On a chilly winter's day, he walked. He walked, and walked, and walked, wandering to wherever his feet was taking him. The icy winds tugged at his hoodie, blowing the strings backwards. His eyes were winced against the strong breeze and snow crystals that were coating on the fabric and his bright auburn hair. His hands shoved deep in his pockets to keep warm and his muscles aching from the cold, he walked on, not knowing what the next town had in store for him.

'8 years...' he thought as he walked down the highway full of speeding vehicles. '8 years I've been wandering like this... and yet, I still can't find a purpose.' he continued to walk, letting his feet do all the work. He didn't know where he was going. He just went. He didn't care, nor was he aware of what could possibly be awaiting him. Without family or friends, what was he to do? Staying in one spot wasn't the answer. And he never stayed in one place for long. 1 to 2 weeks flat. Then, he'd move on again, not knowing or caring where he went.

However, when it came to danger, he ran. He ran like the wind and never looked back. He would run for days and collapse in exhaustion. He'd run until he felt safe or far away from whatever he was fleeing, which in his mind, was never far enough. That's why he became a nomad. Everything to him was dangerous. Which is why people called him The Roamer, The Wanderer, and the Roving Male. One town was actually convinced that he was an apparition of a dead preacher they loved so much, all because he walked through the streets on a very dense and foggy night. He knew he couldn't go back there again.

As for food, clothing, and bathing? He ate what he could get. That meant he was a thief. He was a bandit of food just like a racoon. And with speed like his, it wasn't hard to get away. Did he like it? Of course not, but he couldn't just settle down and try to start a new life. It wasn't as simple as people make it seem. It was impossible for him. Never will he be able to stay in one place.

Clothing? He only needed his jeans, t-shirt, and sweatshirt. His sneakers were worn, but they were still useable. The cold and heat no longer affected him. He was used to it now, but he wasn't stupid. He was smarter than people thought. During the winter, he'd wander down south, where it was warmer. During the summer, he'd travel north where it was a tad cooler with much more wooded areas to keep cool in the shade with freshwater streams and lots of fish. He wished it was summer now. He'd find a wooded area with a stream and fish all day and eat until his heart, and his stomach was content, but snow and ice is what he'll have to settle for the next few brutal months ahead.

It was harder to bathe in the weather. The streams and lakes were frozen solid and the towns' distances seemed further away. He didn't stink, however. Never did he smell or have an unpleasent odor. He made sure of that. He always smelled... earthy or dull. Nothing extreme like some hobos he's heard about. Well, he wasn't a hobo. He was a rover, who couldn't stop walking.

The highway finally ended and he looked down the grassy slope to see wooded area. Pine trees to no end. He smiled and slid down the hill. This was perfect. He could make a nice place to take shelter from the weather and dry his clothes. Making a fire was pre-school work for him. If it's one thing he knows best, it's survival in the wilderness.

Shaking his head to free himself from the powdered snow, he ran toward the white-topped pines. He dashed into the woods, running at full speed like a sled-dog and kept running. He heard the crunching of the pine needles and pine cones under his feet. There was little snow on the ground, and the soil wasn't very wet. The biggest concern was how wet the wood was. Most likely soggy like a frog. Nonetheless, he'll find something to use.

He jumped down from a rock and realized something. It was protruding out of the ground, making a den-like structure. It was perfect. He crawled under there and brushed out all of the unnecessary debris. He leaned against the soil wall and sighed. He panted hard to catch his breath. He hated running in the cold It made his chest feel tight and gave it a stabbing sensation. He'll shelter here for the night... or perhaps... a few days... The next town was still many miles away, and rest was something he wanted more than anything now, but days are short now. Night is approaching fast, and the first thing he must do is find firewood. It's that, or freeze to death.

As the car slowly drove through the slushy substance on the road, down the narrow streets, Rukia Kuchiki, a beautiful woman in the prime of her life, (or at least supposed to be) stared bordly out the car window, staring at the familiar grey, stale buildings of the crowded little town. She wished she could do something to lift the spirits of this downed town. It was so tedious and lifeless, but then again, in ten degree weather, who would want to act lively and full of energy when your main priority is to stay cooped up in the warmth of a heated building? Work, restaurant, or home, heat is heat, and in this town, there wasn't enough of it.

