Disclaimer: The only kind of bleach I own keeps my underwear nice and white.
I present to you all…
The very last chapter…
Just to let you know, there will not be a sequel, so it really is the end folks. Hope you enjoy! This chapter is Ichigo's POV.
XD ENJOY XD
EIGHT MONTHS LATER
Ichigo woke up in a heart-beat when the annoying singing Chappy alarm went off to his right.
"Rukia…turn it off." He grumbled, placing a pillow over his head. The alarm didn't stop, and with a loud sigh, Ichigo sat up, ready to scream about Rukia.
But she wasn't there.
Sighing again, Ichigo smacked his hand down onto the alarm with his fist, wondering why stupid Yuzu had given Rukia the alarm as a present in the first place. "It's nine already?" He whined, and pulled out of bed.
Taking a shower woke Ichigo up a little more, and when he stepped out, he walked into the living room with his towel on.
"Hey Rukia, what time are they coming today?" He asked, grabbing a towel from the laundry basket and running it through his hair. Rukia stared at him for a moment before replying.
"Noon, so I suggest you get going. We have a lot of cleaning to do today." Rukia mumbled, glancing around the house with an almost disgusted look. Ichigo nodded, and rolled his eyes when Rukia wasn't looking.
She moved into his house about four months back, because he saw no point in them not living together since she usually slept at his house anyways. Ichigo put his clothes on, which consisted of some jeans, a plain shirt, and a nice and casual button up shirt to cover. He was brought up by his dad (though mainly his sister) to dress nice, and since his family was coming over (and this time they were invited) he decided to look somewhat appropriate in front of them.
Rukia was already beginning to clean the living room when Ichigo came out of their bedroom, and avoided her by sneaking into the kitchen. Seeing that they were out of lemonade, Ichigo made himself a cup of coffee to get his energy going. He was always a grouch in the mornings, but something was off that day.
"Hurry up Ichigo, I need you're help with the yard."
"Great, I'm glad you told me that after I took a shower." Ichigo shot back, chugging down his cup of coffee, which burned his tongue. He walked into the living room with Rukia's butt practically in his face. Ichigo stared at it a little longer than necessary before snapping out of his fantasies.
"What are you doing?" Ichigo asked. Rukia pulled her head out of the couch, coughing as dust flew out.
"Do you know how dirty it is in here? We really need to clean it." Rukia replied and stood up, moving to find a vacuum.
"You sound way too much like Yuzu, besides, do we really need to clean up so nicely?" He asked. Rukia crossed her arms.
"Not that you care, but my family is coming over too, minus my parents. Hisana and Byakuya both are coming over for the first time, and it would be nice if they could see a clean house. Don't forget, Hinamori, Hitsugaya, Renji, and Inoue are coming as well."
Ichigo nodded, scratching the back of his clean head that would soon be engulfed with sweat because he was going to work on the yard. "Alright, so here's the deal. How about I clean the inside, you know, the kitchen, the bathrooms, and the living room, while you work on the backyard?" Rukia suggested.
"They aren't going out there are they?" Ichigo asked, trying to worm his way out of going out into the heat.
"I don't know, and because I don't know, I think we should clean it. You don't have to go crazy out there, just pull some weeds that look bad and try to mow the lawn as best as you can." Rukia replied. Ichigo nodded, flustered at Rukia, the girl that literally drove him crazy.
And because she drove him crazy, he kissed her before turning to the yard, because he couldn't help himself. Rukia tried to deny it, but he knew she couldn't either.
The cleaning followed, and Rukia eventually came outside to help Ichigo with the yard (because she finished her chores already). Ichigo had to take another shower, and since they were both in a rush, they went ahead and took one together, because of the hurry (that's the excuse Ichigo made at least for Rukia to take a shower with him). At twelve o'clock on the dot, the doorbell rang.
Ichigo watched with humor as Rukia put some cheap lip gloss on, and stalked to the door, pulling herself together right before turning the door handle. The first three people were Ichigo's family, and he was thoroughly surprised to see them actually on time.
"Rukia-san! It's so nice of you to invite us over instead of us just coming over unannounced!" Isshin cried, giving Rukia a hug. She patted his shoulder, and pulled away from the happy man. Yuzu had a plate of brownies in her hands, while Karin had her hands shoved in her pockets, looking bored as she always did.
