Pairings: HP main pairs will remain cannon; others: IchiRuki being the main pairing; TatsFred; ToshKarin; RanGin; GrimNel; others are open to suggestion if I can fit them in. Needless to say, the only Bleach I own is the stuff under the sink that I clean with, and the only HP I own are the well-worn books and DVDs on my shelves… If I owned the other I wouldn't be doing this!

Okay, this is my first story post - helpful critiques are more than welcome, flamers - go douse yourself somewhere else. I also don't have a Beta reader, but if anyone wants to volunteer...

Chapter 1

The Winter War was over, but the Soul Society's fight with Aizen had only just begun. The Thirteen Court Guard Squads, with a little bit of help from some exceptional humans and a group of forgotten exiles, had managed to kill one of the traitorous former Captains, Tosen; Gin was in critical condition after betraying Aizen, and the Soul Reapers were trying to recover and recoup their strength, knowing he was going to come at them again. It was a time to rebuild and regroup; and for some of them, to train and grow stronger.

Ichigo Kurosaki was sitting at the table with Urahara, sipping tea after training with him to control his spiritual pressure. He had finally succeeded in sealing Zangetsu just that day, and he didn't even need a release command – just a small pulse of reiatsu into the zanpakuto, and it immediately transformed into its Shikai.

Why would someone who had spent the equivalent of three months in the Dangai Precipice World need to train to control his spiritual pressure? Because he was working on getting it not back to the way it was (when he was leaking it all over the place like a broken faucet), but to a happy medium somewhere in between. He had turned all of his reiatsu into physical strength in order to defeat Aizen and use the Final Getsuga Tensho… which he hadn't done. For some reason, as soon as Ichigo had told him what he was going to do – Aizen had apparently either panicked or had a premonition that Ichigo's strike would be deadly to him or so severely injure him that even he wouldn't be able to recover from it; the next thing the substitute shinigami knew, a Garganta had been opened and The Man Who Would Be God was diving into it and slamming it shut behind him, leaving Ichigo and the newly arrived Urahara standing there with nearly identical "WTF?" expressions on their faces.

"What the hell just happened?" Ichigo had shouted at Kisuke.

The shop owner, staring at where the Garganta had just closed shrugged and shook his head.

"Beats the hell out of me," he had replied, scratching his head under his ever-present green and white striped bucket hat. Cursing, Ichigo had rammed Tensa Zangetsu into the dirt, dropped down on a rock and sulked, much to Urahara's bemusement. Ichigo had just spent three months in the Dangai Precipice World, training with Tensa Zangetsu, spent nearly all of his father's spiritual pressure – and he didn't even get to use Mugetsu? Not that he wasn't relieved he got to hang on to his powers, but still… they hadn't had a chance to talk more about it at that moment, as his friends had all arrived, more or less safe and sound, from Hueco Mundo. Urahara had later theorized that the Hogyoku had sensed that the Final Getsuga Tensho was a deadly threat and forced Aizen to retreat, since retreat wasn't in the man's character. Aizen had, after all, known all about Mugetsu, and about how powerful an attack it was; Isshin had once used it himself, after all.

He was also training again with the vizards to control his inner hollow better several days a week. Hiyori was still recovering at the Fourth Squad, so he was working with Shinji or Lisa most of the time. Many of the officers were still recovering, so those that were hale and hearty were trying to take up the slack, and had been loaned out to other squads to assist until their officers were better. Even the vizards – grumbling - had assisted for a time, being former officers, as had Ichigo's father, Yoruichi and Urahara. In addition, Ichigo had started learning kidou from his father (who had not been his first choice as an instructor), and working on his hand to hand with Yoruichi. In addition to working again with Urahara on his sword-work, his current schedule had his spare time extremely full. In fact, he'd go so far as to say he had no spare time. So little, he was actually leaving the hollow hunting to the local Shinigami – and the vizards, who with a bit of eye rolling, had taken that cause up again.

He unconsciously flexed his left hand, testing it. It felt strange, and a little stiff. Urahara was watching him from under the brim of his hat, and when Ichigo realized what he was doing, he frowned and looked away.

