Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. Kubo-Sensei does.

Chapter Four

She Called Him Ichigo

Nii-sama would be so ashamed of me. It was only my third day of school and I was already skipping. Well, granted I would have done it eventually but that wasn't the point. Besides, I wasn't really skipping…I was kidnapped. Too bad it wouldn't appear that way since I haven't called up anyone and said, "Hi, this is Kuchiki Rukia. Today I won't be attending school because Kurosaki Ichigo has decided to kidnap me against my wishes." Well, it's not like anyone really is kidnapped by their wishes but this was Kurosaki Ichigo. Girls wouldn't just go willingly, they would beg. For some reason I felt myself glaring at him at that thought.

My unacknowledged glaring was interrupted by a vibration in my pocket. I pulled out my pink cell phone complete with limited edition Chappy the Rabbit charm and checked the mini LCD. It showed an envelope with a monkey on it signifying that I received a text from Renji.

When I flipped open my cell phone and read the message, the expressions of my face kept changing. It went from content to surprised then angry to disbelief. The nerve of that guy! I began tapping away at the keys on my phone to reply and this drew the attention of my kidnapper. He glanced back between the road and me before leaning over to see what I was doing.

Uneasy, I leaned right until my back lay partially against the window. "Ever heard of personal space, Kurosaki-san?" I asked sarcastically.

"Ever heard of don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong, Kuchiki-san?" He retorted back.

"Touché." I said before becoming remotely silent again.

"Who are you talking to?" He asked. I groaned inwardly in frustration.

"None of your fuc---HEY!" I shouted indignantly when he grabbed my cell phone out of my hands. If I wasn't so mad I would have laughed at the expression on his face as he read Renji's text message but that wasn't the case, was it? "What happened to 'don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong?!" I yelled trying to get back my cell phone.

"Sit still! Are you trying to get us killed?" He seethed when the car swerved suddenly. He held me back with one hand while the other drove and typed on my cell phone. My eyes widened when I saw what he was typing and that only made me struggle more.

"Don't you dare send that!" I yelled. My heart stopped when he pushed the send button and I literally stopped moving. Yup, that was it. Renji would kill me. Kurosaki-san smirked when I finally settled down and held the cell phone back to me. Right before I reached it, it rang and I watched in horror as he took it upon himself to answer the call.

"Yo." He greeted curtly after flipping open my cell phone. I rolled my eyes and wondered if he could get anymore original. I allowed him to talk for a while as I recollected myself but was bombarded with the possibilities of my Nii-sama being on the other line. Fear bubbled in the pit of my stomach and I began reaching for my cell until an angry tirade reached my ears. Now that couldn't have been Nii-sama. I sighed heavily in relief but my moment of peace didn't last long when I realized something else---it had to have been Renji. Shit.

"Whoa, calm down Lover Boy." Ichigo chuckled into the phone. I heard more yelling coming from Renji's end and resisted the urge to slap my forehead.

"Kurosaki-san!" I hissed. "Give me the phone-"

"What? Of course I know: she's right here next to me." He said in response to Renji and completely ignoring me. I strained to hear what Renji was asking but stopped short when Kurosaki glanced at me. After a moment of staring his lips curved upward and his eyes sparkled with mischief.

"Where has she been? Well, Rukia was in my bed up until about an hour ago." He said darkly.

"KUROSAKI!" I screamed and had the pleasure of seeing him cringe. I took the opportunity to snatch my phone back but he simply smirked at me since his damage had already been dealt.

"Ren—Hey! HEY! Renji will you shut up for a second it's me!" I snapped.

"Fuck you Kurosaki!" Was the last thing I heard before the annoying dial tone filled my ears. I pulled away the phone and glanced at the words CALL ENDED that seemed to be mocking me and my misery.

"Did he just hang up on me?" I asked myself in disbelief.

"Don't worry about it. He's just jealous." Was Kurosaki-san's smug answer. My best friend and only means of escape just hung up on me. I found that hard to believe and refused to let it ruin my resolve. I flipped my cell phone back open fully prepared to make a number of calls until I found my hands once again void of it.

"Ah, ah." Kurosaki-san chided as he twirled my only connection to the outside world by its antenna. "I can't have you doing that." I was about to grab for my phone again but I settled for gripping the arm rests and nearly piercing them with my nails. We weren't children and I wasn't going to embarrass myself over another game of keep away even if he happened to find it amusing.

I barely acknowledged him staring at my Chappy the Rabbit charm and flicking it with his finger. I barely registered the look of disbelief that he was giving me as he mentioned something about it being childish. I was in a different state of mind.

