So I'm sure the grammar in this story is far from perfect but I do hope that it is a little easier to read this time. I would also like to thank everyone who has read and review it has meant a lot to me so , thank you a million times over .

The Kuchiki manor would always be impressive to him, no matter how many times he had entered it, for whatever reason that brought him there. It wasn't its vastness that always made him miss a few steps it was its sparseness, it was understated but even though there wasn't very much to look around passed the main room everything that was in the house screamed class and old grandeur and hard work.

Very few warriors still lived like this in these time's as he has learned, people now flaunted their lavish wealth were ever they could .So bigger more opulent was better ,the more grand your house , your person the better they thought it made them. In Shuuhei's eyes it just made most of the nobles look ridiculous and gauche.

Never in his life did he ever want to emulate Kuchiki Taichou completely .It was just not in his demeanor to do so but, he did want to learn from him the old ways of the honorable warrior . Even though he had a meager standard of living because he was younger and had yet to pay his due's he did have his honor and his pride and he did not want to squander his name or reputation by foolish means.

As he continued to walk down one of the main hallways he could feel the small woman beside him start to tense up and become nervous .HIs first reaction was to put his hand on her shoulder and squeeze it in reassure, like he would do to any of his other friends but he did not know her well enough and he did not know the situation that they were about to walk into was . So it could be she was just acting like a flighty snobbish noble who just did not want to deal with whom ever sat in the upcoming room. When Rukia became more nervous it made him become unsure of himself as well .He was walking into a room full of people with money that would think of him like gum that they had stepped on.

He looked up at Kuchiki Byakuya and saw the white haori ,and it occurred to him that at this moment there was very few things that separated him from this great man. In the work perspective he was the man's equal, in his own right he was a man of proper standing and commanded respect and he really had nothing to fear from these noble men because there true action would show what class they really had.

This wasn't something he was using to make himself feel better it was now a truth that he was no long a street urchin that he had worked his way up in life and earned the right to be respected. It was all such an odd thought that he was still getting used because in his heart he would always be a boy from the streets trying to find a way to make a living for himself. So he stood a little straighter and held his head up high because he who did not hold himself in a respectful manor would not get treated with respect in return.

When they finally reached the dining room Rukia's nerves were almost palpable her Nii-sama never looked back at her but he could also see Kuchiki Taichou's stiffen up a bit and if both of them were bracing themselves for something than something inside of him told him he should be extremely careful and be an observer of this night not a participant. He quietly dropped behind Rukia to let her lead him in the room .When he stepped fully into the room he had to do everything he could to keep from laughing at the man who was kneeling on the cushion .

If he could have picked out a stereo typical noble pretty boy this would have to be it. The man was dressed in the most garish red and gold kimono he had ever seen in his entire life it had little koi patterns on it and if he didn't know better he could swear the koi had diamonds for eyes. At Further assessment he could tell the sword the man carried was nothing but decoration to show off more of his wealth having an expensive golden inlayed sheath with a highly jeweled hilt . He was by far from being considered an ugly man as a matter of fact most of his fellow Taichou and subordinates would probably be drooling all over him by now . He had the soft round pretty boy features but in shuuhei's opinion there was certain laziness the lie behind the man's eyes but despite the man's appearance he could very well turn out to be a good guy so he would with hold complete judgment for now.

"Byakuya." The man said sharply not even bother to address him properly. "Why is my future wife not dressed properly for dinner." The un named man turned look at Rukia. " It is disgraceful that you would come to dinner with me not looking like a proper woman." He looked up at Byakuya "You really are quiet lenient with her." Her shrugged his shoulders "But whatever it is not my concern yet."

As the man mentioned the word wife and Rukia in the same sentence he watched as she looked down at the man then up at her brother with a horrified expression like he was out of his mind for letting the man sitting down call her his wife. He noticed that Byakuya did not react to his sister's expression what so ever it was as if he didn't even see her do it.

