A/N: I know it's been forever, and I apologize, but I've been crazy busy. Here's the next CH. I'm not entirely happy with it, but i wanted to upload something, this has been in my computer for sometime; I've been editing here and there, but I think I'll leave it as is. Timeline is 6 months and 2 weeks after winter war.
I'm not too sure when I'll upload next, but I gurantee the next CH will be exciting, it's Momo's wedding and lots of things are going to happen.
1 Month Later, April
It was a beautiful April morning, and Rukia was dying to go outside and go the Yu Yuan gardens for a nice walk, surely the flowers had bloomed nicely, since the snow had melted a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, things were not going as she planned, three weeks ago, when she went to visit Unohana, she was informed of how delicate her pregnancy had become.
The child was very big, and Rukia was a very small woman; she was four and a half months along, yet her stomach was showing a six month pregnancy. The baby was fine apparently, but Rukia found herself growing easily exhausted, she rarely got any sleep in the night, and doing simple everyday tasks became painful. She was put on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy, only being allowed to wander their apartment.
And so she settled for sitting on a chair outside, in the balcony of their apartment. She sipped her morning tea as she snuggled into her pajamas. She was able to see the entire city from this view, but it was not cars and skyscrapers she wanted to see, but flowers, mountains, blossom trees. She stood up, placing her cup of tea on the coffee table, and walked over to the ledge, sighing as she rested her chin on her palm.
Gin was walking to the living room when he saw her standing there, deep in thought. Wordlessly, he walked over to her, and stopped a couple of steps behind her.
"You're up early."
"I couldn't sleep," replied Rukia, still looking out at the skyline. Gin brought himself closer to her, until her back was pressed against his chest, and the scent of her hair filled his nostrils. He wrapped his arms around her, and tucked his head in the juncture of her neck and shoulder. He nuzzled her neck briefly, and sighed as his hands rubbed her arms.
"Aren't ya cold?"
"Yes, but as soon as I step inside I get really hot, I can't seem to find my place anymore."
"Well, it'll be over soon."
"Soon? I have another four months left."
"Well, think of it this way, it won't last forever," he said kissing her cheek.
"That's easy for you to say, you're not the one with a growing living thing inside you. Just imagine, for a second, what it feels like to have something of that magnitude inside you, stretching your stomach, moving your organs, stretching your muscles to an extent that if it were to happen all at once you would probably die of the pain," said Rukia with an odd enthusiasm.
"You're making our son sound like cancer, or a parasite," said Gin giving her forehead a quick kiss and letting go of her.
"But wait, I'm not done, you see, all of this is happening from inside your uterus, to think that it is capable of stretching that much. Think of my poor uterus Gin, imagine how wobbly and stretched out it's going to be when the baby is out, and my vagina! You're not going to like me anymore because I'll be loose," said Rukia pouting; Gin laughed.
"Rukia dear, you do know that eventually all your organs are going to realign, and yes, your vagina will turn back to normal…and your uterus too," he said patting her on the head.
"I'm sorry, it just feels weird, I feel like I'm not a human anymore, but rather a vessel, I'll never be just me again, even when he's out, he will always be a part of me."
"Does that trouble ya?" He asked.
"No, it's just…odd I guess, to have an extension of myself, it's like…when I die I won't really be dead, because I will still live in him. Have you ever wondered Gin…whether having kids is a way of achieving immortality?"
"How many hours did ya sleep last night?" Asked Gin suspiciously.
"I don't know, about three," she said thoughtfully; then she yelped in surprise when Gin picked her up, gathering her in his arms; she wrapped her arms around his neck to hold on.
"Ya need to sleep," he said walking them back inside.
"But I'm not sleepy," she whined as he laid her down on the bed.
"I have to go to work, promise me you'll at least try," he said looking at her seriously; she hesitated but then nodded. He placed a pillow behind her lower back and tucked her in, making sure her back was aligned on a comfortable position.
"I'll be home later…and you're not a vessel, get that outta your head will ya?" He said pecking her lips, before kissing her in earnest. Rukia giggled and pulled away to look at him.
"What is it?"
"Your kisses are sloppy, like a dog's."
"Oh yeah?" He said looking at her mischievously; she looked outraged when he started licking her face.
"Gin you…you…you wolf!"
