"Come in," answered a male voice.
"Ah, Nii – sama, I'm off to school," answered a nervous female voice.
"Be careful with those boys in your class."
"Yes Nii – sama," with that Rukia left to her first day of high school.
On the way to school Rukia had a big smile on her face. Her brother's comment really made her day because he rarely expressed his concern for Rukia.
When Rukia got to school her feet suddenly felt heavier. She was getting nervous because she didn't know anyone in school because she just moved to Karakura town the summer before school started. She knew her childhood friend, Renji, would transfer here after winter break, but that was months away. Rukia finally got to her classroom; she looked at the door for a few seconds, closed her eyes, and then took a deep breath.
"So are you goin' in or what?" asked an annoyed voice. Rukia opened her eyes and turned to see where the voice was coming from. It was a tall boy with bright orange hair. Rukia just gave the boy a puzzled look. "You open the door like this," said boy motioned how to open the door.
"I know how to open the door asswhole!"
"You sure 'bout that midget? You been standin' there for like five minutes."
Rukia kicked the boy's shins and said "I'm not a midget, I'm Kuchiki Rukia."
The boy glared at Rukia for kicking him and answered, "Name's Kurosaki Ichigo."
"I didn't ask for your name," Rukia said and walked into the classroom.
"Bitch," Ichigo muttered as he followed Rukia into the classroom.
And that is how Rukia started her friendship with Ichigo, who quickly became her best friend.
Rukia soon realized that high school wasn't such a big deal. She made several friends and had a few close friends, she was also ecstatic when her childhood transferred to Karakura High School. Unfortunately, they were not in the same classroom. Rukia couldn't believe how high school just flew by, in a few months she would be graduating. Things seemed pretty good until her brother made a decision that would change Rukia's life.
Rukia was having dinner with her brother, Byakuya. It was quiet but that was common because Byakuya usually held a cold demeanor. However, that night Byakuya broke the silence.
"Yes Nii – sama?"
"I've arranged for you to get married."
Rukia started chocking on the food she was currently chewing. After she cleared her throat, she asked, "To whom?"
"To a man named Aizen Sousuke. He owns a few companies here. Your marriage will give us the opportunity to merge our companies."
"O – Okay Nii – sama, may I be excused?" Rukia excused herself and then went upstairs into her room.
When Rukia went to her room, she leaned against the door, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and slowly slid down until she was sitting on the floor. "I'm getting married," Rukia whispered to herself. Rukia wasn't sure whether she should be upset or excited about the marriage. Rukia then walked up and went to go lay on her bed.
'I wonder what he's like? Will we get along? How old is he? Is he quiet like Nii – sama? Does he have a short temper like Renji and Ichigo? What will he think of me?' All of these questions and more were going through Rukia's head as she tossed and turned in bed trying to get some sleep.
The next day several questions were still going through Rukia's head. She couldn't even concentrate in school and her friends noticed she wasn't focused.
"Kuchiki – san?"
Rukia was startled by her good friend Inoue Orihime. "Yes, Inoue?"
"Is everything alright? You seem distracted by something."
"Well…. I got some interesting news yesterday."
"What is it?"
"I can't tell you in school."
"Oh…. Well, do you want to come to my place after school?"
"Okay, is it alright if I invite the others?"
Orihime nodded yes and went to her desk.
After school Orihime rushed home to prepare some snacks for her guests. Meanwhile at school, Ichigo was waiting for Rukia as she finished packing her school supplies.
"So what's the deal? Why you been actin' weird all day?"
Rukia looked at the ground and said, "I'll tell you at Inoue's."
Orihime opened the door with a smile and said, "Come in, would either of you like a snack?"
"No, thanks," Rukia and Ichigo answered in unison. They both knew Orihime had odd tastes when it came to food. A few minutes later there was another knock at the door. "That must be Abarai – kun and Hinamori – chan," Orihime said as she went to answer the door. As Renji walked through the door he yelled, "Rukia what's the big news that I had to miss basketball practice?"
Now that Rukia's closest friends were here she was ready to tell them the big news. She waited until all of her friends were sitting down.
"I'm getting married," she said and then gave a nervous laugh. All of her friends were speechless. There were a few minutes of silence and Rukia started getting nervous so she said, "Will someone please say something."
"Why?" Ichigo asked almost in a whisper.
"Nii – sama arranged for me to get married to one of his associates."
"I – I didn't know people still had arranged marriages," Momo said in a sad tone.
"Umm…. Do you want to …. Get married Kuchiki – san?" asked Orihime.
"Well, I guess I don't really mind. I mean, it's not like I have a boyfriend, so there's no problem. And I'm sure if my sister was still alive she would like for me to get married. I also want Nii – sama to be proud of me," Rukia said with a slight blush.
"Oh, Kuchiki – san, you're so brave," Orihime said as tears rolled down her cheek.
"Inoue, please don't cry. I'm fine with it really."
Orihime nodded indicating she understood Rukia, but Orihime couldn't stop the tears that were coming.
Everyone turned to where the noise was coming from. It was Rukia's cell phone; she had gotten a text message from her brother.
"It's Nii –sama, he wants me to go home already."
