A/N: Ahh, the fabled chapter 5! :D
I have weird dreams, this is one of them. Well, it was a lot less detailed in dream form, and there was no speech. Kind of like a silent movie, with over acting and such. And the ending was different. XD

BTW – I'm still loling at my choice of names for the children. Tite and Kubo. XD I'm such a genius~

The Bakery

Epilogue

"What?" Rukia asked, stress creeping into her voice. Ichigo turned curiously to see her frowning as she listened to whoever was on the phone.

"But my kids—" she answered the unknown speaker. "No, that's not it. They—" She was interrupted again, and Ichigo saw a darkness begin to grow across her face. If whoever she was speaking to placed any value on their life, they should stop irritating her.

"No, he can't look after them alone! Have you met him? He's an idiot!" she exclaimed, banging her fist on the table. Ichigo was offended, to say the least.

"Urgh," Rukia groaned into the phone, before looking at Ichigo and directing her next words at him: "He wants to talk to you." She passed the phone over and walked away, fuming and probably looking for something to punch.

"Hello?"

"Mr. Kurosaki, greetings. I trust that you are well?"

"Yeah," he said, recognising the voice of Rukia's boss and immediately understanding her irritation.

"Mrs. Kurosaki seems to think that you are incapable of living four days without her. Is there any reason this might be so?"

"Nope," Ichigo answered, affronted.

"Good. She will leave tomorrow, then." Rukia's boss sounded pleased.

"And go where?"

"To Paris. One of the models we were using has fallen ill, so we need Mrs. Kurosaki to replace her. Of course, she will be paid double-time for her work."

"Oh. Cool."

"Tell her to be at the office tomorrow morning at nine, to pick up her ticket. The flight is at eleven."

"Sure. Bye." Ichigo ended the conversation and put the phone down, leaving the room to look for Rukia. He found her lying across their bed. She looked up as he entered, and smiled at him, causing him to feel light-headed, as usual.

"You're going to Paris," he told her, sitting down next to her. She glared at him, all traces of her smile long gone.

"Betrayer."

"Double pay!"

"My kids!"

"My kids!"

"We have the same kids, idiot." She rolled her eyes, and Ichigo laughed.

"So it's all settled. You're going to Paris, and I'm going to prove that I am a perfectly capable father."

"How are you going to get them to take their medication?" she asked smugly. That brought him up short. He'd watched in relief over the past few days as Rukia gave them their doses. He didn't want to have to deal with the tears and tantrums.

"Uh…"

"Here's a hint: there's no way in hell you're going to convince them to take it willingly."

"Then I'll… force them?"

"Good luck!" Rukia said, falsely cheery.

"I'll put it in the food. They won't even know," Ichigo said, grasping at straws.

"If they don't take it, they're never going to get over this flu. You'd better take good care of them!" She raised a fist threateningly.

"I will!" Ichigo promised. Rukia rolled over on top of him and kissed him. He held her close and devoured her mouth. All too soon, she rolled back off of him and delicately slipped off the bed.

"I should pack," she sighed dramatically, resigned to her children's fate.

"Or, you could come back over here and…" He trailed off suggestively. She blushed, but kept her composure.

"Hmm…" She put a finger to her lips, thinking. "How about this? If the kids are fine and happy when I come back, I'll let you have your way with me, whenever, wherever"—she paused to wink seductively—"but if they're not, then you can't touch me for a week."

Ichigo looked at her with wide eyes, mentally weighing the pros and cons. Somehow, he just couldn't get his mind off the pros. Fine and happy? He could manage that.

"Deal."


"Bye, Mummy!" Tite called, waving her hand high above her head so that Rukia could see it from the taxi. The window dropped, and Rukia waved back as the taxi drove away.

"Well, what do you want to do today?" Ichigo asked Tite and Kubo as he led them back inside.

"Hmmm…" Tite said, putting a finger to her head thoughtfully. "Play!" she declared, pulling a dinosaur out of nowhere and running off with it. Kubo followed after, just as excited. He was happy to go along with whatever his sister thought was appropriate.

"Easy," Ichigo muttered to himself. "Don't know what Rukia was worried about."

He soon found out.

Not five minutes after he'd sat on the couch and began to read the day's newspaper, Kubo came walking in, crying.

"Oh, dear, what's wrong?" Ichigo said kindly, pulling the child onto his lap and wiping away the tears.

"Tite… She… She said… Mummy isn't coming back!" Kubo wailed and hugged Ichigo tightly.

"That's not true; Rukia's coming back in just a few days. You don't have to worry." He calmed Kubo, then went looking for Tite.

"I have a bone to pick with you," he announced, interrupting her as she played with her fairy dolls.

"What does that mean?" Tite asked in a sing-song voice, bending over to put her hands on her knees and titling her head to the side.