The more I began to think over the situation, the less audible the words coming from his mouth were sounding. I didn't understand anything. I didn't understand what I was doing, why I was here, why he was so interested in me or how I even let him get as close to me as he has been. I watched his lips move as my mind became flooded with these thoughts. He was probably saying something arrogant judging by the way he was looking at me like he was the best thing coming. I couldn't stand it. His arrogance, his cockiness, his forwardness…his over-powering presence, his strength, his ability to make my words just talk…his smell, his touch, his over-confident smirk…it all made for one dangerous package. The more time I spent around him, the less I felt like I knew myself.

I hated everything about him…

I hated the part of me that allowed myself to become part of this game of his…

But most of all, "I hate you."

Whatever he was saying ended abruptly and he looked at me with surprised but seemingly amused orbs. "What?" He asked dumbly.

I turned fully to him with fiery violet orbs and spoke with venom lacing my every word. "I hate you." Before he could open his mouth to respond, I cut him off with every intention of unleashing my wrath on him.

"Who do you think you are?" I seethed. "Who do you think I am? Do you think I enjoy spending this time with you? I'm pretty sure you're used to girls falling at your feet all the time but I'm not one of them. I'm not going to degrade myself and go along with whatever your sick mind wants like one of your deranged fan girls. I don't have to go along with this! I'm Kuchiki Rukia and I demand that you let me go!"

I was trying to catch my breath but ended up gasping sharply when he slammed on the breaks. My body jerked forward in my seat and I turned to give him another mouthful only to see his form looming darkly over mine. It was happening again. My heartbeat was increasing rapidly, the heat in my cheeks was rising and my breathing was shortening. His amber eyes flashed dangerously and I felt paralyzed. I met his furious gaze with my own and stood my ground.

"So what?" He spat angrily. "You're Kuchiki god damn Rukia—is that supposed to mean something? Sorry, Princess but I'm not your brother here to spoil you and give you everything you want and I'm not going to be one of your servants either, bending at the snap of a finger." I faintly heard the click of his seatbelt before he leaned in closer until our breaths were mixing. "You said that you hate me…"

"Because I do!" I snapped but winced at how unconvincing I sounded.

"No, you think you do." He whispered. His eyes were turning lighter and I wondered briefly if they changed with his emotions. "Do you hate me…?" He smiled when I gasped after feeling the back of his fingers brush the side of my face. "Or do you hate this?" He asked and trailed his cool smooth digits down my heated skin.

I felt my eyes fluttering closed but fought to keep them half-opened. There was fear bubbling in the pit of my stomach along with something else I couldn't control.

"What do you want from me?" I whispered.

So weighed down…so drugged…

His fingers cupped my chin and I felt his thumb brushing my lower lip. "The real question is…what do you want from me?"

My eyes finally gave in and closed shut as he continued to caress my face, his warm breath heating my lips. I didn't know why but I suddenly felt so sleepy. With each lazy stoke of his fingers until I finally shut down.

So wrongly intoxicated by him.


"Abarai, you're late." The teacher stated dully as Renji walked in with his hands in his pockets. He paid her no mind as he descended down his row and took his seat sulking. His eyes stared ahead while the teacher continued on with her lesson but his mind was somewhere else entirely. His fingers traced the contours of his cell phone before gripping it tightly within the confines of his pants.

That bastard…! He gritted as he recalled bits from their conversation earlier.

"I thought I told you in the text message? She's spending the day with me. You know…get to know each other better."

"I would but she's not going to be leaving my side anytime soon."

"I thought you two were together…I guess not huh? She didn't want you like that?"

"Well, Rukia was in my bed up until about an hour ago."

His fist tightened and he glanced at the clock wondering how long it'd be until he could hear her voice again. He needed her to tell him, to reassure him that Kurosaki was just talk.

I mean, Renji's eyes hardened, there's no way that she'd do that. Not to Orihime, not to me. He's all talk, he wasn't serious. She's hurt and that's the only reason she's with him. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid…

Kaien watched Renji critically from his seat. He could practically hear every thought of his in his head…the guy was that obvious. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that his mind was centered on Rukia at the moment. He didn't know how he felt about that either.

Kuchiki Rukia…he didn't know what it was about her that had him so drawn to her. How he had been sitting outside of a café with Ichigo sipping coffee and talking about meaningless things. How they had been surveying the crowd for possible prey and how Ichigo excused himself for a moment after spotting one particular blonde. How as he sat there drinking the rest of his mocha, his head picked up after a soft sigh reached his ears. How when he turned his head, he spotted her across the street amidst the crowd checking her cell phone.