"Where should I put this Rukia-san?" Yuzu asked politely. Rukia pointed to the kitchen, and Yuzu set the brownies on the counter. Ichigo sat down on the couch, and Isshin joined him. Only a second later did the door knock again. Seeing that Rukia was busy doing something in the kitchen, Ichigo sighed, stood up from the couch, and opened the door.
Ichigo's breath caught in his throat when Kuchiki Byakuya stood right in front of him, emotionless expression plastered on. Next to him was Rukia's double, Hisana. Cancer free for the past three months, Hisana smiled next to her older brother.
"Oh, come in." Ichigo said, moving out of the way so Byakuya and Hisana could come inside. He was a little nervous, because despite that Byakuya was Ichigo's current boss, and brother to his girlfriend, Byakuya had never come over to their house. Hisana on the other hand, had visited on several occasions, and was much kinder than Byakuya (and sometimes Rukia), so he didn't mind her company. She was pretty cool actually.
"Nii-san! Hisana!" Rukia cried as she walked into the living room. Hisana gave her sister a hug.
"I'm so glad you two came." Rukia said, giving Byakuya a grin. Byakuya only nodded in response, and Ichigo wondered if the stories Rukia told Ichigo about Byakuya playing games and actually being…brotherly while growing up were true…
"I see you've cleaned up the house nicely. You didn't have to do that." Hisana mumbled, looking around the house. Rukia shook her head.
"Ichigo, why don't I introduce my siblings to your family, and you make the lemonade." Rukia suggested. If there weren't a ton of people in the room—scratch that, if Kuchiki Byakuya wasn't in the room, then Ichigo would have groaned loudly. Then again, did he really want to introduce Rukia's pretty much calm family, to his over the top and crazy one? No, he didn't.
So, Ichigo went into the kitchen, getting all the ingredients ready for the lemonade, which he still denied he loved. The strawberry lemonade was easy to make. Just blend water, some lemonade mix, and a few strawberries together to make it. Then, add the right amount of sugar, and it's done. Simplest thing on the planet.
Ichigo joined everyone else in the living room following, sitting next to Rukia awkwardly. He could feel Byakuya glancing at him, which made him a little edgy. When Rukia and Ichigo both quit Seireitei Inc., they had no idea of what they were going to do exactly. Finding a job was obvious, but where, and what could they do about Ichimaru Gin?
It had been a huge mess, let alone Rukia wanting to be with Hisana as much as possible. To their luck, Byakuya took them both in. Rukia actually had a position higher than Ichigo at first, because apparently Byakuya had found out about how Ichigo punched Ichimaru Gin, and Ichigo, nor Rukia, felt like explaining why.
Hitsugaya and Hinamori came minutes later.
"Sorry we're late!" Hinamori cried as she walked in the door, giving Rukia a good hug. Hitsugaya walked in behind him, hands shoved in his pockets.
"How are you Hitsugaya-san? How's Seireitei?" Rukia asked, Ichigo creeping up behind her.
"Well technically its still HM Corporations until everything is finalized, but things are good." Hitsugaya replied. Rukia grinned at them.
"So it's true then, about Aizen and Ichimaru resigning?" Ichigo asked. He had heard all sorts of rumors, but nothing he didn't actually believe. Hitsugaya sighed.
"I wouldn't call it resigning, because technically they were going to lose their jobs anyways due to the huge scandal they caused. Lucky for them, Urahara Yoruichi stepped in just in time, and bought the company back before things got really bad. Honestly, I'm surprised they lasted this long." Hitsugaya finished.
"Aizen-san deserves what's coming to him, as does Ichimaru-san." Hinamori said. Hitsugaya took her hand when she had a saddened expression.
"Urahara…Yoruichi? Did she get married or something?" Rukia asked. Hitsugaya turned his attention back to Rukia.
"Yes, just a month ago to a man named Urahara Kisuke. He's the son of another company leader."
Ichigo smirked. "I still remember hearing about Yamamoto-san never really being sick. I had a feeling Yamamoto-san was never sick, and hey, I'd probably give up my position as head boss too if I were offered as much money from Aizen-san and Ichimaru-san as he was all those months ago."
Rukia chuckled. "Not if you knew who would be taking over the corporation." Rukia replied sharply. Ichigo scratched his head. The door knocked again.
"I'll get it Rukia." Ichigo said. Rukia smiled at him and turned away with Hinamori and Hitsugaya.
