Lemony: Just when you thought it was safe to log back onto fanfiction! *ahem* HII-YAAA READERS! LONG TIME NO SEE!

Wicked: Indeed. *flips page in book* *continues reading*

Awesome: Is that all you're going to say Wicked? Come on, its been months since the readers have heard from us!

Wicked: *ignoring Lemony and Awesome* *continues reading*


"911, what is your emergency?"

"Yes. I would like to report a break-in."

"What is your location, sir?"

"1100 Bijinesu street, hurry before he gets away. Oh, by the way, he had bright orange-hair."

CLICK.

A sixty second phone call was all it took.


The night air was cold and bitter, the wind howled, rustling the dead leaves that were scattered on the ground. Ichigo hated nights like this: in fact, he absolutely despised them. Nights like this reminded him of Rangiku and what happened a year ago. The boy's memory of that time was still sketchy, but he could recall that he was horribly depressed. His grades weren't slipping but were in free-fall entirely. He wasn't withdrawn, he was donwright isolated. A young man who appeared to be trapped inside his own head. He didn't have nightmares, he had frightful visions (when he was awake and asleep) that usually lead to him shuddering uncontrollably.

"She died because of me..." Ichigo would mutter to himself during this time, "I couldn't save her..."

He'd contemplated suicide more than once.

The only thing keeping him from swallowing a bottle full of pills or ripping up his bedsheets and hanging himself was his family. His father. His brother. His little sisters. They needed him, and it was that thought that drove him on. Nonetheless, the orange-haired boy still blamed himself. Everyone told him it wasn't his fault...but alas, know one knew exactly how Ichigo's mother died. Hell, Ichigo barely knew himself. So it was hard to say whether or not he was truly responsible.

At length, Ichigo responded to the death of parent the way any young adult would. Shortly after his phase of depression he reverted to bad behavior for a while. Nothing but the usual: acting out, getting into fights at school, and occasional vandalism. But what truly bothered him was he fact that he didn't know what happened! That was the root of this problem. Ichigo felt he owed his family some kind of explanation! He was the one with his mother that night! He was the last one to see her alive! He should remember something! Anything!

Of course, Ichigo refused to see a psychiatrist about his stress and lasp in memory. Besides, it didn't take a psychiatrist to see that the poor boy's mind simply shut in upon itself. A natural reaction to trauma, common in most people who experience a traumatic event. Without professional help he started to fall into a black mental abyss, sinking further and further as time went on only masking his true feelings behind his arrogance.

A chilling wind blew.

Ichigo shivered and pulled up the collar of his jacket.

As he walked, his thoughts drifted to another point in time: about a month after his mother's death. He remembered everything in short flashes. Ichigo's brow furrowed in concentration as he shuffled down the street. He would only look up every now and again at the humming street lights. Flash.

"Hey King, get dressed we're gonna have a boys night out..." Hichigo said to him, that he remembered perfectly.

The boy couldn't remember how he and his brother got to the club or even how they got in, but Ichigo knew the name of the place: The Eye. It was a rave-like dance club on the east-side.

Another flash.

Ichigo swallowed the bile rising in his guts as his mind took him back to the first hour or so he and his brother spent in the brightly lit club.

"What's your name?" He recalled asking a mysterious woman he'd been scoping since they arrived. She was a beautiful woman out there on the dance floor, rolling her hips invitingly as she swayed to the thumping music.

She replied, "Rangiku."

"GET ON THE GROUND NOW!"

Ichigo snapped out of his haze and whipped his head all the way around so fast his neck hurt. A police car had sped up to him and two uniformed officers leaped out chasing after him! Needless to say Ichigo took off in a fast sprint. The officers followed in hot pursuit, screaming at him to stop! The boy's feet pounded the pavement as he desperately tried to put distance between himself and the quickly approaching authorities.

"Suspect is fleeing on foot!" They were so close he could hear their radios.

