Ichigo stood in line to board the plane. He had been gone for six months now, working hard in college but now he had some time off and planned to go back to Karakura Town to see his friend and family and of course someone who held a special place in his heart. He missed boyfriend, much more then he had ever expected he could. However not even a month after starting college his heart started to ache terrible for the some what perverted blonde shop keeper. Kisuke had assured him that he would be okay while Ichigo was off getting his degree in the medical field, but Ichigo couldn't help feeling like he had been gone too long. Sure they talked on the phone and even over the internet but it wasn't the same. It had been far too long since he had seen those calm gray eyes face to face. It was already Christmas eve in Japan however by the time he would arrive it would be Christmas morning. He hadn't been able to book a flight sooner then that with all the work he had to do before leaving on winter break. Now he was just waiting for them to call his flight number. Suddenly the beep announcing the intercom sounded.

"Excuse me, all passengers bound for Karakura Town, Japan. You flight has been delayed until father notice due to harsh weather conditions in Karakura Town. Sorry for the incontinence."

"Fucking hell," Ichigo cursed at the news before talking out his phone and sending a quick text to his father about the delay. He hadn't told Kisuke he was coming at all, he wanted it to be a surprise, looks like that might be ruined now. There was only 48 hours till Christmas and the flight would take about 11 hours.

With a heavy sigh he sat down in the waiting area hoping that the delay wouldn't last too long. It wasn't long before his phone started ringing some obnoxious ring tone he had chosen for his father.

"Yea?" he asked

"Ichigo, listen try switching your flight ticket for another one," Isshin told him. Ichigo could believe it, why hasn't he thought of that.

"Great, thanks goat face," he said heading over to the ticket counter. "I'm gonna go try that now, I'll let you know what I come up with okay."

"Good luck my son!" was the reply before he hung up the phone. At the counter he hurriedly asked the women behind the desk about his flight.

"Are there any flights going to Japan right now and could I possibly trade in my ticket?" he asked hoping against hope that there was a flight and he could trade the ticket. The girl quickly searched it for him.

"The soonest flight is in Narita Japan and the flight leaves in 20 minuets. As for trading you ticket, let me see." she said holding out here hand. She looked it over. "All that's available is a coach seat, sir" Ichigo has originally booked for first class but it was a sacrifice he was willing to make.

"That's fine, I really just need to get on that flight," Ichigo assured. The women nodded and typed in the transaction before giving him the difference of his tickets back. Ichigo quickly pocketed the money and took the new ticket.

"The flight leaves from terminal B," she said before going back to her work.

"Arigatou!" he said gratefully, not caring if she understood before taking off. He was at terminal D so he needed to hurry.

Ichigo practically ran through the airport, barely dodging people in his way and shouting hasty apologies. He just needed to get on that flight. Once he was in Japan he could figure out how he was going to get home. With that thought in mind Ichigo hurried through the metal detectors, thankfully their was no line as everyone bound for that flight had gotten there long before then. He put his carry on bags onto the conveyer belt, knowing they would pass. His other bags were already taken for the flight to Karakura but he could pick them up once the flight came in, he has clothes at his fathers house still so it wasn't a big deal. All his presents for his family and Kisuke had been shipped a week prior to this trip so there wasn't much for him to worry about.

"Here you go sir, have a good flight," the security women told him as she handed his bags back. Ichigo glanced at her name tag quickly.

"Thank you, Nel. Have a good holiday," he told her before dashing off to the terminal that was now announcing the passengers board the plain now. Ichigo quickly got in line, ticket ready to give to the attendant checking them. It seemed like forever before he go his turn.

"You ticket sir?" she asked holding out her hand.

"Ah yes," he said handing it to her. "Here you go." She checked it over along with his passport, making sure everything was in order. Finally she handed it back and let him pass. Ichigo hurried to board the plane with the other passengers. It wasn't hard to find his seat as the person in the one next to his had blue hair that stuck out like a soar thumb, but he couldn't say much since his own was bright orange. He walked over to the guy casually, looked like he was sitting in the inside and this guy was on the outside.

"Excuse me," Ichigo said and the man looked up at him with a pissed expression that soon turned to a wide grin that unnerved the strawberry. "I need to get to that seat," he stated pointing at the one beside the bluenette.

"I just keep getting luckier don't I?" the bluenette said, grin growing wider. Ichigo scowled at him, already seeing where this conversation was going.

"Just let him in my seat asshole," he said getting fed up with the way this guy was looking him over like he was the best piece of candy in Urahara Shoten.

"Oh feisty, I like that," the guy said, grin nearly coving his whole face.

