Angel: So I had some of this done on Christmas, but I didn't get this done until just a little bit ago. While watching the episode of Bleach where Yumichika fights Charlotte (Barragan's fraccion?)...*laughs* Not what you would expect when one is writing something for Christmas, but yeah...that's what happened.

This is a Rei/Hisagi story, with a mention of Minako/Neji (the senshi have split up into different worlds). The plot bunny for their pairing attacked my brain and wouldn't leave me alone. So you get this as a late Christmas present? I got inspired to get this out as a 'Christmas story' after SailorStar9 wrote one for Sailor Moon and Katekyo Hitman Reborn. There will probably be a part 2 to end this...we'll see. Enjoy and review please!

The bell rang, signaling the end of the day. Some students jumped from their seats, grabbing their things and rushing out the door. Others took their time, talking with friends about various things as they gathered their things together. Their teacher bid them farewell for the day and left.

"It's finally over…" Ichigo said, slumping down in his seat. He was vaguely aware of his friends gathering around his desk. He glanced up, sending Rei a fake glare when he heard her laugh.

"Is your job too hard, Kurosaki?" Uryu inquired, smirking at the substitute shinigami. Ichigo just shook his head, sitting up and running a hand through his hair.

"No, it just took a lot longer to deal with the hollows that showed up last night than it should have. They were a bit stronger than the usual small fry that appear. Not to mention that more kept appearing for a while," he explained, moving to grab his bag and place his things inside it. Rei nodded.

"I could sense the fight. They were stronger than your average hollow. It was rather odd, but there have been more and more hollows appearing lately, all somewhat powerful," she informed them. Chad glanced down at her and Ichigo.

"Have either of you heard from the Soul Society?" he questioned. The two shared a look before shaking their heads.

"No, I don't think they have more info about the situation than we do," Ichigo told them. Orihime gave her friends a worried look.

"I just hope this gets solved soon, and that no one gets hurt," she said. It was then that Tatsuki approached, Keigo and Mizuiro following. The latter two started talking with the guys while Tatsuki smiled at the two girls.

"Hey, let's go. You both needed to stop and pick up a few things before heading home, right?" Orihime and Rei both blinked, confusion on their features before their eyes widened.

"Oh no, I forgot!" Orihime panicked, grabbing her bag and rushing out. Rei shook her head, sharing an amused look with Tatsuki. Both girls counted down from five, smiling when Orihime rushed back to the door.

"Okay, let's go!" she cheered. Tatsuki and Rei just laughed, walking out of the classroom.

Later, after picking up the things needed at the local market, the three girls continued on their way before reaching the point where they went their separate ways. Quickly adjusting her bags, Orihime gave her friend a quick hug before pulling back, giving her a big smile. Rei gave the short haired girl a smile of her own before they turned, all walking in the direction of their homes.

"Bye Tatsuki! We'll see you later!" Orihime said, waving at her friend with Rei. Tatsuki grinned and waved back. And then it was just the two of them.

They walked in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, which was only broken by Orihime humming a random tune as she thought about what she would make for dinner that night. Rei's thoughts were on the same topic, as she really didn't feel like going out for takeout that night, as she had for the past few nights.

"So, Rei-san, what are you going to do for Christmas this year?" Orihime asked the senshi of Mars. Rei thought it over a bit. What was she going to do this year? There would be no going back to visit grandpa or Yuichiro, but she had sent their gifts earlier that month, so she didn't have to worry about them not getting them.

A flash of her shinigami lover flashed through her mind at that point. And she wondered if he had anything planned either. He hadn't said anything about plans to her when she last saw him a few days ago.

"I don't know…maybe meet up with some old friends? Or go do something with Shūhei? I really don't have anything planned right now," she told the other girl, who nodded.

"It would be nice if you could do those things. It sounds nice, Rei-san," Orihime informed her, smiling at her. Rei returned it with one of her own.

'Yeah…it would be nice if I could meet up with him…but Shūhei has been really busy lately…' she mused, thinking back to when she had last visited him. He had so much paperwork to do, plus getting articles in for that magazine run by his division…and there had been an influx of hollow activity lately. That might keep him busy too.

And speaking of hollows…

A tear opened in the sky, two hollows exiting and falling to land before them. The screams of the hollows as they advanced was loud…and it got louder as they screeched when she used her own arrows (don't even compare it to a Quincy…they're fire!) to pin them before using her purifying technique to destroy the hollow and send the soul to the 'other side'.

"Wow…that was even faster than the last time, Rei-san!" Orihime told her, clapping. She just released a small laugh before the two continued on their trek home.

Once they reached the apartment building, they went their own ways. Once inside her apartment, she dropped her school bag and moved to put away her purchases.

It was later, that night, when she was alone, that she began thinking of it again. She was sitting on her couch, curled up in a blanket while holding a mug of hot cocoa in her hands. Her eyes were focused on the television set before her, but her mind was elsewhere.

This would be her first Christmas in this world. And it would be the first away from her family and other friends. No doubt they were busy in the other worlds they were in, with their Knights. And the other day she had received a call from Minako, who had went on and on about the plans she had with Neji to celebrate the holiday. She had listened, but it had only added to the fact that she had nothing planned. Rei didn't even know if she would be able to celebrate the holiday with Shūhei. He had so much he had to do…and she couldn't bother him or become a brat in his eyes by demanding that he stop, take some time off, and spend the holiday with her. Even though that was what she wished she could do.

What she had told Orihime was true. She had no idea what she would do this Christmas. She might be spending this one alone.

Elsewhere, in the Soul Society…

"Hey, Shūhei, what's up?" Matsumoto asked, stumbling in, a bottle of sake clutched tightly in one of her hands. Hisagi's brow twitched.

"I'm working, Matsumoto. What do you need?" he inquired, sending her an annoyed look. She just grinned, making her way over to his desk and snatching up the picture that rested in a frame on the surface. Her grinned widened, while Hisagi jumped to his feet, a dark blush forming on his face while he attempted to take the picture back from the woman. She just avoided each grab, laughing at his failed attempts.

Hisagi finally just sighed, slumping back into his seat and leaning back. Matsumoto just giggled, glancing down at the picture in her hand before sending a teasing look to her fellow lieutenant.

"So, any plans with your girl?" she asked. Hisagi glanced up at her, a confused look on his face.

"Plans? What are you talking about?" Matsumoto sent him a surprised look.

"Don't tell me you don't know what's coming up!" At his blank look, she walked back over to the desk, setting the picture down in favor of slapping him upside the head.

"It's almost Christmas, you idiot! You should have some kind of plan to spend time with the girl you love! Not spend all your time working!" she snapped. Hisagi's eyes widened.

"Wait…what?" He jumped to his feet again, rushing out of his office. Matsumoto watched him go, her grin returning to her face.

"Well, it's about time. You would think he would remember this on his own, especially now that he's got a girlfriend. You totally owe me, Rei~" she murmured before walking out. This would be one of the places her captain would look for her later, so it would be best if she left before he got here. And, with a skip in her step and sake bottle in hand, she hurried from the room and headed to her next stop: the third squad barracks. Why was she going there? So she could bother Kira!