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.