Disclaimer- I do not own Bleach.
A/N- I have NO idea where this came from but the idea was there so I ran with it. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
It was finally over. Aizen and his minions had fallen, peace had been restored to the Seireitei, and the world of the living was now safe. As the Substitute Shinigami Ichigo Kurosaki wearily sheathed his zanpaktou Zangetsu he glanced up and saw that a group of other Shinigami were walking toward him. As would be expected Rukia was at the front of the group, with a wide smile on her face, and was followed closely behind by Renji, Matsumoto, Captain Hitsugaya and Ikkaku. As the group came to a stop in front of him Renji casually threw an arm around his shoulders, which made Ichigo cringe slightly although he made no move to pull away. He was simply too exhausted to fight against Renji and merely stared at him in annoyance.
Renji seemed completely oblivious to Ichigo's obvious displeasure. He fixed an intense gaze on the orange haired Substitute Shinigami and, in a completely serious tone, Ichigo's former rival asked, "So Kurosaki, you've defeated Aizen, brought peace back to Soul Society and saved the known world from complete and utter destruction at the hands of our enemies. What are you going to do now?"
Ichigo glanced briefly to Rukia and winked in her direction before replying, in the same serious voice that Renji had used, "I'm going to Disneyland."
With a facial expression that could only be described as, "What the F***, Dude," Renji just stared at the Substitute Shinigami as though he'd lost his mind. Not the first time he'd had this thought since he often found that the words coming out of Ichigo's mouth were strange at best however this latest statement had to win a prize for extreme weirdness. It was weird even by Ichigo's high standards.
Rukia on the other hand knew exactly what had caused this uncharacteristic response from the orange haired Substitute Shinigami. During a rare moment of calm during the Winter War she and Ichigo had been attempting to escape reality by watching television at the clinic that he and his family called home when they had see the commercial for the American theme park. She had made the off-hand comment that a trip there could be fun and now apparently Ichigo was all for it.
"I can't believe he's actually doing this," she thought to herself as she gazed over at him, attempting to discern whether or not he was actually serious.
"Hey that sounds like a great idea," Matsumoto exclaimed, a wide smile appearing on her face as she grabbed her captain by the arm and pulled him close. The young captain of Squad Ten fought against her grip as she pulled him to her chest, threatening to cut off his air supply. "We should all go."
Now it was Ichigo's turn to look dumbfounded. He wasn't sure how it had came to pass but somehow his peaceful vacation with Rukia had turned into a group field trip for a bunch of Shinigami. But despite his reservations on the subject he knew without a doubt that it would be pointless to tell them that they couldn't go because then they would just show up anyway and ruin his day.
With a great deal of effort Captain Hitsugaya extricated himself from her vice-like grip and then turned to face his vice-captain with narrowed eyes, "I don't think you were invited Matsumoto."
"Oh nonsense Captain," she said with a smile, not even the slightest bit phased over the look that he was giving her. Perhaps during their time together she'd simply became accustomed to it. "Of course he wants us to come. It wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun without us."
Shaking his head Ichigo ran a hand through his unruly orange hair, causing it to stand up even more than normal. As he listened to their banter he made up his mind. "Oh what the hell. Sure, you guys can come, but I'm telling you right now that I'm not babysitting. Once we're there you're all on your own and whatever trouble you cause you're the ones who have to deal with it."
With a triumphant grin Matsumoto gazed down at her small captain, "See, I told you."
Hitsugaya released an audible sigh but gave up trying to reason with his vice-captain. The woman had selective hearing and wouldn't hear a word he said unless it was what she wanted to hear so there really was no point in continuing. He would only be wasting his breath.
Head Captain Ukitake got word of the impromptu trip to Disneyland from his best friend Squad Eight Captain Shunsui Kyouraku and informed Ichigo that he would set up a Senkaimon especially for their trip. At first Ichigo wanted to decline the offer from the Head Captain however as he opened his mouth to tell Ukitake no thanks a mental image of being stranded on a plane to America with the group of Shinigami flashed into his mind, causing him to shudder involuntarily. He knew that they could merely use a Senkaimon to reach their destination however he also knew that if he chose not to then they would make the same choice, just to annoy him. The Substitute Shinigami quickly rethought his position about the Senkaimon and nodded his head.
