weeeeeell, i sat down and worked all day to get this out for you guys. i'm sorry it's taken so long, i've had a hard time finding the drive to get this done, just couldn't get into it. i think it turned out good though, once again the characters kind of came to life and did their own thing, but it ended exactly how i hoped it would.

i want to really thank everyone who's stuck with me through this and enjoyed it. this has been my most popular story to date, and it makes me feel really good to have written something that you all enjoy. the next thing i plan to write is a harry potter/H.P. Lovecraft crossover, which i'll probably wait to post until after it's mostly written. if it sounds like something interesting to you, author alert me and you'll know when it's out. thanks again everyone, see you around i hope!

Yoruichi's estimate of the weather was both right and wrong. The storm came four days later, just after what would have been sunset.

Locals would say later that it was the worst storm they had seen in decades, with the pounding winds, sheets of rain that blew sideways, pitch black clouds, and thunder that actually managed to crack several windows in Karakura. Currently though, the storm was still in its crescendo, and a short black-haired girl was wandering down the hallway in the Urahara Shoten, a happy smile on her face and the rumbling of approaching thunder a far cry from more important thoughts.

Soi hummed to herself and thought bemusedly of finding the maid dress tucked away in her closet and having a little modeling session for a certain someone, but at the last moment she changed her mind at stopped short at Yoruichi's door instead. She knocked only briefly before entering the room, and the smile quickly fell from her face.

Yoruichi was sitting in the right corner of her room, her knees pulled up and hugged to her chest. Her mouth was partway open, as though to tell whoever was at the door to get out, and her eyes were wide and scared. She was cut off by a rather loud and close rumble of thunder, which cut her off and sent her diving for her futon and under the covers. It took Soi a few seconds to register what she was seeing.

"Y-Yoruichi, what's-?"

"Nothing Soi! U-umm, I feel a little sick! Yeah, that's it! So you should just go before you catch-"

Lightning struck close by, cutting Yoruichi off and making her cower with a little scream. Soi all but ran over and knelt down, reaching gingerly out to touch the quivering lump under the covers. The other girl jumped as if struck, making Soi pull her hand back quickly.

"Yoruichi, tell me what's wrong," Soi said gently. A purple haired head poked out from the covers, the golden eyes glassy with tears. Soi's face froze in shock; she'd never seen Yoruichi cry before, not once.

"I-I'm scared of thunderstorms, alright?" Yoruichi got out miserably. "I hate them, I hate thunder! I can't help it, they just- ahhhh!"

As thunder shook the house, the terrified girl buried herself in the blankets again, shaking and nearly crying in earnest now. Soi wordlessly eased herself down with her back against the wall and gathered the shaking bundle up, holding Yoruichi close in her arms.

"I'll stay with you Yoru-kun, it'll be okay," she whispered, her shyness overcome by her desire to make everything better.

"B-But, I-I don't want you to s-see me like this," Yoruichi choked out from inside the blankets. The storm was getting much worse now, the rain falling in heavy sheets which droned against the roof and beat on the walls.

"I don't want you to have to go through this alone," Soi responded, squeezing her mentor closer as another blast of thunder rocked the house. Yoruichi screamed and cowered closer, shaking harder. After a few minutes, however, her tearstained face slowly poked out of the blankets, looking up at Soi.

"O-Okay, Soi," she whispered. "I trust you…" The former captain lay her head down on Soifon's chest and closed her eyes, listening for the other girl's heartbeat over the din of the storm.

"I trust you too, Yoruichi," Soi whispered in return, rubbing the other girl's back softly. "I know you'll get through this, we'll do it together."


The two girls stayed like that for the better part of two hours as the storm crashed and raged outside. Yoruichi cowered at each crash of thunder, occasionally whimpering at the worst ones, but she didn't scream anymore. As the storm began to die down, the purple haired captain, unshaken by all but the power of the weather, peeked up at her knight in shining armor. Soifon was sitting with her back against the wall, her slate gray eyes unmoving and focused on the window as if challenging the storm that dared to frighten someone precious to her. Yoruichi managed the barest of smiles before closing her eyes, the toll of constant fear on her body finally wearing her down to sleep.

'I was wrong,' she thought to herself before drifting off. 'I still feel better thanks to her… I think I kinda like storms now, just a little…'

Yoruichi woke up the next morning to bright sunshine filtering in through the window; if she didn't know better she'd think last night was just a bittersweet dream. Looking down at who she was snuggled up with, however, made her completely aware that it was all real. Yoruichi smiled at the small girl who was currently holding her. Her hair was messy and sticking up a bit, and she was snoring very lightly. Yoruichi placed a soft kiss on her forehead, making Soi mumble something unintelligible and shift around some before sinking deeper into sleep.

