Never have I seen him cry

Not when his family was lying in their own blood all around him

Not when he stood before the monster that took the life of his mother

Not when he faced impossible odds with no hope of victory

Never…have I seen him cry

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The spear before her burst into flame. Her eyes widened as the flame took on a shape. Wings sprouted from its pole, and a giant eagles head spouted from the spearhead. She stared in awe as the fiery phoenix flew before her. The flames licked at her suspended body. She knew now that her time had come. It was time for her to die.

Yet she showed no fear. She gazed at the phoenix in acceptance.

I am not afraid…I have lived a good life…

The spear flew before her, unmoving except for the constant beating of its wings.

I was blessed…by meeting Renji and all the others…By brother Byakuyas adoption…By the guidance of Kaien…And finally.

Her chest started to get somewhat tight. Her breathing became almost jagged.

By Ichigo's attempt to rescue me…

She closed her eyes and looked down.

This is not suffering…This is not pain…I have no regrets… My heart leaves nothing behind…

Two eyes opened on the phoenix. It looked right at her.

Renji and her deceased friends from the Rukongai flashed through her mind.

Thank you…

Next came all her friends from the human world. Orihime, Chad, and Uryu.

Thank you…

Her brother entered her mind.

Thank you…

She knew it was coming. She wanted it to stay away. But it didn't. Every memory of her time with Ichigo entered and flooded her mind. Emotions that she had just recently locked away again came filled her. She couldn't help it, a single tear fell down the side of her face. Her face suddenly filled with sadness…

farewell…

The bird suddenly raised its head. It stared at her. She closed her eyes. All hope of facing death with dignity abandoned. She heard the spear roar. She felt the flames get hotter as the phoenix charged at her.

BRRRGGG!!!

She heard the giant crash. Yet she was not dead. She could still feel the flames heat. Yet she was not dead.

She slowly opened her eyes. She caught a glimpse of a brown mantle flowing in the wind. Her eyes shot open, and she saw the last person she expected to see.

He smirked at her.

"Hey," He said casually. She gasped.

"Ichigo…" She whispered.

"Hey…" She stared at him. Why was he here?

"Hey!" She stared in amazement. Her face filled with all kinds of emotions.

It's…Ichigo…

"HEY!!!" Rukia's eyes shot open. She bolted upright. The sheets of the bed fell down to her waist. She looked around, confused. Suddenly she remembered where she was. She was in Karin and Yuzu's room in the Kurosaki household. She placed a hand to her forehead. She was sweating slightly.

Just a dream…a dream of the past…

"About time you woke up," A voice said. Rukia looked to her side. Ichigo Kurosaki was leaning against the wall, frowning.

"What's with you?" He asked, "You don't normally sleep in like this. After all you're supposed to wake me up, not the other way around," She scowled.

"Since when did that become my job?" She asked.

It's true though. Lazy ass never wants to get out of his bed.

He smirked at her.

"Since my dad's out for the weekend. Usually he wakes me up,"

"Here's an idea, get an alarm clock," He smiled, he pushed away from the wall and sat down next to Rukia. He leaned in close.

"I guess I could do that…but I kinda enjoy being woken by you. You're gentler than my dad…if only slightly…" She blushed. He smirked at her and quickly kissed her. It only lasted a second, but it was enough for Rukia's stomach to start fluttering. She pulled away from her boyfriend.

"Alright fine," She sighed, but still smiling, "I'm up…now get out, I have to get changed," She told him. He nodded.

"Yeah, but remember we're supposed to meet Urahara in an hour," Rukia raised her eyebrow.

"I thought we were going at noon." Ichigo frowned.

"Maybe you're the one who needs an alarm clock," He tossed the clock on Yuzu's desk to her. She caught it. Her mouth dropped as she caught the time.

"Eleven!" She cried. She looked up at Ichigo. He smirked at her.

"Morning sleeping beauty," He smirked. She glared at him.

"Why didn't you wake me up earlier!" She shouted at him. He shrugged.

"No reason," Yuzu's clock collided with the side of his head. He rubbed his head and glared at her.

"The hell!?" He shouted at her.

"I haven't even gotten ready yet! Now we're going to be late!" She retorted.

"It's takes you over an hour to get ready? Oh-wait…sorry, forgot who I was talking to…"

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Ichigo ran out of the room as various objects were thrown at him. He ran down the hall and heard the door slam behind him. He slowed down. After minute he smiled softly.

Some things never change…

He entered the kitchen. Yuzu was at the stove, making eggs. Karin was sitting at the table, reading the newspaper. Yuzu turned around as she heard someone enter the room.

"Good morning Ichigo!" She said cheerfully.

"Hey," he replied. He sat down at the table. Karin looked over at him.

"You know, since dad was gone for the weekend I was worried that this house was going to be too quite. Looks like I won't have to worry about that though," Ichigo shrugged. Yuzu walked over to the table, she placed some eggs before him.

"Seriously Ichigo," She said to him, "Should you two really fight like that? She is your girlfriend after all," Ichigo somewhat blushed.

"Aw let em at it Yuzu," Karin said, "It's just his way of expressing love. Just look at how he treats dad,"

"You don't think they'll start physically fighting do you?" Yuzu asked Karin. Ichigo sweat-dropped.

Think it's a little late to be saying that…

O-well…All their fights were just duels. And they never intentionally hurt each other…Well, maybe Rukia did. But it's nothing he couldn't take.

Ichigo glanced at the clock.

Time to get going.

He stood up.

"We've got to get going," He told his sisters.

"Where are you going Ichigo?" Yuzu asked.

"We just have to go someplace for a while, we'll be back soon," Ichigo replied. He went over to the cupboard and pulled out a muffin. Rukia entered the room. She was wearing a simple blue dress, one that she wore often. Ichigo tossed the muffin over to her. She caught it and started eating. They both headed for the door.

"See you later," Ichigo called back to his sisters as he opened the door.

"Mbfyy," Rukia said through a mouthful of food. She closed the door behind them.

Yuzu stared at the closed door.

"Where do you think, they're going?" She asked. Karin rested her head on her hand. A sly smile came across her face.

"Hmmm…" She hummed. Yuzu looked over at her.

"Karin?" She smiled and went back to her paper.

"Oh- It nothing, they'll probably be back in a while," Yuzu looked confused.

"What?" She asked.

"It's nothing,"

"Wha?! Karin!"

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Authors Note: I'm back. Due to popular request, here is the sequel. As for this chapter…I think that was the most boring chapter I've ever wrote. Don't worry though, It gets real good, real fast. I just had to establish a few things. Oh yeah, this takes place about a month or so after the first book.