Authors Note: This story was floating around in my head and I had a bunch of ideas for it. A few problems arise, which was The Title & The overall challenges and problems that will take place in the story.
I named the story Apartment 15B for two reasons. 15 is Ichigo's number, and B is the first letter in Bleach.
It was originally going to be Apartment 2B, I don't know why, but anyway...this story takes place in Tokyo, Japan.
Remember, this is a story and so any facts that I use like the amount of money it costs to live in an apartment in Tokyo. Totally made up.
"Rukia Kuchiki is a successful and powerful woman" as said by Tokyo Fashion.
"Her designs are both innovative and perfect for just about anyone!" A reporter for the Tokyo News.
"She's deadly in her skills with a pencil. Her clothes are art. I can't wait to see what comes out in the Spring Issue." Some random fan on the street.
"I'd let her design for me any day of the year. I adore wearing her clothes!" Model for Senbonzakura Fashions.
"I can't keep my hands off her magazine! I could read it three times a day and still see something new about each design!" Art Gallery Owner in downtown Tokyo.
"See? You haven't lost your touch!" as said by a man with dark hair and glasses. He stood in front of Ms. Kuchiki's desk with a small smile on his face. He was a friend, a personal assistant, and on the board of editors for the magazine.
"Yes, I am aware of the magnitude of my greatness, Ishida." Ms. Rukia Kuchiki answered stiffly as she flipped through a portfolio containing last years Spring Issue.
"Then what's wrong?" Ishida asked watching as the young designer nearly tore apart the pages as she flipped through them furiously.
"I have no inspiration!" Rukia said slapping her hands onto her desk. "I can't think of a damn thing! Not to mention Tatsuki moved out this week, so I have a spare bedroom and no one to fill it! I make good money, Ishida. Most of it goes to this company, charity, and materials for my work." Rukia let out a long sigh after she finished that sentence.
"I had a roommate to help with the rent. It's an expensive but worth it place." Rukia closed the portfolio.
"Why not just find a new one?" Ishida suggested and he saw a light in Rukia's eyes--that never meant something good was going to happen.
"You find me one! Someone who isn't a crazy fan, fellow designer, and has no connections to the fashion world!" Rukia said as the phone rang.
"But-" Ishida wanted to protest but Rukia was already on the phone. When Ms. Kuchiki was on the phone...you speak and the phone ends up jammed down your throat.
She swiveled around in her chair so the leather back was now facing Ishida. He sighed before leaving the office, wondering how many old friends he could give a call and manage to keep it under wraps so the media doesn't get hold and Rukia would end up having three am visitors at her door.
One Week Later...
"Kuchiki, I found him." Ishida said entering his boss's office.
"What?" She didn't even look up from her computer screen.
"Roommate." He reminded her.
"Oh...did you interview him?" Rukia asked, her violet eyes glanced up to see Ishida standing in front of her desk like he always did.
"I was thinking you should do it...since you'll be living with him." Ishida said and Rukia waved off his request.
"I'm sure if you picked him, he'll be fine." Rukia said looking back at her computer.
"Ichigo Kurosaki." Ishida sighed after repeating the name and setting down his credit report. Ichigo was a friend during high school. Ishida respected him and they would often get into fights but Ishida lost him after they graduated. If his memory served him right, Ichigo was a good man. A little hot-headed but a good man.
Ishida picked up the phone in his office and dialed the number on the file. "Ichigo, it's Ishida. From high school..."
"Whoa. Uh hey. You're not looking for money or anything are you?" came the rough reply.
"No, I'm here for a friend. She needs a roommate and I was wondering if you knew anyone?" Ishida's cool and calculating voice.
"Oh, where does she live?"
"Downtown Tokyo. Very busy place and very expensive, for her." Ishida said with a slight smirk when he heard the muttered reply of 'very dangerous'.
"Well, just so you know. I'm looking to get out of this apartment and move somewhere more active." Ichigo said on the other land of the line.
"Oh really? Hm. Can you come into my office today sometime? She's not just going to let anyone live with her..." Ishida smirked again because he knew this time, he had Ichigo both curious and his natural instinct to protect was showing through. Some people never change.
"Huh...yeah what's the address? I can't stay long..."
"Oh, I know. We all have busy schedules nowadays."
3:30pm that day
Ichigo was waiting for Ishida to come and get him. The girl at the desk just told him to have a seat-like he was at a doctors office! That's when Ichigo saw her. No, he didn't know her name. She was tiny, about a head shorter than him, but that was a guess. She walked out of a room carrying a black portfolio and she dropped it on the front desk.
"Get these to Ukitake, immediately. I don't care if you fax them or run to his building yourself." She said with a cold tone that just vibrated with authority. Then she was gone.
Ichigo was about to crane his neck and see which office she went into until, "Long time, no see. Kurosaki." Ishida said pushing up his glasses. Ichigo stood up from his chair and shook the other man's hand.
"I didn't think I'd see anyone again." Ichigo commented with a partial smirk.
"Right then, we'll have plenty of time to catch up. Let's talk business first." Ishida said before leading the way to his office. Every office had two large windows near the door, some of the blinds were drawn while others were open. This place was buzzing with life. Men and women moving about, clothes racks being pushed in and out of elevators. Ichigo stopped when he saw just an open walkway into a large office.