"All right, Ichigo-kun?" Urahara quizzed him. Ichigo nodded. His reiatsu had become so internalized, so locked in, that Ichigo was invisible even to those who knew him; he could even sneak up on Uryu, which freaked out the Quincy to the point that once or twice he had squealed like a little girl when Ichigo had said "boo." It was why Aizen had thought he had taken steps back, when in fact Ichigo had evolved even beyond the traitor's wildest dreams. What he was doing now was unlearning what he had learned with Zangetsu during that time and trying to find a 'healthy medium'. Yes, he could finally control his spiritual pressure – but it had come at a price. A very steep one. Hence the word 'healthy.'

Kisuke and Yoruichi had become fairly alarmed when returning to his body had become extraordinarily painful; so much so, he was actually reluctant to leave it because it meant having to go back in. So one day, when he had arrived at the shop after school – Captain Unohana had been waiting for him. Ichigo had gulped when he had seen her; and then very meekly (he was thoroughly convinced she was the second strongest Captain, and probably more powerful than even Kyoraku and Kenpachi…well, at least it hadn't been the Freak waiting for him) did everything she and Kisuke told him as they ran a whole battery of strange and bizarre tests on him. Even his father, whom Yoruichi had brought about half way through, had been baffled by what they were doing. When they were finished, she had talked to Isshin for a long time, before she had returned to Soul Society, and Isshin had been extremely serious and somber when they returned home. A week later, Ichigo had been given a gigai to replace his body, which, Kisuke told him, was breaking down. It could no longer handle the strain of his massive reiatsu. To put it bluntly – his human body was dying.

As he sat there, cooling off after a mentally straining exercise, trying to get used to his new gigai and what that all meant, his mind was on Renji's cryptic parting words – the red pineapple head had managed to come over for two hours that day to help him train. His friend had said he couldn't wait to see the expressions on some faces when Ichigo walked up behind people unnoticed; when he had come out of the Dangai, Ichigo had been nothing more than a blank space. Rukia, who had been happy just to see him alive and in one piece, hadn't noticed, since Byakuya had swooped in and taken her away almost immediately, barely giving Ichigo a chance to realize she was okay. Even Renji had been left agog by the suddenness of his Captain's actions, his mouth slightly parted as he stared after them. Ichigo had a feeling that it was Byakuya that Renji was talking about. As loyal as Renji was, there were times when the redhead felt slighted on his friend's behalf. Ichigo had done so much… didn't he deserve a bit more acknowledgement and consideration from the rest of Soul Society? Sometimes it seemed as if only Ukitake and Kyoraku were willing to stand up for him.

Ichigo jumped suddenly when he heard a cheery voice greet them as its owner entered the shop. What the hell? That can't be… Upon realizing it was his younger sister Yuzu, Ichigo had spit out the mouthful of tea he'd been about to swallow… earning him a reproachful glare from Tessai Tsukabishi, the former Captain of the kidou squad. Tessai had been the one Ichigo had initially approached about learning kidou. After all, who better than the squad's former commander?

"Ah, didn't you know, Ichigo-kun?" Urahara watched him from over his fan. "The children have become such good friends…"

"No, as a matter of fact, I didn't…" Ichigo coughed. He turned to see his two sisters enter the room, Yuzu bearing gifts, in the form of a large plate filled to the brim with delicious cakes.

"Onii-chan! There you are!" she smiled at her older brother when she saw him, and quickly put the plate on the table to hurry over and hug her brother, nearly knocking him over. They didn't get to see each other often enough, she often moaned to her twin. Karin meanwhile was greeting Ururu, and glaring at Jinta.

Well, Ichigo thought, Karin is friends with one of them, anyway. Then he saw the reason why Karin was glaring at Jinta… and found his own scowl deepening. The redheaded boy, whom Ichigo often thought of as a mini-Renji in training, was staring at Yuzu with worshipful and adoring eyes. Karin met her older brother's gaze, and rolled her eyes. I have it under control, Ichi-nii, don't worry about it, her expression said. Jinta, meanwhile, had noticed Ichigo's glower and gulped.

Fine; I'll leave it to you, then. But if you need me…

I'll let you know.


Actually, when he thought about it, no one was ever going to be good enough for Yuzu. Ever. And when they discussed it sometime later, Karin agreed with him. But, they had both reasoned, better it be someone who actually knew what was out there, knew what could happen, and may be prepared to fight it, than someone who was completely ignorant. But it was way too soon to even be thinking about things like that. They were only twelve, after all. And at least Jinta didn't come with the whole boatload of problems that Karin's first 'crush' did – that being, at least he was among the living. For her first so-called romantic interest was none other than the boy genius, the Captain of the Tenth Squad, Toshiro Hitsugaya. An interest gained over a soccer ball, no less… shit, who was he to talk? His own light of love was even older than Toshiro, and just as 'dead.' And had the added complication of being the adopted sister of the biggest stick up his ass noble in the Seireitei… He sighed, feeling more depressed than ever. The Kurosaki siblings were one big mess.