A mortal sense of dread engulfed Ichigo and he snapped his eyes shut. He pumped his legs harder and harder, so hard in fact one would think his heart might explode from his chest. In a last ditch attempt to outrun the burly officers Ichigo sucked in a breath and ran some more. It was no use. All he could do was prepare for impact as he was tackled and thrown down to the cold pavement.

All three men hit the ground with a WAP! Poor Ichigo was forced onto his stomach and his arms were yanked behind his back and clasped together with tight, steel cuffs.

"I didn't do anything!" He cried, truly wanting to burst into tears now.

The police officers didn't respond, instead they searched him. Ichigo struggled, twisting his body from left to right violently, jerking his neck and shoulders, and kicking his feet wildly.

Ichigo brought resisting arrest to an art form.

Exasperated with their suspect, one of the officers shoved his knee between Ichigo's shoulder blades thus successfully pinning the crazed boy to the ground. While one officer held him in place the other continued his search. The officer stopped patting him down when he felt something rolled up inside of his jacket pocket. He smirked knowingly as he took it.

Whatever it was, Ichigo had it tucked away in a black, velvet cloth. Upon unraveling it the officers eyes narrowed smugly. There was a array of small, slender, silver, steel tools each with a different shaped tip.

"You didn't do anything, huh?" The officer sneered, "I don't think a totally innocent person would be carrying around a lock picking kit..."

Ichigo remained silent.

The other officer shook his head, "You're in a lot of trouble kid."


~The Next Day~

Everything seemed to be business as usual. He took time to enjoy the few hours of peace he had by participating in his favorite pass time. By watching every living soul in the building. He paid particularly close attention to Rukia. He was watching her behavior. She seemed to be in better spirits today. That morning she worked out a bit, had a light breakfast, and left for her classes that day. He watched her every move, highly amused by the fact that she had no idea what was really happening here. He looked down at his wrist watch. It was a quarter to nine. Damn. He had to hurry otherwise he'd be late for his appointment. He smiled to himself. Taking a trip down to the police department was going to be fun...


Rukia's day seemed to breeze by without a hitch. She stayed awake in all of her classes, hung out with a few of her friends, and even found time to get a spur-of-the-moment manicure.

Now all she had to do was get through work.

However, when she arrived at work her day took a turn. Rukia entered Gin's office; as usual she stopped at the secretary's desk, but what was unusual was that the secretary herself wasn't there.

"I'm so sorry Mr. Ichimaru," Came a muffled voice. Rukia listened closely, leaning towards Gin's personal office. The voice was coming from inside."If I hadn't left early that horrible boy wouldn't have gotten in...I hope you understand sir, I...I had an emergency and just had to leave...and..."

"Now, now Yoko its quite alright. I'm not upset with you, honest." Rukia then heard Gin chuckle. He must've been speaking with her in private. "If anything I'm glad you left. I wouldn't want you to tango with the likes of that boy. Besides, if anything happened to you who would answer my phones?"

Rukia tittered.

She shuddered to think of what might happen if Gin was left to run this office alone.

"Thank you for being o understanding, Mr. Ichimaru."

"You're very welcome, Yoko. You may go now."

Moments later, the relieved secretary appeared from Gin's suite and took a seat behind her desk. She smiled warmly at Rukia.

"Oh, how long have you been waiting out here?"

"Not long," Rukia assured her, "May I head back?"

She nodded sweetly. "Sure, I think Mr. Ichimaru is expecting you."

With that, Rukia went into her silver-haired boss's office. She saw Gin sitting behind his desk, but instead of smiling he was rubbing his temples tiredly. He looked exhausted and had small red rings under his eyes. He'd definitely been drinking. Rukia gave him a small smile.

"Long night?" She inquired as she entered.

"You don't know the half of it," Gin said with a groan. "How are you today? You're awfully cheerful for someone who's best friend has just been arrested."

Her brows drew together suddenly. "Excuse me?"

Gin smiled broadly at her. "You haven't heard? We were burglarized last night. I was told the police busted the suspect and it was none other than Ichigo Kurosaki."