Rukia sighed, seeing the think fog of her breath. She was so bored. She's been here for years, sticking around for her brother. He was a retired investigator. He studied crime scenes and other offenses that couldn't be solved by the "professionals". He quit only because he was away from Rukia for so long when he was called. Rukia felt terrible for it. He really enjoyed that job. To carry a gun and be able to dig around people's files and information. He loved playing detective and bringing peace back to people's lives including their own. But the distance it tore between him and Rukia was the one thing he dreaded. The worst time is when he had to travel to an entire different city for three weeks. During that time, Rukia had gotten awfully sick and he resented until this day.

Rukia feels so responsible. He was getting such a big income and was so happy. Now, Byakuya works as a security guard to the town's small prison all the way on the outskirts. Rukia knows he hates it. It isn't anything like being a detective and gets paid a portion of what he used to. Ever since he quit his job, they've been both feeling down, and their relationship has slowly died down. Byakuya thinks it was because of the low income, but really, Rukia just wanted her old brother back. The one who would take her for late-night drives, give her piggy-back rides around the house at random, and stay up late to watch her favorite movies with her, even though he didn't favor them. She missed those days. Even when he left for an investigation, Rukia didn't mind. She knew he'd come back eventually and welcome her with a smile and a hug, but now, all she gets is a simple hello and a frown thats cold and sad.

The first time he frowned at her was when she changed- when they both changed. The late night drives stopped, and the movie nights grinded to a lonely hault. He was too tired to engage in any activities with her and Rukia was eventually left with herself. Even though Byakuya was with her more, he still wasn't there. Not the Byakuya she used to know.

"Rukia, you always seem so gloomy." Rukia whipped her glance towards the voice. It was her red-haired friend, Renji. She rolled her eyes at him and sighed again, looking out the window as the car drove across the bridge. "Perk up a little, Rukia. Spring will be here soon." Renji tried to cheer her up, but he failed, just like every other time.

Renji and Rukia go back not too long ago. When Rukia and her brother moved into the town, he was the first to greet them and show them around. Without him, Byakuya would've never gotten his investigation job. Over time, Rukia and Renji became close friends. They loved to talk and tease Byakuya for little things like his long hair or his glasses when he had to go in disguise. They loved to go prancing in the streams and splashing each other during the hot summers. They liked to wander the town during the day and settling down at night and watching movies when Byakuya wasn't there, but then, Renji moved downtown where walking was too far and their time together got cut back. Now, on their way to work, Byakuya picks the man up and drops him off at his job, which is in a lumber workshop. He gets paid enough to support himself and his new home, which is his pride and joy.

Rukia works in a small library down a few blocks from the prison Byakuya works at. She didn't feel like staying cooped up in the tiny little house she and Byakuya live at in the middle of the woods, a few miles away from the town. It provided cool shade in the summer, but it was a direct target for snow storms. Rukia was okay with snow, but not fond of the cold. She hated the cold. She loved to dress casually, wearing long skirts with boots and light shirts. It was difficult to dress like that with winter being a long five to six months out of the year. Spring didn't last long, and the summers were mild and short. Fall came so fast you'd miss it if you blinked, and as soon as you know it, there was snow everywhere on the ground. But the small home was quaint and warm. Rukia loved her home. She loved her quiet time where she'd snuggle in her bed and curl up with a book and read herself to sleep. That's how she spent her evening frequently in her home. Since Byakuya sometimes worked nights, she was left alone often.

"I don't like the cold, Renji..." Rukia said stoically. She became so depressed lately. This past year was a nightmare for her regular perky mood. Everything seemed to be crumbling down on her.

"The warmth is coming back soon, Rukia. Only a month to go before we finally start seeing green again." Renji tried to seem optimistic, though it didn't work on Rukia. Not even the beautiful springs made her feel better. She knew exactly what she wanted, though she wondered if she was ever going to get it back.

"There is more than the warmth of the upcoming seasons that I want, Renji..." Rukia said blinking at the sight of the frozen river as Byakuya's car drove over the stone bridge. "Not even you can give it to me." Rukia closed her eyes and leaned her head against the frosty window. Renji went silent. He then knew he sould stop talking. Winning arguments like this with Rukia was zero-to-none. Renji only sighed, accepting defeat and stared out his own window.

"Here's your stop, Renji." Byakuya spoke in a blank tone. The car slowly came to a stop and Renji got out.