"Ichigo…" Yuzu looked up at him.

"What is it, Yuzu?"

"Is Rukia nee-chan ever coming back? I miss her." Even Karin seemed to want to know the answer to that, and she had often been suspicious of Rukia; a suspicion that had proven correct when she had learned that Rukia was a soul reaper.

"I don't know, Yuzu. I hope so. Right now, they need every able bodied officer they can get there," he sighed, remembering the sight of all those Captains and Vice-Captains, as well as his vizard friends, bodies and parts littered about the fake Karakura Town… it had seemed surreal at the time, like some kind of horror movie. In the end, the only truly able-bodied officers left had been the ones that had gone to Hueco Mundo: Byakuya, Mayuri, Nemu, Kenpachi, Renji, Unohana, and Isane, and those officers that had not been with them, such as Ukitake-san's third seats and Kyoraku-san's Vice-Captain Nanao Ise. Captain Unohana, Orihime, and Hachigen had had their hands full for a while.

"Well…. Why don't they send her with any of the groups that come to help you fight off the hollows? I mean, I know she wouldn't be able to stay very long, but a quick detour to say "hi" and give us a hug…" Karin grumbled. "They can do that, can't they? I mean they let that pineapple headed weirdo stop long enough to have dinner and he's higher ranked."

There were smirks and polite coughs over Karin's nickname for Renji. They could, and with her knowledge of the World of the Living, there was no reason why they couldn't. Ichigo had a feeling he knew why she was being held back – Byakuya Kuchiki. He looked over at Yoruichi, who was sitting next to Urahara, and from the sly, sideways glance she had given him… he knew he was right. After all, Renji had been sent plenty of times. And yes, he'd even managed to stay for dinner a few times in order to brief Urahara, Ichigo and Isshin on everything that was going on back at the Seireitei. When Ichigo had tried to ask, in a very roundabout way, why she hadn't come back, he'd gotten very uncomfortable. Ichigo had known then, and hadn't pressed his friend for an answer. They had finally gotten to the point where they weren't always in competition with each other, and he didn't want to risk that. He had let Renji know, in an equally roundabout way, that he understood, and Renji had been very relieved. It was amazing to Ichigo that they had actually progressed to that point.

"Her Captain still hasn't recovered fully," Ichigo said quietly, a bit worried. Ukitake was not the healthiest individual in Soul Society, but he was one of Ichigo's favorites. In fact Ichigo would go so far as to say he was the individual that he trusted and respected the most, next to Rukia and Renji. He had defied Central 46, his Head Captain, and the law, just to try to save Rukia from execution. That in and of itself, to Ichigo, made him an honorable man, aside from being an all around nice guy. "So where Rukia's assignments are concerned…"

"Her brother is calling the shots. Ukitake doesn't have the strength to argue with him right now," Yoruichi finished for him.

"Ah, yes," Urahara murmured, "And we all know how much Byakuya adores Ichigo-kun."

"Right back at him," Ichigo snapped, irritated.

"Ichigo," Yoruichi sighed. They had gone over this dance before…many times.

"Look, I know exactly what he is. I get all that. I also get a couple of other things. You were – are – just as highly ranked as he is. And you are nothing like him. I also know Kyoraku-san's family is almost as highly placed – and if you consider sheer power and ranking within the squads, he's even higher – and he is also nothing like him," Ichigo's eyes flashed irritation, "So ergo you can be a noble – the prince or a princess of a noble family – without acting like you have your own zanpakuto shoved up your ass one hundred percent of the time. And you can interact with everyone else without treating them like they are trash or garbage and not worth scraping the dirt off your sandals on. And it wouldn't kill him to smile, or show some emotion at least once in a while; he's as icy as Hyorinmaru." Ichigo ran a hand through his hair and huffed with irritation. "You and Kyoraku-san… you both treat other people, no matter what their rank is, like they matter. As if their opinion is worth something. Not like they're so far beneath you that it's an embarrassment to acknowledge them. You treat people like they're – well, people." Yoruichi's eyes were widening during Ichigo's impassioned speech, and her mouth opened slightly with surprise as he wound up.

