... women left the room. Are you escorting them to Kyoto?" she asked quietly.
"I am," Ran replied guardedly.
"If you could give me an hour or so head start, I would appreciate it."
Ran frowned at her words, "What are you planning?" she asked suspiciously.
"Honestly...I'm worried about Ichigo and I want to check on him...I'm not starting a fight, I just want to make sure he's okay. Sometimes, he has trouble handling stressful situations..." She said evasively.
"So I've noticed," Ran replied. "I'll give you an hour, but don't mention it to Rukia...I don't think she'd appreciate me being friendly to you."
"I understand," Yoruichi stated seriously, "Thanks Rangiku-san."
Rukia and Ichigo arrived back at the villa late in the afternoon. "I think I'm going to get a bath before my sisters get here. They need to know I'm okay but...if I have blood all over me and smell like sex, I won't be very convincing. Are you gonna join me?" He asked with a soft smile. "No, I have a few things I need to do and if I went with you, we'd never get anything done."
"True," He said with a smirk, "I'll be back down in a while, okay?"
"Alright, I'll have cook prepare some dinner for you." After a quick peck on the forehead, Ichigo bounded up the stairs to have his bath. Rukia smiled at his youthful exuberance and went to the kitchen to confer with cook. After making her requests, Rukia made her way into the her office and sat down hard...