"Thanks for the ride, Byakuya. I'll see you tonight." Renji said his good-bye before departing to his workshop. Byakuya then sped off, heading downtown to the library where Rukia worked. The whole time Rukia was silent, looking at the passing buildings and trees. She didn't really like the downtown part of her home. It was... sketchy. Byakuya never let her come down here unless it was for work. It took a lot of persuasion from Byakuya to let Rukia work at the large book palace she loves so much. This part of town was known for its dangerous alleys. Every other day was a fight or drug deal. It only happened at night, but it still scared Rukia.

As Rukia peered out her window, she realized that she was at her destination and gathered her bag. "Thank you, brother." Rukia thanked her brother and closed the door before walking up to the building. Byakuya waved a good-bye before driving off. Rukia sighed and put her glasses on. Sometimes she felt like a real dork wearing them, but when working with tiny print, they were a necessity. She walked into the building and prepared for her work day.

He wandered through the snow-covered woods, abandoning his little "campsite" for the day to look for food. It's been days since he's eaten anything. Anything would do for him now. He wasn't a picky eater. He couldn't afford to be. Food was food, whether it was fresh or out of the garbage.

As he trudged through the white powder, he suddenly smelled smoke. Instantly, he began to sweat and his anxiety level sky-rocketed. He summoned up enough courage to proceed with walking towards the smell. After many hesitant steps, he peered past the large tree he was hiding behind to see a cabin. The chimney was burning heavily, giving the air a thick cloud of black. He sighed silently in relief and made his way closer to the feeble-looking structure. Perhaps this place had food? Or scraps in the trash.

He slid down the snowy sloped hill into a large bush and took cover behind it. His bright orange hair was a dead give-away. It would blow his cover and he'd be in big trouble.

He peered over the shrub and tried to get a closer inspection of the small home. There were no garbage cans in sight, but he saw something on the side of the cabin, under the window sill.

"A garden..." he whispered to himself. Perfect! Too easy! He cautiously made swift steps through the snow, trying to keep his footsteps quiet. The cabin was not that far away. About a few yards. There was no turning back now. He had to make this count. 'Take it and run!' he told himself as he reached the small patch of hidden food. In the ground, he recognized familiar green sprouts. 'Lets see... carrots, parsley, celery, and... what the hell is this?' he raised and eyebrow at a very light and bouncy sprout that popped out of the snow-sheeted ground. No matter, food is food, and he needed it.

He quickly plucked all he could carry and shoved it in his jacket. He left very little and made a hasty get away. A snow storm was expected for today, so his tracks would be covered for today. He was lucky- this time. As soon as he got back to the bush, he looked back one last time. He saw a road leaving the cabin leading up north. He remembered seeing a map a few cities back about this quaint little town. It wasn't that far, and that meant one thing. Many opportunities to steal more food.

The snow had started out as a heavy flurry to a nightmare-ish blizzard and little Rukia stood in the raging storm, awaiting her brother to pick her up. She shivered madly in the cold, trying to warm herself by hugging her own form. Her knees were buckled together and her teeth chattered furiously. Oh, how she hated the cold. This brisk winter was too much for her to handle. Where was the warm summer she knew as a little kid where she got to climb trees and enjoy what the sun had to offer?

Finally, the car pulled up and she dashed for the door. She was thankful that Byakuya had the head on full blast. She sighed contentedly as the head warmed her up rather quickly. She did, however, scowl at her brother for being so late.

"I could've turned into a popsicle out there!" Rukia protested. Byakuya rolled his eyes.

"No, you wouldn't have, because I am here now, and we are going home." Byakuya said sternly. Rukia sighed and sat back in the seat. She was tired. She couldn't wait to get home and get her little herb plants inside of the house so she could water them. Byakuya loved to cook, so she took the liberty of growing som herbs for him to use. Parsley was his favorite, so that's what she grew. She had a bunch of other things she loved to grow in the tiny garden she had. Carrots, tomatoes, celery, strawberries, and a weird vegetable called fennel. It didn't taste exactly favoring, but Renji loved it in soup.

"I have to pick up Renji and bring him home with us again." Byakuya suddenly spoke, taking a dangerously swift turn down the street to Renji's work. This wasn't the first time he's spent the night with them. He does many times to save gas for Byakuya's car. Rukia doesn't mind. She likes when Renji stays for a night or two. It gives her more time to try to talk to him, since he's kept to himself since he got his new job. "You don't mind, do you?" Byakuya asked politely. Rukia smiled slightly.