"I would appreciate that greatly Ukitake-san," Ichigo said, running a hand through his unruly orange hair.
Ukitake offered the young man a knowing smile. He was well aware of why Ichigo was taking him up on the offer for the special Senkaimon. It was for that same reason that he had offered to set it up. "I'll have everything set up within the hour."
Ichigo nodded. "We'll be here."
And with these words Ichigo turned and made his way back to the location where he had left Rukia. The Shinigami girl turned expectantly to Ichigo as he walked over to the spot where she was standing. "So are you ready to leave for the world of the living?"
"Change of plans," Ichigo said as he wrapped one arm around her shoulders. "I know that we planned to take a plane from Japan to America but after talking with Ukitake I changed my mind."
Rukia was confused. "Why?" They had planned to have a normal vacation as normal tourists and now Ichigo was telling her that he had changed their plans without talking to her first. She was curious as to what had caused this sudden change of heart.
"Think about it," Ichigo said, forcing himself not to picture the scene that he was about to paint for her. "You and me stranded on a plane with Renji, Rangiku, and an annoyed Toushirou for hours on end. Is that really something that you'd enjoy?"
Smiling Rukia held up a sketch book in which she'd drawn a chaotic scene on a plane depicted by a cast of rabbits that looked somewhat familiar to the people that he had described, as well as himself and Rukia.
"And your drawings still suck."
Pulling the sketch book back Rukia slapped Ichigo on top of the head, offended that he was once again mocking her artistic skills. Ichigo yelped in pain and grabbed his head however Rukia showed him absolutely no remorse or sympathy. She merely glared at Ichigo, giving him a look that plainly told him that he really should have known better.
"Anyway," Ichigo continued, still rubbing his head. "Ukitake said that he'll set up a Senkaimon for us so that we don't have to travel that way and I won't be forced to kill anyone. We just have to wait an hour for him to get everything together."
"Alright," Rukia said. She didn't really mind that they were going to use the Senkaimon since that meant that they would arrive there quicker, she'd just wanted to give Ichigo a hard time about it. And he really did have a point about it not being pleasant to be stuck on a plane with the people who were going.
An hour later Ichigo and Rukia made their way to the location where Ukitake had set up a Senkaimon that would take them to Disneyland. And as the they walked up they saw that Matsumoto was already there, accompanied by a rather grim looking Hitsugaya, along with Renji, Hinamori, Ikkaku, Yumichika, Kyouraku and an equally grim looking Nanao.
"I think we've acquired a couple of new people," Ichigo muttered under his breath as he and Rukia joined the group.
"That's alright," Rukia said with a smile. "The more the merrier."
Ichigo didn't look as though he completely agreed with her words but considering who was going the trip was definitely going to be interesting if nothing else.
"Alright," Head Captain Ukitake called out once Ichigo and Rukia had joined the group that was assembled around the Senkaimon. "Are you all ready to leave for your trip?"
Most of the group answered enthusiastically in the affirmative however Ichigo, Hitsugaya, and Nanao were less than enthusiastic. The three of them looked grim, each for different reasons. "Okay," Ichigo said, his gaze surveying the group. "Let's get this over with."
A smile appeared on Ukitake's face as he placed his hand on the Senkaimon and used a small burst of reiatsu to open the portal to the world of the living. "Have a good trip."
"I'm sure we will," Kyouraku said as he and Nanao made their way toward the Senkaimon. "I'll be sure to bring you back a souvenir Jyuu."
Slightly scared about what his long time friend might come back with Ukitake held up his hands and shook his head. "That's really okay Shunsui, you don't have to do that."
Kyouraku laughed at the expression on his friend's face as he turned to step through the Senkaimon.
