~As always, I only own the plot. I don't own the series or characters, so don't sue me.

Forget Your Pride

"Kurosaki Ichigo," a deep sultry voice drawled out behind him.

Turning quickly, orange locks bouncing harshly at the movement, amber eyes fell upon a familiar face. "Byakuya!" Startled, he took a step back toward his bedroom doorway. "What are you doing in my room!"

This was a first. The 6th squad captain hardly came to the transient world, let alone to his bedroom. But there he stood; arm's relaxed at his sides, standing by his open window. The man's raven black hair danced in the light breeze as he fixed the shinigami daikou down with a harsh glare.

"What are you doing?" the man demanded.

"I'm going to bed. It's dark out," he added gesturing toward the window.

Unfazed, his features softened slightly. "You shouldn't be here. You should be with Rukia."

"Rukia?" he repeated a bit angrily. Running a hand through his hair he snapped a bit. "Why should I? She left me months ago."

Byakuya sighed. "How long ago did she leave you?"

"Eh… Let's see," he mumbled as he began to softly count on his fingers. "Probably about nine months ago."

The room fell silent for a moment. "What was the last thing you did together?"

Ichigo blushed deeply as the memories of their twining bodies resurfaced. Suddenly his face grew incredibly pale as all the blood rushed out of it from a certain realization. "She couldn't!"

The captain merely nodded. "There isn't much time left."

Growling, Ichigo grabbed his combat pass and slammed it against his chest. "Let's go!" he shouted as his body hit the floor behind him.


Rukia bit her lip and held her breath at the intense pain that wracked her body. As the pain subsided, her head fell back and she panted heavily.

"Kuchiki-fukutaichou," Unohana said as she used a cloth to wipe some sweat from the girl's brow. "I told you to breathe through them."

"Easier said than done," the vice-captain growled through gritted teeth as the pain started again.

"Unohana-taichou, it's time," her vice-captain Isane said.

The captain's eyes shifted to gaze deeply into Rukia's. "This will be the hardest part. Please bear with it and do exactly as I tell you." The woman smiled as the young shinigami nodded in agreement. "Alright Kuchiki-fukutaichou, I need you to take a deep breath and-"


All eyes fell over to the doorway at it was suddenly slid open harshly. Orange hair burst forth as the teen dashed into the room.

"I-Ichigo!" the girl stammered out. "You idiot! What are you doing here!"

Ignoring her, he merely rushed over to her side. Grabbing her hand, he held it firmly as he leaned down and placed a passion filled kiss on her rosy lips. Amber eyes gazed deeply into violet, and she felt a pang deep in her chest.

"Why?" he choked out. "Why didn't you tell me? Why did you run off and not say a word to me?"

"As a Kuchiki I am held to a certain standard. If it got out that-"

"Forget your pride Rukia!" He squeezed her hand lightly.

Tears swelled up in her eyes and began to spill over. "I was scared!" she admitted. "I didn't know what to do!"

Eyes softening, Ichigo leaned forward and kissed her forehead. "It's okay to be. Next time, let me in and we can be scared together."

Rukia smiled momentarily before pain wracked her body once more. Biting her lip, she acted as Unohana instructed her every step of the way.

"Just a bit more!" They heard her say.

The girl squeezed the hand she held tightly as its owner whispered sweet nothings to her.

"That's it, you can relax now," Unohana said, trying not to break the lovely moment.

Panting heavily, she vaguely heard the door sliding shut. Violet eyes looking up, she saw her older brother. "Nii-sama," she gasped.

"I know you asked to keep him out of this," he started as he walked over toward the girl's head and sat opposite the shinigami daikou. "But, I trust him enough to do the right thing. It's both your burden to bear."

"Nii-sama," she whispered. "I-" But she was cut off as a small wail filled the room.

Turning to face her, bundle in hand, Unohana handed the infant to Ichigo, who numbly took it.

Laughing a bit nervously, he looked at the baby. "You have your mother's black hair. Exactly what I'd expect from a daughter."

Isane chuckled a bit. "It's a boy."

"Oh!" The teen cleared his throat. "That would explain the spiky hair then."

Byakuya helped his dear younger sister to an upright position. Noticing this, Ichigo then handed the bundle to her. Small pale hands reached out and brushed the unruly hair gently.

"His face makes all doubt and worry vanish from my mind," she said.

"Newborns do that," her brother added.

"What will you name him?" the 4th squad captain asked.

"I…" Rukia trailed off.

"It's okay." Her love placed a hand on her shoulder. "I know what you want to name him."

Placing a light kiss on the child's forehead, she said, "Kaien."


(A/N: Happy Mother's day to all my fellow Moms out there! ^.^)