Ichigo laid on the floor of the Karakura Homeless shelter with his twin sisters Yuzu and Karin writing their letter to Santa. Normally the fifteen year old didn't participate in the event but Yuzu had insisted that they write a letter together. With a sigh the orange haired teen had given in and collected the paper and pen they would need. They each took turns writing a part of it. They were almost finished now, Karin was just putting the finishing touches on it. Ichigo ripped out the piece of paper, not bothering to see what his sister had added before folding it up and putting it in his pocket. Their father, Isshin was currently looking threw the paper crossing off another job that he didn't get.
"There's gotta be something…" he mumbled to himself. "I'm a doctor you would think there would be need for one somewhere."
"I'm sure you'll find a job soon," Ichigo assured. Ever since the bank foreclosed on their clinic for not bringing in enough business and they lost the house, their fighting had died down as well. Isshin wasn't his normal goofy self with all the stress of finding work on his shoulder. Ichigo never realized how much he would miss the old Isshin, but he was sure missing everything that was normal to him now.
"Thanks son," the raven haired man said giving his son a forced smile. "Why don't you take your sisters to deliver that letter."
"Already on it," the strawberry teen said as he pulled on his jacket and his sisters did the same. "We'll be back in a bit."
"Onii-chan can I hold the letter?" Yuzu asked with big pleading eyes. Sighing Ichigo handed her the letter and she tucked it into her jacket pocket.
"Alright have fun," the old man called after them. Ichigo gave a small wave over his shoulder as they exited the shelter.
In town it was already dark and the streets were bustling with people doing their last minute shopping. They walked around and looked into the window at the bright lights and nice toys. Yuzu leaned up to see in the window and didn't notice that the letter fell out of her pocket. Just then the wind swept it away. None of the siblings noticed as they moved away to look in the next window.
They spent another thirty minutes looking around and watching the people go about their shopping. They missed those times. When they could do the same, like they hadn't a care. In reality the clinic had been doing fine and their father had lots of patients but Isshin was too kind a man. He always let patients take their time to pay him if at all. You can't make a living on IOUs but the raven haired Kurosaki didn't have it in him to turn anyone away.
"Let's go find Santa," Karin finally suggested. They had stalled long enough. Ichigo nodded and took his sister hands so he wouldn't lose them in the crowd. After a few minutes of walking they found a Santa ringing a bell and collecting donations for the homeless shelters. Yuzu ran up to him dragging Ichigo and Karin along with him.
"Santa! Santa!" she called out getting the mans attention. Ichigo could tell he was much younger then he appareled to be under the fake beard and hair. In reality he looked like he didn't wanna be there at all. Inwardly Ichigo was laughing but outwardly he gave the man a sympathetic look.
"Santa I'm so glade we ran into you because we wrote a letter and I wasn't sure how we were going to get it you," Yuzu beamed. Ichigo shot him a look that said 'You better be nice to my sister or you're dead.' Relenting and probably not wanting to make a scene the Santa gave him.
"Well little girl I'm glade you found me," Santa said in as kind a voice he could muster. "How about showing me that letter," he said holding out his hand.
"Oh right, its right here," the youngest Kurosaki said as she reached into her pocket. A look of shock came over her face however when she started to franticly check all of her pockets. "No! it was right here," she started to cry.
"I'm sorry Yuzu it must have fallen out of your pocket," Ichigo tried to consol his crying sister.
"No I lost our letter," the small girl continued to cry.
"It's ok," the strawberry said as he picked Yuzu up. "We'll write another next year ok?" She didn't say anything just continued to cry. Turning to address the man dressed as Santa, Ichigo apologized for taking up his time and wished him a Merry Christmas before turning to go back to the homeless shelter. He would never call it home.
"But Ichi-nii!" Karin protested. With a sigh the carrot-top turned to face his sister with a pleading look. He was tired and now he had Yuzu to consol.
"Never mind…" she said after seeing how run down he really looked. With that they left.
Byakuya had been forced to do this volunteer work by his sister Rukia. She clamed he needed to learn some humility and do something for the community. He had offered to just make a large donation but she said that it wasn't the same as actually getting involved. She actually spend most of her free time volunteering at a soup kitchen called Urahara Shop. Byakuya had finally relented when she started going on and on about how he didn't care for the community and things of such nature.
Byakuya's icey aura had been keeping people from talking to him all night so he had been surprised then the little mousy haired girl had run up to him yelling Santa. She had seemed rather upset about losing her letter or their letter as she had called it. He felt a little bad for the girl and her brother who was trying to calm her. He looked rather tired himself but he suppose walking around with two little girls would do that. Going back to his bell ringing Byakuya happened to glance down and see the wind blow a piece of paper to his feet. Normally he would have ignored it but that letter came back to him mind so he picked it up just in case.
