"Sorry!" Ichigo Kurosaki shouted behind him to the business man he had just ploughed into as he sprinted through Tokyo Train Station, desperate to make the 16.03 train to Karakura. His sister Karin had called him only 30 minutes ago to inform him that their sister Yuzu had gone into labour 2 weeks early with her fourth child and that their Dad was going crazy with excitement. Apparently his presence was needed immediately to control the old man and also to babysit his nieces and nephew as Karin had to leave early the next morning for a football tour around Europe, something she couldn't miss seeing as she was the star player of Japan's female football team.

Ichigo ducked and dived as he weaved his way through the crowds until he finally saw the train, his heart dropping and anger and frustration flooding through him as he saw the queue for the security turnstiles. He didn't have time for this! He had to get to Karakura to be with his family! Reaching into the back pocket of his jeans he grabbed his MPD Inspector's badge and flashed it at the security guard as he cut through the queue and sprinted the final few feet to the train. Admittedly he shouldn't have just abused his position as one of Tokyo's finest Inspector's by flashing his badge purely to cut a line because he was in a hurry, but this was almost a life or death situation. If anyone had seen what his Dad was like whilst waiting for a new grandchild to arrive into the world they would understand why he done what he just had. With one final spurt of energy he leapt onto the first open door of the train he came to and breathed a sigh of relief as the doors shut behind him only seconds later.

The train was extremely busy and crowded, but after walking through a few carriages he miraculously managed to find two seats for himself and he threw his bag onto the spare seat next to him as he sat down. Being an Inspector in MPD meant he quite frequently needed a change of clothes so when Karin had called him he had simply grabbed his bag from his locker and told his boss that he was taking a weeks holiday, the fact that he was one of Tokyo's most successful Homicide Inspectors' and was somewhat of a workaholic meant that his boss easily agreed to his request.

Quickly he sent a text to Karin to let her know he was on his way and what time the train would be arriving before he settled into his seat for the journey back home. A small smile appeared on Ichigo's face as he thought of the new life Yuzu was bringing into the world, which was quickly replaced with a shudder as he remembered what his father had been like the last two times Yuzu had been in labour, the first time with her son, Daitaro, and the second time with her identical twin daughters, Aimi and Nene. He hoped the labour wouldn't be too painful or traumatic for her, although he had to admit his sister made pregnancy and childbirth look easy, and he wondered whether he would be an uncle to a new niece or nephew.

Retrieving his I-pod from his bag he placed the headphones in his ears and watched the changing landscape as the train travelled through the various suburbs of Tokyo towards Karakura, becoming more and more nostalgic as the miles passed . He smiled fondly to himself as he remembered the days when he used to fight with Tatsuki in the local dojo, the family picnics they used to go on before his mother died, the festivals and temples he attended with his friends and family, talking to pluses so they wouldn't feel lonely and sad, and even school and the fights Chad and he had gotten into. How simple life had been back then. That was before Rukia had come into his life and he had become a Substitute Soul Reaper and saviour of Soul Society.

He couldn't complain though, the last 20 years had been kind to him. Having defeated Aizen and the Fullbringers it seems that "evil" had decided to take a break, either that or Hueco Mundo was still in such disarray after Aizen's defeat that the battle for the top spot was still being fought by whoever resided there now, and things in the Human World had quietened down significantly. Sure, there was still hollow activity, but they were mainly low level and things were nowhere near as bad as they had been when Aizen was around.

After graduating from Karakura High he'd moved to Tokyo to attend University and he'd became one of the soul reapers that protected the city, the conurbation being so large that more than one soul reaper was required to protect it. His fellow soul reapers had been in awe of him to start with, having heard the stories of how he had he saved Soul Society many times, but they had soon become good friends and they socialising together whenever they got the chance. He'd attended The University of Tokyo earning, a joint degree in English Literature and Psychology, and also had his first serious girlfriend. Life had been relatively normal for him during that period of his life, although juggling a girlfriend, school, a part time job and his duties as a substitute soul reaper had been challenging. However, finding a job after graduation had proved even more difficult as his position as a substitute soul reaper meant he often had to leave work suddenly and at awkward times. He had been fired from a few jobs for his erratic behaviour and eventually he had found his way to the MPD. Being a Police Officer suited him, he had the freedom to roam the city whenever he needed to and it helped appease the part of him that needed to see justice done.