"I'll walk you home," offered Renji. Rukia nodded yes. Orihime walked Rukia and Renji to the door.
"Bye Kuchiki – san, Abarai – kun."
"Bye Inoue. Please don't worry and tell Ichigo not to worry either. I think he's still in shock," Rukia said.
"Okay," Orihime said as new tears started to form. She then gave Rukia a big hug and waved good bye as Rukia and Renji walked away.
On the walk home Renji asked "Rukia, are you really okay with the wedding?"
Rukia took a deep breath and replied, "I'm not gonna lie, I'm really nervous and scared about this."
"I'm sure your brother would understand if you told him you didn't want to get married."
"I'm going to meet him in a few hours."
Renji's eyes went wide and he stopped walking for a few seconds and then asked, "Do you want me go with you?"
"No, it's okay. He's going to the house and I'll have Nii –sama with me. So, I'm sure I'll be fine."
Renji had a worried look on his face but said, "Okay, lemme know what happens."
"Yeah, I'll call you and Ichigo later," Rukia gave Renji a hug and then walked into her house.
As soon as Rukia got home, she showered, and put on an elegant dark blue, almost black dress. The dress was strapless and was slightly above the knee. Rukia then did her hair, she put it up in a messy bun with some hair down to frame her face. Finally, Rukia did her make – up, which was her least favorite part. Rukia didn't like wearing make – up, she preferred to be all natural. But she wanted to make a good impression so she wore make – up. Once Rukia was done getting ready she went downstairs to the living room to meet her brother and fiancé.
When Rukia walked into the living room and saw both men talking, she got very nervous. Rukia introduced herself and her fiancé, Aizen Sousuke, introduced himself. Byakuya, Sousuke, and Rukia were chatting for about an hour. Then Byakuya left so Sousuke and Rukia could get to know each other.
"How old are you Kuchiki – chan?"
"I'm 18. How old are you Aizen – sama?"
"*chuckles* I'm 26 and please just call me Aizen."
"Y – Yes."
"Please don't be so nervous. I know this is strange, but feel free to ask anything."
"Well…umm… when do you plan on getting married?"
"*chuckles* My you don't waste time getting to the point do you? Well, I was hoping we could get married about a week or so after you graduate. Is that okay with you?"
"Umm… Will I be able to invite my friends to the wedding?"
"Of course you can. Which reminds me, in the next month we'll talk about the actual wedding."
Rukia and Sousuke continued to ask each other questions. By the end of their first meeting Rukia didn't feel so nervous around Sousuke anymore.
After Sousuke left Rukia had a small conversation with Byakuya.
"Do you like him?"
"Yes, he seemed nice."
"Good, you two will meet twice a week, to get to know each other better."
"Yes Nii – sama. Is it alright if I go meet Ichigo and Renji? To tell them how the meeting went."
"You still hang around those pathetic boys?"
"Please Nii – sama."
"Thank you Nii – sama," Rukia quickly ran out the door, with her cell in hand.
As soon as Rukia was out the door she called Ichigo on her cell phone. Ichigo didn't answer so she called him a few more times before calling Renji.
"Hey Renji, I just met him. Can we meet somewhere to talk about it?"
"Sure where do you wanna meet up?"
"How about the park?"
"Yeah, I'll be there in a few."
"Renji, do you know if Ichigo went out with his family? I called him but he wouldn't answer his phone."
"*sigh* Don't worry 'bout Ichigo, I'll pick him up on my way to the park."
"Okay, I'll see you guys in a bit then."
Renji grabbed his keys and jacket and ran out his apartment. Renji quickly got to Ichigo's house. He then yelled "ICHIIIGOO! ICHIGO! GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE! HEY ICHIGO!"
Within seconds an angry Ichigo was outside.
"Renji, what the hell's your problem?"
"My problem? What's your problem? Rukia said she's been callin' you, but you don't answer."
Ichigo was looking at the ground as he said, "I'm just havin' a hard time with the news. I can't believe she's gettin' married."
"Dumbass. Why do you always have to make everythin' 'bout you." Ichigo looked up with a confused look on his face. "Ichigo, right now Rukia needs us more than ever. She met the guy today. And ya know what she told me? She told me that she was scared. So get your head out of your ass! You need to be strong for Rukia. Now c'mon she's waitin' for us at the park."
With that both Renji and Ichigo walked to the park where Rukia was waiting.
When Ichigo and Renji got to the park they saw Rukia sitting on one of the swings. Renji continued walking towards Rukia, but Ichigo stopped in his tracks when he saw Rukia slowly swinging herself. Ichigo never noticed how beautiful Rukia was. The way her porcelain skin contrasted against the dark night, the way her beautiful sapphire eyes shined despite the hardships that were sure to come, and the way those rebellious locks framed her beautiful face. Ichigo could have watched Rukia all night, but Renji interrupted his thoughts by saying, "Ichigo, you comin'?"
"Huh?... Oh, yeah." Ichigo and Renji each sat on a swing next to Rukia.
"So, his name is Aizen Sousuke," Rukia said as she continued to swing herself.
"What do you think of him?" asked Ichigo.
