his face still beat red from the incident. He let out a very audible sigh.

"I think she likes you," Kon said from the bed, his eyes staring mischievously at the orange haired teen. "Of course, if a hot girl was in my room while I'm just in my underwear I would have made sure she was in the same predicament as I was." He nodded his head with his arms crossed, like he was critiquing Ichigo's actions.

Ichigo stomped over to the plush lion and picked him up with an iron like grip, his eyes red with anger and his sharp teeth bared. "Why didn't you warn me she was in my room?" he growled lethally at the toy lion. "And why did you let her raid my closet?"

Kon tried to wiggle out of his grip but Ichigo tightened, making the poor plush lion's face turn blue.

Once Ichigo was fully dressed, he solemnly trudged down the stairs, his hand rubbing the back of his neck as he wondered what today was going to be like. He walked over to the kitchen but stopped short and ducked behind a wall when he saw Aria sitting at the kitchen table with her elbow up and her hand on her chin staring off into space. He narrowed his eyes as he continued his so called surveillance of the other teen.

She's been living with them for five days now and nothing had changed. Ichigo was finding it hard to find Shinji, he didn't know where he ran off too after he defeated Aizen. It wasn't until yesterday he was informed by his father that him and some of the other Vizard's where in the soul society. Realization crossed his face now remembering that he promised Aria he would take her to the soul society in the early morning. No wonder she woke him up so early on a Saturday.

He groaned inwardly as he remembered his promise, but he was a little excited to go and see all his friends nonetheless, no matter what front he put on to make people think he was indifferent. He wanted to know how they were doing. The last time he saw Rukia and the gang was when he woke up after passing out…

He gritted his teeth. He just had to think about that certain topic.

Ichigo mentally shook his head and stuffed his hands in his pockets where he sauntered into the kitchen and began to rummage through the cabinets for a bite to eat.

"You forgot, didn't you," Aria's monotone of a voice cut through the silence. Ichigo turned around to look at her. She was still in the same position with her chin on her hand and staring off into the distance at nothing in particular. He was finding that she did that a lot, like she was in deep thought about something.

"Yeah, sorry about that. As soon as we're done eating breakfast we'll head over to Kisuke's immediately." He watched as she sneered once Kisuke's name was said. Seemed she was still pretty pissed about the incident five days ago. He glanced down at her wrist, the bracelet was still there, and around it on the skin was slightly blushed due to Aria trying to get the thing off.

He walked to the kitchen table and sat down a bowl and cereal box across from Aria. Once he got his milk he sat down and began to pour himself a bowl of cereal. "Raisin brand? You are a prune," Aria commented snidely.

Ichigo glared at her from behind the box and took the first bite of his cereal. "Raisin brand is good for you and it also tastes good."

Aria sighed and shook her head like she was going to scold Ichigo. "Who cares if it's good for you, you only live once, and once you do pass on you go to the soul society and forget who you once were. Might as well enjoy life before the inevitable."

"Maybe I don't want the inevitable to be near in the future from not eating healthy," he countered which made Aria snort.

She opened her mouth to say something but stopped short when she looked behind Ichigo. "Aria, your hoodie is clean," Yuzu's cheery voice broke though the tension. Aria gave a small, rare smile and stood up to walk around the table to Yuzu, who had her clean hoodie.

She took the hoodie in hand and nodded her head at the young girl. "Thank you Yuzu, you're the best."

She smiled sweetly up at Aria and nodded her own head. "Thank you for the compliment." Yuzu walked into the living room and sat on the couch with her sister. Aria watched her walk away, her small smile soon faded once Yuzu was out of sight. She eyed the hoodie before putting it next to Ichigo and reached down to grab the bottom of the shirt she stole.

Ichigo's eyes just about bulged out of their sockets before he noticed that she was wearing a tank top underneath as she lifted up the shirt to replace it with her now clean hoodie. "Hey, why did you have to steal my shirt when you already… had…" he trailed off as his eyes grew wide and his mouth set to a fine line.

Once the shirt was fully off, Ichigo could see heavy scaring adorning her left shoulder, completely covering it. He also noticed that some skin was showing near her pants and he could see the same scaring on the left side of her stomach, too. The scare basically took up the whole left side of her body except her arm.

Aria froze when Ichigo stared at her scare. She couldn't quite place the look on his eyes as he continued to stare. Her hand slowly reached up and touched the scaring, lightly tracing it with her finger. Ichigo watched her hand and his eyes hardened, Aria didn't know why. "This is what happened the first time I lost control. The hollow decided to punish my body when I tried to take back control and succeeded." She lifted up her tank top and showed her stomach before turning around to show her back. "My whole left side of my body is scarred, including the side of my left leg."

"And why are you showing me?" Ichigo's voice sounded strained, like he was forcing himself to speak.

