One to Protect
A day in the life of the Kurosakis…
A/N: Warning…major fluff, drama, sweetness to give you cavities ahead (evil snickers). I just wanted to have some fun and write a day in the life of Rukia and Ichigo as they go on in their day to day life. I was considering making this into a series of one shots, but after taking as long as I did with this one, I don't think it is very likely D. Enjoy!
A slow smile crept on Rukia's face as she felt the grip of Ichigo's strong arms tighten around her waist. He moved slightly closer to her, nuzzling his face in her hair as he slept peacefully. She could feel his breath tickling her neck, while the rest of his body moved slowly to the steady rhythm of his breathing. Rukia gently placed her hand underneath her head, looking out into the early morning sky. The sun had begun to rise, slowly washing away the dark red hues in the sky. A soft breeze crept through the door that had been left slightly ajar, leading to the garden behind their home.
She sighed as she turned slowly towards Ichigo, who seemed to be in a deep sleep. She couldn't blame him. He had been out with his division for the past few weeks for a dangerous mission and had only returned late last night. He had fallen asleep immediately, only waking up once to wrap his arms around Rukia when she joined him.
She had missed his warm embrace the very first night he had left. They had been married now for nearly six years, and this was the first time he had to go for so long. She snuggled closer to him, reveling in his touch. His bright orange hair tickled her forehead, and she could feel the stubble around his cheek as she caressed it with her fingers. She smiled, secretly loving his rugged look that was intensified with the definite frown he seemed to always have on his face.
She turned her head back and continued to stare out at the sky, unable to move from Ichigo's iron grip. Her eyes slowly began to close again, and she wondered whether she should get another hour or so of sleep before the chaos of the day began.
Yet no sooner had she begun to close her eyes that she felt the hand around her waist slowly loosen. She held her breath as his hands trailed gently to her stomach, rubbing it softly. She smiled again, her eyes closed. "Good morning," she said in barely a whisper. She felt him shift slightly, before his face was gently placed on hers. He buried his face near her neck and gave her a soft kiss, causing her to shiver slightly. "Morning…" he muttered groggily, sleep still evident in his voice.
She raised her hand and gently ran her hand through his hair, feeling a light kiss on her palm when it came close to his lips.
"I don't think I will be able to get up for a week," he sighed with irritation.
Rukia giggled and tickled him lightly near his ear. "Well, you better because you have me in a death grip here. I need to make you some breakfast…"
Ichigo snickered, nibbling on her earlobe. "But my breakfast is right here…"
He groaned when he felt her hand swat his face playfully. "Whhaaatttt?" he whined, a slight pout forming on his face.
Rukia rolled her eyes at and swatted him again. "We have a guest, you know…"
Ichigo frowned slightly, opening one of his eyes and looking over Rukia's shoulder. He sighed, "The hollow outside his room again?"
Rukia nodded with a smile.
Ichigo chuckled lightly, moving his hand to the sleeping figure next to Rukia and gently pushing a few strands of orange hair away from his face.
"Ah well, our son has been getting very creative with where he is seeing hollows, you know…" Rukia mused, as the little boy made a slight frown in his sleep. She smirked as she tilted her head towards Ichigo. "He is becoming more like you each day…"
"Nothing wrong with that..." Ichigo snorted, before raising his brow at a fluffy object wedged between his son's little fingers. It was something small…and pink. Something very familiar, and Ichigo could sense his irritation growing.
"Rukia…what is in Keitaro's hands?" he asked, noticing how Rukia's cheek had suddenly become red. She muttered something, and he would have found the entire situation extremely cute, had he not been suspicious of what exactly was in their son's hand.
He moved Keitaro's hand gently up, and sighed deeply. There, embraced in his son's arm, was a soft chappy stuffed animal.
"Rukia…" he began, sighing in exasperation.
Rukia pouted slightly. "It's not my fault. It's the one you won me at that festival you took me to before we got married…he found it and after that, wouldn't let it go…"
"Where is the toy sword we gave him earlier?"
Rukia rolled his eyes. "He still has that, Ichigo. It's next to the bed. I just don't want that thing poking at me randomly in the middle of the night. I wasn't joking when I said he is just like you. Both of you do nothing but move around constantly at night."
