Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach but this story is mine.

Chapter 8

"Goodbye Kuchiki-san! Happy Valentine's Day!"

"Happy Valentine's Day to you too, see you tomorrow!" Rukia waved as she closed her locker. She turned around with her fake smile still etched upon her face until she saw Ichigo leaning near the entrance waiting for her. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach at the sight of him but she coughed to regain herself. His shoulders jumped at the sound and his head swung over to her direction. The moment his eyes fell on her, a light blush stained his cheeks and he pushed off the locker to stand waiting awkwardly. Her own cheeks colored to match his as she walked toward him with concealed nervousness.

"Hey, Ichigo." She greeted wondering why it seemed so different to be near him now. After all, they didn't have a problem before when they were in each other's arms. She still couldn't believe only an hour had passed since they confessed their feelings to one another

"Hey…Rukia." He breathed. His body relaxed but his scowl remained present as he kept up his appearance. His eyes though, those smoldering amber depths had softened the moment he laid eyes on her. It was a change only Rukia could notice. Her heart jumped at the fact that it was because of her.

He held out his hand and Rukia hesitated. She came closer to him while her mind was in turmoil over his invitation. He just wants you to hold his hand! Get a hold of yourself! Her hand twitched but instead of raising it to meet his she gave him her school bag instead. She didn't want to come off as some lovesick human.

"Thanks Ichigo!" She beamed and started to walk away. Ichigo sputtered and quickly reached out to grab her arm.

"R-Rukia?! That's not what---" He cried only to have his lips sealed quite literally. He hadn't been prepared for it when she spun around and wrapped her hand around the back of his head to pull him down for a brief kiss. The moment their lips touched, Ichigo's mind blanked as Rukia held him still. She pulled away until only their lips remained brushing. She noted with a smug smile his lidded-eyes and vacant expression which gave her an odd sense of satisfaction. Her heart raced but she remained in control when she spoke.

"Idiot. Weren't you supposed to kiss me first? Behold, Kurosaki Ichigo, the guy who does everything ass backwards." Her words seemed to trigger something in him as his lidded eyes regained their focus. She was oblivious to the intent that was shining clear in his eyes and when she started to pull back, he surged forward capturing her lips in a real kiss. This time Rukia had been the one unprepared as they awkwardly moved backwards trying to keep their footing. Once they managed to balance themselves everything just fell into place. Their lips moved at a rhythm they started to become accustomed to and after a few breathtaking moments, Ichigo pulled away. It was his turn to smirk at the dreamy expression on her face that was a major difference from her usually passive one.

"So…" He breathed out. "Like you were saying?" Rukia couldn't get over how unbelievably seductive he looked at the moment. It made her wonder if the person in front of her was really hers. "Hello, earth to Rukia?" He grinned. "Damn, I must be one hell of a kisser or something." Rukia snapped out of her haze and her cheeks flushed in embarrassment.

"You wish!" She punched him in the gut and haughtily walked away. He doubled-over in pain and glared at her retreating figure.

"Bitch…" Ichigo muttered as he straightened himself up and moved to hold both of their bags in one hand. He strode after her and managed to catch up once they were a good distance away from the school. He looked down at her but she appeared to be ignoring him. This wasn't right Ichigo concluded. Rukia was his…girlfriend, his cheeks burned at that. Things were supposed to be different so why did it feel the same? He glanced down at her swaying hand before looking back ahead, eyebrows furrowed. Quickly, he grabbed her hand and was almost embarrassed at how content he felt from that one action. Was that all it took? He mused.

Rukia on the other hand jumped at his sudden action. "What the hell are you doing, you brute?!" She asked looking down at his death grip on her tiny hand. "Are you trying to cut the circulation to my hand?"

"Sh-shut up!" He replied flustered as he loosened his grip. "I'm holding your hand whether you like it or not!" Rukia raised an eyebrow at this and gave him an almost threatening look. He cringed slightly before looking away. "Look, I don't do this often, okay?" He muttered in a softer voice.

