xXx.:."The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.".
Rukia stepped from the underground station to find rain pouring all about the city. The heavy fat drops hitting the pavement relentlessly. Business men ran to and fro with suitcases over head, the smarter people had opted with bringing umbrellas. Rukia smiled as she secured hers in her hand and opened it up. She walked happily in the rain, ignoring the slight dampness in her shoes. A smile as etched in her small face as she recalled the man on the subway. He could be no older than twenty six, probably about her age. His stern face fixed in her mind as he rescued her from falling in the perverts lap. His deadly amber eyes looking her up and down hungrily. She wasn't stupid, She saw the way his eyes had wandered from her face to her neck to her nearly non-existent chest all the way to her legs. Oddly enough his eyes traveled back to her face and stayed fixed there, a slight smile on his boyish features. It had been a long time since some one had looked at her that way. In fact it had been almost three years. She sighed Ashido had once looked at her like that, as did Kaien. Renji never had, because he saw her as more of a friend throughout their romantic relationship.
A strong arm pulled her from her thoughts. She realised she was about to cross the street during a do not cross sign. Her heart raced when she thought of what could've happened while her mind wandered. She sighed and turned to face her savior, twice today she had to be saved due to her wandering mind.
"I'm so sorry.." She stated, looking up at the man who looked to be in his mid to late forties.
He smiled broadly at her. "You should be more careful young lady."
She smiled, "Sorry I lost track of what I was doing..."
"Something weighing heavily on your mind?" He asked, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it.
She smiled, "Kind of."
"Be careful, I'd hate to have you at the hospital.." The man stated, blowing a puff of smoke away from her direction.
"I really can't tell you how grateful I am. Is there anyway I can do to repay you-"
"Speak not another word! I have an idea.." He stated, grinning.
For some reason, she felt like something bad was going to happen, though she felt safe around this man.
"Dinner?" He offered, his eyes smiling.
"Uhh.." she stated, feeling uncomfortable at his offer.
"Oh no, you misunderstand! I'd like to invite you to dinner at my home with my children..." He stated, his eyes twinkling.
She smiled, "I really..."
"No I insist. I have daughters around your age.." He said, putting the cigarette out in a near by garbage. "and a son... I'm sure they would be happy to be in your company.."
She smiled, could she really refuse the man who had saved her from becoming road kill. "I'd be honored, Mister.."
He held out his hand. "Kurosaki Isshin.."
She grinned, "Right, Kurosaki Isshin.."
They shook hands and he quickly scribbled down his address. For some reason she trusted this odd and quirky man. She bowed in respect and and they parted ways as he headed to the subway and she headed to Karakura industries.
She looked at the ominous building, tall and unfeeling. It gave no impression of hope or happiness, just bland and gray. She took a deep breath and pushed the doors to the building open and stepped forth. She took delicate steps on the marble floor approaching the secretary at the centre desk. She was a busty red head with lost eyes. She grinned and wrote things down on cards as people called in from around Karakura. Her voice annoyingly sweet. Rukia approached the desk and placed her hands gingerly atop it, waiting for the woman to finish her conversation. After a moment od scribbling and affirmative answers she looked up at Rukia.
"Hello, my name is Orihime, welcome to Karakura industries, how may I be of service to you today?" She asked, her smile overtly sweet.
Rukia smiled, trying to match the girls chipperness. "I'm Rukia Kuchiki.."
"Oh the big mans baby sister hu!?" Orihime asked, her eyes wide with wonder. "Cool..."
Rukia looked at girl, slightly confused. "Soo."
"Oh! Sorry I forgot, Mister Kuchiki would like to see you as soon as you get in.." she stated, reading from a sticky note. "Something about procedure and a family lunch..."
Rukia nodded and walked to the elevator, "Thank you..."
"Inoue, but you can call me Orihime.." She shouted, waving and jumping in her seat. "We can be friends!"
Rukia nodded and waved letting the door slide close on her smiling face before letting the grin fall completely. She sighed and leaned against the walls of the elevator, her eventful day already taking it's toll. Nothing working in the morning, the walk to the station, standing next to the god-like man, being held by the god-like man, fighting with the god-like man, day dreaming about said God man, nearly getting hit by a car, accepting the dinner at Mister Kurosaki's home, coming into work. It was all so very stressful. The elevator came to the top floor and slid open. She walked into the main office and nodded at Nemu, her brothers personal secretary. Nemu hit a small intercom button and smiled at Rukia.