Rukia was struck speechless.

She stared at Gin silently for a long time, gazing blindly at him as if he had just sprouted wings and tail. He simply smiled at her, practically brimming with excitement for her response. Gin honestly thought she shouldn't be surprised, after all, this was Ichigo. The boy had a history of trouble-making.

Rukia's shock soon gave way to blind stare morphed into a furious glare.

"Let me guess," She began in a controlled voice, "You're the one who called the police?"

"No." He purred, then added rather smugly. "Need I remind you he broke into my office. Whoever called the police did the right thing though. Really Rukia, ask yourself what would you have done?"

The younger Kuchiki gritted her teeth then sighed. If what Gin had told her was true, she would have done the same thing. Still, she knew Gin was getting a twisted thrill out of this. Enjoying it...

"I have to go get him," She breathed to herself, now very worried for her friend.

Gin merely chuckled. "Oh no you don't my little intern. I've got work for you today. You can see about your friend later..."

Rukia looked at her silver-haired employer sideways for a moment. "B-b-but doesn't this count as an emergency?!"

"Hardly." Gin purred. The younger Kuchiki screwed up at her face when that reached her ears.

"Don't look at me like that." He continued, "I'm sure Ichigo is fine. If his father hasn't bailed him out by now the authorities probably have him in holding. He's big boy Rukia, he'll be fine. Now come here, I've got some pencils for your to sharpen.


A wise cat once said if you're not on edge you're taking up too much space. Well, Rukia certainly worked on edge for a majority of the day. Her thoughts kept drifting back to her incarcerated friend. She knew that although Ichigo was in holding he could still get hurt; besides, criminals are criminals no matter where you lock them up. She became so engrossed in her thoughts that she began making careless mistakes around the office. Rukia put paperwork in the wrong files, she misplaced tabs within folders ergo making Gin read information in random order, and she nearly shred some rather important documents for an upcoming case. Luckily Gin caught her before the precious paperwork could be destroyed.

After that the silver-haired man became exasperated with his distracted employee. At his wits end, he gave Rukia one case file and a notepad.

"All I want you to do is copy the highlighted statements in the file onto this paper. Do you think you can do that for me?"

Rukia knew he was taking a shot at her ability to follow instructions. Naturally she told him he had nothing to worry about. Truly he didn't. His best friend wasn't currently locked up. All he cared about was those stupid statements!

The raven-haired girl took a seat across from Gin at his desk and set work. Quietly she applied herself to her useless task, knowing very well that copying down statements was nothing more busy work. The younger Kuchiki was fully aware that Gin was only making her stay here to keep her from Ichigo. Why? She had no idea. Nor did she care to find out. One thing was for certain, Rukia felt she'd go stark raving nuts if she didn't hear from Ichigo! Soon.

She'd copied about a fourth of the file before her mind really began reeling. Gin was, more or less, holding her hostage at the moment only to keep her away from her friend. Rukia concluded it must've had something to do with this mysterious vendetta going on between them. Whatever it was, it was a huge distraction.

Rukia was about halfway through the file when she suddenly had another thought.

"May I go to the bathroom?"

Gin didn't even look up, instead he nodded absently. Rukia hurried from the room, down the hall, past the lobby and into the bathroom. She surveyed her surroundings...not realizing she only looked guilty and paranoid. Rukia fished inside of her pocket for her cellphone. She dialed one number.

"Hello?" Came the drawling, melancholy voice of one Byakuya Kuchiki.

"Nii-sama!" Rukia whispered urgently, as if someone was actually listening to their conversation. Even though she was alone in the bathroom.

"Rukia? What's the matter? Why are you whispering?"

"Its a long story, but Nii-sama please I need you to call the precinct to check on Ichigo..."

"Ichigo?" Byakuya began quizzically. His tone then changed, "Alright. I will do what you ask."

"Ok, bye Nii-sama..."

Rukia heard the distinctive click and then the dial tone. Knowing Byakuya he'd take care of everything. She let out a breath and returned to work, with a fleering grin on her face.