"Wolf eh? Well I think I'll just eat ya up then Little Red Riding Hood."
"Gin you have to work! Gin!" Then she burst into laughter as he attacked her with kisses and tickles.
"Look at me sweetie…wait, no, you're a tiger, not a dove, come on, roar!"
"That's it, I'm done for today," said Soi Fon throwing the fake dagger on her hand to the floor. She had been having a photo shoot with Renji Abarai, but lately her concentration wasn't there. At first she thought it was sexual pent up frustration because of her husband leaving her, but even now that she began to become active again, she could not seem to shake this feeling away, it made her feel like she was suffocating.
"What the hell Soi? What's up?!" Asked Renji as he walked over to Soi Fon who was sitting on a chair, taking a drink from her water bottle.
"I don't know, I just need a break okay? I've been touring Europe non-stop for the past month; I guess I was wrong to think spending a weekend back home would relax me," she sighed.
"You need to stop thinking about it Soi, if it wasn't meant to be it wasn't meant to be," said Renji as they both sat on separate chairs.
"Yeah I know, I'm not one to dwell on such things, but, it's just so unlike Jushiro to up and leave like that," sighed Soi.
"Well, you're seeing that editor from France right?"
"Oh, Solomon? Yes, but, it's more of a…"
"I guess you could call it that. I swear I hate him! How dare he do something like this to me?! No man ever runs off on me! I swear if he left me for another woman I will castrate him with my bare hands!" screamed Soi with a murderous look on her face and her fists clenched.
"U-okay, w-well, you know Soi, if you're not feeling well, we can do this another time," said Renji, very frightened of her at this point. Soi looked at him and laughed.
"Don't worry Renji, you're not in any danger."
"Well that's a relief," sighed Renji, "so, are you going to Momo Hinamori's wedding next week?"
"I don't know, I suppose, it would be rude of me not to show up, considering Aizen-sama personally brought me the invitation. I do hate weddings though, my own one was so under wraps, but I suppose I could make an exception for Momo, she's such a sweet girl."
"Yes, she is, Kira is a lucky man. So, what do you think, should we go on with the photo shoot?" Asked Renji; Soi looked thoughtful for a moment, but then nodded at him.
Orihime stood in the kitchen whisking ingredients together for her crème brulee. She hummed to herself ignorant of the fact that she was being watched. She bend down to take out the glasses from the bottom cupboard, and almost dropped them on the floor when the somber face of the eldest Ishida regarded her with disdain from the other side of the counter.
"Ishida-sama, you scared me, I didn't hear you coming," sighed Orihime exhaling a deep breath.
"How could you?"
"How could I what?"
"How could you forget to add chopped liver to the crème brulee," said Ryyuken taking out a plastic bag of chopped pieces of liver.
"I'm sorry Ishida-sama, but Karin complained about the pieces last time, she said she wanted me to keep to the recipe this time," pouted Orihime in disappointment.
"Poor Inoue-san, it must be dreadful being forced to contain one's culinary artistry," said Ryyuken patting her on the head as Orihime contained her tears, "no worries, when we've fixed all of this, I'll help you publish your own cookbook."
"You would do that for me Ishida-sama?" Asked Orihime brightening up.
"Of course Inoue-san, I would do anything for the woman I…" but he stopped what he was saying and pulled his hand away from her.
"What is it Ishida-sama?" Asked Orihime concerned; she went around the counter and stood directly in front of him.
"Inoue…Orihime, may I call you that?" He asked taking her hand, and Orihime nodded, "Orihime, there has been something constantly in my mind the last couple of weeks, I have never met a woman who I enjoy spending so much time with, and I…" he cupped her face and leaned forward a little bit more, " I think I lo-"
"Ishida-sama!" Ryyuken immediately let go of Orihime and the two of them turned to look at a very worried Jushiro Ukitake.
"Yes captain Ukitake?" Asked Ryyuken a little irritated.
"I'm missing something, it's a special pipe used in the compression of the mod soul capsules. I will have to leave back to Shanghai to get it from captain Mayuri," sighed Ukitake.
"When will you be leaving?" Asked Ryyuken.
"Well, Ukitake-taicho, since you will be in Shanghai, could you bring me some groceries? I've been wanting to make some nabe; I was going to wait for Kurosaki-kun to come in a few weeks, but since you're going I can make it much sooner!" Smiled Orihime excited.
