Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or any of the characters from the manga or anime. That honor belongs to Tite Kubo. The characters of Hinako and Satomi are my creations.
It was the smell of tea that woke Hinako. That sweet, kind of spicy scent drifted slowly across her nose, making her smile and debate about opening her eyes. Jushiro was awake as his side of the bed was cold, telling Hinako that he had left it some time ago. The sound of pots and pans clinking together came in through the closed bedroom door. Hinako smelt rice cooking and her stomach growled. Smiling, she thought how wonderful it was to be lazy and lay in bed, just waiting for your lover to come in and bring you…Hinako jumped out of bed, throwing on her underwear and shirt from yesterday.
Well, that answered one of her many questions about spirit beings. They still had to pee like normal people. Sliding open the door near the head of the bed, Hinako prayed that was the bathroom. Nope, closet. A closet full of green yukatas. Yucky, pale green yukatas that made Jushiro even more pale than he normally looked. Hinako looked at each yukata, her face wrinkling into a frown. They were all the same green color! Oh, this was awful! These were the wrong colors for Jushiro to wear.
"Hinako?" Sliding the door open, Jushiro poked his head through, holding a tray in one hand, full of wonderful smelling covered plates. "Are you…Oh, there you are?" He slid the door all the way open and came in the room. "What are doing in my closet?" No anger laced his voice, just laughter.
"Well, I was trying to find the bathroom but all these doors look alike and I got lost! Jushiro, we need to go shopping for clothes." Hinako, forgetting all about having to go to the bathroom, pulled a faded yukata out from the closet. "Theses colors are awful for you! With your white hair and pale complexion, they make you even more pale and sickly looking. You need colors like navy blue or maroon. Oh! A nice eggplant!"
Setting the tray down on the bed, Jushiro chuffed. "Eggplant is a food, not a color." Standing up, Jushiro crossed his arms over his chest, one eyebrow raised in mock battle. "I refuse to believe that there is such a color as eggplant." Jushiro sat down on his side of the bed. "If you still need to go to the bathroom, it's right there." Pointing at the foot of the bed, there was another sliding door. Hinako stuffed the faded green yukata back into the closet, slammed the door and with a giggle, headed into the bathroom.
It was huge and Hinako gasped as she took in the bathroom. The walls were tiled in a pale peach color, the huge tub was a sea foam green, a perfect accent color to the peach tiles. Double sinks stood next to the toilet stall, the counter tops in the same green as the tub, with the sink basins the peach color of the walls. It was absolutely beautiful. There was one surprise after another in this small house!
As Hinako took care of her aching bladder, she wondered why there were double sinks in a house where only one person lived. Her heart sank a bit as she wondered if Jushiro had them built for woman he was previously involved with. After last night, there was no doubt that Jushiro had a previous lover. Blushing as her mind went back to some of the things they did, Hinako scratched her knee and was shocked as blood pooled under her finger nails. What the hell? Her knees were rubbed raw!
Finishing up, Hinako flushed and looked for washcloths to take care of her knees. What the hell did they do….Oh, the deck. Yep, that was it! In the early hours of the morning, Hinako had woken up, Jushiro hugging her tightly. So tightly, in fact, she could barely breathe. Wiggling herself out from under him, Hinako went outside for some air, putting on one of his captain's haoris. The trees were moving in a soft breeze that sent velvety sakura petals under her nose and she took deep breaths, letting their sweet fragrance wrap around her. A brilliant moon hung low in the sky, it's reflection shining off the lake that surrounded Jushiro's house. It was so different from her hometown and Hinako really thought that she could stay here, by Jushiro's side forever. Sitting down, Hinako let her toes dip into the warm lake water. Perhaps this place was really like a fairy tale, where the sun always shone, the water was always warm and the people were nice.
"Couldn't sleep?" Clad only in a robe, Jushiro sat down next to her, his feet disappearing under the water. Hinako shook her head and lay her head on his shoulder. Wrapping his arms around Hinako's waist, Jushiro pulled her closer to him. Night birds were hunting over the lake, their black shadow clad bodies dipping in the water, coming up with a fish if they were lucky. The unlucky ones tried over and over until they too, would fly back up into the trees with their prizes.
"Do you want me to take you back tomorrow?" Please say no, Jushiro begged Hinako in his mind. Say you want to stay with me forever and never leave me. Say you want to marry me and build a family. Say you want to be with me when I pass and you'll never love another. Tell me my name will be the last thing to pass your lips as you leave this body and join me in eternity.
