Tea for You and Me
Note: Only Kisuke, Shiro and Hana know that Ichigo is a girl, everyone thinks she is a guy, it will show in pov changes.
Ichigo glared accordingly to Kisuke as she moved stiflingly in her black suit. It was a standard black one; stiff, unwrinkled, black with little silver buttons at the bottom of the sleeves and inside the suit to make it decretive. Though Ichigo didn't like it much, she chose it over the one Kisuke had picked out from Uryuu and Shinji's line up. She shivered as she remembered all the horribly clashing colors and weird designs, who in their right mind would even think of wearing it?
She shivered at the thought of the other suit before she adjusted her white tie with small hints of black etched into the sides. The tie wasn't necessary, but it set her apart from most of the workers at the Shoten; Kisuke said that only the rebellious ones wore a tie and the formal wore bow-ties or nothing to cover up the white satin, button up shirt beneath it. Ichigo looked over to Kisuke and saw that he was wearing a suit as well, but it was charcoal grey instead of black like hers and he wore no tie or bow-tie. She knew that Kisuke only wore a suit if he was going to be seen by customers so she knew they would be going through the front not the staff entrance, otherwise he'd wear his green and white coat as well as his clogs like usual.
"Alrighty then! Let's get to the Shoten and get this show rollin'!" Kisuke said to Ichigo and a recently arrived Shiro, who wore a whitish cream colored suit and black tie with a white swirl pattern. They looked like yin and yang, only Ichigo's hair was the wrong color and Shiro was too much of an aggressive soul to be good, too instinct driven. Both looked to each other before heading to the van, both got in the back as they wished to be as far away from Kisuke as possible on the way over.
Shiro started grumbling about the fact that he had to be driven over when he could of taken the monorail to Senbonzakura Station near it in less time since they didn't stop at red lights, but he stopped when he remembered that it was for Ichigo as it was her first day and he didn't want her to be alone with her crazed godfather for more than what was needed; his own godfather was even more psychotic, but Kisuke was right behind him and was a bit of a pervert.
Ichigo and Shiro looked away to the windows when Kisuke started playing some oldie songs on the radio that sounded like a badly tuned Sanshin*. When the stopped the first time, it was to pick up Hana at his apartment complex near Agni* street. Ichigo opened the van door and greeted the older male before sliding over towards Shiro so Hana could get in. When he was situated and they drove towards their next destination, Ichigo looked at the suit Hana had to wear and smirked a little when she saw it fitted him well. It was dark, dark brown with hints of gold thread here and there to make it seem that sunlight had been caught in it and he wore a golden bow-tie to complete the whole package.
"You look good Hana" she whispered with a soft smile on her face that only Hana saw, the other two being absorbed in their own thoughts at the moment. Hana blushed a little a smiled at his friend that had the purest smile known to man. Hana thanked her and watched as she looked forward and hid that smile with her scowl like usual, Hana sighed softly as he watched her do this while mentally wishing that she would let go and be free of the turmoil's that plagued her. Ichigo was a wonderful person that sacrificed herself for the better of someone else, not caring for the consequences that would ride with it just as long as she saved someone from losing themselves.
He remembered once that she nearly got expelled because she took the blame for her old friend Sado, then he had still lived in Japan, when some people jumped him for no real reason other than they could and he wouldn't fight back. Hana and Tatsuki had seen the fight and if it wasn't for them, Ichigo would've been expelled. Other than the expelled part, Hana saw that Ichigo cared very much for her friends, they were her family just like Kisuke and Shiro and she would even lay her life on the line for someone if it was needed.
He blinked out of his memories in time to see them pull up to the Shoten. Ichigo and Hana were gobsmacked at the sight since neither had been around the Shoten, though Ichigo vaguely remembers coming to the grand opening years ago. It was a five story tall, white building with a cellar for wine and a freezer, a large wall of glass and steel let the customers look out to the open water nearby as well as the lower gardens that had been installed just two years prior. If Kisuke or Shiro saw their faces, they didn't say a thing about it or show it, instead they navigated the two into the Shoten.
