Karakura High School <KHS>
    As far as high schools go, this one is pretty average. It's a large blocky building with three stories in the central section. There's a taller section of the building where the teachers have their offices located, but students aren't really inclined to go there of their own jurisdiction. The grounds are green and well-kept with lots of big shade trees...perfect for enjoying lunch outdoors on a sunny day. In the back is a baseball diamond and basketball court, surrounded by a dirt track for jogging. All of the interesting cast members, however, take their lessons in room I-3 with Sensei Ochi.

    *Ding Dong Ding Dong*

    School is out for the day. The old schoolday routine is a plesent retreat from everything else going on in Chad's life. Not that he regrets anything, but the days training at Urahara's, trips through the Gates, and ever other thing that has come up, it makes him apprecaite little things like Keigo's buffoonery at Karakura High School.

    Chad's leaving the grounds alone tonight. It's the same plan, go home to change, take care of his homework, then go to Urahara's for another night of training hard. He still has a long way to go before he'd be satisifed with his development. At least Chad has the stamina to endure a schedule like that, a lesser man would probably be wiped from it all.

"Sado-kun!" The pat-pat-pat of flats sounds on the school stairway behind Chad, bringing none other than Orihime Inoue who clutches her schoolbag with both hands. Her sprint slows to a light jog, then to a trot as she closes the distance between them, offering an embarrassed sort of smile. "It's late. Can I walk partway home with you?" She hasn't seen him in a long while, and Chad's so quiet about his emotions that she tends to worry sometimes. And honestly, since Tatsuki had karate club, and Orihime had assistant nursing duties for her part-time job, she could stand a little company.

    It HAS been awhile, hasn't it? The two certainly have gotten caught up in their own duties, personal or otherwise. "Inoue." Chad greets with his normal inflection. "Sure, it's ok. I haven't seen you around school as much, I was beginning to wonder if you were still keeping up with your studies." There's no accusation in Chad's voice, he's simply making conversation. He knows Inoue's smart enough to handle her workload, despite all apperances, but out of sight out of mind, as they say.

    He pauses uncomfortably for a moment, not really sure how to bring this up. "...has there been any word about Ling?" Sometimes the direct approach works best.

Orihime Inoue's smile dims just a little, and she looks down at her bag. "Anou...not yet," she replies. "There was a meeting last night discussing how to go to Hueco Mundo. I'm not sure if we made much progress, but there are a few things we can try. And everyone seems very determined, so...I'm hopeful!" She lifts her head and beams at Chad, then begins moving forward at a casual stroll. The slower they walk, the more time they can spend chatting with one another.

Chad just has this aura of gentle calm about him that makes her feel safe. "I still feel responsible for what happened," she sighs, tilting her chin to look at the stars. "It wasn't safe. I should have delayed the construction until the shinigami could secure things."

    Poor Inoue, always trying to take everything on herself, including blame. He can understand that, but he can also understand how it can also lead to a heavier burden than you expected to carry. Chad just shakes his head slightly. "Don't feel responsible, there's no way you could have predicted this. And who's to say that they Ling still wouldn't have been taken, no matter how long you delayed things? The only ones responsible are Aizen and his men."

    He pauses again, slowing down to match Inoue's speed. No need to rush, it's not like he's pressed for time either. Plenty of hours in the day. "Besides, I don't think Ling would blame you either. And he wouldn't want you beating yourself up over it, so don't let it weigh you down. Just focus on what you can do to help him."

"Mm...you're right..." Orihime laughs, smiling up at Chad with an inclined brow. It'll take a little while to accept, but deep down inside, she knows he's right. "Thanks, Sado-kun. I don't know why they took him, either. I wish I did. Maybe they needed a translator, I mean, with all the Xingese spirits, you know?" That's the only reason she can think of that doesn't make her want to curl into a ball and shiver.