It was silent after that as they both continued on their way home. Along the way Ichigo felt Rukia slide her hand out of his grip and he felt his heart sink. He figured she wasn't one for much close contact but was surprised when he felt his hand being turned over. Her movements were slow but eventually she entwined their fingers and Ichigo couldn't help but smile.

They pulled their usual routine of Rukia's entry through the window while he entered through the front door. He opened the door and looked behind him just to make sure Rukia was out of sight. Just as he faced forward he was startled to see his father frozen in what looked like an attack position. On his face was an incredulous look and Ichigo looked behind him to see Karin and Yuzu giving him ones of the same kind.

"What?" He asked irritated with the silence and awkward stares. "Is there something on my face?"

"Y-yes!" His father stuttered in disbelief. "That!" He pointed. Ichigo raised an eyebrow and caught a reflection of himself on a random surface in the room. What was wrong with his face? There was a small grin and his eyebrows were more relaxed. So what, he was happy.

"M-Masaki!" Isshin yelled at the top of his lungs as he ran over to the poster. "Can it be?! I've succeeded?!" Ichigo quickly slammed the door shut before the neighbors could hear anymore outbursts.

"Tone it down, old man!" Ichigo hissed and complained. "I had a long day today and it would be nice if-"

"He has a girlfriend!" Isshin cheered. Ichigo's mouth clamped shut and Karin choked. What was wrong with the man? Did he have super senses or something? "It's true isn't it?!" He asked no one in particularly while he examined his son's reaction in awe.

"T-That's none of your damn business!" He snapped but Isshin would have none of it.

"None of my business?" Isshin repeated incredulously before swinging a punch at him. "Boy! As a caring father, it's my right to know when my celibate, impotent, idiot son becomes a man!"

Ichigo grunted as he caught his father's fist and a vein throbbed in his forehead. "Well, maybe the constantly abused son doesn't have to say anything because his Dad's embarrassing, immature and obnoxious!" Ichigo punched him in the gut. "And I'm not impotent!" He added.

"So, you have become a man!" Isshin gasped from his place on the floor. Ichigo turned red and nearly lost his footing.

"We haven't had sex!" Ichigo roared. There was complete silence and he could've sworn he heard crickets chirping in the background. Karin stared at him wide-eyed while Yuzu had her hands clasped together. His dad, unsurprisingly, had the biggest shit grin he had ever seen before.

"So…it's true?" Yuzu spoke before a wide smile came upon her face. She walked up to Ichigo and grasped his sleeve. "Is it true Ichi-nii?!" Ichigo looked down at his joyful sister and groaned. He couldn't lie to her.

"Yes." He mumbled.

"What was that, Ichi-nii?" Karin smirked. Ichigo gave her a death glare and lost it.

"Yes! Yes, I have a girlfriend!" He practically shouted to the ceiling not daring to look any of them in the eye. "There you have it! Are you all happy now?!"

"I-Ichi-nii, this is wonderful!" Yuzu exclaimed.

"Gee, I didn't think you had it in you." Karin commented.

"Thanks Karin." He glared.

"So, my boy!" Isshin jumped up and patted his son on the back. "When are you bringing her over?"

"She's alr-er, like hell I'm bringing her over to meet you lunatics!" He quickly covered up. He missed the knowing look in Isshin's eyes.

"Next week." Isshin demanded.

"Huh?" Ichigo said stupidly. He watched as his dad stroked his chin thoughtfully and a gleam shown in his eyes.

"I want you to bring her over next week to meet the family." Ichigo's mouth dropped open. Like Rukia would even agree to that and as if he would allow it!

"No, never." He confirmed out loud. When he looked up and saw the threatening look on his father's face he gulped but stood his ground.

"What did you say boy?" He began.

"I said no!" He yelled just as he was tackled to the floor.


Shirosaki's eyes shone blue as he tried once again to increase his spiritual pressure to a decent amount but failed miserably. He cursed and collapsed back onto the bed spent out of energy. He felt the spot where Urahara and Yoruichi had cast that binding spell on him and his fingers started to rake down the skin as if that alone could remove it.