Once inside, Ichigo and Hana seemed to get over their shock and come back to functioning members of society. They saw many waiters going around and getting ready to open at nine as usual, though a few that rushed by running a little behind went to the stairs or elevator, cursing when they saw it was near eight thirty and they weren't ready. The group passed from the first floor to the second and saw the same thing going on then made their way to the third were Ichigo and Hana would be stationed.
The third floor seemed to be the most ready out of the floors they saw so far. Tables were ready with white cloths covering the dark cherry wood of which the table was made from. Ichigo watched as several carts came out of the floors back kitchen that had different tea cup sets upside down on small saucers and four different pots of boiled water. Ichigo looked around at the workers and saw that a few of them had ties on like her, but were colors that suited themselves instead of matching the suit.
She took note that many had been in her school just the graduating class prior to her arriving as a first year; this being in her knowledge as she had to walk by the High school to get home when Kisuke was busy and when she hung out with Rukia in her brother's classroom after school was done and all that were there was detention servers. One had particularly caught her eye that she knew by how many detentions he had served when she went into the High School, she knew right away from his blue hair and the cocky smirk that he etched into his face.
'Grimmjow' she thought to herself as she remembered several teachers shouting his name when he did things before getting into Byakuya's room for detention. How he graduated was beyond her, but she didn't dwell on it as Ulquiorra showed up at the appropriate time. Kisuke smiled at him before motioning to the back of the floor, to the offices as she heard Kisuke say the location was. Ulquiorra nodded and turned to them while the group followed him, Ichigo shivered a little as she felt a pair of eyes staring heatedly at her back. The staring made her feel like she was completely naked to whomever the eyes belonged to and her face started to heat up.
Her face was red by the time they entered the office area, more specifically Ulquiorra's joint office with Kisuke's personal one. She stood behind Shiro and Hana so she could make her face stop being flushed from the guy that stared at her. She didn't hear Kisuke telling Ulquiorra about her and Hana being under his command for two weeks nor did she hear Kisuke dismiss Shiro. Her eyes were shut as she finally calmed down and opened when Kisuke called her name.
"Hm?" she hummed and opened her eyes to see the three remaining occupants staring at her. Her face heated up again from them catching her off guard and she cleared her throat to make them stop staring at her. It worked at they looked away to another spot of the room. Ichigo mentally sighed before catching Kisuke's eye so he could finish the information giving.
"Right" Kisuke started, "As I was saying, Ichigo and Hanatarou are here for the summer to fill Madarame-san and Ayasegawa-san's spots until they go back for their final year of schooling" Kisuke finished the small tidbit of them being hired before leaning in a little to say something to Ulquiorra, "Ichigo is my godchild and therefore is to be protected from the other's, though Ichigo can fight back if needed, but if anyway sexual advances come around, stop it quickly" he said the last bit lowly so Ichigo couldn't hear. Ichigo raised an eyebrow at the secret whispering Kisuke was doing with Ulquiorra, though she knew she'd never get the information out from either as Kisuke was secretive and Ulquiorra seemed to hold onto information tightly.
"Now I leave you for now as I have a meeting in less than an hour and have to go" Kisuke said as his watch beeped at him, "I'll see you when I get back so behave and listen to Chifer-san Ichigo" he told her, he received a glare and mental finger for it as the suit didn't let her make a proper one yet. He then left the trio to themselves to a silence that none seemed to have the courage to break until Ulquiorra did just that.
"Seeing as today is just you're first day, you're not going onto the floor just the moment" he spoke with little to no emotion written in his voice or show on his face. Ichigo felt a small shiver go through her as his voice washed over her like ice water, but she didn't show the weakness to the man in front of her. Hana on the other hand had a small body spasm with the cool voice from their manager.
"What would you like to start us on today?" Ichigo asked him so the quietness wouldn't set in again. Ulquiorra looked at her and seemed to analyze her from the way he looked at her.