"He's really nice. At first it was pretty awkward, but then he made feel pretty comfortable around him."
"Well, at least you guys got along right away. How often are you guys gonna see each other?" asked Renji.
"Twice a week, so pretty much on the weekends."
"So did he say umm…..when the uhhh….wedding would be?" Ichigo asked as there was a slight pain in his stomach.
"About a week after graduation."
"SO SOON?" yelled Ichigo. Rukia merely nodded yes.
"So you're gettin' married in a few months," the sadness was evident in Renji's voice.
"Don't say it like that! You guys should be happy for me."
Renji gave a nervous laugh then said, "Right, sorry 'bout that."
"Man, it's getting cold," Rukia said as she rubbed her arms for warmth.
"*chuckles* Dumbass, you shoulda brought a sweater or somehtin'," Renji said as he removed his jacket and put it on Rukia's shoulders. For some reason Ichigo was bothered by the kind gesture.
The three stayed in the park until midnight talking about random things.
"I'm tired you guys," Rukia said as she rubbed her sleepy eyes. Ichigo smiled at her child like demeanor.
"*sigh* Why didn't you say anythin' earlier? This is just like you. Well c'mon I'll walk you home," Renji said as he got off the swing.
"That's okay I can go home by myself."
"Are you crazy? Do you know what kinda crazy people are out there? I'm walkin' you home whether you like it or not," Renji replied.
"*sigh* Fine," Rukia said as she rolled her eyes and got off her swing.
"See ya, Ichigo," Renji said as he and Rukia started walking.
"Bye Ichigo. I'll see you in school tomorrow," Rukia said as she waved good bye. Ichigo waved good bye, but when he saw Rukia rest her head on Renji's arm, Ichigo couldn't stop glaring at Renji. Ichigo stood there glaring at Renji's retreating form. When Renji and Rukia were no longer in sight, Ichigo decided to start walking home.
* A week later at Ichigo's house*
When Ichigo went downstairs for breakfast, Yuzu was busy cooking, Karin was at the table reading a manga, and his father was telling some idiotic story.
"Good morning onii – chan," greeted Yuzu.
"Hey Ichi – nii," Karin greeted without looking up from her manga.
"Hey," greeted Ichigo.
"Ichigo, my boy," Isshin yelled as he was about to give Ichigo a hug.
Ichigo simply punched his dad in the face and asked, "What's for breakfast?"
"Pancakes," Yuzu replied as she gave Ichigo, Karin, and their dad a plate full of pancakes, with syrup, whipped cream, and a strawberry on top.
"Thanks Yuzu, these look great," Ichigo said as he started eating.
Yuzu smiled and then asked, "How many of your friends are coming today? Is it just Rukia – chan and Renji – kun?"
"Renji's still got basketball practice and I don't think Rukia's comin'."
"Why not?" asked Karin, sounding the least bit interested.
"Cuz she's gettin' married and might see her fiancé."
"WHAT? My third daughter is getting married?" yelled Isshin.
"SHE'S NOT YOUR THIRD DAUGHTER! Anyway I'm off to school thanks for the breakfast Yuzu. Bye."
"But onii – chan…..," Yuzu then heard the front door being slammed "…you didn't even finish," Yuzu finished with a frown.
"Oh, Yuzu you just don't get it," Karin said as she ate her breakfast.
"Get what Karin – chan?"
"Ichi – nii has a crush."
"Really? On who?"
"I'll tell you when you get older. Can I have more pancakes?"
"Karin! Why do you always do that?" whined Yuzu.
On the way to school Ichigo walked with a frown and was mumbling, "Stupid dad, why does he always call her his third daughter. He always has to say somethin' stupid. Man, he pisses me off so much."
"Umm….Kurosaki – kun?"
"Huh?" Ichigo turned to see Orihime with a concerned look on her face.
"Are you okay Kurosaki – kun?"
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Oh, it's just that you were murmuring something. I thought you were troubled by something."
"*sigh* Sorry to worry you. I was just thinkin' out loud."
"Well, if Kurosaki – kun ever needs someone to talk to, I'm always here," Orihime said with a smile.
"Thanks Inoue," Ichigo replied and gave a slight smile.
Weeks passed and the other students in Rukia's class found out about her arranged marriage. Keigo who always shows his emotions, cried for a week. Ichigo would beat Keigo for over reacting. Eventually, it became normal for Rukia to talk about Sousuke or for people to ask questions about him. Now there was only a month before Rukia and her friends graduated high school and two months before her wedding (which was pushed back a few weeks). Because there were so many important dates coming up, Rukia was very busy.
Rukia, Ichigo, Orihime, Tatsuki, Uryuu, and Chad were talking after school, by the school gate.
"Rukia, have you gotten any sleep?" asked Ichigo.
"Of course I have," answered Rukia.
"You look so tired Kuchiki – san," added Orihime.
"I've just been busy lately," replied Rukia.
"Yeah, I bet. Seriously Kuchiki, I have no idea how you get everything done," said Tatsuki.
"Yeah, you should just take the day off. You should come over and have dinner with me and my family. I'm sure Yuzu would love to cook for you. Y'know they have been askin' 'bout you since you haven't been over in awhile," Ichigo said.