She could feel Ichigo grinning, and she gritted her teeth. "Do not comment on that…"
"Why not?" He snickered, nuzzling his face in her hair again. "Besides, its nothing compared to your muttering in your sleep half of the night…"
Rukia's eyes shot up and she leaned her head slightly to face Ichigo. "Don't even go there again…"
Ichigo could hear the deadly tone in her voice and her eyebrows coming dangerously close when she said this, and decided to tread slowly…for now.
"Well…" he said cautiously. "You do always mutter something while you are sleeping. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes its complete gibberish."
"I do not mutter…" she said after a moment's pause.
Ichigo grinned, watching her shift uncomfortably. "Oh yes you do, Rukia."
"Yes…you…do…my lovely Kurosaki…and groan too…" he said thoughtfully, knowing fully well the pillow that was being aimed at his head for this.
Her eyes widened immediately. "Ba…KA…." She growled, hitting him hard with a pillow as he started snickering.
The two stopped suddenly when they felt two enormous pairs of amber eyes staring at them curiously. Keitaro was watching his mother first, and slowly his eyes crept up to his father's face. His eyes lit up and his tiny lips began to crease in a smile. Next thing Ichigo knew, Keitaro had managed to squirm his way out of the covers and was trying to jump over Rukia to get to him. He laughed as he pulled the little moppet with ease over Rukia, tickling him. Keitaro began squealing with laughter as he tried once more to squirm out of his father's hands. Rukia smiled at seeing Keitaro so happy, knowing how much he had missed his father in these few weeks. She quietly crept out of the bed, and made her way out of the room to make breakfast.
She quickly opened the sliding doors to allow the sun rays to seep through the entrance, allowing the warmth of the sun to enter the house. The gentle spring breeze was a welcome, and Rukia stood for a moment there, reveling in the peace and quiet of the early morning. She took the ribbon she had in her hand and wrapped it gently around her hair, tying it up in the back. She noticed that it had gotten a little longer then she usually had allowed it but Ichigo seemed to like her hair that length so she kept it. Not that she would let him know that was the reason.
While she picked up the small mess that Keitaro had left on the floor last night, she could still hear laughter coming from their room, and shook her head. She felt content to know that things were back to the way they were. Truth be told, even though she knew that it was part of Ichigo's duties now to go on these missions after becoming captain, she still felt saddened every time he had to leave for more then a few days…especially now. She sighed, rubbing her stomach. She had only found out a few days ago, and was wondering just how he would react. He had gotten very busy lately with his division, and she wondered whether it was the right time for them, especially since she also wanted to return to working full time at her division as well. Keitaro was already a handful, demanding every bit of her attention whenever she was free. He would always follow her if she was at home, determined to protect her like how he saw his father would do. She mused how much him and his father truly were alike. Ichigo always found it cute how possessive Keitaro was of his mother, teasing him constantly by holding onto Rukia while Keitaro screamed at him and grabbed Rukia as well. She would just sigh, mutter 'boys', and resume her work while the two playfully fought over her.
She turned slightly on hearing the voices in the room grow silent and a small patter of feet running towards the other side of the house. As she began placing the rice bowls on the table, Ichigo hobbled in with Keitaro grabbing onto his leg tightly.
"I didn't realize he missed me this much…" Ichigo sighed as he pulled Keitaro off and sat down.
Rukia leaned down and gave a swift kiss to Keitaro, rolling her eyes when she noticed Ichigo looking at them with a slight pout. She went over and placed a soft kiss on Ichigo's cheek before settling down herself. She then noticed that he had changed into his shinigami's robes and frowned. He had told her last night that he was going to take some time off in order to relax, but now he looked ready for another day of work. Ichigo looked over his cup of tea and noticed Rukia staring at him and smiled, knowing the reason for her confusion.
He gently took her hand into his, slowly intertwining their fingers. He lifted her hand and placed a soft kiss on the back. "I'm only going for a little bit. No later then around two. We came so late last night that I didn't have time to fill out the report for our findings. I'm just going to go do that and check up on everything beforehand. Then, I'm all yours…" he said with his usual cocky grin.
Rukia could feel a twitch on the side of her forehead as she sighed in exasperation. She punched him playfully on the shoulder and got up. "I'm going to go to Inoue's new house today. We haven't seen them for so long, and she said she is extremely excited for Keitaro to meet Naoko." She grinned mischievously as Ichigo raised his brow. "Good luck…" he muttered to Keitaro, who watched both in confusion.