Ulquiorra stared at Ichigo and wondered what this boy was doing here if he was Kisuke's godson; he doubted that Kisuke would let him work here on his own unless there was an agreement between them, which he guessed had to be the only solution. He blinked when the boy had spoken, his voice was light and slightly feminine to the touch of where if he were a woman it would fit him. Ulquiorra couldn't believe that he wasn't a woman with how feminine he looked, but he left the comment to himself as he saw something in Ichigo's posture and body that made a few questions run through his mind.
After a moment of silence, Ulquiorra spoke again.
"Today we go over the basics, more specifically, greetings and making the Shoten tea" Ulquiorra set the goal to have it done by the end of the shift an set to work with them.
By the end of the shift, Hana had the greeting down and was a little iffy on the tea, but over all he had the basics. Ichigo on the other hand was about ready to kill Ulquiorra and storm out of the office in a childish fit. Her greeting was amateur at best and her tea was stronger than necessary , about to the point at the customer might go into a slight caffeine shock if they took too big of a drink. Ulquiorra seemed to have a tic mark above his left eyebrow by the end of this and let Hana leave to go and wait for Shiro and Kisuke. He made Ichigo stay behind to question her and see if there was anything he could do to help her without insulting her too much.
"Just go and say it, I suck at this" Ulquiorra heard Ichigo say from the side of the room near Kisuke's office, her back was to him and her head was slightly cocked to where her words would carry to him.
"It's true that you need work in this area, which is why we have the two week period if needed. You do have potential, just need a lot of work to bring that potential out" Ulquiorra said to her. Ichigo turned to him and nodded before giving a light smirkish-smile and headed to the door.
"See ya" she said to him before opening the door.
"I shall see you tomorrow Kurosaki-san" Ulquiorra replied just a few seconds before she left the room. He then set to fixing his office.
Ulquiorra picked up the cups of tea that he had let Hana and Ichigo used during the training. Ulquiorra looked down at the type of tea each had used to see what they had used and saw that they were very different, which would count for how their overall performance differentiated and how Ichigo's came off strong. Hana had used a simple green tea with a small hint of lemon, soothing and was considered a healer's tea as it had many antioxidants in it and was nearly tasteless besides the lemon. Ichigo on the other hand had used a black tea which counted a lot for the strong taste and caffeine hit as it had more oxidants and a higher amount of caffeine then the green did.
Ulquiorra noted that he tried to make a Masala Chai*, but added a little too much tea herbs to pull it off. Other than the slight tip off of the herbs, his tea was flawless.
'Only your greeting needs work, Ichigo Kurosaki' he thought to himself as he sipped the slightly blotched Masala Chai.
Ichigo stepped off the last stair before getting pulled behind a wall with a small, unnoticeable squeak escaping her mouth. She felt her back hit the wall and her eyes lift up to see Shiro looking her over with a hand placed in the center if her chest, a move he used when he was worried about something that dealt with her. She didn't know that he was looking over her to see if Ulquiorra had done anything to her that would make him have to kill the quiet man.
"Shiro" she growled lowly in her throat as Shiro didn't let her up from the wall. Shiro didn't even blinked as he scanned for anything out of the ordinary before taking in a deep breath and letting her go, which ended up with him getting hit with a fist in the bicep. He smirked a little at how his younger cousin acted childishly even though they were just a year apart. She was maternal and driven with a fire of will to protect someone while acting childish towards things that made no sense to her, yet she had words that went beyond her years. Shiro on the other hand counted himself to be more instinctual driven of the two and more level headed and while he was not as wise as Ichigo, he was more cleaver and smarter than her.
"How was trainin' with 'Qiorra?" Shiro asked, purposely chopping Ulquiorra's name. Ichigo blinked at the chopped name and rolled her eyes to it before telling him the details he wanted, even the blotched of the tea.
"Wha' type did ya use?" he asked afterwards as they waited for Kisuke and Hana, the latter had chosen to watch the other workers on the top two floors for a little while before they had to go.
"Black. Why you asking?" she replied with a slight confusion written on her face.
"It's the type of tea ya used tha' made him say ya blotch' it up. I did the same when I started, but I had use' a oolong blend an' added too little of it in the cup, you migh' had added a tad too much since black tea blends are generally strong" Shiro told her and got a mix of a shock and a dumbfounded look, which made his grin at the sight. He knew right away that she had not really taken note of what she had done, instead she just .did as she usually did at home; which was correct, just needed a slight tune up.
