It was silent in the mansion as Ichigo woke up that morning. He didn't know why it was silent enough to hear birds singing nearly a mile away, but it was. It was strange and sort of freaked Ichigo out as he knew that around this time there was at least two people up and going about their business before work called them away. But today, there was no one wondering around and there was no noise of people sleeping.
Puzzled, Ichigo went to look about, quietly grabbing his knife just in case someone had got inside the mansion and made everyone go to another area that blocked out noise, which was a few areas in the mansion. He glided against the floor and walls, not an ounce of movement was picked up by the human ear. He searched everywhere in the house and found no one there. Did they leave and not wake him? No that idea was threw out as he saw the belongings were still everywhere. Did they get captured by thieves or were they assassinated and their bodies taken? That sounded like a plausible answer as it had happened before with one of the guards. But it had been a month since they came into the country and besides the one outbreak with the lord nothing else had happened.
Ichigo stopped in his tracks suddenly as he heard something shuffle against the ground. He looked at where he was, the hallway near Byakuya's meeting hall. The hallway was rarely used, but it acted as a safety room from what the maids told him. Back before he was born there was often raids upon the mansion, before they hired guards, and they often took refuge in a giant hall that couldn't be broken into for they had runes upon them from a old Mage by the name Ran'Tao.
Ichigo glided across the floor to the meeting hall and looked at the door. A light shined from underneath it and he saw shadows hustling about. Hushed whispers hit his ears and he knew who they were just by the octaves of the voice. What was everyone doing? It wasn't his birthday, that was in a few more months. Was the pregnant maid in labor? No she still had a few more months before that happened. What was going on? It was frustrating. Wait were they trying to get back at him for his prank that was for making a weirded out week in a carriage? That might be, but Ichigo didn't have time to ponder that as the door was opening.
He hopped back away from the door and shot down the hall, using the walls to his advantage. Jumping up to kick off the wall, Ichigo hit the ball off his foot against the section between the middle of the wall and the ceiling before hitting the other wall and continued on until he got safely away from the meeting hall. He grabbed the wall with his fingers, his nails dug into the wall, and he slowly climbed down. Ichigo didn't know how he could do this, but figured that he could do this when he was eleven and wanted to get away from one of his many stalkers. He hit the floor and turned to the hall just as Rukia came down the hall.
"Ah! Ichigo there you are! I've been looking for you!" she said happily. Ichigo looked at her in a confused manner. So many questions wrapped around his head just like what was going on behind that door and why Rukia lying? She didn't get up until well past dawn, which it just had turned to sunrise, and she wasn't a happy person in the morning. So what was going on? Ichigo decided to wait and watch what was going on and gather information before questioning the Kuchikis'.
"And why do you need me to grace you with my presence this early in the morning?" he said sarcastically, which ended up with him being in the side. He winced lightly, damn could Rukia hit hard when she wanted to.
"Don't be a smart ass!" She hissed at him, yeah there was the evil Rukia that haunted the mornings, "Anyway I need you to come with me to town, we need to pick up something for that day" Rukia said while slowly going silent in octaves. Ichigo wanted to hit himself now, he nearly forgot about the date that was going on and why for the past few days the others had been acting weird, not that them being in that hall was still bugging him, but he knew what was going on tomorrow. It was tenth anniversary of Lord Kuchiki, Lady Kuchiki and Lady Hisana.
"Alright, just give me a few minutes before we leave" Ichigo said. Rukia nodded a headed off to do whatever before meeting up with Ichigo.
'How could I forget? That's not like me!' Ichigo berated himself up as he went to change. Somehow he slowly forgot about the others that were behind the door in the meeting hall and he gained a feeling in the back of his mind that something exciting was about to happen. What it was could have been anyones guess, but it was about to happen in town, that was as much as he knew.
Grimmjow looked at the group that was going to be going with him. They were running low on supplies and needed to go into town, not that they couldn't steal, but they needed somethings for the younger ones as well and they couldn't find that from stealing. He blinked at the wayward looking group that contained him, Ulquiorra; his second in command on these trips, Nnoitora; a look out for trouble, Yoruichi and Harribel; a little seducing never hurt to lower the price, Starrk; he was smart with seeing that things were being haggled to a higher price that was supposed to be lower, Loly and Menoly, as well as their two little ones; the two mother's needed to get things for their little ones, Szayel; the pink haired medic needed supplies as well get something for Yachiru to play with while he was busy, Ikkaku; the man needed to get his weapon sharpened, and one of their guards Yammy; never knew who might come up and try to start something.
"Ya ready?" The others nodded. Grimmjow smirked and turned to the trail that would take them to town in the least amount of time.
Ichigo blinked as he saw dancers and prostitutes everywhere. It's not like he didn't see them in the city, but this was different as he knew everyone in the other city, here he didn't know anyone. He followed closely behind Rukia, ignoring the stares that people were giving him. His hair was what people were staring at as well as the scar that lord Meiwaku gave him. Even though it was a scratch, it turned into a scar after three weeks. He stopped when Rukia was picking up some fruit and flowers, not that it wasn't just a day to gather for the death of the three family members, but it was also time to pick up some fresh food as the maids were too busy to get the items, not that they both mind.