Byakuya just cleared his throat in what could only be annoyance at this man audacity " Iwazaki Izo I would like to introduce you to Taichou Shuuhei Hisagi." The words came out clear and cold as he gestures for both Rukia and Shuuhei to take a seat.

Before they took their seats the man dismissed Shuuhei with a flick of his wrist "Another Taichou." Izo looked at Shuuhei with condescending amusement. " I didn't know you actually associated with the rest of them Byakuya. " The air of superiority was dripping with each word. "And Rukia pour me another cup of saki." He shook his head in disbelief. " I cannot believe how much you are lacking in the skills of hospitality." He shook his head at Byakuya . "You know you really do let the girl run to wild she really will have to be better trained before she comes to my house I cannot tolerate this kind of behavior in a woman."

"Rukia sit." Byakuya said coldly as he turned to Izo. " It is what our house has maids for." The words came out chillingly calm.

Shuuhei watched in total shock at the interaction with this impudent little man. The way he treated Rukia in his eyes was insufferable and if he were Byakuya he would have decked the man by now and thrown him out of his house. However, he knew there politics and knew it would be a breach of conduct if this were to happen.

As this was all going on it took every piece of will power for him to not look over at Rukia but , she wasn't as good as her brother at hiding her feelings and the feeling of absolute revulsion that was emanating from her at the moment made it impossible for him not to look at the little woman's reaction . When he looked over at her what he saw made him cringe the bright woman that he saw dancing around her office to rock music this morning was gone and sitting in her place was what he could only describe as a piece of stone. Her face was devoid of all emotion and was as pale as the moon its self she couldn't have been more different if she tried.

Byakuya motioned for him to sit on the other side of Rukia which made him smile she looked so tiny sitting in between he and Byakuya and it did make him feel a little better that she sat between them because even though he didn't know this man he already wanted to shield her from him.

He watched as Byakuya diplomatically ignored Izo's previous comments to Rukia and gestured to Shuuhei himself. "Shuuhei has recently become one of our most promising Taichou it has been an honor to watch him gain rank." Byakuya said coolly.

He watched as Izo merely nodded. " It is good you guards have another good one."

He twitched at the man's utter disregard for him but he held his tongue as he knew it was the best thing he could do.

Izo went on "Considering you had that dreadful defect last year with the other Taichou. I honestly don't know how you could have missed all those signs of the men's lack in character Byakuya it is very unlike you to be so careless. I am sure if you would have been paying more attention it would have never happened." The horrid man chuckled. " But it was a good lesson learned and we all need those from time to time. It helps keep us better men sharp."

He watched Byakuya clench and unclench his fists under the table making no other sign of his outward annoyance of the arrogant man sitting across the table from him. "That it does." He agreed flatly.

He watched as Izo immediately turned his attention back to Rukia. " But it is quiet good that your name was cleared from that whole ordeal or else my house would have never considered taking you if by some chance you were to have lived through it." He shook his finger at her like he would a naughty child "Because I did hear how you got into that mess in the first place ."

"Lucky me." He heard Rukia almost inaudibly whisper sarcastically.

"What was that." Izo snapped with a dangerous tone to his voice.

Rukia put a bright smile on her face. " I said Lucky me." Her voice came out sickeningly sweet.

The noble nodded in satisfaction "That you are."

It took everything he had not too out rightly laugh at Rukia's lie but failed miserably and let out a surprised cough instead. He had no idea that she was such an excellent actress this little girl had balls of steel to do what she just managed to do.

Izo looked at him sharply after he let out the stifled cough. "Did you find something funny with what the lady said?"

He managed to look at the other man coolly and shake his head. "No I just had a something caught in my throat. I am human you know I am aloud faults." His voice came out a little angrier the he had intended it to as he watched the other man purse his lips in distaste.

"I thought they taught the likes of you to be silent and control your urges."