"I'm so glad you asked! Yes, will you take me back?" Hinako turned to look at Jushiro and was shocked to see how white he went. He wasn't expecting that and Hinako's answer hit him like a physical blow. His eyes were haunted and he covered his mouth with one hand. Coughing slightly, at first Jushiro seemed to not be able to catch his breath. As he struggle to breathe, Hinako was at a loss for what to do. Scrambling to her knees, she started to hit him on his back, hoping to dislodge whatever was caught in his throat.
"Jushiro!" Finally, he took a deep breath and coughed. Carmine red blood spilled over his hands, dripping down onto the deck. "Oh my Gods! A towel, I need a towel!" Lurching to her feet, Hinako, in her haste to get Jushiro a towel, grabbed his hands, his blood staining her hands. Hinako didn't notice the blood as she raced through the house, the words, 'a towel' flying from her mouth, a mantra, begging Jushiro to be ok until she came back.
"Where the hell is the bathroom? Oh, screw the bathroom!" Grabbing his blood stained haori from the couch that he had last worn when Kaien was killed, Hinako ran into the kitchen, pulling a glass from the shelf and filling it from the sink. Her hands trembled as the glass filled and tears dripped from her eyes. "Don't let him die, don't let him die, DON'T LET HIM DIE!!"
Glass filled, Hinako tore through the house and practically flew outside again. Dropping to her knees, the blood from Jushiro's body wetting them, Hinako used his haori to wipe his mouth and brought the glass to his lips. "Please be ok, please be ok, please be ok, please be ok, please be ok." Hinako was sobbing by the time Jushiro had drained the glass, his breath coming back to him.
"Rukia never told you?" Jushiro's voice was strained as he fought to catch his breath.
"Told me what?" Gentle fingers wiped away more blood from Jushiro's face.
"I'm ill, Hinako. I have a lung ailment, similar to what you call tuberculosis." Hinako stopped wiping the blood from Jushiro's face and her hands went limp and landed softly in her lap. "You can't catch it because it can only be passed from spirit being to another. Ones who were born spirit beings, not like you, who was transformed into a spirit being by going through the gate. Eventually, my body will be consumed by this illness and I'll die." Hinako threw herself at Jushiro, her arms going around his shoulders and her head in the crook of his neck, sobbing as if her heart was breaking. Somehow, he managed to turn his body around in a more comfortable position and cradle Hinako while she cried.
"How long?" The words came out muffled against his robe. He didn't have to ask what she meant, he know her question was how long until he dies.
"Years, maybe a thousand or more." Those words pierced Hinako's ears. Years? A thousand or more? Was he trying to comfort her by joking about how much time he had left? Cause if he was, it wasn't helping.
"How old are you, really?" Pulling back from Jushiro's chest, Hinako wiped her eyes from behind her glasses.
"Two thousand years old. I'll be two thousand and one on my next birthday." He grinned proudly at her, like a little boy. Suddenly, the moonlight was playing tricks on her. The white hair was gone and in it's place, black hair. The lines from around his eyes vanished as did the black circles from under his eyes he sometimes had from lack of sleep. He looked like a young man again, how he should look if it weren't for this illness, how perhaps their son would look. He wasn't teasing her on his age for Rukia told her that the Captain of squad 1 was over three thousand years old.
"I'm 39. Does that make a difference to you?" Hinako stared into those copper colored eyes she loved so much. "In my world, I'm old, almost too old to be a mother. You might want to find someone else to be the mother of your children. I'm too…" Hinako didn't finish as Jushiro's mouth came crashing down on hers. Passion rose sharp and hot within her again. She moaned into Jushiro's mouth and he swallowed the sound. His hand snaked under the haori Hinako wore, caressing over her skin, trailing his hand over her bottom, grasping her body to his.
Clutching, grasping, tearing, Hinako's hands worked at the tie of the robe Jushiro wore, her hands shaking in her haste to get him naked. She was on her knees, straddling Jushiro, his erection rubbing against her bare skin. No playful tone to this lovemaking. It was consuming, a reaffirmation of life, of Jushiro's life. Whispered words of love, whispering their vows of love and commitment to each other as the cool night breezes skimmed over their heated bodies.
