The sky was dark and velvety, covered by a blanket of glittery stars. Half of the moon peeked through the dark clouds; a crescent glowing with a soft sense of peace. But there was no peace in his heart nor in his soul.

Instead there was confusion, turmoil, and traces of regret.

He caught her wrist, so she could not run again. His body trembled, but he kept his grip strong.

"Ichigo, stop."

His hazel eyes met her wide, violet orbs. She was trying to hide her fear, trying to hide her every emotion from him, but her efforts were useless. Instead, with newfound courage, her right leg moved closer to him and her chin jutted upwards, giving him her full attention.

She barely whispered, "Stop."

His body moved on a will of its own. The petite shinigami shivered when his nose grazed her cheek, his lips hovering over hers. The heat of his mouth made her hand grip the folds of his shinigami robes, his breath tickling her face.

"I want to stop," he said, and his voice almost broke. "Rukia…" The look on his face concerned her, but she could not do anything else. "I want to stop. How do I stop?" Desperation lingered in his tone and the pounding in his temples grew louder. "Tell me, Rukia, how do I stop looking at you like that?" He swallowed loud enough for her to hear.

She had to remind him.

"You have a wife!" Rukia said, almost shouting.

"I know!" His grip tightened. "I know." Then his eyes softened. "And I should be looking at her like that… not you."

She nodded and her frown sharpened. "So let me go, Ichigo." But he did not listen. Her lids slipped down halfway, slowly, as the softness of his lip touched hers. Her sudden calm was almost like an invitation.

Then their eyes met in silence.

And they asked each other, wordlessly, "What if?"


Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach. Kubo Tite does.

Summary: Orihime and Renji both got what they wanted… what they loved. After many, many years, their partners meet again and Ichigo and Rukia wonder if they made a big mistake. [IchiRuki]


Author'sNote: If you know me well, you would know that I love Ichigo with Rukia, I just simply love Rukia and Rukia Inoue.

This is just an experimental thought of our mistakes and our wants… what happens when we follow the rules versus following our hearts and if we had a second chance, what we do?

Also, this is broken to two parts since it's over 7500 words.

Special Thanks to akiqueen and Crimson Sakura Princess for beta-reading. You guys are awesome.

And remember to review; your words are my fuel to write more IchiRuki stories!


A Night of Many Sins

part one of two


I didn't mean to look at you like that

But I can't tear my eyes away from you

And I know it's wrong

Because you're not my wife

But you're my soul mate

So can we pretend,

For tonight,

That this is okay?


The Day You Left

Ichigo remembered the first time he saw her. It was a sunny day outside and he was walking on the streets, holding his school bag carelessly over his shoulder. There were a lot of people, businessmen and the like bustling about, hurrying to get home.

Then the hollow came, howling.

Not much has changed.

Just like that fateful day, it was a sunny day but instead of the grey school uniform, Ichigo was apparelled in a black suit; he became one of those businessmen. And instead of the school bag, it was replaced with a briefcase, and that too was held over his shoulder. On top of this, that look of indifference he had since adolescence was still there etched on his face.

And suddenly, like all of those years before, the hollow appeared, howling.

Normally, there was a shinigami around to take care of the hollows. Ichigo hardly ever had to change into his shinigami form, but if he could feel a hollow linger for more than ten minutes, Ichigo would follow and see what the problem was.

Today was a different kind of day, though. The shinigami, like he predicted, came, and it was like that very first day. Today, like the first time he saw her as she glided in the air with her zanpakutou in hand. The petite woman destroyed the being effortlessly, gracefully, and she returned her sword into its sheath.

His lips parted, stature frozen.

It had been nine years.

"Oi," he said, like the first time she saw her. He moved closer to soul reaper with his hand forward, as if to touch her before she faded away.

This time, she did not walk away. This time, she turned to him and flashed a brief, small smile.

At the same time, another human woman cocked her head in his direction, as if wondering why this young man was suddenly talking to himself. Maybe he was a crazy person.

"Maybe I am," Ichigo told himself when she did not say anything to him. Maybe, she wasn't real.

And then that moment of when she left him flashed through his mind. That night was a dark, bleak night. He remembered that she looked upwards towards the boundaries of the earth and the heavens in an inspecting manner. Perhaps, on that night, she was questioning fate.