"Bastards…" He spat out nastily. He lowered his fingers and unbuttoned the school uniform shirt and tossed it to the ground. "I need to get out of this stupid gigai. I feel like I'm being smothered…" An image of Urahara's chortling face while he suffered appeared in his mind. "Like hell, he'd let me out though. It's not like they have to worry about that happening again. Did they forget about their stupid binding spell?"

He closed his eyes and it wasn't long before he felt a soft breeze caress his skin. He released a heavy sigh of relief as he let himself fall backwards until his back connected with a hard surface. The air to his side moved and a small smirk appeared on his face.

"Long time no see, Zangetsu." He greeted. He finally opened his eyes to peer at the white clouds above him before turning to his side.

"Yes, it's been a while since your…disappearance." He said. Shirosaki laughed and came up to a sitting position.

"Did you actually miss me old man?" He asked only to receive an un-amused look. "Hey, I'm here more than the King is."

"He's been distressed lately. He doesn't have the time." Zangetsu replied simply while giving him a pointed look.

"What?" Shirosaki asked. "He's fine now. See, how clear the sky is?"

"Yes, it is the Queen's doing."

"Queen?" Shirosaki echoed. "Don't you think it's too soon to be calling her that? You can't make assumptions you know."

"It's not an assumption, it's the inevitable. She is the source of his power and his will to live. They are destined to be together. With her by his side, he will continue to grow stronger." Zangetsu glanced at Shirosaki whose face adorned a scheming smile.

"Of course, I already knew that." He replied as he stood up and dusted his white robes. "But don't forget that while he's busy growing stronger, so am I." He began to walk toward the end of the rooftop but was halted by Zangetsu's critical stare boring into his back. He turned his face to the side to look at him.

"If there's something you want, then say it."

"The sky." Zangetsu said. "This is the clearest it has ever been. Are you going to keep it that way?" Shirosaki smirked and faced forward. He took one step off the edge of the building and his foot disappeared upwards to his leg.

"When the King is at his strongest that's when I'll return," He moved the rest of his body off the building and it disappeared also. "I won't bring rain though…" A sinister grin showed on his face. "I'm going to bring a storm."


Orihime sighed as she collapsed on the couch. "Wow, today so much has happened. I'm exhausted!" She said and grabbed her remote. She began flipping through the channels but was interrupted by knocking at her door. She put down the remote and walked to her door and looked through the hole to see someone she hadn't expected to visit her.

"Uryuu?" She asked surprised to see her president and comrade standing in front of her apartment door. "Is there something wrong?"

"Orihime." He nodded in greeting. "Sorry, for the unexpected visit but can I come in?" She nodded generously and pulled back the door all the way.

"Of course, make yourself at home!" She reassured him. He nodded and removed his shoes and jacket. He walked to her tea table and sat down expecting her to do the same. She poured him a cup of tea before pouring herself one and sitting down. "So, why did you visit?" Orihime asked him.

"I saw you today." He replied. Orihime's grip tightened on her tea cup.

"Um, with Kurosaki-kun?" She asked. Uryuu gave her a weird look.

"Kurosaki? No, Ikasoruk-san." He corrected.

"Oh, yes…we spoke for a short while." Orihime said as she tried to remember. "What about him?" Uryuu leaned back and adjusted his glasses.

"Um, well how should I put this?" He asked himself. "Have you sensed anything odd when you're around him?"

"Odd?" She repeated. "Um, I don't know about odd. He's seems quite normal to me. Hm…" She tapped her chin in thought. "Oh! I know! It's sort of like Kurosaki-kun's!" She smiled at her conclusion. Uryuu didn't look surprised.

"I see…that's what I thought as well." Uryuu told her. "I thought it was strange that they had a resemblance to one another but I later dismissed it. That was until I began to notice the shifts in his reiatsu. He has an unusually high spiritual pressure…just like Kurosaki's. Now, that couldn't be mere coincidence."