"Aww, Ichigo asked Kuchiki out," Tatsuki teased and Ichigo blushed realizing he asked Rukia out in front of his friends.
Rukia giggled at Tatsuki's comment and said, "A break would be nice and your family is always so nice. Sounds like fun."
The group chatted about how fun the weekend had been because of prom. Uryuu went with Orihime because they started dating a week before prom, Ichigo went with his friend Senna, Renji asked Tatsuki to prom, Momo went with her friend Izuru, and Rukia went with her friends. Everyone thought Rukia should have taken a date, especially because several guys asked her to prom. However, Rukia thought it would be strange to have a date since she was engaged. Sousuke had told Rukia it was fine for her to have a date for prom, but Rukia refused. Rukia still had fun because she danced with several friends including Orihime, Momo, Chizuru, Renji, Keigo, Shuuhei (Rukia's ex – boyfriend), and Ichigo.
Once they were done talking about prom Tatsuki said, "I gotta go, my folks'll get mad if I get home too late."
"I'll walk you and Inoue – chan home," said Uryuu.
"Shouldn't you call her Orihime, I mean you guys are dating. But that's okay, you two love birds might need some alone time."
"T – Tatsuki – chan!" yelled Orihime, while the group laughed at Orihime's outburst.
"Plus, I gotta make sure Ichigo and Kuchiki make it to their date," Tatsuki continued.
Ichigo rolled his eyes and said "Fine, we're leavin'," Ichigo then pulled Rukia by her arm and started walking away.
Rukia waved good bye and said, "See you tomorrow."
Everyone else started walking to their perspective destination.
When Ichigo got home he yelled "I'm home and I brought Rukia with me."
"*gasp* Rukia – chan, you haven't come in awhile. How have you been?" asked Yuzu.
"I'm sorry if I worried you for not coming by, but I've been busy," answered Rukia.
"Let's go Rukia. We're gonna be in my room, and she's stayin' for dinner," interrupted Ichigo as he started walking to his room.
"Really Rukia – chan?" asked an all too happy Yuzu. Rukia nodded yes, then excused herself and followed Ichigo upstairs.
When Rukia got to Ichigo's room she laid down on his bed and said, "Man, I haven't been here in so long."
"You're tellin' me. They won't stop askin' bout you," answered Ichigo.
"Why were you blushing when Arisawa said we were going on a date?"
"Tch, I wasn't blushing. You used to come over all the time. Why would this time be any different?"
"That's what I wanna know."
"I'm tellin' you I wasn't blushing."
"Yes you were!"
"NO I WASN'T!"
"JUST TELL ME WHY!"
"Why the hell are you suddenly so interested in my life?"
"Fine, be that way jackass!" Rukia said as she slammed Ichigo's door and went downstairs.
"Another fight?" asked Karin as she was watching TV.
"Huh? Oh, hi Karin – chan."
"I'll take that as a yes," Rukia gave Karin a nervous smile and walked into the kitchen.
"Need some help Yuzu – chan?" asked Rukia.
"No, that's okay you're a guest after all," answered Yuzu.
"That's okay; I need to learn to cook anyways."
"….Okay, I guess so."
With a smile Rukia asked, "What do I do first?" Yuzu then started showing Rukia how to prepare the food.
Once they were done Yuzu said with a smile, "You did a good job Rukia – chan."
"Thanks Yuzu – chan, you're a great teacher," Rukia said as she was smiling from ear to ear. Just then Ichigo walked into the kitchen.
"What's with the dopey grin?" he asked Rukia.
"Onii – chan, be nice," whined Yuzu.
"Aww, you got Yuzu fightin' your battles," he teased.
Rukia ignored Ichigo and walked over to the couch to let Karin know that dinner was ready.
"Onii – chan, can you let daddy know dinner's ready?" asked Yuzu. Ichigo nodded and left to call his father.
Once everyone was at the table, they started to eat. During dinner everyone was asking Rukia about her fiancé and about her wedding plans. Ichigo, however, was oddly quiet. Isshin changed the subject when he said, "Yuzu, today's dinner is sooo good," he then took another bite of his dinner.
"Maybe it's because Rukia – chan helped," replied Yuzu.
"I'm so happy, my third daughter made us dinner," Isshin said as he shed tears of joy.
"SHE'S NOT YOUR THIRD DAUGHTER! Didn't you just hear she's getting MARRIED!" yelled Ichigo. He then stormed upstairs to his room and slammed the door.
Rukia looked down at her plate and said, "I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault Rukia –chan," Yuzu assured Rukia.
"I think I should go, Nii –sama must be waiting. It was nice seeing you again. Kurosaki –san, I hope all of you will make it to the wedding," Rukia said and then walked out. Yuzu and Karin gave Rukia sympathetic looks. Isshin was concerned about Ichigo's outburst. After Rukia left Isshin went upstairs to talk to Ichigo.
There was no answer so Isshin went into Ichigo's room.
"I'm tryin' to go to sleep," Ichigo said when he heard his dad walk in.
"Ichigo," Isshin said in a serious voice. Ichigo noticed the serious tone so he sat up.
"It's not too late you know."
