The Apologies that Never Came
***I do not own Bleach the manga, the anime, or the cleaning product***
**After Rukia Kuchki's Rescue**
Dear Kurosaki-san, I would like to extend to you my most sincere apologies concerning…
Dear Ichigo-sama, please forgive…
Ichigo, how have you been lately? I hope everyone is doing well…
Rukia growled in frustration and crumpled up yet another attempt at an apology and threw it into a nearby waste canister. Standing up she walked to a nearby window to look out into the dark, cool evening at the stars.
Why was this so hard? She could fight hollows, risk life and limb for strangers, and stared down a giant flaming bird about to execute her via incineration but writing a simple apology letter seemed to be the most difficult task of her life. It had taken her how many years to apologize to the Shiba's for Kaien's death?
This was different though, Kaien knew the risks of becoming a Shinigami and he had been trained to fight hollows for years. He had not been forced, in a life or death situation, to become a Death God, no he had chosen that path. Then there was their lives to compare, Kaien had lived a very long time, well over a hundred years, and had even found love.
Ichigo had that choice taken from him. He was now stuck being part of a world with monsters, life or death battles, pain, scars, betrayal, and powers he would most likely never understand in his short human life. He was only fifteen after all, how could anyone expect him to truly understand the consequences of his actions? All of this had been because of her.
First he had gained his powers due to her failure to protect him and his family, and then after he was given a second chance at a normal life he had taken the more difficult path and instead went through what most likely amounted to torture, regained his powers, and had rescued her even after she had demanded that he leave her alone and left him for dead.
Her life had been marked by failures. She had failed nearly everyone she cared about one way or another, and then had failed to ask for forgiveness for those mistakes.
Now she was given another chance though, and she would not allow herself to fail again. Even if she had to stay up all night until she figured out how.
Rukia returned to her desk to resume her attempt at writing a letter to her savior.
***After Rukia Kuchki's rescue***
To Miss Rukia Kuchki, aka my favorite customer, 'Hopefully the humor lightens the mood a bit'. Following recent events I feel that I owe you an apology and an explanation. 'Yeah that's the understatement of the year, heck the century.'
I am, in large part, responsible for many of the unfortunate circumstances you have found yourself in during the last several months. 'Although, to be fair, Aizen was also to blame… maybe I should include that.'
I know that nothing I say or do can ever make up for the deceit and the trauma I have put you through. 'Maybe a permanent store discount would help? No, stay focused.'
Regardless of my intentions, 'what is it that they say about the road to hell?' I have committed a grave injustice towards you and I can only hope that you might someday forgive me. 'Or at least kick me in the face a few times and call it even.' Signed, your favorite 'hopefully' human world shop keeper, Kisuke Urahara.
The eccentric shopkeeper finished with the letter and sealed it into the envelope destined for Soul Society before gazing out his window at the stars.
'I really made a mess of things this time haven't I? I sent a bunch of kids, barely half way through their teenage years, on what amounts to a suicide mission with virtually no information, and almost no backup.'
Sure Yoruichi had volunteered to accompany them to the Soul Society but she was only one former Captain, she couldn't be expected to protect all of them, even if she had been at her peak. The shopkeeper smiled, if she had heard that comment he would have been sent flying into the floor from one of her fists for sure.
'I was even willing to sacrifice Rukia's future in order to fix my mistakes.' the inventor dejectedly recalled,
'In the end the plan failed anyway, I failed. Aizen obtained the Hogyoku and has retreated to his fortress to prepare his armies for war.'
The shopkeeper let out another heavy sigh, he was going to have a lot more apologizing to do once this war was over, hopefully he would not been apologizing to anyone for casualties though, he wasn't sure if he would be able to forgive himself if any of the young people he had 'enlisted' were killed.
Once again his gaze turned to the stars and his thoughts to the future.
***After Aizen's Deceit***
'I wonder if I made the right choices as a father…' Isshin pondered as he walked past Ichigo's room and headed down the stairs to the living room of his house.
'What should I do?' the exile continued wondering,
'He deserves an apology for being kept in the dark, and the truth, heck I should be begging for him to forgive me for everything that I have kept from him over the years.'
The man began to pace back and forth occasionally glancing towards the steps that lead to the source of his frequent insomnia.
'Everything he has been through in his life, and never once being shown the connections between it all, instead he was kept in the dark and the truths have been shown to him by those who had no business doing so. Enemies that wanted to manipulate and kill him, instead of those who strove to protect him.'
However at this thought the former Captain was reminded of another unpleasant thought, 'Have we done any better than Aizen? Kisuke and I manipulated Ichigo into going to Soul Society, fighting our battles for us, and never informing him of anything that was happening behind the scenes.'
'If given the chance to change my decisions, to alter the past, would I?' a few moments passed before the weary father slumped back into his chair, sighing heavily and showing the weariness that centuries of life and hard decisions inflict upon someone.
'Since I am still keeping him in the dark about the Quincy I suppose not.'
A sudden resolve filled the man and he stood up shaking the exhaustion from his body as he made his way towards his kitchen for a drink.
'I need to tell him.' Isshin resolved, after taking a quick drink though he paused. 'But where do I begin?'
Once again the pacing began as he ran through conversations in his mind. 'Do I start with a normal conversation and work into it?'
'Should I hint and drop clues to the truth until he starts the conversation?'
'Maybe I should just plead for his forgiveness starting with the fact that I allowed him to carry the guilt surrounding Masaki's death for years and was too afraid of telling him the truth that I allowed it to continue'
The aged Soul Reaper let out another sigh. 'If Masaki knew about the guilt I allowed him to carry she would have punched me through a house.'
'I guess it doesn't really matter how I start this conversation so long as I can resolve myself to tell him everything, otherwise it is just another deceit to add onto the mountain I have been piling up.'
The head of the Kurosaki household began the slow walk back to his room, knowing that until he could bring himself to reveal everything he would just have to resign himself to watching over Ichigo silently and trying his best to guide his children in any way he could.
The idea for this story came while I was rereading Bleach, I came to the part where Urahara apologizes to Ichigo, after Rukia had been rescued, and I remembered when Rukia apologized to Kukaku. I realized that at no point does Rukia apologize to Ichigo. After that I remembered that we never see Urahara apologize to Rukia, after Ichigo tells him to, or Isshin apologize to Ichigo for basically lying to him for half his life.