"Oi Ichigo-san, how are you?" Renji asked as he and Inoue stepped into the doorway, hand in hand.
"Kurosaki-san, thank you for inviting us." Inoue said kindly. Ichigo nodded at them.
"It's not problem, really." Ichigo replied. Everyone had finally arrived, and Ichigo still feared what was to come. Hopefully the next hour or so would go by…peacefully, though with Isshin in the house, that would be far from easy.
Since there wasn't very much room, Rukia sat on the arm of the couch next to Hisana, while Ichigo sat next to Yuzu.
"What's really going on Ichi-nii?" Yuzu whispered next to Ichigo as everyone began chatting together.
"Nothing, er, you'll see." He replied. Ichigo and Rukia had invited them over for a reason, and honestly, he was scared of everyone's reaction, especially Byakuya's. They had several reasons actually.
"How do you feel Hisana?" Rukia asked. Hisana smiled.
"I'm doing much better. The doctors still want me coming in every two months just to for check-ups, but the cancer is 100 percent gone." Hisana replied. Rukia gave her sister a small hug.
"I'm so glad Hisana. You're so lucky they caught it early enough." Rukia replied. Ichigo smiled from his spot. A lot had changed in the past eight months, but he felt it was for the better. He was still dating Rukia, the girl he loved. His two ex-bosses he hated were going to be fired, and probably never get a good job ever again. Rukia's sister was much healthier, and, Ichigo stopped. He knew what would come next.
Ichigo stood from the couch and moved next to Rukia. "Do you think we should tell them now?" Ichigo asked. Rukia nodded, taking Ichigo's hand in hers. He kissed her on the cheek and stayed next to her.
"You guys are all probably wondering why we invited you here, and well, it's because we have a couple of things to announce." Rukia said, smiling at everyone. Ichigo couldn't help but gulp once he saw Byakuya's glare. Honestly, why did he have to be invited…
"Come on Ichigo, tell us!" Karin called out with a glare. Ichigo sighed.
"I'll say the first one ok?" Rukia whispered to Ichigo.
"How come you get the easy one?" He asked. Rukia didn't reply as she turned back to everyone.
"Ichigo and I are going to start our own business." Rukia said proudly. Everyone awed and gasped, except for Byakuya, who looked somehow even more irritated than before.
"That's great Rukia." Renji said.
"If you need any employees, I would love to transfer!" Inoue beamed.
Rukia chuckled lightly. "We've saved up some money for it, and we've gotten the loans approved."
"What will you be selling?" Byakuya asked. The room suddenly fell quiet for some reason, and Ichigo figured he wasn't the only one intimated by Byakuya.
"Well…to put it quite simple…food." Rukia replied. The room was still very quiet.
"We're gonna open a restaurant." Ichigo replied. Inoue clapped her hands together.
"That's just wonderful! I'm so happy for you two!" Inoue cried. Everyone finally smiled and congratulated them.
"But why a restaurant Ichi-ii?" Yuzu asked. Ichigo and Rukia glanced at each other.
"We put a lot of thought into it, and decided that our best bet would be to open a restaurant. It is different from the corporation world that we are used to, but I think the change will be good. Rukia and I both majored in business in college, so we will be fine." Ichigo replied.
"Do you know what the restaurant is going to be called?" Hinamori asked.
Rukia and Ichigo both shook their heads. "We're still thinking of ideas, and what types of food to make."
"You should call the restaurant Isshin's Place!" Isshin suddenly cut in. Ichigo sighed.
"Why would we call it that?" Ichigo asked, glaring at his father.
"Because my son, I was the one that raised you, so you should pay your father some respect!" Isshin said back. Ichigo shook his head.
"I wouldn't name our restaurant after you if I died a thousand painful deaths." Ichigo replied. Isshin laughed.
"Don't be so silly Ichigo!" Isshin sang. Ichigo wasn't joking…
"We still have a lot of things we need to work on, but we decided to go ahead and tell you guys." Rukia said.
"So, is that all then?" Karin asked. Yuzu elbowed her in the side. "That's rude Karin." Yuzu whispered to her.
Ichigo looked down at Rukia to see another smile on her face. She'd been smiling more than usual for the past week or so, and he had the feeling he knew why. He gave her one last look before speaking.
"No, that isn't all, we have one more announcement to make." Ichigo said. Everyone perked up.