"All passengers please take your seats," came over the intercom.

"Come on!" Ichigo growled. Finally the man stood up so Ichigo could scoot past him. Ichigo made his way to his way to his seat then shoved his carry on bags into the luggage rack before sitting down.

"Will all passengers please fasten their seat belts and make sure that all electronic devices are turned off and carry on bags are secured in the luggage racks," the women on the intercom told them.

Ichigo powered of his cell phone before putting his seat belt on. The guy next to him had so many devices Ichigo wondered where he was keeping them all. It seemed a little ridicules. Maybe he was a business man, though he didn't act like he had much tack at all.

"Hey give me a hand with these," he said before dumping about five of the decivce into Ichigo's lap.

"What?" Ichigo asked a little ticked off, he didn't even have the curtusy to ask.

"Look the sooner there all off the sooner the plane leaves right?," the bluenette reasoned. Ichigo sighed and started shutting them off.

"Fine," he said grumpily before shutting off the last of them and handing them back.

"The names Grimmjow Jaggerjacks by the way," he finally introduced himself, not that Ichigo really cared who he was.

"Ichigo Kurosaki," the strawberry replied.

"Strawberry? That's Japanese right? So you heading home for Christmas?" Grimmjow asked, clearly trying to make conversation.

"Yea, I'm going to college here in L.A. it's been a while since I've been able to go home," Ichigo explained. "And it dose not mean strawberry! Ichi means one and go means guardian!" Grimmjow just laughed.

"One who protects huh?" he asked.

"My mom named me," Ichigo told him defensively. He was very proud of his name and everyone always made fun of it. The only who he let get away with it was Kisuke. Grimmjow didn't comment, just hummed as he nodded his head in understanding.

Ichigo vaguely heard something about a safety procedure before they were preparing for take off. Soon the plane started taxiing to the runway and began to gain momentum. Getting a second check with the control tower they were cleared for take-off. With a blast of the jets the plane lifted off into the air, gaining altitude while hitting slight turbulence before leveling off and flying smoothly.

"So do you live in Narita?" Grimmjow asked.

"No, actually I live about 40 miles away in Karakura Town, but the flight was delayed due to bad weather. This was the closest I could get to home on such short notice," Ichigo found himself explaining.

"How the hell you getting home from there? Grimmjow asked, surprised clear on his face.

"I haven't really worked that part of the plan out yet." Ichigo admitted with a sheepish laugh.

"You must got some girl back home to go through all this trouble." the bluenette sneered.

"Sometime like that," Ichigo told him.

"Something like that?" Grimmjow repeated.

"Hai, his name's Kisuke. We've been together nearly five years now," Ichigo told him, unable to help the slight smile from coming over his face.

"He's gotta be special if can make you smile like that," Grimmjow noted.

"Yeah," Ichigo agreed. "He's very special. What about you? Why are you heading to Narita?"

"Ah I have business there," Grimmjow grinned.

"On Christmas?" Ichigo asked skeptically.

"Yup, I'm in the kind of business that doesn't stop even for the holidays," Grimmjow explained.

"That has to suck," Ichigo said with a snort before relaxing in his seat and looking out the window at clouds passing by.

"Eh, it's not like I got any family to spend it with," Grimmjow admitted. "I'd rather be keeping myself busy."

"I guess that's a good way to look at it," Ichigo said, not really sure what else they could say. It was silent for a long time after that, Ichigo just leaned his head against the window, watching the sky, hoping against hope that he would find a way home. Forty miles, it wasn't really far if he had to walk… but he didn't think he would make it by Christmas if that were the case. Fighting a taxi should be easy enough he reasoned.

"So, if you could have anything you wanted for Christmas… what would it be?" Grimmjow suddenly asked, startling Ichigo slightly though he didn't show it.

"Just to be home for Christmas," he said thinking of how much Kisuke's going to smile when he sees him. That thought alone made it worth all the trouble he was going through to get there. "What about you?" Grimmjow was quiet for a while before a huge grin spread over his face.

"A Ferrari!" Ichigo had to laugh at that.

"Well good luck with that man," Ichigo told him.

They talked a little more, about Ichigo's college classes and a little about Grimmjow's business. They talked about music they liked and movies and anything they could to kill time. They ate the nasty airline food then watched a movie and were ultimately bored to death so they fell asleep.

When Ichigo finally woke up it was to Grimmjow shaking him. He groaned and shifted in his head trying to catch a little more sleep.

"Fine, go ahead and sleep and don't get to see your lover in time," the bluenette told him. Ichigo's eyes snapped open and she sat bolt upright.

