Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or any of its characters. They belong to Tite Kubo and whoever else actually owns it and I make no money from writing this. This story however is mine and is not to be replicated, reposted, or copied in any way without my consent. Thank you.
Ichigo Kurosaki smiled at his wife as they walked down the street to the dojo. Five years had passed since they had gotten married. Five years and still their love shone with the light of the sun and the moon combined. In that time her position among Hueco Mundo had been solidified, among a great many other things. Greatest out of those things would have to be the many weddings theirs had spawned in the not-so-distant Past. Uryuu and Orihime; Rukia and Renji; Chad and Halibel; even Shinji and Hiyori, had all gotten married.
Their house, though seemingly unfit for such a small occupancy, was in use constantly; from friends and family, to an emergency medical ward was the clinic the Kurosaki family run filled to capacity. It was rare for certain, but that wasn't to say it didn't happen every now and then. Last but not least, the Espada had nothing to fear when they entered the security of the mansion, and all in all life had been good to them.
Yoruichi and Kisuke hadn't gotten married, but Yoruichi wasn't one to put up with fancy ceremonies like that anyway. It went without saying that everyone knew they were together though. She just wasn't one to have a big celebration. It was pretty apparent where she had chosen to stay, though to be perfectly honest the duo hadn't been seen by the pair for a good number of years. God only knew what they could be up to together, but what did a couple of years matter to those of the undying? That wasn't to say that Ichigo hadn't missed his teachers at all, but for some reason he got the chilling feeling that when he saw them next they would be equipped with yet another way to embarrass him beyond reason. He could hope though…
On a completely different note, like her mother, Tatsuki had started growing out her hair after she had married. Now the layered spikes of her hair reached her chin in its beautifully spiky cut, and the slight change matured her look significantly, accentuating her beautiful facial features all the more. She wouldn't let it grow any longer than that, and Ichigo didn't mind it one bit. It fit just as well, if not better, than her old look; though it was still practical enough for martial arts.
As for Ichigo; after their wedding he had simply chosen to lengthen the time of his tutelage under the Fourth Division's guidance instead of going to medical school. Not surprisingly, as was constantly shown time and time again, when he completed his training they gave him a medicinal doctorate suitable for use in the Living World. What did come as the surprise however was the honorary ranking they gave him in the Fourth Division at the same time—even though he was already a captain. He had then joined beside his father as a fellow practitioner at the family clinic while Karin and Yuzu simply studied under their father.
Both his younger sisters were now eighteen, and though Karin still tried to hide it, she had become every bit as beautiful as her mother even as Yuzu took her former likeness to a completely new level as she grew older. Surprise of surprises, Yuzu was now dating Jinta; but the truest shock had come when Karin arrived one day with Ulquiorra in tow. Ichigo had almost had a heart attack, but it wasn't his life, and he knew Ulquiorra could be trusted. If he thought it worth his time to pursue some kind of relationship, then it must have been a work of God and he wouldn't interfere with something that obviously had a lot of time and effort put into it. He could only wonder when that time had been put in though.
He couldn't help but wonder where the time had went period.
"It's been so long already, hasn't it? Seems like just yesterday we were getting married," he said as he opened the door to the dojo for Tatsuki.
His beautiful wife flicked some hair behind her ear and smiled. "Yeah, I know what you mean. Who'd have thought we'd—!?"
A hyper voice cut her off, but it was a welcome interruption. It always would be, even when they had to wake up at two in the morning.
"Mommy, Daddy!!! You know what I did today?????" a little boy cried excitedly as he ran up into his father's arms, where Ichigo twirled him playfully.
The four year old had Tatsuki's black hair and Ichigo's incredible golden eyes, though those made him just as much of a target as if he had his father's bright orange hair. It might have been better had they only been his father's rusted amber, but his eyes were almost disconcertingly yellow, as if they would illuminate at a moment's notice. When he was born both Tatsuki and Ichigo had gulped at the influence their inner Hollows definitely had on their child, and what it could mean for him in the future. What they soon learned over the years was he had his father's incredible smile that could be so wide it was stupid and his mother's tendency to…not take losing…very well.