"YOU DAMN GYPSIES!" Ichigo heard. He turned and saw a group of people walking around, they all stood out in their own way, but mainly it was with how they were dressed. They were in tattered clothing and had earrings, but one stood out above to Ichigo. A tall blue haired man with tan skin and beautiful blue eyes caught Ichigo's eyes. He blushed as the blue haired man turned his head his way.
Grimmjow blinked as he saw Ichigo standing not far off from where they were. What luck! He might get to talk to the man if he was lucky enough, but right now he had to deal with the angry market merchant that wanted to hit Momo for looking at his jewels.
"You'd dare to hit a little girl who can't defend herself? What a damn pussy!" Nnoitora said as he handed the terrified and crying Momo off to Loly. The merchant got angry and glared at Nnoitora.
"I can hit the little thief if they're trying to steal my merchandise!" the merchant nearly yelled.
"She was just looking and not even touching, her hands were behind her back the whole time!" Nnoitora said, angry that someone what trying to blame the little girl for doing nothing to this jackass' stuff. He knew that it was because she was a gypsy that she was being yelled at. Grimmjow walked over to where the two were yelling and pushed Nnoitora back. He was about to say something when Ichigo came up.
Ichigo was getting angry with the merchant as he watched the trade off of insults go on. A little girl being blamed for thievery just because she was a gypsy? That set his blood to boil and he headed over there, ignoring Rukia's calls to stay away from them.
"HEY!" Ichigo shouted as he got up close. Everyone turned to him and stared at him in shock, not just because of how he looked dressed fairly well and how long his hair was or the strange colour that only came from gypsies, but because he was stopping a brawl. The merchant looked a little smug as he thought that he was coming to help him, but got confused as Ichigo glared at him, his chocolate brown eyes turning cold.
"What is going on here?" Ichigo nearly hissed. The merchant looked at him the cleared his throat.
"This thief tried to steal something of mine, I was just doing what I needed to do to keep my business going" The merchant lied through his teeth, he knew what really went on, but he thought that the orange haired male would sympathize with him. He didn't get that, but he got a heated glare.
"Really? Because it seemed to me that you were trying to start something just because they're gypsies that are out in the market" Ichigo said and looked over at the little girl, who was on the ground now as Loly got pushed back and didn't want her to be squished. Ichigo lowered himself and held his hand out to the little girl. She looked at his hand then reached forward, slowly getting pulled forward by Ichigo's own hand. Ichigo picked her up and smiled as she calmed slightly as he held her close to him.
Momo didn't know what was going on, first she was just looking at the pretty stones then she started to get yelled at by the balding man for simply looking at the stones and waiting for her mama to get done with the stall next to the one with the pretty stones. She was scared and oh so confused, the people around her that weren't part of the camp glared at her and made her feel smaller then she was. What did she do wrong? Momo was glad that her uncle Nnoi picked her up and pulled her away from the glares, they sent shivers through her, and her mama was holding her until she started to get pushed back by the crowd, which made her put Momo on the ground. Momo stood between her uncle Nnoi, her uncle Qiorra, and her uncle Grimm as she saw the orange man come out of the crowd.
Not understanding what was going on, Momo stood behind her uncle Qiorra and watched. The orange man was getting mad at the balding man then turned to her. She shook as she thought he was going to yell at her, but instead she saw his face soften as he went to her level and held his hand out to her. She stared at it for a bit before skittishly reaching out to the hand. It was warm and sort of loving, it reminded Momo of her mama's own hands, but bigger and more tender and protective. The orange man pulled her forward before getting picked up by him. He was warm and his voice was calm and soothing, making her calm enough to go to sleep.
Ichigo watched the little girl for a bit before turning back to the merchant.
"Does this look like someone who would do something like steal? I don't think so, she's a child and one that doesn't need to be yelled at simply because she's a gypsy" Ichigo said calmly. He saw the little settle and slowly fall asleep, he found this adorable and held her closer so she wouldn't slip from his grip. The merchant started speaking once more.
"She's still a gypsy, sure she's small and cute now, but later in life she'll start stealing and killing!" he said. Ichigo looked at him from the corner of his eye and narrowed his eyes.
"So? It's not her fault if she has to steal. Life is hard and some people are less inclined then others. Look at me, I have no family other then the one's who adopted me, no memories of my parents. This girl probably only has her mother and the others around her. Should she start stealing, so be it, things can be replaced and stuff is sold all the time" Ichigo spoke with passion in his voice, "If you cut her and me we will bleed all the same, the same colour of blood and we will heal the same. Just because she's a gypsy doesn't mean that she's not able to feel pain and happiness nor is she not allowed the same pleasure of being treated the same as any other person that is in this market" The crowd around Ichigo and the group of gypsies stood silently through out his speech and looked ashamed at the end as they had glared at the little girl like she was trash.