Inoue was sitting next to her, giggling at the scene in front of them. "He is so much like Kurosaki-kun…"
"A little too much, actually…" Rukia muttered. "So much for play date…this seems more like tag…"
The two watched as their children attempted to play with one another. Or at least Inoue's little daughter, Naoko, tried. Yet it seemed Keitaro would go nowhere near her. Every time she would take a step towards him, he would run to the other side of the room from her, his eyebrows knitting into an all too familiar style.
Suddenly, Naoko bolted towards him giggling, causing Keitaro to let out a high pitched scream and run behind Rukia.
"Keitaro…" she sighed, trying to get him to come to the front of her. But Keitaro grabbed his mother's dress for dear life, refusing to budge from his hiding position. Naoko watched him curiously from her mother's arm.
Rukia looked over at Inoue, who was smiling at them. "I'm so sorry, Inoue. He is just really shy…"
Inoue shook her head. "It's alright, Rukia-san. He just needs to get used to Naoko, and I'm sure he will come around…"
Rukia nodded, turning to see Keitaro still watching Naoko cautiously, his eyebrows knitted tightly together, scowling at her.
The four resumed their trip in the park, Keitaro slowly getting used to Naoko being there, but still not leaving his mother's side.
'Oh well', Rukia sighed. 'At least he isn't running and screaming from her anymore…'
They continued to peruse the shops around Karakura. Rukia had missed the small town. It was where she had first met Ichigo and her friends. It was where she felt her second home was. Not much had changed, and for this she was happy.
Inoue spoke nonstop about what had been going on since Ichigo and Rukia had left for Soul Society, while Rukia continued to just look around. She stopped suddenly at a small baby clothing store without thinking. Her fingers delicately moved against the cold glass window, staring at the display. Inoue stopped when she noticed her friend was no longer at her side, and looked over to see Rukia staring blankly at the small dress in front of her.
"Rukia-san?" Inoue asked hesitantly, walking closer and trying to see what Rukia was looking at. Rukia seemed to snap out of her thoughts when she felt Inoue walking up to her and looked over. "A…it's nothing…let's go…"
Rukia tried to make her way past Inoue, but felt a light touch on her shoulder. She turned to see Inoue looking at her, a small smile playing across her face. "Rukia-san…are you…?"
Rukia could feel her cheeks getting a brighter shade of red and nodded, a sheepish grin appearing on her face.
Inoue's eyes quickly lit up and she took her friend's hands into hers. "That is such great news! Does Kurosaki-kun know?!"
Rukia feverishly shook her head. "No…I found out while he was away. I…I really didn't get a chance yet to let him know."
Inoue nodded. "Well, you should tell him soon! I'm sure he is going to be extremely excited!"
"Do you really think so?" Rukia asked hesitantly. She looked over at Keitaro, who was busy eating an ice cream cone with Naoko. "I just don't know. Having one child is such a handful, especially if he is another Ichigo. Could you imagine another Ichigo?"
"And what if it's a little Rukia?" Inoue teased.
Rukia snickered. "Then those two don't stand a chance…"
Both girls started laughing. Inoue wrapped her arms around Rukia while Rukia looked at her awkwardly. "It's going to be ok, Rukia-san. I know Kurosaki-kun…he is going to be very happy…"
In spite of herself and her doubts, Rukia could feel a small smile forming on her lips. "Thank you, Inoue…"
Rukia sipped her tea, watching Keitaro and Naoko finally playing with each other. Naoko watched in awe as Keitaro chased after a fly with his toy sword, a smug look on his face as she clapped happily. Rukia allowed a small grin to appear on her lips as she turned her attention to the rest of the house. Inoue and Ishida had just moved into a larger home after the arrival of Naoko, and this was the first time Rukia had a chance to see it. It was beautifully furnished with many pictures of the family. She was happy to see the two had settled well into their new lives just as she and Ichigo had.
She heard Inoue leaving the kitchen and appeared with a tray of what looked to be food. It was very difficult to tell with all the weird colors and textures of the different assortment that were piled in the plates. Even Naoko and Keitaro eyed it hesitantly from afar. Rukia bit her lip, praying that Inoue would not insist on her to take a bite.
