This is my first fanfic! I'm not really sure what I'm doing, but I'd love to have some constructive criticism! Thanks!

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or any of the characters. Bleach and its characters belong to Tite Kubo, who is awesome.

Rukia's Baby

This is a really inconvenient time for Ichigo to be sent off back to the World of the Living. The small black haired figure thought. We've only been married for a year and a half. I wanted him all to myself…and this really is an inconvenient time for him to be sent off like this.

Rukia turned to her husband despondently. "You're sure you can't get someone to replace you on this mission?" she pleaded with him, "Maybe Rangiku, or Ikkaku, or even Captain Zaraki?"

Ichigo shook his head. "No, I have to go because I have the most experience in the World of the Living by far, and that's useful because I'll be there for awhile," he explained. This only made Rukia's heart sink even more.

"How long?" she asked.

"A few weeks at least, a month or two if things go badly."

Rukia wrapped her arms around Ichigo tightly. If things go badly? What's that supposed to mean. I thought he was just checking up on Karakura Town? This wasn't supposed to be a dangerous mission! she thought. But she swallowed those fears; there was something very important she absolutely had to tell Ichigo before he left. The lump of nervousness in her throat swelled and she suddenly felt tense with anticipation. "Ichigo, before you go, there is something I have to tell you," she blurted. "I'm pregnant!"

Ichigo froze in what he was doing. "Really? I…don't…argh…now I really wish I hadn't been assigned this mission," he said as he tenderly wrapped his arms around her tiny figure. "I'll hurry back and then I won't leave your side until our child is born." He nuzzled Rukia's cheek for emphasis. "I trust you'll make the necessary announcements?" I nodded. Then before stepping out the door, Ichigo added with a snicker, "Be especially careful when letting a certain someone know. He was mad enough when I married you; I can imagine he'll want to tear my face off when he hears that you're carrying my baby." Then he was gone.

It was the next day that Renji arrived to tell Rukia that her brother Byakuya had invited her to the manor for a dinner party the next evening. Secretly Rukia thought that he had planned the gathering especially so that Ichigo could not attend, but she kept this to herself. She was telling Renji that she accepted when she noticed something. Telltale red marks scattered across his neck. "I thought that Brother Byakuya was more discreet about those kind of things," she observed, and was filled with wicked pleasure when Renji's face turned a bright pink. And then she was sad again. She'd learned to tease and have fun at the lieutenant's expense from Ichigo, who wasn't here in Soul Society because he was on some stupid trip in the World of the Living. Suddenly Rukia didn't want Renji around anymore. "Tell Brother Byakuya that I'll attend," she said curtly and turned to go inside.

She didn't know why, but she was overtaken by jealousy. Her brother and his lover Renji Abarai were together, Rangiku Matsumoto and Shuuhei Hisagi were together, Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Ayasegawa were together along with countless other couples, and she was here alone without her Ichigo. After she had recently found out that she was carrying on top of that. On top of that, Rukia was irritated that she even was jealous, because that was not at all like her. In a sudden fit of frustration she threw herself down in a chair to think; she need to clear her head before she broke something.

A week before, she had gone to Captain Unohana because of unexplainable constant vomiting and mood swings. She hadn't wanted to go, but Ichigo had practically threatened her into going to the Fourth Division he was so worried. There, Unohana had performed some tests and given her the news: Rukia was pregnant and she had been for nearly twelve weeks. It was a week and a half after Rukia had found out and her head was still spinning. Just when she was finally getting used to the idea, Ichigo was suddenly assigned a mission to supposedly simply check up on Karakura Town and Rukia was alone. It was the last thing the expectant shinigami wanted. And now, she had to tell Byakuya.

She could remember the time Ichigo had asked him for her hand in marriage and it was only by Renji's intervention that he was not cut to pieces by Byakuya's Senbonzakura. Now, the only thing that would keep him alive after Byakuya found out he had impregnated his little sister was the fact that Ichigo was not in Soul Society at the moment. Rukia wasn't even sure that that could save Ichigo from her brother's wrath. A wayward thought wandered across her mind: did Byakuya know how to castrate people with his shikai? Because if he did, Ichigo would never father another child again. And suddenly, Rukia was laughing.

The next morning was awful for Rukia. She spent the first ten minutes of her day vomiting and the next ten cursing at her closet of too-tight clothing. She'd been dreading outgrowing her wardrobe and she was bigger than she had expected to be by now. At the moment, that wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't agreed to visit her brother for dinner, and if she wore any of the things she currently owned, Byakuya's too-sharp eyes would notice. Maybe it would be better if she went back to bed and begged an illness. However, she reasoned, Byakuya would come around, or send his lieutenant around and then she'd be dragged off to Unohana again, and Unohana would certainly tell Byakuya about Rukia's pregnancy. Suddenly squeezing into her clothing seemed almost inviting. She could adjust the waistline to her pants and wear her obi loose or something.

As Rukia approached her brother's manor, she was horrified to here a voice she knew very well. It was Rangiku Matsumoto. It wasn't that she didn't like Rangiku, but she had been planning to break her news to Byakuya during a meal that she had assumed would be just her, Byakuya and Renji. But apparently Byakuya had other guests, though why the loud and flirtatious tenth division lieutenant was one of them, Rukia didn't know. And if Rangiku was there, Rukia could only assume there were other guests present, much to her dismay. That many more eyes to notice that something was off. She steeled herself, however, and smoothed a hand over her stomach for confidence. Why are you scared? She reprimanded herself. It's only Brother Byakuya and some friends….