Genre – Romance/Drama

Rating – M

Pairing – YoruichiXSoifon, others as well but too many to list.

Disclaimer – I don't own Bleach, but if I did then you can bet that Orihime would find herself inexplicably mute.

A/N – Okay, so this is a re-write of the first chapter. When I first started this fic I was just getting back into writing and was, for lack of a better term, rusty. It showed, the first chapter was a structural and grammatical mess, it made little sense and the characterisation was a bit pants. The chapter let the fic down, so I decided to rectify the problem.

Those of you who read the original chapter might notice some slight differences. The changes are for the better, trust me. Those of you who are here for the first time, this is an AU fic and is also yuri. If ya don't like either then get the hell outta my shop!

The Price of Redemption

Side Step

Sometimes Yoruichi wondered why she spent so much of her time at Soi's apartment. She didn't often have these thoughts. After all, Soi was here and Yoruichi always enjoyed spending time with Soi, she especially enjoyed alone time with Soi. Occasionally though, when Soi was preoccupied with some other menial task, and Yoruichi was left to her own devices she found her mind wandering. And then she would remember her own spacious and luxurious apartment with its modern decor and comfortable furniture.

She shifted slightly, a lump in the couch she was laying on prodding her in the back.

Soi's apartment was in direct contrast to her own; small and sparsely furnished, it was made up of three very small rooms and smelt suspiciously like mould on hot days. The couch she was lying on was arguable the only creature comfort in the place; old, worn and easily second-hand it groaned in protest whenever somebody sat on it. Situated near it was a low coffee table that wobbled constantly, the surface of it was scratched and stained and a chunk had been chewed out by a bored dog at some point. This was the only furniture that made up Soi's living room, no television, no other seats – nothing!

Her kitchen, such as it was, was situated within the corner of the living room, the appliances the only thing that gave any hint to it serving a separate function. It contained an old fridge that worked at half the power of a regular one, a microwave, a kettle and a sink with a constantly dripping tap. There wasn't even an oven – not that Soi would need one since she happily admitted she didn't have a clue how to cook and seemed to survive on instant meals.

The bedroom was much like the rest of the apartment, cramped and dingy. A mattress unceremoniously dumped on the floor served as Soi's bed, and a suitcase doubled itself as somewhere for Soi to keep her carefully folded clothes and as a bedside table. A small lamp and alarm clock situated on its closed lid gave testament to its duel prowess. And that was all that was in her bedroom, no comforts, no decoration – nothing except what was needed to live.

Yoruichi didn't even want to think of the bathroom.

She suppressed a groan and shuffled, trying to get comfy. Her legs were hooked over the arm rest of the couch, her feet dangling in the air. One arm lay across her stomach, the other flung carelessly above her head. She felt her eyes slide close as she counted the damp stains that were dotted across the badly painted ceiling.

"Oi! Don't go falling asleep."

"I wasn't," Yoruichi lied. She pushed herself up into a sitting position and rubbed at her eyes with the back of her hand.

Soi was kneeling on the ground before the wonky coffee table. Her laptop, easily the most expensive thing she owned, situated on it. She stared at the screen in determined concentration.

"How goes the assignment?" Yoruichi asked. Honestly, she didn't really care, but any conversation was better than silence.

"Badly," Soi replied tersely. Her fingers tapped away on the keys, her brow furrowed and her mouth set in a grimace. "I just can't get it to work."

"Take a break," Yoruichi suggested. She swung her legs round so that she was sitting properly on the couch and looked across to Soi.

"I don't have time."

"Hmm," Yoruichi shrugged and sat back, her head tilting so that she could stare at the ceiling. They were on the top floor of the building and the ceiling sloped to accommodate the shape of the roof. Yoruichi had to duck down at its lowest point. A skylight was situated in the very centre of the ceiling, though no light ever filtered through the grime that was layered over its surface.

"Urgh!" Soi cried out suddenly. "Why can't I get this to work?"

"Are you actually asking me for an answer?"