He gritted his teeth and then started to open his mouth this man had finally step over a line with him and it was time to put him in his place. He was going to do it until her felt a soft hand on his leg as Rukia was giving him a silent gesture to stop from saying anything stupid. As he closed his mouth she patted his leg gently in a comforting manner this woman was surprising him more and more by the hour. Her patience was unbelievable. As well he was learning that Byakuya almost had unlimited patience he knew the man was good but never this good.

To his great relief dinner was being served and hopefully for his sake the man would stay quiet and Shuuhei would be able to keep his mouth shut and keep from embarrassing Rukia and her brother but unfortunately the fun didn't stop there. Much to his dismay as the dinner continued he watched Izo start to drink more and more saki and progressively get drunker, ruder and more demanding and as this was happening his comments to Rukia became more demeaning. He picked her apart from not being feminine enough to having to have her hands scrubbed of there calluses from all of her sword use he even started to talk to Byakuya about what he was going to give the Iwazaki family as a dowry for Rukia considering she was as he quoted not completely noble and his family was dipping a little lower in the Kuchiki pot in taking Rukia into his home . By this time he had concluded that the man was sufficiently drunk after having drank at least four bottles of saki by himself.

Byakuya and Rukia just sat there like stone's neither one paying the man much creed .Through the whole disaster Rukia may have only spoken a few words and Byakuya perhaps a paragraph to this idiotic man. He concluded that this narcissistic man just liked to hear himself speak and sound important and that is why he babbled on insesivly.

Thankfully Byakuya was diplomatic about getting the man out of his house before either one of them did anything stupid to the man.

Looking at the wall clock Byakuya let out a deep sigh of regret. " I am sorry to say." He interrupted Izo from some pointless rambling that he was doing . "That we must cut this evening short ." The stupid man looked to open his mouth again but Byakuya quickly cut him off before he could say anything. "I fear that I have much work that needs to get done and Shuuhei and Rukia must be getting to their rooms for the evening because they will be having a long day tomorrow."

Izo looked at Rukia sharply "And what is she going to be doing tomorrow that will be so strenuous. It's not like she is very important in regards to most of the Shinigami."

"She." Byakuya gritted his teeth. "Is a Lieutenant, and her job happens to be very important."

This was the first time all evening that he had hear Byakuya take any sort of edge to his voice .

"And they." Byakuya continued "Have been selected to go on a mission to the human world tomorrow ,that will last for as long a time as necessary to get rid of some particularly nasty hollows." Byakuya's words sounded like he had put an end to the topic but Izo looked out raged his cheeks now red from the amount of saki he had drank throughout the meal.

"You are letting her go un chaperoned on mission to the human world no less." He exclaimed loudly "That is completely unacceptable and I will not allow my wife to do such things."

Byakuya looked at the man coldly. "She is not your wife and you have say over her affairs. I am her guardian and I will tell her what she can and cannot do ,and what is and is not appropriate ." He looked the man dead in the eyes. "Are you questioning my judgment in matters that concern my family?"

The other man now completely drunk glowered for a moment. " I only wish for the safety of out little Rukia it is a big world out there Byakuya and who knows." He looked over at me. " What trouble her naiveté will get her into."

That was it he could only take this man insulting him for so long and he was about snap again before he felt Rukia's sharp little nails digging into his thigh insuring that he keep himself silent.

"I think it is time you go." Byakuya gestured to the door.

Izo was now completely smashed , and completely unconcerned with what he was saying . "Just as well I have promised Mameha that I will pay her a visit tonight at the Nitta Tea house you know how fickle Geisha can get."

This time he could feel Rukia almost vibrating with anger beside him and it was his turn to calm her down in doing the same gesture she had been doing to him all even he patted her knee gently letting her know that everything was going to be alright.

Byakuya said nothing and lead the wobbly drunken man out of the room.

Rukia puffed herself up and was so angry she was shaking as she turned to him."I hope you know I have no intention of EVER marrying that man."

