Thank you hitsugayatoshirou1220, OnepieceX3, Shie0917, BlackRedWhite, JazANIME-OtakuChick, and Darkassassin619 for the awesome reviews and Daro-NB, OnepieceX3, and Bleach ichiruki for adding this story to your faves/alerts :).
Five months later…
It was a chilly Saturday morning in the Kurosaki home. A still sleeping orange-haired taichou held his now pregnant wife carefully in his embrace as he dreamed away. Rukia begun shifting from her warm and comfortable spot and opened her violet eyes lazily. She was just as sleepy as her husband but the most important thing for her as soon as she awoke was eating a delicious array of any and every food available currently at her home.
"Ichigo." She called sweetly as she looked up to see his face.
Unfazed, Ichigo continued sleeping and only cuddled onto Rukia's small body and baby bump even more.
"I-chi-go." She sounded every syllable slowly but with a little less patience.
"mmh?" He finally responded still with his eyes closed.
"I'm hungry." She said.
"Five minutes…" He mumbled as he nuzzled his head in the crook of her neck and started rubbing her belly gently. He was very compliant of Rukia's needs when she was pregnant but the coolness of the morning was making it very hard from him to get up from his cozy spot.
A vain popped by Rukia's head, his sweet caresses would not deter her from what was truly important. She was now positioning herself to either kick her lazy husband on the shin or get into hungry-pregnant-lady mode when the baby beat her to it. It started fluttering and moving about in her belly and Ichigo instantly jumped up and pressed his ear on said belly. He then kissed it gently, moved his glassy brown eyes up to meet his wife's violet ones, gave her a cute little smile, kissed her quickly on the forehead and without a word got up to make breakfast.
"They're coming here! Why?" Ichigo said grumpily as he stuffed his mouth with eggs.
"I offered for them to have the meeting here. Nii-sama recently upped the security at the mansion and they can no longer have their meetings there. Besides…they said they would bring a lot of snacks." Rukia said sheepishly.
"Fine, but just so you know I'm going out with Ichiro before they get here…the meetings of the Women's Shinigami Association are only good for those nosey women to keep tabs on everyone." He said with a scowl.
Rukia rolled her eyes and wondered if Ichigo had always had such low patience for the innocent group of women she associated herself with. As she stared at him eating and interacting with Ichiro she smiled to herself. Ichigo had definitely adapted to life in Soul Society. He even fit in perfectly with the rest of the macho shinigami that he hung out with.
"Snacks?...I want to stay otousan!" Ichiro whined and Ichigo gave him a slightly surprised look feeling guilty for bad-mouthing his mother's friends. He had forgotten his son was at that age in which he payed attention to what everyone said.
"Ichiro, the snacks are for your mom and her friends. How about I take you out for lunch with Renji and we get some cool snacks then?" Ichigo said with a wide smile.
"Ok…but can oji-san come too?" Ichiro said with deer eyes as he looked at his father. He was very close to Byakuya and loved spending time with him. Ichigo was forced to keep his smile from falling off his once happy face. He didn't really want to spend any more time with his brother in law then needed but it appeared that he didn't have a choice.
"That's a great idea Ichiro! I'm sure nii-sama would love to spend time with you and your father as well!" Rukia smiled devilishly as her husband's oh-so-common scowl formed on his face.
Later that day…
"I still can't believe he knocked you up again! Congrats Rukia-chan!" Matsumoto said happily as she set some sweets down on the table.
"T-thanks." Rukia said slightly embarrassed at Rangiku's choice of words but she quickly forgot as soon as she got her hands on the sweets laid in front of her.
"I bet Bya-kun is going to be very happy to be an uncle again! He's nicer and always has extra candy at home since Ichiro got here. He doesn't get as mad when I play at his house either!" Yachiru said in an informative tone.
"Nii-sama was happy when he heard the news but he didn't seem too surprised." Rukia said as she continued eating. Luckily for her, Byakuya saved her the embarrassment of bringing up the fact that he knew what they did in his beloved but now tainted library.
"So what ever happened to that pesky girl who was trying to seduce Kurosaki taichou?" Kiyone asked rather carefree.
"Senna? She was transferred to a different squad but since she didn't really take her responsibilities seriously she was kicked out and was too embarrassed to show her face around here again." Momo answered.
"Ha! That's what she gets for trying to mess with someone else's man." Matsumoto said with scrunched up eyebrows.
"And her friend the one with the green hair?" Kiyone inquired some more.
"Kujo stayed in our division a bit longer but after her father Kageroza got sick she had to leave the squad to tend to him and never returned." Momo said.
"Well at least everything worked out at the end!" Isane said with a smile.
"I still find it hard to believe Kurosaki can attract so much female attention" Soi Fon said crossing her arms.
Renji, Ichigo and Ichiro finally made it to the mansion. The servants lead them to the waiting room and a few minutes later Byakuya came to said room.