"Too late for what?"
"To tell Rukia how you feel."
"What the hell are you talkin' bout? We're just friends."
"Ichigo, I know how you feel about her. It's written all over your face."
"Your delusional old man."
"*sigh* I just hope you don't regret waiting too long. But I know one day you really will make her my third daughter," and with that Isshin left Ichigo's room.
"Dumbass doesn't know what he's talkin' 'bout," Ichigo said as he laid down and went to bed.
The next day at school Rukia felt a bit awkward around Ichigo because of his outburst the night before. However, Rukia had other things to worry about, so she ignored the awkwardness. Eventually, things went back to normal between the two. Asides from Ichigo's outburst at dinner, everything else went rather smoothly for Rukia.
Graduation was here. Rukia and her friends were ecstatic. Orihime was especially happy because Uryuu was valedictorian. She couldn't be prouder of Uryuu. After the graduation ceremony was over, Rukia and her friends celebrated with their own families. However, they did make plans to go to a club that night.
*Later that day*
Rukia, Tatsuki, and Momo had gone over to Orihime's to get ready for the club. Tatsuki who wasn't very feminine wore black leggings, a gray sequined shirt, and a biker jacket. Rukia wore a one shoulder strap purple dress that was a few inches above the knee. Momo also wore a dress; she had on a light yellow, strapless mini dress, with a few sequins. And Orihime wore a tulip dress that was white on top and light purple on the bottom. After the girls got ready they chatted about random things while they waited for the guys to pick them up.
About an hour later the guys arrived at Orihime's apartment. Ichigo and Uryuu were each driving a car. Ichigo already had 3 passengers; Keigo, Renji, and Chad. Uryuu, who had no passengers in his car, went to knock on Orihime's door, to let the girls know it was time to leave. Uryuu also told them that he had enough room in his car for 3 passengers, and that Ichigo already had the guys in his car. When Tatsuki and Momo heard about the car situation, they yelled in unison, "We're going with Ishida."
Rukia's eyes widened when she heard them yell and said, "That means I have to go with the guys?"
Orihime gave an apologetic look and said, "Sorry Kuchiki – san."
The girls and Uryuu walked over to their perspective cars. When Rukia got to Ichigo's car, Ichigo said, "So we got stuck with you huh?"
"Shut up! I didn't want to go with you either," replied Rukia.
"Yes! Kuchiki – san you can sit next to me," answered an all too excited Keigo.
Ichigo and Renji (who was sitting in the passenger's seat) gave each other a look saying 'There's no way in hell she's sittin' next to him.'
"Forget it, she's sittin' up front," Renji said as he opened the door and got out of the car. He then motioned for Rukia to get in.
"Thanks Renji," Rukia said as she gave Renji a big smile and got in the car. Finally, everyone was ready and they set off to the club.
They arrived at the club in about fifteen minutes; they also had no problem getting in the club because Renji knew the bouncer. As soon as they got in everyone was having fun dancing, mingling, and some of them had a drink or two. After awhile Tatsuki, Momo, and Orihime were on the dance floor. Tatsuki was with Renji, Orihime was with Uryuu, and Momo was dancing with some random guy who asked her to dance. Rukia still wanted to dance so she asked Ichigo, "Will you dance with me?"
"I'm tired ask someone else."
"But Renji and Ishida are already dancing with someone else."
"So ask Chad."
"Ichigo, he's talking to some girl."
"Well, sucks for you then."
"*sigh* Fine, I'll go ask Asano," Rukia then started walking toward Keigo, until Ichigo stopped her.
"Fine, I'll dance wit' you. You must be really desperate if you're willin' to dance with Keigo."
"HEY!" Rukia yelled in protest.
Ichigo ignored her and dragged her to the dance floor.
On the dance floor Rukia was dancing to the beat of the music. Ichigo, for some reason, felt awkward and couldn't find his rhythm. Rukia could sense Ichigo's awkwardness and asked, "What's wrong?"
"I told you I was tired, I just don't feel like dancin'."
"Come on Ichigo, just this one song," Rukia then put Ichigo's hands on her hips "just follow the beat." Rukia said as she continued to dance. Ichigo's face turned red the moment Rukia put his hands on her hips. Luckily no one would notice his flushed cheeks, thanks to the colored lights.
After the song was over Rukia and Ichigo walked toward their friends. When they got to where their friends were; both Renji and Tatsuki had big grins on their faces.
"Looks like your havin' fun," mocked Tatsuki.
"Yeah right, I had to force Ichigo on the dance floor and even then he didn't want to dance," answered Rukia.
"Oh, Ichigo, playing hard to get?" asked Renji.
Ichigo ignored them and went to sit by Chad. After awhile everyone was ready to go, so they all left in the same cars they came in.
The days after graduation just flew by and now it was Rukia's wedding day. Rukia had chosen Orihime as her maid of honor. Rukia was nervously waiting for the ceremony to begin.
A few minutes before the ceremony started Renji went to see Rukia.
"So are you ready?" he asked.
"*sigh* Yeah, I'm ready."
"And you're sure you wanna go through wit' this? Cuz if you change your mind ya know me and Ichigo will cause a scene. Just give us a sign."
