Merry late Christmas, everybody! Here's a new Chapter of A Two-Way Blessing!

I would have had this posted on Christmas Day, but for some reason, FanFiction wouldn't work for me :(

To all the people who are subscribed to me, this story, or have put this story in their favorites, I deeply apologize for the lack of updates. I began college at the beginning of the summer and have had very little down time to work on any of my stories. I hope that this chapter, as well as the other chapters that I will be posting today, will more than make up for that.

Also look forward to New Year's! Not only will we be entering a new year, I'll be posting a special Holiday story~~!

She was terrified. Pure terror coursed through her every being as she stared down at the chain protruding from her chest, that disappeared into the water some ways below the bridge she was standing, or rather floating, on.

She was confused. She couldn't help but be bewildered at how her usual nighttime stroll ended so horribly, with a bullet in her head and her lifeless body tossed into the river.

She was distraught. Now that she was dead and her body hidden, how could the perpetrator be brought to justice? Who would console her family?

Her thoughts were interrupted as there was a stirring just beneath the water's surface just a little ways away from where the chain was. A beautiful form, obviously a woman, began to rise from the inky blackness, stopping when her waist was just above the water's surface. A voice, sweeter than honey and softer than silk, drifted from the woman.

'I ssense your desspair.' She raised a hand, a delicate finger beckoning the confused spirit. 'Come and I will help you.'

The spirit suddenly perked up and asked, 'Really, ane-san?'

A smile was the response she received. A smile that, under any other circumstances, would cause a bone-deep chill to course through her.


Megumi's eyes snapped open and were met with the tan of one of the pillows from Shinji's bed. She could feel the sweat coating her in a thin sheen, causing her hair and uniform to cling to her form, and the rapid, frantic beating of her heart. She sighed and closed her eyes, taking deep and even breaths to try and bring everything back under control. As her heartbeat evened out, she tried to reach up and wipe some sweat from her brow.

And found that her arms wouldn't budge.

Panic once again surfacing, she jerked her head up to get an idea of what the hell was going on. The first thing that registered was the sight of the sky above. It was completely still, and that set Megumi's mind at ease somewhat. At least she knew where she was: either under the warehouse or under Urahara's shop. A deep, jovial voice floated through the still air behind her and she found herself straining to catch the conversation, unable as she was to flip over and see the source of the voice.

"There hasn't been a single trace of the reiatsu for several hours now." Hacchi. Well, that explained the bound arms. "I think it would be safe to release her arms and legs."

Now that he mentioned it, Megumi could also feel the bindings on her calves, allowing her to bend her knees but not separate her legs. She heard someone sigh before yet another person snorted.

"What? You're actually considering releasing her before she regains consciousness?" Kensei snapped. "Damn, I thought you had more sense you than that."

Catching on to who he was talking to before the other person answered, Megumi wasn't surprised when she heard Shinji snapping right back at Kensei. "Shut yer damn mouth, Kensei. And seein' how Hacchi's the best one out of all us at sensin' reiatsu-"

"Well, I ain't takin' that chance!" Kensei practically roared. "If you want to put the others in danger, you're doin' it over my dead body!"

"That can be arranged," was the menacing reply. That was when Megumi decided to intervene before blood was shed.

"I'd like to watch that, actually," she commented casually, almost as though she was discussing the weather. "But it's kind of hard to see ya'll from this position. Hacchin, if you would be so kind?"

A deep chuckle reverberated from said man before she felt the bindings dissipate. Her shoulders were understandably tender and stiff from how they had been positioned, so she began to roll and massage them tenderly once she sat up. As soon as she was satisfied with how her shoulders felt, she looked over her shoulder at the trio. Kensei looked like he was ready to murder someone; Shinji, like he didn't know what to do now that she was awake; and Hacchi appeared to be meditating. No surprise there.

She stood up slowly, all too familiar with the effects of getting up too quickly after losing consciousness. Upon gazing back over at Shinji and Kensei, who hadn't looked away from her yet, she asked waspishly, "Can I help either of you? 'Cause if you're quite done, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop staring at my ass."

Kensei sneered at her, turned on his heel and walked away from their little group. On the other hand, Shinji rolled his eyes and walked up to her casually, though Megumi could see just a hint of how tense he was from the slight rigidness in his shoulders.

"I guess I'm not done, then," he replied, small smile in place.

Megumi rolled her eyes this time before walking past Hacchi, giving the man a small peck on his cheek as she passed, and up the stairs to the common area. She turned on her heel and addressed Shinji, who had been keeping pace with her. "I take it you guys picked me up from school."

