AN: Written for a prompt on Livejournal: "The butler did it."


"Who did it?"

Rukia Kuchiki stands in all her short, four-foot glory, arms crossed, glaring. She wears a sunny yellow dress and sandals, bangs pulled back with a hairpin. The Kurosaki family, along with Ishida and Orihime, sit before her at the kitchen table, staring, horrified.

She taps her foot and quirks a fine eyebrow. "Well?"

Ichigo looks at her and scoffs, "we can't answer your question if you don't tell us what it is! What are you so pissed about?" He shovels a chunk of rice into his mouth and chews noisily. Rukia kicks him in the shin and pulls his hair, bending him closer to her.

"I'll tell you what I'm so pissed about, Ichigo Kurosaki," she quivers with rage and pulls his hair harder, earning a yelp, "someone stole my Chappy pajamas!"

Ishida gently pries her hands away, taking them in his own. He clears his throat and speaks in a very calm voice, despite her petrifying glare.

"Perhaps you could tell us what they looked like. Maybe you simply misplaced them, or left them in the laundry machine? There's no need to be so," he looks her up and down, glasses shining, "hostile."

Rukia jerks away and stomps around the table, grabbing a bowl of steaming rice and proceeding to shove hunks of it into her mouth. Pieces fly everywhere when she speaks rapidly, "I don't know where they are! I've checked the laundry machine and all over Ichigo's filthy room! I've already asked the twins to search their rooms, too, and they weren't there."

She coughs and thumps her chest, eyes watering. Isshin takes this opportunity to clasp his hands on her shoulders, pulling her against his chest. He bellows so loud the china rattles.

"Never fear! Let Daddy Isshin find them for you, dear Rukia! I'll turn this house inside out! You'll have your precious pajamas back or my name isn't Isshin Kurosaki!"

He's about to say more when she shoves him away, face flushed, coughing. She looks to him with tears in her eyes. "Thank you," she chokes, "those Chappy pajamas are very dear to me." Ichigo groans.

Orihime smiles from across the table, raising her fist cheerily. "We'll find them for you, Rukia!"

Ichigo proceeds to smack his head against the table. "It's just pajamas! She can get new ones! There's no need to turn the house upside-down to look for them, right? Can we please just enjoy our breakfast before class starts? Please?"

Isshin looks at him scandalously. "My dear boy! You won't even help poor Rukia find her beloved pajamas? And you call yourself her friend!" The entire table turns glares upon him, and Ichigo sighs.

"Maybe they're not lost. Maybe someone really did steal them. I don't know who would, but you never know."

Orihime places her chin in her palm, squinting, as if contemplating something of great importance. Everyone looks to her, expectantly. A few moments pass by in silence.

"I know!" She says at last, gasping, "The butler did it!"

Ichigo rubs his temples, "we don't have a butler, Orihime."

She frowns and turns large brown eyes to him, "but it's always the butler!"

Rukia slams her hand upon the table, dishes tipping over with the force. "Well, it must have been someone! They couldn't have grown legs and walked off, now could they?"

Ishida nods sagely. "Unlikely. But who do we know would do something like that? And how would they have gotten in here in the first place? Unless," he sweeps his eyes across the table, "it's someone we know."

Orihime coos. "You're so clever, Ishida!"

He blushes and grins sheepishly. "Hardly, Orihime. But thank you."

Ichigo claps one fist against his open palm. "You know, I haven't seen Chad around lately."

Everyone gasps. "No!"

Ichigo nods solemnly. "Well, think about it! He does like cute things, and he's the only person we know that could have gotten close enough to steal them lately. He does have a lot of room to hide them, you know."

Rukia looks down, frowning. "But why would Chad do such a thing?"

Ichigo shrugs and continues to eat. "Who knows. Let's just call him and ask if he has them. If not, we search the house. I just want to get this over with."

He searches through the pockets of his jeans and pulls out a cell phone, dialing Chad's number.

"Hello, Chad? Yeah, it's Ichigo. Hey, listen – Rukia's yammering on about some Chappy pajamas she lost, would you happen to know where they are?"

They hear noise from the other line, and Ichigo nods, sighing heavily. "Oh, alright then. Sorry I bothered you. Bye." He closes the phone and puts it back in his pocket.

Rukia looks to him with large, hopeful eyes.

"Sorry, Rukia. He doesn't know where they are."

She screams and lands a flying kick to his head.

Across town, Chad hangs his phone back up on the wall, sighing with relief. He clutches the Chappy-adorned pajamas and smiles.