He passed it off as his feeding instincts and figured it wasn't a problem since his friend was busy seducing some scantily clothed blonde at the moment. It wasn't often that he got to indulge in the fresh blood of a woman and decided he shouldn't let the opportunity go to waste, especially if his body was calling for her. He left his coffee on the table and wiped his mouth knowing that Ichigo would return shortly---it never took them long---so he would make it quick. He watched her as he descended into the busy and crowded streets and politely pushed past people as they constantly blocked her form. When he got close enough he was surprised to see her gone and wondered if she left already. That was until he saw her sprawled out on the ground as some stranger held out their hand. He had already sensed it the moment he approached…

"New-borns…" He hissed. It wasn't characteristic of him to go stealing another's prey but for some reason he wasn't too keen with letting this one go. As he came closer he saw the small struggle she was having with the new-born as she yelled at him to release her. Kaien narrowed his eyes as he was reminded why he hated them so much…they were indiscreet with their ways of feeding and were unnecessarily violent with their prey. He quickly grabbed the arm of the new-born when he was close enough before they managed to cause a scene and attract more attention.

"Release her," He commanded after the new-born's head whipped toward him furiously for interrupting his hunting. His eyes then widened and he relinquished his hold, unable to disobey the authority of noble blood.

"My apologies, my lord…" He muttered respectfully before disappearing and leaving Kaien's presence fast. Kaien sighed annoyed and bent down to collect and replace the items that the new-born had carelessly knocked over. Was it just him or was this taking more unnecessary steps than usual. When he stood up and handed her the bag he wasn't prepared to be bombarded with the most intense violet eyes he had ever seen in his lifetime as they stared at him in awe. Those wide depths captivated him and he found himself speechless as they continued to stare at one another. He was snapped out of his trance when she quickly bowed and stuttered out thank you.

He noted her tinted cheeks and her pale smooth complexion. She was tiny---no petite was the word---and her movements were practiced and graceful. She exuded this confidence and held herself in a way that would make his family members proud. After a moment of realization he noticed that she was still respectfully bowing to him and he felt somewhat bothered by it. He didn't want her bowing to him.

"No problem miss, just trying to help." He chuckled and she made to stand back up. He heard someone shout a name in the background and watched as her shoulders jumped. This was it, his mind concluded. He had to get her away before her friends arrived if he wanted this hunt to be successful. His eyes shone a light blue and she gasped, frozen as her mind shut down. Time moved slowly as he reached his hand down to bring her upright but the moment he saw her eyes, he felt realization hit him hard. Under his influence her once violet orbs had darkened to a cloudy grey—a color he was all too familiar with…

"Kaien! What are you doing? What if someone sees us!"

"You charmer! You just don't want me to tell your sister…but I guess it worked. I love it when you do that."

"Hm…Shiba…Miyako Shiba. It's different but I like the sound of it—AH! Put me down. Haha, at least let me say 'Yes!"

Suddenly, he jerked back as if stung and found himself walking backward towards the street until he merged again with the crowd. His eyes returned to their clear blue color as he relinquished his control on her and returned to where he knew his friend was waiting. When he approached the café he saw Ichigo leaning back on the tip of his chair looking highly annoyed.

"Kaien! Where the hell did you go?" He asked and sat forward, the legs of the chair reconnecting with the ground. Kaien grabbed his coffee and tossed it in the nearest bin.

"I was checking something out, let's go." He said in a rush. Ichigo furrowed his eyebrows but complied and threw out the remainders of his drink. There had to have been a good reason for his sudden behavior. As they walked to where his car was parked Ichigo observed his friend with knowing eyes.

"What happened?" Ichigo asked.

"Nothing…" He lied. Ichigo glared at his friend but before he could speak Kaien changed the subject. "How was that woman?" He asked.

"The blonde one?" Ichigo mused. "I couldn't feed on her. One swipe of that blood and I think I wanted to gag. There were so many drugs in her system. When I asked what she was taking she went on about nail and hair pills, birth control pills, face pills…disgusting. I like the real thing, everything about her must have been purchased."

"Mm…" Kaien mindlessly replied as they got into the car. When Ichigo sat down he started chuckling.

"While she was still in trance I even put a band aid on her neck before I let her go. You should have heard her, 'where are you going? I thought you were taking me home? Oh, thanks for the band aid! I could have seriously been hurt!" He mimicked in a girly voice. Kaien tuned to him and chuckled dryly.

"You're ridiculous Ichigo." He smiled. "You don't usually let them go when you've gotten so far." Ichigo shrugged.

