By Kari Izumi
-This story was for the most part written in 2009 but real life caught up and I joined the Navy shortly after this, and thus is collected dust till I re-read this for the first time five days before publishing. Six years, four deployments, eight countries, two fleets and the commissioning of a new ship later, I still like it. Happy Valentine's day everyone!
Disclaimer; Bleach is owned by Kubo Tite, not me.
Ichigo shifted in closely tailored tuxedo he was wearing, holding the hands of the woman he loves the most in the world. This moment was perfect. Rukia is perfect in the Western-style bridal dress that Ishida managed to re-create from her favorite Ai Yazawa manga. He knows this is something he wanted to do—that it would be her he'd take this step with eventually—no one but her— without the added incentive to do so. And after Byakuya had chased him through every last district in the Rukongai scattering the petals of Senbonzakura after they had told him about the expansion of his family, he was surprisingly okay with a small ceremony on the Kuchiki estate—in a garden holding his prized cherry blossom trees.
"Byakuya, is this really necessary?" Ichigo turned and growled at him. The blade barely touches his back, but he can sense the contained energy of its wielder as though it wanted to run right through him.
"Perhaps not," he replies, never relinquishing his grip upon Senbonzakura, "however, you are in no position to make demands, after the shame you have brought upon my sister."
Ichigo glowers harder in disbelief. "I fought half of Soul Society, including your ass to save Rukia once. You think I'm gonna skip out on her 'cuz I knocked her up? Give me some credit here!"
"You wouldn't receive my bankai twice and live to tell about it if you did." His soon-to-be brother-in-law's mask is as stoic as ever.
"And if you did live, you'd have to go through my bankai!" Renji adds, pulling out his own Zanpakuto and points the blade at his left shoulder. Ichigo suspects the freakishly wide grin on his friend's face at the thought of this has more to do than just brotherly concerned for Rukia.
"Why would you ever think you'd win that battle?"
"Don't forget about mine!" Pops chimed in as he pulled out Engetsu and aims it at his other shoulder. "My third daughter deserves better than my stupid son who didn't use a condom—"
"Why would I?! I didn't know I could get her pregnant in that gigai!" Ichigo snapped. "Fucking ass Urahara didn't tell us about needing the accessory until we found out about this!" He makes a gesture at Rukia's stomach.
Renji scoffs in disbelief. "If you took that guy at face value, you're a bigger idiot than I thought."
"Who are you calling idiot, idiot?"
"The idiot with three swords at his neck and wants to mouth off, idiot!" Zabimaru is pressed further along his shoulder blade.
Pops then proceeds to pull out a picture of Mom from his left breast pocket—a replica of the poster in their kitchen, Ichigo realizes with horror. Tears of joy are streaming down the older Kurosaki's eyes."You hear that, Masaki? Your son is giving us a beautiful grandbaby, even though he is far too undeserving to have babies with a pretty girl such as Rukia-chan…"
Ichigo punches Pops upside the head. "Shut up, Goat-chin!"
From the row of chairs, Ishida stands up, and Ichigo is baffled. What possible reason would he have to jump into this moron melee?
Adjusting his glasses, he says, "Those suits you're wearing makes for some of my best tailoring, and I'd appreciate it if you three wouldn't ruin them."
An awkward silence follows as he sits down again.
"Oi!" Rukia snaps as she holds her head (Although that might be from the wearing the ridiculously oversized hibiscus flower headdress she's wearing to match her dress). "I really don't need all of you protecting my honor. And certainly not with swords!"
Finally, the voice of reason that he fell in love with; the commanding but gentle voice that commanded respect that no man could disregard. With various expressions of disappointment, they all lower their swords.
"That's it!" Inoue, who is seated closest to Ichigo, leaps out of her seat, eyes bright, mind filled with purpose "I reject!"
Two of Inoue's fairies come charging straight at him and form a shield around his entire body. Inoue looks entirely too happy with her work "See, now he can't run and Ishida-kun's work will be saved!"
Another stunned silence followed.
"Um...I don't need that either, Inoue," said Rukia slowly, "but...um...I appreciate it."
Inoue scratches at her head nervously but recalls her two fairies back to her hairclips.
The next thing Ichigo sees is a fireball of kido forming in Rukia's hand, which she holds three inches from his face. "Because if he did run, I know some damn good binding spells. And I could use Hakka no Togame to freeze him where he stood. But I won't need to, because you won't run. Will you?"
He's about to hit the ceiling. "….why are you even asking that?"
"Because you did THIS!" she points to her belly.
"YOU came onto ME!"
"I wasn't the only one there that night on the kitchen table!"
"Our kitchen table?!" Yuzu gasps.
"Some of us eat on that!" yells Karin, visibly disgusted.
