A/N: Story takes place after the winter war. The Quincy stuff doesn't happen in this fic and the vizards weren't the ones put into the captain seats.

Disclaimer: I use Bleach for washing my clothes.

Chapter 1: Call me Rukia



Ugh. Here she goes again. "What is it Matsumoto?"

"Did you know there will be a Captains' ball?"

It was supposed to be a celebration and honoring for our victory and for the shinigami who died protecting soul society. But the SWA decided that since we already had that celebration in the world of the living, this would serve as thanks for us captains and vice captains since we were technically the ones who fought in the war. And also, for the positions that need to be filled.

"Yes, I was informed." I said deciding not to shout at Matsumoto early in the morning for babbling instead of doing paperwork.

"Oooh! I'm so excited! I can't believe Ikkaku asked Yumi out though! I mean she's from squad 4, the number one squad that loathes the squad 11."

Right. We were also tasked to bring a date. We could bring any shinigami, seated or unseated. Ayasegawa, Madarame, Kuchiki, and Yamada were also invited to this gathering. So was Kurosaki, but considering he can't even see spirits anymore, we decided to keep this in Soul Society only, not even bothering to invite Urahara and the others.

"Who are you taking taicho?"

"No one. I am not going." I said without looking up from my paperwork.

"But taicho! You're always working! Even Kuchiki-taicho is going and he's even worse than you!"

"Hn." I wasn't paying much attention. I just finished three stacks of paperwork in about 30 minutes. Maybe Matsumoto was right about me working too much."I have to finish all of these. And since you're no help, deliver this stack to Squad 5, this to Squad 8, and this to Squad 11."

"As your gorgeous and loving fukutaicho, I will finish two stacks of paperwork for you if you go!"

A night free from paperwork doesn't sound so bad. I know Matsumoto's only caring for my well being. She even decided to do paperwork, her arch enemy, just so I could go and relax. I may not show it, but she is one of the most important people in my life. She's like an older sister. Heck, she's even bossy and acts like one despite me being the captain.

I sighed. "Fine, I'll go." She grinned, and I added, "But you better not forget the paperwork!" I expected her to whine, but surprisingly, she just grinned even more.

"Yes, yes. Whatever, taicho!" then out of nowhere she grabbed a long list of something with a pen on her other hand, "Now, to find you a date!"

I groaned. So that was what she was grinning about.

"I could just take Hinamori."

"Nope, she's going with Kira." Figures.

"How 'bout you then?"

"Hisagi." She said not taking her eyes of the list.

"Can't I go alone?"

"No! Ooooh, how about Akira?"

"I don't even know her."

"Me neither, but her biodata shows she's even shorter than—err, you're taller than her. Which would be perfect!"

I decided to ignore her height remark, "Matsumoto, I am not going with someone I don't know."

"But taicho! You only know a couple of people since you don't bother remembering names that much. The only fukutaicho or taicho that could go with your height is Momo and Yachiru. And they already have dates!"

"Could you stop pointing out my lack of height?"

"Taicho, I'm just saying—"

She was cut off by a firm yet feminine voice outside the door.

"Hitsugaya-taicho, permission to enter."

"Come in."

The door opened revealing Kuchiki Rukia, who gracefully yet firmly, walked towards us. She bowed, "Hitsugaya-taicho, Matsumoto-fukutaicho, I was sent here to inform you—"

In an instant Matsumoto was suffocating her with her breasts. She had an evil glint in her eyes "Rukia-chan, I told you to call me by my first name. We're friends right?"

Mumbling was heard then a deep breath of air, followed by stacks of paper flying and falling around. Kuchiki apparently pushed Matsumoto off her, but the impact was so strong, she came crashing to my stack of paperwo—I groaned.

"Dammit, it'll take forever to sort that out." I feel headache coming.

Kuchiki stood up and bowed, "My deepest apologies, Hitsugaya-taicho. It was an accident. I accept the consequences for my actions."

I stared at her bowing form. She was making such a fuss out of nothing really. It must be the Kuchiki clan and their etiquette rules or whatever. "No need for apologies. It was Matsumoto's fault anyway."I decided to say.

I saw Kuchiki about to open her mouth but I sent her my signature glare. Then Matsumoto spoke, "It was really my fault, Rukia-chan. But if you really feel guilty of ruining taicho's hardwork and dedication to those stacks of paperwork he's been working on for 2 weeks," what was my idiot lieutenant up to now?"You could go with him to the Captains' ball as his date!"