"No," Soi grumbled. "This is so stupid. I can't possibly have got it wrong... I know I worked it out perfectly." She continued mumbling to herself.

"Sooooooooooooi," Yoruichi whined. "I'm bored."

"I don't care," Soi replied refusing to look up from her work.

"You're boring."

Soi cast Yoruichi a withering look. "Thanks," She said dryly. "If I'm boring you then you know where the door is."

"I do indeed," Yoruichi agreed, though she stayed where she was. As boring as Soi was being right now, Yoruichi didn't want to go somewhere else. Harassing Soi was one of her favourite hobbies, and Yoruichi knew that if she played her cards right then she could convince Soi to take a lengthy break from her college work to enjoy some recreational time with her.

"Oh!" Soi's eyes widened and she seemed to perk up. She leant towards her laptop and began typing furiously.

"Take it you worked it out," Yoruichi guessed.

"Yeah, I messed up my dimensions and--"

Yoruichi cut her off with a loud mock-snore. Soi's head rose above the laptop and she glared at Yoruichi.

"Again, you know where the door is."

"I'm not bored," Yoruichi smiled. "I could go for a coffee though."

"Don't have any," Soi told her.

"Should have known," Yoruichi sighed. Soi never had any of the bare essentials; no coffee, no tea and until recently no milk. That had been something Yoruichi had rectified quite quickly, she could put up without some things but milk sure as hell wasn't one of them. Money always seemed to be an issue with Soi, which struck Yoruichi as somewhat odd given that Soi had a job and Yoruichi knew that her family, while nowhere near as wealthy as her own, were at least well off.

Yoruichi ruffled her hair and struggled to her feet, the extended stay on the couch had stiffened her muscles. She stretched and worked the kinks out before manoeuvring round the room to find her jacket. Upon finding it behind the couch (must have slipped off of the back) she set about rummaging in the pockets trying to find her cigarettes. If she couldn't have coffee then she'd settle for nicotine and tobacco.

Retrieving a cigarette from the packet she placed it to her lips. She gave her lighter a quick shake, flicking the flint a couple of times for luck.

"You are not smoking in here," Soi told her in a tone that brokered no argument.

Yoruichi deflated slightly. "I'll open the window. Actually, I'll smoke it out the window."

"It doesn't open far enough," Soi pointed out. "If you want to smoke you'll have to go outside."

"But its cold," Yoruichi complained.

"Not my problem," Soi said. "You're the addict, deal with it."

"You'll be sorry if I freeze to death," Yoruichi grabbed her jacket and pulled it on. "Or if I'm mugged or something."

Soi didn't say anything, merely waved Yoruichi off with a disinterested flick of her hand.

The street outside leaved lot to be desired as well; broken windows, spray paint on the walls and shuffling drunks were just a few of the glorious things that could be seen from the buildings doorway. It was a distinctly unpleasant neighbourhood and one that Yoruichi would have once avoided at all cost. Still, spending time here was a small price to pay to see Soi.

Yoruichi cinched her coat tighter around her as though it could provide her adequate warmth against the shockingly cold evening air. She gave her lighter a shake and set about trying to light her cigarette, her other hand retrieved her cell phone from her pocket. If she was going to be stuck outside she may as well have someone to take her mind off of the surrounding area and the cold.

She pressed the phone to her ear and held it there with her shoulder. For some ungodly reason her lighter wasn't working. She hummed to herself as she continued flicking the flint, listening to the muffled ring through her cell.

"What the hell do you want?" the answering voice on the other end asked.

"I love you too," Yoruichi said her voice muffled slightly by the cigarette she was balancing between her lips. "Soi won't let me smoke inside so I'm stuck outside."

"What a shame," The voice drawled. Shiba Kuukaku was not known for her sympathy. "If you go stand on the street corner you might be able to make some money."

"Funny," Yoruichi shook her lighter again. "So, what you up to?"

"Not much," Kuukaku replied. "Lazing about, smoking, stuff. You?"