Ichigo remembered being apprehensive, a little worried, but chose not to say anything.

And the petite shinigami said those words: "Live a long and happy life. Goodbye, Ichigo." She had truly meant every single word. Like she would never see him again.

His intuition was correct. She ran away, back to Soul Society. And she was gone for nine years.

But today, she was before him. And for some reason Ichigo told himself, he would not let her go.


When You Noticed Me

Her name was Kurosaki Orihime. She was a bright person, although it was not always apparent. And she was in love with him, her husband, all throughout high school.

When Ichigo found out, he was baffled. Why? What made him special? Why did she love him, of all people?

He had to be honest. At first he did not have romantic feelings for her, but, persuaded by his peers, he went on a date with her.

And the next thing he knew, they were hailed the cutest couple by their friends.

Orihime looked at her modest-sized, diamond ring and smiled to herself. Her heart fluttered whenever she thought of him, her prince. Her warrior.

It took him more than a few years to pop the question: Orihime, would you be my wife?

Of course she said yes, in her high pitched voice, and she ran straight into his arms. Their lips met with such certainty and the daydreams of happily ever played in her mind.

After a year, they were married.

And it was almost one month to their two-year anniversary.

Orihime stood up straight, examining herself in the mirror. She wore a summer's dress with a deep neck to show off her endowed breasts. She knew Ichigo loved her twins, with the way he fondled them and how he… Her thoughts ended abruptly as she felt her face turn hot.

Then, her eyes focussed to the pearl necklace lining her neck. Ichigo had given it to her for her birthday, but she had an inkling Tatsuki told him about it since Ichigo wasn't the most thoughtful person about these girly things.

Suddenly, Orihime's body jumped upon hearing the sound of the door open. Almost bouncing down the stairs, she greeted her husband with a simple kiss on the cheek and collected his bag. Normally, he was tired (though he tried to be cheery for her) and liked to rest on the couch. But for some reason, today he seemed to have a little kick - a little spark - in him.

"How was work today?" Orihime asked. When she turned away, her long, golden-orange hair flung across her shoulders as she put away his things.

"Work was okay. Mmm, same boring stuff." He rounded to the television and pressed various buttons before sighing.

Orihime's ears perked at his sign of worriment. Before she could ask him what the matter was, he said to her, "I saw Rukia today." And there was a wide smirk on his face.

In response to this bit of news, her mouth parted and grey eyes widened subtly. "Oh, really? Where?"

"When I was walking home today. She killed this hollow that randomly appeared," Ichigo paused, rubbing his face as the smirk softened to a grin, "and she hit me." He chuckled a little; the orange-haired man was unaware of his wife's previous jealousy for the petite shinigami and also seemed unaware of the fact that his wife wore a revealing dress.

But whatever ill-feelings Orihime may have had did not show on her face or in her body expression at all. "You should have invited her over for dinner."

One side of his lip lifted in some deep thought before he replied, "She had to attend to other matters." Then his eyes rolled upwards.

Orihime nodded, turning back to her husband. Her little diamond ring sparkled under the soft beam of sunlight as she smiled and announced dinner.


A Simple Boast

Her blade elegantly slashed through the gruesome hollow and together they watched as its remains scattered upwards towards heaven…or rather hell. Or wherever the being was destined to go.

"You know, I can handle mere hollows on my own." It was another sunlit afternoon. As the breeze came, her dark robes danced over her polished skin with the wind. And even today, her skin still had that moonlight glow.

He scoffed. "Yeah, well, it doesn't hurt to watch." Ichigo leaned against the tree with his bag resting behind his head. "You know, just in case something happens and I have to step in."

Rukia sheathed her sword, an amused expression upon her usually stoic face. "I see you're still…arrogant?"

He shrugged slightly, his attention briefly diverted to the blue summer sky. "I wouldn't say arrogant. It's just a fact."

A funny sound was caught in her throat, as though she were restraining herself from laughing. "Or a simple boast."

Ichigo ignored her comment, watching her again when she crossed her arms under her breasts. This was one of her signature stances, he remembered. "So, I guess I'm lucky to see the great Kuchiki Rukia twice in one week." Because, as he reminded himself, the last time he saw her was nearly nine years ago.