Aria pulled her shirt down and reached for her hoodie and zipped it over her body all the while watching Ichigo's face. It was almost like… it was almost like it hurt his pride to see her scarred skin. "So you know one of the reasons why I'm so desperate to control my hollow side."

"So tell me, since were on the topic, what happened that night you first lost control." He was straight forward. Aria originally would have thought he was only asking out of curiosity and nothing more, in which she would have thought to be rude, but the way he was looking at her.

"I was ten. I lost control, killed two people close to me and Kisuke found and saved me. You don't need to know anything more." And with that she turned and walked toward the exit, not bothering to look back when she spoke again. "I'll be waiting outside when you're done eating." She reached up toward her head and pulled up her hoodie over her head and then walked outside closing the door softly behind her.

Ichigo stared forward, forgetting that he had cereal in the bowl that was now getting soggy. His thoughts were racing over the new information, trying to grasp over the reality of it. Slowly, he began to understand why she was so distance, so cold. And to think that her hollow side would punish her to that extent. Even his hollow side wouldn't do that… probably. Hell, it was a hollow soul after all, they were unpredictable. She was scarred for life. Forced to remember that day every time she looked in the mirror. If he was in the same situation as her… he didn't know how he would react, you couldn't even think about himself in that way.

He turned in his seat and looked in the direction she disappeared to. Right then and there he vowed that he would help her in any way possible, that he would give her his full attention and strength to overcome the obstacle they both… together, were going to face.

And he will be by her side to help her through it.

He realized now that he considered her his friend.

And just like all his other friends, he will do everything in his power to protect her.

~*~

"So this is the soul society," Aria said as she glanced around the current area. "And where it the capital called Seireitei?"

They both arrived to the soul society not too long ago and was now walking through the streets of Seireitei. Kisuke was more than grateful to help them out, probably trying to get on Aria's good side once again. When he tried to huge her, she ended up tripping him and walking over him without much care.

"Yeah, this is where Shinji is supposed to be. Of course, I really don't know why." If Ichigo's memory served him right, him and the Visard's were not on the friendliest terms with the soul society.

Aria watched the passerby soul reapers as they walked passed everyone in the strange town they were in. Some greeted Ichigo when they passed and stared at her with confusion. Her only guess was because she was the only one not wearing the Shinigami uniform like everyone else.

Kisuke pulled a lot of strings to get Aria to the soul society since they don't welcome outsiders with open arms. She wondered what he said to make them let her pass. Did he mention that she was a ticking time bomb ready to explode any minute? She doubted it. He always left crucial information out whenever he could.

"Rukia probably knows where he is, let's go to her barracks and see if we can find her." Aria complied and followed after him while still taking in her surroundings. Other than the weird clothing, the soul society wasn't much different from the human world, other than the fact that everything seemed to resemble feudal japan and was run by some soul king, she remembered her mother saying once.

"Ichigo!" Someone called out, Ichigo instantly recognized the feminine voice.

"Looks like we don't have to look far." He turned around with a smile as he watched his black haired friend run up to them with her own smile. Once close enough she stopped and her smile grew wider toward her good friend. "What are you doing here, Ichigo? I didn't expect you to be back so soon." She didn't sound the least bit annoyed about the fact.

Ichigo scratched his head and gave the small girl a sheepish grin. "Yeah, well, I'm actually here to speak to Shinji about something important. Do you by any chance know where he is?"

"Oh, yeah, he should be in the 5th division barracks." Her eyes glanced over to Aria, her smile falling slightly with surprise. Aria's head was turned slightly to the side as she stared at two soul reapers talking about yesterday's hollow fight with disinterest. "Who's your friend, Ichigo?"

Ichigo turned his smile to Aria, nudging her with his arm to get her attention. "She's the reason why I need to find Shinji. She's a friend of the family." Her eyes rolled when he mentioned friend of the family before diverting her eyes away again from the conversation.

"Oh, hello, my name is Rukia Kushiki. It's nice to meet you…?" She brought her hand forward in an invitation for a shake. Aria, on the other hand, glanced down momentarily and grumbled out a 'hi', before diverting her eyes again away from the conversation, an annoyed expression on her face like she wanted to be somewhere else at that very moment. Which, in fact, was exactly what she was thinking.

Ichigo brought his hand up and slapped her against the top of her head as he glared down at the red haired girl with big, yet small pupil eyes. "You're supposed to take her hand and give her your name! You're being rude!"

Aria rubbed her head and turned her red glaring eyes on the orange haired teen, not liking in the least bit that he hit her across the head for no apparent reason. "Maybe I don't feel like it! Jackass!"

Both now had their foreheads pressed together, both teeth bared as they barked back and forth from one another. Rukia looked at the two with annoyance and a little sweat drop on the side of her face as she watched the fight persist.

"You're being rude, it's only polite to give your name when someone offers their own!"

"And who said I wanted everyone in the soul society to know my name?! I thought we were only here to see Shinji, get my problem fixed, and get the hell out of here!"

