Ichigo Kurosaki walked into his house, greeted by the smells of his wife's cooking. Letting out a sigh, he placed his knapsack by the door and walked through the doorway leading to the kichen.
"Kurosaki-kun!" Orihime Kurosaki stood by the stove, her hands covered in red bean paste and her apron fitting tight over her round belly. Embracing her, Ichigo kissed her forehead lightly, rubbing his fingers through her delicate, auburn hair. Smiling, he broke their passionate hug and kneeled down, kissing Orihime's slightly rounded belly. "How was work?" Orihime's quiet voice was angelic.
Ichigo shrugged. He had been working for Urahara for a while to get money to support his family. After all, he did have quite the hand-
"Daddy!" A little girl with orange hair and flower hairpins raced over, hugging Ichigo's leg. Ichigo chuckled and lifted up the little girl, tickling her sides. She squealed with delight and laughed.
Orihime giggled, rubbing her daughter's head softly. "Maiko-chan was wondering where Daddy was." Maiko nodded her head enthusiastically. Scrambling down from Ichigo's arms, Maiko ran to the other room. Poking her head through the opening, she was practically jumping up and down in excitement. "Come on, Daddy!" Ichigo ran a hand through his spikey, carrot-colored hair, a grin forming on his face. "Okay! I'm coming, Maiko-chan!" Running after her, he cast one look of amusement back at Orihime before disappearing behind the wall.
Orihime turned back to her cooking, which consisted of heated red bean paste, bread, and leeks. She checked the timer on the oven, making sure that she wasn't burning the bread and stirred the bean paste. As the timer went off, she hunched down, puffing a little because of her own bun in the oven. Pulling the bread out of the oven, she set it down on a hot pad and started to ladle the red bean paste generously over the bread. Slicing up the leeks, she then topped each section of bread with a chopped leek piece. Licking her lips in hunger, she snuck a taste of the red bean paste.
* * *
"Rukia-chan," Renji Abarai began. "You really shouldn't strain yourself like this." The red-haired Shinigami remained by his heavily pregnant wife's side, making sure nothing was in her way.
The tiny Shinigami cast a look of annoyance at her fussy husband. "I'm fine!" she exclaimed. Smiling to herself, she wondered what Ichigo and Orihime would do when they found out her and Renji were staying in Karakura Town for a while. Rukia, although her delivery date was dawning closer, had no fear that she would have any issue while her visit.
Renji let out a cry of protest. "Rukia-chan! You know I'm only trying to-"
Rukia cut off his protest with a wave of her hand. "I know that, Renji. But believe me, I know what I'm doing." Pulling up in front of him, she flash stepped closer to the Kurosaki residency.
* * *
"Hey, Hime-chan?" Ichigo walked into the kitchen, with Maiko circling his legs like a cat.
Orihime looked up from her cooking. "Yes, Kurosaki-kun?"
Ichigo rubbed his eyes. "Maybe I'm so tired that I'm imagining this, but I could swear that I've sensed Rukia and Renji's reiatsu just now."
Orihime tilted her head. "Really?" Throwing out her senses, she searched for the two Shinigami's reiatsu. Locating the reiatsu, her mouth broke into a wide grin. Clasping her hands together, she blinked happily. "It is Rukia-chan and Abarai-kun!" Looking at the dinner that she had made, she realized that she had enough food to feed everyone. "Why don't you turn into your Shinigami-self and go find them?"
Ichigo sighed, leaning against the door. "I suppose." Walking over to the front door, he pulled out a pentagon shape and pressed it against his leg. Immediatley, his body fell backwards, lifeless, and his soul stood before Orihime in full Shinigami uniform.
Turning, he walked out of the door, leaping into the air.
* * *
Rukia gasped, feeling Ichigo's sudden reiatsu burst. Renji started to leap to conclusions. "W-what is it? Are you okay?! Is the baby coming?!"
Rukia sighed patiently. "No. I just sensed Ichigo's reiatsu."
Renji, confused, started to scan Karakura Town. Spotting a sudden flash of carrot-colored hair, he grinned cockily. "C'mon! I spotted him." Grabbing Rukia by the hand, he dragged her to the spot where he saw Ichigo.
* * *
"Huh?" Ichigo turned to find the two Shinigami hurtling right at him. Screaming in surprise, he jumped out of the way right before the two completely squashed him. "W-what the hell was that for?!" he cried. "Are you trying to kill me or something?!"
"Hey, Kurosaki," Renji greeted, completely ignoring Ichigo's protests. "How's the wife doing?"
Ichigo paused mid-protest. "Hime-chan's fine. In fact, she sent me out to come find you guys to invite you over to dinner."
Rukia, her stomach growling with hunger, licked her lips. "Renji-kun? Can we go now? The baby wants food and I do, too." Rukia, however stubborn she might be, was always distracted by her food cravings.
Renji nodded. "Kurosaki, wanna take us to your place now?"
Ichigo smiled, looking at the small Shinigami. Remembering when Orihime was pregnant with Maiko, he could totally relate to Renji's situation. "Rukia, you look well. C'mon, I'll take you there now."