"We're here?" he asked, feeling slightly disoriented. He could already feel the jet lag getting in. "What time is it?" Grimmjow took out what Ichigo could tell was an ipod touch and clicked a few things.

"It's 4 in the morning here in Japan," Grimmjow informed.

"How did you-"

"Clocks app," the bluenette explained.

"Sou ka…" Ichigo said, reverting to his native tongue with out realizing. Luckily it seemed like Grimmjow knew some Japanese, since he didn't question it.

"Yeah, so grab you're shit and come on," he said while getting up and grabbing his own carry on bag. Ichigo nodded and did the same before moving into the line to depart the plane with the other passengers.

It seemed like almost four hours that they had waited to get though customs. Security seemed tighter then ever. Ichigo just wanted to hurry thought, he was hungry and still tired due to jet lag but he knew there wasn't going to be any resting until he was home. Now the issue still remained how to get here. It was going to be hard considering it was Christmas day.

Walking outside with his carry on bag Ichigo decided to try his luck flagging down a taxi. He hasn't seen Grimmjow since he left the customs area but he assumed that Grimmjow probably had some baggage to claim where as Ichigo's bags were still checked in for the old flight. The women at the desk assured she would call when that flight came in.

Outside he found a couple of taxi drivers parked out front waiting for airport passengers, he walked up to the first one and got in.

"Where to sir?" the man asked in Japanese.

"Karakura Town," Ichigo replied.

"Eh? No, no, no ones going there, they're being hit by a blizzard right now, sorry." the driver told him in a rush.

"Sou ka," Ichigo said with a scowl before getting back out of the taxi. He knew the weather was bad but he hasn't realized it was that bad. He took out his cell phone and turned it back on. Quickly he dialed his father, he maybe he would have some sort of idea.

"Moshi Moshi?" his sister Yuzu's voice came over the line.

"Yuzu-chan? Is goat face there?" he asked.

"Ichigo is that you?" she asked surprised.

"Yeah it's me, I'm at the airport in Narita but I can't get a cab to bring me to Karakura because of the weather," he explained quickly.

"Oh no!" she explained. "Dad it's Ichigo!" he heard her cry before handing the phone over.

"Ichigo, what's the matter son?" Isshin asked as soon as he came on the line.

"I'm in Narita but I can't find a ride home, all the taxi's are refusing because of the weather there," he explained again starting to feel frustrated.

"Damn it," Isshin cursed. It was a rare thing to hear coming from his father. "I can't get you either, we're snowed in. It wasn't as bad when I called you about taking a different flight."

"Well what am I suppose to do now?" Ichigo asked. He could see where this was going and it wasn't good. He was pretty much on his own.

"I really don't know Ichigo. Just stay put find a hotel near by and just stay put till the weather blows over, I'll come get you once it's clear," Isshin told him. Ichigo didn't like the sounds of that. All that effort just to be away from them and Kisuke anyway. "I know this isn't want you wanted Ichigo but it'll work out son."

"Yeah, okay. There's one right here in town I can check into."

"Good boy," Isshin said. "I'll call as soon as it's okay to come get you."

"Okay," was the only reply before Ichigo slowly hung up the phone. He almost felt like crying but he wouldn't, it had been a long time since he cried over anything and he wouldn't start not. By the time he got off the phone and looked around there were no cabs left.

"Damn it!" he cursed. That was just his luck. Just as he was about to blow his top in frustration a gray 4x4 truck pulled up to the curb just beside him. Ichigo wasn't sure what to make of it until the window rolled down reviling a man with blue hair and a wide grin.

"Grimmjow?" he questioned in confusion.

"I figured you'd need a lift," he said simply. "Get in if you wanna get home."

"Nani?" he asked eyes wide.

"Look I got business in Karakura anyway so it's not like I ain't already going that way." Ichigo didn't know if this was a blessing or a curse. He barely knew this guy but he supposed it wasn't much different then getting into a cab with a stranger driving either so he took Grimmjow up on his offer and got into the truck which was much warmer then the air outside.

"Thanks a lot, Grimmjow." he said with a slight smile.

"No problem berry," Grimmjow said as he pulled away from the curb. "This was your wish wasn't it?"

"Yeah," Ichigo chuckled, not believing that Grimmjow had remembered.

The ride turned to silence but not an uncomfortable one before Grimmjow turned the radio on. Christmas music flooded the truck along with the weather report ever twenty minutes. It was looking bad in Karakura and the roads on the way there weren't to great either. Snow and ice everywhere and the few who dared to travel on them hand a hell of a time not sliding into each other.

"Maybe we should just pull over, Grimmjow," Ichigo had suggested. He didn't want anyone getting hurt just to get him home.