"We will, but that doesn't mean you have to be rude to everyone else! They never did anything to you!"

"And I care?!"

"Children, children, enough," Rukia waved her arms next to them in an attempt to get their attention, but they ignored her completely. A little vein popped on her head but she just shook it off and tried again. "Ichigo… girl… HEY!"

Both turn their heads and barked out, "WHAT?!"

Ichigo's face paled when he saw Rukia's face turning red with rage. "What was that, Ichigo!" She grabbed him by the ear and brought him down to her level. "You should treat your friends with more respect!..." She continued to yell into the orange haired kids' ear making him wince from the pain, his eyes watering as he apologized over and over again.

Aria watched with an amused expression as the one-sided argument continued. She was beginning to like that Rukia girl, maybe once the fight was over she would give a proper greeting. For now, her eyes turned away from the fight and continued on its roaming while she waited. There was nothing in particular that caught her interest, at least, until she saw a really tall captain come into view with very perky wolf ears and was speaking to another soul reaper with three scars accenting his right eye, a geryish-blue lined tattoo roaming from his left side of his face and slightly passing his nose, and a tattoo of the number 69 tattooed to his left cheek. Absentmindedly, she reached up and touched her own tattoo over her left eyebrow, feeling the slightly raised skinned against her fingertip.

The two were conversing when they rounded the corner, but once they heard the fighting they both looked over to see Ichigo and Rukia almost duking it out in the middle of the court yard. Of course, the fight was one sided. However, both were surprised to see Ichigo in the soul society so soon, but thought nothing of it. Then their eyes turned to light blue ones that was staring right back at them, her left eyebrow slightly cocked with surprise and wonder. She stuffed her hands in her pockets, slouched forward, and began to walk to the soul reaper and captain. Both turned their bodies to face hers as she sauntered over to the two.

She stopped when she was in front of the two. Her eyes shifting between them but finally landed on the wolf captain.

Finally, she decided to speak. "What's an anthropomorphic wolf doing in the soul society? Didn't know your type even existed." Her voice didn't hold any malice or hate, which Sajin noted, but only curiosity and wonder with her bold questions.

Normally Sajin would be self-conscious about his appearance, but ever since Captain Tosen's betrayal he became more confident in his looks, beginning to ignore the stares he would receive when he was out on the stroll. "You're bold. My name is Sajin Komamura and I'm the captain of the seventh division of the thirteen court guard squad. And you are…?"

Aria looked upon the wolf, her eyes half-lidded with an emotionless expression, but they still held a sparkle as she stared up at the wolf captain. "Aria Diederich. Human with a Zanpaktuo and also a so called 'Vizard'." Both captain and soul reaper looked at her with surprise at her open comment.

"Hm, are you in the same position as Ichigo Kurosaki?" The wolf captain asked, referring to his substitute soul reaper status.

"No. I didn't need another soul reaper to unlock my powers. I was born with them."

"I see, Aria Diederich. It's nice to meet you, I will have to say so far you are an interesting character." The wolf captain smiled down at the young girl. He pondered over her remark. She was born with her spiritual awareness? He would have asked how but he wasn't as bold when asking personal questions to a stranger. Maybe if he saw her again, hey may have the chance to ask.

Aria continued to stare up at him, then her head cocked to the side with interest. "When I use to live out in the forest in human world I came across a wolf puppy. He was my best friend up until he died recently. Do you, by any chance, have a hard time combing your hair?"

Sajin was impressed with her ever so bold questions. He wasn't offended by her in the least bit, he was indeed a wolf and didn't care to hide it among his peers. He actually, truly smiled down at the young girl and nodded his head. "Some days it can be unruly."

She lightly smiled up at the captain before it disappeared and she looked away from him to stare off into the distance. "I know of a shampoo that can help with that. It worked wonders with Codey, and should probably do the same for you. Doesn't dry out your skin either. Maybe if I ever come back here I'll bring you some."

"That would be very kind of you, Diederich."

She held up her hand, "Please, just call me Aria. It makes me feel awkward when someone calls me by my last name."

Suddenly, an arm went around Aria's head forcing her head down into a head lock. She recognized the smell of her assaulter. "What the hell do you think you're doing, Ichigo," she growled.

"I could ask you the same thing. How come you always cause trouble everywhere you go." He squeezed tighter around the girls head making her growl out again as she pushed against his arms to escape, but had no success.

"She wasn't causing any problems, Ichigo. You do not need to worry. We were having quite an interesting conversation." The wolf captain smiled at the two teens in front of him, trying to reassure the orange haired one that she wasn't doing any harm.

Ichigo stared up at the wolf captain with surprise before letting her head go and un-expectantly received a punch in the jaw, which sent him flying back away from the three. He shot up from the ground with his hand on his jaw as he glared at Aria. "What the hell was that for?!"

"For hitting me earlier, you jackass!"

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