"Freezing my ass off! Why the hell is it so cold?"

"Cold snap, didn't you watch the news?"

"Do I ever?"

Kuukaku laughed. "Suppose not. Though since yer round at the kid's I'd'a thought you'd be doing something more fun."

"She's got an assignment," Yoruichi explained, wondering herself why she wasn't doing something more fun. Surely the best way to spend a cold night was naked and sweaty together. "Damn. Why the hell won't my lighter work?"

"How the fuck should I know?" Kuukaku sounded generally mystified. "Anyway, since you're not doin' anythin' and I'm not doin' anythin', do ya want to do somethin'?"

Yoruichi gave up on lighting her cigarette. "Like what?"

"Well," Kuukaku started her voice serious. "I thought we'd partake in the culture festival and see a discussion on the social ramifications of censorship in contemporary art." She paused. "Or we could go drinking ya stupid fuck, like we always do!"

"Wow," Yoruichi breathed. "For a second there I actually believed you. See you at Ukitake's in half an hour?"

"Yeah sure," Kuukaku hung up without saying goodbye, which wasn't at all surprising. Manners were something that had passed her by.

Yoruichi shoved her phone back in her pocket and spat out her cigarette, not caring about the waste. She turned and went back inside the building. She'd invite Soi to come along too but knew that she wouldn't. Even if the younger girl hadn't been busy with an assignment she would refuse. She didn't care much for Kuukaku and would go out of her way to avoid the brash woman.

The feeling, Yoruichi ad noticed, was mutual.

Ukitake's was one of the most popular bars in the city. It was the thirteenth in a chain owned by Old man Yamamoto; The Gotei Thirteen. Each had a different theme and was managed by a business associate of the Old man; it was a way for him to keep tabs on his dealings.

Yoruichi's own family was affiliated with the Second bar, Yoruichi having at one point worked as the manager. She had enjoyed the work for a while, but ultimately had grown bored of it and found it constraining. Working there had given Old man Yamamoto too much power over her and she had opted to quit before she fell in too deep with the Gotei.

Power over her family was something she could abide; power over her personally though was something she could never stomach.

The Thirteenth bar was managed by Ukitake Jushiro, a quiet yet slightly eccentric man who had been in the employment of Yamamoto for several years now. If Yoruichi was to believe rumour than Ukitake's relationship with Old Man Yama was more like that of father and son than employer and employee. His bar was one of the more respectable ones with live music most nights and only sensible drinks served by proficient jovial tenders. Then it also sold candy which had Yoruichi more than mildly perplexed.

Yoruichi and Kuukaku generally preferred the Eleventh bar with its rowdier atmosphere and loud music, but it wasn't really the place to start drinking. Besides, they might be able to score a few free drinks at Ukitake's, after all; the assistant manager was Kuukaku's older brother.

"Second round," Kuukaku announced lifting the bottle to her lips and taking a long swig. She set the bottle back on the table and belched in a decidedly unfeminine move that Yoruichi was so used to now that she didn't even blink. Kuukaku squinted at her, a sneer curling her lips. "What's eating you? Hardly said a word all night."

"Nothing," Yoruichi mumbled in reply. She cast her eye around the bar, noting that almost all the people here tonight seemed to be couples. It made her feel oddly lonely. She shrugged the feeling off and grabbed her bottle of beer. "What's eating you? We've been here ten minutes and you're only on your second bottle." She countered, hoping to pre-empt Kuukaku from prying into her personal life.

"I was takin' it slow so I didn't embarrass ya!" Kuukaku leaned back in her chair and smirked. "Ya just in a mood cause the kid's holdin' out on ya."

Yoruichi frowned. "She's not holding out on me," She felt suddenly defensive of her and Soi's relationship. It had been a while since she'd last had sex, well a few day, but for them that was a while. She wondered if she'd done something, past her usual teasing, to offend Soi.

"Then why are ya peelin' the label off ya beer?"

"Huh?" Yoruichi looked down at the bottle clasped in her hand. She had been picking the label off of it as she talked, bit of rolled up paper littered the table top. "Keeps my hands busy."

