Disclaimer - I do not own Bleach

Epilogue - Special Delivery

Many, Many, Many years later. . .

"If I survive this remind me to kill you later," Rukia snarled as she once again pushed against the pain that was threatening to tear her body apart. This had been going on for far too long and she didn't know how much more of it that she could endure. She was lying in a bed in the Squad Four barracks, struggling to give birth to her first child, and was clutching Hitsugaya's hand for all she was worth.

For his part Hitsugaya didn't react to the death threat nor the vice-like grip that his wife had on his hand. Rukia had been threatening him with painful death for the past seven hours and some of the shock value had worn off during that time. The young captain was beginning to think that he would never again have feeling in his hand due to the deathgrip that she had on it however he decided that this was a small price to pay.

The Squad Ten Captain leaned toward a small bedside table, straining to reach because Rukia resolutely refused to release her grip on his hand, and pulled a washcloth from a bowl of cold water. Hitsugaya wrung the water from the cloth the best that he could with only one hand and then gently bathed his wife's sweat drenched forehead. He hated to see her enduring such pain but he could tell from the look on Captain Unohana's face that his wife's ordeal was nearing an end.

"Come on Rukia-chan," Captain Unohana encouraged, well aware that the young Shinigami was tired but also knowing that she was really close to reaching her goal. "You can murder Captain Hitsugaya later. For now I need you to concentrate. Only a couple more pushes and you'll get to meet your baby."

Rukia nodded and pushed yet again.

Hitsugaya looked over at the Squad Four Captain in a disapproving manner, not happy that Captain Unohana had given his wife leave to murder him, however for his part he remained silent. All he could do was hope that Rukia would forget her malice once she became a mother. Hopefully looking at the face of their child would make her forget that she wanted to murder the baby's father for his part in the conception.

Mere moments later the room was filled with the sounds of a newborn's first cries of life. Hitsugaya's heart swelled as he heard his child, the symbol of the love that he and Rukia shared. There were tears in Rukia's eyes as she gazed up at her husband and Hitsugaya leaned forward and kissed his wife gently on the forehead.

"Maybe I won't kill you after all," Rukia murmured, weak from her efforts but glowing with happiness. "But you're definately sleeping alone for awhile."

Hitsugaya merely smiled.

"Congratulations," Captain Unohana said as she walked over and placed a blanket wrapped bundle in Rukia's arms. "You're now the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl."

"It's a girl," Hitsugaya repeated as his gaze went to the bundle that his wife was now holding gently in her arms. The child was awake and was staring up at her mother, a curious expression on her face. The baby had a shock of dark hair however she had inherited her father's teal eyes.

"She's beautiful," Hitsugaya whispered as he once again gave his wife a kiss.

Rukia nodded, happy beyond description. "So what do you think that we should name her Shirou-kun?"

Hitsugaya gazed down at his newborn daughter, a soft smile on his face. She was absolutely the most precious thing that he had ever seen in his life. Before the birth of his daughter the young captain had been unable to imagine loving anyone more than he loved his wife however in this moment he knew that Rukia would have to take a back seat to this tiny little girl.

"Sorana," he murmured, his teal eyes focused on his daughter.

"That's perfect," Rukia whispered, loving the name that her husband had given to their daughter. The name meant 'of the sky' and Rukia realized the special significance that it held for her husband, who had always been transfixed by the sky. Lifting the child she placed a gentle kiss on her daughter's forehead before offering the infant to her father. "Would you like to hold her Shirou-kun?"

Hitsugaya hesitated as he gazed at the tiny bundle that Rukia held out to him. "I'm not so sure that's a good idea. She's so tiny."

"You'll do fine," Rukia said as she placed the child in her father's arms. "Besides you'll have to learn sooner or later cause if you think that I'm doing everything myself then you're crazy."

Knowing that his wife was right Hitsugaya swallowed the lump that had appeared in his throat and gently cradled his daughter in his arms. The baby gazed up at her father for a few seconds and Hitsugaya gently touched one of her tiny hands with the very tip of his finger.

Sorana instantly gripped her father's finger and Hitsugaya was amazed at the strength of her tiny grip.

"I think that you're definately going to be a force to be reckoned with in a few years," Hitsugaya murmured as he gazed down into his daughter's teal eyes.

"I'd say that's a pretty safe assumption," Rukia said, a smile on her face. With her family by her side she was content and allowed herself to drift off to sleep. She knew that Toushirou would watch over her and Sorana and she was comforted by that knowledge.

Life was good.

The End

A/N - And there you have it, my attempt at Hitsu/Ruki. Hope you enjoyed going on this journey into the unknown with me, please leave a review and tell me what you thought. And to those who have already reviewed, thank you very much. And Lyssa, I hope that you appreciate what I did for you. And I WILL get even eventually. Hitsu-taichou