Ok, guys. I felt bad for not posting for a while, so I'm posting another chapter up. I know it's going kind of slowly, so sorry!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou for reviewing! I really appreciate it. *hint hint* more reviews give me more incentive to write... :)

Anyways, I'm glad if you're enjoying my stories! I'm having fun writing them! *cough and making people miserably happy (does that make sense??)* o well, here it is!

***there might be spoilers in here***

Kuchiki Byakuya was keeping a secret. Oh no, not the kind of secret that you don't tell anyone else. It was just one of the things that he didn't want to accept. He refused and refused to believe it, but deeeeep down, he knew it was true.

He respected Kurosaki Ichigo. (Cue the gasps and fainting people.)

At least part of the Kuchiki noble had some sort of respect *cringe* for him. I mean really—the kid had fought him, won, and since then, he'd gotten even stronger. (Byakuya even partly doubted the fact that he could last very long in a battle with Kurosaki.) Byakuya was even taught a lesson by him. The idiot was somewhat wise.

But no, wise was not the same thing as smart. The orange haired, bad mouthed, overconfident, arrogant human may be wise. But definitely not smart. Just to keep things straight. (And keep him sane. Somewhat.)

Right now, the people sitting around him were slowly rising on his list of people to attack with Senbonzakura.

First off, obviously, was Kurosaki Ichigo. (Although he knew that this was out of the question, seeing as he was very valuable to Soul Society.)

But after that, he couldn't really decide. There was Mayuri, who was just plain creepy and annoying…Soi Fon kept snickering, encouraging the stupid snickering snickers of everyone else…Matsumoto who made no attempt to cover up her laughter at very strategic times and everyone else would laugh…Zaraki who kept making crude jokes about Rukia and the low life…Ukitake, who would, no doubt, make sure that Rukia and Kurosaki get what (they (thought?) they wanted…Ikkaku and Yumichika that encouraged their captain in their own special way ("Wouldn't they be so beautiful together?" "But the kids would be—" *laughter and another joke from Zaraki* etc.)…and the thought process went on.

Meanwhile a couple seats down:

"You idiot!! You were supposed to come in five minutes after me! Not five seconds!! Now look at what you did!" Rukia hissed quietly to Ichigo.

"I waited for the doors to shut and started walking!! What, like someone else was that late and went in before you?!" Ichigo whispered back angrily.

Understanding suddenly dawned on Rukia. "Hanataro went in before me." Her eyebrows knitted together as she tried to figure out a way to blame him. Unsuccessfully.

"Ha!! It wasn't my fault!!" Ichigo gave his infamous smirk.

"Shut up. Or you'll regret it."

Ichigo did, indeed, shut up. The smirk didn't disappear, though.

"My god, Ichigo. Wipe that look off your face."

"This is what my face looks like all the time."

"Well change it."

"I thought this was the face you fell in love with."

"No, it wasn't the face, it was…hmmm what was it again?"

"I think maybe it was just everything about me," he said confidently.

"I doubt it."

The snickers and jokes and outburst of laughter continued. The Captain Commander made no attempt to stop anyone. It'd be useless. "Why can't they shut up???!!!! Rukia, really, maybe you could've just snuck under the doors. You're definitely short enough to do that. Then we wouldn't have these problems!!" Ichigo complained.

"Well maybe you could've disguised yourself better. And what kind of 'making my robe look like it fits you' did you not get?? The robe comes up to your knees!!"

"It comes past my knees!"

"Barely!! Did you see Matsumoto and even Captain Hitsugaya's faces when you came in??!!!"

"The reason their mouths were that wide open was because I came in at almost the same time as you, which was, by the way YOUR fault!!"

"It wasn't ALL my fault!! You could've been more PERCEPTIVE and SMART about things!!" (Rukia thought about some things the same way as her brother, although she would probably say that Byakuya gave him maybe too little credit.)

"YOU could've been more CAREFUL!"

"YOU could've been LESS SHORT!"


"WELL YOU COU—" Ichigo was interrupted by the very loud coughs of everyone around them. By the time they started yelling, the laughing had stopped, something that Ichigo and Rukia were unaware of.

"Kurosaki Ichigo and Kuchiki Rukia, you may take your seats," Captain Commander Yamamoto said forcefully.

Ichigo and Rukia realized that they had stood up during their bickering and did as they were told, both very embarrassed. The captains, vice captains, and a few other selected shinigami sat around them, slightly confused as to how two people could fight so much but still love each other. Many had a hard time grasping the concept that they might even remotely like each other. But time to move on.

"Now, to continue—"

"Excuse me, but I'd like to interrupt as I have some very important information to share." The voice was instantly recognized.

"You!! You were banished to the Living World!" Yells filled the room.

"Urahara Kisuke!"


Another familiar shadow came forward. That of none other than Shihouin Yoruichi. "Don't."

"Believe me, attacking would not be a smart idea." Zaraki Kenpachi's eyes widened in recognition as one last figure showed itself. There were many gasps in the crowd of shinigami. The only words Zaraki spoke: "I killed you. Y-y-you're supposed to be dead," stupefied.

"Well, obviously, I'm not." None other than Kurosaki Isshin was the cause of the great Zaraki Kenpachi's sudden fainting.

Ichigo was silent was his state of shock slowly turned to one of anger.

It was only a matter of time for complete chaos to ensue.