"I never thought you did." He told her calmly but before he could get any more out Byakuya came back into the room looking extremely angry himself.

"I am so sorry you had to witness this horrid event." Byakuya said sincerely. "As well I apologize for the rudeness that my guest has inflicted upon you. He shows no reflection on the way this house hold is run."

"I take no offence your hospitality has been generous tonight and I thank you for inviting me to dinner on such short notice." He watched as Byakuya's facile muscles relaxed a bit but still keeping its ever cool expression.

Suddenly Rukia spoke up "I don't care what the family says I will not marry that man even if the papers have already been signed and I am scheduled to be out of this house this moment. I will not do it Nii-sama."

Byakuya closed his eyes for a long moment, looking to gather himself up. "There has been nothing set up Rukia our family only agreed on this meeting on his insistence."

He could see Rukia let out a small breath of relief but she was not completely pacified . He watched as something silent transpired through the brother and sister that made Rukia calm down a little more.

Byakuya relaxed a little more and looked up at the clock again "But it is late and I do have work that still needs to be done before tomorrow so I shall be retiring for the evening. I trust you two will get the rest required to complete the first day of your mission and if I do not see you in the morning Rukia good luck and just remember." The older man smiled "Spiders really aren't that bad." He let out a low chuckle.

"So says you." Her face broke into softer smile she stood up and bowed to him " Good night Nii-sama."

He stood up with her and bowed deeply as well. "Good night Kuchiki Taichou."

And with that Byakuya turned and walked out of the room.

XXXXXXXXXX

Rukia let out a long sigh and ran her hands through her hair and looked up at Shuuhei with an apologetic expression.

" I am so sorry you had to bear witness to such a horrible evening I had no idea he was going to be here."

She sighed inwardly and she really was too she couldn't believe how insufferable that man was and to subject poor Shuuhei to him. She had only met Izo during clan meetings he was bad then but he was worse than she had thought.

"Come on." She gestured for him to follow her out of the dining room.

She lead him down the hall and back out into the gardens.

"I promise I had no idea he would be here tonight."She said again and bit her lip looking away in embarrassment. Oddly enough she started to hear the other man laugh.

"Don't worry about me Rukia I found the entire thing amusing and enlightening."

She couldn't help herself she knew she was blushing to roots of her hair which only made the man beside her laughed harder.

"Your just lucky I didn't throw back a few glass's of Saki." He said nudging her shoulder a little.

Her eyes grew wide she didn't even want to imagine what would have happened if Shuuhei would have done that .Then she watched him give her an extremely flat look.

" I have better manners then that."

She arched her eyebrow with a smirk trying to lighten the mood. " I don't know Renji has told me about some pretty wild parties that you two have participated in."

He laughed, and with what Renji told me about you. " I think I was lucky I didn't see a blood bath."

" I so do not get that angry" She had to look away again to try to hide the smirk. She wasn't violent, but it was very well known that she had been known to lose her temper and possibly punch Renji when he called her a midget or was just being a general moron.

"Time shall tell." He said

She watched him smirk.

"We will be spending a lot of time together in the human world on this mission."

They reached the gate and she smiled. "Oh I think we will learn a lot about each other in the coming weeks."

Shuuhei nodded. " I believe we will. But please Rukia for the sake of my sanity don't bring any angry chick music . I can stand . . . . . . and even like some of the stuff you were playing in your office earlier but, the whole I hate men thing sorta freaks me out." He smirked and winked at her.

"Good night Shuuhei." She opened the gate and smile "and I will bring and listen to what ever music I want to." She couldn't help but smile at him as he walked out of the gate as he walked away all she heard was "We will see how long they will last."

She closed the gate and turned to walk back to her room it was late but she couldn't sleep because all she could wonder was just what would this mission bring ?

So hope you all enjoyed reading this chapter as much as I did writing it , and please R&R

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