Uryuu's words had triggered something in her mind. She tried to listen to him but images and words kept coming back to her. Why couldn't she remember? Was she that upset over Kurosaki-kun's rejection?

"I was thinking a doppelganger or something along that kind. I mean, we don't even know if he's good or bad…" He continued. Orihime closed her eyes and focused really hard. She could hear the voice in her head.

"Are you scared of me now? Ha, pathetic just like I always thought you were."

Who was that talking? Ikasoruk-san?

"You're causing problems for the King, absolutely nothing but a nuisance. How can you possibly want to be with him if you're afraid of me, huh? Don't you get it? I am him, just as much as he's me. That's never going to change!"

She could feel herself shaking in fear. She was scared.

"Just because I'm a hollow, you think it'd be that easy to get rid of me? To have me leave for your benefit?! Sorry to break it to you but he needs me. Your screwed up logic amuses me but I can't have you messing things up for us."

He placed one pointer finger on her forehead.

"Sorry, but I need you to forget this little conversation of ours." A terrifying smile. "Night, night." Everything turned white.

"Hollow!" She gasped. Uryuu looked up at her surprised. "Ikasoruk-san! I'm not sure, I can't remember. But I know he's a hollow." She repeated.

"Hollow?" He asked in disbelief. "One that can imitate Kurosaki?"

"It could be." Orihime said as she tried to recollect her thoughts. "But I have a bad feeling it's more than just that. It didn't just feel like an imitation…it felt like he was Kurosaki-kun." Uryuu gave her a serious but concerned look.

"Orihime…what exactly happened on that rooftop that I didn't see?" She removed her hand from her head and gave him a desperate look.

"I don't know."



"Good, I didn't think---WHAT?!" Ichigo yelled.

"I said sure." Rukia repeated simply. Ichigo rushed over to her and grabbed her shoulders.

"Do you know what you're agreeing to? My family is a bunch of psychos as you already know!" He said as he shook her shoulders. Rukia gave him an annoyed look and shoved his hands off of her.

"I don't see what the problem is. I want to meet them since they obviously want to meet me." She reasoned. Ichigo slapped his hands on his face. He could just imagine the embarrassing questions they would ask or more specifically, the ones his father would. Are you in love? What was it about my son they persuaded you to chose him? Are you thinking about marriage? How is he in bed? Does he last long enough to finish the job? Don't worry about teen pregnancy; I'll support any decision you chose to make. Speaking of which, are you pregnant yet?

"Rukia…" He groaned. "I'm not sure you'll be prepared for anything my dad's going to ask you." Rukia's expression turned into an offended one.

"Me, not prepared?" She echoed incredulously and he nodded. "Questions like what?" She demanded.

"I don't know. Maybe, something along the lines of 'when can I expect my first grandchild?!" He had the satisfaction of seeing her blush.

"Um…b-but Ichigo. I'm not ready to have a child yet…" She told him carefully. Ichigo flushed red.

"What are you telling me that for?! Tell my dad that when he asks! It's not like I wanted to have a kid yet." He said exasperated. Rukia perked up at this.

"So, you will let me meet them?" She asked. Ichigo collapsed on his bed and turned his back to her.

"It's not like I have a choice right?" He grumbled. Rukia thought this over and smiled.

"Nope, not really." Rukia approached the bed and sat on it. "Ichigo?" She called. When he didn't answer her she poked him. "Ichigo?" She said in a more high-pitched voice. She continued to poke him until he responded and yelped when he grabbed her arm and pulled her on top of him.

"I-Ichigo?" She blushed. He traced her face with 2 fingers and dragged them down to cup her chin. His smoldering amber orbs penetrated her and when he leaned in, her eyes closed. Their lips met and Rukia's body felt overwhelmed by the warmth that spread though her. He tilted her head to the side to kiss her more deeply and when he pulled away he muttered something against her lips.

"Wh-what?" Rukia asked before kissing him again.

"I said you're not meeting my family."

