Madoka plowed through the ruined classroom, jumping from the room right after Tatsuki. She streamlined her little body, managing to reach the student before she hit the ground. Madoka grabbed her, pointed her palm to the ground and blasted energy toward the earth below. It was just enough resistance to slow their descent. Madoka landed in a roll, and the pair rose to their feet. They looked up at the hole in the wall.
"Are you all right?" Madoka asked.
"Orihime," Tatsuki said. "We have to help her!" She grabbed onto Madoka's sleeve to convey the sense of urgency.
"We will," Madoka assured her. "Let's get back up there." They ran back into the school.
"Who are you?" Tatsuki asked.
"Madoka Mano. I'm a Devil hunter. Your friend is in the clutches of something called a Hollow."
Tatsuki could have asked questions and maybe she should have. But Orihime and her well being was all that filled her mind right now. "Not for long."
The girl pushed herself to run faster, once again entering the classroom. Orihime was held up even higher now, above the monster's head. Tatsuki planted her feet and balled her hands into fists.
"You wanna take that girl, you have to go through me first."
There was a knock on the bathroom door, and the faint shadow of a little girl could be seen past the rice paper.
"Miss Yohko?" Ururu said softly as she pulled the door open. "I brought you fresh towels and clothes." She stepped into the bathroom, closing the door behind her and leaving the items on the floor by the tub. They were primly folded into perfect squares. Yohko's panties and bra rested on the top of the heap.
"Are you ok?" the little girl asked, concern for Yohko apparent in her huge and sad looking blue eyes. "You look as if you've been crying."
"Oh," Yohko sounded congested. "I'm alright, Ururu. Just fighting with Grandma again. We do it all the time." Yohko forced a smile on her face. "Like you and Jinta I bet."
"No, we don't fight like that. Yours was so...frightening." She brought her fists to her chin, shyly.
"It's nothing, really." Yohko sniffed. "Hey, thanks for the clothes."
"You're not mad at Ichigo, are you? I like you both and I don't want you two to fight. And he needs friends right now."
Yohko was shocked. "Of course I'm not mad at Ichigo. Ururu it's...complicated." She placed her hand on Ururu's little one, warm water steaming off Yohko's skin and dampening the little girl's knuckles. "But I think you should know that I think Ichigo is really great. I actually think he's pretty cool." She smiled. "And if you promise not to tell anyone, I'll let you in on a little secret."
Ururu's eyes got even bigger. "I promise I won't tell."
"Well alright." Yohko scooted closer to the girl, water sloshing gently with her movement. "I have a little crush on him."
Tatsuki glared at the monster as she cradled her arm, pressing against the bloody gash in her bicep. The monster's bulbous, skeletal head wobbled on it's neck as he turned to face the women. It's mouth was a death-grin of perfect white teeth. It's tongue darted out, running down Orihime's body, sure that would provoke Tatsuki. He was right.
Tatsuki roared and vaulted herself at the monster, fists balled and ready to strike. It swatted at her but she managed to dodge each oncoming blow. With each dodge however, she lost some of her momentum. With another yell, she drove her fist into the monster's thigh.
"What are you doing?" Madoka demanded. She looked around for anything that might work for a weapon, her gaze fell on the teacher's pointer-stick. She dove under the teacher's desk and snatched it from the metal sill under the chalk-bored on which the chalk and erasers rested. She jumped onto the desk, scattering papers and folders under her feet. Madoka watched Tatsuki struggle and waited for an opening. Finally she spotted it when the hollow turned away from Madoka entirely. She jumped into the air and landed on it's back.
Tatsuki barely hesitated as she wondered what the old woman was up to. She continued to pound and kick at the monster, now focusing on merely distracting it.
Madoka scaled the beast until she was half-standing, half riding on it's shoulders. She hefted the pointer high in both hands and like pushing a key into a lock, plunged the end of the pointer into the monster's eye.
The Hollow screamed and thrashed around, it's free hand clawing at it's wounded face. In it's pain he tightened his fist around Orihime and even over the ruckus the creature was making, Tatsuki could hear a bone snap. The sound, the knowledge, it brought her to a point pure rage. She grabbed a ruined desk and hurled it high at the monster. The desk crashed into it's face at an angle and caught onto the protruding pointer, causing it to shift awkwardly.
As the wound was forced open, blood and viscera began to flow from the ruined eye. It tried to wipe it with the back of a hand but that only compounded the agony. Tatsuki took a chance and began to scale the Hollow. She moved as quick as she could so that it could not get a bead on her as she struggled to get to Orihime. She climbed up a leg, up the side. It's ribs made perfect hand-holds for her. She shimmied across it's chest then leaped to the arm. Tatsuki grabbed it's lower arm in a bear-hug then kicked up to wrap her strong legs around it too. The Hollow waved it's arm in anger and frustration in an effort to rid itself of the little insect that was the dark haired girl.
Tatsuki reached out to Orihime, straining her arm as far as she could. Her fingertips caught the hem of her friend's white sleeve.
"Orihime!" Tatsuki cried out, inching forward.
Orihime stirred, her grey eyes fluttering open. When Tatsuki saw her own reflection in her friends' eyes, she smiled and nearly forgot where she was.
"wh-..." Orihime blinked in confusion and then gasped, recoiling in the pain of a broken rib.
To buy the two girls more time, Madoka, still perched on the Hollow's shoulders, grabbed the pointed and stirred it around forcefully, the world's angriest Cookin' Mama.
Agonized, the Hollow stumbled as pain spiked through it's skull. It fell onto it's knees, the force of his landing knocking Tatsuki from his forearm. She landed in a pile of debris and scrambled to her feet. Once again she reached out, and ensnared Orihime's slender wrist in her hands. Just then there was a terrible ripping sound and large wings sprouted from the creature's back.
Tatsuki gasped as the Hollow ran towards the broken wall. In an effort to hold on to her dear friend, her nails cut red paths down Orihime's arm and trailed down her hand. Tatsuki could feel her feet lift from the ground as the monster took off, winging into the air. He waved his arm, whipping the dark haired girl into a wall. Dazed, Tatsuki lost the grasp on Orihime and fell once again into the rubble. She rolled onto her front and crawled across the broken classroom, reaching out to the retreating form, willing herself to get hold of her abducted friend.
Tatsuki screamed out the red-heads name, a cry carried in the wake of demon wings.
A/N: Wow, it's been two years since I updated this thing. Why? because, well, I was working on some original fiction and I became enamoured with a new 'ship. But moronqueen inspired me to pick this thing back up. So, there we go.