"Chill out kid, I told you I was going this way anyway and I have a deadline to meet as well," Grimmjow huffed.

"If you say so.." Ichigo said looking out the window once more. It wasn't long before his phone stated beeping signaling the death of it's battery. Sighing he shoved the device back into his pocket, hoping that his old man didn't try to call him before he got there.

Isshin decided it was about time to check on Ichigo. He knew that the boy was going to have a hard time sitting still.

"I'll just the boy a call and make sure that he's keeping his cool," Isshin chuckled as he dialed Ichigo's cell phone number. He listening to the ringing while waiting for his son to pick up but it went right to Ichigo's voice mail. That was odd but maybe it had just died and his charger was still with in luggage that hadn't arrived in Karakura yet. It was no big deal he would just quickly get the numbers of all the hotels in Narita.

"Karin get on the internet and look up some phone numbers for daddy!" he called.

"What? Why can't you do it old man?" Karin asked grumpily.

"Come one daddy needs to get ahold of Ichigo," he explained.

"Fine, but only because it's for Ichi- nii," she relented before going to get her laptop.

"Where about are we?" Ichigo asked, still looking out the window. It seemed like they had been driving for hours. The trip would only be little over an hour normal but with the bad weather they were driving slow.

"We're in Narashiro right now, almost half way there," Grimmjow informed. "Getting fidgety?"

"A little," Ichigo admitted. "I have trouble sitting still for a long time."

"That much is easy to see," Grimmjow laughed. "So tell me about this guy you're in a hurry to see."

"Kisuke?" Ichigo asked, Grimmjow nodded, he knew the other was trying to take him mind off the time. "Well he's tall, has blond hair that down just past his ears," Ichigo said thoughtfully. "He's go the most beautiful grey eyes I've ever seen, oh and he always wears this green and white striped bucket hat," he laughed.

"Seriously?" Grimmjow asked looking amused and disgusted at the same time.

"Yeah, he's such a goof ball but he really pulls it off," Ichigo told him, a smile over coming his face. "And he acts like a con artist most of the time, can damn near talk you into anything."

"Is that how he got you?" the bluenette asked with a laugh.

"Actually it is," Ichigo laughed along with him.

"Well come on I have to hear this one," Grimmjow said, now officially having got Ichigo to calm himself.

"What, he's not there either? Okay thank you," Isshin said hanging up the phone for what seemed like the thirtieth time. "Where is that boy?"

"What's the matter dad?" Yuzu asked worried.

"It seems your brother couldn't sit still long enough for this storm to blow over and now I can't get a hold of him," Isshin explained to his daughters.

"Oh no!" Yuzu exclaimed now more worried then before.

"Don't worry so much Yuzu, I'm sure Ichi-nii has a plan," Karin tried to assure though she was worried as well.

"I think I better call Kisuke," Isshin finally decided.

"What? No way I can't believe you feel for such a cheesy line!" Grimmjow howled in laugher after hearing the story of how Kisuke had coned Ichigo into their first date.

"I know," Ichigo agreed. "Now that I think back on it, it dose seem ridicules."

"Looks like we just got into Koto, shouldn't be long now," Grimmjow informed the red head sitting beside him.

"That's good," Ichigo nodded. "If my dad's tried calling by now he must be worried sick."

"Phone wont even turn on eh?" Grimmjow asked. Ichigo took his phone out and tired turning it back on just for it flash low battery and shutting back off.

"Nothing," he said with a scowl. "Damn it, how did this turn into such a mess?"

"Don't worry so much berry, once we get there no one will be worried," Grimmjow assured.

"Yea, I guess you're right," Ichigo agreed.

"Of course I - OH SHIT!" Grimmjow suddenly shouted as the truck seemed to turn side ways

"THE HELL?!" Ichigo screamed in alarm while holding onto the dash for dear life.

"JUST HOLD ON KID!"

"What do you mean Ichigo's missing?!" Kisuke shouted into the phone. He couldn't believe what Isshin was telling him. Ichigo had come to Japan to supprise him for Christmas but because of the weather he had to switch to a flight that would bring him to Narita instead of Tokyo which was much closer to them. However he couldn't get a taxi to bring him this far so he was supose to check into a hotel until Isshin contacted him but being who he was Ichigo apparently couldn't sit still for that long. Now no one could get a hold of him.

"I'm sorry Kisuke, I his cell phone goes straight to voice mail so it's probably turned off or more likely the battery died. What's more I called the only vehicle rental shop in the area and they don't have Ichigo down as renting a car."