'She must have stayed up all night for me,' Yoruichi said to herself as she carefully extricated herself from Soi's arms. The mere thought lit her face up in a wide smile and she nearly skipped out of the room, feeling oddly light and happy. At the end of the hallway Urahara was slumped down on the couch in the living room, his hat obscuring his face and his arms crossed. He tilted his head a little and peeked at her from under the brim.

"How'd you sleep last night?"

"Surprisingly well," she replied honestly, leaning against the wall and stretching.

"I was worried," he said seriously, "I would have checked on you, but I know how much you hate having people around during those things." He poked his hat on straight, giving her a knowing look. Yoruichi rolled her eyes and walked for the kitchen, hoping her blush didn't show.

"You love her, don't you?"

Yoruichi froze in her tracks, looking straight ahead and saying nothing.

"Ever since I've known you, you've been a bit of a flirt," he continued, his voice even and betraying none of his thoughts. "You'd joke and tease anyone who showed you interest, but you always made sure they knew you weren't interested in return once they started to push. I always told myself, 'Yoruichi, in love? No way,' but you really are, aren't you?"

Yoruichi swallowed hard and took a deep breath. 'I was always scared that he liked me,' she thought to herself. 'He's my oldest friend, I hate that I'll have to hurt him like this…' She turned to face the man she ran away from her old life for…

And found a genuine, honest smile gracing his face.

"I'm really happy for you," he said quietly, smiling a bit more at her speechless expression. "What, did you think I was ready to make my confession of undying love?" He laughed a bit, but sobered when he saw her expression.

"There was a time," he began, scooting over to give her room to sit if she chose and looking away and into the past, "that I think I did, just a little. It was a long time ago though, and finally I figured that romance would just complicate things, I guess. I mean," he chuckled a little, still lost in his memories, "you were my very best friend, we were almost like twins growing up. I realized ages ago that you were more like family to me than anything. Besides, how could we have raised hell if you were busy bitching at me about how I don't talk about my emotions enough or something?" Yoruichi snorted out a laugh, not even caring that she was crying again.

"Oh Kisuke, you asshole…" He laughed along with her, leaning his head back and closing his eyes.

"You know I don't talk about this stuff too much, but it felt really good to finally say that," he chuckled. Yoruichi rolled her eyes and jumped onto the couch, hugging her friend tight around his waist.

"Glad I could play psychologist for you then, you retard," she laughed out, relieved inside that everything had worked out so well. Urahara rapped a knuckle on her head and grinned.

"I declare that I get unlimited cat or fish jokes, your pick, a 5 second head start on under-the-breath comments at the end of breakfast, and I get to call you 'gay-bo' once, no, twice a month."

"Kisuke?" Yoruichi said, smiling sweetly. He gulped, trying to ease away from the girl who was still hugging him. He noted that the hug was becoming painfully tight.


"If you ever call me that, I'll rip your testacles off and shove them down your throat so I can return the favor. Is that a fair deal for you, Captain Candy Cane?"

Kisuke went totally pale, but the slamming of a door at the end of the hall cut off his response. Yoruichi turned to look; Soi's door was closed now, where before it was open.

While two old friends were coming to an understanding over their special (albeit platonic) relationship, Soifon was stirring and slowly waking up. She looked around and smiled tiredly when she found herself in Yoruichi's bed still.

'I stayed up half the night for her, but it was worth it.'

"I'd tell you two to get a room, but it appears you already have…"

'Do you absolutely have to insert your two cents every time I think about Yoruichi?' Soi thought with exasperation.

"Yes I do, I'm your relationship coach!" Suzumebachi chirped happily. Soi rolled her eyes and sat up.

'Whatever, when will I be able to keep a second crest active using you, and how long will I be able to make it last? I have an idea but it'll be pointless if I can't hold them for more than 5 minutes.'

"Ooooo, I think I know what you're thinking!"

'Of course you do, you invade my private thoughts regularly, you hentai bug…'

"Hush. And since you asked so nicely, making a crest without making it a trigger for the two-strike kill technique should be pretty simple. In fact, it should stick around indefinitely, since it won't have the reiatsu in it that acts as a key for the second blow to take effect."