"The last designated soul reaper for this city applied for additional training, so I took over until he comes back." Her words were clear and her tone was professional, yet there was a slight curve on her lips.

He exhaled, loud enough for her to hear. "I could have just done it."

A shoulder lifted, and then fell; a simple shrug. "Yeah, I guess you could have." The sun beat down upon them, illuminating his hair like a halo and his skin like an angel. When she realized she could not tear her eyes away, she said, "But I guess they did not want to bother you. You have to live your life."

How many times have he heard that line? He seemed to have ignored her words when he suddenly asked, "Do you have to go back now?"

Rukia did not answer right away.

"Orihime wanted to invite you for dinner."

Her eyes widened gratefully, but it took her a moment to come to a decision. "I'll have to take a rain check, Ichigo. I need to… do some stuff."

His hazel eyes narrowed suspiciously. "What kind of stuff?" The orange-haired young man moved towards her, closing the space between them. And like all the other times, she was not intimidated by him and she held her ground.

She was vague in her answer. "Matters that does not concern you." Her voice raised slightly, a trait that occurred whenever a fight was close. But, as quickly as she became passionate, she remembered his question and her eyes lowered. "Ichigo, another time, okay?"

His chin jutted upwards as he glared down at her. "So that means you'll be back?"

Rukia nodded in assurance. "I'll be around." She smiled.

But both soul reaper and human male continued to linger in the park for a short while longer, until it was twilight and they knew it was time depart.


I Want to Know

Many years ago she asked him, "Who was your first kiss?"

He wanted to lie to her. He should lie to her. But he didn't. "Rukia."

Orihime was quiet. She opened her mouth to ask him more, but she couldn't, fearing the words that he'd say.

But Ichigo wiped her worry away with a caress and kissed his fiancée.


A Memory that Stayed Fresh

They were comfortable in their silence, but she broke it with an obvious thought. "You know, you're human."

Ichigo looked at her like she was stupid. "And you're not?"

Rukia returned the same look. "I'm not. I'm a shinigami."

"So tell me that being a shinigami makes you devoid of wants or needs."

Rukia didn't look at him. "But we should know better."

The temporary soul-reaper made a sound with his teeth. "You're not perfect. Humans and soul reapers are not perfect. And yeah, some mistakes should never be made, but—"

"Stop." Her terse interruption made him grab her arm. Normally, he would be hesitant to commit such an act, but it was an impulse that he could not stop.

"Don't tell me you think you are as perfect as the whitest snow, Rukia!" His hazel eyes steeled with a furious passion, and before she could answer, he let go roughly. Ichigo turned away so she could not see how contorted his features had become.

Another round of silence followed, but this time it was not comfortable. Then came the moment when Ichigo felt alone, and he was not surprised that Rukia was gone.


The Girl of My Dreams

He had always loved her. She looked delicate, soft, and weak, but she was one of the strongest people he knew. Ever since their days in Rukongai, when they caught fish or just hung around, she was his family and he had always loved her.

Renji smiled to himself as he crossed his arms over his chest. His red hair glowed against the yellow sunlight and its warmth elevated his fuzzy feelings.

He was finally going to marry the girl of his dreams.

What he worked hard for so many years would finally pay off.

His smile broadened even more.

"What's that goofy look for?" he heard Ikkaku comment as the bald man approached. He palmed his bare forehead as if suddenly remembering. "Right… Kuchiki Rukia."

Renji almost scowled at him.

"What?" Ikkaku teased, sensing Renji's mood. "I didn't say anything wrong, did I?"

Renji gave him his full attention and waved a hand in the air. "You're right. I've just been…thinking."

A thin eyebrow rose. "Hm?"

"I hope she is happy."

Silence fell over the two men, until Renji broke it. "I've done everything that I could to make her happy." He almost laughed a little, his fingers scratching at his scalp a bit. "I don't know why I'm even thinking about this."

Ikkaku frowned at the tattooed man. "What makes you think she's not?" When Renji shrugged, Ikkaku elaborated. "I mean, I've noticed she smiles whenever she sees you…"

"Yeah, but is that enough?" Something in his dark eyes hardened. It was almost sad. "What if she's compromising?"

Ikakku looked confused. "Compromising what?"

His frown deepened. "What if she's doing this to make me happy?"

