For the reviewers:
kira michi: Yeah, I was hoping it would be something like cute or adorable. So, here's the next chapter for you.
badluck221: Happy you like the idea, but I wasn't really planning on IchigoxSoifon romance for this story.
Grinja: Good to hear from you again. Truthfully, I was saving Isshin for later, but I think I can squeeze him in for a better transition between the end of last chapter and what I have in mind.
Sabaku no Kyuubi: Well most times, family-type stories do have an element of cuteness to everything. Also, your just gonna have to wait and see Isshin in action.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to Bleach in any way, shape, or form.
Daddy's Little Girl: Chapter 2
'I know I'm gonna regret doing this,' Ichigo thought as he drudged toward his house, little Soifon leaning her head on his shoulder breathing softly as she slept. Carefully so he wouldn't wake her, he shifted his arm to keep a firm grip on her. He understood why she was so tired; she had just been through quite a bit recently and the nap would probably help her.
'Just stay calm. If you can get the word in before Dad starts, I've got a good chance of explaining the situation and maybe get an idea for an activity to do with her until the effects of those chemicals wear off.' As he reached the door, he pressed his ear to the door, checking for any sounds. After a few seconds, he got a creak of the floorboards. 'There he is.' Then out loud, he called out, "I'm home," as he started opening the door.
On cue, he heard the pounding of running feet before the grunt of his dad jumping up. Quickly, Ichigo shut the door again, hearing a loud thump on the other side. Reopening the door, he saw his dad, Isshin Kurosaki, sprawled out facedown on the floor.
"Excellent…strategy…my son," he groaned out as his body twitched. Karin looked over at the scene from her seat on the couch with a bored expression on her face.
"Just give it up, old man," she said dully, "You're only gonna get hurt if you keep this up." Looking over at her older brother, she noticed the little girl sleeping on his shoulder. "Hey Ichigo, where'd ya get the kid?" This naturally caught Isshin's attention.
"YUZU!! KARIN!! GET DOWN HERE!!!" he shouted, tears streaming down his cheeks. "WE NEED TO CELEBRATE!!!" Two girls came down the stairs, one with sandy-colored hair and a sundress and the other was a petite dark-haired girl in a school uniform.
"What's going on, Dad?" Yuzu said, brushing her light hair out of her eyes. Turning to look around, she heard a whimpering noise coming from her brother's shoulder. She poked Rukia on the shoulder and pointed at the little, black-haired girl rubbing sleep out of her eyes.
"Why's everybody bein' so noisy? 'm sleeping," she muttered looking at the new people in front of her. Immediately, she noticed Rukia Kuchiki in the background, but the others she surmised were his sisters and father. 'Great. I nod off for a minute and I wake up in a madhouse.'
"Oh my beautiful daughters, a miracle has happened!" Isshin said proudly. "My son has delivered me, his father, a grandchild to call my own!!" This was met with a high-kick from Ichigo, Soifon still in his arms.
"Will you knock it off?" he growled. "She's not your grandchild, old man."
"Ichigo, you can't do that!" Karin yelled, standing up from her position with her hands on her hips.
"Ah, Karin," Isshin said, standing up with a black eye for all to see. "It warms my heart that you care about--"
"If yer gonna hit Dad, that's fine; just don't do it while you're holding a kid!" she continued, ignoring her father's ranting.
"Oh, let me see her, Ichigo," Yuzu said, pushing her way to get a better view of Soifon. "Hello little one. What's your name?" she spoke softly, a smile on her face.
'Okay, let's see if this dumbass's advice is worth the paper it's printed on,' Soifon thought before she shifted around so that the left half of her face was pressed against Ichigo's chest and the other side looking out at the group. "My name's Soifon," she said timidly.
"Oh, you're so cute," giggled Yuzu, her eyes sparkling. "Can you tell me how many years old you are?"
'Well, well, well, the moron was right,' Soifon thought, 'Might as well try tip number 2.' She then held her hands the same way Ichigo showed her earlier. "I'm dis many," she replied cutely.
"EEEE!!! She's adorable, Ichigo!" Yuzu squealed.
"She's only been here for less than 5 minutes and already she's got this family under her thumb," Karin said, completely appalled at what she was seeing. 'Though, I guess she's kind of cute. Then again, most tykes are.'