"Yeah, I know…but it's not like you ever do either." Kaien didn't respond but tightened his grip on the steering wheel as he thought of the girl he had encountered on the street. He didn't know what had gotten into him but for some reason his mind was screaming at him to go back and find her. Surprisingly, it wasn't the urge to finish what he started but rather just to be around her to make sure she got home safely.

Rukia…that was her name. He was sure that was what the male voice had shouted. Those captivating eyes, her unblemished skin, her soft and collected voice, her calm and steady heartbeat…the smell of her blood—so pure.

And he had let her go.

"Where's Kurosaki?" Toshirou asked bringing Kaien out of his thoughts. He blinked twice as Ichigo and his car seemed to dissolve into the background and he found himself back in the classroom. After the question finally processed in his head, he sighed lightly and leaned back in his chair.

"Not in school…" He replied dully. It was silent for a few moments before Toshirou opened his mouth.

"…Should I even ask about Kuchiki-san?"

"She's alive." Kaien said swiftly. Toshirou raised a perfect eyebrow as he continued to take mindless notes about the lesson.

"How can you be so sure?" He mused. Kaien twirled his pen around his finger as his mind answered for him. Because I'm as aware of her heartbeat as I am my own.

"I threatened Ichigo not to lay a hand on her. She isn't his to take." He replied instead. Toshirou chuckled under his breath.

"Really? Now, why would you go and do something as stupid as that? You know he's as persistent and stubborn as they come." He said. "To tell you the truth, I was tempted to have a go at her myself but after seeing the both of your reactions when she stepped into the room...I figured it'd be best not to interfere."

"Don't." Kaien groaned. "Ichigo's already enough of a problem. He wants to feed on her and he's not playing fair either…as you can see."

"Watch how you say things. You make it sound as if you don't want her to be fed on." Toshirou commented. Kaien's eyes roved to the side where his friend had stopped writing after he received no reply. Toshiro picked his head up from his paper and narrowed his eyes slightly at Kaien's back.

"Don't tell me—"

"I don't know." He interrupted. "Look, you wouldn't understand. She's different, different from anyone I've ever encountered before. When I had thought I wanted to feed on her, I couldn't even harm her. Hell, I don't even know why I'm telling you…there's no way you'd know unless you met her." Kaien paused ready for Toshirou to reprimand him or call him insane. When he didn't get a response he wondered if his confession was that shocking. He sighed and concluded that telling his no nonsense friend was a bad idea until the genius said something that caused him to slightly lose his composure.

"Maybe, I should meet her then." He said simply. Kaien turned around to tell his friend not to joke around but was met with his usual passive face.

"You're serious?" Kaien breathed.

"As serious as I always am." Toshirou smirked. "Besides…I want to see what kind of human girl has the power to incapacitate both the great Shiba Kaien and Kurosaki Ichigo."

"It's not funny you know. But come on, Ichigo?" Kaien scoffed. "He enjoys the hunt; no one can incapacitate him when it comes to feeding." At this Toshirou merely chuckled lightly and resumed his note-taking.

"I'm surprised you didn't make that observation." He mused. "Yes, we all know he loves the hunt but when has he ever staked a claim on someone and they end up living for more than a day?" Kaien didn't respond and Toshirou knew he was right. "Don't you think—that if Ichigo really wanted to feed on her—then she would have just been dead already?"

How pathetic he had looked looming over Rukia's weak form. The look in his eyes—Kaien hadn't seen that since his mother died. He worried over her as if she was an important person in his life and although he was secretly grateful that there was a side of Ichigo that didn't only care about hunting Rukia, he was somewhat bothered by it. He knew that the idiot wasn't even aware of it and even if he was, he'd much less acknowledge it.

"That's a load of shit." Kaien commented. Toshirou simply shrugged after giving him a knowing smirk. He began to pack his things and as soon as he was done, the bell rang. Students began rising out of their seats and chatter filled the room while the teacher reminded all of them to do their homework.

"Well, if you guys keep that up, before you know it, you'll both be falling for a human." Toshirou lightly joked as he waited for Kaien to finish packing. Kaien's eyes hardened at that and he growled lightly as he stood up.

"Toshirou, don't say things like that."

He didn't need to heal her cuts and scrapes. It would have been more reasonable to have them treated medically. Yet, a part of him felt compelled to ease every nick and tear of her once unblemished skin and the other part of him…knew Ichigo would be watching. It wasn't right, he told himself, but as his lips traveled over her skin and he eyed Ichigo's murderous form at the door, he couldn't stop himself. He needed to show him, needed to prove to him something they left unspoken, unacknowledged but well known deeply within them.