"Sign of sexual frustration," Kuukaku informed her with a knowing nod.

"Since when were you a psychologist?" Yoruichi sneered slightly as she spoke, though she let go of the bottle and brushed the remnants of the label off of the table. "And I'm not sexually frustrated."

"But you are frustrated."

Yoruichi glared at her. "No, I'm not."

"Sure you are," Kuukaku had an air of superiority about her as she spoke. "Ya forget that I can read yer like a book, princess. Ya pissed off about somethin'."

"Anger is just one of the many useless emotions that I don't do. Anyway," eager to change the subject Yoruichi leaned her elbows on the table and smiled serenely at Kuukaku. "Enough about me. How are you?"


"And how's Kaien?"

"Urgh!" Kuukaku grimaced. She downed the contents of her bottle in a single gulp and slammed it back down on the table. "You heard then."

"Of course I did," Yoruichi answered. "He must be happy; bachelor of the year is quite the compliment."

"He's fuckin' unbearable!" Kuukaku declared. "He's framed the fuckin' article, has it on his wall. He even sent me a copy. He's going to be playin' here tonight. He'll be on full poser form. Prick."

Yoruichi sniggered into her hand. Kuukaku's words sounded harsh, but Yoruichi knew that her friend idolised her brother and that he was arguably the ost important person in her life.

"Yer lucky yer an only child," Kuukaku continued.

"Hardly," Yoruichi disagreed as she sipped at her beer. "I'd love to have an older brother, or even a younger brother. He could be the heir and then I could waste my days being lazy and not caring about the noble name of Shihouin."

"Ya do waste ya days bein' lazy!"

"Yes, but I wouldn't get the agro."

Kuukaku grunted in sympathy. "Pop been on yer back?"

Yoruichi sighed and nodded. The Shihouin Empire was an international multi-million dollar company and she was its sole heir. Her mother had died when she was young leaving Yoruichi to be raised by a string of nannies and various other servants, she had hardly ever seen her father growing up. To say that this had left them with a strained relationship would be an understatement. She had spent her later teen years drinking and partying, her wild abandonment dragging her family's name through the mud; or so the media would have her believe. Truthfully she doubted her father cared; he'd done little at the time to temper her and it was only in the last few years that he had made an active appearance in her life; ordering her to clean up the act.

That was how she had ended up managing one of the Gotei 13 bars. Now she had a position at the Japanese branch of her father's company doing absolutely nothing. She was expected to turn up to the office, meetings and anything else her assistant organized and act the dutiful heir. It was tiresome.

"He wants me to spend more time with the Kuchiki's," Yoruichi explained in a bored tone.


Yoruichi shrugged. "Guess he wants something from them"

"A son-in-law?"

Yoruichi choked on her drink. "Oh, now that's a heinous thought!"

"It's a good match when ya think about it," Kuukaku mused.

"No it's not!" Yoruichi rebutted loudly. "It's a terrible match! Even if we ignore the fact that we're both heirs to our respective families and that a marriage between us would merge the families, it's terrible." She shuddered. "Just imagining him naked makes my skin crawl."

"He's a good lookin' dude," Kuukaku pointed out. "And kinda girly lookin' too. That should appeal to you."

"Well it doesn't."

"Fair enough," Kuukaku conceded her smirk threatening to engulf her face. She was clearly enjoying Yoruichi's discomfort a little bit too much. "O'course, they might be meanin' that you hook up with Rukia."

Yoruichi's eye brightened at this suggestion. "Now that's something I can fully approve of!"

"You just love little skinny girls, huh?"

"There's nothing wrong with that," Yoruichi said.

"They got nothin' to grab hold of," Kuukaku said, her hands miming grabbing hold of someone in front of her.

Yoruichi raised an eyebrow at this. "Yes, because Kisuke's the man of love handles."

"Fair point," Kuukaku tilted her head in acknowledgment. "But I more than make up for it, there's plenty o'me to hold on to."

