Again, another time skip. A majority of this chapter will be a summary of what all Izuru and Midori did on their not-so-quite date~~

Chapter 4

Midori looked up at the sunset, pondering how wonderful her day had been. After leaving the Hime Pan-ya, and the teasing therein, the two of them had wandered the streets. Midori pointed out the places that she was familiar with or that Izuru didn't know. In some cases it was a mixture of both.

They had eventually passed the front of an arcade, which had a few crane games sitting just under the eaves of the front of the place. Through the glass of one of said crane games, Midori had spotted an adorable cell phone chain that had different musical notes dangling from the ends of seven separate chains that were the different colors of the rainbow. She had made the 'mistake', she called it, of stopping and looking at it and before she knew it, Izuru had gone and spent several of his 100 yen coins on the machine trying to get it for her. When he finally did get it and hand it to her, she felt obligated to treat him to a nearby crepe stand.

As they had finished eating their crepes while continuing walking through Karakura and encountering a few familiar faces, Midori had pointed out a music store that had just opened recently. Izuru suggested that they check it out, which they did, and had spent the next half an hour or so just browsing the shelves. Midori was actually surprised to find that Izuru liked instrumental music just as much, if not more, than she did. They ended up purchasing a few CDs each and leaving to continue the rest of their trek through the town.

They passed by a bookstore when Midori remembered that she needed to purchase new musical pieces to practice. Izuru had followed her in and promptly went to the poetry section while she browsed through the musical instruction section. It hadn't taken her long to choose a few different books that she wanted to try but when she went up to the check-out counter, she was mildly surprised to find Izuru up there purchasing a pocket book of haikus. She didn't comment on it, secretly wondering how long he had liked haikus.

When they had exited the store, Midori's phone alarm had gone off. She pulled it out to find that it was quarter till five. She needed to head home soon and start dinner…when she had explained that to Izuru, he had been understanding and had asked if he could have dinner with them again tonight. She hadn't hesitated to say that that was fine and began to walk home with him.

That was where she found herself now. Walking home with Izuru near the end of Valentine's Day. Throughout the day, many people had thought of them as an official 'couple' and had commented on it, though the two of them didn't say anything to contradict them. And Midori was silently grateful that they didn't contradict any of those people; during her time with Izuru, she couldn't help but notice how much of a gentleman he was. He was calm, collected, and polite, but, she had to admit, there was a certain distance that he kept her at from him, at least emotionally. She had to guess it was because the fact that her dad was his Captain. But she prayed that some day he would drop that barrier and love her as much as she loved him now.

"Midori-chan?" Izuru's voice cut through her train of thought and she turned to find him several feet behind her. "Was there somewhere else you wanted to go?"

Midori shook her head. "Nope."

Izuru pointed at the house he had stopped in front of. "I was just wondering because you didn't stop in front of your house."

Midori looked and found that she had indeed walked right past her house. She let out a nervous giggle and trotted back to where Izuru was standing. "Sumimasen. I was just lost in thought."

The man nodded acknowledgingly. "I know what that's like."

Midori nodded back at him and slid the front door open. As she stepped in and removed her shoes, her nose was greeted with the scent of something baking. Izuru slid the door shut behind him and began to remove his shoes while Midori put her sandals on and walked further into the house, calling out, "What's cooking?"

Rojuro's voice called back, "It's the potato medley soup that you all like."

Midori walked in to the kitchen, asking, "When will it be done?"

"In a few minutes, actually. Why don't you go put your stuff down in your room and get ready for dinner?"

"Okay, Tou-san." Midori went up the stairs as quickly as possible.

Rojuro continued working on the soup until Izuru entered the kitchen. The man looked over his shoulder at his subordinate and commented, "Midori-chan's room is the first one on the right when you go upstairs. If you're interested in seeing it, that is, Izuru-kun."

The information caught Izuru of guard but he managed to reply, "I-if you don't mind, Rojuro-taicho."

"Not at all."

Izuru bowed to his captain then proceeded upstairs and to Midori's room. Its arrangement was simple. A bed was next to the window and at the foot of the bed was her desk which had her school uniform and backpack placed over it. Next to her bed was a nightstand that was adorned by a reading lamp and a digital alarm clock, and next to the nightstand was her dresser. On top of the dresser was a small vanity set and a jewelry box as well as a picture of the entire Otoribashi family that had to have been taken relatively recently. There were two doors, one of which was shut while the other was half-opened to reveal that it led Midori's closet, so Izuru could safely guess that the other door led to a restroom. Next to the closet, there were two bookshelves, one of which was adorned with variuos music-related awards and the other with various books.