Gin Ichimaru wasn't the only one who could play games.


For the rest of the day Rukia tackled every task she was given. She completed everything quickly and efficiently, not to mention correctly and quietly. So quiet in fact Gin took notice. There was a subtle change in Rukia's demeanor, very subtle, but the smiling man locked onto it almost immediately. Being a lawyer, Gin was an expert at reading people and picking up on the smallest changes within them. She was a little too calm for his liking. He preferred his employees to be off balanced, especially when they were in his presence. A few hours ago she was jittery and withdrawn, now she was prancing through her assignments. Gin took a moment to think; hmm...he didn't see this change in behavior until she had return from the bathroom. Then he had a moment of clarity. A-ha! Gin's smirk stretched appreciatively.

"You little minx..." He thought, "I should have taken your cellphone..."

What a sneaky and juvenile thing to do! Running off to the bathroom to play on one's phone...how ingenious.

Gin admired Rukia silently for a few moments longer, thoroughly impressed. He wasn't a man who was easily tricked. She won...this round.

Honestly, Rukia was so calm because she knew that whenever she called on Byakuya for help, she got it and then some. Sure, she asked him to call and check on him but knowing her older brother he would haven gotten Ichigo out of jail and Byakuya would have gotten the boy a public defender!

To sum it up nicely: Whenever something needed to be done for Rukia, Byakuya was very thorough.

Around eight-thirty Gin ran out of things for Rukia to do. By now he'd been giving meaningless and mundane tasks such as copying more notes, putting stamps on enveleopes, and worst of all, taking all of his calls. Really, what was the purpose in having a secretary? Finally, when he couldn't come up with anymore absurd assignments Gin said, "Oh would you look at the time? Where did the day go?"

He continued glancing from left to right, "I suppose I have nothing left for you to. You're free to go..."

He would use that sly choice of words in a situation like this.

Rukia didn't respond, she didn't even say goodbye. Instead she left with a very large smile on her face. Gin arched a brow at the display and watched her as she left.

That clever little intern.


The moment she reached her car, Rukia whipped out her cellphone. Lo and behold she had a lone text message from her older brother.

Call Me.

It read. Rukia wasted no time dialing her brother. By the second ring Byakuya answered, greeting her in his usual serious monotone.

"You got my message?" He began,

"Yes Nii-sama, how's Ichigo? Is he ok? Did he say what happened? How did th-"

"He's fine." Byakuya said, cutting off his sister's endless questions. "His father bailed him out shortly after I arrived."

Rukia smirked. Byakuya was always hands-on when it came to his younger sister. Instead of just calling the precinct like she asked, he went to investigate things for himself. The younger Kuchiki looked forward to pumping him for information later on; at least, whatever information he was willing to give. Let's not forget, this was Byakuya.

"Ok..."Rukia breathed, "Thank you, Nii-sama. Thank you so much."

She heard her older sibling grunt on the other line.

"If you really wanted to thank me you would have done so earlier."

"I'm sorry Nii-sama," Rukia purred innocently, turning on the 'cute' to get back on her brother's good side. She did rush him off the phone earlier. "I was working..."

Another grunt.

"I'll make it up to you," She then said climbing inside her car, "You can take me out to lunch tomorrow! I'll order the most expensive thing on the menu and then dessert."

"Hm." Said Byakuya, "That's actually a very good idea. I would like to discuss this with you...all of this."

To be Continued...


Lemony: Is it me or are these chapter getting longer and longer? Hopefully now things are really starting to shape here, its been a while since my last update I almost forgot where I was going with this story. Wicked! Did you even read the chapter?

Wicked: *flips page in book* No. Can't you see I'm reading something else...something more mentally stimulating?

Awesome: Mentally stimulating? Oh well who cares, but that's fucked up what happened to Ichigo! Getting arrested sucks epically. I should know.

Lemony: *shakes head* Anywho, I hope you guys enjoyed and without Aurthur ado...REVIEW!