A/N: I've been a byaruki fan for quite some time now, but the reason I held off on writing anything on them was because I felt I didnt have a proper plot set up. But now, i think I do. I'm not taking the required writing class this semester, so its rather convenient that i brush up on my writing skills for the time being, before I'm bombarded with papers in the spring. Anyway, enough talk. The story title? Get it right and I'll give you a cookie.


Ch.1 The Way it Was Before

The wind outside whistled along the ground and then swept up to the trees to give them a rustle before diving down again to lift up the pasty brown dirt. The hand that carried the dust drifted into the window through the rows of paperwork deciding to waver in stasis above the desk belonging to a certain notorious red head. This certain notorious red head swore under his breath right after he gave a powerful sneeze that left him slightly dazed. He stood up, making sure his chair didn't topple backwards and cause a deterrence that would get the attention of his captain across the room. The heavily tattooed man stomped his way around the towers of files to the window in the small room on the far right. He grabbed the shutters and pulled them together with force.

The windows shattered.

"FUCK!"

The red head kicked a neighboring box with anger. Somehow, the box lit up in flames. The man panicked, but that didn't last long as he began to jump up and down ferociously on the dying splashes of paper.

"The goddamn world is out to get me! I swear it is!"

"Language, Renji. The Squad heard your plight the first time."

The tall man stopped. It was amazing to hear how his captain's voice managed to carry without his having to raise it. He grumbled again and began to sweep the floor of the residue left over from the combustion all the while still swearing under his breath.

"Renji, is that smoke I smell?" Renji paused. How to go about this? He remembered that when it came to his captain, honesty was always the best policy.

"Uh… yeah?"

"Unless you are roasting a wild pig in there, I suggest you go through the backup files and replace the ones that got turned to ash."

Renji dropped his broom and dust pan with a clatter as he barged into the main office adamant.

"But C-captain! T-that would take all night!" Renji took in some air to stop his stuttering and then continued "I've got a date sir. She'll…" he gulped "…emasculate me if I stand her up!"

His captain set his brush down and stared pensively at Renji. The red head gave a small sigh of relief, for once thanking the Gods for giving them something in common.

"Very well. You will work with no lunch break until the end of the day. The work you don't finish is to be completed before the start of next week, meaning you will need to come into the office sometime during the weekend."

If Renji had been a girl, he would've squealed. Sure he was giving up his weekend to spend quality time with his paperwork, but it was all worth it.

Renji and Ikkaku leaned against the shadow of the building taking in the sight of their fellow shinigami training in the lush green field in front of them.

"She's got no form." Ikkaku grumbled pointing at a woman who had fallen on her bottom.

"Give her a break. She's not even a seated officer--"

"-- and is in 4th Squad."

They both laughed.

"Ohh boy! " Ikkaku whistled under his breath. "There goes Rukia."

Renji turned red. Ikkaku noticed and soon enough, a mischievous grin covered his face.

"OI! RUKIA! YOU THERE!" yelled Ikkaku waving his arms around like a windmill turned crazed lunatic.

"RENJI WANTS TO ASK YOU SOMETHING!"

Renji hit Ikkaku square on the arm, sending the bald man to the other side of Sereitei. He swore at his mistake: now he had to deal with Rukia alone.

"Well?"

He was caught off guard, not having noticed she had already made it across the field.

Now or never. Now or never. Now or never.

"Ahh… Rukia. How're you doin'?"

Rukia raised her eyebrows. "That's all you had to ask me?"

"Errr… no." Renji toed the dirt with nervousness. "Ummm… would you… uhhhh…would you like to go out Friday?"

This time, Rukia's eyebrows climbed as high as they could.

"I mean- I mean if Friday is bad for you, then Saturday is fine by me! Sunday even! I'm open all of next week! Really!"

"Renji, I'd love to."

And with that the date was set.

The work day ended as the sun gave promise for two more hours of light before it too, called it a day and the moon arrived for the night shift. At the 13th Division barracks, a raven-haired girl was rushing to collect her things before flash-stepping to the Kuchiki mansion, making sure to stop at the entrance to assume a normal walk. She was greeted by the guards and the servants on the other side gave notice that her bath was ready, as well as her wardrobe laid out like she had asked that morning. The girl thanked them, speed-walking to her room.

An hour later, she smelled of rose petals and dressed in such a way that would leave even the dullest of people positive that the girl was going on a date, or at least meeting a very important someone. The girl informed the chef she would skip dinner for that day, assuming her date would be taking her out somewhere. Even though that was the case, the raven-haired girl took her seat at the dinner table, awaiting for her brother to start the meal.

She did not have to wait long, as not a minute had passed after she had sat down that her brother entered the dining room.

Byakuya raised an eyebrow.

"Rukia, why are you dressed like that?" Had he forgotten of an important social event? No, that couldn't be it. He always made sure to write down such events in bold letters in his calendar: if the Kuchiki elders got wind that he had overlooked a family holiday, he would never hear the end of it.

Rukia blushed.

"Nii-sama, I-I'm going out for a while tonight."

"I can see that. It's not everyday a woman dons a sleek kimono simply to wear it indoors."

Again, Rukia blushed, but this time it was from embarrassment.

Byakuya sighed. He walked over to the table and took his seat. He leaned forward contemplatively, staring at the wall across the room.

"Well, who is it?"

Rukia wasn't surprised to see her brother had reached that conclusion. Even Omaeda would've reached that same guess… she hoped so at least.

"Erm… Renji."

"Hn."

The plates were brought in, the amounts clearly halved for that day. Byakuya reached for his napkin and placed it on his lap before gently lifting his spoon to sip the light-red soup. When he finished his bowl, as if on queue, two servants appeared from the kitchen door, one to carry out the used bowl, the other to serve the main course.

With grace, Byakuya cut a corner of the steak into a neat cube and placed medium-rare meat into his mouth. He chewed slowly, as he had been brought up to do, still not aware of his sisters restlessness. Byakuya wiped his mouth clean of any food bits (had there been any) and stared at the far wall.

"You may go now. I believe he's waited long enough."

Rukia became wide-eyed and did not notice her jaw slackened somewhat from what her brother had said. Was that his idea of a joke? Then, without even batting a single eyelash, he spoke:

"Rukia, close your mouth. A fly may decide to take up residence in there."

Rukia remained standing, almost as if in shock. But soon enough, she was knocked out of her daze and excused herself as she scurried out of the room.

Byakuya sighed again. The war had been over for two years now and since then, he had made an effort to be more amiable towards everyone, especially his younger sister. While he considered his remarks, like the one he had just given Rukia, to be of a funny and joking nature, others saw them as witty and therefore less humorous.

Byakuya had no problem with Rukia dating his lieutenant, none at all. On the contrary, he was rather relieved to see that Renji had finally gotten the courage to ask his sister out. Had this occurred before the war, he would have been more hesitant to approve of their relationship. But Byakuya had no qualms now, not after Renji had proven himself a capable fighter during the war. There were many positions that needed filling, even now two years after Aizen's fall. The lesser positions had been assigned rather quickly, but the six Captain positions still remained unoccupied. Byakuya would not hesitate to provide a recommendation, all that was needed now was to encourage his lieutenant to purse the position. He figured he would have to talk to Rukia about it.


R&R Ladies and Gents!