"Yes, I suppose, just make a list of what you will need. I will be in my room packing," said Ukitake, and he left the two alone again.
"So, what was it you were going to tell me Ishida-sama?" Asked Orihime with a naïve smile on her face.
"Umm…never mind, I think it may be too soon for that, in the future perhaps," said Ryyuken, perhaps it was much too soon for that; only time would tell it the girl returned his feelings, since she was obviously oblivious to them at the moment.
Gin would be gone most of the day, he had made it clear to her that he would be returning in the night. Rukia always took these opportunities to do something she loved. She went to Yamamoto's Cheap and Affordable Café. Truth be told, she loved this place since the first time she came here with Ichigo over six months ago. So much had happened since then, and since her return to Shanghai she enjoyed coming here to reminisce…and to buy a slice of their delicious pie, she suspected her baby loved it very much, since she craved it constantly throughout her pregnancy.
Rukia heard the bell of the door of the shop ring, and she turned to see if it was him. Another reason she came here, was to see him, her dear friend, the one that confused her to no end, but made her feel a sense of security that no one else seemed to make her feel, not even the man she loved. Ichigo Kurosaki walked into the café with his usual frown, which was contrasted with that playful smirk he had every time he saw her.
"You're here early, wanted to see me that badly did you?" Smirked Ichigo as he took a seat in front of her, they were in a corner in the back, keeping themselves away from the windows, just in case a paparazzi decided to show up.
"No, I was bored, besides, it's been established that our relationship is only platonic," said Rukia. A week after her arrival at Shanghai, she met Ichigo outside of Renji's studio, he pulled her to the side and apologized for everything they put her through; he agreed to never bring up anything that happened those couple of months in the Himalayas, if she agreed to be his friend again, she accepted of course.
"So, how's everything, you know, I'm starting to agree your bastard of a husband…maybe it would be for the best if you stayed in your apartment, you need to take care of yourself; I'll find a way to visit you while he's gone."
"I'll make do, I'm tired of being in the apartment all the time, I still have a long way to go, yell at me about this when I'm in my sixth month."
"Well, the way things are looking, it wouldn't surprise me if you pop it out in the seventh month, that thing's huge, gets bigger every time I see it," said Ichigo looking at her stomach.
"Well, the sooner the better I guess," said Rukia patting her stomach, then her eyes went wide, "excuse me would you?" She said; then she rushed to the restroom.
Ichigo sighed as he watched her leave. It was hard to believe, but he learned how to deal with it. When he arrived to Shanghai, and they met up with Mayuri and Unohana, Unohana informed him of Rukia's condition. She told him that Rukia was with child, Ichimaru's child. He was in shock at first, then furious, he broke a handful of important things in Mayuri's lab, where Unohana informed him. It took him five days to accept it, to calm his nerves enough to stop moping, get out of his room, and find Rukia. He needed to befriend her, to keep her under close surveillance.
The first two weeks were hard, it was difficult to fake that he accepted her resolve to remain with Ichimaru, and come to terms with the fact that she was carrying his child. He wanted to scream at her, shout in her face for doing something so stupid, for allowing herself to become pregnant with the fucker's child. Nothing would be the same now, the situation had become much more difficult to get out of. Before, once Rukia remembered, he could have helped her forget about him, but now, she would have a constant reminder of his deceit. He would accept the child as his own, that would not be an issue, but his Rukia, the real one from his memories, would never be the same again.
"I have great news, Toshiro Hitsugaya is now one of us," said Aizen, he and Gin were sitting in his office; he was pleased to see his former lieutenant so surprised.
"So soon? Great news indeed," said Gin with a wicked grin on his face. Aizen loved to see that smile, it assured him that his Gin was still the same. The Kuchiki wench had bewitched him, possessed his heart, but underneath it all, he knew his soul was still as dark, he was the same boy that loved the color of blood.
"My dear Momo and your wife are next."
"Did you invite Kurosaki-kun to the wedding?"
"Of course, it would be awfully rude of me not to," said Aizen serving himself a glass of red wine, "Gin, there is something you need to be aware of. You do know…that we will not be able to convert Rukia if she is, happy."