He was suddenly engulfed in a bone crushing hug. Damn, he thought as he struggled to breath, his face turning red, I never saw her move….and she's in a gigai…

"Ichigo, that is the sweetest, nicest thing you have ever said to me!" the goddess of flash sniffed as she threatened to squeeze him to death. "Don't you think, Kisuke?"

"He does have his moments. Now, be a good kitty and let the poor boy breath, why don't you? He's starting to turn blue." Urahara was hiding behind his fan again. Probably smirking at Ichigo's predicament, the SOB.

Yoruichi let Ichigo go, but wasn't able to resist mussing his hair. Yeah, as if Kuchiki would ever do something like that – even as a joke. It just served to emphasize his point even more. As he had said, Yoruichi treated people like people… oh, she was quick enough to cut them down if they did something stupid and idiotic – he'd gotten her paw in the eye once for being an idiot – but that was only when they were being stupid, idiotic, and foolish. She smiled, she joked, she showed emotion – but not Byakuya. No, all of that was beneath him.

And he'd grown up a lot since he'd invaded Soul Society to save Rukia from execution. Ichigo was not the impulsive brat he had been: Hueco Mundo had cured him of that. Even Uryu had commented on it, several times, and some of his teachers had openly wondered if he was really Ichigo Kurosaki or if some other worldly being had kidnapped him and left a changeling in his place. He tended to think things out more before reacting. That wasn't to say he couldn't react quickly and impulsively when he needed to; he just tended to think more than he used to: A lot more. And notice more what was going on around him. Getting a hole blasted through you by a cero could cure you of a lot of things, he thought, shuddering inwardly. He still had some nights that he woke up, drenched with sweat and shivering. His father had had to wake him up from a nightmare more than once. And also more than once, Ichigo had awakened to find his father sitting there, in the middle of the night, watching him, worriedly. It wasn't Aizen that gave him nightmares; it was Ulquiorra. It had taken a lot of arm twisting on his part, but Isshin had finally gotten out of Ichigo what was giving him the cold sweats at night. As a consequence, his father had stopped his ambush tactics – well, most of them. Apparently he figured his son had enough on his plate, especially after the whole thing with his body started...

"What about blackmail?" Karin asked, propping her head on her hands. "Got any good dirt on him?"

Yoruichi chuckled. "Nothing that would work," she admitted. "I'm not even sure we could set him up. The Women's Shinigami Association has been trying to set him up just to take his picture for years, and hasn't managed to yet."

"So if he's a hot shot noble, I guess we can't bribe him, either," Yuzu sighed, laying her head against her brother's arm.

"I can't think of anything we have that we could bribe him with – unless it's Ichigo's head. And that sort of defeats the purpose," Urahara chuckled, especially when Ichigo glowered at him.

"Why would he not like Ichi-nii?" Yuzu sat up, sounding offended.

"He was probably his usual loudmouth, arrogant self when they met," Karin muttered. Ichigo winced at how right his sister was. Of course, the fact that Ichigo had 1) defied Byakuya time and again; 2) refused to call him by any title or give him any form of respect (he still hadn't fully forgiven him, so to Ichigo that meant that Byakuya hadn't earned Ichigo using an honorific with his name, not like Ukitake-san, Kyoraku-san, and Unohana-san); and 3) Ichigo had defeated him with a brand spanking new Bankai that he'd only just learned.

"Oh, it was a number of reasons," Urahara chortled. "And they keep starting off on an even worse foot every time they meet…" Yoruichi snickered at that. "Plus Kuchiki-sama keeps getting put in a position where he has to thank your brother, and that galls him, of course…"

"Huh?" Yuzu looked puzzled and glanced between one and the other, trying to figure out what they were talking about.

"Um, some time I'll tell you about how I invaded Soul Society," Ichigo shrugged.

"You… invaded…Soul Society? Whatever for?" Karin gaped at her brother, "By yourself?"

"No, not by myself! Yoruichi was with me. And Orihime, Chad, and Uryu. And we picked up some other help along the way." Even Yuzu was gaping at him. "And we went in to rescue Rukia. They were going to execute her."

To his surprise, it was Karin who leaped to her feet with anger. "They were going to do what?"

"I'm guessing you never told them the whole story," Yoruichi said softly. He shook his head.