Inoue smiled as she shoved a plate in front of Rukia. At that moment, Naoko quickly grabbed Keitaro's hand and pulled him away to go to the other side of the room, busying themselves with the stack of toys there.
'Traitors' Rukia thought, her eyes narrowing in jealousy at their escape.
She sighed and looked down at her plate. Just the appearance of it made her slightly queasy in the stomach. She inched the fork towards her mouth, noticing how carefully Naoko and Keitaro were watching her.
"Inoue…" she swallowed, suddenly feeling green. "I think its best I don't eat right now…"
Inoue's eyes widened and quickly grabbed the plate from her friend's hands. She placed her hand on Rukia's shoulder, watching her with concern. "Are you alright, Rukia-san?"
Rukia nodded, but still feeling the slight unease in her stomach. They both sat quietly there, while the only sound filling the house were the sounds of Keitaro and Naoko playing.
It was close to seven but Ichigo still had not come. Rukia could feel her irritation growing. True, it wasn't unusual for him to take such a long time, but her sense of panic and impatience to tell him the news was getting to her. Also, there was the fact that Inoue was now insisting that Rukia join her and Ishida for dinner that really got her praying that Ichigo had better come within the next five minutes or he would be sleeping outside for the next month.
She grew startled at the sudden ringing coming from her phone. Pulling it out, she narrowed her eyes at information that there were of two hollows not far from where they were. Inoue agreed hesitantly to take care of Keitaro as Rukia quickly removed herself from her gigai and left the house. Inoue had insisted that she not go out in her 'condition', which caused Rukia to look at her in disbelief before saying she would be fine. She might as well kill a few hollows anyways while she waited for Ichigo; just something to let her frustration out somewhat before she pummeled him.
Rukia breathed heavily as she looked at the spot where the hollow had been just a moment ago. Although the fight had been rather tiring, she felt a sense of relief wash over her. It had been so long since she had been out, just taking care of stray hollows. This was who she was, and a part of her that she had begun to miss. Being a mother had taken over her entire being, and being a shinigami took second place. It sometimes depressed her to not be able to be out there with Ichigo as often, but the moment Keitaro would enter her mind, all regrets would completely disappear. She loved him dearly and wouldn't trade that feeling for anything in the world. It was perhaps this that allowed her to make the decision then in the first place to work as a shinigami only part time.
And now there would be another child. Would Rukia lose all this again? She wanted to be a big part of her family's life, but would it mean she would start losing the part of her that craved to be free again, fighting hollows?
She was so engrained in her thoughts that she did not notice the hollow coming from behind. The sudden shadow that loomed over her broke her out of her reverie and she quickly turned around, finding it too late as the hollow unleashed its attack.
Just then a loud shriek was heard before the hollow completely disappeared, leaving a shocked and bewildered Rukia staring. Her eyes narrowed slightly though when she saw the person behind the hollow, a definite frown playing across his features. They stared at one another before Ichigo walked over to her, putting his hand out to pull her up. She took it, all the while not looking at him as she brushed off the dirt from her.
She looked at him irritatingly, but noticed quickly that he was staring at her with concern.
"Are you alright?" he asked quietly, surveying her closely.
She flushed slightly before shaking her head. "I'm fine. I could have handled that on my own, you know."
Ichigo scoffed slightly and raised his brow. "Didn't seem that way from where I was standing."
Her balled fists met his gut before she turned and started walking away.
"Oye! Rukia!" he yelled, still trying to catch his breath while running after her. She crossed her arm, ignoring his calls, knowing she was being rather childish but at the moment she didn't think of him as her favorite person. He finally caught up with her and grabbed her arm. "What the hell was that for?" he asked angrily.
She glared at him and tried to pull her arm out of his grip, but he held it firmly. She turned her face away, her cheeks red from the fight and from the anger she was feeling…mostly at herself. Her cheeks flushed more when she felt his hand cup her cheek and turn her face to him. Her eyes met his, and he stared intently at her.
He sighed deeply after a moment, and kissed her forehead. "I'm sorry I was late," he said quietly. She groaned inward, feeling the heavy guilt of her actions. Why did he have to be so sweet to her when she needed a reason to be mad at him? She pouted slightly. "No, it's ok. I'm just tired. Let's get Keitaro and go home."