"Then you're saying he's either walking or hitched a ride with some stranger?!" that did no make Kisuke feel any better about the situation. Who knows what kind of trouble his strawberry was in right that moment.

Ichigo could feel his heart in his throat, rapidly beating as if it wished to leave his body. His finger nails were dug into the polished leather of the dashboard so deeply that they were bleeding. The moment they had started to slide Ichigo immediately knew they had hit black ice. Grimmjow knew what he was doing however and they had come to a halt only inches from going into a ditch.

"You okay kid?" came Grimmjow gruff voice.

"Y-yeah I think I'm find…" Ichigo replied feeling more then a little shaken up.

"You gotta let go of the dash kid," he instructed. "You're finger nails are bleeding."

"Yeah…" was his only reply as he tried to will his fingers to let go. It took a little while but he soon eased his fingers off the dash. Grimmjow searched the truck and found of napkins to give Ichigo to clean up his hands. "Thanks."

"No problem kid," he said. "Ready to go, should only be twenty more minutes tops."

"Okay, let's get going," Ichigo nodded. Grimmjow turned the car back on and got it into gear before carefully pulling back onto the road.

"We still haven't heard from Ichigo, nor do we know where he is," Isshin informed. Kisuke and them had been waiting, hoping to receive some kind of message from Ichigo and they were all worried. Kisuke had braved the harsh weather and walked over to Kurosaki clinic where Ichigo's father and two sisters lived. That would without a doubt be the first place he would show up.

"We'll find him or he'll find us," Kisuke tried to assure Isshin just as much as himself.

"Dad!" Karin yelled running into the kitchen. "Some truck just pulled into the drive way!"

"Is it Ichigo?" Kisuke asked, just out of his seat.

"I don't know-" but Kisuke was already across the small kitchen and heading out the door before she could finish.

Outside like Karin had told them a truck was in the driveway. They couldn't make out who was inside due to the snow storm raging. He walked out the door desperately hoping that Ichigo was in that truck.

Ichigo watched as they pulled into the drive way, he was anxious to get out and run inside. He knew they must have been worried sick by then. If he knew his father, once he couldn't get through to Ichigo's cell phone he would have called every hotel in the area and then when he didn't turn up there every vehicle rental agency as well.. Just as he was about to turn and that Grimmjow for bringing him home he saw Kisuke come out of his fathers house, obviously trying to see who was in the truck.

At that moment Ichigo couldn't think about anything else as he undid his seat belt and through open the door before jumping down into the snow and trudging over to Kisuke as fast as he could. Like wise Kisuke was running towards Ichigo.

"Ichigo!?" Kisuke called out as he got closer.

"It's me Kisuke!" Ichigo yelled as he got closer, before he knew what was going he found himself in the older blonde's arms, being hugged tight to his chest as Kisuke rattled on about how worried he was and about how he was scared.

"I-I know Kisuke, I'm sorry but I'm here now," Ichigo told him, soaking up his warmth. "I'm sorry, I just couldn't stay still knowing that you were what was waiting for me."

"I know Ichigo, always the reckless one," Kisuke said with a fond smile, his heart pounding with relief as he held the one he loved the most close to him. Slowly Kisuke pulled away and took Ichigo's chin in his hand before tilting it upwards and capturing those soft pink lips with his own in a slow loving kiss. Ichigo's senses where overwhelmed by the emotions flooding him. It had been so long since he and Kisuke had been able to share a kiss. Almost hesitantly Ichigo parted his lips in silent invitation which Kisuke took right away, plunging his tongue into Ichigo's moist cavern, charting out nearly forgotten territories as their tongues intertwined. Just as Kisuke's hands started to wonder they were pulled out of their self induced trance by reality.

"Come inside before you pneumonia!" Isshin called from the door way. Ichigo shook his head at his father before slowly pulling away from Kisuke and turning back to the truck here Grimmjow was standing outside of it holding Ichigo's carry on bag.

"Thanks Grimmjow," Ichigo said with a rare smile.

"No, problem kid," the bluenette said as he handed over the bag.

"Looks like I got my wish," he said happily.

"Yeah, and it looks like I made my deadline," Grimmjow said but offered no father explanation as he got back into the truck, waved goodbye and left the driveway. Ichigo stared after him until he was out of sight, unsure as to what he head meant by that last statement.

"Come on Ichigo, I'm sure you're tired for your long trip," Kisuke said, ushering the younger man inside.

"yeah," he said with a nod and followed Kisuke inside wondering who Grimmjow really was and if he'd ever seen the man again, however all thoughts of his blue haired friend were lost when he got inside where Yuzu already had dinner set out on the table. He couldn't help but smile because even if he was late he was still home for Christmas.