He quickly rose through the ranks and by the time he was 28 he was working as a Homicide Inspector. As a Homicide Inspector his substitute soul reaper status came in handy as some of the murders were committed by hollows and the soul was still fighting or hiding from the hollow at the crime scene. In these cases he'd been able to stop the poor soul from being eaten by the hollow as he'd slipped out of his body and defeated it before performing a konso to send the soul to Soul Society. Although it was sad to witness the death of a human, it gave him great peace knowing that he had sent the soul safely to Soul Society, even if it did mean he would then spend the next few weeks searching for a "murderer" that didn't exist.

Unfortunately his love for his job and his passion for justice had turned him into somewhat of a workaholic and his relationship with is college girlfriend had ended soon after he had entered MPD. He'd had a few flings since then, but nothing serious. He was dedicated into righting all the injustice in the world, either as a Police Inspector or as a substitute soul reaper, and he had to admit he was pretty good at both. Luckily for him Yuzu had provided their father with three wonderful grandchildren which had relieved some of the pressure his Dad had been putting on him to reproduce the next Kurosaki. Ichigo didn't see what the problem was, after all he was only 38, he still had time to get married and start a family.

Thinking of his substitute soul reaper role reminded him that he needed to inform Soul Society that he was on holiday for a week in Karakura so that a temporary soul reaper could be assigned to his patch. Rummaging around in his bag he quickly retrieved his denreishinki and sent a text message to the 13th Division, Captain Ukitake being his superior officer, to appraise them of his situation. Briefly he wondered if she would get it.


It had been 20 years since he had seen her and over that time he had kicked himself more than once about how he had left things:

"See you around, Rukia"...

..."This isn't going to be the last time, so who cares how many times I say it?"

The only problem was, it had been the last time he had seen her to date. Without an enemy to fight there really was no need for him to go to the Soul Society, and as Rukia was still a Lieutenant (he sometimes received orders that had been signed by her), there really was no need for her to come to the Human World as she could delegate such tasks, especially as "evil" seemed to be taking a break. Apart from his fellow soul reapers based in Tokyo, there really was no need for any of his old friends to come to the Human World now as there was no real threat and he'd be lying if he said he didn't miss them. Especially her.

Often he wondered if she was the reason he'd not gotten married or started a family yet, a part of him longed for that "white picket fence" life after all. But no woman he'd ever met could compare to her or understand him like she could. He'd never been as close to anyone as he had been to her, not even with his college girlfriend. A human couldn't understand his duties as a soul reaper and trying to come up with an excuse as to why he needed to leave at 3am to go and fight a hollow was often difficult. He couldn't explain what he'd been through as a teenager, and what he continued to deal with on almost a daily basis, to a human. Solitude seemed to be the easier option.

Feeling slightly melancholy, he reached into his bag to retrieve his text book as he was currently studying for the Superintendents exam next month, and that's when he felt it; a small shudder. Not a second later a he felt a bigger shudder but this time the shuddering didn't stop. Everything started to rattle and the train felt like it was jumping on and off the tracks. Adrenaline shot through him as he realised an earthquake had struck and his heart dropped into his stomach as he realised the train was trying to cross a bridge that covered a deep ravine. Suddenly there was a large bang and the last thing Ichigo remembered before darkness encroached was the sound of twisting metal and his body being thrown forward into the carriage.

I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter and let me know what you think. Chapters 1 and 2 are setting the scene and then things start moving from there.

I've never been to Japan so I had to use Google to find out about the Japanese Police Force. According to Wikipedia, MPD is the Metropolitan Police Department which is the main Police Department in Central Tokyo. Apologies if I got any of this wrong.