"Mister Kuchiki, you're baby sister is here to see you.." She stated, knowing that Rukia would blush.
Rukia smiled and hide her blush. Nemu's black cell phone rang and she flipped it open. she nodded several times adding in several 'yes' and 'I understand' 's to her conversation. she flipped the phone shut and smiled at Rukia. "go on in,. he's been waiting."
Rukia nodded nervously and pulled open the door to her brothers large office, stepping in.
"good morning, Nii-sama." she whispered, bowing.
Her brother nodded and pointed to a small black modern chair. She took a seat and nodded, noticing the very fine office her brother had. State of the art electronics, smooth black tile on the floor, stark white walls with several awards and degrees along with photos hanging from them. Large windows looking over Karakura district. his desk was large and black with a glass top with pictures under the glass of his wife and daughter. He smiled briefly seeing the photos but ti was quickly replaced with a sharp frown. He placed his phone on the hook and looked to his sister.
"Today is your first day, I expect top performance from you Rukia. You will start at the bottom and work your way up, just because you are my sister does not mean that I will help you." His voice was cold and uncaring.
"I wouldn't expect or desire that, Nii-sama," She whispered, her heart racing. Her mind kept flying to that incessant orange haired man from the subway.
"You seem distracted.." her brother commented, his voice letting a hint of concern shine through.
She smiled, "Just something that happened on the subway today.."
Her brother quirked an eyebrow.
She waved her hand in dismissal, "Just a collision with an old friend." she lied.
He nodded, "See that you stay focused today. Today is what matters most. I am not afraid to fire you.."
She nodded and got up, "Thank you Nii-sama."
She excited the office, stopping at the door. "Inoue mentioned a lunch?"
"Yes, Hisana and Ururu want to meet you for lunch today.." Byakuya stated, before turning back to the computer screen and dialing some numbers. She bowed once more and left the room.
Making careful steps she made it to her office and set up her things the way she wanted them. Photo's of her family, of Kaien, of Renji and she, of Ashido from his many adventures. She sighed and placed a picture of her parents closest to her. She pulled out her computer and set it up, She needed to start on her work. Files needed to be sorted and copied and sent to new hard drives for back-up files. She smiled and started her work, trying to get her mind off the man from earlier. She wondered how some one like him could've enchanted her in less than ten minutes.
Her fingers brushed the keys, but her eyes were closed.
his smiled played over in her mind, she wanted to know where she had seen it before.
She felt a tap at her shoulder and jumped. "I wasn't..."
"Chill, Rukia.." A familiar voice stated.
Rukia turned and hugged her best friend, Rangiku Matsumoto. The busty blonde smiled hugging her long time friend. "Rukia you seem very distracted? Did Ashido come back from Hueco Mundo?"
Rukia smiled, "I broke that off ages ago.. and no, I think he's planning no staying.." Rukia stated, sighing. She had met Ashido at one of her brothers parties, he liked to travel a lot and after a brief relationship he left on another adventure and that had been the fall of their relationship.
"Right, so whats his name?" Rangiku asked, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Rukia sighed, "That's the problem I never thought to ask.." Rukia stated, her voice disappointed.
Rangiku knew better than to press the issue further, obviously something was weighing heavily on her best friends mind. "Look, Ruki, don't stress it."
Rukia nodded. "Anyway, how're things for you?"
Rangiku smiled, "Oh, wouldn't you like to know."
Rukia smiled, "I would, maybe later. I have to finish up all this work and then head out to lunch with Nii-Sama and the rest of the family."
"How about coffee tomorrow morning?" Rangiku offered.
Rukia thought for a moment. She would have to come in early if they made that appointment. "How about tomorrow afternoon?"
"Too early for you to get up then? Hitsu was right about you Rukia... you are a lazy little girl." Rangiku stated, referring to Rukia's old boss Toshiro Hitsugaya.
Rukia smiled, the real reason was she wanted to see if she could run into that man again.
The white hospital stood before the unsuspecting intern. He really hated being there sometimes. It's white washed walls and small windows spelled out illness and institution. The garden where Ichigo usually entered was filled with tall trees and had a small lake with a bridge so that long term patients had somewhere to go to relax. He often stood on the bridge and looked at the fake pond and it's little fish. The pond was filled with brightly coloured koi and other fish of that nature. But now he stood before it, knowing his shift would be starting in a matter of minutes. It would be then that he would have to stand with an annoying doctor and listen to him talk on and on about how wrong he was. He sighed and stepped forward, the doors sliding open with greeting.
