[Bleach] Minutes to Midnight 43

Meet the Parent

“Dad, this is Gin,” Ichigo said and felt like he was sweating bullets as he stood between his lover and his father, who were eyeing each other warily. “Gin, this is my father.”

And with that, Ichigo took a step back and watched the ensuing show. He wasn’t quite sure how this was going to play out. He’d never brought a girlfriend home before, much less a boyfriend, and the fact that his lover was a Shinigami-slash-Vizard and Ichimaru Gin meant that Ichigo wasn’t sure how Isshin was going to react.

Though to be fair, Isshin owed Ichigo a good bit of tolerance. After holding that secret about being a Shinigami for years and not telling Ichigo until after the war, Isshin really had no leg to stand on. Besides, if Isshin did attack, Ichigo was quite confident that Gin could take down the old man in two seconds flat. Especially since Isshin was woefully out of practice, grown lazy over the years in his gigai.

His gigai!

Ichigo was still pretty pissed about that. Where the hell was Isshin when Ichigo needed advice? He could have used his damn father’s input!

But no. Now was not the time to bring up that discussion again. Now was the time for Ichigo to watch his father and his lover size each other up and intervene if necessary.

Gin tilted his head in a shallow but respectful bow. “Kurosaki-san,” he greeted in a tone of polite coolness that he must’ve learned from Aizen. “It’s interestin’ ta meet ya at last. I’ve heard a lot ’bout ya.”

Lies. Oh, but it was a smooth one. Ichigo barely talked about his family aside from his sisters. But then, that seemed to be the standard response to any initial greeting.

Ichigo’s eyes shifted to Isshin, who was peering at Gin as though he were a new sort of Hollow. One that needed immediate smashing.

“Well, I haven’t heard anything about you,” Isshin retorted, belligerent and curt. Reiatsu radiating outward as though he planned to launch himself forward and attack.

Ichigo tensed. Gin could squash his dad in about a second or less. But it’d be such a pain to peel Isshin up from Aizen’s immaculate floor. And really, Ichigo didn’t want to see so much blood on what was a nice day.

Though the fact that he was treating Gin as though he were courting on Isshin’s daughter as opposed to his son – who could take perfect care of himself thank you very much – was a bit aggravating. Okay, not a bit. It was a lot aggravating. In fact, Ichigo was starting to get a tad peeved himself.

“I can tell ya all ya need ta know,” Gin replied with a bit of a smirk curling his lips.

If anything, Gin’s response seemed to make Isshin angrier. He puffed up like a frazzled lizard, gaze getting darker.

“I don’t need you to tell me a damn thing about my own son. I’m more interested in what you think you’re doing with him.”

Gin quirked a brow, perfectly nonplussed. Not at all intimidated despite Isshin’s posturing. In fact, an amused twinkle started gleaming in the corner of his eye. Ichigo felt a small stirring of dread, hoping that Gin didn’t go the route that would result in fisticuffs.

“Are we talkin’ long term or short term?” Gin asked.

Ichigo groaned. He swore on all that was holy that if Gin taunted his father with details of their intimate life, then Ichigo was going to sock Gin for Isshin. Just because.

Isshin’s eyes narrowed. “Long term,” he ground out.

Gin grinned, and to Ichigo’s utter relief, most of the teasing slipped away in favor of seriousness. “Well, in that case, I plan ta keep him. Forever if possible. And if he’ll let me.”

Some of the wind let out of Isshin’s sails. Ichigo was impressed. Gin had said everything Isshin wanted to hear without sounding overly sappy. Perfect.

“I see,” Isshin returned, though a shred of suspicion remained in his tone. “I still don’t trust you, kid. But it’s not really my place to stop anything.”

“No, it isn’t,” Ichigo spoke up and reminded both of them that yes, he was still here. And no, he wouldn’t let them decide anything for him. “I didn’t let you meet so you could drive him away, dad. I just thought you should meet.”

Isshin harrumphed. “I get that, son.” He glanced at Ichigo from the corner of his eyes before turning to Gin with a look of near-gleeful malice. “But wait until you meet my daughters. Karin and Yuzu aren’t so easygoing.”

Ah. Isshin had a valid point. Gin didn’t look concerned, but then, he hadn’t met Ichigo’s sisters yet.

That would be interesting to say the least. Ichigo couldn’t wait.



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