"*giggle* Thanks Renji, but I'm sure I want to go through with this."
"Okay, I'll see ya out there and I better hurry cuz Ichigo wants to talk to you too," Renji then gave Rukia a kiss on the forehead and went to find his seat. Seconds later Ichigo appeared.
"Hey," he said.
Rukia simply smiled and for a moment it was as if time were still. Ichigo could not believe how beautiful she looked. It was a bittersweet moment because Rukia looked incredibly beautiful but Ichigo was loosing her to another man.
"So what did you want to say?" asked Rukia.
"Rukia …umm ….ugh….well…" Rukia placed her hands on Ichigo's and gave him a reassuring squeeze.
"I'm sure Ichigo."
"Well if you change your mind while you're up there…"
"I know Renji told me. But don't worry, I'll be fine."
"Okay," Ichigo then started walking towards his seat.
"Ichigo…" when Ichigo turned to Rukia, Rukia was giving him a big hug "thanks Ichigo."
Ichigo gave a sad smile and said "Dummy, don't start cryin'. The wedding hasn't even started." Rukia held back her tears and let go of Ichigo.
"Hurry up and go to your seat, the wedding's going to start already."
Ichigo was about to say something when Byakuya walked in. Ichigo left to go find his seat because the wedding was starting.
"Are you ready?" asked Byakuya.
"Yes Nii –sama." Answered Rukia.
Rukia was then walked down the isle by her brother. Both Ichigo and Renji sat on the edge of their seats looking for any kind of hesitation from Rukia. Rukia never showed any kind of hesitation, not even as she and her husband said I do.
After the ceremony Rukia, Sousuke, and all their guests went to the after party.
"Oh, Kuchiki –san, I'm so happy for you," said Inoue.
"*gasp* That's right, you're not a Kuchiki anymore."
"No, that's not it. You're my maid of honor; you should be calling me Rukia."
"You're right Rukia –chan," replied Orihime with a smile.
Throughout the party Rukia shared several slow dances with her husband and a few with her brother. Rukia also danced with her friends from high school including Ichigo, Renji, Orihime, Momo, Keigo, Uryuu, Chizuru, and Shuuhei. Rukia also danced a few times with Yuzu and to everyone's surprise Karin also danced with Rukia more than once.
It was late and the party was coming to an end. Several people had already gone home. Those who were left were getting ready to go home themselves. Rukia who was tired from the day's activities was sitting down with her husband.
"Excuse me, may I have a dance with the bride?" asked a male voice. Both Rukia and Sousuke turned and saw Isshin.
Rukia smiled and said, "Of course."
Once they were dancing Isshin said, "You know Rukia –chan, I have always thought of you as my third daughter. So, if you ever need anything don't hesitate to ask and don't forget to visit us every once and a while."
"Thank you Kurosaki – san."
After the wedding Rukia and Sousuke stayed at Byakuya's manor while Sousuke had people take a few of Rukia's belongings to Sousuke's manor. The next day Rukia went with Sousuke to her new home.
*At Sousuke's manor*
"Wow, Aizen the house is so big and beautiful," Rukia said as she entered her new home.
"You will address me as Aizen – sama, and right now I have work to do. Therefore, I do not want to be interrupted," Sousuke said as he walked to his office.
Rukia could not believe Sousuke's sudden change in demeanor. One of the maids who saw the event, showed Rukia to her bedroom.
"Thank you," Rukia said once she was in her room.
"You're welcome Rukia –sama," answered the maid.
"You don't have to address me as –sama," replied the nervous Rukia. The maid nodded and turned to leave. "Wait, what's your name?" asked Rukia.
"Matsumoto Rangiku," replied the maid.
"Nice to meet you Matsumoto –san,"
"Umm… Rukia –sama, may I ask how old you are?"
"Oh, wow! You look so much younger, for a second I thought Aizen –sama kidnapped you."
Rukia gave a nervous laugh and then she sadly asked, "What did I do to upset Aizen –sama?"
"*sigh* You didn't do anything wrong. Aizen –sama he …he deceived you."
"Deceived me? How?"
"He is a different man in public. In public he is very kind and friendly. However, here he is demanding, manipulative, and lacks emotions."
"Oh," said the saddened Rukia.
"But don't worry Toushirou –kun (another servant) and I will look after you," replied Rangiku with a smile.
Rukia quickly learned how to please Sousuke; she simply avoided him unless he asked to see her. Rukia also formed a good relationship with Rangiku and Toushirou. Rukia did not see Sousuke much during the day, but she was not lonely because Ichigo, Renji, and the others would visit often.
Renji, Orihime, and Uryuu would try to visit on the weekends. Ichigo would visit everyday in between classes and sometimes after school. Momo would visit every other day, however, Momo would not only visit Rukia, she would also visit Toushirou, the man with whom she quickly formed a close relationship with.
That is how Rukia spent the first year of her marriage; she avoided her husband and was constantly visited by good friends. During that year Rukia became even closer with Ichigo. Throughout that year Ichigo finally acknowledged that he had feelings for Rukia. Unfortunately, things were about to get a bit complicated for Ichigo and Rukia.
