Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.

Rukia turned over on her side on their bed one night trying to get into a better sleeping position. She had been restless for quite sometime now, and she knew this night Ichigo would be as well.

She faced him. His face was covered by a towel that he had used from his shower and his right arm was placed on his forehead, trying to block out all sounds, and that even included his wife, Rukia Kurosaki.

"What's wrong, Ichigo," she asked knowing the answer. She saw the towel shift toward her as he faced her. "It's the anniversary, isn't it?"

He nodded not saying anything. It had been nine years now since she had met him, and one year since they had been married. This day was as familiar to her as the back of her hand. The date, June seventeenth, had been planted into her head like a flower in a garden.

Even though she never new Masaki, she did know that that date deeply affected Ichigo's family and, in a way, it affected her as well. On that day Ichigo didn't go to work and he didn't stay home. Come to think of it, Rukia didn't even see him on that date until very late at night.

And it was always raining. Ironic, Rukia thought. That the days she and her husband both hated were the raining ones. And every time Masaki or Kaien's death anniversary came around, it always seemed to be raining.

Rukia was determined to make the rain and those two dates something to honor, not to regret. She wanted Ichigo to be himself on the day of his mother's death, maybe a little sadder, due to the loss, but still just the same old Ichigo that she had grown to love.

"Ichigo?" she whispered after a long time; she could have sworn that Ichigo was asleep. "Ichigo are you awake?"

She went to touch the arm that covered his eyes when he replied, "What?"

Rukia smiled sitting up, moving enough for Ichigo to remove the towel from his face and to crack open an eyelid to look up at his wife.

"I went to Masaki's grave a few weeks," she said as casually as possible.

"Oh really?" Ichigo asked slightly amused which was surprising since this was Masaki, his mother, which they were talking about.

"Yep," she replied bubbly. "A few weeks ago I was at home with nothing to do so I walked to her grave. While I was sitting there, praying, I suddenly felt this tight embrace wrapped around me. Whoever or whatever it was, was soft and warm and smelled of honey and maple syrup."

Ichigo gasped. His mother, he was sure of it.

Rukia continued. "But when I turned around, I didn't see anyone. I shrugged it off and then I had this vibe…"


"Yes a vibe," Rukia said glaring at her smirking husband. "It said something about wanting to keep her baby boy happy and make sure he stays in line. She's been watching over and saw that you could be almost exactly like your father."

Ichigo groaned and looked away. She smiled.

"What did you talk about?" Ichigo asked, trying to hide the interest in his voice. He shot a glance at the shinigami girl who was grinning in accomplishment.

She had won his attention after all.

"We talked about Yuzu and Karin," Rukia went on. "We talked about the Soul Society, and Renji. Orihime, Uryuu, and their new baby. We talked about your dad"—Ichigo snickered at her next comment—"she still thinks he looks cool with a cigarette in his mouth."

"Anything else?" Ichigo asked smiling. He knew that his wife sounded like a total idiot. But that was just one more reason why he listened to her; blackmail.

"Yes actually. We talked mostly about you." She smiled. "She's very proud of you, Ichigo. She says that she's glad you've been able to show that smile that you only wore for her to other people, like me. We talked about your work as a doctor and many other things that mother—in—law and daughter—in—law talk about."

He shook his head. They both laid back down, the covers firmly wrapped around them. Rukia turned to him a little catching his eye.

"What else?" Ichigo replied closing his eyes a bit.

"Baby names," Rukia replied simply.

"Baby names?" Ichigo repeated. "That seemed kinda off subject. I mean I know that woman can get off subject sometimes…but that's just"—

Rukia groaned getting Ichigo's attention. "You don't get it do you?" she asked looking at his face as it scrunched up in confusion. "You really are an idiot."

"Hey!" Ichigo replied. "Sorry about you and your weird subjects…"

Before he could say anything else Rukia pressed two fingers against his lips. Amber eyes looked at violet and they stayed like that for the longest while. "Why would we be talking about baby names unless…"

She nodded in his direction as his face slowly lit up with knowledge. "Orihime and Uryuu want you to name their baby!" he replied excitedly.

Rukia stared at him dumbfounded. Could one man who was usually so smart be so stupid? Yep, Rukia concluded.

"NO!" she replied. "I'm pregnant."

Ichigo's eyes widened considerably. His brain lost all functioning. It was like he was having a heart attack or something. "Wha—what?" he questioned.

"Ugh, how can I say this for your little brain to handle," she replied sarcastically, putting her index finger to her chin acting as if she as thinking. "I'm expecting. We are having a baby."

"I'm gonna be a dad?" Ichigo asked, words finally coming back to him.

"Well…" Rukia replied. "We're still waiting for the test results."

His eyes widened for the second time that night. She smirked. "I'm kidding," she replied. "Geez, lighten up."

"I'm gonna be a dad?" Ichigo repeated.


The orange—haired shinigami broke out into a grin and then wrapped his arms around her pulling her into a tight embrace. "This is so incredible," he whispered in her ear, while resting one hand on her stomach.

"Yes it is," she replied as he pulled away. They kissed gently before resuming back into their laying positions. Rukia turned on her side and Ichigo scooted closer to her and draped an arm around her slim figure.

They both closed their eyes for a while until Ichigo broke the silence with a simple question, "Why tonight of all nights?" he asked. "Why on the night before the anniversary of my mother's death?"

Rukia shrugged. "A new start," she replied. "I want to make the rain something of forgiveness and cleansing, not pain and regret. I want Masaki to be remembered as a great mother just as I intend to be. And I want you to think of her day as something to be joyful for; her life and the tiny life inside of me, Ichigo."

He nodded resting his head on her pillow. It was funny some of the strange things that he noticed about his wife at night. Just two weeks ago he noticed that she had been eating a lot lately, which only led to a fight about "yes, you've been eating like a pig!" and "no, I eat as much as you!" and then Ichigo getting his butt thrown through some wall.

And tonight he noticed, as he smelled the light sense that Rukia gave off while he snuggled closer to her, his hands resting on her stomach, that she smelled of honey and maple syrup.

Just like his mother.

It was a small thing, noticing someone's scent. But to Ichigo, it was all the reassurance that he need to get through the tough times that he and Rukia would be forced through; after all, the Soul Society would probably need some talking before they would allow her to give birth. And not to mention her brother would probably kill Ichigo while Renji did all he could to get a few punches in.

Because Ichigo Kurosaki knew that his mother was there, watching over him, Rukia, and their unborn child.

"I want to make the rain something of forgiveness and cleansing, not pain and regret."

Yeah, he thought as he heard Rukia's breathing become softer and slower as she drifted off into sleep. A new start to a new life, that's what the rain would offer him the next time it did.

And, like Masaki was answering his prayers, the soft patter of the translucent liquid ran down the window.

And Ichigo smiled, his eyes shutting as well.

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