"Of course not, Byakuya... Renji is always welcome in our home." Rukia said sweetly. Byakuya nodded briefly, turning down the last street and parking in front of the lumber warehouse. After a few seconds, Renji came out running through the blinding snow straight to the car. He opened the door and jumped in, shaking slightly from the cold.

"Damn this storm is strong!" Renji exclaimed as he brushed off the sticking flakes of snow. Byakuya drove off, carefully driving down the road through the blizzard. Rukia was snuggled into herself, directly in front of the heater. She felt like a cat on a cold day in January in front of a fireplace. She just wanted to get home and tend to her little plants.

After a delayed trip because of the snow, Byakuya finally pulled up to the small cabin they lived in. Everyone hopped out of the car and dashed into the house. Once inside, everyone removed their coats and boots and made their way next to the fireplace, where the fire was raging strongly.

"I never get tired of that beautiful fire." Renji commented as he sat on the couch, enjoying the blast of head warming him up. Rukia sat next to him and snuggled under his arm.

"Me either!" Rukia shivered. Byakuya smiled at the two before heading upstairs as usual. He never really spent much time with the two like they did before. He'd go upstairs and go straight to bed because his work would sometimes call and ask for him to come back in the middle of the night. Rukia hated it, but there was nothing he could do.

"Oh!" Rukia exclaimed, jumping to her feet. "I almost forgot about my plants!" Rukia ran to the kitchen, nearly bumping into a very tall woman.

"Easy, little road runner!" she scolded. "I almost dropped my cake!" the purple-haired woman swerved around the girl placed her dessert on the table.

"I'm sorry, Yoruichi! But I almost forgot about my plants on the window sill!" Rukia said, trying to pry open the window that seemed to be frozen shut. Rukia groaned as she used all her strength to lift the wooden pane when it suddenly shot up. Rukia blinked in surprise and looked up to see Renji.

"I though you needed a little help." Renji smiled. Rukia smiled thankfully.

"Aww... I thought I was getting stronger." Rukia whined sarcastically. She pulled in her basil plant and blew off the powdered snow and handed it to Renji to put it on the table. She reached for her small parsley plant and gasped. "What the hell!" Rukia exclaimed as she looked at the plucked plant.

"What's wrong?" Renji asked, peering over her shoulder. Rukia looked down at her plant, crestfallen.

"Something ate my parsley! I worked real hard to grow it!" Rukia walked over and placed her half eaten herb on the table. Yoruichi walked over and looked at the small plant.

"It looks like something was pulling at it." she said.

"Maybe it was a deer." Renji assumed. Rukia shook her head.

"That's impossible. Deer aren't around this area in the winter. They won't show up until late May. Something, or someone must've taken them." Rukia growled. How dare someone take her precious crops out of her garden!

"Uh... Rukia?" Rukia turned to look at Renji. He had a nervous expression on his face as he looked out the window. "Your parsley isn't the only thing that's been plucked." Renji commented. Rukia's eyes widened and she ran to the window. She pushed Renji out of the way and gasped loudly. Half her garden was pulled, barely anything left.

"My garden! Who the hell did this?! This was not animal! Someone stole my garden!" Rukia screamed. She shook with fury. That garden was her pride and joy! How could someone steal from her like that?

"Don't stress over it, Rukia." Yoruichi tried to settled Rukia. When Rukia go angry, she became dangerous. "It happens to everyone eventually." Yoruichi put her hands on Rukia's shoulders and led her away from the window. "Get your head in here! If you catch cold, Byakuya's going to hold me responsible!" Yoruichi joked. She sat Rukia down in the chair and petted her head. She seemed so sad.

"It's okay, Rukia. We'll grow better plants in the spring anyway." Renji tried to cheer her up. Rukia didn't want to hear it.

"I want to find out who did this. This isn't fair." Rukia grumbled. Renji sat down next to her and rubbed her shoulder.

"If I could, I would Rukia, but right now we have to stay warm and not outside in the freezing-cold weather." Renji said. Rukia sighed. How could someone do such a thing? Rotten thieves. They're too lazy to make their own food, so they steal from the hard-working. Ridiculous!

"Have a piece of cake, Rukia!" Yoruichi pushed a small piece of chocolate cake in front of her. "I think you'll be happy to know I used the rest of the mint! It tastes wonderful!" Yoruichi was proud of herself. She had slaved all day over the oven to get it just right. Rukia supposed it would cheer her up. It was her mint after all. It'd be rude to not acknowledge the herb's flavor.