"But---" He silenced her by kissing her again. Both of his hands held her face in place as she felt his tongue pressing insistently against her lips. She moaned as his tongue pushed inside of her mouth and swept along the walls of her cavern before settling to touch hers. She hesitantly participated and pulled back when he finally released her face.

"Okay?" Ichigo breathed.

"Okay what?" She whispered, her mind still in a haze.

"Okay, that you won't meet my family." He told her. Just as her eyes began to clear up, she frowned and sat up on him.

"What? No! I'm still meeting them." She said then realization dawned on her. "You did not just attempt to dissuade me by kissing me did you?"

He smiled guiltily and raised his hands up. "Damn, caught red-handed."

"Nice try!" Rukia smirked and smacked his chest. She hopped off of him and headed toward his closet but stopped.

"Hey, Ichigo?"


"How did you learn to kiss like that?" She asked him. He sat up on his elbows since he knew what she was implying.

"I don't know. Instinct I guess." He told her. He lied back down on his bed and closed his eyes to go to sleep. "If you're wondering if I kissed anyone else, then it's a no. You were my first kiss so don't worry about it." Rukia smiled at his honesty and turned back around to give him a peck. His eyes shot open and he found himself staring into sleepy violet eyes.

"Goodnight Ichigo." She smiled.

"Goodnight Rukia." He responded in kind. She headed back to the closet feeling content. She changed into her stolen pajamas and lied down on the mattress. They both were thinking the same thing before they fell asleep.

I love you.


Shirosaki opened his eyes since it appeared the King had fallen asleep. His fingers traced his lips and he could almost feel Rukia's soft ones sliding against his own. It was on impulse a minute ago when he had decided to check on the King and was surprised to see and feel him being deeply involved in a kiss with Rukia. Their connection with each other allowed it and Shirosaki wondered if his King was aware of it. His mind drifted to the time he had attacked Rukia.

Of course he is. He told himself. How else would he have known what was going on in your head then?

He heard a knock at his door and looked up to see Urahara standing in the doorway.

"Oi, Shiro-kun! It's bedtime. You have school tomorrow!" He told him. A vein pulsed on his forehead and his hands were itching to have Zangetsu in his grip.

"Fuck off Urahara! I'm not the King you know so you better watch what you say to me!" He threatened.

"Oh ho, on the contrary Shiro-kun, you're in no position to threaten me. The sooner you decide to fuse back with Ichigo's soul, the sooner you'll both regain full power again." He said.

"Full power? I'll show you full power!" Shirosaki started to increase his spiritual pressure. "The only thing you don't have to worry about is being eaten shinigami!"

Before he could increase his spiritual pressure to its new found limit, Urahara had released his causing Shirosaki to fall to his knees. "Tch, tch Shiro-kun. Don't forget that although that spell suppresses your hollow instincts, your gigai also suppresses your spiritual pressure."

"Bastard…!" He gritted out as he tried to stand. Urahara merely shrugged before lowering his reiatsu causing Shirosaki to suddenly fall on the ground.

"Do us a favor and leave the poor kid alone will ya?" Urahara sighed and turned to walk away. Shirosaki couldn't help but grin at this as he sat on his bed.

"You know Urahara," He began as he lied down and crossed his arms behind his head. "When I take over, you'll be the first person I'll kill." Urahara raised a finger in the air and waved it back and forth.

"Not 'when' Shiro-kun," He corrected as he walked down the hall. "It's 'if." Shirosaki snorted and closed his eyes to sleep.

That's right King. Grow stronger with her by your side. So, when I become King, she'll no longer be your queen. And when I take over and when I steal your strength, I'll be unstoppable.

So, King…do you see the thunderclouds rolling?

Ichigo jumped awake in a cold sweat.

End of Chapter Eight!

Author's Notes:

-Hey, I hope everyone had a wonderful new year!

-Wooh! 2009!

-Anyways, tell me what you think so far in a review and I'll try to update within the next 2 weeks.

-Thanks to everyone who had been reviewing so far! It inspires me to write!

-RxR! Thanks, Mimixthexdeceitful!