A/N: Hi ! So I started reading Bleach again, and I wonder WHY THE HELL DID I STOP! Now that I'm all caught up, I quickly wrote this up. Cheesy fluff ^^


Thanks, Rukia

The Winter War was finally over. With Aizen dead, Soul Society organized the clean up and restoration of the Karakura city. Even with the relief that came with the end, there was no denying the grief that also tagged along.

Rukia stood in front of the Kurosaki's house. Her mind flashed through all the irreplaceable memory she had in the house with the family. She closed her eyes willing to keep the tears at bay and took a step in.

She saw Isshin Kurosaki standing in front of the portrait of Masaki. Rukia couldn't help but notice the resemblance of Isshin and Ichigo as he stood with his back towards her. She almost let a reluctant smile slip. She cleared her throat and finally noticing her, Isshin turned around.

Noticing Rukia standing there, Isshin let out a goofy grin.

"Oh! Rukia, my lovely third-daughter! What are you doing here? Ichigo's with – " his eyes widened as he saw Rukia falling to her knees.

"I'm sorry!" she cried. Even if Aizen has manipulated the situation, she couldn't help but feel the guilt of ruining their lives. Bringing so much chaos into what should've been their normal life. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry" she kept chanting hoping to somehow absolve her pain.

She felt Isshin's hand on her shoulders as he slowly lifted her to stand.

"There's nothing to apologize for" Isshin said with seriousness that she has never seen in his eyes. "You had no idea."

"But if..."

"And if everything was to go according to Aizen's plan, then Ichigo wouldn't have become the man he is to defeat him."

"If I just never…"

"Aizen would've eventually found some other way to get to us. But I'm glad it was you…" Isshin's thoughts wandered to his son. "I'm sure Ichigo feels the same way. Isn't that right boy?"

Rukia's eyes widened as she felt Isshin's attention divert to someone behind her. As she slowly turned her head, she saw him standing there with an unreadable expression.

Isshin patted her on the shoulder as he headed on out. "Well I'm just going to leave you two alone…for now" He winked and was out the door.

Ichigo's voice startled Rukia out of her confusion. "How are you feeling?"

"Wha…Oh..fine." she stammered.

"Everyone's out there you know" he jerked his head toward the outside with the unreadable expression, it was making her nervous.

"Yeah…I just wanted to…Look, Ichigo" his eyes finally met hers straight on and she almost lost all the courage she summoned. "I just want to say sor –"

"Save it"

"What?"

"I reject all your opinions"

Courage be damned now he was just riling her. "Look here. I'm going to apologize and you are going to hear my DAMN APOLOGY!" she yelled.

"What? That's how you are going to apologize? Demanding it?" he yelled back "What kind of apology is that?"

She yanked him down so their eyes were at the same level "You! You deserve better than this. The fact is " The tears were falling now as she let him go. "I wasn't supposed to be in your life. It was all Aizen's plan. Our meeting, everything, was just part of some man's greed and insanity." She let her tears freely fall not caring that Ichigo was right there to see her.

Her breath hitched as she felt herself being pulled into his embrace.

"Our meeting, everything, is what made me who I am to defeat him. To protect. To be the person you think that deserves better than this. " She felt his grip tighten around her. Her fear of not belonging in his world evaporated. How can she deny it when it felt so right to be here in his arms?

She felt him gently push her and press his lips softly to hers.

"Thanks, Rukia"

Her wide eyes took in the sight before her. Ichigo, so much more grown but still sporting a blush. She couldn't help but laugh. She would've kissed him, if Isshin didn't bust through the door.


A/N: Isshin has one impeccable timing don't you think? Sorry It seems rushed too lazy to really edit it. One day, I'm going to write a story without a guilty-feeling Rukia. She's much more than a guilty-conscious but I also think that's who she is. She takes great responsibility for the ones she care about – almost too much. BUT ANYWAYS, hope you enjoyed it! And it wasn't too cheesy for you!