Ichigo was the last to step through the portal and before he did he turned to face Ukitake. "If a couple of them don't come back I just want you to know that it's not my fault."
Ukitake couldn't help but laugh as he watched Ichigo disappear. He was fairly certain that the Substitute Shinigami was in for an experience that he was unlikely to ever forget and yet he sincerely hoped that Ichigo was able to have some fun on his trip. After all of the work that he'd put into defeating Aizen he certainly deserved a break.
When the group from the Seireitei arrived in Disneyland they immediately began to argue over what they should do first. Matsumoto and Renji were arguing however they both stopped mid sentence as Ichigo turned and sent a death glare in their direction.
All eyes focused on the orange haired Substitute Shinigami.
"This trip is for Rukia," Ichigo said, regaining a measure of calm. "So therefore I think she should get to chose what we do first. Then we'll go from there."
Renji, Matsumoto, Ikkaku and Yumichika nodded their heads, their eyes wide and surprised, however Kyouraku, Hitsugaya, and Nanao looked wholly unimpressed by Ichigo's display of leadership. And both Hitsugaya and Nanao looked as though they'd rather be doing just about anything else.
After a brief discussion it was decided what the group would do first and they set off toward their chosen destination. It was impossible to hear one another over the noise of the large crowd so they remained silent as they walked.
Ichigo had grabbed a map of the park upon their arrival and he led the way, followed by the others. As Rukia walked along she caught a glimpse of something white out of the corner of her eye and as she turned her head she issued a small gasp.
"Alright," Ichigo called out as he came to a stop. "So this ride seats two per car so everyone pair up."
"I get you taichou!" Matsumoto called out, grabbing Hitsugaya and pulling him close. The young captain swore as his head made contact with her ample 'assets' and blushing profusely he quickly pulled away.
"And of course I have to be with my little Nanao-chan," Kyouraku announced, turning to face his vice-captain with a wide grin on his face. A look of displeasure appeared on Nanao's face almost instantly and as her captain turned to face her she slapped him in the side of the head with a fan that she had pulled from the fold of her shirt.
After a brief debate Ikkaku and Yumichika decided that they could tolerate riding with one another and since Ichigo would be with Rukia that left Renji with Hinamori. That didn't really bother him since he and Hinamori had been classmates at the Academy and were fairly good friends.
"Alright Rukia we're all. . ."
Ichigo's words trailed off as he realized that Rukia was no longer with the group. "What the hell? Where did she go?"
Everyone shrugged, not having noticed when Rukia left their group.
Ichigo sighed, having known something like this would happen. "Alright everyone I know I'm going to regret saying this but we have to split up and find her. We'll use the groups that we split up into earlier and look for Rukia. We'll meet back here in an hour and regroup."
Everyone nodded and the group parted ways.
"Come on Taichou," Matsumoto said as she pulled Hitsugaya along, a firm grip on his arm.
Hitsugaya pulled his arm free from her grasp as he scanned the area for any sign of Rukia. "I can't believe I was pulled into this," he grumpily thought to himself as he searched. "I knew this was a bad idea but I came along anyway. When am I going to learn?"
"Ooh," Matsumoto exclaimed, breaking into Hitsugaya's thoughts.
Hitsugaya's gaze went back to his vice-captain and he saw that she was pointing toward a strange device, a circular thing with seats that was going around in a circle. There was an excited expression on her face as she looked back and forth from the ride to her little captain.
"Let's ride that Taichou!"
"We're supposed to be looking for Rukia," Hitsugaya reminded her, shaking his head as he ran a hand through his unruly white hair.
"And we can see further from up there," Matsumoto asserted. "I'm sure that it'll be easier for us to find her from that vantage point. Come on."
And without another word Matsumoto seized her captain by the hand and pulled him toward a line that was formed beside the ride. Too stunned to protest the Squad Ten Captain allowed himself to be pulled along. The two Shinigami waited in line for what seemed like forever and then, when they were finally ready to board the ride, the man in charge placed a hand in front of Hitsugaya's chest, halting him.