Hinako whispered she loved him and she would never leave him. Jushiro, laying back on the hard deck, held onto Hinako's hips as her body hovered over his larger one. Telling her he loved her and wanted to see her belly swell with his son or daughter, he kissed her. Small hands on Jushiro's shoulder, they gripped hard as Hinako lowered herself onto Jushiro's arousal, her body stretching again to accommodate him.
"Marry me?" The words were moaned out as the moon watched the lovers move with each other. A whispered yes ran across the lake before disappearing into the grove of sakura trees. They started to move, Hinako's knees scraping across the rough deck, but she didn't care. Jushiro's haori was slipping off her shoulders, pooling around her thighs and Jushiro's large hands cupping her bottom. Faster and faster they moved, Hinako's cries of pleasure streaking across the lake, the night owls picking up their heads, looking for the source of the sound.
Canting his hips up, Jushiro buried himself deeply in Hinako's body as his release took over. White hot lights behind his eyes, ripples of pleasure running over his skin, shards of electricity scurrying up and down his spine, Jushiro gasped as he emptied himself into Hinako. Barely able to think, by instinct alone, Jushiro let his hand brush against Hinako's center, finding that one spot that made her back arch and her legs tighten around his hips. As she moved up and down his shaft, Jushiro's fingers never left her body and soon, she was falling over the edge with him. His name a moan on her lips, Hinako arched her head back, her long ash blonde hair trailing over Jushiro's thighs, the moonlight shining on her body.
Collapsing on his chest, Jushiro pushed back her wet hair from her face and kissed her. Once again, he asked her that one question.
"Yes." Came the breathless answer.
They both came through the double doors from Soul Society, exiting next to Urahara's shop. Pinkie Pie and Jushiro's butterfly flit around their heads as the couple held hands, still in shinigami form as they made their way to Hinako's apartment. Hinako had asked Jushiro to teach her how to go through the gate and she wanted to get some of her things. They were almost there when Hinako, reaching out and searching for Satomi's spirit ribbon, gasped and blushed. Uryuu's dark blue ribbon was intertwined with Satomi's lighter colored blue ribbon. That meant only one thing, they were making love.
Jushiro grinned as only a man who was sated from making love to the woman he loved, could. Holding out his index finger, Jushiro's butterfly landed on his finger and he whispered his instructions to it and sent both butterflies away. The back gate was locked but Hinako still had her keys and soon, they were in the backyard. It was only a little past dawn and not too chilly so Jushiro dragged out the chaise lounge and he and Hinako were soon curled up together, waiting for Jushiro's hell butterfly to come back with the all clear.
"I can't believe you asked me to marry you so soon. We've only known each other for less than a month." Playing with Jushiro's sleeve, Hinako tried to hid the nervousness in her voice. She was terrified that Jushiro would rethink asking her to marry him and this happiness would just fly away.
"I would have asked you the day I came back from Soul Society after I'd been gone for a week but it was too soon. You would have rejected me."
"When did you know you loved me?" In the early dawn, Jushiro couldn't see Hinako's face clearly but he could hear the grin on her face as she asked that question.
"It was when you stuck your tongue out at me, the first time I saw you. Or maybe it was when we slept together, that night I came back from Soul Society and the next morning, you rolled out of bed when you realized I was there next to you." Hinako poked him in the ribs, giggling when a soft "oomph" almost parted her hair. "Ok, ok. You caught me." Looking up, Hinako lost the grin when she saw the expression on Jushiro's face. Cradling her chin, he brought her face up, his lips drifting over hers softly, his tongue parting her lips as their tongues danced in each others mouths.
"It was when you were trying to catch that damn butterfly and your hand landed on my chest. You were circling me, talking to Satomi like I wasn't even there and when you touched me, I swear, I felt like your hand burned itself into my body. Electricity shot outwards from where you hand touched me and up my chest and down my arms. It was like my entire body was on fire and I wanted to pull you to me and kiss you until you couldn't breathe anymore."
"Hmm, if I remember correctly, you did kiss me until I couldn't breathe anymore. You scooped me up and held me off the ground while your tongue did wicked things to my mouth." Hinako turned around and straddled Jushiro's lap. "You dipped down to kiss me like this," Hinako kissed Jushiro fleetingly on the mouth and backed away. "Then your arms surrounded me, like this." Hinako threw her arms around Jushiro. "Then you leaned down," Leaning down to Jushiro, Hinako had just put her lips on his, when a loud metallic scraping tore through the morning. Panicking, thinking it was a hollow, Jushiro tried to jump off the lounge chair, to push Hinako behind him. Only it was the lounge chair making that noise.