"We could've gone to a love hotel, but noooo-"
Byakuya's sudden rise in reiatsu promptly ends the conversation.
In the sudden quiet, Ichigo realizes that Chad was still playing Pascelbel's "Canon in D" on his guitar throughout this entire ludicrous scene without missing a beat; but the only person there who was probably still paying any attention to him—much to Ichigo's utter chagrin—was seventeen year old Karin, wearing the same strapless dress and updo hairstyle as Yuzu with the addition of a scarf around her neck to hide the bruise that appeared "mysteriously" after the two of the had left the wedding rehearsal—together.
If Ichigo was anywhere other than his own shotgun wedding, he'd have already kicked Chad's ass.
"Anyway, I'm not going anywhere, you dumbasses! I love my woman and I love my kid. Geez." Ichigo looks down at his watch. "Where's that priest already? This should've started ten minutes ago. How can this get any worse?"
A sudden crushing pressure fills the air around the party; Chad's music stops and a few heads turn in the direction of the jingling bells that grow louder and louder Kenpachi walks through with Yachiru on his shoulder, dressed as formally as he's ever seen either of them dressed. "Are you lost?"
"I was earlier. Got turned around about three districts back, but I'm pretty sure this is the place."
Ichigo whispers to Rukia, "You didn't invite him, did you?"
"No way in hell—and I didn't write out the invitations anyway."
Byakuya speaks, and the ghost of a smile appears on his face. "Captain Kenpachi speaks so fondly of you, Kurosaki, that I didn't think you'd mind."
Ichigo hears a hissing noise from behind; he looks at Renji's entire person shaking, his face turning slightly purplish trying not to laugh. Fucker.
"We're just waiting for the priest to show up," Rukia says politely.
A look of realization comes across Kenpachi's scarred face as he scratches his neck in something akin to embarrassment. "Ohhhh…..so that's who that guy was….um. Sorry."
"Oh no, Ken-chan!" The young Vice-Captain pipes. "I guess Rukia-chan and Itchy gotta keep on living in sin for another day!"
Everyone's jaw but Byakuya's dropped; Yachiru's lack of tact never ceases to be astounding.
Rukia and Ichigo look at each other. Guess there wasn't anyone could do about it now.
Kenpachi isn't worried at all. "Well, since no one's getting married today…may as well get that rematch over with..." Ichigo feels a headache coming on as he sees the long, battle-worn sword being unsheathed.
"What the fuck?" This man was insane, no contest.
Yachiru jumps off Kenpachi's back to a nearby tree for a good view, gleeful in the carnage she hoped would ensue. "Hooray!"
"What the..no, we're not doing that here! You'll destroy Byakuya's trees!
Byakuya heads for his estate with no discernible concern for his property. "I suppose I had better start preparations for another ceremony in a few days. Time is of the essence, after all."
Turning to Rukia for mental support, but she had pulled out a notebook with her infamously bad Chappy drawings. "Can we have a cake like this, Nii-sama? I'm pretty sure I'll be real hungry at the reception." She looks at Ichigo when she says this.
"I'll pay for the drinks!" Renji offers. "What did you want for your drink?"
"I can't have any, you fool!"
"Ow! Is that good for you to kick like that?"
"Better than it is to ask if I can!"
Out the corner of his eyes, Ichigo spots Karin whispering something in Chad's ear that causes a scarlet tone to cross his tanned cheeks before she grabs for his overly large hand and leads him in the direction of a more secluded area of the property.
Isshin is too busy yelling at the top of his lungs to take any notice of them passing by. "YAY, ICHIGO MY BOY! MAKE THE KUROSAKI NAME PROUD BY DEFEATING THIS CAPTAIN! ALL MY TRAINING WILL NOW COME IN HANDY IN GLORIOUS BATTLE-"
"You idiot!" he grabs at Isshin's collar. "Did you notice your daughter leaving out with a much older guy just now?!"
"Hmmm." Pops ponders for a second before commenting, "But unlike you, Karin is actually responsible-"
Ichigo's response was a roundhouse kick to the face that sent him flying in the air.
Rubbing the spot where Rukia's foot landed on his forehead, Renji takes a seat under the tree Yachiru perch herself on with a bottle of sake. Yuzu takes a seat next to the redhead, and if she's trying to study the tattoos along his neck, Ichigo chooses to ignore it for his own quickly dwindling sanity. Inoue and a visibly pissed off Ishida join them.
"Yeah, Kurosaki! Let's give them all a show!" Kenpachi removes his eyepatch and is positively beaming.
"Well, at least Kuchiki's dress wasn't ruined," Ishida comments.
Ichigo covers his face in his hands. "Fuck all of you."
Remember kids, practice safe sex!
Feedback is welcome.