The chair at the desk was turned around, so Ichigo couldn't see who was sitting in it. "Come on Ichigo, that's my boss's office. You do not want to go in there." Ishida said, reappearing at Ichigo's side and dragging him by the arm.
"Why not?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.
"She's stressed." Ishida answered sharply, opening the door to his office and letting Ichigo have a seat.
"So...let me get this straight. Your boss needs a roommate and you think I'm the right one?" Ichigo said for the thousandth time.
"Yeah. I can trust you, right Ichigo?" Ishida asked, the light reflecting off his glasses, he pushed them up on his nose and the glare disappeared.
"Well....yeah. I just find it weird that you're asking me. Why not put an advertisement out on the paper?" Ichigo asked scratching just above his eyebrow. Ishida snorted. Ichigo was absolutely perfect! He had no idea who Rukia was or what she did.
"Rukia Kuchiki." Ishida said, just wondering if the name would ring a bell in Ichigo's empty skull where a brain should be.
"Who?" Ichigo glared. What, was Ishida playing mind games or something?
"She's the main editor for the Senbonzakura fashion Magazine. Not only is she a designer, she practically runs this entire company. Many designers abroad became popular because their work was featured in her magazine. Everything from the ground up, she built." Ishida explained with a cool and collected smile.
"Oh. Why can't she pay for rent then?!" Ichigo asked, suddenly wondering if he really wanted to live with this woman. He figured she would be some stuck-up pompous bitch.
"In all honesty. I don't think she needs a roommate. I think she's terrified of living alone in the big city, where her face is known and some designers are bitter towards her. She gets plenty of hate mail along with fan mail. When she first got the place, she had a college friend, Tatsuki live with her. I think she wants a companion, not someone who will judge or steal her work. She doesn't want someone who will blab to the press about her." Ishida paused for a moment and rested his elbows on his desk.
"I believe she just wants to feel safe and she's too proud to admit it." He finished and Ichigo sat there, weighing the options. He needed a place in the city, but it was freaking expensive. A roommate would be helpful and it's not like she was his girlfriend. He wouldn't have to worry about break ups and moving out.
"I want to see the place first." Ichigo said and Ishida nodded like he knew Ichigo would say that.
"Of course." Ishida reached over and grabbed his phone. He turned his chair away from Ichigo, so the red head couldn't hear what he was saying.
"The landlord will show you the place tomorrow, what time?" Ishida asked placing his hand over the mouthpiece of the phone.
"Uh...five?" Ichigo scratched his ear and gave a light shrug. It wasn't like his schedule was that busy.
"Right, he'll meet you at the computer café down the street from here. It's called 'Digital Love'." Ishida explained writing down the address and number of the landlord on a sticky note. He exchanged a goodbye with the landlord before hanging up.
"Uh...thanks Ishida." Ichigo stood up and gave the glasses-wearing know-it-all a firm handshake.
"Oh and one more thing Ichigo, please understand that this roommate arrangement is business. She's not looking for a boyfriend." Ishida said and he was please with Ichigo's confused reaction. The strawberry shook his head before taking the note with the landlord's information before leaving.
Rukia rubbed her temples, work was enjoyable but aggravating at the same time. Not to mention, she had to meet with three new models tomorrow. Rukia hated getting new models. Some were down to earth, good natured, polite and passionate. Others were bitchy, self-righteous, back-stabbing and rude. Those ladies, never got hired. They never walked down the runway in a Kuchiki dress.
"Rukia, please get some rest." Ishida said walking in with a steaming cup of chi-tea.
"I'm fine. Thanks." Rukia said letting the steam grace across her face before she took a tender sip.
"So...your possible roommate is going to speak with your landlord." Ishida said sitting down on the chair across from her desk. He watched his boss with calculating eyes. She looked tired but determined, as always. It was her intense love for fashion and drive that made Rukia...well Rukia. A sudden thought came into Ishida's bright mind. Rukia was searching for inspiration but she never expanded more from her apartment to work. Maybe he needed to bring the inspiration to her.
"Ishida, what are you thinking about?" Rukia asked setting down her cup.
"A-ah...why would you ask that?" He pushed his glasses up on his nose, casting away the glare on the lenses. Rukia shrugged in response.
"Curiosity." Rukia let out a long sigh and turned back to her sketchpad. "I wish my inspiration could just fall from the sky..."
"Or fall onto your doorstep." Ishida muttered before standing up. Rukia didn't even notice him leave. Her mind was wrapped in ribbons and color pallets.
Ichigo was sprawled across the blankets in his hotel room. He decided to get one for now, since he didn't feel like going all the way back home. He was anxious to meet the landlord and the new home he'd have if he agreed to be her roommate.
Ichigo turned his head to see the camera resting on his nightstand and the notepad underneath. It's been three months...can I really bounce back now? Ichigo let out a sigh, blowing orange strands of hair out of his face.
A/N: Woo! Introduction chapters are so blah!
Just to clear anything up that wasn't obvious.
Ichigo doesn't know who Rukia is. He knows her name but not her face or who she is. He hasn't realized that the girl he saw while waiting for Ishida was in fact Rukia.
Rukia is too stressed and worried to care about who her new roommate is.
Ishida is just a friend of Rukia's, no romance with them. He's got a few tricks up his sleeves when it comes to our lovely pair.
Senbonzakura is the name of Rukia's magazine/business. Hopefully, I spelled it correctly!
You'll understand the meaning later on!