The bald man's head shined when he rolled his eyes. "You're thinking way too much. Hey, I have an idea." His mouth curved up in a competitive grin. "How about we fight or somethin'? It'll take your mind off your stupid thinking."

Abarai welcomed the distraction, but sometimes he just could not help thinking. It was hard, especially when he knew she sometimes dreamt about a certain orange-haired boy.

Because wasn't he, Abarai Renji, supposed to be the man of her dreams?


First Kiss

It was an accident. He swore it was. Over and over again.

He looked over at his tiny friend. His body stiffened, ready for a punch or blow… or something!

But the only thing she did was to look at him, especially his lips. Her hand was still over her mouth and her cheeks held a rosy blush.

Just moments earlier, during one of their fights – he can't remember about what anymore – he almost cornered her to the wall. Their faces were inches apart. She was yelling about him being a moron and the next thing Ichigo knew, his mouth crashed against hers.

His eyes slipped close in that moment. Her lips were soft. And at first, those lips were unresponsive as her whole body stiffened from shock. But then she kissed him back. She tasted him. He was of wild berries; not quite strawberries, but something more masculine, something that reminded her of power. She tasted him until the berries showed her the hungry pool of want and need, and Rukia reached out to him. She held onto his tight t-shirt, afraid of drowning alone. He caught her, sensing her urgency, and their bodies melded together in a brief, eloquent kiss.

The pair only pulled apart when they needed air. And then they realized what they had done.

Ichigo did not say anything at first. Instead, he just stared at Rukia. A feeling of awkwardness and tension took over.

"I'm sorry, Rukia. It was an accident." He hardly ever apologized, but he was afraid she would kick the crap out of him.

Because… how did I just fall and kiss her?

Rukia did not say anything, but only stared back at him. He could not tell if she was thinking of ways to kill him, or if she was truly shocked. In reality, it was neither. She knew what she did, what had happened, and all she could say to herself was, "Oh my goodness."

But was I truly sorry?

It was like some demented form of gravity that irresistibly pulled them together.

Her hand touched her lips and her weight shifted on her legs.


Then, her hand dropped and a small, almost devious, smile graced her face. "Yeah, it's okay." It was nice, but… "Just don't let it happen again."

Ichigo resisted an exaggerated gulp, but as quickly as that moment of tension came, it dissipated and they were distracted by other things.

This memory was from a time years and years and years ago. And yet, after these nine years, they still remembered that kiss.


When I look at the Rain

When she looked at the rain, she always thought of him. He used to have this sadness about him that made her heart ache. Even now, when he looked at her, sometimes she would still see that sadness, and Mrs. Kurosaki wondered if she had made a mistake.

But she loved him. She gave him her time. She gave him her heart. She gave him everything that she could. That should matter.

It does matter, Orihime. It does.

She would tell herself in those weakest moments that Ichigo wasn't made of steel; he had emotions and he was the kind of guy who didn't like to talk about it. He preferred to just man-up and do whatever his obligation was to keep everyone safe and happy.

That was his thing. He knew his obligations. But was it an obligation to be with me? she wondered once.

Then twice.

Then again on this night of rain.

The phone rang and she jumped. The full-chested woman placed her mug on the table and quickly, she answered the phone. "Hello, Kurosaki residence."

"Hey, Orihime." It was him. Ichigo. "I'm going to be late. The weather is bad here, so I think I'll wait for it to calm down."

She nodded, clutching onto the phone. "Okay." There was much static as thick as her worry. The young woman hardly heard him say goodbye when the phone cut off.

Orihime sighed and sat down in her chair, comfortable. Hot steam was still escaping her mug when she picked it up again and pressed the rim to her lips. As Orihime took a sip, she looked at the rain and examined her life.

And in reliving her darkest moment of when her brother passed away, she felt her relentless optimism wash away with the rain.

Because she remembered that the night before her wedding, it had been raining badly. And he had wanted to call off the wedding…due to cold feet, Ichigo had said.

Was it the maddening tears streaming down her face, the red in her eyes and the black mascara staining her cheeks that made him stay?

Did he really stay just to make her happy?


I Don't Want to Know

In the darkest hour of the night, when he was alone, Renji imagined the day when he could have her beside him. Rukia.

