Sometimes two strands of fate can become entwined and change both there fates forever.
Sometimes that pair of changed threads can change others threads fates
A/N: A few comments on content before start, while this is a fanfic which focuses mostly on romance and humour, there are fair few sections of grim seriousness in it as well.
Also some of the humour is delivered from making comments and references to various none Bleach related topics, mostly western fantasy. While knowing your western fantasy isn't necessary to get all the jokes, it helps.
A final point before the story starts proper. At each chapters end there a humorous mini story that often but not always references back to the main story and the one shot prequel Family Honour. This isn't part of the real story line but I hope it gives a few chuckles.
Chapter 1: Remembrance
Rukia woke up with a sad sigh as she realised what day it was. She dressed herself and made her way to the kitchen were Yuzu had most likely made a nice breakfast ready for her.
She was wasn't wrong..
"Hello Rukia!" Yuzu said happily as Rukia entered the kitten, sat down and started to eat her lovely prepared breakfast with a clear lack of enthusiasm. It didn't take Yuzu long to notice.
"You ok Rukia?" she asked in a concerned tone. Rukia slowly nodded at the young Kurosaki. Yuzu sighed with a disappointed face. "Fine don't tell me then"
A painful silence filled the kitchen and then he came down, Ichigo. Rukia didn't even have the strength to meet his gaze.
"Hey Yuzu… Rukia" he said casually before catching the atmosphere. "What's up?"
"Rukia is sad" Yuzu said softly. Rukia sighed.
"I'm fine," Rukia said while rapidly finishing off her breakfast. "And I'm going for a walk"
Walking didn't seem to help Rukia. In fact she would go as far as saying that it made her feel worse and worse with every step. She raised her leg up and hit her foot against the pavement hard.
She couldn't forget him, she couldn't forget that day and it hurt so hard on this day of all days especially. The day that was the anniversary of Vice-Captain Kaien Shiba death.
Yuzu found her sister Karin after breakfast and they talked.
"So Rukia was all depressed first thing this morning and refusing to look at brother in the eyes" she whispered quietly to her sister while looking back at there bedrooms door. Karin looked at her sister a few moments.
"How did Ichigo react to her doing that?" Karin asked in a concerned tone.
"He was all confused and after Rukia walked out asked me what was wrong" Yuzu explained to her sister.
"Yuzu… I think Rukia might be planning something, perhaps something rash, then when she does Ichigo will defiantly do something really rash" Karin told her twin seriously.
"So you think we be best finding Rukia then before she does something to do with whatever she's planning then?" Yuzu asked her sister.
"And I think mentioning the name Captain Hitsugaya well certainly make her more willing to listen to us sister..." Said Karin with a rather serous tone.
Yuzu nodded. She trusted her sister.
Rukia swung herself on the swing. She had eventually just given up on the whole walking thing and now just swung herself on the swing in a child's park. She sighed as she thought Kaien why did you have to die when I finally found my home? She almost missed the familiar slight spiritual pressure of Karin as she came up behind her.
"Rukia why are you sad?" Yuzu asked in her in her so innocent and sweet voice. Rukia bit her lip and stared at the floor of the playground.
"Is it a Shinigami thing Rukia?" asked the considerably less sweet voice of Karin, who tone was very much more demanding. Rukia head spun around so quick that she nearly fell of her swing.
"Where did you hear that word Karin?" Rukia asked sharply.
"It doesn't matter Rukia, all you need to know is I seen Hyōrinmaru in the hands of Captain Hitsugaya and fought Hallows before even that." Said Karin firmly, Yuzu stared at her sister as she spoke "and I know if your worried and being eaten up inside Kuchiki–sama, then I should be taking notice"
Rukia knew the extra respectful usage of her name was not accidental; Karin wasn't being demanding because she hated Rukia, she was being demanding because she was worried.
"It not Shinigami… it personal, buts it's partly because I am Shinigami that I feel this way right now" Rukia explain softly to the twin's "While I can't expect you to know how it feels to live long enough to have regrets, I think you can both understand how it feels to lose someone close to your hearts"
They both looked at her with remorseful faces. Undoubtedly thinking of there late mother.
"Who were they to you Kuchiki–sama?" Karin asked respectfully.
"A person who treated me with acceptance and brought a lot of light to my heart." Rukia replied.
"And what does have to do with brother?" Yuzu inquired.
"There too alike for me today." Rukia said while tears were threatening to come from her eyes. There was silence for a while between the three of them.
"Rukia, brother doesn't know does he?" Yuzu said with her eyes locked on Rukia's.
"He wouldn't…" Rukia started but was interrupted by Karin.
"Understand? Or perhaps you think he be better off not knowing?" Her tone was aggressive and conformational. "Because Rukia if you think that, you are a fool. Ichigo cares about you and sooner or latter he going to hear why you are sad from somewhere, and if its not you Rukia, he be hurt that his trust and faith in you was one sided."
The words cut her like a knife.
"Brother cares about you Rukia, and we care about you too!" Yuzu added rapidly after Karin's speech in much more gentle tone.
"And don't even think about saying, I tell him tomorrow either" Karin continued in same tone. The next few moments of silence were filled only by the stern gaze of Karin and the softer more affectionate gaze of Yuzu.