'Good, I'll have to talk to her about it, she might not even want to…' Soi tugged a robe on over her underwear (she was good enough to not sleep naked with Yoruichi in her bed) and opened the door, stepping out into the hall.

"Soifon, you of all people know better than.. ohhh dear.."

The sight that greeted her at the end of the hall sent her running for her room, slamming the door hard behind her. Yoruichi was on the couch with Kisuke, hugging him rather tightly.

Yoruichi jumped up and walked quickly down the hall, realizing just how things might have looked just then and hoping to avert a disaster.

'This feels like a scene from one of my romance novels,' she grumbled in her head.

"This feels like a scene from one of her bad romance novels," Kisuke muttered under his breath as he got up to start breakfast. Yoruichi tripped and looked incredulously over her shoulder, shaking her head as she reached the door and knocking lightly.

"Soi, are you in there?"

No response. Yoruichi knocked again.

"Soi, I'm coming in, okay?" The former captain slid the door open and stepped in to find Soi on her side in her futon facing away from the door.

"Is there something I can help you with, Yoruichi-sama?" Soi bit out savagely, fighting back the urge to cry.

Yoruichi winced. Okay, maybe she had that one coming.

"Soi, if I can just explain…"

"There's nothing that needs to be said, Yoruichi-sama, please leave."

"O-Okay, Soi, I trust you…"

"I trust you too, Yoruichi."

The words from just last night made the whole thing seem like an impossible irony to Soi. She felt used, too confused by what she had seen to even feel heartbroken, just completely blank.

Yoruichi growled a little to herself. 'This is not going to turn into one of those damn stereotyped drama twists I read in all my books,' she thought as she crossed the room in a few strides and hauled the smaller girl to her feet.

Soi was jerked out of her pained thoughts as she felt herself being pulled up, but before she could utter a word of protest Yoruichi was kissing her, and she was kissing back, and nothing else mattered anymore. She felt Yoruichi's tongue along her lips begging for entry and she complied, purring as it stroked and caressed her own. Soi thought she was melting as she sank into her captain's strong lithe arms, and a warm pleasant numbness was spreading from her lips and from the girl's nails which were digging gently into her back. After what felt like an eternity cut cruelly short Soi felt Yoruichi's lips gently part from her own.

"You told me that nothing needed to be said," she said quietly, "I hope that told you all you needed to know. I've done everything I can to show you Soi, all that's left is to tell you that I-"


Yoruichi froze, looking into Soi's eyes and hoping she wouldn't see hurt or rejection there. Her fears were unfounded though; the smaller girl's iron eyes were alight with life. Her cheeks were slightly flushed, and the corners of her mouth were turned up in a smile that was small but somehow completely filled with joy. Yoruichi had never seen a more beautiful sight.

"You took my first kiss, you're not taking this too," she said, her voice thick with emotion. "I love you, Yoruichi Shihoin. From the moment I met you I worshipped you, but ever since I got to truly know you I've loved you." Yoruichi mentally smacked herself for crying this many times in 24 hours, but her smile was brilliant enough to make Soi's knees weak.

"I love you too Soifon, I've never been in love before and I was a little scared, but I don't think I could be happier." 'Jeez, this really is turning into one of my novels,' she laughed to herself. 'Happily ever after isn't so bad after all…'

"Congratulations," a voice muttered in her head before falling silent. Yoruichi's eyes widened and she looked around briefly, before mentally muttering a small 'thanks' in return. They didn't get along so well but maybe her zanpakuto wasn't a complete jerk after all. She was drawn back out of her thoughts when she saw Soi standing in front of her with Suzumebachi in her finger.

"Do you trust me?" she said quietly. Yoruichi just nodded, watching wordlessly as Soi reached out and lifted her shirt before pressing the stinger carefully into her belly button. Yoruichi watched in awe as a beautiful black butterfly blossomed on her stomach, and she reached down and slowly touched it, looking up at Soi for an explanation. The girl was blushing shyly as she took the weapon off.

"It won't hurt even if I accidentally sting you there again sometime, and it's permanent unless you don't want it," she rambled. "I just thought, you know, it's pretty and maybe you'd like it…"

"Soi?" The girl in question looked into the former captain's eyes, which were glowing with a strange light. It made Soi shiver in a way she'd never felt before.

"Y-Yes?" The last word the smaller girl would speak intelligently for hours stuttered out of her before she was grabbed and dragged forcibly down onto the bed.

"Call me Yoruichi-sama one more time…"