"No, Squirt. What'd you do today?" the Vizard captain asked in amusement.
Another of his blindingly white smiles was the initial answer. "A girl beat me, but I got her back with one punch and I won next!!" He proclaimed proudly. Of course, something like that would be the only reason he would state he lost at all. Still, the glimmer of respect for his stated opponent was bright in his eyes, and that was something that was rare.
"Good for you Kaien!" Tatsuki praised just as proudly and she high-fived her son, who visibly basked in her praise. "So who's the poor little girl that was lucky enough to beat my big strong boy before they learned the error of their ways?" she asked as she made faces with each word, sending her little man into giggles of delight.
"Right over there!" And he pointed over to where a little girl was running over to her parents.
They both paled.
Ichigo Kurosaki resisted the almost overwhelming urge to palm his face. Apparently he hadn't been so lucky as to think that the next time they met they would be ready to embarrass him beyond compare. No, this time that honor seemed fit for the next generation.
The little girl his little boy was pointing at had creamy mocha-colored skin and platinum blonde hair, covered only by a white fishing hat with purple stripes on it. Like her parents, she seemed unable to conform; and where her white karate standards should have been was instead a dark violet kimono with a matching, unsettlingly familiar haori on over it, one with white diamonds lining the bottom. She must have sensed their eyes on her because she turned around and smiled at them, revealing the brightest set of golden, nearly feline eyes they had ever seen other than their son's. Her long bangs framed her already attractive face under the tacky hat, and her smile was just as breathtaking as her mother's.
At her smile, Kaien stuck his tongue out back at her, but he too waved.
"She's not bad, for a girl," he complimented with childlike honesty. "She invited me over to her house too! Can I go? Can I? Can I? Can I?"
Gulping, they both nodded. "Sure you can, Sweetie," Tatsuki told him and Ichigo set him down. They both watched as he rushed over to the young girl and her parents, almost afraid to make eye-contact with the two adults standing behind their daughter.
Shaking their heads, Ichigo and Tatsuki sheepishly waved to Yoruichi Shihouin and Kisuke Urahara, who were likely being told the same story from their child's perspective by now. When little Kaien joined them their smiles reached disconcerting proportions and they looked up too, waving at their old friends and ex-pupils. Besides the point of their sudden reappearance, Ichigo and Tatsuki Kurosaki couldn't help the weird feeling that formed in their stomachs the more they took the meeting in.
Why was that?
It was almost exactly like how they first met.
Oh great, here we go again.
Life would never be boring. That was for certain.
At their home, written in fine calligraphy on their bedroom wall was the poem Ichigo had written in Grade Twelve. Only this time there was one extra verse, one final stanza that completed what the young man had been trying to convey.
I've found the heart where mine belongs
I've set my shackled spirit free
And all along I should have known
Love truly is What The Eyes Can't See
Author's Notes: Short yes, I know, but epilogues usually are. Man, editing this so thoroughly was refreshing, though it has taken away from the time I usually spend working on the other story I've been writing lately. Meh, what can ya do? Anyways, thank you everyone for the reviews you've given over the course of the posting! Compared to the time I wrote the story, I condensed the releases quite a bit this time, so I hope you all enjoyed the quick uploads as well! Thank you all for your encouragement! Reviews are always appreciated!
And yes, the sequel does focus mostly on the kids. The sequel in itself was initially a challenge from a reviewer on the other site, known here as Philyra, and it kind of took off from there. I know some of you might be skeptical about such a story, but from what I've been told I pulled it off nicely. Of course, our favorite couples make appearances and have parts, and are by no means out of the story; I just chose to focus more on the children next time.
I hope you enjoyed What The Eyes Can't See!
See you all at the sequel!