Claymore fans... you'll understand this scene by the next Chapter...

Rukia sighed, taking the tea to her lips once more. The warm peppermint helped to clear her thoughts as she gazed across the Seireitei.

Maybe I shouldn't have been so hard on him... Rukia thought. Obviously 'him' meant Ichigo. My brother tried to kill him, and the only way he was able to save me would be to defeat my brother. I miss you Byakuya, but I think I miss Ichigo more.

"Rukia."

"Hmm?" Rukia turned to face the man who called her. The familiar gentle features of Jushiro's face entering her vision.

"I can tell you miss that Substitute boy, Ichigo Kurosaki. I understand that it pains you to think of him as a murderer, but that's all you want to think."

Rukia swallowed the gathered saliva in her mouth. Once again, her captain nailed the situation dead on the head.

"You should go to the world of the living. He must miss you as much as you miss him."

Rukia turned back to her tea. She looked down into the cup and stared her rippling reflection in the eyes. "I would need your permission, as well as the Head Captain's. And knowing Ichigo, he probably wouldn't care if I went back there or not."

"Well then." The sudden change of tone had Rukia looking back at her captain immediately. He dropped a note in her face. "These are you orders Rukia, signed by me and the Head Captain."

Rukia frowned, but she and Jushiro both knew she was smiling underneath.


Ichigo's sleeping figure came alive. His arms slid up the bed until leveling with his chest. Pushing, Ichigo was able to sit up and groaning, Ichigo was able to open his eyes. "My head..."

Ichigo was vaguely aware, but he still felt it; his hollow's reiatsu giving him the energy to stand. It was a very strange sensation filled with pins, needles and whatever else. But overall it was a feeling of power, of lust and hunger... and Ichigo despised it, but he needed it as well.

Sighing, Ichigo stood. He welcomed the hollow's presence with a sour look and allowed his counterpart's power to rid him of the annoying headache built up in his brain. Then Ichigo changed into something more appropriate for weekend wear, throwing on a black hoodie as he jogged down the stairs.

"GOOD MORNING ICH-"

Ichigo didn't wait for his dad to finish. He kicked his dad across the head and sent the man flying across the room. Isshin jumped back up, yelling something about a dishonorable son before running to the giant picture of Masaki and crying against it.

Ichigo rolled his eyes and took a piece of toast from the kitchen counter. He placed the piece in his mouth and headed for the door, ignoring Yuzu's protests as he opened it and left.

'I get it already...' Ichigo shot inwards. 'You want my body. You want control.'

You could imagine Ichigo's shock when the hollow answered. 'I want you, Ichigo. Yer body is just part of the package.'

Ichigo groaned, his heart hammering in his chest. He started running, the salty smell of sweat invading his nose only a few moments afterwards. Ichigo found himself in the park where he lay down across a bench until an untimely roar ripped through his ears.

"Damn it," Ichigo muttered. He pressed his Substitute Shinigami Badge against his chest and fell backwards out of his body. Gripping his Zanpakuto, he spun around, "Now where is the bastard..."

"Dance Sode no Shirayuki!"

Ichigo spun around in time to see a beam of white speed past him. It hit a hollow square in the face before disappearing, taking the hollow with it.

"Hey Ichigo," Rukia greeted. She gracefully dropped onto the ground beside him.

Visions of Byakuya flashed before Ichigo's eyes, Shiro's laughter ringing in his head. He shook it away and forced a smile. "Sup Rukia?"

Rukia frowned having known Ichigo's smile was a fake. However she just brushed it off and replied, "I've been assigned to assist the Substitute Soul Reaper of Karakura Town in his duties."

"Yeah, nice to see you again too..." Ichigo sighed.

"Don't," Rukia said immediately following.

"What?"

"Don't do that to yourself. Ichigo your Spiritual Pressure is all heavy and dense because you're so worried about everything. Don't stress over Byakuya's death."

Ichigo's eyes shot up from the ground to look Rukia in the eye. He shouted, "How can you say that? Rukia, he was your brother, and I killed him! I didn't want to... I shouldn't of... I'm sor-"

"You said it!" Rukia shouted over him. "You didn't want to kill him! So you might've done it, but you didn't mean to. You must already feel terrible, and I know staying angry at you would only make you feel worse. I don't want to cause you any more suffering..."

Ichigo smiled. "You haven't caused me any suffering... Though you can be a pain the ass."

Rukia smiled too, they both got into their bodies (Rukia's an artificial one) and they both walked back to Ichigo's house.


Ichigo rolled his eyes as he watched the pathetic display in front of him. Rukia had her fingers laced in front of her and an innocent smile on her lips. Karin was almost copying Ichigo's form, only her arms were crossed. Isshin was almost crying on the floor and Yuzu was squealing in delight at the thought of Rukia staying with them.

Ichigo sighed and pushed past his dad. "She can stay in my closet."

Isshin jumped up from the floor, hitting Ichigo with a sneak attack under his chin. "That's no place for a woman to stay! Yuzu prepare your room for Rukia!"

"Okay!" Yuzu squealed. She took Rukia's hand. "Come on Rukia! I'll show you where you can sleep!"

Rukia looked surprised. "Oh, okay!"

Isshin looked down at his son. "You need to always be prepared, and treat women with respect!"

Ichigo sighed and rubbed his chin. He elbowed Isshin in the stomach as he stood before marching down the hall to Yuzu's room.

"I didn't need an entire room..." Rukia murmured completely ignoring Yuzu's rambling.

"Yeah, well, that's what you get for not sneaking in," Ichigo replied.

"I even brought some stuff to make your closet look better!" Rukia continued to complain. She held up a lamp and a few posters. "You should really remodel it."

"Remodel it? Rukia it's a closet! Just use that stuff in here!"

"You're such a boy! You wouldn't understand the value of decoration!"

Ichigo pinched his nose then rubbed his eyes. "Excuse me as I go to my boring room..." He slipped out into the hall, gripping the wall for support. Rukia watched worriedly, before being pulled towards the window by Yuzu.

Ichigo stumbled into his room and collapsed onto the bed. He groaned and rolled onto his back. His stomach threatened to throw up his breakfast, the little that he actually had, and his head threatened to burst.

There was a knock at the door. "Ichigo?"

"I'm not feeling well Karin..." Ichigo replied.

"I can see that." She answered. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing... I need sleep..." Ichigo managed to say before fainting.

Karin gave Ichigo a sympathetic frown before slipping back out of his room and shutting the door.