Authors Note: To my faithful readers, I beg you to forgive me for all the OOC's. It tends to make the story line easier to deal with. Please bear with me.

Disclaimer: In NO WAY do I own Bleach or it's characters. This is made by fan and meant to be read by fans.

Enjoy ^_^


(Ichigo's Room: Late Afternoon)

There was nothing better to do on a boring Saturday afternoon. I leaned back in my bed, resting my head on folded hands, and thought about how much HELL I'd brought to soul society. I was lucky they didn't kill me as soon as everything was over. Of course, there was one other thing I couldn't keep my mind off. Well, one other person actually.

I hadn't told anyone this because I was embarrassed and tended to flush a deep red even thinking about it but I was in love with one of the Vice-Captains of the thirteen protection squads. I thought about it over and over again but every time I did, it brought me to the same conclusion.

I was deeply, and utterly, in love with Aberai Renji.

I shuddered as I thought about the battle that had almost killed the red-headed man. I remembered every cut, every slash, in his body that I had made. He almost died telling me I had to save Rukia. I already knew that and it pissed me off, watching as he fought for air, to tell me to save some one else. Of course I realized that had been my main purpose, saving Rukia.

My jealousy over whelmed me but regardless I went and saved Kuchki Rukia from evils clutches. Aizen made things worse escaping to Hueco Mundo (Sorry for bad spelling). The whole time I was saving her I couldn't keep my thought from wandering to him. The bastard just had to pop up everywhere I went. His tattoo's tantalized me, controlling my mind with a maze of designs. I wanted to beat the shit out of him but could do nothing.

---

I jumped when I heard a knock at my door. A young girls voice, muffled because of the door called, "Ichi-nii! Dinner's ready."

"What? Oh. Ok, I'll be there in just a minute." I answered. I knocked on my closet door and pulled it open. Rukia sat in one corner, with a flashlight, reading a book. "Dinner time. You know the drill."

Sighing, she jumped out of the closet, fixed her rumpled clothes and jumped out the window. I watched her land softly on the ground and start walking swiftly to the front of the house.

I took my time walking down the stair and rushed, only pretending, to the front door when the door bell rang. I swung it open, putting on a surprised, slightly shocked face. "Rukia-chan, what are you doing here?" I asked, hoping my voice wouldn't give me away.

A booming, rather grating voice, called from down the hall, "Rukia-chan? What's Rukia-chan doing here?" Kurosaki Ishhin came rushing down the hall, wearing a goofy pair of pj pants and a loose fitting plain white t-shirt.

Routinely, Rukia put on the water works. Quietly, she sobbed, "M-my parents were in a car crash a-and I didn't know what to do. I-I went back to the house to find it had burned down so I have no money and no source of f-food. I thought t-that maybe, just m-maybe, you could house me?" Rukia gave my father a watery glance, playing her role perfectly.

Isshin had been moved to tears and looked at me. "That's a load of bull shit. She comes here every other week with the same story. You can't really believe her can you dad?" I asked, my role perfectly played out as well.

Yuzu, who had seemed to have popped out from no where said, her face streaked with tears, "N-nii-san how can you be so mean? We can at least feed her and give her shelter until her parents are well."

I slapped my face, knowing, and slightly hoping, things would play out as they usually did. Both of us realized how much of an idiot my father was but none of us ever bothered to say anything. "You know what? Fine. She can do what ever she damn well wants."

Yuzu's face immediately brightened. I couldn't help but smile. Yuzu was fragile and tended to break a lot easier than her almost twin sister Karin. "Really? Oh thank you Nii-chan!" Yuzu jumped on me and hugged with all her might.

"Yuzu, you're suffocating him." Said another, irritated, female voice. Karin stood staring at the four of us, her face bored, lifeless. "Let go of him already."

Yuzu let go, and left me gagging for air.

"Come on let's go. Dinner's getting cold." We followed her to the kitchen and sat at the table. We thanked who ever it is that we thank for the food and began to shove the food down our throats.