A Slow grin made its way up Yoruichi's face and she opened her mouth to voice her thoughts.

"Ya dare call me fat, Shihouin and I'll fuckin' plant ya!" Kuukaku threatened pointing at Yoruichi with an empty bottle.

Yoruichi merely laughed and held her hands up in a placating manner. "I wouldn't dream of it," She said still grinning. "I was merely going to compliment your curvaceous body."

"Sure ya were."

Yoruichi laughed again. It didn't matter what the subject was, talking to Kuukaku was always easy and enjoyable. They had known each other for years now and were closer than most sisters. As a child, Yoruichi had often found herself dumped at the Shiba's. They were another rich and influential family, and one with close tie to her own, and the hope had been that Yoruichi spending time with another girl of similar age and status would have a calming effect on her. Of course they hadn't counted on the fact that Kuukaku was just as wild, if not more so, than Yoruichi. The Shiba family had placed all their hopes in their eldest son, Kaien, and to hell with their other children. Kuukaku had been left to her own devices and Yoruichi had been the perfect partner in crime.

Yoruichi stretched in her seat. "Come on," She said jerking her head towards the door. "I wanna smoke."

"Ya can smoke in here," Kuukaku protested.

Yoruichi ignored her protests and stood up. She lifted her jacket from its resting place on the back of her seat and donned it. "I also want some fresh air."

With a disgruntled sigh, Kuukaku stood up as well and pulled her coat on. She took a moment though to down the contents of the left over bottles on the table, never one to waste good beer or even piss-poor beer, and then followed Yoruichi out of the bar.

The night air was cold and bit into Yoruichi's skin, making her wish that she had worn a sensible coat. She walked at a slightly hurried pace in an attempt to keep warm towards the car park. There were few cars there; almost certainly they belonged to the employees of the Thirteenth bar. She recognised Kaien's and made a bee line for it. She sat on the bonnet and slid up it so taht she could lean against the windscreen.

Half a minute later, Kuukaku turned up.

"What took you so long?" Yoruichi questioned.

"Nothin'," Kuukaku rolled her eyes at Yoruichi's choice in seat, but didn't voice an opinion on it. She jumped onto the bonnet, stomping her feet against it and probably leaving a dent or two. She sat down roughly, the car rocking beneath her weight. "It's real fuckin' cold out here."

"It is indeed," Yoruichi agreed. She fished out her cigarettes and lit two, handing one to Kuukaku.

"Particular reason you felt the need to be out here?"

"Just felt like it."

They sat in silence, smoking their cigarettes. When Yoruichi finished hers she flicked it away and immediately lit up another.

"Alright!" Kuukaku pushed herself up and turned to Yoruichi. "Now I know that somethin' is up. You only chain smoke when summat is botherin; ya, so spill."

"Nothing's bothering me," Yoruichi replied.

"Bullshit!" Kuukaku exclaimed spitting out her cigarette.

Yoruichi sighed and rubbed her forehead with her thumb, a habit she'd had since she was a child. "I suppose Soi's bothering me a bit," she admitted.

Kuukaku snorted. "What's new? Way I see it, the kid's always pissing you off some way."

"That's not true," Yoruichi frowned.

Was it? She wondered. It wasn't actually that long since she and Soi had got back together, after six months apart. Six long, boring and lonely months. Yoruichi had been absolutely elated when she and Soi had reconciled. Although she wouldn't admit it out loud, she had missed the small Chinese girl.

"We've been getting on fine," Yoruichi said, and she decided that she meant it to. Admittedly there had been a few tense moments, but that was to be expected. They certainly hadn't been fighting or even arguing for that matter.

"No you haven't," Kuukaku contradicted with her usual sneer in place. "You two never got on and yer probably never will."

"Uh huh."

"And I'm gonna tell you why."

"Yes, please enlighten me," Yoruichi mumbled. She was fairly sure that Kuukaku was teasing her and she was willing to humour her. She was also a little bit curious as to what Kuukaku had to say, to see if it held any relevance.

