Chapter 24: Homecoming
A few weeks after Masaki some up she was allowed to return home. Isshin had dismantled the shrine he had on the wall for her and replaced the posters with old family pictures. Ichigo and Shiro had moved the furniture around in the living area so she could have her bed downstairs. She was unable to climb stairs for awhile, meaning the girls would still have to help in the cleaning. As the boys were getting the downstairs ready for their mother, Isshin got a cab to take him to the facility.
Rukia stood in the kitchen watching Yuzu cook lunch with the help of Orihime. The other girl seemed to get all flustered by Shiro, which Shiro was starting to notice. Rukia thought it interesting, but stayed quiet about her own thoughts on this.
As much as she hadn't trusted Shiro in the beginning of her stay, she now believe him to truly be unique soul. He once was a hollow, but he was now human with shinigami powers. He was kind and a bit shy; but could also be loud and protective when provoked. Ichigo, on the other hand, had moments when he was brash, ill-tempered and quick to start a fight; but then there was the kind, gentle, loving side of him that was so protective of those around him.
There were moments when Ichigo could make her so mad at something he had said or done. He is nowhere near ready to defend this town on his own. She thought before looking towards his pale doppelganger. But then, he doesn't have to. She finished her thought before looking at her friend Orihime who was flushed from helping in cooking. He has his friends and younger brother to help him. Looking down at her hand she tried to flare her reiatsu. Ever since that night my powers have been getting weaker. Bringing her hand up to her face she continued to think. This body will not last forever. I will have to return home soon. Suddenly her phone beeped. Pulling it out, she didn't even realize both boys had come into the room when it sounded.
"Well?" Shiro's voice sounded, causing Rukia to jump slightly at it. "Where is the hollow?"
She looked back at the device. "Not a hollow." she told them as she continued to read the message. "It's a message from my superior." She frowned at the message. It wasn't making any sense to her. Suddenly the phone was pulled from her hand. Looking up she saw Shiro with it and reading its message. "Hey!" She went to grab it only to have him place his hand on her head to keep her at bay. At times she hated being as short as she was.
"According to this you've been avoiding contact with this Captain Ukitake for the last two months." Gold /black eyes looked at her before continuing. "It says here that you are being accused of going awal and if you do not return to Soul Society by the tenth you will be brought in forcibly." He looked at Ichigo. "Today is the fifteenth."
"Why did it take you so long to receive your orders?" Ichigo asked with worry in his tone.
Rukia shook her head. "I don't know." she answered as Shiro handed the device back to her. "I'm going to be in so much trouble as it is."
Shiro scratched the back of his head. "It's not like it's your fault that you ended up like this."
Before any of them could continue the conversation the front door burst open with Isshin's loud voice booming down it. His tone was a happy one, causing the boys to smile. It was obvious that their conversation was done with for now as chaos began. Bags were brought into the house of all of the things that had brought to facility over the years. Last Masaki was brought into the house in a wheelchair. Her legs were too weak to carry her form, but with physical therapy she'd be able to move around like she use to.
"Mama!" Yuzu's cries were the loudest as she ran out from behind the counter to greet her mother.
Orihime stood next to Shiro with a smile and tears in her eyes. "I'm so glad your mother was able to come home."
Shiro nodded. "Yeah, but it'll be a long road ahead before she's back to herself again."
Orihime twiddled her thumbs together. "Miss Yoruichi has been teaching me how to tap into my powers and I could always try healing her." She turned towards him with determined eyes. "I healed Ichigo after his last fight yesterday and he had no scars!"
Shiro saw how determined she was to help his mother. Smiling softly, he gave her one of his truly happy smiles that left her feeling a bit breathless because of how beautiful it made him look. "Thank-you Orihime. I'll ask her later if that's what she wants."
Orihime flushed brightly. "Y-You're welcome." she stammered as she felt slightly embarrassed.
Masaki took notice of the young women standing next to her sons. How Shiro smiled so dazzling or how Ichigo laughed as the dark hair girl made faces at him for something her said. She was happy. Her boy's and her beautiful daughters were happy because she was back. She was finally home. She felt Isshin move behind her before whispering in her ear. "Welcome home, my love."
Yes, welcome home indeed.