A/N: Okay, so i'm back, and i'm late! I had this idea for a month now, but I've been too busy to write it up. Anyways, it's loosely related to my other Christmas fic from last year. So I would suggest reading that first and then this one. Anyways, this fic is slightly AU. So no complaining okay? Unlike my other fics, I'm going to try and experiment on chapter lengths (make it shorter!). Um, I'm not a constant writer, so please forgive me for that... It's already amazing that this fic is starting at all! This chapter may or may not undergo some changes since I briefly proof read it, but not as much as I liked to. So without further ado, enjoy!
It was cold.
Snow floated down from the heavens as people hustled and bustled through their last minute Christmas shopping. A happy murmur on the streets of Karakura Town set the tone for this freezing December day. Tatsuki Arizawa was among these crowds, holding white plastic shopping bags filled with various items. In her other hand, was a crumpled list of things to do.
"...Mom's gift . . . got that. Orihime's stuff, got that . . . geez, I'm forgetting something . . . Oh! I know! I need to get the ice-Offff!"
Tatsuki, in her thoughtless wanderings, burrowed over some poor unfortunate soul.
"Itai!" muttered the small person.
"Oh, I'm really sorry! Wow, I'm an idiot... Here, let me help you... geez I'm such a-" Tatsuki rambled embarrassedly at her clumsy mistake. The person giggled.
"It's okay Tatsuki! Nothing's damaged! Hehe -;" Yuzu Kurosaki exclaimed warmly. Her pink cheeks and wide grin were a warm welcome to Tatsuki.
"Yuzu? What are you doing out? It's Christmas Eve! Usually your family has things finished by today..."
"Ah, it's nothing really! We're just... a bit behind this year, that's all..." Yuzu said, but there was something in the way she trailed off that meant something more... Tatsuki decided not to press the issue and finished gathering Yuzu's fallen grocery bags. "So where are you off to, Tatsuki?"
"Ano, I just finished my Christmas shopping... but I need to pick up some icing for my gingerbread cookies this year."
"Ooh, we have some at our place! We even have icing sugar, so you can make it from scratch too. Why don't you go to our place for a bit? Please? You hardly come over anymore! Ichigo... ah... well... please?" Yuzu's facial expressions varied from ecstatic, to hesitant, to hopeful - a very colourful personality in Tatsuki's opinion.
"Um, sure. It saves me money this way... but... you sure you want me over? I mean, Ichigo's all busy with his stuff and I might just get in the way or something." Tatsuki muttered... Over the past couple of years, Tatsuki's friendship with Ichigo seems to have changed a lot. Ever since she met Orhime and that girl, Rukia, showed up to town... It's not that Tatsuki is jealous or anything, but things just haven't been the same since. Perhaps Tatsuki was underplaying the strange monster/ghost sightings, and the occasional what-the-hell-Ichigo-is-a-ghost-with-a-FREAKISHLY-HUGE-SWORD moments. Whatever was going on, Tatsuki knew she wasn't part of it, and any deeper thoughts on the matter was irrelevant. Tatsuki tells herself these things over and over again, but maybe... just maybe... Tatuski didn't want to think about it because it hurt.
"Nope. Ichigo isn't home most of the time. He's usually out with his friends." Yuzu answered curtly. "Just come over! It's so quiet this year, and I have so much to get done! We still have to put up the Christmas Tree, and I have gifts to wrap! But when am I going to have the time to do all of these when I have to make dinner and clean the house too? Please help?" Yuzu then pulled out her ultimate weapon: her puppy dog pout.
'Oh hell, she didn't have to pull out all the works for this!' was Tatsuki's thought as she almost literally stumbled back from the sheer power that pout had. 'Geez, if she were an only child, she could probably ask for a whole town and get it.'
"Fine, fine, fine. I wasn't going to say no, anyways." Tatsuki half heartedly grumbled.
Yuzu giggled in triumph. "Hehe, you know what? You reminded me of Ichigo when you said that." She pulled her eyebrows together and mock frowned. "I'm Ichigo, and I'm always grumpy!" Tatsuki had to give a hoot of laughter at that. Not only was Yuzu a cute little girl, but the expression was pretty close to the original.
"Okay little sister, let's get going!" Tatsuki announced while hauling her bags, as well as Yuzu's, for the journey home.
Yuzu couldn't help but smile at how right it sounded coming from Tatsuki...
It was halfway on their journey home when the topic came up. Yuzu was happily telling Tatsuki about school when Ichigo came up again.
"Yeah, the winter play was really cool this year! I was given a leading role part, and Karin was the lead person for the special effects team. Dad was overly dramatic, as usual, and Ichigo didn't make it because of detention... but that's okay."
"What detention?" Tatsuki asked quickly. She was on the Student Disciplinary Commity, and god damnit, she should know these things. Ichigo hasn't had detention for a long time. Their teachers this year were a joke. You could smoke in their classes and they wouldn't even care.
"It was 3 weeks ago, that one. Hehehe, I bet he has so many that people don't even think about it anymore. Sigh, that brother... I wish he wouldn't get into trouble so much." Yuzu wished outloud. Tatsuki was tempted to explain that Ichigo hasn't had detention, but bit her tounge against it. Better to be blissfully ignorant than burdened with the truth.
Instead, she snorted, "That stupid asshole, I should beat some sense into that bastard. Teach that guy some respect for his sisters! Geez, how could that idiot forget his own sister's performance? You guys were in LEAD positions too! God, I want to-"
"Nononono, don't think badly of my brother, he's really a good guy still! He's just been preoccupied with things... Dad keeps saying it's because he's a teenager and stuff... but... I don't know... If all teenagers are like that, then I don't want to become a teenager ever! I just... wished that he'd be home more often for Christmas... that's all. I saved the tree till last minute so that he would help out with it, but I'm starting to think that we'll have to do it without him...gah, he makes me so worried!"
Tatsuki snorted inwardly. 'Preoccupied with things... yeah like monsters with demon masks and short, pretty girls that mysteriously transfer out of nowhere...no... whatever. Don't think about it... Ichigo is just being an ass, that's all. Leaving his sisters alone for Christmas...'
"That's okay! I'll help with the Christmas tree. It'll be us girls and your dad! Who cares about Ichigo. He parties with his friends way too much anyways... serves him right if he misses out on fun!" Tatsuki cheered. They didn't need stupid boys to ruin their holiday.
"Haha, you're right, Tatsuki! We should enjoy Christmas! It'll be a whole year before it comes again." Yuzu grinned. Maybe Christmas will be merry after all... but still... Yuzu couldn't help but feel that Tatsuki would have made a really nice older sister...
The snow kept falling, but it didn't seem as cold with the company.
A/N: yeah, there's more to come. I appologize again for a Christmas fic being posted after Christmas. Ummm, I'm not sure if there will be romance here. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a family fic... but hey, i can always change it ; so tell me what you like and don't like, and i'll try again!