Unfolding it carefully the Kuchiki heir then smoothed it out so he could read it. He froze as he read what it had to say.
If you can't find me we're livin' out here on the street but I'll be watchin' for you, you're not gonna forget me, are you. Daddy says he knows you'll try but we might be too hard to find this year. Santa, I'm right here.
We don't have our house no more, I wish we could go home. Dad says we will some day and he prays it won't be long. But they closed dad's clinic and took most of our things.
Now Santa, I don't need too much, so this year could you bring my brother and sister coats that are warm, 'cause the ones they got is awful torn. Maybe dad could help you work, makin' toys for boys and girls.
Yuzu, Karin and Ichigo Kurosaki,
Byakuya read the letter over a could times. He could something in his chest constricting as his heart went out to these kids. He didn't realize things like this happened. His family had always been higher up in society so money had never been something they worried about. He now understood what Rukia had been talking about and why she volunteered her time to help people in situations like the one in this letter. The raven looked at his watch to see that there was only five minutes left to his shift. Someone would be coming to take his place soon.
Just as predicted his relief was there with in three minutes, he nodded his head to the replacement and went on his way. The fist thing he did was go into a department store and change out of his Santa suite in the bathroom. He wouldn't have worn it but he told Rukia he refused to let himself be seen out doing such a thing. With that done he went and bought a jacket for the orange haired boy and one of each of the little girls. He knew that was the brother as the raven haired girl had called him Ichi-nii.
The next thing Byakuya did was call up his grandfather and asked if that position at the hospital was still available. His grandfather was the hospital director, when he told Byakuya that it was indeed still open the raven told him to put it as filled and he would give the details later. A little surprised at the sudden change of personality Ginrei Kuchiki agreed quickly to the request. After competing the tasks Byakuya made his way to the Karakura homeless shelter with a renewed resolve.
The woman working at the shelter gave her the room number for the Kurosaki family. When he reached the right door he saw a dim light shining underneath so he hazarded a soft knock on the door. Nothing that would wake them if they were already sleeping but enough for a person to hear if they were awake. Inside he heard foot steps and then the door opened slowly to reveal a man with short raven black hair and dark circles under his eyes.
"Yes?" the man asked unsure.
"I'm looking for the Kurosaki family," Byakuya said to make sure he had the right door.
"You them," the raven assured before extending his hand. "Isshin Kurosaki. What can I do for you?" He introduced.
"I'm here to deliver these for you children," he said handing the man a bag with three wrapped boxes. "And because I heard you were a doctor."
Isshin took the bag cautiously. His attention was brought back to the man before him when he mentioned doctors.
"Yes I am," Isshin confirmed.
"Then I am here to offer you a job at Karakura General Hospital," Byakuya informed. "The position is your's all I need from you is to have an interview with the hospital director."
"That's a generous offer and I'd be crazy not to take it," Isshin said after contemplating for a moment. "But why would you offer such a opportunity to me?" Byakuya simply gave one of his rare smile before reaching into his pocket and handing over the letter he had found.
Isshin took it slowly an unfolded it before he began to read. Tears filled his eyes are he read his children's heart felt words. He would have never dreamed that they would write such a letter. He looked back into the room and smiled at his children who were curled up together on a futon on the floor. He really needed to give them more credit.
"Thank you, I will accept the job. When can I have the interview?" the raven asked.
"Tomorrow at 9 AM if that's alright with you," Byakuya informed before pulling out on of his grand fathers business cards and handing it over. "Ask to see this person, I will let them know they should expect you."
"Alright, thank you again… uh…"
"Byakuya, Byakuya Kuchiki," the Kuchiki heir introduced himself. After a small chat Byakuya left and Isshin went to bed feeling like a weight was lifted from his shoulders. He couldn't wait to tell the kids what they had done. Isshin knew he would never doubt miracles or the magic of Christmas ever again.
The next morning Ichigo was awoken by his father traditional good morning kick. Instantly the strawberry knew that something had happened and it must have been good.
"What the hell!" Ichigo yelled as he kicked his father in the face before he could get another attack in.
"Daddy got a job my son!" Isshin cried. Ichigo was so stunned that he didn't dodge the kick to the head that threw him onto the floor in a rather compromising position. "And it's all because I have three wonder children."
Yuzu and Karin were up now and Isshin had explained about how Byakuya Kuchiki had found their lost letter and was touched by it. Ichigo didn't know who that was but he couldn't have been happier that things were turning around. Soon they would be home and life would be good again.