Meeting by Chance

The Soul Reaper and the Quincy stood looking each other in the eye. Disbelief etched on their faces. What were the chances they would run into each other like this?

“Why hello Rukia, I see you were sent to Karakura Town also. How quaint.” Äs said with a slight smile she couldn’t see.

“Well, well, hello Äs.” Rukia said with a gentle smile, her tell-tale blush in place.

“We will have to catch up later. For now we have to protect the living from the Hollows that seem to have made themselves at home here. Come on.” Äs said, signaling Rukia to follow him.

The Soul Reaper and the Quincy proceeded to an empty park were they released their spiritual pressures to lure the Hollows to them. As expected, this worked, and hundreds of Hollows came to them. Their numbers only continued to grow. Rukia and Äs immediately began to cut the Hollows down. They were only lower level Hollows, easy to kill. But there were hundreds of them, killing them all is going to take a while. Äs Nödt created his reishi thorns and sent them flying toward the Hollows, impaling them and killing them instantaneously. Rukia cut through dozens of Hollows in a single moment, and within minutes, all of the Hollows were killed, leaving just Rukia and Äs in the empty park.

“Looks like we got them all!” Rukia said, smiling at the Sternritter. It was obvious she found the encounter with the Hollows exhilarating.

“Yeah! Looks like we did!” Äs Nödt replied, returning the smile. He found her enthusiasm contagious.

A sudden shadow appeared behind Rukia, and a bright light shot out of his dark finger.

“Rukia! Behind you!” Äs Nödt shouted.

Rukia immediately looked behind her, but the bright light had already been fired and struck Rukia, sending her through the air. Äs Nödt quickly used his Hirenkyaku and caught her while she was still in mid-air. He quickly moved to set her down under a nearby tree. As he set her down, he knelt down and gently rubbed his hand down the side of her cheek.

I’ll take care of him!” Äs whispered under his breath.

Her attacker had a human like appearance, a young looking man with a hollow mask that covered the right half of his face. His Hollow hole was located under his neck. His uniform consisted of a white jacket and a black sash with a white pair of trousers. They resembled the uniform of the arrancar that were under Aizens command.

“An arrancar eh? You’re under our rule you know. Those that don’t follow their superiors must be put down.” Äs Nödt said as he readied his reishi thorns.

“You! The Quincy are dead or dying! You lost the war to the Soul Reapers! You’re barely holding out now…” Äs Nödt cut off the arrancar.

“Lost? We never lost anything. But you’re about to! You are going to die... Now!” Äs said with a grin that pushed up his cheek muscles giving him a sinister look.

“Shut the hell up!” The arrancar said as he charged toward the Sternritter.

Äs quickly dodged his charge and fired his reishi thorns at the arrancar who mistakenly tried to block the thorn by cutting it out of the sky. As he did however, a black substance consumed him, covering his face.

“What the hell is this?” The arrancar screamed. “What the hell was in that?!”

“All living things feel comfort. Have you ever felt it? When you enter a place that makes you feel safe, that is comfort. When your asked why that place makes you feel comfortable, you cannot form a clear answer, they merely say ‘because it does’. But when they enter a place that causes them fear, they know what causes them to feel that way. Darkness, cold, height, confinement, pain, containment. Any number of reasons can cause one to be afraid. These feelings are some of the most basic to any living creature. ‘Comfort’ leads to ‘life’ while ‘fear’ leads to ‘death’. People cannot give a real reason why they want to live, but people can give a number of reasons why they do not wish to die. It is the nature of all life to avoid death, and therefore, to avoid ‘fear’. How do you feel now arrancar? Do you feel it? That emotion?... Fear?” Äs said.

The arrancar was grabbing his head, and he was on his hands and knees now.

“You…you basta...AHHHH!! What the hell is happening to me?!” The arrancar cried out.

Äs Nödt began approaching the arrancar.

“Stay away from me demon!!” The arrancar yelled.

“I said stay away!” The arrancar yelled once more, as he fired a Cero at Äs. Äs raised his arm and activated his Blut Vene. When the Cero struck, it had little effect on Äs Nödt. The arrancar resorted to using his sword and swung at Äs. Which had no effect on him either.

“You still have a little bit of fight in you now don’t you? No matter, it will be over soon.” Äs said.

“AHHHH!!!” The arrancar cried out, grabbing his head, before falling to his knee’s once more.

Äs Nödt proceeded to raise his right arm, and snap his fingers. The arrancar’s eyes widened, as he fell face first into the ground.

“Fool… He caught Rukia and me off guard and attached from behind! Coward” Äs said under his breath.

Äs quickly ran back to Rukia and noticed that she was still unconscious. The sight of her injured did something funny inside his chest. He found it almost hard to breath. Let her be okay….I don’t want her gone….I….

… I love her...’ Äs Nödt admitted to himself, as he looked at the unconscious Soul Reaper.

“Äs…” Rukia said as she came to, a small hand to her forehead.

“Rukia!” He said as relief filled his heart. He knelt beside her. “Don’t push yourself, I’m not sure how much that cero…” Rukia cut him off as she wrapped her arms around the Sternritter.

Äs Nödt’s eyes widened in surprise, but he quickly returned the gesture and wrapped his arms around her.

“Äs, I…” Rukia rose her head, and looked Äs Nödt in the eye. “I… love you…I’ve felt this way for a while now, but I could never tell you. Please don’t be angry, I….”

Äs looked at her and placed a finger to her lips. “Rukia…” he never wished so much in his life that someone could see the smile on his lips…”…I love you too…”

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