"She's too good for ya!"

"Oh, thanks!" Yoruichi cried, turning her head in an apparent huff.

"Yer welcome. Now shut the hell up, I'm not done puttin' ya down yet," She was actually smiling, as though the verbal evisceration she was offering to her supposed best friend was fun.

A small part of Yoruichi wanted to smack her.

"This" Kuukaku continued, waving her hand around to emphasis her point. "Is the second time you's have made a go of it. Ya fucked up first time round and yer really messed the girl up. Don't interrupt me, ya know it's true. You cheated on her and not just the once, quite a few times. Hell, every other bastard week as I recall and she found out. She dumped yer ass."

Yoruichi brought her knees up and laid her arms across them, her chin resting on them. "When do we get to the part where you make me feel better?"

"I didn't realise yer were so depressed."

"I'm not."

"Then what ya complainin' about?" Kuukaku said. She lit up another cigarette before she continued her tirade. "Right, so, eventually she forgave ya. I don't know what yer said to her, but it must have been one hell of a performance. Anyway, it don't matter what you said. In the, however long yer were apart, she changed. No more wide-eyed innocence, no more actin' like yer puppy dog. Instead she's bitter, she's real fuckin' angry. You broke her."

Yoruichi took a moment to muse on Kuukaku's line of thought. Admittedly, Soi was a tad different to how she had been. She scowled an awful lot more, her smiles were a lot rarer and sometimes Yoruichi caught her with a far off expression on her face that she couldn't decipher. She didn't know about the anger though, Soi had always had one hell of a temper; she was just a lot quicker with it now.

Kuukaku took a long drag on her cigarette, exhaling the smoke through her nostrils as she sneered at Yoruichi. "Ya broke her," repeated with relish. "And now ya feel guilty."

It all felt a bit anti-climactic.

"Guilt?" Yoruichi said in a disbelieving voice, staring dagger sat Kuukaku. "That's your diagnosis, I feel guilty."


"Fuck off."

Kuukaku threw her head back and cackled with unrestrained glee. "See!" she sounded even more pleased with herself. "Yer angry. I thought ya didn't do anger."

"I'm not angry," Yoruichi muttered, even though she was. "And I don't feel guilty."

OR did she? She wasn't sure, she'd never felt guilty for anything before. She had been feeling off lately, like something was nagging at the back of her mind. She'd just assumed that she had forgotten something.

"Sorry, your royal highness," Kuukaku offered a mock sympathetic look. "I'm the doctor, and I say that yer feelin' guilty. Treatment involves grovelling for forgiveness. Side effects include, but are not limited to: sore knees, wounded pride and probably the best sex of yer life."

Well the sex certainly appealed to Yoruichi, the rest, not so much. Besides, she wasn't going to go beg for Soi's forgiveness on something that the girl had clearly already forgiven her for.

"You're such an idiot," Yoruichi muttered. "I don't feel guilty. I never feel guilty. Life is too short for such a pointless emotion."

Kuukaku merely shrugged, her cigarette balanced on her lip. Silence fell between the pair again, Yoruichi was thankful for it; Kuukaku's oddball theories were amusing but annoying. The silence though let her mind wander, and it acknowledged something scratching at the back of her mind.

She sighed. Kuukaku raised her head and shot her a quizzical look.

"I've got a confession," Yoruichi started, her hand rubbing at the back of her neck.

"Yer cheating on her again," Kuukaku guessed. There was no accusation in her words or in her eyes, but Yoruichi thought that she could see disappointment reflected there. It seemed like such an odd emotion.

"No, I'm not. But well," She sighed again, the words feeling heavy and cumbersome on her tongue. "Once, but it didn't mean anything."

Kuukaku groaned and this time Yoruichi could definitely hear disappointment. "If it didn't mean anythin' then why'd ya do it?"

"Dunno," Yoruichi shrugged and then exhaled loudly, falling back onto the windscreen, her hands covering her face. "Fuck! I don't feel guilty, but more like I know that I should. Do you think I should tell her?"