He watched her intently for a minute before finally admitting defeat and took her hand into his, leading her back to Ishida and Inoue's house.
It was very late by the time they had gotten there and Keitaro was already half asleep. They quickly thanked Inoue for taking care of him, and made quick excuses as Inoue tried to get them to eat something before they left.
They walked quietly down the street in silence, Ichigo looking occasionally at Rukia from the corner of his eye.
"Are you sure you are ok, Rukia?" Ichigo asked, a frown evident on his face, eyes full of concern as he watched Rukia trail slightly behind him. She looked up to see him watching her very closely and tried to ease his worry by smiling weakly. "Yeah, I'm ok. I told you I was just tired."
When he continued to stare at her in disbelief, Rukia felt a slight bit of irritation. "I'm fine, Ichigo! Seriously, you always worry too much!"
He let out a frustrated sigh, realizing she was in one of her moods again and that it was just best to deal with it later. He walked over to her, and placed his free hand around her shoulder, leading her back to Urahara's house. As they walked quietly, she looked up very quietly to see Ichigo concentrating on the path ahead while Keitaro sucked on his thumb lazily as he played around with Ichigo's ear with the other hand. Rukia sighed in contentment and leaned her head slightly onto Ichigo's chest. She felt his hands tightening around her shoulder, pulling her closer. She smirked, and quickly wrapped her arm behind Ichigo.
By the time they arrived home, Keitaro was fast asleep in his father's arms. Ichigo knelt down slightly, giving Rukia one more kiss on the cheek before heading over to put Keitaro in his bed. She watched him go and walked to their room. Rukia quietly sat on the bed, untying her hair gently. She knew she had to tell him tonight. Holding it off wouldn't do anything really, other then allow her to be worried about his reaction for a longer period of time. Plus, he was already getting annoyed with her for being so moody with him; she might as well give him her excuse.
She gently placed her head on the pillow, her eyes beginning to close slightly. She didn't even hear him come in. Suddenly she felt his arm wrap themselves gently around her waist and pull her back. She found herself resting against Ichigo's chest as he placed soft kisses on the crook of her neck. She smiled as she tilted her head slightly, kissing him softly. As his arms tightened around her, she could feel herself being pulled closer as he nuzzled his face in her hair.
"So…" he whispered quietly in her ear.
"Hm?" Rukia yawned softly, feeling the overwhelming exhaustion seep through her body for the first time today.
"Are you going to tell me what is bothering you?" he asked.
Rukia's eyes widened as the sleepiness she had been feeling just a minute ago vanished in a second.
She stilled, trying to find the perfect way to start the topic. After a minute of finding absolutely no perfect way to say it, she sighed and turned to him.
He raised his brow as she slightly pouted, while playing around with a few strands of his hair. "You have such pretty strawberry hair," she teased as he rolled his eyes and pulled her hand away and took it into his. "Yes thank you. Now I really know something is the matter."
Rukia sighed and brought herself closer to him, burying her face in his chest.
"You know how I've been kind of…moody…lately?"
Ichigo smirked. "You mean more then usual?" he teased, earning him a hard punch as Rukia tried to scramble out of his arms. He smirked, holding onto her tightly as she continually squirmed to get out of his grip. He pulled her in with little effort and kissed her forehead. "I'm just kidding," he said quietly, gently tickling her ribs and getting a small laughter out of her. He allowed her a few minutes to catch her breath and settle back into his arms before she continued.
"Ichigo, you know a lot of things have changed ever since Keitaro was born. Well of course everything changed and you know they will keep changing. Well, my point is that there is something which I don't know if you will be happy about or sad, or whether you will react at all. I'm feeling all these weird things again and I am seriously freaking out because I honestly don't know what to think about them."
Ichigo just stared at Rukia as she continued babbling, hoping that she would get to the point of where she was heading. "Er…Rukia…"
"And another thing Ichigo, I mean you can't be angry or anything anyways, since technically it's all your fault as it usually is."
Ichigo covered her mouth quickly, rolling his eyes. "Ok, yes, its all my fault. Would you mind telling me what is my fault first…whatever it is, it can't be that big, can it?"
Rukia swallowed. "I'm…expecting."
Ichigo blinked, followed by a long pause between them. "Expecting what?" he asked.