Ichigo eyes shone a lighter shade of amber after seeing her lids fall close in submission, her head tilted back. His own blood raced at the thought of finally being able to lean down and graze his teeth along the front of her column. He inhaled deeply and breathed in that scent that drove his senses wild and when his eyes opened, they were a glowing yellow. He smirked as her body hummed after being lulled into a trance and he leaned down to brush his lips against the smooth side of her neck.

"You know midget…I like you better when you're not kicking and screaming at me." He said amused at how the one person who defied his natural charm was still susceptible to his power. "You've tortured me enough and I wouldn't mind some of my pride back."

"Tell me…" He breathed against her skin as his fingers fluttered to the opposite side of her neck to stroke her pulse. "What do you find attractive about me?"

"…" He waited a few moments for an answer but when he didn't receive any he stopped his ministrations. He briefly considered the outrageous possibility that she had broken out of his trance until she whispered, "E-everything…" Ichigo let out a sigh of relief and chuckled at how she was still unwilling even though her body and mind was under his influence. Yes, he thought, it'll be fun to finally dominate you.

"Everything?" He asked as his tongue darted out to her neck. "Enlighten me…" She moaned softly and one of her hands reached up to stoke the back of his mane.

"Y-your hair," She breathed. "It's so loud, so ridiculously…and hideously…orange." Ichigo paused for a moment while his eyes narrowed in disbelief. "B-but, it complements you. It stands out in a crowd and attracts attention. Someone as beautiful as you deserves it."

"You call a man beautiful?" Ichigo chuckled after the conversation started to look up. "Don't you mean hot or sexy?"

"No, I mean beautiful." She said. "Your face, your skin, your body…everything is perfect. You're naturally beautiful…" Her words triggered something in him but he pushed it away. They're just empty words, he told himself. They have no true meaning. "But it's not only your looks but your personality as well. It's brighter when you're around and your voice is like a violin. I often wonder how your laugh would sound."

"You've heard my laugh before." He told her as his hand trailed down the length of her arm. She shivered and he smiled then nipped her skin.

"No, I wondered how your real laugh would sound." Ichigo leaned back and furrowed his brows at her. His golden eyes met her cloudy violet ones and he placed one hand on the side of her flushed cheek.

"Explain." He demanded.

"You may fool everybody else Kurosaki-san but you can't fool me. That laugh is just as phony as my personality in class. Sometimes, I wonder if you're ever really happy." She raised her hand and placed it on his opposite cheek. Ichigo felt his heart thump.

"And your eyes…they're the most brilliant shade of amber and sometimes they turn abnormally gold like now." Aren't you scared of them?

"They're so inviting and full of energy but…" Rukia raised her other hand and placed it on his other cheek, her thumb stroking the skin underneath his eye, "why do they look so sad?"

Ichigo felt like the world around him just cracked and fell apart like a broken mirror. The memories of that night, every nightmare, every scream came back to him full force. His right hand was shaking as he brought it to the back of her neck and before he could think twice, he was leaning down and brushing his lips against hers. He needed comfort, a way to make the guilt go away but the moment he pushed his mouth more insistently against hers, he felt as if he had been electrocuted.

Ichigo jerked back and fell into his seat. He raised startled eyes and observed her clouded violet orbs, her emotionless and innocent expression before dropping to her slightly parted lips. He had felt a presence he hadn't expected still lingering on her in that one spot and it made his hands fist in both anger and something else. He raised one shaky hand to grip his hair tightly and the other covered his face as he tried to get a hold of himself.

"I'm sorry, Rukia." He whispered to her unconscious body. "I promise I'll protect you." It was then he lowered his face and placed a kiss on her lips.

"Ichigo…?" A drowsy voice called from his side. He gasped and turned to see Rukia shifting in her seat and staring at him through hazy eyes. She must have slipped out of my trance, Ichigo thought. She groaned lightly and rubbed her eyes before rolling her head back to face him.

"Are you okay?" She asked. "You look like you've seen a ghost." Ichigo blinked twice and swallowed as he replaced his hands on the steering wheel. He forced his tight fists to loosen and he sighed as some of the pressure went away.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Don't worry about it." He said to her and started driving. She frowned at him but instead of questioning him like she wanted to, she faced forward.

"What happened?" She groaned. "I feel so sluggish." Ichigo chuckled dryly.

"You fell asleep, midget." He told her. "We're almost to the café so just sit back for a bit."

"Go to hell strawberry." She bit out. "And why are we going to a café?" She asked. Ichigo looked at her and a small smile fitted his lips. One that made Rukia's heart beat twice as fast.