The best memories of her would fill his head like a fog. The taste of her lips. Her sweet scent. Her soft skin... He smiled to himself. He was a happy man.

He loved the way she kissed him. She could read him well and she knew when to give and when to take. The gentle noises she made, too…

Renji's face went as red as his hair upon a sexy memory.

But then he wondered to himself… why was she so good at this? The kissing? The touching?

He shook his head. Who?

Something clamped into his heart.

But did he really want to know who took Rukia's first kiss? Had she done any more? Was she still a virgin?

Renji believed she was, but… he had a strong feeling he wasn't her first kiss.

There was a name that lingered in his head, but that couldn't be it. Renji shook his head.

He just didn't want to know.


When I'm Not Awake

Before Ichigo ever saw her again, he would sometimes dream about her. He remembered the ones about reuniting with Rukia, whether in Soul Society or here on Earth.

Usually, the dream would take place at least ten years since they last spoke. She would ask him, "How old are you now?"

And their meeting place would be the cemetery, or worse, where his mother died.

He answered, but he never really heard his age. Ichigo's feet shifted uncomfortably, but he remembered that he could not tear his eyes away from her. She looked the same. Dark, raven hair that fell above her shoulders. Deep, violet eyes. Beautiful moonlight skin.

Her smile faltered at their awkwardness. "You look good." She pointed to his suit.

He nodded, running his fingers through his orange hair. "Thanks." When her fingers fell to her side, a breeze passed by. Her black robes ruffled in the wind, her hair tickling her neck. There were at least seven steps between them, but they made no effort to shorten the distance.

It was almost like they were afraid.

"How are things…back there?" Ichigo finally asked.

Back there meant Soul Society. "Good, I guess. Nothing too exciting."

Another awkward pause. "Really? No threats?"

She shook her head, frowning.

"So then, what are you doing here?" His voice sounded more deeper than he was used to.

Whatever she said did not make any sense to him, but he remembered something about her missing him. That made his heart dance.

The sun beat down upon them, obscuring Ichigo's vision. He blinked, and Rukia realized she could tear her eyes away. Finally, she said, "It was nice seeing you again, Ichigo."

He nodded. "Yeah. Same." He knew that she had forced a smile on her lips and then she would fade away.

Whatever they talked about was insignificant. But the one important factor - the one constant – was that they couldn't stop looking at each other. And, like always, she left him.


Challenge Me

Ichigo had a secret. It wasn't a sexy kind of secret or a murder-esque type either. But it was a secret that would leave people looking at him in shock and even suggest that he see a psychiatrist.

So, you ready for it?

The secret was he sometimes purposefully tried to piss off his wife.

There. That was it.

But to Ichigo's defense, he just wanted to see that spark in her. A flame. A passion.

The kind of passion that had embers glowing in her eyes and heat radiating from her flesh. The kind of passion that threatened him and made his heart beat faster. The intense, scary kind of passion.

Sometimes, he would say stupid things to start a fight, but she was just too nice…so nice that it made him feel guilty. Sometimes, he'd say irrational things, but she never disagreed with him, or put him in his place. Okay, maybe a few times she did tell him his faults, but she did it nicely, as she was too nice.

And sometimes, he would not do what she asked for the sake of getting her to yell at him (because, oddly, sometimes he missed that). Yet still, she would not yell. If he forgot to take out the garbage, she would fold her hands over her apron and ask him again, "Ichigo-kun, can you please take out the trash?"

He would then feel too guilty not too. He could never be that mean or that rude to her…

Then, over time, he just gave up in trying to provoke Orihime. He would never take his trifling too far, but he needed some conflict. Conflict, to a point, was fun and added some flame to a relationship. Thinking about it more carefully, he supposed Orihime did have passion in the bedroom, but he would like a little more assertiveness elsewhere.

A little challenge.

He shouldn't be complaining, though. Orihime did everything for him that she could. She was a very good wife and she was a very good person. He was lucky to have her.

Then why did Ichigo wake up today and think that his life was monotonous? He squinted in thought and swore that once upon a time, it wasn't. It was not when that little shinigami came and changed his world.


Time is Up

She smiled when she saw him, but it wasn't the full smile as he'd hoped to see.

"How is it going there?" Renji asked his fiancée through her cell-phone.

