AN: A little fic I plan on finishing sometime this holidays…

DISCLAIMER: I don't own bleach. I do, however, own bleach. The one in my laundry that is. XD

A Summer Job: Prelude

Summer holidays.

Ichigo sighed. It hadn't quite reached his head yet. He silently flipped over and stared at the outlines of his closet. He groaned. And again.

Just how did I get myself into this mess?

His eyes flickered, and he remembered exactly HOW he got into this particular situation.


"So? What is your answer?" First division captain, Yamamoto's eyes looked directly into Ichigo.

"Ah…" The usually rude, loud, grumpy Ichigo had now turned into a smaller, quieter person.

"You don't have to answer now. Think about it."

Ichigo left the captain's meeting hall.

"What the hell…" He muttered softly to himself, not noticing the footsteps of a smaller shinigami.

"What are you angry about now?"

"Huh?" He jumped. And crashed into the ceiling above him. This was Soul Society after all, and his physical abilities had increased greatly.

"I said -…"

"I know what you said… Jeez, Rukia, don't sneak up on me like that!"

The smaller shinigami grinned deviously. "Well?"

Ichigo sighed. "Well, it seems that, Mr. Big Guy up there" he gestured to the captain's meeting hall "wants me to consider taking the job of a captain – of the 5th division."

Silence. "Of course," Ichigo added hastily, "It'd only be temporary, and only during my school holidays."

More silence. Ichigo looked down at his raven-haired friend. "Oi, say something." He said, a bit annoyed that she was, well it looked like she was, blatantly ignoring him.

She turned her head. "Well…" She looked at him, her eyes sinking into his. Ichigo involuntarily shuddered.

Those eyes could bore holes in cement. They had stopped walking, and Rukia hadn't stopped looking at him. Oh crap, I better tell her I'm not going to accept, before she tells me off about leaving my family and all that responsibility. Pfff… I hate responsibility.

He opened his mouth, but before he could say a word about him not accepting it, she said in a different kind of voice, "You're going to accept it, right?"

Ichigo frowned. What was that look in her eyes? Worry…no, hope? This conversation was DEFINITELY weird. One of the few ones he had had with her without fighting.

He was worrying about the weirdness of her face, when something hit him. Hard. "OI! Listen to me when I'm talking to you." She scowled at him, her usual facial expression coming back.

"Speak for yourself! Who was the one not listening to me a while back?" Oops. Scrap that conversation with no fighting. He breathed out a little, relieved. She was normal. Or so he thought.

Much later, Ichigo, plus a few bruises, and Rukia sat on an abandoned bench near the 5th division headquarters.


Ichigo turned to his smaller counterpart, scowling. His head was throbbing a little.

"So what?"

Rukia turned to look at him. "Are you going to accept?"

Those eyes. Those damn eyes.

Her tone did not explain what she was feeling, but when Ichigo looked in her eyes, he knew. He knew she wanted him to accept.

-End Flashback-

In the end, he remembered vaguely that he had considered not doing the job. After all, too much paperwork was bound to be bad for one guy. And plus, he was expected to do this paperwork in the time of the school holidays – after doing mountains of paperwork at school, he would then be expected to do more mountains at Soul Society. All this he weighed into his mind, but Rukia, being Rukia, simply asked him if he was going to take the job. And Ichigo, being Ichigo, simply accepted the job. No 'buts' or 'ifs'.

He continued looking at the closet.

Soul Society…Rukia...

This would be the first summer, starting his new job