"You said you wanted to figure me out, didn't you?" Rukia stared at him in disbelief but eventually the corners of her mouth lifted up. She rested against her seat smug and decided to give her kidnapper a break for once. The rest of the ride was surprisingly silent and Ichigo found himself stealing glances at her every once in a while. As he drove, there was one thought that wouldn't leave his mind the entire time.

She called me Ichigo.


The place he took me to was called Urahara's Shoten. It looked like an average and plain store from the outside and looked just as average on the inside. It was empty in there and I awkwardly walked to a nearby stand and picked up some cute character candy sticks to look at.

"Hello!" Kurosaki-san called out upon entering the shop. There was shuffling in the distance and out of nowhere appeared a man dressed in a traditional green haori and geta shoes.

"Hello customers and welcome to my humble abode!" He greeted cheerfully. "All candy is buy one get one free and there are discounts for every ten pieces you buy." He walked closer to us before stopping and pushing up his hat with his fan. "Huh, what are you kids doing here? I hope you're not skipping school."

"And since when were you ever one who actually cared about that stuff, Urahara?" Kurosaki-san asked. The shop keeper stilled then pivoted on his foot to stare at him. His eyes roved up and down before settling on his face then his hair.

"Ichigo? Is that you?" He asked. Kurosaki-san grinned and crossed his arms.

"Long time no see, Urahara." He said. I watched as the two embraced each other like old friends then pull away to inspect one another. I continued to check out other items in the store as I respectfully let them get reacquainted.

"My god Ichigo…you've gotten so tall. It's been ten years since you lasted visited me. Oh, how time flies…I feel so old." He mused.

"Yeah, well I see ten years has done nothing to you. You still look the same as I last saw you old man—creepy and crippled." Kurosaki-san snidely remarked.

"I see that your manners are still as horrible as ever. And look at you—skipping school. I always told Isshin that you were going to be a punk kid when you grew up." I had tried to be respectful and mind my own business until addressed but I couldn't stop the snicker that came out of my mouth after hearing that. Kurosaki-san turned to glare at me and the shopkeeper looked past him amused. He practically hopped over to me and I immediately went into my Kuchiki princess mode and bowed respectfully in greeting.

"My, my Ichigo. What a pretty little thing you have here with you. What's your name?" He asked me.

"It's Rukia." I curtsied. The shopkeeper smiled behind his fan and held out his hand as he politely bowed back. I grasped it and shook lightly but he flattered me when he turned my palm over to place a kiss on it.

"Urahara Kisuke at your service pretty madam. I own and run this dainty little shop." He said. Suddenly, Kurosaki-san chopped him on the head with a bored expression to which he bent over clutching his head. I glared at him.

"Hands off, you perverted old man." He said. "Now, we're here for some food so take us to the café." Urahara-san perked up at this and immediately stood upright and grinned.

"Right this way customer!" He cheered and beckoned for us to follow him to the back. We went into a small hallway and when I walked past the hanging flaps on the door I was shocked. There was a whole set-up with tables, booths, chairs, arrangements and everything. It was empty and I figured he didn't run the cafe at this hour but was kind enough to serve us. He brought us to a two-seater table and after we sat down he gave us a menu he seemingly pulled out of nowhere.

"Just call me when you're ready to order." He said gleefully and walked away. I glanced over the menu a few times before I placed it down on the table and smiled cruelly at Kurosaki-san.

"So…let's just get straight to the point." I smirked. His eyes looked over his menu to stare at me un-amused before continuing to rove back and forth at the choices.

"Can you just hold off on that for a bit? Let's order food first and enjoy it before you decide to kill the mood with twenty questions." He suggested. I bit my lip and tried to keep my patience in check. Kurosaki-san was being nice to me...well, granted I didn't forget that I wasn't here by choice but it's the least I could do after everything he did for me yesterday. After all, I thought fleetingly, Kuchikis are never in debt to anyone.

"That's funny. I thought you enjoyed playing kid games." I commented sarcastically. I saw his eyebrows drop into a frown but he otherwise ignored my remark.

"Urahara!" Kurosaki-san called and gestured for him to come to our table. "I'll get this sandwich and a coffee."

"Cream? Sugar?" He asked upon approaching.

"Black." Urahara-san scribbled it down before turning to me.

"Are you ready yet miss?" I quickly glanced at the menu and ordered one of the first things I read.

"Here," I pointed. "This sandwich and coffee too…black." Kurosaki-san stared at me funny when I bit out that last part.

