A/N: Something happened, and I just write to relieve me of this feeling. May be OOC; it was 3am as I wrote this. Don't flame.

In the Falling Rain

Rain.

It's been raining these past few days. And nights. Especially nights.

Kuchiki Rukia sighed. She laid her head on her arms as she stared out into the black sky, listening to the pitter-patter of the drizzling rain outside. Hypnotizing, the sound was. Droplets fell ceaselessly into the cold ground; hushed breeze weaved through the swaying trees; leaves rustled noisily outside. She raised her hand out the window and into the rain. The cool water gently caressed her dainty fingers momentarily before it fell, too, to the ground. So peaceful…

"Rukia?"

She snapped her head away from the window and straight to Ichigo who was standing by the door. She glanced at him briefly before her attention returned towards the window again. Ichigo pulled his hand from his pocket and headed towards her, sitting beside her. Her gaze still held to the rain, not acknowledging him.

"Oi, Ru—"

She pressed her index finger to his lips, quietening him. He blinked questioningly at the finger before looking up to meet her eyes. There was silence between them. He wanted to ask whether she was okay or not, but decided not to. Ichigo just sat closer to her, his knee lightly touching hers, and that's all the contact both of them needed. Rukia bit her bottom lip as her thoughts jumbled up in her brain. A pang of hurt clutched her heart as the message rang inside her head again.

—ჯ ஐ ღ—

"You will leave him."

"But, nii-sama—"

"I have been told of your aberrant behaviour with that boy. And as far as I can see, your relationship with that boy is now no longer in acceptable terms. I've been exceptionally lenient towards you, Rukia, but this time I will, without hesitation, take appropriate actions against you if you choose to carry on with the correlation with him."

"But Nii-sama… I lo—"

"You're dismissed."

—ჯ ஐ ღ—

She looked up towards Ichigo again. Their eyes met, and she asked, "Can we go to the playground?"

He frowned. "Are you crazy?" His hand lightly slapped her head and stated, "It's raining. And in the middle of the night."

"I know." She jumped off the bed and walked towards the door with any protests from the tawny-haired boy fell on her deaf ears. With him hanging mid-complaint, the door silently closed and echoing footsteps on the stairs were heard.

"Rukia!" Ichigo jumped off the bed and ran out of his room. "Oi, Rukia!"

When he reached downstairs, the petite girl was already wearing her coat and was heading off towards the front door. Ichigo's scowl deepened as he trudged forward. He grabbed hold of her wrist. Ochre met violet.

"Let go." Her voice was quiet, not instructive, yet he found himself slowly releasing her. She smiled at him, just a simple upwards turn of the lips, but Ichigo thought that something was… different about her tonight. That was just it— there was nothing behind that smile. It wasn't the pure and sincere smile she usually gives him. He felt a sudden surge of worry for her.

"Something wrong?" he asked, gently.

She shook her head, the fake smile still etched firmly on her lips. She tugged on his sleeve. "C'mon, Ichigo."

"It's still raining." He added, "Idiot."

Another smile was flashed.

And she ran outside.

"Rukia!"

He was running towards her, in the pouring rain without any form of protection around him— but, hell, he didn't care. The only thing in his mind at that moment was Rukia, Rukia, Rukia.

His feet hit the cold ground, his mind racing, his heart pounding. He could hear her faint footsteps as they struck the ground, splashing the puddles; but it was getting weaker and weaker. The torrential rain hazed his outlook, but he was determined not to just let her be.

What the hell was that midget thinking? Running out in the night while it was raining? Without anything but a thin coat to protect her? She's an idiot, he confirmed. A stupid, stupid, stupid idiot. And he's absolutely going to strangle her when he finds her.

He found her.

She sat on the swing, her gaze on the ground, her two small fists gripping on the metal chain tightly, her hair limp beneath the falling rain. Any thoughts of asphyxiating her just vanished, and instead it was replaced by an intense need of wanting to hold her in his arms.

He didn't.

"Tsk. Rukia," he called out to her exasperatedly when he reached her side. She looked up at him. "What the hell are you doing?"

"Push," she said, not answering him.

Without any of his customary characteristic complaints, he put swing in forward motion. "No. The question is what the hell am I doing?" She didn't give him any response; her gaze was still held to her feet. Ichigo silently cursed. He poked her wet head with an accusing finger. "Oi, Rukia. Stop ignoring me already. What did I do?"

Rukia shook her head. "Nothing. Don't worry."