There was suddenly the sound of a toilet flushing and then a faucet was turned on in the restroom. After the faucet was turned off, Midori exited her restroom and started slightly when she saw Izuru standing in her room. She relaxed, though, and asked, "So, do you like my room?"

Izuru nodded and continued to gaze at her awards. "It's very…quaint. I like quaint." He turned a curious eye her way. "You certainly do have a lot of music awards."

Midori nodded as she sat down on her bed. "I've played a lot of different instruments ever since I turned 5. Okaa-san says I have Tou-san's passion for music."

"Do you still play?"

Midori shrugged. "Not as often. I play whenever I go to my music club after school, but otherwise I'm too busy."

Izuru nodded and looked back at the bookshelf. "I'd like to hear you play some day."

Midori blinked in surprise a few times, then blushed lightly and muttered, "Okay." There was a slight bit of tension in the air so she asked, "Why don't we go see if Tou-san's done cooking? I'm kind of hungry."

Izuru nodded and led the way back downstairs, Midori shutting her bedroom door behind her after shutting off the light. By the time Midori and Izuru had made it downstairs, Rojuro had already placed three bowls of hot soup at the table and was in the process of getting some coffee.

He looked over his shoulder at the two of them and asked, "Would either of you like cream or sugar in your coffee?"

"Both, please," they answered simlutaneously. Rojuro only chuckled as he prepared the coffees and set them on the table. The three of them sat down and muttered their thanks before beginning to eat the soup.

After a few minutes of silence, save for the clinking of silverware on the bowls and the mugs being moved around, Rojuro commented, "I think this has been the quietest dinner has been in a while."

Midori nodded in agreement. "Usually, Akina's repeating whatever gossip she happened to overhear or telling us about her day in school."

"Indeed." Rojuro paused then and gazed at his oldest child thoughtfully through his thin spectacles. "You seem to be in a better mood from this morning, Midori. Did you enjoy today that much?"

Midori blushed and made a point of not making eye contact with either her father or Izuru. "Yeah, I really enjoyed it…"

Rojuro nodded understandingly. "That's wonderful to hear." He inclined his head towards Izuru and stated, "Thank you for helping her have such a wonderful day, Izuru-kun."

"I-it was no problem at all, Rojuro-taicho," Izuru replied earnestly, inclining his head at his superior. A nod was the only response Izuru received before they all returned to eating. They finished shortly afterward and Midori made a move to go and start cleaning up when Rojuro stopped her by gently grabbing her wrist.

"Why don't you go for a walk around the neighborhood with Izuru-kun, Midori? It's getting late and he has to head back to the Seireitei early tomorrow."

For some reason, this news stunned Midori but on the outside she grinned, ran up the stairs, grabbed her purse, and came back downstairs to find Izuru ready to go. She hastily slid her shoes and jacket on and exited the house, Izuru closing the door behind the two of them. Rojuro watched them leave, only turning around when he heard his wife's voice calling from their bedroom.

Outside, Izuru breathed on his hands, trying to warm them slightly, seeing how the sun was almost completely set and it had dropped several degrees. He looked to Midori and inquired, "Did you have a specific path you wanted to take?"

Midori beamed at him and laced her fingers between his. "I'm glad you asked."


Izuru's breath caught in his throat. She had lead him to the park where he had witnessed her being dumped by her boyfriend. But, with the sun barely above the horizon, the lights around the park were on and gave it a brand new atmosphere. He was brought back to his senses when he heard Midori calling his name. Looking around, he found that she had situated herself on one of the park benches off to his left and quickly went over to join her.

She smiled at him, asking, "So did you enjoy today, Izuru-kun?"

"Hai," Izuru responded earnestly as he sat down next to her. "It was a nice change of pace from my usual day as a Shinigami." He let out a deep sigh, his breath visible as a translucent cloud of warm air versus the cold twilight air. "I almost wish it would never end…"

Midori gazed at him curiously. "Really? Why?"

Izuru stopped suddenly and mentally beat himself. He had just let slip a part of what his feelings for her were. But now that he had said it and she had hear it, there was no going back. He took a deep breath. "I…enjoyed spending the entire day with you, Midori-chan. It's something I've wanted to do for a while now, but until yesterday, I hadn't found a proper or discreet way of approaching that." He tried, almost in vain, to try and stop his hands from shaking. "What I'm trying to say is…"

He locked his blue eyes with her purple-and-bluish gray eyes that were brimming with curiosity.

"I like you, Midori-chan. I really, really like you."

Oooo~~ Cliffhanger~~ I'm so bad :3

O and the soup that Rojuro was making is basically cheddar cheese, potatoes, bacon, and sour cream~ It's actually quite delicious