"Today the day" was the only words Rukia could muster after the silence.
The rest of the day went slowly for Rukia, maybe it was because the silence, maybe it was because she couldn't look Ichigo in the eye or just maybe it was the constant glances from the Kurosaki twins. Needless to say by the time evening came around it had been a rather long day for Kuchiki Rukia. And now as the day was coming to an end she was feeling increasingly anxious. The feeling wasn't helped by Karin constant subtle references to not putting things off either.
So here she now was staring at Ichigo's door. Her legs were shaking and her heart pounding so fast that she felt like she might die a second time. All she had to do was open that door and tell him about the most painful chapter of her history. And it wasn't like she put it off till eleven thirty at night either.
It was eleven twenty nine at night instead. She pushed open the door quietly and walked nervously into his room in her pyjamas and much to Rukia's surprise Ichigo was awake in his pyjamas and reading a manga by lamplight.
"Evening Rukia" he said in a slightly subdued tone.
"You're still awake?" she asked softly while staring at the bedrooms floor.
"Can't sleep for some reason, might have something to do with you refusal to look or talk to me properly all day" he said with an accusing tone in his voice. Rukia stared at the floor in the silence as tried to muster the courage to say something. She didn't know how much time had passed when she finally found some words.
"I… I was a co-ward" she stammered out. She could feel the tears that were threatening to fall from her eyes, she could feel her legs that wanted to run and run far away and into the darkness and never come back.
As she stood there in the doorway she was lost in her own fear and awaited Ichigo's judgment, but after what seemed an eternity something unexpected happened. She felt two arms wrap round her and then after brief moment of movement she found herself on Ichigo's lap and on his bed with her back against his chest.
"Cowards don't try Rukia, you try hard. Cowards hide, you are here. Cowards don't explain will you open your lips?" Ichigo said very close to Rukia's ear. She gulped and shook in an emotion that wasn't guilt but anticipation. She gathered herself and tried to control her emotions.
"He was called Vice-Captain Shiba Kaien" she spoke in a voice only loud enough for Ichigo to hear "he was the first person that treated me as a normal person when I became both Shinigami and nobility. He made me happy and gave me a home"
"And he is dead" Ichigo stated to Rukia and Rukia alone. "But why do you feel guilty Rukia?
"Because it was Sode no Shirayuki's blade that ended his life" Rukia spoke, with the feeling of tears and pain attacking her heart with much vengeance. Rukia couldn't see Ichigo's face but she knew it be full of hate and disgust and she be thrown from his lap at any moment and then throw out his home.
The moment never came.
"Explain Rukia... my friend" his words were soft and loving, there was no hate, no disgust in his voice. It was becoming harder and harder for Rukia to hold back her tears with every passing moment.
"He was taken over by a Hallow, and I had only the strength to save myself Ichigo" she said with guilt in every word.
She was suddenly spun around to face Ichigo's face with both his hands on her shoulders.
"You idiot!" he shouted at her angrily "That what got you so worked up, got you feeling so bad and sad and is that what made you so value your own life so lowly Rukia? That you long ago could only muster the strength to defend yourself from a monster that uses to be a friend? Rukia I will say it once more in case you forgotten.. I would not be standing here today without you Rukia! I would not been able to defend innocent people without you Rukia! I would not even know how to be a Shinigami without your guidance and inspiration! I would be nothing but Hallow bait and me and my family would be dead" his voice trailing off into a more sombre tone at the end
Rukia looked at him stunned a few moments.
"And you do not need to hide your tears from me Rukia" he said with a caring tone as he met her gaze "because you should never need to lock me out your heart"
Rukia look at him and let her tears flow, her emotions no longer hidden under an icy mask from him, Ichigo and then she did something she had never done in her over century and a half existence.
She kissed him on the lips. It felt right.
* Yachiru can be seen with her Zanpakutō out making slashing motions*
Narrator: Do you ever feel that you small size goes against you?
* Yachiru looks towards the camera*
Narrator: Do you feel like because you three foot six and not say around five foot, that you been given a penalty to your maximum physical strength ?
* Yachiru nods*
Yachiru: You're right, it's so unfair!
Narrator: That you be pleased to know in the new edition of Shinigami and Hallows™ that silly things like weaknesses no longer exist!
*small pink haired Shinigami bounces around happily*
Narrator: You also be pleased to hear of the many other sensible changes to Shinigami and Hallows™ including the trimming of the vastly oversized list of Shinigami by the merging of Shinigami who have been clearly the same person the whole time!
*Yachiru looks at the Narrator suspiciously*
Yachiru: Like who?
Narrator: Like the merger of Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Szayel Aporro! Nemu Kurotsuchi and Nanao Ise! Rangiku Matsumoto and Orihime Inoue! Ichigo Kurosaki and Kenpachi Zaraki!
*Yachiru suddenly looks at Narrator like he's crazy*
Yachiru: Icchi and Ken-chan not the same person stupid! They fought each other when Icchi was saving Roo!
Narrator: Erm…. it was an inner battle inside Ichigo's mind
*Yachiru looks shocked*
Yachiru: oh my god you killed Kenny you-
* Byakuya flash steps and places his hand over her mouth*
Byakuya: Not lady like Yachiru.