"She'll leave yer if ya do," Kuukaku said. She climbed back up on the car and sat next to Yoruichi. "And ya'd deserve it too."

"I'm not going to tell her then," Yoruichi concluded. "I...It scares me that she might leave me again."

"Whoa!" Kuukaku sat up suddenly and stared at Yoruichi with wide disbelieving eyes. "Did I just hear that right? Ya almost sounded human." Her eyes narrowed. "Do you love her?"

"Huh?" Yoruichi bolted up.

"You heard. Do you love her?"

Did she? Yoruichi wasn't sure; she cared about Soi that was to be expected. She wouldn't have kept her around as long as she had if she didn't care about her, but love?

"I don't know..."

"Ah, than ya don't," Kuukaku said with a dismissive wave of her hand.

"What the hell?" Yoruichi exclaimed feeling suddenly angry at her friend's lack of support and condescending tone. What right did Kuukaku have to judge her feelings? "Do you love Kisuke?" She fired back; two could play at this game.

"Unfortunately," Kuukaku lamented. "Which sucks, seein' as how he's in love with you."

"Oh," Yoruichi breathed deflating slightly, she'd had no idea. "Uh, I'm sorry."

"So ya fuckin' should be! You have any idea the amount of grief you've caused me?" Kuukaku sounded angry, but Yoruichi could see the smile that lit up her features. "Ya shouldn't have fucked him."

Yoruichi frowned at that. "I was fifteen," She said, wondering at how Kuukaku was implying that it was her fault. "How the hell was I supposed to know that he'd never get over me?"

Kuukaku shrugged and sighed. "This is one depressing night, Yoruichi," She said sliding down from the car. "I'm gonna head off home. If I leave Kisuke too long he'll start jerking off over a picture of you."

It was said as joke but Yoruichi winced regardless, and not just because of the mental image it evoked.

Kuukaku wandered off, waving back over her shoulder. "Ya take now, Shihouin," she yelled back. "Remember to go grovel at the kid's feet."

"Not a chance!" Yoruichi yelled back at her. She then sighed, not liking that Kuukaku had delivered her one too many home truths that she should probably consider. She pulled her cell phone from her pocket and dialled the number for her personal driver, not wanting to spend another minute in the cold.

Soi's apartment was in darkness when Yoruichi made it back. She flicked the lights on and they stuttered into existence, bathing the room with their pathetic glow.

Yoruichi sighed, Soi really needed to invest in higher watt bulbs. She scanned the room and smiled, the object of her rather tumultuous thoughts was lying on the couch with a blanket draped over her. Quietly, Yoruichi made her way over to Soi's sleeping form and bent over her, she looked so peaceful. Brushing the hair from Soi's face, Yoruichi bent down to steal a quick kiss. Soi's eyes flickered open and she looked confused at first, a frown forming on her face; a second later it softened into a smile. One of her real smiles Yoruichi was pleased to see. Yoruichi kissed her again, longer this time, opening her mouth and slipping her tongue past Soi's lips.

Soi pulled back and pulled a face. "Did you chain smoke an entire pack of cigarettes or something?" She asked. "You taste awful."

"Not an entire pack," Yoruichi replied with a happy smile. "You love it really."

Soi sat up and stretched. Yoruichi moved round and took hold of Soi's hand pulling her up to her feet. She pulled her in close, her arm circling Soi's waist and she kissed her again, ignoring the girl's muffled protest. Breaking the kiss, Yoruichi took Soi's hand and led her from the living room and towards the bedroom with one thing on her mind. There would be plenty of time later to sort out her thoughts on their relationship. Right now she was going to enjoy what they had.

Guilt just wasn't something she felt, simple as that.

Whew! And there's the re-write; much better, even if I do say so myself.

Hopefully you enjoyed it, and if this is your first time reading this fic, then you should feel happy that you didn't have to suffer the horror that was the original.

Thanks for your time and please leave a review ^^