Sparing partnerMature

I had been absent minded all morning I sat staring out the window toward the fourth squad barracks wondering if this was the end at last.

"Kiyoshi?"  I heard from the front of the class.  I snapped back to the room and look forward to see most of the class looking at me.

"Anything wrong with that?" The teacher asked

"No sir" I was unsure of what I was answering but best not to question.

"Ok then you'll be sparing with Arcelli."  He said then after a short break added "I'll get squad fours approval."

Although I watched his release it wasn't clear exactly what happened.  I would have to keep my guard up.


In the break between kido practice and sparing session I took the time to commune with Atsuko.  When I left the familiar Dojo I noticed somone approaching.  I opened my eyes to see Arcelli walking toward me.

"Hey we're sparring next lesson." He smiled but his curiosity was what brought him here now.

"Let's do our best"  I said knowing he wanted to get at.

"Mind if i sit here?" He asked

"By all means."  I returned his smile feeling somewhat comforted that Takeshi wasn't here to interfere.  He sat and the conversation slowly reached the topic he wanted to get to all along.

"Don't suppose you remembered anything about takeshi's attacker did you?" He asked

"Nothing important and nothing you couldn't guess soon enough yourself." I looked toward him and added "What about a bet?"

"what do you mean?" He looked abit confused.

"I mean if you beat me in sparring class i'll tell you everything but if i win you let it all go and let it drop.  Sound good?" I suggested this knowing the answer already.

"Ok then" He replied "All in good sport." His face said otherwise he really wanted to know what happened.  The bell rang and I accompanied Arcelli to the sparring class.

"You two can't use your own Zanpakuto today."  the teacher informed us "squad four is unable to attend you'll have to use these instead."  He handed us two unnamed Zanpakuto.  It was heavier then atsuko and balanced more to the tip but i would have to make do.  The match started slowly as we assesed each others skills.

"Let's take it up a notch." I said. Arcelli nodded then I started using shunpo in alot of standard attacks.  He kept up with ease so i increased the level of our fight steadily until we reached our limit.  We each had unfamiliar weapons but he seemed to cope better then me.  Not that it really mattered I prefered not to put my Zanpakuto in unnecesary danger anyway.  One strike left both of us on the back foot i discarded my Zanpakuto for greater speed and punched him in the stomache.  He countered with a downward strike.  I dodged quickly backward and retrieved the discarded weapon.  He didn't expect that.  That much was clear.  He disappeared and attacked from behind.  He was fast but I was faster.  I blocked paried then kicked him in the same spot as my punch.  As i did i fortified the hierro at my foot.  It must have felt heavy but he still managed to not only block but he grabbed my leg he brought the hilt down on my knee as I recoiled he followed up with a upward sweep I locked my Zanpakuto into the ground deffending then used the pommel to leap up to kick him in the face.  Then pulled the weapon from the ground and used shunpo to get behind him he was still staggering from the reinforced blow when I elbowed him in the back.  He hadn't even started yet and I was well aware of that.  Suddenly his reactions quickened as he used shunpo to evade another of my hits he swipped upward from the side.  I evaded, just about, and span to face him however he was already gone.  Another strike from behind landed on the scabbard that I had taken from my belt.  He had already gone but he wasn't back yet.  I closed my eyes they wouldn't help me in this situation I needed to rely on other senses.  He came from the front i paried with my scabbard leaving my Zanpakuto open for an attack I raised it to his throat but it didn't make it any closer then my waist until he used shunpo and as I disappeared from the area in time to see the explosion of cobblestone that resulted in his heel slamming into the ground.  This had gone far enough time to end this pointless contest.  I lunged at arcelli as if i were wielding Atsuko and the tip dived toward the ground as it plunged in i slid round the side leaving us back to back "Bakudo 30 Shitotsu sansen" I span on the spot as a said this leaving him open to my attack.  I walked over to the bound Arcelli.  The Bakudo faded quickily leaving him free to break it at will I lowered my sword as I crossed the sparring field.  He broke free just as i approached and raised his Zanpakuto to my throat.  Stopping before he cut he smiled at me.  I returned the smile.  As we left I explained what had happened.  Leaving out my backup plan for later amusement.  I even told him about what they found in my room.

The End

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