"Yeah. It was me, Kensei, and Hacchi this time, and we only had to modify the memories of the doc and his assistant," he answered as casually as he could.

Megumi sighed and rubbed her eyes tiredly, bracing herself for the explanation she was about to give. "Listen, Shinji. I-" Suddenly she heard her phone's ringtone coming from her bag on the couch. She almost dove for it as a drowning man would dive for a lifeline, pulled her phone out, and answered it. "Hello?"

The voice on the other end made her freeze.

"Oba-san?" Ururu's sweet voice drifted through the earpiece, and Megumi shot Shinji a panicked look as she tapped her wrist to ask for the time. The Vizard gave her a curious glance before checking the clock on his phone and using his fingers to flash 4-1-2 to her. Before Megumi could say anything to her niece, Ururu spoke again, inquiring, "Oba-san, are you there?"

"Y-yeah, I'm here, sweetie," Megumi hastily replied, checking to make sure she still had everything from her school uniform on. By now, Shinji looked concerned as his lover grabbed her book bag and made to leave. "Are you at the café yet?"

"Hai, oba-san."

"Well, don't worry. I'll be there in a-!" Megumi's sentence was cut short by Shinji suddenly grabbing her phone and snapping it shut with one hand while the other grabbed her other arm. The young woman spun on her heel, spitting, "What the hell, Shinji?!"

Shinji's brown eyes were intent on boring a hole through her, but Megumi was too livid to notice as he declared, "You're not going."

"The hell I'm not! I promised Ururu that I'd meet her today to help comfort her about something she discussed with me, and you are NOT going to tell me otherwise, Shinji Hirako!" Megumi protested as she shrugged his hand off of her arm, her voice rising in volume upon reaching the final phrase.

Shinji wanted to groan, roll his eyes, smack her, kiss her, and make love to her all at once when she yelled at him, but somehow he maintained his composure enough that his response, while strained with anger, was, "I am so fucking telling you not to go, and you know damn well why."

The two were either ignorant to the fact that the rest of the Vizards were gathering to investigate all the noise, or they were simply ignoring them. Whichever was the case, Megumi snatched her phone back from her increasingly-irate lover and shoved it in her bag. "Then if you're so concerned about my wellbeing, feel free to tag along, but I. AM. GOING!"

The last of Shinji's nerves snapped then, and for the first time in a long time, shouted right back at his hot-headed girlfriend. "Fine! Have it your way!"

Megumi gave him a curt nod and turned around to open the door, when Shinji continued, "I'd like to see how you fare without the rest of us there to help subdue your Hollow when she decides to chow down on the nearest living creature. I wonder who will be closest…"

"Oh, that's right. It will be your nie-"

While he normally would have seen it coming, right now Shinji's judgment was clouded over by the rage and irritation he was feeling. Shinji didn't have enough presence of mind this time around to counter or even defend himself against the punch that Megumi whirled around and delivered square to his jaw, sending him flying into the wall near where Love and Hiyori had situated themselves. Initially, his ears were ringing to the point that he didn't hear Mashiro's shriek or even Kensei shouting at Megumi, but when his hearing cleared up and his vision stopped swimming, he was met with an image of Megumi, betrayal and loathsome rage etched on her normally serene features, huffing while she held her stance from her punch. Then she opened up her mouth.

"Go to fucking hell, Hirako!"

With that final sentence hanging in the air, she left the warehouse, slamming the metal door behind her.

No one moved from their spots for what felt like an eternity before Rose's calm voice broke the tension. "Kensei, Mashiro, Love, please follow her. Keep your distance and just keep an eye on her for the time being, but don't hesitate to move in and subdue her if necessary."

The three Vizards he called out left through the same door Megumi had as he crossed over to Shinji, who was sitting on the ground rubbing his jaw tenderly. Rose sighed, and continued on, "Hacchi, patch him up. If his fears hold ground, we're going to need everyone on hand."

Hacchi simply nodded and was making his way over to Shinji when Rose spat, "What the hell did you think you were going to accomplish by taking a stab at her like that?"

The skinny Vizard simply gave a small humph and allowed Hacchi to begin healing him. His brown eyes suddenly fell on Hiyori, who hadn't moved from her spot or said anything since the beginning of the argument. She was just staring at him with what he assumed was a blank expression until she opened her mouth.

"God, you can be such a fucking asshole."

So what do you think?

That last part with the argument between Shinji and Megumi was something that I hadn't tried to write before. I hope I did the situation justice, and let you all know that while they may love each other, they can still butt heads (and punch them, in Megumi's case). Let me know what you thought of the argument scene in your review or in a PM, if you wish.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! See you on New Year's!