Rukia growled and threw her pillow at him. "Expecting what?! I'm pregnant, BAKA!"
She waited, watching as her last few words slowly began to sink in and Ichigo's eyes widening with realization. "Wait…you're what…pregn-but how??"
Ichigo ran his hands through his hair and she could see the very fear and shock that she had been most frightened of etched all over his face.
"Ichigo?" she asked quietly. He did not reply, but was muttering something she could barely understand.
Rukia stared at him for a moment before sighing in frustration. She shook her head and turned to her other side, curling up and refusing to look at him. She felt a lump forming in her throat and the hot tears that were threatening to spill from her eyes. She felt the pressure from his side lifted and could hear his footsteps going around the bed towards her side. She quickly buried her face in her pillow, refusing for him to see her crying.
She felt him gently lay beside her but still she did not look at him, wanting the tears to stop before she turned to him. She didn't want him to see her weak or affected by all this. True, his reaction was something she had expected, but her heart still ached at seeing him like that. She shivered slightly when she felt his light kiss on her cheek, going slowly down to her neck. He stayed there for a moment, while gently taking her hand.
"Looks like I'm going to have to fight for you with two others now…" he chuckled, placing one more kiss on her neck before positioning his face in front of hers. When she still didn't look up, he sighed. "Baka…" he muttered before grabbing her by her waist and pulling her towards him. She remained stubborn and refused to budge from her pillow, but found herself unable to when she felt a slight tickle on her ribs. Her face flushed and she finally turned to him, her cheeks red as he managed to pull her to him. "Why do you always have to do that??"
He smirked. "Because you are ticklish and it's the only way I can get your attention." He stared at her as she turned her eyes away. "I'm very happy, you know, Rukia."
Her eyes finally turned to him and stare at him skeptically. Yet all doubts seem to vanish the moment she was able to see the genuine happiness his eyes seemed to express. He had a smile on his face, and all form of his usual furrowed brow were gone. She finally smiled, and wrapped her arms tightly around his waist. The relief and happiness washed over all the fears she had up to that point. He knew, and he was happy.
They stayed like that for a while, before Ichigo's grip loosened slightly. "Rukia?" he muttered.
"What were you doing out there fighting that hollow?"
She quickly buried her face in his chest. "I was doing my duty as a shinigami, that's what."
She could feel his breathing become more rapid and knew he was about to blow. "Rukia…" he growled with impatience.
Rukia groaned. "Please, Ichigo. I'm fine. It was an easy hollow and nothing happened right??"
"It could have if I didn't come there in time," he said angrily, still holding onto to her tightly, and she could sense him starting to shake slightly.
Her growing anger quickly subsided as she held him closely. "Look, Ichigo. Being a shinigami is who I am. I don't think about these sort of things when I know there is a hollow on the loose."
She felt his breathing slowly begin to become normal, but there was still anger in his tone. "What is something had happened to you? Do you have any idea the risks of it? I'm not the only person now that needs you, Rukia…Keitaro…and…"
He went quiet and Rukia held him even tighter. "I'm sorry…" she said softly. "It's just…I miss being a shinigami, Ichigo. I want to be back out there too…"
Ichigo took a deep breath and ran his hair through her silky raven hair. "It's fine if you want that, Rukia. I want that for you too because I know its something that makes you happy. But for now, until we welcome our newest addition, please promise me you won't do anything like that again. After that, we'll work something out so that you can go back to the division as well."
She nodded, and pulled herself away from him just enough for their faces to be inches near one another. "I would like that…" she said quietly.
He smiled softly before moving his head forward, lightly brushing his lips against her. She raised her brow at his gentleness before grabbing any piece of clothing she could find on him and yanking him closer into a deeper kiss. His eyes widened fractionally before a smirk appeared on his face. As she pulled away, a mischevious grin appeared on her face again. "It's been this long, and all I get is a peck on the lips, Kurosaki. You are digging a deeper hole for yourself each time."
Ichigo chuckled lightly before pulling her again into a searing kiss, while slowly pulling off the base of her yukata. "I guess I better change that then…" he murmured slowly, gaining a smirk from Rukia.
Ok, one shot turned into long shot haha! Hope you enjoyed! A special thank you to my lovely friend and awesome beta, Ava, for all of your help with this piece! May my moving away from the fluttering of the curtains have made you happy happy! xD