Whaaaaaat? Is she out of her mind?"Don't listen to her. Now, what were you going to inform us about?" I said, sending a glare to Matsumoto.

"Oh, the captains' ball has been moved tonight instead of next week. And if that is what you ask for my clumsy behavior, I will be Hitsugaya-taicho's date this evening."

I was about to retort but Matsumoto cut me off, "It's settled then! Taicho will pick you up at 6 in the Kuchiki Manor. Wear a blue or white kimono!" she said while sending Kuchiki out. Then she turned to me, grinning.

"Matsumoto, what was that?"I said referring to her behavior.

"Oh come on, taicho! She's the perfect date for you. You actually know her and you've talked a couple of times when we were in the world of the living. She's cute and pretty. You're about the same height. She's also a strong and respectable shinigami and she's not one of those girls who annoys you 'cause they can't shut up" look who's talking. "And you could've stopped me when I asked her, but you didn't!"

Well, she has a point. "Fine." I sighed.

"Histugaya-taicho." Kuchiki Byakuya said monotonously. Though appeared calm and emotionless, the aura was so great, clearly saying 'do anything to her, and you're dead' Damn, he can be intimidating.

With the same tone and expression, I greeted back, "Kuchiki-taicho."

We just stood there, not saying a word, when a timid voice was heard, "Nii-sama. Hitsugaya-taicho." I turned my head to my date, and my jaw dropped in awe. Everything seemed to stop. As if the world suddenly revolved around her and her alone.

She wore a plain white kimono with a blue flower patterned sash around it, accompanied by a blue zori. Her hair was held up by a butterfly clip, but that stubborn bang stayed in its place. She wore no make up, but her face glowed in the moonlight.

I reached out and offered my hand to her, "Shall we go?"

She shyly took my hand and said, "Hai."

We reached the party. At first it seemed like a formal gathering. There was a toast to the newly promoted shinigami. But after those stuff, it resembled a highschool party. I noticed Kuchiki looking out the window. "Do you want to go somewhere more peaceful?" I asked.

She seemed surprised, but smiled and replied, "Hai."

I took her to the roof of the squad one barracks where the party was being held. We sat down and gazed at the stars. I decided to start a conversation.

"Congratulations on your promotion."

"Arigatou, Hitsugaya-taicho. I wasn't really expecting it."

"Well you should've. You deserve it, Kuchiki."

"You could just call me Rukia. Kuchiki sounds too formal."

I lied on my back and turned to her, "Don't nobles prefer it that way?"

"I am no noble. I am from the lowest and poorest district in Rukongai, adopted by the highest and richest clan in Seireitei. To them, I am nothing but a street rat. And they're right."

I stared at her, then back at the sky, "You shouldn't say that, you know. You are one of Soul Society's heroes and you are a strong shinigami. Hinamori once told me, "Just be who you are because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Kuchiki-taicho really cares for you despite his cold façade, everyone could see that. You have subordinates to support you and have your back. And you have friends, no matter how different they may be, even if they do live in another world, they are in your heart, and you in theirs. That's all that matters, right?"

She stared at me in surprise, as if not expecting me to say those words, then she grinned, "Who would've thought that the great Ice Captain would speak such sappy words?"

She could be so formal at one time, then so casual at another.

I blushed a little, "They weren't sappy! They were very wise, if I say so myself."

"They were both. But thank you, Hitsugaya-taicho."

"For what?"

"For the company, I guess."

"Hn. You talk as if I wasn't the one who asked you."

"Well, Matsumoto-fukutaicho can be very persuasive. And I did waste your two weeks of hard work."

"You actually believed that?"

"No. I just felt like saying it." She grinned. She could be so weird.

I stood up and offered her a hand, "It's getting late. I should escort you home."

She took my hand, "If you wanna stay, I could go home myself. I mean, the party's nowhere near ending."

I raised a brow, "Do I look like someone who enjoys parties? Besides, Kuchiki-taicho will kill me if I don't go with you."

"Fine then."

We walked in comfortable silence towards the Kuchiki Estate. Seeing we had no need to rush, flash step would be a waste of energy.

We finally arrived.

"Arigato, Hitsugaya-taichou."

I turned my back on her, "Later, Kuchiki."

I started walking but after a few steps, she called, "Hitsugaya-taicho."

I turned my head towards her.

She smiled, "Call me Rukia."

A/N: Review! :)