"Look, it was all a big plot by Aizen, okay?" he said soothingly. "But Renji, a healer by the name of Hanataro, another friend Ganju Shiba, Kenpachi Zaraki's squad, and Toshiro – they all were working towards saving her, also. They just came into it at different times, in different ways and for different reasons. But when it came time for her execution… the people who really came through were Renji, her Captain Ukitake-san, and the Eighth Squad Captain Kyoraku-san. And Toshiro almost died when he discovered what was going on."

"Toshiro…almost died?" Karin sat down slowly. He nodded.

"He had gone to the Central 46, which is their government, to try to make a last ditch appeal… and talk some sense into them. He had also started to get suspicious about some things that were happening. He and Rangiku-san found them all dead. Aizen had killed them and was the one pulling all of the strings and giving the orders in their name."

"Why did he want Rukia-chan dead?"

Ichigo glanced quickly at Urahara, who seemed to be waiting for him. "It's… complicated. So complicated, I'm still trying to wrap my own brain around all of Aizen's plans. When I actually figure it out, I'll let you know," he finally said with a weak smile, opting to spare Urahara. It wasn't far from the truth. Ichigo was still trying to figure out how he figured into the whole of Aizen's plans for ruling the universe. He… and Rukia. He might actually know if his father hadn't stopped Aizen from telling him. And Urahara admitted that he didn't know. So, the only ones who actually did know were Aizen and Isshin. Isshin wasn't talking, and Aizen had retreated back to Hueco Mundo.

When Karin looked like she was going to protest, Urahara rapped her on the head with his fan. "He's not lying; Aizen's plans are very convoluted and go back more than 100 years. I'm not sure I even understand what they all are. Partially, perhaps; in total – no."

"So, her brother is angry at you because you invaded Soul Society to save his sister?" Yuzu had apparently gotten lost a few pages back, but that was okay. Her ability to see spirits was new, and she was still learning about Soul Society. She still couldn't see Soul Reapers, not clearly.

"Well…" Ichigo fidgeted uncomfortably, "Sort of."

"Sort of?" Yuzu squinted at him, "How 'sort of?'"

"Well, I did sort of beat him… after I saved her. He was so dedicated to following the law he was going to execute his own sister."

The twins gaped at him, knowing full well how that would have gone over with their brother. Older brothers are born first in order to protect their younger siblings; they'd both heard him say it many, many times. It was almost a credo with Ichigo.

"Oh," Yuzu finally said, and there was a wealth of understanding in that one word. A brother trying to execute his own sister… no, that would have sent Ichigo into anger overload. In fact, he'd have been frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog. It was no wonder the two men didn't like each other.

"So then I guess bribery is out of the question also, huh?" Karin muttered, propping her chin on her hands unhappily.

"What about… bribing everyone else?" Yuzu asked thoughtfully.


Yuzu smiled beatifically. "What if we bribe all the other Captains?"

"What do we have to bribe all the other Captains with?" Karin asked her, unaware that both Urahara and Yoruichi were suddenly grinning.

"What are you two grinning at?" Ichigo asked, suddenly suspicious. Yoruichi held up one of the small tasty cakes on the dish.

"Do you have any idea," she literally purred, "How many of the Captains – and Vice-Captains – in Soul Society have a sweet tooth?" Karin and Jinta both snickered, catching on.

"Hey, the Moocher will eat anything – but yeah, the sweeter the better…" the boy said, nodding. Even Ururu and Tessai started smiling.

"Did you know," Urahara said, his grin growing, "That we have an extremely large kitchen here?"

"Really?" Yuzu perked up. "Could I…"

"Of course. And I think I should mention… Kuchiki-san's birthday is soon, isn't it, Yoruichi?"

Ichigo's head swung over to Yoruichi, his eyes widening slightly. He'd tried in vain to get the date of Rukia's birthday, but he hadn't been able to worm it out of her. How had Urahara…?

"I'll go back and confirm it… while Yuzu plans her attack," Yoruichi nodded.


Yuzu planned what she wanted to make very carefully, questioning her brother and Urahara on all of the Captains and their assistants in order to get an exact number of people, while waiting for Yoruichi to confirm Rukia's birthday for them and Urahara's crew cleaned the kitchen until it sparkled. It only took Yoruichi two days to get the information she needed: Renji was more than helpful she told them when she returned, and was eager to be a co-conspirator. He thought the whole thing was a great idea, as did Ukitake, who was also very helpful and offered his conference room for their use.