"Anyway...I'm taking steps to make sure it won't happen again," Orihime breathes. "I put up flyers asking for volunteers who don't mind being bodyguards. I can't really pay very much, since the donations are made by people who want to help others. But I can cook, and so can Dizzy-san, so hopefully that'll help." She sneaks a peek at Chad out of the corner of her eye, and she chews her lip momentarily. "Anou..." He can probably guess what she's about to ask.

    Xingese translator? Chad doubts it. He seriously doubts it. But he doesn't say it, no point in upsetting her further. From what Chad was able to gather from Aizen, he's crafty enough that there has to be some greater purpose in kidnapping Ling. Whatever it is, it can't be good.

    "It's a good idea, to make sure you have back-up. Even without having to deal with Aizen and his Arrancar there are enough threats from the other worlds out there that being prepared is a must." He falls silent again, as she explains what she is looking for. He doesn't reply directly to her last intonation, aside from "Hmm?" Either he was truck with a temporary bout of obliviousness, or he's waiting for her to actually make the proposal directly.

Orihime Inoue fidgets a little. She hates asking people for things like this, since she doesn't want to be a burden, or put someone out. And after the incident in Shang Zi, she knows it's going to be dangerous. But on the other hand, she trusts Chad, and she's always been able to turn to him whenever she just needed someone to talk to. He's so kind, and so dependable. "I was wondering if maybe...if maybe you wouldn't mind joining the Relief Society, to help protect us?" She blushes as she asks it, but really, he can turn her down if he needs to. So it can't hurt! "I know you're busy with so many things, but we could really use someone like you. For security, to help with construction, your music...you're so good at so many things! But don't let me pressure you, okay?" she smiles up at him. "I'd just...I would really like it if you could."

    Chad knows how Inoue has trouble asking for things directly, that's why he paused and let her do it. It's a good thing to be considerate of everyone around you, and to not want to put them out. But it's also true that people need to trust their friends to help them when they need it, and to communicate to them what it is on their mind. Inoue really shouldn't have any trouble asking Chad for anything.

    "Hmm, sounds like you got a lot on your plate. You always were much more adventurous when it came to those other worlds than I was." Chad tried to focus on the problems of THIS world, that's all he really wanted to do. But he can't do that anymore. Problems of other worlds are coming here, and the problems of THEIR world are causing trouble elsewhere. The situation with Ling makes that all too clear. "If you need help, then I'll help you. Sign me up." He pauses. "And Inoue? Don't feel like you're pressuring me if you need to ask me something."

Orihime Inoue's face lights up. She smiles widely, and her wide, dark eyes sparkle once again. "You're the best, Sado-kun!" And gratefully, she snugs his arm. It's a little unusual for her. She never had any problems voicing her affection for others, and gave compliments freely. But it wasn't until the gates opened up that she began to show it with a touch, or a hug. And she doubts Chad will mind such a thing. "Hee hee! Sorry, I won't, promise! Thank you so much. I appreciate it!" More than she can express, she's so grateful to the young man at her side. "And if there's ever anything I can do for you, you let me know too, okay? I'm pretty good at mending! Not as good as Uryuu-kun, of course, but still! And I can try cooking empanadas sometime, too!" Packed with diced banana and sour cream and ground pork and peppers...mmmmmmm...

    Does he mind? Nah. Though his posture does stiffen a bit. Close contact like that is still not something he is used to, even with Inoue around. "Don't worry about it. Like I said, when it comes to you, or Ichigo, or Ishida, or anyone, I'll always do what I can."

    Mending huh? Well he can probably count on Inoue not to put another Quincy Cross on one of his shirts, though who knows what other sorts of liberties she would take. If she's as creative with her sowing as she is with her food.... Speaking of, she doesn't mention what she's thinking, but Chad has a pretty good idea. "R-right... well, someday, sure, we'll see." Chad's bravery has seen him stand up to many many things, but he doesn't know if he's quite ready to eat Inoue's culinary creativies just yet...

