Characters: Ichigo/Byakuya (not yaoi)
The noble stood regally before the sou-taicho, waiting to be acknowledged. He would never be so rude as to speak before he was told to and Yamamoto knew it, so he was in no rush. The old man finished ruffling through the papers on his desk and looked up at the waiting man expectantly. Byakuya took his cue to speak.
"I'm here to make my report regarding my recent mission in the human world."
The old man nodded at him to continue.
"Our information was correct. I combated a handful of low level hollows which I eliminated, but none of significant strength were present."
"Good. Is there anything else you need to report?" He had already turned back to his paperwork.
The noble hesitated in an uncharacteristic display of nervousness. The sou-taicho looked back up at him. "Well, as expected, I encountered the substitute shinigami Kurosaki Ichigo. He possessed some sort of magical communication device. He called it a 'cell phone'."
"Hm. What did he say about it?"
Byakuya began to recount the incident.
He walked out of the Senkaimon and let it's gates disappear behind him. He looked around the town briefly before beginning to walk forward. He had been told to report to the exile Urahara Kisuke's shop immediately upon arrival for updated information. He had estimated the location well, and the shop was only a couple of minutes from here. He took his time, letting himself breathe in the fresh air of the human world and take in the sights around him. He didn't come here often, and he liked to take his time to observe things when he did. He arrived at the shop shortly, and rapped on the door. The blond man slid it open nearly immediately and pulled his hat down to hide his face.
"Well, well. What do we have here?" He grinned lecherously.
Byakuya was unmoved by his joking tone. "I assume that you were expecting me."
Urahara looked up. "I was. Please, come in." He moved aside to let the noble step through the doorway. He gestured to the table in the center of the room. "Please, have a seat."
Byakuya nodded to him and did as he was asked.
"Would you like anything? Some tea, perhaps?"
"Tea would be wonderful, thank you."
Urahara left the room to prepare the tea and Byakuya looked around. The room was the same as he remembered it. The owner never had much in the way of taste, and it seemed that he hadn't bothered to try to improve the décor since the last time the noble had visited. He was back quickly with the tea, and Byakuya sipped at it contently. It was surprisingly good. Urahara sat across from him.
"How have you been, Kuchiki-san?"
"I've been well, thank you. Now", he said, ready to get his business done and leave. "What do you have to tell me regarding the mission?"
Urahara let his joking tone fall aside. "I'm sure you've been provided with your own instructions. I've prepared a gigai for you to use while you're in this world. You're welcome to use one of the spare bedrooms here if you'd like."
Byakuya considered it for a moment. He rather disliked the shopkeeper, but he would prefer staying here than on a roof somewhere. Rather in a gigai or his spirit form, the weather affected him, and he didn't want to expose himself to it more than was necessary. "I would like that, thank you."
"Would you like the gigai now?"
"No thank you, that won't be necessary. I intend to complete my mission as quickly as possible then get back to my squad. I'll be going out to start now."
Urahara nodded at him. "Alright. If it's late when you come in and no one is awake, feel free to let yourself in. Your room is the first one on the right down that hallway."
"I see. Thank you for the tea. I'll see you when I return tonight."
"You're welcome, Kuchiki-san."
The noble stood and walked back over to the door, sliding it open before slipping outside. He stood still for a moment and let his senses expand, searching for any hollows that might happen to be in the area, though he knew that if there were any of even notable strength he would have noticed them instinctively by now. As expected, nothing came immediately to his attention. He knew that it wouldn't be long before a hollow appeared, so he decided to walk through the town's streets while he was waiting. He let himself wander aimlessly. As he was walking down one of the main streets, he came across the substitute shinigami. He stopped to greet him.
"Hey, Byakuya." The noble suppressed a twitch at the informal use of his given name by the boy. He had tried to correct him repeatedly, but it never seemed to be effective, and frankly, he was getting tired of repeating himself to no avail.
The boy's redheaded friend was also walking with him. "Hello, Kuchiki-san!" she chirped.
"Good evening, Orihime."
She grinned at him.
"What are you doing here?" Ichigo asked him.
Rude as ever, Byakuya thought. "I'm on a mission."
"Huh? For what?"
"That's not any of your business, Kurosaki."
Ichigo rolled his eyes. "Aww, c'mon, there's no need to be so stuffy. Lighten up."