The chair was a hand me down from Hinako and Satomi's parents and it was in poor shape. Hinako only had time to gasp before she and Jushiro were on the ground, the chair collapsed under their combined weight. Jushiro looked thin but he was muscular and tall, almost 6' 2", although he only weighed about 160. Hinako, Jushiro under her and his face squished into her breasts, was laughing and she could feel Jushiro's rumbling laughter deep in his chest.
The back door flew open and there was Uryuu Ishida, his Quincy bow drawn and a spirit arrow aimed at Hinako's forehead. Deep blue eyes shone from behind his glasses and his stance was rigid. However, he was only wearing black boxer shorts and it was obvious that he had thrown them on, as they were on backwards. Jushiro turned his head, trying to cover his laughter with a cough but Hinako wasn't so successful. Uryuu blushed and put his bow down while Satomi ran out of the house, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts.
"Hinako! What the hell? Why didn't you come inside?" Smoothing a hand over her hair, Satomi tried to frown at her older sister as Hinako crawled off of Jushiro. Hinako walked over to Satomi, whispering in her ear.
"You're spirit ribbons were intertwined." Satomi blushed. "We were just sitting here in the back yard, behaving ourself, when the damn chaise lounge collapsed. Otherwise, you'd have never known we were here." Hinako walked past Satomi. "I just came here to get a few things and then I'm going back to Soul Society with Jushiro."
"Oh good! I mean, oh good for you!" Following Hinako in the house, Satomi sat down in the kitchen. "You know what I mean."
Hinako nodded. "Yep, you want to be alone with Uryuu!" She grinned as a pretty blush raced across Satomi's face. "And that's just fine with me, because I'd like to be alone with Jushiro." Hinako went and rummaged through the bathroom, grabbing her toothbrush, toothpaste and favorite shampoo. Jushiro said she didn't need any clothes from here as he had a few surprises for her back home. Practically skipping back into the kitchen, Hinako tossed the bath things on the table and searched for a bag to put them in. Only Hinako's back end could be seen out of the closet in the kitchen and her voice was muffled.
"Jushiro asked me to marry him." All Satomi heard was, Jushiro…me…him.
"What? Wait until you're out of the closet to talk. You know I can't hear you when you're stuffed in there."
Hair hanging over her face, Hinako pushed it back as she stood up. "Jushiro asked me to marry him!" A huge smile creased Hinako's face and her hands had a bag clamped between them as she crushed it to her chest. Both women were silent for a second and then all hell broke loose. Loud squeals of happiness could be heard several blocks away as Hinako and Satomi clutched at each other and danced in circles in the kitchen.
Uryuu looked at Jushiro, a question in his eyes. "Hinako must have told Satomi I've asked Hinako to marry me." Uryuu gave Jushiro a lopsided grin, held out his hand for Jushiro to shake and Jushiro took it.
"You sure about this?" Uryuu nodded in the direction of the house. "Hinako's the strangest woman I've ever met. She's clumsy, talks a lot and…"
Looking in the direction of the voices, Jushiro smiled. "…and she's perfect."
Walking back through the double doors that led them to Soul Society, Jushiro and Hinako followed their hell butterflies as they led the way home.
It had only been one day since she was taken here, held in Jushiro's arms, mad as hell at him for dragging her against her will. Yet, she was starting to think of Jushiro's little house as their home. One hand covered her belly, thinking of what Jushiro told her last night. How he wanted to be a father, to see her belly swell with their child, to hold her while she brought their son or daughter into the world.
Hinako had always wanted to be a mother, to raise a child in a loving environment, one where you were loved no matter how many stupid mistakes you made. Instead of being like her mother, who told Hinako to be strong and stop crying, Hinako would be the mother who hugged their child and told them that everything would be ok. One that would cheer the child on when they didn't feel like they could make it, one that would sing them to sleep every night and hug them and tuck them in. Maybe, just maybe, she was already pregnant. She didn't know how it happened with two spirit beings but there was one thing she was sure of, they didn't use any protection and Hinako knew it was around the time when she ovulated.