Rukia's narrowed slightly as the corners of her lips turned upward. 'So this is what Urahara was talking about; oh, I'm gonna get a lot of mileage out of this one.' With that thought, she went straight into her act. "Why Ichigo, I didn't know you looked after kids. How do you know this cute, little baby?" The glare that was shot her way went completely unnoticed by Isshin and the twins.
"Well, her older sister goes to our school," Ichigo said, thinking on his feet. "She and her mom caught a cold and they didn't want Soifon to get sick. So when she told me about it, I offered to look after her until they got better. Sorry I didn't ask ahead, but--"
"OH MASAKI!!" Isshin sobbed as he ran to the memorial poster of his deceased wife. "Our son has finally shown that beneath his tough-as-leather exterior, he's got a heart of gold! I'M SO PROUD OF HIM!!"
"You mean you guys really don't mind that I agreed to take on a 4 year old without talking to you first?"
"Ichigo, you're doing a nice thing for a little girl while her family gets better. It's the sweetest thing you can do for someone," Yuzu said, hugging her 'sweet' older brother around his middle.
Karin just cocked an eyebrow before talking. "Is her sister that good-looking, bro?" Hearing this, Ichigo's face went red.
"WH-WHAT?! What's that gotta do with anything?!"
"Why else would any guy offer to watch a girl's baby sibling except to impress a cute girl?" she said plainly. Hearing this, Yuzu went straight to denial and bought a camel.
"NO! NO! NO!" she screamed, getting right into her sister's bored expression. "ICHIGO IS TOO YOUNG TO BE INTERESTED IN GIRLS, KARIN! THAT'S WHY HE HASN'T BROUGHT ANY HOME EXCEPT RUKIA AND TATSUKI!!"
'With a family like this and a mug like his, what sane girl would have the courage to come anywhere near here?' Soifon thought, looking around.
"With a family like ours and a mug like Ichigo's, what girl would have the guts to come within 1 mile of this place?" Karin said, glancing at their Dad, still at the poster.
'At least she seems to have some common sense here,' the shrunken Soul Reaper thought. Turning to her carrier, she pointed and said, "Karin smart."
Hearing this, Karin turned to look at Soifon. Moving closer, she patted the smaller person's head. "I like this kid. She's got a good head on her shoulders."
"You're just thinking that 'cause she called you smart," he replied, a tick forming in his right eye. "I'm gonna take Soifon up to my room. Call us when dinner's ready."
"Wait up, Ichigo," Rukia said sweetly, moving to walk behind him. "I haven't gotten to know Soifon at all; let me play with her, pwease?" To add to the baby voice, Rukia threw in the puppy-dog eyes.
"Fine, whatever," he muttered as he climbed the stairs. Turning around, Rukia gave a curtsy and followed the two.
"Just don't do--" before her dad could even start saying the embarrassing thing on his mind, Karin grabbed the collar of his shirt and brought him down to eye-level.
"Now listen up and listen good, you old goat," she said, eyes showing that she meant business. "Until that innocent little girl is gone, you are forbidden from doing the following things." She ticked them off her hand as she continued. "Saying anything related to baby-making, doing your morning 'wake up call' for Ichigo, shouting at the top of your lungs, especially when she's having her nap, and definitely, no saying anything that implies her being your granddaughter."
With the final finger down, she pushed her closed fist on her father's nose. "Any violation of these or anything else that will scar her and I will deliver a punishment unto you so fierce that the mob will beg to know the secrets behind it. Capisce?"
Isshin was so stunned by this; all he could do is nod silently which was probably a first for him. Yuzu was also severely shaken. This was the first time (that she knew of) in which her sister actually went violent to someone.
"Good," she said before returning to her spot on the couch and watching TV. "Hey Yuzu, ya better check on dinner. And make sure there's something for Soifon to eat as well?"
'Oh my goodness, she's showing maternal instincts,' Yuzu thought before covering her mouth and heading to the kitchen. "A mother bear's maternal instinct, but maternal instinct nonetheless. I'm so happy for her!"
When Ichigo shut the door to his room, he turned around and placed Soifon on his bed before turning back to look at Rukia, wearing a smug smirk on her face. "All right, say it. I know you're dying to."