A corner of her lip rose a bit higher than the other. "Well, good. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary here."

"Did you say 'Hi' to Kurosaki and the gang there?"

She nodded. "I only saw Ichigo a few times; I haven't really seen the rest of them. He spoke of some kind of reunion, though."

Renji nodded slowly. "I see." Then his smile softened. "I miss you."

She replied with a nod and her smile widened a bit. "It's almost time for me to come home."

But she never said the words that he wanted to hear.

I miss you too.


Leave Me a Good Memory

He stood before his mother's grave in silence. The moon was high, casting an eerie gloom. There was a storm in his heart and for once, he wished for it to rain.

She left him. Again.

He was coming onto her too strong. "What's wrong with you, Kurosaki?" he asked himself out loud.

There was no answer.

He sighed loudly, turning to walk away. Shoving his hands in his pockets, his head hung. "But I guess it was for the best…what was I doing?" He scratched his head this time as he exited the grave site, but then suddenly stiffened when he felt her presence. Ichigo focussed on her spirit, but he made no move to meet her. Instead, the man felt her come and he watched her emerge through the dark trees.

"I'm glad you realize how wrong this is," she stated. Her arms crossed over her chest. It was the sixth time she saw him since her return.

"You came back?"

Rukia didn't look at him. "I came to say a proper goodbye."

And, for some reason, those words were like a knife stabbed hard into his chest.

Ichigo blinked at her, suddenly looking old and tired. "It might have been easier not to."

"Since when was I a coward?" This time, her eyes flicked to his, and judging by his silence, she knew what he was thinking. She was definitely not a coward.

He scratched his head again, looking away from her. "I guess this is goodbye again. So, I'll see you sometime in Soul Society?" The orange-haired man almost choked on his words.

Rukia nodded and for one moment, all become still. There was no breeze, no sound but their hearts beating and an air thick of…longing.

"Can I have—" But his lips pursed before he said anything forbidden.

Rukia just stared at him in silence. She knew what he meant to ask: Can he have a hug? A kiss? A friend? Time? Me?

Confusion, turmoil, and traces of regret thick in the air. She almost turned to run, but he caught her wrist so she could not run again. His body trembled, but he kept his grip strong.

"Ichigo, stop."

His hazel eyes met her wide, violet orbs. She was trying to hide her fear, trying to hide her every emotion from him, but her efforts were useless. Instead, with newfound courage, her right leg moved closer to him and her chin jutted upwards, giving him her full attention.

She barely whispered, "Stop."

His body moved on a will of its own. The petite shinigami shivered when his nose grazed her cheek, his lips hovering over hers. The heat of his mouth made her hand grip the folds of his shinigami robes, his breath tickling her face.

"I want to stop," he said, and his voice almost broke. "Rukia…" The look on his face concerned her, but she could not do anything else. "I want to stop. How do I stop?" Desperation lingered in his tone and the pounding in his temples grew louder. "Tell me, Rukia, how do I stop looking at you like that?" He swallowed loud enough for her to hear.

She had to remind him.

"You have a wife!" Rukia said, almost shouting.

"I know!" His grip tightened. "I know." Then his eyes softened. "And I should be looking at her like that… not you."

She nodded and her frown sharpened. "So let me go, Ichigo." But he did not listen. Her lids slipped down halfway, slowly, as the softness of his lip touched hers. Her sudden calm was almost like an invitation.

Then their eyes met silence.

But…there was nothing wrong kissing a friend goodbye…

She looked up at him, and her hands hesitantly gripped his shirt while his hands cupped her face. Her fingers curled tighter as the pad of his thumb caressed her small, pretty lips. That "what if" question crossed both of their minds again.

What if I was human and I stayed with you…?

What if you were human and you stayed with me…?

He lowered his face to hers again, his lip grazed hers, teasing even. Then, in the last moment of stillness, they truly kissed. It was slow, soft, and unsure. Her hand trailed to his face while his travelled to her silky hair. His fingers became lost and tangled with her strands, holding her still, just in case she decided to run away again.

She moaned against his mouth, parting for a brief moment to breathe before joining him again. The kiss progressed to something more; something more greedy. And somehow, one kiss became more…


To be continued...


Oh hohoho, hot and steamy scenes will ensue. Remember to review!