"Alright, it'll be a few minutes." He told us and walked away. I sat there patiently and looked everywhere but him. Yet, it seemed he couldn't do the same. After squirming in my seat for a bit I looked up and wrinkled my nose at him.

"You better not be thinking what I think you're thinking." I snarled at him. Surprisingly, he smiled at me and leaned his elbow back on his chair.

"What? That we just learned something about each other?" He asked. I didn't expect that and felt something flutter inside my stomach at his answer. I looked away and tucked some hair behind my ear.

"Can we start now…?" I asked blushing. Calm down! I screamed at myself. It's not like this is a date!

Kurosaki-san sighed and began pouring himself some tea. When he placed the pot back on the table, I made to reach for it but he handed me the cup instead. I blinked and took it from his hands and muttered a small thank you as he poured his own. After taking a sip of the scalding hot liquid he looked at me directly, "…Ask." I was about to open my mouth but he interrupted me, "Twenty questions."

"Okay…" I drawled while I thought of good questions to ask. "Is this normal?"

"What is?" I frowned at him.

"That's one of your questions you know." He still stared at me so I sighed and waved my arms around gesturing to the café. "This. Do you usually kidnap girls who get patched up at your clinic then take them out to eat?"

"What if I said no?" He smiled.

"Then I'll say you just asked another one of your questions." I told him. "So, what about throwing them into storage closets and molesting them?"

"I didn't molest you!"

"Yes, you did! I don't remember telling you to feel me up!"

"I didn't hear you complaining." He smirked. My hand reflexively jerked underneath the table but I stopped myself before I broke another bone. He noticed. "Wait—does that mean I could if you told me to?"

"Three questions Kurosaki!" I snapped. "Now answer mine!"

"Okay, okay. No…I don't usually need to do that." He said calmly and sipped his tea.

"Alright, time for you ask a real question." I told him while I felt myself bristling at his answer.

"That's not fair." He complained. "Do those really count?"

"You had seventeen—" His mouth opened, "Now you have sixteen."

"You're brutal." He chuckled. "Alright, Kuchiki-san…of all places why Karakura?"

I shrugged at his question. "Home is where the heart lies."

"That's cheesy." He commented. "So you're saying the person who has your heart lies in Karakura?"

"No," I smiled. "My heart brought me to Karakura."

Kurosaki-san raised an eyebrow at me. "If your heart told you to come to Karakura then it must have been pretty fucked up."

The knife missed his head and embedded itself into the plank behind him. I purposely missed. He didn't flinch. I shook in anger. He smirked.

"Your turn."

I returned my hand to its previous position on the table and glared at him. That was a completely abnormal and violent thing to do but Kurosaki Ichigo wasn't normal either…he was gifted with the ability to rile me up without having to try.

"How come you're doing this?" I asked.

"I told you earlier. I want to get to know you better." He said.

"Why though? Why do you care?" He paused in his drinking and his eyes rolled to mine. After he swallowed he wiped his mouth and put down his cup.

"You never know what can happen." He shrugged. "You seem to attract trouble nearly thrice as much as the next person." I squirmed lightly after he told me that. I wasn't sure why. Maybe it was because I knew it was true or maybe it was because I knew he was dead serious. But that's why—I eyed the knife next to his head—I was trained for.

"My turn…do you have any family members other than your brother?" He asked. I furrowed my eyebrows at him. Did that matter?

"Yeah…I have an older sister." I told him.

"What about your parents?" He asked.

"They're dead." I said. "I don't know where they are or even if they're still alive. I never knew them so they're practically dead to me. It's always been my sister and I."

"But what about Byakuya—"

"He's not my real brother." I interrupted. "He's my brother-in-law. He took me in and fell in love with my sister. They're married now and that's the end of that." I told him in a hard voice. Before he could ask me any thing else on the topic I asked, "What about you?"

"What are you talking about?" He laughed and raised a fist to rest it under his chin. "You met my family."

"Not everyone." I informed him. "I didn't meet your mother."

It was as if he had just gotten run over by a car. It was the only way I could describe how fast the expression fell from his face. His body tensed and his lips pushed against each other into one tight line. I didn't reach out to him—I couldn't say anything. I was afraid that if I spoke one word he would just break.

"She's dead." He said. My hands fisted into the bottom of my jacket and I instantly regretted asking.

"Y-you must have been pretty close to her…" I murmured.

"Yeah…yeah I was." He chuckled dryly then stopped. "And I killed her."

Time just seemed to stop at that moment. I froze then slowly lifted my head up to look at him. Our eyes met and for the first time I saw such guilt and vulnerability in those amber depths. The brightness they once had was gone and I was starting to wonder if it was ever there.