"Oji-san!" Ichiro ran to his uncle as soon as he saw him.
"Hello, Ichiro." Byakuya said and kneeled to receive the little boy's hug as a small smile made its way to his lips. He could never resist Ichiro nor help himself from smiling at the happy boy.
"Good afternoon taichou!" Renji said with a cheesy smile.
"Yo, Byakuya." Ichigo said in a monotone voice, "Renji, Ichiro and I are going to get lunch and Ichiro wanted to invite you." Ichigo finished with his arms crossed.
"You're coming, right oji-san?" Ichiro said looking at his uncle with a twinkle in his violet eyes. Byakuya simply nodded. He didn't particularly care to spend his afternoon with his goofy fukutaichou and his brash brother in law but he could never turn Ichiro down.
"What place did you have in mind?" Byakuya asked Ichigo.
"Nothing fancy, Renji knows of this laidback place that sells onigri, it's supposed to be very good." Ichigo said.
Byakuya stared at Ichigo blankly as he processed the idea. He was almost sure that whatever Renji suggested would not be to his liking so he immediately nixed the idea.
"I think it would be better if Ichiro went to a place guaranteed to be sanitary in which the food will not only be edible but enjoyable, but most importantly a place in which the ambiance will be pleasant and refined." Byakuya finished leaving little room for discussion. Ichigo restrained himself from saying anything embarassing in front of Ichiro and wondered if he would have been better off putting up with the nosey women at his home.
A fancy restaurant in the Seireitei…
"Good afternoon Kuchiki-sama" A pretty hostess greeted. She then eyed the little orange-haired boy he was holding hands with and almost melted, "Hello little one, you are just sooo cute!" She said and gave Ichiro a big smile.
"Good afternoon." The noble finally greeted the woman.
"Hello there!" Renji said trying to get the hostess attention with a smooth tone.
"Good afternoon." The hostess said uninterested and proceeded to continue ogling the Kuchiki noble. Ichigo rolled his eyes wondering why his red-haired friend even tried.
"Hope you enjoy your meal." The hostess said looking dreamily into Byakuya's eyes when she seated the group of men at their table.
Ichiro sat next to Byakuya as he looked happily out the big window and watched the people walking by. Renji sat next to a scowling and grumpy Ichigo as he looked around the elegant restaurant. He was happy that since his taichou chose the place he would be footing the bill. He had always wondered about this place but knew the price was not in his comfort zone.
"So how's your weekend so far taichou?" Renji asked nervously trying to break the awkward silence.
"Fine." He said simply. "How is yours? Did you go back to the office earlier today to finish the leftover paperwork from yesterday?" Byakuya asked as he sipped on his tea.
"uuhh I was about to head there when Ichigo came by and invited me to lunch…" Renji said as tiny sweat drops developed on his forehead.
"I see." The noble said and chose to drop the subject before he senbonzakura'd his right-hand.
"So you excited about being an uncle again taichou?" Renji asked trying to change the subject.
"Yes." Byakuya answered while glaring heatedly at Ichigo letting him know he knew just wherethe baby was conceived. Ichigo simply gave him a cocky smirk. Knowing that Byakuya knew about his and Rukia's rendezvous brightened his day considerably. After noticing the icy aura that now surrounded the table Renji wondered how he never failed to pick the worst subjects possible.
The food came shortly after and the group ate with little conversation in between except for when the talkative Ichiro got his uncle's attention.
**Six years later**
The sun was shining and the day was comfortably warm in Soul Society. The sky was a light blue with a few scattered plushy clouds. Everything was silent aside from the clattering of a pair of wooden swords. Ichigo was training with the now eight year old Ichiro.
A large red blanket was spread out on a grassy hill overlooking the father and son. Under the comfortable shade of a large tree, Rukia sat with her back against the trunk as she read her favorite manga. Byakuya sat next to his sister on an oversized red cushion as he carefully analyzed Ichiro's training, his eyes moving from side to side as he eyed the wooden swords. Next to them, a black haired little girl laid on her belly as she colored away, her legs flinging back and forth. She was five years old and was an exact copy of Rukia except for her deep brown eyes. Her hair was currently up in two ponytails, a few black bangs falling loosely framing her round face.
"Okasan look!" Rukia looked up in the direction her daughter was pointing and saw the Kurosaki family approaching the grassy hill.
"Yuzuki!" Isshin yelled with his arms open as he ran to his granddaughter.
"Ojii-san!" She said exited dropping her color markers aside and running down to meet her grandfather's embrace.
"Oh my beautiful granddaughter I missed you so much!" Isshin said as he twirled the little girl around and playfully messed with her hair.
"Ojii-san how could you have missed me if you saw me a few days ago?" Yuzuki asked as she fixed her hair.
"Don't bother trying to understand him Yuzuki, goat face here is a strange one." Karin said pointing to her father.
"I'm happy you guys could make it, thanks for coming." Rukia said with a smile.