"Why Ichigo, whatever do you mean?" she replied, her eyes twinkling mischievously.
"Can we get to da point, Wukia Kuchiki?" Soifon said angrily, crossing her arms. "I got no time for dis foowishness."
"Sorry Captain, I'm just messing with Ichigo," she said bowing before turning back to the male in the room. "Urahara has already informed me about this and frankly, before now, I thought he was pulling my leg."
"Yeah," Ichigo sighed, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "Well, I mean, I didn't count on it but, I-I mean--" Rukia held up her hand to silence him.
"Stop Ichigo, I get it; you won't be fighting hollows while you're taking care of the bab—I mean, Captain Soifon. Besides, it's not like I can't take care of myself. SOOOOO…" and this is where she got a cheeky smirk, "you just worry about your 'classmate's baby sister,'" here she used air quotes, "and I'll just do a little overtime with the others until this is all over."
"A-HEM," Soifon cleared her throat, sitting cross-legged on the bed. "If you two are done, I want ta know what I'm gonna do til 'm back to normal. Fo' example, where do I sweep?"
"WHY, YOU'RE SLEEPING RIGHT NEXT TO ICHIGO, OF COURSE!!!" came Isshin's booming voice from the other side of the door. Everyone jumped at this, though Ichigo was the only one jumping towards the door to open it.
"HAVE YOU BEEN SPYING ON US?!?!" he yelled angrily, pulling the door open and making his father fall face first on to the floor before straightening up and pulling Ichigo into a headlock.
"I just came up to tell you all that dinner is ready when I heard our little guest ask that very important question, which had an obvious answer," he said matter-of-factly before his son elbowed him in the ribs and flipped him onto his back. "So obviously, since you're taking care of her, she has to stay with you at all times, including nighttime."
'Well, at least I know I'll have a god night's sleep with him being such a comfortable pillow,' Soifon thought as her 'pillow' tossed his dad out the doorway and slammed the door shut, panting heavily.
"I'm hungwy; let's go get dinner," she said hopping down from the bed, stumbling and tripping to hit her head on the floor. "OWIE!!" she cried, clutching her forehead, tears starting to form. 'Oh my god; did I just say something as juvenile as "OWIE"?'
"Here, let me look at you," Ichigo said, moving to crouch down and moved her hands to look at the place where it hit. "Doesn't look so bad; but just to be safe, I've got the cure that works with all owies, boo-boos and any other hurt you can come at me with," he added with a smile.
'I thought Ichigo didn't know kido,' Rukia thought with a frown. 'So how can he--' her question was answered before it was even asked as Ichigo placed his lips on the red mark on Soifon's forehead in a gentle kiss.
"It's another thing that we grown-ups do for kids: kissing the hurt from any injury away," he explained with a pleasant smile.
Both girls went red at what they were seeing; Rukia was blushing because this was a side of Ichigo she'd never seen before and couldn't stop herself from thinking he'd make a good father someday. Soifon, however… --SLAP--
"Who said you could kith me, HUH?!" she yelled, red with anger and embarrassment.
"You fell and hit your head; most parents act the exact same way with their kids in this situation," he growled to her. This snapped her and Rukia out of their daze and turned their focus onto him in an instant.
'Did he just say, "parent?"' they thought simultaneously. Ichigo just stared at them in confusion for a minute before his eyes widened, realizing what he just said.
"I-I mean as a generalization," he said quickly, waving his arms defensively. "Come on, Yuzu's got dinner ready for us," he added hurriedly, rushing out of the room.
"HEY!!" Kon said, pulling open the closet door to complain. "Would you keep it down out here? Some of us--" he stopped when he saw Rukia before jumping out to wards her. "RUKIAAAA!!!!" She just kicked him out the open window.
Soifon looked at her curiously. "What was dat?" she asked pointing.
"Don't worry about it, Captain," Rukia replied smoothly before she picked up the miniature girl to carry her downstairs. "And don't worry about Ichigo; he probably forgot you were older than him and just treated you like he would have his sisters when they were younger. It'll all be over when your back to your original figure." Unknown to her, Soifon looked down sadly.
'Why does knowing that make me feel…so sad?' she thought glumly as they sat down to eat dinner.
Next time: fun, family and…WHOA, where'd that come from?!