Hitsugaya gazed up at the man, his teal eyes filled with annoyance.
"Just a minute there kiddo," the man said, offering Hitsugaya a smile. "We have to see if you're tall enough for this ride."
Matsumoto was forced to place a hand over her mouth to conceal the smile as she watched the man hold up a ruler, measuring her captain. She knew that Hitsugaya was angry and it wasn't the scowl on his face that gave it away. It was the freezing wind that was now blowing around them.
"Taichou!" Matsumoto hissed, reaching down to place a restraining hand on his shoulder. He was obviously angry and she wanted to remind him of where he was before things escalated and got out of hand. A little louder she added, "This is a vacation. Relax and enjoy yourself."
The man with the ruler shuddered. "Alright kiddo. It seems that you just made it."
Hitsugaya growled low in his throat as he and Matsumoto boarded the ride.
"So Renji," Hinamori said in her soft edged voice as she and her former classmate made their way across the park. "Where do you think Rukia went?"
Renji shrugged as he thought back to his childhood friend. "I have no idea. Maybe she was trying to get away from Kurosaki. He seems kind of manic today."
Hinamori couldn't help but laugh.
"Why are we doing this again?" Yumichika asked as he and Ikkaku made their way across the park. This was supposed to have been a chance for them to cut loose and have some fun and yet now they were roaming around the amusement park looking for Rukia. "I thought we were coming here to have fun and now we're searching for someone. And this humidity is frizzing my hair. This is NOT beautiful."
"Hey Nanao-chan," Kyouraku called out, pointing toward something in the distance. "I think there's a chance that Rukia went in there to get out of the sun."
Nanao followed the gaze of her captain and groaned as soon as she realized what he was pointing to. The Tunnel of Love. She wasn't entirely sure what this might entail however she got a decidedly bad feeling about it. "Kyouraku-taichou I don't think. . ."
"Come on Nanao-chan," Kyouraku said, already making his way toward the ride. "We owe it to Ichigo to do everything in our power to find his lost love."
"Oh I don't believe this," Nanao muttered. Then she raised her voice. "And DON'T call me Nanao-chan!"
"Oi Rukia!" Ichigo called out as he searched for the missing Shinigami girl. He couldn't believe that they'd been here for less than an hour and he'd already managed to lose one of his group. To be completely honest he'd anticipated that something like this would happen but he was shocked that Rukia was the first one to run off.
The Substitute Shinigami quickly made his way around the park and just as he was beginning to think that he'd never find her he heard a voice call out, "You are so KAWAI!" Ichigo immediately recognized that voice and following it he found Rukia clutching a human sized white rabbit. She was clutching it so hard that Ichigo was certain that the person inside the costume must surely be gasping for breath.
"Oh great," he groaned as he ran over and pried Rukia's vice like grip off of the person in the rabbit suit. "Come on Rukia."
"But Ichigo. . ."
"It's not really a rabbit," Ichigo muttered under his breath, making sure that only she could hear his words. "It's just someone in a suit. Now come on."
Sighing Rukia allowed Ichigo to pull her along. The Substitute Shinigami led the way to the spot where he was supposed to meet the other members of his search party. "Okay, we have to hang out here until everyone else gets back."
This proved to be easier said than done however as Rukia attempted to chase after everyone who walked by dressed in a mascot costume. Ichigo was repeatedly forced to grab her by the sleeve of her shihakusho in order to prevent her from running off again.
Ichigo was relieved when the others made it back to the meeting spot. Both Nanao and Hitsugaya looked annoyed however everyone else seemed to be having an okay time. Running a hand through his unruly orange hair Ichigo thought to himself, "I think I need a vacation from this vacation."
"So what are we going to do now?" Rukia and Matsumoto asked in unison, the same excited expression mirrored on both of their faces.
All Ichigo could do was shake his head.
A/N - and there it is. This was so much fun to write. And before anyone says anything about the war with Aizen being in winter I feel the need to say that Disneyland is in California so it would still be warm there. Hope you enjoyed the story. Hitsu-taichou