"Uh… It means I need to talk to you."

"Why is it a bone?" She now had her left leg lifted over her head, arms outstretched as she balanced.

"Because it… it just is."

"How do you pick a bone?" Both of her legs were over her head, and she was rolled around until her hands were flat, and then she lifted herself into a convoluted handstand.

"You… When you… It's a figure of speech!" Ichigo growled. "Now, to the point, you upset Kubo when you told him Rukia wasn't coming home, so you need to apologise. Also, why did you say that in the first place?"

"What does 'the first place' mean?"

"Just answer the question!"

"Because Mummy's mean and she makes us eat icky food!" Tite spat, righting herself before she sniffed and stormed off, leaving a thoroughly confused Ichigo behind.

"What…?" he muttered, before realising what she had meant—Rukia never let them eat sweet food for fear of hyperactivity and tooth decay.

Well, they were under his roof now, and he would do anything to keep them happy, because their happiness equalled his happiness, in a roundabout kind of way.

That night, he kept the children occupied in a completely safe way, by plonking them in front of the TV and putting on a Barbie movie. It was comical how they sat there staring, as if they were hypnotised. Regardless, Ichigo felt safe enough to concentrate on baking a complicated and delicious cake.

He finished it just as the movie finished, and served his sweet dessert for dinner, taking care to slip the pills into the children's portions.

"Dinner's ready!" he called. He laughed at the children's shock as they sat down to eat cake for dinner. He totally had this deal in the bag.

"I love you, Daddy," Tite said as he put her in bed.

"I love Daddy, too. I love cake…" Kubo piped up, looking dreamy.

"What do you guys want for breakfast tomorrow?" Ichigo asked, already planning his next kitchen masterpiece.

"Cake!" they announced in unison.

And that is how Ichigo ended up feeding his children cake for four days straight.


"Mummy!" Rukia's children jumped on her as soon as she came in the door.

"I'm so, so, so, so glad you're back!"

"I missed you heaps!"

"I missed you, too," she said, kissing them both, then Ichigo.

She unpacked some bags and handed out gifts, and then it was time for bed—a time which Ichigo had been looking forward to.

"They seem pretty happy with you," Rukia said to Ichigo once they were alone.

"Yep," he said happily, sitting next to her on the bed and kissing her.

"And you gave them their medication?" she mumbled.

"Mm-hmm," Ichigo answered, kissing her neck and sliding her shirt off.

"Just out of curiosity, how?"

Ichigo paused guiltily.

"It's a secret," he said, attempting seduction, trying to distract her by kissing the exposed part of her breasts. It didn't work; she pulled away and glared at him.

"How?" she demanded. Damn, he should've lied before she got suspicious.

"I… fed them cake."

"Okay…" Rukia continued to glare. Ichigo considered trying to play it down and act like it was only once, but then he realised Tite and Kubo would be quick to brag about it, and his lie wouldn't last.

"… Every day…"

"You did WHAT?" she shouted, jumping off the bed and promptly putting her shirt back on.

"I kept them happy!" Ichigo immediately added, remembering that part of their deal.

"If they get scurvy, it's your fault!" Rukia threw a pillow at him. She was never one for controlling her temper.

"Okay, I accept that responsibility," said Ichigo calmly.

"To hell with responsibility! You've killed them!"

"Scurvy isn't deadly!"

"Tell that to the nineteenth century's dead sailors!"

"You can give them vegetables tomorrow," Ichigo begged.

Rukia fumed silently for a minute.

"Remember our deal—I kept them happy and they took their medication! Can I have my way with you now?"

"No."

"Aw, come on, please?"

Rukia considered it for another minute. He had kept the children happy, albeit not quite healthy. And he had managed to get them to take their medication. And she had missed him quite a lot in Paris.

"Fine. Not because you want it, but because I do."

"Awesome." Ichigo pulled her back over to him, and they continued where they had left off.


A/N: Finally finished properly. Good. :D Are you happy now? I am~
Unfortunately, my dream failed to name the two children in this story, so for the majority of my writing, I referred to them as CHILD A and CHILD B.

BR/N: Originally, when Ciel In A Dress first told me about this dream of hers, she told me I should write a one-shot based upon it, to which I told her it would be a better idea for her to write it, since it was her dream. Sometime in those next few months, though, I plotted out a rough draft for the potential story (still within the pages of one of my early fanfiction notebooks), since it didn't look like she'd ever remember to do it.
And then The Bakery was born, and it seemed this one-shot idea had a hope at life after all.

Lo and behold, it's come to fruition.

Well, it's been a fun ride. Sometimes, I think I enjoyed this story more than Ciel In A Dress did, but then I remember how much she treasures her writings, so I'm probably mistaken.

Have a nice day.