Byakuya took a deep breath and was considering a reply when he was interrupted by an odd sound that was a lot like what he had been told the real world considered music. Ichigo reacted to the noise by pulling a small device out of his pocket and pushing a button on it, then putting it up to his ear and speaking into it.
Byakuya raised his eyebrows quizzically. He didn't understand what was going on, but he got the impression that the boy wasn't speaking to him. There was silence for a moment.
"Yeah, that's fine. Sorry, I'll be there in a minute. I actually ran into Byakuya on the way to your house, so Inoue and I are running a bit late. Yeah, alright." He took the phone away from his ear and pressed another button before turning to his red-headed friend. "That was Chad. He was wondering what was keeping us."
"Oh! We should be going, then."
"Yeah." He turned back to the waiting noble. "Well, good luck on your mission, Byakuya. If you need any help, let me know." He turned and began to walk away, but Byakuya called him back.
He spun around to face the captain. "Yeah?"
"May I ask you a question?"
"Yeah, of course. What's up?"
Byakuya ignored that odd statement, assuming it was simply some sort of idiom that the humans were so fond of.
"That device you had, the one that made noise. What was it?"
Ichigo looked at him speechless for a moment before responding. "Uh. You mean my cell phone?"
"Cell phone?" Byakuya parroted dumbly.
"Have you never seen one?" Orihime asked him.
Ichigo scratched his head. "Yeah, I guess they don't have them in the Seiritei, do they?"
Byakuya cleared his throat in order to get their attention. "What does it do?"
"Er." Ichigo tried to explain it to him. "Do you guys have phones at all?"
"I do not know what you mean."
"Guess not. Okay. It's..." He struggled with the words. "It's kind of like a Hell Butterfly."
"A Hell Butterfly? But that didn't seem like an animal." The noble tried to understand.
"No, it's not. It's kind of like a little computer, but it...uh...sends messages."
"I see. Am I correct that you were having a conversation with your friend Chad through it?"
"Yeah. He called me."
Ichigo sighed in frustration. "Yes. You push a button on the phone to call the person you want to talk to, and it connects to their phone. From there, it sends really fast messages back and forth between you."
Ichigo could tell that the man was lying, and that he was still as confused as ever. "I'll tell you what would help. I'll call Rukia, and have her explain it to you."
Byakuya was surprised. "Rukia? She has one of these 'cell phones'?"
"Yeah. She got one after staying here for about a month. She's here now, you know. I'm surprised you two haven't met up." He said while pulling out his phone and dialing the number.
"I've only just arrived in town", Byakuya told him. "I had planned to meet with her later, if it became necessary."
Ichigo had the phone up to his ear again. "Hey, Rukia. Listen, I'm standing here talking to your brother, and I need your help. No, no, we aren't fighting. Chad called while I was standing here, and now...well, Byakuya needs some help understanding what a cell phone is. 'Kay, here he is."
Ichigo handed the phone to the waiting noble. He looked down at it oddly.
"Put it up to your ear like you just saw me do." Byakuya complied and put the phone up to his ear. Ichigo continued to instruct him. "Now, tell her 'hello' so that she knows you're there."
"Hello?" Byakuya said quizzically.
"Good afternoon, Nii-sama." He was shocked to hear his adopted sister's voice come from the device. He pulled it away from his ear momentarily to look at it, before sitting it back down. "Are you there?"
"Yes, I'm here", he told her. "Were you going to explain to me how this odd thing works?"
"Yes. It's magical! It's like a little Hell Butterfly, but it relays messages back and forth between the two parties instantly. It's very convenient!"
"I see" he told her, really meaning it this time. It made much more sense when she explained it to him.
"Alright, bye." Rukia's voice said in his ear. He pulled the phone away from his ear and looked at it again before handing it back to the waiting orange-haired boy in front of him.
"Anyway, I've really gotta be going. Chad is waiting for us."
Byakuya nodded at him. "Of course. Have a nice evening."
Ichigo waved as he began to walk away, leaving Byakuya standing there somewhat dumbfounded.
After he had completed his work for the day, he went back to the shop where Urahara had offered him a place to stay. It was still fairly early, before sunset, so he knocked on the door before entering. The shopkeeper and his small family were sitting at the table eating dinner.
"Ah, Kuchiki-san. I was wondering if you would be back for dinner. Are you hungry?"
He sat down with them to eat his meal. They chattered among themselves aimlessly before he worked up the courage to ask the question that had been plaguing him all evening.
"Do you have a cell phone?"