What he told me…that couldn't have been true. It didn't feel right, his words…his eyes—"Why?" I breathed. "Why are they so sad?"

His head lifted from his fist and his eyes widened in surprise.

"Food's done!" A voice called from our side. I gasped and turned to see Urahara-san approaching with a tray. As he placed the plates on our table I sighed once I felt some of the thick tension finally disappear. I forced my breathing to return to normal and my rapidly beating heart to calm down. What—just happened?

"Alright, now if you guys need anything else then don't hesitate to ask."

"Thank you." I said and bowed politely. He began to walk away but stopped after moving a few steps.

"Oh, I'd also like to borrow Ichigo for a bit when you're done if that's alright with you Rukia-chan."

"That's…fine?" I glanced at Kurosaki-san to see him cutting his sandwich. He picked up his head and I was relieved to see his normal expression on his face.

"Yeah, I'll see you when I'm done." He confirmed. Urahara-san continued on his way behind the curtain to give us privacy.

It was awkward to say the least. I was guessing twenty questions were over as we started eating in silence. It wasn't until I picked up the sandwich and brought it to my lips did one of say something.

"Maybe one day."

"Hm?" I asked and mentally slapped myself when it came out as a squeak.

"One day," He repeated. "Maybe one day I'll tell you." His mouth was quirked into an awkward smile but it was the most realistic one I've ever seen on him. The moment seemed to wash over me as I felt my own lips quirking into a smile.

"So…Kuchiki-san, what's your favorite color?"


Ichigo pushed past the flaps of the curtains and walked to a room he knew Urahara would be waiting. Just as he thought, the shopkeeper was sitting on the floor at the table and gestured for him to sit across from him.

"My, my Ichigo." He began. "Of all the people you could have least picked a normal girl to prey on." Ichigo sat down and gave him a funny look.

"Like you would know." He muttered. Urahara chortled from behind his fan before swinging it closed to reveal the knife that had been thrown at him hardly an hour ago.

"On the contrary," He snickered as he twirled the silverware with his fingers. "I can surmise." Ichigo glared. "But what I really wanted to ask you about was if you're completely serious? Of all the people—a Kuchiki?"

"What of it?" Ichigo growled. "It's my choice."

"Ichigo, although I haven't been near you in ten years that doesn't mean I haven't heard the talk. You're skills may be impressive but you're not skilled enough to take someone of her status without there being consequences."

"Don't make me laugh Urahara—"

"Tell me, how long have you been chasing her?" He asked. Ichigo glared and bared his teeth at him. Urahara gave him a stern look and Ichigo growled.

"Three." He bit out.

"Ichigo…is there something you need to me?"


It felt like forever before Kurosaki-san returned from his meeting with Urahara-san. I was already standing and ready to go.

"Ready?" He asked as he approached the table. I nodded.

"Is everything okay?" I asked once I noticed that his energy seemed a little lower.

"Don't worry about it, it doesn't concern you." He said. Although I knew that was true I couldn't help but feel a bit stung by his reply. I furrowed my eyebrows when I noticed that he was avoiding eye contact with me.

We walked out to his car and I held the door handle while I waited for him to unlock it. Once I heard the beep I pulled it open only to freeze when I heard his voice.

"I'll take you home now." When I heard that I didn't know what to think. Were we just going to go our separate ways and return to the way we were before? Would he be the Kurosaki-san that I came to hate and would be I the Kuchiki Rukia that didn't give a damn about his existence? Was this going to be the first and last time he'll ever open up to me and give me a glimpse of what was truly going on?

"And I killed her."

"Kurosaki-san!" I shouted before he got into the car. He paused in his movements and made to look at me. I swallowed hard once and a determined look crossed my face.

"I know that the time we spent today could hardly suffice for knowing someone for a lifetime and I know that you think my heart is fucked up. That may be true but it's telling me one thing that I can't disagree with."

I looked at him straight in the eyes.

"There is no way that you killed your mother."

End of Chapter Four!

Author's notes:

-I know what you guys are thinking: "She finally updated?!" Well, I got a PM from a reader asking me when I'll be updating. I recently had the flu and completely forgot about my story so I rushed to get it posted for you guys.

-I know it may seem that I'm dead but I'll assure you I'm not. Both of my stories, this one and TSOAC will be written from beginning to end. Don't forget to look out for an update on that one too when I post it.

-This is going to be a long story so I hope that you guys stick with me until the end.

-I hope you enjoyed this chapter and please don't forget to review. It encourages me to write more.

-Ja ne!