"Thanks for inviting us. Now that we're done with school we can come more often." Yuzu said as she placed a basket with food on the blanket and hugged Rukia.
"Wanna go play with the ball?" Karin asked Yuzuki after greeting Rukia and Byakuya. She nodded and proceeded to go play with her aunts.
Isshin took a seat next to Byakuya and also watched as Ichigo practiced with Ichiro. He quickly glanced at Byakuya and thought it was strange how even when sitting on a blanket out at a picnic Byakuya could still keep his elegant posture.
"No fair!" Ichiro said with a pout as he began to chase after his father, his wooden sword hanging limply on his hand.
"If I went easy on you it wouldn't be any fun!" Ichigo said as he ran away from the little orange-head with ease. He loved training with his son but liked challenging him. Unfortunately, Ichiro had inherited his temper and would get extremely angry at not being able to beat his father.
Ichiro suddenly stopped the endless chase, his violet orbs staring deeply into his father's deep brown eyes. He proceeded to smile wide and mischeviously. Ichigo raised an eyebrow wondering what his son was up to when…
"Okasaaaaan! Otousan is being mean to me!" Ichiro yelled at the top of his lungs full of emotion. With that, Rukia put her manga to the side, stood up from her comfortable spot and proceeded to walk down the grassy hill. Byakuya and Isshin simply looked at each other and continued to watch the events unfold.
"What's going on?" She said putting one of her small hands on her waist as she approached the two orange heads.
Ichiro gave his father one quick smile before his eyes turned watery. He then looked up to Rukia with a cute pout and said, "Otousan was not being fair okasan…he was being a bully!"
"Is that so?" Rukia said as she looked at her husband.
"Ha! Ichiro is just as good of an actor as you…but anyway Ichiro, you know I'm stronger than your mother so why bother asking her for help?" Ichigo said with a smirk taunting his fukutaichou wife.
Without hesitation Rukia shunpoed towards Ichigo and tried to kick his shin but he had already shunpoed away.
"Told you!" Ichigo said as he chuckled away. He continued to taunt Rukia until she suddenly stopped chasing her playful husband and stood next to Ichiro. Ichigo stared at his wife and wondered what was going on as a dark smirk appeared on her face.
"Watch this Ichiro." She said firmly and from where she was chanted a restraining kido. The unexpecting Ichigo's arms went to his back and he fell to his knees. Rukia proceeded to finally and victoriously kick him on the shin.
"Whaa….you!" Ichigo yelled unable to rub his now aching chin.
"You might be stronger than me but I'll always have my own ways of keeping you in check." Rukia said pleased with herself giving him a kiss on the cheek. She then proceeded to head back to her spot with a grinning Ichiro.
Byakuya was unable to restrain a small chuckle while Isshin immediately went to take advantage of his son's misfortune by running down to tease and tickle him. Ichigo quickly broke the binding spell and the two Kurosaki men began wrestling on the grass.
Yuzu and Rukia set the food neatly on the blanket. When everything was ready the family gathered around and began eating.
Byakuya looked around until his eyes fell on Rukia. Although his face would never show it he could die today and die a happy man because he knew she had found true happiness. In the eyes of many Ichigo could be a taichou, a hero, or anything anyone could think of, but in the eyes of Byakuya he was simply the man his sister loved and the only man capable enough of protecting and keeping her happy with the love he gave her in the strangest and most unconvetional ways only he could.
Isshin caught Byakuya in deep thought and a smirk soon adorned his face. He too was truly joyful for his son's happiness. With Rukia in his life, the deep void that once prevented Ichigo from loving life was finally gone. Time and time again Rukia had shown with actions just how much Ichigo meant to her. The way he responded to her love was undeniable. And so, in Isshin's eyes, Rukia was not a Kuchiki, a hard-working fukutaichou, or anything else she might be to anyone else. To him, she was simply the woman who had brought his son back from the darkness and given him the greatest joys he always hoped his son would experience.
A small breeze blew on the grassy hill were the family sat. Isshin and Ichigo suddenly started bickering about one thing or the other. Karin rolled her eyes and instead focused her attention on her niece and nephew. Yuzu sweat dropped and instead of telling them to stop she started rambling about how delicious the food was while Byakuya elegantly agreed. Rukia quickly elbowed her husband efficiently shutting him up -and receiving a thumbs up from her father in law- and the whole family continued enjoying their meal.
No form of hollow, Aizen, or any other sort of past (or future) manipulation would break their bonds. Destiny had brought them together and although the future would forever be mysterious and uncertain the bonds they had built could never be broken.
Yes, the ending was sugary sweet but that's the way I like it…I can only dream (and write) hehe….well hope you guys enjoyed the story and thanks to everyone who reviewed, added it your faves/alerts, and also to everyone else out there who read it at their discretion lol =D.
Take care everyone! :)
Note: I chose to name Rukia and Ichigo's daughter Yuzuki because it's cute and it means "tender moon" in Japanese.