Damned shinigami. Karin thought, glaring at Rukia from across the table. I sometimes wished I didn't have any spirit powers just so I didn't have to know that you and him were doing things privately together. Every time Ichigo disappears for days, weeks, at a time, she usually goes too. She almost always has something to do with his disappearances

"Karin, is something wrong?" I asked my younger sister, seeing the distraction in her eyes.

She snapped into a straighter position and said, "What? Oh, yeah. I'm fine."

"You seem distracted." Her father said, general concern actually showing for once.

"Not really." She turned to Rukia and asked, "I'm just curious. How long have you been living here?"

Rukia, as though this wasn't such an unusual question, answered, "Less than a year. We lived in America for awhile but we decided we needed a change."

"For some one who's only lived in Japan for less than a year, you speak Japanese quite fluently." Karin ricocheted back.

Choking a little Rukia answered quickly, "I've had a lot of tutoring. I'm a quick learner. I also took Japanese back in the states." Her lie was quickly becoming more evident.

Before Karin could ask anymore question I cut in curtly, "Karin, quit bombarding her with all the questions. She's here and so what if she is?"

Karin glared hard at me, her face showing anger and disappointment. "You want to know why?" Her voice was slowly rising, her anger all spilling out all at once. "Every freaking time you disappear, so does she. You disappear with out a trace, with out telling anyone where the hell you are and then when you do come back you're either all beaten up or depressed. When that happens, you refuse to talk to anybody! You don't come down and eat and the only time you leave you room is to shower or use the bathroom." She was breathing like an angry bull, through her nostrils and hard. You could almost imagine steam coming out of her ears.

She stood up, grabbed her plate and said quietly, "Excuse me." She put her plate in the sink and stormed upstairs, still fuming.

The four of us still sitting at the table watched her disappear into her bedroom, slamming the door hard behing her. "Is it something I did?" Rukia asked quietly. I saw how upset she actually was about the situation. She hadn't ever meant to worry any of my family but we never really had time to give a formal good-bye. Most of the time, things happened as a spur of the moment situation.

Shaking his head, Isshin said quietly, "No. She just... Ichigo is an important part of her life and she's constantly worrying about him. Maybe if he would tell us where he was going once in awhile, we wouldn't have this problem."

Wincing when he said this I realized it was true. Sighing, I stood up and said to the rest of them, "I'll go talk to her."

Rukia, standing up too said, "I'll come-"

"No." I said firmly. "This is something between me and my sister." Rukia sank slowly back into her chair, the authority in my voice startling her.

"Yeah. Sure." She cleared her throat and resumed eating slowly. I must of really upset his sister. I didn't mean to. I mean, I know that Ichigo is important to his family but he's also important to me. Damn it. Why is life so complicated?

Isshin and Yuzu watched as Rukia brought the food to her mouth and then attempting to put in her mouth. Almost every time she missed, putting more food on herself than in her stomach.

"Rukia-chan?" Yuzu placed one hand on top of Rukia's.

She looked up and shook her head, clearing it. Oh shit. "Um, can I use your shower?" Rukia gave them a rather sheepish smile, only then realizing all of the food she had wasted, dumping most of it on herself.

"S-sure" Isshin replied, holding back a laugh.

Rukia got up and walked up the stairs to the shower. I'll help clean up later.

---

In my sister's bedroom, Karin lay face down on her bed, resting her head on her hands. Knocking, I entered quietly and called out, "Karin?"

She didn't answer me.

I went over to the bed and sat down next to her, resting my hand on her back. She stirred just a little bit, trying to shake my hand off her back. Sighing I said, "I'm sorry for always making you worry about me Karin. Just that, I'm out trying to save the world from being engulfed in evil. You know that. You've known all along that I'm a god damn Shinigami."

Karin, her voice muffled, said, "I know. But that still doesn't give you the right to just randomly disappear from here. Where do you go every time? Yuzu worries more than I do and I feel guilty that I can't tell her for sure that you're safe and that I know exactly where you are. It's just... We need you more than you think."

"Yeah. I know."