"He was?" Ichigo sounded a little doubtful, since he'd always thought that his red haired friend held a torch for Rukia himself. Ukitake-san did not surprise him; he'd suspected that the white haired Captain was on Ichigo's side. But Renji?

"Yes. He's come to realize they'll only be friends, and she thinks of him as a brother… so he'd rather see you end up with her than anyone else." Ichigo was completely floored by that revelation, and stammered something incoherent. "Why so shocked? He knows you don't give your affections lightly, but when you do…" Yoruichi shrugged. "Well, storming not only the Seireitei for Rukia, but Hueco Mundo for Orihime, who's only a friend?" she grinned. "He knows he can trust her with you."

"So when is her birthday?" Yuzu asked her eyes shiny as she looked up at her big brother.

"It's the Fourteenth of January."

"That gives me less than two weeks…" Yuzu cocked her head. "So, a box of cookie-cakes for the Captains, and I was thinking of a great big sheet cake for Rukia's birthday. I can make it in pieces, and it can be put together to form the whole…" she told everyone what she wanted to do.

"Will you have time to do all that?" Karin asked her twin; concerned at the amount of work she was talking about.

"If you and Ichi-nii help me, I will. Karin can ice the cookies, and Ichi can put the designs on them. I found a whole box of different food colorings, so I won't have to mix them," Yuzu explained, her eyes sparkling.

In the end, even Shinji got drafted as a baker's assistant. It turned out the vizard knew how to break eggs without getting any shell pieces into the batter. It was an important skill, he said, when you needed to break three dozen eggs and could only use yolks in one mix and egg whites in the other. Why waste any part of the egg, when you could use one egg for two different mixes? He was also going to help play delivery boy, since there were going to be six sheet cakes, and Renji was going to slip over to help them carry the rest, as was Nanao.

"Don't worry, she's extremely tight lipped," he'd assured Yoruichi. "Even Captain Kyoraku won't know about it until we're ready." Captain Ukitake would have Kiyone and Rukia go off on a bogus mission, and he would be able to control their actions, with Kiyone's assistance. This caused Ichigo a bit of unease, until Yoruichi reassured him that Kiyone would be fine without Sentarō as a foil. They would put the cake together in the Thirteenth Squad's meeting room, and they'd be using the private Shihoin gate within the Seireitei, so Orihime, Chad and Uryu unfortunately wouldn't be able to come. They did however, help Ichigo shop for a birthday present, and it was Orihime who had come up with the suggestion, as wacky as it was… but everyone agreed that for Rukia it was perfect. So they all pitched in for it, and Ichigo insisted on putting everyone's names on it since they all pitched in and Isshin gave them the difference. Karin had found the perfect wrapping for it. The cake would be Yuzu's present to Rukia.

So, there they were, the morning before, Ichigo painting on hardened vanilla icing, the squad numbers – and sometimes a representation of the Captain's zanpakutō if there was room. Around the 'one' for Yamamoto, he put flames; and so on… when Renji and Nanao showed up, everything was ready, and they carefully packed it up for the trip to Soul Society, after allowing the pair a peek.

"Wow…" Nanao's eyes had widened when she saw the cookie-cakes. Yuzu had made extra for Urahara's crew, which allowed them to sample one. Her eyes widened behind her glasses. "Incredible…"

"I told you she was an awesome cook," Renji prodded her. Nanao just nodded. Since Yuzu still couldn't really fully see soul reapers – she could tell they were there, vaguely, but she still couldn't see them the way her sister could – Nanao turned to Ichigo.

"Please, tell your sister this is absolutely the best thing I have ever tasted…"

Ichigo looked over at his little sister with pride. "Karin, would you? Since she really can't see me either, right now?"

"Will do, Ichi-nii. You guys better get going, or you'll be late. And don't forget…"

"I won't, I won't!" Karin had made him promise to say hello to Toshiro for her. He actually couldn't wait to needle the short, white haired Captain a bit; he was too damned serious, it made teasing him fun. The more he insisted on being called Captain Hitsugaya, the more Ichigo resolved not to do it: simply because it drove the boy genius crazy.

Yuzu looked over at the others after they had gone. "I hope this works!" she said, crossing her fingers.

Okay - like, dislike, continue, don't continue? I'll be using mostly the English terminology in this, as they'll be dealing with (duh!) England!