"I think I will. Thank you, Yoruichi." Rukia smiled before biting a small piece of the dessert. She was right. It is delicious! If it's one thing that makes Rukia happier than anything, it's cake. "Mmm!" Rukia smiled . "You did a great job, Yoruichi!" Rukia commented. Yoruichi felt a tingle of pride in herself.

"Thank you! I knew you'd like it!" Yoruichi smiled brightly. "Oh, another thing, have you seen Kon anywhere?" she asked worriedly. Rukia and Renji exchanged glances. She shook their heads, unaware of where Yoruichi's orange tabby could be. The purple-haired woman frowned. "He was here earlier when I left for groceries. When I opened the door, he was nowhere in sight. Now I'm really worried. Kon, where could you be?" Yoruichi called as she walked out of the room.

Kon was a fat, lazy, greedy tabby Yoruichi found about a year ago when she moved in after Byakuya's retirement. Byakuya took her in because she had gotten evicted from her apartment in town for Kon. Byakuya said she could stay if she helped take care of the cabin. Since then, she's been a wonderful help. As for her heartless cat... he needs some improvement.

"I don't understand why she loves that cat. He's mean and a glutton." Renji commented, shoving a piece of cake in his mouth. Rukia frowned. She understood how it feels to love something that seems so... antisocial.

"Why does the dog always return to the abusive owner?" Rukia questioned before getting up and leaving the table. What that meant she had no idea herself. She loved to make Renji ponder for no reason whatsoever.

Rukia made her way upstairs and passed Byakuya's room to get to hers. It wasn't very late, but she was very tired. She opened the door to her room and closed it. She got changed into her pajamas and snuggled into her bed, not bothering to read tonight. She was too upset about her plants to read. Besides, sleep sounded wonderful right about now. She settled her head into her pillow and with one last long sigh, she fell asleep.

The storm was hitting the area hard, coating everything with white snow. In the small den-like structure, he shivered. Not because of the cold, however, but because of the weird onion he had eaten he plucked from the garden earlier that day. He winced as his stomach roared in protest. He was curled up in a ball in his 'cave' on the frozen soil.

"What the fuck did I eat?" he groaned. Whatever it was, it didn't like him, and his stomach loathed it. Never again will he eat something he doesn't know. The saying "Don't knock it until you try it" has devastating results "Never again..." he groaned.

The blistering winds slammed into the trees in the middle of the woods. He bared the storm without fire. It was horrible. It was extremely cold outside and he shivered like mad. He'll have to leave this place soon. The weather was too extreme for him. Winter here was brutal. How could anyone live in such a bitter place?

He can't move now. He was in too much pain. He'll have to wait out the storm overnight. He just hoped he would wake up tomorrow morning to see the light.

The next morning was a chilly one. The snow had blanketed over the earth, covering everything with a white coat. Rukia awoke with a tired moan. She was curled in a ball underneath her heavy blanket. She sighed and stretched out, feeling tight. She sat up and shivered. The fire must've died down during the night. She'll have to go out and get more firewood. The question was, why didn't Yoruichi?

Rukia sighed as she would have to find out for herself and sat up in bed. She wrapped one of Byakuya's coat around her and slid her feet in her slippers before making her way downstairs. There was no smell of delicious cooking in the kitchen, or the ranting of Renji. It was already clear that Byakuya and Renji went to work. The library was closed, so Rukia had her regular day off. She loved her day-offs. She'd be lazy and if she was lucky enough, Yoruichi would spend the day with her. However, it seemed she was going to spend this day alone.

She guess Yoruichi wasn't here. Downstairs, she found a note taped to the back of one of the dining room chairs. She peeled it off and read it.


Going to go see a friend today. Sorry about no breakfast, but I know you're just as amazing as me when it comes to cooking. Sorry again about the fire. It was warm enough when I left, so if it's cold, just get some firewood. I'll be back in time to make dinner. Have a wonderful day-off and DON'T get into any trouble.

Love, Yoruichi

P.S. If you find Kon, call me right away! I left some tuna out on the pourch. I'm hoping to lure him back to the cabin. Have a nice day!

Rukia sighed. Looks like she wasn't going to have a relaxing morning after all. Oh well. The first thing she needed to do was to get that firewood. No way in hell was she going to spend the day a popsicle.

