Thunderstorms and Frozen Snow

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach. That honor belongs to Tite Kubo.

Warnings: Unbelievable Sap, Spoilers for the Soul Society Arc and beyond

All characters are depicted as legal age in this chapter and subsequent ones.

#01 - Comfort

It's surprising how at ease most people are with them; Jyuushiro supposes they're just relieved all those rumors about Shunsui and him aren't true.

#02 - Kiss

His are every bit as wonderful as he is; hers are a breath of life after an eternity of sickness.

#03 - Soft

His hair is as wonderful as she thought it would be.

#04 - Pain

He'd thought that nothing would ever hurt as much as when Kaien died, but that is only until he learns of her battle with the ninth Espada.

#05 - Potatoes

She cooks like a dream, and Shunsui teases that her skills in the kitchen are probably why Jyuushiro loves her so much.

#06 - Rain

It once made them melancholy, made them remember the worst night of their lives.

#07 - Chocolate

Hitsugaya can't quite figure out why Ukitake doesn't give him the Chappy-shaped candies anymore.

#08 - Happiness

Jyuushiro was always more content than anything else, but now, he has more joy than he ever imagined.

#09 - Telephone

The special cell phone Yoruichi snuck him courtesy of Kisuke is a godsend when he realizes that he can now talk to Rukia whenever he wants without those pesky official channels and fear of eavesdroppers.

#10 - Ears

Jyuushiro has the oddest shaped ears she has ever seen, and Rukia thinks that they are every bit as adorable as Chappy the Rabbit, much to Shunsui's amusement.

#11 - Name

She whispers it like a prayer.

#12 - Sensual

For someone with an ice-based zanpakutou, Rukia is exceptionally physical, something that Jyuushiro comes to appreciate even more as the years pass.

#13 - Death

They can and do talk about his illness and know where each of them stand on the issue, and she will take whatever time they are given.

#14 - Sex

Their first time is not as awkward as it should have been; instead, they mesh like they've always been doing this.

#15 - Touch

They always brush without realizing it, even years before they are officially together; there are little gestures to the shoulder, to the hand, an unconscious caressing of reiatsu.

#16 - Weakness

Even before Kaien's death, he had a soft spot for her, and that only grows into affection as he watches her struggle to piece herself back together.

#17 - Tears

The healers had always said he was sterile, but as she tells him the news, he can't help that he cries.

#18 - Speed

She's as good shunpo as she is at kidoh; Jyuushiro makes a game of chasing her through the house on lazy days.

#19 - Wind

A snowflake blows right into the center of his palm, and he can't help but wonder what Rukia is doing at that very moment, if Ichigo-kun is watching out for her in the living world.

#20 - Freedom

Rukia never realized that love would bring such liberty or that she would experience either with her captain.

#21 - Life

To Jyuushiro, it's far too precious to be wasted on stupidity and pointless excuses, so he is guilt free when he asks her to be his wife.

#22 - Jealousy

At first, her brother is beyond angry; Byakuya has only just gotten to know her and feels like his senpai is already trying to steal her away.

#23 - Hands

Rukia's fingers are remarkably soft, despite the sword calluses, and he can never quite figure out how she manages it.

#24 - Taste

Not surprisingly, he is literally sweet, most likely the result of all the candy he consumes.

#25 - Devotion

In all the years that Jyuushiro has lived, he's never before been in love.

#26 - Forever

Eternity is possible with a connection like theirs, and even death is not strong enough to stand in their way.

#27 - Blood

Kaien's blood on her hands is his worst memory; her blood on his is his worst nightmare.

#28 - Sickness

He hasn't been seriously ill since Aizen's betrayal, and he can't help but think that he has her to thank for that.

#29 - Melody

Jyuushiro likes to hum under his breath, and it is a habit she picked up and carried with her to the living world.

#30 - Star

Their first official date is spent on a picnic that lasts from midday until well after sunset, and they stay out even later watching a meteor shower.

#31 - Home

It's where there is a sweet smile and floaty, white hair waiting for her to return.

#32 - Confusion

Jyuushiro is just as bewildered as she is the first time he kisses her, wondering just what the hell he's doing.

#33 - Fear

Terror is the thought that she could outlive him by millennia and the recognition that she probably will.

#34 - Lightning/Thunder

She stares out Ichigo's window as the storm rages on; every flash only make her miss him even more.

#35 - Bonds

Some ties are stronger than life, than blood, than time itself; love weaves a connection between them that is even stronger than Byakuya's initial anger and the captain-commander's disappointment.

#36 - Market

Often, they like to discard their Shinigami robes and sneak out to the third district to walk around as a normal couple and avoid the odd looks some of the people in Seireitei still insist on giving.

#37 - Technology

Things in the living world are a puzzle to them both, something Ichigo and Kisuke find uproariously hilarious whenever they stop in for a visit.

#38 - Gift

His son is the most amazing thing Rukia ever could've given him, and it is only doubled when she brings their daughter into the world.

#39 - Smile

Shunsui accepts their relationship with a knowing smirk, while Ichigo merely nods and wishes her happiness; Byakuya eventually comes around after a night of heavy drinking, but out of everyone, only Renji's seems forced.

#40 - Innocence

Neither are quite as innocent as they appear; Rukia lost hers to an Inuzuri man who wouldn't take no for an answer, and Jyuushiro to the healers who told him to set all his affairs in order.

#41 - Completion

Their lives seemed to lack something before.

#42 - Clouds

They marry outside under the clear and flawless sky; Shunsui cries with joy so loudly that Byakuya is forced to use a binding spell so they can finish the ceremony.

#43 - Sky

Both love to sit out at night, staring up at the stars.

#44 - Heaven

It's the sound of his children's laughter as their mother helps them color their ridiculously bad drawings.

#45 - Hell

For a heart stopping instant, Jyuushiro thinks that she is dead, lost to him like so many others.

#46 - Sun

He's as bright and cheerful as the sun, but unlike it, his touch has never burned, only bringing warmth.

#47 - Moon

She is the moon: white and pure and more beautiful than all the stars in the sky around her, but for him, she is always within reach.

#48 - Waves

They both love watching the waves crash to the shore; Jyuushiro thinks that if they ever retire from the Gotei 13, they should move to the small inland sea in the tenth district of Rukongai.

#49 - Hair

Only the hair on his head is white, a fact that Shunsui is only too quick to share.

#50 - Supernova

It all ends, not with a bang and a blaze of glory, but quietly in the bed they have shared for so long.

Ever Hopeful,