Ichigo sighed as he ran his fingers through his hair. Today was going to be a loooooong day.

"Tch... of course it had to rain today." Ichigo snorted. He had never liked the rain (at least not after his mother died), but today he HATED it. It was his only extra day off from school for the rest of the year, and something VERY important was to occur. Things were finally starting to get back to normal for Ichigo. Of course, it had taken awhile. The war ended in mid-January, and afterwards, Ichigo had spent one month sleeping, two weeks wallowing in self-pity and loneliness (because of Rukia's 'departure'), two months training with his idiot father and -and-Clogs, and two weeks trying to readjust, so to say that he was overwhelmed would be an understatement. After his training (which, if he was being completely honest with himself, was only undertaken so he could see Rukia again), Ichigo began to search for her, but to no avail. He decided that his best bet would be to ask Orihime about Rukia's whereabouts. That turned out to be a bad idea, as Ichigo learned that Rukia had returned to the Soul Society nine weeks prior, and that Orihime had become much more *open* with her feelings. Needless to say, Ichigo has avoided her since then. Anyways, after learning where Rukia was, Ichigo decided to pay a little visit to -and-Clogs and his 'Were-cat'. It went, surprisingly, according to plan. Ichigo convinced Yoruichi to contact Ukitake, who restationed the raven-haired soul reaper in Karakura immediately. There was, however, one slight hitch in the plan, but that is a story for another day. That all happened exactly fourteen days prior. Today, Rukia Kuchiki, an unseated, violet-eyed midget in the Thirteenth Court Guard Squad, was returning to the small city of Karakura, where, exactly 365 days ago, her life changed forever.

"Damn... The things I do for that little runt." Ichigo grunted as he donned a rain coat and grabbed an umbrella. Though he didn't look it, and acted far from it, Ichigo was practically giddy.

"Ahhh, my SOOOOOON? You shouldn't speak so ill of my lovely third daughter!" Isshin chirped as he dove at the orange-haired teen. "After all, how do you expect to court that lovely young lady if act so coldly all the time?" Ichigo moved a few inches to the left, allowing Isshin to plow face-first into the door.

"Dammit, Dad! Give it a rest, will ya? I told you, she's not my GIRLFRIEND!" Ichigo yelled, stepping on his father's back. Isshin jumped right back up, wiped the blood from his nose, and began to giggle.

"Interesting, son, I never said that little Rukia WAS your girlfriend!" Isshin pranced and prattled around.

"Just shut up, y'old freak!" Ichigo snapped, striking his father over the head with the umbrella.

"Yeah, Dad, leave 'im alone. You know Ichigo's not gonna admit it." Karin said non-chalantly, taking sips from a juice box.

"Aw... Don't encourage them Karin, I hate it when they fight." Yuzu whimpered as the two of them watched the whole sorry spectacle. Ichigo sighed once again as he pinched the bridge of his nose. It was indeed going to be a long day.


(A/N: This is the first part to a 6-part story. It's just about Rukia returning after a few months away. I'll update every other day. Enjoy, and review to make me a happy IchiRuki fanboy! Not kidding. Review.)