"I knew it. It was only a matter of time before he showed up." Grinning broadly, Jushiro looked across the lake at the doorway of his house. A huge man, wearing a gaudy pink haori, with flowers all over it, was pacing in front of the door. A pointed, wide brimmed straw hat was pushed back on his head and a long brown ponytail hung halfway down his back. He seemed to be arguing with a small woman, who wore her hair up and had glasses on. Suddenly, a huge book hit the man on the head and he cowered before the woman. Hinako didn't know what to make of them.
A cry of happiness came rolling across the lake. The man was running over the long bridge to Jushiro's house, the shorter woman close behind him, not running but walking quickly. She was clearly admonishing him for something but what?
"Jushiro!" As the man got closer, Hinako could make out more of his features. Kind eyes, a nice smile and….A very hairy chest. Hinako was smothered against a broad, hairy chest. He smelled good, she'd give him that. Like sake and roses. He was hugging her so tightly that Hinako began to black out from lack of oxygen. Thankfully, he loosened his grip but it was only after the woman struck him on the head with the huge book.
"Captain Kyouraku! I must protest! This behavior is unbecoming to a Captain of your status!" The woman, who glared at the man so fiercely, shook her index finger at the captain. "Let her go!"
"No! I want to meet her and talk to her and make sure she's as spunky as she sounded last night!" Captain Shunsui Kyouraku beamed down at Hinako as he let go of her but still held onto her shoulders, pushing her away so he could look at her face.
"Would you care to explain, Shunsui, what you mean by that last sentence you said? About last night?" Head cocked to the side, Jushiro stared at his best friend. How much did Shunsui hear last night?
"She put you in your place, Jushiro! I like her! She's spunky, full of life and says what's on her mind. And she's pretty, too!" Shunsui hugged Hinako to him again. "You'll have the prettiest girls and the handsomest boys!" Shunsui beamed at Jushiro.
"Unless you let me go, we're not having any children!" Hinako yelled into the mat of hair that was tickling her nose.
"Because, you're going to smother me unless you let me go!" With all her strength, Hinako tried to push Shunsui away but it was impossible. These shinigami men were tall, muscular and strong as bears!
A feminine sigh sounded behind Hinako. Suddenly, there was a feeling of warmth over her back and Shunsui whipped his hands away. "Ow! Nanao! Don't be so rough in front of Hinako." Shunsui dropped his voice to a whisper. "She'll think you're perverted."
"Hinako, may I introduce you to my oldest friend, Captain of squad 8, Shunsui Kyouraku and his lieutenant, Nanao Ise?" Nanao bowed to Hinako but Shunsui tried to kiss the back of Hinako's hand, but Nanao was faster, smacking Shunsui's hand away. Shunsui shrunk away from Nanao, hiding behind Jushiro.
"Lieutenant Ise, would you like to come in for a bit? Have a cup of tea?"
Why, yes. I think I'd like that very much." The two women walked across the bridge, making small talk as the men watched the pretty sway of their hips. The smiles dropped from their faces as the women went into the house and shut the door.
"Any sign of the hollow?" Shunsui pulled the brim of his hat over his eyes, hiding them from sight.
"None in the living world. I left Satomi in the care of Uryuu Ishida, Renji and Rukia. Hinako will be staying here for a bit." The men stood watching Jushiro's little house. "What about Mayuri?"
"He's hiding behind Captain Yamamoto for the moment but sooner or later, he'll make a mistake. Let's just hope it happens before the hollow attacks." Jushiro only nodded at Shunsui's comment. He sighed and pushed the long white bangs back from his face.
A thought in the back of his mind worried at his brain this entire morning. What if Hinako had gotten pregnant from last night? Granted they only made love twice and it was a few weeks before they would know for sure but what if? Would the hollow still have it's target as Satomi? Or would Mayuri turn the hollow to a different target, one who would be married to his greatest enemy? Jushiro feared that the hollow would attack Hinako, who could be carrying his son or daughter.
A slap on his shoulder jolted Jushiro out of his dark thoughts. A tremulous smile at Shunsui and a wave of his hand, both men were soon at Jushiro's house, false smiles plastered on their faces as they tried to forget those dark images that were burned into their minds.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-Author's Note: To all of you who waited so patiently for this chapter, I can only hope I've done it justice. I wrote this in one day, much to my surprise!
I'm leaving Hinako's pregnancy up to you, dear reader. I'm curious to what all of you think about her getting pregnant this quickly. As my hubby put it, Jushiro is 2000 and he ain't getting any younger!