After getting dressed into more appropriate clothing, still wearing Byakuya's coat, Rukia made her way outside. She saw that Kon's little cat dish was there, but there was no tuna. In fact, it was sparkling clean. Rukia knows Kon, and she knows he hates tuna. Then, something hit Rukia. She narrowed her eyes at the possibility.

"Please don't tell me we have raccoons..." Rukia groaned as she stepped into the ankle-high snow. She stepped her way to the back of the house to the pile of firewood Byakuya chops every weekend. They had a pretty good stockpile going. They kept it dry by throwing tarps over it during bad weather. She was thankful someone remembered last night, otherwise they'd have soggy, unusable wood.

Rukia hugged her arms as she made her way to the pile of wood and then noticed something horrifying. Half of their firewood for the week had vanished.

"What the hell!" Rukia nearly screamed as she ran over to the wood. There was very little left. There was enough for about two more days. It was only Tuesday. First her garden, then the firewood. This wasn't the work of an animal. This was a thief.

Fuming, Rukia picked up the logs that were scattered around the snow. "If I would've seen that creep who stole my wood, Byakuya would have his head!" Rukia grumbled. She shouldn't have to do such manual labor during the cold days. She huffed angrily, throwing the logs back on the pile. She turned to the side of her house and saw that all of her carrots and celery were gone. There was still enough to last until Friday, but now all of them were gone. "My garden! Now I'm mad!" Rukia stomped her foot. If Byakuya wouldn't have taken his keys, she would've unlocked his chest in his room and grabbed his shotgun. She was pissed.

Rukia looked back to the wood and picked up another piece. She glanced forward for a second and then froze. She looked again and couldn't believe what she saw.

"A footprint." Rukia said to herself as she stood up straight. She looked at the trail of footsteps in the snow and realized they led over the hill. The criminal left an important piece of evidence. This was about to lead to his downfall. "Aha!" Rukia exclaimed, dropping her wood and running up the trail.

'Fool! How could they leave such an obvious piece of evidence? He's not getting away with this! Not if I can do something about it.' Rukia thought as she ran next to the trail of footprints that led through the woods. It seemed like they were going on for eternity. wherever this person was coming from, he was coming from afar.

Rukia was running out of energy. She hadn't been in these parts of the woods before. At least not when it was exploding with life and dark with the trees. She was out in the open now, no leaves or bushes to hide any ambushers.

Rukia came to another steep, but small hill. It was sheltering whatever lied head, and the tracks seemed to be leading up and over. Rukia huffed loudly. Its been what seemed like a day's walk, but she wasn't giving up yet. She was almost there!

Rukia unsteadily climbed her way up the slope and peered over. She saw, in the middle of the small clearing of snow a circle with a raging fire and a large rock protruding from the base of the hill. The footsteps seemed to be sliding down onto the rock and stopped. She guessed the person is either here or disappeared somehow. Nonetheless, she was still going to bring back her firewood, which she saw sitting in a neat pile under a fallen tree where there was no snow.

As soon as Rukia landed on the ground, she put her hands to her hips and kicked snow on the fire. She huffed once again when she noticed her vegetables in a small pile next to the pile of wood under the tree.

"Whoever did this will be punished!" Rukia screamed to the sky. She then heard a twig snap and she whipped around. Out of the barren bushes walked a tall boy, at least 5'10 with bright orange hair. He sighed before noticing Rukia and he stared at her like he was a deer in the headlights. They both froze and didn't break the stare for quite a while. The tension was thick between the two and both of their hearts started beating madly. Rukia gulped. What did he want? Has he been stealing from her? What he going to hurt her? Who was he? And why was he here?! They were about ten feet away from one another, and they both refused to move.

'Why did I come without Byakuya? This was a dumb idea! I'm gonna get killed!' Rukia mentally panicked. The boy took a step back, giving a frightening stare. Rukia now could tell he was scared. She wasn't sure why, but she had to act tough if she was going to get answers. Summoning up the courage the speak, Rukia inhaled deeply and lifted her chin up to him

"Who are you?" she asked. The boy flinched and silence fell upon them again. It took a while, but the boy finally spoke.

"My name is Ichigo."

Do you like it? I hope you do! I spent many hours on it and mother was most displeased with my lack of sleep, but I said "sleep is for wimps!" LOL I really hope you like it. Perfect place to end is it not? LOL Second chapter is to be coming soon! I assure you that! XD