"Rukia and I are getting married." Ichigo replied, and raised Rukia's hand to show them the ring. She had to sneak it on while they were talking earlier so no one would notice.
All the girls fled up to Rukia, grabbing her hand. "Rukia! It's gorgeous!" Hinamori cried.
"I knew you two would get married, do you still have that wedding invitation idea from all those months back?" Yuzu asked Rukia. Ichigo watched from the side.
"Rukia, I can't believe my little sis is getting married!" Hisana said, hugging Rukia.
"I'm only younger by like...eight minutes." Rukia mumbled back. Ichigo smiled and scooted away from the woman who continued to bombard Rukia with questions.
"Finally, my son is getting married." Isshin said as he took a seat on the couch next to Ichigo.
"It took you long enough." Isshin said with a grin. Ichigo rolled her his eyes.
"Well sorry, we can't all rush into getting married like you did with mom. How old were you again when you married her?" Ichigo asked.
"Nineteen." Isshin replied. Ichigo shook his head.
"That's young Pops, real young. I'm only 26, it's not that old." Ichigo shot back. Isshin laughed.
"Just make sure you make up the time by giving me plenty of grandchildren." Isshin said, slapping Ichigo's back rather forcefully.
"I think it's time for you to leave." Ichigo muttered, glaring at his father.
"Well that's no way to treat a guest!" Isshin cried. Ichigo turned away from his father, ignoring the man completely.
"That's great that you're making a restaurant. If you need any help with anything, do let me know." Renji said next to him. Ichigo nodded.
"Will do Renji-san." Ichigo replied. Rukia finally made her way from the all the girls, and sat down between Renji and Ichigo.
Byakuya stood from the couch and moved next to Hisana.
"You're leaving already?" Rukia asked, standing to walk next to them. Hisana frowned.
"Nii-san has to get back to work, and I have to leave on my flight in a few hours. I'm sorry Rukia." Hisana said. Rukia gave them both a hug.
"Thanks for coming Nii-san." Rukia said as she smiled at Byakuya.
"Bye Ichigo-san!" Hisana called. Ichigo waved back, and couldn't ignore the death glare that Byakuya sent to Ichigo. Ichigo and Rukia had told Byakuya about how they wanted to create their own business, because technically they worked for him, and it would be rude to not say anything.
It would still be a little while before their restaurant actually opened, so they would be at Zangetsu Corp. a little bit longer, and Ichigo had the feeling he would be getting a cold glare for the next few months until the actual wedding.
Another hour passed, and everyone began leaving.
"I'm so happy for you two." Hinamori said, giving Rukia a hug goodbye.
"Yes, take care Rukia-san, and don't hesitate to call if you have any questions." Hitsugaya said, standing close to Hinamori. Ichigo knew Rukia was happy for the two, as Rukia told him about what Aizen did to Hinamori. The next two to leave were Inoue and Renji.
"Let us know as soon as possible when the wedding is alright?" Inoue asked.
"We'll send out invitations and everything, don't worry." Rukia replied, hugging Inoue back. Renji turned to Ichigo.
"Take good care of her." Renji said. Ichigo sensed some sort of threat in his statement, and nodded.
"Bye guys!" Rukia shouted as the four left. Ichigo's family didn't leave for another hour.
"Can I help plan the wedding?" Yuzu asked. Everyone was sitting on the couches.
"Of course you can." Rukia replied. Yuzu grinned widely.
"Well we better get going Yuzu and Karin, we have a lot of stuff to do today." Isshin said as he rose to his feet.
"What do we have to do exactly?" Karin asked as she glared at her father.
"I need help cleaning out the clinic, and since you are both still living at home, you can help." Isshin replied.
"Why are you being so mean?" Yuzu asked. Isshin smiled.
"If you think I'm being mean right now, then you should have seen what I made your brother do growing up." Isshin sighed. Ichigo rolled his eyes.
"It's true, you guys got off lucky." Ichigo mumbled, walking them to the door.
"Thanks for inviting us, and don't hesitate to invite us again, although we'll just show up unannounced anyways!" Isshin called as they left the house.
"Hey Yuzu, have you seen my rainbow tie? I can't find it?" Ichigo heard Isshin ask as they left the house.
"Uh…no dad. I um…I don't actually. Oh wait, you know what? I think I accidentally threw it in the fireplace last week, sorry!" Yuzu replied sweetly.
"Noo!" Isshin cried. Ichigo chuckled as he closed the door.