He held the swing's chains, making the arc stop midway. The metal chains felt ice cold; the night time and the falling rain contributed to its temperature. "I am not letting go," he said, her back facing him. "Unless you tell me what's going on. What happened to you? You just suddenly ran off in the middle of the night and while it's raining! And when I ask you, you constantly say 'nothing'. How do you expect me not to worry, Rukia, when you're not like you? You—"

He cut himself off when she turned around to look at him; an unrecognised emotion was swirling in her eyes. Regret? Pain? Guilt…? The urge to hold her tight was even apparent, more than ever.

—ჯ ஐ ღ—

"You should fully understand the consequences of your willful actions. Your prior sentence of execution had already caused enough damage upon the family's name. However, I can no longer continue to condone such insolence. This has gone on long enough, Rukia. I believe you are wise enough to understand."

"Nii-sama—"

"Rukia. You will leave him. And that's final."

—ჯ ஐ ღ—

Her mouth opened once before it closed again. She seemed to want to say something, but decided not to. "It's just— never mind, Ichigo."

She jumped from the arching swing.

He let out a frustrated sigh before joining her under the large sakura tree in the middle of the playground. She faced her back towards him as she held her legs to her chest. Ichigo worried about her, he really did. Did someone hurt her? Did he do something to her? Was she okay? Millions of thoughts and questions buzzed in his mind, but he could find no answer to any of them.

He decided not to say a word, but just reach out for her and put his arms around her and pulled her into his warm embrace. He kissed her wet forehead and muttered to her, "You have to tell me something, you know…"

She nodded, wiping her face.

Somehow, he knew she wasn't wiping the rain away.

Rukia clutched his rain-drenched shirt and buried herself into him, putting her head on his chest, letting it move with the rise and fall of his breathing, listening to his rhythmic heartbeat.

—ჯ ஐ ღ—

"Rukia-sama. Kuchiki-sama had passed this on to you."

"Satoko— I never—"

"You must take it. It was Kuchiki-sama's orders."

"But, I couldn't—"

The servant bowed graciously and left.

Satoko had given me one of the best memory changers to undo his memory of. It was cruel, changing the past of a man without his consent, changing it like the past had never been. But it was a necessary execution, nii-sama said, in order for me to step out of his life, and in order for him to step out of mine.

It was the least painful way to do it, he said.

—ჯ ஐ ღ—

"I love you," she whispered. "You know that… right?"

He smiled and tightened his hold of her. "Idiot," he said, equally soft. "That wasn't what I meant by telling me something."

She bit her lower lip and nodded again. Once more, she did that again— not answering him.

He sighed quietly, and he reached his hand out and cupped her cheek, pressing her lower lip with his thumb so to loosen it. "Don't," he admonished, though with much softness and care. The rough, hardened skin of his fingers was gentle and reverent in touch; his thumb slowly ran across her lip with the slightest of touch.

He kissed her.

Her eyes fluttered close at the familiar sensation and hesitatingly, she kissed back ever-so-gently. She felt so much love from him.

"You will leave him."

So much…

"…take appropriate actions against you…"

So much… it hurts.

"I can no longer continue to condone such insolence."

She pulled away brusquely from him. Ichigo saw it— the tears in her eyes, brimming full and was threatening to spill. He was kissing her… and she was crying? Instinctively, he reached out and held her tight, his hand clasping perfectly with the curve of her head, his arms circling her body protectively. He hushed her gently, holding held her even closer as she exhaled a shuddering sob. "Don't cry."

Neither said a word for some time— but the silence wasn't calming. Like a rubber band pulled up to its limits, it was tense with unanswered questions, with undecided choices, with hushed secrets.

"I—" she started, "I'm sorry, Ichigo."

"What about?"

She shook her head.

"Tell me when you feel like it." He kissed her forehead again before letting her in his embrace again. "But for now we can just stay here."

She nodded.

He knew something was wrong, he just didn't know what. However, he didn't want to ask. If she was ready she would tell him. He knew she would. If not, he would just have to wait, holding her in his arms like this.

For the moment, she could forget what her brother said to her… because now, there's only her and him.

And that's all that matters. For now.

Because tomorrow he'd forget everything about her.

Like I said, don't flame. I just had to get this out from my system… To me, writing is a more productive way to release your negative energy, so this is what you get.

Reviews, comments, and constructive criticisms are always welcome. :)

[Edit:] I've uploaded a new story as a continuation to this, since a few people requested. It's titled Tomorrow's Memories… please have a look at it. :)