Rukia was out planting in the garden and Ichigo was 'studying' in the garden, but really he was just watching Rukia. They were both enjoying the calm and serene atmosphere.
"Rukia –chan?" interrupted Rangiku. Both Rukia and Ichigo turned to see Rangiku. "Aizen –sama wishes to speak with you," added Rangiku and then turned to leave.
Once Rangiku left, Ichigo asked "What's wrong? Why does Aizen wanna see you?"
"Don't worry Ichigo, I'm sure it's nothing," answered Rukia.
"Well, I better go see what he wants. Maybe you should finish studying at school. See you Ichigo," and with that Rukia left. Ichigo stayed in the garden hoping that Rukia's talk with Sousuke wouldn't take too long.
"You wished to see me Aizen –sama?" asked Rukia.
"Is it true that you are pregnant?"
"Well, I'm not sure that is why I am going to the doctor tomorrow."
"I see. I expect a son to carry on my name."
"You may leave."
After having her talk with Sousuke, Rukia was disappointed. She could not believe that Sousuke was not thrilled that he was going to be a father. He simply cared about having a son to carry on his name. But at that moment Rukia decided to give her baby as much love as possible to make up for Sousuke's carelessness.
Rukia then walked over to the garden. She was surprised to see Ichigo was still in the garden.
"Ichigo? What are you still doing here?" she asked
"I just wanted to make sure you were alright," he answered.
Rukia couldn't help but smile at his response. "Well, everything went fine. So you don't have to worry anymore."
"So, what did he want?"
"He wanted to know if I was pregnant."
Ichigo's eyes opened wide with surprise. "Y – You're pregnant?"
"Well, I don't know. I might be. I'll find out tomorrow when I go to the doctor."
"So, is Aizen goin' wit' you to the doctor?"
"N – No, he's very busy. So, I'll just go by myself."
Ichigo could sense the sadness coming from Rukia when she said she would be going alone. So he said, "I can go wit' you."
"But, don't you have class tomorrow?"
"Ah, it's cool. It's a review class for bio."
"And if I need any help I can just ask my dad."
"Ichigo, I don't think that's a good idea."
"Well, I'm goin' wit' you. So at what time do you want me to pick ya up?"
"*sigh* My appointment is at 10."
"'Kay, I'll pick you up at 9:30. See ya tomorrow Rukia."
At the hospital Rukia was fidgeting in her seat while she waited for the doctor.
"Rukia, calm down. The doctor'll call ya soon."
As soon as Ichigo finished his sentence, one of the nurses called out "Aizen Rukia."
"*sigh* Let's go Ichigo."
The doctor had given Rukia her check – up and Rukia was getting anxious and wanted to know whether she was pregnant or not.
"So, is she pregnant?" asked Ichigo.
"I'm happy to tell you both that you will be parents in about eight months," answered the doctor.
"Really? I'm a month pregnant?" asked an all too happy Rukia.
"Yes, 6 weeks to be exact. Now I'll leave you two alone," the doctor said and then left the room.
"I can't believe I'm pregnant," Rukia said as she cried tears of joy.
"Rukia…." Ichigo said as he went to give Rukia a comforting hug.
"Thanks for coming with me Ichigo."
Throughout Rukia's pregnancy whenever she had a doctor's appointment Ichigo would go with her. Also during Rukia's eighth month of pregnancy Orihime and Momo threw her a baby shower.
It was now Rukia's ninth month of pregnancy and she was due any day now. Today she was out with Renji and they were having lunch. They were both enjoying their lunch until Rukia said, "Oh….no…."
Renji was immediately worried by the look on her face and asked "What's wrong?"
"My water just broke."
"Renji, I need to go to the hospital."
"R – Right, c'mon let's go," he said as he helped Rukia.
Rukia was in labor at the hospital while Renji was forced to sit in the waiting area. While Renji was in the waiting area he texted Orihime, Momo, Ichigo, and Byakuya, to let them know Rukia was already in labor.
Ichigo was the first one to get to the hospital, but he, like Renji was not allowed to see Rukia because he was not her husband.
Orihime was the next to arrive along with Uryuu. Byakuya arrived shortly afterwards, and Momo was the last to arrive.
While they were waiting Ichigo was walking around impatiently. Then a nurse walked into the waiting room and said, "She is about to give birth. One of you may be there for the birth."
"I'll go," answered Ichigo.
"Wait! Kurosaki –kun, I think I should go," said Orihime.
"Inoue?" asked a confused Ichigo.
"Well, it's just that Rukia –chan, will be a bit ….uhm …..exposed while giving birth and I think she would feel more comfortable with another girl in the room," explained Orihime.
"Right," replied a now blushing Ichigo.
"Rukia –chan, she's so beautiful."
"Thank you Orihime."
"Well, I should let the others in. I'm sure Kurosaki –kun is eager to see you."
"*giggle* Okay, and thank you for being here with me Orihime," Orihime gave Rukia a big smile and went to call the others.
After everyone had seen the baby and left, Ichigo stayed to keep Rukia company.
"Have you called Aizen to tell him the big news?"