He crept quietly along the halls trying to find reception without getting caught. He saw one of his fellow interns and felt the sudden urge to punch/thank him. It was Urryu Ishida an oncology intern. The one who had helped his now Ex-girlfriend write her goodbye letter. Ichigo had kind of liked Orihime, she was sweet and good with children. But she loved him too much, and he still couldn't really find a place to love anyone the way she had him. He was still getting over the sour turn of events his life had seemed to form over the past two years.
"Ishida." He stated, waving at his friend.
Ishida looked scared for a brief moment before concealing his fear. "Look, Kurosaki, Orihime-"
"I understand, Urryu. We weren't cut out for each other, I'm glad you helped with that. If she didn't break it off, I'm sure I would've done something that would make us both miserable." Ichigo stated, shoving his hands into his pockets.
"Were you actually planning on marrying her?" Urryu asked, his eyes wide. "Even though you don't love her?"
Ichigo nodded, "Urryu, you have to remember, this isn't about what I want or need anymore. "
Urryu nodded, "But are you actually willing to ruin both your lives?"
Ichigo sighed, "You know my circumstances Urryu. I'd do anything.."
Urryu nodded, sending his blue black hair further over his bespectacled eyes. "I can somewhat see where you're coming from. I wish that I had grown up like you have Ichigo. I know you're doing your best, it can be tough. But let Orihime have a life too. I'm sure you'll find the right girl for you and your family."
Ichigo nodded, "I'm sure." He waved goodbye to Urryu and stalked off to hide from his father. That was when he heard the shallow breathing behind him. He froze in mid-step. He knew those breathing patterns from any where.
"ICHI-" A foot was planted firmly in the mouth of the speaker. Ichigo growled and looked down on his father.
"What do you want old man?" Ichigo asked, frowning as he pulled his foot from his father's face.
His father stood and smiled. "I invited a young lady over for dinner Saturday."
Ichigo sighed, he really didn't need this after his conversation with Urryu. Why did people always interfere with his romantic life."dad, I don't want another date."
"When have my dates for you not worked out?" His father asked happily.
"Let's see, there was Tatsuki." Ichigo stated, frowning.
"You two made a great couple!" Isshin smiled.
"We dated an hour dad, we are best friends dad. You forced us both on that date, it was awkward and confusing." Ichigo stated, trying to walk away.
"Orihime?" His father asked, smiling.
"Broke up with me this morning, she said she called you. I assumed you would've known about the note written on pink bunny stationary about how I fill her life with misery and pain."Ichigo said, his voice cold.
"I thought you two wanted to move in with the family. I suspected a grandchild!" Isshin smiled, then frowned.
"Dad, look, I found and lost the person I loved.." Ichigo suddenly felt very melancholy about his life.
"Dad, just drop it..." Ichigo begged, cutting his dad off before more pain filled his day.
"Just come to dinner. She seemed like a nice girl. I'm not trying to set you up, I just thought that maybe you two could talk." His father stated, "She's pretty you know."
Ichigo rolled his eyes, "I'll think about it."
"Ichigo." His father warned, opening his arms for a hug.
"Fine fine, I'll be there.." Ichigo stated, anything to avoid his father's hugs.
"Saturday, seven PM. Look sexy my son!" His father cried.
Ichigo nodded, "Whatever." He walked away, frowning.
His father smiled in opposition. Perhaps this girl would help his son get his life in shape. But there was always the possibility that it would lead to more problems. But Kurosaki Isshin wasn't a pessimist, he was an optimist.
Ichigo quickly changed into his clothes then signed into work. He stretched out as he walked trying to et ready for the onslaught of useless work he would have to do. He was handed a chart by a nurse and he smiled at her. "Thanks Hina."
She nodded and went back to work.
Ichigo looked at the chart and sighed. He was always landed checking out patients that would teach him nothing. His father had a habit of making him do stupid things for no logic value at all. He walked into the clinic area of the hospital and then entered the patient's room. He scanned the file once more to pick up a name, before looking at the dreary clinic room. As he lowered the file his mouth fell open in shock. "Subway girl?"
A/N: Hope you liked it! A cliff hanger but not really! YAYz... uhm I hope it was as good as the last chapter. I worked rather hard adn I think revised it thrice... to make it as good as I could. I feared I was moving it along to fast when I first wrote this chapter.. so I cut out a few scenes :D. For a while it will follow the pattern of First Rukia then Ichigo before it gets into more strewn aboutness like Isshin and other characters. So yeahness :D.