"Now apologize to them and this little one" Ichigo said. The merchant looked at Ichigo then down and bowed his head lightly, no words forming as his throat was slightly closed.
The gypsies stood in shock as they were defended by someone who didn't even know them. Not only did he defend Momo, but he had made everyone else see that they were just like them. Grimmjow stood off, staring at Ichigo as he felt his heart beat slightly. There was that passion he saw since he first saw him over a month ago. He blinked and saw that he was protective of Momo, a little girl who he never met and was slandered because of how she was raised. Grimmjow was starting to like Ichigo more, hell the right word would be love, but Ichigo still didn't know him so he went with like.
After the merchant bowed and gave a silent apology, Grimmjow went forward to finally introduce himself. Ichigo looked at him and lightly woke Momo up and handed her to Grimmjow, who held her close. Grimmjow stared at Ichigo and slowly held out his hand to Ichigo.
"Grimmjow Jeagerjaques, head of the gypsy contraband here" Grimmjow Introduced himself to Ichigo. Ichigo blinked then took his hand.
"Ichigo, servant of the Kuchiki family" he said with a light smile. Grimmjow gave a light smirk that resembled a smile to Ichigo. The others watched the interaction and smiled, they might have a contact that could help them if they needed help, or something else. Ulquiorra stared at Ichigo in wonder, something was a little off with Ichigo. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something about Ichigo made him feel like they were connected in a way. He decided to wait and figure out what the feeling was and just why he felt connected to Ichigo in a way.
Ichigo smiled as the little girl looked up at him, her eyes shined as she looked at him.
"I'm Momo!" She said happily to him, she heard them exchange their names and didn't want to be left out. Ichigo smiled at her and thought her name fitted her like a glove. She was as sweet as a peach and so innocence that he couldn't understand why the merchant tried to hurt her just for looking besides his biased views.
"Nice to meet you Momo" Ichigo said as he bowed to her. She was blushing when he looked back at her, he knew that it made her feel special in some odd way. She smiled happily at him, her pearly white teeth were shinning along with her blush. It was around this time that a young woman that looked exactly like Momo, only with violet eyes, came up and took Momo from Grimmjow. She turned to Ichigo and smiled happily at him.
"Thank you for what you did for my little girl, and for defending us" She said, "I'm Loly" she introduced herself while she shifted Momo to her hip and held out her hand. Ichigo took her hand and kissed it, she blushed as he did this. He did this out of habit from all the times he took lessons with Byakuya, most had rubbed off onto him.
"It's a pleasure to meet a beautiful woman who has a equally beautiful little girl" Ichigo said warmly. Loly blushed more and Momo smiled while giggling at her mother. Ichigo saw Grimmjow off talking to a few of the men in the group, Ichigo could tell that he was a excellent leader for his people. He turned his attention back to Loly and another young woman who had a small boy that could look like Momo's brother, but with slight differences.
"This is my best friend Menoly and her son Hanataro" Loly introduced the other mother and child. Ichigo bowed and kissed Menoly's hand.
"Such a gentleman" Menoly giggled. Ichigo smiled at her and rubbed the back of his head. His hair whipped up when the wind suddenly picked up and he remembered Rukia was standing off in the other street.
"Crap, excuse me ladies I have to get back to my former duties, have a lovely day and Momo" he said, turning his head to the little girl, "If someone gives you trouble remember that you're better then them, you don't degrade them nor make fun of them, which makes you the better person" he said and went off. Momo giggled at looked up at her mother, who was smiling lightly at him.
"I believe that man has something in him, no one could be that passionate about people who are considered lower then trash and still treat them like human beings without having blood of some sort in him" Menoly said while looking at Loly, who agreed completely.
Grimmjow had watched Ichigo kiss Loly and Meonly's hands while complementing them, even if jealousy coursed through him, he could tell that Ichigo was being polite. He turned to his men to give orders while watching Ichigo from the corner of his eye. After he saw the wind pick up and Ichigo's long hair whipped up and nearly wrapped around his body, he knew that it was time for Ichigo to leave. He watched Ichigo run over to the petite woman who he had been with when they came to the market. He smiled as he saw that Ichigo was interested in his family, even if he didn't speak it. He blinked and turned back to his men and told them to go get their things and meet back here in an hour or so.
"That was very foolish of you Ichigo, you've could have been hurt!" Rukia said as soon as Ichigo came back. Ichigo looked at her and nearly rolled his eyes, he knew the risks and knew that she was worried about his safety, but nothing would have happened that he couldn't have handled.
"But I'll let it go this time, you did the right thing in protecting that little girl, people amaze me now a days simply because they're gypsies people think they're lower then them. Unbelievable" Rukia ranted and raved, which Ichigo smiled at and continued on to pick up the things he sat on the ground before he went over to the gypsies. They continued on their way through the market, but Ichigo couldn't seem to get Grimmjow's cyan eyes out of his mind as they shopped.
Me: I had to stop this chapter or it would have been long and I don't think I would update after that for a bit, maybe a day or two...well maybe, but anyway hope you liked!