At least Orihime's cooking isn't toxic, like Akane's. It's just...highly unusual. It's like eating exotic food, every time she produces something from the kitchen, as she meshes tastes and flavors together that were never destined to meet. Like her special wasabi cookies to help someone clear their sinuses AND satisfy their sweet tooth when suffering from the common cold. That was a sheer work of genius, if she does say so herself.

"Again, thanks. I'm really looking forward to working with you!" she beams at Chad. "So what have you been up to lately? You seemed a little tired during social studies." She wanted to say something to him, but it seemed impolite to call attention to it.

    Toxic or no, Chad will have to ease himself into eating Inoue's cooking. But plenty of time to concern himself with that. "Well, I've been busy in the evenings." Chad admits. "Ms. Yoruichi found me training myself a few weeks ago, and proposed a better way. I've been honing my abilities at Mr. Urahara's training ground, fighting against real opponents instead of blasting away inanimate objects." He sure IS going to miss the Industrial Park, though. "The other night I fought Captain Hitsugaya, and had a spar with Captain Ukitake." He doesn't mention how badly he was beaten, though. He was just out of breath, that's all! "Some nights I stay a bit longe than I plan, but I'm fine. Don't worry about it."

Orihime Inoue inclines her head, smiling in relief. At least he doesn't have anything bad troubling him. She'd like to think he'd tell her, if he did. "Wow, that's awesome! Urahara-san taught Kurosaki-kun, didn't he? His skills jumped really fast! I bet you'll be strong enough to blow up ten buildings with just a flick of your finger before long! Not that you'd want to, of course," she muses, holding the handle of her bookbag on the crown of her head with the bag itself resting on the back of her skull. She can't imagine Chad intentionally causing harm to anything he didn't have to. "And with that big training ground, you don't have to worry about the police either... That /was/ a good idea! Just make sure you get enough to eat." She'll have to drop by sometime with takeout ramen just to surprise him.

    Ten buildings with the flick of a finger? Chad doesn't need power like that. If anything he's learning to contain his power and use it more effectively, not waste it all on giant blasts. He's a bit too much like Ichigo in that regard.

    Of course, that's not saying he COULDN'T level ten buildings by the time this was all over.

    Inoue's right, though, Chad's power will never be used unless it has to be. "I haven't seen Mr. Urahara himself in awhile, actually. I've mostly been dealing with Ms. Yoruichi and Captain Ukitake." At least he is finally out of that part-time job Urahara had him doing for months. Though the extra money was certainly handy. "Anyway, what about you? It seems like you've been keeping yourself /too/ busy. Not working yourself tired I hope."

"Not TOO busy, no," Orihime chuckles, feeling cheered through and through despite the chill of the October evening. "There's a lot of stuff to organize, but that's not really taxing or tiring. I just have to think about things more carefully, that's all. I'll write a rundown of what the group's been up to tomorrow, and give it to you in class. Our meetings are on the first weekend of each month. I hope you can make it to the next one! I'll introduce you to the others if you can!"

    Chad nods. "I'll try and be there." He says. Inoue will probably have to remind him again closer to the date, things like that tend to slip his mind. Speaking of nearly slipping his mind, they're about at the street where Chad's apartment is. "Well, I suppose I should get ready to take care of everything this evening. See you later, Inoue. Be sure and keep me updated about the Relief Society."

Orihime Inoue grins, and inclines her head. "I will. Good luck with the training!" she waves. And she definitely feels better. With Chad looking out for them, what do they have to worry about? Some might say she overestimates his abilities...he IS only human. But Orihime would disagree. They couldn't hope for a more devoted and loyal protector. "And try to get some sleep, okay?" Otherwise he'll just hide a nap from the teacher by letting his hair cover his eyes, and everyone with short hair will be super jealous.

    If those short haired people are jealous then they should just grow theirs out too! It's simple. "Yeah. Good night, Inoue." Chad sleeps, he doesn't get as much as he used to, but he gets it when he can. "See you later." A devoted protector? Well, maybe she is overstating it a bit, that's what he would say to her if he knew, anyway. But she's not exactly wrong, either... 

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