Gin's eyes opened at this, and Aizen noted that the color of his eyes was the same as the wine he was drinking. He swirled the wine in the class and took another drink.
"What did you have in mind?" Asked Gin.
"This Rukia, the one we have created, what brings her the most misery is you. She's afraid of her beloved Gin deserting her, not loving her. Gin, I need you to be unfaithful to Rukia, and be obvious about it.
"With who do you suggest?"
"Anyone, I will give you the freedom of choosing; I am already sure you will be choosing Matsumoto Rangiku though, am I correct?"
"Yea, Ran is very dear to me, if I have to cheat on Rukia-chan it might as well be with her," said Gin thoughtfully. He didn't want to do this to Rukia, but he knew it was the only way.
"I'd like to get this whole ordeal with as soon as possible, so there are other things I'd like to try to quicken the process."
"You are no stranger to open marriages, so, this should not be too difficult. Gin, you will share Rukia with me."
"Share? You mean…"
"Yes. I will take your wife, and you will watch as I do it," said Aizen with a devilish smile on his face, "you will only watch the first time, after that you will be involved in it."
"Aizen-sama, you can't possible be serious," said Gin shocked.
"I'm very serious, Gin. This is something you are no stranger to, have you forgotten the fun you and I have had with some of the Arrancars women? All the orgies? You are most certainly not a stranger to my body, nor I to yours."
"I know that, but Rukia's not-"
"It doesn't matter if it's something she's not accustomed to, isn't the point to make her miserable? We'll give her a go for a couple of weeks, then, we'll start to add more, men, women, it won't matter, we'll even throw a dog in there to make it more exciting."
"I can't do that to her, she's the mother of my child."
"Yes, and that is why you will allow it. Rukia will leave you Gin, if she remembers, or do you really think she would stick around after knowing everything? The only way for her to stay, is if we convert her. Your betrayal, coupled with the sexual atrocities that will be forced upon her, will make her miserable enough for us to covert her. Or do you have a better idea?"
"No, I don't," said Gin in surrender.
"Then we will follow my plan."
That night, Gin could not sleep. He kept a careful eye on the woman next to him. He didn't want to share her with anyone else, he didn't want to bring her pain. Sure, he liked to tease her constantly, torture her, but only when it came to sex. He was always careful how hard he bit, how far he went with his teasing, her little gasps of pain stimulated him, but everything was always done in moderation. He didn't want to bring her real pain, the physical pain he knew she would receive if she participated in any of Aizen-sama's groups, and the pain she would feel knowing that he cheated, betrayed.
"Why so pensive?" Asked Rukia running her fingers over her husband's chest, it was two in the morning, and she had woken up twice to see him still awake.
"I'm not, I just can't sleep," he mumbled into her hair.
"Something's bothering you, I can tell," she said sprinkling light kisses on the side of his neck; Gin closed his eyes and held her closer.
"Just some stuff at work, now go to sleep, ya need it more than I."
"Fine," she sighed, "but wake me up in the morning will you? I have an appointment with Dr. Unohana."
"Night daddy," said Rukia in a sugary high-pitched voice.
"Why does my son sound like a girl?"
"Because he likes Chappy the rabbit."
"In your dreams, ya will not litter my son with Chappy costumes and or plush toys and decorations."
"Not even one little plush toy?" She whined giving his earlobe a little bite and sucking on it lightly.
"Not even one little one?" She asked climbing on top of him and straddling him.
"I don't know, maybe ya can convince me," he mumbled into her throat, he sucked on the side of her neck and cupped one of her bare breasts.
"You love taking advantage of me don't you?" She whined, carefully lowering herself on him, and stopping until he was completely sheathed inside of her.
"You're the devious one that knows how to get what she wants," he said placing his hands on her hips to aid her with the rocking.
"But you accept it," she gasped swaying her head back and arching her back as she picked up the speed.
"I just can't pass on the chance," said Gin sitting up so that his face was level with hers, he cupped her face and ravished her mouth. He took her tongue into his mouth and sucked on it; Rukia wrapped her arms around his neck and ran her fingers through his hair.
Minutes later she climaxed; he followed soon after. He flipped her over and set her gently on the bed, she was exhausted; he knew she would fall asleep any second. Her tired little body couldn't take very much nowadays. This worried him. How would this broken little thing respond to all the difficult trials ahead?