"What's so funny?" Rukia asked. Her hands were folded across her chest. Ichigo walked slowly towards her, wrapping his arms around her waist.
"Nothing really, just my family." Ichigo replied, kissing her head. Rukia leaned her head against his chest.
"You, Kurosaki Ichigo, are very lucky." Rukia suddenly said.
"How do you figure that?" Ichigo asked. Rukia pulled away and pointed at her ring.
"Nobody noticed." Rukia said. Ichigo was still dumbfounded.
"Noticed what exactly?" He asked. Rukia sighed and pulled her ring off.
"Remember how you added the word Cinderella to my ring, and the idiot at the jewelry place spelled it as Cinderello instead, and refused to correct it?" Rukia asked.
"Oh that, what's your point?" Ichigo asked. Sometimes Rukia took forever to explain things.
"Idiot, nobody noticed it was spelled wrong!" Rukia nearly shouted. Ichigo smiled.
"Well that's great then, Cinderello." Ichigo said playfully, grabbing Rukia's wrist and pulling her close again.
"The day went better than planned." Ichigo mumbled.
"Even though everyone left after only a few hours." Rukia replied, a hint of bitterness in her voice. Ichigo cupped Rukia's face with his hands, staring down at her.
"So what, that just gives us more time to ourselves." Ichigo whispered, and lowered his lips to hers. It didn't matter where they were, or what they were doing, Ichigo never got sick of kissing Rukia. There was something about her lips that he was obsessed with, or maybe it was just Rukia that he was obsessed with.
He would never forget her lips that he kissed almost a year ago. He would never forget that night. Ichigo would never admit it to Rukia of course, who would probably tease him for a century for sounding so sensitive, but really, it was true.
Ichigo lied all those months ago when they went to the diner for their first date. He had said to her that he hadn't remembered anything, but it was wrong.
He remembered every detail, everything word for word.
Ichigo was going to marry Rukia, because he loved her.
"Ichigo?" Rukia suddenly asked after they pulled away.
"Yah?" He asked in a whisper.
"I love you." She said, a smile on her beautiful face. They didn't say the words too often to one another, so it was nice to hear them, even though Ichigo knew Rukia did.
He kissed her deeply, lifting Rukia up into his arms. It wasn't even four o'clock in the afternoon and they were already making out wildly.
"I love you too." Ichigo whispered back. Rukia kept her arms around him. It seemed like they could never get enough of each other, and Ichigo supposed that came with everything they went through. Seireitei Inc. had taught him a lot of things.
He learned how to be more responsible, and make more decisions on his own. He got much better at timing when things needed to get done, and when things should be scheduled.
And most importantly, Seireitei Inc., no matter how much he hated it in the end, taught him how to fall in love. A cheesy thing for Kurosaki Ichigo to think of, but he couldn't deny that it was true.
When Ichigo set Rukia down, he took off his mother's ring, and glanced at it.
"What are you doing?" Rukia asked.
"I just figured something out Rukia." Ichigo said. Rukia looked at him curiously.
"What?" She asked. He smirked.
"Remember that time I lost my ring, and you fainted right after I announced I lost it to everyone?" Ichigo asked. Rukia nodded.
"It's because you realized it was me that kissed you, didn't you?" Ichigo asked. Rukia looking extremely embarrassed gave him her answer. She had explained to him about how she suspected it was him because of his ring, but she left the fainting part out.
"You really didn't like me very much when we first met did you?" Ichigo asked.
Rukia laughed. "Honestly? I couldn't stand you."
A/N: That's it everyone…the end…to Hierarchy…FOREVER!! Haha, but yes, it is the end. I hope you enjoyed this whole story (and the epilogue too tehe). Surprised that Ichigo and Rukia are opening up a restaurant of all things? Well, if you don't like it, I don't care. I thought it sounded cute for them to open a restaurant, so yah!
I want to thank EACH and EVERY person that reviewed, and anyone who added this story to their FAVORITES or ALERTS. Seriously…163 favorites and alerts…that's awesome!!! (Maybe I'll get some more!) This story was definitely my biggest challenge, with the length and everything, so I hope you read my future fics on here, and maybe read any other stories of mine you haven't read.
As a last request…I beg you….
REVIEW! I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH! THANKS FOR YOUR WONDERFUL SUPPORT!!
PS: Check out my new story called Unprepared Battles k? It's IchiRuki!!