Karin sat up slowly and I let my hand drop to the bed. "From now on, leave a note that you're going to be gone for awhile and that you're going to be with... her." She practically spat the last word and you could hear the clear dislike of Rukia in her voice.

"What do you have against Rukia-chan anyway?"

"She's stolen you from us. Damn shinigami." She muttered under her breath.

I hit her lightly over the head and said playfully, "It's not nice to damn your own brother."

She hissed at me, glared, and said, "You know what I mean."

"Ha ha. I know." I ruffled her hair and walked out the door.

---

Rukia stood under the warm water and couldn't stop herself from thinking about all the trouble she had caused Ichigo's family. Every time I'm around, Ichigo ends up getting in trouble. We end up going to Soul Society, he saves the world, comes to a devastated family. He has to come up with a lie every time to tell his family. It must be hard lieing to his family every time, re-explaining his reason for being gone for so long.

Rukia jumped when she heard a knock at the door. "Rukia-chan? You don't have any clothes with you right? Come to my room and I can see if I have any thing that fits you."

"Um, sure." Rukia replied, turning off the water. She grabbed the towel hanging on a rack next to the shower, wrapping it around her small frame. She took a quick look in the mirror and opened the door, looking both ways to make sure neither Ichigo or his father were around.

She walked quickly to Yuzu and Karin's bedroom, knocking before entering. Karin was leaning against the wall reading a book and Yuzu was digging through their closet looking for something that Rukia could wear.

Rukia cleared her throat. Yuzu jumped and looked up from what she was doing. "Oh, Rukia-chan, I can't seem to find anything for you."

"May I?" Rukia eyed the closet.

"Go ahead." Rukia walked up to the closet but before she grabbed anything Yuzu stopped her. She leaned up on her tip toes and whispered, "Show me first though. I don't think Karin wants you taking her clothes." She gave Rukia a pleading look and Rukia was glad to comply.

Rukia dug through the closet for about five minutes before finding what she had wanted. It was the dress she had worn the last time she had been in the real world before the Soul Society incident. She showed it to Yuzu and she nodded in agreement. At least she hadn't been wearing Karin's dress for those two months.

"Um, may I also have some pajamas I can wear for tonight. I'll leave tomorrow." Rukia asked quietly, afraid that if she said anything to loudly Karin would blow her top again.

"Sure."

Rukia went back to the closet and took out the yellow checkered PJ's she'd gotten so used to wearing. Yuzu nodded and Rukia sighed in relief yet again. "Um, Rukia-chan? Where will you sleep?"

"I have some place special. Don't worry, just get some shut eye. I'll see you in the morning." Rukia turned away, knowing that she hadn't meant to tell such a lie. She'd be out of the house before anyone, even Ichigo, woke up.

Rukia slipped out the door, closing it quietly behind her, and walked quickly to her, sleeping quarters.

---

I turned my head when I heard the door latch click. I sat up quickly when I saw Rukia. Color creeped to my face as I slowly took in that she was only wearing a towel and was dripping wet.

When she saw this she glared and demanded, "What? Never see a woman in a towel before?"

I thought quietly, It's not that. I've seen a naked woman before and it was rather uncomfortable. I turned my head away from her and answered quietly, "N-no actually. I've never see a woman, wrapped only in a towel before."

She laughed quietly, sarcastically. "Hm, still innocent? Then, maybe your young eyes aren't ready..." She let the towel drop to the ground. "For this."

She laughed harder when I screamed, girly like, and shoved my head under my pillow. From underneath I yelled, "Hurry and get dressed! Damn! Are you trying to get me to lose my fucking virginity before I'm twenty?"

"Maybe." Her voice was less sarcastic now.

"Are you fucking with me?" I yelled again.

"No. But I'd like to fuck you."

"You know what? Never mind." I got up and walked blindly over to my light switch, fumbling with it. I flicked the light off and stumbled back to my bed. "Get dressed in the dark. I'm going to bed!"

Rukia laughed, her voice hollow, unwelcoming. She dressed quickly, now clearly ignoring me, climbed in her closet and I listened as we both fell into a deep sleep, our breathing even and calm.