"He was expecting a son, so he won't be interested in the baby since it's a girl. But, I did call Matsumoto and Hitsugaya to let them know."
"Oh…." He said. 'That bastard!' thought Ichigo, and then he asked, "Well, have you thought of a name yet?"
"Well how 'bout Tsuuki?"
"Yeah, cuz you're like the beautiful night sky and you can't have a beautiful night sky without the moon."
"Tsuuki, huh? Well since you put so much thought into the name, Tsuuki it is."
Ichigo started blushing as soon as he realized how sappy and corny his explanation was.
"So, can I hold Tsuuki?" he asked.
"Yeah," Rukia then handed the baby to Ichigo. While Ichigo was holding Tsuuki, he realized how much Tsuuki resembled Rukia. Tsuuki had a few strands of black hair and she had those beautifully rare violet eyes. She was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen.
After Rukia got out of the hospital and returned home, she mostly relied on Rangiku and Toushirou because Sousuke was just as distant as ever. Ichigo saw the way Rukia was living and knew she deserved better and so did Tsuuki.
Ichigo had gone to visit Rukia and Tsuuki, who was now five months old. While Ichigo was there Tsuuki was being fussy and started crying rather loudly. Ichigo and Rukia tried to calm her down but to no avail.
"Rukia, Aizen –sama said to quiet Tsuuki down because he can't concentrate on his work," Toushirou said and then left after delivering the message.
"Rukia this is ridiculous! He tells you to keep Tsuuki quiet instead of checking on her himself!" Ichigo said angrily.
"Ichigo, there's nothing I can do."
"Just leave him. I'll take care of you and Tsuuki," Ichigo said this because he and Rukia both knew they had feelings for each other, although, they were never romantically intimate.
"Ichigo …. I can't. I don't want to disgrace Nii –sama or the Kuchiki name."
"Rukia….. I …..ugh….," Ichigo was so upset that he stormed out of there.
Once Ichigo left Rukia's house, he went to go visit Byakuya to try and convince him to let Rukia divorce Sousuke.
The next day Byakuya was at the Aizen manor.
"Kuchiki –sama, are you here to see Aizen –sama?" one of the servants asked.
"I'm here to see Rukia," he replied harshly. The servant then led Byakuya to where Rukia was.
"N – Nii –sama? What are you doing here?" asked a surprised Rukia.
"Are you happy here?"
"Of course," Rukia lied as she put on a fake smile.
"Are you really? Because Kurosaki Ichigo says differently."
Rukia looked down at the floor and said, "Well…."
"Prepare a few things for you and Tsuuki while I go to talk to Aizen about the divorce."
"Nii –sama, do you think you can arrange it so that my servants Matsumoto and Hitsugaya come with us, they are the only ones who were kind and genuine with me while I was here."
"Very well," Byakuya said and then left to go talk to Sousuke.
Rukia had finalized her divorce with Sousuke. Rukia was given her two servants Rangiku and Toushirou, she was given a large sum of Sousuke's wealth, and Sousuke had guaranteed that he would stay out of Tsuuki's life.
Rukia bought a house for herself and Tsuuki with some of the money that she got from the divorce. The house she bought was not too big, it had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, and a small backyard.
Rukia was very happy now that she was divorced. She was very happy because her 'servants' were now living their own lives, she was currently dating Ichigo, Tsuuki's first birthday was a week away, and Orihime and Uryuu were getting married in 3 months.
It was Tsuuki's first birthday and Rukia had invited Ichigo and his family, Orihime, Uryuu, Renji, Byakuya, Momo, Toushirou, and Rangiku. Everyone was enjoying the party and everyone was spoiling Tsuuki. It was then time to sing happy birthday to Tsuuki, so Karin and Yuzu put Tsuuki on the table in front of the cake, while Rukia recorded the event. As soon as everyone started to sing "Happy birthday," Tsuuki started to cry. Yuzu picked up Tsuuki trying to get her to calm down, but Tsuuki kept crying, "Waaahhhh….mama…..dada…..waaaaaaahhhh….dada."
Ichigo then took Tsuuki from Yuzu and said to Tsuuki "Shhh, its okay Tsuuki, its okay."
Tsuuki started to calm down and she said "*sniffle* Ah, dada, dada…."
Ichigo smiled and said "That's right your dad's here."
Meanwhile Rukia was also smiling as she recorded the event because that was the first time Tsuuki called Ichigo dad. Rukia then turned off the camera and walked over to Tsuuki and Ichigo. "Come on Tsuuki, you still have to cut the cake," Rukia said as she took Tsuuki from Ichigo, "don't worry, your daddy can help you cut the cake," she finished saying as she took Ichigo's hand in hers.
Its two years later and Ichigo and Rukia have been married for a few months, and Rukia is also expecting her second child. Ichigo was currently putting Tsuuki to bed because she fell asleep on the floor playing with her toys. After he put her to bed, he watched her sleep from the doorway. Ichigo then felt something on his arm. He turned to see Rukia was resting her head on his arm. Ichigo intertwined his fingers with Rukia's and he heard Rukia say, "Thank you."
"For rescuing me and Tsuuki from Aizen."
"Thank you for waitin' for me." They then walked to their bedroom.