"'Quiorra migh' know by now tha' ya had use' too much an' won't say anything tomorrow 'bout it" Shiro continued before grabbing her arm and reeling her to the front as he caught sight of Hana and Kisuke heading to the front. Ichigo blinked while thinking about her cousin's words.
'I'll have to wait and see if he's right'
"Hey! Ulquiorra!" an annoyingly loud voice rang from the opening of the office that the pale raven had occupied all day instead of leaving and watching over the third floor like usual. Green, emerald like eyes looked at the owner of the voice and stared at him blankly.
"Grimmjow" was all he said; as acknowledgment or just to say 'get the hell out' was anyone's assumption, but the bluenette knew better then assume that it mention either of the two in any sort of greeting.
"Who were the two newbies?" he asked, knowing that anyone going into the offices dressed like that were workers and not any sort of business workers.
"Two new workers taking over for Madarame and Ayasegawa" was all the pale man said while he packed away the papers that held information on the new workers into his side bag. He got a grunt from the bluenette and knew what he was gonna ask, he'd known how to read him since middle school when they met.
"You'll meet them in two weeks after training, you know that, Urahara-san doesn't like information being told before a set time, so be patient" he said in a monotonic rhythm. Grimmjow grunt before going quiet and thinking back to the red head he had seen.
"That red head looks like a colored Shiro, ya know" he said off handedly, not really looking for an answer.
"That may be because they're related" Ulquiorra said to satisfy his friends unheard begging for knowledge of the new workers. He'd probably get his head chewed later if Grimmjow went snooping for more information, but it wouldn't lead back to him as he knew that Grimmjow wouldn't let him get in trouble. It's how things worked with them, he got basic information through backgrounded sources and Grimmjow obtained the rest through the main ones while holding the small detail of Ulquiorra starting the info gathering, it evened out to where they got the whole story eventually.
"Huh, well isn't that interesting, who knew the albino had a relative living in the city?" Grimmjow pondered aloud while thinking on all the things he knew about Shiro.
The man was a recent high school graduate with a single father that he never bothered to mention much about, other thence was ill. Lived on his own, as far as he knew. He knew Urahara somehow and obtained a job through him while still in high school. Had a cocky and an I-take-no-shit-from-you attitude while showing no sign of a caring side or even remote happy side; much like most of the workers on floor three, those who had such feelings went to floor one or five. He also held many secrets, it was written in his very being that made you constantly wander near him to see if you could steal at least one of those tightly sealed whispers of gossip.
Now the little fucker had a relative that no one knew about, besides Urahara it seemed. Grimmjow grinned like a cat at the thought of the new game that just appeared in his lap.
'Perfect timing too, I was starting to get bored' he thought to himself before following Ulquiorra down the stairwell to the bottom floor and out the worker entrance, hearing the automatic lock click when it closed, and into their shared car. Grimmjow started the car and pulled out of the parking spot behind the Shoten and barreled down the road when out of the parking lot before Ulquiorra could comment on the amount of damage he could cause the car from his reckless driving habits. Who the fuck cared? He still had enough points on his license and was never caught by the police after the third time when he first started driving.
Beside him in shotgun, green eyes closed to stop seeing the buildings whip past like trees in the wind.
Me: Hello, lovelies! Sorry it's been a few weeks, I could come up with an excuse, but I'll just say I got lazy~ -sheepish grin- Anyway I hope you liked the second chapter! Ugh I didn't like the chapter about halfway, but I couldn't see another way to put it that wouldn't end in violence and heated words, so I was stuck with this, but I think I got a small opening to shoot for the next start of the plot and I hope you'll like it.
Just to answer a quick question, Ulqui may or may not have some general plot in his head about Ichi, but ya just have ta wait and see ;).
*Okinawan musical instrument with three strings.
*Agni – Latin for Fire, short term being Agi.
*Masala Chai – An Indian subcontinent tea made from Milk, Black Tea, Indian spices and herbs